SADISM AND SEVERED HEADS – JOHN RUSSELL
Art: Paolo Girardi
Bio: Last Retch is a death metal band from Hamilton, Ontario. Drawing on influences such as Bolt Thrower, Carcass and Entombed, Last Retch plays a stripped-back brand of old-school death metal. Simple riffs, short songs, and dual chainsaw guitars define their take on the classic death metal sounds of the 90s. After releasing a well-received demo in early 2021, Last Retch has prepared another slab of riffs in the form of their debut full-length release, Sadism and Severed Heads. The release features nine songs and original artwork from legendary painter Paolo Girardi. Sadism and Severed Heads is out now on CDN Records. Available on all streaming services.
No rituals or religious stuff. Everyone in this band is an atheist. Christianity, Satanism, or paganism, we think all religions are stupid. Basing your life on ideological principles shows a need for more intelligence and critical thinking. Think for yourself.
We write about what we think is interesting. We started this band during covid. Many of us had a lot of time to kill while staying home. LSD, magic mushrooms, and a lot of cannabis were consumed. Hence the psychedelic themes in our lyrics. Murder and cannibalism are reoccurring tropes in the genre, so we naturally gravitate towards some of those themes.
I don’t think heavy music is a form of cult worship. Maybe people outside of the genre could view it that way, but it’s just art. Some people enjoy heavy music; some enjoy pop music. People are usually drawn to whatever type of music invokes an emotional response. It’s just a matter of preference. I started with the classics like Metallica/Slayer and moved to heavier stuff as I got older. Dimebag is my (John) primary musical influence. You might notice an excessive number of pinch harmonics in my guitar playing. That’s all Dime.
I (John) write a lot of the music for Last Retch. My ideas usually come randomly throughout the day. If I try to sit down and write a riff, I generally won’t come up with anything good. It’s the random moments of spontaneity that produce all the keepers. I’d be lying if I didn’t say my vices influence my writing, though. Caffeine and cannabis are my drugs of choice. There’s also a certain creative vibe achieved with just the right amount of alcohol, but it’s easy to overdo it with the beers.
If I’m being honest, I almost exclusively listen to metal. I know I should branch out more, but I love death metal, and there are always new bands/albums to check out. If I had to pick someone outside the genre I aspire to be like, I guess Hans Zimmer would be a solid pick. His movie scores are so grand and epic that they often outshine the movies. The Dune soundtrack blows my mind. I saw Dune in IMAX, and the sounds were terrifying at certain points.
I’m not the deepest thinker around, and I would not consider myself a spiritual person. I think music is entertainment. If someone else wants to think of it as spiritual, that’s cool. But in my experience, I like cool riffs, and they make me happy. Simple as that.
Check out the Dune soundtrack by Hans Zimmer. I’ve also been on a big Dire Straights kick as of late. That band fuckin rocks.