By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
* This article was altered on Feb. 28, 2011.
Sitting in Omaha's studio in Vernon during a practice session, surrounded by decorated lights and high-end speakers, was like attending a personal concert. Singer Brandon Seger delivered blustering bass squalls as drummer Jon Mauerhan's thunderclap hits and guitarist Ben Brown's and fuzzy snarls shook the air. Entranced in their music, the fierce metallers thrashed through several offerings. After two years of writing and recording new music, the band are back with a self-titled debut EP. They've played shows around OC for the past four months, and they're gearing up to play back-to-back shows at Alex's Bar and the House of Blues.
OC Weekly: You started your band in 2008. What made you go on a two-year hiatus so soon afterward?
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Ben Brown: We're really lazy [laughs].
Brandon Seger: We wanted to get our sound together before we presented it to the public again.
Jon Mauerhan: We were developing our ideas and figuring out the direction we wanted to go. We're getting to know one another musically again—it's been awhile since I've worked with these guys. We go way back, though. The first band I was in was with Brandon when we were 15.
How have you changed musically?
Seger: We've gotten heavier and more sonically aware of what we are trying to do.
Brown: This kind of music is the best music to play. It's just raw and heavy, and it takes us back to our roots. It's a throwback to the music we listened to growing up and goes far beyond any of that commercial stuff.
Seger: We're trying to play the music inside our heads, and then combine those ideas into one sound.
Mauerhan: The music has come out easier as time has gone on. It's easier for us to communicate what we want to play. I understand how to play better, like when Ben comes up with a guitar riff—things come together naturally.
How did you all meet?
Seger: I met Jon when he was 5; I lived next door to him.
Mauerhan: We started playing with G.I. Joes.
Seger: Yeah, and then he got a drum set, and everything changed.
Mauerhan: Except the G.I. Joes.
Seger: As soon as you leave, we're going to get back to playing with them [laughs].
If you could play with any band, who would it be?
Brown: Pink Floyd would be good [laughs].
Mauerhan: Foghat and Bread at the Fairgrounds with a fried Snickers bar.
What was your greatest inspiration while recording your first EP?
Mauerhan: The pig spirits.
Seger: Yes, all of the big spirits and happy pigs wafting through the air here.
Brown: There is so much smoked death. All of the bacon has inspired us. The Frosted Flake-flavored pig death.
Mauerhan: This EP is dedicated to all the pigs that have been slaughtered and turned into delicious bacon.
Brown: We wanted to help the bacon industry out. A portion of [the] proceeds from our shows will go to supporting bacon and eating it.
This column appeared in print as "Even Heavy Metal Tastes Better With Bacon."