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Author Topic: Skin Graft Interview/Feature from SI Vol. I  (Read 1630 times)
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Potier
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« on: January 07, 2020, 08:52:48 PM »

Taking a risk here by starting another topic and hoping to not become the starting point for an onslaught of requests for past SI content.

I would love to read whatever content there was in issue #1 on Skin Graft. His work has been a constant companion since I got into noise and I recently re-watched the City/Ruins documentary (https://archive.org/details/CITYRUIN_761) that prominently features Wyatt as a staple of the Cleveland/Mid-West scene. His recent releases seem to have made a big impact and it appears that he has been picking up the pace on getting his material out there. 10 years after SI #1 this would likely make for an interesting read.

Thanks in advance.
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2020, 08:58:58 PM »


Nice, I need to rewatch this.

+1 for Skin Graft interview transcription. Impeccable output.

At what point would it be easier to just create online/PDF versions of past issues? Or has the content been lost due to computer failures?
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2020, 09:39:03 AM »

There are broken PDF files... I recall early issues were done with page maker. They did not open correctly with indesign. Now that I no longer have even indesign as the old cracked version doesn't work on new computer, all I got is PDF's where all art is low-res and all lay-out is little off. It might be since #6 where print quality PDF's exists.



Bathed in darkness, Wyatt Howland stands alone in the corner of a Cleveland coffee shop. His visage is obscured behind a musty, rotten suitcase full of gnarled cables and hotwired synthesizers as walls of filthy noise pump out of the shop’s sound system. Howland, who has been performing in the United States as Skin Graft since 2006, has garnered himself an impressive reputation for both his punishing low-frequency harsh noise and his dark demeanor. In fact, his imposing stage presence, all-black wardrobe, slicked-back hair and baritone voice have many to compare him to Country music legend Johnny Cash, earning him the tongue-in-cheek nickname “The Man In Black”.
Wyatt was contacted by Aaron Vilk through e-mail and personal correspondence in order to better get to know this brooding outlaw of the Midwest noise scene. Surprisingly, this is the first time Howland has been approached for an interview.

Thanks for joining us Wyatt. When did you first become interested in noise and other forms of extreme music? Who were some of your early influences?

I have always been drawn to extremely dark and bleak art. The album that made me want to devote my life to music was ‘Confusion is Sex’ by Sonic Youth. That album scared the shit out of me when I was 13. I needed more and more and when guitar music isn’t enough the natural progression is to turn to electronics. Then I heard the first track on Live Salvage by Russell Haswell and my life radically changed.

Unlike many artists that are considered “harsh noise”, Skin Graft’s trademark style utilizes more low- frequency rumbling and churning than the normal wall of static. Was this a stylistic choice on your behalf or just more of a sound that you fell into?
I am a sucker for extreme frequencies, and try to utilize a wide frequency range when making music, to sound as full as a band. I am really drawn to crunchy low sounds, crumbling cities, etc.

How has living in an industrial city such as Cleveland influenced the sound and mood of your music? Do you draw upon the environment you live in as inspiration?
The poverty, police, depression, anxiety. Makes you want to turn to violence. Cleveland is a fucking creepy place.

The imagery of your releases often concern contamination, pollution, addiction, violence and disease. Are these personal topics and concerns for you or abstract ideas embodied by your music?

It is very important to confront the dark side of life. You cannot escape it and anyone that tries to is a fool.

What are some of your obsessions, hobbies and topics that interest you and influence your artistic output?

My only real hobbies are playing music and getting drunk. Skin Graft music is pretty much based on isolation, and the things that accompany isolation, as in depression and fury.

How often are you composing and recording new material? What exactly goes in to your creative process?

I work on new material all the time, as much as I can. I have my gear set up in my bedroom so anytime I am home and feel creative I flip a switch and do it.

What do you use for source material in your music? Are you using manipulated tape loops, synthesizer tones, feedback loops, contact microphones or perhaps something more unconventional?

My main instrument is a suitcase filled with a lot of electronics feeding back into each other, with tape, contact mics, home made synthesizers etc. Kind of your standard Midwestern noise dude rig, I guess.

What upcoming releases do you have planned?

My second album is coming out this fall on Hanson, and new tapes on Hermitage, Tapeworm, Chondritic Sound, Pizza Night and Pregnat will all be out within the next couple of months.

Do you consider yourself and your music as part of the more traditional industrial music scene or the newer, younger psychedelic noise scene that has become popular in the last few years? Could it be that your music holds connections to both factions?
I’m not into the idea of being tied down to a scene. I pretty much support any music that is played with conviction and honesty, delivered with authority and integrity.

What can you tell us about your other noise projects, Dead Peasant Insurance and Relentless Corpse? How do they differ from the work you do in Skin Graft in terms of instrumentation, style and theme?

Dead Peasant Insurance is a band I am really proud of, it has been around in one form or another since 1995, but really took shape around 2004. It is really a violent and cruddy band, super pissed off shit. Relentless Corpse is an interesting one for me because it is a group of five people, but none of us are in the same room at the same time. The recordings and gigs are often random trios of the five guys so the interaction between the musicians and the sound is often pretty different.

Many of your releases are on smaller tape and cd-r labels located in the Midwestern United States, most notably on Aaron Dilloway’s Hanson label (which released the Drug Addict c-30) and Greh Holger’s Chondritic Sound (which released the Anesthetic c-24). Have you been approached by any other large labels to do releases?

No, just [labels in] the Midwest for the most part. Which is totally cool with me.

Are there any projects that have caught your attention recently? If so, have they had an influence on your writing process?

Lately the music that has been pretty mind numbing to me has been Dog Lady, Shattered Hymen, Hive Mind has been really sick lately, New Pledgemaster has been amazing, [Aaron] Dilloway is back in Cleveland and is destroying everyone. New stuff by Andrew Coltrane, Kenji Siratori, Pedalphile, Wolf Eyes, Jason Soliday, Nyodene D, Evenings, Bee Mask, Jason Zeh, all amazing. Live sets by Begging Priest and Robert Turman and Rot Ton Bone have been super fucked up. Tons more. [Steve] L Makita and [Jim] Fellahean have been putting on the most amazing noise showcase gigs in Cleveland this year, Audio/ Visual/Baptism. All these noise and power electronics guys that disappeared in the 1990s come out of the woodwork for those gigs. Pretty much get blown away every time I go to a gig lately, the music has been super hot. Probably the best recordings I have heard this year is an advance CD-r of upcoming releases by David Russell... holy shit.

Finally, where do you see Skin Graft going sonically in the future?
I never know where life will take me. I was actually planning on retiring Skin Graft this year to pursue more creepy nightmarish soundscapes, but life took a dark turn and Skin Graft is swallowing me. Hopefully by the time I am an old man I can lean against a tree drinking bourbon and playing acoustic guitar and Skin Graft will be a thing of the past, but as long as I am pissed off Skin Graft will be my main outlet.

Thank you for talking with us, Wyatt. Is there anything you’d like to say to the readers of Special Interests?

Nope. Thanks.
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2020, 07:29:49 PM »

Thank you very much for making this available here. Much appreciated.
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2020, 09:17:40 PM »

Not sure if that would be the correct thread to ask about this, but since the first issues of SI magazines are long sold out and not available for purchase even in digital format, I'd like to ask if it would be possible to read anywhere the interview with Filth & Violence label which was published in issue #3. Thank you.
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Balor/SS1535
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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2020, 09:25:03 PM »

Not sure if that would be the correct thread to ask about this, but since the first issues of SI magazines are long sold out and not available for purchase even in digital format, I'd like to ask if it would be possible to read anywhere the interview with Filth & Violence label which was published in issue #3. Thank you.

I would be greatly interested in this also!
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Balor/SS1535
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« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2020, 09:25:55 PM »

Taking a risk here by starting another topic and hoping to not become the starting point for an onslaught of requests for past SI content.

I would love to read whatever content there was in issue #1 on Skin Graft. His work has been a constant companion since I got into noise and I recently re-watched the City/Ruins documentary (https://archive.org/details/CITYRUIN_761) that prominently features Wyatt as a staple of the Cleveland/Mid-West scene. His recent releases seem to have made a big impact and it appears that he has been picking up the pace on getting his material out there. 10 years after SI #1 this would likely make for an interesting read.

Thanks in advance.

Thanks for sharing the documentary.  It looks really interesting.
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