As the Hungry Crows Fly: An Interview with Spill Your Guts

Spill Your Guts are a blackened hardcore band based out of Shanghai, China. Formed in 2012, the band has been making waves across parts of Southern Asia and Russia, with no plans of slowing down. If you’re an Eastern Canadian reader, there’s a good chance you can catch Spill Your Guts on tour with Hellbent between January 31st and February 10th, 2019. It’s an undoubtedly busy time for Spill Your Guts, but the band were nice enough to give us some of their time leading up to their tour.

So it’s the band’s first time playing Canada, but it’s a bit of a return home for some of your members. I remember when I reviewed Hungry Crows last year, I was surprised to learn that you guys are from all across the world. Can you tell me a bit about how Spill Your Guts came together?

Tyler and I (Dima) met back in 2012 at some show in Shanghai, then after a couple weeks, his old band been looking for a new singer. I knew how to do it in theory but never actually tried it, but came to try [out] anyway. And after a couple months, that band turned into SYG first line up. Fast forward a few years and [after] multiple line-up changes, Ian joined the band and introduced us to Larry, what became the strongest SYG line up.

And what made you decide to settle in Shanghai?

We’ve all been sent here for work for something like three to six months and ended living in the city for a decade.

Shanghai is probably one the most futuristic cities in the world, very fast paced, with a population from all over the world. It’s just amazing to see how the city changes and develops right in front of your eyes.

What are some of the main differences you’ve found in being a band in China versus other parts of the world?

Before, it was really great to play shows in China. All the venues had a full back line, the country is covered in a high-speed railroad system, distances that usually take twenty hours to drive now can be done in four hours by train. Big festivals were very welcoming towards heavy and underground bands. But recently government started cracking down on live music; fist hip hop and tattoos got banned from television. Now every band requires permits to play even the smallest venues; that costs more if you have non-Chinese members in the band, getting on big music festivals would require you to leave the country, cancel your residence permit and get a performance visa. Live shows are getting constantly raided by police, looking for ‘illegal’ bands. Not speaking of the full-scale war on drug use going on here now, where bars, clubs, and venues get doors shut and everyone is forced to do a hair test or pee in the cup. Some members of our band got into big troubles for just having weed in their system, not even purchasing it or possessing. So at this point, we’re switching our focus to play more shows abroad.

It’s been a little over a year since Hungry Crows was released. It seems to have been well received, I know it’s one of my favourite releases since starting at Bucket List. Do you have any plans to release anything new in 2019?

Right after we finish our Canadian tour, we go straight to Schoolhouse Studios to start recording our next album with Scott Middleton from Cancer Bats behind the board. We’ve been writing a new album for almost a year now and working with Scott since October and are very excited about the results. A lot of new songs will be played on tour, and expect the album to drop at the end of spring.

When I listen to you guys, I hear bits of Comeback Kid or Stick to Your Guns, among others. Who would you say are some of the bands that have had the biggest influence on your music?

Someone in Shanghai described our band’s sound as a bastard child of Turbonegro and Kvelertak raised by Champion, that gives you a rough idea. Add Cancer Bats, Every Time I Die, At the Drive-in, Trap Them, Black Breath and Converge to the mix and this is SYG.

Being a music review site, we like to think we help people find some of their new favourite albums. What were some of your favourite releases from 2018, and maybe some you’re anticipating this year?

We’ll be touring Canada with our good friends from Hellbent, the split with Gas Drummers they released last summer is fucking sick!

Great Griefs Love, Lust and Greed is a very unique sounding record

Cancer BatsThe Spark That Moves shreds pretty hard

Little Big with their new album Antipositive did a lot of cool and fun AF shit this year. Skibidi haha!

Our Russian buddies The Barber released an awesome sounding album Black Friday but unfortunately broke up right after release

Harakiri For The Sky did a China tour recently, their 2018 album Arkson is just great.

Light This City made a sweet comeback in 2018 with their album Terminal Bloom.

Wolf King‘s Loyal to the Soil is hard AF!

Spill Your Guts has already accomplished a great amount, but what’s left on your bucket list?

Release a new album, which is finally not recorded in my living room haha. Get to Europe later this year and hopefully to Canada again!

Anything else you’d like to add?

We’re making one hell of a long trip from China to Canada to play some shows there, so come hang with us! Let’s get beers and destroy some venues! Looking forward to making some new friends in this part of the world!

Thanks again to the band and best of luck on their upcoming tour. You can keep up with Spill Your Guts on Facebook, Instagram, and Bandcamp.

Written and Compiled by Justin Bruce
*edited by Kate Erickson

About Justin Bruce 37 Articles
Justin is a Saskatoon-based musician with a degree from the University of Saskatchewan where he studied medieval and modern English. These days, he can usually be found behind the stack of comic books he’s trying to keep up with. Justin has been playing music since his early teens and has made 10’s of dollars from it in the years since. An enthusiastic packrat, his prized possession is a vinyl copy of Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag.” Justin snores really loud if he’s been drinking and thought that Revenge of the Sith was actually a pretty sweet movie. You can hear Justin in Swayze, here: https://swayzelives.bandcamp.com, and A Ghost in Drag, here: https://aghostindrag.bandcamp.com, and you will occasionally see him and his bandmates playing Beerio Kart on tour.

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