Slated for release the first week of September, this ripper comes from a forthcoming four-song, four-way split 7" (titled simply IV) compliments of Blasphemour Records. A bit of Integrity/Ringworm, a dash of grinding freneticism, hints of melodic atmosphere, and a mega dose of Boss HM-2 from this Bay Area group that includes ex-members of Bleeding Through and the mighty Mean Season, among others. And, oh, hey, their new drummer is Nick Souza from Hatriot—son of Steve "Zetro" Souza, from a little band called Exodus.
Limited to just 500 copies in three color variants—250 oxblood, 100 oxblood/mustard split, and 150 black—IV will also feature contributions from Funerals, Great Reversals, and Unrestrained. Additionally, there will be 25 hand-numbered leatherette box sets containing all three colors (plus some other goodies), so... pre-order now!
Here's "Humanity's Filth," followed by a mini interview with Ryan from Blasphemour Records.
In a way, this 7" harkens back to your very first release back in '99, One Hell of a Compilation (though of course on a smaller scale). How did the idea for this four-way split come together?
The idea has been kicking around in my head for quite some time now. I was always a fan of splits and compilations in the '90s. It was a great way to learn about new bands. In a way, the internet has kind of killed the physical compilation with streaming and digital formats, but I have a huge spot in my heart for the '90s, and wanted to bring that feeling back.
The cover for the test pressings is also paying homage to the '90s 7" comp by having a rip of the We Shall Fight in the Streets cover—which, interestingly enough, Jon Sinko of Unrestrained was also on with his old band, Backlash.
IV offers up two bands you've worked with before (leaning more on the dark metalcore side), and two you've not (coming from more of a scathing, socio-political '90s hardcore type of angle). What did that selection process look like?
I have actually worked with all four bands in the past. While Funerals and Liars Cult have both been on physical releases, Unrestrained and Great Reversals have also been on two free digital compilations I have put out that are available on our Bandcamp page.
Putting together a compilation can be a tiring process. It isn't always easy to get bands at the right time. They may not have a track available, may not have time to record, or may not even be interested. When I started looking, I reached out to a lot of bands that I wanted to work with. No band ever said they just weren't interested, but there were occasions where bands were not available. I didn't expect to get as many bands interested as I did. Eventually, I ended up with too many bands and had to make the hard decision to let some bands down.
In the end, I couldn't be happier with the bands on this release. All four bands really stepped up on this, and have submitted some great original tracks. It is also great to have Iggy from Abnegation on the Funerals track, since Abnegation was on that One Hell of a Compilation I put out in the '90s.
There's been much talk lately of how slow and painful the turnaround on vinyl pressing can be for smaller underground labels these days. You've been releasing a lot of cassettes lately, so I'm curious what your experiences have been like bouncing between the two formats, as well as offering your output digitally?
The vinyl boom really turned me off to putting out records for a while. The turnaround times just made it where it would take up to a year to get something out by the time you record, master, press, etc. For most bands (and labels) it's really hard to have something you've worked on sit for so long unheard.
Cassettes were never anything I was that interested in. I used to give Justin from Unrestrained a hard time about his affection for the format. However, like most, I hadn't really given it a chance in the past decade. I was shocked to realize that cassettes actually sound good, and the turnaround time is usually under a month. They also don't cost nearly as much as vinyl. I usually charge the same as it would cost you for a digital release for a cassette and a download code, so it's basically like the tape is free with the digital version.
Cassettes have allowed me to put out a lot of releases in a relatively short time for a smaller label. It has also allowed me to put out releases by some of my favorite '90s bands: Harvest and Excessive Force. However, for this release, I really felt it needed to be on vinyl.
The other records I have put out, I did with budget in mind. I went with a low cost plant, printed the sleeves at another location, etc. I didn't want to do that with this release. I wanted to go all out, regardless of cost. I was more interested in quality over cost. This release is being pressed by Pirates Press on three colors—including a split color version. They will also be in a sleeve this time—as opposed to a foldover—and will have a four-page insert and download card. I am also offering a limited box set version that will have all three colors of the record, a poster, a six-pin set, and a cassette in a special colorway only available in the box set.
I really feel this is going to be something special...