Photo collage of Irons by Dwid Van Hellion
The word “supergroup” is both a little a gay and a lot overused. Anytime Carl Barat picks up a guitar and jumps onstage with David Coulthard-head guy from Razorlight down the Old Shaggy Tin Pot, or wherever it is those guys hang out these days, it only serves to sully the legitimate use of the word. If your band is made up of Jake Bannon from Converge, the artist Stephen Kasner, and our old chum Dwid Van Hellion (he of Integrity, Roses Never Fade and a thousand apocryphal tales that have been circulating around hardcore for about 20 years) then you can go right ahead and take out ownership of the word. You can have the MySpace, the patent, the copyright, the lot. Dwid told us about the project over a month ago but when we asked him if we could interview him about it he wasn’t so into it. This might have something to do with us writing frothingly about Integrity almost ceaselessly but either way we had a chat with Kasner and Bannon about their new “collaborative, cinematic, nonlinear, ethereal” project.
Vice: How do you get anything done without ever hanging out together?
I wouldn’t say there is a classifiable role for each of us in this project. Individually we are creating music then passing it on to one another. Each of us then adds our own elements to the song, building each song into a true collaborative effort. It’s a unique approach to music writing for sure.
What collectively inspires you?
I think the desire to exorcise some of our darkest ideas in unison. We all trust that our worldviews are equally unsettled and filled with regret and a general mistrust of the herd. Also a fascination with the “spirit” of the killer, and whether that spirit is really naturally “wrong” in what it does and is.
What is it about killers that interests you?
I am not quick to judge them, I do not see such a black and white line in who they are, what they do and why they do it. To me, it is a part of nature. There is nothing more or less natural than architecture or killing but the architects were boring to me so I went with the serial killers.
How do you mean?
Well, things like John Gacy. We had a phone dialogue. He used to call me constantly every two or three days, like clockwork. Horny guy. He would pretend I was Johnny Depp and ask what I was wearing. I have all this on tape. I had to actually tell him to STOP calling. My phone bill was off the charts, as he had to call collect every time.
It sounds like you almost developed a friendship with him?
He liked me a lot and trusted me it seemed. He called me just days before he was executed. He was trying to get me, based on my request, the leather car coat he was wearing when he was arrested. I told him how much I liked it and he said he thought his sister had it and he would get it for me as a “going away present”.
Ohhhhkaaaay. Aside from things like that, what else influences the band?
I think the spine of the band’s personality is based around the concept of apocalypse and staring at the inevitability of our apocalypse. We are living in an ignorant, sado-masochistic world bent on its own destruction out of sheer stupidity.
MICHA JACKSON’S THRILLER