Monday, February 21, 2011
Mark Van Fleet's Married Life Quarterly is a Sick Zine
Noisebloid just learned that Mark Van Fleet (Sword Heaven) has been writing a zine called Married Life Quarterly since 2008. This is a print zine published in Columbus, Ohio and is full of interesting interviews, reviews, and stories of married life. And every issue is dedicated to his wife Jen Burton! We are going to post his interview with Nathan and Papa Ben of Tusco Terror. In this interview the Tusco boys reflect on their discography. Don't forget to click on the links and check out the rest of the zines!
DISCOGRAPHY SELF REFLECTION
By NATHAN and PAPA BEN
-split w/Nautical Almanac/c60/no label
Nathan-Papa and I made this tape in the summertime. We were living in Kent
Ohio... I think it's me playing drums and Papa playing guitar... We played some of
our very first shows with Nautical Almanac and we were so excited about their
band... We used different parts of some recordings from the two Ohio shows we
played with them... We printed the cases/inserts in the Kent State printmaking
studio.... It was just white paper screen printed to look like ruled notebook
paper...Carly Ptak helped us fold the paper cases... we used a typewriter to write the
info onto the covers. Half of them say "Spookwolf 4" which was the original name
of the band (a sequel to 3 movies we all made in high school)... I haven’t listened to
it in a while but last time I did I thought it was pretty awful... and really long..
nautical stuff is fucking insane though. really
Papa- I vaguely remember recording this. We were trying to make good use of
everything in our basement. I should have a copy of this somewhere but I haven’t
listened to it since shortly after it was recorded but I can’t imagine that it would be
very good. It was thrown together pretty quickly between to two shows with
Nautical Almanac and I think it was mostly to have something present them.
-Live New Years Day/c60/King Toot (kt02)
Nathan-An early show from a basement in Kent. Doesn’t sound much like the
majority of our tapes... lots of percussion and vocals. The band was Weber, Talons,
Papa and me.
Papa- This was a personal favorite recording of mine for a while. I’m not sure what
I would think if I heard it now. Lots of low end, manic screaming and tape
distortion. Everyone was shitfaced. Everyone got destroyed by flying drums and
cymbals. We wore armbands back then because no one respected us and we didn’t
give a fuck. Not that much has changed. The B side is cut up material that we did in
our basement in Kent. It is mostly drums and circuit bent electronics. We did a lot of
percussion in our early days up through the first tour.
-Forest of no Relief/CDr/Heresee (hs23)
Nathan-Nautical Almanac asked us to do a CDR for them and we felt so honored to
make it cause we all think they are one of the most fucked up bands ever... So Papa
and I recorded this in 3 days with the help of Talons and Weber. Weber played
trumpet live and on all his early recordings,,,other than that we were just using
vocals and drums... Talons was using some tape loops he made. The different songs
on this recording have some real obvious structures to them but its still totally
warped and a lot of the sources of sound are totally distorted and indecipherable.
Papa- Nathan and I spent a number of very late nights putting this one together. Our
tracks mostly consisted of one person making sound in some form and the other one
manipulating it. The first cover we sent to Heresee was shot down. It was a drawing
I did of a rabbit ghost king complete with crown and scepter on a napkin in
ballpoint pen. It was pretty shitty. We sent them the new drawing of the eagles
screaming “Tusco Terror” which Carly screen printed on watercolor paper. The Cdr
has an early Tusco logo Nathan drew also screened by Carly. The interior sleeve is a
true artifact… a piece of wallpaper torn straight from the walls of Tarantula Hill
before the fire. The full image depicts a Victorian
-Touch of the Downs/recycled cassettes/Tusco Embassy (14min)/(te02)
Nathan-Made about 10 or so of these. Not unlike the Forest of no Relief recordings.
Except this was the first thing we recorded after we moved to the Diamond Shiners
in Akron. I don't have a copy of this. We gave most of them away to the people in
our new neighborhood.
Papa- I always remembered having an uncomfortable feeling when I listened to it.
This one lowered the bar. Hence the title. It was an exercise in unlearning shame.
-Gold/c60/Exinfut, Tusco Embassy/(te01)
Nathan-Doesn't say "Gold" on it anywhere, but it was printed in gold ink in Kent
State's Printmaking Lab (my least favorite place at the time)... We recorded all the
stuff on this tape in Diamond Shiners over about a year. Hard to believe that we
could get anything done in that place cause all of us were beyond fucked up while
we lived at that place... Its a good tape with a lot of different approaches to recording
and improvising throughout. This recording has Papa, Weber, Talons, Natalie,
Russco and me on it.
Papa- Initially this was conceived as an experimental disco album. I don’t
necessarily think we conveyed that very well or that we came up with a very good
plan for executing this but it was on our mind at least to some degree during the
recording process. I feel like this reached a new level for us at the time and set a
precedent for the recordings to follow. Yes, this undoubtedly was the most “fucked
up” period for the band. Contains the tracks Blood Dreadlock and Bodacious Load.
-Tore Up (live)/3"CDr/King Toot (kt03)
Nathan-Three live gigs in Akron and Kent played simultaneously. sounds pretty
chaotic. performed by Weber, Papa Mike and me,,, recorded by Russco. Released by
some "bootleg" dude who also re-released the early comp of pre Tusco related bands
called "Noxious Burning Urinary Tract Infection" in 1998.
Papa- I believe the Kent performance was a show we had set up with Indian Jewelry
(they were NTX + Electric at the time). We opened that set with deadly swinging
guitar action. One of the first and last sets we used guitars for a long time because
they always became instruments of destruction and we always got beat up pretty
badly. After one of the Akron performances, somebody shouts “ That sucked soooo
bad!” I responded with words and gestures. A section of it can be heard on the end of
the recording. The cover art was tie-dye inspired.
-Tumor Eclipse/CDr/Durable Stimuli, Tusco Embassy (dust16, te05)
Nathan-One of my favorite early ones. First edition (on Steve Dracula's label) was
less than 20 and packaged in 5 1/2" floppy disks. The T/E version was issued in
oversized spray painted foam chunks. There are 42 tracks on the CDr and only about
5 or 6 are more than 3 seconds long... pretty wierd bad trip vibes and odd ball harsh
Papa- Yeah, I’ve always been proud of this one. I think everyone feel the same
about this recording. Probably the most ridiculous recording session ever. Lots of
throwing gear down stairs. Everyone was going berzerker full panic mode. Aaron
Dilloway later reviewed it as having “total disregard for anything." We have always
been really proud of that statement and amazed at how much it captured the spirit of
that release. Shame was no longer an achievable emotion.
-split w/Heart2heart & Leslie Keffer/CDr/(tour only, no label)
Nathan-Made about 30 or 40 of these for our first tour. our tracks were two tracks of
unedited cruddy basement murk. The Leslie Keffer tracks are exceptional... I think
one of her songs was a tribute to Glen Danzig.
-Great Barrier/c40/Pink Triforce (no catalog number)
Nathan-The first time a person we hadn't met before asked us to do a release. Brian
Seger is a really nice dude. He explained our music as "Punk Rock Musique
Concrete", which i always liked a lot.
-Feral Cousins/c32/Tusco Embassy (te04)
Nathan-After I moved to Cleveland we decided to try and practice/record at my new
place. I was kinda weary about pissing off my new roomates so we broke into an
empty rental house a block away. We recorded both sides of the tape in about an
hour in the "cottage house" and mixed, mastered, dubbed and printed the tape the
same night. The first side was used as our side on the Emeralds split record on
Ecstatic Peace two years later.
Papa-This has a very organic feel to it. We utilized a lot acoustic instruments when
we recorded this one. The original cassette release had an amazing psychedelic
Tusco logo that Nathan drew. It was screened in two colors on brown paper. We
tried to replicate this recording at a Cleveland show at the Church. It was part of a
two day festival. We stacked all our amps ten feet high, and it came tumbling down
within thirty seconds, disconnecting everything. Somehow we “performed” for
another ten minutes. Russ and Nathan pushed an amp onto my head and while I was
laying helplessly on stage, they pulled my pants down. For whatever reason we were
the headlining act. It was not received well.
-split with Emeralds/c24/Tusco Embassy (te08)
-Tore Up III (live)/CDr/Wagon (no catalog number)
-split w/Emeralds (christmas tape 06)/c40/Tusco Embassy, Wagon (te11)
Bad Acid/one sided 7”/Tusco Embassy(te20)
Papa- This was the first vinyl release for Tusco Embassy. It was completed at the
same time as the Ecstatic peace split. This is one of the few recordings that every
single member of Tusco Terror was present. We recorded it similar to Touch of the
Downs and Tumor Eclipse. It was a celebration of absurdity. One side of the 7” was
etched. The packaging was a screened Russco collage with Tusco Logo.
Papa-I like this one a lot. It could be considered a follow up to Gold. It was recorded
and mixed in the same kind of process with a year worth of material and had a loose
theme and featured similar packaging. This was our first release that was directly
influenced by the abomination that is metal. Like Gold, I don’t know how much of
that is conveyed to the listener but that is what gives it it's "Tusconess". It is
something Like forty tracks blurred together. Contains Dry Birth and Hell Wax.
Seventy Second Eternal/c20/Chondritic Sound (ch-203)
Papa- These releases are not related in any way except that they were both,
conceptually, experiments with fidelity. The idea was conceived while working on
the Hanson tape. Perhaps, better expressed on Seventy Second Eternal. Each session
was recorded simultaneously on multiple pieces of equipment which varied greatly
in recording quality.
-Yellow River/10" lathe/endleseries (TR#12))
-split w/Fossils/c60/5nakefork (5f21)
-Mapping a Burial/CDr/Cut Hands (ch026)
One of a few relcordings that I would categorize as super skronky. Four or Five
guitar wall of scum.
-Oozer/c24/Eye Wish Arts/(eye wish 21)
-split with Emeralds (Vaporizer/Feral Cousins)/LP/Ecstatic Peace (e#105h)
-Plumb Creak/c20/teenage whore (UNRELEASED)
Recorded onto three or four tape decks in the middle of the woods in kent ohio.
Sound of smashing dilapidated playground equipment
-Golden Touch/c22/i just live here (cat#??)
-Tore Up II/c20/Mistake by the Lake (msl005)
Cool live set from diamond shiners new years eve show. Tape starts with Alice
Cooper’s “18”.. pretty excellent live moments on here.
-split w/Birds of Delay/c40/5nakefork (UNRELEASED)
Nathan-Never released but I remember this recording as being one of the best guitar
heavy recordings that we made at the Embassy space in Cleveland. A standout
moment is when Papa bursts into some weird riff and sings “Ride, Sally Ride”.. the
rest of it sounds like zz top on ketamine.
-split w/Dying Live c20/ A Soundesign
-split w/Wether/c20/905 Tapes (905-1)
Nathan-Loved the track we submitted for the first 905 tape but somehow the final
mix was really quite and didn’t really sound very good.
-split w/Sword Heaven/c52/Teen Action (tar015)
-track "scumbagg" from It's Battery Acid You Slime/cassette comp/Heavy
Nathan- I was having problems naming all the tracks we had been putting together at
this time so I just used a few popular nicknames I earned during my residency in
-track on Brains on Backwash/cassette comp/905 Tapes (905-31)
-split with Druids of Huge/Terror Tapes vol.41/Middle James Co. (mjc242)
-God Has Forgotten About This Place/8" Lathe/Tusco Embassy (te40)
Papa-This was recorded over a weekend in the basement of a large house where
Nathan was dog sitting. It is also one of the only sessions where a track was
dedicated to each performer. There is something distinct about it. I think it has a
subtlety not present on other recordings. Clear Vinyl. Great packaging
design by Stoney.
-Scummer/LP/Tusco Embassy (te50)
Papa-This is our only full length vinyl release. It contains material recorded from
another session at the Hudson House. It also has a live performance from a junkyard
just outside of our hometown. We performed in front of heavy duty construction
equipment. Once again, it was directly influenced by the unlimited amount of metal
we were listening to at the time, and of course, our always present themes, tormented
psychedelia and impoverished lifestyles. We completely cleared the place out. A
photo from the show is printed on the backside of the cover. The front depicts “the