Interview by: Jess Petrylak
“Harsh Noise” is a musical style that is entirely characterized by static used in an expressive state, and often times challenges what is thought to be conventional in terms of musical practices. Sucker Magazine interviewed GRUTESK, a rising star in the genre of harsh noise who’s based in a quaint town in Upstate New York.
SUCKER: Who is GRUTESK?
GRUTESK: Grutesk is a harsh noise alias I use to let out some steam and just to create.
SUCKER: Not an entirely expanded upon genre, what sparked your interest in harsh noise?
GRUTESK: I honestly can’t pinpoint what exactly sparked my interest, but I’ve always been interested in more experimental music. I always wanted to be different with my music taste while growing up. When everyone was listening to pop music I was listening to more independent music. I could say that probably the band/group to get me into the genre would be a rap group by the name Clipping. If harsh noise interests you, you should check them out
SUCKER: What software do you use to create your music?
GRUTESK: Currently I’m using FL Studios to make this, but I want to expand my horizons and go with the traditional setup for noise music, which is with a mixer, and some guitar pedals.
SUCKER: Do you consider GRUTESK sort of an alter ego comparative to your natural self?
GRUTESK: I think I would, I would say I’m more calm and collective then Grutesk would be, I’d best say that Grutesk is more expressive of his emotions and does not take shit from anyone, a little on the chaotic side of things though.
SUCKER: How does the emotion of anger play its role within your music? Do any other emotions come out through this medium?
GRUTESK: I’d say if it hasn’t shown in the song titles of my latest EP “Violence”, it’d be my latest experimentation with vocals in some tracks and also the noise itself gives off an angry tone or feeling.
SUCKER: What are some responses you’ve gotten on your music? Good, bad?
GRUTESK: I’ve either have gotten “Oh that’s interesting” which usually means “This is terrible” or, (from people in the noise community) “This is some good stuff man keep it up.” I take anything as a compliment; I realize this genre isn’t for everyone it even took me a while before I was fully interested in it.
SUCKER: Do you believe truly anyone can be an artist (music, art, writing, etc)?
GRUTESK: I believe you if work hard at something you love, and you are putting in the effort then you can become an artist. If you go into anything either looking for money or trying to get famous thinking “oh this is so easy hahaha” you aren’t really going to get very far.
SUCKER: What would be on GRUTESK’s personal playlist?
GRUTESK: He would definitely have just a lot of variety of noise music, and extreme music.
SUCKER: You also craft your own album art, what are the benefits of being a completely independent artist that transcends many different creative mediums?
GRUTESK: I think that because I have somewhat of an idea with what looks good with art, it plays a big role into both noise and my digital art. I believe with each album cover it portrays the emotion within each album.
SUCKER: Does your creative process for visual art and music differ in any way?
GRUTESK: With my digital art I try to draw cute cartoon women and fandom related things as well, generally like a non impacting emotion with it. Grutesk is a way I can express myself when I get angry, upset, whatever. I mean, I have created something from emotions into my digital art, but for the most part I don’t, which I think needs to change.
SUCKER: Have you done any live shows, and if not would you consider?
GRUTESK: I haven’t yet, but I would love to! I have some crazy ideas of what to do for some live events which I would love to share with everyone.
SUCKER: What was the definitive moment that lead to you to create music?
GRUTESK: After I saw a performance at the Bundy Museum in Binghamton, I forgot the guy’s name or his groups name, but it was really interesting and it just went on from there.
SUCKER: In a genre that has a very specific sound, how do you separate yourself from the rest of the harsh noise scene?
GRUTESK: I think that with my vocals I add on tracks it definitely separates me from the others.
SUCKER: What influences your sound, other than other music/musical artists?
GRUTESK: Some of the current events or horror themed things really inspires me with Grutesk, I want to do something a little different someday where I incorporate spoken word, poetry, or whatever with harsh noise. I also would love to collab with anyone if they are interested, just write to me via email or on soundcloud or bandcamp.
SUCKER: What is some sound advice you have gotten as far as any creative endeavors?
GRUTESK: I have been just told to practice, experiment, and to keep trying new things.
SUCKER: Where can we follow you, listen/buy your music?
I would also like to shout out some really cool people in the noise scene I’d recommend anyone to check out : Writhe (Ruben), he has some intense tracks and he’s just an awesome friend, paper skin. (Taylor), he’s more power electronics but has awesome live shows and music, he’s who inspired me to add vocals to some of my own tracks.