[EDITOR’S NOTE: Today we have another contribution from our Midwestern correspondent BadWolf — this time, an awesome interview with Grace Perry and Matt Martinez following a recent live performance . . .]
The following interview with Arizona Death Metal masterminds Landmine Marathon was conducted on November 20, 2010 at Frankie’s Inner City in Toledo, Ohio by BadWolf.
Landmine Marathon killed it that evening, by the way.
G– My name is Grace Perry and I’m the singer for Landmine Marathon.
M– My name is Matt Martinez and I play bass.
BW– You guys, the whole tour [Skeletonwitch, Landmine Marathon, Withered (who did not play on this date)] is on Prosthetic Records. What is your relationship with Prosthetic Records?
G– A really great relationship. We’ve only been with them for a year now I think. We released Sovereign Descent with them, and they re-released Rusted Eyes Awake as well as Wounded. It’s a very easygoing relationship—not very demanding. I’m happy.
M– The really cool thing is that their roster isn’t huge. It isn’t ten releases a month; they really focus on their bands. That’s been the awesome thing. (more after the jump .. including a video)
BW– So you guys have been touring for quite a while. You’ve been making music for a while but—and correct me if I’m wrong—this is your first time in Toledo? It seems like your widest tour that I’ve seen on the list for quite some time. It’s my first opportunity to come see you.
G– It’s definitely our first time in Toledo, but we have been in Ohio quite a bit, especially in this past year. We have usually just hit major markets on most of our tours though we have hit some smaller towns. This one seems like it’s definitely smaller towns and smaller venues, which I definitely like a lot.
M– She called it, ditto.
BW– So while we’re talking about smaller venues, what’s interesting and fascinating to me is I know you [Grace] and I believe the rest of the band come from sort of a hardcore punk background as well as a metal background.
M– Definitely, definitely. We started this tour in Santa Fe in a house.
M– So we run the gamut as far as venues we’ll play. I think she meant by secondary markets that when we book a tour we go for the major cities. But hitting the in between cities, it’s awesome. There’s people that don’t get all the major tours coming through and it seems like the fans are more appreciative.
G – Oh absolutely. I think that in smaller towns the fans really love the music and appreciate it maybe more… maybe not more, but big cities are spoiled. They get an awesome show every night where smaller cities get an awesome show maybe once every month. I’ve said in past interviews: we’ll play anything. We’ll play a park. We’ll play a house. We’ll play your basement. Large venue, small venue, bar D.I.Y. space—we don’t give a fuck.
BW– That’s awesome. You guys are also notorious for another thing, sort of. Getting notorious. At least according to Cosmo Lee and according to your music video you guys don’t give a fuck about the fourth wall. [laughs] You’re very much into a sort of community experience with the band and the fans together.
G– I know that for me personally I love interacting with the crowd. I love being part of the pit. I love feeling the music just as much as the audience and I want to get that across. It depends—sometimes I’m not capable of doing that because I’m too far away. When and if I can I will absolutely join in the crowd.*
M– There’s definitely more consequences when it comes to our gear. [Grace laughs]
G– And physically!
M– Last night she ended up with a black eye. It’s gone down since then.
BW– I can’t tell.
M– I think a lot of it comes from a hardcore background, punk shows. It was like the bands were on the same level. They played, they got offstage and they’d talk to you. They interact with their audience rather than being separate and there being that fourth wall.
BW– Do you miss that? I feel personally that that’s becoming… maybe it’s changing a little bit. But, I think that’s sort of absent from the metal scene as a whole.
M– I would agree, but as people we won’t let that affect us. We’re always going to be wanting to interact with people.
G– Any chance I get I’m going to jump into the crowd. Any chance. I just can’t help it. Unless I physically can’t do it. That’s the only thing that’s going to keep me. I don’t know what keeps people from doing that, but it’s not who I am.
BW– So releases. Products, merchandising blah blah motherfucking blah. You guys made an interesting choice. You did all three records on cassette. [laughs] Going back to vinyl yeah, going back to analog yeah, but fuckin’ cassette? What’s up with that?
M– We’ve done all our releases on vinyl. The ones that haven’t are coming out on vinyl in the next couple months before the end of the year. The Cassette thing kind of came by chance. Our friend Amy from a band called Voetsek runs a label called Selfish Satan recordings. She just came up to us and said ‘hey, I want to do cassette versions of your recordings, do you think Prosthetic would be into it?’ They were into licensing them to her. It’s twofold: here in the states a lot of people like the old school factor of cassettes or whatnot, but she has a lot of distribution in South America and Asia where cassettes are still the primary form of media.
M– So that helps us too. It gets us to a market where people don’t listen to CD’s. They don’t download MP3’s. They still run cassettes.
G– [insidiously] heheheh!
M– We’re totally stoked on it. We did a few of them, a limited version as a box set with a silkscreened box, poster and patch. You know, just trying to keep it fun.
BW– So selfish question then because I plan on getting one. Does that come with a download code? I did not download your records. I wanted to. It was tough, but I didn’t!
G– [laughs] It doesn’t, but do what you’ve got to do to listen to our music. I don’t care, just listen. That’s what I believe at least, but no it doesn’t come with a download code. I wish.
BW– I’m taking that as carte blanche, for the record.
M– Yes. 100 percent.
BW– fan-fucking-tastic. So now my personal question for Grace. A little background on me: I went to a really artsy fartsy college. I nearly minored in women’s studies, so I’m a bit of a feminist which I guess is in the minority as far as metalheads go. My first encounter with you guys was—this is embarrassing—Revolver magazine [The “Hottest Chicks in Metal Of All Time” issue, featuring Perry and Lizzy Hale on the cover].
G– It’s ok! I’m not embarrassed.
BW– I mean I saw the picture and I was like ‘what is this, chick-fronted Avenged Sevenfold?’ and it wasn’t. I was so glad that it wasn’t. But there’s a lot of controversy and problems with how Revolver treats women in metal, I suppose.
G– With Revolver, they’ve always been extremely respectful to me. With every interview I’ve ever done it hasn’t been about being hot or whatever. They know that I’m not that kind of person, so when I agree to do interviews I say ‘look, I am going to: first, not dress like a whore; and second, when I do the interview I am going to answer appropriate questions that allow me to reach out to other girls.’ That’s the main reason I did that. A lot of girls that listen to this kind of music, they don’t have a lot of other girls to grab onto or relate with in any way. This way I can be like ‘look, you can do this, and you don’t have to be a slut when you’re doing it. It’s totally fine.’ And I use that word loosely. The girls that do dress in scandalous clothing, or whatever you want to call it, it’s their choice. They are their own person. They can do whatever they want to do. I’m not some almighty feminist that can judge them. I’m just doing what I love and I would like it if other women knew that they can do it just as well and be just as happy doing it without having to play any kind of role.
Back to the metal community most of every experience we’ve had with me being a girl—and I’m not ashamed of being a woman, I’m proud to be a woman. Some people think I’m a dude onstage. [laughs] Most people don’t even realize that I’m a girl, It can take a second. At that point it’s like there really is no gender barrier. It’s not an issue with our band. I’ve never had a bad experience. I’ll get creeps, but what girl doesn’t get creeps? Fuck it. That’s why I’m not ashamed I did that. I got to reach out to girls that are in middle school and read Revolver because that’s all they know. They can say ‘oh, fuck, there’s a girl that’s not in a bikini [laughs] who is well spoken and can pull it off.’ That’s what I want them to see. That’s who I’m reaching out to.
BW– Bravo. Death metal’s sort of coming back but in this bree-bree-breakdown kind of place. You guys aren’t. You’re so retro I find it endearing. Is that a conscious decision?
M-As far as the instrumental players that’s the music we grew up on; Napalm Death, Bolt Thrower, the straightforward death metal bands that came from a hardcore scene, a punk scene, and then integrated metal into that. I know the trend right now is to be the most tech band possible, and I like a lot of that music. There’s also lots I’m not a fan of. When we play with a band that’s a technical masterpiece band and we’re the odd man out I don’t think it works to our disadvantage. Some kids might not get it or wrap their heads around it immediately but they will. For some of them it’s the first time they’ve heard a death metal band that doesn’t use all odd time signatures and sweep picking and technical playing. It’s just what we do.
G– It’s what we love.
BW– Last question. If you guys had anything to say to the metal community or readers about Landmine Marathon or whatever, what do you want to say to them?
BW-I know, it’s tough!
G– That’s a very broad question! I’d like to say just to support local music. Support bands that are doing what they love and not trying to be something that they are not. And come out and watch us sometime. If you love it that’s rad, if you don’t it’s ok. We’ll always be available. I don’t know. Support music.
M– Yeah, support music, go to shows, have fun.
G– Yeah, go to shows!
BW– And the band is?
G&M– LANDMINE MARATHON!
BW– I didn’t even have to ask you to say it at once!
*-She did. I had the bruises to prove it.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: BadWolf is one up on the rest of us here at NCS — he’s seen Landmine Marathon live and we haven’t. But we’re biding our time . . . and in the meantime, here’s a taste of what the band dishes up, including Grace Perry going into the pit from the git-go:
Holy shit! That is… incredibly intense! Respect for being able to mosh about a bit and still be able to catch a breath for vocaling.
Too bad I didn’t live/reside in Toledo on November 20th!
Hmm… BadWolf, are you from Toledo too? I didn’t even realize these guys were in town…
Indeed I am. Shoot me an email if you want to get a drink and talk METAL sometime.
Holy shit, we have a Toledo crew lurking around NCS? I was born there – that still counts, right?