This interview has been the first time I felt a fanboy-level of nervous excitement working
on Yellow Green Red. Bastard Noise’s Eric Wood is not so much a band member as he is a
hardcore legend, a wildly passionate individual whose technical proficiency matches his
limitless creativity. His group Man Is The Bastard were one of the best musical ideas
spawned from the 1990s, a powerful force of brutal prog-core with radical lyrics to match,
all performed with the intense level of skill and focus that has rendered them inimitable
nearly two decades later. By the mid ’90s, Wood and company shifted focus to Man Is
The Bastard’s noise project, the appropriately named Bastard Noise, which has been going
strong ever since. Through the use of homemade electronics and a network of likeminded
friends, Bastard Noise have taken their art to an extreme level that the rest of us can only
hope to catch up to someday. And just when we were getting used to their punishing sonics
and electronic atmospheres, Bastard Noise has ressurrected the “four steel girders” and
drum-kit with their split LP with The Endless Blockade, soon to be followed by A Culture
of Monsters
(Deep Six for the vinyl, Housepig and Hear More for the CD), which is said
to include more of their unique brand of power-violence, the genre of music they literally
created. Eric Wood was kind enough to answer my questions below, and since his formatting
and syntax convey his emphasis and style better than standard grammar and punctuation
ever could, I’m giving you his unedited responses. Let us all go on to love and serve the skull.

Is there a Bastard Noise mission statement?
To “serve the skull” and to reach as far as possible musically when composing T.B.N. material.
This takes the proper amount of rehearsal both independently and as a “skull unit” and the
taking of ones’ self to be able to execute the “skull sound”.

What does it mean to “serve the skull”? Is it possible for someone like myself to do so?
“Serving the skull” can be done in many ways. It is the bands’ “phrase” for someone outside our
immediate family merely supporting us in our work/creative process… You are doing it by
supporting us in any way,shape or form(preferably the “form” of “THE SKULL” !) This interview
is a perfect example how you are serving the skull.

The Man Is The Bastard skull has become about as iconographic in the underground
punk scene as the Germs circle or the Void crosses. Was there an intent to provide
such stark and memorable visual imagery along with the music?

That was the ABSOLUTE intent. It was meant to replace the endless “pretentious” band
pictures with something that could be envisioned as VERY comprehensive and even as a
“friend” over time. Nothing is sacred anymore in shit human society(especially when it
comes to pictures) Starker images and no “pictures of humanoids” is a better formula for
us and always has been(even in MAN IS THE BASTARD).

What was the impetus for revisiting bass guitar and drums on the Endless Blockade split?
It was already going to happen weather it was on “THE RED LIST” first or not – it just so
happened that NOLAN(T.E.B.) and I made a real commitment to make this release happen
and all other band members(from BOTH units) were luckily up to the brutal task. It had been
10 years since I had even played bass and I had come out of “major darkness” in my life and
at it just dawned on me one day(with the psychological help of NELSON)that I need to go
back to the “FOUR STEEL GIRDERS” no matter how long it took. I practiced by myself at least
1 year straight getting muscles re-conditioned and technique back and basically just started
writing material after that – the process was brutal. tt sounds like it was relatively simple but
that is the FURTHEST THING FROM THE TRUTH !!! Timing is EVERYTHING and with T.E.B. as
label-mates and co-workers, we simply had it made…

I think your commitment to honing your craft and dedication to practice really
comes through in the music. Do you think putting in this sort of practice and hard work
is getting lost on the younger generations of musicians, or are you optimistic about what
younger people will be able to create musically?

It still depends on the individual musician(some do not deserve the term) or unit/band
collective you putting the question to but in my humble skull opinion, it is in the great
scheme of things VERY lost… I used to not get CORRUPTED many years ago but decided
I really needed to give them way more of a chance through listening to their work( they
are one of the best examples of this) – as I did more listening to them, I slowly started to
“get it” and last year when we played with them in their home town of OSAKA, JAPAN at
their “regular” venue (NAMBA BEARS), I had a transcendental experience watching them
from behind(backstage with SOLMANIA/GUILTY CONNECTOR/FEROCIOUS X and other friends) –
Not only do CORRUPTED rehearse extensively BUT they are very attuned to climate,
attendance and materials a structure is constructed with( they have a very interesting
way of creating an equation for themselves that they see gives them the “perfect” live
show and that night, the ingredients were all there – They are an example of being WAY
MORE than a band. You see for CONNELL and myself, we were raised on ROCK first(bands
and then punk/H.C. came WAY LATER …I feel this benefits our sound very richly. Metal
comes from rock, punk comes from rock and h.c. comes from rock.

Do you consider noise to be, in essence, a political form of sound?
As far as the FUTURISTS and post WORLD WAR II sound composers,yes I do. War IS
political so the answer would be “yes”. They were direct products of the horrible annihilation
that occurred in europe during and post wartime. They individuals had the desire to
“construct” after major “destruction” !!!My real heros in sound come from alot of generational

How, if at all, have your views changed since Bastard Noise’s inception? Personal,
political, musical or otherwise.

Our personal views(and I believe I can speak for NELSON and CONNELL)have remained
consistent over the years, understanding corruption grows by the day and the “middle
class” is a fucking “endangered species” to say the least – the news is and always has
been bad for ones’ health.

Do you see political change as possible, or futile in our current society? Are
there any specific changes Bastard Noise advocates?

I think (this is my opinion only remember) everything is fixed – I mean WAR is the
biggest business (nothing worth a fuck has changed in the middle east) still and until war
funding STOPS, we have no chance of “the whole” getting ahead at all. I wish I didn’t
feel this way but I do. POLITICS IS CANCER – IT IS “INFLUENCE PEDDLING”. I advocate
the eradication of FEMA…

If there’s one thing a listener takes away from Bastard Noise, what would you
want that to be?

That we are an ever evolving unit that strives with each release to deliver challenging
music and messages that will take the listener away for a brief time(especially now with
“A CULTURE OF MONSTERS”) To realize when listening to T.B.N. that we care about the
music greatly.

Are there any collaborations that you’d like to do in future that have yet to happen?
I personally would like to do a CORRUPTED/BASTARD NOISE collaboration and a THRONES/
BASTARD NOISE collaboration but for now we must focus on ourselves and keep developing
the “skull sound” to perfection.

Both of those collaborations would be mindblowing. What is it about slower-
paced music that you find appealing?

Its’ their respect for “negative space” – that is the number one thing but I mean both
THRONES and CORRUPTED are very different in their approaches however BOTH use
“negative space” as a secret weapon. Both have absolute glorious visions of how to
transcend their material which in turn helps the listener feel a similar transcendence upon
listening to that material in concern be played back into their ears. Both artists can clearly
see the light at the end of the tunnel but enjoy the darkness while it is around !! These
units possess very patient individual players/people. They are both very special to us.

Is there any word on the Bastard Noise / Man Is The Bastard documentary? Are
there plans for a release?

That documentary is DEAD !!! There are plans for a BASTARD NOISE “live” documentary
(including footage from our 2009 JAPAN tour with the magnificent DANNY WALKER on
drums and our upcoming “A CULTURE OF MONSTERS” u.s. tour this summer) – it is a “long
process” endeavor though so patience must prevail for it too see the light of the skull
day. Much respect for the interview !!! contact T.B.N. : or