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  I cannot play guitar. I cannot play bass. I cannot play drums. I will have to learn how to do one or all of these things in a hurry, though; the band that I hope to join already has their vocalist firmly established with nary a dream of dismissal. Ever.

The band I speak of is a punishing death metal cabal boasting a human drummer, a human guitarist, a human bassist … and a fucking Congo African Grey parrot named Waldo as their mouthpiece. Separately, they are humble minions of the Ever-Reigning Supreme Lord of Darkness.

Aligned together, they are Hatebeak.

Notice that I make no mention of what city they originate from. That is because I do not fucking know. They will not tell me. It was simply enough for them to admit only that they hail from "within the deepest bowels of Satan." This is a band that hates humanity so much that utilizing an actual human being as their vocal expressionist is out of the question. Hell, former and present band members BLK, WLL, MRK and CHRS harbor enough hatred towards humanity to eschew even vowels.

Though my attempts to sit one-on-one with Waldo (the parrot) were thwarted, I did speak with human Hatebeak representative BLK, who shared with me the particulars of band dynamics, cross-species death metal, and why The Beatles should fucking die even if two of them have already taken care of that.

BT: Your band has been universally acknowledged as perhaps the greatest musical innovation in the history of human events. I have yet to share your gospel with anyone who hasn't responded with an overwhelming, "Holy fucking shit," be it in disgust or in elation. Goddammit, tell me now, what begat the union of man, man, man and parrot? How did this heavenly idea come to fruition?

BLK: I just wanted to raise the bar a notch or too as far as extreme music goes. I came up with the name, found the bird, had it taught some things and off we went.

BT: There's something Darwinian about designating an animal to perform vocal duties in music. Almost as if the original, pre-historic sounds of nature are finally coming full circle to reclaim their savage kingdom. What was it for you and your other human counterpart in Hatebeak that assured you both mutually that a human vocalist plainly had no business being in your band?

BLK: No, the idea of Hatebeak is a death metal band with a parrot for a singer; there'd be no Hatebeak without a parrot. Waldo is a bit savage thought isn't he?

BT: Clearly, one cannot just walk into Petland and request a parrot whose vocal and musical proclivities side with Napalm Death, Cannibal Corpse, Neurosis and the like. How did Waldo come to appreciate and love metal?

BLK: Trade secret. Actually Waldo's owner loves metal, which is probably why he agreed to let us carry on this idea in the first place. But Waldo has learned some things that sound brutal, so we use those. The sparks didn't really ignite per say, we set him up, put a mic in front of him and let him do his thing. MRK, WLL and I wrote the music before that. I wish Waldo had found us. It'd be so serendipitous.

BT: Not minutes after learning of your band, I was pointed to Caninus, an equally punishing torch-to-the-scalp of hardcore and metal fronted by two pit bull terriers. Firstly, is there any truth to the rumors of a split 7" between your two bands in future days? Secondly, do you have title for it yet? Third, which do you think is the most appropriate color for the vinyl -- blood red or tropical green? Lastly, may I please have eight million copies?

BLK: Yes, there is truth to the rumors. We've talked with the fine people in Caninus, and they seem really excited to do it, as are we. It'll be the Faith/Void split for the "00." I do have a working title for the record, but it will remain secret until the unveiling. Yes, you may have eight million copies, but they will be $3 apiece. I guess we could give you a break on the price though.

BT: On your single 'God of Empty Nest,' from the bone-sifting Beak of Putrefaction 7", Waldo's vocals, not unlike much grade-A quality


death metal, are those of malevolent squawks and tortured screams. Are there any future plans to have Waldo growling in genuine English? He being a parrot, it seems to be the obvious direction…

BLK: Yes, it'd be nice, but teaching parrots actual phrases takes a lot of time and dedication.

BT: As a review posted on your label's site informs us, Waldo actually has a notable distaste for


oud and abrasive noises (death metal included), making Hatebeak a strictly studio-based project. Is it a strain on the band to have a lead singer who's so particular about his recording/performing conditions? Do you sometimes feel that his rigid demands keep you from touring, socializing and other peripheral activities required to keeping a band afloat?

BLK: No, I actually find it quite a relief, it'll be hard to tour the country and the world toting around a parrot. They are fairly similar to children.

BT: Judging from your current output, the musical stylings that influence the three of you as a band seem fairly clear. Answer me this, what musicians do you positively HATE?

BLK: Uh, I know I'll get slagged for this. The Beatles, we detest. Billy Joel, Elton John, Good Charlotte, anything that's not really real. Any plastic fake musicians.

BT: OK, Good Charlotte goes without saying; they sit down to pee. Billy and Elton, well, they have no business intermingling with your art as it is. But the Beatles? I mean, enjoy them or don't, they're largely credited as providing -- at the very, very least -- the blueprint for all variations of rock music thereafter. Ergo: No Beatles = No Mercyful Fate. Fuck, you're called Hatebeak, so if one band were to legitimately dismiss them, I suppose it would be you guys, but even still -- is "hate" truly a word you reserve for The Beatles? Really?

BLK: Yeah man, I despise the Beatles, and MRK does as well. I acknowledge what they did for rock music, but it doesn't mean I have to like it. It may be inexplicable to most, but I'm not into them at all. Now Mercyful Fate, now that's a band. Yes, I "hate" the Beatles, can I also add that Waldo hates The Eagles. He's a bit peeved at the idea.

BT: Were Jamey Jasta or Rob Halford or any members of Carcass pissed off about your artwork and title appropriations on the debut 7"?

BLK: Uh, I don't know and I don't hope to find out, those are members of bands I respect and adore, and I wouldn't want them to be upset with me.

BT: You can totally disregard this if you think it's too personal, but are you absolutely positive that Waldo is a male parrot? Asking purely out of ignorance, what are the prime distinctions between male and female parrot genitalia? Would the band's direction change if you learned that Waldo was actually a chick? If so, how?

BLK: Waldo isn't quite sexually mature yet, so no we don't really know, and if it WERE a female, I just think it'd make it all the more intense.

BT: Can you say with any level of confidence whether we are on the eve of a revolution in punk in which animals govern the mouthpiece?

BLK: No, not at all, although a whale band called Baleen would be sweet.

BT: I agree. Switching gears briefly. Because this wretched, God-forsaken land of piss rarely awards its citizens with capital for their creative endeavors, we're going to go ahead and assume that you three do not make a living from Hatebeak. While we can hardly imagine a permissible substitute, what exactly do you guys do to pay the bills?

BLK: Well, WLL is no longer with the band, and MRK and I and our new member CHRS ... well, let's just say that we are all involved with the music industry and sound.

BT: I would now like to present you with an imaginary scenario in which place you and your band in a fictional (albeit entirely possible) situation, and you tell me how you would respond. This is it:

IMAGINARY SCENARIO: BUSH vs. KERRY vs. RICE vs. HEINZ-KERRY vs. RUMSFELD vs. HATEBEAK. Who bleeds first? Who bleeds the most?

BLK: Bush would bleed first and most. Waldo is a STAUNCH Democrat. Waldo says, "Vote for Kerry"

BT: I know that Waldo isn't available for comment directly, but if possible, could I tell you a question to ask him, and then have you send his reply back to me? I just want to know if as a musician, as a metal enthusiast and as a Congo African Grey parrot, whether he views his birdcage as some kind of cheap metaphor or not. Could you ask him that for me, please? I've often wondered whether other animal musicians muse about such a thing.

BLK: He didn't really say much, just kinda preened himself when I asked. Typical frontman.

BT: This isn't so much a question as it is an observation. I was at Tompkins Square Park over the weekend, and I saw some jackass sitting on a blanket with a parrot on his shoulder talking to two of his friends. He was wearing a navy blue sweatshirt, and the sweatshirt was peppered with parrot shit in scattered regions -- demonstrating how often throughout the day this man had been willing to endure this parrot's abuse for the sake of parading him around as an ornament.

Hearing this parrot squawk and whine whenever the man would shift or adjust his position on the grass made it startlingly clear to me just how much of a pussy this parrot must be in comparison to Waldo.

I mean, Waldo is pouring his goddamn soul into his work, and this wing-clipped bird-pussy is falling to pieces over a blue cotton sweatshirt. I daydreamed briefly about Waldo facing off with this other bird-pussy, with his rage transforming him into some kind of enlarged Satanic Voltron-style parrot, engulfing him in flames and finally eating him, thereby absorbing his energy. It really helped place your band's purpose in the proper perspective. I rejoiced.

BLK: That's a great observation. I wish more people were as fanatic as you.


Matt Dorfman loves Hatebeak more than anyone has ever loved anything.