The Red Chord Vocalist Speaks Out
Band Photo: The Red Chord (?)
Stylusmagazine.com recently interviewed vocalist Guy Kozowyk of THE RED CHORD, including things along the lines of 'Keeping it Wolf', and his vocal techniques. A few excerpts follow:
Stylusmagazine.com: Who are your vocal influences?
Kozowyk: My biggest influence is probably Frank Mullen from Suffocation. There's what I enjoy, and then there's what's actually influenced me. I grew up around a lot of hardcore shows, and I liked the barking, yelling hardcore vocals. There was so much volume involved; you had hardcore shows that were just hollering to the back of the room, basically. It didn't matter if [the singers] had a microphone or not, you could still hear them. But I like the inhuman quality to vocalists like Frank Mullen and all these other death/grind metal vocalists. When I [came up with] my vocal style, it was death metal vocals, but with volume. Have you ever listened to the band Mortician?
Stylusmagazine.com: Only a little.
Kozowyk: You know how they have, like… I guess any death metal band in general that has the "secret passage vocal"… Do you remember in the first Zelda [video game], when you move the rock, and it goes "Whoaaarrrggghhh," the cave vocal, like "You're unleashing the cave!" "Whoaaarrrggghhh!"
Stylusmagazine.com: OK, right.
Kozowyk: Basically, "secret passage vocal." There's no volume to it, there's no emphasis, there's no oomph. To me, that's not real. You can go into a studio and you can put your hand over a mic and, you can be like, "Urrrggghhh." You can do all these burps and shit, but that doesn't have any balls to it. When a vocalist gets on the mic and doesn't need mic tricks, and can scream [his] fucking head off—to me, that's extreme, that's power. That means a lot more to me than someone being able to do sick [vocal] inhales in the studio, where it sounds like some weird animal, but then you see them live, and if they don't have the mic turned all the way up, and if they don't have their hand over the mic, then [they] can't emulate it.
Stylusmagazine.com: You've become associated with the phrase "keeping it wolf." What does that mean?
Kozowyk: Our guitar player (Gunface) actually coined the phrase "keeping it wolf." We were at some show, seeing a bunch of little guys with clothes that were way too small. And Gunface said, "Look at these people. I refuse to be, like, this ugly hermaphrodite. I’m just going to keep it wolf. I don’t shave my chest, I don’t shave my back, I’m a hairy dude, I got a beard, I have long hair, I smell bad, and I don’t care." It’s not to say that you can’t shower or shave or brush your teeth, because [otherwise] that’s just disgusting. But be fuckin’ real, be a man. There’s been such an emphasis on looking like a broad. I think it’s gross, and it’s just a phase. What the fuck are these people doing, showing up to shows with girls’ jeans that are painted on? There’s been this big resurgence of glam, with guys painting their fingernails and putting eyeliner on. Wolves don’t worry about that shit, and neither should we.
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