Thursday, August 15, 2019

9 songs: Don Kirkland (Usurp Synapse)

Don Kirkland (Usurp Synapse, Fax Arcana, Rep Seki) shares with us 9 songs that got him into emo (or what was this kind of music called back then).
This autumn Don will release new album under the moniker "The Usurp Synapse" (yeah, that's right, and you know what you should expect from this one).


You can check some early previews and other related videos on his Youtube channel.

Frail - Static


I went to high school with a couple guys in Reversal of Man. I knew they really like this group and their guitar player at the time made me a tape of their stuff. This song was the first one on it and I was hooked from the start. It was so raw and so different to anything I had heard at the time.

Don Martin 3 - Transistor


You can't not be inspired by this song, it's so simple yet incredibly effective and emotional. Plus, there was a great rumor about this band around the time I was getting into them that when they were done with their tour, they burned their tour trailer with all their gear in it never to play again. I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW IF THIS TRUE OR NOT!! I love mystery around this band.

John Zorn - Snagglepuss


There are few times in my life where my whole perspective on music changed. When I was about 5 years old it was The Monkeys (google it, kids). In the fourth grade I heard Metallica for the first time, that was my window into heavy music. Then when I was around 17, I heard John Zorn's Naked City, and it was like all the rules I thought were in place for music were blasted right out of my brain! This record literally changed the way I thought about music, played music and measured up other musical acts to. Without this there would have been no Usurp synapse, Rep Seki or any other weird project I've done. This is influence incarnate.

Discordance Axis - A Leaden Stride to Nowhere


I got turned on to DA a little late. I had their split with Plutocracy, and I liked it, but it wasn't high on my playlist until this album came out. Usurp was playing Wilkes bar fest (I think), and one of the guys bought it and played it in the van, and I was so impressed! The guitar tone, Dave Witte's drums, it all completely won me over.

Crom Tech - II Men for Lord Dorpal


What's not to like about these guys? They are incredible musicians, incredibly complex and they made up their own language, for fucks sake!! I saw these dudes for the first time at the Fireside in Chicago and was totally blown away.

Gasp - Running Through the Blood



This was my fav Southern California band. Everyone else was into Locust, Heroin, Crimson Curse (with good reason, they're all great), but these guys were my jam. Their noise element was so perfectly mixed in with their fast punk side, that also mixed great with their sludge side. It just always brought a smile to my face.

In/Humanity - Double Digit Fun 


I would lying if said there was a band more influential in the creation of Usurp than these guys. I saw them for the first time at a record store in Orlando when i was still a teenager, and I had never seen or heard anything like them before, everything about them was entertaining! From the mod style clothes they wore to the ferocious, punishing music they played. It just absolutely blew my mind at the time.

The VSS - Lunar Weight


On Usurp's first tour this was playing pretty much non stop in the van. Everything is great about this song. I also loved Slaves and Pleasure Forever, but this whole album holds a special place for me.

Mineral - February 


I saw these guys before ever hearing them. I want to say it was 96 or 97. and this was the first song they played, and I was floored! Not only was it such a well crafted song, they were SOOO loud live! Like louder than some of the hardcore bands around at the time. I also remember going to that show with my friend Travis, who had his wisdom teeth removed earlier that day, and at one point he started bleeding all over the place and freaked a bunch of people out.

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