Neaera – “Ours Is the Storm”

Neaera – “Ours Is the Storm” (Metal Blade Records)

Hammering modern death metal from Germany! This is a veritable storm of an album: baroom bass, harsh pounding drums, heavy chundering riffs and a vocal mix of roaring meets screaming styles lays waste to songs like ‘Ascend To Chaos’, ‘Walk With Fire’ and ‘The Deafening’. Neaera’s key is the liberal use of intelligent guitar melodies that are added atop their furor which rather than temper it, create more of a definition to their material by giving it a catchy flavor. Quiet by nature, these five dudes certainly make a racket once they get going and with Tue Madsen at the helm, have been fully unleashed on this 6th album to the max complete with an even louder mix! A heavy touring band, I think Neaera have played 400+ shows in 25 countries as well as big festivals like With Full Force and Summer Breeze in their native Germany making them one of those wrecking machines that quietly roll in but leave a bombed wasteland in their wake!

Long Distance Calling – “The Flood Inside”

Long Distance Calling – “The Flood Inside” (Superball Music)

There’s certainly a lot to get out from this German post rock band: mashing elements of modern prog keyboard harmonies with heavy reverb guitars and ethereal vocals songs like ‘Nucleus’, ‘The Man Within’ and ‘Tell The End’ are diverse pieces of latent energy that slowly build or unravel into walls of intensity that have seen them go thru a range of guest vocalists including John Bush (Armored Saint, Anthrax) and Jonas Renkse (Katatonia)! In between, Long Distance Calling delve into deep ambient passages driven by electronic wizardry or amazingly fluid solo guitar work that seem to hold no end before a change is actioned unexpectedly at least to the listener but amazingly at the complete control of the band – a timeless experience that has seen them grace the stages of renowned festivals such as Rock am Ring, Wave Gotik Treffen and Roadburn. Definitely another band who take their compositions beyond music into a surreal experience, Long Distance Calling should be on the inter stellar line to contacting new worlds!

Evil Invaders – “Evil Invaders”

Evil Invaders – “Evil Invaders” (Hammerheart Records)

Barmy Belgians from Brugge – what more can one say! With names like Jöe Anus (I see he included an umlaut lol) and naming your band and debut after Razor’s prestigious 2nd album be prepared for the worst: helium high vocals, raw chopping thrashola riffs played at breakneck speed, twanging bass, pummeling drums – and a fuckin cowbell! Man, these guys must be straight off the funny farm – only in their 20s but dressed to the nines like I used to: clapped out Nike’s (with the tongue hanging out naturally), skin tight black jeans, black leathers and mop head hairdos that could champion a sheepdog ha ha. Still, they play mean mutha thrash a la Razor or Destructor on wild songs like ‘Speed Invasion’, ‘Tortured By The Beast’ and the superbly named ‘Alcoholic Maniac’. Now I know what Mike Judge listened to when he created Beavis n Butthead!

Valor – “The Yonder Answer”

Valor – “The Yonder Answer” (Pitch Black Records)

And so comes the latest signing to Greek label Pitch Black Records – Valor – who play melodic heavy metal. Smooth soulful vocals, flowing keyboard harmonies and a tight, but not too harsh rhythm bring an epic passion to songs like ‘Follow Me’, ‘Bravest’ and ‘Crossroads’ – although don’t be fooled by their one word titles: Valor can certainly play! The twin guitars are the key here for me, being the real element of the ‘metal’ in the band but also adding even more melodies during the more lulling moments and yet also quickly shifting tempo into a galloping Maiden-like pace on other occasions. Funnily enough the album gets heavier the more you get into it and even at times a little prog but their style reminded me a lot of NWOBHM band Praying Mantis, who bravely strode between heavy n melody also in fine style!

ABRIOSIS

ABRIOSIS from Canada proves that there is life beyond Cryptopsy in the ever so technical death metal genre. Answers from Robin Iwasiw, the drummer. Anders Ekdahl ©2013

Can we speak of a Canadian death metal sound? What in your opinion set Abriosis apart from the rest?
-Well I think when most people speak of the Canadian death metal sound the first thing that comes to mind is the Quebec metal scene. The province of Quebec has been responsible for some pretty innovative metal bands such as Voivod, Cryptopsy, Gorguts, and Martyr to name a few. I think one thing that makes Abriosis unique in the current death metal climate is that for us the song comes first. We don’t have a set formula or rely on things such as “speed” or “1000bpm tempos” to construct songs. All 4 members input into the writing process is very important. 4 heads are better than 1 and it breathes more life into the music.

Your sound is being described as progressive. What in it is that is progressive?
-We choose the word progressive because to us that means constant change and evolution. I would say we stay away from the “Tech” label because technical is all in the eye of the beholder and means different things from person to person.

You have a new vocalist now that has already appeared on another bands record and has drawn some attention to herself already. Do you think that this will help people discover the band?
-Yes Alxs Ness already had her own following through previous work and developed a strong youtube following through her vocal covers and tutorials. She has worked hard to hone her craft and is constantly expanding her voice. Her hard work has definitely helped expand our fan base.

I’m not one for traditional gender roles but do you think that a death metal band with a female vocalist will gain more attention than a band without?
-Well I think people will check us out from curiosity over the gender thing. We have noticed a stronger female presence at shows with Alxs Ness in the band. It’s kind of a double edged sword. Because death metal is so male dominated you still have some people who are resistant to a female fronted band. Alxs is such a strong front woman and a complete animal on stage so she can win over even the hardest critics.

You have a new EP out now. What was the idea behind releasing just an EP and not an album?
-We all felt that financially and for productivity a 4 song song EP would be our best chosen path. Production costs are lower and this will allow us to to release new music more frequently.

I’ve never ever released an album which makes me wonder how hard it is to write a whole album? Do you come to a point where you just can’t top what you’ve already written and settle for the second best to fill the album?
-No, we never settle for second best. We kill ourselves in the writing process and pine over all the details until everyone is happy. If it doesn’t give us goose bumps we throw it out. The band has a strict ” all killer NO filler” policy haha.

How important is the way the record looks? I’m almost obsessed with lay out and art work and feel almost cheated when something looks too simple and easy.
-The imagery and look of the art work/packaging is very important. I feel it needs to complement the music as well as help portray the themes and feel of the music.

Has technology made it easier to be DIY today? How DIY are ABRIOSIS?
-Yes technology has been very helpful with all aspects of the band. We are a self-financed independent band so at this point we book all our own shows and tours & do 90% of the leg work ourselves. It`s very time consuming but also very important to expanding our fan base.

How much promoting can you do in Canada and the US before it starts to feel like you preaching to the already converted? What would it take for you guys to come to Europe or Japan or South America?
-At this point it seems like you can never promote too much. The internet has made the world a bigger place with all the different online sites, magazines, blogs etc.
If afforded the opportunity we would love to have the chance to play in different countries! We are looking into it but it is quite a challenge for independent bands.

What future do you see for the band?
-We will continue to release new music and tour as much as financially possible. Our next big step will be to venture down to the states and start building a stronger following down there. Right now anything is possible and we will continue to work our butts off and push the band as far as possible. Cheers

ATTEMPTED LIFE

ATTEMPTED LIFE might not be your typical Finnish metal band but they have enough going for them to make them interested enough to interview. Anders Ekdahl ©2013

How would you like to introduce the band to somebody like me that is new to the band?
-Attempted Life is a trio that plays heavy music free of limitations. For us as a band it is important to stand out from the swarm of new metal bands by living up to the sound and themes of our songs. If we sing about something, we are out there doing similar things. Metal bands these days lack balls. We are not doing this to be cool. We are doing this cause we must.

The first time I heard you album I came to think of Umeå?s Refused. How much hardcore and how much metal are you guys really?
-Hmmm… Not too familiar with refused. Our guitarist Patrik is more a hardcore listener. We write the songs together so some of that vibe may come from him. We are not a scene band however. Everyone can label us how they wish.

Is the style of music that you play big in Finland? To my ears you sound like an outsider.
-Yeah, I don’t feel that there’s an exact same sounding band in Finland. Finland has scenes like hardcore, emocore or more “classical” metal like Children Of Bodom. We hope to create something fresh and unique. And we hope to be an outsider, sort of. The dirty beat-up wolf lurking in the shadows ready to mangle the satisfied lion.

I know that there used to be a great Finnish hardcore scene in the 80s and that the metal scene is pretty good today. What does that heritage mean to a band?
-Not that much. Of course it is better to bounce from a country that has already some international reputation music wise than it would be to appear from Azerbaijan

If you could dream, what would be the ideal tour for ATTEMPTED LIFE to be on?
-With a hungry newer kick ass band. Something fresh that can pull a pumped up crowd to have fun. Best thing would be a tour with a Finnish band called Nothing More To Eat. The tour would consist of the following countries: Italy, Mexico, Brazil, Japan and UK. Yeah.

Where do you see your greatest potential for breaking it as a band?
-To do our own thing with 100%. Write modern classics, shoot sick videos and play spectacular live-shows. And a bit of luck wouldn’t hurt either.

What kind of reception do you get in Finland for the type of music that you play? How do you fit in with all the rest of the Finnish metal bands?
-In Finland there’s currently a legion of bands, most being rather insignificant naturally, so it is very hard to get noticed. I still think that the thing we are doing will be unique and get the attention it deserves in the future.

What does it mean to have an album out? Does it open up doors that were closed before? What do you think you get out of having an album out?
-Well, we have an EP out called “Pangaea”. We had previously recorded five songs to see how our music sounds in the studio. The content was good enough for us to be released. So we still have our “first album cherry” to pop.

What are your feelings towards the album? Is it something that you feel like you can live with for the rest of time?
-For me this is the most important piece of music so far. Hopefully our sound and music will develop but right now our Pangaea EP is the motherfucking shit son!

What will 2013 bring to the band?
-The recordings of our debut album and possibly a release of a debut album as well. We will also hit the studio next weekend to record a new song and a cover. We try to play as many gigs as possible too. And shoot new videos too. Yeah.

A WANTED AWAKENING

This band seemed interesting enough for me to want to interview them. A WANTED AWAKENING answers from Jason. Anders Ekdahl ©2013

I don’t get this modern metalcore sound. How would you like to explain your sound to somebody new to the band like me?
-Well, metal is a peculiar type of music, wherein people like to divide sub-genres into smaller and smaller sections until it contains only bands that they like and not ones that they don’t. So, we have to follow this guideline in order to relate to fans. But, we try to mix as many different types of metal as we can into our songs. This strictly comes from the fact that there are five people in our band and each of us has slightly different taste in metal. So, we try and put some of each of us into the songs, so that we are all proud of what we create and can see ourselves in it. With that said, we incorporate some thrash riffs, deathcore breakdowns, progressive song structures, technical instruments, djent trick rhythms, and lots of different vocal stylings. There are lots of different variations on metalcore today, but this is how we write.

Do you feel that you are an American band in the way you sound or do you draw influences from other countries?
-We hold no nationalism in our music. We try and draw influences from everywhere that we find inspiration. Our main influences come from the States, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Canada, Denmark, and Germany. It is interesting though that American metal is still the melting pot that the country has always been. For the most part, European metal bands hold very true to what comes from their country. Whereas US metal bands steal from all those other countries and mix different aspects together in new ways. This is obviously not always the case, US bands come up with new things and European bands draw influences from US bands too. But its far more likely for a Swedish sounding band to be from Sweden, than an Brazilian sounding band to be from Sweden. America has both Swedish and Brazilian sounding metal bands though.

How did A Wanted Awakening come to life?
-Our former vocalist Rick Hardy started the band under the name Atlas Dying in 2001. He made a record called Images Inward in 2004 with that band. Jason joined the group in 2005. But, A Wanted Awakening really came into existence in 2006 when Evan Carney and John Tree joined on drums and guitar respectively. We threw out the old songs and started fresh because the sound of the band became very different at that point.

I guess that there is a greater meaning to the band name than just random words put together?
-Wanted Awakening was actually going to be the name of our EP. But, the name held enough meaning to all of us that we thought it could be an overarching concept for the band, not just one EP. To us the name signifies to desire in all of us to find something so meaningful that it instigates a personal awakening of mind, spirit, or consciousness. We feel that everyone is looking for a way to make their lives better and more like their dreams, and this band is our personal search for that experience.

How important is the presentation of the band to you? Is there anything that you don’t want to be associated with?
-I have studied the art of performing for ten years through education and musical experience. So, the presentation of the band is very important to us. This is not limited to our onstage persona’s, but extends to every piece of merchandise, artwork, music, photos, articles, interviews, and business interactions. We strive to be as professional and polished as possible in all respects, while still being the goofy odd characters that we are personally. It is a tough balance to maintain, but we have gotten into a good rhythm in that respect over the years. After playing shows for the past 6 years, we have seen a lot of unprofessional antics ruin what could have been great shows for other bands and we decided to try and learn from other peoples mistakes and cut all that stuff out of our lives. This band is not only our passion, but our business and we treat it as such. We want to be known as a stable, dependable, hard-working band that puts 100% into everything that we are associated with.
The only things that we don’t want to be associated with are the things that are sometimes assumed of us because we are a metal band, but that just aren’t the case. We don’t use profanity. Not from a moral stance, but because it is just not that creative or interesting. We are not angry people with angry songs, which people assume because of the screaming vocal delivery. We are not stupid metal heads, as if there’s not stupid fans of all music. Our music is written from an educated background, and our lyrics are intelligently poetic. We don’t condone violence. We are always happy when fans move to our music, it pumps us up. But, personally we don’t mosh because we want to watch the performance of the band and see what they are doing. And there is a big difference to us between moshing and fighting. When people pick each other up, have fun, and get some frustrations out then moshing is awesome. But, beating up someone smaller than you or punching people in the back of the head is not ok, and it does happen unfortunately.

Something that I often is how you control the way your band is perceived? How do you stay in control?
-There are certain things that are in your control and other things that you just have to let go of. You can be aware of everything that you put out into the ether, or say, or do. But, perception is in the eye of the beholder. So, you may think that you are doing everything right, but others may not see it that way. All you can do is what you think is right and hope others agree. We typically keep as much centralized as possible. We use a single outlet for each type of media and everyone checks them regularly. This way there are multiple eyes on everything that we do. We also know what each persons strengths are and try to keep people doing what they are good at and away from what they are not. If we make a mistake, we try and apologize and remedy the situation as soon as possible. And most importantly own our mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, and so does every band. But, pushing blame on someone else is unprofessional and childish. We try and take responsibility for our actions and therefore people usually understand that even if the actions we took weren’t the right ones, we were trying to do what we thought was the right thing.

How much of a DIY band is A Wanted Awakening? How important is the DIY ethos to the band?
-We are almost completely a DIY band. Every unsigned band has to be DIY at some level. We do like to be in control of our image, music, and band activities, so DIY is important to us on some levels. But, in order to get to the level of awareness that we would like to achieve, we will need help. Jason did all of the recording for our full length Catharsis, but we had it mastered professionally. Rick did a lot of our artwork, but we also bought the more recent T-shirt and album art. We prepare all of our statements and press releases, but we recently work with Clawhammer PR to disseminate them to a wider audience. We did two week long tours recently through a booking agent, but wound up doing a lot of the work ourselves. So, we don’t want to have to do everything associated with the band, because our most important job is still to write music. If we can find people who are really good at what they do and we can trust them, then we are happy to have them do what they do. Bands need to have too many skills in the current music marketplace to excel at all of them. You have to be able to write music, write lyrics, perform live, book shows, design artwork, set up retail displays, network, write press releases, record music, design websites, utilize social media, make videos, write blogs, book tours, negotiate guarantees, promote shows, sell tickets, court radio dj’s, and much more! There is just no way to do all of these things as well as someone who focuses on one of them and does that all day every day. You have to pick what is most important to you, focus on that, and review everything that you outsource.

When you release an album how much in control of its outcome are you? How important is the way it looks?
-As an unsigned band we are much more in control of the results than if we were signed. This has positives and negatives. We decided when to release the album, where to do it, on what platforms, cd release shows, which reviewers to solicit, and so on. But, each of these things takes time and money. We decided to release through CDBaby which was a good choice financially for us. Through them we had access to iTunes, Rhapsody, and Amazon. But, there is a lot of paperwork for each of these outlets. We obtained our own ISRC codes, barcodes, and copyrights; all of which takes time, money, and paperwork. We got our music on Pandora which took a ridiculous amount of time and several attempts to get Amazon Advantage to list our tracks properly so that Pandora could access the. We had around a dozen reviews of the album which ranged from stellar to mediocre. But, each of these reviewers was handpicked and solicited on our own, which took a few months worth of emails. We made several videos for new tracks on Catharsis, but we did them all on our own so that was time consuming. We feel that the release went well considering it was our first full length and we were working with a limited budget. But, for all the talk about how you don’t need a label anymore, we feel that in order to make enough money to live on as a metal band that just isn’t true.
The look of the album is still very important. We spent a full month making revisions to the artwork for the album. We needed to album to look the way that we wanted it for our own satisfaction, as well as the marketability. We sell a lot of albums at shows before we even play, just because people are intrigued by the artwork. As well, music fans have ever shortening attention spans in our internet driven lifestyles, so if the artwork doesn’t grab them right away, they move onto something else. Just as important for online sales though is the formats that you offer the album. We try and make our music as accessible as possible to as many different people as possible. So, we offer mp3’s, AAC’s, Waves, FLAC’s, 24/88.2 high res, among others. Everyone listens to their music on different devices and for different purposes now, so we try and accommodate as many different lifestyles as possible.

How important is touring these days to keep a band’s name alive? What kind of touring scene is there?
-Touring is hard. No two ways about it. There are fewer and fewer venues every year that accommodate live music. The venues that are around don’t have the built in audience that used to exist, so they rely on bands to bring the crowds. Promoters do less and less promoting and simply book bands and collect money. Bands rely on social media to spread the word on their shows and don’t actually go out and meet people anymore. Independent radio that used to advertise local shows in nearly nonexistent. Hardest of all most shows are ticketed, so that the promoters can make sure the bands are promoting. It is very hard for a touring band to sell tickets for a state they haven’t yet arrived in. Our experience however, is that if you can make a tough situation work, and your band is good, the second time you want to play for a promoter they will bend over backwards to get you back. So, don’t burn bridges and always remain professional, because this industry is small and you will see these people again.
With all of that said, touring is still completely necessary. Local shows are great and the first step to making something out of your band. You need to workshop your songs, stage performance, and professionalism at the local level before you try and show your product to the world. But, you have to take that next step and tour in order to have anyone take you seriously. The internet makes the world smaller, and we have fans from all over Europe, South East Asia, South America, and so on. But, there is no substitute for seeing a band live. The casual fan is made on line, whereas the dedicated fan is made in person.

What would the ideal future look like for the band?
-The ideal future for A Wanted Awakening would begin with us continuing to make trips all over the country and eventually the world. We would record a new album in the next year or two. We would get picked up by a metal label who is really into our sound and they would put us on the road with some appropriate headliners. We would tour constantly and build up a loyal fan base. Most importantly this would lead us to make enough money to live comfortably by doing what we love.

SAILLE

Belgian metal ain’t nothing like Belgian chocolate. Were one is highly regarded the other has almost fallen back into the unknown. But there are hopes for the Belgian metal scene. SAILLE being one example. Dennie answered my questions. Anders Ekdahl ©2013

In the beginning I thought that a keyboard in black metal was a strange choice of instrument but bands like Dimmu Borgir and Limbonic Art has proven me wrong. When did in your opinion the keyboard become an accepted instrument in black metal?
-I’m going to be completely honest, in most cases I absolutely hate keyboards in (black) metal, There are tons of bands with a certain potential that are reduced to fairytale-music because they had to include fun and/or way-too-technical keyboard parts or they had to give keyboard a more prominent role than it deserves. It’s simply overkill and one of the reason many people consider most symphonic black metal as a cancer to the genre, me being one of them by the way.
But I have to admit, there are bands that succeed in throwing in keyboard as a harmonic part of the whole and that know how to add to the atmosphere of their songs.
I’m not going claim we belong in one group or the other, it’s not up to us to judge ourselves, but we try to be a part of the second group.

What is black metal to you? What is the ultimate definition of black metal?
-Saille has 6 different individuals with 6 different backgrounds, so I find it hard to give an ultimate definition of black metal that’s supported by the entire band. But I believe that transferring certain emotions and an atmosphere of unease is very important to our music and shows. A pretty broad description, but I don’t want to start lying about how we hold non-conformism as the most important factor of the band, simply because it isn’t true. For me personally it isn’t always easy. I know that as a front-man I have the most important contact with the crowd, but like I said, Saille’s 6 different individuals, so I don’t think my usual “fuck you”-attitude would be very welcome. Neither would it fit Saille’s style. So I try to adjust. A little.

Belgium used to have some great metal acts when I grew up in the 80s but then nothing. What is it like to be a metal band in Belgium?
-The last few years have been pretty quiet, Up to ’07-’08 there was a very active scene and you would have 2/3 great gigs a weekend, but the last few years things have been going downhill. Decreasing visitor-rates, less bands, fewer shows and lower quality, A phenomenon that can be seen elsewhere in Europe too, I guess. Metal isn’t dead, I’m not saying that, but I’ve got the feeling that the sudden ultra-popularization combined with the lazy internet-behavior of the new generation has put a chokehold on the underground.
But there’s still talent and bands/organizers that deserve the attention. Also we still play great shows and there’s often an enthusiastic crowd, so that’s all that matters now. Things will change for the better again, it just needs time.

What kind of music scene is there in Belgium? I would imagine it is a lot of techno and trance stuff that still rules the charts there.
-I honestly have no idea, the only radio I listen to are the ones that don’t involve themselves with that kind of crap. Don’t get me wrong, I have a broad taste in music and can even appreciate some techno and trance, but chart-material usually isn’t the pick of the genre-specific litter so rarely worth listening to.

When you come from a country that doesn’t really make that great of an impact on an international scene what does that do to a band’s determination to make it?
-“Take it as it comes”. We don’t have the determination to make it, we have the determination to do the best we can and to push our own boundaries in order to grow in an organic way. And I believe that’s an important and fundamental difference. You have dozens of bands that try to ‘make it’ and adapt their music according to what’s hip or might be well-appreciated by the crowd, but that’s not our way of writing and performing. On our albums and our gigs we try to project an honest picture of what Saille is. If we can’t make our impact on the international scene this way, so be it.

What kind of respond did you get to your first album? What did people think of it?
-Responses were crazy. People were praising Saille as of we were the next big thing in the universe and the album has an average review-rating of well over 85 percent. What might be even more important is that we got bigger opportunities, like playing a gig on Graspop Metal Meeting, the biggest metalfestival in Belgium, quite something for a band with a 1 year live reputation.

How will you build on that response with this new album? How does it follow on the debut album?
-Like I said, we’re trying to push our own boundaries. We’re not making calculated moves after we received and interpreted feedback. If people like it, they like it. If not… too bad.
The changes compared to the debut are mainly us growing as a full band and trying to involve more of that band and their ideas in the writing-process. To my opinion we’ve succeeded in this, so I believe ‘Ritu’ is an even better harvest on an already fertile soil.

When you write a new album how much of a band effort is it? How much do one person have to steer the ship for it to not sink?
-Saille and it’s debut used to be mainly Dries’ project, but ‘Ritu’ has been the work of the entire band. The writing-process mainly happened over the internet (since most of us have some basic recording material) and choices were made by us reaching consensus. I realize most bands need that ‘one strong person’, and I’ve experienced first hand that more than one alpha-male can lead to internal struggles, but I’m happy to say that Saille works as a democracy. And since this way is the right way for us I can’t imagine changing that any time soon.

When you play gigs as a black metal band how important is the surroundings/settings? Does it even matter to you guys where and when you play?
-Surroundings/settings certainly do matter, just imagine us playing a show in front of Cinderella’s castle? When we get an opportunity to play we always consider the pros and cons of said show without trying to be arrogant bastards. There are certain factors that just have to be right, for example, it should be possible to have a decent sound and leave a good impression with the crowd. When that’s impossible we won’t play, because nobody, neither band nor crowd, would find any satisfaction in it. But in the end we’re not that hard to satisfy and if there’s a problem we’ll look for a solution.

What would you like for the future to bring to you?
-In short: safety on the road, cool gigs and a third album. And more interesting interviews like this one! I like it when I’m not being asked the standard questions and thank you for that!

VOID OF SLEEP

I love Black Sabbath. Any band that slightly resembles them gets my thumps up. VOID OF SLEEP is one of these bands that draw heavily from that era. Anders Ekdahl ©2013

How does a band like Void Of Sleep fit into the 21st century? Wouldn’t you much rather had been stuck in the 1970s?
Gale: I think we fit perfectly in 21st century, we are rooted in the 70s but we live these times and we are comfortable!
Burdo: yes, we also like a lot of band from the ultimate decades…ok, the seventies had their magic and incredible bands, but we are focused to the present and the future.

In the 90s grunge pretty much killed of heavy metal. Stoner rock didn’t have the same kind of influence. What is it about stoner rock that works were grunge didn’t?
Gale: I don’t think that grunge has killed metal! Bands like Alice in Chains or Soundgarden have many metal riffs and a metal sound. In the early 90’s the metal scene was amazing, Metallica, Pantera, Sepultura, Megadeth, Fear Factory, Machine Head, Messhuggah was in the highest times of theyr careers.

When you look to the past for a sound how much do you keep yourself in the present? How do you combine the past with the present?
Burdo: well…it’s a tough question, honestly i never raised the issue to myself, we don’t think that kind of things when we compose our songs, we just jam and the final result is a combo from our musical tastes, our sound and our way to express it…so we don’t give a fuck about if it sounds old or what.
Paso: Looking to the past we both agree that a lot of things are changed: we are now in the digital era, we are the “undo” artist generation. Lots of people think that computers are the best players available (cit.Frank Zappa) but vinyls are still alive and beloved. I think we need to learn how to produce a good record both from the past than from the present, don’t refuse analog only because it’s old and don’t refuse digital only because sounds poor. We should learn pro and cons and then trying to build the sound of the future. Yes this sound pretentious but we should try it!

What kind of scene is there in Italy for this kind of music? What kind of national response do you get?
Gale: In Italy there are so many great bands in our genre like Ufomammut, Lento, Black Rainbows, Isaak, Zippo and others.
Burdo: Absolutely true! There are these stoner/doom band in Italy, and there is an amazing underground scene in general…band like Sunpocrisy, Nero di Marte, At the Sundawn and Empyrios to name a few among others. In every cases the response is bigger outside our country more then inside, because in Italy there isn’t a lot of business abate that stuff…in particular we are a new band, in this days will come out our first record and our label is Italian….so let’s see!

When you form a band in Italy and you pretty much know that there is no scene for it with what intentions do you do it? How far abroad do you look?
Gale: I disagree with you, as I tell you before there are many great bands in our country. We hope to grow up as a good band, here in Italy and all over the world.

Is there anything in the Italian history that you can use as lyrical concept and make it fit with the music? Where do you look for inspiration to the lyrics?
Burdo: oh yes, I think that there is a lot in the italian history, a lot more than many other countries here in Europe…but for this record the lyrics are much more intimistic and triply…the songs are about the human mind and the emotions that may arise from it in a dark and decadent era like the one we live today.
Gale: The Italian story is incredible: the Romans, the Reinassance, very few country have a past, a culture and a inventiveness like us, nobody can say I’m wrong. Unfortunately in our days we can’t say the same.

If you were to choose one or two important eras in music what would they be? What time in history has meant the most to VOID OF SLEEP?
Paso: we’d like to stick in the present or in any other odd decade! My favorite is the ’90!
Burdo: mainly the 70’s and the 90’s…that’s because in the first, rock n’roll came in all his greatness! I’m talking about Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and all the others and the second because bands like Pantera and Tool reinvented it amazingly!

How pleased are you with your debut album? What expectations do you have on it?
Gale: We are really impressed about the feedback of our album, is not out yet but there are about 20 enthusiastic reviews from all over the world many called it masterpiece. We are really proud of our work and we hope that it will be liked to as many people as possible.

What kind of touring options do you have to promote the album? What would be the ideal tour for you guys?
Gale: The ideal tour should be a world tour supporting Black Sabbath! Haha all jokes aside at this moment a 15 days tour in clubs around Europe and a couple of Festivals it could be perfect.

What else do you expect from the future?
Burdo: I don’t know really…I can tell you what we will do! Rise, increase our level as a band, play wherever we can and write other songs…
Paso: Right now we are working on new songs, we’d like to expand our musical limits make any sort of experimentation. Beside this we’d like to play live a tons of gigs cause we feel much comfortable on a stage than in a rehearsal room!

WÖMIT ANGEL

Without Impaled Nazarene we would not have been able to enjoy WÖMIT ANGEL. So a huge thanks to I.N for existing. Anders Ekdahl ©2013

How hard is it to come up with a band name that fits the music you play?
-Originally the band’s name was supposed to be Lerva Enkeli which is Finnish for Vomit Angel. Musical style was crustpunk but when the current musicians came together, Wömit Angel was created and style found its present form. So the name came up by accident and we’re too lazy to change it. We added ö dots because of Motörhead and the W just for the kicks.

How much has the Finnish extreme metal scene meant to the sound of the band and how much has the South American scene of the 80s meant?
We really enjoy the 90’s Finnish black metal sound as with the crustpunk elements of e.g. Terveet Kädet. Not too much engineering behind the sound serves us well. When it comes to 80’s South American we all share our interest in old Sepultura. (surprise)

What would you say has been the most important bands in shaping the sound of the band?
-Wömit Angel exists only because of the Finnish band Impaled Nazarene. It has a huge influence for all the members and we wanted to show our homage to them. (I think this also answers to question no. 2)

Where do you see WÖMIT ANGEL fit in today’s extreme metal scene?
We deliver our music in somewhat raw and impulsive form. What we mean by this is that we do not want to use “studio magic” or compromise too much. Music and songs need to come honestly from the depths of our twisted minds! We do not do things etc. genre wise. We’re here to play our sado-black metal and we play it fucking loud!

Do you have any explanation as to why there are so many bands in Finland? Is life so boring in Finland that you have to start a band to have something to do?
-I guess we have two options in Finland. To be an unemployed drunk or to be an unemployed drunk in a band (laughter). Seriously, we scandinavians just happen to have a thing for extreme music. Don’t know if it has something to do with the melancholic climate but it definitely has something to do with our alcohol consumption as a nation (laughter).

Does it matter where in the world your label is located? Is it easier dealing with a Finnish label?
-We chose to go along with Inverse Records because they had an offer that fitted our plans. Otherwise I don’t think label’s location matters that much in this era of the Internet.

How important is it to take a stand against Christianity? How does the lyrics fit the music?
-Finland was among the last European countries to turn into Christianity. Finnish pagan legacy stands strong in our otherwise hypocritical nation. I personally found Christianity as submitting yourself to a Higher entity and thus unevolving yourself as a human being. I believe in the Setian way when it comes to developing yourself, your physique, your mind and your “idea”. In lyrics I often like to express the ugliness of man. To quote George Carlin (RIP) When it comes to comparison of rat and man: A Rat can do a pretty disgusting things but it will NEVER fuck another dead Rat. Got my point? (laughter)

How important is the art work and what role does it play?
-By this you mean our cover artwork? It went more beautifully than we expected. I think it really stands for the record as well as in the CD store shelves. Music counts but it’s always nice to have good looking covers.

Do you follow a certain aesthetic in the way you dress for the band? What does the band mean to you?
-We enjoy expressing ourselves and if you can smear some excrements on Jesus Christ’s face while doing it, why the fuck not!

What future do you see?
-The narrow path that we ride is covered with blasphemy and filth. Go figure it out and see us LIVE!