Simmer down, now
- John Chandler
- Portland Tribune - Features
Dolomites, World/Inferno get cooking at Satyricon
Sometimes it's all about the music: the interplay between disciplined instrumentalists singularly focused on expanding melodic and harmonic horizons.
Sometimes it's about other things.
Sometimes simply getting a little attention is half the battle.
'We're going to cook tempura onstage,' says Stevhen Iancu, singer for the Portland band the Dolomites.
This isn't the first time the Dolomites have gone the culinary route: Iancu has stir-fried before and even performed fancy slice 'n' dice work for his group's hungry fans.
'Of course the band tries the food first, in case it isn't fit for the audience,' he assures.
When informed that the headlining band at his upcoming Portland show would be doing its best 'Iron Chef' impression, singer Jack Terricloth remains unmoved.
'They can borrow our Sterno setup, I suppose,' he says. 'It's always interesting to see how bands try and upstage us. It's not as glamorous as blowing fire but probably equally as dangerous.' (Terricloth's group has a fire breather.)
Terricloth is the leader of the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based ensemble, the World/Inferno Friendship Society, a nine-member combo specializing in speedy, horn-driven rock that frequently bubbles over into perplexing deviations. Sounding a bit like Oingo Boingo at a Jewish wedding, World/Inferno flirts with ska and bouncy ethnic dance but remains fixed to a foundation of punk ferocity.
'I used to play punk rock, until punk rock started getting slow,' Terricloth says. 'I'm not into slow music.'
'Yeah. You know, alternative? Grunge? Actually, I don't think anyone except magazine writers called it grunge,' he says. 'Punks started letting their hair grow and saying stupid things like, 'Gee, Led Zeppelin wasn't so bad.' '
'Just the Best Party' (Gern Blandsten Records) is the title of the newest record from World/Inferno Friendship Society, and it's a fitting description for the dozen tracks Terricloth and his pals cheerfully set ablaze. From furious thrash-jazz sprints such as 'Zen & the Art of Breaking Everything in This Room' and 'Peter Lorre' to Jacques Brel cabaret creepers like 'Friend to the Friendless,' the record is a raucous nonstop soiree with everything but an empty keg and a steaming cop knocking at the door.
Terricloth insists that the band's sound grew organically and that he didn't need to seek out distinctive players or ethnic music experts.
'In fact, it was so easy I could be accused of being lazy,' he says.
Though far from a strict disciplinarian in his leadership role, Terricloth does insist that his band mates show some flair in their appearance.
'I originally had a dress code,' Terricloth says. 'But that didn't work. (Guitarist) Lucky (Strano) showed up wearing this outfit that had pot leaves stitched all over it. I just tell the band to dress like they're going to an event.
'I mean, I've got pants that go up to here,' he continues. 'My belt line is at the navel, just like a real man's pants should be.'
Contact John Chandler at