Without a doubt, Zack is the man who is single-handedly responsible for starting my interest in gorenoise. Not that I haven’t been aware of the genre, just didn’t feel the urge or need to explore it to any extent. Everything changed, though, on that fateful summer day…
…and therefore, I can’t but introduce this guy to you, our readers, as well. Why, you ask? Well, read and you’ll learn.
Well, who would think that from our initial conversation on Instagram will spring this interview…anyway, for those who have no clue who Zack Fogle is, can you briefly introduce yourself?
Good day Rudolf, hope all is well. My name is Zack and I live in Austin, Texas. I work at an organic gardening center here in South Austin which takes up the majority of my time. Aside from that, I spend most of my time these days at the gym and working on a plethora of different music related endeavors by myself and with friends. I have a pretty consistent routine since I’ve decided to roll with a sober lifestyle, so that’s pretty much the extent of my introduction.
I will readily admit this one might be seen as a boring, standard question, but I am genuinely interested in people’s journey in musick. How did you started with extreme musick? I guess you haven’t jumped to the underground and gore stuff straight away, right?
As a kid I was raised in a very religious and relatively sheltered family with little to no option to surf the web on my own and discover a lot of music. I went to conservative private schools all my life with classmates who really didn’t listen to anything crazy or interesting stuff in my opinion, and at the time I really wasn’t interested in any music in general. In 3rd grade I remember hearing some of Weird Al’s Polka medleys and really enjoying the fast paced polka-style versions of dumb songs and thinking it was kinda cool. A few years later I saw a kid with a Slipknot backpack and thought to myself “those dudes look pretty wild” and asked him if I could borrow one of their cds. After listening to the whole thing, which I think was Iowa, I was hooked. After that I was able to acquire my dads iTunes password (I told him I wanted to download Bob Dylan music), I hopped on there and bought all the craziest sounding/looking music I could find. Stuff like Marilyn Manson, NIN, Korn etc. After a while I began to get bored with that stuff and began craving more intense stuff that was less focused on dumb shit like bullying, depression, teen angst and breakups. I hate that garbage. I believe in 8th grade I accidentally downloaded the Decapitated album “Nihility” and I was completely blown away by it, primarily the drums which I thought were the coolest thing ever. All I wanted to do after that was find more bands with crazy sounding death metal drums which eventually led me to beg my parents for a drum set, which they graciously but reluctantly got for me for Christmas that same year. For the next several years after that I practiced drums constantly and attempted to teach myself via youtube videos on how to play metal drums, while at the same time trying to discover more and more extreme types of music. Not too long after that I downloaded “Chainsaw Dismemberment” by Mortician and “Apocalyptic Feasting” by Brain Drill and it only got crazier from there.
What would you cite as your biggest influences for creating your noise? Thematically and musically? Any particular artist(s) or release(s) you would pinpoint as the starting material into getting into gorenoise?
I believe during sophomore year of high school I discovered the band Torsofuck which I though was the grossest and coolest band ever. Believe it or not, their split with Lymphatic Phlegm was on itunes and I downloaded that the second I saw it. After a few listens I immediately wanted to make music like that. Soon after that I discovered Last Days of Humanity, who need no introduction and they became my favorite band, even to the present day. About 5 years later my band Vaginal Mustard (which is like technical death metal mixed with pornogrind and slam stuff), was invited to open up for Cemetery Rapist (you all should know him) at a show and this local guy named Roland from a project called Pseudomonas Aeruginosa played before us. I was familiar with a lot of goregrind already but had never heard anything like his music. He was on stage clad in a bondage mask playing a bass covered with stickers from bands I had never heard of and was playing along to machine gun sounding programmed drums. I was completely blown away and searched the crowd for him after his set trying to find him and bombard with an arsenal of questions. I was able to acquire some cassettes from him of his project as well as some recommendations and after several listens of his material, I knew this was type of music I wanted to make. Not to long after I begged Roland to meet up with me so I could buy more of his material and bounce questions off of him to figure out begin making this type of thing. He graciously loaded me up with lots of goregrind/gorenoise material that I vigorously listened to and began recording gore stuff. I know that was long winded but to answer your question in a nutfuck, Last days of Humanity, Torsofuck and most importantly, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa. Aside from the musical aspect, I’ve always been into extreme horror and snuff style movies which are a huge influence aesthetic wise for all my creative endeavors. I prefer the old school exploitation kinda stuff over anything, but there has been some new stuff that’s pretty cool/shocking that I can get down with.
What was your very first project/band you’ve created, and how do you view your initial efforts today? Would you change anything or you are content with it as it was (is)?
When I was about 16, I bought an audio interface and began experimenting around with recording brutal death metal stuff. I didn’t know anyone who would be willing to be in a band like that at the time, so I decided to record all the instruments myself. For my birthday that year I received some drum mics and a mixer to make it possible to record drums in a more practical way than just using 1 overhead mic. After a year or so I was able to figure out how to more or less play BDM style guitar and bass so I figured it was time to record some tracks on my own which eventually turned into my short lived project Lascivious. When I completed an ep for that and got it released via Fuck The Ass records, I met Roland (who I mentioned above) and then decided to put forth almost all my effort into goregrind/gorenoise material instead of death metal. From there I started a project called Gangrenous Erythromelalgia which was fast drums with little to no groove, improv bass and watery vocals. Looking back on that project in particular, I wish I would have been more knowledgeable in terms of getting a more old school sound and having more inspirational bands in my head besides only one or two that I was obsessed with. These days I have a greater knowledge of goregrind and gorenoise stuff that inspires all elements of the music as opposed to only the vocals or the drums. As of a few years ago Ive been trying to develop the somewhat humble style of the grindcore guitar style and not just making noise.
Talking about projects, how many projects so far have you featured it? Do you still continue with all of them? Also, why the need of creating different projects?
I have a lot of projects. Not nearly as many as some people that im in contact with, but enough to where ill forget about some. My main solo projects im involved with now are Metrorrhagia, Stercoraceous Copremesis Rhinorrhea, Toxoplasmosis and my harsh noise project Relationship Goals. These days I have been doing projects with friends and long time band mates from other endeavors. You recently did a review of two of them if I am correct. One is Ethanol Corroded Liver Chunks Clogging The Breathing Passages of a Comatose Teenage Sophomore, which is a groovy goregrind project with my roommate Rylie. Another is Campylobactosislagoonsea-trashmeglylysisaquaticstasisialectomy which is with my friend Justin who I have been in several projects and bands with over the years including our band Cum Ocean that we’ve been doing since 2014. I have other projects that are one-off type things and some that I got sick of. The names are too long and I have trouble remembering them (after 8 years of drug and alcohol abuse). Although goregrind/gorenoise/harsh noise stuff has been around for decades, I still think it is somewhat of an uncharted territory and there are many styles and sub-sub-sub genres that have yet to be created and expanded upon. I don’t see myself getting sick of creating more stuff any time soon so as long as I still have a way to record and maintain interest, I’ll always have new projects with different styles within the genre.
You also run Subliminal Facial Records, and as you’ve pointed out, it’s reserved for your releases only (also for the splits you featured in). Why the need of running your own label? No interest from other labels, or just the better distribution? Or anything completely different?
SFR was “created” mainly so I could keep track of my releases and projects and validate where they came from. I’ve attempted to release projects from other people through my shitty DIY label but I realized I don’t have the time/energy/money/resources to do so. I have enough trouble keeping track of my own stuff let alone other folks and I would feel bad committing to make copies of other bands releases and not deliver to their expectations. I am always down for other labels to release my stuff as well, in fact I almost prefer that but if that doesn’t work out, Ill release it via SFR.
I just can’t stop wondering, how the fuck did you end up with covering Vengaboys and Bebe Rexha (feat. Florida Georgia Line) songs for your split with Corpus Luteum Cyst? For the sake of clarity let’s add we’re talking about your project Campylobactosislagoonseatrashmeglylysisaquaticstatisialectomy. I think that stuff was killer! Any more cover songs in the future?
That is an excellent question. I have a soft spot for absolutely terrible and cringe-worthy pop songs. My band mate and I always have a good time trying to come up with the worst possible songs to cover gorenoise style. In fact, we have a pretty high standard for awful music like that to do our own versions of. Thank you, im glad you dig it. I listen to the radio a lot and im always on the look out for one hit wonders that people forget about. I think we may cover the song “Never There” by Cake but ill need to run that by J first.
What’s your view on current state of gorenoise scene? Any thought of possible emerging trends?
Gorenoise has definitely exploded since I started in 2013/2014 and that wasn’t even that long ago at all. A few years ago I uploaded a stupid instructional joke video called “how to make gorenosie” on my youtube channel (which got taken down) and it got a disturbing amount of views. Like 20k I believe. It was just surprising how many people actually searched “gorenoise” on youtube which therefore made me believe that this genre is definitely not as underground as I understood. Goregrind more so than gorenoise is definitely beginning to become somewhat trendy. I never thought id see then day where girls are wearing Haggus shirts, Sulfuric Cautery gym shirts and Deterioration hats walking around down town Austin with their boyfriends in The Black Dahlia Murder shirts and skinny jeans.
How about playing live? Have you ever played live or do you plan to?
I enjoy playing live greatly. There is a pretty good sized noise and experimental here in Texas of which I have been integrated into with the help of a few good friends. I play drums for several local bands on and off as well as smash pedals for harsh noise projects. Between 2014-2017 I played live almost once a month but the demand has gone down a bit since the curator of the craziest/most fun shows moved. Local Venues have been less and less tolerant of off the hook type gigs lately, which I understand to an extent. I usually play live whenever I get offered to. I used to book goregrind shows once at year at a local venue but after an instance where a moron thought it would be funny to fire off a fire extinguisher in the venue, it killed the morale to book shows anymore since it has cost me a fair amount of $ to get the place thoroughly cleaned. Just about any time I’m asked to perform by a promoter locally, I’ll gladly do so.
As for your own projects and releases, what can we expect from you in the near future? And with this questions, what interesting projects/bands would you recommend to our readers to check?
I have a few splits that are in the works currently. Im about to begin working on a Metrorrhagia release with Metastiasis who is absolutely killer. Another with Felix from Larvaectomy who I believe you interviewed as well. (Yes, I did here) I recently finished my side of a split with Fetal Deformity from Mexico (one of my all time favorites) which is going to be released on 7” via Breathing Problem Productions and Cassette via Uninvited Records. Im very much looking forward to that. My project Stercoraceous Copremesis Rhinorrhea has too many splits lined up to remember. That project is much easier to record than Metrorrhagia so I can pump those out with ease. Recently I’ve been listening to this project called Clogged Vomit that I would highly recommend to anyone who gets down with harsh hydro noise shit. I have no clue who is behind that project and nobody seems to know, but it is great. I have also been listening to a lot of Elephant Man Behind the Sun and Biocyst who are two of my favorites. Most gore freaks should know about them but if not, CZECH IT OUT BROTHER.
Let’s turn our attention to the “gore” side of gorenoise. What does fascinate you on the morbidity of the pathology and various medically-oriented stuff? What about books, movies? Any favourite in these fields?
Ever since I was a little kid I was into morbid and creepy stuff. When I was like seven I saw Indiana Jones and there was that scene where some folks are crawling through this tunnel in Egypt and they come across a crypt with hundreds of mummies covered with snakes and I remember thinking “this is pretty sweet”. My parents were very strict with what shows and movies I could watch and I always begged them to let me watch the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre but that one was totally off limits. When I was around 15, my mom would drop me off at a book store that sold movies and I would buy anything that looked gory/scary and throw away the case and hide the dvd in my pants. Around that time I watched the SAW movies, Hostel, and the remakes of Texas Chainsaw Massacre which became some of my favorites during that period. When I turned 18 they let me watch whatever the hell I wanted so I went crazy. Things really changed when I found the August Underground series online somewhere and started diving deep into the super disturbing snuff/gore flicks. Those got me hooked and they remain my favorites to this day. Now I own countless dvd’s and vhs of gore/exploitation shit as well as old school horror stuff. These days ive really been into the Japanese “Death File” flicks that are super rare and provide endless access to great images for cover art. Ive always thought forensic pathology was pretty cool even before I started recording goregrind stuff. Even my death metal shit was based around medical malpractice and themes like that. Once I discovered goregrind/gorenoise, everything came together and it made the perfect match of morbid and detailed stuff that was very interesting to me. I have several pdf files of medical books on my computer that have great images of album art/themes etc. Whenever I cant come up with a theme for a release or song titles, I always consult the books and ill always find something inspiring within a few minutes.
You are quite famous also for your spicy peppers’s growing and eating and man, this stuff is insane! How did you get to do that? Any experience you would consider as the worst?
Ive always enjoyed cooking, eating and experimenting with insanely hot food. I have some sort of weird tolerance to pain in general so people use to challenge me to drink bottles of hot sauce then get slapped in the face and do all kinds of dumb painful stuff afterwards. When I started working at a gardening center, I gained access to their great selection of dangerously hot peppers along with other great veggies and such. My department doesn’t work directly with plants, but we have our own little garden that we can buy or write off plants for and put them in the ground. I started to go apeshit with growing hot stuff like ghost peppers and scorpion peppers then moved on to super hot shit like Carolina Reapers and Chocolate Bhutlah’s. My dad is a big time serious gardener and ill always bring him pepper seeds and he’ll grow them for me in a much more organized and professional way. I really enjoy challenges in general, especially stuff that I can do for some reason and that others have trouble with. Unfortunately, most of my pepper challenges have been removed from youtube along with my channel, but I have plans to review several new types of painful videos in the near future. The worst by far was when I ate a huge scorpion pepper then pepper sprayed myself directly in the face while eating it. There’s a video on youtube somewhere. That sucked.
Hustling time! What merchandise can those interested in gorenoise order from Subliminal Facial? I understand it’s quite limited, isn’t it?
Oh man, I have a lot on there. Mainly cassettes from all my projects as well as cdrs and some shirts. I’d list that shit here but I don’t want to fill up two pages of my worthless DIY releases that will not fill your stomach or keep you warm at night. I like to keep all my merch limited for many different reasons. Primarily just to keep it interesting and people get something more unique that’s not mass produced (generally speaking). I recently got some pretty high quality Stercoraceous Copremesis Rhinorrhea shirts printed which im pretty proud of. They are for sale now and I encourage anyone who digs that terrible excuse for a project to pick one up and to support my crippling addiction to carbonated waters.
And with the end of this short intie…any final message to the readers of the Rubber Axe webzine?
Thanks RAW for the interview! Excuse my typos, excessive use of commas and grammatical imperfections. I am not college educated or very smart period. Keep in touch! -Z
Check some of Zack’s stuff here: https://gangrenouserythromelalgia.bandcamp.com/