Interview by Brayden Bagnall
Hailing from Denver, Colorado, Of Feather And Bone's caustic mish mash of grindcore, hardcore and metal recalls some of the more chaotic sounds coming out of the late 1990s, old school death metal and modern technical precision. Of Feather And Bone contribute two blistering tracks, alongside Reproacher on their latest split 7" release. I interviewed bassist/vocalist Alvino to discuss the split, Colorado's music scene and the finer things in life (i.e blastbeats).
FBN: Greetings! Hi! Hello! - who are you and what do you do?
Alvino: Hi. My name is Alvino and I sing and play bass for of feather and bone.
FBN: I'm curious, where did the name 'Of Feather And Bone' originate?
Alvino: The name came from a variation of longer names and phrases till we all agreed on "of feather and bone". Nothing too deep about it haha
FBN: And how did the band itself originate - how did you guys meet and start playing music together?
Alvino: Dave (guitar) and Preston (drummer) have been playing music together for quite some time and have a great chemistry with one another. Ive known Dave for a long time from being in bands from Denver and whatnot. Dave and Preston were in a power violence band together when I first saw them play music together. When that band disbanded they started another band in the vein of 90's hardcore. When I saw their first show, I noticed they didn't have a bass player. I went up to them immediately after and asked if I could play bass and for some crazy reason they agreed to let me play. After some writing and a couple of shows, we went from a four piece to a three piece and I took over vocals. We've discussed a few times to maybe add someone to the band so I can solely sing, but I think we've come to a consensus that the three of us work well together and we don't want to mess up the luck we've had thus far.
FBN: What influenced you to play the music you do? Any bands, events or issues in particular?
Alvino: For myself personally, I've always wanted to play in a heavy band. When I saw these two playing it, all I wanted was to be a part of it. As for them, their pasts and musical interests are what drive this band and those variations allow for us to write the way we do. Rooted in grind, power violence, crust, hardcore, death metal and punk, we all bring something to the table.
FBN: How does the band write and record its music - is it a spontaneous process, or is there more planning and pre-planning involved?
Alvino: Writing for us is organic. Sometimes Dave has an idea and we build off of that and sometimes he plays a riff out of nowhere and three hours later and some crankiness, we have a song. It's the first time I've ever been in a band where the songs come together on their own. Where someone isn't at home on their own writing an entire song then coming in and teaching everyone what to do. It's a great way of writing. When we record, we definitely plan. We like to have the songs flow so the recording sounds like one well put together piece of art. We practice the songs into oblivion so when we record we do it in the best possible ability we have. We've recorded three times as a band and every time we learn something new and what we like and what we can change for the next time.
FBN: I've just listened to your split with Reproacher, and I've gotta say, I was impressed - how did that split come together?
Alvino: Reproacher are some of our closest friends and one of the best bands from around these parts. We've had the honor to play quite a few shows with them. So when Garth from crown and throne mentioned possibly doing a split with them, we were in immediately. Garth's labor of love for his bands and releases is unmatched and made it extremely easy to do this release! We couldn't be happier with the outcome.
FBN: How's the music scene in Denver, Colorado? Is it kind to heavier bands such as yourselves?
Alvino: Denver is torn into several different scenes and styles of hardcore/punk. Each functioning on it's own and surviving quite well. We've always strived to stay neutral in our city and will play a show for anyone as long as they're a cool person. We are fortunate to be part of an extended family of bands that are similar in style. We all seem the same on the surface to maybe a newcomer to our style. But the beauty is that we all differ enough that if we all played a show together you'd get a different variation of heavy and dark and fast and whatever the whole show. Denver is home. Denver is often overlooked because we're located in the middle of the country where every major city is at least an 8 hour drive away from us. But like our friends, we are setting out to show the rest of the world that Denver can bear amazing music and it should never be overlooked.
FBN: What's in the pipeline for Of Feather And Bone for the rest of 2k14?
Alvino: We are about to leave for a three week tour through the Midwest, Canada and the north east in august with our friends in exalt from canada and black mask from Pennsylvania. We couldn't be more excited to head out east of Colorado and show what we got. After the tour we are going to lock ourselves away and finish writing our first full length which we will be recording in early October in Salt Lake City with the almighty Andy Patterson. We're excited for the new stuff and for everyone to hear it.
FBN: The question I often ask myself is 'is there anything better than a blastbeat?', and I genuinely struggle with this on a daily basis. My question to you is - can you name five things better than a blastbeat?
Everytime we write, we ask, "what should we go into next?" And more often than not the first suggestion is a blast haha. But if I had to pick 5 things that could be better than a blast but might not be they would be:
2) 7-11 for their beverage selections
4) Preston: dressing nicely Dave: coffee me: vinyl records (which crosses over to all three of us)
5) ummmm....burritos again
FBN: Lastly, any thank-yous, shout-outs, shameless plugs or words of wisdom you wish to impart with us all?
Alvino: Haha. Not much for wisdom here. But you should listen to: primitive man, Reproacher, catholic girls, call of the void, prison death, exalt, old wounds, seizures, black mask and entombed (if you don't already). A
A massive thanks to Of Feather And Bone for the interview!