PTP: Was XfilesX your first “real” band? When did you first meet Brendan Radigan?
TV: Yep xfx was the first band I was in that actually toured/recorded/practiced on a somewhat consistent basis. I met Bren just before xfiles I'd say sometime around '99 or so. We were both in some whacky bands, both skated. It was love at first skate.
PTP: Who was the main songwriter for XfilesX? I’ve noticed a strong similarity to Wolf Whistle, especially around the 2007 Demo era. Do you see Wolf Whistle as a continuation of XfilesX? MA Glory, I feel, was a big step forward and the guitar playing and structures on there were some of my favorite sounds in recent times.
TV: Thanks man! I wrote everything for xfx. There were maybe a couple songs sprinkled in written by the guitarist Matt. On Excruciation Brendan wrote some sick jams. Actually Pat and our good buddy Evan had the idea to start Wolf Whistle in the same vein as xfx. I tried to keep it different by throwing in some weirder riffs/tempo changes, but the WW demo definitely sounds kinda like xfx in a way.
PTP: I heard a podcast you did regarding Wolf Whistle and how you had an lp written (or possibly recorded) that was more in the style of the band’s slower parts, even going so far as to calling it a “rock record”. Then this idea was bookmarked in favor of doing a 7” more in a Crossed Out vein. When do you expect the 7” to come out? Is there a possibility of the “rock record” still seeing the light of day?
TV: I had maybe 12 songs demo'ed for the WW lp, titled "Private Hell." It's definitely strange, kinda follows the weirder progression of that band. Slow and heavy and monotonous. But yea that got put on hold for the fast record like you said. I wanted to strip that weirdo shit and do a straight up power violence record. No tricks or sillyness. So we got together and recorded 10 rippers of Crossed Out worship (to the best of our ability) recorded live on a 4track. That's done and actually being pressed right now, it'll be out this summer on BBB. I think it's our best material yet. A proper punk 7. I doubt Private Hell will ever be released. We may record one or two songs from that batch but doing this more focused fast style has really breathed some new life back into the band. I think we're coming up on ten years soon and we haven't ever done much, so it felt pretty stale for a while.
PTP: The vocalist of Wolf Whistle is of course Pat Flynn of Have Heart, a popular melodic hardcore band. For me, being from Washington state, I have a particular disdain for melodic hardcore and have sort of developed an “us vs. them” mentality in regards to power violence and melodic hardcore. Have you noticed any resistance with Wolf Whistle because of Pat’s involvement with Have Heart?
TV: Hah yea man I'm with you on that. To be honest I've never truly fell head over heels for "melodic" hardcore. I'm sure there's some shit I like, is Gorilla Biscuits melodic hardcore? I like that. I've always been fond of more abrasive/evil sounding punk and hardcore. No I've never felt a resistance to WW because of Pat being in Have Heart. I mean WW isn't very popular anyways. The most I've noticed is maybe like a Last.fm comment from 2009 from some 16 year old saying like "This sucks my dick it is SO different from Have Heart, they should Die." Haha and you know what maybe he's right.
PTP: Breathing Fire was an absolute monster of a band for me. The 2004 demo is still one of my favorite recordings from that decade with the lp “Years of Lead” not far behind. What can you tell me about this band? Was it considered a side project at the time? Did you play many shows?
TV: Thanks brother, Breathing Fire is (and I think everyone else involved with that band would say the same thing) my personal favorite project/recordings I've ever been a part of. So that band started with Sean from Think I Care on guitar. I heard what was maybe their second practice at our space at the time and told them I wanted in. So they slapped me on second guitar and soon after that Sean ended up quitting, it was a far commute for him at the time. I can't remember much about playing shows I mean we played a few, I wouldn't say many, but I think when the demo was out we played as often as we could. Then we disbanded for a couple years, Brendan got in touch with me about doing it again and we went insane practicing for the Years of Lead recording. Something like twice a week for hours at a time. If you know any of us, all of our bands practice mayybbee once a month IF that, some just before a show and that's it. So yea the YOL sessions was some of the best times of my life to be honest man. Just holed up in a practice space riffing evil shit as loud as possible with my best friends. Classic shit.
PTP: I’ve talked to Brendan very briefly about Breathing Fire in the past, which he referred to as his baby. That led me to believe he was the main songwriter in that band. Then I came across your recent solo project, Wound Man, which to my ears sounds very similar stylistically. Who was the main songwriter in Breathing Fire and do you see a similarity between these two bands?
TV: Brendan wrote mostly all Breathing Fire shit. He started tickling the strings around Excruciation-era xfiles, and really came into his own during BF. Now that dude is a riff maniac. Writing most everything for Rival Mob, and his side projects Torture Chain, Stone Dagger..I don't even know what to think of him. Fuck him actually. I wrote a few jams for BF and the original bass player Sean Rogers wrote a couple. But I think Bren and I riff very similar, or at least we like the same style of riffing. So yea when I started Wound Man it definitely stayed in that area of darker fast style hardcore. Once I realized it sounded similar to BF I just went all in and started incorporating longer doom style slow licks. If I can't have BF then Wound Man is the next best thing haha.
PTP: On your bandcamp page, you refer to Wound Man as an ongoing project when you feel the urge to track power violence on a 4 track. Since those initial sessions, you have released a song on the comp “Sick of Things the Way They Are” and recently it’s been announced that you are to release a 7” for Iron Lung Records. These songs to my ears sound more like a studio recording. It’s also appeared that you have a live lineup. What can you tell us about the current state of Wound Man and what else you have coming up?
TV: So everything I've recorded for Wound Man so far and everything I'll ever record for Wound Man will always be recorded on 4track cassette. The 7 on Iron Lung is a single and two B-sides off of an LP we have coming out on Painkiller (both the 7 and LP are being pressed now). The LP recording was done on 4track but the drums were mic'ed with more mics and mixed prior to hitting the tape, and I took more care into the overall tones and mixing of the record which probably accounts for it sounding more studio. So we have the 7 single and the LP coming out both real soon and I actually just finished writing 8 more short ones for another 7. Literally just demo'ed them and sent them out to the guys this week! I got all my best buds in the band now and we're looking to play more live and turn this solo project into the real deal. I'm really super psyched on the Wound Man stuff. It's like all my other fast hardcore projects but now I finally know how to make things sound exactly the way I want.
PTP: Speaking of studios and 4 tracks, you do a fair bit of recording yourself, notably for The Rival Mob. Who else have you recorded? In Massachusetts, is there any competition between who gets to record a band between you and Chris Corry?
I've been recording for a while I can't even recall most of the shit I've worked on. My dumb memory is so fried. I was a demo slut back in the day. Some friends demos/7inches that stick out to me that I've recorded back then- Rampage, Have Heart, Police Beat, Say Goodbye, R'n'R, Time To Pay. More recently- Free, Battle Ruins, Sweet Jesus, Soul Control, Fiddlehead, CIAC, Elder, all of my own bands.. Naw there's never any issues between bands going to the Pain cave or to me, our productions sound so different and both so delicious. I also record a bunch of indie/rock/rap/weirdo art bands from and around the New Bedford area. Totally different scene.
PTP: Additionally with recording The Rival Mob, you also play guitar for them. Is this a part time gig or do you play the majority of their shows now? Are you involved in the creative process at all?
TV: I actually joined up with Rival Mob permanently for Mob Justice. I wrote one song on that (fake big) and a few more new ones. Brendan takes the reigns for that band and Doug writes a couple tasty licks as well.
PTP: Another new band that has popped up semi-recently is Straight Razor, which to my ears sounds very similar to The Rival Mob (albeit maybe a little faster at times) and also has Brendan on vocals and you on guitar. What was the goal with this band? Was it to have more of a focus on straight edge?
TV: Straight Razor WAS a straight edge band but funny story, everyone besides myself, broke edge before the 7 came out hahaaa gotta love it. Yea that was supposed to be a XXX project more along the lines of 80s punk and hardcore. We always talk about still doing it though when our schedules free up and changing the name to HATE RAZOR.. Be on the lookout!
PTP: Speaking of straight edge, you also play in the band Clear. Are there any other hardcore bands I’m leaving out? How much time do you dedicate to music in a given week?
TV: I think you covered all the more important bands I'm in! I could probably tell you about ten more that you've never heard of/wouldn't want to hear anyway LOL. I don't sink too much time into bands honestly. If I have an idea for a project I get in the studio FURIOUSLY writing riffs and usually purge out a record, then the idea cools down and its on to the next one. There's not like a consistent schedule really. Definitely spend more time recording than I do with actual real life bands.
PTP: Overall, who are your biggest hardcore influences musically? Also, who are some bands you find underappreciated?
TV: Biggest hardcore influence is Crossed Out. They are, in my opinion, THE best hardcore band of all time. And actually I'm down with sooo many other genres of music and I'd still have to say out of any band/any genre if I had to pick one.. Crossed Out is it. Just pure, hateful punk. Infest is right behind 'em if not tied.
PTP: Moving on from hardcore, you also do solo recordings under your own name of more melodic rock music and recently a tape was released called Erase Me. I was surprised to hear this, but I thought it was really good. It sounded like something that could be released on Run For Cover or No Sleep. What were your influences for this? I also have a melodic rock side to me and I have to ask, does it feel weird on the one hand writing chaotic hardcore songs and on the other hand writing more straight forward melodic rock songs?
TV: Oh word thanks for checking out Erase Me! That stuff is like on the other end of the spectrum of extreme music for me, but has the same feeling. I love sad depressing shit, if it's hard or soft, hits the same. That project is heavily influenced by Kind of Like Spitting, Pedro the Lion/David Bazan, and I guess some louder indie shit like Dinosaur Jr. I get the itch to record all genres of music and I'm always doing just that, so it never feels weird recording a fuzzed out wound man track one day, and then an acoustic and keyboard track the next. It flows along with my stupid brain.
PTP: That is all, thank you for your time (and for all the riffs!)TV: Thanks a lot for sending me these questions man I appreciate it and had fun answering them! Take care.