Exclusive Interview: A Day In Life of Michael Jon White from xygrbryrx (and a look back at 2022)!

What happens when you take someone with nothing to loose, arm them with a guitar, a drum machine and a love of brutal sounds? You get a record like “Cunning Punts” from xygrbryrx. The work of multi instrumentalist and vocalist Michael Jon White, it’s best prescribed as a brutal slab of industrial fuelled Death Metal meets Grindcore down a back alley with a baseball bat kind of a record and it also happens to be the second of release from the project in 2022. Twisted, driven, ugly and cathartic, it’s the kind of record that people should be talking about, if for no other reason than because lyrically White isn’t afraid to speak the truth or his mind and that is best described as refreshing.

How does your day start? “In the afternoon, groggy from happy sleepy-time meds, and with a cup of tea”

What tunes do you have lined up for the commute to work? “Due to severe mental illness (anxiety and depression) I’m unable to work. The last time I was assessed I got the highest possible scores (which is something, right?) and the lovely bloke assessing me over the phone said he’ll need to speak to a supervisor. Never heard back. This was during Covid though so it’s understandable. But were I to commute I’d definitely be listening to The Ocean, Vulvodynia, Archspire, Without Waves, Vomit The Soul, and Crown Compass. That’s been my soundtrack to 2022 for sure”

A well received debut album in “Grindstone” and an EP in “Cunning Punts” with positive feedback from Underground Metal writers; has 2022 served you well? “It’s meant the world to me. Truly. To put something out into the world is terrifying but to get listens from all over the world and reviews like your wonderful one for Cunning Punts makes me feel… accepted? Worthy? The idea that I’m doing something that strangers feel is worth existing? Makes me happier than anything”

What’s for lunch? “I’m a melted cheese kinda dude. Pizza, lasagne, pasta in general”

How many is too many? What’s your daily tea or coffee plus biscuit count? “I’d say five to six cups of tea, though sometimes I’m in the mood for coffee. And all the biscuits, which means I rarely have any”

Do you have any plans to flesh out xygrbryrx and perform your songs live or do you see the project as strictly a studio one at this stage? “Right now it’ll have to be studio only, but if my mental health improves I’d very much like to perform at least a one-off show, for the experience if nothing else”

Stopping via the pub on the way home? “Not much of a drinker these days. I’ve had maybe four glasses of whiskey this year. But Jonnie Walker is my first choice, always”

How does your evening shape up? Pissing off the neighbours with some guitar practice? “I’ve genuinely never practiced guitar (which is why I’m rather shit), I find it very boring. Most evenings I’ll be watching films, reading, or playing video games”

Cunning Punts” was produced in conjunction with Clarie-Marie Hampton; how important was it to have someone to bounce some ideas off when writing the EP? “Claire (who is my incredible girlfriend, by the way) only worked on the art for both records, however we have recorded a song together. She’s a phenomenal singer and I really wanted to write something for her to sing on. We ended up working on the arrangement together, with her writing lyrics and vocal melodies. She also got me to growl and shriek on it. It needs a bit of work yet but It’ll be a standalone single early next year”

What’s for dinner? Cooking or Take Away? “Melted cheese”

What’s on the box? Any recommendations for the box set bingers out there? “I just watched Severance which was phenomenal, and I’m 100% addicted to Taskmaster. I’m currently playing the hell out of Marvel’s Midnight Suns which is so spot on as a playable comic book”

What does 2023 have in store for xygrbryrx? “I’m currently sketching out album 2 which is gonna be significantly nastier. I’m returning to the proggier elements of Grindstone but with much more filth. I kinda wanna scar the listener. Like Hereditary, but noisier”

How does your day end? “Slowly, with medication, in the dark… but in a nice fluffy, fun way!”

Cunning Punts” and “Grindstone” by xygrbryrx are both out now, everywhere you’d want them to be…

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