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Artist of the day: Cellgraft

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January

Cellgraft

Cellgraft is one of a few legit grindcore bands in the area. They’ve acquired a respected reputation among older generation punk rockers as well as high school kids and college-age metal/punk fans.

“(We’re) abrasive, fast, but not technical in a Metallica way,” Zell explains. “More like a wall of noise. Imagine if you took punk and metal, put them in a blender and shot it out of a cannon.”

Like metal bands, Cellgraft tune downs the guitar, but like noise rock, they play with heavy distortion, and in spirit they have more of a punk rock attitude. Zell’s artistic challenge: “How gross can I make our guitar sound?”

Check out their blog, cellgraft.blogspot.com, to download free tracks or to seek info about purchasing tapes and vinyl. Or check them out live at 8 p.m. Friday with Failures, Aerosols, Salvation and Devout at Transitions Art Gallery at the Skatepark of Tampa, 4215 E Columbus Drive, Tampa. Free. (813) 382-3477.

After the jump, check out Julie Garisto's full interview with Cellgraft...

A cut above: Matt McKamey, vocals; Ryan Zell, guitar; Chris Wotring, drums.

Formed: One year ago in Tampa.

Rare species: Cellgraft is one of a few legit grindcore bands in the area. They’ve acquired a respected reputation among older generation punk rockers as well as high school kids and college-age metal/punk fans. “(We’re) abrasive, fast, but not technical in a Metallica way,” Zell explains. “More like a wall of noise. Imagine if you took punk and metal, put them in a blender and shot it out of a cannon.” Like metal bands, Cellgraft tune downs the guitar, but like noise rock, they play with heavy distortion, and in spirit they have more of a punk rock attitude.

Dark but not Goth: Zell says the band is death-metal-influenced but has distanced from those coffin-smothered roots.

Zell’s artistic challenge: “How gross can I make our guitar sound?”

They’re Switzerland: “The scenes in Brandon and Tampa are split in half,” Zell says, “but we’re neutral. We’d play in Tampa and there would be completely different crowd than a storage unit we played in Brandon called Unit 19 (attended by crowd that used to frequent Sound Idea shows). ... We really like playing in St. Pete too. We’re friends with Flying Snakes.”

Young blood: Zell is 18; Wotring, 21; and McKamey, 25.

They most like to play: House parties, Zell says, but he clarifies that he and the band also enjoy gigs at the Skatepark of Tampa’s Transitions Art Gallery space and various venues in the Brandon/East Hillsborough area.

Shortest song: Intestinal Collapse. It’s 2 seconds long. “It’s like click, click, pfft and it’s over!” Zell says with a laugh. “We like short, fast songs — to cut down on people clapping.”

Somewhat longer song: Machine Harvester. (It’s on the band’s MySpace page, myspace.com/cellgraft). Zell describes it as a futuristic man-vs.-machine-man-loses song— a warning of humankind’s “inevitable fate”; political corruption and a deepening lack of human interaction.

Why the name? Cellgraft was inspired by the album covers of British grindcore act Carcass, a band that influenced their earlier material.

Getting their stuff: Go online to cellgraft.blogspot.com to download free tracks or to seek info about purchasing tapes and vinyl. Merch-wise, they do it up old-school, DIY-style with screen-printed tees and no CDs. According to Zell, they aim to appeal to the die-hard music collectors.

International incisions: “It’s crazy — we’ve sold tapes to people in Dublin and Greece,” Zell adds. A Japanese blogger said a Cellgraft’s tune is “definitely worth a listen, no matter how short it might be.”

Some other tidbits: Zell works sound with Matt Welch at the Skatepark of Tampa, McKamey has performed in several punk bands in Tampa Bay and Chris Wotring played in a drumline in high school.

Hear them: Friday 8 p.m. with Failures, Aerosols, Salvation and Devout at Transitions Art Gallery at the Skatepark of Tampa, 4215 E Columbus Drive, Tampa. Free. (813) 382-3477.

-- Julie Garisto, tbt*

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 3:15pm]

    

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