INTERVIEWS                     GUESTBOOK


1. Hello, how are you? Before all can you introduce yourself, and quote the previous bands/ projects you were involved in?

I want to preface by saying that I have rarely given interviews in my life and when I have itís usually in some sort of character and never serious. My friends and family have recently been giving me a hard time about not promoting myself, my thoughts, and music.
I donít want to be known, I just want my bands to be heard. But, Iím learning that without giving a human backstory, people have trouble caring as much about the music.
I really only like face to face interaction and donít want people forming opinions of me based on what they read about me online. There seems to be a lot more intensity in my written words than when actually speaking to me. Iím generally trying to be good natured and accepting of everyone regardless of their political or religious beliefs.
The questions youíre asking are much better than what I usually get. Makes me feel like you actually listened to some of the material and arenít just trying to fill space for a zine or blog. So, Iím going to give it a try and see what happens.
I did one serious interview 8 years ago for maximum rock and roll but then asked the guy not to publish it because I felt stupid about it.

Iíve been having a hard time dealing with the isolation from Covid quarantine and watching all my favorite venues shutting down. But, my spirits are lifting after seeing bands back out there playing shows and recently being able to practice with friends again in hopes of getting back out and playing live.
My name is Damian but Iíve been going by my initials, DMT on releases. Iíve had an overwhelming calling to spread love, joy, and build community through music since I was a teenager. Sometimes itís a struggle for me because of my own mental and emotional limitations as well as a terrible ego that stems from an overcompensation due to my own insecurities. But, I keep moving forward with this goal in hopes that one day I will get it right.
Iíve spent my life saving up money to build out warehouse venues for underground bands that share the same calling to perform and practice at. Ive put more effort and money into community building than my own bands which has pissed off family, partners, and band mates.
I feel uncomfortable listing all the bands Ive played in because I donít want to take credit or get scene status points for other peopleís hard work. So, to the reader, Iím not responsible for the existence of the bands that youíve heard of. Most of my personal projects are stuff that most people havenít ever heard of. With that said, Iíve played bass at one time or another for Lack Of Interest and Bad Acid Trip. I did bass and vocals for Bred On Deception and Burning Monk. I played drums for Progeria, Lie Still, and DeathGlam. Vocals and drums for Strains of the Apocalypse, Paranoid Freak Out, Abrupt Ď96, and EO. Just vocals for Self Inflicted Ď98, Glob Ď04 and a tour fronting for Noisear. Drums, vocals, and bass for Bro Jogan. With Violent Opposition Ive played everything at some point or another. I recently started 3 new bands too: Mormon Mincers is exactly what it sounds like, Bertha is grind/punk, and Crustžca is satanic spanish death/grind/crust.
Iíve done many more projects but theyre not worth listing them all. Some of them I may have forgotten in the moment here and some are just too embarrassing.

2. So we are talking about VIOLENT OPPOSITION, I could describe your music as "technical grindcore/ death grind without easy listening compromise"... Is that a decent one, or do you have something better to awake the readers' interest?

Iíd describe Violent Opposition as grind/punk. Itís more in the realm of fastcore and powerviolence than death grind but it is very technical at times. I have at least one release that could probably be labeled as death grind but I donít think thatís a fair example of the overall style.
Violent Opposition has 3 versions though. The other 2 are: Vi Opp, which is like 80ís hardcore punk, and Violet Opera which is stuff thatís too weird for Violent Opposition.


3. From what I understood from Discog, Violent Opposition now counts 4 full-length albums and various split releases. Which ones are you the most proud of? Which one should a listener check out first to discover your band?

I recently added a discography of remixed and mastered songs from the first year of doing splits called, Power Is Violence. It should be coming out on cd from Wise Grind records by the end of the year. That is the 5th release now. I have another release ready but canít find a label to put it out so Iím just enjoying it myself right now. I think my sound and material is just so different from other bands in my genre that labels have a hard time selling it.
Itís hard to say what someone should check out first. ďViolently Enforced PovertyĒ is pretty straight forward grind/punk. Has a very 90ís influence to it. ďDefiantĒ is powerviolence/hardcore. ďUtopia/DystopiaĒ is more in the realm of deathgrind.
My personal favorite is ďTranscendentĒ. Iíd describe it as Zappa influenced grindcore. Itís not the kind of thing most people who like grindcore would appreciate. More for the weirdos and collectors of oddities. I like the weird stuff.

4. The difference between technical grind and technical death grind/ brutal death is sometimes thin... How do you know when it's not grindcore anymore? When did you cross the border? But perhaps only the CRAZINESS matters and everything else is useless thoughts?

Genres arent all that important to me. I just like to play fast and technical music. The only reason Ive tried to do releases with a somewhat uniformed sound is so that I might be able to get something released. I canít say itís helped me any though. Self Made God did a small run of a cd release and Red Dead Queen did some tapes. HPGD posts my stuff up on streaming services and Ive had some help with releasing a split here and there. Most everything is stuff Ive put out myself and then just sold at shows. Mostly to audiences that dont know what these genres even are because I dont get a whole lot of opportunities to play with the well known bands or bigger shows and end up playing with other bands that dont have anywhere else to go as well. My favorite audiences are ones not wearing any sort of metal or punk uniforms.
I was into the spirit of punk when I first heard grindcore. The first bands I heard were the early earache stuff. Bands like Napalm Death, Sore Throat, Unseen Terror, Septic Death, Electro Hippies, etc and then early Relapse records with stuff like Exit 13, Naked City, Anal Cunt, Macabre, etc. My thoughts at the time were that grindcore was complete musical freedom. What itís become is kind of disappointing to me. The uniformed sound and look. I thought it was going to be the next leg of punk as punk turned into commercial pop. But, grind seemed to have turned more into metal. I found the spirit of what I wanted out of it mostly in the Powerviolence and fastcore scene. But, again, to be clear, I dont really like genres. I just like individual bands. The music I play is just what I want to hear. Sometimes mimicking a genre because Iím not hearing what I want out of it and sometimes just trying to make something completely different.


5. Some of your releases feature various musicians, while on some recordings you played everything... Uh... I mean due to the quite complex nature of the music, I think it should be a bit hard to play the drums and the guitars... Did you really play the drum parts, or it's sometimes programmed? Or perhaps enhanced with "pro tools"? Maybe you play since a long time and it helps?

I practiced a lot of bass and guitar in my youth. Back then there was still this hope that we could ďmake itĒ playing extreme music. We practiced for like 6 hours every day. In my spare time I would jam out with other friends. I lived up in the mountains and we were isolated from other bands in our genre. We didnít know that other people werenít putting in so much effort. We thought that success would come due to our capabilities as musicians not from marketing and image. The 3 of us that formed ďBred On DeceptionĒ couldnít agree on styles and we ended up compromising and playing each otherís songs. There werenít any other musicians in our area that were into what we all liked so we had to learn to work together. For the first few years we struggled to get shows. We would lie about our style to get on any shows we could. Played frat parties, family events at the park, the regan library, churches, pretty much anything that was having live music we tried to play. We hated the clubs in Los Angeles because they were an hour away from us and we had to pay huge amounts of money to get booked on bad shows. No one knew what grindcore was back then and our fans were just random weirdos and our high school friends that saw us at these different events.
Iíve had this overwhelming sense of purpose since my teenage years and I knew that I was going to be playing music for life. I didnít want to use my money to go to a recording studio because I knew I would end up spending enough to buy my own. So, I started with the tascam cassette 4 track and started recording myself and building up my equipment as I could. This shaped me as a musician. Recording myself taught me to really pull the notes out of my instrument. Iíve learned to eliminate most of the squeaks and extra noise flubs that most extreme music has. I just canít help it.
I started playing drums at age 22 with the drummer from Sepsism playing guitar. Phil has always been an exceptional drummer. I learned on his kit with him pushing me to get it right.
The fact that I record myself and dont have to pay for a recording means that I dont have any time frame to get the recording right. So, I can keep working at it until I get it perfect. For instance, the Utopia/Dystopia release took me 8 months to record working every day at it for 6-12hours a day. No exaggeration. I was obsessed with it. Yes, I did use editing tricks to help with tightening it up. I used a metronome, and would slide over parts that were getting off time. I triggered up the kick, toms, and snare on that one too. But, I had also been playing drums for 20 years or so at that point so I had some idea of what I wanted from it.
Iíve always had trouble with my bass and guitar playing sounding too much like a keyboard. I donít know why exactly. If you see the live videos it still sounds that way when Iím playing. And then on the recordings, Im playing both guitar and bass so it raps around really tight.
Ive never wanted to play all the instruments myself but Iíve never found anyone else to do that much work for free. Ive always just wanted to be the singer. But, Iím starting to enjoy guitar. Iíve given up on the drums entirely now. Was just starting to feel too old and sore from them. The first couple years I played the drums for Violent Opposition live. But, Iíve always wanted the vocals to be a certain way and I cant do it while playing drums like that.
I take my recordings to Grammy Greg at Earhammer and he remixes, re-amps, and masters it for me. So, the sound is that Grammy award winning quality. I wish I could sound more like the bands that sell well but I havenít figured that out yet. I like what I do though and enjoy listening to the music I make which has been my ultimate goal in making it.

6. How do you achieve to reproduce your music live? It's quite technical and contains a lot of breaks/ tempo changes/ surprises... So I imagine you should rehearse a lot before the gigs, probably more than regular dbeat bands... But are there tips such as perhaps... Playing with a "click"? Playing in front of music sheets (??) Drinking a lot of water to have the mind very hydrated (?).

The trick is having at least one person who already knows the material (usually me) that everyone else can follow. Music sheets are a necessity too. Some of the powerviolence style stuff just goes so far all over the place that its impossible to learn it without them. Iíve found that it helps to find amateur musicians who dont know that music isnít supposed to be that difficult yet and then work with them until they get it. Or, people who are so advanced and have incredible memories that itís just another gig for them. Mostly the experienced musicians dont want to work that hard for no reward. But, I get lucky every now and then. My current line up are freakin geniuses.
Water is good. Need it to survive. Cannabis is better. Relaxes the mind when it gets all locked up. Alcohol makes it really hard. Coke and amphetamines make it impossible to focus for most people Iíve tried out.
You can see some very sloppy attempts to play live on YouTube and some outright fails as well. Those moments of embarrassment get everyone in shape real quick. Iím always pushing things beyond all of our actual abilities and then pull stuff out of the set that just isnít pleasing to the audience.

7. On some of your recordings, I think the guitars happen to sound a little "strange". By moments it seems like there's a "chorus" effect or a digital touch, I don't know... I don't dislike it, it even brings a nice "original" touch... Perhaps you used a software reamp on some songs, or something?

I accidentally answered this one already. Itís just the fact that Iím playing everything myself. My guitars and bass are played with identical techniques and timing. I donít have the best equipment either. My buddy Greg is an amazing engineer too. Won a Grammy for high on fire and stuff. I always have him do it because I dont trust anyone else and I cant get the recordings as good on my own.

8. Reading your facebook posts, I noticed you experienced a lot of grindcore and punk gigs in the end 80's and 90's, it seems you have a lot of fond memories from this epoch and love to talk about it! What were the best bands you remember seeing live from memory? Did some of them grow big and it's funny to say "I saw them in a basement 20 years ago"? AhAh. Did you also visit death metal and thrash gigs back then? Was it always safe and healthy to go to extreme music gigs then?

My first real show was seeing Death in 1989 when I was 15 years old. I missed everything in the 80ís. I saw lots of underground thrash and death metal from that era. Pretty much everything that was playing live. There was no grindcore at the big clubs until early 90ís with Napalm Death and Brutal Truth. Everything was Death Metal at that point. Thrash was pretending it could get on the charts still and that wasnt appealing to me. I grew up in Los Angeles suburbs and had horrible social anxiety. The southern california scene has always been like no other. A lot of violent mosh pits. Just trying to stay alive and not get trampled. People were constantly fighting. Sometimes getting stabbed. Sometimes riots. Most everything was homophobic and sexist. It was fairly diverse racially. Mostly Mexican and sometimes not very inviting to black people or even white people in some circles. But mostly people were happy to have anyone who liked the music. But I always saw women getting groped and heard a lot of evil shit spoken about homosexuality. There was a lot of macho male bullshit in that era.
I didnít know about very much of the LA underground outside of death metal until I started a warehouse space in 1996. I made sure that it was inviting to everyone and tried to keep everyone smiling. That changed my life and introduced me to the whole diy side of music.
I saw Exhumed, Cephalic Carnage, Phobia, and PLF in their early years. A bunch more too but those are just what comes to mind right now.


9. You probably discovered grindcore in the early 90's, but do you remember when you switched from regular/ old school grind to more technical stuffs? Do you remember which band turned your mind toward the side of the "hydro grind"? (This is the way some of it was called then). Perhaps it was early Cephalic Carnage, Brutal truth (3rd album?), or perhaps some forgotten buried demo bands that did only two demos? Or maybe some death metal bands such as Skeleton of god or something?

We were already technical when we first heard grind. Bands like Death, Cannibal Corpse, Carcass, and Atrocity were a huge influence on us. When we heard Napalm Death our drummer just started blasting over everything we had already been doing.

10. Years ago I had the idea of a release were all kinds of grindcore bands would cover songs from 70's hard rock bands like Led Zeppelin, Cactus, and all kind of retro hard "hippie" stuffs, but never developed much this project... The idea was kinda to listen to more of the SOILENT GREEN 'String of lies" Ep (which mixed stoner/ sludge and grindcore, in short efficient songs... No waste of space!) (Wouldn't it be cool to hear Led Zeppelin riffs with blast beats and sudden accelerations?)... Well, all of this story to ask the question: Did you already cover old hard rock songs and turned them into "grindcore" during rehearsals? Or perhaps you already grindcorized other kinds of music like post punk, pop rock or something? Why aren't there more bands doing it? (And did you already see Soilent Green live?)

My dad played in a band called Buffalo Springfield in the 80ís. It was all the guys who werenít Neil Young trying to make a few bucks. Theyíd do all the hits from that era. That definitely had an influence on me as a musician but its always been my dadís music to me and not really something Ive been into. Ive never covered any classic rock stuff other than Black Sabbath. And, we played it normal, never grinded out on it.
Iím not familiar with Soilent Greenís material. I know I have some split records of them but I havenít listened to it since I got it. It must not have been something that grabbed me at the time. Iíll check em out again when I get the chance since youíre bringing them up. I havenít ever like any grindcore covers of anything except maybe Anal Cunt doing the Threeís Company theme song made me laugh. Grind is usually too metal and stiff or too sloppy and never seems to do rock much justice in my opinion. I usually steal clear of any covers type releases myself. I almost always prefer the originals.

11. Do you like jazz? Some of it is interesting... And I also like the grindcore variant which is called "Jazz grind". For example I know an English band called NABEG which is very extreme and fucked in the head (They probably take acid or something ahah)

Yes, jazz has had a huge influence on me. Iím more into compositions than bop and bebop. Max Roach had a big influence on my writing. I like all the weird stuff. I havenít heard of NABEG but based on your description Iím going to have to check it out. Sounds like my kind of thing. I didnít know there was a genre called jazz grind. Sounds interesting.

12. Years ago, there were hectic discussions opposing "One foot blasts" and "two feet blasts", do you think it's current anymore?

God, I hope not! Stuff like that is such a childish argument. And thatís coming from a guy who only did single foot blasts. I like double foot and single foot. Drop tuning or regular tuning. Pitch shifted vocals or organic. Digital or analogue. The only thing that matters to me is if I like the music being made. I could care less how itís made. Use every trick you can to make it sound great!

13. You also have a project called VIOLET OPERA which is also based on grind, but musically different... I think the name gives a little idea of the content... Can you give the readers an idea of what to expect?

Ha Ha Ha! I dont think I can! I did one release thatís a sci-fi grindcore opera. For the extreme weirdos and fans of outsider metal music. And another thatís like weird glitchy techno with mostly organic sounding drums.


14. Lately, I read you were involved in new grindcore projects, and you seemed to be busy all the day rehearsing with other guys! Reading about it was nice, it awaken memories of old Morbid Angel bootleg VHS videos were you saw them rehearsing all the day on their killer songs AhAh... Ok, fell free to tell us about these new projects, what it sounds like, and what to expect from it (Gigs? Releases?)

Weíre mainly just rehearsing Violent Opposition material.
But, also Mormon Mincers, Crustica, and Bertha are all being learned. But those 3 are a lot easier. Somewhat generic sounding. At least, thatís what Im trying for.
No shows have been booked yet but it would be nice to get a few in before the end of the year. Just started putting a band together and rehearsing this last month.

15. What are the next plans with VIOLENT OPPOSITION? What should the listeners expect in the future? Thanks for the answers.

Iím hoping to find a label to physically release my material on records but Iím not holding my breath for that. Iíve got a finished album I wrote in 2019 thats ready to go thats similar to the Utopia/Dystopia style but Iím just sitting on it until I find a label for it. I dont want to post it before itís been released physically.
Ive got a stoner rock album I did thats still unfinished cuz I get bored of that.
And another one written that Iím hoping to get an actual line up to learn and record but, that may take a year or many because itís hard to teach people that material for free.

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