With a sound straight off the streets that blends elements of everything from underground hip hop to metal, Nassau Chainsaw DisGraceLanD Demolition Committee is a band that doesn’t really fit into any one genre. When you add to that the live show they put on, featuring everything from fire performers to body suspension, the result is a band in it’s own unique and wonderful category. They recently wrapped up recording their new EP “DisGraceLand”, as well as working with Frankie Nasso to shoot their music video “Vomitorium”; projects they have dedicated to Spliff and all of his accomplishments both inside the suspension community and out. In the middle of a very busy schedule, vocalist Razor Tongue and guitarist Laz took the time to tell us a little about the band, fun times with Spliff, and their new music.
You guys definitely have a sound that brings elements from several different genres together. When and how did Nassau Chainsaw get started?
RazoR: Nassau Chainsaw started out in 2008, at that time I was coming up from a rock bottom point in life. After 2 years of rehabilitation I was back on the streets with an arsenal of fresh drum beats, and notebooks full of lyrics I wrote to pass the time. I started recording vocals on rough hiphop tracks. Soon after I began craving the elements of Metal and Hardcore as well as the live instruments used in those genres. Before I picked up the mic I spent my 7 prior years as the drummer from a band called “NECK”. So I began to reach out to some local musicians from other bands we used to tour with to create a live underground Metal band with elements of HipHop.
Laz: Previous to NCDDC, I played in a band called “Locked in a Vacancy” with the original drummer Rick. Musically blending all forms of metal, hardcore and post hardcore noise, I learned firsthand the joys and rigors of touring. When that band ended Rick had set up a jam with Razor Tongue, and literally 45 min before the session, he asks me to play. I happened to not be doing much more than sucking up couch space, so of course I said yes. Next thing I knew, two months later I was at Razors house every Tuesday from 11 – 3 writing and cutting demos with him and Carley Coma, singer from Candiria.
RazoR: I contacted a few of our other friends from the NY metal / Hardcore scene. A few months later we had tracks with some amazing artists on guest vocals like Tim Williams of Vision Of Disorder. Coma and I got together to work on a follow up track to “Walks With Shadows” and we then agreed to work together on a full album.
Laz: We spent hours just making up our own rules on sounds, samples, melodies, song subjects… Just always trying to set the bar higher. Around this time I had my first introduction to the suspension world. Watching footage of Spliff wrangling a fleshpull, with me asking the question “Who the HELL does this to their FRIENDS????”
What influences your musical style when you are writing? Do you come into it knowing how you want a song to sound or does everyone just bring their personal styles together and let it happen on its own?
Laz: My favorite part of writing these songs with Razor is that there’s no set formula to what we’re gonna do. Every song comes from a new birth place… and Everything effects you when writing. From the shit pay of your day job, to your relationship troubles and triumphs… From the last three bands that moved you to the music you take in when you’re not even listening for it. You just become the outlet of it. Some songs just write themselves in just a few minutes without guidance. Some songs take a few weeks to rip apart and piece together to something totally different from where it began.
RazoR: I never wanted to be stuck in one genre of music. I’m not always angry, and I’m not always happy. Some days I’m listening to Slayer, other days Radiohead or Wu-Tang. Naturally you are influenced by the music you’ve listened to your whole life, and with such a wide range of influences you never know what we will come up with next. For example The album Coma produced “The Asphalt Chronicles” had many elements of underground hiphop. However our upcoming release “DisGraceLanD” is more of a metal record. Music for me is an outlet to release my frustration without getting arrested.
Laz: Strong rule to go by… Democracy is great at first but you gotta know when to be the absolute ruler. And knowing when to fight that battle is the real martial art.
How did Nassau Chainsaw and DisGraceLanD get involved with one another?
RazoR: My friend Tommy Dolo told me to contact this guy Spliff. He said he’s doing some crazy shit with Shark Hooks. He told me these visuals would go great with our live show. We already had a fire breather and we were grinding shovels with angle grinders. I was always a firm believer in the fact that if u are going to perform live then you got to have an amazing live show. I called Spliff. We spoke about what we did, hyping ourselves up to one another. He sent me a video of a flesh pull. I was a little disturbed, but what got me the most was this guy with dread locks and an army jacket came running from out of nowhere and jumped on the rope knocking the two performers straight to the ground. I asked Spliff what the hell was wrong with that guy? I asked him why that guy knocked down the performers? Who was this asshole? His reply was ‘that was me man’. I then knew we were both insane.
I know suspension can be something that gets a very diverse reaction, some people love seeing it while others find it hard to watch. Do you feel that their presence on stage has impacted how you are received by the audiences you perform for?
Laz: Coming from the metal/NYHC scene you can get used to some shows where you get, as we like to call it, the “U”. Imagine the crowd keeping distance pinned up against the walls keeping the dance floor open for face kicks. We totally changed this dynamic by throwing a flesh pull in the pit… Now they run to the front of the stage and we give them a sick suspension right in the face. If visually its too much, we worked very hard on crafting a sound that if you closed your eyes, you’d still see the living nightmare. The whole venue now becomes the stage, and its an assault on all the senses. With elements of equal parts horror movie, and post-apocalyptic ritual fantasy. If you’re not gonna like it, I guarantee you will never forget it… And if you think you’ll like it, you’re gonna love it!
RazoR: I think the suspensions have helped our show along. The whole idea from the beginning was for Spliff and I to cross promote. Nassau Chainsaw was introducing some insane music to the suspension world, and Spliff/DisGraceLanD were getting the opportunity to introduce suspensions to the metal, hardcore, and hiphop world. A lot of these kids have never seen live suspensions. It also brought a third element to the show; kids know if they come out to see NCDDC everything we do is 100% real. The fire balls come from someones mouth and can burn you, the sparks from the grinder shower you like needles, and the blood and pain from the suspension artists are in fact 100% real. If you had a bad week well then here’s a TV and an assortment of weapons, pick one that suits you and smash the shit out of the TV. It’s all there to keep you on your toes, where should you look, and more importantly where should you stand?
You had mentioned that your EP and music video that are being released will be a tribute to Spliff and his accomplishments. How did you guys first meet?
Laz: RazoR and I first met Spliff at that terrifying first show in Long Island. He showed up like gorilla on steroids, barking orders, and making shit happen. I had seen few leaders like that before Spliff.
RazoR: At that Long Island show I knew that Spliff had a quality about him that was one in a million. He is someone who has the ability to draw you in, test and push your limits, build you up, tear you apart, and build you back up again. We are all grateful for our relationship with Spliff. He was there for many people when their immediate family wasn’t. He took them into DisGraceLanD and gave them something to believe in and a goal to work towards. He showed them the meaning of the word “Family”
Laz: In that same spirit, after a complete reinvention of our sound, live show, and attitude, it just seemed fitting to name the record after the family that Spliff established and made us a part of.
It seems like Spliff and Jill made a huge impact on everyone they met, and I think the amount of love and support coming from the suspension community is proof of that. Likewise, everyone that spent time with them has some kind of funny/touching/insane story that involves Spliff. Let’s hear your best one.
RazoR: I gotta say its hard for me to choose one, but this one sticks in my head the most. It was the first tour we did together. We were on our way to our last show in Detroit. We had just crashed our RV in an intense Blizzard, but it was still drivable. We stopped at a rest stop to regroup and figure out what we were gonna do. Half the crew wanted to turn back or wait for the storm to pass, I wanted to move forward knowing we had no time to wait. We were still 5 hours from the venue. Some people were saying it was too dangerous, but Spliff and Jill helped me convince the crew to move forward. He said “Everything we do each day is a risk. Yes its a crazy Blizzard out there, but what we do is take risks, we hang ourselves from hooks and that can be risky too. We came out here to perform and chase our dream and that’s what we should continue to do” So we moved forward, we made it to the venue 5 minutes before our slot, performed in front of 100 kids and it was the best show of the tour. We celebrated together after the show at a near by bar with some wings and beer while listening to Slayer with our Detroit family.
Laz: My favorite Spliff story was the time in Sydney, OH. He rocked the hooks so hard he actually straightened them and came down from being suspended 10 feet, landed on his feet, and went on like he was a Brazilian ninja, and meant to do that.
I’m sure you guys already have some big plans for your upcoming tour. Would you like to hint about what your listeners can expect from future performances?
RazoR: We do have some plans to tour this year and support our new EP, we have been talking to promoters and booking agencies. We are interested in outdoor festivals, tattoo conventions, and other venues where we can do our full show, fire breathers, suspensions, grinders without any limitations. We are also interested in doing some shows overseas, Japan, and Europe. If you are interested in booking Nassau Chainsaw D.D.C. please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nassau Chainsaw’s new EP “DisGraceLanD” will be available starting Friday, February 25th on their website, or available for purchase through iTunes. These guys have some great music going on, so make sure you take the time to check it out.
Thank you guys so much for taking the time to let everyone know what you have going on. I look forward to hearing the new music and getting to see the video. Best of luck with the tour, I’m sure it’s going to be full of great shows and amazing times for everyone who attends.