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Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

Nervecell

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Nervecell are stalwarts of the Middle East metal scene. The UAE based death metal band have released 2 full length albums, toured across Europe and performed alongside legendary metal acts like Metallica and recently Nile.

Next week the band release their third album Past, Present…Torture via Lifeforce Records (US/Europe) and Metal East Records (Middle East). The band have premiered 3 tracks from the album so far, a peek into their heaviest material yet. A few listens of the album was all it took for me to get convinced that Nervecell had topped their previous album Pscyhogencide.

I spoke to guitarist Barney Ribeiro about Past, Present…Torture, death metal in 2017 and also performing in India.

Read my interview on Transcending Obscurity

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August 17, 2017 at 11:01 am

The Father of Serpents

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The Father of Serpents is a doom metal band from Serbia, the first band from the country to feature on this blog. The band consists of well known figures from the Serbian metal scene and they released their debut album Age of Damnation a couple months ago via Satanath Records.

I spoke to guitarist Loncar about the album, their writing process and more.

 

Most of the band members are also part of The Hell. How and when did you’ll decide to start a new band?

TFOS: Hi, you are right, most members are from The Hell except the drummer Aleksandar Maksimović and Pavle Sovilj who plays the violin and is also a singer.

It all began when a few songs were made for our guitarist’s – Igor Loncar side project. It wasn’t meant to be a band at all, but after a few months a lot of people were very interested and excited about this project, we received the offer to play as a support band for Attic shows in Serbia and also to play on Exit festival in Novi Sad. That was the perfect moment for this project to become a band. In addition to this we were and still are very good friends, and we have similar music taste so it was natural for us to play together once again.

Your music a mix of gothic, death and doom metal. How did you develop your unique sound?

TFOS: That’s probably because of the various mix of the music genres we listen to, there are influences from Pink Floyd to Bolt Thrower in our music! It’s not really unique, or at least we do not feel it that way, we wanted the recycle the 90’s doom/death sound we all were listening at that time.

Your debut release Age of Damnation reminds me of the Peaceville era of doom metal. Tell us a bit more about the album

TFOS: Yes, it has the atmosphere just like the old (gold) era of doom metal. It has 10 songs, almost an hour of music and we are really proud on what we achieved with it. Idea was to record an album that we would listen at home. Today a lot of bands records music just to show their technical skills, or to be cool, have fun on stage (nothing wrong with that), but our main goal was to have an album that is both easy to listen and interesting enough at the same time. To some extend we believe that we managed to do that.

With 6 members in the band, how do you’ll manage the songwriting process? Is there one or two main contributors or everyone contributes equally?

TFOS: There are no rules when we talk about the songwriting. Sometimes one of us makes the whole song and brings it to the rehearsal, sometimes we make it all together, sometimes we just jam and hope it will go in some direction.

The album was recorded at Wave Studio in Belgrade. What was the recording process?

TFOS: We are lucky enough that our guitar player Igor has his own studio , mentioned Wave Studio, so we didn’t have to rush with recording and mixing. We had actually a great fun during the recording, we had the freedom to try everything we wanted. It was recorded in parts during the whole summer of 2016. The last song, for example was made and shaped during the recording process. A lot of people really like the production and so do we! We already heard from people it sounds like 90s doom with modern (good) production!

Do recommend bands from Serbia that the readers should check out.

TFOS: If we talk about doom metal, you should definitely check out ‘Tales Of Dark’ and ‘The Bloody Earth’.

What are your plans for the rest of the year? Are there any shows/tour planned in promotion of the EP?

TFOS: We will have the album promotion in our home town – Belgrade, it will be a gig in the club ‘Elektropionir’ on 2nd of September. Right after that the plan is to visit all nearby countries and cities and to promote our album and music in the best way we can. Also we hope we will record new material soon since we already have some new music for the listeners!

Thanks for answering all my questions. Do you have any final words?

TFOS: Thank you for your interest in our music, and see you all on the road hopefully soon! Doom on!

Listen to Age of Damnation below

Written by trendcrusher

August 3, 2017 at 11:00 am

Psycroptic

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Death metal band Psycroptic are one of the well known extreme metal acts from Australia. They have made a mark with their 6 full length albums, the latest one self titled was released in 2015. This month the band embark on their first tour of India, covered 7 cities across the country.

I spoke to drummer Dave Haley about touring in Europe and North America, their upcoming album and also what to expect from their India tour.

Read my interview on Transcending Obscurity

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August 1, 2017 at 11:23 am

Drug Honkey

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Drug Honkey are a doom quartet from Chicago. The band play a unique mix of doom and death metal and have released 4 full length albums since forming in 1999.

A couple months ago they released their latest album, Cloak of Skies via Transcending Obscurity Records. I spoke to guitarist Hobbs about the album, guest features and more.

Read the interview on Nine Circles

 

 

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July 20, 2017 at 1:44 pm

Looking for an Answer

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Looking for an answer are one of the best known grindcore bands from Spain. They have released 3 full length and 9 splits releases since forming in 1999. Their latest full length Dios Carne released a couple months ago and I feel it is their best work yet.

I spoke to vocalist Santi about their latest album, Spanish grindcore band and their plans for the rest of the year.

Read my interview on Everydayhate

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July 13, 2017 at 12:02 am

Cenotaph

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Cenotaph are veterans of the Turkish metal scene. Vocalist Batu is the only original member of the band and has kept the band going through multiple lineup changes. Earlier this month, they released their latest album, Perverse Dehumanized Dysfunctions; after multiple listens I can testify that this is their best release yet.

I spoke to Batu about their first album in 7 years, the Turkish metal scene and also their upcoming European tour.

Read my interview on Transcending Obscurity

 

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June 28, 2017 at 6:14 pm

Bantering Ram (Unscene)

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In the past decade of blogging, I’ve mainly interviewed bands and recently also records label owners. Starting this week, I will be featuring the individuals that work behind the scene to make shows happen, the organizers.

Earlier this year, a new series of gigs called Unscene was launched in Bangalore. Each month founders, Abhijit Rao (Escher’s Knot) and Bantering Ram program a killer lineup of artists, which makes me wish I lived in Bangalore instead.

I wanted to know about Unscene spoke to Ram about the origins, memorable moments so far and their plans for the future.

Hi Ram, you’ve just wrapped up the 6th edition of the Unscene series of concerts. How does it feel looking back?

Reasonably satisfying that we’ve managed to keep it going and that we’ve brought in a number of bands that have been ear-openers for our audience. Bu it’s never enough, man. We could always do better.

For those not familiar with Unscene, do tell us about its origins and also the motivation behind starting the series of shows?

Back when I used to be a frequenter of Bengaluru gig venue, CounterCulture (no longer operational now) a few years back, I used to talk to Abijith Rao (musician/sound engineer/biker and very good friend now) who was part of that setup then about reviving metal music gigs in the city, which had gone into sharp decline. I’m not even a metalhead but I thought it was an unfortunate state of affairs and in an extreme way epitomised the difficulties in the independent music space in India. The more I saw gigs, the more I realized that it was a problem for even non-metal bands. Lots of good bands but not seen and heard enough. However, it remained a thought and a few well-meant conversations for some time. After the Progworks On Wheels tour in 2016, though, I thought I was sufficiently prepared to actually do something about it. I broached the topic with Nikhil Barua of The Humming Tree, Bengaluru who was very open to it. After talking to Abijith, we then pitched it as a rather ambitious monthly series of back-to-back to Metal and non-Metal music nights. Nikhil loved the idea of expanding the space for genres and bands and backed us to the hilt on this.

The name, Unscene, is hardly original; it’s a fairly obvious and in my opinion, a mildly pompous, play on what is called the ‘scene’ and going away from ‘scene’ things as also on the unseen or rather, less seen, nature of the musicians. However, I will stress that this is NOT a platform for newbies nor an open-mic gig. The bands that have played and will continue to play are formed of solid musicians. e.g the Anand Bhaskar Collective has been around and done well before playing on the first edition of Unscene. But it was the first time the band played in Bengaluru despite having tried to get a gig here for a long time.

This is not a living for me but it gives life to some of the things I want to do. I do it because I want to. It’s as simple and perhaps, as selfish as that.

Unscene is over 2 days, one metal and the other alternative. What was the reason behind splitting the bands and audience over 2 days?

The second day is not just Alternative. Let’s say, it’s non-metal. Part of the answer is in my response to the previous question. As much as it appeals to my subversive mind to have an ambient, jazz/R&B/electronica-influenced band like Signal W smack in the middle of the Doom/Death Metal of a Primitiv and the Prog outpouring of a Pineapple Express, it might just get a little too much for an audience to deal with. The 2-day format allows us to have more bands play in an edition and widens our audience.

How do you select the bands that will perform at shows?

That’s quite simple. It’s not just about how about good they are – that’s always such a relative measure and we don’t claim to being final arbiters of what constitutes ‘good’ music – we have to like their music. No point in doing something that lacks personal conviction. Then it’s a question of fitting in with what we’re programming on an edition while also keeping cost in mind. And yes, if we get to know that a band is a bunch of jerks to deal with, they can be insanely talented but I can’t have them on Unscene.

What have been the memorable moments so far? Any funny incidents?

It’s only in the 6th Edition and a bit of the 5th Edition that I’ve been able to spend a fair deal of time watching and listening to my bands since I usually am at the gate (that’s changed now thanks to the venue). I just feel very gratified when a number of people come over thrilled and happy with us for bringing over many of these bands that have impressed them. It has happened very frequently and that makes it worthwhile.

Related to that bit about my hardly getting to see these bands, in response to Siddharth Nair’s (of the Prog Metal band, Tangents) query on what I thought of his band’s performance, I let it slip that “Can’t say much because I usually come for about 5 minutes”. That didn’t come out quite right and so now “coming in 5” has become a standing joke. And I don’t think it’s going to go away quickly. 

I really like the artwork for the posters for each edition. You also give away some pretty cool stickers at the shows. Tell us about the inspiration behind this.

The artwork is all Denver Fernandes. He gets what we’re trying to do and I let him do his thing. I think some of his best work (and this is just my opinion) is seen on what he does for Unscene.

When Abijith and I were sitting about throwing out possible names for this gig series (I had pretty much made up my mind on Unscene but we still wanted to see if we could come up with anything different), we came up with a few ‘scene’ phrases that one gets to hear all the time; things that we cringe at, that we feel epitomize much of what’s wrong here. Since then, I keep coming up with these and note them down. We wanted to give something away to folk that would come for these gigs. Stickers seemed like a good idea. So now I say often in half-jest that I organize these gigs just so I get to put these stickers out.

What is next for Unscene? What are your plans for the coming months?

Next? I continue doing these gigs. Although there’s been talk of taking it to other cities, it makes no sense to me. I’d rather focus on getting this in better shape, get more people to come for these shows, make it financially viable, increase the geographic spread of bands that Unscene brings in.

Thanks for answering all my questions. Do you have anything else to add?

It’s been my pleasure. I have plenty more to add – not for nothing is that Bantering Ram moniker. But I’d rather end with a cautionary note. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype and hoopla but the independent music space in India is not in great shape. For it to change for the better, everyone – organizers/promoters, venues, bands and audiences – has to mature. A lot. I’d love for us to not have to make those snarky stickers. And for the name, Unscene, to be done away with for valid reason.

Bonus question. What are 5 Indian independent bands that the read should check out?

There are quite a few – 5 is too small a number. But still, without meaning any disrespect to the bunch not listed here and in no particular order, here are 5 that you could do well to check out.

– Dossers Urge

– The Minerva Conduct

– The Circus

– Kaihon

– The Uncertainty Principle

The album that I’m really looking forward to this year is the new one from Blushing Satellite. I’ve heard it at different stages of its production and it is such a beautiful piece of work! Yup, I couldn’t resist sneaking that 6th one in.

Check out music from all 6 bands below

 

Written by trendcrusher

June 24, 2017 at 3:03 pm

Posted in Interviews

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