Published on February 12th, 2015 | by The Beige Baron0
Interview: Jason PC from Blood Duster
Melbourne’s Blood Duster have spent almost 20 years perfecting the art of being offensive. My wife actually threatened to divorce me if she ever saw the cover of the band’s Yeest EP again when flipping through the CD rack.
Metal has always been about getting a reaction–whether it be from a cover featuring the grotesque, half-eaten-away face of a victim of a horrific flesh-eating disease, or a Viet Cong woman with a gun rammed into her temple (that one actually won an award), a dude getting his johnson cut off by a naked lady, or a disemboweled skeleton performing fellatio on another disemboweled skeleton–but what makes The Duster so great is they lace their offensiveness with a good dose of subversive humor. You get a sense the band knows just how ridiculous metal–and the whole music industry machine–is, and their bad taste (thanks Peter Jackson) is a celebration of it.
The thing is, Blood Duster don’t give a shit what you, or me, or anyone think about them. It just does not matter to them. The band even recently destroyed the only master copy of an album they spent weeks recording, just for the hell of it.
It’s purely about the music, and the simple pleasure of offending people who are too stupid to realize they’re victims of an elaborate troll 20 years in the execution.
At a typical gig, Blood Duster frontman Tone Bone will swagger onto the stage covered in fake blood, draped in pimp jewelry, and wearing a Tupac bandana and sunglasses. Totally contemptuous. “Fucking fans,” he jeers between 30-second bouts of thrashing mayhem, spitting his plastic cup of beer back into the crowd. “Cunts.” And they are delighted if a few drops land on them, and don’t wash for days afterwards.
It’s kind of a uniquely Australian thing–following in the tradition of bands such as Mr Floppy and T.I.S.M. (for which a petition is currently underway for them to reform and represent Australia in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest). Down Under, you’re allowed to be good, but only if you don’t think you are or act like you are.
Blood Duster are good. In fact, they are the best. The band has released album after album of sick grindcore and death metal, and show every indication of putting out a few more before they’re done (even though they just fired their most recent guitarist for the crime of listening to Anthrax).
I like Blood Duster because they rock hard, they make you laugh, and they make you feel guilty for laughing, angry at them for making you feel guilty, and finally you sink into a deep depression where you question your own ethics and morality and end up jumping in front of the No. 97 tram bound for Fitzroy.
I spoke to bassist and primary songwriter Jason P.C. to find out what’s happening with the band since the lineup change.
BNU: You’re looking pretty buff these days, man. Have you been pumping irons, or is it a midlife crisis?
Who? You must be looking at the wrong photos, or we could be doing that Monster Magnet thing where all the press stuff we send out is from the early ’90s and ignores the fact that Wyndorf just got real big. We as a collective band have increased in girth. I think it suits us. And by that I mean we are too lazy to diet, so we have accepted it.
Blood Duster has been an Australian icon for 20 years. If you had free reign to design and erect some kind of monument to the band in the style of the Big Banana, Big Prawn, etc., what would it be?
A big penis just seems too obvious an answer, so maybe a big ball bag? Just a huge sac spilling out across a disused car park. Something that would take a little while to register what it was. The ball pubes could be rough wires hanging out kinda randomly with imminent threat of an eye poking.
A huge influence, I mean you gotta know what NOT to do right? I actually don’t hate his playing that much, great rhythm hand and all that shit. But he’s just a dick. So into keeping up with metal fashion it makes me sick. Also I’ve heard a lot of first-hand stories that he’s a dick. So yeah, fuck him. If I could have two first names they would both be Nick. Because if it was said fast, it would sound kinda like someone is trying to sell you a necklace on a Thai beach. Everyone loves a holiday.
How many minutes of studio time has Spotify paid for so far, and do you use this service?
None, zilch. And yes, I am an ardent subscriber.
You get exactly what you pay for, or more importantly, what you deserve and need.
Recently I saw a picture of a couple going at it hammer and tongs on stage during a concert, it might have been the Dead Kennedys. You’ve been known to play naked when it takes your fancy. With a clear bass. When are you going to step up your game?
I don’t get nude anymore, it’s been done to death. When standing in front of a couple of hundred people covered in fake blood drunk out of your mind fails to move you in any way, it’s time to think of doing something else to amuse yourself. That’s what I always say.
If you got a chance to play at the ARIAs, who would you punch first, and whose hand would you seek out to shake in congratulations?
I wouldn’t punch anyone, I’m an non-violent conscientious objector to the ARIAs. I would probably wish that Kanye was there. I love that guy at an awards show.
A source at your last Sydney show claimed your set was only 30 minutes (although he said it was “quality”). Why are you shortchanging punters?
We ain’t, that’s what we do. You don’t buy soap powder and want it to grease an axle. You get exactly what you pay for, or more importantly, what you deserve and need.
Your recent SVCK EP [check your local inTunes] is sick. It’s awesome. How was that one to make? Like, say, in comparison to Str8 Outta Northcote, which in my opinion the best, most uniquely Australian metal album ever recorded. And when you catch the next member playing a Scott Ian solo album, can we bring Fin back?
Fin wont ever be back, he’s moved on to other things. The EP was part of the album, that was hard to make but easy to destroy. I wish all albums worked the same way.
What is your opinion of the ’90s band Budd, and why didn’t it work out for them? Similarly, why didn’t you continue with Dern Rutlidge? I fucking loved that band. Why, God, why?
Craig Westwood is a self-saboteur, he gets a band going well and then destroys it. I’m almost positive it’s not deliberate, but he gets in this mindspace that he can’t get out of. I’ve seen it so many times now it’s frustrating, but at the same time I like it. It’s funny. Christbait were my favorite band but they just blew it. Dern same thing…
Budd were good for a few minutes in the early ’90s fer sure.
What makes you keep going with Blood Duster? I mean by now everyone has been shocked and appalled by your distasteful lyrics and on-stage antics. Your catalogue is a how-to guide of grindcore metal riff and drum. Don’t you just want to recline on a sofa of cash and spend hours reflecting on your band’s greatness?
I do reflect on it quite a bit, I just wish others reflected just as much… and by reflect I mean choose to buy/download everything we have done ever all the time. Really, we could retire if only every person who ever bought one of our albums decided to spend a week or two buying the stuff over and over again on iTunes as fast as they could type in their credit card numbers. Is that too much to ask of people? Two measly weeks from everyone and we would be sweet.
You work in a recording studio [Goat Sound Studios] to supplement the cash sofa. What advice would you give to bands on how to annoy you less?
Rehearse the shit you are going to record, I can’t do that for you. It makes soooo much difference.
What are the best three underrated bands in Australia today?
How the fuck do you come up with the music? Does it come to you in a dream like Keith Richards, and you sing it into a dictaphone on the nightstand?
I’m just lucky I guess.
What’s coming up for you guys?
Trying to avoid doing band-related things by distracting ourselves by blowing prescription medicines up each others butts and avoiding lengthy discussions about Scott Ian.
Keep up to date with Blood Duster via their Facebook page.