When a band decides to avoid the Heavy Metal Mad Libs school of thought (i.e. Black, Dark or Death + any other word = instant band name!) and instead throws a curveball like Biipiigwan, it’s safe to assume that there’s a story behind it.
“A biipiigwan is a type of flute that Anishinaabe people used as signalling devices in battles a long time ago. The etymology of the word relates to a general term for songbirds and though I didn’t know that at the time. I’m glad I learned that because I got tired of the name a few months after starting,” chuckles Musqwaunquot Rice, who handles guitars and vocals for the Canadian quartet. Rice’s First Nations heritage may have informed Biipiigwan’s christening, but their sound is a furious geographical mélange of Unsane, Black Cobra, Buzzoven and Neurosis, laced with enough acerbic grindcore to land them on stages with Canuck pals Fuck The Facts. Rice’s approximation of their sound keeps it simple. “Loud, sludgy, a bit abrasive and kind of dark. People tend to hear different styles and influences in our music and most of the time it’s bands and even genres I’ve never heard of. I’m really not that metal, man.”
Their most recent offering is the self-released ‘Nibaak’ EP, which came roaring after ‘God’s Hooks’ (Handshake Inc) and serves as an ominous harbinger of things to come. “I’ve got unrealistic plans for next year but at the very least we’ll have a new record out and do some touring,” Rice promises.
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