In the so-called sludge genre FISTULA are the unbeaten heavy-weight champions. They have released a lot of songs on different albums, compilations etc. and their latest contribution to a split CD with the experimental outfit Burmese is maybe their best and strongest material until now. FISTULA have integrated a lot of diverse styles in their sound, but the result is always ultra-heavy and the listener will be crushed by a load of finest mind-blowing riffs. It's definitely more than just a lame re-hash. But the members of FISTULA have a big creative potential, and so I give you the advice to check out the sick sounds of RUE and KING TRAVOLTA, the newest project from Corey (guitarist and vocalist from FISTULA) where he's currently working on. A few weeks ago I sent him a couple of questions via e-mail, and here's the entertaining and informative result. Don't be an idiot and miss this interview....
Currently, I'm listening to your latest release, the split CD with Burmese, and with the included four songs you continue your path of destruction. But "Green Lung" is a real funny song, and the title describes the song perfect. It seems, as if you had smoked some real good weed during the recordings, or have you just used some samples of a former smoking session?
"Green Lung" huh.. yep we used some good herb on that track. FISTULA recorded some songs previously at 609 with Don Depew that we did not use. There was this riff that we really dug, so we decided instead of trashing the whole thing we could use it for something worthwile. Bahb, Aaron, and myself stood in the circle of death and the result was the first track of the split.
"The Basilisk" is another excellent cut from the split, but at least, none of the four included tracks is weak or mediocre. For my taste, you've integrated some tasteful thrash metal elements in your monumental bulldozer sound. What do you think?
Well thank you. We play what we feel and what comes out obviously has to do with alot of music we grew up on, I mean we all love Sabbath and bla bla bla, but nobody ever remembers what really lit a fire under most people asses. For us it was old Suicidal Tendencies, DRI, COC, Anthrax, Butthole Surfers, Death, Exodus, Pestilence, Kreator, Sepultura, Candlemass, the list goes on.
Eric of Grief (R.I.P.) had done the cover artwork for your full-length "Idiopathic". Is he a good friend of the band, and did he come up with the idea?
I contacted Eric and asked him if he would be interested in doing some artwork for the "Idiopathic" album, I sent him some music and he came up with what I think, is some of the best work he's ever done, but then again, I love all his work. I don't know Eric personally, but he seems cool everytime I have ever talked to the guy, he's like us, we tend to stay away from people, less problems that way.
When I take a look at your discography, it seems as if you're big fans of split-releases, and making contributions for compilations. Can you agree, and what's the reason for it?
Well, we like doing splits to turn fans of our music on to friends of ours and just for personal enjoyment. Being on comps with all these great bands is dream come true, I mean seriously. the Crushers Killers comps, the Emissions comp on Maduro Records, the Dreams Of What Life Could Have Been comp, Destroys All comp, to be with all these great bands is amazing. We are lucky to be around such good people.
Do you prefer the so-called d.i.y. attitude and musical underground structures?
We are loyal to no structure. The underground could care less if we were here or gone, really. People are fickle as hell, if you don't look cool or aren't liked by a certain circle of people, it doesn't matter if your music is good or not. I see tons of bands in the "underground" that totally suck!!!! And people love them, they got the right moves I guess, or the right pants. And the Liz Taylor blown fake hair. Same cheezey riffs.. go buy a Jet album fags...
Until now, you've worked together with different labels. The actual split has been released by Crucial Blast while you have worked in the past together with other excellent labels like Shifty or PsycheDOOMelic. Is this some sort of the band's policy or did it more happen by chance?
By chance. We started working with Shifty about 4 years ago, hell longer than that, and from there we have met other people, bands or whatnot.
Is the Fistula sound more a reflection of the perverted state of mankind, or more a personal distorted expression of your inner world? What motivates you to play heaviest sludgecore?
A little bit of both. And I think life in general is a good enough reason to play heavy.
To speak about the so-called sludge genre; there's a very vital underground scene in the USA with a lot of expressive and diverse bands. How do think about the current underground?
Well as far as alot of good bands around, yes there are, I don't know much about the scene or whatever, we just meet people we play with or hear a good band at a show, there are too many bands out there, too much to deal with, but yes, there are alot of diverse bands; look at Rwake from Arkansas, look at Keelhaul, look at Burmese, listen to Totimoshi, good point. Diversity is the only thing that will save music, or at least keep it interesting.
Can you tell me more about your other band Rue? Who is involved, and is it just a Fistula side-project or a 'full-working' band?
Rue is a full working band. I am no longer playing drums in Rue. Aaron, the drummer from FISTULA is the drummer now. Rue is: Bahb - Bass, Jeff Fahl - vocals, Mike Burns - Guitar, Andy Strickland - guitar. Rue is a sick band, Andy from Rue was previously involved in Rue, now he is back home and jamming full time in Rue. We just recorded 4 songs for a split with Aldebaran to be released on Shifty and Throne Records on October 5th. That is the last recording I was part of. We are all brothers, I love those guys, I just can't jam with them at this moment in time, but they are planning on releasing new material around spring.
How did sludge/doom metal tie in for you?
Ohhh damn!!!!! Where do I begin. Ever since I was a kid, I have been drawn to the darker side of things, if it was nasty heavy ugly loud, I loved it more!! But during a certain time period in my life as well as Bahb and Aarons, we were all at rock bottom, feeling angrier and more pissed than ever. Anyway, we started jamming, alot of self medicating and what came out was very dark and ugly, but it was the only thing that made us ok. So from then on, we realized FISTULA was our medicine.
Please, give us an insight in your upcoming plans like shows, releases etc.!
Well, FISTULA is playing with Rebreather and Mezzanine C14 on October 29th at the Nyabinghi, and then November 5th at the Nyabinghi with Meatjack and Trephine. We are currently working on our new album, we already have a few songs and a bunch of riffs, we would like to finally put out this Fistula/Hog Mountin split 7", and one or two other split 7"s also.
Thanks a lot!