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SPAZZ 'SWEATIN' TO THE OLDIES

WITH POWERVIOLENCE PIONEERS SPAZZ REISSUING THEIR LEGENDARY BUT HARD TO FIND 'SWEATIN' TO THE OLDIES' DISCOGRAPHY RELEASES ON CD VIA TANKCRIMES, WE CAUGHT UP WITH BASSIST/VOCALIST CHIRS DODGE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE HISTORY AND INFLUENCE OF ONE OF HARDCORE'S MOST UNIQUE BRANDS

Of the various microgenres that have arisen from collisions between punk and metal, powerviolence is one of the more niche. Too dirty-sounding to be hardcore, and not tight or metal enough to be grind, it was never going to be everyone's cup of tea. However, since the heyday of the genre in the early '90s, the influence of the key bands has grown and grown, and perhaps having proved the most influential of all is Spazz. Despite their differences from some of the other bands in the scene, Spazzs influence can be heard across the extreme music landscape nowadays. However, it was very different to begin with, as bass player/vocalist Chris Dodge tells it.

"When we started out, no one gave a shit about us whatsoever," he says. Spazz formed in 1992 in the Bay Area of California. "i was reading a zine that had an interview with [drummer] Max Ward from Plutocracy," says Chirs "and he mentioned that he and [guitarist] Dan Lactose were starting a fast hardcore band and didn't have a bass player, so 1 hit him up." Originally called Gash until they discovered an Australian band of the same name, Spazz stood out in the Californian scene. "The musical climate at that time was very anti-hardcore. Most folks in the scene had 'moved on', and only listed to Fugazi or pop punk." Generally playing minute-long songs, with vocals split between all three members, Spazz instead positioned themselves within what we can see, in retrospect, as an important tradition in extreme music - the fast bands that don't fit into neat subgenres. "We [were] influenced by all of the pioneers of high speed songwriting," Chris enthuses, "Larm, Pandemonium, Neos, Siege, Deep Wound, Heresy."

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About Terrorizer Magazine

It’s always an interesting proposition to see how a band progresses from working with true, cult indie labels to working with multi-national major labels. How money can transform a pure idea into (potentially) a much bigger entity and consumerbased product; can an idea, a sound, an image transcend into the broader palette without being spoiled from its original form? Or does it really matter at all what label a band is on these days? Do you, the reader and listener, truly care if an artist releases music on an indie or via the corporate bigwig? It is all business, no matter who is controlling the purse strings. Why am I pondering this right now? I guess it’s because our cover stars this month are the mighty Purson. No stranger to these pages, it’s wonderful to see Purson really coming of age on their new album, the major label released ‘Desire’s Magic Theatre’. It’s a great follow-up to their previous, indie released debut and really captures a band who mean business (again). Nothing has changed in that sense regardless of the label behind the band, and frankly, they were always going to end up on a Terrorizer cover because their music rocks and they thoroughly deserve the accolade. We hope you enjoy their latest story as much as we have enjoyed producing it. As always, the rest of this issue has been a joy to create and features some of the best bands in the extreme and underground metal scenes. Never enough pages as I’d like to write about every band myself and the team love, but it’s entirely flash-in-the-pan/fad-free and that’s the main thing, right?! See you next month! Darren Sadler, Editor
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