Wednesday 3 February 2016

Interview with Richard Johnson from Agoraphobic Nosebleed

Today I'm talking to Richard Johnson from Grindcore Collective - Agoraphobic Nosebleed – who have just released their stunning new EP – ARC. This is the first of four EP's that Agoraphobic Nosebleed will be releasing over the upcoming months or so.

Ark is the band's first proper release in seven years and it's already starting to gain some acclaim with fans and critics alike. I was given the chance to catch up with Richard to see what the future holds for this legendary band.

Hi Richard. How are things with you today, Thanks for doing this interview.

No complaints over here.

I suppose we have to talk about your incredible new release – ARC. Your first proper record in 7 years. You glad it's finally out there and in your own words what can people expect.

I suppose we do. This is the first of the four solo records we’re going to put out. I’m just happy it’s out and that our fans on the whole like it so much. They’ve been waiting a long time for these solo records to start appearing.

I think it's one of your best records to date. Really struck a chord with fans and critics alike. Have you noticed that yourselves as a band how much people are enjoying this.

Yeah, we’ve been seeing the reviews and the comments from our fans. There’s a few that don’t like it and wished we’d put out a proper record instead of a doom EP.

Was ARC an easy or hard record to make. Did you face any difficult challenges making the record.

It took a very long time. And Kat labored over the lyrics and her vocal delivery.

Kat is on fire this records. I don't think I've ever heard her that angry and focused in years. Same goes for the rest of the band. What influenced you all when making this record.

It was just Kat and Scott. That’s how these solo records are going to go. Kat wrote some very personal lyrics for the record, and also doom metal is her jam.

It seems that ARC has gone for a more doomier and sludgier kind of feel compared to your past records. It still offers old-school fans their moments of brutal grind. Did you want to try something different for ARC.

Each of the solo records is going to be different. It doesn’t represent a change in sound for the band.

Agoraphobic Nosebleed are perhaps now considered one of the legendary bands within the Grindcore scene. Do you see yourselves of ambassadors of that scene.

No. There’s plenty of OG grindcore bands that were full-on that we’ve taken influence from.

We have to talk about the artwork that the band use for their releases. As they're part of your identity as a band. Thought-provoking album covers. And ARC is no different. How important is the album artwork and imagery to you as a band.

It’s important. I don’t think it’s as important as the lyrics or the music, but the covers help to frame what’s going on with the record for sure.

You played your full proper live set at 2015 Maryland Deathfest. WOW. How was that experience for the band. Did it make you all decide to perform more gigs in the future or just to perform on very select occasions.

All the shows are very select. We wanted to wait and see how the show went before we agreed to play any other shows. We loved it. MDF was a total blast.

You've got a few gigs coming up later this year. Will you be performing any more gigs or is that it for the moment.

We’ve got three announced now I think, and there will be more, yeah.

What is your verdict on the current Grindcore scene. Are there any bands that standout for you. Or do you focus on your own thing.

It’s hard to keep track because there’s so many bands out there. I will say that some grindcore bands aren’t doing anything interesting or unique, but on the other hand some of them have real passion and creativity.

Which bands/artists influenced you to become a musician. Was it a particular band or album that made you decide you wanted to become a musician.

I guess early on it was Kiss, when I was young. Later on the metal and grind bands I listened to also made me want to play guitar.

Well Richard, before you go. Do you have anything to say to your fans.

Yeah, just to thank them for waiting for us to put out an EP for all this time, and for us to start playing shows. It’s been a long road.

Words by Steve Howe and Richard Johnson

Thanks to Justin Ringle for arranging this interview and to Richard for taking the time to talk to me.

ARC is available on CD/DD/Vinyl  now.