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Digital Subscriptions > Terrorizer Magazine > Terrorizer 273 > “For me, most things come down to common sense and having a good moral compass”

“For me, most things come down to common sense and having a good moral compass”


“When I started, it wasn’t popular. If you told me twenty-five years ago there were going to be television shows about the industry, I’d have said you were fucking crazy. And [because of that] you get protective of it. When I started it was very much an underground thing and in the past ten years, it’s just exploded and is a completely different industry.”

On the surface, it would appear Ringworm’s vocalist and lone original member, James “Human Furnace” Bulloch is discussing the appropriation of extreme music. And in taking the things-weredifferent-in-my-day-you-damn-kids position of a dude who’s been there since the early days, he might be construed as somewhat of an elitist, but his criticism and weariness would have every leg to stand on. A five year hiatus in the late ’90s aside, Ringworm have been delivering the pain since 1991 and Bulloch has been fronting the glorious mess since day one. In that time, the band have offered up seven albums of Slayer-ific thrash that ordinarily teeters towards metallic/Holy Terror hardcore like (The Infamous) Gehenna, Pale Creation and fellow Cleveland natives, Integrity. In fact, Ringworm have shared members with Dwid’s hellions and Bulloch’s underground culture bona fides are furthered by his artistic forays into gig posters, t-shirt designs and album covers. However, in the above, we’re not talking about music. Instead, the topic on the table is the Furnace’s other, far more profitable love, tattooing (“That’s my bread and butter and what pays the bills. Ringworm is just an expensive hobby!”) and how it’s also become corrupted by mainstream interests.

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About Terrorizer Magazine

I know I am not alone when I say I’m a sucker for being nostalgic. The thing about loving music is that because it plays such a massive part in my life, when I listen to things, it invokes so many memories. I always find myself taking myself back to when I first heard said record, who I was with, what I was doing and so on. Right now as I write this, I’m listening to Prong’s ‘Force Fed’ album, recounting all the shows I saw Tommy and co in at the now defunct Birmingham Edwards No.8 club during my teens. Those shows were immense, even if the number of punters wasn’t! I’ve seen them in more recent years and still enjoy their musical output, but those early days to me, personally, were special. What has this got to do with anything, I hear you say? Well really, it’s the same reason as why I wanted to put Mastodon on the cover of this month’s issue ahead of their headline performance at Bloodstock. You see, Mastodon are one of those seriously special bands, who have not only etched themselves in my own nostalgia bank (hey, anyone who witnessed their debut capital gig at London’s Underworld supporting High On Fire will always remember that show) but more importantly, into the wider scheme of metal’s rich history. Never once have they repeated themselves musically and consequently they have successfully created a stunning discography that continues to remain vital as the years go by. Mastodon were a game changer and their Bloodstock show allows us a chance to remind ourselves just why we love them so much. In their own words, our cover feature allows the quartet look back at their career to date and look forward to the future too. Crack open a bottle, stick any of their albums on the stereo, flip to the interview and enjoy some nostalgia yourselves! Darren Sadler, Editor