Al Smith (Geld-vocals)
SPB: What is the most overrated guitar feature?
Smith: It may seem rich to bemoan something Geld has casually lent on in our last few records, but the “howl of cicadas” guitar tone feels pretty played out at this point. I mean, don’t get me wrong, a big come to Jesus moment for me was hearing those early tapes from Japan. Like a bad joke pushing through the threshold to become good, those guitars would careen past the point of inaudible and explode in a filthy sonic crescendo. That sizzle! That Style! It felt like they weren’t writing songs so much as tailoring a vale of noise to compliment the look. Totally fucking insane, and I’d be remiss if I weren’t to acknowledge that.
Cut to 2020 (sigh…) and the landscape has changed drastically. One of the most endearing factors those early records had was a sense of making do with what’s available. A war of attrition, a sense of struggle. Now we can basically record anywhere for little to no cash – and, don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing -- but the struggle is gone and it’s been replaced by endless choice. I guess what I’m getting at is that it seems regressive to use all these resources at our fingertips to recreate something made by folks with seemingly zero resources?
It's an arms race with diminishing returns! And there’s some beautiful riffs inside that cage you call an amp just dying to break out and CLEARLY convey their feelings to the world. You’re the warden in this prison, remember that. And if you think I’m wrong, tell me this; Have you ever stared at TV static for so long you start to see a picture? We all know that eventually your eyes uncross and you confirm to yourself “There’s nothing there”.