Mind Eraser are my favorite hardcore band right now. I was very impressed by their demo and then totally blown away by the Cave LP. I did this interview last week with Chris Corry.
Was releasing the demo online a conscious choice the band made? In the age of $5 demo tapes and CDR demos that can hold 80 minutes of music but only have three songs on them, it was quite refreshing to see the Mind Eraser stuff online for everyone with a net connection to be able to check out.
Nah it wasn’t really any kind of statement. The band started as just me and Justin talking about doing a band that was a synthesis of our favorite brutal shit like Crossed Out, Citizens Arrest, Siege, and whatever, so we went to the practice space I had at the time and just banged out a bunch of songs. I had some of the riffs written at the time, but some of them we just wrote there as we recorded. Anyway when that was done I just mixed it and put it online for our friends to hear. There wasn’t a master plan behind it and we didn’t even have like a lineup to play shows yet. I just figured it didn’t cost anything to produce so why force people to pay for it; it’s just a four track recording. The people that wanted an actual tape with a printed cover and uncompressed audio bought it at shows or through the mail.
Is it true the cover to Cave is from the same book Void used for a lot of their imagery?
We have that book at Painkiller. It’s got a lot of good imagery in it. We’ve used it for all the Mind Eraser art (demo, LP, shirts). It’s a little tapped out at this point… Born In Hell used it too, we’ve used it for some flyers and stuff.
Why did you guys choose to cover Taste of Fear’s Pro Life=No Mind?
It’s a sick song. We’re not really a political band and we were going to write new lyrics for it because we figured no one would know anyway, but we never did so it just ended up being a straight cover. Justin is friends with Daryl and has played on a couple projects with him including the last Taste of Fear session. Some of their stuff is fucking punishing. We covered Think I Care’s Burn on the demo too. A lot of people thought it was meant disrespectfully because they sort of changed their sound at that time, but it was just because we thought it was a cool song and we could play it off the cuff.
What is going on in the Boston area right now? It seems you guys have a lot of people doing a lot of bands together (Stop + Think, Mental, Mind Eraser, Breathing Fire, Righteous Jams, etc) with a group of people who mix in and out sort of like what Portland has with Tragedy, Deathreat, HHIG, Midnight, etc
Hmmm… Well Mental and Righteous Jams have been around since 02 and 03 respectively. Even though we share members and are all friends we don’t play a lot of the same shows, a lot of the dudes in those bands only have limited interest in bands that sound like Mind Eraser… Stop and Think has not been a band for 3 years now, although we did play last weekend. I guess I tend to collaborate with the same people often, like when Righteous Jams started it was me, Justin, Cooch, and Joe. Now every one of those people but Joe is in Mind Eraser. I have not been in RJ’s for about a year and a half though Brendan our drummer is in Breathing Fire. We got him in Mind Eraser after our first few shows because the dude who played drums before didn’t really care. He also sang in xfilesx a couple years ago. Me, him, and Justin also started another band where he sings called Soul Swallower. We went on tour with Mind Eraser this summer and Say Goodbye as well. It is just really easy to collaborate with the same people because you are already used to their strengths and weaknesses and they are used to yours. Justin and I are extremely efficient together at this point actually pretty much everyone in Mind Eraser is that way for me. I don’t really see it as being like the Portland scene or whatever though. For one thing, our more straight edge style bands and our more…uh, extreme type stuff are sort of separate from each other especially in the people that like them. Also there’s not really much of a scene here for either one, Boston is really weird right now. I dunno it doesn’t seem like the same thing to me. We played with Hellshock a few weeks ago, they have Celtic Frost tattoos so obviously they’re sick.
What is going on with Soul Swallower?
We should have a 7″ out by the end of the summer on Collapse Records. Josh is in Texas for another month so I don’t think we’re playing. Brendan and I were talking about new song ideas the other day but we’re not rushing yet, no one knows who we are and hardly anyone’s heard the record, just whoever I gave CDRS to. It’s really dirty and degraded sounding, the mix is rough, the playing is hardly precise, the vocals are really sick; Brendan has outdone himself I think. Some of the noises I got from the guitar amps are totally unholy, just weird feedback and interference, it sounds filthy. I really like the artwork I came up with too; I think the whole package has a really different feel from the Mind Eraser record; a lot more unhinged in certain ways.
What is next for Mind Eraser?
Two songs are coming out on the Generations compilation on Revelation. Almost every other band on there is like… Mental, Iron Boots, Lights Out. It’s cool, it should throw some people for a loop. We’ve demoed 10 or 12 songs on 4 track over the last year, we’ll keep tightening those up. I’m not sure what they’re for right now, earlier in the year we were talking about having a split LP and a split 7″ with Breathing Fire and Soul Swallower respectively. Now I think we might just do a second album. The new stuff is a little different. Still a lot of Infest/Citizens Arrest/Crossed Out vibes, but also stuff like Napalm Death/Terrorizer/old Ringworm/Eyehategod/Extreme Noise Terror/Master/Repulsion… just trying to up the ante. It’s still hardcore though, we’ll always be a hardcore band. At least i hope. By the way Breathing Fire’s not dead. That seems a common misconception. Right now music doesn’t deserve them I think. People should just take another year digesting that demo, and by that time, they should have a new recording to embarrass everyone with. The first time me and Justin heard Breathing Fire we almost broke up Mind Eraser, it’s pretty much like “what’s the point” but I realized that I had gotten pretty cocky after we recorded our LP and I needed something to reduce me back to zero; put me in my place. I’ve heard some rough versions of new Fire shit. Relapse should drop their whole roster and just sign em. Makes bullshit like Mastodon sound like the Crippled Youth 7″.
Oh… we might go out to the west coast in the fall, might tour this spring, I dunno.
Any other projects coming up?
Always. Keep your ear to the ground.
You are also an avid tape trader…any good scores lately?
Fuck I sort of retired. Well I’m really lazy, and really disorganized, and Cooch has less of a life than me, so he sort of trades tapes with everyone on earth, and then I just get copies of the shit I want. That dude totally usurped my position but its fine because I have more free time to sleep.