Interview with Genital Grinder
Please give us the history of Genital Grinder.
Genital Grinder started way back 1992 at Central College of the Philippines, where Elmer Pambuan, Gado Francisco, Regi Beltran and Tyrone Atanacio crossed their path.
Most of the members are from Marikina City. During those years the rape-slay-massacre issue in Marikina City were very harsh. One of the citizens there yelled "Torture
those rapists by grinding their genitals as a form of punishment!" That's where the name Genital Grinder came about and the "Fratricide Incestuous Rape" hay days...
and of course due to the metal band, Carcass.
What are your musical and non-musical influences?
Too many to mention, we listen to all kinds of music from Jazz, Blues, SOul, Rock n' ROll, FOlk, Hardcore, everything except disco.
How did the reformation come about?
First of all the reformation was not planned. It just so happened that some former members had to prioritize something (Coz we have to admit, you can't make a living out of
metal in the Philippines). We're not the kind of band that will force our members to stay or not. It's like this: even though some of our warriors aren't active for war... we will
still fight for our village. Musically speaking, the reformation of our music was not intended, it just so happened that it came that way.
Don't you think that you should have changed the name of the band since you have changed the musical direction? Don't get me wrong, I like what the band is now into but
the same kills it for me. It doesn't fit. It has stained what Genital Grinder has accomplished in the Philippine Death Metal Scene. Of course, this is only my opinion.
We've already considered Genital Grinder as our camp, our home, our village, and our team. It's like we've already built this small-humble house for us, and whoever wants to
visit or stay is very much welcome. If any tyrant wants to burn it down or wants to take it away from us, we're going to fight for it! We still want to add more areas in it though,
coz were not yet satisfied with its surroundings (Hope you got our point here?). About the musical direction. Ok we've changed a bit coz we want to apply some of our own
ideas and ways into metal. Ever since we've started, we're already hooked into composition. As I remembered we used to get a lot of negative comments from those narrow
minded people coz we don't sound like those foreign bands. Who cares! It's all about freedom, and you can only achieve it when styles don't interfere. We still love to play
death metal but we really enjoyed playing "In Your Face Energy Thrash Metal" and we wanted to apply some different formulas into our metal. Maybe a dose of Rock n' Roll,
Blues, Jazz someday. As you've noticed, even before our early days when we're playing death metal stuffs there's already a big dose of energy thrash metal in it, a bit of
grindcore, a bit of doom metal. It's like this 10% doom, 10% grind, 10% hardcore, 20% death, 50% thrash! How about that?! For now our music is like that, and may change
as time goes by, but one thing is for sure. We'll never leave metal!
Does death metal not interest you anymore?
Of course we're still interested in death metal (that's where we've started) but we also have to understand that the truth abot life is that it's changing/moving every moment
(Metal is our life). Knowledge is fixed in time whereas knowing is continual. Knowledge comes from a source, from an accumulation, from a conclusion, while knowing is a
movement. We already have our knowledge when it comes to death metal and we still want to try, create and play some other stuff also, and then pile into metal. We can't
get no satisfaction like the Stones used to say.
Maybe now that JB is back on vocals it'll help me get over the name issue, ha!
As we've said. Genital Grinder is already our home-village-camp. JB lives inside Genital Grinder. Even before we formed Genital Grinder, JB is already there. Before, when
he's not yet in the band, it's like he holds the whip, and the four grinder members are the horses charging for battle! Hehehe! He can't be Santa Claus? We don't want to be
reindeers either! Hohoho! No sir! JB or without JB, Genital Grinder will still be there. WHen JB was out of the country for two years and when Regi "The RIffs" was not around
(He took care of the family metal shop business when his father died). We still continued Genital Grinder as a three piece! Though we really admit that it's much
better to have both guys around.
I understand that you released a CD sampler, a VCD, and that you are working on a full length. Tell us more about it.
The CD sampler is just a study copy for us. Each of the three songs was not yet totally done. There are still more that we want to apply on those three songs, like adding more
crunch, proper fill-in for the drum parts, fixing the vocal parts etc. Still aint satisfied on how we did those pieces of shit. There's a little pressure while doing it, coz we're not
really used to recordings and while inside the studio, the higher the cost of money you'll be spending! And our budget is not that huge! We can't afford highly-budgeted
recording! We're just a little-bit lucky that the engineer of Tower Doom Records which is Eric Perlas of Cog is good to us. He's sincere and we can see that he's doing his best!
Genital Grinder is also doing their best. We're trying to give our best shot, coz this might be the first and last Genital Grinder album! We're not a rich band! No one is rich in
our camp, to tell you the truth it's just all about this fighting spirit! See, until now we don't have have any of our very own good musical instruments, we're just a poor band!
TYrone doesn't have any drums or cymbals! He only has an old double pedal and some drum sticks! Regi doesn't have his own guitars and effects! And it's only now that Mark
got a local guitar of his own! And the effects that he's using is not his. Luckily Raymund has his own bass guitar! I think this is the only metal band that has existed for
thirteen straight years without any musical instruments of their own?! Most of the time, we just borrow from our sincere friends. Yes, the full length album will be released
(But we don't know when? Maybe when we're all dead!) We're just in the process of studying our songs. Just like in a film, we want every single thing fits our taste. We're still
holding on to it! Now, about the VCD. It's a compilation of some of our old gigs from 1992-2002. Though some cuts that are supposed to be there were not included. We lost
some of it! So if you ever have a copy of these VCD's we're very sorry, it's a very, very low budgeted video. The only thing we're proud of it, it that you will see the crowd in
there, cheering, mosh around, war dancing, slamming each other for real fun, with no choreographed sort of thing! It's Genital Grinder's very own sound that drove the real
metal crowd wild! And not those cover-up songs from those foreign metal bands. Compared to a crowd who've moshed and cheered coz you've hit them with your very own
compositions (Without any airplays from these shallow radio stations!) Let the crowd decide! Don't force them to cheer for you! Coz a real metalhead can feel what you're
trying to reach out while you're playin on that damn stage!
How do you go about writing?
Sometimes it starts from the lyrics, then sometimes it starts from the riffs. It's a grop effort thing. It's a basic thing and it depends on our mood. Even though some of our
composition are already done sometimes we're not yet satisfied, we still want to add some more.
What are the lyrics about? I guess you won't be writing about "Fratricide.." eh?
We're not hypocrites. We write what we can justify. We do our writings in a metaphor way and sometimes it goes straight to the point. Simple. Our lyrics are about us, about
ourselves, about our disgust from the environment. We're not the kind of a band who writes about those satanic stuffs etc... and yet cannot prove what their lyrics is all about.
It's like when this guy us attending/playing in a gig he acts lke those satanists whatsoever and yet after the event when he comes home, his mother will give him an errand to
buy like flowers (Sampaguita) for their Christian altar. Our message is mostly about giving the proper punishment to those people who are trying to be somebody, trying to be
someone, but deep inside theirselves they are not that kind. In short those transparent people. Some of our lyrics are more about a vigilante kind of thing, like there's a man
who's trying to live in peace, then some psychos are trippin' and they're going to attack a peaceful man with a knife. Of course this peaceful man will have to react! He'll do
something like to fight for his life in order to save himself from the psychos! Then after the incident, perhaps after this peaceful man had damaged these psychos, in the end
this peaceful man will surely get the blame from the authorities, they will look unto him like he's already a trouble maker and yet they've never witnessed the thing that
happened. Sometimes, they'll also change the report/story of the incident coz the psychos are the sons of a rich/powerful man! Which we all know is not right! So, this
peaceful man will try to do something again to prove that he just did the right thing but there are already orders that he should be executed. They already gave him a title
as an enemy of the state. Now, what do you think this peaceful man will do next? Our lyrics are mostly about these stories (Hope you got it). It's just all about reality.
I used to have a Genital Grinder shirt with the green logo that has a slogan at the back that JB gave me like 10 years ago or so... Unfortunately I lost that shirt.
Do you have plans to print some again?
Yes, we have plans of having our shirt again. Right now, we're just busy on studying our songs. Our budget is tight as of the moment. Don't worry when the time comes that
we have our shirt again we will give you one, but promise us, don't you ever loose it again, it would be the last, hehehe.
I was in contact with Gado and in one of our conversations he mentioned that you were never given copies of "Sa Kabilang Anyo Ng Buhay" is this true? I was going to dub him
a copy but my player fucked up, ha!
Yes, you're right, we're never given a copy of that compilation. We don't know about the other bands if they were given a copy?
What were your memories about that recording?
The memories were ok. It was a good experience, it is our third step to the studio, but it's our first time to step on a formal one. For us, the sound of the recording is not that
good. Honestly! We're not contented on its outcome, the mixing is beyond our control, the engineer is good but by the way he mixed those things. We might say that he is
not aware when it comes to metal music. The good thing is that the bands were given a chance to record their crafts. And one thing is, it's a pleasure that we bacame a part of
that compilation. It's history! Everything is written and done, whatever the critics say, positive or negative.
What are your thoughts about the local scene?
Instrumental wise, there are a lot of good bands in this third world country of ours. Filipinos are good when it comes to music. Notice, your favorite foreign metal bands have
good sound systems and good intruments of their own, and they do their rehearsals for about six hours a day, maybe five to six days a week, continuous, and yet when they
play live, they're still making a lot of mistakes! Not like us Pinoys, especially Genital Grinder, we only do our rehearsals for about one hour, only once a week, sometimes one
hour, once in three weeks, or in a month, we only go to the studios once, and it's just for one hour! Not to offend any local band but for thirteen straight years, we've just
observed that majority of the local bands here are already satisfied in what they always do, praising/imitating/duplicating the music of those foreign bands which inspired and
influenced them to play metal music. Think, by an error repeated throughout the ages, truth, becoming a law or a faith, places obstacles in the way of knowledge. Method in
which is in its very substance ignorance, encloses truth within a vicious circle. We should break suck a circle, not by seeking knowledge, but by discovering the cause of
ignorance. I mean, c'mon fellas, it's ok to be influenced by someone who is great, it's ok to cover up songs of your favorite metal bands for respect and for your own fun, but
to do what they have already done, again and again like a carbon copy metal? Then after copying them, you'll proclaim that you did your own style, which is almost exactly
the same like theirs? Then we'll just end up nowhere! Static! We think it's about time we Pinoys get some attention from those foreign bands and inside our own country as
well! Errr, without forced promotions or advertisements from big time magazines and money seeking radio stations as well! Just remember, originality + quality + explore +
adventure = more fun. Don't you get it! Wake up metal heads! We have to get away from their shadows in order to create our own distinct metal way! Take it from us kids,
just be yourselves and you won't be called a poser. It's all about our own attitudes. Us, putting ourselves in the line of metal, not metal creating an attitude for us! Second,
we can all see that there are some politics going on in the scene nowadays, we might as well say even before. If you dont have any connections from the higher ones you'll
just stay in the gutter. Genital Gutter Grinder is already used to that! We don't care! Even without pay, as long as the sound system is good, we can play music and have fun
with the open-minded crowd! Drink some beers etc... in the gutter! Before we forget, we can also see that there is really no unity among metal bands in this country. Well,
most of them, not all. Each of them is there to bypass one another, backstabbing each other, creating rumors. They're pulling each other down, they have no respect for each
other. You should be ashamed of yourselves, you so called Pinoy metalheads! You should get rid of this crab mentality! One of the reason why is that they are fighthing for a
senseless title, like the one band will proclaim that they're the Slayer etc. of the Philippines coz they can copy Slayer better compared to the others! Or one band will say we're
the only band who has the right to cover up Paradise Lost's music! Get lost! Get your high school picture and look at yourselves there! We know you since you were young!
See, you have more faith in what you imitate than in what you originate! To become different from what you are, you must have some awareness of what you are. Whether
this being different results in dissimulation or real change of heart, it cannot be realized without self-awareness. Yet it is remarkable that the very people who are most self-
dissatisfied, who crave most for a new identity, have the least self-awareness. They have turned away from an unwanted self. The result is that most dissatisfied people can
neither dissimulate nor attain a real change of heart. It is the lack of self-awareness that renders you transparent. Just be yourselves kiddos! A real metalhead can feel and
pinpoint another real metalhead! Ok, sometimes those wannabees can point out who's real, but sometimes they can't accept that they are looking at those real ones, get it?
And one thing is for sure, a genuine one can pinpoint who is fake! Respect for each other is the key here! It's just now about always having conversations-talking about the
foreign metal bands that you've heard of, opr how many gigs you have attended in order to seek if the person you're talking to is a genuine metalhead or not. For us, it's
about expressing your own thoughts and ways! And of course, having some real fun with each other in order to have a memorable scene, gig, etc... We're here for you kids,
oldies, new school, old school, non-metal bands. Hope to have some wreckin' fun with y'all, for another thirteen years!
What makes Genital Grinder distinct amongs local thrash metal bands?
Well, it's kinda hard to say, coz every band, especially here in the Philippines are proclaiming they are this, they are that, blah, blah, blah...Though we do respect those foreign
bands and some local bands too so we might as well say that we're the kind of band that wants to learn more, we want to discover more. We want to move on! Sometimes
backwards, sometimes forward or even sideways. We're still seeking for something. We don't want to put limitations with regards to our music. Coz in our opinion, if any music
nor metal band inspires you a method of playing, then you might be able to play according to the limit of their method. But that is not actually playing freely nor creating your
very own metal music. If you want to understand the truth in metal music, to create any music clearly, you must throw away the notions of styles, prejudices, likes, dislikes, and
so forth. Then your mind will cease all conflict and come to rest. In this silence, you will see totally and freshly. That's all we can say, that's our way. Maybe, that's why they
always say Genital Grinder is very different from all the Filipino metal bands that they've heard and seen. For sure, many will argue about this, no one else but our detractors
around the scene, particularly the narrow-minded ones. You see people, acceptance, denial, and conviction prevents understanding. They must let their minds move together
with another's in understanding with sensitivity. Then, there is a possibility of real communication. To understand one another, there must be a state of choice less awareness
where there is no sense of comparison or condemnation, no waiting for a futher development of discussion in order to agree or disagree. In that state, there will be unity
among local bands. Stop backstabbing each other metalheads! Genital Grinder have existed for about thirteen straight years already. In our own opinion, at first it's about
understanding metal music coz it's impossible for a two year old kid to understand metal that quickly? And as time goes by, it's about understanding your individual selves
already, it's like applying and contributing our own skills, ablility and ideas to metal music. You see, maturity does not mean to become a captive of conceptualization, it is the
realization of what lies in our inner most selves. That's the essence that makes a band distinct amongst local metal bands. When Genital Grinder plays, we don't think of
entertaining the crowd or the listeners, we're just trying to reach out! We're just here to please ourselves, to express our music, and to give our message. Genital Grinder is not
here to challenge any band, we're not here to compete, we're here to wake them up and open their minds. Ok, we admit we're not the first one when the local metal scene have
started, even though some call us one of the pioneers of metal in the Philippines. Thanks for that given title! But one thing is for sure, here in the Philippines, Genital Grinder is
the first band that bravely wrecked the stage without any over acting emotions or choreographed movements. Our feelings for it come from our hearts, and we keep at it.
Genital Grinder is not just sound, but also visual! Action! Our music makes us move like that! We are for real! When you see us playing on that damn stage, that's the real
us! We're just trying to behave ourselves when we're not playing on that stage! That is Genital Grinder!
What can you say about the following bands? Blood-Shedd, End Of Man, Kronos, Paganfire, and Resurrected.
Inside the Blood-Shedd camp you can also find all the great individual metalheads in there! It's all monsters piled in one hell of a band! Noon Penetralia pa lang sila ok na
yang mga yan! We know that they are also humble metalheads and they are true to their craft. Again, like Genital Grinder, we're also wondering why they're not always in the
line-ups of metal gigs? About the sincere and powerful metalheads: End of Man, Kronos, and Resurrected. Thank you very much for remembering Genital Grinder! Sana maka-
inuman namin kayo minsan! Kaso pare-pareho tayo wala money! Now, about Paganfire, we haven't met yet. How are you? We're Genital Grinder from Marikina and we come
in peace. Sometimes in four piece when one of our members is absent. We hope we could be friends also.
What does thrash metal mean to you?
For us, the riffs, the message, the whole musical atmosphere defines it. It's not that extreme, it's not that dark or gloomy, but is one of the branches of metal that really
pumps our adrenaline! It gets us charged up! It's like driving in full speed, it's like attacking aggressively yet not in a reckless way. It gives a hard punch and a hard kick!
That's thrash metal for us!
Genital Grinder wants to admit their fault from the past, for being anti-social, the real reason, we're just shy individuals and we're not conyo kids! But once you get to know the
real us, we're the kind of guys who are fun to get along with. Eric Perlas of Cog, which is also the engineer of Tower Of Doom Studio, knows that! Blasphemous Cremation
(The sincerest of all ex-convicts) Thanks for the fun, hehehe! Kamusta kay Fr. Paul of K.N.K., Thanks for the moral support! To Death After Birth, Akeldama, Amocrass,
Brutal Punishment, Mind Heart Blood, and tropang Antipolo. Get back here! The scene needs you! Alex Dela Cruz of In Dark Purity Zine, More power! Mga Anak Ng Tupa,
Death By Stereo, Powertools, The Laguna Metal Scene and Dumagueta Metal Scene (Pasensya na wala kami budget pang biyahe jan), Fin of Resurrected (Thanks for bringing
up those oldschool bands again!), Henjie Decena "The Metal Librarian and Metal Historian", Sir Gado (How's Germany?), George Regino, Emong Samson, Archie Camaniag,
Bane, Tristan, Madz and Mongi, Datu's Tribe and Purple Haze, Yohan, Stephen Tecson of Sultan, Rommel Dolores and the Taytay Boys, Taytay Artist Group, P.W.U. Fine Arts
Students (Macky Chua and specially the batch of 96 and 97), Students and Activists of Central College of the Philippines, Barangay Genital of Marikina City (Tutut and the Old
School Skaters nasan na kayo?), Special thanks to the girls who've understand and supported us: Lyndsay, Weng, Joy and Roxanne. Also those punks and other local metal
bands, new school and old school, and non-metal bands who've supported Genital Grinder, thank you for being kind to us! Let's all unite!