Thursday, February 4, 2010

Posted by Jake |
I recently put my interviewer hat back on to interview Forrest Locke, the vocalist for '90s grindcore mainstay Enewetak as well as the '00s sludgy metal band Tafkata. In addition to those, I am also a huge fan of The Accident, a more hard rock oriented band that Forrest played guitar in in the early part of the '00s. Enjoy the interview. - Jake


Discuss how your band Enewetak came together in the early '90s.

Toby Sterrett and I were in a really bad hardcore band (Upshot) and Jim Greco was also in a really bad hardcore band (Dead Wait). Our two bands played a couple of shows together. Both bands stopped playing about the same time and Jim, Toby and I discussed starting a band together that was not like all the other chugga chugga hardcore bands. We quickly went through a couple of drummers (the two that were in our other bands). Then Jim recruited this guy Graham Day to play guitar. So we had a line up of Jim, Toby, Me, Graham and Ben Fall on drums. None of us consider that the enewetak lineup though. Ben quit after two shows and this guy Pat Bonfrisco, who worked at my sisters work and played in a local band called Bobwolf wanted to play drums. He wasn't a hardcore kid or a metal kid but worked out perfectly. I think it worked out better that he wasn't a drummer in those kind of bands because he would look at riffs a different way and play drums a little out of the norm for music like that. A few months later, Graham got really flakey and Pat kicked him out. Our friend Jack Fitzgerald played guitar in a band called Jurgis and we called him that same night to show up at practice. That was the main, and most productive line up. Jim, Toby, Jack, Pat and Me. When I think of enewetak, this is the band I think of.


Enewetak recorded 7 records, including 3 full lengths, within a 3 year period in the mid '90s, making you one of the most prolific bands of that time. What was it like doing so many records at such a blistering pace like that?

We were all friends and liked playing a lot. None of us drank or had many other interests outside of music at the time. We were 19 and bored. We hung out together all the time. Our song titles usually involved an inside joke or some term we referred to things that no one else would understand. We would try to change titles for records but didn't always ("Human Wrecka", "D.O.L.", "Supercrust", etc.). We had a lockout in Orange which we spent a lot of time at. It just seemed like we came up with songs all the time. We would practice at least 2 or 3 times a week.

You can tell though by looking at release dates, the older we got (and more married we got), the records started to get further away and not such a blistering pace.


You and Enewetak bassist Toby Sterrett did a band in the early part of the '00s called The Accident. Discuss that band.

Well, enewetak was done and we were kinda tired of playing hardcore. It all started with a band called F100 that Toby, Myself and Mike Cheese (Gehenna) started. It was just trashy rock n roll punk shit with songs about beer, fishing, hot rods and motorcycles. This guy Eddie Bermudez I knew from work took up 2nd guitar duties. None of us were good at our instruments, but it was all trashy rock so it didn't matter.

Cheese stopped showin up to practice and Hugh Blake came to play bass. We shared a practice studio with this band Chancroid. Brock Elmore played guitar in that band. We started to make up songs that were not as punk as F100 and a little more rock, and needed a singer that could sing. I played guitar and screamed basically in F100. We heard a rumor that this guy Brock, covered in tattoos and long ass Kerry King/Dimebag beard, could actually sing really fuckin good. So, Hugh kinda knew him and hit him up. He came to practice and after the first song it was locked.

We went to record a demo CD, and no one was good enough to play solos. Toby said his little brother Myles (who was like 17 at the time) could shred on guitar. He came in and laid down some solos and basically he was in the band from that moment on. That kid is seriously the best guitarist I've ever known personally. It seems to come naturally to him.

That band was fun as hell, but playing shows to two people in some shitty bar more than playing good shows gets a little draining. We played a lot of shows. Like every weekend. Playing shows to no one is hard when you've got to basically devote your entire night to waiting around, loading equipment and unloading equipment. Never got any love, except when we'd play Los Vacitos in Orange. Mexican Cowboys loved us.


Your most recent band Tafkata had both Brock Elmore (vocalist for The Accident) and you on vocals. Why did you and/or the other members feel the need to have two vocalists in that band?

I don't know if it was a need. More of a matter of convenience. Myles quit The Accident. I think he was tired of spending all those nights playing to no one. The last few Accident songs Brock was basically screaming on them and they were more metal than rock. One day, I went to practice and Toby, Hugh and Eddie said they had new songs and wanted to play more metal/hardcore stuff and recommended that I sing instead of play guitar. I've never been a very good guitarist anyway. So, we tried the two singer thing to see how it worked. No real deep meaning behind it. We were all in a band together, we weren't gonna kick anyone out. It worked out real well though. There was a huge opportunity for more dynamics in the vocals.


What are some of your favorite songs by all of your bands and why?

With enewetak, I'd say my favorite is probably the entire Easyrider Vol. 3. I guess cuz its the newest one even though its like 5 or 6 years old. We recorded it when we were all older and more skilled at our instruments. Spent as much time recording a 3 song 7" that we used to spend recording a full length LP.

Tafkata - basically the entire Worker and Parasite record. Why? 'cuz it fuckin' rules.

The Accident - "Whoa", "Carry Me Home", "Tokyo In Flames", "My World" and "New Evil". And again, why? 'cuz it fuckin' rules.


As a writer, who or what are some of your influences and why?

I've never had a direct influence when it comes to writing lyrics. I just wrote down what I was thinking and try to write it in a way that would fit in a song. I guess you could say some of the music I listen to would influence me with lyrics. The Sundays, The Smiths, Morrissey, Oasis and even some black metal.

As far as guitar, I would just try to write shit that sounded like kick ass rock n' roll. I guess one reason I sucked at guitar was because I had no real influence in it. I would just try to make up rock shit but with horrible direction. Never practiced or got involved in playing by myself at home for fun. I would only play when we were all at practice. I hardly played for fun. Not a good idea to be a guitarist in a band when you don't enjoy playing guitar really.


What is the current status of the long talked about and eagerly awaited Enewetak discography?

I really don't know. Many offers and no follow up. The most recent offer, which I think will actually happen one day, is from Kevin Kline (formally Graf Orlock) and this guy Hector have a label. They hit me up about 6 months ago and I told em to go for it. Mike Cheese paid for the first two recordings and holds the DATs for those records. He's got songs that have never been released. Mike basically isn't going to hand over the tapes without being compensated for them. Kevin told me him and Mike were working out a deal though. So, we'll see if it happens this time. It's a ton of shit. Over 50 recorded songs. It's gotta be a double CD. It won't fit on one disc.

Easyrider Vol. 3 has to come out first though. That record has been pressed for at least 4 years and is not out just because of the covers. We were lazy as fuck with making a cover and actually never did. Andy at Crawlspace had this guy Scott make a cover design and just needs to print the covers to put it out. But, he isn't in a rush cuz, fuck, its been so long, who cares.


Feel free to shamelessly plug any of your current musical endeavors here.

I will never be in another band. I have absolutely no interest in it. This is the first time in my life since I was 14 that I have not been in a band and I don't miss it. I don't know why, I just have no desire.

Myles from The Accident recorded some pretty kick ass black metal shit he did at home on his computer. He sent me the files and asked me to do some vocals. I'm gonna do that. I don't see it happening a ton. But that's not a band. That's at home, on my computer. No practices. No shows. I don't know how often that will happen or if my lazy ass will ever do it.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wanna know what bands influenced Enewetak

Bubba said...

I remember seeing Upshot play in Orange at some church or something in the '90s and they could certainly be described as "bad," but Dead Wait put out a solid 7". played some good shows, and were all good dudes. Then again, maybe I missed something and he was being facetious. It's funny to see Jim's name in print. I haven't seen him in years...though I thought I saw him in a skate mag, but I realized that was someone else who shares his namesake.

jav said...

Enewetak was influenced heavily by Rorschach.

i think Jim is a park ranger now, in florida. i talk to him on myspace from time to time.

the first record i ever recorded on was the split with Unruh. my time hanging out with them before, and being in that band was fucking awesome. fun people to be around.

Forrest said...

Jav is right. enewetak was heavily influenced by Rorschach, but not right at first. I think it was our second show and someone told us we sounded like Rorschach. I had always blown that band off cuz i didn't like some of the earlier comp stuff I'd heard from them. Then we got protestant. Yep. Heavily influenced. Then there were death metal bands from florida that jim and jack would try to make riffs like.

Cheesegrater said...

I have some good Enewetak pics for that discography if needed.

I hear some "Pain of Mind" era Neurosis in the sound, but not sure if that's on purpose or just coincidence.

jofejsrac73 said...

Any chance downloading The Accident demo Cd from somewhere? I've got all the Enewetak and Tafkata stuff on vinyl and CD but nothing from The Accident. Cheers

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