Everybody knows what the main lyrical staples of grindcore are - one-minute odes to the rotting flesh of a freshly-decapitated innocent, or perhaps blasting ballads to the more deviant side of de Sadean psychosexual fantasies. But one band from Wisconsin are doing things differently - marrying a blend of Agoraphobic Nosebleed and Nasum-esque grind to comedy sci-fi samples, and lyrics about milking cows and robotic spirit guides. After having being Spotlighted by hxcmp3.com alongside bands such as Glass Casket, we thought it was about time the world knew a bit more about this uniquely interesting grind group. Ultimate Metal sent Philip Whitehouse to find out more... Legend: Uncle Bob = Adam Tucker: Guitarist, programmer, magic fingers Pacho = Travis Gasper: Robot, screams, harmonica Kim = Dru Mizgalski: Farmer, screams, jaw harp - Please introduce the band to the readers. Where is the band from? Uncle Bob: We are Uncle Bob Drives A Combine, out of the intestines of Wausau, Wisconsin. Pacho: We come from the land where you spit and it freezes before it touches the ground. Kim: Wisconsin, my favorite state - Who are you and what do you do (in the band)? Uncle Bob: I'm Adam/Uncle Bob, I'm the instrumental portion of the group, drum programmer and guitarist. Kim: I am Dru, and I play the part of farmer Kim. I help with the writing of the story (lyrics) and work in promotion...art...farm dancing. All the good, fun stuff. Pacho: I'm Pacho the Robot, Kim's spirit guide. I do some PR and artwork, but mainly I just scream advice at Kim to keep him on the right track. - What's the meaning or story behind the band's name? Pacho: It's a name that is interesting, sounds good shortened, and fits into the general mythology we are trying to create with the band. - Who're your major influences? Uncle Bob: Man, there are way too many, but as far as this stuff goes here's a short list: Pig Destroyer, Discordance Axis, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Melt Banana, Fantomas, Buckethead, Isis, Yoko Kanno, Ennio Morricone. Kim: I love music, so all music is inspiration. Prince, rocks it. I?m a fan. As of late Trav5 (Pacho) has had me listening to a lot of sludge/stoner rock. I also find myself listening to classic rock, metal of all kinds, country (the real stuff), classical, and more abstract hip hop. I?m pretty diverse in my listening. I think other than musically, just living in Wisconsin has influenced me. Everyone here is, so...Wisconsin. Visit. You?ll understand. Pacho: Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Deliverance, Despised Icon, Dave Witte, Isis, old gospel music, ect. - What inspires you when you write the music/lyrics? Kim: The country (outdoors). Life. Different experiences. All kinds of literature serves as a guide. Archetypes are what the stories are made of. Pacho: The land that surrounds us is really inspiring. When Kim and I sit down to write lyrics, the story only has to picked out of the surrounding trees. Kim's a pretty inspiring guy as well. If you ground up 1/8th of that guy's head and sniffed it, you could get high for a month garunteed. Also, the great Southern Gothic authors like Flannery O'Connor and the magic realists like Gabriel Garcia Marquez are huge inspirations. Uncle Bob: Anything that's beautiful and catchy in it's sheer brutality and craziness, be it music, movies, whatever. Oh, and Dave Witte. - How much time do you spend with the band generally? Uncle Bob: While doing the writing and recording, pretty much all my spare time away from school...I usually get really picky and just mess with stuff forever, so I guess a good answer is "too much". Kim: As much as I can. These guys are my pals. Last weekend I went gambling with Travis. That was a good (losing) time. Pacho: As much time as possible. We're all pretty good buddies, kind of like Stand By Me. - What is the song writing process like for Uncle Bob Drives A Combine? Uncle Bob: I usually just sit down and try to program drum pattens I wish I could play but I can't, then write songs around them. Almost always the drums come first, then guitar, then noise/electronic work. Then I throw the tracks to the vocalists and they fit their story around them. Kim: Tucker just takes care of all the music. Trav5 and I are in charge of the story and the lyrics which tell the story. The cd that we just finished (Episode III: The Journey Begins) was conceived on an internet chat between Trav5 and me when we were both at school. The lyrics for a couple songs were written on a spring break road trip to Ohio in 2003. All the open space and country made the pen move. We played the rough instrumental Tucker had given us, and we fit in lyrics, and talked about where the songs would fit into the story. - What are your lyrics about? Kim: The lyrics all fall into the story of a young man named Kim, who decides he has come to a point in his life to leave the farm and experience what the city has to offer. We start on the farm where Kim has a dream of a robot named Pacho who tells him the city is A-OK. We follow a journey to the city, and he meets the robot (broken down) on the way. This album continues explaining the effects of the city on Kim. - Tell us 3 good reasons why people should listen to you? Pacho: 1. We're doing something fresh 2. It is an instantly identifiable story 3. There is a robot and a farmer together in a grindcore band. Uncle Bob: 1. We're fun 2. We have a solid album avaliable now 3. We're hot men! Kim: 1. We?re not generic grind; we have enough variety in our music to keep from growing redundant, old. 2. The story is one to fall into, you?ll want more. 3. We?re representing the farm. These people feed your asses! - How can people hear your music? Kim: http://hxcmp3.com/bands/111 or you can email us at email@example.com if you want a CD. - What song of your's should people listen to before any other? Kim: I think that any song will be enough to make you want to listen to more. Pick any song. If you like it, you will like the whole album. I promise. Uncle Bob: Hell, just wade right on in, the entire album is meant to flow together so if you get the cd just nail that straight in one sitting, if you have the sittin' ass for it. Pacho: I personally really enjoy "Scene 2: Pacho's Discovered" although they all flow together so it's best to listen to the album all the way through. - What makes you different from other bands who play similar music? Pacho: I think that our music, concept, and lyrics are more closely related to a stage production or a fairy tale than most traditional grindcore out there. Uncle Bob: I think we manage to keep the groove and craziness of good grindcore while maintaining a pretty listenable sound. Not that I don't love ear splitting recordings but I think UBDAC is a bit mellower on the ears than most...or something like that. Oh yeah, and it's a concept album based around a robot/farmboy roadtrip...that's different like that girl with one short leg that every high school has, eh? Kim: We?re farm. We have musical variety. We don?t look like metal dudes (HAHA). - To whom would you recommend to listen to UBDAC? Pacho: Anyone with an ear for the heavy and an eye for the crazy. Uncle Bob: Anyone who likes hearing things with their ears. Kim: People who like to laugh. We?re screamy, but fun at the same time. - If you could play a gig with 3 other bands, who would it be? Pacho: Melt Bannana, The Who, and an interactive holograph of a mecha-Nick Drake. Kim: I would play with my buddies from Bailer (Denver, CO). They rock hard, make me want to dance, and are just cool people. The other two bands would have to be Isis and Pig Destroyer. Uncle Bob: GWAR, Pig Destroyer, and the reanimated corpse of Hank Williams Sr. - What one location in the world would you love to play a gig at? Kim: Japan. I want to play there so bad. Pacho: Japan, no doubt about it. It seems like a place fit for a robot. Uncle Bob: A sports bar at the center of the earth. Or that one place Metallica played at where Hetfield got his arm cooked by pyro...they have good riots up there! - What was the main reason you became a musician? Uncle Bob: Because I spent way too much time listening to music not to do something with it...it just pulled me in, must like an arm into a threshing machine. Pacho: It's a great way to meet awesome people, and nothing beats performing. Kim: Playing live is amazing. It makes me happy to see people in such shock. Hahahaha...yeah, that?s why - How much time do you spend with practicing? Kim: We practice together once in a great while, but I practice vocals on my own pretty frequently (to instruments and the cd). We?re hoping to make more time to get practices in for a smoother flow when show time comes. Uncle Bob: Depends on what instrument. With all of them it fluxes from lots to not at all depending on what I'm doing bandwise at the time. Pacho: I'm always practicing the vocals somewhere in my circuitry. - How many instruments do you play on? Uncle Bob: Lesse...guitar, bass, upright bass, piano, air drums. Five? Pacho: Mainly vocals, but I dabble in guitar and harmonica. Kim: I play vocals and \m/jaw harp\m/. That makes two. - What's your local scene like? How many opportunity do you have to play live? Kim: The kids here are great. They climb on things, and scream with us, convulse with us. Playing live is tougher because various venues are no longer running, and the city doesn?t exactly like us and our type of music. Trav5 and Tucker?s other band pretty much got banned from further shows downtown here. The mayor herself wrote an article in City Pages talking about how horrible the display was. I was there. I loved it! We?ll play if they like it or not regardless. Uncle Bob: We're all spread out throughout Wisconsin, so our scenes vary...in our hometown of Wausau it's pretty good, surprisingly, lots of younger kids with wide music tastes. We have lots of opportunities to play, but unfortunatly they're all in other states. Pacho: It's a great scene. There are alot of people really into what we do, and an equal amount who are just really confused. There isn't much of a grindcore scene here in Milwaukee, so we usually end up playing with some pretty diverse bands. There's lots of fog, lots of flashing lights, lots of confusion, and a couple hands covering ears. It's a good time. - What's your best gig memory? Kim: We were playing in Wausau, WI and at the beginning of our set we got most everybody to lie down. So around 50 kids are curled up on the floor and the music gets loud...and the drum machine kicks in. All those crazy kids starting flipping, and shaking...convulsing, and I tried to get up, but they pulled me down into a pile of chaotic love. It was incredible. Uncle Bob: Seeing Travis in full Pacho cardboard-robot glory riding around on Dru/Farmer Kim while shrieking into a mic, then falling face first into our onstage hay bail. Pacho: Oh man, getting shut down by the cops was a good time. I think he thought some gay costume orgy was happening. I was this close to frying him with my lazer eyes. - What's your worst? Uncle Bob: Dru's vocals overpowering the drums in the speakers, then the cops showing up and shutting us down...although that must have been the most confused cop ever, as there was fog and flashing lights and a robot and a guy with a mullet and me in hip waders and a gas mask. So I guess it's not all bad. Kim: We had a show in a barn (also in Wausau), and we had all kinds of problems with the PA. And we did a song, and it sounded horrible, and I blew away all the rest of the sound with my vocals, and the cops showed up (during ?Oink? ironically) and told us to quit for the night. What a bad show. Pacho: There was this one show in a 99 degree living room that became a giant cake fight. I passed out, which is fun, but i think I blew a couple fuses. - Do you play cover songs? Kim: We are all original, baby! At least so far. Uncle Bob: Not as of right now, pretty much we just play through the album live. Pacho: We're working on it. A Johnny Cash cover is coming for sure in the near future. That man had such an effect on all music, it's sad that he's gone. - Are you playing in other bands too? What should we know about those bands? Pacho: Me and Uncle Bob are in a hard rock band called Exit Smiling. Uncle Bob: Yeah, another band I'm in with Trav is pretty active right now, we're called Exit Smiling and I'm in the process of recording/mixing the cd as we speak. It's way different from UBDAC, let's just say that much. Interestingly enough, in our hometown nobody knows UBDAC and lots of kids know ES, but everywhere else it's reversed. - Where/how can people get in contact with the band? Kim: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can usually see Trav5 (bloodandtightpants) and me (ibdrdru) posting our lives away on the message board at http://www.instrife.com. Also our website is currently under development, it is at http://ubdac.deadamerica.org - Any message for your fans and the UM masses? Kim: I?m single. Oh yeah...beards are where it?s at. Pacho: Don't mistake the deadly combination of farmer and robot. Lazer Eyes and Pitchforks will mess you up! Uncle Bob: Listen to lots of music, never let your tastes get too set, and give of yourself to the Combine so that it might feed upon your limbs! There you have it. Uncle Bob Drives A Combine's album, 'Episode III: The Journey Begins' is available through the band's website.