Everything about returning South African brutal death band Vulvodynia‘s new album seems painstakingly constructed to make one feel sick. Their new album, ‘Psychosadistic Design’, represents for me one of the most repellent releases of the year in terms of both intense music and media content. I also think that the band may have topped themselves despite many already excellent previous efforts with terrifyingly technical drumming, wretched riffs, and primitive vocals. We took some time to get a brief rundown of their influences, reasons for their graphic imagery, and touring.
TO (FlightOfIcarus): First, we simply can’t start this interview without addressing the cover art. This recalls my initial shock the first time I perused Cannibal Corpse’s discography. What was the inspiration and why such a graphic concept?
V: We are inspired by horror films / themes and dark subject matter. We realized we needed to push it a bit further to make it impactful in today’s world.
TO: Expanding on that first question, the song titles and lyrics only get more dark and depraved as the album goes on: misogyny, rape, murder, etc. Again, what led you to choose such a direction?
V: We chose the theme of serial killers and just explored the concept in many different angles.
TO: What do you have to say to parents, politicians, etc. who point to albums like this and say “this is why our youth are violent. This is encouraging people to act in sadistic ways”?
V: I Would not even need to respond really because if someone said that to me I would be able to see that they are stuck in a narrow mindset from the 1990’s . I don’t think people take it seriously anymore. The worst they will do is just say ‘that is disgusting I won’t listen to it’. We are not even popular enough for it to be a problem really.
TO: Were there any band influences in particular that informed the writing of ‘Psychosadistic Design’?
V: Waking the Cadaver / Pathology / Abominable Putridity these are our all-time bests we always are influenced by them.
TO: Speaking of other bands, there are a lot of guest appearances on this album. Why so many and how did these collaborations come to be?
V: Vocalists that really excite us , we just messaged them on Facebook and asked if they would be interested. Simple as that really. The guest vocalist has turned into a thing which is cool. It ends up being mutually beneficial in some circumstances with exposure and networking.
TO: There also are a number of samples on ‘Psychosadistic Design,’ my favorite being the classic line delivered by Lt. Doakes from Dexter. Where did some of the others come from and why include them in these songs?
V: Pyschosadistic design has a serial killer theme throughout every song. That is the major influence running through. each song is about a different serial killer.
TO: You seem to keep quite busy when it comes to recording with albums coming out very quickly. Any particular reason for the urgency? Is it difficult to keep up this pace or are the ideas just always flowing?
V: Ideas are always flowing really. Maybe we are just impatient haha. Personally , I have loads of unused riffs. I use guitar pro to keep stuff written out and to be able to reference it quickly.
TO: Tell us what it’s like recording and performing this material in South Africa? How are the people responding and do you feel the region has an influence on your writing?
V: People are excited about it! Shows are going great. We haven’t really had a band that positions themselves in the slam genre as strongly as us. Not saying that it is a good or bad thing but the end result is that people are going ‘oh cool, so this is slam’
TO: How did you all come to find one another?
V: Internet haha. That and most of us are from Durban so we know each with it being a small music scene.
TO: Anything special fans can expect from your live show?
V: General Madness and slams that break bones.
TO: One more question regarding other bands, the one I ask everyone: name for us an underground metal band that few people know about and why people should be paying them more attention.
V: Katalepsy. Not sure how well known this band is but I get the feeling not enough people know about them. They are insane.
TO: What’s next for Vulvodynia? Tours? Recordings? General aspirations?
V: Touring in Europe! Touring in America! Then when it’s time to record more the goal will be to push the heaviness as far as we can.
TO: Anything else you would like to share about the band or the album?
Exciting things are happening , we are in the middle of getting ready to take the show worldwide.
‘Psychosadistic Design’ is out now through Lacerated Enemy Records. Listen below.