!!!HEAVY METAL FROM THE USA!!!
We had a conversation with Tyler Heath. Enjoy!
Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.
Tell us a few things about PULVERAZOR (Members, Starting Year etc).
Pulverazor is comprised of lead vocalist Tyler Heath (myself) and guitarist Tom Stegeman. It is essentially a two-man project at this point.The drumming duties have been handed off to Jake Wolf, who is the drummer of my hard rock band Leather Duchess.Pulverazor was conceptualized by Tom Stegeman when he was a wee lad in high school.A young wide-eyed metal head stuck in the suburbs of Pennsylvania;Tom spent his teenage years bowing at the altars of Andy LaRocque and Paul Gilbert. He came up with the name “Pulverazor” and hoped that it wouldone day materialize into a real band. Fast forward a full decade to 2018.One day while I’m hanging out at Tom’s house and he shows me some rough demo ideas he had for Pulverazor.He had riffs and lyrics written for the song “Swamp Demon Stomp”, and he and I quickly wrote “Heavy Is the Hammer” on the spot.I laid down some vocal tracks on these demos in his home studio and we both decided we wanted to take things to the next level (both musically and romantically). I took over the reins of logo design, art style and general aesthetic.
You have recently released your single ''Swamp Demon Stomp'. What is the feedback from your audience as well as from the press?
The feedback for “Swamp Demon Stomp” has been wonderful! It’s only reached a very small audience at this point, but those who have heard it seem to really like it. We’re hoping to jam it into more ears in the upcoming months!
Label or DIY and why?
At this point the project is being released under my own label called Revolt Vinyl Records. So I suppose being “self-signed” would fall under the DIY category, wouldn’t it? There are major pros and cons to both the DIY route and signing with a major label. Obviously the major hurdle when you’re releasing your music DIY is the funding. Printing merch, pressing records, paid promotions, studio time, etc. — the list of expenses never ends! The upside to DIY is the uninhibited creative control that you have over everything. You don’t have to wait for your ideas to pass over the executive desks. With that said, I think it’s easy to overly romanticize the DIY struggle. Most bands will change their tune real fast when a carrot is dangled in front of them. I can’t say that we’d be any different. To quote the immortal Cyndi Lauper, “money changes everything”. Luckily, most metal labels seem to leave the bulk of creative control in the hands of the artists. A lot of the labels are run by artists themselves. Gone are the days of the label executives being cigar-chomping gangsters in pinstripe suits. We’ll see what the future holds!
Do you prefer Vinyl, Tape, CD or Digital Format and why is that?
Personally, I am a diehard vinyl enthusiast. I think it’s the perfect form of physical media for all the obvious and commonly stated reasons.There is the large canvas for artwork, the uncompressed audio quality, the ritual of the needle-drop, and the sheer cool factor of looking at a shelf full of records.Vinyl is so much more than the media itself. There is an entire subculture and community dedicated to collecting, playing and displaying vinyl records. It’s so much fun connecting with other vinyl collectors and nerding out on different pressings, rare records, obscure bands, etc.Tom actually prefers CDs and tapes.He’s been collecting CDs since he was a kid and he has amassed a large library that he’ll never part with. He likes tapes simply because you can cheaply obtain an entire band’s discography (much cheaper than vinyl at least). It’s really cool to see bands pressing their albums on all three formats! It’s great that there’s still a market for vinyl, CDs, and tapes. I think every single purchase of physical media should be celebrated as a victory.The upsides of digital format are convenience and omnipresence. No matter where you are, when someone asks “hey are you in a band?”, they have the ability to check out your music right there on the spot. That factor certainly makes promotion a lot easier! Everything is available everywhere, all the time. Now this certainly has some detrimental downsides, but that’s a sermon for another interview.
Your music style is Heavy Metal. Which are your main influences (Favourite Artists / Bands etc.)
Yes, our music can best be categorized as “heavy metal”. We experienced a serious identity crisis when we sat down to draw up the blueprints of the band. Tom and I are absolutely in love with so many different metal sub-genres, we didn’t really know what lane to pick! Do we want to be a thrash band in bullet belts and high tops, chugging beer and shouting about nuclear warfare? Do we want to write diabolical doom-metal anthems about damnation and despair? Do we want to be cheeky and humorous like Anvil and Carnivore? The answer to all of these questions was always “yes”. So if the final product ends up sounding confused and multidirectional, it’s because it is! Nevertheless, we let the songs come out organically, without too much attention paid to sub-genres and categorization.
Which things, do you think, a Band should sacrifice in order to succeed? Have you ever sacrificed anything in your life for a better future of your Band?
The notion of “sacrifice” is tough to define in concrete terms, since everyone’s answer is likely to be different. Any band that operates at the “lifestyle level” has made endless sacrifices while trying to get where they want to go. Maybe that means skipping college or a higher education, maybe it means not settling down with a spouse and children, etc. Whatever those sacrifices may be, it’s important that everyone involved be on the same page. You can’t have one guy who sees the band as a hobby and never wants to leave the garage, while another guy wants to release a ten-album box set and tour the world playing arenas. The artistic ambitions of a band need to be discussed amongst everyone up front. That’s not to say different people can’t have different goals, but you at least need everyone striving for the same things. To answer your question though, I think anyone walking around on the daily with long hair, wearing a belt made of bullets and a Bathory shirt is probably sacrificing some employment opportunities. Live by the sword, die by the sword!
Describe your ideal live show as a performance Band. Have you already experienced that?
Pulverazor is strictly a studio-project at this point.There are no plans in place to play live, but nothing is impossible! You can be sure that if Pulverazor does ever take the stage, it will be an unbridled banquet for the senses; a feast of sight, sound, taste, smell and touch.
Which attributes, do you think, that a new Heavy Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
Being unique in this day and age is a very tough thing to do! Especially while staying within the perimeters of “traditional metal”. There are only so many tropes, themes and aesthetics that can be executed. You name it, it’s been done at some point! The best thing you do is carefully distill your influences down to your own signature product. A lot of my favorite bands aren’t necessarily all that groundbreaking, but they’re very good at what they do. To me, the difference in a “good” band and “great” band is how visionary they are. The best bands are the ones who deliver their product on every level, from top to bottom. The music, the artwork, the band photos, the themes, the overall aesthetic; it all needs to culminate into one potent execution. The greatest artists are the ones who point at a target and NAIL it right in the bullseye. They believe in what they’re doing and they don’t cut any corners when it comes to their craft.
Do you believe that Bandcamp and other Digital Platforms help the new Heavy Metal Bands? Which, do you think, is the ideal way for a Band to promote its work?
There has never been a sharper double-edged sword than the digital age of music! Platforms such as Bandcamp, YouTube and Spotify are endlessly wonderful tools for discovering new bands. I could not even begin to count all the bands that I’ve discovered through YouTube alone. In the pre-internet era, you only had a few select avenues to discover new bands; primarily MTV, magazines, record shops and good ol’ word of mouth. A metal fan living in America may never discover that kickass underground band from Denmark simply because they never popped up on his or her radar. In 2021 with platforms like YouTube and Spotify, it’s a wide-open frontier. You are no longer waiting for a limited number of media outlets to feed you what you like. You can go out there and uncover as much as you want! You can discover new bands at an exponentially faster rate than you can listen to them. Of course the dark side to this is music losing its value. Music is so infinitely plentiful and every single song that has ever been recorded is in your pocket at all times. For many people, the incentive to buy records, shop at record stores and spend money on music is completely gone. So it’s important to use the streaming platforms as a discovery tool, but don’t stop there! Show your support for the bands you love in any way you can. Buy some merch, plug them on social media and go to their shows. Every little bit of support helps.
Tell us a few things about the New Underground Metal Scene in California, USA (Bands, Fanzines, Webzines, Metal Clubs etc.
Obviously the heavy-metal Babylon that was Los Angeles in the 1980s needs no summary, but the City of Angels metal scene in the 21st century has been rather thriving as well. Of course it has its ebb and flow, just like any city, but the last fifteen years has seen the rise of some stellar acts. Ventura has given birth to both Warbringer and Night Demon. Merciless Death from Santa Clarita helped spearhead the thrash revival in the mid 2000s. White Wizard has been a household metal name for more than a decade. More recently, Pounder and Blade Killer have caused a stir in the traditional metal world. Covid brought most of the action to a grinding halt, but the pre-pandemic landscape was loaded with killer festivals, shows and swap meets. There was something to do every single weekend! Hopefully things can be restored again and we can pick up where we left off.
Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?
I admittedly knew nothing of the Hellenic Metal Scene, but curiosity led me to Google it and now I have some listening to do! I did recognize a few names such as Rotting Christ. Some of my current favorite bands from Athens are Suicidal Angels, Warrior Path and Acid Mammoth. Greece pumps out some fantastic metal! There must be something in the water over there.
What are your future plans?
The future for Pulverazor includes a full-length LP, which will hopefully be released sometime this summer. Most of the recording is in the can, we just need to add some final touches and get the records pressed.There will also be lots of merch released to coincide with the album. Follow our social media pages and buy a shirt! Every shirt sold comes with the Pulverazor-promise, which is a drastic increase in happiness, sexual performance, social status and financial wealth.
Thank you very much for your time & Keep up the good work! The closure is yours.
Thank you so much for interviewing us! You run a fantastic blog which serves as a great way to discover new bands!
By Steve the Filthy Dog.