Metal Bulletin Zine (est. 2006) is a metal music zine (Seattle region), online and on paper. 160 issues so far.
online pdfs available at www.fuglymaniacs.com
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Saturday, November 4, 2017
the interview with Large Marge is here!
Large Marge is a grind band that is relatively new to this publication. They have been playing shows in the Seattle region, and they have a 24-track monstrosity called Truck Stop Hauntings. Before you read this interview, which was answered by both members of the band Abe and Jerald, there are three things to mention: 1. Large Marge is a grind and chaos is what you will get; 2. This music is bonkers; 3. Relax, friend, Large Marge will help you.
Thanks to both crazies Jerald and Abe for doing this interview. --MMB.
You lads have another band called Dilapidation and it’s death doom. So when did Large Marge begin and why did you feel the need to do it?
Abe: Started Large Marge back in 2009 or so. I was bored and had yet to start a grind project.
Jerald: Large Marge is an idea that Abe has had for a long time. He had someone else in mind to do the vocals but nothing ever came of it so he asked if I would be interested in giving it a shot. I had been wanting to try doing vocals for a project for a while so I jumped at the chance.
Large Marge is in some ways the opposite end of Dilapidation: the speed and brevity of the songs is a contrast, for instance. How do you view Dilapidation and Large Marge?
Abe: They are just parts of music I like to play. I have never really considered myself one for any particular style so I just play what sounds fun and then make bands if I can that play the same thing.
Jerald: Abe and I both have several projects we work on at various times and we view them all as entirely separate entities. I would have to say that the biggest contrast between the two is that everything we do in Dilapidation is much more thought-out and deliberate where as the approach we take with Large Marge is a lot more spontaneous. We can take time away from focusing on Large Marge and jump right back into it with no problems but Dilapidation requires much more effort to maintain.
Why do you prefer a nonhuman drummer? Can a human drummer do all the crazy stuff you imagine?
Abe: I just write. I have no preference to human vs machine. I will say that with a machine I do not have to worry about skill levels or endurance. I used it initially because drummers are a pain to find that are of the skill level I need and then it just became part of the sound so I quit caring about a live drummer.
Jerald: Abe creates the core musical concepts in the band so he would have more insight to the reasoning behind the programmed drums but I know there is a major Agoraphobic Nosebleed influence (that goes for both of us). He definitely likes to take advantage of the fact that a computer can accomplish inhuman things and I believe he has mentioned wanting to take that idea even further. It opens up a lot of creative possibilities. When people find out that I am a drummer, they sometimes ask why I don't just play drums in Large Marge but if we did that, it would be an entirely different band.
How do you know when a track is finished? Do you write the songs in the spur of the moment?
Abe: I actually spend quite a bit of time writing the songs, but I do not use a guitar to do it (trade secret on how I do it). Every song is pretty deliberate. I have a general outline and then go back and fine tune things, but always with a skeletal idea in place before starting.
Jerald: Our approach to making music is different from any other project I have ever been a part of. We never work on songs together in person. Abe writes all of the music, programs the drums and records the guitar. He sends the instrument tracks to me and I listen to them and write lyrics. Finally, I record my vocals and we compile the songs into a release. I never know what the music is going to sound like until Abe sends me the tracks and he never knows what my vocals sound like or what my lyrics are until he hears the finished product. We only meet up to practice for a show.
Do any of you like the old grind bands like Repulsion and Napalm Death? What about the newer grind bands, which ones do you like? Is grind a genre that you play, but that you don't follow very closely or you do follow it very closely?
Abe: I like a bit of old grind. Pig Destroyer and Anal Cunt especially. I really do not know many new bands. I have tried a few out but they all lack something. Not sure how to describe it.
Definitely something I play more so than follow. Most bands are not doing anything really interesting with it anymore, save for a couple here and there. A lot of bands I have heard in recent years are Anal Cunt style wannabes that also claim to hate Anal Cunt and just do the lofi noise hipster shit that all sounds the same. Been to several shows like that and could honestly not decipher when one band finished and a new one began.
Jerald: I don't listen to much of the grind that has come out in recent years. As with any genre, we have our variations in taste but the grind bands we both appreciate most seem to be Napalm Death, Siege, Pig Destroyer, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Assück and Anal Cunt.
I can't speak for Abe but I wouldn't say I follow grind closer than any other genre. I don't listen to it as much as I used to when I was first getting into it but it's still a style of music that I have a deep appreciation for. I can't speak too much on the musicianship of any current bands as I am the kind of person who is more likely to dig through old recordings rather try to keep up on new releases.
Grind bands are often vocal about their left and/or liberal opinions. Large Marge seems unwilling to join the radical left, liberal, white-guilt politics and ideology. What do you think?
Abe: I personally do not use any of my bands to promote any sort of ideology. I also do not write the lyrics. That I leave to Jerald.
Jerald: We've never been interested in using our music as a political vehicle. As I said, we like to stay busy with various musical projects and if we wanted to write music that makes a statement, we could do that but Large Marge isn't the place. We like to have a wide range of subject matter in our music. It's more fun that way. Songs in Large Marge cover a lot of different ground from sleep deprivation to the daily grind of going to work to Slavic folklore just to give a few examples. As the lyricist, I'd say that I prefer to take a more personal approach to this band where as politics is a much more all-encompassing concept.
Will you be bringing elements like electronics and other experimental sounds to create as much noise and chaos as possible?
Abe: We already have to some degree. Considering the concept and nonspecific direction I have taken with Large Marge, nothing is really off the table.
Jerald: Our new album, Truck Stop Hauntings, features some noise tracks in it. I've had a passion for making ambient/noise music since high school and it's something I wanted to include in the band early on and Abe was very receptive when I brought it up to him. We've even started incorporating them into our live set.
What is next for Large Marge? Is the Seattle area crowd treating you well or are they mostly confused with Large Marge?!
Abe: I do not know. I really do not pay attention to anything but cigarettes and when to come in when the drums cut out.
Jerald: We're just gonna keep doing what we're doing: writing, recording and playing shows. We may eventually do some out of town shows here and there but there are currently no plans for anything like that. We really love doing Large Marge but it's one of several projects that we are each involved in and Dilapidation is definitely our highest priority. As far as the Seattle crowds, we're always pretty unsure about the reaction we will get from any audience but so far, people seem pretty accepting. All of the shows we have played so far have been pretty low-key and we tend to play on a lot of mixed bills so I have no idea what the local grindcore fanatics would think of us. They would probably just think we're dorks.