Watch Child Abuse's Video for "Straight Out of Compton"
And, rejoice in Child Abuse's amazing press photo.
Brooklyn’s skronk-bathed death-metaliists Child Abuse have had enough of the drama surrounding its controversial lightning rod of a band name. The insanely spazzy screamoid trio—fret ‘n’ effects pounding bass maniac Tim Dahl, multi-armed free jazz-mongering skins basher Oran Canfield and econo electronics sprayer Eric Lau—want to set the record straight: “brutal children’s music” they like to call their bludgeoning aesthetic.” Get it? After all, a couple of these child abusers are doting dads and family men, as you can see from their utterly amazing band pic.
Now, after a four-year period that saw a personnel change (co-founder Luke Calzonetti left the group) and health issues (Dahl battled appendicitis), these grinders have finally returned with the relentlessly sonic ear-gushing groove machine, Trouble in Paradise, the follow-up to 2010’s Cut and Run. Despite Calzonetti’s departure, Child Abuse remains as frenetically noisy, violently chipper, and demonically screamy as ever in its playful assault on the senses. With a seemingly never-ending European tour just completed, these BJ Rubin Show regulars are back in the States, just in time to inflict more of their child abusing ways.
We caught up with drummer and memoirist Canfield via email from somewhere on tour in Europe.
Noisey: It's been four years or so since Cut and Run. What’s taken so long for your new one, Trouble in Paradise, to come out?
Oran Canfield: Well, a lot happened in those four years. First, we lost our original keyboard player, Luke, and it took about a year to find our new member, Eric Lau. Eric had never played a keyboard before joining Child Abuse. He learned how to play his instrument by learning our old songs, which took some time. So a good year-and-a-half went by before we were even able to start working on a new album. Let’s see…our bass player Tim got appendicitis halfway through the recording session. Then the recording studio got torn down before we could get back in there. Then I had a kid. Then it took about a year to find our new label, Skin Graft, after our old label shut down. And then...the list goes on and on. Living in New York can be such a struggle at times, that music occasionally has to take a back to seat to other responsibilities, and those responsibilities come up for each of us at different times. Maybe we should all move to Columbus, Ohio.
What "trouble in paradise" is there exactly for Child Abuse?
The title was inspired by our new album cover by German artist Albert Oehlen. The hot pink, combined with the Photoshop v1.0 image, looked a bit like the morning after a bad acid trip in Miami. But, I suppose it could also relate to the difficulties of being a musician in New York in 2014.
The band name garners tons of attention for obvious reasons. What has been the most negative thing you've experienced as a direct result from calling yourselves "Child Abuse?"
The most negative thing is that we are asked about it all the time (no offense), and that people seem to talk about the name rather than the music. Other negative effects are that we don't get asked to play certain venues and festivals, and there have even been instances of other bands refusing to play with us.
What about the positive things?
We have also had many good conversations with fans who are both for and against the name Child Abuse. Also, Tim joined the band largely because of the band name.
I must say your band pic with the children is fucking brilliant. Who came up with that idea?
New York can get kind of hectic so Tim came up with the idea of combining the photo shoot with "family day" at the zoo. One bit of advice for new parents: don't ever go to the Bronx Zoo on a Wednesday. It's a fucking nightmare, especially if it’s on the hottest day of the year.
Are any of them your actual kids?
Indeed they are our actual kids.
Were there objections from any of your significant others, parents, etc. about including your kids in a pic for a band named Child Abuse?
Nope. We're lucky to have partners that support Child Abuse. The band that is.
There's a song on Trouble in Paradise called "Michael Landon." What did that American treasure mean to you?
Reagan era, plastic, disingenuous, lowest common denominator, crap. A celebration of mediocrity. The song is an answer to that.
There's also a song called “Straight Out of Compton," which the video we've premiered here. What insight can you provide about the video?
We gave filmmaker, Kenny Curwood, free reign to do whatever he wanted with song because he did such a great job on our last video for “Cut and Run.” Once again, we couldn't be happier.
What does the song have in relation to Straight Outta Compton, N.W.A.'s debut?
Ha. Are you guys N.W.A. fans?
Finally, you sell Child Abuse tees at your gigs. How many of these shirts have you actually sold?
At this point, probably close to a thousand, including a couple of onesies.
Trouble in Paradise is out now via Skin Graft; Child Abuse plays its record release show Thursday, October 30th at Death by Audio.