EMQ’s with DOOMSDAY PROFIT
Hi everyone! Welcome to a wonderful new EMQ’s interview with Raleigh, North Carolina based Psych-Sludge/Doom band, Doomsday Profit. Huge thanks to bassist, Ryan Sweeney, for taking part and for being one of the few to go all out on the Jaffa Cake question…awesome!
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
My name is Ryan Sweeney and I play bass in Doomsday Profit along with Bryan Reed (Vocals/Guitar), Kevin See (Guitar), and Tradd Yancey (Drums).
Bryan was looking to start up a music project and roped me in as a way to get back into playing music, but primarily as an excuse to hang out with friends. We set out to make literal doom music to channel some of our anxieties around the effects of late-stage capitalism and the climate crisis. In search of a drummer, I reached out to Tradd Yancey of Crystal Spiders, with whom I played in a short-lived punk band a decade ago. From there, Tradd brought in Kevin to round out the sound that we now have defined as Doomsday Profit.
How did you come up with your band name?
Bryan and I were having a beer before a show, brainstorming band ideas. Nothing suggested felt right. I like puns, to most everyone’s chagrin. Bryan tossed out ‘Doomsday Profit’ and we immediately realized it checked all the right boxes.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We’re from the Triangle region of North Carolina (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill), which has a very active heavy music scene. It’s awesome being able to see great heavy bands like Solar Halos, Night Battles, MAKE, WitchTit, Crystal Spiders, Lightning Born, Tooth, etc. as well as some newer punk acts like The Muslims and Pie Face Girls. We’re also honoured to be from the home state of scene greats like Corrosion of Conformity, Weedeater, Sourvein, and Toke.
It would probably be a disservice to mention some of the other Triangle greats like The Mountain Goats, Hiss Golden Messenger, and Sylvan Esso.
The Triangle scene has had significant ebbs and flows in the 80’s and 90’s with The dBs, Polvo, The Connells, etc. and in the early aughts with groups like Hammer No More The Fingers, Red Collar, Bombadil, The Love Language, etc. There were often shows each night in each of the three cities and you would have to make some hard decisions as to which show to go see. Now we’re kind of in an ebb, I’d say.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
We currently have a demo on Bandcamp, but our first official release, “In Idle Orbit” is coming out November 12 and will be available for pre-order from October 1!
‘Consume The Remains’
“Abandon Hope” (Full Demo)
Who have been your greatest influences?
As far as an influence on our sound? Each other. One of the things I really love about this band is that while we all have overlapping musical interests, our individual influences are diverse. My musical influences are more in the psych and prog realm, Bryan’s are more in the realm of hardcore and death metal, Tradd comes from a groovier cowpunk and pub-rock background, while Kevin’s primary go-to is jam bands. We all love the genre Doomsday Profit plays in (and the obvious classics of the genre: Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard, Sleep, etc.), but with our combined influences we push each other into sonic territories that we otherwise might not explore on our own.
What first got you into music?
It’s hard to say. I think I always had some sort of connection with music. My late grandfather was an influence in that regard; he was big into Dixieland jazz which I didn’t get into until he passed away, but I think his adoration for music was imprinted on me at a young age. I attempted various instruments as a youngling: violin, piano, and guitar. Nothing stuck until a good friend of mine in high school taught me how to play bass.
My relationship with music has primarily been as a consumer and curator as opposed to a musician. Two high school teachers sent me on a path out of the typical embarrassing stuff everyone listened to as a kid. My world history teacher always ended a weekly quiz with a bonus question where she would play a classic rock song and we’d have to answer which band it was. That was my first-time hearing Jethro Tull. A year or so later my English teacher played A Ghost Is Born for the class when it first came out and that sent me on a path towards indie and college rock. My good friend who would later teach me bass was getting into classic metal and new prog (Porcupine Tree) and another friend hooked me onto Zappa. From there I went to college radio, interned at a record label where I met Bryan who was also interning, played in a college band, played in a post-college band (with Tradd), then lived a post-college life fairly removed from music for the first time in my life until another friend brought an opportunity to do a radio show at a community station. The show is still running, and it’s called Global Garage. It’s focused on rock-tangential music from all around the world and is a great way to force myself outside of the typical US/UK/Canada/Australia scenes that tend to dominate the typical music discourse. It’s the ultimate excuse for music discovery.
TL;DR – The quest for new sonic experiences.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
I would love to incorporate some saxophone into what we do. I’m a sucker for sax-laced psych rock (Hawkwind, Mythic Sunship, etc.). Maybe Matana Roberts? Add a free jazz-doomy element.
Or, to shake things up, a collaboration with George Clinton would be absolutely wild and unexpected, but I think could sound really cool.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Roadburn’s the dream, right? I would love to play Roadburn because it’s such an institution, but primarily because it would be a great opportunity to see a bunch of fantastic bands all at once. But, if I have to pick only one, I’d go for Duna Jam. It just seems like such a chill, intimate experience and you really can’t beat that scenery.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
We haven’t received any gifts yet, but we hope to make new friends during our upcoming October and November shows. But, if anyone is looking for ideas, we like D&D, Magic the Gathering, comic books, and records. On the weird wish list though? Fan art of Richard Spencer getting punched in the face.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Eat the Rich.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
My default answer is going to be Frank Zappa. He was such a profound, prolific talent always diving headfirst to new music technology. It would be interesting to see what kind of music he would create with what exists now. I am on the fence as to whether his inevitable hot take YouTube channel would be very thoughtful and relevant or super cringy/old-man-yells-at-cloud.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Playing with my friends and connecting with people. Playing music, for me, is very much a form of therapy as well. It feels good to play.
What do I hate? Carrying cabs upstairs.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Fair payment. It’s bogus that the RIAA and labels pocketed music piracy lawsuit money and the actual musicians didn’t see a dime. Spotify is great for music discovery, but musicians don’t get paid nearly enough. I love Bandcamp for their artist-first approach business model. If I could change the music industry, I’d make Bandcamp the only music streaming and digital purchasing option.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Oof, just one? My answer will change by the minute and as I’m typing the answer this minute is: Mohanik – “At Amarbayasgalant”.
One of my favourite discoveries through Global Garage and is now one of my favourite records. I mean…check it:
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Whatever you have at your disposal and fits your needs. My personal listening preference is typically downloads/digital because it’s portable and I can listen to (and discover) a lot of new stuff quickly. I’ve spent probably more than I’d like to admit on Bandcamp Fridays over the past year-and-a-half.
I do also love vinyl because there’s nothing like the experience of collecting and listening to it. When I travel abroad, I like to start a trip at a record store and ask for recommendations of bands from the area. It’s also a great way to get good recommendations for places to go, things to see, eat, drink. etc. So, if you’re traveling to a new place, make your first stop a record store!
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Art Bar in Columbia in February 2020; a week-ish or so before everything shut down. It was a fun show and a pleasure to share the stage with MNRVA and Space Coke. We’re returning to Art Bar on 10/16 to play with MNRVA, NeverFall, and another NC band, HolyRoller.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
What I do now, data analytics desk job.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
If dead people are allowed in this hypothetical: Kurt Vonnegut, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Phil Ochs, Fred Hampton, and Anthony Bourdain.
If we’re talking currently alive: Paul Beatty, Sean Sherman, Jon Ronson, Angela Davis, and Greta Thunberg.
What’s next for the band?
We have a few weekend sprints coming up in October and November to coincide with the release of “In Idle Orbit”. In the meantime, we’re writing new songs with a goal of hopping back into the studio in February.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
I want to be very clear that I take food very seriously. I love to cook. I love to eat. And I love to philosophize on weird questions like “is a hotdog a sandwich?” and “is cereal soup?”. This feels like one of those things and I want to do due diligence here, especially because Jaffa Cakes are specific to the UK.
As I’m unfamiliar with this particular debate, I went into this question assuming that this is a very dividing question and didn’t want to start some sort of international conflict. I was prepared to do my research and conclude that “cake or biscuit, the label doesn’t matter; what does matter is that Jaffa Cakes are absolutely delicious.” But I did my research and there’s a definite answer so we’re going to throw out any potential diplomatic issues out the window because this is now a hill I will die on.
As a Yank, I can’t say that Jaffa Cakes are a treat I’ve previously indulged in or sought out, so my personal experience up until now has been limited. In my state of being culturally unbiased, I wanted to approach the question from two angles: what does precedent say and what do my tastebuds say?
The first result that surfaced when I began my search was the precedent set through the case of McVitie’s vs. Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise where it was legally determined Jaffa cakes are, indeed, cakes. I agree with the logic discussed within the case, but I can’t take law as final because just because something is law doesn’t mean it’s good. Laws are meant to be broken.
As I have a huge respect for food science (big ups to Kenji López-Alt), I wanted to look at the process of how such a treat is made. Throughout my recipe research, it became clear that sponge is an integral part of a Jaffa cake. Sponge is, of course, cake. In one YouTube video, the baker created an instructional video for Jaffa Cakes based on the Great British Bake Off challenge. In which, they baked the sponges in cupCAKE tins, not on cookie sheets. This left me with one final source to confirm.
For my final preliminary research, I deemed it crucial to consult the institution of all things confectionary in the UK. What does the Great British Bake Off say? Jaffa Cakes were a challenge during cake week. ‘Nuff said.
While the preliminary research was enough to convince me I wanted to follow through with my due diligence and actually eat some Jaffa Cakes. I found some at a local supermarket and made Bryan stop there on our way to band practice. I forced Jaffa Cakes upon my bandmates to get their take:
Bryan: Trick question, it’s a cookie (Biscuit: 1 | Cake: 0 | US/UK Relations: 0)
Tradd: Tastes like a cake filled with zit pus (Biscuit 1 | Cake 1 | US/UK Relations: 0)
My verdict – and tie-breaking vote on behalf of the band – is that while the Jaffa Cake is certainly the size of a cookie, and these specific cakes were a bit on the firmer side (more like a soft cookie), the overall experience and taste was certainly more cake-like than cookie-like.
In conclusion, based on research into precedent and personal experience, Jaffa Cakes are indeed cakes. They’re also absolutely delicious and I want more of them. Bryan and I were glad Tradd wasn’t a fan because that meant more delicious Jaffa Cakes for us.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Individual sustainability efforts are important but remember that almost three fourths of worldwide fossil fuel emissions can be traced to 100 corporations. They’re the ones making the real doomsday profit.
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.