Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.
Brooklyn muckos Batillus shatter woofers and spirits as part of the New Wave Of Brooklyn Doom, alongside previous YIMBY favorites like Bloody Panda and Hull. But they are the blackest, bleakest, and orneriest of the lot, emoting and gurgling at a snail’s pace, more concerned with creating massive walls of impenetrable ambience than giving a weedhead something fun to bang along to. Usually, it’s a creepy-crawly churn slowly tumbling at a BPM no one would have the patience to count. Their recent addition to their MySpace page, “Division,” slathers on feedback with the thickest brush possible. It’s a haunting squeal broken up by bayonet stabs of monster doom which eventually settles into a Boris-like groove–it’s safe to say that Greg Peterson’s guitar tone may be the one for New York metal musicians to beat in 2010. Beyond his throaty bellows, new vocalist Fade Kainer adds a subtle shade of space noise that’s more Forcefield noisepunk shudder than Hawkwind cosmic slurp. Each note is held for a harrowingly long time, allowing the listener to pore over tone and marvel at shape–thankfully these dudes always supply fans with monstrous-but-manageable high-bit-rate MP3s for maximum exploration of their increasingly expansive sound.
Batillus on “The Division”:
What is “The Division” about?
Fade Kainer, vocals/synths: Being drawn to separate paths; letting the old die and awakening to the voyage.
What inspired its creation?
Greg Peterson, guitar: Willi and I were working on these riffs right around the time that we first started rehearsing with Fade, so we were transitioning from being an instrumental trio into something else, and we were exploring dimensions that we hadn’t really looked at yet. For example, the fast section in the middle was probably the most aggressive sounding thing we’d come up with so far–I think I’d been listening to a lot of Horna earlier that day. Once we had that first fast part, the rest of the song kind of fell into place.
Tell me about the importance of getting a clean tone: how do you make such immaculate sounding sludge?
Willi Stabenau, bass: To me, a great clean tone is all about depth; being able to get rich, articulate clean seems to give your fuzz tone a more crushing and full sound. To be honest, though, I like “natural” drives from a head’s pre- and power amp the best, ’cause they also keep more of the guitar’s individual characteristics intact, and tend to have better attack, definition and dynamic response. We care a lot about the way our music sounds live, and so we try to offer the best in our recordings as well
Is that why all your MP3s are always 320kbps?
Geoff Summers, drums: Thank you for noticing! Our MP3s are 320k because that seems to us to be a happy medium between the tinny crap sound of smaller files and the quality sound of more massive files. 320k sounds good, but the file size is still manageable. In the end, however, nothing beats vinyl!
How do you feel about ear protection, and which kind do you use?
Summers: As un-metal as it is to say it, we all take ear protection very seriously. Music is our livelihood, at least theoretically, so we need to protect our hearing to prolong our careers. We all use different types of earplugs. I don’t mind the cheap foam ones, but others prefer something of a higher quality. Ideally, I’d have custom-molded earplugs with different filters, but they are expensive.
Stabenau: It’s true that heavy music sounds best without earplugs, but too many older dudes tell me that they wish that they’d used them for me to ignore the damage that it does. Plus, I’ve heard a collapsed eardrum is one of the more painful injuries around.
Kainer: I don’t want to do any more damage to my ears than has already occurred from years of abuse. I use the foam industrial strength type.
What’s your favorite sludge sound on any record ever made?
Kainer: Graves at Sea’s tone on the Graves at Sea/Asunder split. Those songs are heavy!
Stabenau: Ufomammut’s Idolum. Boris’s Amplifier Worship is huge too, but the Ufo tone has more depth.
Summers: Graves at Sea’s tone on their split with Asunder is probably my favorite, but Boris’ tone on “Huge” is rather huge as well, as is Electric Wizard’s tone on “We Live.”
Whats your favorite place to eat in Brooklyn?
Peterson: We’ve spent many pre- or post-practice meals at Dumont Burger and are especially delighted when they have Jever Pils on tap.
Kainer: Samurai Sushi. Their sweet potato rolls are awesome!
Batillus play Union Pool tonight with Neurot’s own A Storm Of Light, Rumanian Buck and Via Vengeance.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 18, 2010