Today marks the arrival of the first entry of what I intend to be a regular column. We all have our favorite albums, those collections that we can gush on and on about without tiring ourselves. Those of us impassioned enough to continue involving ourselves with hardcore, metal, goth rock or what have you, especially after so many years, could write thesis on these albums, and
Personally, there are few conversational confections that delight me more than discussing albums (especially The Cure, as you’ll soon see). In this column I’ll interview a band member, record label founder, or even your merch guy about their three favorite albums, any genre, and we’ll go from there.
For this the first “Three Cheers for Sweet Releases” (yes, I’m an avid MCR fan. Aren’t you?) I had the privilege of playing e-mail tennis with Bryan Prosser, whose throne behind the drums have landed him sovereignty in some of the best hardcore and metalcore bands going right now: Wristmeetrazor and Inclination. Enjoy!
Hey Bryan, thanks for taking the time to do this! I've seen Wristmeetrazor cover Norma Jean firsthand, and seen footage of Zao and As I Lay Dying covers too. All great cuts. As a musician, what three albums (from any genre) have influenced you most?
Hey! Thank you so much for having me.
1.) Bloc Party, Silent Alarm (2005)
I found out about Bloc Party in 5th/6th grade through playing Tony Hawk's American Wasteland (which was also one of my first exposures to punk and hardcore). This record was my doorway into post-punk and cool stuff like that and still to this date is my all time favorite record. If you haven’t heard this, give it a listen and you’ll be humming the melodies for the rest of the week.
2.) Hatebreed, Perseverance (2002)
I heard this record for the first time when I was about 16. I was in a bad place mentally and just got out of a psych ward for trying to blow my head off. A friend of mine showed me Hatebreed and a week later I snuck out of my parents house to go see it live [laughs]. At the time, the record was exactly what I needed to hear and even though it’s kind of corny at times, it’s a record that’s definitely helped me keep my head on straight.
3.) MxPx, Life in General (1996)
Growing up, my dad was a youth minister at a church in rural Kentucky. Every few weeks he’s get boxes of CDs to pass out to his youth group and sometimes he’d get boxes from Solid State/Tooth & Nail. Life in General was my first ever experience to punk and I was hooked immediately. I would listen through it pretty much every day on the way to and from school from 3rd-8th grade. It’s fast and catchy as hell, and something that gets played in the van at least once on every tour. Without hearing Life in General, I’m not sure if I would’ve been lucky enough to get hooked on punk and hardcore as young as I did and I’m very thankful for that. Thanks, Dad.
Ramones, Rocket to Russia (1977)
The Cure, Pornography (1982)
Floorpunch, Fast Times at the Jersey Shore (1998)
I’ll have to check out that Bloc Party record, I’ve admittedly never been an avid listener. Off each of those three records you mentioned, which song(s) are your favorites?
Definitely give it a listen when you get a chance. I promise you’ll be hooked. Off Silent Alarm, “This Modern Love” and “Luno” are tied for my favorite track. Two very different feels but equally
On Perseverance, the title track is perfect. The chorus is maybe my favorite mosh part of all time:
Lastly, on Life in General, my favorite track would have to be “Doing Time” or “Middlename.” Fun, catchy skate punk about how growing up sucks. What’s not to love?:
As far older metalcore records, what would you say your main go-to albums are?
For metalcore records, I’d have to say Liberate Te Ex Infernis by Zao and Jhazmine’s Lullaby by 7 Angels 7 Plagues. I’m a big sucker for pretty parts in metalcore and both of those records absolutely kill it in that market. Also have to give a big shoutout to The Agony Scene. The first time I ever saw the video for “We Bury Our Dead At Dawn” I wanted to look like those guys so bad. 10 years later I got to join Wristmeetrazor and I fulfilled my dream of ripping off that whole music video and looking like them, circa 2002 [laughs].
There’s no other metalcore record that sounds like Jhazmine’s Lullaby, beautiful record. Are there any other songs you’d like to cover, and of the ones you've already played live, which is your favorite?
Nothing else holds up to 7A7P. The middle part of "The Commentator’s Despair" is one of the coolest parts ever written. Out of the covers we’ve done so far I think covering Zao has been my favorite so far, despite maybe only one or two kids a night actually knowing it. Norma Jean was fun as hell too. The first couple times we played it were absolute chaos.
Right off hand, I can’t think of anything else I’d wanna cover. It’s a weird line between not covering the painfully cliche same 3-4 songs everyone does and also not covering some deep cut that literally nobody knows. Luckily, we’ve got a couple months before WMR goes back out so hopefully we’ll figure out something cool in that time.
Which bands have inspired when it comes to your playing in Wristmeetrazor, Inclination, and SeeYouSpaceCowboy?
When I’m playing spazzier sound drums for either WMR or SYSC, I try to channel a lot of more chaotic stuff like Daughters/Ed Gein/All Else Failed (I don’t really listen to it like much screamo, sorry to disappoint). Playing in Inclination, I try to keep things a lot more simple so I can watch kids pile up and mosh rather than having to worry about doing vocals or playing some weird ass time signature. If I had to pick a band to channel during Inclination sets it would be either Chokehold or Snapcase.
I saw Chokehold play King of the Monsters Fest in 2015, lost my shit to “Anchor.” Such a cool band. Are there any other '90s metalcore bands you get wild for?
Damn, I would love to see Chokehold. Band does not get enough love as they should. Content with Dying is such a relevant record to today’s political climate and they called that shit like 25 years ago [laughs]. As far as other '90s bands, I’m a huge Earth Crisis fan. “Morality Dictates” is the best vegan song ever written. I’m also a huge Strain fan but that probably falls more into the hardcore realm. Also, I think anyone who’s ever listened to Inclination can probably tell that we really, really like One King Down.
Chokehold and Earth Crisis definitely threw down a soapbox for so many other bands that followed to say the right things. Backed super hard.
Definitely—in my opinion—the two most important bands from that era. Very thankful for bands like Envision and Magnitude carrying that sound currently.
You mentioned Pornography before, and I can't pass up an opportunity to gush over The Cure, especially about one of my favorite albums by them. What are your favorite aspects of that mean-as-fuck old album?
God, I love The Cure so much. I first heard Pornography after going through my first real breakup and ever since it’s been my go-to “I feel like shit today” record. The opening line of the record being “It doesn’t matter if we all die” pretty much sets the mood for the whole album. At the end of the day, I just don’t wanna hear Robert Smith sing about being happy [laughs].
To be fair, The Head on the Door and Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me do have that batshit crazy, backhanded optimism that [Robert] Smith perfected too. Absolute genius of a songwriter.
Oh definitely. I don’t think there’s any bad Cure records. I just prefer Pornography/Disintegration overall. The Head on the Door is probably a close third.