This interview with Richard, the guitarist of Enemy Soil was done through the internet between January 17th- January 18th, 1998. Enemy Soil play fast and brutal grind with a slight hardcore edge. In the past they have relied on a drum machine as their rhythm section. They added a human drummer just before Fiesta Grande 5 a couple of years back who can play as fast as the machine could!! They've released a few 7"s, a 10", a cd and a live flexi single.
Weedcore: The best way to start out this article would be to give a short introduction about your band, the other people that play in Enemy Soil...
Richard: Enemy Soil is a grindcore band from Northern Virginia. We have several warrants out for our arrest in a number of states, so I'd rather not give our names. Suffice to say we are a four piece. We have several 7"es and one mini CD out.
How much or what percentage of your ideas find its way into the music? What about the other band members?
Most or all of my ideas make it into the music because I write or co-write it all. And I usually squash the other guys' ideas. But seriously, Jeff (the bassplayer), Adam (the drummer), and I usually write the stuff together. We are still using older material that I wrote with our old bass player and drummer too, so it depends.
It seems that your band has a lineup thats been in flux....why is that?
We have this silly rule that you have to want to be in the band and show up at the studio when we record, things like that.
Why did you make the transition from drum machine-driven to playing with a live skin beater?
We played shows with the drum machine, and before that with a backing tape, and it was pretty pathetic, let me tell you! So I decided to get a drummer. Well, this wasn't a new idea. It's more like I decided to start looking for one again.
How did you hook up with that guy, what band was he in before?
Actually, this was his first recording band. I started a band on the side with him and we did a demo, and what happened was Mason (with whom I started Enemy Soil and who went on to play in Inital State and later Frodus) suggested we take the side band and assimilate it Borg style into Enemy Soil. The drummer for the side band was playing bass in ES at the time, so we switched everything around, got Mason in the band again, and there you have it!!
Enemy Soil was known for the whole drum machine thing, I hate to use the word, but it was your "gimmick"...
Yeah, we were wearing the drum machine like a badge of honor or some shit.
I think that Enemy Soil stands out from the masses of hardcore/grind bands....you definitely have your own sound. Is this a conscientious effort to sound "different"?
Good question. I've taken a lot of influence from a few other bands when writing riffs at times, but when Mason and I have written songs together it sounds a lot more distinctive. We try to put a little twist on things so it sounds less generic. You know, there's plenty of other bands that play crust a lot better than us, so we try to break it up a bit.
How much of an effect do politics and relationships with the outside world and people impact or influence your lyrics and music?
All of those things do. We sometimes write about all those things in our lyrics. When we find something that we feel strongly about that we want to comment on it in a song, then we're inspired. The music just comes from coming up with stuff when we jam and on our own, we arrange lyrics on the songs when they sound like they go together well.
Would you say that you are a negative or a positive person.....do you feel that your lyrics represent a positive or negative outlook on life?
I'm positive in general but I can be cynical as well. I find myself jumping into conversations starting with the phrase 'that sucks' a lot. The lyrics are negative in the sense that we are inspired to write lyrics based on something that has struck a chord with us and that we are pissed off about. So we write comments with the lyrics to let it out.
Would you describe Enemy Soil as a political band? Do you have any agendas?
That's an interesting question also. If you would have asked me this question two years ago I would have said yes. But these days, we don't have an agenda or a specific direction with the lyrics. We've started writing about such an array of subjects that it's not accurate to call us political anymore. Besides, we aren't active politically either, nor were we ever. The only agenda I could say we have is that we want to rock.
What are some of the better bands out there right now? What other bands influence you?
There's a ton of better bands, but as for influence, let's say Neurosis, old Napalm Death, Terrorizer, Deceased, Initial State, Mouthpiece, Extreme Noise Terror, etc.
Could you decribe an Enemy Soil show? What is the turnout like- I have only seen you once at the Fiesta Grande #5.
That was a weird show for us, man. That was the first show with what at the time was a new lineup. But it turned out half-decent. Describing an Enemy Soil show depends on what lineup you're talking about. These days we are a much better band because we have a good bunch of guys in the group. We try to go nuts but at the same time balance that with good musicianship.
What is the scene like in Virginia, are there any local bands that you like to play with?
Sure, we play shows with local bands, and that's how we get shows, is by other bands hooking us up. But the scene is kinda lame in some ways. There aren't a lot of outlets for this kind of music. The scene is young these days. But there's lots of hardcore, punk, metal, you name it bands. One of the problems I have is that there is no crossover at all. That sucks.
Speaking of Fiesta Grande, I was lucky enough to be on the back of the live flexi..I am the one giving the chaka, or hangloose sign
You are the man.
When is the Corrupted/Enemy Soil going to be out?
It's been out for a while! Where you been, man? It's on HGFact. Those Japanese put out records before they're even recorded, as opposed to some labels I could mention.
What can your fans look forward to in the future from Enemy Soil?
More rock, less talk. We're doing another miniCD in March for a release time of July, and we're doing an east coast tour in July also.
What was with that Relapse single? Was that a one time thing, or are you going to record for them again?
A one time thing. They called us up and asked us if we wanted to do a 7". We knew eachother already because of my zine, and they were looking for bands to do some 7"es for their Relapse Single Series thing.
What are your thoughts on Relapse/Release records?
They have some really good bands and some really bad bands.
One last question, do you like King Diamond?
He fuckin' rules. His new album, VOODOO, is a rocker!
No, thank you.