Interview by David Cotton
In 2012, my band was playing a theater show and the production manager of the venue was practically falling over himself insisting I check out his new favorite band. “Who are they?” I remarked as I hauled amps and instruments into the darkened room. “Excruciating Pain, man!” he exclaimed. He proceeded to tell me that they were “triumphant, technical, party, death metal.” Given the typical genre tropes one would associate with death metal, this unique description had me intrigued.
Fast forward to 2016, “Expain” as they are now called (thanks to a cease and desist order from another act called Excruciating Pain) have become one of the premiere heavy bands in the pacific northwest. I took a few minutes to chat with guitarist and band founder Pat Peeve and vocalist Sean lp about all things excruciating and not at all painful.
Svb: Expain recently recorded some new songs, tell us about that?
Pat: Yep! We are working on the follow up to our debut album “Just The Tip”. We are recording a six track e.p. this time around entitled “Pinching Nerves”. We have a new vocalist (Sean Ip) and a new guitarist (Eli Slamang) this time around and things are sounding amazing. We are carrying on with the classic Expain sound but have matured as a band after touring and spending so much time together. We love having Sean in the band and his vocals and stage presence are a great addition. Eli brings some insane guitar work to the table this time around as well. We recorded with the same producer Matt Roach at Greenhouse studio here in Vancouver and drums were recorded at Monarch studio here in Van as well. We have a guest solo on the track “Corridors of the Mind” by Voivod/Martyr guitarist “Dan Mongrain”. You can expect a ton of twists and turns and can always count on us bringing fast energetic thrash. The kind of music you want to play on a first date after a few drinks. Dim the lights, crack a bottle of bubbly, and enjoy.
Sean: I had been a fan of the band for a while before showing up and stealing a seat in the van. I think that’s how I got into the band… It has been really radical writing and recording with these new tunes. If you liked Just The Tip, you’re gonna be stoked as hell, and still be surprised a lot. “Pinching Nerves” might be better saved for the second date, however.
Svb: You’ve shared the stage with numerous legendary bands such as Voivod, Gorrod, and others. Can you recall one or two shows that were particularly memorable?
Pat: We always manage to have a blast wherever we play. Thats one of the great things about playing in Expain, we all get along so great and want to make sure the crowd has a good ass time. Memorable shows? hmmm… Our last Canadian tour for “Just The Tip” was a fuckin blast! We hit the road with our great groove metal friends Slagduster. I was born in Cambridge, Ontario so playing there and selling out the first bar i ever snuck into was great. Also Prince George was a blast. Showing up to a city you have never played before and having the crowd be louder than you is a trip. We opened for Voivod and Gorod recently and that was amazing. I’ve worshipped those bands since I was a kid and seeing them in the audience digging our tunes was a dream come true. Wherever we go we are going to be in your face and make sure you have a good time. Lets fuckin party.
Svb: Expain did a Canadian tour last summer. How did it go?
Pat: We had the time of our lives on the “Just The Tip Tour”. Canada is a beautiful country and hitting a bunch of cities we never played before was amazing. We look forward to getting further out east in the future and touring all over the world. Id rather be in our Van than at home.
Sean: Three words. Camel. Moonmadness. Mountains. Also, we got to hear a ton of new Slagduster material. It’s gonna blow you away.
Svb: To lead guitarist Pat Peeve: you seem partial to a particular style and color of guitar, can you tell us more about that?
Pat: My first guitar was red Mexican Fender Strat. I fell in love with that colour and shape of guitar. Just cant get enough. My main axe is a red Ibanez Rg. Not sure why but i just love red guitars. You should come check out the collection some time, Dave haha
Svb: Pat, you recently mentioned to me Expain’s intention to record and release 5 or 6 songs every year/year and a half. Do you feel that releasing full length recordings are less of a priority in the music industry circa 2016?
Pat: My main reason for wanting to release more shorter albums is to do with the cost of recording. We are an independent band and don’t have the big budget for full length albums. I want to hit the studio as frequently as possible and get on the road to support it. Fuck I cant wait for you guys to hear the new album.