Sunday, 9 November 2008


I have written for a number of publications. Matt Reekie asked me to interview Kevin Sharp from BRUTAL TRUTH for BLUNT MAGAZINE earlier this year. I called Kev at 5:30 AM and had a good chat. What follows is the article as it appeared in BLUNT.

It was the year 1999 when a grieving longhaired public witnessed revered New York rulers BRUTAL TRUTH smoke, grind and sleep for the last time. Disappearing into the ether at what was arguably the apex of their career, it seemed an enormous door had been left open in the depths of hell.

Years dragged on, band members surfaced in new outfits THE RAVENOUS and TOTAL FUCKING DESTRUCTION- neither could hold a bong to the power of BRUTAL TRUTH at their peak.

However it was 2004 when word circulated of a new outfit featuring members of NAPALM DEATH, MELVINS and BRUTAL TRUTH. The band of course, was VENOMOUS CONCEPT! But you already knew that.

Their debut LP ‘’Retroactive Abortion’’ was promptly released on Mike Patton’s Ipecac Records- A unlikely label for a band so straight forward in its intentions. However, as lead howler Kevin Sharp states ‘’It was sort of the point you know. I’ve known Mike for a while. I knew him back when he was in FAITH NO MORE. I’ve known him since he was a kid. It freaked some people out, but whatever?’’ Such is the almost nonchalant attitude Sharp has towards his band, the scene, and you. ‘’ That’s the only good part of getting old. You become more comfortable with who you are. We get together, we have a good time and don’t really sweat the details.’’

Blast forward four years, and VENOMOUS CONCEPT have kindly delivered a most- belated new head kicker, ‘’Poisoned Apple’’. Released on Century Media records, it’s a raucous channelling of the collective member’s hardcore origins. The riffs scream the lurching intensity of DISCHARGE, SIEGE, ANTI-CIMEX, POISON IDEA and DRI. ‘’It’s like the sort of shit we used to listen to as kids. It’s like when you go to a friend’s house and you crack open a slab of beer and what not.‘’

Taking these primary influences and pushing beyond the often limiting barriers of hardcore, these trans-thrashionals have melded ‘’extreme music’’ know-how and unrelenting energy through Shane Embury’s muscular sounding riffs, the epileptic bass runs of newest recruit Danny Lilker (BRUTAL TRUTH, NUCLEAR ASSUALT, ANTHRAX), the jackhammer pace of Danny Herrera and Mr Sharp’s completely unhinged vocal overload. The latter of which provides much of the disorientating chaos emanating from the stinking grooves of this disc. ‘’It’s something I’ve refined over the years. I think the best vocal performances are letting your voice do what it naturally does; well mine naturally sounds like a garbage disposal’’ says Sharp emphatically.

The songs appear far more aggressive and livelier than on their debut effort. A more realised version of the band. ‘’Well the objective in a certain way is to stick two fingers in your ass and whatever’’ says Sharp completely deadpan. ‘’It’s that whole RAMONES concept of capturing a sound and an attitude. It may not be perfect, but sometimes it’s the imperfections that make a record like that crazy. The whole idea was to accent the imperfections’’

Unhindered by geographic barriers, the band is spread across two continents. Amazingly, Sharp takes it in his stride. Something we’ve come to expect from the man. ‘’I’ve never really thought about it. Most of the people I’m closest too live in different parts of the world anyway. Sometimes it makes it easier financially and headache wise. 2 of them are over in England and two of us are here, so if we wanted to do shows over there or over here, it won’t cost too much to make it happen’’ says Sharp, who actually lived in Melbourne for a year after the demise of BRUATL TRUTH. This of course makes him an honorary VB sipper and should surely suggest that a saunter to Terra Nullius would have to be on the cards for the band? ‘’ I’ve got alot of friends there. It seems we’ve got alot of people that write us from down there. I love it down there. It could be worse. It’s not unlikely that you will see us at some point in your summer.’’

So it would seem the enormous door is no longer left open. In fact, it’s been slammed shut. Repeatedly. Really fucking hard.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes man, that's what I cal a brutal band! Brutal Truth is pure energy on stage, as if they took three viagra online pills before the gig! Nice interview. Thank you.