Interview With Bess Of Liquid Violence
New York's LIQUID VIOLENCE are working on their new album on Rut Records and plan to keep it heavy and straight ahead with their unmistakeable rockin out the walls of a joint sound. With clearly a great live reputation that far proceeds them, this is one of those recent band discoveries for me where I must fully confess makes me feel rather guilty for now just jumping on the bandwagon. But that's not this issue. Music is always about new discovery and it's clear to see that this band has been paying its dues for quite some time now and slowly but surely have begun to develop a strong fanbase of alcohol chugging, rip the beer bottle cap off with your teeth type of following. And that's not to say that these guys aren't talented musicians in their own right and can't draw the more musically educated fan. They can bring it with the best of them around when they need to. All one has to do is hear what they're about and make their own mind up. I got some Q&A in with their drummer, Bess.
Rocket: When did you start playing drums, brother? And did you ever take any lessons?
Bess: About 83'/84' when I got really started. At first my parents got me started with this old guy on a parctice pad - all rudiments. Wasn't my thing so a few years later when I scored my Ludwigs in 85' I took lessons from Dave Suchora -still good friends today. He had me on a kit working out Bonham and Van Halen licks.
Rocket: Awesome. That's a helluva teacher! Who are some of your biggest playing influences? Past or present?
Bess: Well, I must say Bonham obviously. But I liked any music in general - anything I could jam to or whatever my friends at the time were playing. Kiss, Van Halen, Priest, Maiden, Sabbath, Skynard, Metallica, AC/DC, Deep Purple, Rush. Party music.
Rocket: Right on. The good shit. Can you please give us the specs on your drum kit?
Bess: Usually live a 5pc. Ludwig 16x24 Kick, 12x13 rack, 16x16 + 16x18 floor with mapex 5.5x13 snare. For cymbals a mix of Paiste and Wuhan. 13" and 14" HiHats 12",14", 16",18",19" crash. 21" Ride (2) 20" china type.
Rocket: There's obviously quite a bit of punk influence in the brand of metal music being delivered by Liquid Violence, right? Who are some of you favorites?
Bess: Punk bands or influences? Well, I like The Clash, Subhumans, Ramones, Green Day, Social Distortion, Nofx, Bad Religion, Rollins/Black Flag, Motorhead-some maybe not so punk but stuff I was into.
Rocket: Yeah, I think that's what drew me to you guys in the start. I was always into checking out the west coast punk scene growing up though I was mainly going to see Maiden and Crue way back in the day. Bands like Suicidal Tendencies, Neighborhood Watch, Beowulf, shit like that. My younger brother actually toured the world a few years back with Ten Foot Pole off Go Kart Records, who have shared the stage quite a bit with some of those names you mentioned. Also Goldfinger. I met their bass player one day a few years ago, matter of fact, while I was working for Guitar Center in Sherman Oaks, California. A very cool dude. All of that music, even though not as hard and heavy as the music I relied on to deal with the real angst I had inside me as a kid was still always something I'd turn to because they had killer grooves, short song formats and all those social and political messages that I got into. Now I like to have fun with this next one. What's the funniest thing that's happened to you while performing on stage?
Bess: Nothing really comes to mind for me personaly... but there was a date on the last last tour in Tennessee where Bailey got so wasted it was a great time I think for myself and most of the bar. He got slam drunk into the first band's set with the promotor drinking glass fulls of Jack Daniels and Jager. He was barely conscious but played the whole set. The next day when he woke up at noon he apologized for not playing and being so drunk the night before. Me and the bass player then informed him he did play - the whole set- and actually tore his gear down and hung out for a bit after the show much to everyones amazement, none of which he remembers AT ALL. The best part is, that it's all on video and the promoter loves us to this day - but loves busting Bailey's balls every chance he gets.
Rocket: Haha. Now you guys have had a pretty busy year in 2006. Looking back now what was the high point in all of it for you on a personal level? Maybe a show you did that went just right.. or something a fan said to you.
Bess: The Florida/South tour was great. New Orleans was messed up and the fans in Boston are always good to us. Anytime on the road is usually pretty memorable.
Rocket: That's totally horrible what is still going on in New Orleans isn't it? I am a real big NOLA music fan, big supporter of Eyehategod, Outlaw Order and Anselmo's Down, and it just baffles me how slow that rebuilding process is going on there after all this time. Yet, we're ready to commit another 21,000 troops to Iraq right now. Sorry for the tangent. But I'm saying it here. Pure bullshit! Now if I may be so inclined to arrive at this next conjecture, I think your band's music reminds me a lot of Motorhead for some reason. It's just so raw and ass kicking with that gutteral, traditional punk vibe. Do you get fans making that comparison very much when you talk to them?
Bess: Well, we are a three piece and it's not really traditional metal. It's sometimes more simple like punk but still hard. That is Motorhead- noisey heavy blues rock. Sometimes people make the comparision.
Rocket: Man, I totally blew the opportunity to kick it with Tairrie B and My Ruin last year when they opened for Motorhead, bro. Can you believe what an idiot I am? Tel you what, go ahead and take your steal toed boot off right now and club me a few good times. I deserve it! Haha. Lemmy is such a legend out of the underground heavy music scene. I was very lucky that my big brother introduced me to acts like Motorhead and Venom... when noone else knew who the hell they were, you know? Come to think of it, that's gotta play a big part in how I ended up doing this work that I do now. Thanks, bro! Listen, I don't know how closely you were able to follow the metal scene last year with all your own band activity. I know that kind of isolates you from that in a way. But it was really a great year for metal in 2006. All sorts of killer stuff coming from just about all the genres, even Sick Of It All dropped a nuclear payload with their latest one. What was your personal favorite album?
Bess: I sadly have to say I'm not always big on what's new... to think of something off the top of my head? I dont know , I did like the new Ministry , Soulfly, and Motorhead disks though.
Rocket: Right on. Oh shit, Ministry still brings it in a serious manner. If I can interject for a moment here and say that I am real proud that my friend Sin, formerly of Society 1, is now playing guitar with Al on their final album. That dude was one of the first big names in the biz that gave me an interview when I was getting my feet wet at all of this last year. Built my confidence up to keep striving. Just a great dude. We even got to hang in person, no rocker attitude whatsoever and we just chatted about music at one of the two My Ruin gigs last year that I did make it to. So let me ask you this, does Liquid Violence have a street team? And if do, how can someone join up and start helping out with spreading the LV gospel?
Bess: We don't have a leader, although we hold every fan as part of the congregation. If they've seen us and believe - then they spread the word. Sometimes you don't get the big picture from a CD, you've got to be there live.
Rocket: You just made one of the greatest points about the underground scene possible. Get out and support underground metal acts at clubs in your areas people. Come on already! Enough of these pay fifty to sixty bucks for a nosebleed seat to see Aero-fucking-smith crawl around the damn stage for the umpteenth time so they can buy a new jet. Haha. You know? Shit, I'm sorry. I grew up loving that band too but they haven't done anything credible musically in years. Commercial jingles don't outshine 'Sweet Emotion', am I right? Yet, like the Stones everyone pours into those seats and spends $200 for one night of bullshit, just to walk away with a watered-down beer buzz and some over-priced concert shirt that falls apart two months later in the wash anyway. Am I the only one that sees this? Haha. Support the future of heavy music, dammit. Not the past. Those dudes already made their mark. Hell, they've got grandchildren for chrissakes people. That should tell you something! Oh man, here comes the hate mail now! Though I will say in their defense that of all the great concerts I've witnessed to this point in my life, '88's Pump Tour blew my damn mind! But that was nearly twenty years ago itself! Haha. So now what are some of the upcoming shows for this band?
Bess: Nothing in the works right now as we've kinda retreated to the studio to work on music for the new record.
Rocket: That's right, my bad.
Bess: I'm sure once we start crawling those walls we'll be out playing shows again.
Rocket: Haha. You guys are that definitive "We need to be out on the road" kind of rock act in my mind. Like Lemmy and Motorhead.
Bess: Yeah, we're gonna really try and make a point to play Europe this year -no questions asked!
Rocket: Well, I know Bailey told me that it's like an April time frame for all of that... and that the west coast states will also be a target. I just didn't know if maybe like how Nothingface snuck out and did a couple shows last year that you guys might do the same thing.
Bess: Yeah, hopefully we'll hit Europe for about two weeks, pickup dates throughout the year and maybe a bigger US tour in the fall once we finish the new record. We can forecast but the live show outlook is always changing. Just check in at our Liquidviolence MySpace center for current updates as they are set-up.
Rocket: Right on. Well, Liquid Violence seems to really have a nice cult-type of following going on for it in a way, if I can say that. The fans that I see visiting your page on MySpace are really devoted to you like a Sex Pistols kinda affection. And those are the type of fans that are always watching to see what your next moves are. They are the very pulse of the underground scene. Let's just go ahead and applaud all those people right now. Haha. Outstanding. More people need to 'get in the ring' as ole W Axl Rose says. Haha. Except I'm talking about grabbing a buddy or neighbor and go checkout a five band bill one night down the road for six bucks, not I'm gonna challenge a man to a fight, kick you in the balls and then run away kinda drama! Bro, I just wanted to say thanks very much for taking the time out on this. Please give a shout out to your biggest supporters.
Bess: TMD, Scott, Bill, Andy, MAss., Skyler and all the fans!
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