Hello again, here is another entry in my series of interviews with Winter’s Wake bands!
As I said before: with so many people to talk to, I had to keep these kind of short and sweet — mostly enough for you (the reader) to get a sense of the band’s history, to learn a little about where they came from and what they’re doing now, so you can get excited about seeing all of them too!
Below, you will find what Alan Dubin (Gnaw, ex-Khanate) had to say…
VOS: Hi, and thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions! How are you?
AD: Hailz Eric!!! I’m doing very well at the moment! Gnaw literally just accepted a label offer minutes ago for our upcoming 2nd album! We are going ape-shit!!!
VOS: Would you mind introducing yourself for the readers?
AD: Salutations! I’m Alan – voice, fx, noise. There are 4 other members, Carter [Thornton] – guitar/bass/stringboard, Brian [Beatrice] – guitar/bass/stringboard, Jun [Mizumachi]
– laptop, triggers, noise contraptions, etc, and Eric [Neuser] – drums, samples, smash.
VOS: How exactly do you describe your band to someone who’s never heard your music?
AD: This is always difficult since we cross many genres. We experiment with harsh electronics, industrial-infected doom, noisy stuff and bring misery to waxy ears and souls.
VOS: Can you briefly describe some of Gnaw‘s history?
AD: Gnaw began in 2006 as a collaboration between myself and some very unique musician friends of mine. I became friendly with 3 members through my work as a video editor for television and film. Jun Mizumachi and Brian Beatrice are both sound designers/audio mixers by trade for TV and Film, and Carter Thornton was a producer for an advertising agency at the time. Our first amazing drummer, Jamie Sykes (ex-Burning Witch and Atavist) and I met when my previous band Khanate played some shows in Europe with Atavist, and we stayed in touch.
The idea was for everybody to create their own sounds and we would mesh them together as a big ferocious experiment. Our debut This Face came out in 2009 on Conspiracy Records and since Jamie lived in Memphis and we wanted to do the songs live, we enlisted New York based Eric Neuser (long time friend of Brian‘s) as our live and now full-time smasher. We’ve been playing locally since then and did a European tour including playing the main stage at Supersonic Fest.
We’ve also been hard at work creating our second album which is now ready to be unleashed. The upcoming album has a different feel because now that Eric is in the band, we’re able to write and record in the traditional sense as a full band playing together. We’re actually starting to write our third now.
VOS: I understand the band was formed basically around the same time that Khanate had dissolved. Was it your intention to start something in a different direction than what you had been working on before?
AD: I personally didn’t have the mindset to do something necessarily different, but I did want to experiment with these unique musicians to see what we could create with a no-holds-barred mentality.
VOS: New York seems like it has been a breeding ground for some pretty unique, experimental varieties of metal bands over the past few years. Do you feel like there’s something in the metal scene there that encourages creativity and experimentation?
AD: This probably isn’t a good a question for me because I think NY, especially now, offers extremely boring Neurosis rip-off shite or weak black metal. There’s a few that rise above with creativity and ferocity but…meh! How’s that for a downer? Ha!
VOS: On the other hand, is it ever hard to stand out and gain recognition in such a big market?
AD: It is difficult and I think if a band is creating music to please themselves and they keep going eventually some people will catch on. If you’re going to form a band that sounds like a bunch of other bands yet without the charm (99% of heavy music) then you’re not going stand out if that’s even a goal.
VOS: So what can we expect in the future from you guys? I know you have a second album in the works, how’s that coming?
AD: Our second album, Horrible Chamber is completely finished and artwork is underway by French designer Sebastian Hayez. The album is an absolute monster. It’s a lot more varied than our first, but still as mentally soul crushing if not more so. People who heard the last one (or anybody, for that matter) will certainly be caught off guard. Also, we just got signed to a new label which I won’t announce yet because we didn’t sign the dotted line yet. Should be any day (or any second) now so if it comes tomorrow, I will update. We are psyched!!!!!
VOS: Finally, is there someone else playing at Winters Wake that you look forward to seeing?
AD: Definitely Dream Death because I’m an “ancient”. I’m also interested in checking out many bands who I haven’t heard of yet.
VOS: We will definitely look forward to checking you out on Friday, and thank you again!
AD: Thanks so much Eric! See you and all the mongers on Friday! RRRWWWWAAAAR!
Gnaw are playing at Winter’s Wake on Friday, 22 February 2013, at 6119 (6119 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh).