Black Matter Device are some of the most interesting guys coming out of the heavy music sphere these days, and on May 5th I had the opportunity to stand in an alleyway of a textile shop and ask them questions ranging from the influence of nu metal on their music, to how COVID affected their music creation process and much more.
June: State your names, each one of you.
Colton: I'm Colton, from BMD
Weeb: I'm weeb, from BMD.
June: Weeb? Like otaku weeb?
Weeb: Like a weeaboo, yeah.
Roman: Roman, from BMD
Michael: I am Michael, of BMD.
Bryan: I'm Bryan and you can guess whether or not I'm in BMD.
June: Wow really? How does it feel to be named after a family guy character?
Michael: It's spelled differently actually, so it doesn't count.
Bryan: Yeah, it doesn't count.
June: So you guys just released three new songs. What's the reception been like?
Michael: We haven't looked really.
Roman: Not much yet. The label posts it, we post it, so we have to find out what's next.
Roman: Yeah, only the close friends are excited about it right now. We’ll play it for you tonight, maybe you'll have a reaction to it.
June: I already have.
Roman: Like a skin reaction or something.
June: I do have eczema, so.
Michael: Welcome to the club!
June: So what have been your biggest influences throughout making all the albums?
Roman: Aside from the obvious mathcore influences?
Michael: Like The Mars Volta.
Roman: True. I feel like that goes along with the mathcore one.
June: Like Converge?
Michael: Converge, yeah that's a good one. There’s Dr. Converge, with the Converge beanie over here.
Weeb: I got the Converge beanie.
June: Did you guys call off your jobs to come do this tour? It's like a month-long tour, right?
Bryan: It's a week long, but we all quit our jobs, we’re all unemployed. Please hire us.
Michael: Nah, like half the band is half employed.
Roman: We have, perhaps foolishly, dedicated a lot of our time to Black Matter Device and the process of creating Black Matter Device music. Therefore, we don't make a lotta money doing regular stuff.
June: Well regardless I think it's admirable to follow your dreams.
Roman: We’re trying.
June: So how would you say nu metal influenced you guys?
Roman: You know what's funny, I just tell people we sound like Slipknot when people ask like “What do you guys sound like?” I say we’re Slipknot dude. We’re pretty much Slipknot.
Michael: It's just the most easily translatable way to describe our sound to people who aren't into niche genres.
Roman: But! Funny enough, we do have some kinda Slipknotty riffs in some of our stuff. So that's definitely a heavy influence.
Colton: We do, but it also kind of stands to reason that any band using lower tunings after the year 2002 probably has some sort of nu metal influence.
June: That's true yeah.
Roman: I mean Linkin Park riffs too, man.
June: I mean everybody’s influenced by Linkin Park. It was on the radio, you listened to Linkin Park.
June: Ok so here's more of a Bryan question: so how has your noise music side project influenced your work in Black Matter Device?
Bryan: It doesn't. Not at all. Those are like two completely separate universes. In fact, nothing influences me in Black Matter Device, I just do what's appropriate.
June: That's true but I mean what was that one song, "microplastics surgery"? That was kind of a noise song.
Bryan: That was a noise track, I was like “guys let's make noise” and they were like “ok”.
Colton: Talk about how we made it though, that'd be fun.
Bryan: I made noise, this is the important part. *All laugh*
June: Wow, really.
Michael: Yeah step one *KRRRRRRRRR*
Bryan: And then I was like, we need some brass instruments over this, cause we have a saxophone and a trumpet. I play the trumpet sometimes, but I'm not good at it. So I held Colton hostage to play trumpet for me during this track. Was that the one where I was queuing you guys?
Michael: Bryan would put the headphones on and kinda conduct us to make noise with our brass instruments.
Bryan: They couldn't hear the audio. Only I could hear it, and I would point to them.
Michael: So it probably was just like raising his hands, wigglin’ em around.
Roman: Noise conductor.
June: So Bryan, he's sacrificing his hearing?
Bryan: It was already pretty bad before Black Matter Device so I don't think it could get much worse.
Bryan: I did another session where I played conductor except for us all to yell.
Michael: Me, Colton, and Bryan stood around one microphone and Bryan did the same thing with the headphones on and he was conducting us to wail and shriek.
June: What was your writing process for Autonomous Weapons?
Roman: That spanned a couple years. We had a lot of tracks we were sitting on for a few years, then we finally got around to 'em and were like, "These are f***in pretty good, we should probably flesh these out." That was during COVID.
Colton: You guys recorded the whole f***ing album on drums during COVID and then deleted it.
Weeb: Like four times.
Michael: Some of those songs date back to 2018. Even “man vs man,” me and Roman wrote that in the basement of his dad’s house on an electronic drum kit.
Roman: We did?
Michael: Yeah we have a video of it
Roman: I don't remember that.
Roman: If you watch Dethklok, do you know that episode where Nathan keeps deleting the album because he's unhappy with it? That was pretty much all of us, as we slowly reached towards the delete button, everyone’s like NO DON'T F***IN DO IT and we have to reset again because I sucked at playing drums. I had to record the thing like three, four times!
June: Speaking of that, has COVID affected the way you guys made music?
Colton: Honestly it brought us together more than anything because we would spend time with one another but nobody else. We all live within 15 minutes of each other so we would just be like “F*** it let's jam.” There was some tension because we were all tense.
Roman: It was crazy!
Colton: Yeah it was a really uncertain time, but we came out stronger than when we went in. Our bonds are a lot deeper, our problem-solving skills are a lot deeper. We’re really good at working through any issues we have to maintain harmony in the band.
June: What do you see the future of the band being after this tour?
Michael: We’re gonna be a lot more spontaneous I think. Cause these three songs we just did we decided like two weeks ago, “Hey. Let's record it right now.” Record it and put it out. F*** it.
Michael: Albums are cool, but it's stressful, it takes a lotta time, you gotta put way more effort when you could put the same amount of effort into a couple of songs and really give ‘em the love they need.
Roman: Also people want shit *snaps fingers*
June: Has it been hard with the whole TikTok generation, where you take longer to make albums and songs and everything and you're just thinking about the algorithm and everything, how has that affected you guys?
Roman: I think we just don't know much about it.
Colton: Yeah I mean we used to care, like we’ll try to post at the opportune time. I made a tik tok for BMD but we don't f***in use it cause it's dumb.
Colton: We cared at one point, but now we’re in the mindset of, let’s do whatever the f*** we want. If people like it, that's great. If not, we’re gonna keep doing it anyway.
June: Punk rock as f***. *pause* That sounded so corny.
June: So right now, how are you guys feeling out on the road for so long?
Michael: We’ve been on the road since the 30th, and it's the 5th now. If you can't tell, I'm losing my voice a little bit.
Bryan: I'm starting to lose my voice.
Michael: You sound like you're in better shape than me.
Bryan: Well I mean we’re both in pretty bad shape. We’re gonna see what happens. We’re having a lot of fun! This has been a blast, to be honest.
Colton: Shout out Euclid C. Finder for being one of the coolest bands and just the chillest dudes we’ve ever met. All three of them are just amazing.
Bryan: Actually insanely cool. Actually, unbeknownst to me, I apparently played with their drummer at some gigs before because he's also in the grind band Ixias, and I'm in the grind band PCP parade… we’ve had gigs we planned but canceled. So it was kinda cool to realize, “Oh shit, we’ve been in the same place this whole time.”
Michael: Also, coolest bands on tour so far: Purity Control was awesome, they're like a weird electronic thing. There's this band Perfect we saw in Ohio, it's like prog rock; CRAZY. Crazy musicianship.
June: On the topic of bands, what would you say are some smaller bands that you want more attention on?
Colton: Since they're relevant tonight I’d say Rotting In Dirt is a huge one. Their release last year I Am Eating My Shame was probably one of my favorite releases of 2022 easily. Really interesting amalgamation of grind, math, sludge, a lotta different elements at play there that all kind of coalesced nicely into a final package. Definitely wanna plug them.
June: For the readers out there, Michael is now playing air accordion.
Roman: The aircordion.
Weeb: *as Mexican music plays* Well they need to stop playing this f***in fire [music] out back. Then we’ll stop dancin to it.
Colton: Oh yeah, THIN, THIN are the homies.
Roman: The Wind in The Trees?
Colton: The Wind in The Trees! Great friends with their drummer Matt Tillett. Richmond homies like Terror Cell and Flesh Machine. They got it goin on!
Roman: Gift From God?
Colton: Gift From God.
June: Circuit Circuit?
All: Circuit Circuit!
Colton: Oh yeah Blind Tiger, Blind Tiger’s great.
Roman: Pac-Man the movie.
Colton: Pac-Man the movie needs to make more music soon.
Colton: Speaking of Texas, God Awful Truth. God Awful Truth is super sick.
June: Alright, so I'd say that pretty much covers everything. Any closing statements you guys wanna make for thenumetalagenda.com?
Colton: Get your anuses ready, cause BMD is just gonna get heavier. The end.
Weeb: Oh jesus god I'm so bad at these. Get ready, new shit’s gonna be more experimental, we’re gonna get weird with it. We’re gonna get pretty silly. So get ready for silly time with BMD.
Michael: Never underestimate the power of incredible violence against the forces that be.
Bryan: Listen to harsh noise.
Michael: Oh yeah one more thing: Fuck 12.
Check out Black Matter Device's latest release Buckshot Mouthwash / Mr. Uncomfortable on Bandcamp: