Monday, July 27, 2009

Winds of Plague ain't got shit on our steez

I love mash culture. It makes me feel like I am on top of all the latest developments in youth culture when I find a band that combines seemingly disparate influences, and because I am so culturally literate and young-at-heart, I totally get what they are doing. I love to smugly explain all the references to my clueless friends who still think of "World Demise" and "Far Beyond Driven" as "their new stuff." For a few minutes, I can forget that I am turning 31 in six weeks and have been going to hardcore shows since 1989. With that in mind, you can understand why I am such a big fan of Winds of Plague.

We blogged about this sextet of Southern California moshers a while ago (here and here), so if you are not familiar with them please take a few minutes to brush up on the band. Our printer is down at the moment, but we'll pass out a handout that has hard copies of both posts before we leave today. They'll be on the conference room table next to the Panera bagels and juice. There's also one of those cardboard boxes of coffee, please help yourself- we have Sugar In The Raw as well as Sweet N Low for Delores and Gail, our two administrative assistants who are also diabetic.

"[Being a wigger] isn't that tricky, you just say ignorant shit over and over."

Anyhow, the big idea with Winds of Plague is that they combine moshcore ala Hatebreed with symphonic black metal. You've heard that before, but Winds of Plague adds a wiggerish slant that would make Rick Ta Life blush. I feel like we mocked them pretty mercilessly in our first post about WoP, so I was really happy to see that Johnny Plague, the singer, posted in the comments and had fun with it instead of being a butthurt pussy like Short Bus Pile Up and Waking The Cadaver.

Since they were so cool, I figured we should find out more about what makes them tick. I caught up with them on the Summer Slaughter tour where they were playing with Dying Fetus, Suffocation, Origin, and a bunch of boring bands like Born of Osiris with names in the format of "____ of ____" that I had never heard of and didn't watch.

Affliction also makes a brand for girls called Sinful. It is even more atrocious and tacky than their flagship brand, but at least the ads have moderately attractive girls in them who are giving you the "I've been up for 65 hours on a coke binge with the guy from Buck Cherry" stare

In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that the Summer Slaughter tour is sponsored by Decibel Magazine, which is also owned by Metal Inquisition's parent company, Red Flag Media (this blog is the flagship piece of the viral marketing and social media division of Red Flag). Oh, and it's also sponsored by Affliction, which has nothing to do with our corporate structure, but is hilarious.

On wiggers
In retrospect, maybe it would have been better to warm him up a little bit, but I was too impatient and I cut right to the chase with Johnny. In my best Tom Brokaw voice, I tried to sound very frank and down-to-earth when I said "Have a seat, Johnny. I think you know what we're here to talk about: wiggerish arm movements." I thought he might get mad, but to my surprise, he was pretty sheepish about the whole thing, even apologetic!

I put on my best moshbro costume for the show, topped off by a New Era hat which I cocked at a jaunty angle. After all, when in Rome, do as the wiggers, right? (Photo by Kristen Randall)

He started by blaming someone else. "Not to point the finger, but I'm definitely going to have to put the wigger elements on our friend John, who recorded with us on that album. He also played on the new album, but we told him to tone it down," Johnny explained. I'd like to believe him, but as you can see in the photo of us above, he was wearing a Sworn Enemy basketball jersey and a backwards baseball hat. That's two strikes, my friend. If I go through your records and find a Downset CD, you're busted! He also credits moshcore pioneers 18 Visions with inspiration. "18 Visions had it going on. Speaking of wigger, remember when James had like fuckin' dreads and JNCOs?"

"I've grown out of the puffy vests. I had to give it to my friend that lives in Reno so I'm not tempted."

Life on the road can be tough. Just ask Metallica and Kid Rock, both of which have penned sorrowful, melancholy songs in which they sit on the tour bus looking wistfully out the window. Perhaps Winds of Plague will write their own version soon, because Johnny was not enjoying himself on this tour. I kept trying to get him to talk about wiggers, but he kept drifting back to how annoyed he was with this tour and wanted to go home. To bridge the gap, I asked him about touring with Suffocation. By inventing the slam riff and pioneering the use of 808 bass drops in death metal, they arguably created wigger slam metal, yet they have actual black people in the band, which makes things much less black-and-white (ba-dum crash!).

Lucho Metales with Mike Smith of Suffocation. Lucho is making awkward hand gestures in an effort to "be down." Mike appears to be holding his own penis. There is a cheap-looking door in the background.

Johnny wavered a bit, suggesting that "They have black people in the band so that's automatic street cred. I didn't know about [Mike Smith's] rap album, I wish I did before though." Despite such an initially authoritative answer, it seemed like he doubted himself, or was at the very least not yet comfortable with using the w-word. "I don't really know what to say about that, or... like... the word 'wigger' in general..." he stammered, recalling Sarah Palin when Katie Couric asked her which newspapers she read and Palin answered "A-all of them."

I considered calling in Snoop Dogg for an emergency wigger deprogramming session after hanging out with Johnny for the evening

WoP also share the bill with wigger slam pioneers Dying Fetus. I was thinking Johnny would have taken advantage of the opportunity to compare notes and ask Fetus how to be a slam wigger. Had he ever sat down with Fetus singer Jason Gallagher and asked for tips? "On how to properly do it? No. It's not that tricky, you just say ignorant shit over and over."

"Honestly I don't even know what 'steez' means. Is that even a real word?"

On the left is 18 Visions singer Jame Shart rocking his vintage look of dreads and Excessive Force shirt. Also pictured are Earth Crisis vocalist/weirdo Karl Beuchner (far right, with red eyes) and Metal Inquisition's Director of Latin American Communications Jose Galvan Jr (in blue)

Not ready to let him off the hook, I asked him about my favorite line from my favorite WoP song, their wigger mosh anthem "Reloaded." In this song, one part that makes the moshbros go crazy goes "Bustas fall down when we're barking commands. Atlas ain't got shit on our steez." Having moshed my balls off to it earlier that night, I asked for more detail on exactly what Winds of Plague's steez were. Finally the dam broke. Johnny let it all out, all the shame, the lies, the wiggerish secrets he'd kept inside for so long.

If you haven't seen this video yet, you are missing out. This rivals Biohazard's "Punishment" video as an instruction manual for wiggerish arm movements.

"Honestly I don't even know what 'steez' means. Is that even a real word?" he said plaintively. "The wigger stuff is from our one music video," he volunteered. "The video was an awesome idea that wasn't done well. It was supposed to be over the top. I had a great time doing it, and I guess it's cool because we had fun, but in the big picture it's not really the way we wanted to be portrayed... yeah. Going into it I was like, 'Who the fuck watches music videos, anyway? So let's just have fun with it.' We didn't have much of a budget, our friend had a nice car, so we just said fuck it." While the band was generally happy with it, Johnny had some ideas on how it might be improved. After a thoughtful pause, he reflected that "the guys did a great job on it. But there should have been more chains, more large black women."

Pete Wentz from Fall Out Boy used to play in a wretched hardcore band called Extinction. When I saw them in 1997, he had dreads and was wearing a puffy DKNY vest like this one. Now he is married to Ashlee Simpson... I am convinced he somehow gained access to the Nocturnus time machine to pull that one off!!

Most musicians are comfortable to stay within the narrow, conventional definition of what it means to be in a band. But like Dave Mustaine's ventures into the coffee business, Sammy Hagar's tequila brand, and Kiss peddling, well, absolutely anything, Johnny has dreams of being a stylist-slash-image-consultant for bands like his. As the band works on repositioning its brand, Johnny is getting the ball rolling by making some small changes to his personal brand. "I'm gonna say, I've grown out of the puffy vests. I had to give it to my friend that lives in Reno so I'm not tempted," he said, looking down and picking at the table as though he was craving his Nautica vest like a tweaker fiends for a bump.

Totally would, even though she has an ice cream cone tattoo. Her excellent eyebrows make up for it. What is it with the kids these days and their tattoos of junk food? Back in my day, you got tattoos of skulls, monsters, and the Black Flag bars, not fucking candy!
(In case you are wondering why I included this picture, she plays keyboards for Winds of Plague)

On chicks
With the wigger discussion behind us, we moved on to the second most important item on the agenda: chicks. As long-time readers of this blog know, I have advanced-level game, so I wanted to talk shop with one of the few people who might have even better game than me, if such a thing is possible: a dude in a band.

Hot Chicks With Douchbags, metalcore edition: Semi-Gothic Keyboard Hott is surrounded by a horde of Southern California Wiggerish Moshbags

Johnny is a modest guy, so he was hesitant to offer any suggestions on how I might improve my game. "This isn't really the best question for me. I mean, I don't have any game, I really don't. And I'm not afraid to admit that. But basically, just be loud and obnoxious, hang around the merch table and try to trade free shit for head I guess!"

Johnny, if you're reading this, please tell me you know this girl and will introduce me!!

He wasn't nearly as timid when I asked him when band had the most haggard groupies, though. Literally without a split second of hesitation, he said "Blackguard. I love them to death, don't get me wrong. They're kind of a folkish metal band. I dunno man, they just attract some real, uh, winners." I'm sure it's pretty slim pickings on these metal tours, which Johnny confirmed. "Dying Fetus pull some fuckin'... dude I don't even know what the word would be... trollish, stone age type women. I'm not saying they're hooking up with them, I don't know if that happens, but they're there in full force, drunk as fuck."

Drummer Art Cruz showed me some pretty sweet gambits he uses to snare groupies, such as a variety of magic tricks like the one where he made a coin seem to go through my hand. It was cool, but I started to get uncomfortable after a minute because I thought he was going to kiss me or something. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Jeff Foxworthy: If your band sells mesh shorts... you just might be a wigger!

Metal Inquisition + Winds of Plague = hella mass tight bros
I am not sure why so many people pick on Winds of Plague. As you can see they can take a joke and will make you mosh your balls off, and I'm not sure what more you can ask of a band than that. I thought they were going to be uptight dickbags, but it couldn't have been further from the truth. Even if you don't like metalcore, you should pirate their album to show your support!! Every click counts, my friends!!

Check out Winds of Plague on MySpace and Twitter


  1. The hot girl in the band just proves what we all know: they have an undeniable crush for bad music... one more thing: enough of these wigger bands, come on! This shit is depressing, not funny at all.

  2. I'm confused and angry about this peice. Write something about 1991, before myspace ruined it all.

  3. bring back lucho (BSNYC)!

  4. There is no dispute that Winds of Plague are terrible. In fact I read in a recent scientific study that Winds of Plague are one major cause of why the terrorists have already won.

    However, I still without a doubt would eat a mile of Kristen Randall's shit just to see where it came from.

  5. I will give Winds of Plague this: their keyboardist has a much nicer ass than Louis Panzer.

  6. Wait, forgive me for commenting on something that clearly everyone else must know except for me...the singer of 18 visions has weird, octupus like hands/fingers. jesus christ.

  7. everything in this post about dying fetus made me laugh my ass off.

  8. I had been thinking "Great, I'll have to see these guys in a few weeks when I go to see Toxic Holocaust and Dying Fetus." I'm still thinking that 'cause I'm not at all into their shit but at least the dude's cool about stuff.

  9. Why do WoP remind me of newer Satyricon? Gross.

  10. ReallyGood@WoundingJuly 27, 2009 at 11:52 AM


    Did Suffocation actually play the Cincinnati Summer Slaughter date? I had a choice between Cleveland and Cincy and I apparently ate too much lead paint and picked Cleveland. No Suffocation.
    What struck me about Winds Of Plague is how packaged they seemed. I can't imagine anybody would get truly wealthy from playing keyboard wigger slam, but the manufactured, Hot Topicism just flowed from the stage. It was like an AOR guy in LA said, put together a band to fill this marketable niche genre: get me one body-builder vocalist who will bounce idiotically on a riser, one hot chick willing to show some flesh, who can do back up vocals and play the keyboard and one big pile of breakdowns. All they need is some accessible clean vocals, sung or rapped and they are on their way to (meager) profit. The vocalist's comments about being a puppet at their own video shoot support my conjecture.
    But you are correct, at least they aren't uptight about their "art".

  11. please post a retroview on Atrophy's "Violent by Nature" or something to wash the taste of this post outta my mouth....

  12. This shit was hilarious, and these guys are clearly much cooler than I gave them credit for (which was none, but now I find them amusing). Good work.

  13. Vincent, thanks! You don't have to like their music but honestly they deserve a lot of credit for being cool. I called them wiggers like 400 times to their faces, most people would get butthurt instead of hanging out with me for hours.

  14. was this figured out? steez= style+ease

  15. You're not even 31 yet? Man, you're still a kid.

  16. Lame tattoo or not I'd still eat her Choco Taco.

    I agree with Alex, less posts about lame modern metal bands and more posts about lame older metal bands. Are there going to be any more Metal Real Estate posts? There's something oddly comforting in knowing I'm doing better than the guys in Overkill and Manowar.

  17. Start your own blog if you want to write about how great Xentrix and Toxik are!

  18. i still have an Extinction shirt. maybe i will make a backpatch out of it for a puffy vest.

  19. hilarious. well done.

  20. Winds of Plague are one of only about five deathcore bands that I consider tolerable. Now that I think about it, I only like The Red Chord and the newer Job for a Cowboy and the latter is only debatably -core. I even hate Between the Buried and Me since I got tired of pretending that I liked them just because they are "avant garde."

  21. i believe that photo of the chick with the ice cream cone tattoo is actually a former LA Ink star, not Kristen Randall. note the cheek piercings. the arm tattoos are also totally different. and she's much more attractive than KR.

  22. Oh, maybe so? I can't tell one Semi-Gothic Keyboard Hott from the next, that girl was in a Google image search for Kristen Randall. Either way, would!

  23. I would suck Kristen Randall's farts into my pink, supple lungs and hold them like a massive touring funk band bong rip.

  24. smug, you're freaking us all out.

  25. I think Smug is into pornogrind.

  26. Yeah, that pic isn't Kristan Randall, it's Pixie Acia from LA Ink. She's hot but so annoying I wouldn't fuck her with Donald Campans dick. Kim Saigh however.....

    BTW: Captcha word = "bussh" Perfect.

    And I'm 39, get off my lawn.

  27. Savage, I think smug is the mastermind behind Vomit Grinder.

    Sarge, who's the guy in Winds of Plague that looks like a creepy version of David Cross with rapist glasses? Did he stand behind you and breathe heavily while you interviewed the lead singer?

  28. Where the FUCK is my MI yo-yo? Someone is going to get "easily assaulted".

  29. I have to know....
    When you guys do these in person interviews, do say "hey I'm "______"from the metal inquisition blog site would you like to do an interview." Then step back, throw up your guard and wait to see if they throw a punch? I know there has to be more than a couple of people, especially those of the wegro type, that would love to take a swing at one of the M.I. staff members. Either way this shit is funny as hell and commend your in depth investigative journalism.

  30. That chick is only good looking from about 10 feet away. Too bad your dicks aren't 10.5 feet long.

  31. When you guys do these in person interviews, do say "hey I'm "______"from the metal inquisition blog site would you like to do an interview."
    1. I always set them up through the label/PR people
    2. I'm a pretty good fighter so I'm not really scared of too many people in bands (exceptions being Ragmen, Meraurder, etc)

  32. cd leaked

  33. i seen em at SS Tour in orlando, all you fucksticks that say they are shit are a bunch of close minded faggots. you cant call yourself a metalhead. you know godamn well if you seen them live you were diggin this shit. i did a photoshoot of SS in orlando and all the bands were cool as fuck. dont hate cause they are out partying while youre at home fapping in your moms basement. grow the fuck up quit being closet metalhead and support the whole fuckin industry of metal. support the fuckin music and all the bands, PERIOD!!

  34. am i the only one that noticed the picture of the girl is not their keyboardist. that bitch is beat IRL. the profile picture of the topless girl is some random model that was in the same magazine as randall.

  35. that chick you posted with the candy tattoo's is not in this band. (at least not according to wikipedia or myspace, i dont listen to this crap). Thats pixie acia formally of LA Ink. Also dating Joey Castillo from Danzig/Queens of the Stone age. Totally different chick.


  37. I love this band. Not afraid to say so. I also hate Behemoth, and am also not afraid to say so.

  38. Hahaha shit, I got the coin tricks done on me. Damn you Art! Though I was kinda bored...

  39. Hey those "mesh shorts" on one of the last pics, any idea wher e you can buy em? I saw you could buy them at their gig when I saw em but didn't have enough money and was wondering if you could buy them on the internet?

  40. I love Winds of a Plague!

    There new album: "Against the World" is coming out 4/19/2011!

    The album features guest appearances by Jasta of Hatebreed, Martin Stewart of Terror, Mattie Montgomery of For Today and Drew York of Stray From The Path.

    Which collaboration are you most exited for?

    I will defiantly be seeing Winds of Plague for my very first time on Vans Warped tour this summer in Pomona, CA 7/1/2011.

    Where will you be seeing them?

    Are they as good live as they sound on CD?

    Give me feedback!

  41. Winds of plague aint got shit on our , Thanks .

  42. Thank you So much for this Important and Useful Information.