In conjunction with the release of their self-titled released on IFB Records (US) and Zegema Beach Records (Canada), we’ve teamed up with SUBJECTS/RULERS‘ drummer Justin Frazier to give you some details on the band’s farewell release and plans for the future.
SUBJECTS/RULERS formed in 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee and featured former members of CEASE UPON THE CAPITOL, DOLCIM and ALTAR OF COMPLAINTS. They broke up last year after the band’s guitarist/vocalist Matt Strickland decided tomove out of the state. “Subjects/Rulers” features the only 8 songs ever recorded by the band. The humble offering features maybe all of the most captivating elements of the uplifiting, monumental version of the genre and is an augmented reality to explore and get lost in. Listen for yourself.
SUBJECTS/RULERS split up in late 2015, but your self-titled record was just recently posted through IFB Records and Zegema Beach Records. Can you tell us more about this release? What took you so long to give it a physical format?
The record is inspired by and based around some of the worlds greatest minds. These songs are tiny snapshots into the lives of people like Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrödinger, and Nikola Tesla to name a few.
As far as the delay in releasing a tangible copy of the album, that was just due to life and the vast array of responsibilities and complications that go along with it. Back in the middle of 2015 I had been in contact with I Corrupt Records out of Germany, IFB Records, and Zegema Beach Records about releasing the album on vinyl. The details were all sorted and we were starting to flesh out the ideas for the artwork and gatefold. Around July or August Matt brought to our attention that he had received a job offer in D.C. and decided that it was the right move for him and his family to take. With that news we then knew that the coffin on Subjects/Rulers was firmly nailed shut and the interest from I Corrupt Records quickly cooled and faded. Our friend and d.i.y. champion Nevin Marshall from IFB informed me that he and David Norman from ZBR were still very much interested in our music and offered to instead help release our album in cassette form. I’m very excited to finally have it out there in the world for folks to hopefully listen to and enjoy.
How’s this post-band era been treating you so far? Have you stayed in touch with Matt? Did you start new bands?
Life after this band is basically the same as life after any of the other bands that we’ve been in that eventually broke up. You just go on with your day jobs, start new bands and keep moving forward.
Unfortunately I haven’t had much communication with Matt since his move to D.C. but that’s certainly not any particular persons fault, just life I suppose. Roy and I are currently writing and recording with another friend and former band mate Elias MacDonald. The new project is called AIRSICK and it’s a far cry from the Screamo sound of our previous bands. No distorted guitars, no screamed vocals, and no heavy double bass drum parts. It’s very refreshing to have the chance to expand on our musical vocabulary and venture away from what we’ve done in the past.
What do you miss about SUBJECTS/RULERS? Looking back, what gave you most satisfaction in your short existence?
SUBJECTS/RULERS was a lot of fun because we kept it lighthearted and didn’t take ourselves too serious. The music sounds much more serious than the people creating it.
The thing I miss the most about this band is the pure ridiculousness that would take place during our practices. Lots of bad jokes told by middle-aged dudes and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We were just three friends who loved writing and playing music together.
What new artists have you discovered in 2016 that really stand out?
I have a tendency to stick with my old favorites. I listen to a lot of Jazz and Prog-rock so it’s no surprise to hear Herbie Hancock or YES blasting from my speakers. One artist that I’ve been really into lately is Kamasi Washington. His album The Epic is a tremendous piece of art and I’m really inspired by his approach to songwriting. I’ve sort of abandoned heavier music for the time being. I still enjoy it but it doesn’t seem to spark my creativity nowadays but who knows, perhaps I’ll come back to it in the future. Overall I try to keep an open mind to all types of music because it allows me to dip from a much deeper well when writing songs.
What do you expect from 2017?
I expect to keep writing more songs for Airsick, eat more jerky, spout off weird stuff, and just try to maintain a positive outlook on life. I wish you all the best and don’t take anything in this world for granted.