The Dead Shall Dead Remain album cover is perhaps one of the most infamous pieces of art I have ever been involved in. The idea was conceived by Sean McGrath and executed with the help of every member of Impaled. I took the photo and printed it myself back when printing photos was a thing you did before you could actually see the image. 13 years later, we re-recorded the album and I was tasked with paying homage to ourselves.
My concept was to play off the original title coined by Leon del Muerte. It made no sense other than its emphatic truthiness. Revisiting the music 13 years later, the new title, The Dead Still Dead Remain, supports the original’s conceit that dead is dead; only it’s a tad more rotten. I’ll never understand what that has to do with a toilet full of guts, but it was gross, got us a lot of attention, and it cost nearly nothing to make.
or, Strategic Harmony Interference Elimination and Lead Defense.
Guitar pickups are electro-magnetic transducers that use changing magnetic fields to induce pulses of alternating current electricity from a coil of copper wire at voltages reproducing audible sine wave frequencies in relation to an absolute ground. I think. Sometimes I prefer the definition as proposed by Messrs. Dope and J; magnets are a “miracle.” Unfortunately, the latter definition does nothing to help understand why my bass might be buzzing like a bee chainsawing an alarm clock when the FOH sound guy turns the lights on and off. There’s two ways to solve the problem. One, you can learn to play the chainsaw.
it works for that dude in Exhumed
Or two, you can shield your guitar. Truth be told, it should probably be shielded from you: throwing it around, spilling beer on it, bleeding on it… and by “you” I mean “me.” But the shielding I refer to will protect that precious guitar signal of malodorous melodies from the buzzing bullshit of the outside world.
Dennis Dread‘s Entartete Kunts book is out now and it is grand. It’s 200 full colour pages of 42 amazing underground artists and fucking cheap at $50 for a hardbound copy from Ajna Press. He recently had a speaking engagement in San Francisco at the little-known-but-super-cool Vortex Room. He asked some of the local artists included in the book to display some art from the book, which included moi, and brought some of his own collection of originals as well. And that’s why I got to hold a bad-assed Amebix sword crafted by their vocalist, Rob Miller.
Me and my lady fair showed up early and got to enjoy all the art in appropriate light as Dennis and his partner Meadow unpacked the incredible collection of Dennis’ own art as well as his originals from a myriad of underground legends. Dennis has been waging his battle for art for awhile. This night, the Bay Area got to get in on the fight.
Sean was nice enough to give me a guitar to use for demoing songs as we write a new record. It was a Halo guitar. I don’t know much about the company, but I’ve had to do some re-working in a few questionable construction issues to get this one up to snuff. One thing that sucked is the cable jack. It was the barrel style. Frankly, they’re total bullshit.
See the tines you can bend back into shape when it loses grip on a plug? No, you don’t, because they don’t exist. These things are notorious for breaking down and needing replacement. I’d had to replace one of Dan’s on the last tour we did in America. Basically, they’re longer, so I guess they’re used to avoid doing a good routing job on a guitar body. The nice people at Halo glued theirs in with wood putty, so that made replacement a non-cinch. I had to rip the fucker out.
Wow, that is something I thought I’d never see… a NEW Ampeg V-4B. While I was doing a search for something else related to my OLD V-4B, I came across the press that this month, Ampeg has re-introduced my favorite all time bass amp back into their line-up. Ain’t she a beaut!
It’s funny that they’ve recreated the V-4B, as the original was a guitar amp. They added the B when bass players started using it, changed a few caps, and ditched the reverb. As a guitar amp, it ruled, but as a bass amp, it surprisingly ruled even harder.
Impaled’s first national tour was with Nile in the year 2000. Nile controlled a bunch of oogey-boogey Egyptial style samples from a PC tower on stage. I was sure they played Tetris between songs to relax. On another tour with Origin, we thought they’d upped the D.I.Y. by burning a CD with samples on it to play through a Sony Discman, the height of technology. Then came the iPod: relatively cheap, small, and it worked pretty good. For Impaled, Jason hooked up a series of samples and would walk back to his amp to push the “forward” button. I did the same thing a few years later while touring with GWAR. I thought, “There must be a better way.” And there is. But I had to invent it.
Behold! The iSewage uNot!
Well, I didn’t actually invent shit. I did put together a bunch of other already invented shit in what I think is a pretty novel way. The iSewage uNot incorporates an iPod, a DI box, a stereo-summing circuit, and a momentary foot switch. A musician can control an iPod with his foot for use as a sampler while playing music. Apple plugged in all the technology you need to make it happen, but they forgot to include the instructions.
Or, from the Great White North to the Great Black Circle.
I’d been clamoring for some time to take another trip up North. It’d been a good god damned YEAR since we’d been there for the Revelations of Death fest back in 2012. I missed the amazing coffee. I missed the greasy spoons. I missed Fred Meyer. Ah, Fred Meyer… if God opened a Wal-Mart, it would be called Fred Meyer. But I digress. We were headed to play a show in Vancouver, British Columbia on the Friday, August 9th and the Black Circle Fest in Portland the next day.
A beaut from our own Scott Bryan
People had work, so Thursday night we loaded up the van and made a run for the border… for Poutine Bell. I really, really hate making this drive at night. The I-5 through the Oregon mountains is no joke for some sleepy headed band in a big van. I always try my damnedest to avoid night drives, let alone one on a road that has taken actual musicians’ lives.
I had gotten about half way through a really great post for this week over the last few days, but disaster struck. My Ampeg V-4B went SNAFU. I smelled something smoking at practice. I thought it was my strings from some awesome bass licks. Nope, I had a tube red plating in the back if my amp. It was about to blow. I turned everything off and had to figure this shit out. I had a show in Canada to play and no back up amp!
Over the next couple days, I checked shit out. I tested all the tube socket voltages with the tubes out, in case it was feeding my tubes too much voltage or not draining enough. This is dangerous territory here and not for the inexperienced. We’re talking leads getting 560V. That will kill you. Long story short, everything tested fine. So, WTF?