Noisear are an American grindcore institution. With over 14 years active in the grind world, Noisear have remained one of the genre’s staple bands, releasing many splits and works with various underground labels and leading extreme bands from around the Globe. Noisear‘s highly-anticipated 30-track full-length on Relapse Records, Subvert The Dominant Paradigm, is set to hit streets February 1, 2011. As the band gears up for this worldwide release, Blow The Scene’s Joshua Cohen caught up with Noisear drummer Bryan Fajardo and guitarist Dorian Rainwater for an exclusive, in-depth interview as the band discusses the recording process for the new record, history of Noisear, playing Maryland Death Fest 2011, tour plans, and much more!
Joshua BTS:Greetings! Thank you for taking time to answer a few questions for Blow The Scene readers around the world! Let’s begin by having you declare your onstage weapon of choice with American Grindcore Powerhouse, Noisear.
Dorian Rainwater: Hello,much obliged! I am currently wielding a white custom B.C. Rich Revenge and a black and red B.C. Rich Avenge. Both with rosewood fret-boards and maple necks. We tune to B standard so the raw metal tones which emanate from them are quite efficient for Noisear‘s sound.
Bryan Fajardo: Hello, this is Bryan Fajardo and I have played drums for Noisear since i was a kid. I play on Yamaha drums.
Joshua BTS: Noisear is poised to drop a new full-length record, Subvert the Dominant Paradigm on Relapse Records Feb 1. Share with us the writing and recording process for this record. How long have you been compiling this material?
Dorian Rainwater: We wrote the Album in one day.
Bryan Fajardo: The writing of the new record was pretty smooth. Dorian and I have a fast writing style and we were able to write most of it in the studio. About ten of the songs were me just recording drums and having Dorian write riffs on the spot. It’s pretty fun the way we do it.
Dorian Rainwater: Our vocalist Alex Lucero and bassist Joe Tapia live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Bryan Fajardo and I reside in Dallas Texas, so we are unable to rehearse on a regular basis. We have all known each other for over ten years so the chemistry is still there and the spontaneous effect of improvisation added to the intensity of the compositions is a plus
Joshua BTS:Where, when, and whom did you record Subvert the Dominant Paradigm with?
Dorian Rainwater: June 25th 2010 with Mike Garrison at Winter Skies Productions in San Antonio. Phobia and Intestinal Disgorge have also tracked records there. Scott Hull of Pig Destroyer/Agoraphobic Nosebleed did the Mastering/Mixing.
Bryan Fajardo: As far as the production goes I had to get Scott Hull to change my drum sound from the triggered, over-polished sound. He wanted to do a bit dirtier, imperfect sound that I like. It took a few mix’s to get it right.
Joshua BTS: We recently reviewed Subvert the Dominant Paradigm and it’s obvious that all parties involved are extremely well-versed in grind and death metal. Who are some of your main influences? Any influences off the grid that your fans might not expect?
Dorian Rainwater: We all listen to a wide variety of music including Jazz, Prog, Hip Hop, Metal, Avante Garde, Grind, Classic rock, etc. Discordance Axis, Assuck, Human Remains, Lethargy, Napalm Death are our main influences as far as extreme music goes.
Joshua BTS:Take us back to the early days of Noisear.. When and where did your inception take place? And take us up to the current line-up if you would.
Bryan Fajardo: Noisear started in the summer of 1997. Original lineup was Angelo Perea on guitar, Thomas Romero on guitar, Joe Tapia on bass, Alex Lucero on vocals. There has been some changes in the lineup through the years as far as guitarists go. Dorian Rainwater joined the band in 2002 and has been a big part of the band since.The rest of the lineup remains original since 1997.
Dorian Rainwater: Somwhere Between 96-98 Alex and Joe who were involved in another band from Albuquerque- Laughing Dog– met Bryan and Thomas Romero. Angelo Perea who was also in LD joined on second guitar and that was the lineup for the first few years. That lineup recorded the split w/ Parade of the Lifeless on Mortville, Submit to the Sublimal LP on Nuclear Ass Recs, Self titled 7’ on This Blessing This Curse Records, and a few other recordings I cant recall right off the bat. Angelo left the band and Noisear toured w/ Mastadon and Cephalic Carnage in 2000 w/ Ivan Pacheco of Yoda’s Eye on guitar.
I joined Noisear around 2002 and we began writing for Red Tape Agenda and the split w/ Regurgitate. I quit the band for a while moved to Chicago and the band continued to produce a three way split CD on Blastasfuk w/ Gate (Japan) and Hutt (Brazil) w/ Thomas as sole guitar player. Bryan contacted me in 05′ to do a West Coast tour with Capitalist Casualties, Voetsek, and Skarp in 06. We recorded Pyroclastic Annihilation at the tail end of the tour, which was released on RSR (Germany) on CD and Nuclear Ass Records on vinyl. We continued to play shows every few months such as the Speed Trials in Berkeley Ca. at the legendary 924 Gilman Street venue. This led to the 3 way split w/ Superbad(Portland)and Sean (Seattle) on Torture Garden Picture Co. Records
We recorded with Bart Thurber who has recorded a multitude of excellent legendary punk and grind bands throughout the years. In 07′ we recorded the split w/ Magnicide for Rescued from Life records. Since then, we have recorded the split with the Arson Project and tracks for This Comp kills Fascists, our debut releases for Relapse. Our lineup has consisted of the same members currently in the band.
Joshua BTS: Noisear often focus on political issues within the context of the lyrics for your numerous releases and splits. What were some of the political topics that you touched on in Subvert the Dominant Paradigm?
Dorian Rainwater: We wrote about man’s destruction of the world’s natural resources, such as the rain forest, oil spills, and corporations wiping out suburbs and communities for industry worldwide. Pollution killing us as we breathe like an unseen assailant.The media not telling the truth about whats really going on in the world and blinding people with entertainment, celebrity deaths, useless media,etc. Exposing all the wrong attributes of war, which nobody really hears about. Millions of innocent victims dying for pointless political Heirachy. The oppression from laws which many enforcement and govt. agencies create and do not abide by. Also we wrote about problems within society, such as dealing with terminal illness and chemical dependency. How humanity has lost touch with each other and greed/monetary sustenance prevails over helping one another. To name a few.
Joshua BTS:How do politics play a role in your daily life? Any organizations or issues that have your attention and support right now that you think more people should be paying attention to?
Dorian Rainwater: We all work 9-5 jobs and none of us are directly involved in any specific organizations. We are against animal cruelty, Abuse (physical or mental), strongly believe that Cannibus should be legalized worldwide, not only for personal use, but medical and industrial benefit. We contributed two songs a few years ago for a compilation which was created to fund research for Parkinsons disease. Planting a Seed on De Rok Records.
Joshua BTS: Subvert the Dominant Paradigm is a definite step up in production from your prior works but it also retains the natural human-elements that many grindcore fans appreciate. How do you balance establishing a great final product without making the sound overly produced or computerized as we see many grind bands that go overboard with the Pro-tools makeover. Are all the members of Noisear on the same page as to what overall sound you want to achieve?
Dorian Rainwater: We make sure that all elements of each song will be properly executed in a live atmosphere. I hate it when you buy a bands record and go see them live and they sound nothing like the album.We write very simple and straight forward songs. If its not agreed upon with everyone in the band we wont use it. We want to create something for everyone who appreciates this style of music. We have run into over embellishment issues before but one or all of us is quick to point out an issue like this. We have all lived together at one point or another so we have a common understanding, much like a family.
Joshua BTS: One for the gearheads…Subvert the Dominant Paradigm captures a huge sound while remaining humanized and natural. What does your equipment list look like? Anything odd or customized to get such a gargantuan and unique sound?
Dorian Rainwater: Not really. We are all about natural sound. I use Line 6 amplification, a Boss Noise Suppresor and Tuner. Joe uses a Yamaha fretless bass he has had for years w/ an SWR head he also has used for years. Bryan plays the same Yamaha kit he has for the past few years.
Joshua BTS: What do the guitar tunings look like for Subvert the Dominant Paradigm? The note and chord selections are very creative. Any odd tunings or just creative playing?
Dorian Rainwater:We have always tuned to B standard. We love dissonant and unorthodox chords. We also use melodic phrasing in odd meters over standard 4/4 beats. Modulated intervals and weird sounding chords have always played an important role of our writing process. Diminished chords as well and arbitray string noise can be heard throughout almost any one of our songs. We have made riffs out of the sound of a door creaking or a car rolling by in the distance during practice [laughing].
Joshua BTS: With members spread out between different states, how do you go about playing live and booking tours? Any plans of centralizing the band?
Dorian Rainwater: We always book shows and tours with ample time in advance. We make sure to get everyone together a couple weeks prior to rehearse vigorously and make sure everything is tight. We have had some difficulty in doing so in the past, but we have had other friends fill in. Centraliszing the band would be difficult. I wish!
Bryan Fajardo: Doing Noisear long distance with Alex and Joe is not that easy but we make it work when we have to get together. I have it a bit harder in Gridlink, where our members are in different parts of the world. But I still try to get the other Noisear guys to come live in Texas.
Joshua BTS: Noisear is part of the official Line-up for the World’s biggest metal party, The Maryland Deathfest 2011. How stoked are you guys for this fest and what cities will you be stopping by on your supporting tour for this appearance?
Dorian Rainwater: We are extremely pumped to be a part of MDF with so many of our favorite bands. The shows surrounding this spectacular event are in the process of being confirmed. I can tell you now we are playing with Cripple Bastards, Regurgitate, The Kill, and Shitstorm on a few shows surrounding it. More details will be posted to our sites as we receive confirmation.
Bryan Fajardo: MDF this year will be great for Noisear, being that it will be our first time to the East Coast in our 14 year existence. We are still getting all of the shows around MDF locked in and will post dates soon.
Joshua BTS:When you are not active with Noisear, what do your daily lives look like?
Dorian Rainwater: Bryan is a Carpenter/Electrician. I do back-line/stagehand work. Joe does Sound and Lighting and Alex does commuter/transport for the Airport.
Joshua BTS:If you were to make a mix tape today of some of your favorite current artists, who would make the cut and what tracks?!
Bastard Noise – March of the trolls
Magnicide – Rise to The Annihilation
Rotten Sound – Corners
Agoraphobic Nosebleed – Agorapocalypse
Weekend Nachos – Unforgivable
Gridlink – Red Eye
Phobia – If You Used to be Punk, You Never Were
Reign Inferno – Excommunicated
Collapse – Resent Complacency
Shitstorm – Any Song
Sulaco – New album
…way too many more to name…
Joshua BTS: Favorite action figure from your childhood?
Dorian Rainwater: Tron and Cobra Commander
Joshua BTS: Favorite G rated movie?
Dorian Rainwater: Fantasia-awesome musical score
Joshua BTS:Thank you again for taking the time to do this Interview for Blow The Scene readers around the world. Any final thoughts or shoutouts?
Dorian Rainwater: Thanks to all our friends/family worldwide. Thanks to Relapse and You for doing this interview!. Grind to the core!
Relapse Records was kind enough to send over an MP3 of Track “Global Warning” from Subvert the Dominant Paradigm that can be streamed by Clicking the Icon Below.
Download Noisear – “Global Warning”
More info at The Official Noisear Facebook
Pre-Order Noisear‘s Subvert the Dominant Paradigm at Relapse Records.