Thrill Jockey are known mostly for their weird post-rock and experimental psych acts like Trans Am, Barn Owl, Eternal Tapestry, and Tortoise. And that stuff is great, and we cover it, but it's always a slightly uncomfortable match with the magazine. Recently, though, they've expanded into full-blown metal madness with Liturgy, the Body, and now Oozing Wound. The Chicago-based trio's debut, Retrash, may be some of the filthiest crossover thrash you've ever heard, much less on a label that has released records from David Byrne. The album doesn't come out until October, but we figured we'd let singer/guitarist Zack Weil introduce himself –and this definitely won't be the last you hear from them. Check out a couple tracks from their debut demo, Vape and Pillage, while you read.
How does it feel to be the heaviest band on Thrill Jockey? Feels like being the ugliest girl at the ball. Everyone's looking at you and judging you in comparison to the more attractive ladies, but they're all too prissy to take home. So we get the wolves and we get to party.
How did you put together all of your various influences and arrive at Oozing Wound? It was completely thoughtless really, just because we listen to ABBA and shit doesn't mean we want to play it. I don't want to see people sitting out there listening and taking in ambiance, I want 'em rocking the fuck out. You can probably hear the Fleetwood Mac in our shit stronger than the Sabbath. It takes all kinds.
For that matter, how did you arrive at the NAME Oozing Wound? It's pretty hard to take something seriously when it's called Oozing Wound. We figured it gave us carte blanche to do whatever we wanted. It's also something that sounds bad when your parents say it so that's a plus.
What, specifically, are you screaming about, anyway? Congress (Democrats and Republicans), bad drivers, hospital infections, bands that move to a specific place in hopes of making it big, a drug dealer mocking his new client, Joseph screaming at fetus Jesus wondering where the hell he came from, a mad hatter who becomes addicted to the mercury poisoning from making hats, what I figured Rambo is thinking in Rambo 4, and the Juggernaut which people would purportedly throw themselves and others under as a means of sacrifice. Every song is in character like my boy Randy Newman.
Is there an underlying philosophy behind the band? To slay. Cut out everything that gets in the way of that. Mostly allow the song to write itself, if you have a good riff it leads you to where you need to go. Too many songwriters get in the way and fuck it up.
What's the craziest thing that's happened at one of your shows? Kyle once got so overheated at a show that he puked on his drums during one of our songs. He never stopped and puke flew off his snare drum when he hit it. It was the most punk rock thing that ever happened.
Why should people choose Oozing Wound out of all their choices for noisy thrash? Most bands suck, we don't. As, Old Dirty Bastard once said, “This ain't no commercial shit.”
***Retrash comes out October 15 on Thrill Jockey. Chicago residents can taste the ooze August 24th at Town Hall Pub and at the record release show October 24th at the Empty Bottle.