Suffering Luna have been drifting in and out of the realms of existence for the best part of two decades, putting a fairly unique and twisted vibe into the sound of hardcore. Their new record ‘Blood Filled Bong’ which appeared earlier in April emphasised the bands attitude to the world around them. It’s safe to say they don’t like a lot of what they see! Zero Tolerance caught up with the guys behind the madness to talk album concepts, not for profit labels and radical politics, to see what exactly makes them tick.
ZT: Hardcore and psychedelia are two genres that some would never even consider marrying together, what were your influences?
Fivel (bass):Dude there is so much to put here. From the top of my head, trying to survive in this society, brushing close to near death experiences, living with good and bad influences from friends just to learn from all the mistakes and accomplishments. Thank goodness I grew up listening to bands like Man Is The Bastard, Gasp, Plutocracy, Su19b, Rudimentary Peni, Jenny Piccolo, Sabbath, or I would have lost my mind ……. that list will go on and on.
Sean (guitar):My mom says it’s ’cause she listened to too much Hendrix while she was pregnant with me. Nah, really it started for me with just getting high and making noises with my guitar pedals that made the high better. I used to organize these after hours parties we called “disappearings ” where my dealer friends would bring nitrous tanks, weed, and psychedelics and musician friends would bring by oscillators or just lean their guitars against their amps and just feedback for hours at a time while everyone got so faded they’d pass out to the sounds and then wake up the next day when the sun came up. But at the same time I was also always a straight-ahead guitarist in hardcore bands and you can’t really play hardcore like that, so later it was about trying to capture those kind of moments without the pharmaceutical chemistry, or going back and forth between sobriety and being fucked up while composing, recording, mixing, so that the music still hits just right when you’re loaded. To me that’s what psychedelic means. It has nothing to do with hippies and paisley and shit, it’s about trying to merge art and drugs.
Patrick (drums):I think whether it’s psychedelic, deconstructionist, minimalism, experimental, noise or some other type of juxtaposing musical influence, the core idealism of challenging a belief system, protesting, or questioning what is acceptable, is my view a way in which all these components are the same and speak with the same voice. All things being equal (musically), silence goes a long way towards achieving this goal just as much as a discordant, ear piercing sound. For me the vocabulary is the same.
ZT: Your new record ‘Blood Filled Bong’ was released earlier this month, what inspired you to come up with the concept of… and I quote…“A conceptual journey through six visions conjured by the satanic ritual of smoking from a bong filled with the blood of freshly murdered demons. Visions alternate between megalomania and paranoia, meeting angels and killing cops as the bong reveals each vision in turn.?”
Patrick: What’s not to like with barbarianism, the occult, paranoia and the apocalypse?
Sean: I don’t remember exactly what we were talking about when the idea came up. Messee and I used to get fucked up at my place and just bounce stupid ideas off each other and every now and then I’d write down something I thought was worth remembering. One morning I just woke up and found “blood filled bong” written on a piece of paper in front of my computer. From there we all just wrote shit we were tripping on and put it together. The lyrics for that one were a group effort, it wasn’t like one of us wrote all of it. Then once we had a bunch of pieces, it became about just trying to make it more and more fucked up, more evil, and trying to find a thread to pull it all together. Being from Los Angeles and being, like, products of the ’92 riots here, we kept talking about how Ice T pissed off the cops so bad back then and how we wanted to do something like that. So the intro was kinda inspired by the skits that Ice T’s band Body Count used to put on their record. But we also wanted to add some realism. All the people we kill are real people that we think we could actually get to. Fucked up people with a certain amount of power in their own way, but not people with bodyguards and shit. Like, the demon I kill for my part is the local school board president. I know where she lives, so it doesn’t seem too far fetched to me that I could snatch her out her pad and kill her.
Messee (vocals):We began recording Blood Filled Bong at Mitch from Gasp’s pad. It started as “Bleeding Lungs” but we said, “Fuck that, let’s make it Blood Filled Bong. Sever the throat of the po-po and fill this fucking bong with their fucking life!”
ZT: The album appears to have some pretty clear political/ environmental messages, to clarify, what would you say your views on the current political and environmental climate are?
Sean: I don’t want to speak for everybody, but I’m both a revolutionary anarchist and a community organizer. My politics are about bringing those two things together. Like I was saying, I’m a product of the LA Riots and my revolutionary beliefs are born out of that. They’re all about “no justice, no peace.” I wouldn’t think twice about burning down a fucking building or sniping a cop if it made things right. But at the same time, I believe none of that shit gets us anywhere unless the majority of oppressed people are all down to tear this shit to pieces and put in the hard work it would take to put it back together better than before. The thing is, you can’t have real change without being down for both those things: revolution and community building. It’s also got to be “know justice, know peace.” As for the current situation, those things are as far away now as they ever have been. But I have hope. To paraphrase Cornell West, fuck optimism but you gotta have hope. So in the meantime I work with young people and with gang trucers and that keeps me hopeful. Free Alex Sanchez, free Ryan Amuck!
Fivel: I’ll throw this out there: start loving your brothers and sisters more each day. We are bombarded with negative sorcery & sigils in our everyday TV shows & pop music (Disney etc etc etc) and be aware of the monarch programming. The puppet masters plan and work in decades. The worst trick they are pulling is feeding people with nutritionless food and having them starve to death. Fuck fluoride & bottled water. And read Zecharia Sitchin books.
Patrick: Stupidity is not an endearing trait, but either we seem not to care or blissfully live in the confines of our own little world. “The few controlling the many” has never been more true, yet I still believe in the power of a single voice, movement, or event to change the course of history. The concept of self preservation feels a little bit absurd when forces larger that yourself seem to be working very hard at making you as inconsequential as possible, and at the same time killing the planet. Maybe when we’re gone a new life form will emerge that will not worship false gods, follow false prophets, and want to kill itself so readily. Come on people, wake up.
ZT: ‘Blood Filled Bong’ was released via the internet, what’s your stance on the state of the music industry? And do you think that more attention needs to be paid to not for profit labels such as Grindcore Karaoke?
Sean: I agree with Immortal Technique, “burn it off the internet and bump it outside.” I’ve been waiting to see punk kill the record industry my whole life and I feel like we, meaning internet pirates in general, have pretty much made it happen. I mean the money was all going to a bunch of parasite lawyers, businessmen, and advertising executives anyways while musicians couldn’t even go to the doctor ’cause they couldn’t afford health insurance unless their records “recouped.” Fuck all that! We thought about making the Blood Filled Bong cassette one sided as a tribute to the Dead Kennedys tape that had one side that said, “Home taping is killing record industry profits! We left this side blank so you can help.” So yeah, fuck the music industry. I’m glad it’s dead. As for paying attention to not for profit labels like Grindcore Karaoke, fuck yeah! That shit’s the future. There’s a college radio station out here that uses the phrase “handpicked music” ’cause they let their DJs pick whatever music they want to play. I love that phrase, it’s so human and organic to compare music to farming. Record labels should be about “handpicked music.” They should be based on the best aspects of farming and DJing, not on capitalism. Jay Randall does exactly that with Grindcore Karaoke. There’s no money involved, just bringing together like minded people.
Fivel: I can see if you’re a music collector that needs it in your hands to enjoy, To Live A Lie records made 100 cassette tapes to nerd out on, but if your not by all means get it from Grindcore Karaoke and download it. Sharing is caring my friend.
ZT: Finally is there any chance of you guys coming over to the UK any time soon?
Messee: It would be nice to smash on duh UK.
Dustin (electronics):That’s gonna have to be at least six months as I’m kinda broke right now and lost my passport.
Fivel: That would be so radical if we get the chance go tour the UK or any other place in Europe. My passport is valid. One day I hope we could pull that shit off.
Sean: If anyone wants to put up the funds to bring us out, I’ll definitely give Dustin a ride to the federal building to get a passport .
Patrick: Time and money. Those are the only limitations…
You can read the review of ‘Blood Filled Bong’ here.
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this article are not necessarily representative of those of Zero Tolerance Magazine or its parent or affiliated companies. The contents of this article and any attachments are confidential and copying / distributing or otherwise disseminating this article without prior consent is strictly prohibited. Thank you.
Thanks for dropping in!
If you’re here maybe you should think of adding Zero Tolerance Magazine to your arsenal of regular reading? We offer a 3-issue trial subscription to whet your appetite. http://store.ztmag.com