Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Perhaps you're already familiar with the concept of "6 degrees of separation". Basically, the idea is that anyone in the world is connected to anyone else in the world by a web of friends and acquaintances no more than 6 people wide. The theme was explored in the 1993 film 6 Degrees of Separation and has also been popularized, in a different form, as the movie trivia game "6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon" (in which players try to connect Mr. Bacon to any other actor in the world by linking 6 or less shared film appearances).
As a result of my post on Eureka-based hardcore band The Gods the other day, I got to thinking about band geneologies, and how closely linked many local bands are. I decided to try a game of "6 degrees of band separation" with my own bands, Dalton and Cretaceous, and, needless to say, the results were insane.
Let's start with my old pal Mike J (right). Me and Mike played together in a band called Hideous back in the day, which we will consider the first degree of separation.
Mike used to play in a band called Kawasake with a guy named Gabe Douge (2nd degree - are we getting the hang of this?), who in turn played in another band called Apocalyptic Music Brigade with a guy named Lars Watts (3rd). Lars was the original drummer for Mr. Bungle (above, Lars is not pictured). So at the 4th degree, Dalton and Cretaceous are now linked to Mike Patton, who has collaborated with nearly everyone, and also Trevor Dunn (of Fantomas, 5th degree).
Mike Patton has worked with John Zorn (5th), who in turn played in Naked City with Yamatsuka Eye of the Boredoms (6th degree). Patton also collaborated, as Peeping Tom, with Kool Keith (5th), Dan The Automator (5th, making Gorillaz a 6th degree connection), and Norah Jones (5th), who in turn has recorded with OutKast (above left), another 6th degree connection. Trippy, right?
Now back to 5th degree band Fantomas. King Buzzo of the Melvins was also in Fantomas, which means that Kurt Cobain (who recorded with the Melvins, Houdini-era) and Nirvana (right) are 6th degree. Not bad.
Also a member of Fantomas is legendary drummer Dave Lombardo, from some band called Slayer (6th degree, below).
But back to first degree buddy Mike J. His current band, Howlin' Rain (above - 2nd degree) is fronted by Ethan Miller, fellow Eureka local and frontman for psychedelic rockers Comets On Fire (3nd degree).
Comets' guitarist Ben Chasny, also of Six Organs of Admittance, has collaborated from time to time with British avant-garde trippers Current 93 (4th), who in turn have collaborated with everyone from Andrew W.K. (right, 5th) to Bjork (below, left - 5th degree) to Nick Cave (also 5th degree).
Bjork recently recorded with Madonna (below) on her new album, making her a 6th degree connection. To recap: so far we have Slayer, Nirvana, and Madonna within 6 degrees. But wait a second, I'm just getting warmed up.
Let's switch over to Dalton's bass player, Melanie "Manslaughter" Sharkwater, and see where we get from there. Manslaughter used to play in a band called Unicorn Stickers (1st degree from Dalton) with Jason Kocol, shredding guitarist from East Bay gore-metallers Impaled (above right, 2nd). Ross Sewage from Impaled also plays in Ludicra (3rd, hi Aesop) with guitarist John Cobbett. John used to be in Gwar (below - 4th degree, sweet).
Here's where it gets a little silly. In addition to being an ex-Gwar member, Cobbett also plays in Hammers of Misfortune (4th), who have shared members with L7 (5th), whose second bass player now plays with R&B diva Pink (left). That's a 6th degree Pink connection. Awesome. We should tour.
Ross Sewage from Impaled and Ludicra (2nd and 3rd) used to be in Exhumed (right, 3rd degree connection), who featured live drummer Danny Walker from Jesu (4th) in 2003 and 2004. Jesu was Justin Broadrick from Napalm Death's band. Napalm Death (below - 5th degree) has had so many members from so many different bands it's ridiculous.
In addition to Napalm Death giving us Anaal Nathrakh and Terrorizer as 6th degree connections, we can also add Carcass (due to Bill Steer, left) and Brujeria (due to Shane Embury, below).
But back, again, to the 3rd degree Exhumed connection. Matt Harvey, also of Exhumed, used to play in Repulsion (4th degree), with Scott Carlson and Matt Olivio, who were both in Death at one point (5th degree). Steve DiGorgio, onetime Death bassist, also plays with Sebastian Bach (right - 6th degree). This also means that we have a link to Gene Hoglan, making 6th degree connections out of Old Man's Child, Strapping Young Lad, Dark Angel, and the mighty DETHKLOK (below). Brutal.
Try playing "6 degrees of band separation" with YOUR band (or your favorite local band). It's a trip. I guarantee your mind will be blown.
I guess it's just further proof that all life is connected and that a lattice of coincidence intertwines us all. Or something.
This post probably comes off as self-indulgent. Well, it's MY blog. So fuck you.