This is the time of the year that most websites/blogs are sharing their Best of the year lists, I on the other hand am catching up on the music that I have missed out so far. One such release is the self titled one from Brooklyn hardcore/grindcore act High Cost. The 7 track EP is one of the most ferocious releases I have heard this year.
I spoke to the band about the EP, the revival of cassettes and vinyl and more.
Your self titled EP released last month (since this will be published in December). How does it feel now that it is out.
Kiki: I am very happy to finally have it all up. We’ve been playing the stuff live but it’s nice to set it free into the world.
Members of the band have been different projects earlier. How did the present line up of the band get together?
Chris: The last band that I was fully involved in had ran its course so after a short break I dove back into the foolishness of band life. I heard that Septic Rot was looking for a bassist. I wanted to get into something noisier. We played and it was fun. Still is. That’s weird, everyone getting along and having fun, right?
Tommy: One of the bassists of Septic Rot that I used to play in a death metal band with, invited me to come try out, and things went pretty well, or at least they liked me more than the other guy who tried out, who they refer to as a “waxy candle man.”
Oneg: I was practicing on drums in a rehearsal studio and saw a flyer of septic rot looking for a guitar player for a PV/hardcore band and I wanted to play in it. I like playing drums but guitar definitely feels better.
Josh: Craigslist played a huge role in everything.
You released a demo as Septic Rot last year, what led to you to change the band name to High cost?
Kiki: The short answer to this question, is that before we played any shows the original lead guitarist left the band. When we began to write new music without her the sound changed a lot and we felt there was enough of a shift that it seemed like a different project & therefore warranted a name change.
The EP’s lyrics deal with struggles of mental health. How was the writing and recording process for the EP?
Kiki: Both the SR Demo & this EP have been really great writing releases for me. I have bipolar disorder and out of necessity had to get sober, working through that transition writing was very helpful for me. There have been times when being in the band, either writing, going to practice, shows, or just being w everyone has really grounded me. I am truly thankful for all four of these people.
The cassette version of their debut EP contains 7 tracks on Side A and noise remixes and live recordings on side B. What was the idea behind releasing 2 different versions of the tracks?
Tommy: Well, the ep runs about 9 minutes more or less in total, and Christine of Tridroid was asking if we had anything else to put on there to make it more worthwhile to release a tape. We considered putting our old demo on there but members were different and we’re also trying to move forward in finding our own sound all the time, so what better way to do that than have someone else cut up and rearrange your work. My brother Rottweilin had been making these insane mash-ups, so I asked him to go as nuts as he wanted on the tracks.
Chris: My friend Spaceman texted me today saying he kinda wished we sounded like the remixes. I have great friends.
What are your thoughts on the revival of cassettes and vinyl in recent years? Are you a collector?
Kiki: I had to sell my vinyl a few years ago in a tough moment, but started buying again in the past 2-3 years. At this point I think I have more cassettes than I do records. I am a big fan of listening to albums in their entirety & personally really appreciate media that makes it inconvenient to listen in piecemeal.
Chris: Vinyl has gotten expensive. I’ve been collecting records since I started seriously listening to tunes in the early 90’s and you could score huge for way cheap because everyone was switching to CD. The more it’s blown up the more money I find myself parting with. I never cared about the format though. Any physical copy is better than not. I’ve still got all my old tapes and am amassing new ones. Maybe it’s about time I picked up a tape player again.
Tommy: I don’t know what the revival stuff is all about, none of these formats ever went away for me. I was buying cheapo classic rock tapes at the mall in high school and now malls are almost obsolete. The only difference now is that everything is more expensive for no real reason, I guess it’s whatever THEY can make a bigger profit off of, like selling fuckin Nirvana tape reissues for $15. With the ease of being able to listen to virtually everything that was ever recorded, if you’re someone who has enough access to the internet, it helps to have physical formats which force you to participate in the music being played, so it can be focused on and actually thought about, hopefully. I feel very lucky to be able to put out our ep on vinyl and tape, as a dorkus malorkus who obsesses over both.
Oneg: No cassettes in my collection at the moment . I do like getting new vinyls and CDs.
This year has been a good one for grindcore/powerviolence. What are your favorite releases?
Tommy: Still catching up from last year, and the past 40 years, but everything Iron Lung puts out is reliable like that Geld album, we played with C.H.E.W, their album is great, new Wound Man is sick. I think Sissy Spacek put out like ten albums this year. Chepang/Test split is awesome. We played with these guys No/Mas a couple weeks ago, their new tape is pretty rad. Warthog 7”, Worse- Love is in the Earth. I think it’s gonna be City Hunter for the win though.
Oneg: Sick shit-Thick spit EP , Mass Grave – our due descent, MooM – third Ep
Josh: Vein – Errorzone, Candy – Good To Feel, Warthog S/T, Hundreds of Au – Communications Link Re-Established, Hirs – Friends Lovers Favorites
What is currently in your playlist?
Tommy: Sujud by Senyawa, Recondemnation by Temple Nightside, Artificial Intelligence by Doris Norton
Oneg: Hungry like a wolf by Duran Duran
Josh: Bruce Springsteen
Kiki: The new Mindforce ! & I kind of always have Trapped Under Ice & Hatebreed on loop.
Do you have any shows/tours planned in the coming months?
Tommy: Probably start playing again in January, we’re all pretty busy right now.
Thanks for answering all our questions. Do you have any final words?
Tommy: If only George HW Bush could have been aborted instead of dying at 94.
Kiki: A real explicit thank you to Christine at Tridroid. Thank you for taking interest & reaching out !