Handsome Prick is a three-piece grindcore band with a hint of rock ‘n’ roll influence out of Dyer, Indiana. Before the band opened for grind legends Wormrot at Reggies Rock Club on May 30, Locals Only sat down with guitarist Zach Chentnik, drummer/bassist Brad Vanderzee, and live vocalist Justin Wallace to talk a little bit about Handsome Prick’s Full Terror Assault debut this September, as well as about the band’s influences and more
How long have you guys been playing together?
Brad Vanderzee: About four years
Zach Chentnik: October of 2013 we started
Justin Wallace: Has it been that long?
Can you tell me a little bit about how that formation occurred? What music brought you together?
BV: I played in a band with our original bass player called Decrypt and I had moved to California for a couple years. I came back and I just wanted to do a grind band again with the best people I knew who could play, which was Zach on guitar.
So were there any bands or specific musicians that brought you guys together? What kind of sound were you going for?
BV: Well it’s interesting because [Chentnik’s] not really schooled in grindcore or death metal. He is a little more now, but he kind of just listens to Metallica, which doesn’t really matter because he’s the best guitar player I know.
As far as stuff I like, it’s classic American death metal; Suffocation and Cannibal Corpse. A lot of old school punk; Bad Religion and Black Flag and all that “punch your mom in the face” kind of shit. Thin Lizzy and Black Sabbath; all the good stuff.
Do you play most of your shows in the Chicago area? Or is there a separate Indiana scene?
JW: I think this year we’ve played more in the city.
ZC: Yeah, there’s not really much of a scene where we’re at. A little, but not much.
BV: It’s like Indiana bar metal. We’ve wasted a lot of our time; well, not wasted, but we practice, practice, practice to play a show with some old drunk guys who listen to Disturbed songs or something. You can only do it so many times.
I just saw you guys at Royal Skate Shop in Lansing, IL with Homewrecker. How would you compare that show with other shows you’ve played at Royals?
JW: That crowd, in particular, was probably the only crowd we’ve ever had there other than our girlfriends.
BV: At Royal Skate, it’s usually the bands and us, and some stragglers here and there. But it’s always nice kids. If it’s just five or 10 people, that’s fine.
JW: We’ll still rip it up.
At tonight’s show [with Wormrot, Escuela, Sick/Tired, and Melting Rot] who are you most excited to see as fans?
BV: I like Melting Rot. I checked them out since they’re on the bill and they’re fucking awesome. Sick/Tired we’ve known forever. Wormrot, my other band played with in Valparaiso, IN a long time ago at Gaucho’s Brazilian Steakhouse. Our guitarist worked at a Brazilian steakhouse and they let him throw shows there in the basement. That’s probably why it’s closed.`
JW: Escuela’s pretty awesome, too. I checked them out.
Looking forward to Full Terror Assault (FTA), how did you guys end up playing this festival?
BV: We played a benefit show for our buddy Chris at Livewire and Kevin from Waco Jesus was out there and he checked it out and had seen us. He was kind of taken aback and asked us to play.
ZC: Our other band, Moistened Disciples, played the first year, and it was alright. No one really saw us.
Will you guys be at FTA all three days?
BV: It’s gonna depend on how work goes; we don’t know what day we’re playing yet.
JW: We’re all working men.
As fans, who are you most excited to see at FTA?
BV: I’d really like to see Midnight.
JW: Really pumped to see Midnight and Birdflesh. Those are my two
BV: Organ dealer, too.
ZC: It’d be fun to see Death Angel. They got such a ’85…I mean, Kurt Hammond produced that album.
BV: I don’t know a lot of the bands, honestly. I have to do some homework before I go.
You all have varied influences. Are there any bands that you all are collective fans of?
ZC: There’s a lot. I’ve been exposed to a lot more, even every time I go over to [Vanderzee’s] house. There’s staple bands that we all like.
BV: If we could write a song like Bad Religion…a couple chord punk song that’s really aggressive. We have common ground on that.
BV: If you could write a cool Danzig-esque riff…that really has no place in grindcore, so that’d be really interesting.
ZC: Minor Threat
JW: Fear, Misfits, Black Flag, Toto
If you guys decide to stay all three days of FTA, are you down to camp? What are your FTA essentials?
JW: I’ve been known to camp. Do I like it? That’s another story
BV: We camped the first year, and it rained like a motherfucker. I’m not really a good camper, so the tent was destroyed. A lot of beer.
ZC: I’m going to be the boy scout that brings everything.
What else are you doing in the next four months in preparation for FTA?
JW: Anything we can. We practice all the time and are trying to get some shows.
BV: We started writing stuff, so we’re working on that. There’s stuff we haven’t played live [off Anonymityville] that we’ll play at FTA.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
BV: We all like drinking beer so I try not to drink until I start playing because that’s not good. I might stretch and get warmed up, but that’s about it.
ZC: I like when you’re able to actually play the guitar a little bit before you go on to loosen up. We don’t light fucking candles or meditate or anything
Final question: any crucial thanks to give out?
BV: Those guys from Waco Jesus. We used to play with them back in the day and it’s nice of them to always throw us on their fests. Besides that, I hope Reggies puts us on some more shows.
JW: Thanks to Shane Merril.
ZC: We will give a shout out to Darren Stone. He helps us out with a lot of shit.
Cover photo courtesy of K.B. Imaging