Magrudergrind Don’t Want to Tell Anyone What to ‘Believe’ or ‘Consume’
Grindcore and the more fertile subgenre power violence have always been rooted in a sociopolitical tradition, though it's easy to lose sight of that amid the sweat-drenched chaos of the blast beats. But there's much more to behold. In the case of Washington, D.C.'s Magrudergrind, the finger tends to stay pointed at the scene itself.
"There are a lot of rules expected to be followed," frontman Avi Kulawy told Noisecreep of the failings and missteps in the punk scene. "People's beliefs tend to come off quite fascist, because if you don't believe what everyone expects you to believe you're an outlier."
Some have given the trio a DIY scarlet letter for their latest EP, 'Crusher,' since it was free for a limited time thanks to the aid of Scion -- the car company that loves to give away free metal shows and festivals. Inundated with e-mails ranging from support, curiosity and cries of sell out, Kulawy believes one of the problems is that people misconstrue the entire message of the band.
"In our artwork, we do take a certain political/social stance on certain issues, but the three of us have totally different political ideologies, so were not a unanimous thinking group," he explained. "We're not out there to tell people what to believe in, what to consume or what to do. We're just expressing the way we feel and how we interpret the world."
Kulawy contends that his personal message has always been to follow no one's rules but your own. "In my lyrics, I write I explicitly that I choose to follow my own path. I'm an individual and I have an individual ideology.
"There is a common denominator between all of us," he continued. "When we record a record, all of us are very involved in all of the pieces. In the end, your getting a product that is really a piece of all of us. It's not just my perspective; it's what we agree on as a group."
Seemingly almost prepared for those who would misunderstand the band's choice to take money from a corporation -- in order to give away a high quality album -- the opening track 'Leech' lambast those who look down on their decision.
Kulawy screams near song's end, "Are these the ethics that we flaunt in the culture of DIY? No, we deny many opportunities yet complain to be marginalized."
"That song is really talking about the s--- that really turns me off being involved in this type of scene," said Kulaway, calling those ideals pure hypocrisy. "We don't live in a word that is straight black and white; there's so much grey area with everything. Seeing every issue in tunnel vision is a very ignorant way to look at the world.
"There's almost this immature kind of primitive thinking within a lot of the social circles of punk and hardcore," the frontman ventured. "They forget that there are external factors that play into a band touring or putting out a record or record label advertising. All these things have one common variable -- that's money."
Jokingly, he remarked that those who scream sell out should also throw away their shoes, toilet bowl and entire record collection so they can be unblemished in their ideals. "I'm sure there will be some critics that read this interview on a computer that was produced by some 'evil' corporation."
The first retort from those opposed to the band's decision claimed the trio must have gotten a large paycheck. Kulawy says there was none. There was just an album to giveaway, which the band stated from the get-go.
"That's not really our goal or agenda. We just want to play music we love and be able to travel. A very motivating factor to continue this band is being able to tour different countries, and meeting other people from other countries -- and meeting them as friends."