Been writing in and around entertainment’s mouth for so long I wound up as AskMen’s entertainment editor for about two years there. It was a funny time. John Cleese told me some incomprehensible shit on speakerphone once. I talked to Dolph Lundgren about chicks and muscles. Then there was Benicio Del Toro. I am not shy about admitting that when we were dumb teens, my bestest bro and I saw Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, instantly ordained one another Raoul and Dr. Gonz respectively (he’s spindly and awkward, I’m swarthy and prone to sudden outbursts), and did a metric fuck-ton of drugs. This was also the first thing I said to Benicio Del Toro upon meeting him in the swankiest floodlit Sydney hotel room PR money can briefly rent.
The Dillinger Escape Plan have been feeding therapeutic fish heads to the chaos upstairs since I was about 14, around when Calculating Infinity came out. Man, that record. Greg Puciato wasn’t fronting DEP at that point, but he was by the time of their next LP, Miss Machine. Been taking shits into bags live onstage at Reading ever since. Greg’s my kinda person. I was having one of those days where I did not even care what I was saying and so was he. Magical #realtalk happened. For mi frens at The Vine.
Circa middle of last year I made contact with a band out of Holland who used to be called Stalaggh, but are now called Gulaggh. More a nihilistic collective than a band, they don’t make actual music per se but uncomfortably dark soundscape trips into human misery. The “human misery” part is too real: All those screams are clandestine field recordings of mental patients, prostitutes, rape victims, and damaged kids losing their shit. This was my debut for VICE’s music channel Noisey, and I suppose, yeah, jumping through a house party window and announcing “I AM A HEADCASE” can work for some people. Wouldn’t recommend it, though. I find it pretty hard to make friends.
Hysteria wanted to put The Used dude Bert McCracken and Parkway Drive man Winston McCall on the cover of issue #18 so they asked me, “Asshole, think of something.” Being a massive fucking genius I thought it’d be OK if we put Bert (who is tiny now he’s not a mad alcoholic anymore) in a shopping cart and made Winston (who is beefy now he’s still a good Aussie bloke) wheel him around a local supermarket. Afterwards Bert’s like, “You and me, let’s go to a bar and talk. I don’t drink anymore, but,” and he already had about five cigarettes already in his mouth and lit, “I do like to smoke.” Smoking is Bert McCracken’s sole remaining vice, and we real-talked through a haze of Stuyvesant for a long time about all kinds of everything. Continue reading
The sexism discussion in video games (such as it is) can be so retarded I can’t stand it. Any ‘discussion’ whereupon two implacable agendas and a fantastic dose of immaturity collide is good for boosting the popcorn industry’s share price but not much else. I figured if anyone’s gonna have a seasoned perspective on chromosomal division in ‘geek’ culture, it’s gonna be near-naked ‘n fearless cosplay ladies like Ardella, Black Cat, and The Vixen Gamer. Naturally, the comments section on this thing is gnarly with sexless hobgoblins and their throwaway idiocy, although I did laugh a lot at “Stop sexualizing sex! – Feminism.” Come on that shit is funny. This was for IGN.
I went to LA one time and got talking to Joby Ford from The Bronx. Joby’s into art and stuff and I like that. We were vibing on all his cool album covers when he mentioned the time he did two pieces for a guy called Shat. Shat only wanted like, bad photos of himself having sex with a blow-up doll everywhere, no rhyme or reason. “He got shot in the head, and survived, at a party in Hollywood,” Joby explained. “But he’s ‘off.’ He’s not right. It changed him as a man. His whole brain is centred around sex. That’s all he thinks about now. He released an album with 69 songs on it that were all about 10 or 20 seconds long, and it’s all about sex.”
And by god did I go and find Jeff ‘Shat’ Wood. This was for VICE. Continue reading
Samurai were such badasses. Look at these guys, they have swords and hair and everything. Video games and pop-culture at large like to portray only the warlike and ritualised aspects of them, though. In truth, if you were a samurai bro and there was no fighting going on, life was boring as shit. And you were poor. You’d have to breakdance at roadside inns for your rice hooch like in Samurai Champloo, and it’s not like anyone was regularly dropping fat beats back then. You’d be busting out sick headpsins to the tune of, IDK, cicadas having chitinous grinding intercourse in the reeds. I explored the reality versus the interactive fiction of these ancient cicada dancers for Hyper‘s Japan special last year, ably assisted by Professor Kevin Mulholland of the University of Michigan.
There’s this funny thing that can happen when you start hanging around music and writing about it and maybe feel like a cool badass for a while until you realise you’re still nothing and no one reads the byline: Certain bands seem to follow you around. Or you follow them around. Or they just find you, because the cosmic ballet does go on. Tool are like that for me (so is Opeth). Every time I have anything to do with Tool it’s just stupid. It all started when I was about 20 (check this out) and has persisted ever since. Earlier in the year I talked to Maynard James Keenan for triple j magazine #68 about his shitty old band he was in, Children Of The Anachronistic Dynasty, and it was stupid. Yes, again. Stupid like a fox! Continue reading
Bahahaha. Periphery had a new record out and who cares, you’re gonna like it anyway or hate it anyway. That’s music innit. So I thought, “Man I know how much of a titanic dorkola Misha is, let’s talk about video games for half an hour.” I’d just heard him give Final Fantasy VII the treatment, so we started there. I love Final Fantasy. Who doesn’t? People who have regular sex, probably. Naturally Chrono Trigger entered the frame (and warped it beyond recognition with bad choices in the past that rippled ever onwards into the future). Sorry, Wachowski people – Square did it in ’95 and they had a robot that popped ‘n locked.
A huge percentile of my record collection is made up of Hydra Head bands. Hearing Botch and Cave In back in the day drastically altered my small world and laid some hell seeds that’d later grow into a music taste tree nobody wants to hang out under. I think I was probably one of the first people in the universe to contact Aaron Turner about the label’s closure last year. I think I was also the stupidest, because I then neglected to pitch it out there to an outlet that’d give his words the space they deserved. My bad, so very belatedly, here it is. Good chat. I didn’t fan-girl too hard. Continue reading