It is not often that I get dropped a 2 CD release in my hands but that’s what happened with DISMA. A really cool release too. Interview answered by with Bill Venner. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
As I am not at all familiar with your band perhaps you could introduce it?
-Greetings Anders! We are DISMA, a death metal band from New Jersey, USA. We play heavy
down-tuned, dirty old school death metal with an emphasis on doom. Our current lineup consists of me: Mr. Bill Venner on guitar, Mr. Craig Pillard on vocals and Mr. Randi Stokes on bass. We are currently working with a veteran death metal drummer that we will announce very soon.
We have one full length album “Towards the Megalith” released in 2011 on Profound Lore records.
We also have a new release of all of our Demo and Ep material on a 2xCd compilation released on Necroharmonic Productions titled “The Lost Vault of Chaos” that is available now through us.
How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
-Well the band name DISMA was born well before the band was formed. I created the name from
melding some ideas I had for a band name and figured I would use it once I had a band together.
I wanted a one word name to keep it short and bold, something people would remember.
What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of music you play? What inspires you today?
-All of the old thrash and death metal bands from the 80’s and early 90’s. Sick bands like Destruction, Slayer, Candlemass, Pungent stench, Demigod, Morbid Angel, Kreator, Metallica, Abhorrence, Sodom, Xysma, Funebre, Disgrace, Bolt Thrower, Grave, Entombed, Immolation, Mortician, Death, Obituary, Gorefest. The list can go on forever. I grew up surrounded by this music and it is in my DNA. Today it is still all of these bands for me when it comes to music I listen too; I like the old masters. Typically any form of music can inspire us. We like Classical, Rock, Industrial, and Ambient music. All of these musical styles make can their way in and influence our writing style. What drives us personally is the intent to create brutally heavy death metal that is also filthy and dark. It is in our blood and we cannot escape it!
What is the advantages/disadvantages of CD and vinyl these days of internet promotion where digital seems to be king?
-The disadvantages of CD are well known at this stage. Unless you create a quality package that someone will want to own, they will just download it. Vinyl is a good example of this as well. Create something unique for the fans and they will want to own a physical copy. Also people want music on the go; an IPOD is a viable format to listen to music and is much easier than carrying around a bunch of CDs.
My car used to be filled with CDs and tapes back in the day. But over time most of them were stolen, lost or damaged. So now I think people want a little of both. Keep the prized vinyl/CD collection at home and take the digital copy on the road. We cater to ALL formats. We have released our music on cassette tapes, CDs, vinyl and digital. If we had the option to make an 8-track tape I think we would.
All of our recordings were done reel to reel. Analog is king
Is digital killing the album format?
-I believe it is to a certain degree. But like I said previously; create a quality product and people will want to own it. Vinyl is very popular and a staple format in the metal scene. I don’t see it going away anytime soon. Digital in handy but you don’t get the full package. People like to look at the artwork/pictures and sing along to the lyrics.
What part does art work and lay out play? Any message that you want to bring forth with it?
-Artwork and layout is a big deal for us. This plays into the quality aspect I was talking about. The cover art should express your music style as well as compliment the music. There are always exceptions and that is fine too. We like to have a detailed layout that stays within the theme of the artwork. We were very fortunate to find and work with Ola Larsson. He has done an outstanding job and cannot wait to see what he has in store for our next album cover. We have another artist we have been working with too named, Sawblade – Dan Shaw from Texas. He has done a couple of t-shirt designs for us in the old-school style. We want to bring the old feeling back with our art style. No digital mashups!
Is it a whole different way to promote a band today with all these social media channels? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way? Playing live and word of mouth.
-Facebook is the biggest promotional tool we have. We have a Facebook page that has all of our current events as well as a direct link to our store and webpage. This is the best way to reach out to our fans and to gain new ones. Right now we are in a transitional period working with a new drummer and writing our new album, so unfortunately we don’t have that current option of playing live to promote our music.
We are much older now and have our steady work and personal schedules to work around.
But once the new album is done we will start playing some sick shows again. This will create a new buzz as we haven’t had any new material in a few years and people are looking forward to the new songs.
Do you feel like you are a part of a scene, locally, nationally and internationally?
-Locally no, there are no bands to really connect with and play in our area. The old scene that was once prevalent has died long ago and everything seems spread out now. There are only a few good clubs in our immediate area but it’s not the same. NYC is the better scene as we have had great success playing shows there and they have better venues to play at. I do feel we connect more on a national and international level. We feel more at home when we are on the road playing with sick old bands like in Texas or Ohio. Also our mini tour to France and Italy made us feel like the scene never died. Great fans and diehard to the core! Some great clubs over there too! It was awesome to tour with Convulse and play a killer fest in Paris with Demigod. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would be sharing a stage with those bands. These were godly bands that died off years ago and I never thought they would return to their original style and play again. It was amazing to hear demo material played live! I told Esa when he got off stage that I could finally die in peace now.
How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
-We are not your typical touring band as we do live normal working lives with unavoidable commitments. Most of our shows are one-off gigs and depending where they are we are flown out for a weekend or drive to the location. Gigging is a great way to sell merch and to get the word out. Most shows we played with were with doom/stoner and black metal bands. So there is a good mixture of people at shows who can be turned on to us. We are a doomy band that grinds, so there is something for everyone.
What will the future bring?
-Right now we are currently lying low and dedicating 100% of our time and energy writing our follow up album which will be released on Profound Lore Records. We are taking our time as we want to make sure this is a quality release. We want to make the heaviest, catchiest music we possibly can. As I’ve mentioned earlier we have a new drummer we are working with as we write the new material and so far things are working out great. The next album is going to be sick!!!! Right now we have some new merchandise available that can be purchased through our website: WWW.DISMABAND.COM Also look for us on Facebook and “Like” us for up to date information and links to our webstore.
A special thanks to all of our fans who have supported us. No PC in the death metal scene!
Thanks Anders for the interview in Battle Helm!
I hope all of your readers enjoyed this interview.