Expulsion Guitarist Matt Olivo Interviewed By The Iron Serbian
Just in time for the end of civilization as we know it, old-school grindcore barges back with a vengeance in the form Expulsion. Consisting of grind veterans Matt Olivo (Repulsion), Matt Harvey (Exhumed, Gruesome), Danny Walker (Intronaut, Exhumed, Phobia) and Menno Verbaten (Lightning Swords of Death), Expulsion pick up where the dawn of grindcore left off over 30 years ago, with their highly anticipated debut, Nightmare Future. Guitarist Matt Olivo took some time to answer some of our deep and thought provoking questions.
Expulsion in a dictionary is defined as 1. the action of depriving someone of membership in an organization and 2. the process of forcing something out of the body. Do any of these definitions resemble experiences you have had and if so what and what have been your reactions or responses to them?
From the two definitions you’ve provided I’d say the first one would better describe us as individuals and metal heads as a greater whole. We’re outsiders and we like it that way! I’ve personally held deep aversions to joining groups since I was a child. I don’t trust institutional leadership. Ironically, I’m proud to admit that I served in the Army to get money for college. The military has a very reliable justice structure at this point in it’s history. Scandals still emerge but the retribution is typically swift and overwhelming. Anyway, I digress. Expulsion is an arbitrary amalgamation of EXhumed and RePULSION. Have you tried to find bitchin’ death metal band these days??? Don’t judge. 🙂
How did you first get in to music? Who turned you onto rock/metal?
An older, teenage kid in the neighborhood used to blast Kiss: Alive out of his bedroom window in the summertime. It was so powerful, otherworldly…mystical. I was hooked. I begged my Dad to buy me Kiss “Destroyer” on vinyl at Sears. I took it home played it over and over…stared at the cover, mesmerized for hours. At one point I grabbed a broom and started “strumming” it. That, as they say, was that.
What inspired you to start another grindcore band?
I wanted to expand upon the musical legacy that I co-created with Repulsion. That artistic itch, blended with current existential dread led me right back to my teenage musical mindset. I demoed some songs and got positive feedback so I moved forward. It’s been a long journey back, but I’m so glad I found the right people to do it with. Furthermore, the fan response and critical acclaim from the press has been great — makes it all worth it.
With 7 songs clocking in at about 14 minutes on your debut, have you recorded more songs that just didn’t make the cut?
We have an EP in the pipeline and another album on the horizon. The song sequence felt right for this first release so we left it as is. Most of the feedback we’re getting is that fans enjoy playing Nightmare Future on “repeat” in lieu of a more lengthy album. The songs are an intense “set” with zero filler. We plan to keep this approach on all of our releases going forward.
Are there any political, sexual or social issues hidden in Expulsion songs ?
The lyrics, for the most part are very straightforward. Most of our songs are about mankind’s inclination to destroy himself, his neighbor or his world. Then there’s the horror of paralyzing existence (Comatose). I suppose one could interpret that song as an allegory of leading an isolated, depressing life with no end or relief in sight. Taken on it’s face value it’s simply a cautionary tale about the horrors of using medical technology to trap a self aware person in an immobile, morbid prison of the mind…from which there is no escape. Not good times. 😦
Was Relapse Records the first choice for this album and is it true a Relapse Records contract is the size of a phone book?
Yes! I’ve been apart of the Relapse family in one way or another since it’s humble beginnings. I did explore other options but Relapse’s offer was simple, functional and decidedly non-Draconian.
What do you miss about the 80’s the most?
Not having to work! In those days I would spend inordinate amounts of time lurking within my imagination. It was given that I would have to give that up to “grow up” one day — which I did, but It didn’t make me any happier!
Were you troubled as a youth, were you juvenile delinquents, burn ants with a magnifying glass, trouble with law?
Troubled — yes. Criminally insane — no. I’ve never been arrested and I don’t even have so much as a speeding ticket on my record. I’ve always found outlets for my troubling thoughts, which I believe is very healthy. We all know people who go through life appearing to be “normal.” I often wonder how awful that must be.
How important is World Downfall in the grand scheme of things?
As far as the sub-genre of grindcore goes— immensely. To get more insight on that, you should ask someone in the band Terrorizer.
How likely is it that we will see a Expulsion, Repulsion, Exhumed & Gruesome tour package any time soon?
Ha! Not likely. We’re too old for double and triple duty several nights a week. Poor Harv’s voice would be toast.
Bands you would love to tour with and musician or artist you would like to meet and interrogate?
Tour with: Crucifix (San Francisco), Meet: Black Sabbath.
Song to be played at your funeral and 3 albums to take to your grave?
“100,000 Years” from Kiss: Alive. Grave goodies: Black Sabbath, Reign in Blood, Bonded by Blood.
Whats your next gig?
Repulsion is booked to play Ozzfest/Knotfest in San Bernardino, CA. Expulsion live dates coming soon!!!
Final thoughts, shout outs, dirty jokes?
We’d like to thank the fans and press for their overwhelmingly supportive response to Nightmare Future. There’s much more on the way plus