Sunday, December 14, 2014

Extreme Aggression: Interview with SAVAGE (Seattle, WA)

Let’s begin with how the band was formed?
Savage: The funny thing is I (H Murder) was looking for people to play with on craigslist and Raheem had an ad up and I responded to the ad. We had a practice it went great. We had an another dude practicing with is but it didn't work out and we took it from there.

How many band names have you come up with before settling up with the name Savage? 

Savage: We had so many bad names. It was hard to come up with a name that's simple and right to the point that isn't taken. Turns out there are a lot of bands called Savage but none are savage as us (word)

What are the pros and cons of being a duo?Savage: Pros and cons of being in a two piece band.
Cons: You have way more equipment to move if you are trying to get the sound of a full band. The pros are that there's only two people to deal with so scheduling practices is a lot easier and writing songs is much easier with just two people.

How would you describe your music? Who are the bands that influenced the band?
Savage: The sound that describes our band is insurgentviolence. We have a lot of influences. H Murder is an OG who's into Heresy, Terrorizer, NO COMMENT, Crossed Out, Plaid Retina, Larm, and more of the old-school punk and hard-core roots. Raheem is half my age and keeps it old-school with Despise You on repeat all day.

Tell us about your demo. How long did it take you to complete it from song writing to recording?
Savage: We recorded the demo a month after being a band and we put it out pretty quickly.

The demo is available for free in your bandcamp page. How many downloads have you had so far? Do you always hear from people who downloaded you demo?  
Savage: Band camp resets the count after a month so we're not sure how many downloads we had I guess the first month we had about 50 downloads. We haven't really heard from people about the demo but we would like to so go to band camp download the demo and give us some feedback

What instantly caught my attention when I first heard it was the beefed up production. Is it the sound that you have in mind even before entering the studio?
Savage: When recording, we always try to capture the raw energetic sound of the band, and if you see us live I think that the recording is pretty accurate reflection of our sound.  

Does playing in some other well- established band affect (in the underground standard, of course)  Savage in any way?
Savage: If people like Capitalist Casualties or Catheter, H Murder is the drummer of both of those bands so you know it doesn't hurt that if people like those two bands, that they might want to check out Savage, so I would say it helps.

Grindcore/PV scene has grown exponentially the past few years. What do you think is the reason behind this sudden explosion of bands? How do you think this will affect the scene?
Savage: With this type of music it comes in cycles, you know. The first explosion was in the early 90s then there was a resurgence in the year 2000 and now it seems to be cycling back into popularity. I don't really think there's a reason usually with this type of music if it comes in cycles so you know every 10 years there's a bunch of young kids into it they grow up they leave then it dies out. Also we think the recent boom in popularity for power violence and grind core comes from the hard-core scene being so bad and some just want more violent music.

What are your plans in the near future? When can we expect an album from Savage?
Savage: Well there's talk now of doing a split with the band called Roadkill Carnivore from Portland, OR and I think we are going to do a split 7 inch and follow it up with the West Coast tour. Also a split with Cave State hopefully will be out in the next year and we would love to find someone to release our demo on a 7 inch.
Hopefully some compilation tracks, to play shows and get the name out there.
We do have a split demo tape out with a band called 908 from Colorado Springs, and Asbestos Death records in Australia just released our demo on a cassette out there so look out for those.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mind Your Grind: Interview With Proletar

Interview with guitarist Ipol.

Finally a new album is out. Will you give us an insight about Proletar’s latest release?
Proletar “From Mindless Syndrome To The Eternal Decay” is a compilation album released locally on CD format. It contains few materials diverse from couple of 7” splits, 2 cover songs and few unreleased tracks. Yeah you can say it has a vibe of new songs despite most of the songs are indeed old materials.

What’s the album title all about?
The cover artwork from the album describe how the system or we can say the country runs by abuse of power from a corrupt government enslaved its people by taking side to the multinational companies that knows nothing but profit.

Your musical direction hasn’t changed much since you guys started although you tend to lean more on mincecore lately. What makes old school grind/mince so interesting to you?
I like the oldschool sounds, it’s a tough question if you asked me how to write something different from what it always stucked in my head.

Despite having only 2 full lengths, Proletar have a massive discography, mainly splits and compilations. How do you managed in terms of recording materials for a certain projects?
Its been 15 years Proletar has been around. The main circle of the life of it consist few simple things, write songs, jam the shit at the studio and finally nailed the coffin to it at the recording studio. We don’t spend too much time wondering on how we should do, or what kind of songs we should write or what label should release our shit. We don’t pays too much details on those. Everything runs smoothly in no rushed environment in the way of Proletar has always been. 

Of all the splits and compilations that you have, which one do you consider closest and/or memorable to you personally?
Eventually everything will “pays off” after everything is done and released.
How is it like to work with several labels and bands from different countries?
The networking, its all that matters if you asked me the main thing concerning the underground community. It has this humongous spider web of networking where local friends and overseas friends (individuals, bands, labels) side by side supporting on each other. I believe we will get a lot of thing positively from it. It takes a lot of hard work to make it this big.
Our local scene is few the biggest scene in the part of Asia so I see there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be cooperate on each other locally. It would be no fun just to cooperate with overseas friends without getting locals friends involved. 

You are the only original member of the band, what keeps you going?
Like I said earlier its been a good 15 years of proletar, and if you asked me when I should stop doing this hell it’s a tough question. The passion deep inside keep me hang in there doing what I feels is great to me. Luckily family and close friends are supporting me to keep going so why I have to think about quiting? 

How do several line-up changes affect the band and the music?
Some new style will emerge that’s evolution says in every form of life but the shape of it still remains the same if you know what I mean.
Your official video for Resistance has a very interesting mix of politics and scene unity. How did you come up with the idea of mixing them together?
Closed friends of ours made the video. I just told them the main idea and the theme. Those guys explore and expanding it on every parts. 

Without a doubt Indonesia have the biggest underground scene in Asia and despite the constant struggle with the law, the scene continuous to grow. What do you think is the reason behind this?
Our surrounding its like paradise for an endless idea for lyrics you know. We actually touched by the scenarios of daily life here. Indonesia has a huge quantity of underground musical movement. Hopefully it will accompany by a good progression on raise the awareness of buying physical music haha 

You write songs in 2 languages. How do you decide which song will be in English or Bahasa?
We never thought about it really. It depends on mood should I write lyrics in English or in Indonesia. 

How’s the scene in Jakarta?
Big and active. 

You did a 2-day show in the Philippines with Sete Star Sept. How's it like?
Its like a dream come true you know, seeing old friends from myspace era back in the days haha. It’s a tremendous fun if you asked me. We met some the nicest people there in Philipphines.
Though that our drummer Levoy couldn’t make it to come there due to motorcycle accident that occurred a month before we got invited but the result was great we have a filled in friend there Paul Magat who happens to be a great drummer filling Levoy’s shoes on Proletar. It’s an honor to be able to jam with a great musician like him, definitely an unforgettable in the life of Proletar career haha.


Monday, February 24, 2014

World Going Mad: Interview with Entrails Massacre

Interview with drummer Daniel

The new album has been out for a while now, how’s the response so far?
Very good! The 11” LP came out in August 2013, the CD last year in December. So it`s still quite “fresh” and we are getting positive feedback and reactions almost every day. It was about time to release another full-length, that`s for sure! 
The whole process to release it took all in all about 3 years and we are very happy with the final result. Every single second of work & dedication was very worth it. Definitely a good step for us in a direction we`re very pleased about.

The album was released in both LP and CD format, personally what format do you prefer?
I like both versions even if I´m a little more in love with the 11” LP. Deep in my heart I am a wax lover as I grew up with that and learned to love listening (not only) to music as a little kid (not to forget the tapes!!!). In the end I became older and things like CD or MP3 came up. I included all that options and possibilities in my personal ways of listening to or dealing with music. I like everything about music so I can`t say this or that format is better or cooler etc. 
To speak for the other members of the band I would say it`s like that for everybody in the band. We`d like the chance to announce that there will be a tape version of the album soon, too! Power it up will release a limited amount of that, to be available in the next weeks! 

What’s with the lengthy audio sample of the Japan tsunami video in the last LP track Assimilated? I mean that sample was 2 songs worth already, haha.

I dig ya...but when we were in the studio recording the album we were like there must be an end for the album that sounds like total destruction and hell. And we didn`t want another bomb explosion orgy so Danilo came up with this sample where you just hear that massive impact of the tsunami. Even the emergency calls are out order, nothing is left and it feels like the absolute end...

Speaking of samples, how do you choose which samples to use in a certain song?
We try to connect the samples with the feeling of the songs, the lyrics or the impression you can get when you´re listening to the songs all in all in a row. I would say we like to set some special points with a certain kind of message in there. Nowadays this sample thing is something like a good tradition for us...I`m just asking myself how it would feel or be without the samples...

The tracks from the new album and tracks from split EP with Proletar and Mesrine are from the same recording session, right? Are those tracks off the split actually intended for the album they’re extra tracks for the album?
No, as those songs are a little “older” we always planned to release them not on the actual record. We wanted to only have songs on the album which were made in the actual line-up. But the songs from the EP`s were never released in a good sound quality so we thought it might be cool to use them on the singles. 
Those were like good appetizers before the release of the album. 

What’s the concept behind the album cover?

Concept sounds good! We wanted to have something that fits with the lyrics, the sound and the album title. 
As we worked with Jasper Swerts from Infested Art on the cover artwork for the Split 7” with Proletar which was quite cool we decided to work with him on the art for the album, too. He came up with some great ideas so it was nice and easy to create something that became in the end a cover that looks like we always wanted it to look like. 
Much respect to Jasper!

What’s your take on mp3 downloads both legal and thru file-sharing?
There are a lot of pro`s and contra`s to be honest. As a musician I absolutely support and love the idea of creating something that people can buy and you spend the money to do records, shows, tours or whatever. On the other hand the “modern” and easy way of consuming music includes the fact that it is sometimes easier to spread your music to people which maybe would buy something or listen to your stuff. In the end as a band you need money to pay for gas, studio, rehearsal room and a lot more.

The band was formed even before any of the members began learning how to play their instruments... Could you tell us the rest of the story?
Well, it´s always funny to take a look back in time. As I am the only founding member of the band I got all the rest of the story in my head and heart...believe me, I could write a book... so many stories to tell!
When the band was founded there were 2 people which were like...okay, I will “sing” and okay, I will play drums. Then we found a guitar player and a bass player to begin with rehearsals and making “songs”... 
24 years later I am sitting here and can tell you that I practised 4 times in the last for myself on the drums and had 2 rehearsals with the band. There was a lot of learning, practising and playing in the past and I am looking forward to even more things to learn and play in the future. 
Drums and Grind 4 life!

After the debut album was released you stopped recording but kept on playing live. The band went silent for a couple of years, what’s the reason behind the long silence?
The album came out in 2004 and we were very busy promoting that record live. At the point where we should have started to write new material we got the offer to play some shows with Sayyadina & Rotten Sound on their Euro tour in the beginning of 2006.  But...unfortunately things in the band developed a little bit different. There was a lot of tension and it was more than about time to make changes even when that was hurting. 
So this tour thing got cancelled and we decided to go on without the guitar player. As I got a new job that took almost all my time the new beginning with a different guitar player was like a little slower. Beside that I got divorced in the end of 2005 so there was even more stuff to deal with at that time for me. But when I look back from today I can say it was so very much worth the time and energy it took for everybody involved in all the changes. Since that time we are again a very good team in the band and it feels so good to hang and stuff with each other. 
We started to play live again in 2008 but then my arms were out of order so I wasn`t able to play drums for almost about a year. In the end of 2009 things got better and since 2010 we started to work on new songs.

What kept you busy music-wise during that period?

For me personally it was like about a year that I didn`t play drums or did anything concerning the band or so. I was only listening to music or checking live shows as always. Working and re-organizing my life was a little more important...

At one point in EM’s career, you tried adding female vocals, what happened to that?
Well, that was about 1999 or so. We did the Split 12” with Subcut and some live shows with Loretta and Danilo on vocals. It worked quite well for some moments but without any negative vibes or so ways parted quite fast back in those days. Good times, bad times.

How do you see the current situation of the grindcore scene these days?
I really enjoy being a part of the International Grind Family! There is a lot of good music by a whole lot of bands from many interesting countries of the world. There are records, shows, festivals, labels, cool people all around the world and everybody is sharing quite positives vibes and times together. 
I love that coz it`s different to a lot of shit that is happening every day around us.

Almost all of your pre-album splits are tough to find. Ever thought of compiling all those early releases in one CD/LP?

Tom from Power It Up is the not the only one who was asking to do something like a discography release. We like the idea but on the other hand we concentrate more on today and watch into the future. Being a band or being in the band, making new songs, playing shows, recording new stuff.. almost all our time beside family, kids and job is needed for that. Maybe there will be something in the future, you never know. 
In 2015 Entrails Massacre will exist for 25 years so maybe something will happen. But plans are like more to release a new full-length in 2015 so this will have main priority for us.

Being a family man, how do you divide your time between your family and the band?

For everybody in the band life is like family, kids, job, band, music and everything around the band or music. Not to forget a little bit of holidays and stuff. I am working as a family therapist, Monday to Friday plus personal education and qualification. I have a 10 years young daughter which is every weekend and in all my spare time with me. I got a girlfriend which has a son, too. We live in different places but in the same city. The “rest” of my life is almost the band or things around the band or music. I try to practise on the drums for about 2 or 3 times a week and we practise mostly on Sundays with the whole band. 

What are the band`s future plans?
First of all I wanna say thank you for having us in your zine and for all your true support of the band! Right now we are preparing our live set for some upcoming spring shows, for example with Feastem or PLF. 
There will be a little UK tour with Krupskaya in the end of March, first time that we hit the island. In March we`ll be in the studio, too. We gonna record the songs for a 6” EP which will be released by Power it up in July.
Beginning in the Summer we wanna plan for the next I said that will be the 25th year of the band`s existence so there is something to do for that. Writing new songs, making a new record, playing more shows and so on. Keep on grinding folks! Cheerz!!!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Morbid Visions : Interview With Jasper "Infested Art" Swerts

What sort of arts did you work on during your formative period?
I mostly did line drawings and coloured those in photoshop sometimes. At least, that’s what I did during my short visit to college. There was a lot of experimentation with photoshop back there. The professors weren’t that much into traditional techniques and media. I haven’t made an awful lot of drawings that way.
 I have always been drawing kind of “grim” stuff though. Especially skulls have always intrigued me, for some reason, ever since I was a kid.

When and how did you begin doing artworks for bands? Do you still remember the very first art that you have published?
I used to play in some bands and we played a lot of shows all over Belgium, so I met a lot of other people in bands. I did the artwork for our demo’s and shirts and that’s how word got out, so to speak. Soon I was doing covers and shirts for other local bands and zines. The whole myspace thing helped too. It was a good way to get your stuff “out there” in a more global sense. Things only grew from there.  I honestly can’t recall the first artwork that got published, besides the stuff I did for my band back then.

Your style is primarily stippling technique. What made you fall in love with this style? Aside from it do you do some other style too?
I have always loved the effect of the stippling technique. The first Pushead design I saw as a little kid always stuck with me. It was a Metallica poster they were selling at a local store. I had no idea who Metallica was, and I don’t really care for them now, but I remember saving up for weeks  and weeks to buy that poster.
I don’t really do other styles. Only tattoo designs are done solely with pencil. Other than that I just combine some techniques, for example my coloured pieces are done with watercolour and pens. I’d love to try and do some oil painting, but I haven’t had the time yet.

What sort of medium do you normally work on?
 I work on regular drawing paper. Nothing special in any way. I bought this drawing block once that was supposed to be specifically for pen/ink, but that was the worst paper I ever had to work on. The only thing I have worked on which wasn’t paper, was an old skateboard of mine.

At which point do you go digital?
When the inking is done. I try to keep the digital stuff to a minimum. It’s handy to save time colouring backgrounds, contouring or adding splatter. Sometimes I ink the backgrounds and do the contours directly on paper. It depends on what I think is best at the moment. I mostly just use photoshop to add band logo’s to the designs and to adjust the colours, for example to make sure the black is 100% black. Usually, I don’t put more than 20 minutes in the digital part, unless it’s for record layouts.

How do you go about when doing arts for bands? Do you always ask for idea from the band?
I automatically ask if the band has an idea I should work with. It’s their design, so I think it’s only natural they have the first say. Usually I have enough freedom to come up with my own ideas and details. Most ‘clients’ know what they’re in for when they ask me to make them something.

Since most of the bands you’re working with are independent, I’m sure you’re not getting enough in terms of financial benefits.
Not at all. But I absolutely love what I do. It’s my greatest passion, so it’s all good. There’s is no feeling like finishing a drawing you’ve spend countless hours working on. Personally, it gives me a great deal of satisfaction, especially when it makes the people you made it for happy. If I had to give up drawing I’d delete myself. It’s one of the few things keeping me moderately sane, haha.

Majority of the bands you’ve been working with are in the grind, powerviolence, d-beat and the likes. Any bands that you would like to work with in the future that’s outside this realm?
Ha, that’s a good question. Definitely The Darkness. Andrew W.K. too. I practically don’t listen to anything besides grind, crust, fastcore and some death metal.

Who are the other artists that inspire you?
As I mentioned earlier, Pushead, but M.C. Escher and Salvador Dali had an impact on me when I was in my teens, as did a lot of manga/anime artists. Right now inspiring may not be a completely accurate description, but other artists which I think are really great and definitely worth checking out are Daniel Shaw, Santos, Alisha Chainsawguts, Shunsuke, Stiv and Arif.

What about bands, who are your favorite and found to be truly inspiring?
That’s kind of a hard question. I like lots of bands and I’m sure they influence me one way or another. In my teens I was really into old-school hardcore like D.R.I., Toxic Reasons, Black Flag, 7 seconds, Reagan Youth, BGK, Minor Threat,... Bands whose records I still play regularly right now are: Ictus, Cop on Fire, Kill the Client, Toxic Narcotic, Passiv Dödshjälp, Tragedy, World Burns to Death, Noisear, Swallowing Shit, Entrails Massacre, Livstid, Fuck the Facts, Pig Destroyer, Running for Cover, Insect Warfare, Bloody Phoenix, Rehashed, Nice View, Real Reggae, Look Back and Laugh and Melt Banana.

There’s a distinct combination of beauty and sickness in some of your pieces. What message are you trying to point out in those themes?
It’s a metaphor for the duality of life/people/reality. There’s a beautiful and an ugly side to almost everything and everyone. Not a single person in their right mind can get passed the fact that horrible and unspeakable things take place on this planet every single day. I don’t think I need to give examples. Just pick up a newspaper or watch the news. On the other hand you shouldn’t ignore all the positive things around you either, though I know sometimes that’s easier said than done.

Do you have a certain inspiration in female arts? It’s noticeable that they all have the full lips.
Haha, I thought you were going to say big breasts... I’ve had people say that to me before. This is the first time someone says “full lips”. The thing is, I just like drawing women. For me it’s a little more challenging  and interesting to get right than something like skulls and it’s a nice change every now and then. None of the women I’ve drawn portray what might be considered an ideal look or what I think any woman should look like. I want them to be well drawn first and foremost. Of course I have my preferences when it comes to the opposite sex and without a doubt some of that reflects in my drawings. However, I don’t go “hey, let’s draw some big ol’ titties and ass now.” Women are beautiful to me. Only their mind can make them ugly.

Tell us about your love of guns, bullets and other weapons. They are almost always a part of your arts.
They are the tools that bring death and destruction. Used to enforce and maintain control or to change and overthrow, for better or worse. They can symbolise resistance and rebellion. Personally, I truly don’t believe a revolution can come to pass without the use of some form of weapons. Whether  or not that’s a good thing is debatable. Therefore weapons are an extension of our nature and what humans are capable of doing to each other. And that can be with or, as it more often seems, without the best of intentions.

How much of your time do you spend on a particular artwork? What’s the typical working environment do you prefer when working?
It depends mainly on the size of the piece. Usually it takes from around 20 up to 60 hours. The only preference I have when working is to be left alone, but that’s not a necessity. Pretty much anywhere will do. I can just as easily work in crowded spaces. As long as people don’t act too annoying, because I might get the urge to stab them in the eye with one of my pens, haha.

Tell us about the art book you have recently published.
An art book to me is like a record to a band/recording artist. I had one a bunch of years ago, which was more like a zine, being printed in black and white  on photocopy paper at a local store. So all these years and whole bunch of designs later I figured it was time to do another one, but I wanted it to be/look a little more professional. Zines are great and all, but I wanted to have some coloured images and a thicker cover too. Looked around for a while and found a great printing company online. The result is a full colour, 40 paged, A4 sized paperback.

You also play guitar and vocals for Days of Desolation. How did the band get together?
We started out as a three-piece somewhere back in 2007. Back then it was just me, Owen and a guy called Gert. We were (and still are) heavily influenced by bands like Cop on Fire,  Ekkaia, Ictus, End of All, Ambulance and wanted to try something like it, but with more blastbeats. We just wrote some songs, not really planning on ever playing live. Gert was supposed to play bass and do the vocals. That didn’t work out like we intended and we wanted to have two guitars to do some melodic stuff, so Gert traded the bass for the guitar and we asked Olke to come and sing. We couldn’t find a bassplayer and played our first couple shows without one. 
Gert also played in a German metal band called Deadlock. He used to travel between Leipzig and here all the time, but he became more and more involved with life in Germany, so it didn’t take long before he just didn’t have time for Days of Desolation anymore. He lives in Berlin now. In 2009 Strouven joined on bass. He’s not in the band anymore. That’s about all there is to tell about him. 
Then another couple years later Frank ‘the tank’ Rogiers joined on bass. Sometimes we do play shows as a 2 piece or 3 piece when Olke, Frank or both have other priorities.

How do you define DOD’s music?
To me it’s all just hardcore, nothing more and nothing less. I’ve seen a lot of descriptions like grind, crust, metallic-crust, grinding crust, stenchcore, ... So a combination of all the aforementioned would be a pretty good description, I guess. I can’t say I really care.  If people enjoy it, that’s really great. If they don’t then that’s great too.

DOD's lyrics are very political and to the point, it fits right to the harshness of your music but the question is do you think the listener cares about the lyrics at all?
Honestly, it’s really not my concern if anyone cares for the lyrics or not. It’s how we (or at least the people who wrote them) view certain things a certain way. No one’s forced to care or agree. We’re not out to please anyone or spread a message. If we were out to do that we’d be better off making pop music. We play for us and because we have fun with it, not for anyone or anything else. The day I stop liking the music we play, is the day I’ll quit. That said, I do not care at all for anything racist, homophobic or misogynistic.

DOD’s drummer, Owen is also an accomplished graphic artist. Does having two graphic artist in a band affect your stature in any way?
I wouldn’t call either of us accomplished artists, but thanks! To answer your question, no, it doesn’t have an effect on me at all. I treat my own band like any other band I do artwork for, so we discuss everything properly beforehand. It happens that we don’t agree on things, but then compromises are usually easily made. Owen and I get along pretty well in general.

The album was recorded at the span of over one year. What took it so long to be done?
One of the reasons is that we re-recorded the whole thing, because we bought better recording equipment. The other thing is that this band is just not a priority for any of us. Everyone was/is busy with getting/keeping their lives together. I’m drawing all the time and busy with other projects as well, with Owen it’s pretty much the same thing and now he’s studying again too and our singer has his wife, kids, work, ...  Frank is actually doing a winter stop right now, because he has too much stuff going on. Something always comes up when stuff needs to get done, though I’m sure that’s part laziness too sometimes. But that’s just the way it is with us and I’m sure we’re not the only ones. Of all the bands I’m in this is the one I invest the most in though. It’s also the only band we actually play shows with every now and then.

The album is available in both CD and free download. What’s the deal with that?
We have the cd for when we play shows or people who want a physical copy. There’s not much more to it. It’s just a hobby, so why wouldn’t we offer it for free. A lot of people around the world can’t afford to buy records, so in case they have an internet connection or know somebody who has they can get it for free.

You’re also gearing up for a split EP with Controlled Existence (CZ). Are the songs for this EP all new? How would you compare the new songs to your older materials?
Yes, we are quite excited about that split. It should be out in March on Power-It-Up records from Germany. All the songs on there will be new. I’d say it’s more of the same. A little bit more straightforward perhaps. It’s kind of hard for me to tell, because I write most of the songs and I don’t think about it that much. It’s like drawing. When I look at a drawing from years back I can tell how much I’ve progressed and how recent work is different. It’s kind of like that with the music too, so I’ll be able to properly answer the comparison question in a few years, haha.

You and DOD drummer also have a band called China Syndrome. What makes this band different from DOD?
China Syndrome is faster, a lot more gindy, straightforward and less “technical” than DOD. Owen does drums and I play the guitar like in DOD, but we both do the vocals. The vocal style is different from DOD with less high screams and more low “grunts” if you will.

What other bands/projects are you involved in? What can we expect from you and your projects in the near future?
Owen, myself and Frank also play in a band called ShakenBaby with me on drums, Owen on the guitar/vocals and Frank on bass. We just put our songs from the split with Mental Waste on our bandcamp. You can download that stuff for free. As far as shows go, I have no idea. Shaken Baby hasn’t played one in a while and I don’t see us playing one soon. Same goes for China Syndrome. There are plans for a tour with DOD, but nothing’s set in stone yet. We’ll see how everybody’s schedules work out. I’m working on another grind project too right now. A bunch of songs are ready. They just need to be recorded. It’ll end up as a free download on bandcamp for sure though.
Artwork is taking up most of my time nowadays. I’ll be working on some very cool projects this year I can’t say much about it right now. Keep checking out my facebook page if you want to be up to date.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Grinding Towards Eternity: Interview with Inhumate

Interview with Christophe and Fred

When I open the CD the first thing that got my attention was the song titles which is an acronym of the lyrics. That’s quite radical. How did you come up with that idea?
Christophe: I don't really remember, but as I was working for my exam for being french teacher, we had to work on this kind of thing. Then I thought that it would be a very good idea to put this in the lyrics. I try to do always better. But I must say that's quite difficult, but also very interesting to do. It completely changes the way you work on your lyrics, and makes it so much interesting.
You can also see that all text ends with the word "ashes" (or "cendres", which means ashes in french) and you also have 2 songs titled one ASHES and the other CENDRES. And it was also logic, because of the meaning of this album, the theme being death, all is reduced to ashes again. But on the last track from the CD "Faster Than Thoughts", you can see that this title ends saying that we'll rise from our ashes, to make a transition with the next and last album Eternal Life, because it is the next step after death.

Each album cover are carefully crafted with as much pages that it could allow, this must cost extra and knowing that you guys are indie, it’s really cool.
Fred: Yes, you’re pointing two important things for us. First of all the fact that we’re independent. Yes, we’re a self produced band since the beginning. We never signed to any label. It may seem very strange, but that’s the best way we found to overhead everything we do and stay totally free of everything. The dark side of that attitude is the work we have to do. No one is here to help us in any part, but it’s ok. We work hard and don’t have to say thank you or fuck off to anybody, everything we go, we had it because of a hard work.
Now, second thing, concerning the album booklets : We bring high the flag of self production and being an underground band but in the same time we try to propose the highest quality we can.
It’s not easy when you’re doing everything by yourself, especially concerning the financial aspect. But as you noticed it, from album to album we put more and more. First booklet, the "Internal Life"’s one, was  8 pages, with black and white printing inside. We couldn’t afford something  more expensive.
Years passed by, things changed, we got a bigger budget for the “Expulsed” album, and so you see what we did for this one. In the same way, Christophe worked more on his lyrics, and we also needed more space to print them ah, ah!

What does the merging of the four elements of nature inside the tray card signifies?
Fred: Hard question, because I have to explain several things before answering… You know we’re building a 7 album concept through our albums, we call it our heptalogy. So, name of the albums are:
Internal Life
The Fifth Season
Eternal Life
So, you can see that some words are coming several times, “life” is in the first, middle and last. Same for the second and 6th album, names are very similar. So, in the same way that album titles are connected, the booklet artworks are connected too.
In the “Ex-Pulsion” booklet you could already find those elements, one for each of us. The meaning of that is that the combination of us four, and this combination only can create the INHUMATE entity’s which life is developed through the concept.
 I don’t know if this is very clear and understandable. Not easy to explain that in English hehe.

One more album and the band will be history. It’s quite depressing knowing that a good band like Inhumate will no longer exist after one more album.
Fred: Maybe, maybe… but we think things will be even better if we’re able to stop after the heptalogy.
When we were talking about a 7 album concept 15 years ago, people were laughing. Now nobody laughs anymore.
I think we’re the first band able to put up such a thing. And everything makes sense as long as it is seriously done.

Experimentation has been part of Inhumate’s repertoire from album to album like the re-mix of It’s Back, Cendres, Grind To The Core, Grindub. Is it a traditional thing to do something different in each album that sort of shy away from straight-forward grind?
Fred: Hum, no. We don’t want to have something particular on each albums. For us "It’s Back" and "Grind to the Core" are “normal” tracks, we used to play the second on stage for more than a decade and are still playing the first one.
Grindub is different, it was a project of a friend of Christophe that mixed some INHUMATE sound. I don’t like it, but why not. Nowadays, I think we shouldn’t add such a track on an INHUMATE album.
About Cendres, it’s particular. We were thinking of writing a slow track for years. But we wanted something different that the usual doom / sludge parts grind bands play. "It’s Back" was a step to that slow track, "Cendres" is the endpoint of it.
I think we got in this track the specific INHUMATE sick feeling. From the deepest of the human urges sounds some voices… the voices of the creature creation… this creature live on stage, and on stage only!

The serial track “I Want To Kill...” was surprisingly missing in the new album. What happened?
Fred:  Ah, ah! There are 2 versions of this track on “Internal Life” and none on “Ex-Pulsion”. So, there is no version of it on “Expulsed”, but there will be 2 versions on "Eternal Life" The concept is never far !

You normally use studio-recorded spoken words for intros but in Freaks you sampled from a movie.
Christophe: True. As the lyrics were about this movie, Freaks from Ted Browning (1932) and also a little about Elephant Man from Lynch. I thought it was interesting to use a sample this time.
I love this idea : "Offend one, and you offend them all", which is a little as we are in the UG. At least, it is the way we like to imagine it, even if it's not completely true, we often have this feeling or brotherhood and real friendship.

You’ve been using the same studio and the same guy at the helm for every record. Is it merely a matter of convenience or friendship or there is some other reason behind it?
Fred: Yes, it’s a kind of friendship. We recorded the first demo in 1993 with Didier, he was just beginning as we were. Then he became slowly a good friend of us and now I can say that he is like INHUMATE 5th member (in the dark). He is very well known in our local rock and roll scene, his studio is the biggest of the area and working with him is always a pleasure for us.
Other interesting thing is that he is not a grind head, not even a metalhead, so he brings us something different with the sound. We’re not sounding like all grind bands do, but we always had a good sound and that’s fine I think.
Last thing, INHUMATE is an old band also because we didn’t have many line up changes, this regularity is also a proof of our integrity.

And speaking of studio, the production of Expulsed is so far the cleanest without losing the rawness of all the instruments.
Fred: Sure, we always had a better sound on each album comparing to the previous one, and especially on this one. Maybe is it due to way of recording and also the long time spent in studio, we stayed there almost one year!

Christophe, you have never been more insane with your vocals. Are you as wild in the studio as you are on stage? How do you record those vocals at the confines of a studio booth?
Christophe: Thanks ;) About the way I'm in studio, of course, I'm not like on stage, I don't jump around everywhere eh eh, but of course, when it comes to record the vocals, I try to be at 100%, even a little more if I can. Our quest is to explore bestiality in music, and I do it in my domain : vocals. I love it, I love to explore new sounds that I can make and I want it also on stage and on CD, that's why I don't use effects.
I want to be able to do those sounds all the time. You have less technical problems if you just have a mic of course.
About the recording itself, we use for the high pitched vocals a microphone on a stand, like everybody I guess. For the growls, I use my old amp (a 150w PEAVEY for keyboards) that I used in rehearsal at a time and my old Shure SM58, and we record the sound at the exit of the amp. For the very low growls, it is the same, but the mic that Didier, the sound engineer, use in front of the amp is an old mic used at the BBC, as he told me. It better catches the low frequencies it seems.

Christophe, you write the lyrics. Do you have complete control of what you write or do the rest of the band chips in ideas too?
Christophe: As for everything, everybody can tell if he has an idea or if likes something or not. But usually I bring the ideas and write the song after, especially because it is very difficult for me to put my patterns and lyrics from someone else together.
As I try to follow as precisely as possible the patterns I find first for the lyrics, it is better than I work alone, but Damien or Fred, even Yannick once and David, gave me ideas or even lyrics. Sometimes, I changed and adapt them, sometimes, I just kept the idea, and sometimes, I haven't used them. But we always discuss about them, when I have an idea.
It is important for me that they like the lyrics. Usually, many people don't give a fuck about them, so I find important that my mates like them.
And I'm very glad that you ask so many questions about them!
Is there a conscious effort to incorporate the concept to the songs and lyrics as much as possible?
Christophe: Yes, when it's possible. Usually, we finish a song and I just put some patterns of vocals on it, without words, just trying to find which kind of voice I can use, and find some interesting sounds or patterns on it. Then I can have an idea about the title, then I make lyrics using this theme. But it can also completely change. The track "Voices" for example, was about another completely different subject, and the new one is really better now.
I also like to wait until we have many tracks to do, to have a choice and to make echoes between my lyrics. I like this idea of a kind of web, but I know that the others are always angry because we stay a long time without a title for the tracks ah ah! But it's the way I work, so they have to accept it.
But I think that they like my lyrics at the end, and that's the most important, isn't it? Eh eh!

It is often said that the afterlife is a new beginning. Perhaps this could be what the looming demise of Inhumate signifies.
Fred: Yes, maybe… that could be a possibility… but life will be eternal, so no need to pull up something new.
The 7 steps of the eternal life will be engraved for eternity! And to be honest, we claimed so hard that we will stop after the 7th album, that it should sound strange if we won’t do it. But we didn’t give any date, so we can stop when we want.
The only sure thing is that we won’t hit the studio after the 7th album. The concept will be over no need to record any new stuff, in the name of INHUMATE after that.

Personally, what’s your view about death and the afterlife?
Fred: I think we’re meat and just meat. Your consciousness, thoughts, mind is just the result of chemical action. I don’t believe in anything after death. A dead person is nothing left, nor here, neither anywhere else. But art is eternal!

 “Time has no other function than to burn. It burns without ash.” How does this quote fit in to the bands’ concept?
Christophe: Well I found this quote, from Elsa Triolet, and I find it interesting because it is exactly what is happening to the band (and beside for everyone in this world at least), that time goes by, and brings us slowly to our end. It is the idea of fatality, and the fight that we try to have against it. And I liked that it ends with the word "ashes", like all my other lyrics, and that it was about Time, which is the main theme of our concept.
Therefore, I thought it could fit to this song "Cendres" (which means ashes in french), which is perhaps an image of this struggle against fatality.
I hope it is clear enough ah ah!

How do you see the scene evolve over the years?
Fred: I think I could give you a different answer everyday… sometimes I find interesting thing in it, sometimes I don’t. I can’t say it was better before because things are changing and I also have to change my mind.
When I started in the Underground, all exchanges were done by snail mail. I was receiving 5 to 10 letters a day, from all over the world. I was spending hours to answer them. And it was fun to spread flyers, read them, searching for the good contact for promotion or a new band to discover. But in the same time it was expensive as fuck!
Nowadays things are immediate, in one click on Fuckbook you get connected with anyone in any part of the world. You got your answers in 2 seconds and don’t have to investigate to find music, there is some everywhere… And everything’s almost free!
But... But… I can’t fight against a small voice into my head that tells me that if everything’s seems easier nowadays, quality is less. Too many bands, too many people connected for the best or the worst…
Before thing were surely harder and only the strong were able to survive, nowadays, things seems so easy that only the strong is interesting. But it belongs to every underground maniac to make a difference between bullshit, commercial or unserious music and the rest !
What are the things that you missed from the scene back then?
Fred: Without hesitating the need to investigate to discover new bands. I had a real pleasure to buy, trade tapes in order to find an unknown band that was interesting.
I never followed what labels was telling as being the best stuff to listen to. I always wanted to make my own choice. And nowadays, there are too many bands and it’s almost impossible to find something new in this crowd…

Lately many grindcore bands have been incorporating different influence into their music and sludge is probably the most popular. What’s your opinion on album with fifteen 60 –second track and one ten minute sludge track on an album?
Fred: I don’t like sludge or doom. Grindcore is fast music, nothing else. Of course you can add here or there something different tempo, but I don’t understand the similar feeling some people find between sludge or grind core ???
For me music is sickness and there no sickness in slow shits. Slow playing is for drug to the eyes smoking hippies, not for me !

Do you have certain criteria when trading with labels? Will you trade with “bigger” underground labels?
Fred: We were trading our albums with everybody until the 5th one. But for “Expulsed” we don’t trade it anymore. The CD market seems to be over, it’s hard to sell CD. So, now we do just work through wholesales and no matter if we don’t spread many albums. In any case, we will have our money back with the merchandising as we play enough gigs to sell it. So, it may looks like crazy, but we’re selling much less album than 10 years back…
I myself have been trying to influence my kids to get into metal and grindcore but of course I cannot control them with what they want musically. What about you how do you deal with your family when it comes to listening to this music?
Fred: My wife is absolutely not into metal. But as I was a metalhead and playing in INHUMATE before I met her, she couldn’t change anything for me and I couldn’t change anything for her. But the most important thing is that she accepts that metal is a part of my life and that I cannot live without it.
Concerning my children, I’m in the same case as you. They all 3 grew up listening to metal and grind core, no one of them seems to like it. And it’s absolutely no problem for me. I’m enough open minded to accept their choices in musical tastes and future way of life.

Are there any new bands that drive you really crazy whenever you hear their music or see them on stage?
Fred: To be honest it’s a long time since a found a really interesting band. Last one was EPICRISE from Ukraine, especially the split album they did with NEUROPATHIA. Nowadays there are too many bands as I told it before… And I think I’m also too old to follow the new grind fashion. I’m really not into power violence and such things. I don’t like all those high pitched voices, seems they got their balls crushed all the time ! This is hysterical music, it’s not brutal anymore…

Any possibility for Expulsed to be on vinyl too?
Fred: Yes sure ! We’re working on it now. I think you can expect it for the beginning of 2014.

After the release of The Fifth Season you stopped doing splits, why?
Fred: To be exact, we never did any full length split. Usually if a band proposes us to release a split, we don’t say no, but propose only live tracks. We keep our studio tracks for our own full lengths albums. The only exception to this was the split EP with DEPRESSION. We did it because the tracks were recorded with David and when the label asked us, David had left the band. So, we accepted to use those tracks: But it’s really an exception, and that should never happen again.

Is there any possibility of compiling all your previous split tracks, demo, and maybe even unreleased tracks in the near future?
Fred: Everything is possible, of course. If such a project should happen, I think we’d better make a special box with the seven albums and the 2 demos. But, nothing is possible before the last album is unleashed eh, eh…

Any idea as to what the final album would be? Have the band discussed about it?
Fred: Yes, some ideas about the artwork, but nothing definitive for the time. About music, we already started to write some stuff. Only thing I can tell you : it will be pure INHUMATE, nothing else !