Joe:I want to thank you Matt for taking the time to do this interview. Give a brief history of Phyllomedusa, and explain the meaning of the name itself?
Matt aka Big Frog: Let me croak you Goatbeardish for wanting me to do this. Not sure why you would want too, but thank you very much…brief never seems to be in my vocabulary, but a brief history of Phyllomedusa begins around late 2006 to early 2007. I had put out, and was still working on Omphalectoicxanthopsia releases. I think even shit like Enema Bath, Vomit Particle Found During Anal Examination, and Amoebe with Sonny was getting stirred and sloshed too. Around that time there were more porno and gore based noisy projects. I change my mind a lot, and I was tired of gore and porno. I didn’t want to do anything involving humans, even if they were dead fuckers. I wanted to do something really different and either something outer space related, or animal related. Theme projects like Black Putrefaction always caught my fancy and seemed more interesting than just your standard shit. So I started BOTFLY and Crustacea Zoëa Larvae. I did one release with each of those, and still wanted to do more. I did a rhino-based project, more insect-based ones, hippo, and an outer space, alien one that didn’t make it called C747 (Roswell incident month & date), and so on. I picked the bass from that C747 session, and for some reason picked a frog-based project, and that’s how Phyllomedusa came into human-shatter. I guess that’s not brief, but the name is a genus of frogs. I can’t remember why exactly I picked it, but it’s since became my favorite genus of frog. Phyllomeudsa are amazing looking creatures.
Joe:Your other projects are more gore/porn based, and I’ve noticed you’ve recently been concentrating on animal based themes. Is there a particular reason for this?
Big Frog:I guess I basically answered that question in my first response. Besides the fact I was dead tired of gore and porno shit, I wanted something based more on atmosphere and depth. Atmosphere is usually my main goal with my projects, even with the gore and porno ones. But I want to be totally and utterly engulfed!! Animal projects are more appropriate for atmosphere, and surroundings because of their natural habits. Working with the nature sounds creatures a whole different vibe, at least to me it does
Joe:Your releases mainly focus on themes based on frogs, but I’ve noticed the music changes from release to release. Ranging from gore noise to even doom. Do you base the music on the theme of the album or do you just get in a certain mood and decide to create music based on that mood?
Big Frog:That’s another thing I have no fucking clue how it started. The different sounds that is. It fits with the “being totally different thing”. Bands that do the same fucking sound over, and over, and over bore me to slime. Honestly, most of my projects are to satisfy my own needs!! Hahaha There wasn’t a porno project with the violent attitude of Last Days of Humanity, so I made Omphalectoicxanthopsia to penetrate that part in my brain. With Phyllomedusa, it just sort of happened that way. I did the “Eggs of the Monkey Frog” tape, and the next was a split tape with Embryo’s Liquid Lettuce project. I remember for that split I wanted the total opposite of the first tape. I pitched the vocals way higher, and did this shitty, weird guitar with it. It just stuck, and my main goal is for every Phyllomedusa release to have some sort of different sound. Even if it’s subtle as a guitar tuning, (don’t let that fool you into thinking I tune my guitars properly. I HATE standard tunings!!) The only release I based on a theme was “Frogs At Crystal Lake”, but that was only because it was around Halloween, and watching every fucking Friday The 13th got me inspired of frogs sitting around watching Jason slice N dice fuck heads around a camp!!!!
Joe:I know you use to use 7 string guitars and now you’ve recently switched to 8 string guitars. Does this help out as far the noisy, sludgy, slimy guitar tone is concerned? Do you usually rely on a lot of distortion and fuzz pedals as well?
Big Frog:Goatslash, I must admit I do rely on tons of pedals. I NEVER use fake distortion like some bands and projects do with Fruity Loops, Audacity, etc…Ever since I started playing guitar years ago, I’ve been so intrigued with pedals, and the different sounds you can get. It’s taken me days sometimes just to get a certain tone that I am looking for. I just recently got my BOSS FZ-2 Hyper Fuzz in, and it’s going to be abused for extremely slow releases. BOSS stopped making the pedal years ago, and it shows. Electric Wizard uses it, and it just rapes all forms of earvag. 7 and 8 String guitars definitely help with nosier tones. Having those extra low strings increase your bottom so fucking much. Well, that and having it tuned as low as you possibly can help too!!!!
Joe:You recently started playing drums on your releases, and I have to say your playing is really sick. Do you feel like having real drums makes the releases even sicker? Are your future releases going to have real drums or are you going to switch off between the real drums and the drum machine?
Big Frog:Thank you so much for your kind written gurgle, Goat. I really do appreciate that, and I think it depends on what sound you’re going for. I think with real drums, played this way”, it helps for sure. Having the ability to infuse tons of fucking rolls with blasts, constantly adds to that chaotic feel. Start/stop type bands and projects are some of my favorites to listen too. And I think I will continue to mix it up between real drums and machines. For slow shit I will definitely do real drums, but if I want a 200-500 bpm release I will surely bust out the fake battery.
Joe:I like how your noise has an almost destructive chaotic feel to them. The best way to describe it is humanity suffering a painful horrendous death. Is this what you usually aim for when recording a release or do you usually have something else in mind?
Big Frog:Goat you explain it in a form that flatters me too much, because that is what I usually try to do. I want total chaos, and the smothering of human earpussy. When I can make my own ears ring; that usually tells my froggy-sense (not spidey-sense!!) that most human ears will not enjoy it. Honestly though, every time before I start recording something, I think about what it would sound like if amphibians went on a people munching rampage around the world. Having that in audio-form usually gets me going.
Joe:I really dig your artwork on your releases; even though it’s DIY. It looks professional as hell, and you do a good job capturing the theme of the album. Do you feel like the artwork has just as much significance as the music?
Big Frog:You said it the only way I know it, Goatmash. Since the day I started, I’ve always, always, always hated projects that just pick some random fucking picture, and place their logo on top of it. No cropping at all, no enhancing. I fucking hate it. I usually won’t listen to a release if it’s like that. I never take myself seriously, and I never think my art or whatever is better than anyone’s. But I like to try and make the release somewhat “Pro” just to show I am not really fucking around. Amphibians have become very special to me, so I take the time to make sure the release reflects them in a special way. Adding another part to my deranged brain, I like to think that amphibians trust me, and know that I make releases towards them killing humans in grotesque and repulsive fashion. Like the ones I take care of in my own house, or seeing them in a pet store, or zoo/aquarium. When I come in there like “Hey, there’s the guy who enjoys our company, and will protect us!!!” hahahahaha Very strange…I know.
Joe:Your vocal sound and style has a grotesque feel to it,almost in the vein of Last Days of Humanity, Regurgitate, Urine Festival, Rompeprop and Biocyst per say. I’m a fan of both natural and pitch shifted vocals when it comes to grind. Do you feel like the pitch shifter almost gives your noise an even more disgusting feel?
Big Frog:Goathumus, I think most of the few people that know about these ghastly releases know that I am a big fan of anything related to Last Days of Humanity. I love so many nasty bands, but those acts definitely inspire me more. I love so many it seriously would be hard to even name some. I will say the Last Days vocalists are my biggest inspirations though. Every member satisfies me, but as far as vocalists you have Erwin of course, Marc, Boris from Leng Tch’e was insane, Rogier did some backing shit, but guys like Hans Smits and Bart are the masters. I am such a fucking sucker for pitched yells, it’s scary. The pitched scream, to me, is the ultimate form of hate, emotion and despair!! Hans and Bart did it the best. I can only dream, and practice to sound like that one day!!!! Hahahaha I mix it up between natural and pitched for no reason. Just for the different sounds. I hate all those chumlickers who say “pitch shifters are for fags who can’t do it naturally”. So I do naturals sometimes just to give those cuminchers a fuck off. I just hate all drama I guess. Hahahaha forgot the question hahaha, but to answer it, yes I really do believe it adds to the gross and repulsive feel. Especially with screams, and gurgle, it’s fun to change pitches lower and higher though….hmm…ok I’ll stop!!!
Joe:So I’m sure you are aware of Last Days of Humanity reuniting. What are your feelings about that, and what do you think about Marc switching from drums to just vocals? Also whatever happened to the Oxxx/Urine Festival release? Do you think that release will see the light of day?
Big Frog:I surely enjoy the fact of Last Days of Humanity reuniting. Of course I enjoy it!! Maryland Deathfest is about 15-20 mins away from my house, and they’re “supposedly” playing. I know they have a history of cancelling so we’ll see. I’ve been skipping MDF lately, so I might have to go back this year!!! And I think as long as Marc is at any position in that band, it’s good to me. It’s always good, but Marc’s drumming was one of the key elements of Last Days of Humanity. Not even just Putrefaction In Progress. His style of playing and blasting gave them a unique sound. And sadly I am not sure if that release will ever shoot out of the digital womb. We looked for a label for at least 2 years. It was supposed to be an EP, so it was hard finding someone to print such an expensive release. I got tired of searching; I just put the Omphalectoicxanthopsia side up for download.
Joe:I know you put a lot of your releases up for download. You’ve even released tapes and a few mini CDs, but have you actually thought of releasing a 7 inch? If you did would it be a split release or an EP or?
Big Frog:I have thought about releasing in every format I could honestly. I never could seem to find anywhere to buy my own 7 inches. If I release a hard copy, I always buy in bulk of course like with tapes, CDs, whatever. I stopped looking for 7 inches, and tried some digital shit. I put some terrible audio on iTunes, Last.fm, AmazonMP3…shit like that. I’ve always done downloads though, and probably always will. I like to spread the amphibious disease wherever I can, without hassle. It’s never been about money with me. And it shows, there’s no money really to be made with this style of sound. If sickos want to download and listen they can. If they don’t, they fucking don’t!!!!!! I just never take anything seriously. Hahahahaha
Joe:What’s new as far as Phyllo is concerned, and any last words (croaks) for the readers?
Big Frog:Well the next release will be just really fucking odd. It’s really long, boring, and strange. I lost it a few times on some of the tracks. Lots of Cro-Magnon hate, and I tried to create me breaking into a zoo at night, and freeing amphibians. That will be hopping out very soon as well as other releases and splits of course. I’m taking audio courses and music industry courses in my college semester right now, so my knowledge of beating and hurting the mainstream will continue to grow!!!!! Hahahahaha they’re doomed! Ribbit!!