S= The Index, City Of Caterpillar, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Enemy Soil>>RICHARD JOHNSON
G= The Index, City Of Caterpillar, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Enemy Soil>>RICHARD JOHNSON
B= Taryn Wilkinson
D= Bionicman, Deceased, Biovore>>Shane Fuegel>> Deceased, Bionicman, Biovore - EDWARD SPODE
Drugs Of Faith was formed in Virginia, USA in 2002. Richard and Jeff Kane from City Of Caterpillar formed the group. The early line-up featured Rebecca Burchette and Adam Perry who left in sequence. The group's Aborted demo was soon aborted, although partially made available on a Terrorizer magazine sampler and on the band's debut EP for Selfmadegod.
The band's first release was the Brickintheface Anesthesia demo. Johnson's girlfriend, originally a guitarist, Wilkinson joined in 2003 on bass. A 2004 promo and a 2005 release called Questions soon followed. The band signed to Poland's Selfmadegod and issued a mini-CD in 2006. Next up was a split-3" CD with label-mates Antigama, which was delayed until June of 2007. Shane Fuegel also joined Deceased in 2006 replacing Mike Smith. A tour of Europe was announced for October, 2007. Emre Tufekcioglu was the new drummer as of February, 2008. A Demo 2008 was next to fill the gap. Session drums were provided by Jake Cregger. The band was recording a new album. Drugs Of Faith scheduled studio time for May 2010 at Developing Nations in Baltimore, Maryland with Kevin Bernsten (of grindcore band Triac) at the helm. The untitled first full-length record for the band, to be released by Selfmadegod Records out of Poland, “will feature the grind 'n' roll sound the group is known for, as well as lyrics covering social and political subjects they continue to feel strongly about.” This was the band’s first recording since appearing on Relapse Records’ This Comp Kills Fascists Vol. 2. Drugs Of Faith's debut full-length Corroded was out in February of 2011. It featured 14 tracks in under 27 minutes and was issued by Selfmadegod. Taryn had moved to China to teach English as a second language and was replaced by Scott Harney. Northern Virginia-based trio Drugs Of Faith completed a short tour on the Northeastern quadrant of the USA. It ran from September 20th, 2012 through 23rd and ran through Philadelphia, New York, Pittsburgh and Richmond alongside Philly grinders Drones For Queens. Northern Virginia-based trio Drugs Of Faith completed its 2013 EP, Architectural Failures next. Architectural Failures would see release in late November as a one-sided 12" limited to 300 copies.
The band booked a Northeastern US tour with Polish grindcore band Antigama having confirmed a run through nearly half of May of 2015. In addition, the band recorded new material which was slated to see release in May as a split 7" with Michigan grinders Cloud Rat. Antigama itself had completed its seventh full-length, which is entitled The Insolent for a May release through Selfmadegod Records.
DRUGS OF FAITH - Same - SELFMADEGOD
ANTIGAMA/DRUGS OF FAITH - Split 3" - SELFMADEGOD
DRUGS OF FAITH - 2008 DEMO
Drugs Of Faith - an unlikely proto-grind band from the United States - is an anomalous band. The trio of singer and guitarist Richard Johnson, bassist Taryn Wilkinson and drummer Shane Fuegel is signed to Poland's Selfmadegod Records and most recently issued a split 3" CD with its label-mate, Antigama. Ali "The Metallian" invited the Johnson/Wilkinson couple for a visit to Metallian Towers where over a pre-arranged dinner of Japanese (Taryn) and Arabic (Richard) the three conducted a wide-ranging chat. - 27.07.2007
METALLIAN: Taryn and Richard, I hope you are enjoying your stay at Metallian Towers. First, information on the band's origins is scarce. Who were Rebecca Burchette and Adam Perry and why were they replaced?
RICHARD: Rebecca was the first live bass player we had. She played on a recording that was never released, but a track from it appeared on a Terrorizer Magazine cover mounted promotional CD. The same goes for Adam. I knew Rebecca as she was a friend of a previous band I was in. She had taken care of our merchandise a couple of times. She also played in a few bands, one after another: Never Enough, Exosus and Flowers In The Attic. Adam was in Enemy Soil with me. It was actually one of the guys from pg.99 that suggested I get in touch with him about playing drums. Rebecca and Adam left the band one after the other and I asked Taryn to play bass. We got Etay Levy, who was in the first Israeli hardcore band to release vinyl in Israel, and did two demos with him. He moved away and we got Shane on drums who used to be in Bionicman and Biovore.
METALLIAN: Before moving on whatever happened to the Aborted demo?
RICHARD: You have done your homework, I see! We were supposed to have a 7" out on Reptilian Records, which would have been our first official release besides the Terrorizer spot, but that never came out. So we rerecorded that material to add to what else we wrote for our debut mini album.
METALLIAN: Is it a unique challenge being personally involved while being in a band at the same time?
RICHARD: It's not a challenge at all and it actually makes things a lot easier. Sometimes when you're in a relationship, if you call one of them at home, you've effectively called the other one at home, you know? We work on riffs and lyrics together. Living under the same roof means it's quicker to co-ordinate things.
TARYN: We get asked this question every once in a while which I find a bit surprising every time. For us, I think, our relationship is actually an asset to the band, that is, it makes co-ordinating things much easier and Richard and I tend to share similar opinions when it comes to music and basically everything else. We are sort of like a combined ego (smiles).
METALLIAN: Can you talk about the band's monicker?
RICHARD: The drummer from Triac came up with the name. In the old band of mine that Rebecca was a friend of, we realized that there were four other bands with the same name, which was The Index, so we tried to come up with a new one. When Jake suggested Drugs of Faith, it got rejected, so when Jeff and me from City Of Caterpillar started this band I basically stole it.
The name had no significance when we chose it, but you can say that it's a way of looking at Marx's "Opiate of the masses" quotation. Faith being that opiate. I haven't read any of Marx's books so I cannot give you an informed opinion on him either.
METALLIAN: Similarly, do you have any feelings on faith or religion?
TARYN: I don't have a strong opinion concerning what other people do with their time as long as they do not meddle in the lives of others in, what I perceive to be, an oppressive manner. As you probably have heard, our country has a small number of very powerful Christian radicals that have found a voice in our government. I'm tired of it!
METALLIAN: Should you feel that way, life cannot be easy in the USA anno 2007.
TARYN: (Laughingly) I grew up in a small town with seven churches and 2000 people. Ever read Of Human Bondage? It perfectly describes my experience with religion. As far as religion, luckily we surround ourselves with people we share similar world views.
METALLIAN: Which is?
TARYN: Sometimes sad tales of oppressive Christian values meet my ears and I am somewhat shocked at the depravity of it all. Luckily we are sheltered from those ideas. I think we have the world view of any reasonable person. We're sensitive to the exploitive nature of our world, we are greatly bothered by the idiocy and obscene greed demonstrated by our current administration and we want a healthier, stronge society to live in. I hope the list is not too excessive.
RICHARD: I should say that when we get into personal politics Taryn's and my views are similar, but Shane has his own. We get our news from different places. Anyway, I'm not a fan of the Democrats or the Republicans, or as Nader puts it, the Republicrats.
METALLIAN: In my review of your EP I likened the band's appearance to a software engineer, an NRA kook and a housewife respectively. Who got offended, who got mad and who thought me as being so very perceptive?
RICHARD: No one got offended or mad, but at least you took the time to look at the photo and comment on it. The housewife thing mostly is because of the 'Little House On The Prairie' outfit Taryn had on. Those photos are ass old by now anyway, but we've not taken any new ones. We just have live shots on our website. We've been compared to all sorts of shit visually in various reviews. One said I looked like I should be in a nerdy brass band. It's good, because it sets us apart in a magazine.
METALLIAN: Referring to the song Fuller's Prediction, who was he?
RICHARD: That's R. Buckminster Fuller. "Bucky" was an author, architect, philosopher and inventor. He came up with the geodesic dome, the ones you see at playgrounds, and the big round thing at the world's fair. Supposedly Einstein said that Fuller was one of the, like, seven people on earth that properly understood relativity. The song is based on a handful of Fuller quotes.
METALLIAN: Why do you guys hate marriage?
RICHARD: Er, why do you ask?
METALLIAN: Another song is called An Ode To Those Unwed.
RICHARD: Ah. That lyric was written by a friend of mine, the singer for the UK band Charger and head of Calculated Risk productions. It's about single mothers, actually.
METALLIAN: Is that George W. Bush on your EP?
RICHARD: Yes, but it doesn't have to be. It could be any corrupt politician or businessman. It's just a visual play on words. Drugs - needle - religious symbols in needle - faith drugs and so on.
METALLIAN: You have just issued a 3" CD with Antigama. Are the songs on the split new and why a 3"?
RICHARD: Yes, they are. They're the first three that we wrote together as a band. The stuff on the mini album was reinterpreted old stuff from our demos and unreleased 7" recording. Why not a 3"? They're fucking great! I don't know who that is on the cover. The guys at the label had someone do the sleeve.
METALLIAN: How would you describe your sound these days versus the EP?
RICHARD: Well, the vocals haven't been worked out on the first new song that's done. It's a grind/rock combo song. We haven't put lyrics on it yet. The second song is in the riff stage. It's not done being arranged by the three of us. That one's going to be rock and mid-paced, heavy and more evocative of a mood. So I can't say yet, except that I was trying to add some more vocal style variety and limited emotional range on the split, so there's going to be more reaching towards that on the new songs. Shane basically wants to keep rocking and have the songs be faster than they are now, so we'll see.
We're doing a split 7" with A Warm Gun, who are from the same scene as us. Both bands are writing for it. Then we're going to go back to writing for our full-length. Song titles so far are Race To The End and Anemic.
METALLIAN: From your answers I gather you are still on selfmadegod.
RICHARD: That's true, but the split 7" will be on a local label the name of which escapes me now.
METALLIAN: There will be no publicity for them then. With Shane playing actively in Deceased is he also remaining in Drugs Of Faith?
RICHARD: Of course. It's been two years. Deceased makes three bands he's in, Bionicman, Deceased and Drugs of Faith. He wants to play as much music as he can. He's moving into a full, live and studio, position with the band this summer. Shane likes playing with us because he likes playing drums, likes the music and we've been friends since the late '80s.
METALLIAN: To change the subject, what are your thoughts on the whole women in metal or rock music discussion? Why is it still a rarity so many years after Janis Joplin, Heart, Joan Jett and others?
RICHARD: Women are discouraged from playing instruments. Plus, depending on what scene you're talking about, they're not regarded in the same light as men in music either.
METALLIAN: Can you expand on how women are discouraged in your opinion?
RICHARD: Again, depending on what music scene you're talking about”¦because some have this problem more than others, but in some areas women are not regarded as being able to play at the same level as men. It's sexism, plain and simple. "You play pretty good for a girl," and so on. Taryn has never encountered that shit, fortunately. She picked up a guitar because she wanted to be like Billy Corgan when she was little, and never got shot down for it, ever. Especially for grindcore and other forms of extreme music, there aren't as many girls at the shows, so there's even less a proportion of girls actually playing in the bands. I put ads in the D.C. paper more than once looking for players in Enemy Soil back in the day, and the times I added "sex/race irrelevant" to the want ad, I got more varied responses. I hardly ever got responses anyway, but when I did, the ratio changed for those ads.
That's simply what happened. I never said in any want ad, "men only - women need not apply." But when I said that it doesn't matter what sex you are to be in this band it did make a slight difference in response. We tried a female out on vocals once because she responded to one of those ads. What does that phenomenon say? That when women are looking through the want ads and see a grindcore band advertising and clearly stating that it doesn't have to be a dude, that encourages them to give it a shot. That when they see a death metal band or a grindcore band or a hardcore band or whatever advertise, that women assume that the band is looking for a male. I don't know that all-male bands specify that they only want men, like all-female bands specify that they only want women, but is it implied? I don't know.
METALLIAN: Are you saying Taryn does not encounter sexism?
RICHARD: She hasn't, no.
METALLIAN: That is a surprise and, one must add, a pleasant one. Do you have any touring plans?
RICHARD: I certainly hope we can play in Canada. In Europe, this October, we're playing two shows with a band called Putrescence. We only know them from MySpace. Maybe that could be our ticket in the future!
METALLIAN: A couple of questions for both of you now. Are you happy with your label or prefer a bigger label?
RICHARD: If we were a smaller fish in a bigger pond, so to speak, maybe we wouldn't get so much attention. We're very happy and have no thoughts about going somewhere else.
TARYN: I feel the same way. Selfmadegod stepped in at the perfect time. We had just recorded our EP and were anxious to put it out after many years of just having demos. Richard asked if they wanted to put it out and they jumped at it. We've been impressed with their enthusiasm ever since.
METALLIAN: Iron Maiden or Napalm Death?
TARYN: Iron Maiden. I like the new Napalm, not to say I don't like them, but Iron Maiden has stolen my heart.
METALLIAN: Now Richard hates Iron Maiden... just for that.
RICHARD: (Laughs) How can I not love Bruce Dickinson though?
METALLIAN: Maybe I should say you have fallen for the 'siren'
RICHARD: Yeah, the air raid siren.
METALLIAN: Hilary Clinton or Obama?
RICHARD: Fuck 'em. Kucinich!
TARYN: How about King Richard?
RICHARD: That's Taryn for you, goofing around.
TARYN: He'll grind the populace into submission (laughing hysterically)!
RICHARD: Sorry - Taryn's getting silly.
METALLIAN: It might be the saki.
RICHARD: I'm the one who gets stupid when I get drunk.
TARYN: I'm pretty silly for a house wife.
METALLIAN: Kucinich or Mike Gravel?
TARYN: Kucinich. And anything but the Republicans. I'm getting desperate, but Ron Paul speaks straight so I can't despise him!
RICHARD: Although Gravel is a US hero for his involvement in getting the Pentagon Papers out, I have to go with Kucinich. He's been our voice for years! Him and Nader.
TARYN: Kucinich is the only one who makes sense and who is running!
METALLIAN: McCain or Giuliani?
RICHARD: Fuck them both. Giuliani left the 9/11 workers out to dry, and it would be too weird on the world stage to have a cross dresser in the Oval Office - no offense to cross dressers. McCain is a two-faced piece of shit. He decided to turn ultra-conservative just so he could try to win Republican base votes.
TARYN: Eeh... There is no hope for Republicans. Ron Paul's not going to win the election.
METALLIAN: Metal Blade or Nuclear Blast?
RICHARD: Taryn's not familiar, so she can't really answer that one. But they've both put out classic stuff so I can't choose.
METALLIAN: Thanks for the conversation.
TARYN: You brought up everything (laughs). Very thorough job. Richard likes talking about himself on and on and on. You are a godsend!
RICHARD: Don't listen to her. She is the one who likes to talk about herself.
TARYN: As evidenced by this interview, right?
RICHARD: It's getting cold in here”¦
The band's 3" split is now available through select outlets For more information on the band please visit http://www.drugsoffaith.com.
If you enjoyed this, read Napalm Death