Larry Wang sits as the ruler of extreme metal in Taiwan. His biggest claim to the throne is the stoner grind band Gorepot, which he started in 2008 and composes all the music for, though he has also been a part of such bands as Flesh Juicer and Beyond Cure. Mr. No Days Off keeps himself extremely busy with new bands popping up seemingly weekly. Some of Larry’s other projects include Fatuous Rump, Perverse Imagery, Guttural Corpora Cavernosa, Coprocephalic, Tracriomy, Virginity Fraud, Maggot Colony, Emasculated Vituperation, Lesbian Tribbing Squirt, Gingivectomy, Umbilical Asphyxia, Geisha Dissection and Facelift Deformation.
Seems like a lot, right. Are these all of your projects?
There’s a couple more bands I am working on but in different genres. I am in the process of experimenting at the moment, so I will figure out when’s a good time to reveal them!
How did you first get involved in extreme music?
Back in middle school when I was still in Taiwan, I’d always checked out the Western rock section in a record store and spent hours in them trying to check everything out. No one was doing that at my age so I was making friends in school but I was soon isolated when I started to really get into music. There was a lot of phases, like the Weezer phase, Nirvana phase, punk, thrash, then I found Cannibal Corpse but it was a bit not what I was looking for. In the end I found Dying Fetus and from that moment I knew what I wanted and kept on looking for similar sounds. I couldn’t get any information on anything at the time so I just started downloading bands like Foetopsy, Katalepsy, and Fuck… I’m Dead. What really got to me is this particular sound from Purulent Jacuzzi, Amputated, Vulvectomy, and from Waking the Cadaver. With these bands I noticed there was a genre called slam, so that’s how I really found out what I really wanted to do and kept on doing it for 12+ years.
For each band, do you get into a different mindset for how the lyrics and vocals should reflect the music?
Oh, for sure – way back in the day, when I just had Gorepot, and we just started Guttural Corpora Cavernosa, the guitarist from Flesh Juicer couldn’t be with the band, so I had to make sure that band members kept active. I couldn’t get away from the sound I do for Gorepot – they said they are both too similar, so I started to experiment with how to think differently as a person. At the time I’d transitioned my job completely from an IBM engineer to a tattoo machine sales manager. I’d noticed my mindset had changed, so I tried to learn a bunch of new techniques in song writing and just mess around on guitars and drum machines about an hour (since I don’t have too much time to do music in general) a day to figure out how to branch out into new styles and concepts. I have a lot of crap I tested out that no one would ever like (laughs).
For other bands, you do bass or guitar. Which ones are they?
I started out by doing bass actually. I’d joined a band back when I was studying in SFSU (San Francisco State University) called Talking to a Wall. We had a very minimal fan base but it was loads of fun – all the jamming, picking up the drummer to load the whole drum set and the guitar amps into a car to the practice room with just power outlets. We would drive about four hours to play a show with three people watching – two being our friends. Then when I got back to Taiwan, I auditioned for a band called Horsemen, which was basically all Metallica cover songs. I had to do army duty for two years then, but when I got out, I joined the deathcore band Beyond Cure and did that for eight years. With Beyond Cure I was playing, making merch, redoing the logo, getting the CDs distributed and organizing international tours. We did two weeks in China and then went back for about a 10-day tour opening up for Dying Fetus at Mao Livehouse in Beijing, and once in Korea. The most recent bass position I did was for Maggot Colony where we toured Europe, played in Thailand multiple times, as well as Japan, Korea and some local shows. Then I joined Facelift Deformation and just did a bunch of bass recording for the band!
For some stuff, you do everything – Gorepot, Lesbian Tribbing Squirt and Umbilical Asphyxia. How do you manage what becomes a band project and what becomes something just produced by your own hand?
I actually do everything for Fatuous Rump too – the drummer put his own touch to the drums for this upcoming album and they sound way better than I can do. As for what becomes a band, I try to write more than 10 songs and see what my friends think, then I start to gather ideas of what I want to do (I want to do a lot of things and have just too many riffs, so I feel if they weren’t published it would be a waste) so until I reach a point of constant writing that I feel like they need to be named a band, I just go for it. It’s very hard to catch a label’s attention without being famous, but Brutal Mind has helped me greatly in putting faith into my projects. I also work my ass off trying to get them noticed, so all in all it has worked out really well for starting projects.
Besides your bands, who else do you think is representing extreme music in Taiwan the best?
To be honest the scene here is pretty much dead. The fans became musicians without figuring out what they really like or dig too deep to find out what the world is about. They are very mainstream oriented so there’s no parallel scenes to the mainstream. There’s a couple of grindcore bands and this stoner/doom band I heard at practice but they never put anything out, so I would say there’s nothing that represents extreme music from my perspective. The so-called extreme music that exists now are not really extreme anymore that’s also why. I really want to enjoy local extreme bands and want to discover them but since I know a ton of people in the scene so I am sure they don’t exist.
You also run Fat Tub of Lard Records, which has licensed merch from many bands including Dying Fetus and Skinless. What can bands do to get involved with you there?
The bands get a percentage of the royalties so they can sell at shows – they don’t have to worry about production and we offer a very reasonable price if they want to buy extra. We try to produce a lot so the bands get a good cut. As for bigger bands, they require cash, so that’s just regular business stuff in our opinion as they get a good chunk of cash from what they do already. If bands want to get involved, bands have to put effort into promoting themselves too – it doesn’t work one way. As a suggestion, get noticed first, make sure the genre they do fits what we offer (many bands send in black metal, lazy grindcore, really poorly produced slam, and have really narrow-minded cocky attitudes that wants us to do the really unappealing art they have), be original, and if they can get attention from girls that’s a plus because girls generally have better taste in art.
Speaking of art, you have connections with a lot of artists – many of whom have done album covers for you. Who would you like to pimp out here?
There’s a lot of underrated artists out there, personally my ultimate favorites are Aditia Wardhana, Armaada Art, Lordigan, Visual Darkness, Tony Koehl, and Tony Cosgrove. The Indonesians seem to be taking over the scene now due to the wide range of concepts they can pull off, but I am still in search of really unique artists that haven’t been discovered yet.
You have been at it for a while, but do you see many youngsters in Taiwan getting interested in playing extreme metal? What do you think the future is for it in Taiwan?
There is no future for extreme music in Taiwan, period. The only youngsters I know are the people in my new band, Emasculated Vituperation who are 19, 20, and 24 years of age. There’s another guy I forced to produce songs, named Kiniro Mosaic, in which I recorded everything and he put his vocals in. Fatuous Rump got accepted into a few festivals but later got rejected. I also try to offer music at a local music/clothing store that is also sponsored by the government and they can’t get into the sound. The festivals are government sponsored and they don’t want variety in the fests. They sponsor a lot of bands that sound almost identical to Omnipotent Youth Society and Song Dongye, and the fests are identical to Japanese fests and the bands are a combination of Japanese city/dream pop mixed with modern Japanese punk. So according to this I would say the genre is dead and unless our political party changes, there will be no hope. It sucks and most people would disagree but this is a fact and I can’t really change anything unless I suck up and speak out on this weird political position we are in right now.