Thrash Hits verdict: Bleak, uncensored, American nihilism – Satan knows, it’s easy to fake it (and believe us, we gets emails by the hundred from bands who try and fail), so when you stumble across the genuine article, it’s something of a rare treat. Step forward Bone Dance – hailing from the not-sure-if-we’ve-ever-written-about-a-band-from-there Pacific North-Western state of Idaho, there’s more venom in the first 30 seconds of Bone Dance’s new record than in every two-bit piece of aggro-posturing taking up an undeserved place in an Album of the Year list on either side of the Atlantic. We gave the band’s bassist and chief visual artist, Bryce Kresge, to talk about the roots of anger, Japanese aesthetics, and how much Nikki Sixx sucks.
Describe your sound in 3 words
Desert driven nihilism.
How did you meet?
Just through the network of local musicians here in Boise. Three of us grew up together in a smaller town in eastern Idaho and moved here to Boise, the other 2 of us grew up here (more or less). We all played in bands at the time and just sorta connected through the desire to play something different from what we had been doing at the time. I’m not the original bassist, but I had heard the band and saw they needed a bass player, and asked if I could give it a shot. Pretty standard, nothing really all that special.
What made you want to start a band?
For myself, personally, playing music is just something I’ve wanted to do since I discovered it. For us as a band, I don’t think we had a loftier goal in mind other than let’s play something different from what we’re currently doing.
Where did you grow up? How do you think it’s affected your music?
Things are isolated here. The closest major city we have is Salt Lake City, which doesn’t really have much of a reputation as far as being the most open-minded place to live. The next closest city is eight hours away. So Boise is like its own little bubble. It’s a little behind the times here, culturally speaking. For better or worse, that’s the way it is. As far as it affecting our music, I think it’s given us a desire to do something to stand out. Try to put this place, or at least ourselves, on the map. And to get out of here from time to time and see something other than brown hills and grey skies.
What are your non-musical influences?
I don’t feel comfortable speaking for the rest of my bandmates, but for myself, how a band is presented visually has an intrinsic value that is necessary to compliment their music. I don’t know if people still do this, but I remember when I was younger buying a record because I thought the cover looked cool, interesting, intriguing, etc. Sometimes it was misleading and I ended up with a shit CD, other times I got into something completely new and different. I certainly have visual/artistic influences that inform how we’re presented. A variety of things, really. International Style design and typography, various ideas of Japanese aesthetics (Wabi-Sabi, Shibui, etc), and a huge variety of visual artists. I’m sure other people in the band find influence in ideas that vary all over the place, anything from writers to athletes. We’re sponges. Everything around us influences and informs us in some small way.
So far, what has been the best thing about being in a band?
Definitely all of the money.
With which band would your dream tour be?
I’m just gonna rattle off some without thinking too much about it. Coalesce. Refused. Botch. Meshuggah. Knut. Deftones. Neurosis. Van Halen on the 1984 tour. Pantera before heroin became an issue.
What bands do you consider as part of your scene or as your peers?
I’m not all that interested in name-dropping, but we associate with a fair amount of bands. The ones whom we get along with and find ourselves relating with personally and musically, we feel an especially strong kinship with. Maybe this comes from living in such an isolated place, and people thinking nothing good can come from a place like Idaho, but I often feel like we’re black sheep.
Watch an entire live show by Bone Dance:
Because we’re ignorant British-types, we know next to nothing about Idaho. We know that Nikki Sixx was born there, but that’s not a particularly glowing recommendation unless you’re into 80s throwback cock-rock. Oh, and the guy from Tad. Are we underselling it, or is Idaho really that lacking when it comes to quality heavy music?
Well. I had no idea Nikki Sixx was born here until I read this question. That really sucks. But Tad is cool. Not a lot of heavy bands from Idaho are putting themselves out there. Wolvserpent is a band currently living here, who just signed to Relapse Records. That’s pretty cool. Septic Death was pretty influential at the time on the whole fastcore/powerviolence scene, not just here, but all around. Pushead fronted that band, and went on to do a lot in terms of visual art. I’m sure you’re familiar with him. But that was some time ago. Again, it comes down to the geographical isolation of the place. It’s hard to leave. Most bands don’t end up leaving this place, most don’t end up putting themselves in front of other people.
You seem pretty damn pissed at the state of the US as it stands today. What’s all that about then?
Politics doesn’t really inform our band, though I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a band playing aggressive music that doesn’t take on some form of social commentary in their lyrics at times. Most things are dumb, and trying is rarely worth the effort. I think we’re moreso just people who are quick to anger. This is how we harness it. Doesn’t really have much to do with the state of the U.S. I’m not complaining that much. There are certainly worse places to be elsewhere in the world.
What marks you out as different to other bands around at the moment?
Other than our music?
What’s the best show you’ve played?
Not the best, but the most memorable one, is probably the one where we got in a fight with the audience.
What have you got planned for the future?
We’ve begun writing for another record. Touring. Keep making music that challenges us, playing it, and challenging people to listen to it. Lots of cool things that it’s too early to talk about quite yet.
What other band should everyone find out about?
Tigon is the best band that nobody has heard of yet.
Tell us a joke.
How do you get a dog to stop humping your leg?
Pick it up and suck it’s dick.
Bone Dance’s latest release, their self-titled album, is out now on Throatruiner Records. Like what you hear? Then head on over to their official webstore and buy even more of their music, or that awful t-shirty with Vigo the Carpathian‘s face on it. Buy it, or be an idiot. It’s your choice.