Monday, December 26, 2016

interview: Oxygen Destroyer

Oxygen Destroyer is a relatively new band in the Seattle area devoted to the cause of thrash for the glory of Godzilla. The band’s mad string exonerator and abstruse larynx projector, Jordan Farrow, momentarily slipped away from his undersea lair to respond to inquisitions brought before him in the name of this publication. Thanks to him, you can gain insight into Oxygen Destroyer’s purpose in life.
Can you tell us how 2016 treated your band? How is your plan to conquer the world coming along for 2017?
2016 was a fantastic year for us, we really stepped it up and started playing as many shows as we could. 2015 was pretty complicated because we went through some lineup changes and didn't get our first demo out until the end of the year. But this year was solid and we found time to release another demo and a split with local death metal band Carnotaurus, we also got to share the stage with legendary bands like Warbringer, Enforcer, Exmortus, Discharge, Toxic Holocaust, Eyehategod, and Drawn and Quartered. For 2017 we plan on releasing our Kaiju-channeled mayhem outside of the Seattle area, specifically Tacoma, Olympia, Port Angeles, Portland, and hopefully LA.
What was happening in your life at that time that led you to the forces of the Kaiju?
All my life I have been a huge fan of Kaiju films. I saw my first Godzilla movie when I was four years old and its been a part of my life ever since. Throughout my life I could never figure out what I wanted to do with my future, then I started playing guitar and writing music in the veins of Teutonic thrash and old school death metal, the raw heavy s## that never f## around. One day I was jamming in my garage and it finally hit me, we already have bands singing about religion, gore, and politics. Hell, we even have bands like Bolt Thrower, Amon Amarth, and Gama Bomb singing about Warhammer, Vikings, and video games.
But one subject that seems to be rarely touched on in metal is Japanese monster movies. In that moment I realized what I was born to do, I was destined to pay tribute to the almighty Kaiju with unrelenting death/thrash fury. And thus, in the name of Gojira himself, Oxygen Destroyer was born. The band began in September 2014 and the current members are Jordan Farrow (guitar, vocals), Joey Walker (guitar), Ben Williams (bass) and Chris Craven (drums).
Some bands go around telling people who to vote for, others would like people to know that zombies are an urgent problem that society must address. However, I have researched in my local library and I have not been able to find a single band obsessed with Godzilla as your band. Can you tell us how many Godzilla movies there are in total?
There are 31 movies total. 29 of them were made by Toho Studios, the other two were American adaptations produced by Hollywood, on a side note the 1998 film starring Mathew Broderick is so s## it doesn’t even count as a true Gojira film. Kaiju films are often ridiculed for being "cheesy" mostly because of the Suitmation special effects, but there is a lot of symbolism and meaning behind them.
The original 1954 Gojira film symbolizes nuclear warfare and the destruction that humanity inflicts upon the earth and themselves. Gojira himself is a representation of the atom bomb and Hiroshima. At the end of the movie the people use a device called the Oxygen Destroyer to exterminate him for good and the creator of the device ensures he dies as well so the technology of the weapon can never be used again. Unfortunately, the device is a failure anyway because another Gojira ends up taking the place of the first one. Gojira cannot die for good and if he ever does another one will always takes his place, this is because he represents the past failures and cruelty of mankind, it matters not what we do because we are forever cursed with our past mistakes. This was why I chose Oxygen Destroyer as the name of the band, not only does it sound thrash as f## but it perfectly fits the theme, Gojira is a thermonuclear deity that embodies death itself, he is a force of nature so powerful that even humanity's deadliest weapon was unable to end his reign of terror for good.
Oxygen Destroyer is a full-blown Godzilla-themed extreme metal band, but there was a proto-Godzilla-themed band before yours and they were called Blue Oyster Cult. Have you by any chance ever heard the song “Godzilla” by B.O.C.? With your expertise in this field, what can you say about that song? Do you believe that it needs more cowbell?
Blue Oyster Cult f## rules, and Godzilla is easily one of my favorite rock songs. Not only are the riffs catchy as hell, but the lyrics are fantastic, lines like "history shows again and again how nature point out the folly of man" perfectly describe Gojira. That song kicks so much ass that no cowbell is needed.
Have there been Godzilla movies recently?
A new American adaption was made in 2014 and it was f## awesome, far better then the 1998 film. Even better, the first Japanese Gojira movie since 2004 was released this year. The film is called Shin Godzilla and it is easily one of the year’s best films. Gojira, Kong, and Pacific Rim all have new films coming out soon so the future of giant monster movies looks bright.
Let’s go back in time to the first recording from 2015. Did you record those songs by yourselves? Does the 2015 demo represent accurately the music as you hear it in your imagination?
Back then the band was a three-piece. I did guitar and vocals just like I do now, but Joey was playing bass and we had Hereticon's Rodney Serrano on drums. His style was raw, aggressive, and fast as hell. When we made that first demo we were poor so we recorded it in Joey's garage. The demo was recorded live with a camera we placed in the middle of the room. I’m content with how it turned out overall; it’s raw, sloppy, and punishing as f##. Oxygen Destroyer is all about nonstop relentless brutality, bands like Vader, Sodom, Sepultura, Cancer, Sadus, Demolition Hammer, and early Death are massive influences. Our sound is meant to represent the hatred and brutality of the Kaiju, and nothing captures that vibe better then skull crushing death/thrash
Then, y’all recorded more songs in 2016. Things are looking up, but now you have to deal with the constant questions: Do you have an album planned?
Right now we're working on some new material and already have some shows coming up. Our first show of 2017 will be at the Highline on January 27th with Raptor (PDX), Sakrificer (LA) and Drawn and Quartered. Once our new songs are finished we definitely plan on recording and releasing our album some time next year.
How do you get the sound you want? What are you favorite guitars and its accompanying equipment? How raw do you want your music to be in the future?
Each release has been recorded differently. As I said the first demo was recorded live with a camera, but for the second demo we recorded each member individually, and instead of a garage we recorded in someone’s living room.
The second demo was a big step up from our first release, the overall sound is balanced very well and the musicianship is way tighter, ever since Chris joined our sound has become more polished and refined while still retaining the thrashing brutality we're going for.
Later in the year we recorded the "Saurian Warfare" split with Carnotaurus. By this time we became a 4 piece, our good friend Ben now playing bass and Joey playing guitar. Instead of recording new songs we recorded 2 songs that were on our first demo. The bands sound had evolved tremendously since then and our older songs sounded completely different, so we wanted to show it. This was the first time we recorded in a studio; each track was recorded live and then had bass and guitar dub over the tracks to give it a fuller sound. Since its release "Saurian Warfare" has had great reception and I think it’s our best release yet by far. The full-length's overall sound will probably be very similar to "Saurian Warfare". I use a Schecter C1 guitar, I've been using it for about 3 years now and I have no intentions of replacing it.
Your music is “name your price” on Bandcamp. Supporters of black/death/thrash should know that. What’s next for your band?
We have no signs of slowing down, we'll be playing many more shows in 2017 and work on our album will begin as soon as possible. Support local metal and hail the f## Kaiju!

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