Stone Age HAA The Holy MAA

Stone Age HAA The Holy MAA

Writing - Noise - Magic

Monday, September 15, 2014

INTERVIEW WITH SKIN GRAFT, AKA WYATT HOWLAND

Wyatt Howland is from Northeast Ohio and has been working on making noise for the past twenty years. You can find his work here:




ARH: What are you working on now?

WBH: There are a few things that I am working on that I am very happy with. Fascist Insect and Skin Graft 'Workplace Violence' has a really classic badass appeal to it in my opinion, it always rules working with you and Mitch.  In the past year or so I have worked a lot with Andrew Kirschner on our duo Blackfire, and among other things we have in production a split with K2 [this is now available!], and a cassette titled 'Out of Fear'.  I just finished up a full-length solo recording titled 'Twins Decease' that is very sour and angry.  David Russell and I are about to release the first volume in a compilation series titled 'Ohio', the first volume is incredible.  Cory Rowell, aka Demonologists, and I are working on a full-length collaboration that has so far been both disgusting and menacing.  A split / collaboration with Scant is in its final stages, which is very desolate.  As you know, DPI has returned as an electronic trio and it has been very satisfying working on new material, which has been very dark and grimy.  Otherwise, there is future work planned that I am looking forward to when the time is right, with others that you know.
[note: Wyatt is my brother and long-time collaborator in Dead Peasant Insurance (DPI) as well as other projects.]

ARH: Wow - great stuff. We love working with you, too! You are involved in so many collaborations now, do you ever find it challenging to find time and energy for your solo stuff, or are you not that worried about it? Collaborations can open one's ear to new ideas, for sure.

 WBH: I am always running out of time and energy but always in the state of mind to plot and sketch out ideas mentally.  By the time I am able to record, I have a general map of where to go.

ARH: When and how did you get into performing? Feel free to discuss any influences and early experiences. 

WBH: I was 11 or 12 when I started going to see your bands play shows.  This was really exciting to me, teenagers putting on these hardcore shows with little to no adult supervision.  The DIY aspect of hardcore was very inspiring.  Growing up watching our father play in bands, the idea of playing in a band meant having a more professional attitude, trying to sound as good as possible and exercising talent and hard work.  Your bands sounded like shit and everyone had a bad attitude and hated each other.  I loved that. 

ARH: Ah yes, thank you--you are describing a quality and values that I'm proud to have maintained with integrity over the last twenty years.
 Since you’ve started performing, have you noticed repeating cycles in terms of style and energy of experimental music? How would you describe the current zeitgeist?
 What qualities excite you in performances of others? What takes you by surprise and keeps your interest in experimental music? 

WBH: I've definitely noticed a severe mutation in the music culture.  Things are much bigger in all ways than they were when we started, like a swelling cyst.  There are definitely parallels to what I've read about the original industrial music culture of the 1970s and the current underground electronic culture.

For me, the most important quality to music and live performance is conviction.  There are certain sounds and styles that I am attracted to: dark inhuman tones, unmusical textures.  The last performances I was startled by were Gerritt Wittmer and Shrive, and I couldn't tell you why honestly...  Generally speaking I am more excited by sets with no visual stimulus and don't like to watch people work.  I can appreciate all aspects of music when done well, but for me to take it seriously, rhythm and melody generally can fuck off.

ARH: Does language factor in your creative process?

WBH: It has more in the past.  I used to come up with a title and work around what I could do thematically with it.  Lately titles are more of an afterthought and hassle for me, because I have been moving in a more abstract and inhuman direction and am less language oriented than I used to be.  But techniques are always changing.

ARH: Do you feel performing is a mystical act and/or ritual? How would you describe the performing process in terms of mental, physical and emotional transformation?

WBH: Performance is generally confined to 'binge and purge' for me.  For example, I'll take in a bunch of other people's horseshit all day at work and then vomit it out through the p.a. system.  I generally play better if I'm in a rotten mood.  I don't have any rituals at the moment.  Sometimes I reflect on bad memories until I reach a high level of anxiety, but sometimes that’s not necessary. 

ARH: What do you think the future holds for you as an individual artist and experimental music generally? What is the relationship between local and global experimental music now?

WBH: The future of experimental music is looking pretty bad-ass.  Even if everyone involved decided to quit tomorrow, there are still way more albums then anyone could ever listen to in a lifetime, so fuck it.  And if that's not enough, make some more.  As for the relationship between local and global, at the moment there is one major setback, and that is the decline of the postal system, which is hurting the cassette culture that most of us have a fetish for.  Physical media and folk art are being pushed away, which to a degree is something that we'll have to adapt to.  On the other hand, the internet has opened the door wide open for people to travel and book tours easily as well as easily communicate with like minded people so the connections are getting tighter. 



Wyatt Howland: Skin Graft / SKSK / DPI / COPS / GLORIA / Blackfire / Jerk / Flagellants / The Family Chapter / The Nevari Butchers / Public Execution / DLX OTHRR / Apartment 213 / D.B. / Jesus Kills/Imbibers/Antichrist/Deadclub/ Stark Tech / Witchgraft / Plague Skin/Skin Plague / Cardiac Arrest / ruin / Killed in Prison / Tanked / Relentless Corpse / Black Baat / WH & Bryan Detrow / the Red Threat / 4DR / F.E. / XRAYOK / F.C.C. / Vulcan Death Trip / Shadows /  Emeralds&SG / Thee Scarcity of Tanks Undercuts Trasher Cloud / Iron Oxide / Frozen Inertia / Rasta Goat / E.E&SG/ the Hollow Trees / Skin/trade / Kyle Tremblay & WH / the Emblem of All American Rot / The Land of Buried Treasure / Rusted Tub / H.C.E. / SG&AC etc.

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