FISSURE is a well-known Southern California hard-core “powerviolence” band currently based out of Los Angeles and Orange County—although two of the band’s members, Dylan Arseo (drums) and Brendan Duff (bass), are Coachella Valley natives. Arseo is well-known for shows at his mother’s house in Cathedral City, which has been named “The Cathedral of Hardcore.” For more information on FISSURE, visit fissurehcpv.bandcamp.com. Full disclosure: Brendan Duff is a friend of mine; I met him more than 10 years ago, and I personally blame him for my being a fan of Elliott Smith. Brendan was kind enough to answer the Lucky 13; here are his answers.
What was the first concert you attended?
My parents took me and my brother Darragh to see U2 when we were younger, and it was ridiculous. The stage was bigger than a football field, and Bono was prancing around like a goddamned show pony the entire time.
What was the first album you owned?
Green Day, Dookie.
What bands are you listening to right now?
Odio, Warthog, Botch, Soul Swallower, Decade, Poison the Well, Sex Prisoner, Symptom, Q.O.P., Devil Master, Throats, Goolagoon, Kriegshog, Sea Of Shit, Final Bombs, and CROM.
What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?
A lot of the electronic dance music is just way over my head. I refuse to believe that people actually enjoy it. It sounds like a computer having a panic attack. I’m involved in an insanely stupid music genre, though, so I can’t talk too much shit.
What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?
G.I.S.M. would make my head explode. I couldn’t afford to fly to the Netherlands to see them play last year, and they played in Japan a few months after we toured over there. Fingers crossed that it’ll happen, since they’re active again.
What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?
Elliott Smith, hands down the best.
What’s your favorite music venue?
The Cathedral of Hardcore. Close second was (Corona’s) Showcase Theatre (R.I.P.).
What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?
“Some believe in Jesus, some believe in Allah, but nigga’s like me believe in making dollars,” DJ Quik, “Safe + Sound.”
What band or artist changed your life? How?
Conflict was the band that really had a huge impact on me when I was younger. The Ungovernable Force is a masterpiece of an album—some real pinkies-up shit, ha ha. The songs are just really well put together, and you can tell that they put so much into them. (The band has) the best politically charged lyrics out there, and song-structure-wise, it’s just top notch. I can still get goose bumps from listening to it.
You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?
I’d ask Jesse F. Keeler if he has a road case for his bass head, or if it’s sturdy enough on its own, and how nervous he gets having to fly that damned thing around for tours. I’d also ask him if he’s ever had to have any repairs done to it, or any modifications. It would basically be a long, long gear geek-out conversation, seeing as how he has, hands down, the best bass tone out there.
What song would you like played at your funeral?
Right after my friends tip my casket over, I want Yngwie Malmsteen’s “Anguish and Fear” to play. An added bonus would be if a fight would break out right after the first keyboard solo.
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
Broken Bones, F.O.A.D.
What song should everyone listen to right now?
The Carbonas, “Phone Booth.” If that song doesn’t get you in a good mood, you’re obviously dead. (Scroll down to hear it!)