The universe might not give you what you want most of the time but it will give you what you need. Case in point: Decibel was at the Golden Bull in Oakland in late fall checking out Immortal Bird during their West Coast tour. Well before they started playing another band took the stage. They were loud; so loud that an immediate trip to purchase earplugs was in order. They were dressed smart: Insect Warfare and Maruta gear. And despite only 20 minutes on stage, they were fucking good. That band is Infinite Waste from Oakland.
We got to know the band a bit after and learned they were putting out a split with another killer band from Oakland called Cyanic. The wheels turned and we decided to let both bands tell you more about what's shaking in the Oakland metal scene and why you should pay attention. We also got a chance to offer an exclusive stream of the split which deserves much more love on Soundcloud. Listen to and buy this ripper below as you read up on Oaktown. New Decibel buddy Jamison Kester answered on behalf of Infinite Waste and Cyanic answered as a unit.
Can you tell us more about yourselves?
Infinite Waste: Matt (Eiseman) and Kevin (Swartz) were in a different project prior to forming, and they contacted me while on tour to ask if I would fill in on bass for their remaining shows during the winter of 2013. I knew them for several years and our personalities fit, so it made sense to keep jamming. After about four months of playing music and while on another shorter northwest run, we decided to change the name to Infinite Waste and completely gut the music. After about three months we wrote, recorded and released our first EP Ghost Town on vinyl and tape. That record had more punk influence taken from the previous project, but that’s almost all dissolved. That was in June of 2014, so I guess we will be going on being a band for close to two years now.
Cyanic: We've all been playing in metal bands in San Jose, and happened to get together around six years ago starting with Rudy Pina (guitars) and Jason Bursese (drums). Rudy and Jason actively pursued Andre Cornejo, knowing him for his talent and history in the local scene. After forming a solid sound with the creative core we released a full length (Litanies of Lust Unholy) and have played throughout the Bay Area and West Coast.
When did you decide to do the split? Why did it make sense?
Infinite Waste: Since the release of Ghost Town, we have been focused more on evolving as a band and taking more time to craft our songs and sound. We actually no longer play any of Ghost Town for that reason, and although we are happy with the first release It is not what we want to do musically. After the first year of shows our goal was to do a split with a really sick band that we truly admired and respected. We also wanted to give a glimpse into the new music we are working on while preparing for our first full length. We started talking with our friends in Cyanic about doing a split back in April, so we both got back into Earhammer Studios with Greg Wilkinson and recorded two tracks each. Infinite Waste was finished back in May of 2015, but Cyanic wasn’t booked until August. Originally it was intended for release as a 7”, but because of the delay that would create while considering both band’s goals of getting new music out there this year we decided on doing just a CD and digital format.
Cyanic: The idea of a split was in the works directly after the release of Litanies. We had a hard time figuring out which one of the several incredible bands we could share a record with but we were very stoked about collaborating with Infinite Waste. We've been in touch with those fellas for a bit. All three of those guys are very active in the scene. It’s very common to see them out and about at all the local shows and not just the ones they play.
There's a lot of interesting metal coming out of Oakland these days. Can you tell us a bit more about the scene?
Infinite Waste: The scene in Oakland is incredibly strong and tight knit. I mean, although there are people who you may only see at doom shows or people who only go to black metal shows, we are all still supportive of each other. We are also really fortunate to have promoters who care about their shows! Guys like Justin Ennis, Jason Fedele, Yosef, Spike, or Michael Madfes are all workhorses trying to promote the scene. We’re very fortunate to have good promoters who care about music and will hit the streets and flier. It also helps that we are centrally located on the West Coast, so there are so many amazing touring bands supported by amazing local acts who are also regularly touring bands playing through here all the time.
Cyanic: The scene in Oakland is alive due to the participation of not just the fans of music but by the venues and establishments that provide space to enjoy live music.
Do you think the metal scene in Oakland has picked up some of the slack with many artists in San Francisco forced to move or relocate due to skyrocketing rents?
Infinite Waste: I would definitely say it’s safe to make that assumption, yes. As more and more people are being forced out of their living situations and probably practice studios in SF, they are migrating just across the bay into Oakland and the immediate cities that surround it. People are trying to hang on to their culture and the things they love to do, and the East Bay is harboring the new transplants. I’ve been practicing at the same studio for almost seven years now, and it is crazy to see the recent boom of tenants and people who are now renting rehearsal spaces within the last year alone. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is now, or will soon be a waiting list to rent a studio at Oakland Music Complex.
Cyanic: If you lived in San Francisco at any time within the last decade, then you know that it was too expensive back then as well. The trend has been spreading throughout the Bay Area more and more every year.
What other Bay Area bands should we be checking out?
Infinite Waste: Control, Vastum, Augurs, Brainoil, Deathgrave, Ulthar, Invertebrate, Black Fucking Cancer, Badr Vogu, Ion, Wild Hunt, Cardinal Wyrm, Abstracter. Matt also plays bass in Genocide Skin with Rudy from Cyanic, Kevin plays drums in Forgotten Gods out of San Jose, and I do vocals for Void Omnia.
Cyanic: Shit, let’s get started. Necrot, Badr Vogü, Dispirit, Brainoil, Vastum, Caffa, Augurs, Abstracter are some of Oakland's finest. San Francisco has Pale Chalice, Cartilage and Devoid. San Jose has Dead Pressure, Slag, Plague Phalanx, Mortuous, Total Badass among others.We all have other projects as well. Jason plays drums for Black Fucking Cancer, Rudy plays guitar/vocals for Genocide Skin and Andre is the vocalist for DeathgraVe.
Infinite Waste: We just finished in the studio at Castle Ultimate with Zach Ohren for a split we are supposed to do with Dendritic Arbor from my hometown of Pittsburgh – hopefully followed with a tour with them this summer. This will be our first full U.S. tour as Infinite Waste. Other than that, we are going to finish writing our first full length and try to do as many trips out of town as we can muster.
Cyanic: We have a collection of undocumented material that would be the majority of a conceptual record that has evolved musically more toward the direction you will hear in the split than from previous efforts. It will be our most violent sounding material to date.
Do you ever get confused for Municipal Waste?
Infinite Waste: Not that I know of, but I’m sure it’s happened. People would probably be pretty unhappy if they paid to see Municipal Waste party and instead we just bum them out.