Gaskin – “Edge Of Madness”

Gaskin – “Edge Of Madness” (High Roller Records)

Despite being rightly categorized as a NWOBHM band, many wrongly associate that wave of metal with the speed and power of the more popular bands. Gaskin, on the other hand, were one of the many less well known bands and rather than being ‘metal’ played a melodic metallised rock that drew inspiration from the British blues tinged hard rock of the 70s rather than punk. I can’t remember when the band folded but “Edge Of Madness” is the band’s 4th album and aptly titled given that Paul’s personal life saw him going thru depression, divorce and attempted suicide before picking himself up on the slow, hard road to recovery. Thankfully the reputation he made in those early days never left him short of friends and with the growing interest in ‘true’ metal, Gaskin got a new lease of life playing festivals like Headbangers Open Air in Germany. According to Paul, it has taken around five years to produce “Edge Of Madness” which may come as a shock to some, and even more so when listening to songs like ‘Heart Of Thunder’, ‘Lost & Lonely’ and ‘Mans’ World’ (featuring Hawkwind’s Nik Turner on guest sax), which scarcely show any signs of modernity, but continue in that same old harmonized blues rock style. Some might say its dated, but I haveta respect Paul Gaskin for continuing in fine style to do what he both loves and is best at. And with a cult following behind him, who’s to say there isn’t method behind his madness?

Dead City Ruins – “Midnight Killer”

Dead City Ruins – “Midnight Killer” (

Ironically this hard rockin’ Aussie crew formed in London in 2007, but despite releasing an EP called in “Lost In London”, homesickness took its toll and the guys upped and left back for sunny Melbourne, reforming the band with old schoolmates no less. Essentially straight outta the AC/DC book, DCR’s music is wholesome, straight up no nonsense hard rock n roll. Warbling melodies, riff raff guitar and beer soaked rhythms prepare you for Jake’s searing vocals, which owe as much to Axel Rose as Bon Scott both in style and sass on songs like ‘Highway Girl’, ‘Where You Gonna Run’ and ‘Damn My Eyes’. With enough fire to propel them back to England via Dubai, DCR are all geared up to invade Europe yet again for more tits LOL!

Shadows Chasing Ghosts – “Lessons”

Shadows Chasing Ghosts – “Lessons” (Small Town Records)

Despite all it’s made out to be, London can be a pretty angry city and the five lads making up scream rock band SCG are no exception. Forming straight outta school and right into the economic recession these guys certainly have a lot to shout about from Trey Tremain’s screamo vox to Matt n Jack’s hard abrasive guitars. However, they’ve also got enough heart and nowce to also incorporate some cool harmonies and catchy melodies to give songs like ‘Rest Easy’, ‘Now Or Never’ and ‘The Hunter’ some sensibility beyond the aggro.


ARAPACIS are Canadian. Like so many of my recent favourite bands are. I had to know more about them which resulted in this interview with guitarist Jerry Fielden. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

When you take your name from some sort of Roman monument do you have a grander meaning behind it?
-Roman history has always been a fascination with me, especially since I visited Rome and Pompeii as a child, and I’m also not a big fan of war and the “Altar of Peace” sounded well-suited to that theme.

What was the idea musically behind forming the band?
-I had a progressive hard rock band in the 70s in Montreal called Landslide (inspired by Rainbow, Deep Purple, King Crimson, ELP, etc.) and another band from the same period called Blade that was into Led Zeppelin, and I wanted to reunite with some of the members from those bands for fun, so we got together in January 2003 and formed the band. That lineup didn’t last and we went through a lot of changes. All three albums were recorded with different lineups except for myself and also Lizzie has been on the last two, she has been a constant for over five years now.

Canada is a large country but sparsely populated. Does that ever feel claustrophobic, like you only get to play to the same crowd over and over because touring the country would be too hard, too many long drives?
-No, not really, we’re used to travelling long distances to get to a show.

You are now onto album number three. Do you feel that the career curve is pointing in the right direction? Did you get the maximum out of the previous two albums?
-The other 2 albums were a build-up and a learning experience. They don’t sound at all the way I would like them to. I wish I would have had better production on them and a lot of those songs I would like to redo some day as I really like them. But album three has been worked on a lot more and it shows, I’m very happy with it!

What kind of reactions have you been getting on the third one so far?
-It’s been really good – the main point is the variety of styles, either you really like it because your metal tastes are eclectic or you don’t because you’re more into only one style.

With this being your third album, the hard one, do you feel that this is the do or die, the break it big or not break at all album?
-I think they all count.

Does the metal scene bridge the fact that there is a French and an English side to Canada? What is it like to live in a country that seem to have two major but different cultures going at the same time?
-There is a separate French metal scene here in Quebec (the francophone province of Canada), with its own shows, but mostly, both scenes happily mingle at festivals or bar gigs.

This might be a hard one to answer but has being Canadian affected the way the band has developed compared to had you come from south of the border? Is there something specific Canadian?
-There is less patriotism from the Canadian side as there would be in the US, although the French side is much more patriotic towards Quebec. Also, I think our approach is little bit more left-leaning than in the US politically and less religiously-influenced.

When you bring so many different influences together who takes charge of it all? Who is the captain of the ship?
-I seem to be the guy who puts it all together, but everyone has a word to say. Mathieu is excellent at arranging, and John is a stickler in the studio and gets everything going perfectly and Lizzie is the happy one that socializes a lot and is the face of the band.

What will the future bring to AraPacis?
We are working on a special project right now in the studio and we are also going to start writing for our fourth album soon. We have two big festivals coming up as well this summer. Camping Metal à Fullpadge in August and Hellfest in July.
Thanks very much for the questions and cheers and \m/ to all the readers of Battle Helm!

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BLUE DAWN are of the heavier Italian kind. You might not get too many doomier bands from Italy but once they come they are sure good. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I don’t get to hear that many doom oriented Italian bands. What was it that made you end up a doom metal band?
Enrico Lanciaprima- Well, actually in Italy there has always been a dark rock oriented scene, maybe not many doom metal bands, but some important groups mixing prog, hard rock and dark sounds, like Malombra, Death ss, Biglietto per l’ inferno, etc. WE are big Black Sabbath fans, so we love things heavy and doomy, but also free to experiment, I think Blue Dawn reflects that.

To me Candlemass is the greatest doom band in the World. Where do you draw inspiration from musically?
EL – Monica, the singer, loves Candlemass too, personally I prefer Trouble and Type o Negative, anyway our biggest influences are, as I’ve said above, Black Sabbath, seventies hard rock bands like BOC, King Crimson, Led Zeppelin and more modern bands like Celtic frost, My dying bride, Blood ceremony. We listens to a lot of different stuff, we like also experimental bands like Magma, Diamanda Galas, Black Widow.

When you play this slow does that affect the way you write lyrics? Can you sing about love and flowers and the bees?
EL – well, yes, it does affect the lyrics, we like to sing about the dark side of things, many songs are introspective, but also deal with relationships and social issues. We are also interested in occult themes.

What is a blue dawn? Is that something you get in Italy?
EL – No, it doesn’t exist in nature, it’s an image I had in my mind which I thought was very evocative and so we decided to call the band after that.

When you play slow is it possible to write 3 minutes songs and still feature all that you want to say or does it have to be 5+ minutes songs?
EL They don’t have to be necessarily long, but it’ s not easy to express yourself in short songs. We do many time changes, so our songs are generally long.

How does it work playing live when you are a doom band? Doesn’t the audience want to party and go crazy to some really fast music?
EL We don’t always play slow, our songs are full of light/shade moments, time changes, so we keep people interested and we try to be very energetic live, so the audience interact with us. You can headbang to doom songs too.

What is Genova like as a metal town? Do you have any place to play live? What is the metal crowd like?
EL – In Genova there is a lot of people that listens to metal and rock music in general, Genova gave birth to many artists of any kind since the sixties, there are some places to play live, but they aren’ t big ones, the best places are devoted to more commercial stuff, like in the rest of Italy. The metal crowd is generally warm and enthusiastic.

When you are a small band how do you go about promoting your band? Do you go on DIY tours around Europe?
EL – These days it’s very difficult to play live, you have to invest a lot of money to play live, most promoters ask you money in advance, big bands ask you money to open for them, we have been asked ridiculous amounts of money by bands and promoters and we always said no. We have never played outside of Italy yet, we hope to do so, we’ re waiting for the right offer. We’ d love to play in Sweden, by the way, maybe a promoter will read this..
How much of a tool is the internet in promoting your band? Does the old school way of word of mouth still work in spreading the news about the band?
EL – Nowadays the internet is essential, it plays a big role in promoting the band, our label promotes us through it and we do the same, via facebook, myspace, you tube etc. Our video clip for Shattered illusions has many hits, it’ s been very helpful.

What can we expect from Blue Dawn in the future?
EL – We have just completed a demo for the new album that we gave to the record label, Black Widow, we hope to enter studio during the summer for an early 2013 release.


CORNERSTONE might be from Austria but they sound nothing like you’d expect a band from there would sound like. Want to know why that is read what Patricia Hillinger and Michael Wachelhofer has to say. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

You sound very American to my ears. How much of a conscious decision was it to play the style of AOR/hardrock you guys play?
Michael: Hm, good question. Originally Cornerstone started as a kind of Alternative-/Indie Band. If you listen to tunes like “Changed” or “Something in the Way” from our first album HEAD OVER HEELS, you can hear this quite clearly. But Steve and me also wrote tunes like “Fade Away” and “Ready To Go” – more for fun, I have to say – and these were the most memorable tunes of the album, so we have decided, to go full hearted into this direction with SOMEWHERE IN AMERICA. AOR is probably a more matured kind of music, so this was an easy choice for us. But no one has said “Oh yeah, let’s write these big tune like ‘Open Arms’” or something like that. All of these songs have happened, appeared…more or less. We love the new album, we principally wrote, what we felt in our hearts… so in case someone says, it’s AOR, I’m quite happy with that.
Patricia: For me it was a clear decision. As I joined the band two and a half years ago, I knew that this is the way I want to go. Usually, people compare us with bands like Fleetwood Mac and Journey, which is a huge honour for us. This kind of music (a mixture of melodic/ classic rock) has always been a part of my life.

What’s fascinating to me is that two acts with the same influences can end up sounding totally different. What would you say has been some of the major factors in the way Cornerstone sound like?
Michael: I always thought about the bands I love… Toto, Queen, or even REM. Queen did tunes like “Hammer to fall”, which is pretty much Hard Rock..but they also did “Love of my life” or similar. In the end it always sounds like Queen because of Freddie, but they always had a wide range of styles and influences, and I defo wanted the same for Cornerstone. “Stay”? Just bang your head and enjoy! “Right Or Wrong”? Of course you probably could hear this on BBC Radio 1, too… but I love both songs, and at the end of the day, you can hear quite clearly, who of the two principially songwriters had more influence on the tune. “Right or Wrong” or “Strut” were almost Solo-works from my side, vice versa “Stay” with Steve. But of course we always work as a team, which isn’t always that easy. But it’s getting better (laughing)
Patricia: Michael and Steve, who wrote the songs together, did a great job. In my opinion, concerning lyrics and melody, they are the perfect creative team. After they provided a basis for the album, we all came together and rehearsed till midnight to make the songs unique. And they are. I am very satisfied and proud of what we achieved with our music. So far, people`s reactions to the new songs were always positive. I guess that’s because of the different styles of music we experimented with (Ska, Punk, Pop, etc.). The songs are all very peculiar and designed after everybody´s fancy.

When you come from Central Europe you are in the middle of it all. Does it make it any easier to be a band when everywhere you turn there’s a potential market?
Michael: I don’t agree. Austria and Germany are very difficult markets for Rockmusic. The UK is different, and we already had disussions, to move there permanently. In Austria we have some silly German-speaking Pop stars, who’ll sing about buying some icecream or holding hands with their boyfriend. We have a kind of Folkmusic scene…the leather pants and the yedels, you know? And of course some VERY heavy bands…Death Metal, Black Metal, etc. But there is nothing in between, so we have decided, to concentrate on markets, where AOR is big. This is the UK, and of course, the states.
Patricia: It does not make things easier. As an Austrian band you have to work very hard and you need luck and the suitable contacts to survive on the musical market. If you don’t produce folk or classic music, it’s nearly impossible to have success as a rock band like we are. But this only concerns our own country. In the States and in the UK things are different. The enthusiasm of the people over there is bigger than somewhere else. They really appreciate our music. That is why we’re even considering to move to England, permanently.

When you are a four piece band and playing the music you do is there something that you can?t do on stage that you can do in the studio?
Patricia: Of course, when we play our songs live we don´t have the possibilities that we have in the studio. Michael plays bass and keyboard. In most of our songs, both instruments are relevant, so the keyboard is missing most of the time. That is why Steve has to do the main part of the work concerning melody.

How hard is it to establish yourself as a band when you don’t come from the more traditional places like the States or the UK? How much more do you have to work to convince people that you too are good?
Patricia: It is very hard. First you need the acceptance of international places (like UK and the States). Only then, people pay attention and believe that you must be good. I personally see ourselves rocking the Madison Square Garden. No, just kidding… it´s necessary to stay down-to-earth. It´s my wish, to play as many concerts as possible in different countries, especially America, because I haven´t been there yet.

Does having an album to show for open more doors than was the case before?
Michael: Definitely. You can’t handle the music press without a professionally produced album. We were at the Start page of, and also Mags like POWERPLAY (UK) and CLASSIC ROCK (UK) gave us very good exposure and attention. Not to mention our appearance at BBC RADIO. This couldn’t have happened without an album. And to be honest – I don’t get the point, which sense it would make, to play in an Original-band and not recording an album?

We live in an age where the social media has taken over the way we communicate with each other. How do you from that perspective build a fan base that will last?
Patricia: I think that social networks are very important to build up a fan base. You can reach many people all over the world, which makes the promotion much easier. Platforms like facebook or myspace are very useful and with postings and blogs, you have the possibility to keep your people/ fans up to date all the time. For a band, it is a good way to invite people to your concerts and to call somebody´s attention.
Michael: Of course social media is important, but most important is, to go out and play, doing interviews in radios and mags – the old fashioned way. Many people – especially our targeted audience, people between 30-60, don’t use FB so much, so they wouldn’t have heard from us, if we wouldn’t have played there. But there are bands out there – like Arctic Monkeys – who built a whole career because of MySpace. This was possible 3, 4 years before, but MySpace isn’t that important anymore. As said, before, social Media is an important, good addition, but it’s not the most important thing in a career.

What does it take to be considered a success today? Do record sales still count or has the measure stick changed totally?
Michael: Of course album sales or downloads are important… but, to be honest, the music industry has sold out for too long. Really crappy acts were No.1, because of money or “knowing the right people” (LMFAO or Sunrise Avenue comes to mind…), so people more and more turn away from mainstream. Acts like Serpentine or Tyketto never had any charts-activities, but they are of course great, and in the UK everyone knows them (at least in the AOR scene). I would say, a good measure stick is the amount of concerts…and if the concerts are on the same places over and over. No one would book a band twice or more often, if they’d be a piece of crap.
Patricia: The most relevant thing is that you are unique in what you do. What counts nowadays, is the recognition value. If you stick out of the mass you win.

How easy is it stare blindly at the likes on Facebook and think you’ve made it? How deceptive can the social media be in telling you how popular you are?
Patricia: I think it gives you a good overview concerning your popularity. We are on our way to reach a big crowd one day and with every gig, I can proudly say, that we always bring home a lot of fans. This is it, what makes me really happy, not the numbers and likes on the internet.
Michael: I guess, this is probably a measurement stick for younger acts or Popmusic, because their audience are regular users on Facebook or MySpace. As said before, our audience is between 30-60, so some of these people don’t even own a computer, and of course don’t use FB, so this isn’t necessarily an indicator of the band’s popularity

Where do you intend to take Cornerstone from here?
Patricia: I want to take Cornerstone to worldwide success. It´s our goal to play as many concerts as possible and to be recognized all over.
Michael: next step for us is, to conquer mainstream radio and get more Airplay. As a side effect, we’ll probably play in front of bigger audiences and earn more money (laughing). By the way: in case you like our music, check out amazon and itunes, “Somewhere in America” is available there both as Download and CD.


THE FABULOUS RUDIES came to me courtesy of Reverbnation. I liked their sound and decided to get to know more about them by interviewing them. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I just gotta ask how much is the band name a tribute to the Fab Four? What is a fabulous rudy?
-We recently revamped the band that had been together 12+ years at that time in 2010! My daughter, Kailyn, that had been singing w/ the band from time to time since she was 7 years old, took over as the lead vocalist so we went from The Fabulous Rudies to The FAB Rudies aka “FABulous” Rudies. And yes the slight name play has everything to do with the Fab Four. A fabulous rudy is a tribute to the early Jamaican “Rudeboy” or “Rudegirl,” rudies! Bob Marley’s original band was called The Wailing Rudies!

You guys are often compared to bands like Paramore and their ilk. What in your opinion defines your music and what sets it apart from all other hopefuls?
-We are often compared to Paramore and such because we have a female lead singer and we ROCK! This is rare in itself! However, we think what sets us apart from other bands is our ability to crossover to other genres and the fact we feel that we have something to say. I think we are able to crossover where others fail is our mix of experienced musicians and young musicians. Having my daughter and myself in the band speaks volumes all by itself. Also because of our multi-generation influence and the fact the band has been around awhile, we are not confined to any certain sound and are willing to change without compromise to make the best music we can. We try to be open with each other as a band because we do have different influences and we have to respect that with each other. “We make music we like with no restrictions” is probably the best way to express The FABulous Rudies.

To me living on the other side of the pond the genre of music you get put into is very Americanized. Where do you see yourself having a potential crowd outside of North America?
-I want to think our music can crossover to anywhere. Good music is good music! Our version of No Doubt’s, JUST A GIRL, is being used in an upcoming movie called FEARLESS and will be “all mashed up” via the DJ with some of our original material to give it that “international” dance sound that seems to be everywhere. We are excited to hear what it sounds like! We are hoping to travel abroad especially Europe!

How do you best sustain a viable music career in an ever-changing music scene and not lose any sort of credibility?
-Well I think I’ve answered this before with playing music you love with no restrictions! However, today’s musician also must be somewhat business savvy and stay up on all the new social media as well. Making good music though will always be the main ingredient! Also I think you are not always going to keep even your “oldest/old-school” fans happy all the time. I guess you would lose credibility with those fans who do not like what you are trying to do. They never want you to change. I think you can’t worry about that. You can’t please everyone no matter how hard you try. We do aim to please though because we do “love” our fans! Just impossible to do.

When does a sound become complacent and dull and how do you avoid it to happen yet still maintain a radio friendliness?
-You have to grow as an artist or you stop being an artist. You can’t worry about what the radio programmers want to hear. We are conscious however about how we are viewed by outside influences but you will go crazy trying to please them. I say make good music and the rest will take care of itself!

When you deal with family in a band setting does that bring with it any special sort of circumstances, i.e. how do you deal with internal band issues when you deal with family?
-Good question! I believe family comes first and being in a band is like having a second family. Having my daughter in the band is quite unique but I enjoy it. I think being honest with everyone is important as well as being consistent. When everyone has the same goals in mind it is easier to deal with band issues. Having my daughter in the mix hasn’t really changed anything dealing with band members and our issues.

I’m not saying that your audience is mainly college oriented but your music does attract a young audience. How do you deal with a generation that has grown up with mp3s and downloading songs?
-It’s different than what I’m used to but it is my daughter’s generation! She teaches me. I’ve had to keep an open mind. Having to deal with my own children has helped me stay relevant with today’s generation.

Is the album as we know it from Pink Floyd or Black Sabbath dead today? Are people only interested in single songs now?
-It is about the single now just like it was in the ’50’s. It did change though didn’t it? I think it won’t always be about the single as the music scene always seems to go through cycles. The music industry today however, is changing at a much faster pace, in fact, every day, but no one knows what the future holds. I do know that people love good music and will always seek it out. I like to believe that music lovers will eventually want more than just a single from an artist. They will want to get into the artists heart and soul. Music fans are passionate about their music and musical artists. Again I think this phase will eventually change…the artist is going to have to make better music for the fan to want more. It will always be about the music no matter what the phase is in any generation. Wouldn’t it be great to listen to an artist’s vision again like “The Wall!” It’s not just a collection of songs but an entire story/message that Pink Floyd wants you to experience!

Is the way many people consume music these days a problem hard to solve or have you found new ways to bring your music to the masses?
-Music doesn’t sell like it used to at shows definitely. We try to give something to the fan every time we play live and are constantly coming up with ways to get our music out there. The internet though has gotten the independent artist’s music out there like no other time before. The problem is that the casual musician who is tech savvy can make music on a Mac Pro that isn’t very good but it is out there with everything else. That makes it hard for the consumer to decide what to listen to if all these different songs are randomly available on a variety of music sites. I do believe that eventually what comes out of this new way to consume music will be better than before as the “weeding out process has already begun,” and only the best music will survive because that’s all that can survive.

What lies in the future for The FABulous Rudies?
-The FABulous Rudies plan to conquer the world with a new Movie and new CD! Yes, we in a way have a new Movie coming out called MUSIC HIGH. My day job is that I am also a high school teacher and have an after school program about ROCK MUSIC. A local independent movie producer/director, Mark Maine of Angelic Pictures, read a story about my program in the local newspaper, the San Diego Union Tribune, and decided to make this movie, Music High, based on my story. My daughter and lead singer, Kailyn, has a principle role playing a music student in the Film, now to be released by Universal Pictures. Kailyn and her “All-Girl, Movie Band, The POP Squirrels” will try to win the school’s “Battle of the Bands” contest when a new music teacher tries to save their music program from being cut from the school. Most of The FABulous Rudies band-mates will play themselves as the backline musicians for the “POP Squirrels.” The Music High Soundtrack will feature 8 songs performed by us (covers, plus new & old TFR songs). We plan to release our new CD to coincide with the release date of this film including our first single, the title-track of the movie, IT’S MY LIFE. The release is to be determined but we should know sometime in June. We are guessing September? We are already planning to be a part of the sequel to this movie called FEARLESS and Kailyn has a much bigger role in this film to be shot in early September. We plan to tour after the filming to promote our CD for at least the next year(+). Hopefully heading to your way Anders, Sweden!


I will always carry a special torch for British bands. Call it romanticism or call it something else but British bands will always have a special place in my heart. HYPOTHESIS interview answered by Carl Foster (rhythm guitar and backing vocals). Anders Ekdahl ©2012

There seem to be a romanticism going for everything British outside of the Isles, be it Tv-series or culture. What is it like to come from Stoke-On-Trent and play metal? Is it romantic in any sense of the word?
– There is currently a very vibrant metal scene in stoke on trent with a vast amount of bands and a good selection of venues to play live music. I don’t think as brits we would describe our culture ourselves as romantic but we are very proud of our history and that of founders of the base of what is today’s metal genre.

When you come from the UK does the wing of metal history hang over you in everything you create?
– I don’t think the history hangs over anything that we create, but there are many icons from these isles that we can dream of achieving similar status to. But the music of Hypothesis takes its influences from much European music such as Lacuna Coil from Italy, Within Temptation from Holland and Nightwish from Finland, along with some American and Asian influences too.

With 40+ years as a genre what is there to heavy metal that hasn’t already been done in order for so many great bands to keep coming?
– We always strive to make our music to embrace all our influences and hopefully this comes across as a style of our own. We just aim to create music that we hope people can enjoy.

Hypothesis to me thesis + anti-thesis = hypothesis. What made you want to go with this word as the name of the band?
– Hypothesis initially came about because of my scientific background, but as a thesis it is also a study of all the rock and metal influences of all the band members ultimately culminating in the one conclusion of the style of the band.

The EP you have out is that a digital only release? What are the advantages of only doing a digital release? Is there any danger of not reaching all the potential fans when you only do it digital?
– The EP was released only digitally worldwide although we do carry physical copies with us at shows. In the current climate the digital platform is probably the most successful way of marketing music but for future releases we will hopefully look at using both markets.

I’m old enough o have experienced cassettes and vinyl. Today kids look at you in disbelief when you tell them that there used to be a time when internet didn’t exist and computers where as big as rooms. How do you attract a crowd that spends most of their time behind a screen and only listens to songs and not albums?
– I too remember cassettes and vinyl and think that there is still a place for vinyl as a slight trend increase shows that some of the youth of today like to have vinyl as a collectors piece alongside their digital copies, so this is something we may look at. Being able to exploit social networking sites and youtube with clips of live performances enables people to see us prior to a show and if people like what they see they will come out. We get a very healthy crowd in stoke and have started to attract interest in other areas of the uk now following live performances.

What other challenges are there in today’s metal climate? How do you set yourself apart?
– The main challenge for us is to sell large quantities of our cd’s / digital downloads and to be able to play to ever growing audiences and to appear on the more major festivals.

I’ve always wondered how you manage to attract a crowd in order to play live. How do you get people to come see you live?
– For us this is to constantly gig up and down the country, be seen to be a busy band, try to play supports with better known acts, and build our fan base and ultimately CD sales this way. We are an extremely hard working band and we may have started playing to small crowds but left a good impression and word spreads and the numbers at our shows has steadily increased.

With an economy on the decline and with a cut throat competition how do you manage to build a following? What little extra do you have to have in order for people to take notice of you and not the twenty other bands waiting around the corner?
– Hopefully with our live act, we aim to make our shows as entertaining as possible because when you go to see a band live it is important that the visual aspect of the show matches the quality of the music played. We aim to leave people with a show and performance to remember. We also make sure that we are polite and professional in regards to venues and sound engineers to ensure return performances and to leave a venue completely happy with professionalism, performance and attitude.

How do you plan to take Hypothesis to the next level in your evolutionary journey as a band?
– Our next step is to release a new single and video in the very near future and to promote this release to the max, with hopefully video plays on music TV. To continue to work hard as a band and to gig as often as we can and as far afield as we can. We have built up a very strong backroom team behind the band in the UK and abroad and as a band have come a long way in the 18 months we have been together and hopefully this can continue at the same rate over the next 18 months.


KEEP IT SICK is as good a motto as any when it comes to Brutaljohn & ONICECTOMY. This is death metal the sick way. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

How important was the ”Reek Of Putrefaction” and ”Symphonies Of Sickness” albums by Carcass for the whole medical dictionary sub-genre of death/grind?
-I think those 2 album has been 2 masterpieces for the death metal music. Their concept and the genre of their lyrics have been followed by an enormous quantity of bands until nowadays. Personally I’ve been a “medicine” fan from when I was 15 until I started studying it at university, so my medical dictionary has been expanded expecially by studying medical science, reading books and by Dr House.

I tried looking up your band name and found no explanation to the name. What does it mean and why did you choose it?
-This is the question I mostly expected. As u told before, Death metal scene is full of bands who take their name from the medical dictionary and since I’ve been always fascinated by medicine I decide to follow this trend. When we started up as a band I had just suffered a surgery to remove ingrown toenail from both my feet, so since also the other founding member have suffered the same surgery we decided to use this hospital experience as our band’s name, That kind of surgery in Italian is called “ONICECTOMIA” so since we liked how that words sounds we decided to create the brand new English word “ONICECTOMY” … You know, English is always more cool.

When you write your lyrics how much do you go for the free flow of imagination and how much do you look to books/films for inspiration?
-I think it’s impossible to write a lyric using just imagination or just taking ideas from films/books, I think there should be always a mix between these 2 elements. Regarding our debut album “DROWNING FOR SALVATION” we had the idea to describe bloody religious sacrifice in the Aztech Era so I started to study this aspect of their religion from the web and when I had a summary of their habits I started to manipulate those concepts in my mind and I asked myself “If I was a sadistic priest and I had the power in my hands what would have I done to give pain to a sacrificial victim?” So I started to add even more aspect taken by my mind: of course movies have influenced those images into my mind; if u want a ratio a could say 70% imagination and 30% inspiration.

When does the kind of lyrics you write become controversial? When have you crossed the line of what is acceptable?
-First of all I’d like to congratulate with you for this question, maybe this is the most interesting I’ve been done during all the interviews I’ve answered. We always try to communicate something with lyrics, often they are a kind of metaphor that hide negative aspects of our society hidden under tons of bloody, splatter, gore, horror images. I never thought about which could be the line I should not cross cause I think this line is personal and is linked to everyone’s moral and life experiences. When someone feels hurt by something we have written, it’s a kind of victory for us, cause it means we have been able to communicate which is the negative aspect we are criticizing so the track have reached its target.

How are you treated by your local metal scene? What kind of scene globally are you a part of?
-We are part of ITDM – Italian True Death Metal scene and we are so proud of it! Globally I think we can be inserted into the worldwide Brutal Death Metal scene. We are approaching to our scene as a band who has just got his first signing with a label and have just published his first debut album: humility has always been or most important principle. We are gaining some positive feedback and these are growing since we have the new line up, people are starting to support us and we are really glad of this.

I can see you guys playing in caves in the alps to only the most diehard fans but what kind of live scene is there in Italy for the kind of death/grind you play?
-It’s not simple for an Italian brutal band gain the same feedback that an American, German, North European band can get. It’s a question of culture, people can’t really understand what’s the underground and how to support it. Most of them doesn’t care about going to live shows, buying cds or merch, they only care about downloading how much music possible, save it into their hard disk and create their own “metal archive”. Fortunately there’s a little circle of people that really know how the underground should work so they work hard to give strength to the scene, organizing festival or gigs, we have some good reality such as TattooDeathFest, Lowlands Death Fest, Vulgar Fest for example that are only made for death metal addict, and support the band giving them the chance to play to a bigger audience supporting also great international bands, they really help bands growing so we have to thank everyone who is involved into this supporting action.

What kind of reactions do you get from the people around you when they find out what kind of metal you play? How much do you care about what other people think of your music?
-What other people care about my music is the first worry I have after we have published a new track or after a show. Of course I only care about opinions of people who are into Brutal death scene, cause if they give me some suggestion, I’m sure they know what are they talking about so we can discuss about it and maybe accept the suggestion. It’s most important for us that people enjoy our live shows, if there are at least a few people banging their head during our slamming riffs or killing themselves into the pit we are so much satisfied and it gives the tight motivation to go on with music writing.

When you have an album out to show does it get easier to be taken serious? What kind of doors does an album open up?
-Yes I think It’s easier and I also think it should be a fixed step into a band’s career. If you have an album published it means for me that you have solid ideas about your music, you have a project and you are keeping it on, someone at your label is appreciating what you are doing and decide to give you the chance to get more visibility worldwide so even more people could appreciate it. It’s an important piece of your band activity, and the best and unique way to introduce your project to the scene. So for me it’s indispensable to publish an album before hoping to play to important fest or starting with tours.

How important is it for you to work with the right kind of people? How do you find the right kind of people to work with?
-It’s the starting point for a good work. We have changed many times our line up so I tried on my skin what does working with right people means. You create such a great feeling and you don’t need, for example, to explain how to play a riff when you are writing a new song, you just have to take your instrument and start to play and after a second everybody is following your idea. It makes everything faster when you are writing a new album and even more fun: every time you enter your rehearsal room you know you are going to have a good time so you can’t wait to be again with your band mates next time. If we have compatible ideas about music, live gigs, album concepts, life in general maybe we can do a good job together: the best way to decide if someone is the right person is spending some time with him, talking, hanging, having some beer. Then feelings do the rest.

What kind of future us there for Onicectomy?
-2012 started with a new line up: we soon find the right feeling and we started to work hard to gain the time we’ve lost since our old bassist left us. We are working on the new stuff for the new album and of course we are promoting our first album with a lot of live activity in Italy and Abroad, we are going to take part to some important death fests and we have planned to release a new promo within this summer in order to have the new album ready for the end of 2012. So the immediate future is NEW ALBUM and massive live activity to promote our music.
I’d like to thank so much Anders for giving us this important space and everyone who have read this interview hoping I’ve aroused a little curiosity toward ONICECTOMY
If you’d like to know more about us I leave you some links to our official channels


ONLY FATE REMAINS should b e known by more metal fans. Rectify your mistake by reading thyis interview. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

I’m fascinated by how people end up playing the music that they play. What is it with goth metal that made you play it?
-Actually, we never started to play music together with the intention to play gothic metal with OFR. We all come from various backgrounds (rock to black metal), though all metal oriented. When you combine all backgrounds, this is what you get: the OFR sound.

When you come from Holland you have to carry the banner of great metal whether you like it or not. How do you avoid tarnishing the reputation of Dutch metal as great by releasing something that nobody likes? How do you keep it good all the way through?
-We are all perfectionists. With our debut album BREATHE we paid attention to every single detail, carefully layering all different ‘melodic story lines’ in the songs; every note of every instrument. When we weren’t satisfied with what we recorded, we simply recorded it all over again. In some cases we even rewrote parts of songs, to give the song the opportunity to really get its full message across. With our layered music this is a bare necessity. Writing is one thing, recording is another. Getting all those layers in precisely requires an experienced and gifted studio mixer. Jochem Jacobs (TEXTURES) delivered a very good job with mixing BREATHE.

When you chose to play goth metal is there some specific rules you have to play by? Where do you draw inspiration from?
-We don’t care about specific rules – writing and playing music is a creative process without rules, not cold hard calculation. It is the mix of people and styles that form the basis of OFR’s sound, not a genre. We do like to play sophisticated music, but that is easy to listen to at the same time – subtle sophisticated. We try to put something of that in every song, a sort of ‘musical wink’. You will notice them, when you try to play the OFR songs yourself; not that easy as it might sound 😉

The goth part, is that more present in the music or in the lyrics? What is goth really and how does that translate to music?
-I think that both lyrics and music have some ‘Goth’ in them. The lyrics on BREATHE all have a second layer to them and are kind of dark. Together with the often melancholic arrangements of the vocals and chords, this brings out (melancholic) emotions associated with ‘Goth’. Maybe that this gives the music certain ‘goth’-feel. For vocals we do not use the ‘standard’ opera soprano sound you see a lot with ‘Goth’ metal bands, but a rock mezzo-soprano sound instead. Of course we use heavy guitars and synths, but certainly with the synths we try to do something different. No oh-and-ah-choirs and huge bombastic orchestral arrangements. We use electronic elements instead (which might be considered ‘Goth’ as well, depending on who you talk to ;)).

How do you know that you’ve written a song that holds up to scrutiny?
-It is almost impossible to think for your audience. We are very critical about our work. Maybe that is the biggest hurdle for us to take.

I have this idea that the Dutch metal scene is one big united commune. Do you feel like you are part of a scene?
-Yes, we do. Everyone knows everyone: it’s a small world after all. This applies both to the bands and the audience.

When you have an album out does that make life easier for you as band? Do people take you more seriously when you have something to show for?
-In a weird way that is true. It also makes it easier to go across borders. How could they know us abroad otherwise? Now, with BREATHE released we can reach people from Sweden to the United States. Having said that, the environment in which we make music also changed. Instead of people comparing between local bands, they compare OFR with huge bands like Evanescence – a little different! Luckily, the BREATHE reviews show that OFR is more than capable of such comparisons. We are very grateful for receiving such trust in our music.

How hard is it to record an album? Do you struggle with what songs should go where or have you it all made up before you enter a studio?
-Because of the way we write our music and the perfectionists we are, this is a time consuming thing. For BREATHE we pre-recorded every song before we recorded the actual record. That is great for working on the different layers, such as backing vocals, ‘does the song come across’-questions and other tuning of the songs in the flow of the album. As we mentioned earlier, we are our own worst enemies. That makes recording difficult, because we won’t settle for less.

When you make a video with what intentions do you do so? How can a video help you?
-A video literally makes you more ‘visible’ as you can see in our video THE REAL YOU. People can see who you are, what you do. Social media and especially YouTube are great channels for reaching fans and spread OFR’s music. It is awesome to create a ‘visualization’ of a song!

What kind of future would you like to see for Only Fate Remains?
-Spread our music with BREATHE and THE REAL YOU as far and as much as we can – really bring our passion to our fans. Our ultimate goal is to make a living of our music, touring and