Greetings, Matty, and thanks for agreeing to represent Psychostick in our end-of-year roundup! Question One: What was the best new album you heard in 2016? “It’s a toss up between American Head Charge‘s Tango Umbrella, Meshuggah‘s Violent End of Reason, and Dillinger Escape Plan‘s Disassociation.

American Head Charge! There’s a name I haven’t heard in a long, long time. And I did ask for one album , so i’m taking that as your answer…What about old stuff – did any reissues grab your attention this year? “We are all pretty eclectic with listening to music. Anything from Buddy Miles to Jimi Hendrix to Pig Destroyer to Punch Brothers (bluegrass) to DCI (a marching band). We dig it all! But please no Nickleback… yes, we still dislike them”.

OK, no Nickelback. That sems fair. What was your non-musical highlight of the last twelve months? “Touring the UK again, this time as headliners was absolutely amazing! Does that count? If that doesn’t count then the fact that we get new Star Wars movies every December for the next 5 years! That’s badass! …We live in Chicago and heard recently that some local team won the Super Baseball Bowl or something so that’s neat I guess”…

Yep, I’ll pay all three of those, but especially the Star Wars one. What have you found particularly disappointing about the wider world in 2016? “The American Presidential election. By far”. (shakes head)

That seems to be the general consensus amongst most of our grillees! Back to music matters – Do you think the music scene – and our sort of music in particular – is in good shape at the minute? “Is a money-hungry chaotic clusterfucksphere a shape? I’m kidding (sort of…). The music industry as a whole has been turned upside down for the past decade or so and because of it many bands have folded but many others have become popular with the help of social media and the internet in general. Music will always continue but the way that it is presented to the public has been changing. I don’t think music is any better or worse because of it. There are a ton of great bands in the metal scene at the moment. Its easy to talk shit, but it’s more fun to find the bands that appeal to you and watch them grow. CHEER UP METALHEADS! Metal is here to stay. If you don’t like what you’re hearing, go make some yourself”.

A sentiment I’d like to wholeheartedly endorse! Did anything disappoint you musically in 2016? “Is that Bieber kid still being a douche? He is? Awww shit… What’s disappointing to me is so many impressionable young people are influenced by Top 40 stations playing sub-standard songs for pay. Why listen to Beyonce when you could listen to Nneka? …Look her up right now! I heard Abba is planning a reunion! It also bothers me that there are three hundred stations that play hip-hop, top 40, mariachi, and country but there are few to none metal or reggae stations on terrestrial radio. (thank goodness for Spotify!)”

Keenly-held views well argued…Which practitioners of your own musical role impressed you most this year? “Our tour-mates in Nekrogoblikon have been killing it this year. Awesome to see hardworking, talented bands like them, Battlecross, Animals As Leaders, et cetera essentially come out of nowhere and take off. These guys all tour their asses off and constantly grind in the studio to keep pushing forward. I’m sure there are a dozen bands that should be included so kudos to you all!”

Kudos Indeed! Best live act you’ve seen this year? “I saw Clutch recently (huge fan) and those dudes still know how to rock! They are absolute masters at what they do. I hope they never stop. I already mentioned Nekrogoblikon but they are so much fun I have to point them out again. I’ve now seen them over 30 times and each show is uniquely fun every fuckin time! You ever see a goblin walk across a crowd’s shoulders and heads to blistering guitar and keyboard solos just to go dance across a bar and stick his fingers in peoples drinks? It’s surprisingly even more entertaining than it sounds! We Also played a show with an intense post-hardcore Florida band called Agerasia. The bass player had a guitar cab dropped on his foot and it snapped his ankle about 10 mins before their set. Not only did the dude get taped up, sit down in a folding chair and play the whole set, but the entire band fucking threw down! AMAZING set! Check em out! Also, caught a Kansas City local act called Coitus. I rocked out and laughed at every single song. Hilarious act! Their motto: ‘If you don’t like Coitus, you’re doing it wrong!'””

Stop it! You’re killing me! What does the next twelve months hold in prospect for you? “A good chunk of time shooting videos, even more time in the studio, hefty van/rent payments, ramen noodles / hotdogs, a US tour, hopefully a European Tour, and if all works out a new album!”

That sounds enough to be going on with… Which band, if any, do you think is primed to break out into the wider consciousness in 2017? (crosses fingers and prays) “PLEASE BE PSYCHOSTICK! PLEASE BE PSYCHOSTICK! PLEASE BE PSYCHOSTICK!

We get the message We’re fast approaching the festive season – best night for a party – Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve? “Depends on what you’re after. I love Christmas because I get to see my family who I don’t get to see often and eat copious amounts of bird flesh and stuffing (mashed potatoEs, you’re invited to my tummy too!) New Years is for drinking heavily and desperately trying to get laid. That’s a bit more challenging at a family event (laughs)!”

Oh I don’t know. You hear stories… We’re not going to ask for a New Year’s Resolution – but what musical feat do you hope to attain next year? “Our resolution every year is to not have a resolution. (We wrote a song about that!) but in the interest of the interview… We just want to get these songs out of our heads and onto a disc. There’s so much we’ve been planning and working on little by little that having the album come out in 2017 would make us all very happy”.

Anything else you’d like to say to the readers of Sentinel Daily? “Please visit and buy a shirt so we can pay our heating bill and finally buy buns for these hot dogs! Thanks for reading and CONGRATULATIONS! You made it to the end of the interview! Rock on or fuck off!”

Thanks for taking part!