Like I’d mentioned in the first newsletter, there’s something special happening in Calgary hardcore right now. The Wild Rose Hardcore festival may have been canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the bands themselves haven’t pressed pause, instead having delivered a series of top tier wreckers on the regular since the spring. Think the blunt force grooves (and occasional trance interlude) of 壕Trench’s Blossom, or the jagged, dissonant noise metal of Serration’s Shrine of Consciousness.
Having dropped digitally at the tail end of September, World of Pleasure’s self-titled three-song demo, while brief, is Wild Rose hardcore’s latest devastator. The duo of Jess Nyx (Mortality Rate) and Colter (Serration) come together to deliver a mix of detuned, deathcore-drilling riffs and especially nasty breakdowns, all the while violently waxing on their vegan straight edge perspective. It gets heated, with Jess calling for animal rights and railing against top-of-the-food-chain complacency with a furious, determined passion (“I chose the path of rage and revenge: vegan straight edge”).
Jess answered a few questions from Gut Feeling over e-mail, getting into how World of Pleasure got off the ground, and how a 93-year-old cartoon rabbit is helping pave the way for the modern wave of vegan straight edge hardcore.
Being that you’re both actively playing in other bands at the moment, what did you set out to achieve together as World of Pleasure that you arguably couldn’t with Mortality Rate and Serration?
We both wanted to write militant vegan straight edge songs but can’t do that with either Mortality Rate or Serration, and wanted to do something different than our HM2 / metalcore bands that we are currently in.
How were either of you introduced to veganism and animal rights, and how much of a role did music play in shaping those views?
We were both introduced to veganism through friends that we made in the hardcore scene. I feel that those friendships had a big impact on us and our choice to be vegan, but neither of us were influenced by specific bands.
Veganism isn’t as abstract a concept to the North American mainstream as it had been 30 years ago when vegan straight edge bands like Raid and Earth Crisis first started up. We’re at the point now where major chain restaurants offer meat alternatives on their menus; meat-eaters are comfortably sliding Meatless Mondays into their meal plans, potentially steering themselves closer towards an animal cruelty-free lifestyle. Despite that societal shift, what is the importance of presenting an uncompromising vegan perspective through World of Pleasure?
Being vegetarian and doing Meatless Mondays is spineless and lacks effort in making a change. If you actually care about animal lives, there’s no sacrifice when it comes to being vegan. And I feel like unless that is thrown in people’s faces, they’re just going to ignore it and pat themselves on the back for not eating meat on Mondays, while still loading their plates with eggs and cheese, and getting a large latte with whole milk. There’s still harm being done, but people are given a gold star for tiptoeing around the edge of actually giving a shit.
The artwork for both the World of Pleasure demo tape and your band t-shirt prominently features the relatively obscure cartoon character Oswald, the Lucky Rabbit. How did you first find out about Oswald, and how does juxtaposing this cutesy animated rabbit against the band’s music fit in with the band’s overall aesthetic?
We got the name for the band from a Disney ride in California, and we figured that angry cute animals would be a good contrast against the music. The songs are also basically all about animals, so it would be nice to have them as our mascot. We also don’t really like when vegan bands only use dying animals as their art. I get why they do it, but I think that animals holding weapons and giving off the vibe of retaliation fits our mood better. We both knew about Oswald already and were just listing off animals to use as our first design, and landed on a bunny. We always wanted to go with an older style of cartoon art, so it was the perfect fit.
What’s next for World of Pleasure?
Probably never play a show because COVID :)
Mr. Dusty “I Don’t Want”
I somehow spaced on the existence of Mr. Dusty until just now, but recently caught a pair of previews of the group’s new 7-inch through their bassist Katayoon Y’s IG. “I Don’t Want” is a truly ruthless pound somewhat splitting the difference between the brute simplicity of Negative FX and the blown-out aesthetics of Youth Attack street punk, with a little back-end melody for good measure. Great stuff. Glad to get dusted.
The music on their Dust 2 Dust 7-inch was recorded in New York back in 2016, but Matt Berry’s razor-shredded vocals were recorded this past summer inside a parked car in Seattle. Katayoon’s a prolific video director (Narrowhead, Puzzlehead), and spliced this one together using video call footage with her bandmates, cube-gleaming retro visuals, and a shot of herself and her dog Rocky doing the conga at home in Vancouver.
You can order a copy of the record and subscribe to guitarist Will Anderson’s Association Update webzine over here.