Approaching A Dead End With R.I.P.

Talking sex, chaos and protesting with frontman Fuzz of Portland, OR’s premier metal militia

R.I.P. (Art: Ron Hart)

Portland, Oregon, has been the center of what media outlets outside of town refer to as an anarchist jurisdiction.

Protests, police violence and the occasional puff of a joint were seemingly catalysts for smoke to shut almost everyone indoors. Beyond the smoke arose R.I.P., the self-proclaimed luxury doom outfit who dropped their latest album Dead End on October 9th. Originally slated for a spring release, a global pandemic was the only thing that could hold it back. Speaking with lead singer, Fuzz, about his beloved scythe, his hatred of California band Glitter Wizard, and his fascination with sex and death, it was difficult to decipher whether the narcissist seen performing all over the world and the occasional thirst-trap Instagram post is a stage persona or the real deal.

“The risk I take,” says Fuzz, “of having a complete mental breakdown when confronted with the vermin that crawl out from underneath the sewer drain and want to give me high fives and hugs in order to play a live show again, taking sniffs to see what I smell like, maybe bottle some of my sweat and take it home to their little voodoo dolls and shit.”

Fuzz says it would take “stepping up my security force” in order for him to be comfortable playing a show again. “I’d need to have them around me at all times, protecting me from people who would want to harm the most beautiful thing to get clout. It’s like what Rainer Milke said, ‘Beauty is the beginning of terror.’”

R.I.P. 2020 (Art: Ron Hart)

Referring to R.I.P. as a “live band,” to witness Fuzz swing his microphone-attached scythe over the crowd while simulating what I can only imagine being top-notch cunnilingus, is an experience one can only fully understand in person. Fuzz is a living grim reaper feeding upon the undivided attention of his audience. He refers to his scythe as a “super antique that’s at least 100 years old. I’ve had the same scythe for probably 9 years. I’ve taken it back and forth across the globe slamming it and swinging it.”

Singles, released as foreplay, tease and tickle, leaving only the penetration of a CD entering its player or a needle caressing the ridges of a vinyl record until that familiar spasm of a climax is reached when an album finally drops. R.I.P.’s latest effort is quite the opposite. Turned on by “Moment of Silence” and the title track, “Dead End,” the anticipation of this album reached its peak once the first note “One Foot in the Grave” pounded relentlessly into a maniacal Fuzz screaming “I’ve got one foot in the grave/there isn’t much left to say.” Arguably the best track on the record, picturing (post-COVID) leather-clad metalheads in front of the stage headbanging to this track was simple. The doom is alive, well, and thriving here.

Citing his fascination with relating death with sex, Fuzz says, “You know you don’t have time for fantasy and for mundane, boring shit. There’s really only time for the most extreme feelings and actions. That relates to fucking and sex because that shit is–at least with me–not very boring.”

The ten tracks on this latest effort are far from boring. The instrumental introduction, “Streets of Death,” sets the kind of tone for an album that has a heavy influence from the music Saint Vitus and the horror films of Rob Zombie. That old school nostalgic feeling of classic metal with the humor and gore of the world’s best horror movies makes this album the perfect soundtrack to the world we are currently suffering and taking one’s sweetie on a romantic walk through the cemetery. The only piece missing from the coffin is a live performance.

R.I.P. Dead End, Riding Easy Records 2020

California band, Glitter Wizard, has been on the receiving end of ridicule from Fuzz, even telling audience members to go home after their performance where GW was the headliner. It has not been all one-sided, since the band, in some ways, promoted Dead End after pooping out their cassette tape following a bout of diarrhea.

“Well these emotions are strong,” Fuzz says about their feud. “You know what most self-respecting headbangers would hold sacred. I talked about being based in my own hate and reality, but being based in the land of wizardry and magic sort of the polar opposite of that. Don’t even get me started on the city of San Francisco. If they want to stay down there and keep paying $6,000 for rent, that’s fine, live and let live. But if they’re coming to tour up here trying to make my coffee cost ten dollars by osmosis, I can’t idly stand by.”

I asked if Fuzz was from Portland. He said no. I asked where he was from. “Parts Unknown” was his response.

“We know that there is an ending. We don’t know when the ending is coming, we don’t know what will follow. Everything we do has pressure on it and if you were truly informed by that kind of paradigm of acute awareness of the grave, you don’t have time for stupid bullshit.”

 

AUDIO: R.I.P. Dead End (full album)

 

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Bree Henry

Bree Henry is a writer living Portland, Oregon. With a penchant for rock & roll and unnecessarily fancy donuts, she has contributed to a variety of publications since her 2013 writing debut. She is always on the prowl for the next great rock & roll band. Follow her on Instagram @breeezussss

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