May 2002 - BEATEN BACK TO PURE
BEATEN BACK TO PURE`s debut "Southern Apocalypse" is such an incredible hard-hitting sludgy debut, but in opposite to other bands in this genre this band got a more melodic and metallic sound without losing its intense brutality. On top there's a small southern rock influence and the incredible hard vocals of Ben and all that was reason enough for me to start an interview with him about music, hate, anger, blood, the Confederate flag and more. Thanks a lot to Chris of Retribute Records for making this interview possible.
Hey guys! Last news I've received about BBTP was, that you've entered the studio for the follow-up of the brilliant debut "Southern Apocalypse". Please, tell us something about it.Where have you recorded it, is Steve Austin again the producer, what album title, which label and so on? You know, the usual interesting stuff...
Well that ain't 100% accurate as of April 4, 2002. We have done some studio shit recently, but aim to get down to fucking business over the next month. See, our guitar player Vince has bought himself a fucking 24 track studio board with all this computerized shit, that I will never understand, he bought lots of mics and usual studio shit. He has been experimenting and learning the fucking thing while we practice and he's recently recorded short demos for 3 or 4 local bands. He calls the place Sniper Christian Studios and he seems to have a knack for this shit. He has worked with a board before but this time he dropped his own cash for this motherfucker. After his rocknroll days are done he can at least be the cool old dude with the studio.
Back to the question though, the songs are written and the test runs have come out thunderous and really who knows what BBTP are supposed to sound like better than BBTP. Last album was a fucking cram session, I'm amazed it worked out as well as it did. The vox were all one take. No second vocals or anything. One shot through. This time we can do some studio magic shit. By god it's about time. Working with Steve was cool and we learned alot. It's also a 13 hour drive to his place. Maybe down the line but I'm sure he's busy getting ready to tour with Motorhead and Morbid Angel.
The albums first song is the title track (as cliche as that maybe, fuck off if it ain't cool) "The Last Refuge of the Sons of Bitches". This time it'll be about 40-45 mins of music. We really going to shake some motherfuckers up with this one. Hopefully in a good way. Yeah, Chris from Retribute is putting this one out too. A honerary southerner, a man of his word. Aside from all that nothing else is interesting (if even that was).
When will it be available?
Originally targeted for May, but more realistically June. We just added a 3rd guitar player and we are working in some extra leads and shit. Nothing dramatic. It'll be worth the wait. Chris doesnt fuck around once I get him the master he'll have the bitch in shops within a month. No bullshit.
You've released "Southern Apocalypse" on the fine English underground label Retribute Records. How did you get together with Chris, the boss of the label and are you satisfied with your choice?
Very satisfied. None of the normal bullshit you hear about other smaller labels pulling. Fucking ay, I hope he's making a buck, he's earned it. We are very happy with Chris and would not ditch him and Retribute for another label of comparable abilities. Him ditching us, well that's a different story....I sent out between 10 and 100 promos to different labels most of them either being polite or just not answering, whatever, when out of the blue Chris got in touch, he had heard our demo from March 2000 at MP3.com (it's still there if you wanna hear some old shite) and the rest is history, so to speak.
It seems, as if you weren't the greatest friends of this sick and brutal world we live in. Would you see BBTP as a band with a nihilistic or misanthropic philosophy and what do you think in general about the human race? Do you hate life and have you ever thought about suicide?
I wouldn't say all that. I'm a working class ass busting motherfucker. I am not always fucking friendly. I don't associate with strangers (if I dont know you, I figure there's gotta be a reason) and at my work I'm a zombie who is just getting through the day, there are groups of individuals I wouldnt mind watching vanish, like the homeless, all welfare recipients, bums, and the like. But as far as doom and fucking gloom ALL the fucking time, hell naw, too many beers to drink and whiskey to piss out to let the man keep me down. Never thought of suicide. I'm a 30 year old man now (yes, i said it, the big 3-0), if i did it would've been when I was a fucking punk kid. The real world is what it is and to watch everyone take up arms against one another would really get me off. But nihilistic or genocidal or something? Na. Aint got that much free time.
Is hate one of the most important inspirations in your music? What about drugs and physical sickness like depressions and so on?
Yeah, hate drives me. I like it. I wouldnt have it any other way. I'm a generally unpleasant fucker and lyrically I suppose that comes through. I aint going to talk to much bout drugs. I do have fucked up depression shit. I feel like a pussy or a fuckin woman. A doctor won't prescribe shit for me, they say I'm a drunk and figure I'm just looking to score some legal xanax and have been turned down at least 4 times for that reason. I have a lady who prefers crack to her xanaxs. I wait till she's jonesing and offer to loan her cash in exchange for her prescription. It's a good system and it keeps my moods in check. But if I'm without them, watch the fuck out, I feel like a dog with rabies or something. Probably not the way to go through life. Maybe it is. Who fucking cares.
What do you think about mankind's future? Is there something like a future? Have "we"deserved a future?
Future? Fuck it i won't be hear to see it. America is going down the fucking toilet is all I KNOW for sure. Within 100 years we'll be speaking Chinese because this upcoming generation are the biggest pussy/douchebag motherfuckers I've ever encountered and the next will only get worse. It won't be in my lifetime but them hard working, mean ass orientals will be conquering the earth. If that comes true I want to be remembered as a sort of Nostradamus type. Nobody "deserves" anything. Each day you are playing to keep your spot on the roster. Anyone who thinks they "deserve"something as a birthright need to be aligned. 4 years in the Marines oughta do it.
Who's writing the lyrics and are they authentic and/or biographic?
I write them. They are what they are, little bursts of inspiration normally. I've focused more on the new cd and they will be more personal and tell more definite stories. If all else fails, I'll just throw a fucking cool sounding line in. If somebody doesnt like it because "that isnt the way Iced Earth or somebody do things" then they, too, can fuck off.
Your music is brutal and bone-crushing, but still very emotional and melodic. What are the most important parts of a BBTP song?
Well, I'm glad to see you "get" what we are going for. We do love the "heavy", but we also love the "rock", which makes for metal with sometimes familiar rocknroll song structures. That aint all together true. We rarely go back and repeat verses and shit. But what good is it to be heavy if, after the disc is over you cant remember one fucking riff? Too many black metal bands trying to out blaze each other. I like Marduk but the rest of the mega speed merchants can fuck off. Sounds as musical as a tablesaw. Just my opinion.
I've must admit, that I really like the name BEATEN BACK TO PURE. It sounds like a prophecy, not only for the future of mankind but also for oneselves when you've lost things in life like love, luck, happiness, trust and so on. Is there any special philosophy behind it?
Other people have said the same that they liked the name. I like it too. Whenever someone asks the name of the band I have to repeat myself like 5 fucking times for them to ingest it. It works on a lot of levels, but basically were just four words that came together in a sentence over beers at the corner bar. We were talking about religious zealots and somehow the term came up. It was about the 10th band name we brought to the fellows that were in the band at that time (2 of the 3 have since moved on, this was mid 99). We decided that nite that BBTP was going to be the band name and we (Vince and myself) were going to force this one to stick. It did. I still cant believe that. Vince hated it about 3 days later but has since come back around. Now it's just a name. Not a prophecy. I wish I was as deep as you are brother. It was really just sweet sweet drunktalk.
I've seen a few live-shots of your shows. The performance of Ben seems to be very self-destructive. There's blood flowing and so on..Is it only a "show" or something authentic? Are there a lot of violent outbursts in a BBTP show?
Well, I am the Ben you speak of so I guess you're asking the right guy. Lately, we've really been letting the music do more of the talking live. It got to the point people wanted me to bleed and I did. That shit was real, no stage props. One nite I think I about fell out after the show. All the drinkin had my blood thin and it wouldnt stop. For a special occasion, I'll break out the buckknife I suppose. One nite I was particularly wound up and broke between 10 and 15 bottles. As far as violent outbursts, we've been playing and had fights break out. we just keep rocking. We're the soundtrack to these dudes fight. That's ok by me. Unfortunately shit like that gets every metal club that has ever existed anywhere shut down eventually. Maybe we should behave to a certain degree. Just dont break the clubs shit and they'll be cool normally. You start costing the club owners money then they aint going to let your favorite out of town band play when touring, and they'll skip your region entirely. Trust me.
What do you think about musicians like GG Allin (RIP) or the early Stooges? I ask for it, because blood and violence were main parts in their shows. Do you feel influenced from those acts?
No. I hate punk rock. I have seen GG in his videos and on old talk shows and even own a couple of tapes/records or whatever of his. But the music just sucks too hard for me to get past it. I am not even familiar with what the Stooges did in that regard. I know Antiseen and Buzzov-en (RIP) would do the bloodlet thing. I guess i didnt invent it but it's still intense and painful. And like I said i havent pulled the knife in about a year or so. I dont want the attention directed 100% on me when we have 5 other dudes (3 guitars, bassist, drummer) working their asses off too. I still rock and try to do the frontman thing. Just with a little less scarring. Maybe if I'm ever in your town you can convince me to give it another go.
You are describing BBTP as "Southern laden metal with rawk and roll parts". What do you think about terms like sludge and how important are such descriptions for you?
I dont really care. I do feel if we get lumped into the whole "sludge thing" that it would be a shame. We play riffy uptempo shit alot. Driving beats and all. Definite doom incorporated into that. But you hear Goatsblood or Mugwart or Warhorse or whoever and they are way "sludgier". The low (death metal style)vocals get us alot of that sort of attention. I think we could appeal to fans of heavy sludge/stoner rock/death metal/southern rock (maybe)/or just well played rock and fucking kick your teeth out roll. You get my drift?
You've got a huge predilection for that "southern-thing". What do you like especially about the south of the USA ? I don't belong to those political correctness-freaks, but I hope you don't like slavery (only when it's a sexual game!)!
That's where we are from. I'm from further south originally being born and raised in Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina. Hell I'm almost in yankee country here in ole Virginy. I like the clean country air, the drawl a hillbilly girl talks with and even though her teeth aint perfect she can fuck like a mechanical bull, I like the Blue Ridge mountains, I like sweet tea on the front porch (chasing liquor of course) watching the bug zapper fry fucking mosquitos by the dozen. And whatever the worst political connotations the Confederate flag may bring to mind. I fly the flag in my front yard. It's not currently a polite thing to do. Making folks remember history,that is. It aint always pretty but it got us where we are today. If anything had been changed I may not be here today doing this interview. I like killing deer, fishing and nascar racing too. Maybe I'm a fucking redneck
In the last seven years, some bands are combining Southern Rock with different elements like Doom, Hardcore, Metal or Sludge. Personally I like this musical development, because all of this bands are playing on a high ambitious level. Is it something like a new underground movement in the USA and what do you think about my statement?
I aint sure where you got 7 years from. Maybe the first Down record? I'm not sure where it all came from obviously Eyehategod and BUzzoven wrote the original book and now it's morphed a thousand different ways with some bands no longer resembling those two at all. Shit their roots were in Sabbath and that was barely noticable. It's the most slow developing movement I've ever fucking seen. I'm just waiting for Death and Black metal to swoon for a second, and if their fans open their eyes to the periferal shit, they are going to be pissed at what they have been missing out on. The fact Alabama Thunderpussy got signed to Relapse, I believe is going to do good things for the genre. They are more Rock and Roll than High on Fire who relapse also signed recently. I think a new day is coming and I want to see it from the top of the wave.
Your press info says, that all members of BBTP are doing regular jobs. What for jobs and what do you like to do besides playing music?
Our press kit says that? That's surprising. I guess I never saw that or something. Yeah man. We all live on our own. No titties to suck on or handouts to anticipate. We all hold down jobs. Some more flexible than others. We can do brief touring. Extended touring would require at least 2 members quitting or just using replacements on the road. Deceased have had the same dilemma for years. My dayjob is as a locksmith, Vince is a foreman of a sod laying company, Chuck and Erik both work for some corporate death machine Jap company, I have no idea what they really DO there. Slam runs his own powerwashing/painting gig. And new guy (also known as Richie Scharr) lays carpet. We aint really overachievers or anything. We just grind it out. If it came to Europe or something we'd definitely go. We cant headline, we wouldnt draw shit here (or there) but with a good headliner. We'd make it happen one way or the other.
What about a European tour in 2002 or 2003, maybe together with a band like Weedeater or Black Manta? Could it be possible for you to come over or is it to expensive for the band or label?
I dont know if I'd survive touring with Weedeater, everytime we hang out we get tore fucking down. I'd love to try. Those bitches are killer and good fucking dudes. We had Black Manta play a show once here locally. They were also cool. Crazy mother fuckers. I just remember listening to Twisted Sister at 4 am at this dudes house and fucking drinking. The expense. there in lies the problem. I cant expect a lower level label like Retribute to drag us over there and set up a bus and shit. We (as individuals)would have trouble doing it too. Them tickets and buses and all aint cheap as I'm sure you are aware. We'd love to do it. I'd like to hang out with Ralf Burkart (of Calamus fame and also Daredevil.de) on his home soil. It's going to take some luck, but I got my fingers crossed
Any other future plans for this year?
Nothing we aint already went over.
Thanks a lot! Good luck for the band. Is there anything you like to add at least?
Well, first off I want to thank you for giving us this forum for some exposure. I hope it sells some more copies of "southern apocalypse" and remember the new cd will be out soon "the last refuge of the sons of bitches" too. With distro all over Europe through PlasticHead. Good job to Chris for hooking that up. If you aint got it yet then be sure to buy the "south of hell" compilation on Berserker Records. We have an exclusive track on that one. We are doing a comp for Shifty records at some point. Find their site for details on that one. Our website is always being updated, so you oughta check it out at www.beatenbacktopure.com frequently for updated shit. Get in touch. Give me a fucking phone call at 757-567-5517 or of course the email thing at beatenbacktopure[at]aol.com Respect old people, and beat bums with shovels. Rebel flags and razor blades motherfuckers!!!! Up the irons.