Localized: The Obliterate Plague, Rico Black and Cave of Roses – February 2008

Localized is SLUG’s monthly local band showcase happening on the second Friday of each month. February’s series features The Obliterate Plague, Rico Black and openers, Cave of Roses giving out a dose of rocking tunes for your ear bleeding enjoyment Feb. 8 at the Urban Lounge (a private club for members). Tickets are five dollars at the door. Prepare yourself with some neck loosening exercises to let loose and headbang.

The Obliterate Plague

Alex Berzerker – Vox, Guitar

Clif – Drums

T-Hate-Fucker – Guitar

Necrogutsfuck - Bass

Toss out whatever clichés you might have about extreme metal; in our own hometown we have The Obliterate Plague brutalizing the scene now for roughly seven years. Sitting down with Alex and Clif, talking about the local metal scene, metal stereotypes, religion etc. Alex told me stories of how he got into metal running around with a Les Paul guitar as a kid mimicking AC/DC videos. The group will gladly tell you that they aren’t your run-of-the mill brutal metal band. All it takes to find out is just to experience the band pummeling the crowd during their live shows.

“It gets pretty rowdy; we’ve had a few crazy pits. It makes you want to thrash pretty hard. We play a lot of bars and get drunk,. There’s the legendary Burt’s Tiki Lounge show, with us and Ibex Throne and Beyond This Flesh that turned into a bar brawl in 2004. By the end of the night the bar was in ruins, there was glass, blood and cops everywhere,” Cliff and Alex reminisce.

Alex is quick to offer up explanations of their performances and some intriguing stories of past craziness. He describes their music, “Generally, our music is dark metal. It is brutal, in-your-face technical stuff that is all over the place on the guitar,. Alex continues to put the feeling of his music into words, “It’s really fast, the tempo changes to fast and thrashy, or something really hyper speed, war-metal kind of shit, then it can go into some weird, doomy-type atmosphere. It’s really unexpected.”

Alex has much to say about the local extreme metal scene in Utah, but ultimately, he winds up talking about the nature of his own band.

“There is a lot of people that don’t like to put up with the religious bullshit of this town... We’re not afraid to be freethinkers and live how we want. That’s a fucking sin and that’s extreme. Having views about Quantum physics or metaphysics, which is a big pain in the ass of mainstream science and is considered extreme.”

Striving on the point to be original Alex sums up the methods and goals of the band without hesitation.

“My main passion has been trying to do something from the beginning to be as original as possible.”

Going on to say, “I have such a varied musical taste. I know what to look for and I know what I want to do. There is a lot of that Satan, Satan, Satan stuff out there and it’s really boring and unoriginal. We’re into more occult kind of methods., which requires a lot of thought. You can approach it and it makes you think that we are tapping things that are hidden beneath the veil., Alex tells in describing his intentions with The Obliterate Plague.

Summing up the end result, Alex states, “I think our minds are capable of just about anything, without boundaries. I think that makes our band unique.”

Rico Black

Tito Valdez – Vocals

Ty - Guitar

Sam Compton – Drums

Jay Russ - Bass

Meeting up with Tito and his “producer” Cash Toleman at the Broken Record Bar seemed less like a band interview and more like a meeting of musically passionate minds. Sharing a round of drinks while talking about music, love, clubs and just basically shooting the shit, was welcoming as well as interesting, and Tito’s comments about his life in general were just funny to hear.

Once married to a supermodel while living the rockstar lifestyle, being a DJ for swank parties and living in San Francisco, Tito tells of his beginnings of becoming a musician and ultimately creating Rico Black. Like most “rockstar” relationships, his marriage ended. Rico describes it as being born again, in a sense. “When I was going through my divorce process, that was when Rico Black came around, working with Cash, who helped teach me how play instruments, sing and bring his message from dance club disco tech culture to real music.”

The real origins of Rico Black are suited with the pain of love lost. Tito goes on to tell more about his wife and how his ultimate message of his music came about.

“I went through all sorts of trials and tribulations. I had achieved most dreams a DJ can ever achieve, like it was reality TV for me, or like The Devil Wears Prada. Then this beautiful woman leaves me, and it fucked with me. I gave my heart and soul to her. I had no other outlet, you can’t express that by playing other peoples’ music, you have to write your own. You have to get your words and emotions out there. It all spawns from a broken heart.”

In describing how his music sounds, Tito goes on to say, “Love is the greatest muse. Whether it’s positive, or you’re scorned from love and you’re like, ‘how can I get you back?’ My answer is rock and roll.””

Delving more into the subject, “If I had to classify it under one genre it would be stoner rock/blues. I would describe it as Iggy Pop meets John Belushi. It’s wasted fucking music. When asked about there being any apprehension for playing Localized with an extreme metal band, Tito was quick to answer and promptly said, “I don’t give a shit. Any time, anywhere, any band, I will give a show, rock any stage, I will fucking make people remember the name Rico Black.”

About the actual band name, Rico Black, Tito states, “Because that’s what it is. I’ve always had this issue with duality in life, because there is duality everywhere we go, whether it’s yin, yang, dark or light, fire or snow. My duality has always been a concern.”

Living in Frisco, Tito worked, spending 52 hours worth floating time in a sensory deprivation tank, which adds a whole other element to his music. “That shit is the ultimate psychedelic to me, that is what Rico Black is about, stoner rock, psychedelic rock. If you can tap into the next level of your psyche without doing drugs, why would I take the elevator when I can take the stairs.”

Whether you’re looking for extreme metal or stoner rock/blues, grab five bucks and make your way down to the Urban Lounge February 8th.