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Landfill were a killer punk/industrial/crust style back in the day and I emailed band member Steve Schimepfenig some questions to answer and here is what he said:
MC: Give my readers a history of the band?
SS: Landfill formed in early 1992 as a project band with myself, Robert and Todd. We originally just set out to do a few songs in a Ministry, Godflesh, Prong sort of style. There was good response to what we were doing, so we took the band on full time after we recorded our first demo, Face The Insanity in summer of 1992, We went through various line up changes over the next several years including, Hopper of Hellshock and Don Of Agalloch being the two most well known members to have spent time in the line-up. The band released 2 releases on Wild Rags, Confined Inner Beauty and Extinction Is Mandatory. We also released, Assassins on Order Of The Death's Head and a collection of old 4 tracks and live recordings on a DIY cassette for our tenth anniversary before calling it quits around 2004. We played show in the Northwest(Seattle, Portland, Eugene, Vancouver).
MC: How did you come up with the name?
SS: We took the name from the song by Pitch Shifter off the, Industrial album.
MC: What led to the band breaking up?
SS: Well, I parted ways with Todd around 98and took it more in a minimalist electro-industrial direction. Which makes up half the Assassins CD. I slowly worked on material through the late 90's and early 00's, but after the birth of my son in 2001 and it just kinda faded away. I really kinda just lost interest in it I guess.
MC: If I remember there was only 2 guys in the band right? If I am correct
why did you only use 2 how come you didn't get other band members?
SS: Todd and myself were always the core members, we had various line ups of 3-4 members at a time. It was often hard to just keep people for various reasons(work, distance to practice pad which was way out in the sticks where Todd lived). We had a good solid line-up for about 3 years and added a second guitarist for awhile, but members went on to do other bands and such.
MC: Tell me a little about each of your releases and are any of them still for sale or are all still for sale?
SS: Face The Insanity-demo Our first release very metallic Ministry, Prong, Godflesh driven industrial. Mix was terrible. I see it on E-bay time to time. Confined Inner Beauty-Wild Rags Cassette(Much better production more heavy Godflesh/VoiVod styled influence lots of sampling. Definitely our best selling release. On Ebay time to time.
Extinction Is Mandatory-CD Wild Rags Some of the songs off Confined and others. Still Godflesh heavy some more electro-death experimenting. A good hybrid of all the members influences in my opinion. I see it on Ebay often sometimes for around $50
Assassins-CD Order Of The Death's Head Half the CD was recorded in 96 with Todd and I Heavy electro/industrial metal/rock styled. The other half of the CD is Minimalist styled electro-industrial with harsher death styled vocals. Still available from me for $8.00 postage paid USA $10.00 world Pro-packaged/manufactured. Paypal: [email protected] just put a note that says Landfill
We did a DIY Cassette of various live recordings and 4 tracks including our first 4 track recording on Aidan's Fire Label.
MC: How did you end up on Wild Rags and was that a good deal for you?
SS: I just communicated with Richard C. for years, distributed his labels goods for awhile. It was a good deal for awhile we were treated fair. I had no problems with him up until we were to do a split MCD with Amon Hen from Hungary. He just started making a lot of excuses for things, then apparently disappeared after having some IRS issues or something. Haven't heard from him since and that release never came out.
MC: How was it like being from Seattle, WA and what did you think of the whole
SS: Well, we're from Vancouver/Portland area actually. We used to play Seattle quite a bit. O, I didn't mind it early on, but it all got kinda silly like every music trend after awhile. Not as ridiculous as Juggalos though. Early Nirvana, Green River, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, were all great bands.
MC: Do you miss the days of mailing out tapes/letters ha ha?
SS: I seriously do! I don't think kids today realize how good they have it. Man, all the money I could have saved on buying demos if we had My Space and shit ha ha. I met so many people from everywhere though and the excitement of a full mailbox I will always remember.
MC: What was some of the best shows that you ever saw?
SS: Journey-Escape tour, O man! Motley Crue and Ozzy early on, Lots of Poison Idea and Wehrmacht shows, Carcass, Entombed, Napalm Death, Unleashed, Brutal Truth, Eyehategod, Chaos U.K., but man even last year I saw Amebix then The Cro-Mags and I still was stoked for being 41. Nothing now really can get me pumped like shit from the 80's early 90's.
MC: Did the band ever get to play live and if you did what was the response
like to the band live?
SS: Yeah we played several shows in the region. We were kinda the odd industrial influenced band that mostly played with crust punk or death metal bands. Response varied. We weren't the band the whipped up a pit frenzy or anything. More the groovin'.
MC: How would you describe the band to somebody who has never heard of you?
SS: Pretty much the easiest way I describe it was A dark reflection of mankinds crudity and barbarity set to industrial influenced metal/punk music.
MC: Do you still have copies of all your old reviews and copies of fanzines
that you were in and did you think most of your reviews were fair?
SS: I have some, I think Hopper has a lot of it. For the most part I think the reviews were fair. I mean sometimes you'd get someone who just straight up didn't understand what we were about and would in my opinion unfairly rate us, but overall we got good reviews.
MC: What are some of your favorite memories of the good ole days he he?
SS: Playing our first Seattle show and having Shane of Phobia and Mark from Destroy tag along with us, Playing an Earth First benefit to a packed venue in Eugene with a bunch of bands, staying up for days working on a song and drinking a lot, constantly answering mail and zine interviews. Man, I loved doing that. Seriously! I think mostly I miss the excitement of discovering a new band by demo then watching them get more known. Thankfully we still have reunions.
MC: So what did you end up doing as far as yourself goes when the band broke
SS: Raising my son, working pretty much was it for awhile. I quit drinking like 5 years ago and am pretty involved in animal/human rights type causes. I put on benefit shows locally to raise $ for charity with some young kids. Really enjoy it. Hoping to hopefully get a project going again in the future of a Discharge, Anti Cimex, etc. styled band for fun.
MC: I see you have a My Space page now. How has the response to it been so far and have you re connected with many old friends like myself?
SS: Yeah, A few. It's still growing. I heard from Terry/Grief a few weeks ago. Really cool as we used to trade records a lot. I was in touch with you from way the hell back! I remember The Log even. (thank you my man-chris)
MC: Will there ever be any new Landfill material or is there any unreleased
stuff that may see the light of day?
SS: I'm kinda doubting it. I won't say never though. I haven't spoke to Todd in like over a decade. I still have the reels if anyone wants to reissue stuff.
MC: Tell me some funny band releated stories?
SS: We played an open mic night early on at like 1am in Portland. There was like only one drunk older guy there. He looked just like John Wayne Gacy and we all joked about it between songs. He thanked us at the end of our set and asked who we were. I asked him his name and he said, John. I about died laughing. Not that funny. Everything else was just drinking, puking on cars, etc. You get the idea ha ha.
MC: Do you still live in Seattle and what are some memories you have both good
and bad about your time there?
SS:I live in Vancouver, Washington. As far as Seattle though. I liked playing there. There was no real all ages scene due to a city ban at the time. So playing the pubs with young twenty somethings that appreciated bands playing was pretty awesome. I always loved playing up there. As far as a city I don't really care for it and only go there once or twice a year. As for the area I am in it's basically a suburb of Portland. I love Portland have mostly great memories of stuff here overall. Anything negative was pretty much related to alcohol use and at this point in my life I just left it in the past.
MC: Do you still follow the underground metal scene nowadays and if so what do you think of it?
SS: Not really. Usually if something new comes out and a friend links a song to me I'll listen to it. Heaven Shall Burn, Marduk, newer Pestilence or something like that I dig. I still go to shows time to time, but am not like obsessed with the scene like I was in my teens through twenties. I think the biggest problem now is lack of bands experimenting and I think that's more fault of labels not taking chances like in the old days. Therefore bands looking to get signed are just going to play to cater to labels. That's the way I feel about it anyways.
MC: Have you ever seen any of your stuff on sale on places like Amazon or Ebay?
SS: Oh yeah, from time to time. Like I said I see stuff going for $50.00 or whatever. I guess there is kinda a growing interest in old Wild Rags stuff I am told though.
MC: Do you think if you had things like My Space, the internet, You Tube, etc, the band would have gotten bigger than it did?
SS: Probably. This stuff is nice, but seriously I wonder if kids today get the same feeling by listening to a band for free online as I did mowing grandma's lawn then running with the money to the record store and worshipping that record for weeks until I bought the next one. I just think there was more appreciation for the overall band before internet.
MC: How hard was it to come up with songs and what is your favorite Landfill
song and were lyrics important to you?
SS: Our lyrics were always important and dealt with something realistic. We often would work months on a song. Sometimes it would come together faster then we built on it over time. My fave songs, Injected Serenity, Cesspool, and Caged Existence.
MC: Who is your favorite band and why?
SS: All time favorite band is Black Sabbath. Were always there since I was a kid. Still listen to them to this day. Just a timeless band that's been with me through all my life and likely will always be with me. I think they just strike something within' me that I still feel totally pumped when I hear them as I did 20-30 years ago.
MC: Describe yourself to me and what are some things you like to do?
SS: 41 year old divorced father of one son, Aidan, Love bike rides, walks, hikes, camping and flirting with the ladies. I am obsessed with drinking tea, try to workout on a regular basis, I put on benefit shows locally and work doing Maintenance for a non profit.
MC: Are you married? Kids?
SS: Divorced after being with the same gal for like 11 years. We still get along. One son, Aidan.
MC: Any last words and thanks a million for going down memory lane horns up
for doing this interview.
SS: Thank you Chris! I am amazed and stoked you still are doing this and still so dedicated! Awesome! I actually have a zine coming out with a second issue in July. On The Horizon is the name. I have an interview with PDX Punk metal band, Murderess, so far. For info on this or Assassins CD contact: [email protected]
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