Thursday, August 29, 2019

an interview with No/Más

Washington D.C.'s No/Más are a band that should be on the radar of anyone who likes their grindcore short and catchy. Like Nasum and Pig Destroyer, this new(ish) band aren't averse to imbuing their abrasive deathgrind with groove and a hardcore-like simplicity. Since the band's newest EP Last Laugh is about to drop through Horror Pain Gore Death, I reached out to No/Más to fill me in on their background; the band's guitarist John was kind enough to answer my questions.
Dreams of Consciousness: For anyone who may not know you, please introduce your band - who are you, where are you from, and how do you describe the music you make?

Hey there, My name is John, I am from Washington D.C. and I play guitar for No/Más. We are a hardcore/deathgrind band.

DoC: Please give a brief history of No/Más- when did you form, and what brought you together? What were you doing before No/Más? What were your goals at the time?

We formed in December of 2016. Me and our drummer (Henry) were way into playing more techy kind of stuff. We had the idea to start a hardcore/punk band a la Minor Threat for fun. First practice in, it went way past hardcore/punk and we realized we were onto something different. The goal was just to have fun and have an outlet for the things that pissed us off.

DoC: How would you describe your approach to grindcore?

Well, we still don't fully consider ourselves a grindcore band. That is what other people label us as - and that's fine because it is a huge influence. However, we are a very dynamic band. We like tempo shifts, stand out riffs and break downs. We never shy away from the idea that this kind of music can be catchy. I would consider us the 2019 equivalent to punk. We do our own thing and don't care what anyone has to say about it.

DoC: Last year you released your debut album Raiz Del Mal. How long had you been working on it, and how did Horror Pain Gore Death end up releasing it?

We wrote that record very fast, I think we wrote it in about 3 weeks. It took much longer mixing and mastering than the actual writing/recording. We were just very pissed off at events in our personal lives and we just all wanted to write music that reflected who we were at that time. It is a very genuine record that I am still extremely proud of. It got me through the worst time of my life and I am sure the rest of the guys would say the same thing.

We met mike at HPGD through Blake Harrison. He introduced us, and Mike was so cool and totally understood what we were doing and what we were going for so it just really worked out well.

DoC: Blake Harrison from Pig Destroyer contributed noise/electronic elements to Raíz Del Mal. How did he get involved with the recording?

Blake is my buddy; we go to shows together and hang out a lot. One day I just asked if he would help us tie the record together and he was down. It was very quick and easy. It was never even a "let's get the guy from Pig Destroyer on the record" type scenario. We actually asked him if he wanted to be uncredited or credited under a different name so that it wouldn't feel as though we were exploiting his friendship, but he was down to put his name on it. He's one of the most genuine people in the scene and we are super proud to have worked with him and call him a friend.

DoC: No/Más has songs in both English and Spanish. What led to the bi-lingual approach?

Our singer Roger is from Ecuador, so he is bi-lingual. I don't think he goes into a song saying, "This is gonna be Spanish and this is gonna be English" - he feels the song out and whatever comes natural to him, he does. I personally love it!

DoC: You have a new EP coming out at the end of August called Last Laugh. Tell me about it - where was it recorded, and what can people expect from it?

So, we had came off the Raíz Del Mal tour in December 2018 and we had the idea of an EP, and I had a ton of riffs written; so we spent a couple weeks working it all out, and then we hit the studio in mid-January with Matt Michael (Majority Rule) and recorded it in two days. I think the songs are more focused. It sounds like we know what we are doing and who we are, but we still have a lot of room to grow. I'm excited for the next full length.

DoC: Lyrically, No/Más deals with a lot of real world topics like police brutality. What inspires you lyrically? Do you consider yourselves a political band? Why or why not?

We are not a political band. Our lyrics are written about our personal experiences (mostly Roger's) but we always seem to be on the same page. Sometimes, the things that piss us off can get political, a la police brutality. Most of our songs are personal and deal with depression, anxiety, suicide, addiction and general mental health.

I feel like this sets us apart because it's extremely personal to us, and that's why people really feel it when we play these songs.

DoC: Along the same lines, does being based in the D.C. area influence your music?

Absolutely, I don't know how to describe how but I know we wouldn't sound the way we do if we lived anywhere else.

DoC: What's next for No/Más?

Right now we are on tour - we have been put 4 weeks now and have 2 to go. We have a lot of awesome plans for 2020, but for now we finish this tour, start working on a second record and we are doing a short tour of the south in December. We don't plan on slowing down anytime soon.

No/Más on Facebook

No/Más on Bandcamp

Last Laugh (through HPGD Bandcamp)

Grind and Rewind:

Mixtape 89:
Slave To The Grind