Meet Sanguisugabogg’s Cameron Boggs, the Brutal Death Metal Guitarist Obsessed With Metallica’s ‘St. Anger’
When the band posted a limited edition St. Anger style shirt with their entirely illegible logo at the top on Instagram, we just had to know what was the driving force behind this obvious affection for an album that is the most populous among any used CD bin at countless retail locations.
But first, a little background on Sanguisugabogg, the band currently turning death metal upside down through their own self-built brand of humor that also sheds death metal stereotypes of being uber brutal and serious all the time.
You may recognize them as the Ohio-based band that made a music video about doing drugs and chopping your own penis off, which was depicted in hallucinatory form in "Menstrual Envy" where the group's members (heh) exercise the "dong clause" in their Century Media contract and mutant dicks begin eating people alive — a phallic fallacy, if you will. Then there was the Godzilla-like cartoon sequel with the "Gored in the Chest" video.
Both songs are featured on their forthcoming debut, Tortured Whole, due out March 26, which serves as the successor to 2019's Pornographic Seizures EP that quickly caught the attention of the death metal underground. And they've got probably twice as many T-shirt designs as they do songs, so be sure to check those out, too — gone is the wait for the "I Eat Me Own Cum" back print.
Now, time to find out why Boggs isn't madly in anger with St. Anger!
What was your very first introduction to Metallica? Was it a certain song or album and how old were you?
I was pretty young, probably 3rd or 4th grade. My dad showed me Ride the Lightning and I was obsessed with that and the ‘Black Album.' My big song was “Creeping Death” and I loved “Enter Sandman,” too.
When I first started playing guitar, I’d go to Sam Ash and Guitar Center and my dad told the employees, “I’m so sorry. He’s going to play ‘Enter Sandman’ a hundred times.” [laughs] I just listened to those two albums on repeat and they’re my two favorites.
I was playing the St. Anger riff at Guitar Center one time, too, when I was 12 and some kid that was probably 26 came up behind me and went, “Nice, dude. What’s your favorite Metallica record?” I was wearing a Metallica shirt and turned around and said, “St. Anger,” and my dad was like, (makes throat slicing gesture) “No, no.”
When did you first hear St. Anger?
It came out when I was in six grade. I was so obsessed with Metallica before the album came out and anything they could have done in that moment, I was going to love the fuck out of it because I was 12 years old and just really stoked. My mom took me to Walmart the day it came out, and I put it in the CD player and never took it out.
We had a TV that had the DVD player attached and every day when I’d get home I’d watch the Metallica rehearsal DVD. St. Anger might not be the greatest album of all time or the greatest record they’ve ever done, but it meant something to me.
It was so heavy to me. I love the snare. Even back then I remember thinking it was weird, but I fucking loved it.
Lars Ulrich Explains St. Anger Drum Sound
Had you heard Load and Reload before St. Anger?
My dad is a big NASCAR fan and when they’d come back from commercials they’d play “Fuel” and I remember being like, “Oh my god! That song is hard!”
We went to Best Buy that day and got the CD, and I don’t think he had ever really listened to it. “Fuel” came on first and when the next songs came on I remember him groaning. I thought it was pretty cool [laughs].
My dad was my idol, so when he told me something sucked, I was like, “Yeah, it does suck!” But he let me have St. Anger. He knew I loved it [laughs].
Let’s go back to the snare sound for a moment. That ping/pop to the snare is very common in brutal death metal and slam. Did that resonate with you in any way when you were later introduced to extreme metal?
I’ve always loved that it reminds me of St. Anger. I love goregrind, which that snare sound is big in.
Sanguisugabogg didn’t use it directly because of St. Anger at all — it’s St. Anger-ish, but that’s because our drummer Cody Davidson loves that sound. I don’t think he’s ever heard the album, but it works with our super low-tuned guitars.
What does the rest of the band think of the album? You put the Sanguisugabogg logo on a limited edition shirt with the St. Anger fist, so now everyone has to sort of vouch for the album in a way. People are gonna be asking them about it, for sure.
I know [vocalist] Devin [Swank] is into it.
We’ve had a lot of moments driving from Columbus to Dayton for practice, ripping on some weed playing the album front to back and singing all the lyrics. We have a good time with it, but I don’t think Devin would ever stand up and say, “I love St. Anger.”
It’s definitely more my thing than anyone else’s. Cody thinks the meme/joke aspect of it is funny. I don’t think [bassist] Ced [Davis] minds it, but I don’t think he loves it either!
One song I think everyone in the band could relate to though is “Invisible Kid.” It’s got such a slimy guitar riff that almost sounds like The Day Everything Became Nothing.
I think they’re tuned to drop A on that song. It was my favorite when I was a kid. It’s the slimiest, grossest Metallica riff I’ve ever heard. I listen to St. Anger back again and think that when I was a kid I found it to be way heavier than I do now, but that song still stands out.
Metallica, "Invisible Kid"
I want them to do a St. Anger II and dial in the “Invisible Kid” type riffs and do an album full of that. It’ll piss everyone off, but do it for me, please.
Right… here’s the pandemic album from Metallica — St. Anger II!
I’m even getting a St. Anger tattoo on my chest.
Are there any songs on it that you don't like?
One song I’ll admit fucking sucks and I can’t believe I ever loved it and it’s “The Unnamed Feeling.” They have the Slipknot-type music video for it where they’re being really edgy and screaming “FUCK!”
Lars Ulrich Screams "FUCK!" Recording St. Anger in Some Kind of Monster
When was the first time you saw that documentary and when was the last time you watched it?
I saw it when it came out when it was in select theaters and my dad took me to see it in Columbus. I was stoked. The last time I saw it was about a year ago on Netflix.
They took it off of Netflix! I was so mad when they did.
They had the behind the scenes follow-up and I love the part where Rob Trujillo was talking about the tryout rehearsal and Lars took him to the bar and they were there until 7AM and Lars paid the bar to stay open all night. When he went in there to get the job and they’re all sitting at the table, Lars and Rob are hungover as fuck and they offer Rob a million dollars and Rob was so apathetic about it [laughs].
If someone told me I was going to play bass in Metallica and make a million dollars, I’d lose my mind.
What are your other favorite scenes from that documentary?
The part where they tell Kirk he can’t have guitar solos.
He’s the most zen dude of all time, and I’ve never seen him get that angry when he calls it bullshit and that it dates the album to a time. I felt that. Solos are Kirk’s thing. I love him so much, but I never thought he’d turn out to be the loose, white shirt, living on a ranch type of guy [laughs].
Metallica Discuss Whether to Play Solos on St. Anger or Not
Are there any black sheep/dark horse albums you’re into?
I love Slayer’s Diabolus in Musica and Christopher Cross and Michael McDonald.
Christopher Cross is one of my favorite artists of all time, and I can’t ever get over the songs “Ride Like the Wind” and “Sailing.” “Ride Like the Wind” has Michael McDonald on it and it’s about him and McDonald killing a dude with a gun and running to Mexico. It’s so hard.
I have a dream to become a yacht rock artist at some point in my life. My name is gonna be Buddy Cruise — when you switch the letters it’s Cruddy Booze [edit - we know the joke works better spoken than spelled out, so just deal with it]. I want to start a band called Smoots, and I’ll become good friends with Christopher Cross and hang out with him on yachts all the time.
Christopher Cross, "Ride Like the Wind"
Well, when metal cruises come back, that’s your ticket to entry — death metal musicians playing in a yacht rock cover band.
I know that Christopher Cross does mixing and mastering work. I want to cover “Ride Like the Wind” because I learned to play it in drop G tuning, but nobody else wants to do it. But I want him to mix and master it for us and have him do a part on it and we’ll become best friends.
I’ve really thought it out pretty hard. I want to have a cream suit with a baby blue under shirt, a gold chain and a sailor hat. I’ll hang out with Christopher Cross as Buddy Cruise.
Thanks to Cameron Boggs for the interview and shedding some light on why 'St. Anger' may not be as bad as its made out to be.
Best Death Metal Album of Each Year Since 1985