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Full of Hell: Psycho Las Vegas Preview

31 July 2019

Photo: Tim Bugbee

For all the varieties of metal that will be showcased at Psycho Las Vegas in a couple of weeks — prog (Opeth), doom (the Obsessed), black (Mork), death (Tomb Mold), extreme (Carcass), post (Amenra) and thrash (Vio-lence) — it’s catastrophically brutal quartet Full of Hell that has the grindcore subgenre covered.

To say the band is on fire right now (pun cornily intended) is a gross understatement. Full of Hell were met with full-throated praise in May, when they released their Kurt Ballou-produced, seventh album Weeping Choir. The group’s first through Relapse — and a companion piece to 2017’s Trumpeting Ecstasy — heavy-metal critics consider the new record to be one of the best of the year.

Certainly, Full of Hell will be one of the main draws Saturday night, when they perform from 10:50 to 11:30 p.m. at the House of Blues. We caught up via email with frontman Dylan Walker before the set times were announced, but he was already plenty stoked to play the festival, reunite with his pals in Ilsa and Devil Master, and attempt to follow the Misfits after their headlining gig earlier in the evening.

[Check out our YouTube playlist for a video of every band playing Saturday at Psycho, including Full of Hell.]

Why are you particularly excited to play Psycho? From your point of view, what makes the festival special — both from a performance perspective and as a personal experience?

WALKER: Psycho seems like such a unique setting for extreme music. From the stage side, I’m just excited to play something loud and harsh on such a nice stage in the middle of Las Vegas. As an attendee — I’m ready to just relax and enjoy all kinds of good music in a cool setting, haha.

What are your expectations of playing Psycho for the first time?

WALKER: My expectations are pretty wide open, to be honest. We play after the Misfits, so we’ll see how that goes …

Do you have any surprises planned for your Psycho set, whether they be songs you wouldn’t normally play, added stage elements, etc.?

WALKER: We are planning a particularly harsh set for the festival, in the hopes that it’ll ruin someone’s hearing.

Do you prefer playing in the heat or in the cold? Indoors or outdoors? What are the advantages and disadvantages of playing at the time and on the stage where you’re scheduled to perform?

WALKER: We prefer to play in the cold, you get so hot when performing that it sometimes helps when there’s a lower temperature. Indoors always. Sound tends to escape so easily outside that it can feel a bit empty otherwise. I’m not sure what advantage we have on our stage. The timing of our set could prove to be either a great advantage or great disadvantage. We’ll see!

Tell me something that happened to you in Vegas that was supposed to stay in Vegas.

WALKER: I ate a burrito that physically traveled with me out of Vegas. That’s about it. Ha!

What other bands are you most excited to see perform at Psycho?

WALKER: Cannot wait to see Old Man Gloom, Cold Cave, Godspeed, Devil Master, Carcass and Tobacco.

What friends of yours are also playing at the festival? Who are you planning or hoping to hang with in your downtime?

WALKER: Our friends in Ilsa, Devil Master, Old Man Gloom, 1349 and Power Trip are playing the festival too. We will probably be found consuming free food and potentially illicit substances otherwise.

[Check back tomorrow for our interview with 1349.]

What can fans and newcomers expect from your performance(s) at the festival?

WALKER: Loud noises.

For previous installments of the Big Takeover’s Psycho Las Vegas preview series, check out our interviews with:

• Colin H. Van Eeckhout, vocalist for Belgian post-metal purveyors Amenra
• Jason Shi and Scott Key, singer/guitarist and drummer, respectively, for melodic hard-rock masters ASG
• Jay Bentley, founding bassist for politically progressive punk pros Bad Religion
• Stephen McBean, singer/guitarist of long-running psychedelic-rock project Black Mountain
• Jean-Paul Gaster, drummer for “the quintessential American rock band,” Clutch
• Jeff Walker, vocalist/bassist for extreme-metal behemoths Carcass
• Greg Meleney, vocalist/guitarist for Portland psych-rock mainstays Danava
• George Clarke, vocalist for shoegaze/black-metal powerhouses Deafheaven
• DJ Painkiller, an L.A.-based metalhead who will be spinning between sets
• Darkest Prince, lead guitarist for black-metal punks Devil Master
• Victor Vicart of Scottish progressive-metal quintet Dvne
• Laura Dolan, vocalist for Cincinnati rock ’n’ roll purists Electric Citizen
• Todd Fink, frontman for electro-pop punks the Faint
• Zack Simmons, drummer for blackened death-metal demigods Goatwhore
• Emil Amos, drummer for experimental post-rock band Grails
• Julien Chanut, guitarist for French sludge-doom band Hangman’s Chair
• Tony Campos, guitarist and founder of thrash revivalists Hell Fire
• Nashville cosmic-riff connoisseurs Howling Giant
• Gabriel Franco, vocalist/guitarist for gothy post-punks Idle Hands
• Joshy, drummer for crusty death/doom-metal outfit Ilsa
• Johanna Sadonis, vocalist for “heavy magic rock” band Lucifer
• Invincible crooner and former Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan
• Stuart Braithwaite, founding guitarist/vocalist for beloved post-rock legends Mogwai
• Kelly Finnigan, frontman for Bay Area psychedelic-soul quartet Monophonics
• Thomas Eriksen, centrifugal force behind true Norwegian black-metallers Mork
• Teddi Tarnoff, frontwoman of “Vegas-based dirty rock ’n’ roll band” Mother Mercury
• All-female Motörhead tribute band Motorbabe
• Wino, godfather of doom metal and frontman for the Obsessed
• Mikael Åkerfeldt, frontman for Swedish progressive-metal kings Opeth
• Ben Bloom, frontman/guitarist for funk-soul octet Polyrhythmics
• Ethan Lee McCarthy, frontman for blackened-doom trio Primitive Man
• Tobias Grave, frontman for shimmering post-rock trio Soft Kill
• Kirpatrick Thomas, vocalist/guitarist/conceptualist for acid-rockers Spindrift
• Experimental rock, alternative hip-hop and dance music guru Tobacco
• Derrick Vella, guitarist of death-metal arsonists Tomb Mold
• Niklas Källgren, guitarist for Swedish fuzz fanatics Truckfighters
• Los Angeles Satanic doo-wop duo Twin Temple
• Kevin Starrs, frontman of British fuzz royalty Uncle Acid and the deadbeats
• Sean Killian, vocalist for cult-favorite Bay Area thrash band Vio-lence
• Mike Hubbard, vocalist-drummer for reunited Massachusetts doom-metal band Warhorse
• Bruce Lamont, frontman for experimental heavy-jazz project Yakuza and Led Zeppelin tribute band Led Zeppelin 2
• Aaron Rieseberg, bassist for Oregon doom-metal dealers Yob

Also, don’t miss our special feature in which Deafheaven’s Clarke and Mogwai’s Braithwaite discuss their mutual affection for each other’s bands, whether Deafheaven should play their Mogwai cover at Psycho Las Vegas — and the possibility of a collaboration between the two projects.