Tuesday, October 18, 2016
A Ripple Conversation With Dillon Bendetti And Jake Hayde Of Keef Mountain
When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.
What have been your musical epiphany moments?
Dillon Bendetti - Drums: As cheesy as it is, my epiphany moment was in 3rd grade when I was still listening to who the hell knows, Smash Mouth? But then I heard Korn and I was floored. I never heard anything so fucking heavy. Eventually I found punk and hardcore, and was raised on a mix from Led Zeppelin to Pearl Jam, which sent me on a path that led me to where I'm at.
Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?
D: It mostly always starts with a riff for us. We just jam on it a few times and whatever comes out and sticks is what we roll with.
Jake Hayde - Vocals/Riffs: For us the songwriting process starts with a nice little smoke sesh and a couple beers. From there we ether have come up with a riff in our heads and I try to figure it out on my guitar or we just randomly start ripping and see what happens. We've learned to start recording these times because we've written some pretty dope songs that we have completely forgotten. Ideally keef mountain likes to maintain a nice d/h when jamming.
Who has influenced you the most?
D: That's a tough one since I play a variety of music. But for Keef it would definitely be Sabbath, hands down.
J: Personally I'd say bongzilla has influenced me the most. I first heard them around 2006 or 2007 I believe and I had never heard anything like that before. At the time I was listening to fast hardcore stuff and was just being introduced to this brand if heavy. I also had just seen saviours and high on fire about that time and that show really put in my head that I wanted to play music like that.
Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?
D: I just love playing heavy tunes so that alone is inspiring and always motivating to me. Also the fact that there are individuals that actually dig the music that I'm playing.
J: For inspiration I look towards the leaf.
We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?
D: Keef Mountain was born in a very dirty dungeon basement in Kansas City, Missurah. I guess to me I just see a lot a of corn ball shit going on around me taking up room for so much awesome bands going on in the city. It compels me to play tunes that are disgusting and load for down ass motherfuckers.
J: Kc reflects our music in a way that I feel we're not just sludgy or not just riffy. We play basements with punk bands we are friends with and we play bars with post metal bands we are also friends with. Kc has a diverse scene and everyone is friendly and open to different stuff.
Where'd the band name come from?
J: The band name is a funny story. Me and my friend tubes were in my basement grinding up our weed in a new grinder I had recently bought. It was new and had two screens and a big keef catcher so we were grinding our entire sacks to see how much keef we could get. I remember opening it up and we were like woahhh that's a keef mountain. We decided it needed to be a band one day. I think it's still Tubeys gamer tag on x box. Keef mountain just sounds good to my ears. And once I started writing riffs I came up with the story of keef mountain. It all worked out nicely.
You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?
D: The next Matrix flick.
J: I don't even know what movie I'd wrote the sound track for. Hopefully something involving black magik and wizards though. That or a journey through a black hole in space.
You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?). You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?
D: I can't write 1,000 word essays but, I'll just say Bananaphone by Raffi.
J: If I were to write a 1000 word essay on any one song it would definitely be dope smoker. That's a song I will never get tired of and I'm always down for the journey. It's a great idea, the tone throughout the entire song is amazing and I really want to follow the smoke towards the riff filled land.
Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?
D: The dancers we hired for a gig turned out to be male dancers. Jake got drunk and fell 20' down worrying the dickens out of me. Oh and once Jake drank chew spit thinking it was water. Later on we ate a bowl of cold noodles, just noodles. Then puked.
J: As far as spinal tap moments go, me and Dillon really love philcore. Also I sometimes tend to drink to much when we play. (drunk mountain) so every once in a while we tend to drunkenly quote Phil Anselmo and say something's that maybe shouldn't be said into a microphone with a room full of people. None of the racist Phil stuff though we love everybody. Before I started dating my current girlfriend she was at a show and I made sure to throw out the " eat pussy and freak the fuck out" line out there. That set might have also had a little Acapella Boyz II Men.
D: We like to get down and get loose. Fans better get friggin' bonkers!
J: As far as live experience goes we do our best to keep it loud. I'm always trying to grow my rig to be louder and louder. Since we are just a two piece our first show was kind of a bummer because I was only using a half stack at the time and we played a venue where they didn't mix the Amps. It was more of a diy space. Now days bars that do mic Amps won't mic me and still sometimes asks me to turn it down.
What makes a great song?
D: Riffs. Heavy, soft, loud, fast, slow, fucking riffs.
J: In my opinion what makes a great song is a great riff. A riff that I want to hear over and over again. A riff that when you play it slower you get even more pumped.
Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?
D: Well as a band Jake brought me the 3 demo songs already written. I put drums to them that day and bam boom!
J: The first song I ever wrote was in seventh grade and it was all power chords. Chorus pedal in the versus wth distortion on the chorus followed up by an extremely sketchy pentatonic solo on the last two extended measures of the last chorus. It was not good. Id say I'm particularly proud of the album we just released. Me and Dillon have been playing some of these songs for a while now and I'm so happy that josh got us to record them and that he put it out on fucking BONGSMOKE CLEAR AND WHITE and DANK KUSH GREEN AND PURPLE!!
What piece of your music are particularly proud of?
D: This upcoming LP. It's been about damn time.
Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?
D: For the past week that new Eternal Champion record has kicked my ass real hard. Why? Because that shit kicked some hard ass.
J: Dillon is in another band called inner altar and I think they write great songs. Not only are they my friends but they are also one of my favorite bands. Lyrically Rew is super creative and the riffs take you through a head banging mid evil journey. Also keep an eye out for hyborian! Talk about riffs! They are also friends of mine and pumping out killer stuff. Kansas City is a really cool place.
Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?
D: Vinyl with digital downloads.
J: As far a vinyl, cd, or digital goes they all serve a purpose for me. Vinyl is what I will always Prefer. I love the tangible aspect of opening it up and looking at every detail of the art and the colors of the vinyl and vinyl always has a unique sound. I only have a CD player in my truck to as opposed to listening to terrible radio all the time I do in fact still rock CDs in my truck. And digital is just convenient. So convenient. I make playlist and stream them at work or if I'm at a friends house and want to show them a new band I just heard I can get the digital file much easier than going home to grab their actual record. Vinyl reigns supreme though.
D: Beer. In my defense, I really like beer.
J: The whisky or beer one is hard for me. I'm a bartender. I work at a craft beer and bourbon bar. I have major love for both. I don't know if I could honestly pick because they both go so damn good together. My live for them is also why drunk mountain makes an appearance more than it probably should.
We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?
D: Kansas City, Missurah. Mills Records, and Josey Records.
J: We've recently gotten more record stores in Kansas City over the past few years but mills record company has been my favorite for sure. Judy who owns it is super cool and she is really good to the local music scene. She's great at carrying all sorts of genres of music. There is even a big section just labeled heavy. They also put in shows and have a big all day show for record store day.
What's next for the band?
D: Gigs. Records. L.I.V.I.N.
J: We've got some cool shit coming up next! A possible split with some heavy rippin state neighbors of ours! As long as there is keef to smoke there will be keef to jam. We may be kind of slow and lazy but trust us there is some stuff in the works.
Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?
D: Free my livin' ones. Rest my fallen ones.