Pathogenic’s Jake Burns: The Gun Shy Interview

Being an unsigned death metal band can be a sketchy proposition. Take the time Massachusetts death metallers Pathogenic played a Halloween house show in Lowell, Massachusetts, last year. Halfway through the band’s punishing set, a shady drunkard who looked like Kenny Rogers but was not the real Kenny Rogers started heckling Pathogenic.

“He kept screaming at us, ‘My name is Dan. I am from EMI Records and I can’t hear you,’” recalls Pathogenic’s Jake Burns in a chat with Gun Shy Assassin. The band turned up their PA so he could hear their set, after which he approached the band with a business deal.

“He starts telling us he’s a fucking hit man and that he wants to sign us or something,” says Burns. “He’s mumbling all this random shit. He asks us what are name is, and we told him Pathogenic. ‘That name sucks — why don’t you just call yourselves The Clap.’ We were really confused by it. The dude took our email address and we never heard from him again. Apparently, he’s been doing this to a bunch of other bands.”

Through the grapevine, Burns says that the creepy, bad-breathed man apparently tries to scam bands out of money and “just trolls bands.” So be wary, New England bands — if Kenny Rogers wants to sign you, tell him to go fuck himself.

On March 5, the environmentally-minded, Meshuggah-emulating Pathogenic will be participating in the second annual Rock Your Face Off Fest, a production of Nefarious Realm that’s being co-sponsored by Gun Shy Assassin.

The festival will be taking over Ralph’s Rock Diner in Worcester, Massachusetts, in a few weeks, with Revocation headlining. Others on the bill including Tight Rope, Burning Human, Nemecide, Hivesmasher, Sirens, Orwell, and Widow Sunday.

Burns — a self-professed history geek — says that Pathogenic actually won their opening slot on Rock Your Face Off in a Facebook contest, and that the band is definitely excited about the exposure they’ll be getting at Rock Your Face Off.

“We are really psyched to be able to play this fest; normally, when we play with bigger bands like that, its in a setting where we have to sell tickets,” Burns explains. “We’re really sick of that. So its pretty cool to be able to play a fest like this and not be obligated to sell a crap-load of tickets. It’s really cool to be able to play a fest like this.”

While Pathogenic have been around for seven years, they’re not signed to a label — yet. The band’s been playing a plethora of shows in the New England area — opening for bands like All Shall Perish, Born of Osiris, and After the Burial — and making a name for themselves in the local scene.

At the moment, Pathogenic is working on a full-length album they hope to finish in the next few months, and “after that, we’ll hopefully be able to send it around and get some label support.” But that’s not why the dudes in the group started Pathogenic.

The band was started “because we wanted to make music we can enjoy,” says Burns. And being in Pathogenic is fun he adds. Even if they’re not the biggest band in the world, Pathogenic are having a good time crafting death metal tracks they feel proud of.

“We just want to get our shit out there and see what happens,” says Burns. “Anything can happen at this point.”

If you’re unfamiliar with Pathogenic, get to Rock Your Face Off early, to catch their opening set. You will not regret it, fuckers.

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