Revolver's exclusive Blue Burst vinyl variant of Sanguisugabogg's new album, Tortured Whole, is sold out, but the LP is still available in black vinyl. Shop the full collection of limited-edition Revolver-exclusive variants at our store.
There are so many bands out there doing so many interesting things, it's hard to know where to turn. That's why we've created Crash Course, a recurring feature offering a concise introduction to a band or artist that we think slays, covering their origins, process and vision. Our latest subject is Sanguisugabogg, a fast-rising death-metal four-piece out of Ohio, whose Cannibal Corpse–meets-Mortician brutality (and super-sick sense of humor) is proudly displayed on their forthcoming Century Media debut Tortured Whole (which drops on March 26th).
We recently caught up with guitarist and bandleader Cameron Boggs to find out how a flooded basement and a head full of acid transformed Boggs' "bedroom black-metal band" into full-on death-metal outfit — with a serious (and seriously positive) mission to promote inclusivity within the extreme scene while playing "the heaviest shit of all time."
WHO IS SANGUISUGABOGG — CAN YOU GIVE US A BRIEF HISTORY ON HOW YOU CAME TOGETHER?
CAMERON BOGGS In 2017 I was working on a bedroom black-metal band called Sanguisuga and one night when my room flooded in the basement and I was tripping on acid I came up with some riffs and just started rollin' with it. I couldn't find anyone that wanted to even play these songs with me so I was going to just record all of it myself until I got [drummer] Cody [Davidson] on board, then we picked up [vocalist] Devin [Swank] and our friend [former bassist] Steph [Barnes] to start the band and do [2019 demo] Pornographic Seizures together. It's been the craziest uphill since that day and I'm still pretty confused about how we got here, but thankful!
IF YOU HAD TO DESCRIBE YOUR BAND'S MISSION STATEMENT, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I just want to write the heaviest shit of all time and have groove and feeling in every little bit of it. Outside of the actual music, I want everyone to feel accepted and free in our specific world of death metal. There is too much negativity when it comes to extreme music. Being a queer nonbinary homie myself, I get what it's like to feel weird in a scene full of masculinity and I just want queer kids, POC, trans kids, women and whoever to feel like we got their backs and shit is OK.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO EXTREME METAL?
Growing up, my dad was really into metal and rock & roll and stuff. I remember some of the first times that he showed me Metallica and thinking, Yo, this is it! He pretty much gave me everything I needed at first until my little brother and I just started going off on it ourselves and trading albums back and forth. He took us both to countless shows and bought me my first guitars when I was a kid — so I wouldn't be where I am without all of that stuff. Metallica's Ride the Lightning is the metal album that spoke to me and told me I was a freak, for sure.
BEING IN A BAND, WHAT'S THE HARDEST CHALLENGE YOU HAVE COME ACROSS SO FAR, AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME IT?
I had to accept that everyone in the world isn't gonna like you or your music. People are gonna sit on the internet and relentlessly talk shit about this and that and whatever. Too many people let that get to them on too personal of a level. If you don't go searching for it, then really it doesn't exist. Me, being a person who has lifted myself out of living with horrible anxiety and depression, really had to learn a lesson in that …
OBVIOUSLY LIVE SHOWS ARE ON HOLD RIGHT NOW. BUT BEFORE COVID WHAT WAS YOUR PRESHOW RITUAL?
We normally fry our brains with grass to a level that doesn't even seem real. I've stayed to having like two or three beers before we play. Mainly, we just hang out and goof around. I feel like Devin and I are a side comedy tour most of the time runnin' around making jokes and making new friends.
WHAT'S THE BEST PART OF BEING ON TOUR AND WHAT'S THE WORST?
The best part is for sure being with my best friends every day and seeing other people happy around us. I have so much love for my guys it's dumb. We're all really close and just live every day like it's the greatest day of our lives when we are on the road and I really appreciate that about them. The worst part is how much I miss my cats. They are my children and I love them. … Fuck yeah, I miss touring so much I can barely put it into words.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CATS — AND DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER PASSIONS OUTSIDE OF MUSIC?
I have two cats, Fam-ela Anderson and her son, Windle. That's my little dude, he was born into my hands after seeing Van Halen with my dad. Cody, [current bassist] Ced [Davis], and I love guitar gear and collecting it. We love weed, mushrooms and acid most. We spend a lot of time together goofin' around laughing tryin' to make our brains warp to hell and back. [Laughs]
WHAT'S THE WEIRDEST PLACE YOU EVER SLEPT ON TOUR?
On our first tour we did, everything had been going suspiciously smooth and great the whole time. The night before the last date, we were sleeping in the van at a restaurant/rest stop off the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Devin left the van on all night without turning it over because it was freezing, and the battery died. Cody was laid out in the back in an L shape around the driver seat and we were all shaking, cold as hell. The whole van was iced over and there was just this huge Burger King sign blaring into the window. Cody and I had to spend the next two hours begging people to jump the van until a little Amish woman offered to do it. Then we broke down shortly after because of a wheel bearing on a mountain. Still made it to Cleveland though, hell yeah.
WHAT'S THE CRAZIEST, OR MOST MEMORABLE, THING THAT'S EVER HAPPENED AT ONE OF YOUR SHOWS?
I think it had to have been the first time we played at [Brooklyn's] Saint Vitus Bar in November 2019. Coming into New York City our bassist at the time, Steph, was really ill and was not doing so well. He told us right before the show he had to get on a bus to go home. Devin and I had been tripping all night the night before and hadn't slept so we were really scared of losing him. The Mutilatred dudes had a drop-tune pedal so I could run my guitar to his rig and have bass still. That show was just ignorant as hell and sounded so great. Kids stage-diving and chanting our name. I knew after that show that Cody, Devin, and I really had something special.
HAVE YOU DEVELOPED ANY NEW CREATIVE ROUTINES OVER THE LAST YEAR DURING THE PANDEMIC'S LOCKDOWNS?
Somewhat, yes. Normally, I am trying my hardest to write constantly but it has been nice to feel more relaxed about it. All of us have been taking a lot more time to practice individually. Besides that, I've had a lot more time to work on artwork and things like that. If I didn't have creative things to do during this lockdown I would have definitely lost my mind by this time.
DO YOU HAVE ANY MUSICAL INFLUENCES THAT MIGHT SURPRISE LISTENERS, AND HOW WOULD YOU SAY THEY IMPACT YOUR OWN CREATIVITY?
For the most part when I write death metal, I don't listen to death metal. I'm always scared of copying or sounding too much like other things — and I think I owe how different we are to that. I take inspiration from a lot of Three 6 Mafia and [Memphis rapper/producer] Tommy Wright III–type beats and melodies. I also feel like being obsessed with weirder bands like the Blood Brothers and Heavy Heavy Low Low when I was younger gave me a totally different take on riffing, transitions and just weird timings. I also have been listening to a lot of Tears for Fears, Madonna and Blue Öyster Cult. I really just like finding melodies in my head from not-metal places and making them heavier than they ever needed to be. My big metal influences forever for this band are Animosity, Dying Fetus, Steve Tucker–era Morbid Angel and Mortician.
WHAT BAND ARE YOU THE BIGGEST FAN OF — HAVE ANY SUPERFAN STORIES TO SHARE?
Can I do two? Ok I'm doing two… Mortician is my favorite heavy band. I love everything about them. It's just so unnecessarily heavy and simple. I've been a huge fan for a long time. Back on our first tour, Eli [Fakes] from Mutilatred tattooed their skull logo on my neck and Devin's arm before a show. After that, we started talking to [guitarist] Roger [Beaujard] a lot and became great friends. He came out to see us in Vegas and I almost cried meeting him and he brought us some first press tapes of Hacked Up for Barbecue and I will never forget it. He ended up being on our first single for the record, "Menstrual Envy," and I'm so excited about that.
My other big one is the Blood Brothers. When I was in middle school, I found the song "Ambulance Vs. Ambulance" and I just couldn't stop. My dad bought me Burn, Piano Island, Burn and Crimes and for like two years they were literally all I listened to. I owe a lot of how I write to them for sure. I'm still a superfan and scooping up any merch in my size I can find, for way too much, on a regular basis.
IF YOU COULD ONLY PLAY ONE OF YOUR SONGS FOR SOMEONE TO INTRODUCE THEM TO YOUR BAND, WHAT SONG WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
Probably "Dead as Shit" [from Tortured Soul]. It has every element of what makes us, us, in one song. The guitar and bass are heavier than hell, the drums are absolutely punishing, and the vocals on it are my favorite performance by Devin, as well as my favorite lyrics probably.
OHIO BOASTS NOTABLE METAL ALUMNI LIKE NECROPHAGIA AND SKELETONWITCH. HOW WOULD YOU SAY SANGUISUGABOGG FITS INTO THAT LINEAGE — OR STANDS APART FROM IT?
We've all been friends with some of those alumni bands and other bigger bands since we were younger. Some of those bands definitely gave us inspiration to try to be where we are now and [where we're] getting to. To be honest, I'm not sure how we fit into that lineage because I am still shocked we are here and doing this sometimes. It still fucks me up that an EP and LP we recorded in Cody's mom's basement has turned into a worldwide thing and taken over our lives, but we wouldn't have it any other way. All the dudes from bigger death-metal bands around Ohio and the Midwest are nothing but supportive and nice. We love them all a lot but we definitely have a much different sound than a lot of the bigger acts around. All we want is to be friends with everyone and have a good time. I think we do pretty good at that.