You wouldn’t think there would be a lot of cultural overlap between Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart and grizzled grindcore scene vet Aaron Nichols, guitarist and vocalist for Defeatist (who have posted their latest record, Tyranny of Decay, as a pay-what-you-want download at their Bandcamp page). But like the porn-bedeviled magistrate, Nichols said after all these years he still can’t even define grindcore, let alone explain its seductive attractions. He just knows it when he sees it.
“I was trying to come up with some clever answer to this question, but the truth is that I am a moron,” the self-effacing Nichols said. “How else do you explain a middle aged man still fucking around with blast beats? I have always been drawn to faster and heavier music growing up. I am old enough to have seen the first U.S. Grindcrusher tour and Brutal Truth when Kevin was belt-sanding car doors on stage and Carcass before they sucked. So I guess grindcore was always there. Even though the term is murky, at best. Are there even any formal properties for grindcore? I guess the only fundamental is blast beats but even that varies. I usually know right away when a band isn't grindcore, but if I think of who the best bands are, none of them sound alike.”