'Greg Anderson' From Roadburn

"I am a fan, or fanatic of music. What I create comes from this mindset..."

Greg Anderson's talkin' about his love for music in general, and the Melvins and Earth in particular, and find out how the distinctive sound of Goatsnake's new album "Flower Of Disease" (Rise Above Records/Man's Ruin) is created. Greg's also tellin' about his love for sunn0))) amps - a main influence on Goatsnake's crushing wall of rockin' doom.

Firstly, I'm a fan of music. I've often thought that the difference between myself and somebody who is maybe a more "succesful" or "hardworking" musician is the above statement. Alot of musicians seem to be focused on a inner-voice/drive or have some sort of higher calling for their art. I am the first to admit that this is not in me. I am a fan, or fanatic of music. What I create comes from this mindset. So I will be the first to admit any musical-ability shortcomings or lack of originality! This is in part why I have a record label (SouthernLord: www.southernlord.com). I wanted to create a forum for music I was a fan of, and music I've created (as a fan!).

With that said..it all sort of began for me when I saw the Melvins play in my hometown of Seattle in early 1985. A friend of mine had taped me their very first demos, and because I had just discovered Black Sabbath and Hardcore/Punk.. and fell in love; the Melvins made perfect sense to me. But seeing the Melvins live back then was something completely incredible, and hard to put into words. They were just as intense as the Hardcore bands I was diggin (DRI, COC, The Offenders, Accused) but 10x as heavy and hell..they covered alot of Sabbath! I didn't miss a gig from 85 to 87. This was the first time I learned about sunn0))) amps. Buzz always played the sunn0))) Beta Leads (they may have been Beta-Bass, ...).And his style, presence, really everything was the ultimate! Along with the Melvins I really got into Saint Vitus, Trouble, Celtic Frost, and later... Pentagram, Winter, EyeHateGod, Sleep and Cathedral.

But my greatest obsession after the Melvins was Earth. I heard of Earth because the guitarist Dylan Carlson was always at Melvins gigs' and Joe Preston who did a stint in the Melvins was also on the first EP. But the 2nd Earth recordings (entitled "2") was the album that really changed my life. The entire vibe of that album is purely bleak. It is to me thee PERFECT atmosphere for how I felt the majority of the time I lived in Seattle. It has basically become the soundtrack for about 90% of my life. I've listened to that album about 4x a week for the last 6 years in a row! I presently own 4 different copies, most of them are worn out. So about every 6 months I have to replace it. And lately I've been on a kick again..so it will be time to purchase another.

I suppose the above ramble comes as no-surprise..considering the fact that some friends and I started a Earth tribute band called: sunn0))). We actually started out covering Earth songs (We were called: Mars) but then we got really into it and started making our "own" songs. But if you listen close you can hear bits of Earth riffs sprout up here and there within. Which nicely brings us to another person who has been a influence and inspiration on my playing: Steve O' Malley.

I first ran into Steve at record store in Seattle and asked him what was some good underground heavy doom that I may not know about. He quickly pointed me to the
Disembowlment CD, and since that moment..we have been playing and collaborating together. We started out with Thorrs Hammer, and then went into Burning Witch, then onto sunn0))). Steve's playing has just the perfect amount of grim black metal ambience added to intense crushing doom riffs. I will strive my whole life to write riffs/songs as dark as his but come up short.

And of course there is the influences you would expect: Iommi, Hendrix, John Mclaughlin, Paul Kossof, Trower, Wino, Leslie West, Josh Homme, Skynyrd, all of them you can hear in the sound. All of them influences. And honestly, John Coltrane really influenced the writing of some of the riffs for "Flower of Disease". The main riff on "The Dealer" is directly lifted from a Coltrane melody-line I was diggin! Miles Davis also, a huge influence. Besides his music, his ability to be one step ahead of everything, and constantly moving, changing. Eric Dolphy, Herbie Hancock, Jackie Mclean, Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter. All musicians I've been heavily getting into over the last 7 years.

Sunn0))) amps are obviously a big piece of the Goatsnake sound too. And my tone. After witnessing Buzz (Melvins) and Dylan (Earth) slay audiences with them, I had to join in as well. One model in particular is my amp of choice: the Model T. Another testimonial to their greatness is
Wino, when I saw Spirit Caravan he was rocking them as well. For pure low end and crushing volume, they are hard to match. Combine that with a weird tuning we use (its a secret I'm not revealing!), that compliments low frequencies, and Petes amazing melodic voice and you have what makes up the Goatsnake sound.