Published Jan 01, 2006When a band writes unique, bizarre and borderline psychotic music, it seems only just that their lives mirror their creative output. Burlington, Vermont-based Drowningman's tales of surrealistic misanthropy, coupled with an inventive blending of hardcore's raw anger, metal's precisionist surgical strikes and emo rock's melody and vulnerability are fuelled by their (mis)adventures, brushes with the law, drunken debauchery and staunch sarcastic wit.
But nowhere does art imitate life more than in the creation of Drowningman's latest Revelation release, Rock And Roll Killing Machine. The album is rife with hostility, hatred, hope and violently acerbic lyrics. Its birth was fraught with adversity and a seemingly endless trail of broken equipment and emotional damage to singer Simon Brody, guitarists Javin Leonard and Matt Roy, drummer Joe Villemaire and bassist David Barnett.
Brody recalls the painful ordeal. "First off, we show up to load our gear and notice a big metal object coming up through the floorboard our van, which is bad because it's attached to the tire. So, after missing the first day, we're recording and Brian [McTernan, producer] notices that one of the wheels on the tape machine is wobbling and is fucked, so he orders the part. Next day the part comes, it's the wrong part, the technician comes and tries to fix it and can't. We got there on Monday, it's now Friday and we still had not started recording, it's hot as hell, all we been doing was playing [Playstation game] Tony Hawk,' not showering, eating at the same restaurant and we just wanted to fucking kill each other."
While most bands would have taken cover at this point, Drowningman soldiered on and were greeted with more of the same. "We go to another studio to record the drums, plug in the tape machine and we're flying because we're pissed off and hate everybody and hate each other, which definitely contributed to the sound of the record us wanting to kill each other. We have two more songs left to go when the tape machine starts pouring smoke and blows up." Eventually the album is completed with the help of another studio, but its creation left an indelible impression on Brody. "I just can't listen to it and not remember. It was definitely a unique recording experience that will never be duplicated, hopefully. But I think it made the record what it is."