Local Big Black Acolytes Austerity Program On The Virtues of Pranking Your Own Label and Their New EP, Backsliders and Apostates Will Burn

Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.

Local Big Black Acolytes Austerity Program On The Virtues of Pranking Your Own Label and Their New EP, Backsliders and Apostates Will Burn

Astoria duo Austerity Program take the lunging acrimony of classic pigfuck and subvert it through the evil scrunch of modern extreme metal. They've always sounded a little like Big Black--what with the whole adenoidal howling/abrasive guitar/drum machine thing--but new EP Backsliders and Apostates Will Burn (out May 4 on Hydra Head) brings their Albini worship to its most mature, focused and disturbing end point. Backsliders's four songs, all about five minutes long, are sardonic hateballs, raging like tortured animals conquering the endless drone of existence. Second track "Song 26"--which you can download below--is like Shellac's "Prayer To God" if the sex-starved protagonist actually had a closer relationship to Jesus than women.

Download:

Austerity Program, "Song 26"

What is "Song 26" about?

Vocalist/Guitarist Justin Foley: A few years back, Oxbow put out a masterpiece of a record called An Evil Heat. The first two songs on it are the same song approached from different musical directions. Their introduction and reintroduction of different themes over the course of that record really blew my mind and have been really influential in some of the stuff we've written. This is me pretty much straight ripping off the psychotic sexual preacher that Eugene does about six times better on that record. It's a pretty rich character type.

What inspired its creation, musically?

All of the songs on this record were written to stick to a specific musical rule. I don't want to be cryptic but I'll leave it to others to figure out. I guess that's cryptic. Anyway, this is the song on the record that's most like other stuff that we've written. It's built from the stop-start part in the middle, moving into the big crashing riff. About a year after it was sketched out, I realized that Torche used that same riff on their last record--"Hey, why are they playing that riff in this song?" So, even when we're not meaning to rip people off, we still end up doing it.

What do you make of the whole 2012 thing?

That movie was totally unbelievable. Danny Glover as the President? Come on. We'll never have a black president. Obama? Multi-racial, brother. Nor would the President have an advisor that would understand the science of the situation. So we call bullshit on that movie.

Tell me about the new anvil shirts. How did that idea come about

We asked the folks at Hydra Head to pull together a shirt design for us. Four different people were kind enough to do something for us to consider. This by itself is very flattering. A bunch of our friends picked this as their favorite. It's hilarious and we take no credit for it at all. Thank Andrew Cox at Hydra Head and pay him money to design a shirt for your band.

How much truth do you wager is in the funny "HydraHead is mad at Austerity Program" press release?

Here's the thing about Hydra Head. We sat down with them in 2001 and told them that we wanted total control over everything, we had expensive packaging ideas, and we were going to record everything ourselves. Oh, and the type of music we play fit into no scene, we had developed no following, and we had other things going on in our lives, so don't expect us to tour. Since then, we've made good on all of these promises plus sending out a bunch of fake announcements that have resulted in us getting banned from playing in places; taking idiotic press photos of us in a kiddie pool; stopping the release out any music for about three years while we built our own studio; and sending out YouTube videos that make us seem like tools. That they have kept up their part of the bargain and let us put music out through their label is a testament to their real commitment to artistic integrity. In fact, the only way they would ever release a press release like that was if the band wrote it and told them, "This should be the press release for our next record."

Whats the best show you've ever played in New York?

Probably the basement at the Charleston back in December. We like basement type-shows as they are a good showcase for the claustrophobic parts of the music we play.

What's your favorite place to eat in Astoria?

Kebab Cafe on Steinway Street. Ali, the guys who runs it, is a philosopher hero and a genuine force for good in the universe.

Austerity Program play May 2 at Union Pool with Disappearer and Phantom Glue.

Are you an emerging local band who has an upcoming 7", MP3, or album? Are you not totally fucking terrible like 90% of the bands in this city? Then please send us an email at yesinmybackyard@gmail.com. Links and YSIs only. No attachments please!


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