The perfect place to lure black-metal Miami trio Slashpine into a drunken interview? Well, of course, a midweek happy hour featuring the sounds of a long-haired Latin guitarist strumming away earnestly and loudly to GNR's "Sweet Child o' Mine."
Since the band was mildly sarcastic during our first New Times interview, it was clear the only way to get them to spill their metal guts was to first get them sloppy drunk and ask goofy questions about their inner darkness, Obamacare, and nü-metal.
Though drummer Ryan Howfield couldn't make it, the conversation with guitarist Brad Lovett and vocalist and bassist Rob Goyanes went someplace charmingly strange. Both have experimental electronic side projects, Lovett's Dim Past and Goyanes' Self and Other, that they save for performances at DIY, art-type spaces like the defunct Snooze Theatre in Lake Park, or Miami's General Practice gallery space.
The men of Slashpine, though talented and serious about their music, are essentially just like everyone else. They enjoy cheap drinks and will stomach about a full hour of Santana cover songs in order to knock a few of them back.
New Times: On the cover of an album, what's cooler: skulls, snakes, machetes, women in chains, or upside-down crosses?
Rob: Snakes wielding machetes.
Brad: Creepy forest scenes are my favorite.
Is Dave Mustaine the sexiest woman in metal?
Brad: I'd do her.
Rob: If you were to cut his hair...
How do you maintain metal status while at the beach?
Brad: Black bathing suits and human sacrifice.
Rob: The biggest, blackest towel you have.
How do you feel about niche metal genres? Any favorites or ones you hate?
I don't really listen to metal.
Brad: I like hyperregionalized Scandinavian Viking metal. All the lyrics are in the random dialects of whatever village the guy is from, and all the songs are folk songs of said village.
Were either of you in a nü-metal band?
Brad: Yes, I was in high school.
I knew that. The real question, though, is how do you feel about nü-metal?
Brad: I was never in a nü-metal band.
Are you happy about the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare?
Rob: I'm a huge fan of the fact that it passed. Big ups to Roberts for being OG about it, but the legislation itself needs some work.
Brad: I'm excited to see how the death panels will work out.
What color is your darkness?
Rob: That's a really good question. Try to picture nothingness.
Brad: I'm too buzzed for colors.
[To Brad] Is your darkness darker than his darkness?
Brad: It's more nothing than Rob's nothing.
Let's talk about Roofless Records, a label you've worked with [headed by Matt Preira and Dana Bassett. They recently received a matching grant through the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation].
Rob: We're in the heat of fundraising right now to meet our Knight grant. It's going really well. People should look out for the Kickstarter account that we're about to start and for other events we'll be hosting to raise money to put out records and books and things that are cool.
Brad, let's talk about your new tattoo of a drawing by Jason Handelsman [sometime New Times writer, artist, and musician].
Brad: Jason Handelsman will always be the president of Miami for me. He is the pinnacle of Miami. If we had mountains, he would stand on the top of one. I like his art a lot, and I think it's very reflective of his multifaceted persona creation: Azar, the president, and the preacher, which is the next incarnation of the president that no one knows about yet. To me, Jason is a genius. Everyone in our house agreed to get a Jason Handelsman tattoo from his very prestigious and awesome art book that everyone should buy. I'm the only one to do it yet.
Rob: He's a brilliant artist whose life is his work, who lives his work, and we're looking forward to working with him in the future.
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes breakup -- anything you have to say?
Rob: Good for Katie Holmes.
Slashpine will open with Shroud Eater for Holly Hunt at County Grind Live at Green Room, 109 SW Second Ave., Fort Lauderdale, at 10 p.m. Saturday, July 21, with visual effects by Bleeding Palm and Audio Junkie.
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