Now You Know: GobletSaturday, 12th December 2015
Location: Pittsfield, MA
Style: Bastard Thrash … an amalgamation of doom, traditional, thrash and death influences, an equal love of the old school as well as current bands.
Personnel: Jesse Pause (lead vocals); Nick Saldarini (guitar); Peydon Twing (bass); Nick Sacco (drums)
Latest Release: On Tap, 2015 (Self-Released)
Out of a mutual love of boredom and metal comes the western Massachusetts quartet Goblet. In their brief career they’ve managed to pump out a couple of potent EP’s and impress a bevy of local New England audiences through their energetic live performances. Shifting from doom segments to death roars at the drop of a dime, those deep into the underground appreciate a band that delivers the goods without compromise – and that’s what you’ll get here.
Firing off a series of questions to the band, you’ll read more about their ties to Joel Grind from Toxic Holocaust, their ‘Mad Max’ oriented touring van, and where they would like to be in the coming year from guitarist Nick Saldarini as well as supplementary answers out of bassist Peydon Twing and drummer Nick Sacco. Pour yourself a cold one as you drink in the wisdom of Goblet.
Dead Rhetoric: Tell us about the origins of Goblet – how you formed and how long it took you to hone in on your particular style of self-described ‘bastard thrash’?
Nick Saldarini: We formed in Nick Sacco’s (drummer) basement. The Nicks’ had been jamming for a few weeks, and accidentally wrote some cool riffs and managed to make them into songs. Peydon (Twing) volunteered as a bassist a few weeks later, then we managed to land Jesse (Pause) as a front man through a good word from his brother, who was a mutual friend of the band. We’re still honing the Bastard Thrash sound, I’m not really sure what it’s supposed to sound like, but it seemed to make the most sense for the diverse musical backgrounds we all came.
Dead Rhetoric: On Tap is your second EP – how do you feel the songwriting and recording sessions went, and what do you see as the major differences or improvements from your Spring Thaw release of 2014?
Saldarini: The songwriting process was pretty much the same for On Tap as it was for Spring Thaw. We’ll usually jam a bit to warm up before we practice, and sometimes a really cool riff happens, or a whole 5 minute jam session, and I would try and remember certain riffs, and record what we could, then go back and work it into a song. I have a cell phone full of random 30 second clips of stuff I’ve played that I thought sounded cool. As far as recording sessions go, I think we all have a mutual hatred for them. Something almost always goes wrong and it takes a really long time. We used a different studio for On Tap, and the recording process was a bit different than Spring Thaw, but otherwise, not much has changed.
Dead Rhetoric: Stylistically it seems like Goblet has an equal level of appreciation for the 80’s guard a la Slayer and Black Sabbath while also nodding a tip of the cap to current acts like Municipal Waste and The Black Dahlia Murder. Is this a fair assessment, and how do you know when something is right in terms of writing – are you conscious of influences but attempting to make things with your own spin?
Saldarini: You pretty much nailed the main influences of the band. While we all enjoy lots of different types of music, I’d say those four groups are what influence us the most, Slayer and Sabbath being two of my favorite metal bands. I don’t particularly set out to write a song in a certain style, but I like down picking and triplets, and heavy breakdowns, so most of the music I write will have something like that going on at some point. As far as knowing if a song is right, I don’t think I’ll ever know. I let other people tell me what they think, and if it’s good enough for them, then it’s good enough for me.
Dead Rhetoric: How were you able to get Toxic Holocaust’s Joel Grind to mix and master On Tap? Did he offer any special insights or tips that enhanced the final outcome?
Saldarini: I saw through the Toxic Holocaust Facebook page that Joel was doing mixing and mastering. I’m a huge fan of Toxic Holocaust and their overall sound, so I figured he would do a good job on the new Goblet stuff. After a few emails back and forth, our tracks were finally ready for the mixing and mastering stage, we sent him all the tracks, and were later presented with what is now the On Tap EP. I think he did a great job, and was awesome to work with. He did give me some solid advice that will definitely be used in later recording sessions.
Dead Rhetoric: The scene in Western Massachusetts where you are from seems like a melting pot of metal, punk, hardcore, and post-rock bands. How would you describe the scene in terms of places to play, favorite bands, and the support that you receive?
Peydon Twing: The 13th Floor Lounge in Easthampton/Florence is like a home to us. Pittsfield itself is lacking but the scene here is making a solid comeback. Before Goblet none of us had any idea of the metal world in MA, every show we play blows us away…there are just so many good bands out here. It always astounds us to hear all the positive reactions from people, because to us we are just doing what comes naturally and people seem to dig it.
Dead Rhetoric: Describe Goblet in terms of your live performance, and what have been some of your more memorable antics through the years?
Saldarini: One of the most frequent comments I’ve received, is that we look like we’re just having a blast on stage, which we are. We screw up, and play wrong notes, and forget lyrics, but all in all, we’re legitimately having the time of our lives, and I really think that sets the mood when we play. The RPM Fest so far has been the highlight each year for Goblet. The people, the bands, the atmosphere, every little thing is just perfect, and we can get away with being a little more ridiculous, since it’s all close friends and real fans of the music. Also, a show we played where Peydon couldn’t attend, we had a cardboard cutout of him, that was pretty funny. I also think our van is just as much a part of Goblet as any of us, it’s like something out of Mad Max that we’ve been slowly resurrecting over the past year. Know us, know our van.
Dead Rhetoric: What types of short term and long term goals do you set for Goblet? And how important is band chemistry and friendship in terms of achieving success for Goblet?
Twing: Short term is write some new jams, (and) planning a split release with another western MA band. Get some new merchandise for the spring planned and made. We’d like to tour for sure so in the spring we want to hit the road, go south, or west…or anywhere. We just want to share this with as many people as we can. We all were friends before Goblet aside from Jesse, but we chill all the time. Sacco and Jesse ride their motorcycles together all the time. We work on the van and our cars together. We once took the engine out of Nick’s hotrod. Sacco and I get together at the bar just about weekly. Just last week Jesse called us each late at night…drunk, and told us how important we are and that we are family. I couldn’t agree more.
Dead Rhetoric: For the long van rides when the band travels to perform shows, what is an ideal five album (or band) playlist that everyone can agree on to pump you up and get you motiviated to conquer the world?
Nick Sacco: I generally drive so I get to choose what we listen to. That means metal, mostly old-school death metal but it varies from day to day. After shows, when everyone’s ears are blown I’ll give them a break and listen to 90’s hip-hop and Peydon and I jam out. My top 5 bands to drive to are Death, Exhumed, Ringworm, Razor, and Cannibal Corpse.
Dead Rhetoric: How do you see the next 12 months playing out for Goblet? Will you be expanding your live circuit horizons outside of New England? Has work begun on newer songs for the follow up – and would you like to seek out label services or are you content with keeping things self-financed and self-released?
Saldarini: As far as the next 12 months are concerned, just more music writing, more shows, making more connections. We’re always looking for venues and shows outside of New England. New York is really hard to get into, or maybe it’s just Albany. But, I’d love to start heading south with our music, I’ve been to lots of cool venues in New Jersey and Virginia, and I’m sure there’s plenty of other places too along the way. I’m happy with being an independently financed band. I don’t particularly have an interest in seeking out a label or outside support, I don’t like being told what to do, or be given deadlines.