!!!SPEED METALPUNK FROM THE USA!!!
We had a conversation with Shane (Guitars). Enjoy!
Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.
Tell us a few things about TORTURED SKULL (Members, Starting Year etc).
Tortured Skull formed in 2016 as a thrash influenced D-Beat hardcore band. Initially there were only myself playing guitar, Ben, our singer, and Steve on drums. We enlisted a bassist, Laura, and a second guitarist named Nick who are both no longer in the band. Joe replaced Laura on bass about three years ago and Nick recently left the band.
You have recently released your EP ''Motorbreathing Disfrost Fuckin''. What is the feedback from your audience as well as from the press?
Feedback has been limited, but positive. We are lazy and didn't bother doing a proper album rollout because there wasn't any initial label interest and due to covid we can't play any shows to promote it anyway. Besides, pressing plants are backed up a year at least and the record was finished for a long time. We just wanted to put it out there for our friends mostly.
Label or DIY and why?
A label is nice because they provide the infrastructure to promote and market a record. They usually help with contacts for shows and other opportunities too. But I've only ever worked with small labels so things are still very much on the DIY side.
Do you prefer Vinyl, Tape, CD or Digital Format and why is that?
These days I almost only listen to music in digital format because I am always working or driving. I don't have a lot of money or space so that just makes sense to me. In the past I was addicted to vinyl, but I had to go cold turkey for the sake of my bank account. Other members of the band are big vinyl and tape collectors. I do think that the cost and long waiting process are making vinyl records less and less appealing to small DIY bands who just want to get their music out into the world and play some shows.
Your music style is Speed MetalPunk. Which are your main influences (Favourite Artists / Bands etc.)
I think our influences are pretty apparent in the new album title, which was our intent. We love the period of time in which Thrash, Black, and Death metal were all in their nacent forms and not quite separate from each other - around 1985 or so. Celtic Frost, Slayer, Possessed, Death Strike, Bathory, Sodom, Necrophagia, early Metallica, etc. But that is only one half of the formula. The other obsession of ours is 80s Hardcore Punk - especially from the UK, Scandinavia, and Japan. We're talking Discharge, Anti-Cimex, Crude SS, Doom, Amebix, GISM, Gauze, etc. We want to mine the sonic space between one half of our influences and the other.
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?
It depends on what one's personal definition of success is. If we're talking financial success - that's completely out of the question for a band like us. Firstly, our style appeals to a very small audience. Secondly, we aren't particularly interested in touring nonstop. I have a family and we all have full lives with jobs, partners, other bands and interests. Success for us is defined by being able to play music together and make records for the love of it. We're really lucky to be able to do that and to be alive in a time when technology facilitates that process so much. We record everything ourselves in various spaces and I mix it at home, which would have been impossible for any of our influences back in the 80s. Have I sacrificed for this kind of success? Maybe - all I really care about is Rock 'N Roll and that doesn't typically get one very far in life.
Describe your ideal live show as a performance Band. Have you already experienced that?
My ideal live show entails just the right amount of beer and adderall beforehand and an audience full of rockers who want to have a good time. Could be metalheads or punks - I don't care. The pit must be active. All the other bands must be sick as well. Luckily we have played tons of shows that fit this description. One that springs to mind was Montreal in 2020 where we played with a bill of Motorcharge, Crust, and punk bands to a small but very full room of maniacs and had a great fucking time.
Which attributes, do you think, that a new MetalPunk Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
Catchy riffs and a good drummer.
Do you believe that Digital Platforms help the new MetalPunk Bands? Which, do you think, is the ideal way for a Band to promote its work?
The ideal way to promote a band is by playing shows because nothing gets people excited about music like a killer live performance. But it's amazing to be able to make contact with people from other parts of the country and world via digital platforms. We wouldn't be talking right now if not for that.
Tell us a few things about the New Underground Metal Scene in Hatfield, Massachusetts (Bands, Fanzines, Webzines, Metal Clubs etc.)
We aren't actually from Hatfield. Bandcamp won't let me change that! Hatfield is a random tiny farming town that has probably never had a band of any kind. We live in an area of Western Massachusetts called the Pioneer Valley which is geographically pretty large and encompasses many small towns and cities. We all live in different towns, but practice and record in a town called Easthampton. There is a small metal scene here, but I think it sucks!!! However, Joe and I also play in a Death Metal band called Anthropophagous and Joe has a solo Black Metal project called Ritual Inscription. We don't really interact or play shows with any of the metal bands here because they all play polished stoner metal that we hate. Not even proper Doom Metal. When we play out in our area it's typically with local hardcore punk bands like Human Ignorance or Corrode. OH, and the members of Tortured Skull recently started a Hardcore Punk band called Brazen Bull that will release our first demo soon.
Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?
I am by no means an expert but I really enjoy early Hellenic bands like Varathron, Rotting Christ, and Septic Flesh. What are some other bands I should check out?
What are your future plans?
My future plans are to continue drinking beer and playing guitar until everything goes up in flames.
Thank you very much for your time & Keep up the good work! The closure is yours.
Cheers! Thanks to you and to anyone else who read this far. If you like the album it will be available in the US via Night Rhythms Recordings eventually.
By Steve the Filthy Dog.
TORTURED SKULL CONTACT: