Pummelling post-hardcore with serious pedigree
Music is designed to be fun, but even the silliest bands should take their art seriously. Often, bands can form out of nothing more than a desire to muck around before developing into something vital, and few bands offer more significant proof of this than post-hardcore crew Less Art.
“We formed out of this online-only, baseball-themed grindcore band,” explains vocalist Mike Minnick. “We were originally called Puig Destroyer, which is a play on words to Pig Destroyer and [Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder] Yasiel Puig, and it was really just an excuse to make some fun music about baseball. But after a while we decided that we really enjoyed playing together and that maybe we should make a go of writing some more serious music and do something for real that wasn’t so much of a joke.”
The bandmates he is talking about comprise of members of Thrice and Kowloon Walled City, and Mike himself used to be in metallic hardcore heroes Curl Up And Die. With that kind of pedigree in their ranks, the guys in this new endeavour knew they had to create something to live up to their previous work.
“We didn’t know if it was going to sound heavy, like Kowloon Walled City,” says Mike, “or more like melodic like Thrice, or more aggressive like the stuff I used to do in Curl Up And Die. Fortunately, we just messed around and let it happen organically; it was kind of cool, because it’s ended up sounding like none of those bands.”
What it does
sound like can be heard on Less Art’s debut album, Strangled Light, a record that takes the sound of early-00s post-hardcore and fuses it with ambient passages and massive dollops of squealing feedback and pummelling riffs. It’s a world away from wacky baseball puns and simple grindcore done for the hell of it; it feels like a record with much more on its mind.
“We still wanna have fun, but this is a darker, more serious record,” Mike continues. “I want to get the things out that I don’t really understand about myself and the world around me.”
In fact, unfortunately for us all, the dark and depressing scenarios his lyrics paint on Wandering Ghost have proved prophetic.
“America was not where it is at now,” sighs Mike. “We recorded before the results of the election and it’s weird to see how the record came out because it was kind of written about my fears of what could happen and now it just looks like an account of what has happened. It’s very odd.”
With this in mind, it’s hard to see why they picked the name Less Art, when feeding their artistic and creative flair seems to be the band’s primary goal.
“The band name is a quote from Shakespeare,” Mike explains. “‘Less art, more matter’ – that was the inspiration for this music. Get to the stuff, less messing around. For me, as a vocalist, it was about being more direct instead of goofing around.”
No messing indeed. Less Art are serious, and seriously good.
“WE STARTED AS BASEBALL-THEMED GRINDCORE”
Less Art have hit a home run
with their first release