666% Free – Jan Slezak of Ramlord

ramlord crippled album cover


One of the most exciting underground bands in America today is Ramlord. Led by the positively nihilistic Jan Slezak (Leather Chalice), their mesh of crust-laden blackened d-beat has kids beating the piss out of each other up and down the east coast and scowling a lot in general. Sort of an anti-hero band for people in these times of anti-everything; these guys play fast, sick music without apology or regard for typical conventions. Their recent album, Crippled Minds, Sundered Wisdom (Hypaethral Records) was a keeper too. Ghost Cult scribe Sean Pierre-Antoine has risked his own life and limb in the mosh pits of raided-by-police DIY venues and Elk’s Lodges to witness the fury Jan and his mates put down. It was only fitting that a fellow eccentric, like Sean, pen this Q & A for the band to try to uncover some ugly truths about them.


Aside from the obvious, what inspired the name Ramlord?


The name Ramlord was created by founding member and ex-bassist Brian, who played on Stench of Fallacy and the couple splits that followed it. I can only imagine his sick obsession with melding common livestock with honored religious figures. We praise the horned one eternal at the dawn of each painful, regrettable day.

On the topic of influence; what are some non-metal/punk artists that the band draws from?

I honestly don’t listen to anything outside of trve territory besides some harsh noise/power electronics and dark ambient, although those genres don’t have much influence on Ramlord. We draw from all extreme corners within punk and metal though.


You’ve got splits out with Cara Neir, Condensed Flesh, Welkin Dusk, and most recently, Nuclear Devastation; do you have a favorite?

Each release is special to me and slowly helps fill the many voids I experience on a daily basis. The romantic sounds of ‘Ceaseless Grief’ (from Welkin Dusk split) serve a different purpose than the introspective ‘Affliction of Clairvoyence’ (from Cara Neir split) so it is difficult to decide.

How would you describe the creative process behind the “normal” Ramlord song?

Although I write a majority of the music and bring it to practice beforehand, the songs shape and evolve when other members contribute their ideas to the sound. We often jam on one riff for a very long time until we can churn out the filthiest noise from it and then commit the best part of the jam into a short section of the track. It is an ever-evolving mass of sewage although it is always very clear when the trail of slime runs dry.


At the risk of raising discontent; is there anything you are dissatisfied with under the Ramlord name?

Ramlord is the ultimate project I can image being in, as I feel 666% free to pursue the musical direction in my filthy heart. All those strange pieces somehow come together to create one vision, or perhaps not, but our discography is so fragmented through short releases that no one notices.


How do you view the growing popularity of your stench?

It is very rewarding to see people making bootleg crewnecks and getting numerous pressings of releases and seeing my words and music resonate with many other suicidal failures. I have a very specific vision for songwriting and I am getting closer and closer to it with each release, this is the only optimistic aspect of my life.

What are your thoughts on the term “USBM”, and do you feel as though Ramlord fits in this category?

I would guess our closest genre is “blackened crust” although I feel quite detached from the metal, hardcore and punk scenes in my area. People have told us we aren’t “black metal enough” so this could be a big reason why.


What band(s) would you kill to tour with; active, non-touring or dead?

For all eternity :: Discharge. Other legends like Blasphemy, Incantation, Venom, Coffins, Abigail, Autopsy, Saint Vitus, Bathory hologram, etc..

How many songs about death, despair and loneliness do you have left in your collective soul?

I always thought I was constantly evolving lyrically with each release but I recently read through all the lyrics in one session and realized they are all about self-loathing and the fetishism of death’s release. No matter what I set out to write about, it comes full circle to the one true master : death.
ramlord logo

Should we expect musical experimentation on future releases?

The newer recordings we have are heavier and use more ODSM influence, however, there are no plans to leave the banner of punk and metal any time soon. We have often talked about doing a 40-minute song of pure doom but with the constant barrage of splits, it might be a while before that happens.


Is there ever too much Discharge?


Absolutely not. I have never heard of a Discharge-clone I didn’t like, especially live. All bands should play Discharge covers, regardless of genre, if they want to be taken seriously (by me).


Smoke weed//Kill cops forever


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Ramlord on Bandcamp


Future Ramlord releases:

Krieg/Ramlord (7” on Unholy Anarchy, cassette on Wolves ov Hades)

Stench of Fallacy repress (cassette on Wolves ov Hades)

Untitled EP (7” on Broken Limbs)

Sea of Bones/Ramlord (7” on Broken Limbs)