Thursday, February 17, 2011

I don't really remember how I landed on The Living Doorway the first time, but blessed be whatever creepy google search that led me there all those months ago. The rest of that evening on the couch with the laptop was spent reading past entries, chuckling at the author's compellingly funny writing and nodding in furious "finally, someone else"-like agreement to the knowledgeable opinions voiced about all those weird little unknown records I thought nobody else liked. After probably way too many I'm-not-hearing-you "yes dear"s, my girl realized  how much I was enjoying the thing and jokingly asked me "so this blog guy is your new best friend now?". I had no idea who the author was at the time, but based on what he wrote and how he wrote about music, he kinda was, in a way.

TLD quickly became a daily stop in my internet meanderings, and fortunately that new-best-friend feeling didn't dissipate when I actually got in touch with this JGD fellow. Not only he's an awesome writer, he's an awesome dude (right back atcha!) AND an awesome vocalist too. He was in the vastly underrated There Were Wires, and he's now doing vocals for one of the most exciting black metal projects I've heard in recent times (seriously), the wonderfully titled The Sun Came Up Upon The Left.

Recently, he decided to ruin his blog by allowing a new guest writer in there, and as if that wasn't enough, he subjected himself to the 10 rounds. Pity the man and go leave a comment on TLD, okay?

1. So, what’s the thing with penguins?
Oh god, I don't know. They are like the only thing I can draw, I think? I'm basically completely handicapped and have been drawing them for as long as I can remember. I even stopped signing my name on letters and stuff when I was younger, and just drew penguins as a signature instead. Seriously, ask my mom--somewhere in her basement she probably has a giant shoebox full of Mother's Day cards and shit that are all signed with penguins. I actually reached the pinacle of penguin-ness when I tattooed a penguin on my brother last year, which came out super shitty and was probably the stupidest moment in recorded history. I'll send you a picture, if you want.
[Please do. I'll post it here.]

EDIT: Here it is. I dig it, I'd do one myself.

2. How did you start the blog, was there any special motivation? Have you had shutdown notices since? Can you copy/paste one for us to laugh at?
I started The Living Doorway at the suggestion of my girlfriend, who said I needed a project to work on. I guess I got super wrapped-up in all these other blogs for a while, downloading all these records and finding all this awesome shit, and she thought I should start a music blog that was actually interesting, and not just files and files of random records. I guess my particular version of "interesting" is just posting pictures of pets and penguins and shit, which is totally idiotic but people seem to like it. As far as being shut down, I've gotten a few DMCA complaints (like every MP3 blog has), but nothing super threatening so far. I will say that I was really suprised anyone bothered to complain about that Billy Squier record being posted, though. You'd think they'd be stoked that someone still cares.

3. Your interviews are awesome. Who’s the most famous person you’re chums with?
Thanks. I can't believe I'm going to answer this seriously, but I lived in Chicago for a while and was friends with Pete Wentz from Fallout Boy. I know this probably ruins all my metal cred, but I like him a lot - he's actually a super nice and funny dude. He used to play in all these thugged out hardcore bands before he turned into Jared Leto or whatever, and one time he showed me a big weird hole in his weiner from a piercing that he removed. I know that sounds like a total bummer to the average dude, but it makes me feel better to imagine how many teenage girls would have killed for that sort of opportunity. But yeah, my girlfriend told me yesterday that he's getting divorced from Ashley Simpson, so I'm super stoked for him. I mean, can you imagine actually being MARRIED to that twit?

4. Is it very obvious these interviews are a bit inspired by yours?
Maybe just this one, but I think your other interview questions are wayyy better than mine. I just think of the stupidest shit to ask off of the top of my head and then email them right away without double checking if they are decent or not. I pretty much always shake my head in disgust immediately after I hit 'send' and wonder if the interviewee will bother to reply to me. Seriously, Artery Eruption and Joe Preston from Thrones seemed super into it, but never emailed me back after I sent them their questions. Sad face.
[Joe, come on. Check your email. Your potentially best interview ever is waiting.]

5. Another favourite of mine from The Living Doorway are the girlfriend reviews. She puts all of us wannabe hacks to shame. How hard do you have to push her so she caves in and does a whole bunch more? I’d love to hear her opinion on Gnaw's ‘This Face’ album.
I think she's fucking brilliant. It's awesome hearing a completely undiluted critique of a genre by someone who isn't into it at all. She really cuts to the bone. I made her listen to the song 'Ghosted' from that Gnaw album this morning at 7:45 am. Here is her response:

"Is this the beginning of that Beastie Boys song 'Sabotage'? I gotta say, as a part-time nanny, you guys could get paid to listen to this live. Yeah...this is bedtime. Is there anything more to this or just...? Okay... ugh, I thought it was over. There has to be a better time for me to listen to this song."

That's right. She just compared Gnaw to a child throwing a pre-bedtime tantrum.
[...and with that, she beats hands down almost two years of incessant hyperbole I've thrown towards that album, trying to describe and recommend it to other people.]

6. What was your most horrific skateboard injury so far?
Okay, just remember that you ASKED for this. Unfortunately, there has been a few. The worst was the time I got lazy bailing out of a tailslide on a mini ramp and accidentally stepped back on my board as I was falling, which slammed me backwards against the transition with my leg under me. I heard this crazy "pop" and a white hot flash of pain, and just knew I was completely fucked. I basically dislocated my ankle bone out of its socket and had to have surgery the next morning, which kept me on crutches for almost 6 months. They were going to put pins in my ankle to hold shit together, but weren't able to because it was pretty much "mush" from all the sprains, fractures, and assorted trauma it had been through over the years. Apparently they also scraped out a bunch of bone fragments floating around in there, too. It sucked. I looked at the incisions while they were cleaning it a few days after the surgery, and it was utterly revolting. It looked like an exploded corpse leg - all purple, yellow, and weeping pus and blood from both sides of my ankle.

The second worst is described in full detail here.

7. Time for the truth – how much time did it really pass between these two photos from this post?
Haha. One month. November beard challenge. I had never had a beard before and thought I was due to try it out. It was pretty sick, but after I shaved it off I felt weird and naked and my girlfriend wanted me to grow it back immediately. I'm starting to get kind of fat lately, so I'm considering growing it out again so I can hide this shitty double chin.
[And that, my friends, explains my fifteen years of beard in a nutshell]

8. Billie is the cutest dog. That’s not a question, but I just really wanted to let people who haven’t seen her photos know that. Play along, it’s a cue for some funny Billie story.
Good non-question. It's a fact: Billie is the cutest, raddest dog. She's basically a total doofus black lab puppy who is just super stoked on EVERYTHING. Lately, her favorite things are otter-sliding down grassy embankements, and 'The Banana Boat Song' by Harry Belafonte. She'll stop whatever it is she is doing and just listen intently to the entire song with her head tilted idiotically to the side.

An old lady once stopped to say hi to her on the sidewalk, and that she is "the light of the world", which I wholeheartedly agree with.

9. You sang for the amazing There Were Wires (I had no idea it was you until you posted about it!) and now you’re in The Sun Came Up Upon The Left. How did you end up joining these two bands, and have you thought of taking up this vocalist thing more seriously sometime?
Well, I don't know if we'll go down in history as being "amazing" [you will in my history!], but I still think some of the material holds up! There Were Wires was basically a bunch of friends playing our version of metallic hardcore as a way of distinguishing ourselves from what was popular in New England at the time, and I immediately jumped into the vocalist position simply because I couldn't play any instruments. Same thing with TSCUUTL - my friend Don (also of TWW) had recorded a really awesome atmopsheric black metal album, and invited me to be a part of it, so I donated some lyrics, song titles, and vocals to the cause. To this day, I don't think I have particularly good vocals, but they worked pretty okay within the confines of what we were doing, so no one seemed to mind too much. Some people have a really naturally great rasp, scream, or guttural voice that sounds thick and even and awesome, but I really have to work at it to make it sound even remotely passable. Just doing the tiny bit of stuff on the last TSCUUTL was a real struggle, because I had been out of practice for so long. Maybe if I did it more often I'd feel more confident about it, but I'm no Travis Ryan from Cattle Decapitation, that's for sure.

10. Last question is the list question, so here’s two requests – because you’re the biggest Portal fan I know beside myself, your top 5 Portal songs, and just for kicks, 5 bands you think are even worse than Kvelertak and Ghost.
To be fair, I haven't even heard Ghost yet, but they look like a weird Portal/Misfits hybrid-type thing, which is pretty cool. But yeah, I can't hang with Kverlertak at all. Here we go:

Best Portal songs:
1) That one where he wears a big clock hat
2) That one where he wears a big witch hat
3) That one where he wears a big pope hat.
4) The Endmills
5) Black Houses (for you and me)

Bands worse than Kverlertak:
1) The Black Eyed Peas ( My Humps is the worst song in history, and they should seriously be assassinated for it.)
2) There Were Wires
3) The Sun Came Up Upon the Left
4) Kverlertak's inevitable bullshit offshoot rock band that tries to sound exactly like Turbonegro
5) George Thoroughgood

1 comment:

  1. Witty and funny interview, just like I enjoy them. Thanks. :)