An audio-visual undertaking charged by passion.
This year's halloween brought us more than horror films and sweet treats as Dark Operative unleashed INTEGRITY's and BLEACH EVERYTHING's split album, paying homage to the iconic SEPTIC DEATH and ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT 2x7 outing released in 1992 on PUSHEAD's Bacteria Sour label. With musical contributions from POWER TRIP's Riley Gale, All-American Rejects frontman Mike Kennerty, drummer Christopher Royal King of THIS WILL DESTROY YOU and mixing/mastering by the Ricky Olson and Arthur Rizk, this release proves to be more than a set of covers, rather a reimagining of the famed punk release. Music aside, the artistic prowess of Dwid Hellion and Matt Stikker offer a new visual presentation to the otherwise Pushead-fronted release from 1992.
We welcome conversation with Brent Eyestone of BLEACH EVERYTHING, artist Matt Stikker, and INTEGRITY's Dwid Hellion to learn more about each side's enthusiasm and contributions to the killer split:
The original Septic Death/Rocket From The Crypt 2x7 that inspired this release has a clear influence on your overall sound and delivery, making this is a significant element to your existence. In providing your interpretation of the Rocket From The Crypt tracks, was there any pressure on your end to doing them “justice”?
Brent: This may sound counter-intuitive to some, but there was zero pressure on these songs and zero concern at any point about doing them justice. The originals have truly been in my blood for over two decades, I’ve been playing music exclusively with Graham and Ryan for at least twelve years, and then at least another eight years with Kelly. If there was even a split second of doubt or concern heading in, then we simply wouldn’t have bothered.
The crazy thing about music is that, while it draws on amplifying sound first and foremost, it can also equally amplify insecurity, fear, and trepidation in the performers. In this band, we’ve played with each other so much and shared so many songs and albums with each other that we can confidently speak each others’ unspoken language when it comes time to take on new challenges. If anything, tackling these covers pulled out new levels of confidence individually and collectively. We found some things in that process that we didn’t know we possessed before.
These aren’t note by note covers that you’re delivering here, rather reimagined iterations for a modern time. With Ricky Olson and Arthur Rizk at the helm for mixing and mastering, the sound is flawlessly crisp and your musicianship shines with every note played. Musically, what was the goal when approaching this composition?
Brent: Thanks for saying that. Ricky and Arthur work their asses off at what they do, so it’s always a pleasure to have both of them involved. Generally, our goal is to create something we’re all super happy with at the end. On something like a cover, our otherwise-unspoken philosophy with each other is to find the sweet spot in gleaning something from the originals to take with us while imparting our own sensibilities on the existing form.