Xur and God’s Revolver will be showcasing their heated rivalry alongside openers Loom for SLUG’s Localized on Friday, April 13 at the Urban Lounge, 241 South 500 East.

Xur

Greg Callister – Drums
Kory Quist – Bass & Vox
Fausto “Potato Wiggins” – Guitar & Saxophone
Luke Fehr – Guitar & Vox

I met up with Xur at their practice space to discuss what makes them Xur and to give them a chance to confirm or deny a few rumors that I had heard about them in the days previous to our meeting, mostly concerning sexual conduct between band members and rampant substance abuse. Those rumors were more or less confirmed; I witnessed countless acts of debauchery and homoeroticism within the 10 minutes or so that it took for Fausto to arrive. I was a bit thrown off by their behavior. The blistering churn of down tempo sludge and tortured screams found on their one released song “Under Siege,” had led me to expect stoney faced, uber-serious metalheads. What I got was two of the band members rolling around on the floor of their practice space trying to punch each other in the balls.

There’s a lot of Neurosis and Old Man Gloom apparent in “Under Siege” and while they do name those bands as influences, there is one influence to rule them all.

“Marijuana, first and foremost,” Kory told me.

“You have to be a certain amount of stoned to play the same chord for a very long time,” Luke said, “because then you think it sounds cool.”

“[The music] is mainly about the world burning down,” Greg said.

The band began as a project between Luke and Fausto. “Fausto and I started Xur years ago. It was a two piece for a long time. It was really artsy and nobody liked it. It was really experimental,” Luke explained.

Fausto pointed to Kory and Greg, “After Michigan these cats [Kory and Greg] needed some rock and roll action, so we put it together. That was about six months ago.”

Xur has just finished recording a split LP with Michigan (with whom they share band members Kory, Greg and Fausto and apparently many sexual experiences) that is projected to be out in April 2007. The local label Exigent Records is releasing the album. They are also hoping to get out on the road this summer. “It’ll probably be mostly weekend things, we’ll try to get Gaza to drag us along with them. We tried hitting up The Used, but that didn’t work out.” Greg said.

Our other Localized band for this month, God’s Revolver, was brought up multiple times during the interview. Apparently there’s some animosity between them. “[God’s Revolver] just think they’re Danzig, motherfuckers! They’re just a bunch of whiskey drunks,” Kory told me, “They think they’re so good and artsy.”

“Oooh look! I’m a fucking nerd who spends all my time playing guitar! I’m so good!” Luke said in a voice mocking God’s Revolver.

Greg eloquently added the last words, “Yeah, fuck God’s Revolver.”

Xur and God’s Revolver will be showcasing their heated rivalry alongside openers Loom for SLUG’s Localized on Friday, April 13 at the Urban Lounge, 241 South 500 East.

God’s Revolver

Reid Rous – Vocals
Elliott Secrist – Bass
Nitro Law – Guitar
Ross Lambert –Drums
Kid Vengence – Guitar

Reid, the vocalist of God’s Revolver, decided that Todd’s would be as good a place as any to meet up for the interview.

“Ok, how am I going to recognize you when we’re there?” I asked him, “We may have met before, I don’t know, but I’ve had some trouble with this in the past.”

“I’ll probably be the guy in a top hat with a curly moustache,” he told me.

“Are you fucking with me?” I asked.

“No,” He said very matter-of-factly.

Later at the bar, Reid refused to answer any questions before we’d had some shots in us. I agreed. We put down some whisky and proceeded with the interview.

“Whisky is our number one influence,” Elliott told me, “Our whole album was written and recorded wasted on Canadian Host. We had to do the one eye to record.” He closed one eye and squinted, demonstrating the technique of playing guitar while really drunk. He continued, “musically, our guitarist used to hang out with his dad and all his hippie friends and they’d tell him to play rock songs that he’d heard on the radio. He’s pretty solid on playing classic-sounding rock.”

“Every band will say that they’re southern-tinged hardcore, but just because they play some shitty riff with a bend and half-time it right after, they think that they’re southern. But this is actual rock,” Reid said, “It’s more Danzig than Darkest Hour really.” God’s Revolver sounds like John Christ discovered some dynamics (or got a second guitarist and realized you can record multiple guitar tracks). It’s dirty, whisky-drenched southern rock with a slight hardcore influence.

“We started the band trying to play rock like Skynyrd,” Elliott said of the beginnings of God’s Revolver. “We knew Reid from singing in his old metal band, F-Con, in Logan. Right when we started I knew that he’d be the best singer. We called him and told him if he’d move down to Provo we’d let him sing for our band.” Other than F-Con, God’s Revolver includes veteran members of Parallax and Stale Piss.

“We’ve been together coming on two years now. We’re basically the laziest band on the planet; its taken us this long to actually get an album done. It’s being mixed right now. Look for it around late spring,” Reid told me before the shit talking began.

“The [Localized] show’s gonna be damn good. Except for that Xur band,” Reid said, “Those kids are so worthless. I live with two of them and I swear I clean resin balls the size of rats out of the bathtub because they sweat it out of their skin, it’s fucking ridiculous!”

Calico

Andrew: Coronet, and other things.
Tyler: Drumz, with a “Z”.
Brady: Guitar and vocals.
Liam: Bass.
Sean: Wurlitzer and bells.

Calico is a hard band to get a hold of. After many games of phone and e-mail tag, I finally had the pleasure of talking to them over a cup of coffee at Nobrow. It turns out I’m acquainted with Tyler. We worked at The Depot together. That was no fun, but that’s no reflection on Tyler, and having someone I was semi-familiar with there made things a little easier on me.

Calico plays experimental folk. The avant-garde, ambient kind. Although they list themselves as experimental, they still find their music more accessible to a wider audience than most other bands described as such. “Usually experimental kinda turns me off, like it’s going to be some weird noise thing.” Liam explained. To them, being experimental is much more involved than that. “The funnest parts about being experimental are playing with arrangements and texture,” explained Brady, “it’s avant-garde without being bratty and pretentious or kooky.” The music is multi-layered, textural pop-folk. The tinkling of bells and Wurlitzer weave themselves slowly through vocals semi-reminiscent of Elliott Smith. In listening, it’s almost surprising that there are only five musicians. Some parts even come close in styling to Sigur Ros, though admittedly not as grandiose.

The Salt Lake indie scene seems a bit incestuous. Notable bands are always sharing members. The scene itself is made up of a seemingly small group of musicians who will disappear from one band only to surface in another. Calico is no exception. Within are ex-members of Victrola, Starmy, Redd Tape, The Heaters and Brownham among others. Many current projects were also mentioned. Very few of the members knew each other previously, just of each other. Sean stated, “I didn’t know anybody personally before we started playing, and now these guys are some of my best friends.” All the members of the band have come together under the direction of Brady. “The project has developed over the course of two-plus years of songwriting and recording, and painstakingly trying to find people who understand what I’m trying to do,” he told me. “It’s taken awhile for this to come to fruition for me.”

When I asked if the focus was mainly on the music Brady told me, “The album is extremely personal—painfully personal. Most of the songs deal with a common subject, which is loss. It’s about dealing with personal history.”

QstandsforQ, Calico and opening act Patsy Ohio will play Localized at the Urban Lounge on Feb., 9th, be there!

Usually, if Slayer makes it into the mainstream media, it’s because somebody’s killed themselves and their parents are suing or right-wing Christian groups are complaining about their album covers. Lately, though, Slayer has been getting some positive attention for their criticism of the war in Iraq. They’ve even received their second Grammy nomination for the song, “Eyes of the Insane.” I sat down for a pleasant phone conversation with possibly the most intimidating member of the band, Kerry King.

SLUG: It was announced just yesterday that Slayer was nominated for the second time for a Grammy, this time for “Eyes of the Insane.”

Kerry King: [Laughs] Yeah.

SLUG: Did you guys ever expect that kind of attention going into this?

K.K.: I think we won’t win. No, I mean, when we got nominated for the first time, it was for “Disciple,” and I’m like, “Have you guys ever listened to Disciple”? It blew me away. You know? How the hell can you guys nominate Disciple”? It’s one of the most hardcore, evil tunes we ever put out and it’s up for a Grammy? I think the whole process with the Grammy’s is pretty ridiculous. I think most people voting or nominating don’t have any idea what they’re doing. Case in point; the first metal [nominations] were a few years ago, when Jethro Tull won it over Metallica! I mean, how did that happen? Whatever you think of Metallica these days or not, that was the biggest injustice I’ve ever seen.

SLUG: With your latest album, Christ Illusion, focusing on anti-war themes, do you still use the Holocaust footage for shock value, or has the point of it changed?

K.K.: I think when we do war stuff, it’s more like when Jeff [Hanneman] did “Angel of Death” awhile back and on Divine, he did “SS3.” He’s just into WW II. He’s into the strategies of war and shit like that. That’s where his input comes from on those two songs. I get my ideas from other areas, Tom [Araya] gets his ideas from serial killers and stuff like that. We all blend and get into each other’s world a little bit. That’s where all the war stuff comes from.

SLUG: I was reading that a large majority of your fan base is actually in the military, and you went and greeted some troops at a base in Germany?

K.K.: Yeah, it was cool. We went and did a little, well, not an in-store, but signed autographs, hung out for a couple hours. A bunch of the enlisted people that didn’t have to work that evening came down to the show and they got … well, we got them obliterated! [Laughs]. You know, hangin’ out with the American boys, havin’ a good time. It sucks to be down there doing what they’re doing, so if I can, [I want to] take one day out of their lives and make them forget about their shitty fuckin’ [exsistence] in the military. They had a blast. We’ve got pictures of some of those guys because we were hanging out afterwards and there was this one dude that took us around and we got to sit in the cockpit of an A10. That was awesome! He came that night, and I’m like “Dude, you’re drunk!” and he’s like, “Nah, I’m not drunk,” and I just met him that day, you know, I don’t know this guy. He said, “I’m not drunk,” and I said, “You are fuckin’ drunk,” and I took my camera out of my pocket and I took his picture, and I said, “Here, that’s a drunk motherfucker!” So it’s cool to be able to, you know, just have fun with ’em. That’s probably shit they’d do at home and they don’t have the opportunity to do that.

SLUG: Have you ever heard any negative feedback from soldiers for speaking out against the war?

K.K.: No. You know, they’re in the act of war; we write about it. So hopefully I can help them get through some of the shit they’ve gotta deal with; give them a release; not have them go off the deep end and start randomly killing people. That’s not what it’s about. Just to help them get through their day, that’d be cool with me.

SLUG: There have been multiple photos of you and Tom wearing Heavy Metal Shop shirts. Do you have a relationship with the Metal Shop? Do you know Kevin [Kirk] personally?

K.K.: I haven’t been in there for quite awhile, so that’s probably why you haven’t seen me wearing the shirt for a while. I probably wore it out. Anytime we go through Salt Lake and we’ve got some time to go do anything, we’ll do stuff like that.

SLUG: So, you guys tour pretty consistently with hardcore bands or bands associated with the hardcore scene. You’ve obviously been a huge influence on hardcore and metalcore. Is there any significant influence these bands have had on you, either musically or ideologically?

K.K.: I think it’s just a derivative of what we’ve done over the years, and they’ve taken hardcore to that level. To me it’s a little bit remedial of what we’re doing, so if I let that influence me, I’d kinda be going backwards.

After I hung up, I breathed a heavy sigh of relief because I had not had the skin removed from my face through the phone. I had half-expected that to happen. I was quite surprised at how friendly and caring Kerry King seemed, despite being the guitarist for the most notoriously evil thrash-metal band in the existence. It seems to me it won’t be long before households around the world will echo with, “Why can’t you be more like Kerry? Now go to your room and listen to Slayer!” Slayer will be playing at Saltair on Jan 30. It’s a show that can’t be missed.