Photo: Peter Anderson
The Broship has set sail, and if you don’t jump on board now, you’re likely to be left behind. On Saturday, March 11, Broship representation will be in full effect at the Urban Lounge with SLC heavy hitting rock n’ rollers Loom and Jesust, plus hip hop openers Green Haus Effect. $5 gets you in.
Mark Wursten – Guitar, vocals
Bacon – Drums
Andrew “Poops” Baez – Bass
Donny Miller – Guitar
Before the fateful summer night in 2009 when Mark Wursten and his fellow rock n’ roller known only as Bacon, founding members of Jesust, took a bunch of acid and jammed out some “stoner rock and Black Sabbath wannabe” riffs, they had spent more than enough time packed into a van together touring with their previous band, Clifton. They weren’t exactly fond of each other back then. “Mark was a fucking nerd,” says Bacon—but they formed an unlikely and unholy bond as other members of Clifton moved away from the narcotic allures of rock n’ roll and toward the saving, uptight grace of the son of God via the Rock Church.
“We were the main people who smoked weed together,” says Bacon. “We didn’t get along, but we’d say, ‘Hey man, want to smoke a bowl?’”
Not to make these stone cold champions of Utah stoner metal sound overly sentimental, but as their old friends and band mates shifted in another, more self-righteous direction and the band abruptly ended, Wursten and Bacon bummed hard. They mourned the death of rock n’ roll in their lives which, along with a slew of other unlucky events, left them feeling empty.
“We were kind of just left with this void in our lives,” says Wursten. “That was the whole motivation (for starting Jesust). I just needed to do something new. Everything else in my life had gone to shit.
And who was responsible for that void, for the lives turned shitty? Why, organized religion was. The way Wursten tells the story, one of the suddenly religious members of Clifton sat him down and said, “Unless Jesus is your personal savior, we can’t be friends anymore.”
Their homies had been tainted by and lost to the blood of the lamb, never to be resurrected. They had been “jesused.” Tacking the letter T on to the end of the word because, of course, a T can easily be turned into an upside down cross, our heroes had a name for their project. Using a veritable library of previously written but unused riffs and drawing influence from the demise of their last band, they knew exactly what they wanted to share with their fans.
The message is simple, explains Bacon: “Fuck Jesus. Smoke Weed.”
“Yeah, just live your fucking life. Don’t be such a judgmental fuck,” adds Wursten.
But the dudes in Jesust aren’t just relying on their bitterness toward the religious establishment (which is evident by the upside down cross on Wursten’s guitar) and their fondness for tetrahydrocannabinol to carry their work. Their musicianship and songwriting are mature and tight, influenced heavily by the likes of Eyehategod, Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity and Danzig.
Last year, Jesust finished their debut EP, Smokin’ Wisdom, with the help of heavy hitting Salt Lake metal and hardcore producer Andy Patterson. The record is available for free download online (reverbnation.com/jesust), and they hope to get into the studio by spring, once they have had time to really perfect their songs.
“I want to be able to take our time a little bit more on the next (album),” says Wursten. “If we called it good right now we’d be selling ourselves short on the songs we’ve written. I think there are some things that need to be taken apart and rearranged.”
Fans of solid stoner metal with southern rock influences can hear both old and new tunes on Friday, March 11 at SLUG’s Localized. Be careful if you have a job interview or visit with your probation officer coming up. After seeing these dudes play live, you probably won’t be able to pass the drug test.
Josh Devenport – Vocals
John Finnegan – Bass
Goose – Drums
Jesse Cassar – Manager
Mike Cundick – Guitar
Everything seemed to be running pretty smoothly for Loom last year. They were touring like crazy, their shows in Salt Lake were nearly always packed, and they had recently recruited a new drum prodigy named Goose. Stoked on the ripples they were making in rock n’ roll’s scum-choked pond, they were even booked to play at the legendary Fest in Gainesville, Florida, a source of much excitement for the band seeing as how over 300 punk and metal bands, including the likes of 7 Seconds and Snuff, were going to be drunkenly reclaiming the streets. Things were perfect, but then, In October of 2010, bassist John Finnegan got hit by a car.
He was headed through a green light on his 50 cc Honda scooter when “some bitch turned left and fucked me up,” says Finnegan. It wasn’t a pretty sight. He suffered a compound femoral fracture. Yeah. Finnegan’s femur was sticking out through his thigh. Apparently he had been building up good karma with the mystic, universal forces of rock n’ roll—Finnegan sustained no head injuries despite his lack of a helmet.
As the paramedics loaded Finnegan’s broken and bleeding body into the back of the ambulance, all he could do was howl, yelling “The Fest! The Fest!” over and over.
Rallying together around their damaged bassist, Loom still somehow managed to play the Fest, but since then has pretty much been in hibernation mode. Not only has Finnegan been healing, but the band has been fine tuning its unique sound, resting and powering up to come back stronger and more brutal than ever.
“We’ve been taking a new approach to how we write music,” says guitarist and primary song writer Mike Cundick.
“Yeah,” Finnegan says, nodding his head. “It’s like taking an ADD kid and putting him on Ritalin so he can realize shit, you know?”
Singer Josh Devenport clarifies, “We’ve been gone for a minute, but we’re coming back strong as fuck.”
Although caused by unfortunate circumstances, it seems that the short sabbatical has been revitalizing for the band. Accustomed to a rigorous touring schedule, Loom has channeled their energy into tightening up their sound and writing songs. Old fans can expect to hear plenty of new material at the show on March 11.
Those who have yet to experience Loom’s raw power can expect to hear the group wield their brand of driving hardcore that channels an eclectic array of influences, including Refused and Q and Not U. Cundick cryptically and half-ironically describes their tunes as being “post-tech.”
Other changes for the band include the loss of former violin player, Kim Pack, who played with Loom for their first three releases. According to Goose, she quit because “she got sick of hanging out with a bunch of drunk assholes.”
All three slabs released so far, Angler, Clutches and Selva Molhada, came out on Exigent Records which is also the former home to Salt Lake champions Reviver and God’s Revolver, among others. In between tours,
Loom plans to finish recording their upcoming LP by spring of 2012.
Without a doubt, Loom is one of the hardest working bands around and has been rewarded by getting to share the stage with the likes of 31 Knots, whom the dudes worship, and Flipper, who they think were disappointing.
During a friendly game of HORSE after the show, Finnegan reportedly said to Krist Novoselic (of Nirvana fame, dudes) about Flipper’s music, “You guys like this? ‘Cause it sounds like dump.”
Although Finnegan was lucky enough not to wind up with his brains spread out all over the ground when he crashed his scooter, anyone who comes to this month’s Localized won’t be so fortunate. Loom will blast that gray matter right out of your head and onto the beer soaked floor of the Urban Lounge because they do not, in fact, sound like dump.