An Interview With Clusterfux
A new EP release from Clusterfux breeds a gritty and ultra-high-energy thrash Punk and metal feel that hints at hardcore and comes at you like a blitzkrieg with fierce guitars and serious drumming that all hit a beautifully aggressive soundscape.
The Blood EP is absolutely classic in the vein of mid-90s thrash pump and hits all the sweet spots you could possibly want from a record like this one.
Being a fan of early '80s punk rock like Minor Threat for example, these guys really did an amazing job of portraying that live performance face-melting energy on record.
If you're a fan of the genre there's nothing you won't love about this release as it bears all the elements of true grit and hits you like a sucker punch to the gut.
Do we get killer breakdowns? Absolutely. The is packed with shredding guitars and halftime sections that break into excitable high speed got busting punk edge.
This Record really has an amazingly nostalgic feel to it because they come through with such an authentic love for the craft that it may as well have been released in the mid-90s or earlier even.
I personally miss this stuff and it's so refreshing to hear a band like this destroy the way they do because when you hear it you remember that you miss the music that releases that aggression that you have deep inside out into the open.
The riffs are awesome, and the guitar tones are pretty much perfect, but the big thing is that energy and how you just want to see them live in your face so that you can get cremated by these guys.
This Record is so damn fun that it's best to listen to it a few times in a row although in actuality they cover a lot of ground in six songs.
It feels a bit longer than actually is which is really good because in true punk fashion, you do songs that are a minute and a half long at times.
With the release of such a badass EP we wanted to have a sit-down with Clusterfux to talk shop about where this record came from and what might be next for them.
Here's what happened.
BuzzSlayers: Okay, let's start with Blood EP! This record was a blistering and thrashing mayhem infused blitzkrieg of punk and hardcore! How did this EP come about?
We had broken up or been on hiatus for several years and after we put the band back together, we streamlined our sound, trimmed the fat from how we were writing songs and got to work on some new material. We’d been sharing the demos of the new material with friends and the like when it got noticed by a pretty decent label in the hardcore punk world. We signed to the label agreeing to an LP but then Covid hit. While other labels were still releasing material and taking advantage of the down time this label just kind of froze up. The dude got really scared to release anything. We were under contract and had to ask for permission to record and self-release the EP. We were tired of sitting around. Even after most of the world got back to work this label still stayed dormant, I had a few conversations with them that didn't make too much sense as bands were touring again and had been for awhile. New records were coming out left and right. I guess they just got content doing represses and didnt want to release anything new. So we, like many others, got shafted by the shutdown and just decided to go back to doing things ourselves. We recorded locally at The Crash Pad, had it mastered by Jack Control at Enormous Door and had Jeremy Shaw do the art. We took it really seriously and approached it like it was going to be on a bigger label. Duane from the Derelicts was in town while we were recording so we asked him to come by and do some vocals. So he does the choruses on ‘Dont Be Dick’. So there you go, we put it all into this EP… Focused song writing, a great recording, professional and reputable mastering, top tier art work and surprise guests! The response has been great and we are super happy with it.
BuzzSlayers: How did this all start for you guys as a band? When did you get together?
The first version of the band started in 95. My brother (guitar) and I are the only two members left from that early lineup. Everyone in this version of the band grew up together and we all played in another band together in the early 90’s, everyone but Piker. Van, Joe, Justin and I all played together way back then. Van and Piker are both returning members but they were never in the band together at the same time. Joe joined like 5 years ago now. So we’ve all been played together for awhile, we gel really well. BuzzSlayers: What kind of things really inspire songs for you?
Almost all of our songs have social and political themes and messages behind them but there are a few that just tell stories like ‘Blood’, its just about skateboarding. Its an “us vs them” story of rebellion. A few of the songs have started to be based on personal issues, struggles and reflections. As you get older you start to better understand what is important and what isnt. You also see that people you grew up with maybe didnt believe in the lyrics of the bands you were listening to back then, they just wanted to piss their parents off or something. At this point we are “lifers” and some of the lyrics reflect that too. The Trump years provided for all kinds of lyrical fodder and really the state of the country and how divided it is right now makes for good lyrical content. Again, so people focused on shit that doesnt matter, they dont understand that the wool has been pulled over their eyes and they are being played. Divide and conquer, its worked all throughout history. BuzzSlayers:This EP has some great styles on it! Can you give us some of your biggest influences musically? We’re all dudes in our late 40’s and early 50’s. We kind of came up at the end of the US Hardcore explosion but were there for the glory days of crossover and thrash. I think across the band we are all into some pretty diverse stuff but the band itself is rooted in how we grew up and what were listening to then and why we wanted to start bands back then. At the core its Black Flag meets Metallica. I think thats about as basic in a description as you can get but when you hear us it makes sense. We’ve been compared to DRI, or the metal version of the Exploited (not the earlier UK 82 stuff). Attitude Adjustment, Final Conflict, Discharge, etc… you get the picture. I still listen to mainly classic crossover and thrash. BuzzSlayers: What are you all doing when you're NOT working on music? My brother and I own a record store in Lakewood Colorado called Chain Reaction Records. Other than that we work, a few of us have kids. We’re getting old but we still fuck around on skateboards a little. I like riding my bike. Was doing Kung Fu but I got Covid twice and had to quit, I’m considering doing martial arts again very soon. Piker plays in the snow. We’re just normal dudes. BuzzSlayers: Who's in all your headphones right now?
I cant speak for the others too much but I think a few of us have been into that Spirit World album that just came out. I’ve been listening to Cro-Mags ‘In the Beginning’ and Excel - “The Jokes On You’ a lot this week. Been jamming on those new Metallica singles too while I wait for the new album that drops Friday. Been listening to Amenity a lot lately too. My brother and I were reminiscing about the 90’s sound and some of those bands like Amenity, Born Against, Econochrist, Heroin, etc. BuzzSlayers: Are you all doing any live performances right now?
Yeah, we play out once a month or so. We try not to play in Denver too much, every 4 months or so is probably good on the home front. We were in Colorado Springs a couple of weeks ago and we are playing Cheyenne Wyoming in two weeks. BuzzSlayers: Did you record yourself or hit a big studio for this?
This dude Bart plays in several local bands and is has a great studio for recording hardcore, punk, metal etc. Its what he’s into so he gets it. The Crash Pad is the name of his place, he knows how to write a good song and is more than just the engineer. He leans in like a producer would and helps you hear your songs through a different set of years. You become deaf to your own songs after a while and may not even realize when something isnt working. He’ll offer advice and you can take or leave it. BuzzSlayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?
We’re working on some new songs, another six songs or so. Several of them were written for the LP that didnt happen. So we have a pretty decent arsenal of songs and will likely get those tracked this year. Hopefully folks can expect another straight to the point EP from us. I think that format / length works well for us. Get in, get out, leave them wanting more. If happen that would rule. Or maybe ever a split release between a couple of labels. Lets get this out there! BuzzSlayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music? If you're on the streaming platforms and you dig our stuff share it with your friends and add our stuff to your playlists. We have the physical formats too! Show us the love and grab a tape, CD and shirt or whatever! Tell your buddy that runs that sick label to release the next album for us! Haha! And… Dont Be a Dick! Everyone has their struggles, support each other. Dont be pushing others down. Life is tany labels want to get in on the action lets talk! If someone wanted to pick it up and make it ough enough without some opinionated and entitled dick getting in your way. PEACE.