Night Goat deal in a brand of aggressive music that shakes this Village's walls on regrettably infrequent occasion. Chaotic. Scuzzy. Fuzzy. Filled to the brim with hot-tempered vitriol. This is noise rock as it should be, and on their debut Milk, released in December of last year, these Ohioans delivered a righteous riot. I regretted not reviewing the thing then, so here is some vague recompense for my oversight.
Needless to say, this scribe was quite excited to chat with the outfit in question. Our eternal thanks to Night Goat for A. being the cool people they are, and B. willingly subjecting themselves to our interrogation.
Let's get to it, shall we?
Sleeping Village: Firstly, thanks for stopping by the Village! Do you put hard work into being fuckin' kickass, or does it come naturally?
Night Goat: We work pretty hard at it, lol. We listen to a lot of music and are definitely music fans first. I think that bleeds over into what we write. Just that love of everything that kicks major ass.
SV: To someone who has never encountered Night Goat, how would you describe your sound and aesthetic?
NG: Pure, raw, and beautiful rage.
SV: Now that Milk has been floating in the sea of public opinion for some time, have there been any reactions that stand out or surprise you?
NG: We are just thrilled by the great responses that we have received. I don't think a lot of people know what to think of us because we are toying with multiple genres of music. I think they get that it's violent and passionate though, and that's what is most important to us.
SV: Julia’s maniacal vocal delivery is a particularly unique aspect of your sound. Was there any deliberate process that led to its current iteration, or was it obvious from the start that this is how the vocals would sound?
NG: Well, we knew that we wanted them to sound completely unhinged on this album, so we experimented heavily in the studio with different ideas to make that happen. Julia is pretty ferocious live so we wanted that to come across as well. The vocal delivery is definitely our signature though.
SV: Do you consider Night Goat’s sound to be strictly in the vein of early 90’s noise rock staples such as Helmet, The Jesus Lizard, etc., or are you significantly influenced by other moments in music history? (And, for that matter, do Helmet and The Jesus Lizard sincerely serve as inspirations, or is that just PR trickery?)
NG: Ha! Yes, that is all true. We absolutely love 90s AmRep and TouchnGo stuff! Unsane, The Jesus Lizard, Helmet, Babes in Toyland, those are certainly huge inspirations to us. We also tend to delve into darker themes though, and that might be the biggest difference from those bands and us. We have a major love for weird death rock stuff like Samhain, 45 Grave, The Birthday Party, and Burning Image too.
SV: Speaking of inspirations...rumor has it that album closer “The Greys” is inspired by a certain extraterrestrial-fixated History Channel show. What other non-musical influences wormed their way into the creation of Milk?
NG: Yes, that is very true. We love that show Ancient Aliens, lol. Other ideas that we used for inspiration from popular culture would be Stephen King books, horror movies, myths and legends...we're weirdos. Ha!
SV: If you had to choose one and discard the rest: Samhain, Danzig, or Misfits?
NG: OMG this is hard. We are huge dorky fans of everything Danzig related.... ugh... gotta keep Samhain, they were the greatest! Misfits are legendary. I guess we would have to get rid of Danzig... especially since a bunch of the first album was all Samhain material. Damn that's a tough one!
SV: Is Disintegration truly The Cure’s greatest album?
NG: DEFINITELY. Although I think there are amazing songs from every Cure album, Disintegration just seems magical. Cohesive and absolutely otherworldly. It's a gorgeous, depressing album.
SV: You seem, at least in part, to exude a Melvin-esque brand of chaos. The Melvins exist in a strange predicament where several of their albums are regarded as absolute classics, but the majority of their discography isn’t usually considered required listening. Is this a fair assessment, or is the world overlooking something?
NG: I think this is fair. Sometimes they seem to just be fucking around or experimenting. I dig that shit too though. Like, The Butthole Surfers... some of that is just farting around, but it's still better than most people farting around. When The Melvins are on though, they are unstoppable. I think Ozma is one of the greatest records ever made. Plus, live they just KILL.
SV: What (other) Ohioan bands should we be keeping our eyes on?
NG: Definitely our buddies Ghost:Hello. They are like a stoner rock Devo. Just so good and they are touring a lot so keep your eyes out for them in your town. Enhailer are just insanely good too. Northeast Ohio is a hotbed of great heavy music right now. Other Ohio bands we love are Supercorrupter, Wallcreeper, Pillars, Lake Lake, We the Creature, Axioma, Dump Cake, Stillborn Prodigy, Mr Phylzzz, Fermentation, Goosed, Persistent Aggressor... the list is huge.
SV: What’s next on the docket for Night Goat?
NG: We are planning to do as much touring regionally and East coast stuff as we can afford to. Started working on songs for a new album and have a killer split release coming out with our friends Ghost:Hello at some point in the very near future. Our 3 songs are based upon a true encounter with a cult while growing up in rural Ohio. Spooky stuff.
SV: Thank you again for taking the time! I'd like to give you the ol' last word--is there anything you'd like to add?
NG: Thank you so much! We are thrilled that people have been finding common ground in our music. Please come to a show and say hi to us!
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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