Micky L Interview

Well folks this is the 1st interview here on PDHC - speaking via email with Micky; vox for SUFFER, guitar in Drowning Horse and bass player in WARTHREAT. He's a pretty decent guy so it should be fun....

Micky fronting SUFFER
Fester - Morning magruder. So thanks for agreeing to this first off, much appreciated. You've a tour coming up with all 3 bands in May - looking forward to Melbourne and some good shows?
Micky - Well Suffer have been over to Melbourne twice before and the shows we've played have always seemed to have a really great turn out. They have a hell of a lot more people into underground music over there.. Probably upwards of ten times the amount than we have over in Perth and as a result there are a shit load of ripper bands over there. We've made some good mates over there and Yeap has some awesome lineups for the gigs. It will however be pretty stressful at the same time. Playing in three bands both nights will be rather exhausting, but I guess I usually do two sets at the majority of the local gigs I play in Perth.
A man, and a mess of pedals...
The main stress factor will be setting up equipment and I've already started to have pedalboard anxiety about the amount of leads i'll need to take, pedals, etc. etc. and I've planned to make a pedal board whilst I'm over there; hopefully visiting a hardware store and buying a plank of wood, or maybe just finding an old cupboard on the side of the street and axing it to get a plank of wood. None of this information is really important to anyone else but myself, but just so you all know - instruments are serious business! I'm not stressing about playing with Suffer at all really. I generally just get drunk and blank out for a bit. Adam has been out of action for the past 2 months or so, after breaking his hand in a car accident. I am probably stressing for him. If his hand isn't well enough by the time we go over, Suffer won't be playing and we've all sort of said if that's the case, it'll still be a good weekend to hang out or whatever.
It should also be noted that the gigs are taking place on the 27th of May at the Noise Bar and the 28th of May at the Black Goat Warehouse. Lineups are still being finalised.
Are Lee's pits one of the more frightening parts of being on a tour? Or do you ensure you are in a different room?
Lee has rather poor personal hygeine, but on tour you quickly get used to different odours. You can't really afford to be fussy. Before our first tour, Adam explained to us about a thing that he refers to as 'tour dick' (which he was introduced to on his first tour with his grind band, Maximum Perversion), which is when your crotch is particularly stinky due to not showering, sweating, not washing clothes, etc. I never developed 'tour dick', maybe due to the fact that I took it upon myself to shower at least every two days or so (if I could) and I brought enough clean underwear. Funnily enough, Lee said that he showered practically every day. I don't know how true this is. After the potent smell of spilt booze, bong water and smoke on our clothes, we were soon quite accustomed to smelling like mould anyhow.
Aahhhh heh, crust crotch!!! (Tip for the youngsters - you'll never pick up with 'tour dick/crust crotch' and if you do you sorta sicken me) Never a good smell that. I've moshed with Lee so I can understand your apprehension in accepting he had actually washed. There is no question associated with this because it'll just get grotty(er). Bong water is why I smoke pipes.
Pipes are bad news man; they burn your lip..
Bah - I don't burn my lips any more - but I've been known to pull too hard and get burning ash at the back of my throat, this does sorta hurt...
You admitted your pedal fetish a bit earlier (and for the record reverb should come from the amplifier and I don't care that you will disagree)... Brings up something  - particularly with Suffer and Warthreat there is a very strong DIY ethic - is that something important to you guys sort of politically or is it just an outgrowth of playing underground music?
I’m not really sure. Every band which I have been in has always been very true to the DIY ethic due to the fact that we kind of had to be. There wasn’t anyone who was going to record our band, put out our releases or anything like that from the drop of a hat, so we have always just found it easier doing all that stuff ourselves. I do have a pretty strong stance against making money off of the music which I have helped create, but if other bands are into it, that’s their own business. I always find myself being asked by people who don’t really understand the underground music scene whether I make much money out of playing in bands and if I will in the future and it’s very hard for them to fathom that I do not play music to make money and that you can’t really make money playing this sort of music any how.
I had a good conversation with an old friend recently in regards to making cash off music the other day. This guy is pretty well known in the graffiti scene and is pretty committed to getting up illegally and shares the same sort of negative view on sellout artists as I do. Graffiti is meant to be ugly and raw and to try and make it appealing to the general public is making it almost less exclusive; people who don’t know the culture and shouldn’t really be exposed to the culture are. He asked me whether I make much money, to which I replied ‘no; that’s not why I play music and making money isn’t really the point’. He asked why and so I compared underground music to graffiti and said to him that it’s much like if he was to tell someone that he is an artist and for someone to ask him ‘really? Do you earn much money being an artist?’ and he then started to sort of understand where I was coming from. You don’t play negative music to get a pat on the back; you do it because you feel it and you enjoy it. Up the punx, fuck da mainstream, etc. etc.
I saw the hand drawn LP cover for Lone that you did on tour - is graff still an important part of your life?
Not so much anymore. I still paint the occasional wall and still carry a marker around occasionally, but I really just don’t have the time to dedicate my spare time to chasing trains that never show up, getting chased from a wall, running out of paint and not being able to finish your piece. Graffiti was a very important thing for me when I was younger and I have made some great friendships through doing it, but playing in three bands, having a puppy and seeing other friends are higher on my priority list these days. I still have a pretty strong interest in graffiti and I still hang out with dudes from my crew frequently (most of them are pretty into underground music too).
Back on the substance/alcohol subject - moderation except when binging is my personal motto, is that how you approach it?
I am not an avid drug user/abuser, but I do like to drink alcohol (when I can afford it). When Suffer have played in Melbourne, we did drop a bit of the band fund on quite a bit of weed though. I've tried enough drugs to know what I like and what kind of drugs my brain can handle (there are some I definitely wouldn't give a whirl, based purely on my state of mind), but I'd be keen to try opium or something for the experience. Bundaberg rum is definitely my drink of choice, or else I find myself buying the cheapest block/carton of beer available at the time (funnily enough, it's never really Emu Export; Amsterdam tall cans are also an excellent, cheap option!), but in saying that, I'm more a weekend warrior when it comes to drinking too. I haven't written myself in a long time (I have since been banned from drinking Bundy OP after gashing myself in the head with a bread knife one night). I have to drive a lot of equipment/Varg (my dog) around a lot and I can't bloody drink and drive now, can I?
You could drive pissed; but it would make you a tool. The advice on cheap cartons will be taken though.
Melbourne Bitter or Emu Export?
Export. Cans only.
What is it with you and ending up with a face covered in blood?
It's not something that I intend to do, but if I perform with Suffer, I like to try and be at a certain level of intoxication where I don't really know exactly what it is that I'm doing and so that I can't really feel much pain and focus more on getting through the set, rather than other things that are going on around me. The particular incident where my face ended up covered in blood was actually due to me slicing around 4cm up my right index finger with a broken glass about 5 minutes into a Suffer set. It was hanging by a thread and as I tend to lean back and yell into the microphone, blood just happened to spill all over my face and beard (not to mention the mess left on the stage for Extortion to put up with..). I ended up having nerve damage on that particular finger, but I just learnt to hold a pick with another finger, so it was not too much of a handicap. It's still fucked and disfigured 7 odd months later and I still only have minimal feeling in it.
Not an injury - just a red wings incident!
It's a hardcore gig, a little blood on the floor isn't ideal, but shit happens. Lee is next in line for some sort of major hand injury then? Or is he just still planning on making the dreams of most of perth's hardcore fans by playing covered only by his bass?
I've had it up to HERE with injuries within Suffer. Adam is on injury number two. FUCKKKKKKKKKKKKKK. Lee is quite insistent on getting close to naked as often as he can. Must be because he knows how irresistible he is...
In a way Lee is irresistible. In another, more accurate way, there are certainly other words.
Please try not to encourage Lee...
Both you and Brendan wrote lyrics for the Warthreat demo tape/cd-r - are they honest reflections of your politics or written coz that is the lyrical expectations in the majority of d-beat hardcore?
I have only written lyrics to one song for Warthreat, so I can't really comment too much on the lyrics which are written for the band. I think Luke wrote lyrics for one or two of the songs also. Playing the style which we play and with a name like 'Warthreat', I guess there is a certain demographic and lyrical theme that the band has to have. I know Brendan is very interested in politics and studies that kinda shit at Uni and everyone in the band have very similar political views and values. If any of us had a strong opposition to the lyrics written and/or values being expressed in Warthreat, then they wouldn't really belong in this band.
Good, there are enough poseurs in the world and even in punk. As the politics came before the music for me it is a pretty vital element to punk, as much as I like the noise and beat. Do you label yourself politically?
Not particularly; I am not an overly political person and don't really get involved in protesting or political activism. I do have a pretty negative view on things such as war/violence, racism (which is very prominent in our society) and the government and I guess I would say that I hold rather Left-Wing views, but my views and beliefs are based more moralistically, rather than what some Lefty has preached to me to be right. I don't agree entirely with all Left-Wing politics and I enjoy speaking to people with opposing views to those of my own, as I don't always see things in black and white. I have a pretty optimistic view most of the time when it comes to other peoples views and opinions and enjoy agreeing or disagreeing with people, but I fucking hate people who try to force their beliefs down other peoples throat and have the 'I'm right, agree with more or you are wrong', holier than thou kind of stance. It's fucking sickening.
What got you started in HC and doom? Band influences, personal influences etc?
As a young kid, I was heavily into heavy metal and punk music and played guitar up until I was around 14. During the ages of 14 through to around 16 I was listening to a lot of (underground) hip-hop, due to being pretty into graffiti and that was practically all that a lot of my good friends really listened to at the time. In my last year of High School I met some a few writers who were into heavier music and I found myself rekindling my love for heavy, fast music again and found myself listening to a lot of Slayer and Burzum specifically. I started going to local shows with Luke (Suffer) around this time and he got leant me a few CD's and DVD's by Napalm Death, Mayhem, Marduk, Extreme Noise Terror among others and I guess helped guide my path towards grindcore. From grindcore and hardcore, I found an interest in bands like Disrupt and Dropdead and from there started listening to a lot of the West Coast Power Violence type bands (Spazz appealed to me specifically, due to their use of 'Style Wars' samples on Crush Kill Destroy). The Slap A Ham discography led me onto a lot of cool doom and sludge stuff. A lot of friends have turned me onto other bands and records that they thought I would enjoy and the accessability of music on the internet and a bit of research has also helped me find a few gems. If I could name one band for each band I am a part of that has influences my song writing, I would probably say for Suffer it is Crossed Out, for Drowning Horse it is Corrupted and for Warthreat it would probably be Anti Cimex OR Disclose.
Drowning Horse
Well if you listen to any Drowning Horse you'll hear the Corrupted influence. This is a good thing people, Corrupted are my benchmark for more extreme doom. And they should be yours ….'Cunt of God' or 'Righteous Fuck'?
Gutterpunk or Powerviolencesque Fastcore? Probably go with the latter...
Classic release Righteous Fuck.... gutterpunk Rupture is pretty crap IMO.
Terrible, but amusing. I recommend tracking down the 'Righteous Apes' collection; it compiles a lot of the best Rupture shit.
Blast beats or D-beats?
Kvlt Elk in the bathroom

One side of the recent Drowning Horse split was Gore Crow Tones feat D. Ivens - do you like that sort of melding/fusion between quite varying genres?
Gore Crow Tones is a moniker which Ivens goes under for different projects I believe. I have seen Ivens perform live before and I was pretty into it. I think I described it as Cage mixed with anxiety provoking noise. As I am a fan of both raw hip-hop and experimental noise, I do find the work of Dave Ivens intriguing and interesting. The song on the split has more of a Swansy/Godflesh sort of influence and I'm pretty into it, but it's not the sort of thing I like to listen to all of the time. Dave also does noise in Doomy/Black Metal band Encircling Sea, which is a bit more up my alley.
Would you collaborate into the future to come out with that sort of thing?

Brendan and myself have a drone based noise outfit called Kvlt Elk, where we experiment with noise over the top of guitar drones. We've played three improv gigs and people never really understand it (nor do we really; it's more of an excuse to fuck around with sounds from pedals), but that's really as far as I've gone with that sort of music/project. I'm not too interested in playing over the top of drum machines at this point in time, but that attitude may change in the future.
MC5 or The Stooges?
Neither. Fuck the roots.
A lot of kids start their grind listening on Carcass, Napalm Death and so on? How do we end this nightmare and get them straight onto Warsore and Unholy Grave?
The first grind band I heard was also Napalm Death. I guess they are a lot more accessible and the name leaves more of an impact. I had not heard of Warsore until years after discovering Napalm Death, as I wasn't around when they were active and haven't been down with kvlt grind since day 1. I think fans of real grind will eventually find their way towards the cream of the crop grind bands like Warsore (it's ridiculous how many bands thank them in their liner notes - for good reason!).
Yep - and Warsore were cream of the crop crusty punk as fuck grind maniacs. Almost any grind post Warsore has been influenced by those songs and releases. Given my first 'underground' lp purchase was Paradise Lost when I was 15 I can't really throw too many stones.
World Extermination or Noise Grind Power Death?
I only own the World Extermination LP and it is a flawless modern grind record. I have only listened to Noise Grind Power Death once or twice and cannot really remember too much about it, other than that there were no guitars, just noise and I didn't think much of it at the time. I've been meaning to get a copy for a while, as I would probably need to give it a better listen.
It is pretty damned flawless innit? I recently got the Noise... ep and am quite taken, 8 minutes of improv noisecore with this precise metronomic drumming. Interesting way to finish a band up too.
I definitely see what they were going for with that record and respect them for putting it out. Rahi is now doing vocals in Hatred Surge I believe, which is refreshing seeing as he is probably one of the few modern vocalists who has the grindcore style down to a T. Would be a shame to see his vocals  going to waste.
Varg Vikernes - you rate him as a man or musician? Why? Most importantly - Filosofem or Hvis Lyset Tar Oss?
Varg Vikernes though a very intelligent man, is also a very ridiculous man at the same time. Some of his thoughts and opinions that I have heard, such as 'never trust a man with brown eyes' and that he 'doesn't play heavy metal music any more, as it roots from blues and blues is 'Niggers' music' are pretty over the top. He has total extremist views which are totally conflicting to those of my own, but at least he knows what he believes and is strong in his beliefs. When I first discovered the music of Burzum, I connected with it emotionally; it was very dark and the shrieks were agonising. It was probably the first time I'd heard music that sounded like a hell of a lot had gone into it, both musically and emotionally and I would often listen to a Burzum mix cassette that I had made whilst in my TEE art class. Perfect music for that kind of thing. I had heard all about his theories on Christianity and that he was responsible for the burning of churches, etc, etc. but as with a lot of heavy metal music, lyrical themes and things which go on beyond the music don't really bother me; it's the music and the mood that the music sets. I would say for the most part, Varg's lyrics are indecipherable in his vocals and the vocals act more as an instrument to my ears. Burzum is also a one man project, which I find quite admirable, as it is a totally personal project and the music is made for Varg himself. Between Filosofem and Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, I would definitely be swayed to the former, however I would say that my favourite Burzum release is 'Det Som Engang Var'. Total raw, primitive shit!
Cool cool. Being a pretty strong anti-fascist I have a heap of problems with the guy, but I do respect that he actually has opinions unlike so many dumb-shit drones out there. And his music is good the bastard. I think black metal is really pretty much dead, Darkthrone post Sardonic Wrath is boring speed-crust, Mayhem's stuff is completely shit after ' De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas'... yes, there are probably people still 'playing' black, but really it was as much about the extra-curricular activities as the music. Do you think black metal has a future or just enjoy Deathcrush and Live at Leipzig and the 90-96 releases outta Norway and move on?
I think the ideals of black metal as a movement are well and truly dead, however there are still some groups out there replicating the ‘True Norweigan Black Metal’ sound quite well (see: Nihil), so the black metal sound is still well and truly alive. The new Burzum album is also a very worthy listen. There are also some really great, kvlt albums out by Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth and Bullet for My Valentine. Check them out!
Venom or Hellhammer?
Definitely Hellhammer, because they weren't a joke. Not a fan of Celtic Frost however...
Agreed, Celtic Frost are average as, still don't understand the fascination a lot of bands have with those first two albums.
Japanese dis- or Swedish kang?
Speaking of quality frontmen...
Japanese dis-NOISE.
mmm distortion, dissonance and D-beats.
I have this theory about Japan. They try their hardest to emulate music from the Western world, but whenever they try to immitate it, it goes through like a 'Japanese' filter and makes it true to the roots of where they got their ideas, but has that wacky Japanese edge, that only Japanese bands can pull off.
And thanks man - you helped put me onto a lot of Japanese stuff, I love it.
Siege or Slapshot?
Horrid joke mate. Siege.
I thought it was funny, but I'd been at work for 6 hours so my brain had degenerated.
I rate Negative FX quite highly and Choke is an excellent frontman, but I don't really like hockey that much and don't really give that much of a fuck about kicking out the jams or whatever Slapshot fans are all about..
Vodka or gin?
No OP for you!
I'm not allowed anyway :(
If you are in Melbourne – go check out the gigs, Micky's cute dimples and much luxurious facial hair on the 27 & 28/5. Midnight Funeral have repressed Suffers' 'Lone' LP, which is worth a purchase and many spins (info on the bands blog) Otherwise.....
DROWNING HORSE – www.myspace.com/drowninghorse

Thanks Micky! x


  1. Lovin suffer and drowning horse , micky is a legend , i live in shitty england , we have some good bands here but its nice to read interviews about good bands from aus , and there is alot!

  2. cheers mate. sorry there is a bit of a lack of content lately - be getting back to it soon!