Home Globalnoiz Interviews Botch: Interview with Dave Verellen

Botch: Interview with Dave Verellen

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botch _ live

Few bands have left as indelible a mark as Botch on the landscape of contemporary hardcore and metal music.

Hailing from Tacoma, Washington, Botch emerged in the mid-1990s, forging a sound that defied categorization. Their fusion of chaotic rhythms, dissonant melodies, and ferocious energy catapulted them to the forefront of the underground scene, where they became legendary for their uncompromising approach and unparalleled live performances. With seminal albums like “We Are the Romans” and “American Nervoso,” Botch not only redefined the boundaries of hardcore and metal but also inspired a generation of musicians to push the limits of their creativity. Now, decades since their inception, Botch continues to be revered as pioneers of the genre, their influence reverberating through the halls of modern heavy music. With Afternoiz, we have the privilege of delving into the depths of their storied career, as we talked with Dave Verellen of the iconic band to discuss their journey, legacy, and the relentless spirit that continues to drive them forward.

Botch, pioneers of the mathcore genre

Botch, as pioneers of the mathcore genre, how do you feel about the evolution of the genre since your formation in 1993?
It’s amazing! I never thought it would grow so much and sell out arenas….

Your album “We Are the Romans” is often regarded as a classic in the mathcore genre. What inspired the sound and lyrical themes of that album?
The sound was derived from us challenging each other to write and I guess the lyrics are just dealing with all the sort of transitional issues that teen kids deal with… It explores some concepts but is primarily open to the interpretation of the listener.

What stands out is playing in the early days when everything was unknown.

Botch has been known for its intense and intricate live performances. Can you share any memorable moments or stories from your time on the road?
Well, seeing as how we’ve played everything from a Chicken Coop in the American
Mid-West to 100,000 people at an open-air festival there are all kinds of memorable
moments. What stands out is playing in the early days when everything was unknown. We
ended up loading into a basement of a punk house in Minneapolis, played until the power
blew out, and then started an acapella version of “Say My Name” by Desitny’s Child until the power returned…. funt times.

With members going on to form or join other notable bands such as Minus the Bear and These Arms Are Snakes, how do you think Botch’s influence has impacted the broader music scene?
It’s had an impact… but it’s unintentional and a nice by-product of us just trying to be
creative and working hard.

Your music often incorporates complex time signatures and unconventional song structures. How do you approach songwriting as a band?
We all wrote our own parts and collaborated and challenged each other to create something special…. it was tedious! hahaha!

Tacoma just pumps out a lot of hard-working artists and I’m proud of our city.

What prompted the decision to reunite, and how did it feel to perform together again?
It’s a product of COVID and the opportunity for us all to have time to do it… It feels great butwe were all pretty apprehensive at first. It was helpful that we had so much support from our families and our new label, Sargent House.

Many fans consider Botch’s discography to be highly influential in shaping the
modern metal and hardcore scene. Are there any newer bands that you feel carry on the spirit of what Botch was all about?
I’m not sure…. I mean I’m sure there are bands pushing boundaries out there but things
have changed in music so much that I’m not sure who it is… Maybe to see Turnstile selling
our arens with early 80’s hardcore riff progressions and heavy vocal effects proves that
everything is cyclical in style and that we are all just borrowing from the past…. I dunno…

We have been lucky enough to work with very accomplished artists

The artwork and visual aesthetic of Botch’s albums are striking and memorable. How important is visual presentation to your overall artistic vision?
That’s Dave K’s department and he is very into it! He’s a pro and when it comes to design I’d say the rest of us are very into the content of the artwork. Lately, we have been lucky
enough to work with very accomplished artists for our tour art and it’s been amazing to see.

Tacoma, Washington, where Botch originated, has a rich musical history. How did the local music scene influence the band’s sound and ethos?
Not so much the local scene because it seemed like we were always traveling to play or see bands but I can say that there is something in the water in Tacoma that just pumps out a lot of hard-working artists and I’m proud of our city.

botch _ live2

As musicians who’ve experienced the industry’s evolution over the years, what advice would you give to up-and-coming bands navigating the modern music landscape?
I don’t know shit about starting a band today and I know it has lots of challenges, but no
matter what those are you still have to work hard, challenge yourself, and always make it fun otherwise it’s just another dumbass job…

Thank you! ευχαριστώ
-Dave Verellen

See you in Athens on March 25th!

botch _ euro tour

More info about the show you’ll find here:
Afternoiz.gr/agenda
Facebook Event

As our conversation draws to a close, it’s abundantly clear that Botch’s impact transcends the confines of time and space. Their music remains a testament to the raw power of expression, the unyielding pursuit of authenticity, and the enduring bond between artists and their audience. Through every riff, every scream, and every moment of sonic chaos, Botch leaves an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of all who bear witness. Thank you for sharing your passion, your wisdom, and your music with the world. See you on, 25th of March!

In Greek -> Press here

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