“It’s all about leeching as much as possible before the next government comes in.“
INTERVIEW | Neck Deep in Filth
FROM | Nepal
Nepalese hardcore punk band Neck Deep in Filth is about to roll out their debut self-titled EP that is chalk full of socio-political thoughts plaguing their country. Neck Deep in Filth may be a new unit of heavy music in a country full of passionate metal, but the band members are certainly no strangers to the scene. The band is made up of current and ex-members of Nepalese hardcore and metal bands such as Jugaa, Squirt Guns, and Asphyxiate. Though the band bill themselves as a hardcore punk act, certainly in attitude, there’s a strong 90’s era metallic hardcore vibe that creeps into their music that takes them to a much more devastating and poignant level one blast beat at a time. The music coupled with those more sinister tones and riffs, is the perfect background to the thought-provoking lyrical content.
We spoke with vocalist Vishal about the hardcore and metal scene in Nepal and this brand new band.
If you’re a fan of worldwide hardcore then take fucking note and spread some love to the band. We have the immense honor of premiering a track off this EP. The full EP will be out September 9th.
The band have also mentioned that if anyone is interested in releasing this on cassette, get in touch with them asap! (Facebook link above)
Vishal! How’s it going on in Nepal?! Seems like the past couple of years have seen an explosion of shows!
Oh yeah man, the past few years has been great. There’s a show almost every weekend. Promoters like the Nepal Deathfest team and, more recently, Live&Loud have been killing it. It’s a great time to be in a band in Nepal right now haha
So tell us how your new band came around – it sounds like a who’s who collection of Nepal’s hardcore and metal world!
Haha…we got together in mid-2016, I believe. I wanted to start a band that sounded like Left For Dead and Haymaker but this time with me doing vocals. This is the third band with me and Sushil (our bassist) together. We got together with “Straight Edge” Sandesh (who also plays in Squirt Guns) and Sanjay a.k.a. Jeson (of death metal band, Asphyxiate). Sandesh brought a whole different aspect to the music due to his influences being mainly crust-oriented. I’m not too big on crust though but I liked the end-result haha We practiced for a year before recording the EP and playing our debut show. I also wanted the lyrics to be politically-focused. Something more than the usual “fuck the system” “fuck politicians” stuff.
Tell us about the state of hardcore and punk rock in Nepal. Is it similar to most South Asian countries where metal reigns supreme?
Oh yeah, metal is #1 always has been. But there’s been a massive change in the acceptance of hardcore/punk in the metal scene though, at least in Nepal. Initially, when our old punk band used to play shows back in the 2001-2005 era, metalheads hated us. They weren’t aware of the influence of hardcore and punk on their music haha so we got boo’d, had bottles and cigarettes thrown at us. But we gave as good as we got so it was fun. Lately, more metal bands with hardcore influences have cropped up.
Oh shit…you got bottled for being in a punk band?!
Haha yeah. I used to play in a punk band called Inside 2 Stoopid Triangles more than a decade ago, with my current bandmate Sushil. Our vocalist was Kshitiz Moktan, who currently plays guitar in Chepang. Kshitiz loves provoking people and he did that to perfection at this one show we played. See, as soon as we got on stage, the metalhead crowd started booing us. So Kshitiz introduced a Bollywood film cover that we used to play as a Sepultura song. That, of coursed, riled up the audience even more. Next thing we know, it’s raining bottles and cigarette stubs hahaha…
Well – a true punk is certainly provocative! It is hilarious that this punk now plays in a grindcore band (Chepang) that has been getting rave reviews the world over and just played to a massive reception in Nepal a few weeks back!
You were mentioning that there are some hardcore-influenced metal bands in Nepal now. What are some that we should look out for?
Discord play grind with a big hardcore influence – https://www.facebook.com/DISCORDx/
Atrocity – https://www.facebook.com/AtrocityNepal/
Nude Terror is another great grind band with hardcore influences. Their album can be downloaded for free here https://nudeterrornepal.bandcamp.com/releases
A current favourite is Strangle. They’re a straight up crossover/hardcore band – https://strangle1.bandcamp.com/releases
What is the name “Neck Deep in Filth” referring to?
We’re living in a society filled with racists, misogynists, and hate filled ultranationalists. We’re surrounded by scum. Hence, Neck Deep In Filth.
There seems to be a lot going on in Nepalese politics that is probably good fodder for your material. What is the current situation of the country politically? Economically?
Politically it’s as terrible as it has always been. There have been 4 prime ministers in the past 2 years, so that itself says a lot about the state of the country. It’s all about leeching as much as possible before the next government comes in. Economically, once again, it’s terrible. Remittance is what’s keeping the economy afloat. There are no jobs, so people are forced to go abroad and work under miserable conditions. What they send back is what keeps the economy floating.
It’s insane so sad for the country of Nepal. It also kind of makes sense that that’s why there is so much heavy music that is alive in the country because of the circumstances – there must be a lot of anger and hostility that people need to get out of their systems. The track that we’re premiering Praise The Tyrant’s subject matter is pretty intense.
Yep, it’s an issue that has been discussed quite a bit lately.
Praise The Tyrant is about the cultural dominance of a single community in the name of nationalism. In the 1950s, the then king of Nepal adopted the idea of a Nepali identity – one religion, one language, one dress. This ethnic nationalism definitely brought pride to certain sections of the privileged public, but it destroyed and continues to wreck the identities of the powerless – those who do not follow the state religion, nor speak the same language, nor traditionally wear the national costume. What he decreed then is used as a yardstick to measure who and what is a “true Nepali” – anyone not conforming to these standards is immediately a “foreigner”. A similar situation exists in neighbouring India too.
Can you give us some background to the EP? Where was it recorded, mixed and mastered and how/why’d you guys decide to launch the band with an EP and debut show all about the same time.
We didn’t go into a proper studio for this EP. We recorded drums and vocals at Advent, and guitar at Mr Music, both of which are rehearsal spaces. Our bassist, Sushil, handled the recording, mixing, and mastering. He had worked on Squirtguns’ last full length as well as my old sludge band Childwife’s EP. We liked what he had done plus, since he’s in the band, he comes cheap hahaha Our plan, ever since we started playing, was to focus on the EP first. Once that was done, we decided to play live as well. Besides, practicing for a year straight without playing shows was starting to become tedious.
Yeah it seems like more and more bands are doing that. It’s like in this day in age it is really important that bands get music out there to garner interest in the band first and then start playing shows. My new band Dagger also took this route and it has worked well for us so far. Can you tell us about the cover art? Who created it and what’s the message by the image?
The artist is Dib Gurung, who has worked with Chepang as well. The art depicts a Madhesi surrounded by bullets. The Madhesis are people who live in the plains of Nepal. Since they have close ties with neighbouring India, they’re looked upon as foreigners by the state and a large section of the public. They’re marginalized and disadvantaged. They’ve been protesting for their rights and the government has responded with bullets. The bullets on the cover have the stars and sun on them, representing the Nepali flag.
What’s next for the band? And are all the other bands that make up this band on hold or are they active as well?
We’ve got a split with another South Asian band coming out later this year. I’ll keep the band’s name a mystery for now haha As for our other bands, only our drummer’s band Asphyxiate is active currently, the rest are on long hiatuses. Asphyxiate released an EP just the other week and completed a short tour.