Interview by: Scribe Nathaniel
Our very own Scribe Nathaniel--the Sleeping Village's resident lover of all things abrasive and chaotic--was lucky enough to chat with the one and only Jon "Eva05" Chang. Known for his vocal chops in such groups as Gridlink, Discordance Axis, Hayaino Daisuke, and No One Knows What The Dead Think, among others, Mr. Chang has left a significant mark on the evolution of grindcore and affiliated scenes. If the spirit of grind permits the notion of legends, you're pretty much lookin' at one.
Needless to say, we slumbering scribes were quite excited by the prospect of this interview, and offer our collective thanks for A. making stellar music and B. willingly engaging in Scribe Nathaniel's interrogation. Let's get to it, shall we? Without further ado:
Scribe Nathaniel: Hello Mr. Chang, I am Scribe Nathaniel from Sleeping Village Reviews. I would like to open up with saying thank you for taking the time to answer the questions I have in store for you, I am a massive fan of you and your musical projects; they are some of the biggest musical inspirations in my life and have changed my life. Let's move onto the interview...
What got you into metal?
Jon Chang: I heard the first Kiss album in 1975. The scream at the end of Deuce and the song "Black Diamond" were the first songs I loved. I was pretty much into hard rock, metal, etc. from that point on.
SN: What got you into grindcore?
JC: Napalm Death Peel Sessions 2 was the first grind I ever heard. From there I got FETO, Scum and whatever made it’s way to the underground record shops. But grind was the fringe of the fringe, with most record stores (even places that specialized in other music) not even able to order material by bands like Satanic Malfunction, SOB, Anal Cunt, 7 Minutes of Nausea, etc.
SN: How do you feel about the astounding legacy you have left behind on the metal scene?
JC: I am not sure if I feel it was astounding lol. Very few people liked the style of music I created when we were making it. Even today, the work we created feels at odds with what audiences want(ed).
SN: How do you feel about the grindcore scene in its current state?
JC: Indifferent. I care less about identifying as extreme than I do about investment in skill, craftsmanship and personal investment in art. If anything, it feels far more trendy than ever with empty slogans and revivalist fashion being at the forefront of so called extreme music.
SN: What where the inspirations for your various musical projects?
JC: Art is the perspective we bring to our experiences as a whole. I’ve lived a pretty full life and been a part of many things I’m proud of, and other things I wish I could do differently. My work as a whole is trying to filter moments I’ve lived into snippets of expression.
If you were looking for something more literal, in the interest of foregoing a bibliography, I read a lot of books. Musically, I tend to specific bands spread across many genres.
SN: Are you happy with the success that has been garnered with No One Knows What The Dead Think?
JC: I certainly like the album. It was very a different experience from the other bands I was part of.
SN: Do you have anymore plans for music in the future?
JC: Nothing, currently on the horizon, but I came out of retirement once lol.
SN: Why did you start Black Powder Red Earth? Are you happy with its current status?
JC: 9-11 was a terrible day whose effect weighs on me more and more with every year. It’s been a difficult journey as a writer and as a person to accept what the world is like, versus what I wanted it to be.
Like many, my life changed forever that day. I went from one life to another if you will. As such, BPRE is a work that demands ongoing maturity from me as both a creator and a person learning more and more about the dark corners of the world and the people that inhabit them.
It has become my life’s work.
SN: Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?
JC: I’ll quote Miyamoto Musashi: "Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others."
SN: Any last words in general before the end of this interview?
I think you pretty much touched on everything :)
Jon Chang can be found:
Providing thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy, and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a groggy-eyed, highfalutin peasantry.
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