Noothgrush Talks "Bowel-Loosening Heaviness," Tom Petty, and Miami's 305 Fest

See 305 Fest's full lineup and set times -- plus Crossfade's interviews with Speedfreak Presents, Merchandise, Torche, and Dropdead.

Bay Area heavyweights Noothgrush are heavier than the Higgs boson particle.

Back in the early '90s, the 'Grush took a long, hard look at the explosive, West Coast powerviolence scene -- whose modus operandi was, of course, always play faster -- and responded with lumbering bong-riffs played slower than a tortoise forced to drag a wheel-barrow filled with sand while high as a kite on purple drank.

Want to experience the weed-music equivalent to approaching the event horizon of a black hole? Well, get ready for this weekend's 305 Fest where Noothgrush will be taking the stage.

Crossfade: Stoner metal, sludge, doom ... What does Noothgrush play?

Noothgrush: Our band lies in the netherworld where metal and punk meet. Metal brings its riffs and punk brings its politics and the two fight it out, with both sides eventually breaking down in tears and admitting they really only hate themselves. It's kind of touching, really.

A lot of lumbering, metallic, heavy music draws inspiration from Southern Rock and/or weed. What inspires Noothgrush to make such thick sounds?

Aside from our riff-merchant forebearers, an almost painful level of social awareness, weed, self-hatred, and a simple love of bowel-loosening heaviness, our number-one influence is easily Tom Petty.

Can metal get any heavier? Should it? Harder, slower, deeper? Is lugubrious pummeling becoming redundant? Or can we, as listeners and as players, still get lower.

Technologically, metal can probably get heavier and heavier until its amplified weight literally crushes all who listen. I look forward to that day. The only concern is that more pop-oriented bands wanting to capitalize on the allure of heaviness will issue forth such a swath of watered-down mediocrity that no one will really know what heaviness is anymore.

Is Noothgrush a fully activated band at this point? Or would you view the present era as paying tribute to the band's legacy?

Definitely the latter. Our other bands, jobs, families, and drug dependencies limit the extent to which the band can operate. Things could change, but not likely.

Has Noothgrush (or any of your other projects) ever made it to Florida? What were those trips like?

Noothgrush only played in Florida once, on our 1999 tour. We played in Gainesville between shows in New Orleans and Raleigh. We decided not to go down to Miami because of the time cost, which is why it's so great that Speedfreek is putting on the 305 Fest. All I remember about the show in '99 is that afterward I fell asleep in a comfy chair on someone's porch and woke up at 4 a.m. covered in bugs. They were delicious.

Has any member of the band ever actually witnessed a Noothgrush on their toothbrush?

I thought I did once. But it was just a mass of random tissue and fur that had been stuck in my teeth for a few years. That I could have done without.

305 Fest with Bastard Noise, Iron Lung, Dropdead, Noothgrush, Torche, Jacuzzi Boys, Floor, and others, presented by Speedfreak. Friday, July 6, to Sunday, July 8. Churchill's Pub, 5505 NE Second Ave., Miami. Doors open at 4 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Three day passes cost $60 via speedfreak.bigcartel.com. Call 305-757-1807 or visit churchillspub.com.

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