Elevating an infernal racket of discordant noise to a musical art form. That is what Full of Hell has been doing more than a decade now. In those mere 10 years they’ve racked together a truly impressive back catalogue of splits, collaborations and full-lengths. Frontman Dylan Walker walks with us through the ‘Garden of Burning Apparitions’, their latest release just out on Relapse Records. For the full review of that album, read it here)
GRIMM: ‘Weeping Choir’ was in a way the culmination of your sound, perfecting the amalgamation of power violence, grind, noise and death metal you made with ‘Trumpeting Ecstasy’. How did you take it from there to the new album?
There’s always intention involved when we are starting to write a new album, but from what I’ve observed, it seems like the songs start to take the album in their own direction by the end, and perhaps it’s up to us to follow along and try and accentuate where it’s going without us. For example, I remember early on when Spencer was writing Garden, we thought it would be a good time to write a more mid tempo noise rock record. By the end of his writing, the songs were some of the fastest and most chaotic things we’d written. So the album took it’s own shape in that way. I’m thinking now that this is the best way to approach them, to let them take their own shape and see where it goes.
GRIMM: Contrary to a lot of your previous works there are no collaborations with other artists to be found here. Was that a conscious move to stand on your own or was it more out of necessity due to the pandemic?
You are right that there’s a step away from the collaborations, but there are two! Ryan Bloomer arranged the noise on ‘Derelict Satellite’ and Shoshana Rosenburg played bass clarinet on ‘Burning Apparition’. Spencer wanted to step away from it for a record, I think just to feel fresh. It’s not fun to do the same things over and over, and ‘Weeping’ was very much loaded with friends. I’m sure we will swing back that direction, but time will tell.
GRIMM: Needless to say the past year and a half was abysmal for live shows with streaming performances pretty much being the only alternative. How do you look back on the Isolation Sessions you did and managed to release?
It was a really fun opportunity for us. It was a bit funny to me how relieving it was to play a “live” set on a stage for the first time in ages, even though it wasn’t a real show. It felt like even the shadow of live performance was soothing, haha. Releasing it on a record was a much more important experience for us as a band. It was our 3rd self release during the pandemic and had a great reception, and I really appreciate being able to design, assemble and mail out all of those records.
GRIMM: Originally you had planned a special commission for Roadburn 2020 where you would collaborate again with Kristin Hayter from Lingua Ignota. Due to the pandemic this unfortunately never happened. Any ambitions to still take this up again at some point?
I’m not sure that it will happen. All love to Kristin, we just live very far apart and are all extremely busy. I’ll definitely continue to work with her on some level at some point!
GRIMM: Going a bit on the same topic you started a new project not only with Kristin but also The Body with whom you’ve worked in the past as well. Talking about Sightless Pit where ‘Grave of a Dog’ came out last year. Any more news from that front?
Lee and I are finishing the follow up record now actually! It’s very different from the first record. Kristin is no longer involved, but it was an amicable decision and her and I are still close friends. Very excited to share the record though, a lot of really amazing people are involved.
GRIMM: You’ll be touring in the states soon with Uada and Wolves in the Throne Room in the beginning of 2022. Difficult to say with the current situation of course, but are there already any plans for across the pond in Europe?
Yes! We have plans to return to Europe in April and again in autumn. The wheels are turning, so hopefully these things can come to fruition.
GRIMM: You’ve collaborated with an impressive array of remarkable artists like as already mentioned Lingua Ignota, The Body, but also noise legend Merzbow. If you’ve had the choice who would be on your bucket list for future collaborations?
Oh, I’m not sure. We have a few collaborations in the works right now that I think are worthy of that list, but nothing I can speak of at the moment! It might be interesting if we got to make music with Swans, Godspeed or maybe Lustmord, but we’ll see.
GRIMM: Thank you for the interview! Hope to see in the real world again soon…