Jun 2019 20

Channeling negative emotions into a positive and powerful force, Portland’s Particle Son speaks with ReGen prior to the band’s appearance at Mechanismus Festival – Let’s Go to War.


An InterView with Vex March of Particle Son

By Dawn Wood (DWoodkillMW)

Portland industrial trio Particle Son is one of the bands playing at Mechanismus Festival – Let’s Go to War in June. ReGen contributor and Murder Weapons vocalist Dawn Wood states that she has “had the fortunate experience to know front man Vex March as one of the most kind-hearted, hardest working, formerly tormented souls I have ever known. His growth and resilience over the past seven years has truly inspired me.” March has defeated cancer, given up alcohol, and has been a crucial part of the Portland industrial scene, even garnering the respect of his peers in other genres, from metal to punk to gothic to industrial. Within Particle Son, March is accompanied by his longtime associates Jared Scott and Sandi Leeper who add the aggressive guitars, bouncy and atmospheric keyboards, and backup vocals to March’s awe-inspiring vocal performances. Despite Particle Son being a trio, one simply can’t take their eyes off of the band live with a stage performance that always commands attention.


How long has Particle Son been together and how do you think it has evolved over the course of time?

March: Jared started P.S. back in 1996 in California. I didn’t join until around 2000 and, after a couple of lineup changes, we’ve settled into the trio we are today. There’s a great plethora of factors that have contributed to our growth and evolution. Personally, I think one of the biggest was the introduction of Sandi to the project. She’s a brilliant keyboardist and brought a new flavor to the band that helped bring us to new levels. My own personal timeline plays its own part – the evolution of mind, body, and spirit. I don’t feel as though I’m as loose a cannon as I used to be, firing my anger at anything and anyone without reason. I’ve never felt as focused as I do now. The aging process truly fascinates me.

What national bands have you played with?

March: We’ve had the privilege to work with some amazing acts, many of them on multiple occasions such as PRONG, Wednesday 13, Powerman 5000, Psyclon Nine, Hocico, God Module, Dawn of Ashes, Mankind is Obsolete, Collide, and there are more than a few that I’m missing I’m sure; my memory isn’t the greatest.

In ReGen‘s previous InterView with you, it was mentioned the 11 years between your last release and Re:Version. I understand you have a new release in the works? How is this new release different (in your opinion) than other Particle Son releases?

March: Firstly, there was a long hiatus between Re:Version and Amerikan Genocide, but nowhere near that long before Exit Strategy was released. I feel like we mature with each new track, constantly pushing the envelope, testing boundaries, and striving to create something new. I was a ball of chaos in my youth and I didn’t care who or what I destroyed in my wake of self destruction, and I channeled that into music. I fired my anger and contempt at anything that moved and feel as though each new track has a more defined direction, while at the same time, retaining every bit of that aggression.

You have emerged as a resilient, seasoned musician in the scene. Do you consider yourself a warrior?

March: There is no life devoid of hardship and I don’t see my struggles as any greater than anyone else’s. Sure, I’ve had my fair share of suffering, but who hasn’t? I’ve had situations where being strong was the only thing I had, but I got through it and really, that’s the point of life to me. It’s not what you go through; it’s how you get through it that matters. Every lesson in life requires a choice – you can either crumble under the weight or rise above and persevere and I’ve got too much life to live to spend it feeling sorry for myself. I lived as a miserable person early in life and it just perpetuates the cycle of self destruction.

Who are your musical influences?

March: I listen to mostly metal – Fear Factory, Behemoth, Machines on Blast, Lamb of God, MINISTRY, Dimmu Borgir, Thy Art is Murder, early Cradle of Filth… pretty much anything with screaming in it. The rivet in me gravitates towards bands like Psyclon Nine, Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, :Wumpscut:… if it’s dark and spooky, chances are I’ll like it.

What inspires you?

March: I think the easier question is, what doesn’t? I tend to focus on current events, controversial topics of church and state; I will never understand humans and their actions. In short, life inspires me. I’ve always felt that lyrics should convey a message. I love stirring people up, invoking emotion, and pushing the brain into action. I feel as though humanity has become stagnant and numb to the life surrounding them. I want to pry those eyes open.

As someone who has worked hard and experienced so much in the music industry, what advice would you have for someone wanting to break into the industrial music scene?

March: Don’t! (Laughter) All joking aside, it’s an immense amount of work, time, and money. You better have a serious drive and love for music to start a band in any genre. I don’t think it’s fair to say one is harder than another, but industrial is a niche market, let’s face it.

Tell us about your upcoming projects/gigs?

March: On June 23, we’re playing with Hocico at the Star Theatre in Portland, OR with Blood Stained Stars; on July 20 at Old Nick’s in Eugene, OR with Ghost Motor; and of course, the Mechanismus fest, but that’s all we have on the books thus far.

Festival Banner (Updated)

You are performing at Mechanismus Festival – Let’s Go to War this year, but Particle Son is a fantastic staple at Mechnismus events. How many of the Mechanismus Festivals have you played?

March: This will be our first Mech Fest, but I’ve worked with Mechanismus shows a few times in the past and it’s always a blast, so I’m coming unglued to play this gig.

Anything else you would like to promote?

March: Always keep an eye on our various social media pages. I’m not always the best at posting since I’ve got an aversion to social media, I prefer to live in the real world, but that being said, there should be a new track or two here in the near future.



Particle Son
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Photography by Against the Grain Photography


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