martes, 27 de diciembre de 2016

Interview - Plutocracy

1.Destructive greetings from Perú Frank! how are you brother? all good there?
Doing well brother, thanks for the opportunity.

2.Give us a short review of how Plutocracy is formed.
The history of PLUTOCRACY is long, weaves back and forth and is in a way a history of the whole underground hardcore scene in the West Bay. I will try to explain it as simply as possible.  PLUTOCRACY formed in 1988, in Redwood City, California. I am the fifth bassist, I believe. Their original run was from '88-'93. The line up that did the most recording was Max Ward on drums, Kindred McCune (Stinkweed) guitar, vocals, Thomas Perez (Kalmex) guitar and vocals, and Billy Ganley on bass. Thomas' older brothers Josh and Jay (vocals, bass) both played in IMMORTAL FATE, along with Billy's older brother Pat on guitar. Both bands played shows throughout the Bay Area and SoCal in the late 80's/ early 90's. After recording their album Dankstahz, Billy left the band and was replaced by Dan Hogan (Big Boy), from local Hardcore band 976. Dan plays on the material that would be released on the split with DISCORDANCE AXIS. Both of those records, by the way, were released after Pluto had broken up. In early 1993, Max wanted to leave Plutocracy and the band broke up, the remaining members forming NO LE$$ with the Perez brothers from IMMORTAL FATE.

In the early 90's, I played in a hardcore band called Radioactive Lunch. We were from a small town called Foster City. The Peninsula on San Francisco Bay is made up of a dozen or so cities of various size, one after the other, south of San Francisco. We refer to it as the West Bay. Radioactive Lunch began playing live in 1992 and started to network with punk and metal bands from the area. One show was with a band called Sheep Squeeze, also from Redwood City. The guitarist, Dan Lactose, was instrumental in helping us out with shows and introducing us to recording engineer Bart Thurber. Bart had recorded Plutocracy, 976, Immortal Fate and Sheep Squeeze among many others at his studio in Palo Alto, House Of Faith. When Max quit Pluto, he started SPAZZ with Dan Lactose and Chris Dodge. NO LE$$ was doing their thing and Jerry Guttierez from 976 started EVOLVED TO OBLITERATION. By 1994, these new bands had all released material. Max started his record label, 625, his first release being the NO LE$$/ETO split 7". My band Radioactive Lunch had broken up and morphed into AGENTS OF SATAN. The small scene in the West Bay was growing and long lasting friendship were being made.

By 1996, Stinkweed had joined Agents of Satan on guitar, Agents vocalist Lord Ballsakk was doing vocals for DEADBODIESEVERYWHERE, Dan Lactose was making beats and DJing for the SHEDWELLAS, a rap group with members of NO LE$$, SPAZZ did a US tour, and this thing of ours began calling our clique the West Bay Koalition. That summer, NO LE$$ played a show in downtown LA with Excruciating Terror and a contingent of us rolled down with them. We were hanging out outside before the show and talking to Eric Wood of MAN IS THE BASTARD, smoking weed, and he kept referring to the police helicopters flying around as "doom riders". We tripped on this and began calling our crew DOOMRYDERZ. More records came out by all the bands too. Max released the first AOS record on 625, Haraldo from Bad People Records signed on to do a NO LE$$/ AOS split, Max had joined ETO as their vocalist and hella shows were being played.

In 1997, NO LE$$ and AOS went on a US tour with Stinkweed pulling double duty every night. NO LE$$ had recently recorded for what would be the BOXED IN 7" on Slap A Ham Records. Stinkweed was unable to record with the band during those sessions because of substance abuse issues but cleaned up for the tour. Unfortunately by the end of the tour, things went side ways and Stinkweed missed the last few gigs. Upon the return home, NO LE$$ moved on without him, with Justin from DBE replacing him on guitar. NO LE$$ kept busy playing shows and recording for a fifth and final time in 1998. They booked a full US tour with DBE for that summer. About a month before it was supposed to begin, Dan Hogan AKA Big Boy took his own life. As a way to cope with their grief, the band decided to press on with the tour anyway. At the time, Max had joined CAPITALI$T CASUALTIES and they were on tour as well. The touring bands met up on East Coast and Kalmex asked Max about reuniting PLUTOCRACY as a tribute to Big Boy. Max agreed. 

So as a tribute to the fallen bassist of 976, Sirota, Plutocracy, Bros. Jibb, and No Less, Max, Stinkweed and Kalmex decided to reform Pluto for an album and some shows. I was asked to play bass. At the time Max was the drummer for SPAZZ, CAPITALIST CASUALTIES, and his newest band, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?. We could only practice once a month but every practice was fruitful. Over the course of 1999, we would write what would become the second Pluto album, SNIPING PIGZ. Max had arranged for it to come out on Pessimiser Records but the head of Theologian Records, who put out Pessimiser, saw the cover art and declined. It was then released by SIX WEEKS RECORDS in 2000. We played several Bay Area shows throughout 2000, and made a trip to NYC to play CBGB. By the end of the year and because of our frustration with Max' busy schedule, the rest of Pluto decided to start a new band, KALMEX AND THE RIFFMERCHANTS and the Sniping Pigz era of Pluto came to an end.

Over the next decade, the members of Pluto stayed busy in bands such as the RIFFMERCHANTS, GO LIKE THIS, SHADOW PEOPLE ( hiphop), USF ( hiphop), BULLSHIT EXCUSE, METH KAMP, SCHOLASTIC DETH, WHN?, VERLATEN, CARNICERIA, ELEPHANTMAN, BASTARD SQUAD and ALTAMIRA. In 2009, Kalmex approached me about Pluto and maybe getting a different drummer. I told him about how I had recently been talking to a friend of ours about playing drums for ALTAMIRA and maybe we could get him for Pluto. It was Eli Bloch, a youngster from the West Bay who had played in a band called FALLING OVER DRUNK. He had since moved to Portland, OR, and was in a band called Fall Of The Bastards, and at that time OAKHELM. He was immediately on board. Eli had a friendship with Billy Anderson, the recording engineer that has recorded so many of our favorite bands, and we were able to record the last Pluto record, OFF THE PIGS, with him in 2010. OFF THE PIGS came out on Forrest Moon Special Products as a 12" 45. Pluto did a small West Coast tour that summer. Over 2011, Agents Of Satan reformed for some shows with Stinkweed on guitar again. A week before a gig with BLOODY PHOENIX, Stinkweed blacked out at his apartment after a night of drinking and woke up with his foot twisted backwards. He had surgery but was too injured to participate in bands. He slowly rehabilitated for the rest of 2011. Pluto was scheduled to play a metal fest in San Antonio that December but stayed put when the promoter couldn't deliver on his promises. February, 2012 would be the last time Pluto practiced. We had four new songs we were rehearsing. During this time, Stinkweed had to go back for surgery to remove the screws in his foot. After the surgery, his wounds became infected and he was in a lot of pain. His mother visited his apartment daily to help nurse his wound. In early April, she showed up to find him dead. An adverse reaction to mixing pain medication with psych medication.

3.How many stuff have edited Plutocracy?
Plutocracy releases:

Progress Demo

Freedom Denied 7"

Plutocracy/976 split 7"

Plutocracy/ Aproctus split flexi

Snitch 7"EP

Plutocracy/ Phobia split 12" (live)

Plutocracy Dankstahz LP CD 10"

Plutocracy/ Discordance Axis split 7"

Sniping Pigz LP CD

Off The Pigs 12" EP

Plutocracy/ Immortal Fate split 12" (live)

4.Back to 90s,tell us how was the grindcore scene in your city/country? What bands could we find in that chaotic years?
The punk/HC/metal underground scene in the Bay Area was full fucking throttle in the 90's. 924 Gilman St. was a critical venue then as it still is today. The all ages club really allowed the scene to flourish. In Redwood City there was a pizza place that had shows called the Pony Express. Plutocracy and Immortal Fate played some of their first shows there. Recording studio, House Of Faith, and engineer Bart Thurber, were incredibly important to the development of the Peninsula underground music scene and the whole Bay Area really. Having an inexpensive place to record, we really were lucky. Bart recorded almost all of the SPAZZ and PLUTO records as well as everyone else in the WEST BAY scene.
Back to Gilman St., there were amazing shows almost every weekend. Man Is The Bastard came up from LA constantly. The Fiesta Grande shows that Chris Dodge put on were game changers. I saw PHOBIA for the first time at FIesta Grande 3. The entire venue erupted into a pit when they came on. It was insane!! The singer's dreads kept getting cought  in the Xmas lights. I went up to almost every band after their sets and gave them Radioactive Lunch 7"s. Met a lot of folks that way. A few months later, RL would play at Gilman with DYSTOPIA, EXCRUCIATING TERROR, SPAZZ, and NO LESS. AGENTS OF SATAN invited to play the fourth Firsta Grande in 1996. The band CATTLEPRESS wound up staying in Redwood City during that fest and a long lasting friendship was forged with our NYC brothers. A list of bands that we all played with in the 90's would include MINDROT, MITB, CAPITALIST CASUALTIES, E.T., NOOTHGRUSH, PHOBIA, DYSTOPIA, LAUGHING DOG, ABCESS, AUTOPSY, EXHUMED, BENUMB, SLIGHT SLAPPERS, and so many others. 
The West Bay bands toured in the 90's as well. SPAZZ did a US tour in 1996, I believe. A year later, Haraldo Mardonez of then REFORM CONTROL, later CATHETER, now CAPITALIST CASUALTIES, would book a west/ southwest tour for NO LESS and AGENTS OF SATAN, as well as release a split EP. In 1998, the ill fated NO LESS/ DBE US tour would ensue. Lots of friendships and connections were made on these tours that last to today. 

5.Some member from Plutocracy have another proyect paralalell?
Here is a list of Plutocracy band members and their other projects.

Max Ward (drums) Plutocracy, SPAZZ, Evolved To Obliteration (vox), Capitalist Casualties, What Happens Next?, Stockholm Syndrome, Scholastic Deth (vox), Bombs Of Death
Kindred McCune AKA Stinkweed (guitar/vox) Plutocracy, No Less, Agents Of Satan, Shedwellas (rap), Apeshit (vox), Bullshit Excuse (vox), Kalmex and the Riffmerchants, Go Like This, U.S.F. (rap), Shadow People (rap), C.H.U.D. (vox), Torture Unit, Kompound (rap). 1974-2012.
Thomas Perez AKA Kalmex (guitar/vox) Plutocracy, No Less (drums), Kalmex and the Riffmerchants (drums), Carniceria, Go Like This, Verlaten (drums), Freedom Denied, Redacted
Billy Ganley (bass) Plutocracy, Valdur
Dan Hogan AKA Big Boy (bass/vox) 976, Plutocracy, No Less, Shedwellas, Bros. Jibb. 1973-1998.
Frank Marchi AKA Ramon Salcido (bass/vox) Radioactive Lunch, Agents Of Satan, Lost Ground, Gremmies (drums), Perilisium Cantos, Plutocracy, Bullshit Excuse, U.S.F. (rap), Kalmex and the Riffmerchants, Elephantman, Go Like This, Kompound (rap), Altamira, Freedom Denied, Redacted, Deny The Cross
Eli Bloch (drums) Falling Over Drunk, Grindcrime, Fall Of The Bastards, Oakhelm, Plutocracy, Freedom Denied, Knelt Rote.

6.Loud influences in Plutocracy?
Musically Pluto's original influences were Terrorizer, Napalm Death, Carcass, Neurosis, Asbestos Death, Sleep among many others. All members were big hip hop fans as well.

7.Which is your opinion about the actual grindcore scene around the world actually?
As far as the grind scene around the world, it is certainly way bigger than it was when Plutocracy first started. For me personally the underground music scene is a huge part of my identity. Using social media over the last several years, I have come into contact with people and bands from all over the globe. I enjoy hearing new music and hearing the different styles of grindcore that people come up with. Plutocracy was an innovative and original band way before I ever joined. For me they set the bar pretty high. I hear a lot of bands that are uninteresting and derivative but I feel if they keep going, they will slowly find their own unique sound, so stay the course! 

8.You know the extreme scene from Southamerica? maybe Perú?
Bands like Sepultura and Sarcofago were early influences for all of us. Anarchus from Mexico is a favorite as well. 

9.Morbid future plans in Plutocracy?
With the passing of Stinkweed, Plutocracy is no more. At the time of his passing, we were working on new material. Kalmex, Eli and I started a band called Freedom Denied, along with Lord Balsakk on vocals, that tried to continue the legacy of Pluto. Eli recorded his drum tracks to 9 new songs, including the Pluto material we were working on prior to Stinkweed's death. We have yet to finish the recording unfortunately. When we do, it will be sick, brutal grind in the Pluto style. Currently, Kalmex, Balsakk and I are in a grindcore band with Freeway of Immortal Fate on drums and Snowman (Jay Perez) of Immortal Fate and No Less on guitar called REDACTED. We have demos available on bandcamp and a split 7" with THE SHELTERING SKY (ex CATTLEPRESS) in the works.

10.Last words Frank and thanks for your time in this interview...
My involvement in Plutocracy is just a very small part of their legacy. The material they recorded during their original existence (88-93) is incredibly sick and original. I've never heard a band since that sounds anything at all like them except for NO LESS. I am very proud to have been able to play a small part. Thanks so much for the interview and giving a shit about underground, original grind!!

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