Category Archives: Interview

Band of the Month: Cockpit

Previously known under the name of The Cock Rockers, this month’s Band of the Month are known for their energetic and entertaining live shows. Cockpit first caught our ears and eyes (with that unapologetically cocky name) back in 2010 with their performance at Singapore’s alternative music festival Baybeats. 5 years on, the band finally releases their debut album, Four Horsemen Riding in the Sky (Behind Got Sun), tongue-in-cheek yet not lacking in the musicality department at all. We catch up with the band after half a decade, to find out what’s up.

Cockpit-2013

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Band of the Month: The Black Monolith

The Black Monolith (photo 2)

The brainchild of ex-Bhelliom guitarist Damien Ng, The Black Monolith is his old school rock ‘n’ roll project. What started off as a solo project has now become a full-fledged band, and the results speak for itself with the band’s debut, self-titled album (which was released on 1 April, and will be launched at their album release party this coming 23rd May). We catch up with the band to find out more about the dynamics behind the writing of The Black Monolith, as well as some history behind the band.

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Iron Lamb: “Smile now, cry later”

…words to live by.

Iron Lamb (1)

And here’s our band of the month for January 2015, the mighty Iron Lamb. First catching my ears with their 2011 Pulverised Records debut, The Original Sin, these Swedes are back stronger, groovier and catchier than before with their sophomore full length album, Fool’s Gold. Along with new vocalist Bragman, the band brings us back to the good early days of bands like Motörhead with punk and heavy metal influences. There’s a reason for Fool’s Gold being our pick of January, so let’s find out what goes on behind the scenes with guitarist Johan.

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Interview with Anthelion

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In June last year, Anthelion finally dropped their sophomore full length album, Obsidian Plume. With the Taiwanese symphonic black metallers’ debut full length being a distant 7 year back, Obsidian Plume was certainly an album that was highly anticipated. After the (honestly) rather disappointing and different 2010 EP, Mañjusaka, the band returned to their roots and original style on Obsidian Plume, showing how the past years have done nothing to dull the edge that they have in their songwriting and playing. Vocalist Code tells us more about the new record.

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Interview with Aussie thrashers, Mason

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With their performance last night with Revocation in Singapore, Mason are now officially an international band, with 8 more dates in Indonesia to complete their War Across Asia tour, in support of their debut album, Warhead. We managed to get the opportunity to sit down with the band to talk to them about their music and their passion.

Mason war across asia

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Tech-Death Madness: Interviews with Archspire and Beyond Creation

JACKET

It’s tech-death double bill month as we bring to you two of the most highly technical death metal heroes of the year, Archspire and Beyond Creation. While each band presents different face of tech-death – Archspire‘s brutal and intense style vis-a-vis Beyond Creation‘s neoclassical inspired style, the brilliance exuded by each of their latest masterpieces, The Lucid Collective and Earthborn Evolution respectively leaves one wondering what it is in Canadian waters that is spawning such musical excellence.

Read the interviews with:
Archspire
Beyond Creation

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Band of the Month: Hiss from the Moat

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Hiss from the Moat epitomises the dominant style of Italian death metal currently – brutal, technical and relentless. Following in the footsteps of compatriots such as Hour of Penance, this three-piece act even boasts James Payne behind the drums, and Paolo on session vocals on their debut album, Misanthropy. We catch up with the band to learn more about the concept behind Misanthropy (which has now been picked up by Nuclear Blast), and the philosophy behind their music.

[Ed’s note: interview conducted in May 2014]

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Interview with Rude

Rude 2014

Old school death metal is alive and kickin’, and bands like Rude are showing how death metal is to be done properly – fast, raw and aggressive. With their new album, the band displays the whole range of 80s death metal influences that have gone into their melting pot. Here’s an interview that was dug up, and the band tells us more, from the songwriting process of Soul Recall to their simple, yet effective band name. (Interview conducted in May 2014)

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Interview with Den Saakaldte

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This interview comes in a bit late, being conducted back in April as Norwegian black metal band Den Saakaldte prepared for the release of their latest opus, Kapittel II: Faen i Helvete. Aside from the band’s Shining influences, along with the weird-fuckery that was on their previous release, All Hail Pessimism (which reminded me strongly of Japanese weirdos Sigh), the band goes back to their roots this time, and one can spot influences from compatriots Mayhem to the earlier works of bands like Ragnarok and Setherial on Kapittel II. Sykelig, founding member of the band enlightens us and tells us more about the creative process behind the album.

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Interview with Origin

Origin Logo

Set to perform in Singapore for the very first time on May 4, we talk to technical death metal masters Origin‘s Paul and and John, to find out more about the plans that the band has in place, and what they feel conquering new grounds with their last album, Entity.

Greetings Origin! Thank you for giving us this opportunity to talk to you. The band has come a long way since its beginnings in 1997, with this band being your 17th year of existence. When the band first started, was it ever expected that Origin still be dishing out death metal almost 20 years on?

JL-Hello! And thank you!  I don’t believe we ever thought that far in advance.  I’m sure we were hopeful, as any band must be, but at this point it’s a pretty crazy thing to think on.

Paul: I guess I’m still angry! Well I’ve been playing death metal since even before the bands inception. Its something I enjoy doing regardless if people listen to my band. I’m sure ill be playing music long after people have a interest in the band as well. 

When the band first started out in 1997, how did the idea of playing such brutal yet technical death metal come about?

JL- There was a lot of local competition at the time. Death metal was new, so there was a lot of “who can play faster and heavier” type mentality.  It was also a violent mentality.  In the Midwestern America, you had a lot of dangerous people that were attracted to dangerous sounding music, so….in  lot of cases, there was a gang type mentality.  So, lots of hypersensitive thought going into how to make the next song even faster and heavier. How to make it “brutal”

Paul: Well it was just a influx of what I liked & what I thought was missing in death metal & we had to make a name for ourselves somehow with just the music & not based on imagery. 

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The band has also had a steady stream of releases over the years, with the last release being 2011’s Entity. With the release being recorded as a 3-piece, how different was it compared to Antithesis?

JL-Entity and Antithesis, in my mind, are completely different from each other.  Everything from the song writing, the line up, and the musical direction.  For Antithesis, we had Me and Jeremy rejoining the band.  We wrote it much like we wrote Informis Infinitas Inhumanitas, as a full band in a room. Jeremy, and Mike both wrote material on Antithesis, where Paul wrote all the music for Entity. The mood during the writing was very high, and everyone was excited to be back together again, however, the actual recording was plagued with scheduling difficulties.  For Entity, we had lost our vocalist very close to the recording.  We wrote most of the album in NY and though the material came out better than Antithesis, it was rushed.  The mood was considerably darker during this writing session because we were skeptical on how this album was going to work out.  So I would say Antithesis is much closer to Informis, where Entity is more of a strange, desolate planet we suddenly found ourselves on.

Paul:Well Antithesis was written in 6 months by 5 guys that had 9 practices together. Entity was put together in a years time with about 3 weeks worth of rehearsal where I wrote all the music & mike & john made the contributions as musicians as well. Mike & I also wrote the lyrics in the studio & then I did primary vocals & mike added backups 

Was the songwriting process much different from before? With such technicality involved in the release of Origin, what is the entire writing process like for Entity?

JL- Entity was primarily written in late October, in my NY apartment on muted drums and a practice “amp”.  The amp was actually Paul running his POD though my home stereo.  Paul and I charted, and practiced all the material for a week as a duo, and then went to Kansas and worked as a trio with Mike for another week.  We went to the studio immediately following those two weeks.  Entity came out to be a product of being uncomfortable, and being rushed.  As I stated earlier, we had lost our vocalist rather suddenly.  Mike and Paul wrote the lyrics, mainly in the studio.

Paul:Over the years the bands writing format has changed from a garage grinder format to a composition based click track demos that we all work on individually @ home then we meet up for a week of rehearsal then enter the studio. Entity was basically written where I live & then mike & I would Skype to develop the songs. Then I spent about 3 weeks with john & mike rehearsing before entering the studio

While the lyrical themes of Origin often deal with death and misanthropy, they can also get rather abstract. Where does the band draw inspiration when writing such deep material?

JL- Lots of science fiction, horror, war, obviously. More recently American politics, which we find to be humorous on a tragic level.  I tend to leave the vocalist alone on lyrical concepts. Lyrical concepts can come from everywhere and nowhere, really.

Paul: The path less traveled! I try to find something new in every song instead of just kill kill die die blood guts. Its more of a sci-fi based horror them than just gore. 

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Since the release of Entity, Origin has seen the inclusion of Jason Keyser on vocals. With the current lineup, what is in place for fans of Origin in future releases?

JL- With Jason joining the band, I feel that we finally have a proper front man.  We have had vocalists in the past that talk to the crowd, but never anyone that can actually present a proper front for the band.  The next album will have a much more developed narrative, than Entity had.

Paul:I think the interior mentality of the band has changed with what we are going to present to the audience. Instead of just a one track mindset “everything on 11” mentality we are trying to create more dynamics & a better live show than just watch us play super fast. 

The current tour is labelled as “The End of an Entity” Southeast Asia tour, seemingly marking the last tour cycle for 2011’s Entity album. Does this indicate the band’s intention to enter the studio soon? Would fans of Origin be able to hear new material from the band soon?

JL- Yes, it’s the final nail in the coffin for all things Entity. There will be a new album from Origin in the summer, but we haven’t  decided if we will play any of the new material yet.

Paul: We are finished recording our newest album Omnipresent! We don’t have a release date as of this moment but it will definitely be released this year. Hopefully very soon!

This May will be the band’s first performance in Singapore. What can fans expect from the upcoming performance, and are there any shoutouts to fans from Singapore? 

JL- This is definitely the first time Origin has played Singapore.  The fans can expect a very brutal, fast, and fun show.  The fans can expect everything they’ve read about an Origin show as long as the venue allows it!

SO……be prepared, Singapore.  We’re coming for you!

Paul: Really looking forward to playing in front of new fans & experiencing the culture of Death Metal in Singapore! Very excited. I was disappointed that I have been there previously & wasn’t able to play!

Origin Live in Singapore

Catch Origin along with local death metallers Cardiac NecropsyAsilent and Flesh Disgorged on May 4 at Aliwal Arts Centre! Details right here.