SWS Productions


    October 11, 2001

High on Fire, Spaceboy, Automatic Animal, Hakken Kraks Howl

13 Saturday - Rio Theatre

When: 8 p.m. Where: 1205 Soquel Ave. Cost: $10. Info: 689-0924 or <www.pjdmusic.com>.

SWS productions presents a head-pounding show of bands that are as involved as they are heavy hitting ó unrepentant rockers concerned with the discharge of violent noise and rhythmic commotion. Of the four bands on the roster, the first is the sludge-influenced doom rock of High On Fire. Anybody remember that badass outfit Sleep? If not, think of the movie ďGummoĒ and its disturbing imagery mixed with the therapeutic effects of brain- jarring guitar and drums. Well, Matt Pike, former guitarist for Sleep, is working on new cranium-fracturing sounds with two other members playing bass and drums. High on Fire reflects a lot of their Manís Ruin records counterparts, the Melvins, whose influence can be seen through its incredibly heavy, decelerated drums, guitar, and sludge-like distortion. Second in the 

line-up is Spaceboy, a band whose very name and music seems to exude the sticky sweet stench of cannabis on every track. As Santa Cruz locals, their sound is original as it strays from the repetitive jam bands that take an hour to finish a song, yet their style is hard to pinpoint as a result of the varying, somewhat overgrown paths that these rockers charge down with commendable abandon. The third band on the roster, Automatic Animal, presents more of a grunge-based rocker sound that seems to bleed empathy for bands like Mudhoney and Dinosaur Jr. Finally, the forth band will be none other than Hakken Kraks Howl. This band keeps up with the bone-splitting power of High On Fire and Spaceboy, while also finding solace in the psychedelic side of things through stretched out jams that bring together complex rhythms and unconventional digital noises most closely akin to the sounds of pioneering prog-rockers.

óJonathan Merrick




   October 11, 2001

This is the place to get heavy and loud

Sentinel staff writer

Calling all head-bangers. Your presence is required at the Rio Theater 8:30 Saturday night for the Super Heavy Rock Showcase.

And donít wear your Birkenstocks.

Four bands ó High on Fire, Spaceboy, Automatic Animal and Hakken Kraks Howl ó will turn the quaint theatre into a heavy-duty thrash fest.

To get a feeling of what the bands will be like, we spoke with Matt Pike of High on Fire about musical inspiration, their attempt to play at a Canadian hemp festival and his definition of a good show.

What do you do with High on Fire?

Matt Pike: I sing and play guitar.

How long you been at it?

Pike: Four years with High on Fire. Iíve been playing guitar for a long, long time, like 20 years.

Where did you get started?

Pike: We started practicing in Oakland, so you could say we started there.

What bands have inspired your music?

Pike: Oh God, anything metal or any progressive rock, Sabbath, Celtic Frost, Hendrix.

You guys arenít one of those straight-edge bands, are you?

Pike: No, not hardly. Did it sound like it? Weíre a pro-pot band.

Did you ever play at hemp festivals?

Pike: We tried in Canada, but they wouldnít let us over the border.

Why not?

Pike: The Canadians didnít like us. We didnít go about things the right way. We went saying we were recording, and they knew about the festival so it kind of backfired on us.

Whatís your definition of a good show?

Pike: Itís your flow, the energy of the band, not just being all precise and stuff. I think your direct initiation of the riffs.

I canít explain it any other way. Just play with a lot of fury.

Are there any other young bands you think are really hot right now?

Pike: Oh yeah, thereíre tons. Actually, the bands weíre playing with ó Spaceboy, Lost Goat ó I just canít think right now.

Read any good books recently?

Pike: Any good books? I havenít been reading all that much. I was reading H. P. Lovecraft a while ago, just a bunch of stories of terror and horror.

As if thereís not enough of that in world right now.

Pike: Yeah. All you have to is turn on the TV.

For someone whoís not familiar with your music, what can they expect to find at the show?

Pike: A really surprising, heavy set of music.