Hatebeak is taking extreme metal to even more extreme places. At the base of the bandâ€™s sound is Blake Harrison and Mark Sloan who cut vicious, technical, unforgiving grindcore and death metal. But, the true star of the band is Waldo their vocalist, an African grey parrot who squaks and screams while the band tears out nasty riff after nasty riff.
After a decade of releasing splits, this Friday, the band is about to release their debut long player this, Number of the Beak (Reptilian Records). The release includes their material released to date as well as a side of brand new songs. On the new tunes, the band gets even more daring in their embrace of the jagged and steely, cutting songs that have the gruesome pummeling of Napalm Death but the sheer spiraling of Nile. And Waldo? He spits and clicks and clacks out some of his most vicious vocal takes ever.
To learn about the new album, Punknewsâ€™ John Gentile spoke to Waldo about the LP, his bandmates, and being an Avian minority in the metal scene.
You know, Waldo, what I find most interesting about The Number of the Beak is how it both embraces the pillars of traditional grind, and also steers away from them.
Squaarrk! Chrrrr chrrrr! Squaaaark! *scratch* Squaaark!
I think because you are such a unique vocalist that people spend a lot of their time listening to the sound of your voice as opposed to what you are saying. Is that frustrating for you?
Eeeerrrk! Squaaark! Chrrrr chrrr chrrr rrrrrrr. *scratch scratch* Chrrrrrr.
Fascinating. You know, I never thought about it like that. Along those lines, the band backing you has some really complex, heavy, and technical prowess. How much of the music is you directing the band?
Eeeaaakkk!!! Squaark squark! Chrrrrr. Pieces of eight, pieces ofâ€¦ eight. Errrk
Oh, wow! So, youâ€™re the main drive behind everything in the band?
Have you ever been tempted to fire your bandmates and maybe start a solo projectâ€¦ like the band Danzig?
Chrrrrr chrrrrr. *scratch* Pieces of eight! Errrrk!
You know, Iâ€™ve interviewed a lot of bands that promote feminist ideas. Some of them donâ€™t like the fact that they are female being a basis for the interview because really, it just shouldnâ€™t be a big deal at all. But, some of them do like speaking about womenâ€™s issues in punk and metal because they are a minority. There really arenâ€™t that many African Parrot singers in extreme metal. How comfortable are you with that being a focus of interviews?
Piecesâ€¦ pieces of eight! Squuuaaaaaaaark! Chk chkâ€¦ chrrrrrâ€¦ Errrk! Squaaark! Squark squark! Eeeerrrk! Squaaark! *scratch scratch* Chrrrrrr. Eeeaaaaawww! Squaark! Chrk! Squark squark. Pieces of eight. Pieces of eight. *scratch* Errrk. Eeeerrrk! Squaaark! Chrrrr chrrr chrrr rrrrrrr. *scratch scratch* Chrrrrrr. Chk chkâ€¦ chrrrrrâ€¦ Errrk! Squaaark! Squark squark! Eeeerrrk! Squaaark! *scratch scratch* Chrrrrrr. Pieces of eight! Pieces… pieces of eight! Squaaaark! Chrrrrr Eaaaw!!! *scratch scratch* Chrrrrrr. Chk chkâ€¦ chrrrrrâ€¦ Errrk! Squaaark! Eaaaw! Eaw!!! Chk chk chk… chk… *scratch* Errrk! Squaaark! Squark squark! Eeeerrrk! Squaaark! Errrk! Squaaark! Eaaaw! Eaw!!! Squaaark! *scratch* Chrrrrrr. Eeeaaaaawww! Squaark! Chrk! Squark squark. Pieces… quark squark! Eeeerrrk! Squaaark! Errrk! Squaaark! Eaaaw!
Thatâ€™s really moving. Because your background is so different than most of you listeners, they might have a hard time identifying with your lyrics. How open are you to individual interpretation when people are focusing on your vocals?
*scratch* eerrk! Eaaaw! Squaaaark! Chrrrrr. Chrrrrr.
See, for me, you can take a lot of meaning out of this interesting trans-species collaboration. Even if you donâ€™t get all the words, there really is a certain thing conjured by this unqiue contrast. Plus, the grind itself is really, really good.
Squaaaark! Chrrrrr Eaaaw!!!
Wrapping up, whatâ€™s something thatâ€™s really going to surprise us on this new record?
Eaaaw! Squaaaark! Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight! Chhrrrrrrr. Squaaaaaak!
Profound, Waldo. Profound.