Staff Cheryl Prime

Cheryl Prime

Senior Staff Writer


Cheryl Prime's last content update – March 31, 2015, 8:24 a.m.

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Cheryl Prime's most recent reviews
Oruga - Blackened Souls album cover


Blackened Souls, 2014

7.0 / 10

Oruga’s sludged out sound is deep, dirty and disgusting and the French quintet move through massive pits of despair to crawl through the filth and head towards the inevitable end ...

Schammasch  - Contradiction album cover


Contradiction, 2014

9.0 / 10

Existence is a series of challenges – ones that force you to adapt, to change and to create sides of yourself that you show to the world, ones that are ...

Empty Yard Experiment - Kallisti album cover

Empty Yard Experiment

Kallisti, 2014

7.5 / 10

Music is wonderful and is one of the few things that echoes across the world and can bring people together in unity. Of course, that’s putting the most simplistic of ...

City States - Geography album cover

City States

Geography, 2014

7.5 / 10

They say that good things come to those that wait and for City States and their main member Joel Ebner, it's certainly true. Ebner has spent many years creating and ...

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Cheryl Prime's most recent features
AMSG 666

One Question Interviews AMSG 666

Posted Jan. 11, 2015, 11:29 p.m.

AngelFukk Witchhammer (AMSG 666) SPB: How important is Satan to you/the band and what does that belief mean to you? Witchhammer: Luciferianism for me is breathing /living each day ...

Pinkish Black

One Question Interviews Pinkish Black

Posted Dec. 25, 2014, 8:18 p.m.

Pinkish Black SPB: You had a curious sample from an obscure British comedy on your first record - how did you come across Snuff Box and why did you include it ...


One Question Interviews GHOUL

Posted Dec. 6, 2014, 2:19 a.m.

Digestor (GHOUL) SPB: How's Creepsylvania this time of year?  Digestor: Moist


One Question Interviews Barshasketh

Posted Nov. 20, 2014, 11:44 p.m.

Krigeist (Barshasketh) SPB: What are the origins for the name of the band?  Krigeist: Barshasketh was something I read years ago in an occult text around the time I was ...

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1QI: Bilinda Butchers, Wasted Wine, Rhino Records, My America

Bands 1QI: Bilinda Butchers, Wasted Wine, Rhino Records, My America

Posted March 31, 2015, 8:24 a.m.

Welcome to our almost daily quickie Q&A feature: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook & twitter and we'll post an interview four days each week, typically every Monday-Thursday ...

Michal Palmer (Bilinda Butchers)
SPB: Was there a historical or real-life inspiration behind the concept for Heaven?
Michael: Yes, both. The album's concept was inspired by various works of Lafcadio Hearn as well as some travel diaries written between the 15th and 20th Century in Japan, researched and written about by Donald Keene. I became very interested in one story in particular called "The Lovers' Suicide" in which two young lovers who are unable to be together decide to commit suicide in order to be together in the afterlife. 
The idea of such a grand commitment to love fascinates me. And although I think it is extreme, it reminds me how precious the love you share with your friends, family, or a partner is: a feeling that that can give you faith, meaning and purpose to your life; something to live and die by, similar to religion. 
I created this idea and story for my girlfriend with the intent to illustrate the intensity of my feelings. Heaven continues to remind me of how lucky I am to love and be loved. 
My friend Michelle Yoon and myself pieced together several elements of various women from these tales and diaries to create the story of Ume Nakajima, the woman who drowned herself to be with her lover in the afterlife from which our album is based off. She is loyal and caring, someone I can always depend on. Occasionally I think of what would happen if something bad happened to one of us and how devastating it would be to not be able to see each other. I created the concept of Heaven to help illustrate the complexity and gravity of my feelings for her. 
Robert Gowan (Wasted Wine) 
SPB: Who is your favorite 1990s artist? 
Robert: Probably an obvious choice, but perhaps not for us: Tupac Shakur. As far as characters and universes, I get into Tupac the same way I do Zappa or Tom Waits. He has an extremely dynamic and defined character that constantly evolves, very rapidly, through the breadth of his career almost effortlessly. He incorporates personal and theatrical elements so well that I think even he lost track of who he really was. Eventually, closer to his death, it had all grown into this elaborate, illuminati-type mythos that predicts the future and leaves a huge controversy to this day about the circumstances. Much like Tom Waits, who released 'Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers, & Bastards' - basically giving away his formula - you can kind of categorize Tupac's music in the same way. Whether it's the amped-up party and diss tracks, or the more subdued, "keep your head up"/social justice, or mom-loving tracks, they're largely shocking or sappy and sentimental. Even still, his tracks manage to fit into the world he's shaped and not turn you off in the same way Eminem's 'Recovery' might have spoiled even his early stuff that you'd loved before. The best part about all of this is that it all happens in a very understandable arch that follows his life, making it resonate but never cross the line between artsy and cheesy.   
Dennis Callaci (Rhino Records/Mad Platter/Video Paradiso-General Manager)
SPB: When do you start planning for Record Store Day on a given year?
Dennis: Record Store Day falls on Saturday April 18th this year, and for this year's event we have been working since late last year to get things in line.  Besides all of the nifty releases for the day that take a good amount of time to order and get in line, we have set up some great events at both stores. Dengue Fever will be playing a live set at Rhino at 3pm, and we will be hosting a screening of the film "Records Collecting Dust" (Jello Biafra, Mike Watt, and others on their record collections) at 7:30 at both stores as well as more to be announced. Logistically, we work on making the experience as fair and easy for our customers as we can, as there are hundreds of folks lined up outside of our doors before we open. This means forecasting deep on titles and trying to cover the bases so there are as few disappointments as feasible. We want the day to be a celebration of record stores, and the artists that have made brick and mortar as important as water and air to us music freaks.
Matthew Turner (My America – guitar/vocals)
SPB: What is the strangest trend you see in modern music (or in the industry)?
Matthew: This actually came up very recently when we were in the studio recording our new album with Kevin Bernsten. We were pretty aligned in terms of musical taste with Kevin. We liked a lot of the same stuff. So naturally we would get into a lot of stuff we both DIDN'T like and the recording technique that goes into making those bands sound the way they do. I just don't understand when, I guess what you would now call "pop-punk" bands, became so far off base from anything punk at all. You know, all the fake drum sounds, triggers, auto tune, whatever else. Kevin actually told us a gem of a story where he was in another studio and heard a guy in there tracking and jokingly told whoever it was behind the board to turn off the auto-tune. The guy was like "uhh... there is no auto-tune?" The guy was just emulating what he hears on the records he likes. So much that it's basically warping his brain and has him thinking this actually sounds good. It was an incredible story that, to me, is like the pinnacle of this not-so-great trend.

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1QI: Jon McKiel, Botanist, Rat Storm, Strawberry Runners

Bands 1QI: Jon McKiel, Botanist, Rat Storm, Strawberry Runners

Posted March 24, 2015, 5:25 a.m.

Welcome to our almost daily quickie Q&A feature: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook & twitter and we'll post an interview four days each week, typically every Monday-Thursday ...

Jon McKiel
SPB: Do you get nervous before you play a show?
Jon: Yes, but it really depends on whether I've played the room before, how much practice the band has had leading up, whether or not the sound check was ok, or the PA even exists!  Sometimes we sing through our amps and improvise a whole lot, so that keeps things pretty light. We can't do anything but go out and play and if we're making it up as we go there's no expectations, at least from a playing perspective.
SPB: In the recent years you have included musicians in order to perform live as Botanist. I wonder if that change has also affected your songwriting in any way? Do you compose now having a more clear idea that these songs will be played live?
Botanist: The backlog of material written and recorded as a 1-man outfit is still being cleared out. Most of that stuff is EPs, but of course there is the skipped-over, unreleased Botanist V. Much of the EP material should be released over the course of the next year or two and some other stuff will be held secret. There is no definite plan as to when V will be released.
Since one of the aims of Botanist is to re-invent itself within the strict guidelines laid out for the project, material written and performed by all members of the live outfit are also in the works. The material we are working on now will be of EP length and should be ready for potential release this year. 
There is so much Botanist material that we compose and record, and pick what we think will be best live out of that. Some records work better live than others. VI is unquestionably the project's biggest commercial success to date, but we play as many songs live from I as we do VIbecause those songs kick ass live. Playing much material from III is a challenge, obviously, because of the tracks' individual running times, so we have to pick extra carefully, and sometimes we don't have time to play any material from III at all. 
The next planned Botanist full-length (VII) will be its most thematic and conceptual yet, and will not be written with playing live in mind whatsoever. Maybe look to the one after that for some ripping live cuts. See you on tour!
Nathalie Haurberg (Rat Storm/Closet Burner/Reality is a Cult Records)
SPB: Do you wear earplugs when you play? Why/why not?
Nathalie: I don't wear earplugs. I sometimes think I should, because my hearing is important. However, I just think it makes things sound different. If I'm playing it totally distorts how I hear the guitar tone and if I'm not playing I feel like it effects how I hear the band. I just rock out and then cross my fingers that in the long run I don't do any long-term damage!
Emi Knight (Strawberry Runners)
SPB: What was the inspiration to start the band?
Emi: The inspiration to start the band really began with living in Bloomington, Indiana, where most of my friends were in bands whose music would keep me up at night thinking of all the possibilities of my life as an artist and would wake me in the morning with this burning desire to go ahead and do whatever it was that I was dreaming about the night before. I've played and written music since I was a kid, but I can be very serious and very critical about my writing, so I didn't always feel confidant to ask other people to play with me.
In Bloomington I was surrounded by people who lived and breathed music and community and I started to put the two together for myself. I learned that music, at its best, will bring people together and lift us up. There is this deep empathy that we feel when we hear a story or a song. That empathy can shift our perspectives and our lives like almost nothing else. There was a point when my understanding of the value of music switched from something personal to something both personal and collective, and this was when I knew I wanted to put something I cared about into the world. So it didn't matter anymore how stupid my song sounded inside my head, or what I wished it could be. What became more important was that I share it with my friends anyway. 
It's important to give whatever you can to build up your community, family, and friends. As artists, sometimes all we've got is what we can make out of our experience. Some rad people, who do what they love, helped me to see my experience and what I make from it as valuable, or at least to have the grace and humility not to write it off. What we create always has the potential to be greater than us alone. But if we don't share it, it'll never do anything for us or for anyone. So that's why I started this band.
If you want to hear some of the bands who always remind me of the importance of doing what you love, check out: Mega Gem (Denver), Selfish Whales (Bloomington), Nana Grizol (Athens GA), Busman's Holiday (Bloomington), Defiance, Ohio (Bloomington), Erin Tobey (Bloomington), Lion Eater (Bloomington), Good Luck (Bloomington), Papa Bear (Denver).
And obviously tons more, but check out your own friends too. They're cooler than you even know.

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1QI: Caffiends, The Brokedowns, Audio Antihero, The Ergs

Bands 1QI: Caffiends, The Brokedowns, Audio Antihero, The Ergs

Posted March 17, 2015, 12:58 p.m.

Welcome to our almost daily quickie Q&A feature: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook & twitter and we'll post an interview four days each week, typically every Monday-Thursday ...

Andrew (Caffiends)
SPB: How old were you when you first learned a musical instrument?
Andrew: Here at Caffiends we take every interview as a huge honor and we are hoping to one day be able to answer this question. However, no one in Caffiends actually knows how to play their instruments, we are just really good at faking it. 
Jon Balun (The Brokedowns)
SPB: You scream a lot. Has that gotten easier or harder on your voice as you're no longer in your 20s?
Jon: I have talked to my personal physician. He strongly agrees with my strict regimen of cigarette smoking and whiskey shots to warm up the ol' vocal  cords. He also recommends that Kris, Eric, and  Moose take turns rabbit-punching my throat for a few minutes before playing. This is essential to getting that sweet quality that my voice possess. Honestly, my voice feels the same. It's actually kinda weak for the first 2 days of a tour. Then, it sustains.
Jamie (Audio Antihero)
SPB: What is the best pop song of the last 10 years?
Jamie: I'm not deliberately rockist (I swear!) - but since “teen” started appearing in my ages, I've never really liked radio/Top 40 music all that much, so I'm probably not the best person to ask. Firstly I was going to say "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley but that Cee Lo Green guy is the absolute fucking abyss...then I strongly considered "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk and Pharrell as that song is gorgeous and in truth probably is my favourite pop song of the past 10 years. But I'm gonna be a dickhead and choose "Hoeski" by Zack Ryder instead. 
As much as I don't particularly like pop music, I do particularly like Pro Wrestling. And pretty much my favourite thing in music is the beautiful sound of frantic desperation...and this is the most desperate god damn pop song I have ever heard. A lower tier (and underrated) WWE wrestler's last ditch effort to make his evil bosses take notice by channeling his Jersey Shore styled gimmick into an absurd parody (?) of a misogynistic break-up song. Foolproof. It even has a rap bridge where he hints at his social network prowess ("like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter - you broke my heart twice, okay, I'll admit I'm bitter"). I think it actually sold quite well, which makes sense given that it's catchy and most WWE fans still think Theory of a Dead Man are a pretty cool band.
Mikey Erg
SPB: Do you get nervous before you play a show?
Mikey: For the most part I'm usually more excited than nervous. Sometimes I can get a little nervous if it's a big crowd or if it's a band that hasn't gotten to rehearse all that much, but that usually goes away after the first song.

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1QI: Lipstick Homicide, Iron Lung, Asshole Parade, Broadway Calls

Bands 1QI: Lipstick Homicide, Iron Lung, Asshole Parade, Broadway Calls

Posted March 10, 2015, 11:29 a.m.

Welcome to our almost daily quickie Q&A feature: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook or twitter and we'll post one interview every Monday-Thursday. Okay, sometimes we miss ...

Rachel (Lipstick Homicide – bass/vocals)
SPB: Was the acoustic set a Fest 13 a one-time thing or do you sometimes perform acoustic around Iowa?
Rachel: We have done acoustic sets before and Kate plays solo acoustic shows all the time, but that was the first time we've performed acoustically together for several years and most of the songs we played we had never played acoustic at a show before. It was a lot of fun! 
Jensen (Iron Lung)
SPB: What is the strangest interaction you’ve had with a (super) fan?
Jensen: The first time he showed up was only mildly weird. Kind of cool, actually.
He flew all the way to San Francisco from Florida for one show, rolled into the club with a giant backpack on straight from the airport. He went completely bananas when we played, jumping higher, and yelling louder than anyone before (or since). After that we introduced ourselves, he bought some merch and then he got a taxi back to the airport after the show. This was 2001 or so.
Over the years he has randomly showed up to various cities and countries: New York, Philly, Seattle, Munich, New Orleans, Toronto, and more. He came to Kortrijk when we played there, stayed for a day and flew home. At first we thought he worked for an airline or something like that. Nope, he just buys tickets and shows up. Did I mention that when he does decide to stay for the night he ends up staying with us wherever we sleep?
We've discovered that when he drinks and smokes weed in a night he will definitely piss the bed, couch, whatever. So we know that when he shows up he will be a handful but it will be so fun and crazy. He parties like a teen in heat. He has a speech pattern that is unique to say the least. Drinks are not drinks they are slurps, food is chomps, etc. He rapid fires non-sequiters that will get you every time. "Doooods, I am having such a blast; you guys are the shit; fuck these crowd wimps; is there weed anywhere?; I am wearing Depends; this shirt collar is not tight enough; I have blood in my BM."  
He moves around a lot and mainly works in academia. Never seems to stay put for any length of time. He will be not pinned down. Real freedom. A true punk freak. We know all this sounds like too much but he balances all this with a warmth, charisma, and generosity that is unmatched in any other human. He goes to Christmas with our families. He drives with us on tours sometimes. Hell, he is even moving to Seattle to be closer to us pretty soon. We will definitely benefit from having him around, always have.
We might also be killed in our sleep and have our face skin worn like masks. Either way, he is a strange trip and I like those the best.  
Matt Sweeting (Asshole Parade, No Idea Records)
SPB: What’s the last record you didn’t care for on first listen but has since grown on you?
Matt: Here's two answers (and this happens to me constantly by the way falling in and out of love with records).
Veronica Falls - s/t LP (Slumberland)
So first off, I buy and own a ton of records. That being said, I'm pretty picky about who I listen to about new stuff, I mean really listen to. I hear/read shit all day about so and so and how great they are at blah blah blah... but I do have a few friends that when they say, “Buy this,” or “Man, I love this,” I usually try and do it.
This record was one of those. One of my friends in the UK that works at Rough Trade told me that he was in love with this band—like borderline stalking them. At the time they only had a few singles, but he was all about them. He even harassed them into singing on his band’s record. So when I saw that they were putting out an LP I ordered it. When I first put it on it was pleasant enough, but it didn't grab me. It kinda sounded like guitar pop that I heard a lot of in the ‘90s so after a few spins I put it away. Last year I came across it again after quite some time and thought, "Hey that’s that band," so I threw it on. I don't know if it aged well or I was just in the mood, but I was hooked. The songs sounded lush and full and the record was brimming with a really cool energy. I know they put out a second one but I'm kinda sacred to buy it ‘cause I don't want to taint how good the first one is. It’s still in heavy rotation…It’s like sunshine on a rainy day, just about perfect.
Endless Blockade - Turn Illness into Weapons LP (Super-Fi Records) 
I used to tour a bunch and when you are on tour one usually amasses a bunch of new stuff. Whether it’s ‘cause you are traveling to all these new cities with new stores you haven't plundered or because you make friends with the bands you play with, there is always a box to open at the end. Invariably there is too much to listen all at once so things get left behind. I play in a thrash/grind band that always plays with tons of other thrash/grind bands, so I always get a bunch of those kind of records--wanted or not. Luckily, I work at No Idea and can drop unwanted ones into orders--you know freebies. Anyway, we played with this band in Germany.and I actually know one of the guys pretty well from his previous band. At the time he asked me, “Do you really want one or are you just being nice?” I said, “No, no I want it…but I didn't.” Live they were ripping but I wasn't sure it would translate and when I first opened the box after that tour, I listened to it once but I think I was doing other shit. I filed it on “eh” shelf.
Man was I wrong. I was doing a radio show for a while and needed records constantly so I was pulling shit out that I didn't listen to all the time at home or work. I was doing a grind show and found this record…Well, after the first song I ended up letting the whole side play. Fucking captivating. This kind of music is real easy to be bad at so, when you find a good one, watch out: this bad boy will tear you up. Thanks Andy. I did want it…just 4 or 5 years later, you know.
Ty Vaughn (Broadway Calls) 
SPB: What band has the best logo of all time?Ty: The Ramones. I'm biased for two reasons. 1) I love this band and always will. 2) I met and hung out with Arturo Vega for the summer of 2008 while we were on Warped Tour together. He was a fascinating guy with amazing stories, and he ripped off the presidential seal to represent the Ramones as the all American band. Which they are. 

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Cheryl Prime's most recent blogposts

Show Review: Caïna @ The Unicorn

Posted Sept. 8, 2013, 3:25 p.m. by Cheryl Prime

Caïna, Hordes, Barshasketh The Unicorn London, UK September 6 2013 We've been talking a lot about the rebirth of Caïna of late and we'll soon have a review of the new ...

Show Review: Winterfylleth @ The Black Heart

Posted Jan. 29, 2013, 7:50 a.m. by Cheryl Prime

The tiny Black Heart in Camden holds court to an evening of droned out sludge, traditional heavy doom, and more English black metal than you can shake a stick at ...

Show Review: The Great Old Ones w/Terzij de Horde and Oblivionized @ The Unicorn, London (January 5th 2013)

Posted Jan. 9, 2013, 12:17 a.m. by Cheryl Prime

The Unicorn is suffering from a severe lack of air con tonight, the tension in the air made all the palpable by the insane levels of heat and the anticipation ...

Show Review: Neurosis and Godflesh @ Kentish Town Forum, London (December 2nd 2012)

Posted Dec. 8, 2012, 8:39 p.m. by Cheryl Prime

The view that Scene Point Blank has been afforded for tonight’s performance is beautiful, and the sea of heads below on the floor is all the more astonishing seen from ...

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