Quicksand’s Walter Schreifels: “I use the tricks I have to the most effect that I can. And I think that’s the trick of my playing”

Walter Schreifels
(Image credit: A.F. Cortés)

Hardcore punk music is simple by design and tribal by nature, focused on eliciting a specific response as opposed to encouraging exploration. It’s ironic, then, how hardcore journeyman Walter Schreifels has somehow evaded the genre’s structures to create some of the most compelling and influential heavy music of the last three decades.

“Hardcore is such a limited format, in a way – it’s more like haikus than sonnets,” Schreifels says. “When I got into Quicksand, I didn’t want to work within the boundaries of that formula of hardcore. I wanted to stretch out, and the guys I was working with all wanted to do that as well.”

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Jim Beaugez

Jim Beaugez has written about music for Rolling Stone, Smithsonian, Guitar World, Guitar Player and many other publications. He created My Life in Five Riffs, a multimedia documentary series for Guitar Player that traces contemporary artists back to their sources of inspiration, and previously spent a decade in the musical instruments industry.