Dyspläcer are Rochester NWOBHM heroes! They’re bringing back this classic style in its purest form to educate the modern metal masses about their roots! We LOVE this band! I featured them on the front cover of our Guide 2 the New York Underground issue in June of this year, which was before the band even had any music professionally recorded. That was how confident I was after seeing their live show. However, the guys just recently put out their first single, “Black Widow”!! Check it out on all platforms for some serious throwback NWOBHM!
For this ALL-RHYTHM EDITION of WRETCHED SOUND, we obviously had to reach out to these guys again and grab bassist, Drew Wood, out of the fray for an interview. Let’s check in with Drew now:
1. How long have you been with Dyspläcer and how did you first come to join the band?
We have actually been in the works for damn near 3 years at this point, it was originally conceptualized by the two guitarists Tyler and Zach Bushey. Our “first” show was actually hosted in our rehearsal space at the start of Covid, we had a show booked somewhere, I think it was montage but don’t quote me, anyway they closed and we took it on and hosted it for charity for the wildfires for the land down under. The one where Nuclear Winter’s “Survival of the Fittest” was filmed. Since everything got shut down we went to work and got as tight as possible because no one had anything better to do.
2. How did you get your start playing bass and what made you gravitate toward bass over other instruments?
In 2011 my father took me to see Primus on their Green Naugahyde tour. I fell in love with how wacky and present Les Claypool played, but funny enough I still can’t play slap bass for shit. I originally started on guitar around three years prior, but then I noticed everyone played guitar, like seriously you guys are a dime a dozen. If you end up not making the cut on guitar they end up throwing you on bass and tainting the name of people who main the instrument.
3. Talk about the first bass you ever owned, along with your first amp, even if it was just a little practice amp or something.
So my dad got me a dean shit stick for a bass at first which I hated, but I loved bass after that Primus show, eventually my Ex got me a Schecter bass with bat inlays that was cool and did the job, if you look at some of the earliest footage of Nuclear winter I was playing it. I eventually sold it because my roommate needed rent money, which he still owes me money for, and it’s been 5 years. I’m talking to you Kelvin, where is my money? I eventually found my 1983 kramer focus 4000 explorer body which has been a consistent main that I named the sugar saber. My first amp was a SWR working mans 4004. That was a graduation gift from my uncle, I bought a Hartke 2×12 that I miss dearly. Another band at the space that was using it blew it up, And guess what? They never paid me for that either. I am in gear debt that isn’t even by my own hands. I should start a charity organization that is meant for neglected bass players out there, I hear your prayers fellow men and women, we shall rise again.
4. Talk about the gear you love, specific brands, makes, models, etc.
Well ever since the Kramer, I have loved anything made in Japan from the 80s, that era is bullet proof, and it’s not terribly expensive. I don’t like too much USA stuff that’s older, don’t get me wrong they play nice but come on, all you old farts think that you are sitting on gold for your beat to shit Gibson, no one wants that shit for $5000, you dick.
5. Discuss the ways your bass setup for live gigs has evolved over the years.
At first it was my Hartke 2×12 and that Workingman’s 4004, on top of that (litteralty) I used to borrow my old guitarists 2×12, use to call it the frankenstack, that was awesome, I use to take an AB pedal that had A go into compressor that went into the front of the amp and the B signal went into a DS1 which went into the fx loop, Then I realized a sansamp did the same thing so I got that to condense my setup. I always drooled over Darkglass, mostly the vintage line of their distortion, I think the B series was always tinny. Well one day I after being gainfully employed for a while I spent my first bookoo bucks ever on myself and got the darkglass microtubes 900v2 which was the best purchase I’ve ever made. Also funny story, I got fired like literally 15 minutes after that, so after cleaning the shit out of my pants from just spending a full check on something and not having another one coming I told myself it would be worth it. Although I never financially recovered it was worth it. Musicians are not meant to be smart people.
6. List off every active band (has played at least one live show at an established venue) you’ve ever been a part of in chronological order.
Although no one really knows this because it happened so long ago, I actually played with my band Das Brute first, opening up for a Burlesque show at Photo City Improv. In the fashion of the name we completely improved our first set, so don’t look it up, it’s really embarrassing, don’t worry we will be back and come back with force. But after that I joined Nuclear winter where everyone recognized me from as Sugar Wood Jones, self titled bass player and a prostitute on the side. That era ran very long but collapsed due to some tensions that were never solved. While in that band I filled in for a punk band called Citizens Against People, that was the sickest punk band but unfortunately they collapsed shortly after my departure. Then came the mighty Dyspläcer which has been a brute force of mine, one of the first bands that I am allowed to play to my fullest potential, thrash didn’t do much except hit the open E. Really that’s all that it called for. The other main band I am playing with is called Polybius, which started from the frothing mouths of previous Nuclear Winter members. Originally it was made completely by Alex the drummer from Nuke and he asked for us to actually join to start playing out. The music is incredibly unique due to Kaitlyn Fedele joining us with Synth. Its Genre is something like Symphonic Death thrash or something like that? Anyway definitely something you should check out
7. Discuss the most memorable local shows of your career. When thinking back, which local gigs stick out the most and why?
When Nuclear Winter opened up for Unleash the Archers I chimped out pretty hard, prior to going to the venue that was one of my favorite bands and you know how girls would pass out at the sight of Michael Jackson, that was me for Brittney Slayes. She was a force to be reckoned with, such a powerful voice and that music was literally so insane. Then we got to the venue and it was packed. It was the first show that had around 200 to 300 people in it. We killed it which was awesome. People started following us from around the country which was sick, I couldn’t wait to tour with Nukes’ album but covid prevented that from happening. Dyspläcer’s debut at the montage was something I was not too nervous about but there was literally a full house, no one knew our name and we played so well. The montage actually posted a photo of us saying we packed the house. It was the first only local show that I played that was that filled, and funny enough it never stopped, if anything it got bigger. More and More people are showing up to see us, it is certainly invigorating.
8. Discuss your most memorable out-of-town experiences performing with Dyspläcer or any other bands you’ve been a part of. What made these road experiences so unique, or noteworthy?
So as I am typing this I am currently on tour with my bands Dyspläcer and Polybius, one thing that I have to mention, Ohio is God’s country. These people are the nicest people I have ever met. Our first out of town show was in Erie, which was not bad at all, but Pennsylvania came back to bite us in the ass. The whole town of Erie had state parks next to septic waste treatment that were horrific smelling. We ended up calling a camp sight that took us in at 230 am, we ended up finally going to bed at 4, just to be brutally woken up at 8am because they were flabbergasted that a tent would be in a campsite, it was a trailer park and they booted us out yelling at us.
So, off we went to Ohio where we found a lady that was walking her dog, we talked to her and she offered to post us up in her backyard. She was very religious and showed the hospitality of such, there was literally a feast at night and in the morning, they gave us air mattresses and a tent cause they noticed that ours was breaking. Then when we went to our Eaton show there was a guy walking down the street in full monk garbs who I thought was a drunk. Turned out he was full on Fryer who blessed our tour with the help of many angels to shred metal and melt faces. If anything is turning me to God, its Ohio.
9. List off, or promote any and all upcoming shows you have in the works that you’re allowed to talk about.
We have all of our tour rest which includes Cincinnati onward. So, be sure to check us out while we still have our sanity onward. If you can’t make it to that then try to make it on October 30th for Axe Master at the bug jar for a Halloween show.
10. Looking back at your career, talk about the drummers you’ve jammed with going back to your very beginnings as a musician. Discuss the drummers that you feel pushed you to enhance your playing, or who just had a great dynamic with you in a band setting.
Funny enough I have two sides of drummers that have pushed me in certain ways. When I first started jamming with the heavy metal twins in das brute, they thought that I was literally the best bass player they have ever seen (I was shit). So, onward from there I had to find new ways to keep that image up. When the time came to join Nuke. I had a different side from Alex. He definitely recognized that I had potential but he was the one that pushed me to clean up and actually play on time. So where Zack Healt made me do crazier stuff, Alex made me do it actually well.
11. I’d love to learn more about the “ninja theme” Dyspläcer has been running with from the beginning. Talk about your stage characters and how you’ve been incorporating those historical references into your music AND your stage show.
Saddle up, it’s a lot. Dyspläcer’s album is a concept album about 5 men who hailed from a prestigious dojo fight enemies of which the likes they have never seen before, using forbidden techniques that get them in serious trouble with their masters. You’ll have to wait for the album for the full story. But I can tell you about “Black Widow” because that is currently out. So, after defeating the black samurai from the shadow clan, the shadow clan sent their deadliest assassin against us, who happened to be the daughter of the black samurai. In combat we happened to fall in love with her and through combat our love grew stronger, when it came to either us or her, we ended up killing her and killing off the only girl we ever loved. As for the names of everyone in the band cause we all have titles given to us by our dojo we hail from, the Famous Temple Heights (title of the album to be released); they are Red Lotus of the Central Garden (Justice Blaze), Master Bush of the Southern Temple (Zach Bushey), Northern Sage of the Rising Moon (Zack Healt), Dragon of the Misty Peaks (Tyler Healt), and finally there is me White Panther of the 12th Chamber. We are the Dyspläcer Force!
Thanks for reading! To purchase a physical copy of this interview in our September ’22 ALL-RHYTHM edition, click here.