The Bile of the Newborn Worms of Arrakis
Welcome to Vegas Archive, a feature where we re-release music from local bands that are gone, but certainly not forgotten.
Today we’re bringing you ‘The Bile of the Newborn Worms of Arrakis’ and ‘Panspermia’ from Vegas grindcore band The Weirding Way, who were active from 2000-2005.
The band saw many a name and lineup change over the years as members moved on to bands like Curl Up and Die and Starfucker, but their science fiction-inspired style of metal lives on forever in the archives. Enjoy commentary from original Weirding Way vocalist Jarrod Atreides and check out the stream or free download below.
The Weirding Way developed from a series of often unsuccessful garage punk and hardcore bands. In 10th grade, I started Chernboyl with Mike Minnick on drums, Jess Stewart on guitars, and a bloke named Justin Jackson occasionally on guitar. We played in my living room and used my dad’s drum set, with unending broken sticks and destroyed drum heads. I used a shitty karaoke machine for vocals. Minnick left for some band called Curl Up and Die (he’s currently the vocalist for Puig Destroyer). I essentially had to bribe Keil Corcoran to come to band practice at that point – he was in a few other bands, as he is an incomparable drummer. But eventually he got into it.
We recruited a bass player named Josh Whiteley, and we were a disgusting crust/Hardcore band for a bit. Robbie Marsh was the guitarist. At this juncture, we were called Immure. Jess came up with that name. It means “to be entombed within a wall.”
Our first show was at a backyard house party on the east side. Chris Grossman came out to announce us, draped in a sheet (!?), banging a cow bell. Then, 20 minutes of noise. Various dramas ensued, as dramatic and blood curling as the Van Halen history, and Josh left the band. By this point, Ryan Hartery and Dave-raham had joined us on guitars. We played a show in Inglewood at an anarchist co-op, which was one of the most insane weekends of my entire life. An entire Suburban packed with punk kids, band members vomiting during a good portion of the drive to L.A., contemplating checking him into a hospital, etc. We played with our friends’ band Grimorium Verum.
We were later called 6.03 Assimilation, and we recorded a demo. Ryan also left us for Curl Up and Die – what the fuck!
The famous Tyler “Cheeze” Smith eventually joined us, and what a ridiculously good guitarist he is. Time for tremolo riffs galore! Gustavo Mendoza also joined on bass. This was an exciting time (late 90′s / early 00′s), as “metalcore” was just developing, and the crossover resulted in some powerful bands; this was when bands such as Coalesce, Converge and Today Is The Day were just getting going, not to mention older acts like Starkweather and Acme. Something unique was stirring, globally. By this point, we were essentially grindcore, but were drifting towards a death and black metal confluence.
This was the time of Vegas actually having decent venues as well. There were Tremorz and Sound Barrier, Huntridge lobby shows, as well as the old stand-bys at the Tubes and the abandoned cement factory, desert shows, house shows, etc. It was a blast playing with our friends in acts such as Faded Grey, H Pylori, 7 Foot Midget and Curl Up and Die. Playing the Halloween ’01 show at Tremorz, where I dressed up as Hunter Thompson, was an especially amazing show with a great lineup.
Keil, Tyler and I were Dune fanatics, and the ideas within that mythos started to seep into our music, hence changing our name to The Weirding Way. The Weirding Way refers to a martial arts technique in which sound waves are used to alter, destroy, or otherwise influence material objects. We truly considered our music to be an attempt at this!
Our demo CD was entitled The Bile of the Newborn Worms of Arrakis, which refers to a powerful, often fatal hallucinogen called the Water of Life, harvested from the bile of newborn sandworms. Let’s just say we were all generously helping ourselves to terrestrial forms of the water of life during this period. This was evident during shows on occasion, as people sometimes thought we were deranged or off somehow. Do a little poking around to figure out what molecules are on our CD cover ;-). That CD was a genuine attempt to incorporate our disparate influences, as we were delving into ambient/electronic, experimental and noise and other abstract “genres.”
During this era, Keil incorporated samples and ambient interludes. Our sound had an increasing number of odd time signatures and overt influences from symphonic death and black metal. I left the band when I moved to San Diego to go to school, which was a shame, as it was starting to get interesting at this point. It was definitely a far cry from the shitty high school crust band it once was.
The band forged on after I left. Gustavo eventually left – yet another Curl Up And Die refugee. Matt-”o” Goldberg joined on bass, and Jess Stewart was on vocals for a while. Hugo later joined as a sampler. They played a big metal fest at the Huntridge sometime around 2005/2006. A CD was released entitled Panspermia. Eventually, they disbanded.
I am currently working on a solo project entitled σοφοσ, as well as a doom metal-band, Maestus. Keil is in Starfucker, and they are damn successful throughout the country. All my best to you on that endeavor, friend! Tyler, along with Matt-o Goldberg and Jess, formed the Corpser.
Rumors are adrift of a Weirding Way re-recorded discography and a potential reunion show. . .time will soon tell!
I feel very proud to have been part of the underground Las Vegas scene. Friends and I can wax nostalgic about this for hours. We had to fight to maintain what we had. As my friend Spencer and I discussed, in a place like Portland, people are basically spoonfed punk and underground music as babies, where bars play Assuck. Not so in Vegas.
But it’s true: it was a special and unique thing we had going. Setting up your amps and a generator in the middle of nowhere in the desert, screaming your fucking lungs out with a handful of people: now that is truly amazing. Sure, at one point you had your typical divisions between sXe and punk / anarcho kids. But eventually most of us realized that our differences are superficial and with such a tiny scene, the best option was to unify. And at least for a few years, we somehow did that.