Profane Existence just released SICK/TIRED’s new 7″ – Manufractured – as part of our 2013 Limited Edition Singles Series. We figured they should have an interview on the PE blog. Unfortunately we were all too busy to do it ourselves so the fine folks at Grind and Punishment zine did it for us. Enjoy! and Destroy! – Sick/Tired interview with Adam Jennings & Kirk Syrek / Interview by Derek Navardauskas / Intro paragraph by Grind and Punishment / Photos by Adam Degross
PICK UP A COPY OF THE 7″ BY CLICKING HERE!
Putting on Sick/Tired’s new LP “King of Dirt” is like boldly striding face first into a tornado of glass shards. It’s a maelstrom of whirling slivers intent on rending your flesh, a vortex of unremitting insanity. Sick/Tired will leave you panting and breathless after all 19 minutes of vertiginous noise lurch to a halt with the groaning lumber of the title track, a five minute mutant that’s not quite grind, not quite sludge and one of the rarest examples of successfully pulling off a slow song at the end in all of grind’s history. But that’s probably to be expected considering it was penned by Adam Jennings who also wrangles sublime noise with electronic neuromancers Winters in Osaka. I can’t say enough about how Sick/Tired have turned in one of the noisiest, most hostile grind albums I’ve heard since Blood I Bleed’s “Gods Out of Monsters”. This Chicago mob hits somewhere between Threatener’s serrated fastcore and Anodyne gone full grind. “King of Dirt” snarls away from that precariously balanced perch between unlistenable chaos and production sharp enough to open your veins with the copious amounts of guitar feedback that get unlimbered like audio nooses on a gibbet of blasting death. Every song manages to surprise as the band bashes and hammers away at fragments of grind, beating each splinter of song into a twisted wreck distinct from the others. You won’t be humming along to Sick/Tired’s onslaught, but every song prickles the skin in a different way, giving “King of Dirt” a constantly evolving personality that staves off boredom even after compulsive re-listens. This is simply one of the best records I’ve heard in years. It’s absolutely everything you can ask for in a grind album. Even after days spent listening on endless repeat, Sick/Tired’s twisted hulks of songs have ways of refracting into new and more interesting shapes. Come get your tickets to the car crash.
PE: Who does what in Sick/Tired?
Adam: I do vocals.
Kirk: I really hate this question, but I realize it is a necessity. I play bass. Ben Gonzales is guitar, Adam Tomlinson on drums, and Adam Jennings is vocals.
PE: S/T has been a band for five years now with only one lineup change. Since the ‘core’ of the band has remained unchanged for a relatively long time, there must be some chemistry between you three. How has playing in S/T changed over the years? Has the writing process gotten easier over time?
Kirk: I really love playing with these guys and over the years we have really meshed well. So much so that I think if one of us decided to quit, we would probably have to end the band. A couple years ago we almost asked our friend Omar to fill in on drums for a tour, but we decided it just wouldn’t be the same. We also recently played the Obscene Extreme festival in Mexico City and we were going to have to bring a different guitar player, but luckily Gonzo was able to make it. We couldn’t be a band without him and it would’ve been a total disaster. Since Jennings joined we have really changed for the better. We all now actively participate in the song writing and if you have the King of Dirt LP you can hear how much better we are now.
PE: There has been an evident evolution to the band’s sound from one record to the next; where is S/T headed after King of Dirt LP and what, if any, releases are planned?
Kirk: King of Dirt is the rebirth. I sometimes wish we changed the band’s name at that point because it’s so much more devastating than anything we have ever done and I think a lot of people have written us off from the old days. We are a whole new band. The production and song writing are way more oppressive, dirty, and punishing. Moving forward, we have recently recorded for a new 7” that will be released on Profane Existence and it should be released September 2013. We are also kicking around the idea of a split with Water Torture on Diseased Audio and possible a new LP on A389.
Adam: The guys have a really unique approach to song writing, and that was evident before I joined the band. KOD was just an example of us refining the songs, making them both more focused and pissed off sounding. I brought a few riffs and ideas to the table too which was really fun. The newest release is “Manufractured” 7”on Profane Existence, which was done during the same recording session as the “Lowlife” tape on To Live a Lie. The “Lowlife” tape is a re-recording of older songs with me on vocals, and sort of closes the chapter on the old era and “King of Dirt” LP began the next. I am really excited for what the next recording session is going to be like.
PE: Adam, most of your musical output has been in the realm of noise. How does playing in S/T differ from working with Winters in Osaka in both the live and recording sense?
Adam: S/T and Winters are two totally different beasts. Winters in Osaka is a 5 piece noise/drone band. The shows consist of us playing for about 30-40 minutes with very minimal movement on stage. Lots of pedal knob twisting ya know? WIO is meant to be enjoyed in a dark room with a massive PA system. We are not meant to be seen really. S/T on the other hand comes blazing out of the gates. Adam T is blasting while the rest of us are jumping and abusing our equipment. I love both projects equally, but yes very different.
PE: So how did you end up joining S/T after Belo left the band? What were your feelings coming into an already established band?
Adam: Winters had played with Sick/Tired a few times over the years when Belo was the front man, so I got to know them pretty well. I would also come out to see them when they played Chicago. One day I saw that Belo had decided to quit the band right before a tour and decided to give it a shot. They asked me to join and less than a month later I was on the road with them. At first it was very intimidating since Belo’s vocal delivery was nowhere near what I was doing in Paucities. Some of the songs I tried my best to mimic the original, but some songs were completely redone. It was kind of scary, since S/T had already made a name for themselves with their first LP on To Live a Lie, but they was my motivation to step up my game and try to make the band better.
PE: Kirk, you’ve been playing in bands for about 20 years now. Is the present landscape of punk much different than back in the day?
Kirk: Yes. I like to blame the internet somewhat. Nothing is rare. Everyone is an expert on every band ever, because they Googled it 2 weeks ago. It has made Punk, Metal, etc very lazy. A lot of Kids don’t flier shows anymore or buy records because they feel like they don’t need too. The vinyl record has become obsolete to the younger generation unless it has some kind of collectible value to it. There is no mystery. Fortunately, there will always be the diehards working behind the scenes. The thing is no matter how old you get, you are either into it or not. You can’t fake it for too long.
PE: S/T operates with a minimum of internet presence, the band only has an obsolete MySpace page and a Bandcamp. Do you think this has adversely affected the band’s popularity, or do you even care?
Kirk: That fucking MySpace! I tried to delete it 3 years ago and it won’t let me! Now I don’t even know the password so there it sits out there on the web like a fucking thorn in my side. I like the Bandcamp site because it provides a simplistic way for someone to hear or download music. There is no need for a Facebook page as it’s so easy to look something up. I really am no fun at all to be honest.
PE: Before Adam J joined S/T, the band refrained from printing lyrics in any of the records, even going so far as to print “No Lyrics Alienate Everyone Fuck Off” on the Cowabunga 7”, yet King of Dirt has a lyric sheet. Why did this policy change?
Kirk: The “alienate everyone” comes from the idea that we are not a sing along fun band. We are not satisfied. We are depressed. We are pissed and we don’t care if you know what we are singing about because we don’t care about what you think. King of Dirt was a milestone for the band. It caused a huge change for us. We are a whole different band now. With that change we decided to include the lyrics because we do what we want.
PE: Every member of S/T is involved in other projects, take a moment to mention some of these, if you would.
Kirk: I am in a band called Pillage with some of my old friends from Los Crudos and Charles Bronson. We just released a 10 song demo. Gonzo & Adam T are in a noise thrash band called MZR.
Adam: Gonzo also plays in Minimum Wage Assassins. Adam T and I play together in a Mincecore band called Paucities. I also make noise in Winters in Osaka and Urine Cop, which also features Eric King from Column of Heaven. Those are just some of the projects we do that I’ll mention, but there’s more. Like Gonzo playing in a bluegrass band, and me playing drums in a black metal band.
PE: Up until recently, at least to me, S/T has seemed to always fall under the shadow of having ex-members of MK-Ultra and Weekend Nachos. Do you think this has been a help or a hindrance to the band?
Kirk: Ehhh… We are nothing like those bands. However, it is unavoidable that people will always bring that up. It’s the easiest way to reference who people are I guess. The fingerprint. To answer the question, no help and no hindrance. It makes no difference. That being said if I were Danzig, I would write “Danzig” on everything I possibly could.
PE: Compared to many of your contemporaries, S/T doesn’t play shows too often. Is there any reason for being selective? What are some of your favorite bands to play with, be they local or bands you’ve played with on tour?
Adam: We are all busy, school, work, etc. Adam T has an overnight job which prevents us from really playing on weekdays. This is fine with me though, because when we do play in Chicago it seems more special. The energy especially at our last few shows have been fucking awesome.
Kirk: We don’t play a lot because we don’t feel the need to over saturate the audience. We also have a limited schedule because of work, being in multiple bands, and our drummer has a daughter. Sea of Shit are our sister band, I guess. We play with them a lot and they are our friends. We are about to head out on an East coast tour with them.
PE: Thank you for the interview, the last words are yours.
Adam: Thanks to everyone who is supporting us, it really humbles me and we all appreciate it! Midwest is best.
Kirk: Most of our releases can be downloaded from this site: http://sick-tired.bandcamp.com
Grab a copy of SICK/TIRED’s latest 7″ – Manufractured by CLICKING HERE