Interview with the Devil – Stockhausen (Dischordia)
Greetings, motherflushers, and welcome to a new column called Interview with the Devil. We love our little community, so we wanted to take an opportunity to shine the spotlight on some our awesome members. Today, I’m interviewing our dear old dead composer friend Stockhausen from the band Dischordia.
How long have you played in Dischordia? What do you play?
I joined Dischordia as the vocalist a little over 4 years ago, and at that point we were a four-piece. After about a year, our bassist had to step down, and I took over bass duties along with vocals. We’ve been a three-piece ever since, and we like the dynamic.
What are your chief artistic influences (books, movies, music, etc.)?
We’re always in a “programmatic” mindset while brainstorming material, meaning we love thinking about a story or idea that can really shape the feel of a song. The song “Madhouse” is based on House of Leaves, a mind-bender of a book by Mark Danielewski. “Zone of Perpetual Darkness” is a narrative following a man who woke up and found himself in a post-apocalyptic/zombie nightmare, and “When She Saw Him…” is the beginning of a long original story arc that we’re still figuring out ourselves. Even our name, Dischordia, is partially influenced by The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. We’re all active readers, Josh Fallin (our drummer) is really into movies off the beaten path, and I think we all have enough diverse personal interests that it’s creating a huge mess of stuff we want to eventually put in musical form. Every now and then we’ll be talking and someone says, “Oh yeah, I have another idea for a concept album,” and we have to toss it in the sea of other ideas floating around in our heads.
What’s the most ridiculous concept album idea you have?
There’s one where we would make up a composer and give him a backstory, and then have an album called “Selected Works From (whatever we name him), as performed by Dischordia.” We have a rough idea of some more fun details that I won’t give away, and the whole thing would have a very “meta” feel to it. Stylistically it would be a really hard album to write convincingly.
What do you like to do for fun while touring?
We love getting to try all the craft beers that are unique to certain areas. Our home state of Oklahoma has some great beer, but there are a lot of powerhouse breweries that don’t ship there. We actually have a video series that’s still in progress where we went to well-respected craft beer bars and talked about our selections. You can check it out on our YouTube channel, (www.youtube.com/dischordiaofficial). Other than that, we enjoy smelling horrible and burping.
How would you like your band’s sound to develop for future releases?
Like I said, we constantly have extra-musical ideas that we can see songs and albums being built around, and I think that’s going to push us in a much more progressive direction. We have ideas in the works that’ll require longer and bigger songs, interesting instrumentation, and fun textures. That being said, the other two guys have been playing and writing together long before I was around, and they have a back-catalogue of songs that goes back seven or eight years. Some of those really fit the direction we’ll be going, so it’s going to be a really cool mix of older material and new ideas.
Any unique instruments you’d like to incorporate in future releases?
The drummer and I both went to school for music, both as percussion majors. We’ve been talking for a while about incorporating extensive percussion setups; my music room at home is overflowing with odds and ends that would combine for some really interesting sounds. Our drummer also plays piano, and he recently got a keyboard that he’ll have next to his kit to play at certain times.
What is your biggest irrational fear?
“Carnies. Circus folk. Nomads, you know. Smell like cabbage. Small hands.”
Who produced your album? How was that process for you?
We worked with a friend of ours who runs Artisan Studios, a great place in Oklahoma City. We then sent it out to be mixed by Josh Newell and mastered by Dan Certa. Everyone was really great to work with, but the process itself was a mess. We had about 10 versions of a plan that all fell through, and by the time we were actually in the studio, our personal schedules were so insane that we hadn’t played a significant portion of the album together as a band before recording. We love every song on the album, but we let too many opinions creep into what we wanted our sound to be, and the end product wasn’t what we originally intended. We learned a lot from the experience, and our next studio effort will definitely be different.
What equipment do you use?
I have an Ibanez SR-505 bass, an Ampeg B2-RE head, and an Ampeg HLF-410 cab. A big part of my sound also comes from my MXR M-80 pedal. For vocals, I prefer a gross, dented, rusty microphone provided by the venue. Preferably one that smells like beer and vomit.
Do you ever bite down on the microphone like the singer from Hemlock?
Haha, no I do not. I’ve seen some nasty microphones, and putting my mouth near it is bad enough. Every now and then I step back to the mic a little too harshly and bang my teeth on it, maybe that’ll be my signature move.
Do you have other employment aside from being a musician? If so, what do you do?
I do have other employment, but pretty much everything I do involves being a musician. I’m a percussion director/assistant band director for a high school and middle school in a nearby district, and I also teach a lot of private lessons in percussion. The other Josh works at Guitar Center and teaches a ton of lessons, and Keeno is a counseling psychologist. I think we added it up one time, and there are seven college degrees between the three of us.
Is there one metal artist that people have to listen to?
Excellent/terrible question. My opinion on that is going to change pretty much every week, but I’m going to give two answers: answer number one is Between the Buried and Me. They write deeply layered music that operates on so many levels that you’ll always find something new to latch on to. My second answer is any artist/band that pushes your listening boundaries. Thanks to articles and discussion on the mighty Toilet ov Hell, I’ve found so many incredible bands that have reshaped how I think about metal, and it’s been very rewarding.
Is there one non-metal artist that people have to listen to?
Tom Waits. If you’re not listening to Tom Waits right now, re-evaluate your existence as a human being.
Thanks, man. Any last thoughts on the life of a musician?
Always expand your horizons, otherwise it’ll just be a job.
In case you haven’t checked it out yet, Dischordia’s latest album, Project 19 is available for just five bones on bandcamp. This album is a pummeling death metal tour-de-force, replete with cool progressive passages, brutal vocals, and unique riffs. I especially enjoy the heavy-as-Cthulhu’s-tentacles riffs (I promise that won’t become a thing) on Torches and the Grand Design. There are a lot of great tracks, and the whole album will keep your attention throughout. So give this Oklahoma City power trio a try. If you dig Mariana-trench deep tone and progressive sensibilities, you shan’t be disappointed.