Exclusive: Parker Chandler (Cough) Interview

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Why the name “Cough”?

There wasn’t much to it.  I think that’s the case with most band names.  We were fucked up/drunk/whatever and we thought it sounded heavy.

The band has been called “dark and spacious” and “harrowing, nihilistic sludge.” How would you, personally, describe the band’s sound?
21st Century American Doom.

The band’s latest record, “Ritual Abuse” came out in October. How do you feel about the record?
We’re all proud of it but I will always think we could do better.  I know it happens a lot but nobody wants a band they like to go further downhill with each record.

Can you tell me a little about the lyrical themes, recording, etc.?
For recording we basically locked ourselves in Sanford’s studio for a solid two weeks.  I think we went to a bar one night and that was it.  We really had to buckle down and focus on this record.  As far as lyrical themes, we take from our real-world experiences.  All of the feelings of futility, anxiety, failure, and the need to escape are all our personal feelings put into our songs.

This was your Relapse debut. What do you think of the label and your label mates?
So far everyone’s been really cool.  We haven’t met too many ‘label mates’ but we’re in daily contact with Relapse about everything that’s going on and they politely answer all of our stupid questions.

Right after the release of the LP, you did a song for the split with The Wounded Kings. Was this song prepared beforehand or was it a kind of rushed experience?
We had a couple months to pull that song together but it didn’t really happen until the weekend before recording.  I think we had to work outside of our comfort zone, and separate ourselves from all the ‘real world’ bullshit, in order to get that song done.  People seem to dig it.  I only wish that we had the luxury of getting away like that all the time.

In February, you will be hitting the road with Buzzoven. How do you feel about that? Are you a Buzzoven fan?
I’ve got a few Buzzoven records in my collection.  I’ve listened to ‘Sore’ the most over the years which was probably their ‘biggest’ record.  I’m interested to see how their following has kept up with them.  12 years is a huge hiatus for a band unless you’re Kiss or the Rolling Stones or something.  I know that there are people excited to see them, and we’re excited to tour with them, so it should be a good time.

After that you have European dates through April and May (including the Roadburn Festival). Are you planning on touring throughout 2011 in support of “Ritual Abuse”?
Unless the van takes a shit, we’ll be on the road as long as somebody wants to put us there.

Who or what are some of your personal influences?
Individually, we look up to a lot of different artists but here are a couple staples: Sabbath, Pentagram, Hank Sr.

Why did you choose to play this type of music?
It sorta progressed into this.  We wanted to play ‘slow and heavy’ but our concept of ‘slow and heavy’ now is very different from where we started.

I understand that with many bands, it is hard to listen to other music while recording an album. Is this true for you? If not, what did you listen to?
We really don’t listen to much while recording and I agree that it does complicate things.  You need to focus on your own shit.  Sanford would let us check out stuff he was working on, or unreleased stuff he’d already finished, and we would play a record if we dug the production but we don’t really listen to anything for the ‘enjoyment’ when we’re in the studio.

Are there any 2011 releases you are looking forward to? I know there are more than a few I am anticipating.
I’m awful at keeping up with current records…  There’s a new Earth record, apparently.  The new Rwake record should be awesome (if it comes out in 2011).  I’m interested in the new Hour of 13.  Pentagram’s new one, finally!

Be sure to pick up Cough’s latest LP, Ritual Abuse out now on Relapse Records!