RAMPANT DECAY is a modern swirl of a band blending their influences of crust, grind and hardcore into a potent, combustible brew. They have a new split 7" with the KRUDS out on Patac records. ThrashHead's Attucks took a stab at trying to find out what makes these dudes tick...Read on...
ThrashHead: Who's in the band now and what bands did everyone come from?
Pat: Members are Pat Mahoney - guitar, Pat Singleton - drums, Rich Horror - vocals. I was previously in Gorehammer (old school death metal) and JC & the Demolition Boys (punk/HC/rock 'n' roll) when I was living in Burlington, VT years ago, Pat still plays in Haxen and I, Destroyer and Rich was in It Will End In Pure Horror and Composted.
ThrashHead: I noticed that in some places it says you are based out of Somerville, Mass. In other places I see that it says that you guys are from Providence R.I. I was wondering which it is and which city do you play in more often? Which city is more fun and why?
Pat: We are a Providence band. We practiced in Somerville in the beginning because our previous drummer lived there and we practiced in his basement. I've been living in Providence for the whole existence of the band. Rich moved here a few years and we got Pat to play drums, who is a life-long RI resident. Providence is unquestionably more fun because people are more open-minded and you don't have the needless scene divisions that have always been a dominant trait of the Boston underground. Also, with neighborhoods like Olneyville in Providence (where we practice), there's always a variety of DIY spaces having shows and you never feel like the cops are going to be up your ass like they are in Boston. And you can actually park your car or van without having to worry about a hundred dollar ticket.
Rich: Mostly, Providence is more fun because beers are cheaper. And that one time I got caught doing drugs in the basement of that bar and they didn't ban me for life or anything. That was solid.
ThrashHead: So many bands have come out of the Northeast across all spectrums of the heavy and extreme music genres. Do any of the bigger bands continue to support the scenes that spawned them? If so, how?
Pat: Dropdead and Converge come to mind with members of both bands still booking shows, doing record labels, recording bands and of course there's Armageddon Shop Providence and Boston now.
ThrashHead: What is the scene like there for the type of music that you guys jam? Is there big division problems and bad attitude issues?
Rich: Before I moved to Providence, I had this idea of a very clique-y and P.C. fascist-y scene. Once I moved here I saw that was just a bunch of horseshit spewed by people that don't actually spend any time here. I and especially our band was definitely welcomed with open arms once all of us were Providence folks.
Pat: As I mentioned before, the division issues and attitude problems seem to be largely a Boston thing now as when I was growing up in that area. I've been living in Providence for nearly seven years and I can say that the underground scene is smaller, more tolerant and more tight-knit than what I was used to growing up. We've found people here to be pretty supportive even though there are only a few other bands in the city that bear any resemblance to what we do. People respect each others' differences in the scene here and there are less elitist attitudes than I've experienced in other parts of New England.
ThrashHead: Is there a certain "scene" that you fall into or do you try to crossover to other scenes and just let the music speak for itself?
Pat: I guess Olneyville would be the closest thing to a scene that we're a part of. A lot of various types of Providence bands practice in that neighborhood. When we play out of town, it's generally with other raw, dirty music in the punk/HC/metal realm.
ThrashHead: What are some of the bands that you guys play with a lot up there?
Pat: A few bands that we tend to play with around here are Suffering Bastard (who we share a practice space with), White Load and Brain Shivers. A couple bands I'd like to play with more are Neon Bitches, who don't play many shows, and Third Death, who I'm never sure is active or not.
ThrashHead: Some of you play in other bands. Is that a problem with scheduling or do the bands sometimes play together? What are the other bands?
Rich: My old band It Will End In Pure Horror got back together a year ago for some shows, but it turned out to be just one show because the guitarist went and got himself crippled again. It was more about drinking at the space and setting fires inside the nozzle of the hand dryer in the men's bathroom anyway.
Pat: It's just Pat, our drummer, who also plays in Haxen and I, Destroyer. There's never any schedule conflicts, really. It's pretty easy to work around. I had reunited with a band I played in in high school a few years back, but our activity is very sparse.
ThrashHead: I saw on your influences you guys are all over going from Anti-Cimex and Napalm Death to the other side of the spectrum with bands like Antiseen and Slapshot. How do such varied influences shine through in your music? How would you describe your music?
Pat: I'd describe our music as raw hardcore with [one-footed] blastbeats and lyrics that range from personal to political to professional wrestling. People have told us we sounded like everything from Swedish hardcore to Disrupt to Hellhammer and it's certainly all part of the whole. We draw influences from a long tradition of punk/HC/metal and we all prefer the most stripped-down, direct versions of those genres.
ThrashHead: With the varied influences it seems to me that that you guys aren't too p.c. but that you guys aren't oblivious to the problems of the world either. Where would you say you sit in the punk rock political spectrum of things?
Rich: We aren't Rudimentary Peni but we also aren't Anal Cunt. I think political correctness is poison to punk rock. It's a shortcut to thinking, a handbook written by clueless jerkoffs that want to be led by the hand in life. Basically we "sing" about people we think should get smashed with a brick. Be it backstabbers, cops, employers... you name it. Oh, and also pro wrestling and turn-based role-playing games.
ThrashHead: What do you think of the Occupy movement? Oakland is carrying the movement through the winter months; do you think spring time will see things explode again across the country?
Pat: I think it's a completely justified, visceral reaction to the actions of financial sector elites who think they can carry on doing whatever they want with other peoples' money to the detriment of the American and world economy. These people need to be shown in no uncertain terms that their arrogance and irresponsibility won't be tolerated and many feel that their elected officials aren't going to put an end to it with legislation any time soon so they're taking to the streets and camping out in parks. I'm not sure what the movement is expecting to achieve but a message has been sent that people are fed up with the extent to which greed and corporate interests have seemingly assumed control of the country. Occupy Providence is still out in the park at Kennedy Plaza in the dead of winter and I hope things will explode again nationwide come spring.
ThrashHead: Tell me about the Slaves to the Grave Tour. Do you guys ever plan on heading out to the West?
Pat: We just played the Boston date of Slaves to the Grave. Awesome tour though with Deceased and Superchrist and the Boston show also included Panzerbastard and Nothing But Enemies. We definitely plan on heading out west in the near future.
ThrashHead: Can you give me a rundown of the vinyl you guys have put out and what are some of your future plans in that department?
Rich: So far we've released a split 7" with Insult from Boston. It was their first new material in something like 11 years. Not that copies of that are getting scarce for both us and the label that put it out (PATAC Records) we're set to put out a split with Kruds from San Antonio. As of this writing, that should be out in a week or so. We've been talking about heading south and then southwest at some point to properly celebrate that release with those guys. Coming up is a full length on cassette and eventually vinyl, also from PATAC. Eventually we'd like to do a mostly European-released 7" of real short ragers as well.
ThrashHead: Do you think the Patriots are going to take it this year or is wrestling your only sport?
Rich: I mostly just follow pro wrestling and hockey, the official sports of punk rock. I don't have a TV so I mostly just catch up on the scores the next day. Lately I just watch Ring Of Honor, read in the news sites about how bad WWE/TNA sucks and watch old tapes of ECW and all the old NWA territories.
Pat: I think the Patriots have just as good a shot as anyone to take it this year. Their offense is as great as ever but the defense (or lack thereof) concerns me. I'm actually hoping for a Pats-Giants Super Bowl rematch.
ThrashHead: What was the last album you bought and what are your thoughts on it? Give me a mini-review of it...
Pat: On my last trip to Armageddon Shop Providence, I bought a Gauze CD that has their first two LPs and all their compilation tracks on it, Total Control 'Henge Beat' LP and Extortion/Agents of Abhorrence split 7". Gauze is totally classic Japanese hardcore and it has been a while since I'd experienced the greatness of 'Equalizing Distort' and the 'Thrash Til Death' comp tracks. Just charged, breakneck-speed hardcore punk by one of the best bands ever to play the style. Total Control is moody, experimental garage/krautrock that will appeal to fans of Kraftwerk, Joy Division and Eddy Current Suppression Ring (who they share members with). Iron Lung Records is consistently quality so no surprise that the LP is really good. The Extortion/AOA split is what you'd expect from those two bands. Face-melting PV/fastcore on the Extortion side and noisy, hyper-aggressive grind from AOA.
ThrashHead: Closing thoughts?
Rich: Fuck off nowadays professional wrestling. Buy me a beer.
Pat: Pick up a Kruds/Rampant Decay split on bandcamp for donation or a physical copy that will be out by the end of January (listen to "Political Lemmings" below). Available from Patac, Riotous Outburst, Buried In Hell, Chowdahouse, Blast-A-Lot or at a Kruds or RxD show. Cheers and thanks for the interview!