Wednesday 24 July 2013

The Fitton Inquisition w/ Plague Survivors

So, one of my absolute recommendations at the minute (and Aaron will attest to this) is a band from Massachusetts that goes by the aptly grim title of Plague Survivors. These guys play some of the most feedback drenched and frankly deeply mind polluting doom that I have ever heard, and I write for THIS place - surely that says something, right?

I was totally made up when they accepted the invite to get grilled. Their EPs have recently been collected and released in tape format by the Manchester based Dry Cough label (very cool indeed). And so here we are: Plague Survivors vs The Fitton Inquisition. I hope you enjoy meeting them. 

Questions were answered by Mike Moschetto (Bass) and Matt Willwerth (Vocals)

FI) Hey gents, thanks for answering some questions. So, how did Plague Survivors get ushered into existence?

MW: We had all attended high school together and became friends sometime after that. Prior to Plague Survivors, we were in a band called Cowboys vs. Bears. Once that dissolved, we began writing for this band.

MM: Pretty sure I just came up with the band name one day and thought "whoa, that's too sick not to use." Matt, Russo [drums] and I had talked about starting a doom/sludge project for at least a year or two anyway, and Chris [guitar] has the same affinity for unreasonable loudness that I do.

FI)  You've recorded a string of very impressive EPs. Is there any plans for a full length, or do you think shorter releases are the way to go these days? That seems to be what Down are doing right now.

MM: Thank you! We've talked back and forth about writing and recording more, potentially before the end of the year, but there are no plans set in stone at all – some of us are in other bands that demand more of our time and energy; others just work a lot. Plague Survivors activity occurs pretty much at random whenever everyone is around and in the mood...this kind of music definitely has to come from a certain place. But I think we'd like to do some sort of proper full-length, even if it's only 3 or 4 really long droney jams. EPs and singles have been our preferred output just because that's about as far as our attention spans/periods of productivity will stretch.

FI) Dry Cough has released your collected EP output on tape. How did that come about?

MW: Andrew Bankes of Dry Cough contacted us after hearing us on the web somewhere and asked us if we'd like to put some material on his label. We agreed and now we're here.

MM: I'm guessing he'd heard of us because at some point we were planning to do a split 7" with this killer Scottish band called Prelude to the Hunt. But anyway yeah, he messaged us totally out of the blue. It was awesome to find out people on the other side of the world show such enthusiasm for our band.

FI) Tape is obviously cool, but do you or Dry Cough have any plans for other formats? I'd be seriously down for some tasty Plague Survivors wax!

MM: Is it cool? That's good. I'd love to see some of our stuff on vinyl but unfortunately we're not active enough for anyone to bankroll something like that.

MW: You never know though.

MM: Yeah, we weren't even expecting anyone to do a tape for us so anything's possible.

FI) Your sound is insanely loud and heavy. Do you have any favourite kit for helping you achieve this?

MM: Ampeg V-4Bs and as many cabs as we can steal or borrow.

FI) Who would you say are your biggest influences? I often compare you to a doomier Eyehategod.

MM: That's very kind! Mainly I think the Sunn O))) family of bands are pretty important to me and Chris – specifically Khanate and Burning Witch. But yeah, Eyehategod, Grief, Noothgrush, all the really seminal doom acts have shaped the sound a lot. Lately I know Chris has been really into Urgehal, Ravencult, Insect Warfare and Wormrot...I've been jamming OM and Eagle Twin almost nonstop. And ELDER is the band that got me into stoner/doom so I would be remiss in not mentioning them.

FI) Do you guys only play local area shows, or do you ever get to venture out on tour at all?

MW: We rarely play shows and never tour, but we'd like to play more shows.

MM: If in a year we only play shows on Halloween and 4/20, we've met our quota.

FI) What is the doom scene like in your neck of the woods? Do you get some good show lineups to jump onto?

MM: Most of us come from hardcore bands, so on the rare occasion that we gig, we're either the odd band out or it's just a wacky mixed-genre bill.

MW: There really isnt a scene for our type of music in particular, but for aggressive and abrasive music as a whole.

MM: There are some really great bands around here for sure. Vattnet Viskar, Lunglust, VYGR, KYOTY, Astronomer, Olde Growth, Deathdealer., etc.

FI) My favourite track of yours is 'Foul Voice', that shit is KILLER. Does that song have a meaning or influence behind it at all, or were you just aiming for mind-bending heaviness?

MW: Lyrically the song draws from one of the most classic conflict archetypes of "man vs. self." I was constantly fighting myself on every decision I had to make and the people I was hanging out with were only adding to my misery.

MM: "Foul Voice" is the second song we ever wrote, and musically I think it's kind of a response to the first tune ("Grim Note") because we found that didn't really want to take such a stonery, riffy direction so we just went for brutish stomp - real caveman shit - and apparently it worked.

FI) I've been saving final space for shout outs - do you have anything you would like to say or promote at all?

MM: I guess we should insist that you buy our cassette from Dry Cough Records. Not for our sake, certainly. For Andy's. The man has two human children and he still sank his own hard-earned money into making tapes of our music. If you don't buy them he'll probably have to sell his children for medical experiments or something.

As ever, show your support to the band by checking them out at the various links.  Thanks to Mike and Matt for doing the interview.  If you haven't check out these guys yet, head over to their bandcamp page or Dry Cough bandcamp.  You can pick up their discography cassette here.