“A New Breed of Chaos” An Interview with Twig the Exfoliator of Kill The Precedent

Kill The Precedent’s latest release “Some Version of the Truth” will spark mosh pits for years to come inside every record store that dares to play the release. Kill The Precedents roots lie deep within the glory days of 1980’s Punk, like Henry Rollins fist smashing in your teeth combined with the scraping labor only heard within a junkyard near an abandoned industrial music club, somewhere in Chicago. A must listen for sure. This band needs to be heard throughout the Metal and Hardcore community. Don’t sleep!

By Chad Thomas Carsten 
From April 2017 Vandala Magazine 
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What’s the full in-depth meaning behind your bands name Kill The Precedent?

Twig: For the original name it all started on a conspiracy theory with saying kill the president on the phone and if you said that on the phone it would automically go to the CIA or FBI, or whoever like that. Our band name was Kill The President in the early 2000’s. I liked Kill The President more, but it was the simple fact that if someone on the phone was simply asking someone if they were going to our show and said like for example, “Hey what are you doing tonight?” “I’m going to Kill The President.” Just simply someone saying they were going to our show and it would trigger a bunch of CIA, FBI or the security shit. Phone lines would light up! But also you know we were sick of the normal shit and we’ve all been in punk bands almost all of our lives and we wanting to write different music and didn’t want to be different bands. We just wanted to be in one band that wrote whatever we wanted. We’re sick of everyone pigeonholing us in certain categories. So let’s kill the precedent and do whatever the f*ck we want.

First song you ever performed live, whether it be a cover song or an original? How did the audience respond?

Twig: I think in the early-mid 1980’s we did a lot of Louie Louie covers. Not even the original Louie Louie, the Black Flag cover of Louie Louie. But the first original song for this band was “End All” off our first album “Dialogues with the Dead” and it was great! People were stoked and it was chaos! We all played in a bunch of different bands together for the last twenty years and so we all had followings from other bands. But it turned out starting this band was a really good idea to let the creative animal out.

Your true thoughts on the current state of the music industry as a whole?

Twig: I like the direction that it is going and I like that everyone is self-releasing a bunch of small stuff, small labels are coming out and getting rid of the major labels because they’ve always been useless. Majors only concentrate on their top five bands. All the other artists get pushed under the rug. So I like that everyone is not charging a lot and you can get away with releasing whatever you want, whenever you want. That’s the way it always should’ve been and there is finally an outlet for it thanks to the internet. So it’s great!

How excited are you knowing that Some Version of the truth is finally released?

Twig: Pretty excited because we started recording it in 2015. We were just doing it ourselves and we were going to self-release it as a digital release with four songs. We were thinking about putting another one out on Minus Head Records and do a couple old songs that we had, like two old ones that we had written before the previous record that we didn’t put on for that one and with a couple of new ones. We just wanted to see how it was going to go with the line-up changes and Minus Head wanted to put it out, but wanted a couple more songs and so we went right straight ahead to record them in the studio. At that time the band was going through a lot of personal shit with their lives. I had moved to LA for work and so we were only recording like every other month for a couple hours, so it took a year, which you should never probably do to put out a seven song E.P, but we took our time and we ended up writing a couple more songs towards the end. Those are probably my favorite songs. They just came naturally and we did it in an old school type of writing way, which is not our way we write currently, if fans are aware of this, but the way we normally write is all electronic drum tracks are written first and then second is the vocal structures, third is the bass, and then we write lyrics. Just a completely backward way of writing. But the new ones we wrote in the old school way, just right in the studio, drums, guitar, then vocals second still. It was all very natural all those new ones, which are the songs “Two Way Mirrors” and “Watch What You Think” and we kept it old school as if we were writing good hardcore 80’s punk songs and put the electronic shit in at the very end. It was really fun. Everybody just filed shared over the internet being that we have six to seven people scattered about in the band and we just practiced once a week. We have a very weird way of writing music. We finally let the drummer have some say on these couple songs. He was excited! *Laughs*

If you had to choose a certain type of Villain from any form of media to describe the sounds heard within Some Version of the truth, who would it be?

Twig: The Zodiac Killer because you’ll never find out exactly why. It’ll remain a mystery.

Can you break down the art within Some Version of the Truth and what it actually represents?

Twig: Well it all kind of represents the dark side of American history. The worn and tattered flag is in the background. You have a skull with a crown of thorns and skeletons that loosely stands for bloodshed in the name of god. The candles honor those that lost their life in battle. The cross guns are a civil war musket and a modern assault rifle. You have raining bullets. Finally, the faint image of eyes represents a number of things. In the end, we really wanted people to come to their own conclusion of exactly what it represents.

How does the E.P. title “Some Version Of the Truth” reflect your daily life?

Twig: Within the whole writing process that year in a half that we were doing it, most of the songs were a reflection of the tons of friends that we’ve lost over the last couple years just because they’ve turned into pieces of shit. Whether it was constantly lying or dealing with the drama between friends girlfriends/wives. Basically, we just lost a bunch of friends to a bunch of bullshit, even friends dying and how they died, everyone is saying suicide. It just sucks. Basically, reflects most of the songs with what they’re about on the album.

How did this release challenge you different vocally from past releases?

Twig: Being how some of the songs, for example, “A Song For Slit Wrists”, one of the first songs we wrote like ten years ago we had demo versions of it, but we didn’t put it on the last album. So going in and re-recording it like nine or ten years later was tough vocally, as far as me to hit the higher notes. I don’t think it affected our member Ugly American that much, but it was a little rough and I was able to get right back into it!

Any hilarious studio memories you’d like to share when recording Some Version of the Truth?

Twig: Nothing too funny, just a lot of brutal shit. Kicking wives out of the studio, a divorce or two, but it’s always fun to do gang vocals with everyone in the band and it’s always funny when someone f*cks that up. *Laughs*

Can we dissect “A Song For Slit Wrists” and what inspired its lyrics and production?

Twig: Interesting story on that. Uh, I originally wrote half of the beginning of that song when I was in a band called Red Tape, but I never did anything with it or showed anyone it. I had this girlfriend and whenever I came home she was always in the bathtub trying to commit suicide. Fifteen years later I actually wanted to do that song and someone came up with the beat and the music and I’m like, “I got these vocal structures that will fit that perfect, but I don’t have enough to finish it.” So I actually called her and she was living in England and she didn’t answer. So I guess I called her again one night drunk and asked her, to try and finish the song, if she had any more suicidal attempts. I don’t remember making that phone call, but she got pretty pissed and never called me back. I just had to think up what she would’ve done. It was a dick move on my half I admit, but it was about failed suicide attempts and someone doing it because they were craving attention. I guess I wanted to get the real story down.

How does “Irrational Anthem” relate to today’s world?

Twig: Once again we had a bunch of shitty people in our lives and there will always be a bunch of shitty people out there. There are a lot of irrational people out there that make a lot of bad decisions. Instead of correcting them they just keep making more and more bad decisions and they keep blaming it on everyone else but themselves. You either take action or you suffer the consequences for your own actions.

How satisfied are you with the final sound inside of Some Version of the Truth?

Twig: I’m very satisfied at this point! Like I said, we got to do it on our own time frame, we had to write those two other songs at the end, but it was more fun doing those than the five other songs that we wrote previously. It was good to get two or three old songs off my chest. We’ve been wanting to put those out since the first album, so I’m very excited! It took a little while, but everyone is real excited about it!

Most embarrassing moment on stage with Kill The Precedent?

Twig: We used to do a background video with a DVD player projector starting off our set. We put that stuff on the side of the stage. We usually have a couple of girl dancers on the side of the stage too for a couple songs. We had this one girl dancer and it was her first time up there and I think we were like three songs in and she tripped, fell into what was holding the projector, key tracks, and all the video and just knocked it all off stage and the show was just fucking over. Nothing we could do. Everything was just destroyed. Broke the 800 dollar projector, broke everything computer related and all that. A few months back I put a shot glass on stage and I did one of those cartoon moments where I slipped on it and my legs totally went up in the air and I landed flat on my back and hit my head pretty hard. It was like slipping on Banana peel. Pretty embarrassing! *Laughs*

If you could choose any band to perform at your funeral, who would it be and why?

Twig: I love Jane’s Addiction! I grew up on that shit and some of the songs hit me pretty hard, so my main choice would be Jane’s Addiction! I just love Perry Farrell’s voice! But they would have to play all the old shit and it would have to be the original line up.

What would you want to accomplish as a vocalist in the next five to ten years?

Twig: To keep doing what I do without losing my voice.

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www.killtheprecedent.bandcamp.com

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