Interview | Vinod Karki

I first met Vinod Karki probably five years ago on Facebook, in one of Sunil Dev Pant's posts where he had commented. He is currently best known for one of the best YouTube channels dedicated to grindcore and powerviolence music in the internet, with over 700 uploads, and more than 5,000 subscribers. I present you a brief conversation with the grind guru, who also happens to be from the Himalayan state.

Geez! Could only find this photo of his in the internet
How did you get into grindcore and powerviolence?

I listened to a lot popular 80s’ thrash like everybody else did in that time. I especially liked those fast Slayer and Metallica tracks. After that, I was briefly into death metal when everybody else was also obsessed by it. But somehow, I could not enjoy it for long. It was like a pause for few years until I got introduced with the bands like Hemdale, Birdflesh, Plutocracy, and as well as Dropdead, Hellnation and Harsh. And it was love at first sight!

I used to attend every gig out there about 10 years ago when I was not so busy. It used to be all death metal, but I enjoyed it a lot. But I am now 37, and things have changed. I think it is natural to miss those things slowly when you get older. The last gig I attended was Jugaa's "Naune Haru Kera Khau" or something, haha!

What encouraged you to start a grindcore YouTube channel? How did Vinod Karki as a channel begin?

No, it was not anything like a ‘channel’ per se at first; it was just an ordinary YouTube account which I still think it is. I do not even remember why I started uploading releases. As far as I know, I had more free time than I have today, and it was fun doing that than watching television.

How has the reception of the channel been?

It has been okay. There are still a very few people who regularly listen to the stuff I upload but people talk about it sometimes for being a good channel, and it feels great for a relatively obscure but now somewhat common account like this.

How do you get those sick but rare albums? Any source of your uploads?

My source is one hundred percent internet; I have so little physical copies compared to what I have on my channel. I cannot buy things online. Blogs, bands and friends around the world and of course sites like Bandcamp and others are feeding this channel.

How have the bands who notice you uploading their album normally reacted?

Normally they do not react at all; so far very few bands or band members have commented under the video or messaged me personally. But I get friend-requests on Facebook of the band members, haha! I think it is very normal these days for a band to see their releases on some channel.

Have you ever been in trouble for uploading any band’s discography without permission?

Yes, a couple of times I have been asked to take the video down. It was sorted out simply by deleting videos; I also survived two copyright strikes. Actually I am still serving a six month ban from using some features on YouTube which ends on December 22. Besides that I also have some bitter experience actually for not uploading some releases.

I believe that most of the audience of the channel is international. Do you think that there is a wide audience in Nepal too?

I do not know, as I do not get to see many people and attend shows due to my nature of livelihood. Personally I have not met anyone yet with whom I could discuss about what I like to listen, but looking at the feeds on social media it looks like few young people around here are starting to take interest on this genre.

Are you aware about the local Nepali grindcore and powerviolence bands? If yes, which bands do you want to recommend to folks out there?

Yes, I find some local uploads tagged with ‘grindcore’, ‘powerviolence’ once in a while on Bandcamp. I think a band called Nude Terror is the one people may find good, they have some descent quality live videos on YouTube.

What do you want to tell about the underground music scene of Nepal to those unaware?

Like anywhere else, there are different kind of underground music scenes going on here, from hip-hop to hardcore, some of them are very awesome to listen to, but this is predominantly a death metal country, obviously – brutal death metal to be exact  and bands like UgraKarma and the Binaash are the crowning jewel of this community here. They have some releases, try them online.

What are some of your personal favorite albums out there (in your channel or elsewhere)?

There are a lot, but these are the little stuff I listen to a lot. Discordance Axis – The Inalienable Dreamless LP [2010], Death of Self  No Relief [2010], Scapegoat – s/t [2006], Scalplock - Inculcate the Fear  [1999], Six Brew Bantha – s/t LP [2012], Water Torture – Shellfire! [2012], Apartment 213 – Cleavement Powerviolence [2006],  Seize  – Dropdead [1998], Excruciating Terror – Divide We Fall [1998], The Oily Menace – Piece by Piece [2014], and almost all of my uploads, cause what I upload is what I like.

Have you ever thought of starting your own grind/powerviolence band? Do you play any instrument?

I used to do some drumming as a teenager. I love drums, but as it would cost a lot I could not buy one and it went no further. Oh yes, like every young boy, this thought of starting a band used to come into my mind once in a while before, but not anymore. As I am getting older I have a lot more things to get worried about than this.

What do you do for your living? What else do you love doing, besides listening to grindcore and powerviolence music? 

I am an editorial designer by profession. I design books and magazines. I love traveling and photography but yet to have a notable trip, haha! I watch movies whenever I am free.