Hello, Hindu Pez, and thanks for joining us on the website! You’re a rather unfamiliar name to our audience so let’s get started off with some basic questions. What is Hindu Pez, who’s in the project, and what are three of your favorite albums of all time and why?
Gabriel: Hindu Pez is a solo project of me, Gabriel Perry. I use this format to explore sonic territories that interest me, that perhaps I’m not hearing in my surroundings from other artists / producers / musicians. It has been described as industrial, industrial-hardcore, gabber, power noise, digital hardcore, and other micro-genres. Three favorite albums off the top of the head (and in no proper order) :
Smashing Pumpkins' "Siamese Dream". This album was probably the first record that I would obsessively play overandoverandoverandoverandover. There’s an intense amount of emotional weaving here - rage, sadness, beauty, pain. And Billy Corgan does it with finesse, with an intense level of layers and with violent focus that’s hard to ignore. Let’s not forget that this album began a host of imitators as well - other bands grabbing Fender Stratocasters and Big Muff fuzz pedals playing and making albums not nearly as great, without a fraction of the vision and passion as this record. I seem to recall that this was one of the first albums I owned on CD (I grew up with cassettes) and played it until it became nothing but a skipping mess. I still revisit it semi-often.
Wu-Tang Clan's "Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)". The first time I heard the clan, it felt like the entire process of rhymes became elevated, and that everything before and after it was second-best. These cats developed a unique style, a brand, a MOVEMENT. The weaving of kung-fu culture, hip-hop technique and street slang had never been done before, and it launched many careers, related-albums and a host of other media.
Nine Inch Nails' "The Fragile". This album covers such a vast emotional landscape. It’s really a great example of what happens when you take your time to truly craft something and allow it all the time necessary to create greatness. Of course there are huge amounts of giant walls of guitars, synths, and drums, but there are also these broken, beautiful, brittle passages that are almost silent that create dynamics seldom seen in any album.
The name of the project, Hindu Pez, is a bit exotic. What made you choose that name and does it have any meaning behind it?
Gabriel: Hindu Pez as a project name comes from two things - first, a scrabble game (I know, wild, right?), but more importantly, second - from a desire of not following the typical path that a lot of industrial acts fall under. I don’t mean this to shit on other acts or bands, but some of the names are absurd. The music should do the talking to show how serious your work is, not your project name. Also, who wants to be in a band like 7355 hUm4n? Nobody. Just stop.
The project started all the way back in 2003 and you’re still active to this day. Tell us, how has the project evolved over time? I clicked on a random release of yours, “Porno Music To Kill To”, and it was influenced by 90’s hip-hop, Delta 9, and Atari Teenage Riot.
Gabriel: The biggest thing responsible for the birth and direction of Hindu Pez was, I was working as a resident DJ in a local goth / industrial night in our sister city Virginia Beach between something like 2002 and 2006, and a lot of what I was hearing in that environment from other DJ’s and what was being requested felt weak to me. Some of my favorite stuff in these genres is the more aggressive, noisy stuff - early Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Chemlab, Atari Teenage Riot, early Feindflug, and even to extremes like Delta 9 and Unexist - and it felt like the bulk of what was being played by DJ’s at the time was more of the early 2000’s sound of Metropolis Records.
Of course I have love and respect for what Metropolis does, but it felt like a lot of those bands / producers / acts / whatever were following a lot of the same techniques and paths in their records, and it felt stale to me. It felt incumbent on me to make a conscious choice to go in the absolute opposite direction of what I was hearing, and that mentality stays with me today. What are other bands or acts doing? Okay, let me not do that, let me do the opposite of that. I think it’s important for artists to make the choice to do two things - one - find your own sound, hone it, fine tune it, and two - make sure to not repeat something you’ve already done or what someone else is doing. What’s the point of making a record that you’ve already done? What’s the point in doing what someone else is doing? Why go through all this effort to learn an instrument (or instruments) just to set out to do something that’s already been done? Boring.
You also have a couple of other projects that you’re working on. You told me they were Black Mass Gathering, The Wrist Cutter, and [0PT-0UT]. Are those projects still active or are they now on the back-burner or canceled?
Gabriel: 2021 will be a busy year! I just had a long conversation with my esteemed producer and one of my best friends JJ Williams about what we’re looking to execute for this year. This includes finishing [0PT-0UT] full length for late summer release (guitar, vocal and additional samples left to finish); the release of two more singles as Black Mass Gathering (music done for both, they just need artwork); a completely, from-scratch full length as The Wrist Cutter using mostly hardware and analog equipment in the vein of illbient / industrial hip-hop. The current plan is to execute these over the course of several different sessions in 2021 for a 2022 release. A decent example of this style would be Techno Animal’s "Brotherhood Of The Bomb". Complete the next two Hindu Pez music videos to accompany the next two EP’s for summer and late winter release. Storylines are finished, just need to shoot.
You told me that Hindu Pez was planned to end in 2019 as a project, but here we are in 2021 with a new music video and a new EP. What made you reverse the end of Hindu Pez?
Gabriel: I’ve been doing this for a long time. The space specifically between 2014 and 2019 was hyper-focused on attempting to create the absolute best, revamped, modern, challenging and sonically aggressive version of Hindu Pez; I began to get into a headspace of “Let’s really take this seriously, let’s gig as much as possible and let’s see how far we can push this”. At the beginning of 2019, I released the "Despair" record, and based on my own confidence of it’s sound, execution, and involvement of outside remixers (a first for any HP release), I began to start the booking process for any and all performances I could get for that entire year.
Early on it felt like I had more resistance trying to book that year than I’d ever experienced. It seemed like every date or festival I attempted to hop on was denied, and it left me somewhat shook. There’s always a level of unanswered emails and calls, but 2019 felt like my inbox stayed empty. By summer, 2019 I decided to throw my own festival, which ended up being the MASTERS OF MACHINES FESTIVAL, which featured myself and artists from Norfolk, Richmond, and Charlottesville, VA. I left that event feeling a bit better. Still, the more I fought uphill, the more it felt like I wasn’t gaining any traction.
By the end of 2019, my last gig of the year was an absolute, embarrassing, blacked-out affair in the back room of a venue in Long Island, NY. Gear was damaged, and it took a minute to fix my reputation with the crew there. The next day I felt like I had enough. Fuck it. I’m done. The year felt like it started extremely high and towards the end hit bottom. The lack of progress after all these years really took a toll, and I began to feel like maybe doing it anymore was pointless.
With 2019 ending, I announced the end of Hindu Pez, and turned my focus on two things - one, other projects (primarily Black Mass Gathering) and two, my culinary career (I’m a line chef as my “day job”). At the beginning of 2020, I left Norfolk and moved to Charlottesville, VA for an executive chef position in the heart of the city. By March, covid hit the US super hard and the job ended, which spun me around and right back to Norfolk. While all of this is happening, my producer JJ Williams had started to collect analog synths, partially to support the Black Mass Gathering project, but also with the idea that Hindu Pez may one day come back. The presence of those synths later became a significant motivator for what became these three EP’s. So there I am, April 2020, no job, living on unemployment and not really sure what came next. Ever hear the phrase about idle hands? If the devil finds work for idle hands, he certainly found work for mine. With nothing but time to sit, think, and reflect, I knew I had to get back to work.
Mentioning the new EP “We Deserve Extinction”, let’s talk about that for a bit. First off, who made the cover art and how does it tie into the themes of the EP?
Gabriel: My old buddy and co-conspirator Chris Garcia did the illustration. I gave him some very basic ideas and one image to work with for where I wanted it to go, and left him alone for a few weeks to see what would happen. The execution really is quite stellar. Chris and I have worked together previously, both on the "PORNO MUSIC TO KILL TO" cover, and the "abUSE" cover. We have a very good, positive dynamic and we manage to get things done pretty quickly. Directly from Chris, in our conversation as he worked on the cover : “The ruined buildings at the bottom I drew from real photos from Richmond [Virginia] in 1865 when the Confederates tried to burn down the city”.
The title "WE DESERVE EXTINCTION" is my reaction to how we as a society (particularly American society, but it’s global as well) have reached such a low point. The way we treat animals, the way we treat each other, the way we treat our planet is with such disrespect and disregard; the phrase "WE DESERVE EXTINCTION" kept reappearing in my head at the beginning of the pandemic. To me, the title sums up how I feel about the core of 2020.
The rise of Trump and his support of white supremacy, the increased exposure of violence against African Americans from American police (as well as the crushing reaction to protestors) , and the crawling pace of Trump’s administration to effectively handle the 2020 pandemic left me in a mixed state of rage, apathy and a hunger to deafen those around me with noise.
You’re turning the next couple of releases into a series of EPs, starting with this one. Why did you decide to go with the EP route instead of just waiting for all the songs to be ready for a full-length album?
Gabriel: To be completely honest, I don’t think most people have the attention span for full-length albums anymore. I talk about this a lot with my close friends, but I am absolutely a full-length album fan; I like to sit with an album with a high-end pair of headphones and really study it from start to finish. But. with the increased barrage of information, social media, and a twenty-four hour news cycle that moves by the microsecond, it seems (at least to me) that people don’t have the same attention span that they did when I started Hindu Pez. The use of shorter EP’s to me is an attempt to circumvent that.
Give us a brief description of each of the songs and what they deal with. Your Bandcamp page already states that the title track deals with Covid-19. But what of the other two?
As I was starting to say earlier - thematically this first EP deals with my reaction to the pandemic. Track one 'WE DESERVE EXTINCTION' is me saying “Wow. We caused this. This is our fault. If we didn’t fuck around with nature and actually had some respect for each other, we wouldn’t be in this fucking mess”. Track two. 'MOTHER NATURE’S REVENGE' is me saying “Well, since we caused this, obviously this is nature punishing us for all the ignorant things we’ve done”. Track three 'WILD TURKEY, SWEAT AND MADNESS' is a two-part thing. One, it’s in reference to an absolutely insane weekend I spent with a dear friend in Charlottesville right before I came back to Norfolk. Absolute intense, insane debauchery on a level seldom rivaled. I don’t know how either of us are alive. She really is a trouper.
The second half of it is a reaction to how many people I watched completely cop out and stay wasted for a lot of 2020. I watched a LOT of people here stay drunk for months at a time, because the reality of a pandemic coupled with the absolute political nightmare unfolding over the year was too much for most people. And to be honest, I was one of those people for much of the year. It was too much. It was like watching a slow-motion trainwreck unfold with a head full of mushrooms. No escape from the nightmare.
You released an official music video for ‘Wild Turkey, Sweat and Madness’ via YouTube. Why did you choose this song out of the three to turn into a music video?
Gabriel: I never set out to write music that I think is single-worthy. Songs just come out, and whatever happens, happens. This song, though, I felt was probably the best of the three, and since I hadn’t done a music video since 2012, it felt long overdue to return to the format.
Enter Matt Francis. Not only is he a very sharp, smart guy, but his immense talent was a joy to watch unfold. I’ve known Matt for some time now - I’ve worked as a FOH sound engineer on and off for years in Norfolk, and I’ve mixed some of his projects live in local venues over time. He even sat in with my blues band, Deathhouse Blues, for a number of dates over one summer as a fill-in live drummer. An absolute artist if I’ve ever met one.
Once I saw his video work, I knew we had to collaborate. He’ll be doing the next music videos as well. Something I’ve been doing for some time now here in my home town is getting out on the street in the middle of night and putting out posters for releases; this sort of thing has never been documented, and I felt like it would be worth turning into a music video. Matt Francis really made that happen, and I have to give a shoutout to my [0PT-0UT] bandmate Matt McClure and my friend Whitney Norfleet for giving me their evening to appear in the video. The involvement of those three was key.
We know you have two more EPs coming out within 2021, but what other plans do you have for Hindu Pez looking into the future?
Gabriel: More music videos are planned to accompany both EP’s - that’s the biggest priority.
The other priority is getting back on the road! I haven’t toured since [0PT-0UT] went out as a support act for the now-defunct duo Gutter Gloss, and I’m itching to get back out. That was 2013! Obviously we’ve got to beat COVID19 and get back to a state of normalcy (whatever that means) here in the US, so while everything is in a state of stasis, I’ll be working on other projects until the ALL CLEAR sign is given.
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We have our own recording studio. That's our job. But few musicians can afford the services of the studio. There are so many projects in Russia, but they are of poor quality. We try to explain to people that if they will not support the artists that no one can create. But now it's useless.
Sleetgrout, Jun 19 2014
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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