Interview with GODSTOMPER [made by Col Sickener]

[this is the a review originally made by Col from the band Sickener -which has been featured on the latest STN&H comp, check ’em out!- with Paul from the cult powerviolence band Godstomper. I’m very glad to host it since I really like that band and Col is a very clever interviewer. There will be another interview by him very soon, so keep your eyes open! ndPete]



Col: Hey, Paul, what’s up? Boring shit first-when did Godstomper start, where did the name come from, who’s in the band, etc? Is there any particular meaning for you behind the name Godstomper?

Paul: Godstomper was conceived in 1991. The name comes from a mental meltdown of different inspirations when I was a young lad of 16. Namely a Ned’s Atomic Dustbin t-shirt that said Godfodder  that Kevin Sharp wore in a Brutal Truth photo session, Agnostic Front’s “Live at CBGB’s”  boot cover lp and Gobstopper candy. It just formulated and became

Godstomper, which is just me and my brother Daniel666 on drums. Godstomper basically means smashing all Gods, whether man made or metaphysical.

Col: What are your songs about? What drives you to continue to write music after so many years?

P:  The songs are a collective mix of both me and my brother’s struggles with identity of living in the Bay area, a bipolar world of super rich and very poor, with the middle class being slowly eroded by both. The songs are about love, hatred, death, friends, betrayal, scepticism of our modern world.  What drives us is our continued need to tell everyone how much life can suck and be unfair.

Col: What are your main influences, both musical and otherwise?

P: We both like different types of music but what we both really like is experimental audio  media core kinda weird shit that fits in the gray area of music and music scenes. A lot of it wouldn’t even be considered music. We both like as influences in Godstomper: Spazz, old Napalm Death, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Doom, Sex Pistols, Minor Threat, Larm. We also like photography, painting, and writing films.

Col: You and Danny are both brothers: do you find being in a band with a sibling impacts much on your music?

P: Oh definitely. With friends you have fallouts and never talk again or always have bad blood in or outside of bands, but with siblings you will always forever have to work with them on a relationship family level outside the band which transcends the band working dynamics and could affect the music if you have a fall-out personally. But if you think about it, a band turns into family, whether blood or not. But I give Danny his space concerning the band because he’s family man and the band isn’t his priority as much as it was maybe 11 years ago.

Col: How has your sound evolved over the years, since the band’s inception, if at all?

P: Well I think I’m more comfortable with actually singing instead of screaming or growling whereas before I was very self conscious of my singing. I think we have devolved, since our sound has gotten more sloppier.

Col: How did you initially get into grindcore/powerviolence? How have you managed to stay involved in the scene for so many years? What’s the scene like in your city for this style of music?

P: Well at first it was Danny who was into listening to college radio in the 80’s since at the time it was near impossible to find underground punk and grindcore records from America, the UK or Europe. So he turned me onto Minor Threat, Death, and from there we’d record the college radio shows so we could discover the bands and find their music and the first bands that I guess were grindcore we discovered was Napalm Death’s “Scum” and Doom’s “War Is Big Business.” At first I didn’t like Napalm but found Doom much better and I went to find those records at stores with no luck. With powerviolence it was the local bands and scene like Plutocracy, Spazz, No le$$, 976, Morbid Life Society that made me want to get involved in the powerviolence scene, since the bands were much more accessible and open to newer bands. There is no scene in my city of Sunnyvale for powerviolence. We are it. And yet most of the bands that play in Sunnyvale are not from here. I’ve managed to stay in the scene for years by just avoiding the drama, bullshit and just concentrate on what I want to get out of the scene, which is music and friends .

Col: What’s your opinion on the rise of sites such as Bit Torrent and blogs set up exclusively to share both new and old punk “gems”?

P:  I’m all for it. If the kids can hear the music and share it, all the better.  We aren’t getting rich off of music sales.

Col: Do you guys have any other projects on the go at present, aside from Godstomper?

P: Well I do Plague Hoarder with members of Tolteca Extra, which is folk doom noise and a thrash bass and drum band with James of Dos Amigos called Failed Species. Danny does his Soundthru electronic techno stuff.

Col: Do you listen to any other styles of music aside from grindcore/powerviolence? What are some bands/releases you’ve been checking out lately?

P: I listen to everything, mainly college radio since their format permits them to play a wide range of stuff. I dig the Paranoid Freakout CD, the Bird CD demo, Death Threat mp3s, Scalpe demo, Tolteca Extra.

Col: What’s your all-time favourite book and movie and why?

P: Hard one, favorite book-“This Band Could Be Your Life”- it just reinforces the reason why I play underground D. I. Y. music when I feel I’m going nowhere. And movie-“Decline of Western Civilization part 1” because it’s raw and honest.

Col: What releases have you guys put out so far? What’s your own personal favourite out of all your releases?

P: I think it’s at 45 now? I think “Heavy Metal Vomit Party” is the best because I was so pissed off with my life at the time we recorded it. I think it kept me from killing myself.

Col: What releases have you got in the works at the minute?

P: There’s the Tersunjung 13 split 7inch on Jerk off, at press as I type, the Scaple split tape, the Death Threat split tape, hopefully an El Mariachi split, split with Iron Butter, split with Bird, split with In The Shit.

Col: You’ve done releases with some pretty high profile bands over the years, such as Magrudergrind and Rot. How did these initially come about? If you could release a record with any one band past or present who would it be and why?

P: Well with Magrudergrind we played a fest in LA in 2004 and Magrudergrind played the first night but couldn’t get a show the night after, so they asked if they could play the second fest show again.  I didn’t mind so we split a set for fun and we all got along well as friends so it was an obvious decision that a split 7inch should happen.  With Rot, Ralph of Haunted Hotel records really wanted the split to happen so I said “alright, here’s some tracks” and presto – a split. I’d like to do another split with the Misanthropists because we really loved those guys as friends.

Col: Have you guys ever toured Europe during your long history? Any plans to do so?

P: we almost toured Europe in 2003 but it all fell apart with Danny’s law run ins. I’m sure we will eventually go to Europe.

Col: Politics are usually a pretty integral part of grindcore lyrics/imagery. What’s your opinion of this? Like, do you feel it’s a case of preaching to the converted or trodding the same well worn path or whatever?

P: I think grindcore has always been about politically conscious ideas. I think Napalm Death got that inspiration from Crass, who I like. People have to be told over and over the injustices of society, warning the youth of the power of corruption, helping those who have no voice. It must always be told: if not, no one cares and they go back to drinking and drugs and shitty black metal .

Col: Looking at some of your old fliers, you guys have the opportunity to play with some of the “classic” powerviolence bands (Dropdead, Spazz, No Le$$, Agents of Satan, etc).  What are some of your favourite shows over the years? What are your worst?

P: Our favorite show of all time was this tiny basement show in Arizona with Wormwood in 1999. The Navajo kids from the reservation went crazy and were thankful we showed up. Another favorite is the 5 minute show with Pig Destroyer, I. D. and Daybreak in Connecticut on that same tour. The worst was Speed Trials in 2005 when my amp shorted out after 2 songs. Another bad one was a teen centre in Palo Alto where the security told us to turn down the volume on the drum set!  We were like HUH?

Col: OK man, that’s all I got. Thanks again for taking the time to answer the questions! Finish off however you like!

P.: Thanks for the interview. Keep D. I. Y. alive, support your friends.



~ by petetheripper on December 12, 2011.

One Response to “Interview with GODSTOMPER [made by Col Sickener]”

  1. it was great being able to share a bill with them a few years back with my band gorgonized dorks! they were so impressed with our insanity that they instantly wanted to do a split with us, which resulted in our split 10″ with them! we always wanted to do a techno split with them, too… LOL maybe one day!
    ya guys forgot to ask paul about his other band, the barfos… oh well… maybe next time!

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