(As the title says, this is an interview with Michiel Dekker and Robin Kok of The Monolith Deathcult. I feel sure they are in this photo somewhere. I also feel sure you will thoroughly enjoy this interview. Speaking for myself, I laughed, I cried, I experienced the whole range of human emotions. And that was just while I was writing the questions. If somehow you don’t know about TMDC’s new album Tetragrammaton, read Andy Synn’s review here. The excellent photos accompanying the interview were taken by Raymond Groenink.)
Thanks for taking these questions. Not that you have anything better to do, but I’m trying to be polite. Is it working?
Robin: About as polite as an Anal Cunt song.
I’ll count that as a “Yes”. I was told you have a new album that’s now out. Is this true? I’d just like a little warning so I can make sure my bomb shelter is well-stocked and ready for occupancy.
Robin: I would like to officially state that whoever is spreading this misinformation, is spreading malicious truth.
Very well then. I understand the new album is named Tetragrammaton. I did some research, and it seems that “tetragrammaton” is the ancient Greek word that refers to the Hebrew theonym יהוה (transliterated to the Latin letters YHWH), which is considered in Judaism to be a proper name of the God of Israel used in the Hebrew Bible. Some people might think you’re putting on airs. Why did you pick this as the name of the album?
Robin: Mainly so we could wallow in our own grandiose pseudo-intellectual wank and get interview questions that are marginally more interesting than asinine tripe such as “could you please introduce the band to us” or “tell us about your new album” or “Thanks for taking these questions. Not that you have anything better to do, but I’m trying to be polite. Is it working?”. We picked this title for several reasons. 1) To keep in line with Trivmvirate (III = our third album), we needed a word that meant something to do with ‘four’ without actually being ‘four’. Tetra- means ‘four’ of course, so that’s that covered. The four letters could mean YHWH, but what they don’t tell you at bible study is that it really means TMDC. So no, we’re not putting on airs: we’re in full-on self-congratulatory mode!
Michiel: We also chose tetrAgrAmmAton as album title because of the triple A in it, to emphasize our major role in the music scene as we know it and because AAA stands for “PRIME” which is of course a reference to the narrator on this album.
(On June 24 [July 2 in the U.S.], Peaceville Records will release The Headless Ritual, the second full-length album recorded by the legendary Autopsy since their revival in 2009. NCS supporter KevinP had the chance to conduct a wide-ranging interview with Autopsy’s co-founder Eric Cutler, and we’re proud to bring it to you right now.)
K: Not that you’ve kept this a secret, but I’m not sure how many people actually know that you were diagnosed with Avascular Necrosis in 2008. The last update I saw (via Brooklyn Vegan in Dec 2012) was you had nearly recovered. Can you give us all any further update?
E: Yep, I am healed and building up strength in my hip. A lot of physical therapy, swimming, and exercise!
K: This caused you to get 2 hip replacements over the years, correct?
E: Yes, once in 2008 and again in 2010. I should be good now for 15-20 years. I will have to have replacements again and I am not looking forward to that, except for the morphine!
K: Any idea what caused or brought this on?
E: We don’t know why, I don’t fit any of the criteria. They don’t know a lot about the disease, there are many things that can cause it. My son recently was diagnosed with it as well. His condition is not related to mine though. He has a disease called Legg-Calve Perthes. He will be having the first of at least two surgeries very soon. He is 6 years old and the news devastated my wife and I.
(Occasional NCS contributor and a tough man to please, KevinP, recently had a talk with Wolfgang Rothbauer, guitarist for Austria’s Zombie Inc., whose new album Homo Gusticus was recently released by Massacre Records. We’re pretty sure Wolfgang is in the middle of the photo above. At the end of the interview we’ll have some music from the new album plus two videos.)
K: OK, ready when you are.
W: I am ready! but be aware…I am the murderer of 6 beers already!!
K: Oh boy, hahaha. I know this is one of those annoying interview questions, but give us a little backstory on how the band formed (this will help out all the newbies who are just discovering Zombie Inc).
W: Well, it was just Gerald Huber (Collapse 7) and me, who met in 2009 for some beers…I had to record some vocals for his project…after this we had more beers and talked about the good old 90`s death metal…after this we decided to form an old school death metal band… we knew that this would not be perfect and “real” if Martin Schirenc wasn’t on vocals …so we asked our long-time friend to follow us…he was surprised but followed…the other guys too, but they were later replaced by Martin Arzberger on bass (Molokh, Hollenthon) and Florian Musil on drums (Raising the Veil, Molokh). After our infection caused by the zombie babypiss, we deformed to zombies…so here we are!
(In this post, our own Andy Synn turns in an interview with Alan Cassidy, formerly of Abigail Williams and now the designated hitter for The Black Dahlia Murder, whose new album Everblack is coming to North America on June 11 via Metal Blade.)
Hello Alan. So to start things off, please, introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Alan and I like to party… I also play drums for The Black Dahlia Murder.
Ok, simple enough! Let’s keep on with some basic background information. When did you first start playing drums, and who were your earliest inspirations behind the kit?
I’ve been playing drums ever since I was a baby. I used to grab toys and piece together makeshift kits to bang on. I grew up listening to the Beatles cause of my dad so Ringo was there from the start but my early influences on drums were mainly Travis Barker and Joey Jordison. I loved the speed Travis had with all the interesting fills and drum beats he would put into songs and Joey had a cool style too but he was one of the first guys I heard playing double bass.
What bands were you involved with prior to being picked up by Abigail Williams/The Black Dahlia Murder?
I started out playing for a band called The Breathing Process in 2008 then I joined a band out of Ohio called Karen Page that had some guys from another band I had met there while I was in The Breathing Process. After that I joined Abigail and then Dahlia.
(In this post, Dane Prokofiev returns to NCS with another installment in his Keyboard Warriors series, in which he interviews metal writers — and now branches out to provide an in-depth look at the inner workings of metal’s most comprehensive single resource of knowledge. We are also indebted to Azmodes for the time he devoted to this fascinating discussion.)
Comprised of a large number of dedicated staff members and innumerable ordinary members, the non-profit cyber encyclopedia of metal bands is a project that requires a huge amount of constant effort in order to stay online and remain relevant and useful to metal music writers, fans, and researchers alike.
If you have ever wondered about the internal workings of Metal-Archives.com, here’s an inside look. A fairly new administrator of the site discusses a multitude of issues ranging from the hierarchy system to the controversial topic of what makes a band “metal” enough to be officially recognized and registered in the database.
(DGR interviews Timothy Pope of Australia’s The Amenta.)
Around the time we posted about The Amenta’s music video for the song “Teeth” and subsequently reviewed their album Flesh Is Heir, we were given the opportunity to sit down with one of the group’s founding members (well, sit down as much as we can through the magic of the internet) and really talk about the group’s latest releases - as well as get a general overview of the band throughout the years.
Synth/keyboardist/general technology wizard Timothy Pope has been with the band from its foundations and has seen it through various incarnations and sounds. As you can all see below – the man has a thing or two to say about a thing or two and really helps give a picture of what happens when the group sits down to write music, as well as the general philosophy of everything that goes in to the band. He even graced some of my sillier questions with serious responses.
This one is a good, long read so beware that it’s a time investment, but it’s also fascinating to see the inner gears of a machine like this turning, and get a glimpse of what went in to each song. It also functions as a hell of an introduction and tutorial to who these guys are and what they are about.
(In this post, Dane Prokofiev [formerly known as Rev. Will around these parts] returns to NCS with another installment in his Keyboard Warriors series, in which he interviews metal writers. I swear this one was his own idea.)
I know what you’re thinking. But no, featuring an interview about you on your own blog is not an egotistical thing to do at all! It’s just like mailing a Valentine’s Day card addressed to you on Valentine’s Day; it serves to expedite one’s noble quest for attaining self-actualization. C’mon, everyone does that… right?
Nearly 3½ years into metal blogging, the laborious machine behind NO CLEAN SINGING has built a name for itself. Surely, achieving this feat is something that it could not have foreseen back when it took to the human World Wide Web and registered the NCS web domain just to have an online outlet to type about the type of music it loves.
Mysteriously named The Great And Glorious Supreme Leader of the Eternal Heavens (otherwise known more succinctly as “Islander”), the father of all decapitated T-800s entertains Yours Truly by answering a second round of questions.
(Suffocation’s new album Pinnacle of Bedlam is a stunner, but what did you expect? As TheMadIsraeli said in our review of the album, Suffocation “define the three things that make a great band: Consistency, legacy, and relevancy.” We’re honored to present Andy Synn’s interview of Suffo’s uber-bassist Derek Boyer.)
So a couple of weeks back I was asked if I wanted to interview Suffocation… and who could say no to something like that? I wasn’t aware who exactly would be answering my questions, so I tried to make them of a type that could easily be answered by any and all members of the band. In the end it turned out to be uber-bassist extraordinaire Derek Boyer who was tasked with responding to my inane queries, and – all credit to him – he did so in a thoroughly entertaining and really detailed manner.
You’ll notice that I didn’t bother to touch on any of the recent line-up changes, the he-said, she-said back and forth between the band and departing drummer Mike Smith, or even the storm-in-a-teacup that was Fran Mullen’s decision to cut down on his own ability to tour. These have all been covered pretty thoroughly elsewhere, and, as I think you’ll see, it seems like Derek certainly appreciated not being asked about them for the 100th time.
Ultimately, I hope he got some enjoyment out of answering the questions himself, and I hope you all appreciate his answers and his generally very friendly and relaxed demeanour, which really comes across despite the limitations of the email interview format!
(In this post, BadWolf interviews Doug Moore of Pyrrhon and brings us new Phyrrhon music, too. The fantastic photos accompanying this interview were taken by Caroline Harrison of Brooklyn Vegan. To see all of them, go HERE.)
Pyrrhon might be extreme metal’s best-kept secret; their sound is hard to pin down, but resides somewhere between Am-Rep style noise rock and progressive death metal of the most confrontational variety. The Brooklyn four-piece’s first album, An Excellent Servant But A Terrible Master, racked up a positive review in Decibel, and some powerful blog acclaim in 2011. This weekend Pyrrhon uploaded the third demo track from what will become their as-yet-unnamed second album for Selfmadegod Records.
I sat down to chat about Pyrrhon with vocalist and lyricist Doug Moore. It was hardly our first extended conversation. In the interest of full disclosure, I would proudly call Doug a friend since we attended Maryland Deathfest together last May. We both write on staff at InvisibleOranges and contribute to Stereogum.com—any prospective professional musicians would do well to read his industry analysis for a dose of healthy Schopenhauer-level sobriety. None of that changes my professional opinion of him, though.
Objectively speaking, Doug is a powerful vocalist and one of the best lyricists in contemporary metal, period. Our interview evidences his ferocious intellect, and personal dedication to extreme music.
(Our man BadWolf interviews Fenriz from Darkthrone.)
Norwegian black metal bands and fans sometimes draw fire from more casual metal fans, as well as the mainstream, for taking themselves too seriously. Such criticisms, however, cannot be leveled at Fenriz of Darkthrone. While his peers in the second wave of black metal bands have grown, by and large, more progressive in recent years (Mayhem, Enslaved), Fenriz has been taking Darkthrone in a more primitive—and fun—direction roughly since The Cult is Alive.
Darkthrone’s last record, Circle the Wagons, sounded like a scuffed-up relic from 1980. Their upcoming album, The Underground Resistance, will follow that path even further, judging by the rust-released single edit of “Leave No Cross Unturned.” It’s an energetic number, sporting Fenriz’s best Manowar impression, and some fast-and-heavy thrash.
I sent some questions to Fenriz via email in late 2012. Judging by the candor of his responses, Fenriz doesn’t take himself that seriously either, but the man has a deep love of heavy music, and a whimsical conversation style penetrating the language and technology barrier.