Locust Sympathizer

Locust Sympathizer is a noise music project based in Western New York, USA, with Benjamin Hockenberry as primary force and Christopher Drysdale on drums. The focus is on constructing harsh noise using a washtub bass as a sound source and various effects pedals and looping, with layers of atonal and arrhythmic banjo and percussion.


The project began in 2004 after Benjamin and Chris moved back to Rochester NY from divergent paths, having collaborated together in college. The earliest Locust Sympathizer experiments involved attempts to make slow, harsh industrial music using a washtub bass, a distortion pedal, and a set of drums. The result was minimal and frequently unlistenable. They now are located in Buffalo and Rochester, respectively, so much of the new material is being composed solely by Benjamin with assistance from other contributors, including David Rees Thomas and Damien Tavis Toman.


Current work involves live looping and many more pedals than the early experiments, with emphasis placed on texture and freeform improvisation. The washtub bass acts as a sound chamber, and textures are coaxed from the metal and the string using tools such as box cutters, string bows, and drumsticks. The five-string, open-backed banjo is also featured, along with field recordings and intermittent vocals.


  • 2006 - Bathsheba, Burlap Records
  • 2006 - Habakkuk, Audiobot Recordings
  • 2006 - Split with Acin 3", Burlap Records
  • 2006 - Apparatus (Collaboration with DRT), Burlap Records
  • 2005 - Nigredo, Burlap Records
  • 2005 - John Henry 3", Amorf Sounds
  • 2005 - Wyoming, 1873 C10, Stentorian Tapes
  • 2005 - "In the Passive Voice", Harsh Noise Compilation, Absalom Recordings
  • 2005 - Split with Weapons of Mass Deception, Turgid Animal Records
  • 2005 - "Ordinary Men and Women", Microphone Compilation, Iatrogenesis Records.
  • 2005 - BCDC (Box Cutter Distribution Center) EP, self-released.
  • 2004 - Harbor EP, self-released, deleted.

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