Full Of Hell are nothing if not busy. A plaethora of releases including this year’s Rudiments Of Mutilation (A389 Recordings) and a hellish tour schedule keep the band plowing full speed ahead. Vocalist Dylan Walker talks through a number of topics related to their craft with Ghost Cult’s Matt Hinch.
You’ve only been together for a short time but you’re responsible for a relative avalanche of releases before the new album, Rudiments of Mutilation. To what do you attribute your prolific output?
We always have new ideas for releases and just have no interest in slowing down. Many artists that are influential to us are also somewhat prolific, so that definitely has something to do with it as well. If we aren’t working on new music, we feel stagnant.
If I were to use the term “music as a weapon”, how would you interpret that?
If I were to interpret that in an abstract way, I would say that it probably refers to using the music to achieve a real world goal. Applying that to FOH though, I would be more apt to think it means using the actual music as an offensive and harsh sonic wall that causes actual pain when you listen.
Personally I’m on the fence about how I feel about crowd funding. What are your thoughts on kickstarters and the like?
Kickstarter is a genius invention. The idea of crowd funding is a pretty wise marketing tool that seems to pull money together pretty quickly. That being said, I think it’s a fucking joke that any band resorts to using kickstarter, for whatever reason. Major label artists and large bands in general are using this outlet to get obscene amounts of money and it’s pretty cringe-worthy. Get your shit together and do it yourself.
I was intrigued by the randomness of Rudiments cover art. What the story behind that?
I wanted to piece together two halves, to represent a dichotomy. The upper half is comprised of images from my personal life, while the bottom is obviously the dregs of humanity. I had this idea of representing the untarnished human spirit at the top, and then at the bottom all of these small things that contribute to its mutilation. Hence the name. The “rudiments” are these basic aspects of the human pulse that kind of degrade and erode an untarnished human spirit.
With that, we’ve all bought albums based on the covers. What’s your greatest disappointment or biggest triumph of a purchase made on such a whim?
I ignored a Pestilence album for a long time because I thought the album cover looked so stupid. Cartoon guy with ants crawling over his face, it looked stupid to me. This album ruled and I made a mistake overlooking it for so long.
“Everybody” loves vinyl. CD vs. Digital is tit for tat, but cassettes are gaining momentum. Should the uprising be quashed or should we embrace the medium of a generation?
I personally am supportive of all mediums. You can’t deny that CDs are no longer very popular, but they still serve their purpose. As far as tapes go, I’m not sure if it ever went away, but people seem to have caught on a little more that it’s a nice cheap medium to use. When you accept the fact that physical media is kind of dead, then practicality loses its importance. What you are left with is choosing whatever is most aesthetically pleasing. So, I don’t think any of these things should be quashed. People can press their music onto anything they’d like, it’s inventive and creative. Although, I don’t personally have a floppy disk drive on my computer anymore.
Although based on hardcore, one can sense a greater influence on the band. What other artists (of any form) informed your creative process?
At this point, we are definitely the skeleton of a hardcore punk band that is fleshed out with a lot of other stuff. We take influence from stuff that’s kind of all over the board. More traditional grindcore like Discordance Axis and Insect Warfare, electronic music like Throbbing Gristle and Merzbow, death metal like Carcass and Obituary, avant- folk like Joanna Newsom and Leonard Cohen, all kinds of stuff.
I know Maryland and Pennsylvania aren’t that far away but what kind of obstacles does having members in different locations present and how have you overcome them?
It seems difficult on paper, but it’s really not an issue. I now live about 5 hours away from the rest of the band, and they just rehearse and write as usual. I get demos in the email when we are writing and we just go from there. Everyone is connected so tightly on this planet that things like this no longer pose any problems.
You’ve got an intense tour schedule. So you obviously love it. But what’s your least favourite aspect of touring so much?
This is something that I do get a lot of enjoyment from, but after awhile it’s easy to get burned out. My least favorite aspect would be the simple exhaustion. After being away from home for so long and being sleep deprived, you just get worn down and start to hate everything. No big deal though.
Thanks a lot and I look forward to seeing you with KEN Mode this fall! (In Kingston, Ontario to be specific.)
Can’t wait! Thanks for the interview. See you soon.