Interview with A Breach of Silence

A Breach of Silence Logo

The first album from A Breach of Silence, (Dead or Alive), is barely cold and the band have already polished off their second. With this in mind it’s the perfect time to catch up with the band and get to know them a bit more…

For those who are unfamiliar with you – introduce yourself!

Hey, we are A Breach of Silence, we are from Brisbane Australia. There are 5 members. Cossie, Blairsy, Kerrod, Rhys and Stix. If you want to hear something fresh and you love metal/metalcore/power metal. Check us out :).

How did A Breach of Silence form?

We formed in 2009 when a bunch of us decided to get together and see if we could come up with something different and fun. That happened by meeting Blair at a party and seeing him sing and not just sing but hit falsetto’s that were so high that even Rob Halford would be proud of. We wanted to combine different elements of our favorite genres and make something different. So we set out to do that. Add our elements of traditional metal and metal core but add spice by putting in power style signing. I know that sounds weird and somehow might not work? But it does. Our debut Album dead or Alive is testament to that :). So after meeting Blair, we met our drummer Stix through mutual friends and then after going through quite a different number of member changes we have our current solid line up. With Kerrod and Rhys rounding it all out!!

A Breach of Silence BandWhat are your influences?

We have heaps of influences. Myself and Sticks love old school traditional metal and metalcore, Blair is into power metal and Rhys and Kerrod love all spectrums of metal, but mainly the newer style of metalcore and hardcore. Particular bands would be: Iced Earth, Killswitch Engage, Devil Driver, Parkway Drive, As I Lay Dying, and everything between Johnny cash, Toto and Fleetwood Mac.

What are you listening to at the moment that you want to recommend?

Things we have been listening to and would recommended would be the new Steel Panther (all you can eat), new Architects (lost forever/lost together) and we are still on BMTH (Sempiternal).

How did you decide on the sound for Dead or Alive?

The sound was really through trial and error and a lot of credit goes to Fredrik Nordstrom and Henrik Udd of studiofredman. Those guys really helped us pull together the concept of our writing style and help us produce a sound that we are incredibly happy with. Those guys are some of the best producers the world has to offer and you only have to hear the album to experience what they help us create. After getting the mix of riffs, blast beats, singing and screaming to a good balance we were able to work out our sound with the right smarts from the swedes :).

Are you happy with how the album came out?

We’re super happy how the album came out. Our Début release was done to set our foundations in the world of metal and we believe it really has done that. The songs, the sound and the response have been fantastic. We have appreciated every small and big step that this album has been able to offer us. It has been a fun journey so far.

A Breach of Silence BandWhat can you tell us about the lyrics?

Our lyrics are based around life experiences more then anything but we use subtle ways of expressing those views through other stories. Like Night Rider for instance, this song on the outside is about an outlaw gun slinger from hell that is there to take the bad guys to hell. The song is really portraying the message that, yes nobody is perfect, and you can have done bad things in the past, but its up to you and you alone to turn that around and that you can do it. In a sense a part of you can die but that leaves room for another part of you to breathe life. We like to look at things in a fun way and base our messages through stories.

What does the future hold for A Breach of Silence?

We have heaps of things going on :). We just finished recording our follow up album to Dead or Alive and can’t wait to release it. We are touring New Zealand and Australia in 2014 a few times, and we are trying to organize as we speak a tour to the USA later this year in support of the new album. We have just released a new film clip for our song Night Rider (watch at http://youtu.be/fVjFfxHj59c ), and we are about to release a few more live clips :). We have a bunch of surprises with the new album with us releasing a few things different to go along with the album! We are excited about the future and can’t wait.

Thanks!

Additional Info (added by label)

Website: http://www.ECLIPSERECORDS.com/a-breach-of-silence
Facebook: http://www.FACEBOOK.com/ABreachOfSilenceBand
Twitter: http://www.TWITTER.com/BreachOfSilence
Spotify: http://smarturl.it/stream-dead-or-alive

MUSIC VIDEOS:
Night Rider: http://youtu.be/fVjFfxHj59c

There Will Be Blood: http://youtu.be/0WnCmiYzkBU

 

Buy iTunes: http://smarturl.it/g3he2y
Buy GooglePlay: http://smarturl.it/am29jv
Buy CD: http://smarturl.it/khgcxu

Interview with Electric Hellride

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Electric Hellride have finished their new EP Come Darkness, Come Light. As a band who are very talented relatively individualistic this hopefully promises a bright future and good things to come for them. Time to get a bit more information on this band. Enter Casper…

For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself!

Well, we are Electric Hellride, a metal band from Copenhagen, Denmark. We had our first rehearsal back in the summer of 2008 and had some years getting our act together but with our EP “Charged” from November 2010 things began to roll for us. A solid sound of metal with a groovy twist, a lot of fine reviews giving us more shows, all developing our live skills. This led to us winning the Danish leg of the W:O:A Metal Battle in Denmark and thus playing at Wacken Open Air in 2012 (the show can be viewed here: http://youtu.be/xbDEWUs8KdA).

 

After that we signed with Mighty Music and released “Hate.Control.Manipulate” in late 2012. Since that we played our first tour (in Denmark) in 2013 and developed a little different approach to our songwriting and this is where we are now: presenting some of our new material on an EP called “Come Darkness, Come Light” which will be released the 5th of May.

Give us a bit of history to Electric Hellride

We have known each other for several years. Some of us even went to the same public school and later to the same high school. We actually had a no-name band back in the years 1996-1998. When we decided to play together again in 2008 it was not to reform that old band of ours but to make something new as we knew that we would get along in a very fine way – being friends already.

What are your influences?

We all started listening to metal a few years before the teen years. This means that we are of course to some degree raised on Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and such. But since that we have all developed our taste in metal into something wider, so it’s not easy to narrow our influences down to just a band or two.

Maybe Brian (drums) has a distinct taste for groove through his early fondness of Pantera, Anders (lead guitars) brings us something more “classic metal”, Nicklas (rhythm guitar) puts in something dirty rocking via his interest in acts such as Down and Black Label Society. And me (Casper, bass/vocals), I’m very much into good old Swedish death metal, which might be heard to some point in our music – but I don’t really growl – except for a few words here and there.

But we all like a lot of different metal so it’s really a bit too simple to just put it down as I just did. Oh well, I tried anyway, haha!

Electric Hellride BandWhat are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?

We actually made a list of what we listened to most in 2013, it’s here: http://www.electrichellride.dk/?p=1279

But on a more recent plan, I believe at least 75 % of the band enjoys the new Behemoth. And I personally really enjoy the new Triptykon.
Tell us about your EP

We were on a good path towards the second full length but we wanted to put out a teaser – or maybe a test – to see how our followers would like our new material as we felt we had changed our sound a bit. So on one hand we wanted to present some new stuff to get some feedback before we would write the last songs for the next full length. On the other hand we felt it was time to show the world that we are still alive and well and writing killer music.

This will of course require for us to write even more songs for the next album, but it is really worth it, as the feedback regarding the EP already is great and some great concert opportunities are being offered to us now.

It’s a four track EP, and as I mentioned earlier: it’s called “Come Darkness, Come Light”. 

Are you happy with how it turned out?

Absolutely! We have worked with Jacob Bredahl earlier, but decided to try something that also was more local to us so we wouldn’t have to travel. So we picked Emil Sauer to produce, mix and master. He has worked with Helhorse and Cerekloth among others and the recording session to place in his Grizzly Sauer Studio in Copenhagen.

The sound is not as dirty on the bass this time but it has given more room for guitars to really breathe. It sounds “more metal” but still very organic and clearly played by human beings and not edited to death in ProTools.

Electric Hellride BandWhat can you tell us about the lyrics?

“Higher Profanity” is about the clash between religion and science. I tried to make it open for interpretation but I think it’s obvious that I’m into the science part. What can you do – I’m a civil engineer, I’m educated to believe in science!

“Grey Mass Depression” is about living in a sad, boring, depressing environment of concrete buildings that really need refurbishment and how it in some places slow down the mind to something zombie-like.

Evil lives in us all. That it basically the conclusion of “Phosphorus”. Phosphorus relates to Venus which relates to Lucifer. And phosphorus also relates to DNA. So we can’t avoid the evil one. It’s in our DNA, simple as that. No need to try to be good, haha.

“Master Inferno” is about power. Power used to control others who are being (way too) submissive.
Give us a bit of information on the songwriting process.

As already stated we are working hard on the song writing for the next album and it is going really well and it will be more in the style of the EP than our first album. Usually one of us comes with a riff or two and we work around that and we are all taking part of the songwriting and thus we are all very important for how a song will turn out.

You have quite an individual sound – was this intentional or a more natural development?

I think it’s natural. We don’t aim to land within a specific genre such as jumping on the retro thrash metal wave. We just like metal, but we are very critical to ourselves in the rehearsal room regarding what we feel works and what we don’t feel will make the cut. And over the years we have learned a lot about what we do well and which elements we should leave to others to pursue. It has taken some time to get here, but we do agree that we actually have found something a bit of our own now.

Working with producer Emil Sauer this time also has a lot to say. We really listened to his views on our music and together with him we landed on the sound that can be heard on the EP. 

In my review I say that you’re almost a kind of Stoner/Thrash hybrid, almost as if someone has appropriated the singer of a more contemporary band, (Clutch?/Godhunter?), and forced him to front Kreator. What are your thoughts on this?

That is just how I sing, haha! I like the way you tried to describe to vocals as a mixture of two different genres, as my singing is something that really is hard for a lot people to describe. As the producer said during the recordings “You don’t really sound like anyone else. Well, I remember one from Belgium but he doesn’t sing anymore. So…”.

But honestly, back in the day – long before Electric Hellride – I tried to sing clean, but although I wasn’t singing out of tune it did sound a bit flat and boring, so eventually I tried to yell instead. I like growls but the music I’ve played never really fit to that so to “yell” was the right way to go. It’s been a long walk but since our EP “Charged” I’ve been more or less satisfied with my vocals, and luckily my vocal skills are still getting better and better. Some part is better technique, something is just the natural ageing of the voice (well, I’m 35 – is that old?!). And a lot is the gained experience and just all of us in the band being critical towards the vocals. 

Electric Hellride Band

How do you see your songs/direction developing in the future?

At the moment we feel that “Come Darkness, Come Light” is our sound of the future. It is a bit different to our earlier material and the clues to what makes it different is variation: we try vary the tempos of the songs more to each other, making heavier and slower songs as well as making faster and more aggressive songs. And we are also challenging ourselves to make riffs that doesn’t sound as it was picked from our usual “comfort zone”.

And then we are a solid live act and this will get even better in the future as we are getting a lot of interesting gigs at the moment.

What’s next for Electric Hellride?

We really want to play more outside Denmark. So that is a focus point – we are trying to land a tour in Europe in the fall of 2014. We hope it works out!

Best of luck!

 

Interview with Ferium

Ferium Logo

Israeli Death Metallers Ferium have released their début album Reflections recently and have been receiving a warm reception. They’re clearly passionate about what they do and it was good to catch up with their frontman Tiran to get him to spill the beans on the entire thing…

For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself!

Tiran: We are Ferium, a 5-piece Death Metal Band from Israel.

Tiran Ezra – Vocals
Guy Goldenberg – Guitar
Elram Boxer – Guitar
Yoni Biton – Bass
Ron Amar – Drums

Give us a bit of background to Ferium

After a release of an E.P & a performance at the 09′ Wacken Metal battle we’ve went through a couple of line-up changes that consists the band today, 2013 saw us open for Gojira and go on our first European tour with The Agonist & Threat Signal, on the 7th of April our début album of 4 years full of hard work, sweat & blood has been released and has been receiving some attention including you guys! Hehe

Ferium Band 2What are your influences?

We take inspiration from the mundane actions of human beings as friends, spouses or just focusing on the scum that people close to you can be.

When it comes to the musical influence, we try not to input too much of it into our music, we just let the muse roll.

What are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?

TesseracT – Altered State, if anybody doesn’t know them yet, then shame on you!

Where do you think you fit in with the wider Metal scene?

I would like to think that people who just like good Metal will like us, but if you mean to say with bands, then I think that the best scene to get along musically would be Whitechapel and/or Gojira.

What did you want to achieve with your new album?

The main goal was to get our music out to the people, it’s an image that we’ve worked on a lot in the last 4 years, and it’s important for us to get that across, because this album is just a part of a saga that will reveal itself when the next albums come.
Are you happy with how it turned out?

Everything, couldn’t be better.

The sound has that Oomph that we wanted to get across with the concept of the album, and the songs are well thought out, and the album can be considered as a concept album, which is the epitome of an ‘album’ in my eyes.

Ferium BandGive us a bit of information on the songwriting process.

The writing for Reflections has been partially with the band in full, but most of it was written by Elram, Tiran & Guy at Elram’s studio and then brought to Ron & Yoni for their take on the specific riffs.

Talk to us about the vocals – did these come naturally or are they more considered?

Lyrically, the concept was chosen beforehand so we could actually plan out the sequence of events in the story told.

From there we started touching specific subjects that bother us on a daily basis.
How do you see your songs/direction developing in the future?

We have a plan for the next couple of albums, it will be a slow rise to build the concept behind the music, but it is an epic journey inside the minds of us as writers, there are a lot of ideas flying around.

What’s next for Ferium?

We are planning a European tour in autumn, we would love to go out earlier!

But the plan is basically – TOURS!

Thank you for taking interest in our band!

Interview with Invertia

Invertia Logo

In my recent review of Invertia’s second album Another Scheme for the Wicked, I wrote that it was intriguing, harsh and exciting; my viewpoint hasn’t changed. This is an interesting and novel band and they have released an album worthy of taking the time to get to know it. Questions were asked, and answers were given…

For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself!

We are an industrial metal band from the Northeast USA who write progressive oppressive music that you should be paying attention to because your rights are being deprived from you and will soon be taken away by those who oppress you.

Give us a bit of background to Invertia

When we met we knew it was something different from the metal crowd or other genres or if it would even work…that was the second week. And here we are in week…604…

Invertia 1What are your influences?

Its funny you ask. You can not put us into a box full of hashtags but we are entirely influenced by Sabbat, Hank III, Celtic Frost, Slayer, Black Sabbath, Bathory, and The Misfits.

What are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?

We don’t listen to music because we have been rehearsing for months. You tell us, has anything good come out?

What did you want to achieve with your new album?

We wrote and wrote and wrote and scratched and wrote more and scratched more and rewrote and ripped apart and scratched it all before we wrote this because we wanted to.

What can you tell us about the lyrics?

We write about the exposure of the daily rhetoric of our culture to provoke thought and action. So long as it is not at any of our shows. We are trying to concentrate.

Give us a bit of information on the songwriting process.

Actually we have been writing this way for years but now we have added Kurt Gluck from Submerged & Ohm Resistance our record label to help us write which will change things up in who knows what way.

Invertia 2Tell us about the remixes – how do you think they relate to the originals?

That’s a good question. The artists chosen are some of the best in their genres and you get to see how another artist interprets the song & how their creativity comes out of them through the music that we wrote.

Are you happy with how it all turned out?

It is a fresh take. It’s exciting.

How do you see your songs/direction developing in the future?

We want to grow and expand our sound/style and expertise as much with our next album as we did with our first and second album.

What’s next for Invertia?

Maybe a mini-tour? Thanks, we appreciate it. Now, we need to sleep. Buy the album here: https://ohmresistance.bandcamp.com/album/another-scheme-of-the-wicked

Thanks!

Interview with Akrotheism

Akrotheism Logo

Akrotheism have recently released Behold the Son of Plagues, which is a stark reminder of the power and glory of atmospheric Black Metal done in a non-symphonic way. With a path born of both nostalgia and forward-thinking, Akrotheism are certainly leading the way in this genre for my money. Words were exchanged below…

For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself.

Akrotheism consists mainly of four beings. Aeon, Naos, Schism and Dagwn. Also Scythe helped us in the recordings of our début album and in some live shows until now.

How did you form?

Our concept started to shape in the midst of 2012 when Aeon, Naos and Schism decided to share their common principles and ideology about black metal both for the music as much as the philosophy behind it. Later, Dagwn came to complete the circle of Akrotheism embodiment.

What are your influences?

Significant role on our creations plays our listenings which varies from 80’s classic heavy metal to late black metal, and dark ambient. Apart from the musical field, humanity, religion and society has a great impact to our minds so as to make us express our selves in the way that is described in our album.

What are you listening to at the moment that you want to recommend?

Svartidaudi, Nightbringer, Dosdsengel, Acherontas, Mgla, Black Altar, Deathspell Omega are some of the bands that we are listening this period and we would recommend them to all those who are interesting in releases which are aggregated in all levels.

Akrotheism BandGive us some background to the creation process of Behold the Son of Plagues.

After our formation we gathered and started to combine some compositions that we had individually. The final composition though came during the recordings while several ideas was added on. The recordings completed at Devasoundz studios while the mixing and mastering took place at the Necromorbus Studio by Tore Stjerna. After that we asked from Timo Ketola to take care the cover art and from Marco Marov two inlay illustrations. Our logo also came later from Daniel Desecrator.

What can you tell us about the lyrics?

The lyrics are born through our daily contact with the society. The corruption of the mankind, the exploitation of human minds by religion and the sterile hopes to be saved are issues that constrain us to write about them and express our perspective.

In my review I say that you are taking the best parts of the mid-90’s Black Metal elite and making them your own. Would you identify with this statement?

The truth is that many of the bands of the second wave of black metal have affected our music as much as the new ones that I mentioned before. I would say that I agree partly with your statement in your review since I don’t find any similarity with Cradle Of Filth.

Are you satisfied with how the album came out?

Yes we are absolutely satisfied with the whole result and with Odium Records which released it. We feel that it supports us and we are thankful for that.

Would you do anything differently?

Any decision about the album taken after a mature thinking from all of us. Both musically and visually as well. So I think that everything is as we wanted to be.

AkrotheismWhat is your aim with Akrotheism – what do you want to achieve?

We have no other aim than continue to exist. For us its the necessity to express our dark feelings and thoughts. Its like a purgation for our souls.

What does the future hold for you? Thanks!

We plan to do another split release with Ars Macabra and Septuagint and after that we want to focus on our second album. Thank you very much for the interview!

Thanks!

Interview with Rauhnåcht

Rauhnåcht Logo

Rauhnåcht have recently released their latest album Urzeitgeist which is a dark treat to listen to. It was a pleasure to ask some questions to this elusive entity. So stick the album on and soak up the atmosphere from the songs while you read the responses below…

For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself!

Rauhnåcht is an Alpine Black Metal band from Austria and exists since 2010. I am active in the Black Metal scene since 1992 through my other band Golden Dawn. With Rauhnåcht I try to create a pure, nature-based atmosphere with hypnotic song structures and strong focus to the myths of the Alpine region.

Give us a bit of history to Rauhnåcht.

In 2010 I met Max from the Alpine Folk band Sturmpercht. I was fascinated by the atmosphere of their music, so I created the first Rauhnåcht songs on the basis of samples out of Sturmpercht albums. I also went to a cave with some simple traditional instruments and a field recorder to record some basic tracks and background effects that can be heard on many Rauhnåcht songs. I really like the special atmosphere this process brought to the first Rauhnåcht album „Vorweltschweigen“. In 2011 and 2012 we also released an EP called „Waldeinsamkeit“ and a split-EP with Sturmpercht. Rauhnåcht have played two live gigs with session musicians so far.

What are your influences?

Basically it’s still the same music that made me start composing songs more than 20 years ago – the pioneers of the second Black Metal wave from Scandinavia, as well as the mighty Bathory. Today I don’t really get inspiration by any current bands, I am rather influenced by the mighty nature of my home country and the emotions I feel when I walk up on the mountains.

What are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?

I work at my own recording studio and so I have to listen to a lot of music every day. At the moment I master some obscure old Folk records from the 70ies. When I don’t work on studio projects I am almost happy to have silence around me. I recommend all young metal heads to get in touch with the roots of this music, when records didn’t have all the same generic plastic sound as today.
What did you want to achieve with your new album?

I think it is the wrong attitude for an artist to have some kind of „achievement“ as desire when composing music. I want to transform my emotions into music and want to be satisfied with the result, that’s all. Oh yes, and I wanted to write acceptable German poems as lyrics for the first time.

Are you happy with how it turned out?

There are always details of the sound and the arrangements that you would like to alter. But there is also a point where you have to lean back and say, ok, it is good as it is. Full satisfaction with my music is never possible for me, otherwise I wouldn’t have any will to continue.

What can you tell us about the lyrics?

They reflect a pure, traditional, nature-based view on life. I often use myths and descriptions of nature as metaphors for this ideal puristic lifestyle. I want to show the way back – people should think for themselves about all possible aspects of this.

Rauhnåcht PictureGive us a bit of information on the songwriting process.

Most of the time I start with a field recording, a sample of a traditional instrument or just the sound of water or wind to evoke a certain atmosphere. When this atmosphere fulfills me, I start to play guitar riffs around that. I record everything I compose immediately, sometimes I even start to mix during the songwriting process. Then I arrange all the rest. Good songs are written quite fast, at least the central ideas of them. When I struggle with the structures or with certain parts, its a sign for me to delete the song idea. That’s not always easy, especially as I am a one man band. For me the most demanding and rewarding aspect of writing music is, that it is creative and structured at the same time.

In my review I state “Rauhnåcht evoke the same feelings of mystical grandeur that bands like Emperor and Gehenna were so good at playing back in the 90′s” – what are your thoughts on this?

The first Emperor album was for sure an inspiration for me when I was young, also early Satyricon, Burzum and of course Bathory. I think I can’t deny these roots and I don’t feel ashamed for them. I think that the era between 1992 and 1997 was the strongest Black Metal era, of course mainly manifested through the Scandinavian bands. When bands like Dimmu Borgir and others became „big“ and the modern production techniques started to get easily accessible, the true spirit within Black Metal music faded.

Some of the subtle instrumentation and effects aid the songs in their formation but only become apparent on closer inspection. Was this a conscious decision?

Of course it was. As I mentioned, I usually start my songwriting with field recordings and effect sounds. Sometimes this is no longer necessary as soon as the rest of the tracks is recorded, but often I just leave that in the background to keep this subtle atmosphere. Think of a forest with its natural undergrowth and thicket.

How do you feel you fit into the Black Metal scene?

Personally I don’t feel any link to the Black Metal scene anymore. The way people create or perceive music has changed during the years, in my opinion there is much less dedication in the scene. Most people regard music as just another hobby in between drinking beer and playing computer games, bands come and go, every nerd can create „bedroom Black Metal“ with a guitar and a computer. So I have enough Black Metal around me through my works as producer and my own music, but don’t feel like belonging to any scene.

How do you see your songs/direction developing in the future?

I will focus even more on a hypnotic, meditative structure and sound without losing the raw Black Metal energy.

What’s next for Rauhnåcht?

Many walks through hidden paths in the mountains for inspiration. In autumn there will be a split album with Sturmpercht called „Zur Ew’gen Ruh“ on CD and double LP (probably also in a wooden box). Thank you for the opportunity to talk with you and hails to all fans of individual Black Metal music!

Thanks!

Rauhnåcht Promo

Interview with Dead Earth Politics

Dead Earth Politics Logo

Dead Earth Politics have recently released their extremely sexy EP The Queen of Steel. They’re rightly receiving rave reviews about this collection of tracks, so it seemed like a good idea to dig in deep and get some more information on this red hot little band…

Introduce yourself!

Horns and Hails! This is Ven – lead vocals for Dead Earth politics!

How did the band form?

Will and Mason have actually known each other for years. They met our former guitarist Ernie in the earlier part of this century. They jammed in various roles under the monikers “Grunt” and “Dirtbox”. I joined up in 2005 and shortly thereafter we became “Dead Earth Politics”!

What are your influences?

Huuuuuuge range. Mine personally are Matt Barlow, Peter Steel, Elton John (1970’s preferably), David Vincent, Brian Howe, Bruce Dickinson and just too many others really to name. It would be a boring read.

DEP Queen of SteelWhat are you listening to right now that you want to recommend?

I have been jamming The Animals, Huntress, Loreena McKennitt, Nekrogoblikon and Kobra and the Lotus as of late. I recommend them all – more than that, I recommend listening to anything you can wrap your ears around. Pay attention to locals! In my player now there are local (Austin) favorites like Death Will Tremble, Headcrusher and Critical Assembly.

Give us some background to your latest EP.

Having inducted Tim Driscoll into this thing we do we finally began amassing a decent amount of new tunes. We are, however, meticulous and picky. Rather than waiting four MORE years for a third release we decided to hammer out the three tracks that we felt best defined our direction. Whether these define a “Dead Earth Politics” sound or just the sound of this EP, we aren’t sure. Now that we also have Aaron Canady on second axe, his influence, I expect, will be quite heavy in the writing process as well.

Talk to us about the artwork.

I thought of the concept as a means to visually transition our audience into where we are. I love “The Weight of Poseidon” and will always. However, I think our take on our art has matured and grown more intricate. Having “The Queen” straddling Poseidon and skewering him with his own trident seemed to be the least subtle way we could get idea across that things were changing. Subtlety is our enemy.

What’s your writing process for the songs?

Usually, someone will bring in a song and show us the pieces. We then hack that composition into a thousand, unrecognizable pieces and use spit and glue to put them together in a seemingly random order. Then, we argue about it. Then we record. Then we argue more. And forever.

Are you pleased with how the EP turned out?

I AM TOTALLY STOKED ABOUT THIS FRIGGIN EP. Way beyond my expectations.

On your Bandcamp page you’re offering this EP as a Buy Now Pay What You Want download – why did you decide to go this route instead of charging a minimum price?

Dead Earth Politics BandWe kind of feel like we, in some ways, are hitting a ‘reset’ button. We want people interested in our tunes to have unimpeded access to the album. If someone digs us enough and is hellbent on not paying they will download the album anyways – might as well be able to track the downloads so we can monitor our numbers and keep in touch with ’em!

Your combination of modern Metal with classic Metal influences works really well for these three songs. How are you going to develop this for your next release?

We aren’t going to develop that specifically. I think this came to be in the first place because we don’t discriminate riffs. Meaning, in previous bands I or someone else might bring in a kick ass tune. Everyone else could be like, “That kicks ass, but it doesn’t sound like us.” We don’t do that. If it rocks, it rocks. If that mode lends the continued Maiden/Lamb of God-type sound for future release then cool. My thoughts are that it will likely change in some aspects.

What’s next for Dead Earth Politics? What does the future hold?

We have a show at the Dirty Dog with Anvil on April 14 and May 24 with Down at Emo’s East – Both in Austin! We also have a show at The Rail May 16 in Fort Worth. As for the grander scale, we are furiously writing and we hope to be recording yet another EP before or by the year’s end!

Thanks!

Interview with Burning Shadows

 

Burning Shadows Logo

Gather, Darkness! is the second album from Burning Shadows, and is quite frankly one of the most enjoyable Power Metal albums I’ve heard in a while. Everything, from the album cover to the lyrics, to the sound production to the songs themselves; it all screams top quality at the top of its voice. It’s such a good listen I had to quiz them about it…

How did you form?

Tim Regan, rhythm guitar: Way back in 2000, I met Greg at a Cannibal Corpse show, which is odd because I was never much into Cannibal Corpse. The next day, I saw Greg again at a guitar store. When it turned out we were both guitarists and liked Iced Earth and Dream Theater and so on, it was pretty much a done deal to start a band. After years on working on Burning Shadows on and off with different lineups and playing the local music scene, we eventually found David Spencer (drums), Aaron El-Zeftawy (bass), and Tom Davy (vocals).

What are your influences?

Tom Davy, vocals: We draw a lot from the power, traditional, and thrash scenes. While our music definitely has a unique quality, if you listen close and enjoy any of those genres, our influences are pretty obvious.

What are you listening to at the moment that you want to recommend?

Tom Davy: Right now I’ve got the new Omnium Gatherum in the playlist. A new find for me! Highly recommended!
Tim Regan: Plagues of Babylon by Iced Earth. And the new Primal Fear album.

Burning Shadows AlbumWhat was your writing process like for the songs of your album?

Greg Jones, lead guitar: Writing “Gather, Darkness!” started like a lot of my writing does: with one or two riffs I had lying around and hadn’t yet used for anything. But other than that, it was pretty different from previous material I’d written in that the music and lyrics were almost always simultaneously in development. Before, it was more common for me to complete the music first, then add lyrics later. But this time it seemed natural to be constantly working on both, possibly because it was one of the few instances in which I more or less knew what I wanted out of the lyrical content before anything had been completed. Many of the cadences, vocal melodies, rough drafts of the riffs and fragments of the lyrics were worked out in my head often weeks before any of it was ever written down.

Tim Regan: Typically, either of us will come to the band with a song mostly done. Then as we all learn the song, we will tweak things here and there as needed to improve the songs. With “Gather, Darkness!” we changed very little from what Greg originally presented to us.

What can you tell us about the lyrics and the general concept of it?

Greg Jones: A quick summary of the novel “Gather, Darkness!” is based on: the story is set in a post-apocalyptic dystopia in the future, where society is thrown back to the dark ages and most knowledge has only been retained by the elite ruling class. The novel itself tells about the main character, named Jarles, rising through the ranks to expose the fraudulent ways of the rulers and throw himself “headlong into the middle of the greatest holy war the world has ever seen.” I can’t exactly verify that claim; that’s just what the description on the back of the book tells me.

Anyhow, the three parts [following the Overture] are primarily distinguished by their lyrical content. The first, “A Thousand Lies,” is essentially the protagonist’s call to arms for the masses to rise up against their leaders. The second, “To Ruin & Divide,” touches on the different mechanisms by which the “holy war” takes place. The third part, “Breaking the Sanctuary,” is mainly a reflection on the struggle as seen by the main character and about what’s to be learned from it.

In my review I praise the vocals in particular, saying that I was pleased that they were not what I was expecting. How much thought went into the vocal style, or was it just something that came naturally?

Tom Davy: Much of the vocal melodies for “Gather, Darkness!” were in place before I joined Burning Shadows in 2009 so vocally the band had a pretty good idea of what the album should sound like. However, the were generous enough to give me a ton of room to experiment and change melodies, lyrics, and even points of harmony. The only criteria being it must sound good. I readily agreed \m/

The process was very simple, try what came naturally, then work with what we liked and throw out that which failed to melt the requisite number of posers. We all reviewed and offered input every step of the way.

Speaking just for me, I came into Burning Shadows loving the sound and potential of “Gather, Darkness!” so the big focus was “does this suit the album? Is this what’s being called for?” With that in mind we marched on.

Burning Shadows BandAre you happy with how the album came out?

Tim Regan: I’m thrilled with how “Gather, Darkness!” came out. Our debut CD “Into the Primordial” was done almost entirely in-house since we had practically no budget. In terms of production, there was definite room for improvement. So when we set out to do “Gather, Darkness!” we upgraded the hardware we use in our studio and completely changed the way we recorded the drums, guitars, and vocals. Then we brought in Kyle Paradis to do the mixing and we were blown away by what he could do with what we gave him. Then when we had Bill Wolf master the album, we could almost see the piles of crushed posers all around us. As the album was developing, it was clear we would need to bring in a great artist to do artwork that can match the album’s grand sound and scope, so we tapped JP Fournier, who has done work for Immortal, Avantasia, and many more. When I first held the final product in my hand, it was almost surreal.

What does the future hold for Burning Shadows?

Tom Davy: Fame, glory, women. Hopefully all at once.

Tim Regan: The two biggest things in the works are another album which we are currently in the midst of recording and an appearance at the Warriors of Metal Fest in June. The latest updates can be found at http://www.burningshadows.com.

Piles of crushed posers indeed.

Interview with Zud

Zud Logo

Last year Zud released their début album The Good, The Bad and The Damned and it is an album that would have easily gotten a high ranking on my best of 2013 list had it not been for the fact that I heard it for the first time in 2014…D’oh!

Missed opportunities aside, Zud are an exceptional band and one which heartily deserve more people to listen to them. I had the honour to ask their main personality Justin a few questions about the band, and here’s what he had to say…

For those that are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself.

Okay, well… weird question baring in mind the rest of this interview (and I’m answering it last), but… Zud is from Portland Maine and for the most part the music has been described as “black’n’roll.” There have been a lot of later Darkthrone comparisons, which are in my mind quite poorly placed but that’s alright. I often describe the sound as something like “Sworn to the Dark” era Watain doing CCR covers with crazy Lynyrd Skynyrd-ish solos, but that’s not a very fair description either. I guess it’s up to the listener to decide. I do most of the vocals and most of the easier guitar parts, as well as most of the song writing.

Zud 1Give us a bit of background to Zud.

It’s a very long story, but to give it a consolidated shot, there have been two very different phases of Zud (three now). The first was just me recording stuff with my laptop on garage band, mostly consisting of me (trying) to play a giant mandolin in places that had a lot of natural reverb. I’d add other layers of sound or effects later or sometimes at the same time. Greg was on one of the songs. Eventually there was enough material for an EP, which became “Fevered Dreams.” It was almost all improvised and though it was all very dark and at times had a quite “blackened” feel to it, it wasn’t very “metal” per se. I released it as a CDr with all handmade packaging during summer 2011 and I think there were less than 50 copies.

There was always an intent to “someday” turn Zud into a standard metal band, but I didn’t have any means (or skills/talent) to do so until kind of by accident in fall of 2012. The rehearsal space which many bands here in town have been using for almost 20 years was about to be bulldozed for development and the old manager had let the place fall apart pretty bad. The sale of the property and development took much longer than anticipated and one thing led to another and after another very long story, I ended up as the landlord/manager myself, with the understanding that the building was still going to be sold and bulldozed, etc… but until then, I could rent the building and continue the business of sub-leasing studios to bands. Greg became involved with running the place shortly thereafter and one of the first “new” tenants we rented to was Zak who we became friends with. One day, Zak and I were playing guitar and started playing some stuff which sounded a lot like what I imagined Zud would have sounded like as a standard metal band (stuff which eventually turned into “Blood and Twilight”) and so we got Greg to do drums and another guy to do bass who’d been in an old band with both Greg and I several years ago. So that was the “formation” or whatever you want to call it. However, the intent was not to last for very long. The goal upon forming Zud with a full line-up was to play maybe three shows at most and to bang out one awesome album and than go our separate ways, being that the practice space would be gone. Personally, I was planning on leaving Maine and likely not coming back for a very long time, if ever and likely re-devoting my time to traveling the way I did before running the studio. I don’t know what the other guys would have done. So anyways, there was this sense of urgency all throughout putting together that which became “the Good, the Bad and the Damned.” I don’t know if normal listeners can hear it, but I know I can and that’s all that really matters. There is a lot of shit crammed into those songs because that album was intended to act as a monument to carry with us in memory of a place that had been so special to us for so long (special in ways I could write a very long book about). And I made sure that it (the album) got the treatment it deserved once the songs were ready to go. It was recorded and mixed by a guy who I knew would do a perfect job (Todd Hutchison at Acadia Recording here in town) and the same goes for the guy that did the mastering (Tore Stjerna at Necromorbus over in Sweden). And I made sure the packaging was equally awesome. I didn’t want to look at that album in however many years and think, “well, I wish we hadn’t half-assed on this or that,” and though it has been a little bit less than a year as I write this, I have absolutely no complaints or regrets and I know damn well that we didn’t half-ass anything.

The third phase which I referenced is a story which is still going on, because not only has the practice space not been bulldozed yet, the developer (who did buy the huge parcel of buildings/property which our building is part of) turned out to be really cool and recognized that what we were doing with the building was essential toward any city the size of this one having any sort of legitimately interesting “music/art scene” and we’ve been working very hard on a solution. We’ll see where that goes, but for the time being, it has allowed Zud, as well as Greg and Zak’s other bands (Feral, a really fucked up black metal band and Stone Tools, a really kick-ass thrash band) to continue. Not to mention the 25-30-ish bands and other visual artists who rent from us. Life can be crazy sometimes and nothing is ever set in stone (and likewise, nothing lasts forever), but as a friend of mine once said, “when a good offer comes around, and it seems like something that you might actually enjoy doing and it… than you’re just a fucking idiot if you say no.” So here we are.

Zud 2

What are your influences?

That is a very broad question. The biggest influence for what goes into Zud, for me at least, is made up of many different life experiences. Places I’ve gone, things I’ve seen, people I’ve known, things that have happened. Experiences which have had such a profound and emotional or sentimental effects on me to the point where this energy gets brought out and there is nothing to do with it but to at least try and channel that which has been created, creatively. One of those particularly profound things which has a huge effect on songwriting (since this is a “music interview”) are those feelings I remember of first discovering rock music. I was about 9 and it was all through the radio station which played all classic rock here in town (WBLM). There was this feeling of immense anticipation which I don’t really find many places anymore, when a song I liked was announced. Or like when a favorite song would come on unannounced, there would be this surge of energy that would go through my head and it was such a cool feeling. In a sense, it was like the of early stages of being “in love,” as dumb as that sounds, but way more interesting and longer lasting. A lot of those classic rock bands (like Zeppelin and Van Halen especially) which were still really big in that time of “pre-grunge/pre-modern rock” (that funny final phase before they all got pushed from MTV to VH1, if that makes any sense) are in a sense the biggest influence in song writing for me. Some of those songs today evoke feelings which almost nothing which is active or recently active can have any chance at doing. There are two recently active bands which have driven me to tears while seeing them play live (the Devil’s Blood and Dispirit), but there are probably hundreds of songs from that time of discovering rock music, which could by all means be really shitty songs by really shitty bands, that are able to do the same thing very easily, just by surprising me at the right time. I know a lot of it has to do with having been such a little kid at the time, but all the same it is a very powerful thing which those songs are able to tap into, whatever it is. A Zud song should be able to at the very least be able to tap into that stuff, which they all do. Otherwise musically, it might be kind of confusing for the average “metal head” to grasp, but I don’t personally find much influence for doing Zud in metal music. Of course there is the old Mayhem and old Bathory and old Slayer and old Metallica stuff which is all fucking awesome and all are huge and essential pieces of what Zud is “planted” with… and of course there’s a bit of more traditional (and cheesy) heavy metal from the 80’s as well like WASP and Grim Reaper. But, maybe a little bit less expected would be that early Fields of the Nephilim and Roky Erickson’s solo stuff from the early 80’s which are equally huge influences. Heart and Pat Benatar might come off as a surprise but they are both big influences, as is old school blues rock like CCR and the Hollies. Van Halen is another big one (for me at least). Even shitty In Flames (well, nothing after “Clayman.” Then they got TOO shitty) and shitty Dark Tranquility have their very essential moments because of various memories they evoke (crazy times of being 19-22). I could go on with bands/artists that I find inspiring musically, but there are two other bands who I actually don’t consider much as musical inspirations, but they have been hugely inspirational (and helpful) as far as ways of going about being in a band which you truly believe in and conducting various “behind the scenes logistics.” These guys I know in real life so I’m not going to name any names, but both of them are mentioned elsewhere in this interview and I owe them a lot of credit.

What are you listening to at the moment that you want to recommend?

At this very moment, a “best of” Blue Oyster Cult compilation and it’s a pretty good one. Again, that’s a pretty broad question. I listen to a lot of different stuff. First and foremost for active stuff, anyone who hasn’t heard Repugnant and thinks they have any “self respecting metal-cred,” or whatever, can think again. I think it’s a safe bet that most folks reading this probably have indeed heard them, especially since that guys “secret band” became superstars, but if not; this is the band that just about ended metal for me and made me lose at least 99% of any interest in death metal. They have been my favorite recent/new-ish band since I found them in 07, to the point where they almost don’t even count because they are just that much better then everything else and they do it in an almost effortless way. Anyways, an older one that I just discovered is Lucifer’s Friend, from Germany. I don’t know much about them but I find it quite interesting to note that a good chunk of the sound that both Sabbath and Zeppelin accomplished over their whole respective career’s is covered pretty well in this band’s self titled album alone, which is from 1971. For newer/active stuff, I actually have been enjoying the new Behemoth, which was a cool surprise being that their albums have always kind of annoyed me. One Tail One Head (Norway) is pretty good. Negative Plane (NYC) is rad. Hetroertzen (Chile) is pretty cool. Aluk Todolo (France) has some really cool shit which incorporates a lot of rhythmic 70’s Kraut rock through a really raw blackened sound. Dispirit (Bay Area) have some pretty amazingly insane ideas going on and a very unique sound. Midnight (Ohio) of course and Danava (PDX) kicks ass too. I guess I don’t really dig too deep these days for underground shit that is active. I get a lot of promo material emailed to me constantly for my zine, a lot of which I don’t listen to, but every now and then something interesting will pop up. Power Trip, a new-ish thrash band from Texas is alright. Valkyrja (Sweden) have their moments, but I bet could be a lot better. Both the new In Solitude and Watain albums I thought were excellent. Almost everything which Selim Lemouchi has been involved in or made that I’ve heard is fabulous (in fact, his solo stuff and Devil’s Blood I think I’ve listened to more regularly than any other new-ish bands, for quite some time now). Head of the Demon (France or Sweden?) arrived in the mail today and I’m psyched to finally check them out, but overall… most of the time I just listen to the older stuff I listed as influences above. If I had to make a “top three to a desert island” list (which applies only to me), I think “Des Mysteriis…” “Elizium” and “Halloween Live: 1979-81” would do the trick… assuming I already got to take Zud along. The 1st Ash Ra Temple and that “Best of Both Worlds” VH compilation that everyone (except me) hates would be the runnerups.

Zud 3You blend Black Metal and Southern Stoner Rock in a seamless way that seems natural and unforced. Is this really the case or was it a challenge getting the two genres to fuse together?

The song’s for the most part wrote themselves. It was very unforced. I’ve found that the bands I gravitate towards the most are those who are able to really let their songs breath and do what they will do and with that, there was no intended genre (or boundary) for Zud. If a song can go from one genre to another in the same song, who gives a shit? Yes there are parts that sound very “blackened,” as there are others which capture the sleazy pop sound of the 80s or veer into a 90s melodic death metal sound or further still venture into territory which was perfected during a time before I was born. Other stuff that was from way before that… All of those things have had their effects on me and are very important ingredients to Zud. But it’s not like, “okay… we’ve gotta have this part and then that part and then the black metal part and then the washed out psych part…” It’s more like, “let it go… and we’ll see what comes out.”

What does the writing process involve for you?

It has been really random, I guess. A good chunk of it has been me writing stuff and then taking it to the other guys and sort of “directing” them with parts that I think are set and pointing out parts that are open for interpretation. Often there have been parts or riffs that I’ve written in my head and found how/where to play them on the fretboard, but they are above my skill level as a guitarist to play well, since I can barely play guitar, so I teach them to Zak and he can handle them just fine and then I’ll do some rhythm underneath. Most of the time when I’m writing stuff by myself, I leave a lot open for when the other guys come in so there will be a lot of creative room on their part, always trying to imagine roughly what they may do with it as individuals. That “creative room” is open because I know that they are the “guns” which will get the job done. There have been a couple songs (“Blood and Twilight” and a new one which doesn’t have a name yet) which were put together in a more collective manner, and I would actually prefer to start leaning more in that direction, but it can be quite hard being that I tend to be a control freak with Zud and I am still very much a “beginner level” guitar player and get really confused and distracted easily when there is lots of other shit being bounced around all at once. Greg and I have been working on another new one together more recently, which has been shaping up interestingly, and I’m very excited to see where it goes once Zak gets a-hold of it and shreds the fuck out of it, or, “Zakifies” it.

Give us some background on how the lyrics came about.

99% of the lyrics are by me and are made up from combining life experiences (like discussed above) with weird dreams and weird intuitional stuff. A lot of stuff is from experiences I’ve had traveling, in the US or elsewhere for very long chunks of time and often under quite abnormal circumstances (at least when compared to most people who gravitate towards metal music). Also having been for the most part an emotional wreck (some would say a VERY bipolar and obnoxious one) and having constantly been balancing on the edge (and often falling off) of some pretty massive amounts of depression for as long as I can remember, has had it’s ways of spicing up all kinds of times which I will likely never forget, for better and worse. Though I take it with MANY grains of salt, anyone who takes this astrology shit remotely seriously is welcome to take the birth chart for 6/23/81 and put that in their pipes and smoke it. So… lots of these things; good, bad (and damned! How’s that for a shitty joke?), have been worth writing about and have made their way into lyrics. Then there are the times when it all gets thrown into the blender and expressed all at once in some sort of psychedelic-netherworld-brokenhearted-outerspace-deathobsessed-apocalyptic-hatred-fantasy shit. But even if it is exaggerated by being made poetic or whatever, it is still very real in some way or form (to me at least). There have been a lot of folks seeming to think that we are a Satanic band for whatever reasons, even though none of us are religious people at all (as far as I know). I will say however, that I don’t think we as a species are meant to know everything there is to know and that I believe that particularly western science is a very young and still “under construction” thing. Anyone who refuses to see the similarities between a velociraptor and a turkey is a complete and total fucking moron, but that does not mean that we know everything yet. Personally, I am a very firm believer in the idea of anything, no matter how supernatural or miraculous it may seem, does have some sort of explanation; no matter how absurd it may seem from a scientific perspective. If a ghost comes out of a brick wall and hands you a cigar and then says “have a nice day,” and then goes back into the brick wall and you are holding the cigar and you know what you saw and maybe had someone with you who saw it too and there are no drugs involved or anything else and there is simply no question as to what happened… however crazy any reality may be, there is an explanation, even though in such a case that explanation probably hasn’t been discovered yet by science… and the odds of it being explained any time soon are pretty slim (who the fuck’s gonna fund something like that anyways, other than some rich hippie-dweeb who’ll loose interest before long anyways?). So, that sort of mentality indeed went (and continues to go) into the lyrics as well. And no, I’ve never had a ghost hand me a cigar.

Zud 4

Although you have an atypical Black Metal sound I think you embody the spirit of Black Metal a lot better than many of your peers. Is it important to you to follow the music regardless of where it takes you?

Thanks for that. That’s quite a nice thing to hear. As far as the question, I’m not really sure what you mean with this, but a few thoughts come to mind.

First, I am pretty sure that Zud has the potential to gain quite a wide following, if the cards are played right. I’m not too sure where I’d want to draw the line because being in a semi-successful “rock band” can be very interesting and have it’s very much worthwhile moments (as dumb as that sounds). It can also be quite addicting, which is where a lot of the delusional and confusing shit gets brought in, especially when things start to happen fast. Though I would hope that things were able to always remain as close to our own terms as possible, I know there are certain compromises which will have to be made sooner or later, unless the intent is to just “stay kvlt” forever or whatever, but fuck that. That’s boring. As annoying as I find most of the music world to be from a business or logistical perspective, you only live once, and to be given an opportunity to take a band that you believe in with a bunch of friends that also “get it,” on a tour and to do the “rock band” thing I think is something that can indeed be done right… or at least half way right. Again, “a good opportunity is a good opportunity.” It doesn’t mater if there is label support or if everything is out of pocket either. As a band from Portland Maine (or anywhere else which is as out of the way, like West Virginia or Idaho), it is a ground rule to accept that you are on your own to create any kind of “buzz” if that’s what you want to do. There are no scouts or labels with even their most remote reaching radars aimed up this way (for good reason). And in that, 80% of the press we’ve received would not have happened, had I not hired PR reps. I have a few “connections” still from doing my zine for almost 10 years and sent a few physical copies out to folks I’ve been in contact with since and with perfectly good results, but the funds to distribute physical promo copies on such a wide scale far outweigh what it costs to hire the folks we had do the digital promo thing. I would have of course preferred to send physical copies out to print zines only (shit loads of them), but it isn’t all that realistic anymore (which sucks). So there is one compromise right there. And I think utilizing things like that are perfectly okay. Getting back into the live side of things, I’d be just as quick to book a tour through a booking agent as I would to just do it all DIY. It really comes down to weighing opportunities and the headaches in advance but above all, listening to ones intuition upon making such decisions. I think I would be willing to ride with Zud doing the modern day “rock band” thing, where ever it goes as long as I could look myself in the eye and look the other three guys in the eye’s and know that at least I believe in it and that they believe in being a part of it and that we all believe in what is happening to it and that Zud is not anyones tool but our own. Speaking only for myself, I don’t give a shit about most metal shows or big festivals (there are of course exceptions like paying $40 to see George Thorogood last year, which was fucking rad, but I guess that doesn’t really count). I would be happy to play something like MDF or CMJ or SXSW if the offers came along and it made sense (but I don’t think I’ll be paying to go to any of these things any time soon). If this band can act as a vehicle to such things and we feel like it is indeed the right thing to do and that we’re not going to get fucked by it or have an overall shitty time, so be it, but anyone who thinks it’s much of an “honour” or “achievement” to play MDF or be featured in Decibel Magazine or whatever has got some serious fucking illusions about the entire world of rock’n’roll. Being that Zud wasn’t really expected to last this long in the first place, it is still in a stage of “feeling out” how this next phase might play out and how to do it. Everything that has happened since last June is considered to be a bonus as far as I’m concerned.

If you are referring to the songwriting process with this question, I guess so… of course, but I think a better way of putting it is that there is this “force” which is emerging and the best way (or one of the best ways) for it to be expressed without us (or primarily me) getting locked up is through music (there have been times in the past where travelling took care of this pretty well). Like I said, there are tons of different musical influences which get absorbed into this band. And there are a lot of non musical influences and experiences and emotions and inspirations which get expressed through the music. It really goes back to a lot of what has been discussed above. The songs need to be able to breathe, and if a song needs to go from sounding like Morbid Angel or Possessed to ripping off Los Lobos to some surf rock sound into some blackened biker riff to something that sounds like Dire Straits or even Huey Lewis and the fucking News getting played through an HM-2 or whatever… well fine. But the point is not to be weird or crazy or diverse for the sake of doing so. It is just to be ourselves and let the songs which are in a very strong sense pieces of ourselves trying to escape and become their own thing, do just that. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but that’s what I’ve got.

How do you feel you fit into the wider Black Metal scene, and is this important to you?

I don’t think we really fit in with any scene at all, Black Metal or otherwise and no, that is not really important. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any bands we can properly share a stage with, but I think we would be kind of a “love ’em or hate ’em” kind of band for any metal fan. Over the past few years, it seems that black metal and doom became a “hipster” thing and that “apparently” the only “trve” forms of metal became war metal and traditional heavy metal which is played and presented just so… and that Mortician meets Immolation-ish death metal is “totally making a comeback,” all the while, shitty generic modern thrash remains as profitable and retarded as ever (Stone Tools I predict has the capability to put the entire genre of modern thrash in it’s place if they play their cards right). It also seems that the only “cool” labels are either NWN! or HHB’s (both of which are very good labels, but however good they actually may be isn’t really the point in this case). I don’t think we fit very well with any kind of metal scene because most metal fans or even fans of music in general are so obsessed with classifying and rating things on levels of “coolness,” in ways which have very little to do with music itself. Being that Zud is such a diverse band which goes in so many directions, I think most folks that gravitate towards whatever “trve metal” may be at whatever given time, would write us off as a bunch of “hipster fags,” which is fine. But, for most “hipster fags,” I think we’d be a bit too scary and not quite PC enough. And then throw in the idea of being “influenced by Heart or Van Halen.” That is a very “uncool” or “unmetal” thing to say by todays supposed standards, not that I give a shit. Our local scene here in town seems to be a bit unable to grasp what is going on with Zud, which is okay (Portland Maine is a very small and very sheltered town). As for active/semi-active and pretty well known metal bands that are not from here in town that I would be interested in sharing a stage with; Repugnant, Dispirit, Arizmenda, Midnight, Watain, In Solitude, Tribulation, Negative Plane (Occultation too), One Tail One Head, Year of the Goat, Black Witchery, Aluk Todolo, Communion, Destroyer 666, Impetuous Ritual, Nocturnal Graves and anything which that guy who was in Thralldom/Villains/Unearthly Trance (Killusion?) does, all come to mind. And I guess Mayhem still counts as active too. If Selim Lemouchi ever takes his solo stuff on tour or if we ever get over there, that would be a no brainer and of course if the Devil’s Blood hadn’t broken up, they would have been the “ultimate band to tour with” or however dumb way one wants to word it. Metal and genres aside though, I’d rather play with bands who I feel truly believe in what they are doing and that it is from the heart. With that in mind, I think Zud could play to quite a few diverse crowd selections, regardless of genres, with good results both on stage and in the crowd.

Zud 5

Are you happy with how the album came about? Would you do anything differently?

Of course I’m happy with it and no, there is nothing I would have done differently (and I know there are a few fuck-ups in there that we missed but they don’t matter). Apart from the stuff I mentioned way up at the top, I wanted to make my favourite rock/metal album ever, and that goal was achieved. Those songs are reminders of what being alive is all about and what can be accomplished if ones mind is set to the correct levels… and they do a fine job with it. I think it’s really cool that my favourite band is Zud and that if I get hit by a car tomorrow, I’ll know in that split second before I die that I at least saw it (Zud) through to the fullest with the time I was given.

What’s next for Zud?

It depends on how the relocating of the practice space goes and how long it takes to get it back on its feet. We will be at least doubling in size and becoming way more mixed use than just band rehearsal rooms, so there is a lot of stringy shit attached to that project, not to mention that we may very well drive each other insane. But seriously, that is what’s on the front burner right now. There will likely be local shows simultaneously while all this goes on and maybe a few regionally, from Zud as well as the others, but there won’t be any real touring any further than the North Eastern US until late fall at the earliest. Another full length is in the works, but I’m in no rush. It’s not like any interesting labels have been trying to break the door down and this shit ain’t cheap. “The Good, the Bad and the Damned” had such a specific and direly important purpose, which was accomplished fully, that I think to rush into a new batch of songs (even assuming this huge project with the studio wasn’t already happening) too quickly would be doing the album a bit of a disservice. Being that I’ve gotten this taste for what bringing Zud to a stage is like as well as putting so much energy into a band which I actually believe in all the fucking way… it has led to this almost lustful sort of hunger and I am very glad that it has been able to continue with the little bit that it has. If and when the time is right, more shit will be unleashed…

Thank you very much for the interview and for the very nice review as well.

zud666.blogspot.com

Thanks!

Interview with Enfeeble

Enfeeble have released their album Encapsulate This Moment upon the world and it’s a varied and enjoyable collection of Metal. I asked the guys all about it…

For those who are unfamiliar with your band – introduce yourself!

Luke: Hi, we are ENFEEBLE from north Germany. Four guys with heart and instrument.

We write and perform music that we love ourselves. Maybe you will love it too – check it out. Quick said – that’s it.

How did you form?

Baal: It was a few years ago in 2005… Luke was the singer of the school band and I was looking for a singer & guitarist for a new band. I asked Luke if he wants to start a band with me and he was excited directly. A drummer and bassist were found quickly and so we started as a small Punk Rock Band. In the coming years we’ve had many changes on Bass & Drums. Since the beginning of 2013 we are in the current cast.

Enfeeble BandWhat are your influences?

Luke: Encapsulate This Moment is a collection of songs that we’ve written in the past 4 years.

We have continuously developed and always had new demands on ourselves, so there are a lot of influences like Punk Rock, Metalcore, Death Metal and Prog.

What are you listening to at the moment that you want to recommend?

Klaus: Make Me A Donut
Chris: Carnifex
Baal: Protest The Hero
Luke: Periphery

You have an interesting and varied style – how did the songs come about?

Baal: In a few songs it’s just putting some riffs together. But mostly it’s when I have something in my mind I work it out and spending hours and hours to write it down, ’cause when I start do write a song and have a long break it becomes a puzzle of riffs and that’s how I ruin most of the songs. I am quite severe with myself in this way. Of 10 songs I write, 2 or 3 make it to the band and maybe they like it or even just a part…or nothing. Then we work on the subtleties together and Lucas tries to find the best way to combine it with vocals.

You have a lot of vocal variety on your album – was this a conscious decision?

Luke: Yes. I want to have a lot of variety in the vocals because you can express so much more feelings with a mixed vocal style than just with screaming or growling. Every song tells a story and the individual parts should be supported with matching vocals. Also I grew up with singing so I am always inclined to get everything possible out of the vocals. Everything else would be a waste.

Are you happy with how the album resulted?

Chris: No, not really. There are many parts that we could have done better on this album.

But as the saying goes: If we were already happy with this album, we would thwart our progression.

How do you see your sound developing in the future?

Klaus: There will be more riffs and demanding vocals. With Chris as our new drummer the new songs are getting faster and stronger. A beautiful experience that we will continue to expand.

What does the future hold for Enfeeble?

Luke: We are currently working on new songs for another album early next year. We will try to play a lot of concerts this year in order to spread our music. That is part of the plan to increase our fan base. Perhaps we will come to your country. We will always announce the dates on our website http://www.enfeeble.de

Thanks!