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Poison the Well Soured by the Glut of Extreme Music

When masses of high school kids suddenly discover extreme metal bands like Suicide Silence and Job For a Cowboy and wear their t-shirts like uniforms, it’s a sign that the apocalypse is near, there’s lots more cool shit coming before we all go out in a fiery bang, or even if Armageddon never arrives, the inevitable flood of lukewarm imitators is imminent.

“I do think it’s cool that kids are getting into such heavy music all of a sudden,” Poison the Well guitarist Ryan Primrack tells Noisecreep. “Suicide Silence is not the most acceptable and marketable thing for 15 year old girls to get into, but it’s kind of weird and cool in a way that they have. But with that being popular, there are a lot of bands who are popping up from nowhere getting huge, and therein lies the question of what bands are in it for.”

Another byproduct of an extreme music youth revolution is that the pioneers of the genre tend to get criminally overlooked. For all of the new deathcore bands selling tens of thousands of records, many of their influences – Skinless, Dying Fetus, Napalm Death, Morbid Angel – are shaking their heads in disgust.

“That happens any time you get a new wave of music that becomes popular,” says Primrack, “Someone finds the style of music that maybe they can get out there, but then the record companies have to find someone younger and prettier and more marketable to do the exact same thing to make it sell. And then the true originators are kind of left behind a little bit.”

So what’s a struggling progenitor to do? For Primrack, whose 11-year-old band has been variously aligned with post-hardcore, screamo and metalcore scenes, surviving the trends is a matter of staying outside the box one way or another.

“I’m really just not smart enough to play the game,” Primrack self-deprecatingly says. “I don’t have the mental capacity to make decisions based on foresight. I have the foresight of a two year old. I kind of feel like that ‘Star Wars Kid‘ from YouTube – the guy that does the light saber thing with a broom handle. We really just don’t fit in anywhere. Every place you put us we still stick out like a sore thumb and have the possibility of going over like a bomb in church. And maybe that’s why we’re still around.”

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