Don’t believe the hype but when it comes to the new DRAWN AND QUARTERED album, do believe the hype. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
What kind of vision did you have when you started and how has it changed over the years?
Kelly Shane Kuciemba -I was in my early 20’s when I got serious about being in a Death Metal band. I had no illusions about being a big star or making a living doing underground music. I’m doing now what I wanted when I started. I have worked hard to establish a life and do music for a creative outlet.
Does location mean anything today? We used to hear about how it was all location, location, location back in the days if you wanted to make it big?
KSK-It really defines on how you define making it big. What that means for you. I thought making a CD and doing some shows, maybe some tours would be a success. Seattle was not a big Death Metal town when we started. I just wanted to be big enough to make some records and travel around doing some shows. It would be difficult way to make a living. I wouldn’t want my livelihood relying on having to make music that needs to sell a certain amount in order for me to get paid to live on, not at this stage of my life for sure. Early on I was in the position to give it a shot, but either the band line-up or opportunities didn’t line-up. Obviously the internet has changed the ways Metal media is discovered, but having a strong local metal scene helps if you want to break out of your local scene one day. It could happen to anyone at any time. If you can manifest all the things you need to perfectly at the right time you could potentially make it big, so to speak.
What is it like to be a in a band and to get to tour all over the world? What kind of feelings do that bring about?
KSK-Good question, I’m still working on that. We are doing more international appearances now, so I’m a little nervous about the travel but it is the best feeling to play around different places, meet new people and bands. That is one of my long time goals, and I got a good start back in the 90’s. Keeping a band active, and making professional moves like that requires all members to be on the same page and willing to make certain sacrifices and commitments. In order to establish that, you need to be a professional, which I am not. It requires the band above all things including your inter band friend ships. I prefer a more organic situation, and we are lucky to have now. We are all interested in doing more touring as the opportunities present themselves.
What kind of feedback have you had on your music, your latest album and in general? How important is feedback?
KSK-‘The One Who Lurks” is doing well with reviews and feedback. It seems to be just the right thing from us at this time. We are virtually unknown in many places, so it is great when new fans discover our records. It is and very gradual and organic experience. It is what I wanted 20 years ago, but it just wasn’t happening. We weren’t that good, and it took time find a voice. I still have a lot to say musically and hope to include lots of influences to keep our catalog diverse. Feedback is essential, but you have to be honest with your self. You know when you suck. Most people are impressed if you have instruments and can play something that sounds like a metal song. To stand out from the thousands of people that can do that, you need some technical ability. There are a lot of bands and musicians full of talent, but to make something that is worth investing money in to sell you’ll need music composed that people would be willing to purchase, support and own. Other products too, such as shirts. People supporting your band is the best feedback.
How do you know that you have written a “hit” song? Is there a particular feeling you get when you know that this is the one, this is the big “make it song”?
KSK-Great question! You would need to ask someone that has written a hit. I’m not sure what constitutes a hit in our genre, but there are classic songs such as ‘Chapel of Ghouls’, ‘Hammer Smashed Face’ or ‘Infecting the Crypt that defines a band or genre. It might be an album opener or title track that is a must play song for the band. It will be obvious when you have it, usually after the song has been recorded and completed. It has to have some originality, and enough familiarity to catch interest.
As I am no musician I will never got to know the difference of analogue and digital. Can you explain the difference to me? what are the pros and cons of analogue V/S digital?
KSK-Analog is when you record out of a live amplifier into a microphone then into a tape machine. Nothing is done pure analog anymore. It would be a very deliberate, and some what more costly endeavor to be pure analog. In fact it would never be released on CD. It would only be on tape or vinyl records. Everything is digital to some extent, at least in mastering to CD. You can do mostly analog, but the final mix is still usually digital. Now you don’t need to record out of amp, or tape machines. You could record directly into an interface to a computer or digital recording console. Analog was the way it was done until the CD was widely accepted. Gradually entire records were being done digitally. Now you can use both techniques to create the record like we did with ‘Lurks…’. We will always want the warmth and tone of analog when we track our parts. Then the mix and mastering is done digitally for efficiency and ease.
What is it like to have people you never met liking your music and singing along to it at gigs?*
KSK-It’s great. usually they are happy to just listen to the music, and not interested in meeting or talking that much. That is best, really. I’m just an artist, I don’t have that much to say, I prefer to express myself in the music. So if someone appreciates that expression it is a very gratifying experience. But if others don’t like it, you can’t let that distract your goal. I don’t take any feedback to personally, you have to remain true to the vision of your art.
How important are lyrics to you guys? Do you have any messages that you want to get forward?
KSK-Lyrics are important, and part of the musical experience. There is no message. This is to entertain ourselves and some others who appreciate what we are doing.
I love a really cool cover but I get the feeling that today with all this digital uploading/downloading people aren’t that concerned about artwork. How do you feel?
KSK-I grew up on LP’s and later tapes. But we would just sit, near a record player sometimes and just listen! All you had was what was on the record cover or insert to refer to. So art and presentation was a big deal. Wether it was sparse or gatefold with colored lyric inserts it was part of the whole experience. With our official full length records we have paid a lot of attention to the art. It doesn’t matter as much now, but I still collect a few LP’s so great art always looks cool. Really poor artwork certainly wont help most bands.
What does the future hold?
KSK-We have a small tour of Japan planned for October, and Mexico next January. We have a split record or two we’ d like to work on and a full length album written as a follow-up for ‘Lurks…’