Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Interview: Avi Kulawy of Magrudergrind

Ithaca Underground's Pete Ives gets the lowdown from Magrudergrind vocalist, Avi Kulawy in preparation for their headlining performance at BIG DAY IN - this Saturday in Ithaca, NY!

IU: First off, for those who are unfamiliar w Magrudergrind, where are you guys from and how did shit start happening musically?

Avi: We're from Washington DC. We started as a joke, just 3 friends playing fast, annoying music.

IU: How would you describe the music scene in DC?

Avi: There’s a lot of straight edge. The city isn’t to big into grindcore, but Baltimore, which is the next closest city, shows much love for more aggressive music.

IU: What are some major influences when it comes to writing?

Avi: Our influence changes as we all get older and exposed to more of life. The local DIY community, traveling, current events all influence our style and lyrics.

IU: What would you say is Magrudergrind's main focus as of late?

Avi: We are working on our next full length record and getting ready to head to Europe for three weeks. Really stoked on both.

IU: Are you guys on the road quite frequently?

Avi: We used to be a lot more. We just came home from a three week US tour with Misery Index and are going to leave again for Europe in June. We used to tour longer durations, two-week West Coast, followed by a two-month Europe or Asian tour.

IU: Where have been some of your favorite places to play?

Avi: Hands down, Los Angeles is my favorite place. Also Baltimore, NYC, Boston, Grand Rapids and Lansing, Michigan.

IU: What’s the funniest shit that's happened to you guys while on the road?

Avi: When we were in the UK with Yacøpsæ, and these young kids in this band Fucktoff played a couple shows with us. We partied with them and this kid named 'Teabags' would get so fucked up and pass out. I don’t remember the exact city we were in, but this was the night after we glued his dreadlocks and his boots that were still on him to the same chair. Some of us decided to shave our nasty, haven’t-showered-in-weeks-because-we’re-on-tour pubic hairs and we glued them to his face (laughs). Oh man, that was great, the entire apartment stunk of nasty, sweaty nut sacks.

IU: What is the most rewarding thing about being a part of Magrudergrind?

Avi: Getting to travel. That is one of the main reasons I am still in this band besides loving to play.

IU: I hear you guys are big into hip-hop, anything in particular you been digging or could recommend lately?

Avi: Lately been jamming a lot of Beatnuts, Gangstarr more recently because Guru just passed, unfortunately. They’re not straight hip-hop, 'rap-rave', but been I've obsessed with Die Antwoord lately ever since their huge hype on the interweb.

IU: What was it like recording with Kurt Ballou of Converge?

Avi: It was great. He pushed your buttons when your tracking, but he gets the best takes out of us.

IU: You guys stoked on the European dates?

Avi: I really can't wait. I love going to Europe and I love the culture.

IU: How often do you played overseas?

Avi: This will be our fourth time touring in Europe and we toured for a month in Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore.

IU: How have things been going since the drop of the latest, 'self-titled' LP?

Avi: They've been good. We've been getting a lot more hype and offers. We're pleased with how it came out.

IU: Will this be your first time playing in Ithaca?

Avi: Yup. My uncle went to Cornell and I've always wanted to check it out.

IU: Any major goals for the band?

Avi: To tour South America and Australia.

IU: Anything you'd like to say to those who will be there for the Big Day In fest on May 1st?

Avi: GrindxLife. Come out and see us, we'll probably never play there ever again.