Zach Edwards recently unveiled the debut album from his post-industrial project, All Clean. Down From The Inner Work is a ferocious and cathartic seven-song burnt offering to a listener’s most vivid nightmares. Edwards performed all of the instrumentation – guitar, synth, percussion, vocals – with the help of producer/engineer Alex Bhore (Sarah Jaffe, This Will Destroy You) and mastering by Dave Cooley (J Dilla, Tame Impala).
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Edwards, via an introduction by Stress Palace, to discuss the album’s influences. This is what he shared.
The Paper Chase – Hide The Kitchen Knives
While their first record, Young Bodies Heal Quickly, changed the way I heard music, this record changed my grasp of what guitar playing could be and how chaotic dissonance can be aggressively employed, nestled inside a melody. The howling bends, hammer offs to open strings, and demonic dive bombs fucked me up so good. Aside from the amazing guitar work and audio production from the mighty John Congleton, the militant, driving, knee-you-in-the-gut rhythm section awakened something in me that had been waiting to claw itself out and laid the foundation for Down From The Inner Work.
Deftones – Around The Fur
Heard this record in 8th grade and fell in love with the aggressive riffs and weird melodies and started my journey into heavy music. There’s nobody else that could sound so angry, sad, haunting, and horny as Chino Moreno, Stephen Carpenter, Chi Cheng, and Abe Cunningham.
When I was 18 I underwent what’s lovingly referred to as shock therapy. It changed my life and also did absolutely fucking nothing. I reference it several times in the record and in the band name itself. “Lay me down. Strap in. Shock me now, ‘til my brain caves in.” You should try it sometime.
Boom 94.5 (RIP)
When I was writing the songs on the record back in 2016-17, I was almost exclusively listening to a local classic hip-hop/rap station. I went to sleep and woke up to ’90s Hip-Hop. If you take away the guitars, the songs on the record are pretty much rap beats.
Refused – The Shape of Punk To Come
Another record imprinted on me from an early age. Seeing the video for “New Noise” on M2 gave my 14-year-old brain a life goal of making dynamic, catchy, and pugnacious music about something much bigger than myself. The production and variation of songwriting that all somehow works together is amazing and something I wanted to accomplish with Down From The Inner Work.
A major theme of this record is personal growth. It was written during a time I was putting in a lot of work on myself but I just couldn’t see the results and it felt like I was getting nowhere. I think as humans we all go through this at some point in our lives and that sentiment is summed up somewhat obscurely on the track “See What I’ve Done.”
I have this shit and it sucks so I made a bunch of songs so that others can feel that shit too.
90 Day Men – (It (Is) It) Critical Band
When I was 15 and sneaking into clubs to go to shows, I saw 90 Day Men play with The Paper Chase and was introduced to the angular Chicago sound of the late ’90s. It was also the moment I fell in love with the Fender Rhodes, which I use a lot on my songs. Killer fucking record full of melody and dissonance, aggro jazzy beats and all kinds of frustration.
“Warszawa” – Bowie
I love the entirety of the work of David Bowie and Low is among my favorites of his records, but with this song in particular I found something I didn’t know I needed. The beautiful synthscapes he created were a direct influence on my songs and in particular on tracks like “With Specialness” and “Never Do Dream.”
Trade Labor and Late-Stage Capitalism
The other major theme of the record and something especially relatable if you happen to work in a trade. The hopeless frustration of trying to make it in a world controlled by greedy fucks that walk on the backs of others on their way to the bank is the reason I wrote songs like “A Time To Call My Own” and “My Friends Are Crisis Actors.”
Photo by Colton Batts