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Interviews

“Decades of Blastphemy” – an interview with crust grindcore veterans PHOBIA!

Shane MacLachlan
Shane MacLachlan of the legendary Orange Country crust grindcore beast PHOBIA has teamed up with IDIOTEQ to discuss the band’s latest mega-offering, the 4-CD collection of all tracks recorded by the band that Melotov Records and Selfmadegod Records released on March 4th, 2016. This new exhaustive collection of 150+ tracks spanning two decades (1990-2010) turned out to be a perfect opportunity to hook up with the band’s founder and have a little chit-chat on the “Decades of Blastphemy”, touring and the perseverance of one of the quintessential grindcore bands of all time. Read the full interview below.

It’d be easy for such a nomadic band to go on a “permanent hiatus”, but vocalist (and founding member), Shane “The Pain” MacLachlan has a socio-political bone to relentlessly pick with the world. Since the first inklings of their anarchistic tendencies, the grind-crust quintet has questioned all facets of authority, covering an array of topics of their 20+ years from veganism to institutional racism.

It is PHOBIA’s ability to produce intriguing, intellectual, and succinct lyrical content against the violent, break-neck-white-knuckle musical backdrop that is grindcore that has kept them relevant for literal decades, and a founding staple in the punk/hardcore community in general.

PHOBIA band

Hey there Shane! Thanks a lot for taking some time with IDIOTEQ! How are you? How has the band been doing this year so far?

Hello, and thank you for this interview and support! The band has been doing good, we did a lot last year so we are keeping it chill, we had to cancel our first tour because of certain situations we could not overcome, but it’s OK, we keep on moving into a good direction for the year!

So, you’ve just released a smashing new collection that will melt the brains of the faint of heart. Tell us a bit about this idea, who came up with it and what it means to you personally.

Yeah we are very excited about it! I was approached by Karol who runs a European label called Selfmadegod and he had this idea and I was down with it. It wasn’t 100% a priority on my list and knew it would take some time, so it took about 3 years, haha! So probably about 6 months ago I got really serious about it, got some people together, we talked about it and then we just executed the idea. I talked to Melanie at Melotov Records to release it here in the States, that way it can easily be obtained by fans here as it would be in Europe with Selfmadegod doing it. I am really excited about it, means a lot, it’s celebrating an era of a band, not only for me, but fans and people who I have played with. Means a lot to bring something like this together and embrace it as a part of our lives. I also love how it has brought band members back together – in many ways it has opened different windows for the band, as our next two shows are with the original guitar player and our old drummer.

How important do you think having such summaries, compendiums, wrap-ups and collections is for an artist?

I think it is important, I think having these you can reflect on your past accomplishments, and it feels good, I love it!

Technically, how do you put up such a huge release? Was it a struggle to make it happen? Please tell us more about the process leading to the release date.

Well it can be a struggle when you’re trying to find the audio of certain releases. A lot were never even released on cd format so that posed a challenge in the project. We needed to find memorabilia, fliers, photos, all this can be a challenge as well. I tracked down photographers, fans, friends and just went to work and gathered. It was a huge task, but it was an awesome time really, and exciting! We also had to get the business part of it situated, with two labels involved, but that didn’t delay much, so now it’s done and will be out!

What were the factors that led to choosing Melotov and Selfmadegod labels to support this release?

Well Selfmadegod because he approached and was 100% committed and I like the label a lot and has good street credit so it was something that would work. I chose Melotov Records because I thought being an up and coming label it would be good to have it on more of a hardcore/punk label, something on a smaller scale, try something different and support it as she has through the years with PHOBIA being a fan and all.

Shane MacLachlan

Shane, after all these years, how do you stay relevant in the grindcore and extreme music industry? Do you have any words of advice for older artists who are afraid they’ve lost their touch?

I just keep my ear and eyes out on what’s happening, not that what others are doing would change me in any form, but it keeps you up to date! PHOBIA has our niche and our influences and our musical endeavors and we just keep at it, and no matter what it comes out PHOBIA and grindcore as fuck!!! Only advice is to not think too much into it, keep doing what you’re doing and love it. If you don’t, don’t do it, because a band or a person that isn’t 100% into it, it will show and that’s the downfall of any band.

You hit the road big time to support this new record and give your best performing live. What is it that makes you still connect with fans this way? How has touring changed for you guys and what it means to you after all these years?

Well there is always a bond with fans, newer and older, and that’s a natural thing. Touring, we love to get out there and see these people as they like to see us, you know? Touring is not only the experience of playing but it’s very therapeutic as well. It’s in our blood and we have the passion for it!

PHOBIA

It’s been a while since you last toured Europe. When can we expect some PHOBIA gigs happening on the Old Continent?

Well, hopefully we will have some stuff worked out soon, hopefully next year!

OK Shane, this question was inevitable. When can we expect some new tunes from you guys?

I am working on new tunes right now, just figuring good timing. That is how this band functions with us all living in different states, so I’m thinking summertime i want to get into the studio for sure!

Lyrically, what would serve a proper inspiration for your future recordings? How do you feel about the world today and what concept are worth implementing into the art of PHOBIA?

I think ultimately I would rather write about personal experiences. I feel I get a lot more out of it and plus there is still some social/political ideas and opinions in there, I just want to keep it real and exciting and not be stuck emulating stuff that has already been done, you know?

Sure! Cool, thanks! Any last words for the readers?

Thank you for your interest in us and the support and interview, cheers!!!

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