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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Take 5 With Richard Hoak of Total Fucking Destruction



You're likely already familiar with Richard Hoak from Brutal Truth, yet the energetic and well-versed vocalist also fronts another gig you might've heard of by now, Total Fucking Destruction.

While the band name encounters you with blunt shock value, it's the searing pace of Total Fucking Destruction's confrontational hardcore that hails the make your point in under a minute ethos of early DRI. What Total Fucking Destruction attempts to do in such reckless abandon is to stimulate an apathetic society already growing more stagnant in the face of a demoralizing war, as well as a population unwittingly surrendering itself to the machine on a daily basis, both proverbially and literally. The more our nation becomes obsessed with technology--or better yet, the latest upgrade of a given technology--the more we surrender our free will. Forget The Terminator as high-octane sci-fi entertainment; the shit is a prophecy...

Peace, Love and Total Fucking Destruction is the latest album from Hoak and his commandos in 'core chaos, and you best have your ears primed for song breaks, because they're barely there. These guys do not wait for you to catch up, but they do play so ridiculously fast you're wont to figure out the meaning of each song (all 23 of them on Peace, Love and Total Fucking Destruction), which suits Richard Hoak's intent just fine, as you'll read in this Take 5 piece with The Metal Minute...


Metal Minute: I can imagine you guys cranking some DRI, SOD and Napalm Death amongst other stuff back in the day. Seriously, though, you guys and a couple other bands in the grind and art metal sanctions are bringing back the kamikaze short-timed songs ala Dealing With It, which is still a classic today. Take us into your teenage bedroom and the music you were consuming that contributes to Total Fucking Destruction.

Richard Hoak: I saw DRI the first time in 1984. They were filthy, had a set list with 30 or more song titles on it, and totally fucking busted-out hardcore punkmetal. I wet my punk rock pants. I saw them again the next year when they toured with Nuclear Assault. Me and my friends thought it was nuts for DRI to be touring with a metal band, but Nuclear Assault was pretty good. I stole a "Live Suffer and Die" demo cassette from the Nuclear Assault merch guy and then barfed on some chick's couch later that night.

MM: (laughs) Good times! I want to talk about this statement from your MySpace page: "Grind 24 hours a days, 7 days a week. Some days I don't eat or sleep, only grind. Time is running out, the future is now and we are participating in the end of history. It's fucking awesome." There's some truth to this since I think the downfall of modern civilization began when the world went 24-7. All of this instant gratification bullshit in society makes everyone self-important and only turns life's spindles at faster intervals, hence the sound of grind metal and Total Fucking Destruction. Let's have your thoughts on this.

RH: Make no mistake: grindcore and similar underground DIY music scenes are simply obscure-to-the-multitudes artistic concepts and self-defined subcultures that exist because of the privilege and power provided to selected citizens by the global corporate economy that allows the leisure time and extra income to make such art and noise. Grindcore's relation to the slow motion apocalypse that we are all privileged to celebrate is coincidental and insignificant.

MM: Well, still, Total Fucking Destruction is obviously set at jackknifed hyperspeed with the intent to musically comment on the defragmentation of our world through technology and moreover the misappropriation and exploitation of technology, using songs like "Fuck the Internet," "Electromagnetic Pulse" and "Non-Existence the Self" from your current album Peace, Love and Total Fucking Destruction. Is technology too much for society at-large to handle, in your opinion?

RH: Like the other 27.8 billion humans on Earth in the year 2065, our family was completely compartmentalized by an artificial reality, detached from the geopolitical ramifications of our animal existence by the complex systems of the techno-military entertainment megaplex. Worldwide standardization of consumption protected corporate wealth and power as the masses of humanity traded the ability to consume at will and without implication for their passive acceptance of the global economic meta-culture. I never worried that peace would suddenly break out all over the planet.

MM: Voivod has Killing Technology of course and now you have the new album and Zen and the Art of Total Fucking Destruction beforehand, both of which are brutally fast albums. Do you think it takes blunt velocity to force people to stop and listen to what you're trying to say since breaking it down slowly seems to have no effect upon our generally stubborn populace?

RH: Total Fucking Destruction is a direct, undistorted connection to the poetry in us that speaks to the questions post-modern crazy fucked up daily life asks of all people. So that energy and the power of idea is channeled in various ways to write songs. Total Fucking Destruction uses humor to reveal the emptiness and contradictions of modernity. Our songs are true stories of life in the global
techno/military/entertainment megaplex and represent the future and present of human civilization. Our music is a message of energy and strength.

MM: Definitely, my friend. The topics of war and nihilism are undercurrents running through songs such as "Necro-Anarchist," "Wounded Unit," "Bio-Satanic Terrorist Attack," "Nihilism, Emptiness, Nothingness" and "Nonsense" from Peace Love and Total Fucking Destruction. I've always said the concept of peace, no matter how just and righteous it may be, is nonetheless too sophisticated for an apathetic and misinformed society that would soon as fuck their neighbor's wife in the ass in front of CNN while mulling over headlines of casualties in our global wars. What are your thoughts to this? Are we just a bunch of bloodthirsty barbarians when you cut the fat away from the muscle and bone, so to speak?

RH: There will always be war, even if just so that peace cannot be. Without war, there is no justification for violence. Without war, there is no illusion of power created by violence. Without war there is no power and no need for order. the absolutism of cosmic war defines our very humanity! Good Luck!


(c) 2008 Ray Van Horn, Jr. / The Metal Minute

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