PARASYTIC hail from Richmond Virginia and are one of the most powerful bands in the hardcore punk vein out there right now, laying siege with their killer crust-crossover style. Their newest LP "Poison Minds" on Vex Records is a manic assault of unbridled fury that rips from the moment the needle drops. PARASYTIC simultaneously evoke the thrash metal of KREATOR and the punk intensity of ANTI-CIMEX and do it with a unique style that makes it instantly recognizable. If you don't have their earlier offering, "Hymn" on Despotic Records, you better find a copy, cause it is an instant classic. Interview with Erik (Drums) and Matt (Bass).
ThrashHead: How is Richmond VA these days? It is a town that seems to have a real rep for great hc bands. What is the scene there like today?
ERIK: I've been here for 20 years. I've seen the scene ebb and flow many times over. That's what you get with a college town. Currently I would say we're on an ebb. GOVERNMENT WARNING has broken up and there are fewer crust bands active, but a lot of that is just due to folks being involved in their families more, it is that time of year after all. It's kinda interesting, but this town does follow seasonal patterns, we kinda hibernate in the winter then explode with activity in the spring
MATT: There are a lot of extremely dedicated people here in Richmond, which in my opinion helps to keep the scene strong. Like Erik said, it tends to get a little quiet in the winter, but spring thru fall its almost as if there is a show here every night.
ThrashHead: What has the response been to the new Poison Minds LP? How do you feel your songwriting has evolved since Hymn? How do songs develop for you guys? Who writes the lyrics?
ERIK : Ethan writes all the lyrics. We've been a band for almost 7 years now, so we have really gotten to know and come together as people, that always helps in the song writing. I would say the only objective we have is not to suck. We follow our hearts and try to be relevant while hopefully pointing out things we think can be changed in life positively. Sounds hippie i know, but it's true
MATT: I think he response has been great to 'Poison Minds'. We have gotten so much positive feedback on the album. All the reviews we have seen have been really positive and in depth. We put a lot of time into 'Poison Minds', so it's good to see such a positive reaction.
ThrashHead: You guys are also involved in many other projects, how do you keep it all straight? Nick is in CANNABIS CORPSE and isn't Erik in ALABAMA THUNDERPUSSY? Is PARASYTIC a primary focus for you guys or a side project? Do you even view it that way? Are you involved in other bands too?
ERIK: We all play in other bands, and it's positive for us, albeit complicated in scheduling, but why stifle your creativity? Some of us love heavy metal, some of us love quiet folk music, so it all can work in context and should be encouraged. End of the day, we all care deeply about PARASYTIC.
MATT: It's tough sometimes to keep everything straight! We actually have to sit down with calendars! We all have so much going on all the time, the only way for PARASYTIC to get anything done is to plan way in advance. Nick plays in CANNABIS CORPSE and VOLTURE , ALABAMA THUNDERPUSSY is no longer active, but Erik plays with MIGHT COULD , as well as all the other projects he's involved in. I play in BEHIND ENEMY LINES as well as PARASYTIC.
PARASYTIC is a primary focus for everyone; we don't really view it that way. No matter what is going on in everyone's life we always make time. Everyone's other projects are equally important, but there is always plenty of time for everything!
ThrashHead : PARASYTIC did a European tour earlier this year. How did that go? What were the more memorable shows there and why? I hear Spain is pretty cool. The pix on Facebook look like the tour was a real blast.
MATT: the tour was great. We couldn't have asked for more. Our friends from Agipunk set it up, as well as releasing poison minds on vinyl in Europe for the tour. They did an excellent job. The tour was pretty much flawless! We got to see so many of our friends, and make so many new ones it was fantastic. All the shows were pretty memorable, as it was PARASYTIC's 1st European tour, but for me Mknž in Slovenia was pretty awesome. It has so much history and I have been listening to live recorded tapes of some of the greatest bands recorded there, I was pretty stoked to play there! Just getting the chance to have the tour go throughout Scandinavia was awesome. I could go on and on! Everything was awesome, and yes spain is very cool! We had a great show in Barcelona and Torrello, as well as in the Basque country!
ERIK: The tour was fantastic, couldn't have asked for a better first European experience. Personally I've been there touring 12 times, so I have a bit of background to compare to, and that tour was rad. I've been hungry, cold, and sick while on tour in Europe, some of that happened this last time, but I also was blessed with friendship, hospitality, gratitude and love. Again sounds hippie but true.
ThrashHead: Are PARASYTIC writing new material for another LP?
MATT: Yes we have started writing for a new album. We hope to have everything ready to record in the spring or early summer.
ThrashHead: Are there any plans for another US tour? When are you coming back to Denver?
MATT: We have been working on our schedule for 2012. We definitely have it in the plans to try and get to the west coast, I am sure we could make it to Denver if that happens. We have been invited to tour in Brazil, as well as another European tour. But as of now I am not sure exactly how this year will pan out!
ThrashHead: What other things inspire you guys? Are you involved in other stuff? Activism? Zines?
MATT: I run a label called Vex Records with the little spare time that I actually have, as well as booking and driving tours all year.
ERIK: I play in a variety of bands and live with/married to an amazing woman who takes amazing pictures as well as being a full time father to our child, so I think that probably covers it.
ThrashHead: So, you guys parents? How do you make that fit with the band?
MATT: I am expecting my first in March so I am not sure yet how to make it fit with the band. I am sure just like it has been just a lot of planning ahead!
ERIK: I have a 5 yr old son and it is a challenge, but I learned a long time ago from being in AVAIL when Joe Banks had his son, whom I've seen grow up for the last 18 years, your choices are your own and how you relate them to the band(s) you do show the kind of life you want. My son was born early on in PARASYTIC's existence, so he's kinda always been there, and the dudes knew that going in, now with matt having a son, the dynamic will change a bit more, it won't stop the band, just make us better people and smarter about how we do things.
And so there you have it. When the PARASYTIC dudes aren't busy playing their brand of metalized crust they are wrangling kids and playing in a pile of other kick ass bands.
Where do these guys get all their energy you might ask? 'Poison Minds' want to know! Well my little dread headed friend, that question will have to be answered another time because this interview is over and out! Kind of like Pittsburgh's run at the playoffs!