American cyber grindcore band, AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED, have unleashed a new EP, the first of four to be coming from the brutal outfit. The three-track release is titled Arc and was released on January 22, 2016, via Relapse Records. It is the first in a series of four EPs they will unleash, each highlights the specific musical influences of each of the band’s members. They blend the furious sounds of grind and hardcore with some seriously doom heavy moments. Their songs usually don’t last longer than one to two minutes but after ten seconds or less, anyone who is a fan of heavy music will undoubtedly fall in love with their vicious attack.
THE METAL DEN’s Randy “Rocket” Cody has conducted a phone interview with vocalist/bassist Richard Johnson Of AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED for his loyal Den Headz around the globe.
ROCKET: Where were you born and raised?
RICHARD: I was born in Ohio and raised in Virginia.
ROCKET: Do you recall your first concert?
RICHARD: Stevie Wonder.
ROCKET: Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
RICHARD: When I was a kid I wanted to be Ace Frehley from KISS. Napalm Death is a major influence…
ROCKET: Let’s talk about the new EP AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED has released called “Arc”. Where was it recorded?
RICHARD: It was recorded at Scott Hull’s Visceral Sound Studios in Bethesda, Maryland.
ROCKET: I heard the song “Death Bed”. I really dig it. What is that song about?
RICHARD: Vocalist Kat Katz poured a lot of herself out into these songs that she wrote, you know she was dealing with her mother… when she was putting all of that together. Hopefully it helped her to get some of that out.
ROCKET: How does the songwriting process work for this band?
RICHARD: You know when I write… I have written some personal stuff, relationship type songs, but mostly I write about politics. And then I try to mask it a little bit so I’m not hitting you over the head.
ROCKET: Your band is signed to Relapse Records. How has that relationship been working out?
RICHARD: They are great. We have been working with them for many years. The folks at the label like the band. You know, I think, these days, the only time I see them is at Maryland Deathfest. I saw some of them at MDF last year at the first full show we played.
ROCKET: AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED in the just the past few years began playing its first full live shows. How has that experience been so far?
RICHARD: Well the first full live set, yes, but the first appearance was in early 2000’s at New England Metal/Hardcore festival. And that was only three songs. It was sort of impromptu, and funny thing about that one… it’s just us up on the stage and there is no drummer…
ROCKET: – I know. You don’t have a drummer as a cyber grindcore band. You use drum machine programming in studio and live.
RICHARD: And we didn’t have our visuals… because we couldn’t get it together.
ROCKET: So you are running the drum program when live through the PA system, is that correct?
RICHARD: Each drum is on a separate channel. Instead of having a right and left stereo channel in the P.A. it’s all separate. There’s a lot more control for the sound person to mix. And that’s all Scott’s mastermind-ing of the technology.
ROCKET: Have you ever had anything happen live on the stage that went wrong, like maybe the drum program stops playing?
RICHARD: No, the only thing that has happened is that the MDF show we had to stop. Jay stepped on Scott’s guitar chord. It did something to his guitar strap. And they had to come out and duct tape his strap back onto his guitar. And plug his guitar back in. You know, it’s just one of those moments where you stop playing to let someone sort their equipment problem out. We played our second show in San Antonio and that went off without a hitch.
ROCKET: Being a former roadie, I can certainly dig the idea of not having to breakdown a drum kit at the end of a show and transport it back home! You played the latest installment of Housecore Horrorfest. I saw some video of it online. It looked like the crowd was into your band.
ROCKET: If you get a chance, google DOWNSPELL from San Diego, California. My late friend Tyson sang for the band. They were killer grindcore…played with a drummer. I saw them perform at Soma concert hall back in 2006, while writing a show review while with Metalunderground site. He also directed videos for Cattle Decapitation, including one for the song “A Body Farm”. It’s really cool, if you haven’t seen it pull it up on Youtube, it’s got this freaky camera work that really is great visually tied to the music.
RICHARD: Is that one of the Cattle D tracks?
ROCKET: Yes, definitely check it out. So what other shows or festivals will your band be playing in 2016?
RICHARD: Southwest Terror festival… (inaudible) and so we’re doing that as far as shows and then the next thing we’re gonna do is put out a full length album.
ROCKET: Thanks for rocking this out with me. Best of luck with your music. Any last words for the fans?
RICHARD: I appreciate your interest in covering us for the site. And I really like this new EP, Kat’s EP called Arc, and we appreciate it. It’s taken a long time for that record to come out. And it seems like the wait has been worth it.