Brian Cook - Bass - 2009 - Present

Brian Cook is the bassist, baritone guitarist, and keyboardist for Russian Circles. He also played in the bands Botch, These Arms Are Snakes, and Roy. He has served as a session player for records by Mouth of the Architect and Mamiffer and is currently an auxiliary contributor to Sumac. In addition to playing music, Cook is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Stranger, Noisey, Portland Mercury, and Alarm. He self-published his debut novel, The Second Chair Is Meant For You, in 2014. He was voted Best Dancer in his 6th grade yearbook, which, if you've ever seen him dance, was obviously a joke by his classmates. Cook currently lives in New York with his husband Reno. 

Brian Cook's Gear Thanks go to:
Verellen Amplifiers
Ernie Ball Strings

Brian Cook Rig Rundown

Sonically and stylistically, Roy is VERY different from any of your other bands. What influenced you guys and how did the band come together in the first place? 

Roy was originally just the Verellen brothers. Ben played guitar and Moog Taurus. Dave played drums. They did a few practice space recordings in 2000 that sounded a little like the first Rentals record. It was good stuff.

In 2001, I moved from Tacoma to Seattle and began tracking songs on a Fostex four-track. As far as shows went, Botch was doing better than ever. But creatively, we were stuck. So writing songs on a four-track was a good outlet. At the time, I was a big fan of resourceful indie stuff Neutral…

Read more

Every Record I Own - Day 40: The Austerity Program Beyond... 

Every Record I Own - Day 40: The Austerity Program Beyond Calculation

Like every Hydra Head band, The Austerity Program was on my radar the second they put out a record on the label. But I didn’t know the Justin and Thad personally until they did a handful of shows in the Northeast with Russian Circles and Daughters back in 2008. Hydra Head went into a finance-induced hiatus four years later and like many bands on the roster, The Austerity Program had to figure out how they were going to deal without having…

Read more

There’s a new band-approved Botch design for sale via our... 

There’s a new band-approved Botch design for sale via our friends in Czech Republic, World of Need. Proceeds go towards antifa groups in Eastern Europe. They’ve also got shirts from other ‘90s hardcore bands like Struggle, Strain, and Endpoint, with all the money going to organizations approved by the bands. Check ‘em out here:

If you’re stateside, you can also pick up Botch and These Arms Are Snakes shirts at

 Every Record I Own - Day 39: Aura Noir Hades RiseI don’t fault... 

 Every Record I Own - Day 39: Aura Noir Hades Rise

I don’t fault people who write off Norwegian black metal on the basis of bands like Mayhem and Burzum, mostly because some of the musicians involved in that scene deserve to be shunned for their shitty behavior. But I also understand how someone could listen to De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas or Filosofem and not be able to look beyond the primitive production values and ham-fisted musicianship. Granted, the lo-fi recordings and barbaric riffage is part of the…

Read more