Over a month ago I recieved the demo Supplicant from EML.The bio sheet described them as "bizarre noise/grind" from an ex- Enemy Soil member, and "a hybrid of Gerogerigegege, 7 Minutes of Nausea, and Merzbow." Well, being quite familiar with Enemy Soil, at least their awesome first Relapse 7" Causalites of Progress, as well as a longtime fan of Merzbow, as well as harsh noise as well, I was quite anxious to see what EML had to offer, and I was not disappointed. EML is a barrage of glorious, harsh sheet metal noise and electronics mixed with grinding walls of racket buried in an avalanche of sonic destruction. Well, I thought it was just beautiful and Mason was happy to go under the knife for an interview. Besides Enemy Soil, he has been a member of machine gun grinders, Blower-who did a fantastic grindcore free-for-all split with Wadge, Autoerotichrist- a noise project whose split with the drunken Japanese gods Incapacitants is awesome, and Jesus of Nazareth- a totally insane grindcore/noise act comparable to Agoraphobic Nosebleed. Well, let's just cut to the chase and let Mason discuss things, shall we.
Ok, without giving a long history, just condense Enemy Soil down a little. Give your opinion of the band-the accomplishments, the goals it achieved, the messages, and your favorite release. Why the break-up? Did the band just run its course?
In 1991, I was in a high school DRI/Cryptic Slaughter-type thrash band and sent our crappy demo to Rich's zine for review. We began corresponding and discovered we were both into the early Earache grind bands such as Napalm, Terrorizer, etc. and good metal like Celtic Frost, Kreator, and Voivod. We met up and decided to start a grindcore band. A couple of years later, I left the band and moved to Texas to join Initial State. After that fell apart, I moved back to Virginia, re-joined Enemy Soil, and we recorded the "Casualties of Progress" 7". Things became kind of chaotic with line-up problems, and continued that way throughout nearly all of the records and tours, until we broke up. When our drummer quit in 1998, the consensus was that it was time to end it. We continued what was basically Enemy Soil under another band name, which ended up (several months and line-up changes later) a band called The Index.
As far as specific "messages" or "goals" go, I think when youíre in any band for a extended period of time, those things change, or just dissolve altogether. When we started the band, I was definitely "politically motivated", and that was reflected in the lyrics. In retrospect, a lot of those political beliefs were embarrassingly naÔve. I was in and out of Enemy Soil a few times myself, for a number of reasons, and the political angle kind of diminished as time went on. I donít know what was accomplished, aside from putting out a few records and playing some decent grind, but for me personally, it was a learning experience.
My favorite release is probably the "Casualties of Progress" 7", not because itís the best Soil stuff, but it was recorded at a time when I was really enjoying being in the band. I also really like the split 7" with Corrupted, which I didn't play on, that one is total grind/noise chaos! I know that Rich has a new band called Drugs of Faith, which is pretty intense and worth checking out.
Please name some of your favorite noise and grind bands and releases that you recommend.
Aside from the really obvious grind/noise stuff, I would recommend tracking down anything by Suppression, Aunt Mary/Bizarre Uproar, World, Nikudorei, Fear Of God, Infest, PTAO, Prurient, Incapacitants, Swans, Gasp, Discordance Axis, Skin Crime, Pain Jerk, Cripple Bastards, Gai, Arsedestroyer, K2, MITB/Bastard Noise, Sore Throat, Confuse, and Shikibane. Also, I also strongly encourage everyone to check out labels/distros like Crucial Blast, Self Abuse, and Crimes Against Humanity.
ES was a political/social message based act but so far your other releases are apolitical. Do you plan on sticking to this or do your releases have buried ambiguous messages?
I don't feel the need to be quite so obvious in how I choose to communicate my political beliefs these days. If there are any buried ambiguous messages in the EML releases, they definitely are not of an overtly political nature.
Well, thanks so much for this interview.
We appreciate the interview and your support, thanks Jeramy!