If you thought that the extent of culture in Montalvo was defined by the variety of Mad Dog flavors available at the local liquor store, guess again. The Fucking Wrath (T.F.W.), founded in 2005 by three friends living on the same street in Montalvo, recently signed to major New York City indie label Tee Pee, a label that’s released records by such heavy-hitters as Brian Jonestown Massacre, Earthless, Sleep and psychedelic overminds Ya Ho Wa 13.
It’s a coup that few other local bands can boast. T.F.W. — the sludgy, droning and occasionally odd-timed metal quartet starring singer and guitarist Craig Kasamis, bassist Nick Minasian, guitarist and new member Brent Woodward and drummer John Crerar — is in the final stages of preparation of its forthcoming five-song Terra Fire 12-inch EP scheduled for release in October, as it gears up for a West Coast tour alongside labelmate Ancestors.
When asked if signing to a major label was always the goal of the band, Kasamis explains, “No, it wasn’t the main goal. We all worked together at Salzer’s and starting jamming just for fun. We wrote about 10 songs in a few months and then thought, ‘Well, shit, let’s record it.’ We found a couple of rad labels to put out our first record, Season of Evil. Challenge the Throne, based out of Ventura, put out the LP, and Goodfellow Records, based out of Canada, put out the CD. We didn’t need to make a ton of money, and since we only licensed it to Goodfellow, we still own our record, which is rad. It helped us tour across the country a few times and all over the West Coast. I don’t think that being on Tee Pee is going to change our lives or anything, but I do think that having a good label that’s willing to help you do what you need, and want, to do is a great advantage for us right now as a band,” says Kasamis.
As far as playing heavy metal, is Ventura a difficult town? “Ventura is a difficult town for music in general. There’s no all-ages venue to do shows. You’re forced to play bars and any other hole-in-the-wall place that you can find. The rich old trolls that run Ventura have made extra-sure that starting anything that’s long-lasting and viable for the scene will be impossible. Why is it that every venue that opens up is run by fundamentalists that are out to make money, or some dumbfuck that doesn’t know what he’s doing and runs the place into the ground? The only place to do an all-ages show in Ventura is the Ventura Theater, which sucks for young poor bands because they can’t afford to pay to play — and shouldn’t have to. We need a medium-sized venue that will pay bands out fairly off a percentage of the door profits.”
As far as the physical impact of T.F.W.’s sludgecore on the band members themselves, Kasamis admits, “When we play, we pour all of ourselves into the music. If I’ve been having a bad week, it all gets brought forth during our show. Every one of us gives all of ourselves. The nature of music, specifically punk and metal, is to represent what you’re feeling through your music. You can take all the bad, unwanted shit in your life and deposit it into something that’s creative. Most people work a bullshit job nine to five, come home, kick their dog and then fight with their chick because they have nowhere else to release it. This is therapy for me, and sometimes that therapy is hard on your body and mind — but you feel like a new man after it’s all over. Before you start paying some over educated asshole to listen to your complaints about your day and your life’s troubles, start a metal band and work that shit out yourself.”
T.F.W. will play an all-ages show on Sept. 15 at Zanzilla in Ventura with Radio Moscow, Night Horse and Birdfeeder.
They will also perform at Billy O’s in Ventura on Sept. 25 with Git. For more information, visit www.thefuckingwrath.com.