Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Disembodied interview with vocalist: Aaron Weseman. March 12, 2010.

Vista: Hey Aaron. Can you start off with the famous "first" question...Who's in the band & who does what? Also, how old are you guys, and woman?

Aaron:Current line up. Of course myself Vocals and Lyrics, Joel Johnson a.k.a. JJ Thrash: Main Axe, Charlie Johnson a.k.a. Dr. Chuz a.k.a. Chasmo, a.k.a. Charlie Buckets...really Charlies goes by lots of names but he is the most recent addition to the Dis,  he played 2nd Guitar in Martyr a.d. so he was a logical choice, or course Tara Johnson plays the battleaxe and Joel Andersen a.k.a. Janderson is on the Wardrums.  Probably the tightest lineup we've had to date but it really hasn't changed much despite the addition of Chazmo. I don't know if everyone wants me to disclose their age but ill say this i was born the year "A New Hope" changed the world. Tara and Joel Johnson are older than me.  Jandersen is the grandfather of the band and Chazmo is the baby. That is all.

Vista: Give us a brief history of Disembodied. Year started, who formed the band, ex-members, etc. Also, was there a different singer at one point?

Aaron: Sure Disembodied started back in the winter of 94' Tara, JJ and i had been in a band  previous to Disembodied but we wanted to do something else.  Joel was playing drums but wanted to move to guitar so he could be more upfront.  He was writing all of the songs anyway.  We wanted to do something dark, something heavy, more along the veins of Unbroken and Earth Crisis at that time.  Hardcore but with that "metal" edge.  A lot of bands at that time were doing it but we wanted to be the heaviest band in hardcore, to my recollection there weren't a lot of bands down-tuning as low as we did in that era of hardcore.  We met Justin at some different shows we had been to he was in a band called RAIN our previous band had played some shows with.So when Rain broke up Justin seemed the obvious choice to play drums. There was a brief point when i had quit the band back in 96 to attempt to raise a child, that was when they found Jody Minoch, he filled in for a few shows when they went on tour but he never knew any of the words to any of the songs...i think he just screamed and went ape shit.  But he did play the now infamous Goleta Fest. They kicked him out in the middle of the tour. Justin ended up filling in for the rest of the tour.  That's when they got back asked me to rejoin...and the rest is as they say HISTORY.

Vista: Tell us how Disembodied came back together. Was the band done for good, up until the point of the "Burning Fight" show? Also, talk a bit about the "Burning Fight" show. What were some of your thoughts, going into that show?

Aaron: Well i can only speak for myself but that show changed my life.  I would have never    met my current girl friend or had moved to NY if it were not for that show.  It was such an honor sharing the stage with so many awesome bands i grew up listening to.  Bands like 108 and Unbroken that inspired me to want to front a Hardcore band in the first place.  Let alone headline the first night!  The band was totally done until Brian Peterson contacted us in regards to the book (which if you don't have you need to get!  great interviews)  I don't think i had even spoken to JJ or Tara in over 7 years!  So you could almost say we owe the re-union of Disembodied to Brian Peterson and his book.

Vista: Vocally, who are some of your influences? I'd also like to know about the other people in Disembodied, as far as influences?

Aaron: I am like most musicians a huge fan of music. So i don't really limit myself with genres.  I literally listen to almost every style of music. From hardcore metal to folk country.  Lyrically i draw from all areas and experiences life confronts me with.  Style wise its really hard to say,  when disembodied first started out i thought David Claireborne from Unbroken and Rob from 108 were the shit. As we progressed i got more into Metal and found influence in Meschuggah, Machine Head and Sepultura...I thought Rob Flynn had some of the meanest vocals out there, until he started rapping and screaming. I've always been a big fan of Chino Moreno's vocal stylings in Deftones. Now adays as cliche as this sounds i just try to do my own thing.  I cant say i really have a huge contemporary influence stylistically.  I just want to sound menacing and foreboding as guy my size.can.Ya know? JJ is our main songwriter.He listens to mostly metal as I'm sure you can tell. I know hes a huge fan of BlackMetal.  Nachmystium comes to mind.  But you can hear his old influences pretty blatantly on our old shit.Slayer, Sepultura, Machine Head, Greif, Entombed, Meschuggah even old Fear Factory are just a few i can think of off the top of my head.

Vista: What was your first exposure to music, as a child? Do you play any instruments, aside from screaming your balls off {which, by the way people, is NOT as easy as you may think!}. Also, first concert/show you ever went to?
Aaron: My parents were always playing some old hippie shit.I remember my dad listening to a lot of Beatles records and Crosby Stills Nash and Young.  My dad owned a guitar which he would always play when i was a kid. Both my brothers are in a band back in MN called Lost Marbles, pretty cheesy hippy jam band stuff.  So you could say i was born into a family of musicians. I play a lil guitar badly. My first real show (not in a basement) i went to on my own was Babes in Toyland at 1st Ave...i musta been like 15 or 16.
 Vista: I know you've departed your home state & live in upstate New York now. Does it suck? I'm also wondering, how has this affected the writing process within the band, if at all? 

Aaron: yeah i live right outside Middletown {N.Y.}. All i can say is its WAY different then I'm accustomed to. I kinda live in a more rural community. In fact i think technically i live in a village. Its just a little strange, being raised in the city moving to a small town, but i welcome the change. We haven't really began writing anything new as of yet.  I believe the guys are just throwing some riffs around for the time being but when they do finally get some songs together its really as simple as emailing me the mp3's. The only thing that really sux is not being able to see the guys (and gal) and practice.  

Vista: Speaking of the writing process for Disembodied, how does the band go about actually "writing" material? Is there some type of set formula, such as lyrics first, them music or vice-versa? 

Aaron: The music always comes first. I like to be able to feel the music. It is really what sets the tone. Sometimes ill even hear the words in my head to a song.  The song can just manifest itself right out of the music.  That actually happened with Heroin Fingers one of my favorite songs for that reason.  

Vista: I know Disembodied has recently gone to Europe. Tell us how that was? Also, I know you've done a handful of shows in the U.S., what has the reaction been? Lots of old dudes or young people who have no clue?

Aaron: Europe was a trip.Honestly, i never thought people would give a shit about us but 10 years later here we are...still making music.When i first set out to be in a band i never thought it would get me to Europe. It was just for fun,  to vent, to be a part of something...a movement at the time. To rock. I never thought i would be flying half way across the world to perform for people, especially when we hadn't recorded any new material in over 10 years!  I'm surprised people still care. The shows we've played have been amazing. Kids singing along and going off. A lot of familiar faces but a lot of new ones too. 

Vista: Disembodied is a band that started in the 90's, what are some stark differences compared to that time era, to this era? Is it better or worse, or the same shit, different decade type thing?

 Aaron: Things have certainly changed. When i was into hardcore it seemed like it was about something.  People were in bands because they had something to say. I'll admit i got a little sick of the politics but honestly i kind of miss it. Now its all about image it seems.,,the clothes you wear how many tattoos you have...stupid bullshit. Maybe its just in the mainstream...popular bands.  It seems like you have to look in the underground to find any bands with integrity these days. It is refreshing to see bands like Converge who seem to be able to capitalize on what they do and still keep it real. I think they may be an acception to the rule tho...there are but a handful that can be successful and still not manage to sell them selves out. 

Vista: What's going on with Disembodied, as far as new material? Is the record label still a secret? Give us some breaking news here!

Aaron: We are in the writing process. We have been talking to GoodFight Entertainment. Carl from Ferrett's new baby. It's a long story but Carl had to sell the label to Warner Brothers due to some contractual bull shit. But im confidant they will do well by us.

Vista: Best metal band to walk the earth?

Aaron: Meschuggah, hands down. They have to be some of the most talented musicians on the planet. 

Vista: Best rap group to walk the earth?

Aaron: Ewwww...that's tough. I don't want to get shot. Would i go old school West coast with N.W.A.??? Or should i go new school East Coast with Wu Tang. Honestly i haven't been listening to a lot of rap lately but if i have the urge I've been listening to P.O.S. from MPLS. If you don't know who he is check it out.  You wont be disappointed, he's bringing something fresh. 

Vista: Back to hardcore/metalcore...What band from the 90's, in your opinion is/was completely over-looked? 

Aaron: I was always a big fan of that really under-produced gritty sound. Bands like Struggle and Groundwork but if I had to choose one band that never got the recognition they deserved it would be Threadbare.

Vista: What bands are you into? I like to always ask, what are the last five bands you've put on  your ipod? Do you even own an ipod, or do you think they are soul-less pieces of crap? 
Aaron: Of course I own an ipod, but admittedly i just recently acquired it. The new Deftones is amazing. The new GAZA "He is never coming back" is awesome.  Armed for Apocalypse, Struck by Lightning and of course the new Converge is great.

Vista: I wanted to talk a little bit about a shirt that I saw of Disembodied that said, "Death To Christian Metal". What is that all about? Is that just something to give people a titty-twister over or do you think "Christian" metal has no purpose in the scene, as a whole?  

Aaron: I think Christian metal is a bit of an oxymoron of sorts. All the metal bands i grew up listening to had either a satanic image or message. I think its rather ironic that James Hetfield is a born again.  But i guess even Christians have stuff to be pissed off abortions and stem cell research. (hahaha) But seriously. I think it sux when anyone is brainwashed by any religion but I still like Norma Jean and Thrice and a few other christian acts...they can't completely suck even though their religion does.
Vista: Tell us about your most current release, "Palms Of Sheol"? I'm too lazy to looked it up, but what does the title mean & where did it come from? I'd also like to know, who did the artwork for this release? And, along those lines, who has done the artwork for some of the current Disembodied merchandise, same person? It's METAL as fuck.
 Aaron: I was trying to find something old sounding for our record title, seeing as how the most recently recorded songs on it were at least 10 years old.  Psalms is an old Arabic word meaning songs, Sheol is the Hebrew word for Hell.  Songs from Hell. Thought it was fitting. We've been collaborating with a lot of different sources for the merch. JJ has been working on a lot of the designs as of late. But we've worked a lot with Hellfish out of California and ToDieFor has helped us too...i think everything is going exclusive through Merchnow. A friend of ours Sara Witty, did the artwork.  It's an original and we were very stoked she did it for us.

Vista: Outside of music, what are some of your interests & hobbies?

Aaron: I read, play video games, masturbate you know the usual guy shit. 

Vista: Here's another question I like to ask, just because I enjoy hearing people's opinions...What are your top 10 albums of all time? Doesn't matter, punk, metal, rap...Top 10?

Aaron: Shit. That's a toughy. I'm just going to have to go with my faves...I'm probably going to get a lot of WTF's? But here no particular order:

1) Meschuggah's : Destroy Erase Improve is probably my all time favorite Metal record...EVER!  Insane time signatures.  I call it Math Metal.  The riffs on that record were ground breaking and spawned a million bands.

2) Deftones: White Pony,  They brought heavy and melodic together in a way i don't think any band previously had.

3)  Green Day's: American Idiot,  I have been a fan on this band since i was 16. It was a break through come back album for them. I think its cool that a band that has such a broad appeal and poppy sound can get on the radio and say fuck you to the president of the United States on the radio and get away with it. Shit they were one of the first bands to have a song about masturbation and Meth Amphetamines on the Radio too. I dunno there's just something to be said about that.

4) Ryan Adams: Heartbreaker is an amazing album start to finish.  I like sad songs...what can i say.  Maybe i have an emo side.

5) Unbroken's: Life, Love, Regret is probably my all time favorite Hardcore record.  This was the album that inspired me to want to front a hard core band.

6) Rage Against the Machines: Self titled album,  This record dropped when no other band had this kind of sound.  It was fresh and new and took the airwaves by storm.  I was still in high school when this shit dropped.  I was still young and impressionable but it was the first band that really got me interested in politics and to look at the world in a different way not to just eat up what was spoon fed to me.

7) Refused: The Shape of Punk to Come,  I think this album really did redefine punk and hardcore.  Alot of bands still draw influence from this record.  Admittedly not many cool ones but...i think they really did change the shape of punk to come at that time.

8) Atmosphere's: Lucy/Ford LP,  I think this record coined the term emo-hop.  Real hip hop for real people.  Not the usual bling, bang bull shit.

9) Tool's: Anima, When this record dropped i must've listened to it every single day for a year. The song Anima still gives me goosebumps. A song about all of the stupid greedy mother fuckers getting swallowed up in the ocean still offers me some solace.

10) Massive Attacks: Mezzanine,  This record coined what IS trip hop. Timeless songs, amazing dynamics...good bed room songs if you know what i'm sayin'. This record came out like 10 years ago and a song was still chosen for the theme to the T.V. show House. Good show btw. 

Vista: What are some of your guilty pleasures, as far as music, that people might be surprised to hear that you are into? Mine was "Poker face" by Lady Gaga for a while there, but she annoys the fuck out of me these days! Anyways, what's yours, as of late

Aaron: Shit i have a lot of them. Believe it or not I  really got into that last Kings of Leon record. Only by the Night,  didn't leave my CD player for a month.i kinda dig One Republic. I listened to the last Cold Play record a lot..  I'm a big fan of Muse too. I can be a bit of a softie.  Shhhhh...don't tell anyone. I better stop now before I embarrass myself. 

Vista: I've been in Disembodied for a long friggin' time now. I thought you guys really did bring something fresh to the hardcore/metalcore scene...And after all these years, one memory really sticks with me every time I think of Disembodied...What ever happened to your Sepultura hat? I remember seeing pictures in many publications with you with that hat. Was that just from one show, or did you rock that hat for a while there?

Aaron: Oh yeah...I wish i still had that hat. I wore it out i wore it so much.

Vista: Well. That's all I got for you Aaron. Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. Is there anything else you'd like to add? Also, what's the best way to get a hold of the band? Y

Aaron: No thank you man. Ya know regrettably i never did a lot of interviews back in the day.  I never felt i had a lot to say.  Ironically. But i'm trying to do more this time around. The Burning Fight book kind of inspired me. All i can say is i'm glad i have the opportunity to go at this one more time. I owe a lot of people a debt of thanx. But most of all i have to thank the fans. If it were not for people like you i wouldn't be doing this interview. I just think its cool people still give a damn. Look out for a new record soon on GoodFight Entertainment. Find us on myspace and facebook.

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