(Brutality shall reign: Our old and loyal friend Vonlughlio from the Dominican Republic interviews Henri Sison, the drummer of Disentomb from Australia.)
I’ve been given the opportunity to conduct an interview with Henri (Drummer) of Disentomb, one of my favorite Brutal Death Metal bands from Australia. Just last year they released via New Standard Elite their second full-length entitled Misery that was my Top 3 album in my year-end list (you can see the full list here).
This is one band that I can honestly say exactly how I found them: It was in 2011 after the release of their debut album Sunken Chambers of Nephilim. I was drawn first by its artwork, and the music turned out to be just top-notch BDM from start to finish.
After that the band released a 2012 demo and later on signed to the best label of the BDM genre, New Standard Elite — and when that happened I lost my shit at work and could not do a single damn thing the whole afternoon. They are label mates with Gorgasm, Seminal Embalmment, Cerebral Effusion, Excoriation, Abhorrent Castigation, Delusional Parasitosis, Injury Deepen, Asphyxiate, Embodied Torment, Virulency, and many more.
Thanks guys for taking the time for this small interview — I know you’ve been touring frequently in support of the album.
My first question for you is to ask if you could tell me how and when the band was formed? Were you guys playing in other bands at the time?
Disentomb was formed in 2009 after several lineup and name changes to our high school band. We have all known each other since our early teenage years. Jordan and Jake’s friendship goes even further back and have been friends since they were kids.
At that time, how was the scene in Brisbane and when was your first show? What kind of memories do you have of those early days in the band???
I can’t quite remember the first Disentomb show, as we had already played a few local shows in our previous bands, Cadaverine and Wounds of Decay. The Brisbane scene was thriving off the back of bands like Portal and Astriaal, as well as dozens of hard-working bands. We were one of the first ‘Brutal’ death metal bands to hit the scene which made an impact. We also supported Napalm Death and Dying Fetus for our third show as Disentomb, which was insane.
I must say your debut album is just amazing from start to finish, and I would like to know what the writing and recording process was like? And did it change for Misery???
The writing methods were completely different for Misery and Sunken Chambers of Nephilim. When writing Sunken Chambers, we had a lot of spare time on our hands. Jordan and I would skip university lectures and we would jam as a full band for 8 hours, 3-4 days a week. We had our first album written in a few months and weren’t concerned too much about song structure, we just wanted fast riff after fast riff, and blastbeat after blastbeat. We rewrote the songs a few times to make them as brutal as possible.
Misery took a lot longer to write as we all had full-time jobs and Jordan had to move away for work and our newest member Jim lives in Perth. The first few songs were written in the jam room but we found it was more efficient to write at home. I would make up drum patterns in my own time and program them to give Jake a platform to work with. We found we could focus more on guitar riffs, transitions, and composition this way.
The biggest difference between both albums was time. We wrote Sunken Chambers as fast as we could and recorded the entire album in 4-5 days. As for Misery we kept writing and rewriting songs until we were 100% happy with how they sounded and how the album sounded as a whole. We were a lot more patient with recording too. I recorded drums around my work schedule and wasn’t satisfied until I completely nailed each song. We also spent a day and a half searching for the right guitar tone.
I’ve also got to say that one aspect of the album I like is the lyrics of the songs and how they reflect some thoughts I have had for most of my life. What are the subjects or ideas that inspired them?
We all share similar ideologies when it comes to religion and use this for the basis of our lyrics. Most of the lyrical content is apocalyptic, against religion, and is based in an ancient foreign world.
As you already know, I lost my shit when you signed to New Standard Elite. Could you elaborate on how your experience with NSE has been so far? Dan certainly seems like a great guy and is well-respected in the BDM community.
All the rumors you hear about Dan and NSE are true! He has looked after us so well and always goes above and beyond. We have had nothing put positive experiences with NSE and are grateful to be part of such a brutal roster.
When the Misery pre-orders came up in the New Standard Elite Big Cartel, I literally woke up at 4:00 am my time to pre-order ASAP. Now that it’s been 4 months since the release, you have toured quite a bit with bands such as Goatwhore and Psycroptic. Could you share how that experience was and the craziest crowd you played for in those tours?
Cheers dude! It means a lot to have such dedicated fans. We have done two full Australian tours and a few shows in New Zealand since the release. Tours are always fun. Usually the best times are after and between shows when you’re hanging out with the other bands. We’ve played over 30 shows with our bros in Psycroptic so it’s always fun to tour with them. We’ve also made good friends with the dudes in Thy Art is Murder and Revocation.
We played some insane, shows but the most memorable was an All Ages show in Melbourne with TAIM. 5 death metal bands in a hall of a Catholic college, I don’t think we’ll get to do that again!
I believe that in June you’ll be touring the United States. Could you tell us more about that tour? When does it start and with what other bands will you be playing?
The US tour is divided into two separate tours which will cover the west coast and midwest. The first half is an NSE tour from June 12-25 and is with Cerebral Effusion, Delusional Parasitosis, Embodied Torment, and Iniquitous Deeds. Our first show of the tour will be at Las Vegas Deathfest which is set to be huge.
The second half of the tour is booked through Tone Deaf bookings and will continue directly from the NSE tour. These dates are TBA. We finish the tour at Bay Area Deathfest where we’ll share the stage with Psycroptic, Cattle Decapitation, Origin, No Zodiac, Condemned, Fallujah and many more.
One thing I like about the band is the design of the merch, really astonishing. Did you guys come with the concept??
We wanted to have artwork that would complement the lyrics and concept of Misery. We gave the song lyrics to artist Nick Keller (who worked on Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit), and he created the beasts that are mentioned in each song. The album cover and Misery creatures came out better than I could have ever imagined.
I know that one can get the CDs and merch, either from NSE or the band. But you recently posted on your FB about the opening of an Indie Merch store for US customers. Any idea when it will be operational and will there be any new designs?
The Indiemerch store is now up and running. It contains two exclusive Misery designs as well as the Sunken Chambers of Nephilim album art shirt. We will be adding more exclusive designs soon! Head over to Indiemerch and check it out.
My last question is what are the future plans for the band after the tour in the States? Do you have more tours planned or will you maybe start writing for a future release??
Writing for Album 3 has already begun! We are touring Europe/ UK in September and hope to return to the US to play some east coast shows later this year. We are also in the process of booking dates in Asia and an Australia tour. You can expect to see a lot more of Disentomb in 2015/16.