Back in December, S.C.’s Space Coke released their debut full length L’appel Du Vide on Mystery School Records and we’re still making sense of it all. That’s not a knock in the slightest though, it’s meant as a compliment to the band’s approach to all things fuzzy and stoner…ish. The net they cast is wide and covers everything from the classic metal vibe of Sabbath to riff driven hard rock to psychedelic haze and, to top it off, a touch of punk for good measure. If it sounds like a discombobulated mixture, it is but it’s an interesting and vastly different beast of an album. We spoke to guitarist and vocalist Reno Gooch to get a behind the scenes look so head below to get the scoop.
How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?
It all started for me on an electric guitar my uncle bought from a homeless man when I was around 8. It had a matching amp with a vibrato built in. I would just overdrive the amp with the vibe full up and loved the sound. Basically doing the same thing now. Financial success would be nice but I feel very successful artistically to be able to continue what I love to do for crowds.
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)
At one show I fell on a beer bottle while trying to twist my pedal knobs and cut my hand bad enough to need stitches. I was a bit wasted and thought making a medical kit out of a shot of tequila was a good idea. I poured it in the wound, then salted the wound, then squeezed the lime in it. It’s pretty hard to play a guitar neck that’s covered in blood. We then launched into a blood soaked cover of “Rock n’ Roll” by Motörhead.
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
I love seeing more variety in the players and more openness in the styles. I come from the weirder, more experimental side of things and seeing more of that made by a diverse group of people is exciting. The worst things are the polar opposite of that.
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?
Human rights. Living in a country that’s ruling class is using racism and inequality to blind people to raping them economically makes it a must to stand up for human rights. I stand up musically by booking lineups that are diverse and inclusive. I am a latino with grandfathers from Venezuela and India. My music is multicultural and anti-oppression. Every note is.
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
I started in the 80’s blasting thrash. I didn’t really pay attention to how others were taking the news. I was too busy going crazy to fast and loud music.
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
Don’t make everything critical. That’s about ego. You can write up a show calendar or announcement without trashing people that are working hard and going broke for their passions.
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
I’ll go for the cult definitely. As far as work I’m in the entertainment industry and also do film and TV acting. The drummer is a photographer. Jay Matheson, our bassist, owns the world famous Jam Room Studio in Columbia, SC where he employs Phillip Cope from Kylesa as an engineer. He has recorded a plethora of amazing metal records including classics by Baroness, Black Tusk and Kylesa.
When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
Heavy Temple, Monolord, Magmakammer, Saint Karloff, Blackwater Holylight, Coffin Torture.
What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?
We plan to do an even bigger full length in 2019 and as many videos as we can.
Summarize your band in exactly one word.
Many thanks to Reno and Space Coke for their time!