The last time I interviewed Oozing Wound for Noisey, I predicted that the Chicago trio could be the Nirvana of thrash. It was a bold claim and one that has since been quoted in their label's promotional material (exactly as I intended). The problem is, I was totally wrong.
Oozing Wound is not the Nirvana of thrash. They're way cooler than that. And they're in it for the long game, so maybe they're the Melvins of thrash, then, or the Mudhoney of metal. Or maybe Oozing Wound just defy all comparisons because by churning out fierce fuzzy riffs, shunning indulgent guitar solos, dropping weird passages of noise-rock, penning songs about Rambo, science fiction, life's general suckiness and dead Soviet space explorers, they're one of the most mightily distinctive metal bands to have emerged since Lars Ulrich placed an advertisement in a Los Angeles newspaper looking for like-minded musicians who were into Tygers Of Pang Tan.
Their third album, Whatever Forever (out October 14 via Thrill Jockey), is Oozing Wound's biggest, boldest, weirdest and strongest record to date. As well as slaying as hard and sardonically as ever with songs both fast and slow, the record sees the band expand its palate by including two of its longest ever songs, as well its catchiest composition to date ("Everything Sucks, And My Life Is A Lie"), alongside two instrumental pieces, the second of which proves unexpectedly tender ("You Owe Me, Iommi").
Check out their new video for "Diver" below, and see what guitarist and lyric screamer Zack Weil had to say about Rambo, Trump supporters, not being shitty and having his ideas stolen by the one and only Metallica.
Noisey: The video for Metallica's comeback single "Hardwired" is practically the same as your own 2015 promo for "Hippie Speedball". Have Metallica have been spying on Oozing Wound for inspiration?
Zack Weil: Dude, right?! At first I thought I was just being weird but I showed it to Kevin [Cribbin, bass] and Joe Martinez [video director] and they both flipped out too. We've had an idea robbed by fucking Metallica! I hope they're at least listening to what I'm saying because I've got so many ways to fix that band. Like, how about wearing some matching hats?
I bet they'll be dedicating songs to Rambo next. Whatever Forever opens with your second love letter to the franchise. Why are you so obsessed with Rambo?
I always thought of the Ooze as an action movie. Rambo 4 in particular has very little bullshit, just lots of violence and screaming. I have never seen anything as graphic in an action movie but possibilities [for song subjects] in the future include Predator, RoboCop, Dredd, Mad Max and Blood Diner.
You've even given the as-yet-unmade fifth installment a title, "Rambo 5: Pre-Emptive Strike". Maybe you could help Stallone out further with a plotline?
I've made it no secret that I want to write the theme to Rambo 5 more than anything. I imagine he would go fight ISIS or some shit now. Stallone loves to show how one 'roided-up monster can kill an entire army. Everyone forgets that he teamed up with the fucking Taliban in Rambo 3.
Isn't Rambo just a macho embodiment of Ronald Reagan's nationalistic right-wing ideology?
Depends on which movie you watch.
You've said on Facebook that you don't want any supporters of Donald Trump listening to Oozing Wound. But if you welcomed Trump's followers to your shows, then maybe they might make friends or fall in love with politically saner Oozing Wound fans who could then open those Trumpites' minds to more liberal attitudes. And at least when they were at an Oozing Wound show, that's an hour or two when they wouldn't be out campaigning for Trump.
Look, I have basically been a socialist since I was a teenager. I have railed against Republicans and conservatism for as long as I've had thoughts in my head. [But] Trump doesn't even represent that kind of bullshit. It's tyrannical, insulting, bigoted, short-sighted, et-fucking-cetera. The only reason you could support Trump is if you are inherently racist or you are so fucking stupid that you don't understand how much of a threat he is. So, yeah, fuck off. This isn't even a political thing anymore. Just fuck off, die. Kill yourselves and kill your family of morons while you're at it. I have no patience or humor for this shit anymore.
Who should Trump supporters listen to instead of Oozing Wound?
Pantera? Anselmo seems to love white power.
You've also written another song about Star Trek. The inspiration this time is Deep Space Nine's "In The Pale Moonlight", which you claim is one of the greatest episodes from the best Star Trek series. Seriously?
DS9 is a slow fucking burn. It takes until season four to get good but once it does, it just blows the shit out of The Next Generation. That episode is particularly great because it experiments with storytelling and also shows how fucked the notion of virtue can be in a war where there are no true good guys. He makes a compromise and it doesn't work. He loses a piece of himself for almost nothing. It stuck with me.
I didn't notice at first that there's the skeleton of a dead astronaut lying among the wild flowers on Whatever Forever's cover. Presumably this represents the song "Sky Creep", which is inspired by the fate of the Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov.
He's the astronaut from the first record too! I know that the account of what happened to Komarov is highly debated as to the authenticity but I just love the story. Sam Nigrosh even made it into a comic that comes with the deluxe edition. I mean, it is so fucked and, again, has to do with duty in the face of impossible odds and oppression. To know you are going to die for something ultimately pointless. How much more metal can that get?
What does Iommi owe you exactly?
Accolades! He owes me nothing. Maybe a riff? How about a silent nod as he stands in a doorway? We haven't spoken all night but he understands our bond. He watches from a darkened corner of the room and then, just as I believe he has left, our gazes connect and he nods approvingly and vanishes. I am now pregnant with Iommi baby.
Three albums into Oozing Wound's career, what advice do you have for any thrash bands out there who are just starting out?
Just be honest to yourself and don't try to be a band that already existed. No one wants Kreator 2: The Slayering. Oh, and avoid nu-metalisms as much as possible. And don't be a piece of shit. Oh, and women are not there for your entertainment to assault and fuck with. And don't insult the sound guy by saying, "Does it sound all right out there?" Oh, and don't forget, everyone in the fucking universe is in a band. You are not special. Stop being shitty.
Oozing Wound Tour Dates
Oct. 11 - Madison, WI - The Frequency
Oct. 12 - Minneapolis, MN - Rathouse
Oct. 13 - Milwaukee, WI - Riverwest Public House
Oct. 14 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
Oct. 15 - Hazel Park, MI - Cellarman's*
Oct. 16 - Toronto, ON - The Baby G*
Oct. 17 - Albany, NY - Low Beat*
Oct. 18 - Providence, RI - Aurora*
Oct. 19 - Brooklyn, NY - Shea Stadium*
Oct. 20 - Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie*
Oct. 21 - Washington, D.C. - Slash Run
Oct. 22 - Durham, NC - The Pinhook
Oct. 24 - Winston-Salem, NC - The Garage
Oct. 25 - Knoxville, TN - Pilot Light
Oct. 26 - Louisville, KY - Kaiju
Oct. 27 - Athens, OH - The Union
Oct. 28 - Detroit, MI - UFO
* with Electric Hawk
J.R Moores has just ordered the complete Deep Space Nine box set. He's on Twitter.