The War Inside My Head: Track Premiere and Interview with Black Metal Duo Pando
It's been a busy week of premieres here at MMHQ, with a fantastic new single streaming from grinding wonder Feed Them Death earlier this week, so be sure to check that one out along with attached interview. But now we're already back to business with an intriguing new release, the new album from Massachusetts black metal/drone project Pando, Rites, due later this month via Aesthetic Death. A mix of lengthy, experimental drone/ambient passages and blistering lo-fi violence, there's good reason to believe that Rites will intrigue (fucking hate that word, is there a better one?) all those in that special, special convergence of experimental music and black metal, complete with sound bites from radical body artist Vito Acconci and former U.S. President Richard Nixon, among others. And in fact the track we are premiering right now, "The Molds of Men," is a great case in point – in some ways it sounds like a familiar mode of raw black metal but in others actually sounds like a no-wave band along the vein of 80s Swans being so ferocious with their sound that they just end up sounding like Xasthur. Does that make sense? Probably doesn't, but it's great. Check it out here, check out the entire album next week, and be sure to go through the interview with the band after the jump, part of our The War Inside My Head interview series.
Just before that this is just to say that you can check out our other interview series (Albums of the Decade, Pillars of the 90s) and, you haven't already, please follow follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify and support whatever it is that we do on Patreon, and check out our kinda-sorta podcast, MATEKHET (YouTube, Spotify and all that). On to my conversation with Adam and Matthew of Pando.
What was the first album you bought with your own money, and where did you buy it?
Adam: I think it was Tool's Lateralus when my parents brought me to the casino. They had a record store there and I wasn't aloud to do anything else at the time other than eat Krispy Cream Donuts and watch all the old people fart behind the slot machines.
Matthew: The first album I bought was Burning Spear, Calling Rastifari. The album still holds up today. Bob Marley was the romanticized side to roots reggae, Winston Rodney was the political voice for the people. I traded a butterfly knife to my neighbor for the album when I was eleven.
What 2-3 albums did you hear the most growing up?
Adam: My dad was the one that had all the albums and my mom just listened to whatever was on the radio usually (I remember her listening to a lot of Prince and hair bands though). My dad's heavy rotation was usually this Queen's Greatest Hits album, Iron Maiden (I think either Powerslave or their live one), and Duran Duran. I was fortunate that my dad had a pretty wide taste in music.
Matthew: O.V. Wright, The Soul of O. V. Wright, Ryan Adam, Rock N Roll, and Tom Waits, Mule Variations.
What two albums taught you the most about making music (mixing, production, performance)?
Adam: I didn't know anything about that stuff until way later on when I started recording and mixing stuff myself. I think where I really started to pay attention was on the Ghost records and stuff like Swans. Things where you could clearly hear all the instruments in the mix. And it wasn't an immediate notice for me either. I was listening to the newer Swans albums for awhile until I realized “Oh shit…this actually sounds bananas.” It's cool because you start to pick up on when things are recorded and mixed poorly, but also when they were purposely recorded a particular way. Like Tom Waits's Mule Variations has those couple tracks on it that sound like they were recorded using broken equipment.
Matthew: The Sound of the Smiths. It’s a remastered album, so when you travel back it time you can hear the difference in decision making. They also are a great example of how to preserve the independence between bass guitars and bass drums/ kick. Also, Tombs, Savage Gold.
What is the last album that absolutely shocked you?
Adam: Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find much newer stuff that's kept my interest for an extended period of time (probably not the fault of the musicians, I just get bored really easily). I think the last new album that really blew me away was the most recent Imperial Triumphant record. Otherwise, probably John Coltrane's Interstellar Jazz. The drumming on that is fucking crazy and is some of the most brutal shit I've heard in awhile.
Matthew: Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III. The album is actually really well done. He’s a fucking moron, but so is Henry Rollins so get over it. When I was 18, a friend of mine was found dead on his bathroom floor and that was his favorite album. I still listen to it in October each year.
What album relaxes you or centers you the most?
Adam: I have a couple of those actually. Both of the Fletcher Tucker releases under his name (Cold Spring and Unlit Trail) are really great and put in some good headspace. I usually listen to Wardruna when I'm heading out towards a hiking destination or Two Hunters by Wolves in the Throne Room. Sunn O)))'s most recent releases I find really relaxing and same with Boris's older stuff like Flood. But when I'm meditating, I usually put on something this one track by The Necks called “Blue Mountain.” It feels like you're up on a summit somewhere just looking down at everything. Very peaceful.
Matthew: Lamentation, Fullmoon over Faerhaaven.
What are the 2-3 albums you’ve listened to the most recently?
Adam: Well, Fletcher Tucker's Unlit Trail literally just came out. So I'm gonna say that one. Otherwise, I just found Cannibal Ox for the first time and that's on heavy rotation.
Matthew: Infant Annihilator, The Battle of Yaldabaoth. Mainly because I have a two year old son, so I can’t buy merch from them. I find that interesting. Also, Children of Bodom, Hatecrew Deathroll. RIP you drunk, sausage cooking beautiful man. I remember when I was 13, I watched Alexi and Janne play the Titanic theme song at a live performance and this guy next to me told me it reminded him of Aerosmith. I found that odd.
What album is grossly underrated?
Adam: Boris's Dronevil I feel gets overlooked the most in their discography. I don't know if that's because they have such a huge amount of material or people are put off by the length, but it's some of the heaviest shit I've heard.
What album would you recommend from your local scene?
Adam: That's a tough one. Most of what we have out this way is really hipster folk stuff. Some of it's not bad, it just starts to all sound the same. I'm gonna suggest my friend Dylan's band, Kakarot (it's the four elements album). He's one of the best drummer's I've ever heard and I'm actually working on some new material with him for a future project. Also, my friend Jeff is in this band called Landowner that's this kind of punk rock band with no distortion they call “weakcore.” Funny concept.
Matthew: Fear Nuttin Band, From Outta Nowhere. Nice blend of genres, smooth transitions, and the bass strings are fatter than my dick. And I’m not going to clarify if I’m taking about the E or G string.