Interview with Throaat – Brooklyn Metal Mentalists

I have seen Throaat play out in NYC a bunch of times in the last few years mainly at St Vitus and Lucky 13 and they never disappoint. I wanted to know more about the band and spoke with singer Impurifier Vilethroaat to get the down lo. Here we go

* So you guys have been going for a couple of years now – how did the
band come about?

Around November 2012 I started writing songs for a new project. I
wanted to be doing music much more raw and primitive than what I had
been doing before. So I started looking for people to play with by
placing some Craigslist ads because I didnt want to play with anyone I
already knew. It only sort of ended up that way, but those were the
beginnings.

* Growing up what were your musical influences? (I am guessing someone
is a huge Hellhammer fan)

At some point, maybe I was 6 or 7, I inherited my older brother’s
Black Sabbath Paranoid/Iron Maiden Number of the Beast cassette tape.
I was transfixed! Especially by the Sabbath side. Every instrument and
lyric seemed to speak to me, or even make me feel like I was in a
trance. Really powerful shit!

I was a little kid when 80’s heavy metal was blowing up, so I feel
fortunate to have been exposed to it during those formulative years.

I think I first heard black metal in the early or mid 90’s, I had this
compilation that had all second wave bands. In the 90’s I was also
getting into a lot of avant garde and “world” music. Stuff that had
nothing to do with metal but that has had a really lasting influence
on how I perceive sound.

Around 1994 I started getting very deeply into Mercyful Fate. In 1998
I even saw them play once while on LSD! In the late 90’s I got heavily
into Celtic Frost (To Mega Therion was first for me, then Morbid
Tales). When I first heard it I felt like I could really relate to it,
in that they were pulling off sounds that I was searching for in my
own material, but they were doing it so damn well, it was a real eye
opener. And yeah around that time I first heard Hellhammer as well, I
got the Apocalyptic Raids cd and heard a few other things. I thought
it was great but to me nothing could touch Frost, especially To Mega
Therion!

I’m into a lot of other kinds of music like psych, punk, goth, death
rock, krautrock, prog etc but that’s my deal growing up with metal.
Nowadays I also spend a lot of time seeking out unfamiliar or obscure
music, Im always trying to find some hidden perpective on sound that
might open up my mind in some way.

* Have you always been a drummer/singer – I imagine its got to be
pretty hard especially for the style of metal you play – was there
ever any plans to have some one else drum for you?

I started playing music a long time ago but drums are the instrument
I’ve played the least in my life. I never really played drums before
Throaat, just a little bit of tapping around on the kit when the real
drummer in whatever band it was went out to take a leak or sell some
weed to someone. I always played guitar or bass. I had taken some
piano and voice lessons during high school. I figure as long as you
understand rhythm and can produce a sound on an instrument, like how
to make the different notes, it’s not too hard to get into playing it.
I mean, you don’t have to know EVERYTHING about an instrument to just
make up some wicked parts for a song right? So when Throaat started to
come together, I knew I wanted to do the vocals and figured the
fastest way to becoming a “real band” was to pick up the drums; so
there would be a drummer from the start, however amateurish or
primitive it might be. I wanted to do something new and in an
unsophisticated style so it seemed like the way to go.

Throaat has seen some lineup changes recently, and each time there was
a change, the question comes up about whether or not I should switch
to another instrument. I really like playing drums though so I’m going
to stick with it. Also I think it would change the sound of the band
pretty drastically with a different drummer, unless he happened to
play with the same shitty pizzazz as I do, but that would be hard to
find! If there were an ad it would have to say something like SHITTY
DRUMMER WANTED. BUT NOT TOO SHITTY!

We did do a one-off show not too long ago where I played bass and did
the vocals, our bass player at that time played the drums and our
guitar player did his guitar thing. We called it Taorrh. There was a
booking conflict so we decided to switch it up for that one night. Our
friends from the killer band Conqueror Worm were in town on tour and
played that night as well.

* Right now the NYC metal scene is pretty concentrated in Brooklyn –
any thoughts on why Brooklyn and not say Queens or the Bronx?

Seems to me there are a ton of bands in Queens and the Bronx. I
recognize some typical aesthetic differences between bands from
Brooklyn vs other parts of NYC but I’m not sure I could elucidate what
those differences are without turning into a grumpy bastard.

* What’s your favorite place to play in NYC? Lucky 13? Vitus?

We’ve done plenty of shows at both places. Lately we’ve been playing
at Lucky 13 more, I love that place. Vitus is great too. We also
played at The Acheron a lot before it closed. I also like playing at
The Gutter.

* Is everyone born and raised in Brooklyn? if not where are they from?

I was but the other folks in the band (both past and present) come
from other locales. Native Brooklynites are somewhat rare in the music
scene here.

* You guys have done a bunch of demos and EPs – any plans for a full length?

Yeah in fact we have a full length LP called Reflections in Darkness
that was completed not too long ago. We’re figuring out a label
situation now but for some reason I’ve been extremely lazy about
making it happen. I think I got a little bit of burnout when finishing
off the record and needed a break. The business part of music isnt
exactly fun.

Since then we also finished a split 7” EP with a band from Lexington,
KY called Apocryphal Revelation. We each have about 7 minutes, for us
it’s two songs (“The Tannery” and “Purify Salem’s Lot”) and for them
it’s one song (“Graveyard Torment”). We are seeking a label for that
right now too.

* What’s been the best show you guys have played to date?

HMMM good question. I think maybe my favorite Throaat show ever was at
the September 2015 Wings of Metal Festival in Montreal. Another
favorite was opening for Venom, Inc. at Saint Vitus not too long ago.
They were amazing, really exactly what you’d want to see in a Venom
show.

* Have you done much touring in the USA? If not are there plans to for
the future?

We have been around a bit, and we absolutely have plans to continue
that. I’d like to get out to the west coast in 2017, we havent been
there as a band yet. Same deal with Europe, with some luck maybe we
can make it happen.

* What’s the best part of being in a metal band from NYC?

I find it really tricky being in a band here. The scene is probably
much more cutthroat (no pun intended) than many cities. Also everyone
has to work insane hours to make ends meet or is just broke all the
time.

On a positive (and music fan-based) note, something I enjoy about
being here is that so many great bands come here to play shows. Like
Manila Road. Or Nifelheim. Those were two of the greatest shows I’ve
ever seen.

* As a metal fan what’s your favorite format – for me day time at work
its Spotify/bandcamp/youtube and vinyl at night

I would say my listening habits are similar. When I want to feel what
I’m listening to it’ll need to be on vinyl. Cassette would work for
that too but my only cassette player is my trusty 4 track recorder.

Cheers, Alex. Thanks for the interview.

check out their Blackspeed EP here: