COUGH   "Ear Abuse"
Interview With Parker Chandler

By Earthdog

Here is a short, straight to the point interview with Parker Chandler, bass player and vocalist for COUGH who are anything but typical. They get compared to a lot of bands but as you know, opinions are like assholes, everybody has one. Yet COUGH stand alone with their brand of crushing Doom. They have released two of the greatest albums that needed to be made in the genre with "Sigillum Luciferi" in 2008 and this years, "Ritual Abuse". Grab some antibiotics and get ready to head into the dreary world of COUGH...

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: First up, congratulations on the new album. It seemed to take a while to get released, how long did you work on the album?

PARKER CHANDLER: We recorded the 'Ritual Abuse' in October of 2009. We had been trying to write it since releasing 'Sigillum Luciferi' but we did some touring and had some issues and we didn't really start making any progress until the beginning of 2009.

WC: I would like to turn the clock back a little here and talk about your early days as a band. The first album came out of nowhere for me and blew me away but I gather there was a lot of work getting to that point. Can you tell the readers about those early days of the band?

PC: When we started jamming we had all been friends who would hang out and listen to a lot of Melvins, Cavity, Eyehategod and shit like that. That's probably reflected on our first release (the Kingdom EP). It's a bit more southern and up-tempo at times. People probably thought it was a lot more fun back then.

WC: The band gets compared to Electric Wizard a lot which is something rather unfair in my book as there is more to the band than that. Did you model yourself on any band when you first started?

PC: There was no band that we set out to be like. The Electric Wizard comparisons are gonna happen because people just regurgitate what they hear other people saying.

WC: . How has the business relationship been with Relapse so far?

PC: It's been cool. We're finally figuring out who to email about what questions, etc. The promotion is ridiculous (in a good way). We went into it expecting nothing so it's hard to be disappointed.

WC: You have been on the road a lot lately, how has that been going so far?

PC: We just got back from playing 34 shows in 37 days. Overall, it was a success. We made it home.

WC:. How has been the reviews for the new album and do you really care about reviewers opinions?

PC: It's cool to hear what people have to say but we don't put a lot of stock in it. Anybody with a computer can talk shit but, for the most part, if they're writing about it online they're not out there doing it. That's the only thing I respect. That being said, the reviews have been mostly positive.

WC: When you went in to record "Ritual Abuse," what was the band's mindset like at the time? Was it a concerted effort by the band to blow the first album away or do something different? The album to me seems like a logical progression from the first album.

PC: We just recorded the songs we'd written. Basically everything we had worked on over the 2 years between records. We knew that it was a progression, things had gotten more melodic, and we'd gone through a slight line-up change but all the music was written by the same 3 people that have written it all along. We just wanted to make another Cough record.

WC: Also, the split album you did with The Wounded Kings has one of the best Cough tracks ever in my opinion. How the hell did you manage to sit on that one for so long?

PC: We didn't sit on it at all. That song was written the weekend before we went into recording. We'd had the concept and some of the riffs prepared but I think that sleep deprivation really played a large part in the creation of that song.

WC: The doom-metal community can be a fickle bunch at times. You can be "the band of the month" and disappear into obscurity shortly after. So what is your opinion on the scene overall, I know every scene has its assholes but how do you rate the scene as a whole?

PC: I think the internet doom crowd can be a bunch of assholes. The people we meet in real life are always cool, always down to help us with a place to crash or free drugs.

WC: I hope I am not out-of-line here but the new album seems like a more mature effort from the band while still remaining true to the sound of the band. Apart from the obvious growing older element, was there a need within the band to express things in a mature fashion?

PC: Things just got more serious. Getting older fucking sucks. Even at a relatively young age we're all dealing with health problems as a result of not treating our bodies well. We work shit jobs. We lived in a warehouse for a period while writing the record and that only caused more problems. Basically, after a certain point, the fun is over.That's kinda where we are now and where we were at while writing this record.

WC: The sound the band gets is vintage but with a thick, modern heaviness. What equipment do you use and how was the new album recorded. It sounds very analog but it also sounds like some really old vintage equipment was used.

PC: Sanford's(Parker, ubiquitous producer--Dr. M ) got some older synths and stuff that he likes to use on the records and we've got a couple 1970's guitar and bass heads that we like to use. We love the vintage gear, anything being made nowadays is shit as far as I'm concerned.

WC: How much do you really love doom and sludge? Could you play slow and heavy forever or is there the constant temptation to play faster, lighter music?

PC: There is no temptation to play anything lighter/faster. We like to keep it dark and real. If we had anything positive to say we probably wouldn't be playing music.

WC: Could you tell the readers about some of the lyrics ? They are dark and somewhat evil but is there hidden meanings to some of the songs?

PC: There's nothing really hidden. Some of the songs are metaphors for futility, drugs, or worthlessness but the rest typically deal with our personal feelings of depression and death.

WC: So what has the band got planned for 2011?

PC: We're touring Europe in 2011 and hitting Roadburn while we're over there. Aside from that, hopefully we'll do more touring of the US, maybe Canada. We really wanna take some time off the road and write some new songs but you gotta get out there while people still give a shit about the new record.

WC: Thanks for putting up with my somewhat predictable questions ha ha. Any last words for the readers?

PC: Check our shit out and form your own opinion. Stay tuned into because he knows what the fuck is up!