If you have been reading the spotlight posts, you may have noticed my love for skate punk, thrash and death metal are fairly pronounced with very deep and experienced roots. Over the years, I have seen all of the those genres get faster and more technical is what has seemed like a yearly fashion and I have always been onboard for it. A few years ago, I began working on my own punk/metal hybrid and I wanted to share the journey I suppose. Not trying to promote anything, just figured I would share a few words.
I have been thinking about blast beats in punk rock for years. I tried it in a band with my little brother that I was drumming with in my early 20s but given my half assed blasts at the time, it didn’t pan out and I opted to go back to just playing the punk rock beat at 220-240bpm instead. I love the skate punk beat and I also have a long-term relationship with the blast beat so why not?
Since the late 90s, I have searched and searched for any evidence of a band using blasts and metal drumming with skate punk or melodic hardcore to no avail. To this day, I think I still search for such a band almost weekly. In all of my searching I have only turned up a few snippets of it. Bands would toss in little blips of double kick but blasting never showed up.
There was a drummer from Quebec named Nick Poissant. I don’t know if he is still drumming or not, his last release was in 2008 with a metal band but in the 90s he played with a band called Subb and another called Twenty2. His drumming was very out of place for the ska-punk direction of Subb but if you listen to Subb’s album “High step to hell”, you can hear the added intensity of a metal drummer in the mix. When he played in Twenty2, the ska wasn’t in the way anymore so he let loose a little more which can be heard at the start of the song “Winter sucks” on their 1998 EP of the same name or really on any of Twenty2’s early stuff.
I have played in several metal influenced punk bands over the years so I have always tried to find the fastest and most technical punk I could. I wanted to know where the bar was set so I could get new inspiration. Strung Out, Lagwagon, Propagandhi, Choke, Layaway Plan, Lifetime, I Farm, Smackin Isaiah / A Wilhelm Scream, High Five Drive, Belvedere, USEED, Good Riddance, Downshift, This Is A Standoff and many others always pushed the boundaries of what I thought punk rock was but yet the bar just kept getting set higher and higher. Years ago some friends and I were watching the Belvedere drummer from the side of the stage and he was nearly blasting. At that time, I thought it was only months before someone somewhere would start doing it but it never got there.
One day in 2015, I decided to try this whole thing out so I started with two covers. A punk song I could metal up and a metal song I could punk up. Once I’d established some guidelines, I went to work writing the first album “Camp nightmare”. I had to call it something and the first thing that came to mind was blast-punk. I thought of other ideas for names but they all sounded phenomenally stupid so I guess blast-punk just kind of stuck. It took some experimentation but basically I just wrote songs that blended metal and punk techniques that I was fond of. Like any experimentation however, there were failures and many deleted ideas.
I have been sitting on the album for a couple years but I guess I just thought that demos would be a fun way to get the stuff out there to breathe and if people like it, cool, if they don’t, oh well. I also wanted to get it out there to see if maybe there are other bands or at home one-man-bands doing this kind of stuff. I sat on it for a long time because I just couldn’t decide what I wanted to do vocal wise. I also didn’t feel like I had the production skills to get it done as well as I would have liked so I spent a lot of time bettering my production techniques. Some stuff, I am ok putting out there less than polished but this album was something I wanted to sound really good.
For guitar tones, I was trying to chase and blend a couple different tones. I was trying to get that nice compressed Strung Out rhythm tone while going for a Necrophagist type lead tone. For the product demo mixes, I went for the best tone for the mix that I could get from the products I was using but on the final product, I am hoping to nail the original goal. I apply chorus to subtly to the rhythm guitars and I have been running a buss with a saturation or compression type plugin on it.
I reached out to Ben Wilshire to handle the leads and he came through in a huge way. Unfortunately, due to a computer issue, I lost all of the solos so we are in the process of redoing those. Ben brings an aspect to the sound that I really needed which is shred. He absolutely blows the roof off in all of the originals and he’s a gem to work with. Check out Ben’s work HERE and visit his social media!
6 originals and two covers will be up on the HASR soundcloud and YouTube in instrumental form as product demos sometime this month. Each song will feature a variety of the best free and paid products on the market as well as some new ones. These will all be fully mixed rather than raw or scaled down processing and such. I never really use that much processing anyways but there will be more to these demos than our usual template. Complete signal chains for guitar and bass will be available.
The project is called Bryzgalov, the album is “Camp Nightmare” and when the album comes out, it will be available free everywhere and likely on Spotify. Don’t worry, I won’t be posting about my own music every five minutes because that’s annoying but if you are interested or have questions about any of the material, please do feel free to email us.
Cheers to really fast punk everyone!
STEP #1 – Lagwagon – “Wind in your sails”
SONG #2 – At The Gates – “Blinded by fear”