Skinless - Dismantling Chairs
One of my personal favourites in brutal death metal, Skinless, were in Europe for their tour and of course I had to interview them. They played a little extra show in the Little Devil where the Keyser brothers (bassist Joe and vocalist Jason) were nice enough to answer a few questions for me.
So how is it to be back on this side of the ocean again?
Joe: ‘Great, we just did some shows over here with Visceral Bleeding and those guys are really cool. We had great shows where we went, great festivals, and we did a couple of shows by ourselves here and there. We did one with Morbid Angel, one with Suffocation, so overall it’s been really really cool.’
Why did your vocalist Sherwood quit the band?
Joe: ‘We don’t know the exact reason, but it was kind of his personality changing, not wanting to do the same things anymore. Wanting to go to school, basically just wanting to do different stuff which he couldn’t do while being in a band and tour. He just lost his interest in general. He kind of changed his lifestyle.’
So you figured to get your brother on that spot?
Joe: ‘Kind of, haha. Nah.’
Jason: ‘Noah came up to me a couple of years ago and just suggested it, Joe didn’t even want me in the band so it was not exactly like that. It wasn’t like, oh here’s my brother. It was more Noah’s choice. I was in the band Detriment from that area.’
So you’re all happy now?
Joe: ‘Oh yeah, totally.’
So what do you do when an entire crowd starts tearing down the venue you’re in?
Jason: ‘I’ll encourage it further, I will join them in the crowd and tear down the venue. Or I will tell them to stop completely. Whatever they do I will tell them to do the opposite, just to make them do it.’
Joe: ‘I usually just keep playing while the venue’s coming down.’
Jason: ‘I will say take that there and put it over there. Take that chair and dismantle it!’
Joe: ‘I mean if we got a ton of people on stage and shit starts breaking everywhere, like drum pieces start falling down and guitars get unplugged, this happens you know what I mean. But you gotta provoke it. I just keep playing. Sometimes I don’t even realize that I’m unplugged, I just keep playing. It’s never planned, it’s always spontaneous, like on stage circle pits, headbangers, Chris’ drums getting destroyed, shit like that. It happens, and we encourage it.’
So what if no one moves?
Jason: ‘We make them. They never not move. I will move them. I will physically jump into the crowd and move them. And once that happens they start to get into it a little bit. Sometimes they just need a little helping hand, a little push, encouragement.’
What would you guys do if you woke up Skinless?
Jason ‘I would be dead. Or I would run around and rub my muscular structure on people.’
Joe: ‘I would probably bleed to death. I would wake up and die. Or take a shower and wash all the blood of me.’
Jason: ‘I’d go mug somebody and steal their skin. With a rusty spoon.’
Hahaha! What’s the gayest record in your collection?
Jason: ‘The gayest record in my collection? Oh my god this is serious.’
Jason: ‘That’s not gay! I have Nelly Furtado’s first album in my collection. That is very gay.’
You’re like a bird?
Jason: ‘Yes. She is very hot. But it was a Christmas present, so no gay.’
Okay. So what does the future hold for Skinless?
Jason: ‘What does the future hold, hmmm. Continue touring around the world. The immediate future holds a Canadian tour with Cryptopsy for a month. After that we go to Australia, work on some new shit over the winter, come back to Europe, do a full American tour. Everything! Dismantle chairs at every club we go to.’
Attack people with rusty spoons?
There seems to be a message in the lyrics for Trample The Weak, Hurdle The Dead. How would you describe the message? There are some difficult words in the lyrics man!
Jason: ‘I’m not sure if it’s grammatically correct. It doesn’t really mean anything, it’s a very loose imaginary stale thing. About corruption, and the downfall of society. Afterwards when I wrote it I noticed that is has a progression from start to finish, the drive, the power and the collapsing of all things coming back around to start all over again. It’s basically war, psychological torment, everything that goes along with the change of regimes.’
Jason: ‘No, not at all!’
But you’re not into lyrics like Tampon Lollipop and such?
Jason: ‘I can be, like in my other band Mucopus is where all the pee pee poo poo happens. But I think that it’s a progression to a slightly more serious level, but still somewhat underlying sarcasm I guess.
The most important question of this interview; in movies, who do you prefer, Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone?
Jason: ‘Are you kidding me. Arnold of course! Our van got broken in a couple of weeks ago, and they stole all my Schwarzenegger DVD’s. Like Conan, Predator…
How many did you have?
Jason: ‘Like forty. Not all Arnold Schwarzenegger of course, like five or six.
Joe: ‘But that’s what he was crying about the most, the Predator DVD.’
Jason: ‘I cried so much about the Predator DVD, that our drummer showed up at my house the next day with a Predator DVD. I was like yeah it’s back!!! This is our new drummer by the way, Chris Mahar.’
Hey, how you doing?
Chris: ‘Great thanks.’
Jason: ‘Arnold should be president.’
Don’t you think that would cause the rise of the Fourth Reich?
Jason: ‘Perhaps, shake things up a little bit. Give me some new material to write about. A new Fantastical world where Arnold reigns with an iron fist!’
We continue to talk about Arnold Schwarzenegger movies and how lame Sylvester Stallone actually is. I ask them to add something meaningful to this interview, and it just gets worse. The last thing on my tape is a free-style grunt by Jason followed by the words ‘very beautiful’. After this we chat on about all sorts of bullshit topics, I had a blast hanging out with them. Yet another crazy interview with another crazy Relapse Records band.
Dying Fetus, Skinless, Cattle Decapitation, War From A Harlots Mouth - Brutality at the Baroeg (Live Review)