Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Welcome to May's installment of Chainlinks! At the end of each month, we at The Chain reach out to some friends and colleagues to find out what has been inspiring them. Anything goes – music, film, a book, an idea... This month, we talked to Brent Asbury (Panicker), Sam Velde (Obliterations, Future Now Management), Nicodemus Gonzalez (Illustrations), and Zachary Van Why (Blush).


Brent Asbury of Panicker

Musician/producer/engineer Brent Asbury has worked with musicians ranging from The Locust to Michael Bolton. The self-titled debut LP by his project Panicker blends "aspects of EBM, industrial, techno, and hip hop, with the intensity and heart of punk, metal, and horror films," in his words. Out now on Three One G Records.

1) Inner Visions: German Prints from the Age of Expressionism

I've been semi-obsessed with woodcut prints lately. German Expressionism, in particular. My wife picked up this book for me and I get pretty lost in it.

2) An-i, "Save Us"

Probably listened to this track more than any other in recent memory and find myself going back to it constantly. Cold, dark, metallic... perfect.

3) Anal Trump

This speaks for itself.


Sam Velde of Obliterations and Future Now Management

Sam Velde is the frontman for Obliterations, and a manager currently representing such bands as Culture Abuse and Collapsing Scenery. Velde has been making moves as an artist and businessman for more than two decades, going back to his band Bluebird in the '90s.

1) The Republic Of California

I am forever in awe of the great state of California. The ever changing landscape (beaches, mountains, desert), the freaky people, the culture, the architecture. You name it. I love it. I just had the pleasure of driving from Southern California up to the Bay Area via the 101 freeway this past week. I've been making this drive since I was a baby in the '70s, and I am still in awe. Such a massive inspiration. California forever!

2) The Faces

I still can't get over the great music this rowdy bunch of Englishmen made in the early '70s. In fact, "Glad and Sorry" came on this morning and catapulted me back into my long life love affair with their music. From bar room rockers to melancholy tales of woe, they spun it so perfect. Always sounding like the wheels were just about to fall off, but so graciously, with such class. What a band.

3) Chris Cornell

We lost a a great voice this month. Hearing Soundgarden's Louder Than Love in 1989 changed the game for me. They took what sounded like classic rock to me at the time (Led Zep, Sabbath, Deep Purple) and turned it upside down. They injected heavy metal, punk and a good wallop of outsider weirdness to the recipe. Chris' voice was otherworldly. The high notes, the low notes, the lyrics and the delivery had such a huge effect on me. Still does. RIP Chris Cornell.


Nicodemus Gonzalez of Illustrations

Nicodemus Gonzalez is the guitarist of San Antonio, Texas band Illustrations, whose sophomore album Acts of God was released this month. With a foundation in heavy hardcore, the band explores vast terrain on Acts of God, incorporating synths, saxophones, field recordings, and various vocal approaches. Clrvynt calls Illustrations, "one of the most exciting bands in extreme music," and Exclaim! calls the new album, "one of the year's most creative metal releases thus far."

Revisiting this one again, post-election. A stark but refreshing reminder to stay vigilant in a world that was designed to work against us.

From the Atol Scrap album, released in 2000. The music is so ahead of its time.

Underrated album. Shit goes hard. The anger written in the lyrics is also important and worth talking about. It's not often that we hear this level of ferocity expressed from a woman's perspective.


Zachary Van Why of Blush

Zachary Van Why is the frontman and songwriter for Blush, a Pennsylvania band of whom Clrvynt wrote recently, "Upon the first couple of strums, you're pulled right into a gravitational field of heavy, slow and loud. Melody drifts throughout, vocals coming in smoothly as a specter."

1) Analog Recording 

The analog recording process is something that has always intrigued me. To me, it’s the most honest way of making music. Not many records are made this way anymore, and I think that’s a shame. 

2) The passing of Chris Cornell 

One thing that has been resonating with me lately is the recent passing of Chris Cornell. I don’t mean to beat this into the ground and I was never heavy into Soundgarden growing up or anything. But it is a huge loss for the music world, no doubt. I’ll always remember seeing their “tripped out” video for "Black Hole Sun" on MTV when I was growing up.

3) Recording Unhinged: Creative and Unconventional Recording Techniques, by Sylvia Massy 

I recently picked up this book by Sylvia Massy (Tool, System Of a Down, Tom Petty) It’s probably one of the most interesting pieces on recording I’ve read, with tips and techniques that break any common “rules." 


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