What more to say about the maniacal Soul Grinder? Firstly, I'd recommend giving our review of their latest treatise, entitled The Prophecy of Blight, a healthy gander. Then I'd recommend throwing said album on for a glorious spin (or three.) That should pretty much tell you all you need to know. Soul Grinder are swiftly on their way to becoming the technicolor corpsepaint'd face of heavy metal in the modern era. Let's leave it at that.
On to the gratitude! We Villagers were honored to have had the opportunity to speak with the voice of Soul Grinder herself, the one and only April "Prilzor" Dimmick. As always, we appreciate the thoughtful answers, and April, as ye shall soon witness, provides said answers in spades. Special shout-out to that MASSIVE list of bands to check out. There's some goddamn gems in there.
And so, without further ado:
We here at the Village have been spinning The Prophecy of Blight on the regular these past few weeks--and so, on behalf of we inksplattered scribes, I owe you a big congratulations on the release! Now that you've had a few days to gauge the response, what's been the most interesting reaction thusfar?
Thank you! We have spent the last couple years working on this album, so it feels great to put it out! The response to the album has been overwhelmingly positive! We want to thank everyone who’s supported the release! One of my favorite descriptions of the album so far is “you might imagine greasy, lumbering monsters stomping holes in the stage and frothing from mouths full of blood-stained teeth.”- Aris Hunter Whales (Portland Mercury). So far it’s reminded people of Metal Church, Testament, Savatage, Morbid Angel, Chastain & The Plasmatics!
Was the crowd at your show at The Lovecraft Bar appropriately attired in denim and leather? And otherwise, how did that night go down?
Most definitely, It was a sold out show! We played with Seattle speed metal band Solicitor, who absolutely killed, and with our powers combined, we evoked the heavy metal masses of Portland. Many denim and leather vests, jackets and pants appeared in the fog filled room covered in skulls, as Cthulhu lurked on us from above, literally I’m not kidding, the Lovecraft bar looks exactly like this! They even have a coffin for people to lay in. It was great to see all our friends and newcomers check out the show!
Hyperbole be damned, you're one of the more unique metal bands I've encountered. Given that your Bandcamp tags run the gamut from black metal, to thrash, to NWOTHM, how do you classify Soul Grinder in terms of genre? Or is genre labeling just nonsense anyways?
We are a heavy metal band, as we feel that generally covers all bases. All our favorite genres are thrown into our sound, so we don’t lock it down too hard, however I am partial to bone metal...
What is your process for songwriting? Is there a defined procedure at this stage in the game, or do you prefer to make it up as you go along?
So far our writing process has begun with a good bunch of riffs conjured up by Alex. Kevin has written the majority of the lyrics, so Kevin & Alex usually have a good idea about what lyrics will go to which riffs and song structure. Kevin will come up with the drums as we start to hash the new material into songs. Meanwhile, Alex taught me, bass for the band, and has continued to do so for every song. I will come in with vocal placement as the final step once the instruments have been laid out. Moving forward, we’re considering switching things up as we’re more experienced musicians now, I’m interested in the challenge of writing a song in one day!
Currently cycling between "Hunting the Prophecy" and "Blighted Land" in terms of favorite track from the new album. That said, the album is consistent top to bottom. Is there a track that stands out for you all? Beyond that, is there a track that is most representative of the direction Soul Grinder is headed next?
"Hunting the Prophecy" was one that stood out to us when all the songs were complete, which was why we decided to release it as our first music video for the album. It was the last song we came up with and came together the fastest! "Blighted Land" is pretty fun too - those two songs are the most upbeat on the album I’d say, but I really can’t say what we have in store for the future! The riff direction inspires my vocals, so we’ll see! I am personally into songs that we can bust out and sound bangin’!
Aesthetically, there's no mistaking Soul Grinder, from album art to stage presence. While appearing eclectic on a surface level, the color palette and design choices are quite solid across the board. Is this an individual effort, or does the band as a whole contribute to the design?
It’s all me! Haha! I’ve identified as an artist since I was 7 - Soul Grinder has by far been my most successful outlet for creating and producing my art, so I like to really get into visually conceptualizing and crafting the band. I love neon so much, and depending on the venue, it works to our advantage - the tattered battle standard I handmade glows when under blue LED stage lights! We’ve got fun plans for stage sets too - I’m all about that DIY lifestyle! I will say, Kevin and I both picked out all the props for our music videos so he definitely has an eye for what it is we should be doing visually, it’s nice to have a partner in grime!
As an addendum to the last question: does Prilzor's maniacal look have any particular inspirations?
Oh man, so many. I am inspired by my painted idols King Diamond, Immoral, Gorgoroth & Kiss. I really learned my sense of style from Rob Halford and Blackie Lawless. Wendy O Williams is a goddess who I admire dearly. Really it’s the 80s, haha. Probably 20 more things too! Rock & Roll sleaze ‘n grease powers my metal mania!
I've never asked about a band's logo before, but here, I'm inclined. What's the significance of the two distinct fonts?
I designed and drew our logo as well. I wanted to make the logo represent what I envisioned a Soul Grinder to be, which was a metal machine that captures life and excretes soul exhaust!
Besides yourselves, of course, what interesting things are happening in the PDX metal scene these days? What underground bands would you recommend we Sleeping Villagers check out?
Oh there’s a good heap! Idle Hands, Bewitcher, Leathurbitch, Weresquatch, Cliterati, Shrine of the Serpent, Gunk, Holy Grove, Usnea, Time Rift, Grave Dust, Witch Vomit, Cemetery Lust, Nekro Drunkz, Drouth, UADA, Oxygen Destroyer, Order of the Gash, Rotties & Silver Talon to name a few!
Thanks so much for taking the time! I'll leave the last word to you--is there anything you'd like to add?
Thank you! Check out our new album The Prophecy of Blight available at soulgrinderofficial.com! Streaming also available on Bandcamp, YouTube, Spotify & Apple Music! Now give us your souls!
P.S. Lest Skelly be forgotten, how's your manager doing these days?
He’s ok - been partying a lot lately, we’re a little worried about his health, but dammit, he’s solid to the bone!
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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