Ten years of making loud and fast music

After countless LPs, EPs, splits, tours, and shows, Winnipeg metal band Putrescence is celebrating a huge milestone – 10 years of making loud and fast music.

The band has certainly had its ups and downs over the past decade, and has seen its share of lineup changes with the addition and departure of a few guitarists along the way. Regardless, the band is still kicking ass and churning out album after album of heavy, unbridled metal for their dedicated fans.

The Manitoban was able to talk with vocalist Mike Alexander about the time he has spent with the band and where Putrescence is headed in the future. Here’s what this metal maniac had to say.

The Manitoban: How do you feel that the band has grown and changed over the years?

Mike Alexander: I think the band has built and maintained a realistic sense of its place in this world. The style of music we play comes from an appreciation for the masters who have inspired us to lash out with great rage towards this city and beyond. We have grown and developed without any promises or expectations of paycheques or deli trays. When you have nothing to compromise in exchange for industry expectations or a few lousy dollars, it becomes difficult to dilute any of the rage, speed, or brutality. If anything we’ve gotten faster, heavier, and uglier.

M: How do you feel that your music and recording style has changed between your first and last album?

MA: We do come from several different sub-genres within the extreme music scene. [ . . . ] I think that the results from recent recordings have pointed to the fact that a multitude of our musical inspiration can be found in just about all of our tunes. We draw from different wells and try to organize songs in a way that hopefully sounds both punishing and unique.

As for our recording style, I think we’ve probably made a few errors along the way, maybe rushing things or settling for less than 100 per cent. I’ve always preferred the live show to the recording studio, so I’m not too troubled by this but I think we’ve all agreed that the next time we go in to record a record that we’ll take the time to make sure the next thing we release is the best record yet.

M: How have you enjoyed playing with the other guys all this time?

MA: We’ve had our moments in conflict and turmoil. We learned a lot about each other’s conflict styles when we were in Europe in 2007 and I think we’re in a really good place now. It hasn’t always been a picnic the whole time, but I think that’s to be expected if you’re going to spend too much time together in the same stinky van with the same people. These days, we try to be as honest as possible while still listening to the other guy. Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that it feels good to have lasted together as long as we have with the three original members who are still at the core of this band.

M: Where will the band go from here?

MA: Back to the jam spot to learn new songs. We have some stuff ready and I know that Cory, Shaun, and I are all interested to see what the two new guys have in their bag of riffs. We are looking forward to being a real blown-out old school grindcore band from this point forward. I’ve always thought that sounding like a bag of milk that’s been left out in the sun for a month during the summer was always the musical direction we should be pursuing. I feel like from this point on, it only gets rawer, more disgusting, and sicker than ever before.

M: What can fans expect from your 10th anniversary show?

MA: We are pleased to offer up over a dozen old songs, some standards that we still really enjoy, but a few tracks going back to the demo just for fun. We lost the valued services of our long-time lead guitar player Jean Louis this year, but we have replaced him with a couple guys, Anders and Ripley, who are doing very well in filling those big shoes that Jean left. So playing those old tunes with new guys feels like a lot of fun. We’re hoping to have a good time on stage, insulting the audience, tripping over each other, and all-around behaving pretty poorly. We know the capabilities of the PA at the Windsor and look forward to turning the building into an ossuary for eardrums.

Celebrate 10 years of music with Putrescence on May 4 at the Windsor Hotel with Satanic Rights and Dead Ranch.