He Whose Ox Is Gored are the Seattle guardians of doomgaze. Their guitar-synth alloy metal carves with deep boring drill bits made of diamond. Guitarist Brian McClelland rips riffs meticulously. His adroit shit is absolutely on fire in the domain of legerdemain. Lisa Mungo's array of synths cake and pave the tunnel of their sound. Bassist Mike Sparks and drummer John O'Connell stomp with girth. This Ox hits heavy, but smoke rings rise from its amethyst crater in perfect violet ovals. The band has been working with Randall Dunn, Matt Bayles, and Robert Cheek in Red Room Studio, Avast!, and ExEx Audio on a forthcoming full-length called The Camel, the Lion, the Child.
And now we present you with the He Whose Ox Is Gored Stop-Motion Holiday Ox Special. Basically, just the 1964 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer after lots of beer. Starring David Lee Roth. And Macklemore.
Paid for by Committee to Reelect Judge North, P.O. Box 27113, Seattle, WA 98165
Can I say Oxmas? Has anyone said that before? You can say whatever you want.
Instead of Rudolph's nose glowing, what if it's his balls? At first, he thinks they're on fire, so he dunks them in eggnog. Then he realizes it's just the Christmas spirit. No wrong answers here. We like the balls part.
What goes on at Santa's factory? Do we need a plot? Why is Santa so into David Lee Roth? Rob Ford as Santa? Macklemore or Russell Wilson as Rudolph? Glenn Danzig as Donner? Santa is fat and fucked up, but nice sometimes. Macklemore is Rudolph.
What if we just argued about who would voice the characters and never really told the story? Sounds good.
Santa wraps his cock in bacon and has priests eat it off in a special Cock-Bacon Priest Fondle Lounge. Dick-eating priests voiced by Dick Cheney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Boehner, and Jerry Sandusky. Schwarzenegger keeps thinking he's in the sequel to Wreck-It Ralph. He loves cock and bacon. I thought we were just going to argue about who voices the characters. But all that sounds good.
We gotta have a scene where David Lee Roth sings "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love." Because: "My love is rotten to the core... You know you're semi-good-lookin'/And on the streets again/You think you're really cookin', baby/You better find yourself a friend." YOU GOT TO GOT TO GOT TO BLEED, BABY.
Michele Bachmann plays Heat Miser. She runs around banging baby elk in the ass with a strap-on dildo/tusk made out of ivory. Yes.
Maybe Santa and his elves make all the gifts, but there are no children because they all died of cancer from Fukushima. Who plays the Abominable Snow Monster? That Lorde chick.
Who voices Yukon Cornelius? Who is Mrs. Claus? Shawn Kemp: Cornelius. Mrs. Claus: Chris Cornell.
We gotta have a portly and ill-tempered foreman/song-leader of Santa's workshop, with a goatee, who begins each song by using Lawrence Welk's famous introduction, "And-a-one-a, and-a-two-a, and-a-three-a." Fuck Lawrence Welk. All that really matters is the Island of Misfit Toys. And one of the toys has to be played by the "happy little tree" guy, Bob Ross. Fuck everyone else in this whole thing but Bob Ross. His balls glow, too. We made a thing. Here, you've talked enough. Here's how it goes: Rudolph was by far the best socialist reindeer, whose balls glowed like fiery red coals in the night. And when he wanted the base wage raised for all mankind, they fought hard, as their dear sphincters were tight. For the poor and the wretched he voted, accepting that though he may never be right, he still fought through the night, to ensure the poor were secure, and David Lee Roth raped pederast priests in their keisters, like nightingale secrets, or like bacon in a cheesesteak, pigs in a blanket at night.
The end. Now get me up to date on your album and recording. What's the status? Just tracked vocals at ExEx? Mixed some at Red Room? Tracked at Avast!? Brian McClelland: Well, we started in August at Red Room where we tracked drums and bass with Robert Cheek (Tera Melos, Deftones) and followed him to ExEx Audio, his studio. We tracked all of the guitars there and most of the keyboards.
Lisa Mungo: Yeah, most of them. From there, I called Randall Dunn (Earth, Sunn O))), Rose Windows) and we tracked the rest of the keys at Avast!. He even did a couple takes on one song.
BM: We mixed everything down with Matt Bayles and took some time off for tour. Then we hit the vocals at ExEx, just to make sure everything was solid. It's been a pretty incredible process to work with as many awesome people as we have. Then we just stared at a wall for months trying to finish it.
When is it coming out? What does the title The Camel, the Lion, the Child mean? Talk about the new track "Cairo."
BM: "Cairo" is a sequel to an earlier song of ours called "Pyramids on the Horizon," which is featured on our new Nightshade 10-inch EP, out now on Vita Records on black and clear with black splatter vinyl, available at Chop Suey on December 21. The track itself is about trying to find something in the unknown, and for this record, the desert becomes a wasteland of being. The Camel, the Lion, the Child is a Nietzsche reference about self-actualization where the sands become an element of uncertainty. The sessions were intense.
I saw a picture of Lisa in a studio, and it looked like there were 17 keyboards. Which ones did she end up liking and recording with? What synth sounds fit for the Ox?
LM: Yeah, that's Randall's studio. We definitely pulled out the toys for that one. We used his grand piano, a Hammond with a Leslie, and a number of his monophonic analog synth dudes. I can't even remember what was in tow, he had such a cool library of sound. At one point, I'm pretty sure he mind-synced his iPad to randomly give us those Black Celebration jams, but that may have just been our producer, Jack Herer.
If synth sounds were meat, what type of meat does the Ox like?
LM: Like caviar or pâté, something with texture and nuance. Something that needs just the right seasoning. A grace as it were. A protein to bond the whole meal together.
BM: Or a hot dog. Because we're artists, and we're fucking poor, ha-ha.
BM: A title bequeathed to us by a troll. Doomgaze refers generally to a fullness created from texture and depth in the heavy scene, made by bands like Jesu and Isis. Typically, it's a mixture of synth and down-tuned guitar to create a lilting, brooding tone, á la Blut Aus Nord. Or from Wing Wednesday at the Victory Lounge, like frowning at your Chucks, wishing you hadn't ordered that extra side of buffalo sauce.
You toured in October. Do tell of some high jinks that went down.
LM: You mean besides shooting off fireworks from a Jacuzzi and smoking weed with hookers on the strip in Vegas as the sun came up? We tried to break into a paintball course in Utah, but the bolt cutters we stole from Reno didn't work. Luckily, we got some free taquitos out of that whole ordeal, but other than that, not much this time.
BM: Yeah, pretty tame this time around.
LM: Nothing compared to coming back to Big Mario's, ha-ha.
BM: Yeah. Goddamn, they got busy while we were gone.