While not as well-known abroad, the 90s Spanish death metal scene had quite a few noteworthy bands that contributed their own take on the genre. Through the efforts of Xtreem Music a lot of these groups have had their earlier material re-issued and offered up new albums, sometimes a decade or two after they were last heard from. This is the case with death/thrash band Canker, who originally re-issued their 1994 debut ‘Physical’ in a compilation that included their earlier demo material. Now they’re set to release their third full length album ‘Earthquake’ on September 18th, their first all-new material since 1997’s ‘Exquisites Tenderness’. What you may not know is that this actually isn’t a brand new record from the current incarnation of Canker, but rather a previously finished and unreleased album that’s been lying dormant since 2005. But you wouldn’t know it upon first listen, and it gives listeners a window of where the band was at this point in time and where they’re likely to be headed in the future.
Nervecell are stalwarts of the Middle East metal scene. The UAE based death metal band have released 2 full length albums, toured across Europe and performed alongside legendary metal acts like Metallica and recently Nile.
Next week the band release their third album Past, Present…Torture via Lifeforce Records (US/Europe) and Metal East Records (Middle East). The band have premiered 3 tracks from the album so far, a peek into their heaviest material yet. A few listens of the album was all it took for me to get convinced that Nervecell had topped their previous album Pscyhogencide.
I spoke to guitarist Barney Ribeiro about Past, Present…Torture, death metal in 2017 and also performing in India.
Transcending Obscurity (Peter K): Your third album Past, Present…Torture releases this month. How does it feel now that the album is going to be released?
Nervecell (Barney): Pretty damn good, we were in Lyon, France exactly around this same time last year (July 2016) tracking drums with Kevin. After which we brought the drum tracks back with us to Dubai and immediately went into Haven Studios to track the guitars, bass and vocal tracks. So even though the album is new to the rest of the world, those songs have actually been with us for the better half of the last 2 years that we’ve been working on and crafting. If anything it just amazes me how fast time flies. I’m just really glad we’re finally going to release this thing, the fans have been very patient waiting for new music from us and their going to get what they’ve been waiting for.
TO: The album has a post apocalyptic theme. What was the inspiration behind it?
Nervecell: Honestly it’s something we came up with very gradually as the song titles started to come in one after the other. The music has this post apocalyptic vibe in a lot of the songs and the subject matter of the lyrics that James was singing about too was resonating with us quite a lot during the writing stage, which had to do with past events and the dark ages. There is still so much of untold information out there from the past that people do not necessarily know about, and that is only until recently being brought into the limelight. One would expect we live in a modern civilized world today but the future has so much of unpredictability ahead of us that it will inevitably lead to the fall of the human race. The present basically represents us trying to do our bit and alarm everyone to start taking action before it gets too late, hence why you see the Nervecell Emblem arising from the grounds on the album artwork to resemble a sense of warning and symbolism to act now, so take matters in our own hands so to speak, before it’s too late.
TO: You’ve have upped the ante on the production of the album. Did you try anything different this time around with the recording process?
Nervecell: Thanks! Well we played around with loads of stuff. We’ve always been a band that is heavily involved throughout the entire recording process. I mean we used our own Engl guitar amp heads for starters. Basically what we use live, we wanted the very same sound we deliver live to be used in the studio. So we had Rami and my guitar tones intentionally set out differently in that aspect while recording each of our songs. We also have songs on the album that Rami wrote individually and songs that I wrote individually as well, which is different this time around as we used to always merge our ideas together in our songs on previous releases. There are only 2 songs on this album that the entire band contributed to as a whole. We also wrote almost all the drum parts on this record and got Kevin to basically perform / record our ideas while doing the drum tracking. Unlike the first 2 albums, where we pretty much left Dave Haley with a lot of freedom you can say. So all of that together with that fact that we utilized some atmospheric elements into the songs, very faint stuff but you do here these minor details that add that extra element that helps emphasize the mood of certain tracks. Also we’ve recorded the entire album on a different tuning in comparison to our older releases, which gave a different edge on how our songs sounded this time around. We just went into making this record knowing we wanted a brutal more technical sounding record and to keep it as organic as possible.
TO: Kevin Foley (One life All-in, Benigthed) has recorded the drums on the album. How did he become a part of the album?
Nervecell: Kevin has always been a guy we’ve been very close with. We’ve worked with various drummers over the years but you know not everyone is necessarily the same. Kevin honestly reminds me of us, he’s extremely down to earth, extremely talented, very versatile by the way in his playing style, completely drama free, real fun to hang with and also has loads of recording experience in him as well! I mean there is more to just being a good drummer that we look for when selecting who we want to have been a part of our band and perform on our songs. Chemistry is so very important to me and I make sure there is that chemistry that we get along with all the drummers we work with more that anything else I’d say. He just had it all man and like I said, a very good friend to the band. Don’t forget he’s toured with us all over Asia and Europe for a good 2 to 3 years so all that counts too.
TO: What are your thoughts on the current state of death metal?
Nervecell: It’s coming back like a fucking tsumani, I mean we’ve got all the iconic death metal bands either releasing/released or working on new albums this year like ourselves, it’s ridiculous. Morbid Angel, Deicide, Suffocation, Decapitated, Cannibal Corpse, Broken Hope, Origin, Decrepit Birth, Obituary and a shit load of newer extreme metal bands too of course…I can keep naming them but anyway. I put up a post about this earlier this year on my Facebook stating how if there was anyone out there who claims Death Metal is dead or going nowhere in 2017 can seriously F#*k off! There are a lot more players now in the genre and the competition is getting real hot. I love it because we coming from the Middle East are used to the heat (and by heat I mean more of those who are envious and jealous of others success – especially in this region), so we are sooo super stoked to kick the shit out of all the non-believers with this new record and let the music speak for itself. “Past, Present…Torture” is going to seal the deal that we aren’t stopping anytime soon, and we are going out there proudly representing the Middle East for Extreme Metal in general.
TO: What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?
Nervecell: Honestly I haven’t been inspired for the last 4 to 5 years musically. Even in Metal there hasn’t really been anything that really does it for me anymore. There is this whole new wave of Death core bands that I just really can’t get into man. I mean I get it, it’s brutal, break-downs, crisp production etc. but they have like 20 laptops on stage playing backing tracks man…I’m sorry I don’t give in to that shit! Part of me liking metal is that raw, unpredictable and spontaneous energy you get when performing live that keeps this genre pure and different from the rest for me personally. I can’t stand these bands with their choreographed performances. I always keep an open ear for new music though, but really if there is anything I’ve been listening to lately it’s just the classic Thrash and Death metal bands I grew up to man. There just don’t make good old-school quality music like that anymore, the closest to that sound I can relate to today is probably Bloodbath, although that last album they did with Nick Holmes was rather disappointing. If I want to just chill and mellow out I’ll pop in some Sithu Aye, Plini, God is an Astronaut, Massive Attack, Anathema, Leprous…and perhaps even some Extol too, another very underrated band.
TO: You did a short tour of India in 2010. What are your memories from then?
Nervecell: I’ll keep this one short. That Blue Frog venue we played in Mumbai, India was one of the best live shows I’ve ever played with Nervecell. Dudes in the crowd went absolute nuts! I have no idea why the hell we haven’t been back there again since… I mean we almost sold out that venue and it was only our first time in Mumbai. Apart from that, we enjoyed the food and came back home to Dubai humbled, cause every time you feel you have something to complain about in your life, one must go visit India, shit will wake you the fuck up there and make you appreciate every little thing you got going. I’m just grateful we got fans there!
TO: You recently performed with Nile in Dubai. How did the show go?
Nervecell: It was excellent, we haven’t played in Dubai for almost 3 years, so it was nice to come back and perform at home again one last time before we release the new album officially. As always there were a lot of new faces in the audience, but that’s something we are used to being based here through out our entire career. We will probably look at playing Dubai again and other neighboring countries in the Middle East once the new album is released later this month.
TO: Do you have any more shows/tours planned this year?
Nervecell: Nothing as of now, but we sure as hell plan on touring a lot for the better half of next year in support of our new album “Past, Present…Torture”.
TO: Thanks for doing this interview. Do you have any final words?
Nervecell: Well thank you for having me here Peter. Nervecell fans, don’t forget the new album “Past, Present…Torture” comes out on August 25th around the world. Fans in the Middle East can pick it up on shelves post August 25th via Metal East Records and fans from North America / Europe can pick it up from your local music stores via Lifeforce Records. We can’t wait to hear all of your feedback and we definitely look forward to playing in your cities very soon. Cheers!
Tommi Grönqvist has been responsible for quite a bit of quality Finnish death metal over the years, as he spent over a decade with Slugathor before forming Desecresy with vocalist Jarno Nurmi. Desecresy has put out albums at a steady pace, and even though this has amounted to four full-lengths over the span of five years each one has explored different elements of the death metal genre. This year’s ‘The Mortal Horizon’ represents the biggest change for the band, as Jarno Nurmi left the band and now Grönqvist has stepped up to do vocals in addition to continuing to write all of the instrumentation.
Death metal band Psycroptic are one of the well-known extreme metal acts from Australia. They have made a mark with their 6 full length albums, the latest one self titled was released in 2015. This month the band embark on their first tour of India, covering 7 cities across the country.
I spoke to drummer Dave Haley about touring Europe and North America, their upcoming album and also what to expect from their India tour.
Transcending Obscurity (Peter K): You are embarking on your first tour of India. How does it feel?
Psycroptic: It’s quite exciting to be heading to India for the first time. It’s a country that we have wanted to perform in for a long time so it’s going to be very special for us.
TO: Your 6th full length album, a self titled release, was considered by many to be among the best releases in 2015. Tell us a bit more about it.
Psycroptic: I think it’s the best album we have done – it’s still our ‘sound’ but a lot more focused and better written songs. As usual, it was produced and recorded by Joe our guitarist; each album he gets better and better at what he does. We are very proud with how it all came out.
TO: For those who have not heard your music before, which of your albums would you recommend they listen to first and Why?
Psycroptic: I would say listen to our self titled album – as that would be the most balanced and catchy album to first get into. All the albums sound a lot different from each other, but the S/T is a good starting point.
TO: What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?
Psycroptic: My listening changes all the time, especially with the discover music option on Spotify. We live in a pretty crazy time for easy access to new and different music with so much ease – we are very lucky in that sense. I listen to everything from brutal death metal, to synth wave to ambient…so it’s hard to really single out any one artist. There are too many!
TO: Dave and Joe are also a part of black metal band Ruins. How do you manage between both bands?
Psycroptic: Its pretty easy – Ruins isn’t particularly active on the live front, so nothing clashes. We are all friends between both bands, and communicate a lot, so it really isn’t an issue at all.
TO: What are your thoughts on the current state of death metal?
Psycroptic: There are a lot of killer bands out there, but of course with any scene there are a lot of very average bands. This has always been the way with every kind of music of course – metal is no different. I’m still a big fan of the style after all these years playing it, but now I’m a little more selective with what I listen to.
TO: It’s been a couple of years since your self titled release. When can we expect a new album from you?
Psycroptic: We are actually in the studio at the moment working on the new album – so there will be a new album from us in 2018 for sure. We are always working on new material, and thus far the new songs are sounding very cool. I’m looking forward to playing them live!
TO: You’ve toured across North America and Europe. What similarities and differences have you noticed in the audiences in both continents.
Psycroptic: There are some many similarities, and so many differences between both of them. Europe has a lot more cultural differences in a close proximity – with every country having a unique culture and sometimes a different language – all within very close drives. But North America and Europe are both within the ‘1st World’ so in terms of technology, infrastructure, etc, they are quite similar. European tours for us are a little more comfortable, as we share a bus with other bands and travel that way.
TO: What has been your favourite city/venue to perform in so far?
Psycroptic: Haha, that is too hard to answer, as there have been so many cool shows we have done…as well as a lot of not cool shows. Playing in our home town of Hobart is always pretty damn sick though. We are very fortunate to have been able to travel and tour so much.
TO: Later this year, you will be supporting Dying Fetus on their European tour alongside Beyond Creation and Disentomb. How did the tour come about?
Psycroptic: Our booking agent in Europe asked if we would like to do it, and of course we said yes! It’s an insane lineup, and we’re very honoured to be apart of it. DF are one of my all time favourite bands, so to I’m really looking forward to it. We’ve toured with both Beyond Creation and Disentomb a few times and they are great friends of ours, so it’s going to be a fun one.
TO: Joe mixed and mastered the Godless EP Centuries of Decadence. What other Indian bands have you heard?
Psycroptic: To be honest, not that many! It will be really cool to check out new bands from India while we are there. From what I hear the Indian scene is small, but growing very rapidly with a lot of excellent bands developing.
TO: What are you looking forward to at your shows in India? Do you have any pre show rituals?
Psycroptic: The fact that we have never played their before is the main thing we are looking forward to. New country, new people, new experiences. Pre show we just make sure we are all warmed up and ready to play as the music is quite demanding, and requires preparation.
TO: As these are your first shows in India, what can fans expect from your set?
Psycroptic: We’ll be playing a wide range of material from all our albums. We haven’t fully settled on what we are playing, but it will definitely be a mix of material from us. It will be a lot of fun.
TO: Thanks for answering all our questions. Do you have any final words?
Psycroptic: Thanks for the interview, and we look forward to coming to your amazing country.
Indian metalheads, don’t miss Psycroptic when they play in your city, dates and venues below
NYN first came to my attention when they released the single The Apory of Existence around the end of June. While there’s a lot of tech death and progressive death metal out there, this song caught my attention with the sheer amount of things happening. Highly technical and heavy riffing gave way to soaring keyboards that had a significant prog rock feel, and the vocals spanned everything from high pitched black metal style shrieks to death growls. It stood out a lot, even considering how much of this material comes my way, and put ‘Entropy: Of Chaos and Salt’ on my radar as a highly anticipated 2017 release.
Lithuanian black metal band Au-Dessus released their debut full length ‘End of Chapter’ back in May via Les Acteurs de l’ombre Productions, and it’s the type of album that is capable of leaving a lasting impression. While Lithuania doesn’t have quite as expansive of a metal scene as some other European countries, these guys could definitely put their country on the map for quite a few listeners. Rather than simply sticking with the tried and true black metal sound, Au-Dessus pushes outwards and pulls in elements of post hardcore and sludge into their dense arrangements. Sometimes the way that they layer their instrumentation is reminiscent of French acts like Celeste, as the haunting melodies and density of the music feels like it’s going to completely overwhelm you. But there are others that have build-ups similar to post metal like Mouth of the Architect, where dark melodies continue to increase in volume until they’ve reached absolutely crushing proportions. The balance between black metal’s grit and the dark emotional aspect of these other genres works perfectly, giving Au-Dessus a cinematic feel that will bring plenty of vivid imagery to mind.
Although Au-Dessus has been around since 2014, ‘End of Chapter’ might be many listener’s first exposure to this promising newcomer. To find out a bit more about what went into the album we had the chance to ask drummer Šarūnas some questions. ‘End of Chapter’ is available now on Les Acteurs de l’ombre Productions.
Cenotaph are veterans of the Turkish metal scene. Vocalist Batu is the only original member of the band and has kept the band going through multiple lineup changes. Earlier this month, they released their latest album, ‘Perverse Dehumanized Dysfunctions’; after multiple listens I can testify that this is their best release yet.
I spoke to Batu about their first album in 7 years, the Turkish metal scene and also their upcoming European tour.
Transcending Obscurity (Peter K): You have been around as a band for 23 years now. How does it feel looking back at your career?
Cenotaph (Batu): It feels awesome. There a lot of memories of both the good times and the bad times but after 23 years of playing brutal death metal, I am proud of it.
TO: You are the only original member of the band. What has motivated to keep going through the different line ups over the years?
Cenotaph: It’s just my passion for death metal and extreme music. This music is a part of my life and gives me happiness and fun.
TO: Your latest album ‘Perverse Dehumanized Dysfunctions’ sounds brutal. Tell us more about the album.
Cenotaph: It is a step up, a progression from previous album ‘Putrescent İnfectious Rabidity’. It was released on 2010 and during those years we tried to develop our style and music with the new songs – the result is ‘Perverse Dehumanized Dysfunctions. It has 8 brutal songs inside, came out from 3 different labels on CD and vinyl versions, and it’s also available as digital from our Bandcamp.
TO: The album comes 7 years after the release of ‘Putrescent Infectious Rabidity’. What was the writing process for album? Did you try anything different this time around?
Cenotaph: Yeah 7 years after it came out indeed. The reason why it took so long was the line up problems, with guitarists leaving the band on 2010 just shortly after the ‘Putrescent…’ album released and I searched for new and right members for the band and also waited patiently till new members understood the music style, chemistry, and the song structures of Cenotaph. Later new songs and ideas started to come from new guitarist Erkin,and we totally focused on new songs. During that period of time also we continued to play gigs around and kept writing new material.
TO: The album was recorded, mixed and mastered at DTH Studios in Moscow, Russia. How was the recording process? What was the reason behind recording in another country, Russia?
Cenotaph: To get this natural and acoustic sounding album we choose DTH Studios at Moscow Russia as the sound engineer Stanislav Baranov was a friend of us. We decided to record the whole album there. The recording process was hard like in every album but it was also a new experience and challenging for us to record it outside of our country. We are happy with the final result and sound of the album. The mix and mastering process was also done at the same studio.
TO: What are your thoughts on slam in brutal death metal?
Cenotaph: Personally I like to listen some slam bands, but not all; there are a lot of both good and shitty bands around. I’m a bit picky about it and it’s a thin border between slamming brutal death and brutal death metal, so we are using some groovy and slamming parts in our music but in our own way as we are not a slam band but a brutal death metal one. Nowadays the festivals at Europe are full of slam bands. It’s a bit boring but people seems to have fun at the festivals. I think most people there are just for fun, alcohol and hanging around and not so much for the music. They like to mosh and doing circle pit to slam bands but a very few of those people at such festivals seem to be listening and caring about the band’s music.
TO: What is your take on the prevalent misogyny that’s part of the artworks and even lyrics and song titles sometimes in the style?
Cenotaph: I really don’t care much about the lyrics in brutal death metal or slam. For me it’s important how the vocal patterns are or how low and guttural the vocalist is, whether he using any distortion or harmonizer or any plugin or is it natural guttural voice. I don’t care how the vocalist pronounces the words understandably because for me it’s brutal death metal and the vocals must sound like a monster. That’s the first thing I check when I listen any brutal death or slam band. Later I check the band on their live performance videos on youtube or at live concerts. About your question ‘Prevalent Misogyny’ I think it’s a boring cliched lyrical content since the early Cannibal Corpse albums. Millions of bands in this genre used such lyrics. Our lyrics are more science fictional or about a different kind of gore, about mutations, diseases, epidemics ,unknown creatures from other dimensions and time, viruses, psychological diseases, etc.
TO: Turkey has an active metal scene. What are bands that you recommend our readers to check out?
Cenotaph: There are a lot of good releases that came out this year and earlier too. I would recommend these bands: Decimation, Carnophage, Suicide, Engulfed, Hell Sodomy, Rektal Tuşe, Drain of Impurity, Grotesque Ceremonium, The Sarcophagus, Acrosome and many more.
TO: The album is being released by three labels – Sevared Records (US) , Coyote Records (Russia) and Hammer Muzik (Turkey). How important do you feel record labels are in this digital age?
Cenotaph: Labels are still important for us. All the labels we are working with are fully supportive to us and since many years we are working with these labels and we are also good friends with them. Yes nowadays in the music industry some fans prefer digital only and then there are some die-hard fans and collectors still buying CDs, vinyls and tapes – it depends on person and listeners. But I think labels always be there, no matter what.
TO: You have toured around Europe and even at Maryland Deathfest in USA. What have been your favourite venues/cities to perform in?
Cenotaph: We played at Maryland Death fest at 2006. It was a really huge and cool festival and a great experience for us. We also played big festivals like Brutal Assault and last year we played at Netherlands Death Fest which was a blast. We love to play live this music and our favourite ones include shows in Czech Repulic, Berlin, Maryland, Mountains of Death fest in Switzerland. We also played at many cities at Russia during our tours and we felt always like at home at Russia. Ukraine too always gives us good memories like at the Simferopol Metal Heads’ Mission Fest.
TO: You are going to tour Europe in August and September this year. What are you looking forward to from the tour?
Cenotaph: To promote our new album ‘Perverse Dehumanized Dysfunctions’, we will crush Europe from 24 August till 17 September. It will be the longest tour we will have ever made, a total 24 days, and a lot of countries and cities this time around. We are very excited about this tour and for more details on it like the venues and dates, please check our Cenotaph Facebook Page.
TO: Do you have any more shows/tour planned this year? ‘
Cenotaph: Yeah, there will be a festival gig in Athens, Greece, Brutality Over Sanity Death Fest in December 2017, and we are also planning to play at Moscow Death Fest. Negotiations continue about it and also the planning of a big Russia tour at the end of summer or early Autumn in 2018. There are some local gigs in progress too. We are open every kind of serious offers and organisers and concert promoters can get in touch with us through our Facebook Page.
TO: Thanks for doing this interview. Do you have any final words?
Cenotaph: Thanks a lot for the support and interview! Follow us on our pages and you can also buy our music and merch through that. Support the real music and real bands. Stay brutal!
CENOTAPH Official Facebook | CENOTAPH Bandcamp | CENOTAPH Bigcartel
Polish death metal band Kingdom released their third full length ‘Sepulchral Psalms from the Abyss of Torment’ last October via Godz ov War Productions and it was one of those albums that caught my attention from the first song. Like many of you, Kingdom had flown under my radar previously despite the fact that they had been cranking out destructive and dark death metal since 2003. Coming in at a quick thirty four and a half minutes, this is one of those albums that is blistering from start to finish and leaves behind scorched earth in its wake.
Deceased are a staff favourite over at Transcending Obscurity. They’ve released some excellent albums over the years and have developed an unmistakable sound and identity as a death/thrash metal band. Our label division even put out an official reissue of their 1997 album ‘Fearless Undead Machines’ over HERE. With a new album slated to come out in the foreseeable future titled ‘Ghostly White’, guest interviewer Tyler Brooks talks to King Fowley about that and the band’s illustrious past.
Transcending Obscurity (Tyler Brooks): You were the first band to ever sign with Relapse records, a label that would become a powerhouse at the peak of early 90’s death metal. What were those early days like?
Deceased (King Fowley): Working with them early on was fun. We were all gung ho and ready to rock. As the label got bigger and successful they sadly lost their way and it got harder to deal with them on a business level. But those early days we will always cheer and thank Relapse for giving us a shot!
TO: You made a flyer that you promised you were going to “out-thrash Slayer” at one point in the early days. Do you feel like you achieved this?
Deceased: Yes! We are still playing 100% deceased music while Slayer to me is playing hot topic metal for a paycheck and a past glory gratification! No thanks!
TO: Many fans consider your third album, ‘Fearless Undead Machines’ to be the album that solidified the Deceased style for years to come. What is it about this album, or the circumstances surrounding its recording, that you feel make it so powerful?
Deceased: I just think it was a heavy metal record in a time when heavy metal was a bad word. We didn’t care; we just lined it up and knocked it down! The songs are very strong on it. I think a lot of metal people related to the horror tinged theme of it. It’s my third favorite Deceased record behind ‘Supernatural Addiction’ and ‘Surreal Overdose’.
TO: Everyone has a favorite Deceased album, and I believe yours is ‘Supernatural Addiction’; ‘The Weird Travel On’ happens to be mine. Do you think that says anything about yourself or the people that choose other albums?
Deceased: It’s always neat to hear why someone has favorite record, details of it etc. To each their own I always say. We all have different names for a reason~!
TO: Modern day death/thrash seems to be used as an excuse for death metal bands to play traditional death metal riffs at hyper fast speeds, but Deceased has always held the thrash side of the moniker in high regard. What is the secret to blending so may influences into a coherent product, while still retaining quality songwriting?
Deceased: Passion for the styles and influences tenfold. You gotta believe! People sadly a lot of times toss shit together to hope its unique when it comes off kitchen sink or half assed. Neither is a good thing. Deceased really does where our metal heart on our sleeve. I arrange everything and I love hooks in songs and memorable music in general. Mindless song writing is a horrible thing. Wasted music as I call it, what a shame
TO: Speaking of influences, you’ve made it pretty evident where your influences lie. It’s clear from the plethora of covers of everything from Cro-Mags and Bad Brains, to Running Wild and Voivod. Why do you feel so compelled to show reverence to so many classics when others may relegate one or two song to their influencers?
Deceased: It’s just a part of it. We take Deceased very seriously in our albums. To let up and have some fun amongst the song writing usually means a cover song tribute to a band or moment in time to us. We have lots of influences so we show it as often as we can!
TO: In 1988, tragedy struck when Rob Sterzel, then the bassist, lost his life in an accident. Many bands are incapable of continuing on from something like that. What helped you to get through dark times in your formative early years?
Deceased: It’s all we knew! Music was our lives and we had to trudge on. Rob would have demanded it. Rob’s death was awful and it floored us. But we took from negativity and made positivity out of a dire situation.
TO: Your style of melodic death/thrash pre-dates even those bands from the Swedish Sunlight Studios period. At a time when melody was probably a dirty word, what drove you towards it?
Deceased: A love for it. I know it’s a big part of my music heart. A good melody is so inspirational to me. We always had hints even at our dirtiest sounds. But it took time to grow as musicians both song writing and playing wise. When it fell into place I was thrilled!
TO: Deceased has consistently released excellent music almost yearly since 1986, whether it be through singles, EP’s, demos, or compilations. How do you keep so relevant years later without burning out?
Deceased: Again you gotta believe. You gotta want it. People that really listen or follow a band can almost always know when a band is mailing it in. We don’t rush into new records or toss out 8 new songs a year just to call it our new record. We got into writing music because it is dear to our hearts. And all these years later it still is!
TO: You’ve said in an interview that you love performing live shows. How does playing live differ from writing in the studio?
Deceased: The studio is a very serious thing at times. You have to keep your mind right. On stage you get to perform your tuned in front of a crowd there (well a good bunch of them) to hear your music. You give it your all and it’s one big thrill ride. I love to entertain and getting on a stage and going for it really makes me happy!
TO: You’ve had numerous lineup changes over the years, mostly stemming from members living all over the country. Les and Mike seem to be such constants throughout most of your timeline. What kind of relationship is necessary between the three of you?
Deceased: Understanding is the key. We are all older now and things like family, work etc come into the mix as you get older. Everyone still rocks when it’s time to do so. Mike didn’t want to play live anymore late 2000’s and we worked it out so he could continue as a studio guy while turning over his live presence to someone else. Les married a gal and moved to Texas. He is still part of the studio band and plays out live with us as often as he can. Being around since 1985 life tosses stuff at ya it’s how ya deal with it that keeps it moving forward.
TO: For ‘Rotten to the Core’, Dave “Scarface” Castillo took over behind the drum kit for live performances. Was this something you had been seeking to do for a while, or was Dave just the perfect fit?
Deceased: After playing on stage as front man in October 31 it just felt right to be upfront. I always found it constricting live to sit behind a drum set on a stool and front a show. Dave is a dear friend and fit right in.
TO: Iron Maiden, or Judas Priest?
Deceased: IRON MAIDEN WITH EASE! Judas priest should have walked away mid-80s for all the following of musical trends to stay current they did. Iron Maiden just keeps on doing their own thing!
TO: Do you have anything to tell the fans about upcoming performance, or the highly anticipated seventh full-length album, ‘Ghostly White’?
Deceased: It’s almost complete song writing wise then the will record. A lot of time and effort has gone into this one. I’m really digging the tunes. It’s very heavy metal this go round with a lot of emphasis on melody, reminds me in spots of ‘Supernatural Addiction’. We are all very pleased!
Transcending Obscurity (Tyler Brooks): Thanks King!
Deceased (King Fowley): Thank you! Stay wildddddddddddddddddd!
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