made an album (3D House of Beef) and released it on the web and
we eventually met when me and Donna Donnelly went to stay with a
friend in Vancouver. Nial turned out to be a scary-looking teddy
bear who showed us round the record stores of Seattle by day and
played dark, dark music by night. The band toured over here a couple
of times, got some coverage in Kerrang and the other metal mags,
changed line-ups several times, moved from Seattle to California,
made a remix album for their own Supergeisha record label (I covered
one of their tracks on an acoustic guitar for the album, but the
tapes have been lost, thankfully), fell apart, played a few shows
and eventually turned up again with a new album, Low Cycle, for
Lunasound Recording of Sweden. We've been meaning to do this for
years, but now seemed as good a time as any to interview Nial.
how long has it been since that first demo tape?
9 years. wow. and i don't feel a day over 90 years old. amazing
what a diet of bile, alcohol and cut rate grey market foods can
do for you.
diet of bile. Do you feel bitter about things then?
very bitter about a lot of things. i haven't lost any limbs, but
i've probably gotten more than my fair share of "gotchas" in the
last few years. going into details would be a bit laborious to say
the least... and probably not very entertaining. i realise i'm taking
the path less travelled, and i suppose that is the way i feel that
things have meaning, and an honest effort behind them. people have
never failed to let me down in one aspect or another. generally
i hold them at arms length and while my expectations are low, my
disappointment is also commensurately low.
band line-up has changed a few times, hasn't it?
unfortunately we've been blessed with the rotating door with band
members. just as soon as the fuse is lit, the rats leave the ship.
its made me incredibly bitter, because i want to tour every 4 to
6 months, and i end up getting talented people that arent commited
to much else other than their jobs.
the current line-up the best/most stable/something else?
again more fast food calibre drama. we moved from SF to LA to escape
the rents, the unemployment, and the death knells of one of the
most vital art and music centres in the whole world, only to escape
to the land of plastic and smog. yes, the lovely LA opened her surgically
altered arms, and we dove right into them. in the meantime we lost
our other guitar player, and our drummer to the SF carnage. as we
arrived to LA, we were working with barry from nailbomb as our new
drummer, and he suffered a personal crisis, and we've already had
to move on, and we've only been here for 3 weeks! john the bass
player has been the grumpy old stable dad, and i'm of course the
sick, twisted, can't let go enabler, so we are looking for a few
more family members right now. the calibre of playing on the last
CD was great, everyone made a contribution, and i think the new
CD is yet another milestone in HUGE, but we've had to move on. it
sucks, but i think that its also lent a lot of diversity to our
difficult is it to maintain the direction of the band when you're
constantly changing members?
is very difficult, but i have ended up doing it for so long that
it almost feels normal in a way! fortunately i think i have the
interview process down pretty well, there are a scope of bands that
the person must be familiar with, and preferably they like. they
have to be of above average intelligence, and have a good sense
of humor because we are always cracking inappropriate off color
jokes, gallows humor sort of thing. and they obviously have to be
3D House of Beef,
3D House of Beef CD
since King Kong dumped his load at the back of the Empire State
building (it was cut from the film) has there been such heavy
shit. Tuning down to G, 3D
House of Beef dredge up the demonic nightmares of a thousand
demons - on bad acid - and turn them into a sonic death ray of pulsating
riffs powerful enough to kill postmen at a thousand paces.
crisp as your adolescent bedsheets first thing in the morning, 3D
House of Beef proved "heavy" does not have to mean sludge-ridden,
we're talking heavy/industrial/noise/metal here, but, again, that's
"metal" without all the cliched crap that for some reason causes
hordes of pubescent Maiden fans to make the devil sign and swap
acne stories while struggling to pull on a pair of their sister's
the intro of Heard You Were Dead through to the closing clangs of
a blinding version Black Flag's Rat's Eyes, this is an album that's
capable of using sound as a weapon. The twisted
Thalidomide (replete with suitably disturbing samples), the ten
minute dirgeathon that is Crawl, the stuttering riffs guaranteed
to cause maximum headbanging confusion to all the Beavis and Buttheads
of this world that begin Society of Old Crows and the downright
nastiness of Identified by Dental Records all combine to blow my
head off every time I listen (well..)
3D House of Beef,
new tracks for ages from the Beef and I'm pleased to say that while
things have moved on, it's mainly business as usual. The same: grinding,
sludge-laden riffola, bondage-trouser drumming and fluid bass. The
difference: ants in the pants. That's right, where 3D once crawled
like a sloth with 4 broken legs, these three tracks are played almost
at a canter and the results are stupendous. The songs are chopped-up,
lurching and noisy. There's still life in the metal beast yet
3D House of Beef,
Similar Attack Pattern (Supergeisha) CD
do so many heavy bands look back so fondly upon Kiss? I mean, they
were only ever a bunch of pretty boy pub-rockers with a neat line
in costumes, one oversize tongue and a relentless appetite for self-promotion.
Whatever the reason, you'll find that 3D House of Beef have hidden
a churning cover of some-time Kiss member Ace Frehley's Stranger
In A Strange Land at the end of Similar Attack Pattern, and they've
made it all their own; on a par with the 3 new tracks which are
indeed similar to the last album: grinding, gurning, twisted slowcore
geetar, tight and hard epileptic drumming and heavy, sinuous weighed-down
bass. If there's any appreciable difference between this record
and that, it's that the band have accelerated from a lurch into
a crawl...but they're on the verge of falling back down.
other tracks are remixes from the debut 3D House of Beef by the
likes of Leech Woman and Deathline International. Sedition (the
16 Volt mudcock mix) is taken over by a snare-happy loop and some
electronic bobbling, reducing the seething grunge of the original
to almost nothing. In contrast, Crawl actually seems slower and
more dense than before - perhaps not surprising given that it's
remixed by the band themselves. Scar Tissue turn Society Of Old
Crows into a lump-hammer industrial beating while Deathline Intl
make White Hogslaughter one of their own children, artificial electro
devoid of emotion. Leech Woman's overhaul of ID'd by Dental Records
is buried beneath a thick layer of hum, hiss and piercing whistle,
shading new texture into the track's incessant repetition and things
are rounded off with Insilico's gabba version of White Hogslaughter.
must be a trial just teaching new people the old material.
a lot of times i feel that the bands progress is hampered due to
the fact that i have to get new people familiar with the old material,
and to get them into the vibe before we can proceed with writing
new material. that usually takes a few months, and by then its time
to play shows, and next thing you know, you blink and its a whole
year gone. this time around, though we are already writing new material,
and hopefully we will have an EP length of new stuff ready for when
we go out on tour in fall so we can intersperse some new stuff for
much do you let people contribute to the creative side and how much
of the 3D sound is just Nial McGaughey?
always tell people to be themselves and be comfortable with their
own playing as far as personal playing habits are concerned. for
example jason our new drummer always starts things off with only
a 2 count rather than all the other drummers who start with a 4
count. we adapted to his style rather than force him to change how
he likes to play. i try and keep a tight rein on overindulgence
or overplaying when it comes to aesthetics. i'm very concerned about
how the band sounds. i have never liked grandstanding or solo showmanship
in bands, and i generally don't play with people who do. i've needed
writing partners in the past, and on this new record, ryan and i
brainstormed a lot. i always solicit the whole band for reality
checks, and i think everyone contributes. everyone has to like the
arrangements before "its done"..
much has the sound of 3D changed since the Crowning.. tape?
evolved a lot since the first tape. tried a few things here and
there, some worked, some didn't. we've gotten equipment that allow
us to get the sounds i hear in my head, and the reliability factor
has gone way up. my frustration with the limitations of the physical
realm have gotten lesser.
seem to have got more focussed.
know what sounds i like to hear coming from the band, but i'm also
aware of the pitfalls of painting oneself into a corner. i definitely
think we've matured, and in a unique way. everything we do is an
aesthetic judgement call. when things fall outside those boundaries,
we still evaluate them to see if they do something interesting.
you getting more commercial?
don't think so. but no one ever wants to admit to themselves that
they might have made a compromise that might be potentially viewed
as distasteful. i think the vision is more focused now than it ever
has been, but hopefully leaving enough of the rough edges in it
to make it compelling listening. i won't ever take the conventional
easy path. i don't know if there was an original vision, just wanting
to make heavy noisy crazy music that blew people away, and was far
away from anything we had ever heard before. my only vision now
is wanting to play our music loudly and for a lot of people. we
are in that cycle of the band's music, we've made a new record,
and now we need to sing its praises from the highest rooftops, and
play amazing shows in front of lots of people. i want to succeed
at that, and then go on to write another great record.
say (a cliché is coming..) that you haven't managed to capture
the whole live power on record.
time we've recorded, we've come closer to the live sound, the tools
have gotten better, and the brains behind the tools are better.
the results are getting closer. i don't think any medium can truly
convey the force of a live performance experience. i don't think
that problem is unique to us.
you really do nail it live.
you. our new sound is even better, actually. where as before it
was huge and low, now it has POWER added to the mix with the new
amps and guitars we've gotten, and jason is from the loud Melvins
school of drumming, so this new setup should set a few records of
Supergeisha still going?
really. i wish it was, but i've basically taken everything out of
my life that was causing me stress, and that was one of them. i
still do most of our mail order stuff myself, but as far as becoming
a "real" label, i felt bad for the artists involved, and i knew
my heart wasn't into it, and i was doing a disservice to them by
not being able to give them the work they deserved. my focus right
now is 100% 3D House Of Beef, and anything else is viewed as a potential
time sucker, and to be dealt with as such. long term, that is very
bad in terms of personal growth, and balance, but i figure balance,
and other things can come later after i've put more effort into
things and i can take a bit of a rest.
of rest, you've had chronic medical problems all the time you've
been in 3D House of Beef.
have had severe chronic fatigue
syndrome (AKA epstein-barr) for the last 6 years. it was very
severe during the recording of our first CD, so much i had to go
on medical leave from my day job and basically spent the first few
months of the illness sleeping all day long. the illness has wrecked
schedules and made me not be able to think or concentrate much less
have any motivation to do anything, so its also been a huge factor
in what the band has been able to accomplish due to the fact that
i have pretty much done everything since day one, and if i didn't
do it, it didn't get done. i feel cheated sometimes because i feel
that the band would be further along if i wasn't so tired all the
time. usually when its in full swing, just making food and eating
it requires a supreme effort. i definitely feel that my quality
of life has been affected negatively, and that the things i will
be able to do during my lifetime have been curtailed. i try not
to think about it a lot, and i've tried to restructure my life around
it. i feel like my life is less rewarding and i feel like i'm a
damaged human being. i don't really have a positive upswing about
don't have a positive upswing about metal. What's happened to it?
gotten fat, soft, dumb, and comfortable. its now profitable for
big labels to do heavy music, and what's considered metal today
really makes me laugh at how much the genre has stretched. the classic
old school guys are still doing the old styles, and some are innovating,
but by and large, the whole genre needs lean years, coupled with
a lot of genius before its going to be compelling listening again.
as a band we are twisting it into new shapes that hopefully take
on a life of their own.
who is your audience? Marilyn Manson fans?
dunno. in the US its kids with long sleeved metal shirts and short
hair. or indie people who are starting to appreciate metal and some
of its new forms.. in europe it's a mixed bag entirely. to get into
what we do, i think you have to have an IQ and an open mind. we
are the inconvenient food.
certainly true. An acquired taste as well, but why not give it a
try anyway? email@example.com