Blood Duster's Jason PC - The Passion and the Fury...*Caution: may contain the word 'fuck' several times*

On Bastardfest, music and THAT video...

“Alright, mate? How’s Bastardfest going?” And thus begins my interview with Jason PC, bassist (or rather basstard) with Blood Duster. Jason’s response is full to the brim with positivity for the current tour:  “Yeah, good, man – we’ve got Melbourne next weekend and it’s gonna be fuckin’ sick! I haven’t really witnessed anything bad out the front but seeing the nonsense backstage…” He trails off, leaving our imaginations to run riot, before clarifying “I’m in a band, with a band with fuckin’ retards, you know? So it’s always amusing. It’s been really fucking good. Turn-outs have been good and all the punters seem really happy; where else are you gonna see all these Australian bands that are fucking sick – not on Soundwave, that’s for fucking sure! I go to Soundwave because there are a few bands I wanna see but there’s fucking 40 bands that could just fuck off and no-one would notice. Why don’t they just get rid of half of these half-arsed bands and put some Australian bands on?” 

He’s a very passionate man, particularly when it comes to discussing the Australian music scene, and I ask, given his stance on Soundwave if he thinks the band will ever be asked to join the bill? “We’ll never get asked, especially not with my attitude towards it.” Just to ensure his stance is well noted he adds “They can get fucked and more Australian bands need to stand up and not be scared and say (he adopts a whiney voice at this point) ‘We might not get to play Soundwave’ – they need to speak up and say what the fuck’s going on, you know? Even The Big Day Out put Blood Duster on; we got paid good money and treated really well by The Big Day Out and they’re not a metal festival so why wouldn’t a metal festival fucking support Australian bands?! It’s retarded…it’s beyond my wildest imagination of what the reasoning is…the only reasoning is they fucking hate Australian people!  Anyway, that’s my rant – everyone should just come to Bastardfest, it’s gonna be sick.” So you have it; get yourself along to Bastardfest ASAP.

Jason is currently at home in Reservoir, Melbourne “In the 3073,” he puts it “I’ve been moved out of the 3070 because all the fucking artists have moved in and it’s put the price of houses out of every mans reach. It’s bullshit! We rode straight out of Northcote and then the fucking suburb became popular and now we’ve ridden straight off Chapel Street and we’ve been made to look like fools…” Mr PC! Enough of your tirade on real estate – don’t get me started, we’ll both just be unleashing torrents of abuse and we won’t have an interview. Let us touch upon that Youtube video of you fucking up the master vinyl copy of the new album Kvlt. “It’s kind of weird, I’ve heard the most ridiculous claims like dudes saying (he adopts that whiney voice again) ‘It’s a publicity stunt’…Duh! Of course it’s a publicity stunt you fucking retards! We filmed ourselves wrecking it and put it on the internet! Did they graduate as Dr Obvious from university?! Fuckin’ morons! And then there are people saying ’It’s a cash grab to sell more records’ and it’s like ‘Hang on, we haven’t actually put out a record’. You’re NOT supposed to buy it! We’re just showin’ ya that we’re still in control of our fuckin’ music and we don’t give a fuck what anyone else says or what the fans say or anything. It’s ours and we’ll do whatever the fuck we want with it. Fans have taken the choice of artists away from them. I no longer get to dictate to anyone how my music is delivered. I might want to make a really nice cover and all that kind of shit but some fuck-head up the road who knows nothing about me, who wants to look like a rock-star on the internet, just takes the album and gives it away for free and then says ‘Man, music should be free’ or ‘I’ll buy a t-shirt, man’ – we’re not a t-shirt company and we’re not in the business of giving our shit away. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it, but don’t steal it and then try and convince yourself that it’s anything other than stealing it. And that said, I’m not against people downloading music; download it all you want. Our catalogue’s up there and I’ve never fucking complained about it…take it! I don’t give a fuck! But don’t lie about it.”

So the album’s trashed but you’re bringing out Svck, an EP with 5 tracks from Kvlt. Is there any chance of an undamaged copy of the album surfacing on the net? Jason is most adamant that there is no chance whatsoever: “No, there’s never gonna be a chance. I fucking made well and truly sure of that. There are no copies in existence, all the files, because I engineered and produced it, they’re deleted. There’s nothing!” He’s laughing merrily at the insanity of it all. “It’s all off the hard-drive. I’ve got a studio and I went from the studio and I took it into the pressing plant, I cut the master vinyl and then I got rid of the CD, ruined the master, and then came home and deleted all the files off the computer. Every single file so there’s nothing [left]. Every song that’s on that album is now gone forever.” - though he does add “Gone forever in that form – we’ll still play them live but the album as a product is gone.” He tells me there were 14 tracks on the album so discounting the five tracks on Svck, by my reckoning that’s nine tracks that you destroyed by one fell swoop of the penknife (or whatever implement you used on that video). So how long did you guys spend in the studio working on Kvlt? “We actually recorded the album twice. The first time we did it, I was a bit ‘Meh. Not really happy with the drums’ and we actually did it again so we made sure it was right before we deleted it.” He’s laughing in a slightly hysterical manner now. “It was a good album. I wish you all could have heard it!”
So how much was it to make and produce Kvlt? “I think the figure is probably gonna be around the $10,000 mark so it’s not too bad but,” and again he’s laughing like a mad-man at this point, “ten thousand bucks when you’re pissing it up a wall…we didn’t pay that money all in one hit so it wasn’t a big deal. It was over a couple of years so we didn’t really feel it and we were able to make the decision based purely on our mental state – and there were no financials that came into question.  If we had spent $10,000 on an album - gone into a studio and put $10,000 down and had an album at the end - we might now have made the same decision.  But because there’s no money involved in it ‘mentally’, it was an easy decision. And I know it sounds ridiculous but people don’t understand what it’s like to fucking create something and then have someone take it off you and devalue it - something you’ve put a lot of pride and effort in to - and make it shit and make you feel like it’s not worth anything so this way we will always know that album was what it was and no-one can ever take it from us.” There is a touch of loss and sadness in his voice but when I ask if Blood Duster felt any sense of empowerment along with the loss, Jason adds “There’s a sense of loss that we will never get to hear it again but we’re kind of happy. It sounds shit but we’re kind of happy that no-one else does either.”

I raise the notion that this wanton destruction borders on high art – if he’d done it in a gallery, he could be making a shit-load of cash. “I would never, ever want to associate us with the words ‘high art’; those words coming out of my mouth kind of make me choke but Blood Duster have always had a sense of the absurd and a lot of people have kind of missed that at different points. The people that get us, get us, and the people that don’t, never fuckin’ will. It’s a weird position to be in to promote an album that you can’t play and half the people think it’s fuckin’ genius and half the people think it’s absolute insanity and we’re dickheads but I’m kind of happy sitting there – it’s a real comfortable position for us.”

So you do feel some power? “Yeah, I do. When I scratched that vinyl and I knew that was it…the feeling was really weird; it was like ‘I can’t believe I’m doing this’ but then as soon as I started doing it, it was fucking liberating. It was awesome like ‘I’m no longer tied to this album’. I don’t have to sit there and listen to anyone’s judgement about the actual album; no-one can actually say shit. It’s ours and it’ll be ours forever so everyone else can suck it.”

So will Blood Duster still tour the album, despite it being completely fucked? “Well Bastardfest is kind of the tour for the album; a lot of bands are using Bastardfest as the launching pad like Fuck I’m Dead; they’re doing it as their album tour, and I think The Kill have got their album out this week  - which is fucking sick, if you get a chance to hear that.”

What’s your response to those who say that Blood Duster only ever recorded 5 tracks for the EP and everything else was a big lie? “If they want, people will be able to listen to the album. Word will get out. The people that did buy the album will be able to put the album on and be able to listen every now and again and say ‘That’s a fucking new song’ – it’s scratched and it’s unplayable and it’ll skip all over the place but you’ll be able to put it on and you’ll know that they’re new songs. People are so suspicious! They think that something can’t be done just for the sake of doing it, there must be an ulterior motive – sometimes there is but sometimes it’s just done to be fuckin’ dumb! Not everything has to be fucking logical. Not everything has to be marketable – which is why we’re not selling t-shirts right now because we kind of want people to know that we don’t want your money.”

It must be easier to take that stance when you’re not affiliated to any label? “Exactly. Can you imagine trying to do this when we were on Relapse?!  We’re completely free. I’m not anti-downloading; I’m definitely not. I’m pro-band and now that the industry is dead, people should actually start buying albums directly from bands. Bands don’t need to sell five million copies to be able to make their next fucking record but if 500 people buy their album, directly from them, then they’re gonna be doing pretty well.” You say the industry is dead but commercial viability aside, what’s your view on Australian music scene? “There’s some really good fuckin’ music coming out; have you heard the new Fuck I’m Dead? It’s really fuckin’ good and the new The Kill record, which I had a hand in recording so I’m probably biased, I would say the new The Kill record is the best grind-core that’s come out in this country; it’s fucking sick, dude – wait till you hear it…it’s really fucking good. There’s actually  tons of really good stuff coming up and there are a lot of young bands coming up like Disentombed…it couldn’t be healthier; if people like Soundwave got behind it, everyone in Australia would know about it. There is a lot of really, really good stuff; bands that are doing things on a full professional, world class level. I’m actually shocked that a lot of Australian media isn’t behind it and isn’t all over Soundwave for not being there [for Australian bands]. Psycroptic, they’re a band that are touring world-wide and pulling a lot more people to shows than a lot of the bands on Soundwave. I’ve seen Australian bands in the international market, doing it a lot better than some of these fucking bands but unless people get to see these bands side by side – not shoving the Australian bands on a shit stage at six in the morning on a fucking Sunday festival – put ‘em on in a good spot so people can see ‘em side by side and I think people would be really fuckin’ surprised by the quality of Australian bands.”

Phew! I hope you people are listening?! Get yourself to Bastardfest and support Australian music. Otherwise Jason will come round your house and shit on your carpet. (I made that last bit up but it’s always a possibility…)