Brighton based doom/sludge/post metal hybrid AEROSOL JESUS (ex-members of Grindhouse, Pascagoula, A Hundred Black Kites, Solleme, Stone Hand, Nemophilist and Bodily Fluids) has written one of the most brilliant debut heavy records of the past couple of months, so it is with a deal of persistence that I pressed their label Astral Noize Records to finish our little introductory interview. Their EP “Failure” is uncompromising, expansive, and filled with well crafted compositions that evoke the grim mood and thick atmosphere, which cannot be defined with standard labels. We sat down with the band’s own Oliver Melville to talk about the band, the record, their local scene of Brighton, and more.
Aerosol Jesus‘ debut EP ‘Failure’ showcases an assault on boredom with an abundance of influences, taking pages from black metal, doom and noise, to post-hardcore and screamo. Unapologetically schizophrenic, Aerosol Jesus have crafted a maximalist wall of sound that is simultaneously devastating yet empowering. Touching on topics such as mental illness and personal crisis with a ‘the personal is political’ honesty, these experiences are digested through a harrowingly honest lens and with no filter in sight. Consisting of members of Grindhouse, Pascagoula, A Hundred Black Kites, Solleme, Stone Hand, Nemophilist and Bodily Fluids, Aerosol Jesus teeter on the edge of collapse, with ‘Failure’ displaying a band hyperaware of the current sonic landscape and recreating it within their own image.
‘Failure’ was recorded, mixed and mastered by Wayne Adams at Bear Bites Horse Studios (USA Nails, Torpor, Calligram) during August 2017. Cover artwork by Oliver Melville.
Oli, I’m literally stunned by the blistering multi-genre build ups, scary sonic undertows and absolutely crushing climaxes you guys have delivered on “Failure”! I mean, really, there’s so much darkness and devastating, yet distinctly heavy and layered power in your instrumentation that it could easily endow a couple of other records with its solid capacity. And from what I’ve seen, the reviews have been great, right? Are you happy with the outcome and how it has been received?
Oli: Absolutely! We were not expecting such a warm response, we see Aerosol Jesus as freedom of expression we are over the moon with how it was recieved!
Can you shine a little light upon your backgrounds, previous projects you’ve been in and the origins of AEROSOL JESUS?
Oli: Sure, we play in many other projects and bands, such as Solleme Bodily Fluids, Wallowing, Stonehand and Pascagoula. Aerosol started a few years ago when Frank, Rauiri and Tom decided to do a heavy band without focusing on specific genres. I had mentioned to Tom I had been looking for a band to do vocals in as I am usually a drummer. We got together worked on the track from Failure for a while before we even had Sam in the band. Once the line up was complete we recorded at Bear Bites Horse in London with Wayne Adams and here we are!
How’s Brighton’s hardcore/metal scene doing these days? Please give us some insights on its current state and how it’s evolved over the years.
Oli: I can only give a personal opinion on this in terms of how I see it. Much like any city in the UK it will always have a thriving underground scene, there are alot of fantastic bands from Brighton doing the rounds so I would say it’s pretty healthy.
Are there any names of worthy bands, labels, zines, and venues you could share with us?
Oli: Astral Noize, Dry Cough Records… bands: Ill In Pain, Pascagoula, Solleme, Sweet Williams, Im Being Good, Vile Sect, Owte, Wallowing, Broker, Rat The Magnificent, Monolithian, Prisa Mata, Human Leather, Mister Lizard. SO many others I can’t think of right now!
Ok, so back to your debut offering, can you give us some insights on the lyrical themes you’ve injected in this bleak work of art?
Oli: The themes of the songs are all about mental health as someone who suffers from depression I wanted to talk open and honestly about these things. It is a subject very close to my heart, as a man society teaches us to not show our feelings and because of this suicide is so high. I wanted to share this so others could read it and maybe identify with it. If I can help one person this e.p will be a success for me personally.
How did you manage to balance the direct and indirect references in your lyrical stories?
Oli: In truth I have no idea, I guess it’s all in the edit to make sure the sentiment fits the writing.
Are there some writers that inspired your approach to lyrics because of the excellence and the originality of their craft?
Oli: Absolutely I gain influence from a few sources people like Eugene S. Robinson who is my biggest influence, Stephen King this might sound a bit cliche but “Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too, they live inside us, and sometimes they win” this has always resonated with me.
How does the cover art relate to the content behind these songs? Please give us some details on this drawing.
Oli: I wanted to represent the songs with the feeling I get from them so I decided to draw a black hole, something that swallows light and everything in its path, this is how I see depression and I think it’s a fitting image.
I love the raw, blackened tape format you prepared for the Astral Noize Records distribution. How are cassettes doing in 2018? Why did you decide to put it out this way?
Oli: We wanted something raw and gnarled. We wanted something that had rough and raw as I think this fits the music. We as a band currently only have 3 tapes left…. Take from that what you will.
Ok guys, so what’s coming next for AEROSOL JESUS? Do you have any upcoming shows? Are there already some plans for a follow-up record?
Oli: We plan to do a split with Herd Mover and then a follow-up to Failure. We are in the process of writing new material for that I am working on themes for this follow up and have a lot of stuff written.
Thanks so much for your time guys. Once again, congrats on the jaw-dropping debut. I sincerely hope it will knock the shit out of thousands of your future listeners. Please drop your final words and take care! Cheers from Warsaw!
Oli: Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to Failure, this e.p is for everyone and anyone. If you struggle and fight everyday this is for you. You are not alone and you have the strength to keep fighting!