NOT SURE WHAT IS MORE JUSTIFIABLE - TO CALL THEM BOLT THROWER LIKE BATTLE TANK OR ASPHYX INSPIRED HEAVILY ARMOURED DREADNAUGHT. NEVER MIND – IF YOU’RE INTO ULTIMATE, HEAVY AS HELL DEATH METAL – DECAYING IS WHAT YOU SEARCH FOR! HERE IS MATIAS
Guess you have Decaying debut CD in hands by now. What are your impressions? And what expectations you link to this release?
Yes, I received the band’s CDs last week. They’re looking awesome. The graphic artist totally nailed it, really good. I have seen much worse stuff on `more professional` releases. I don`t have any high expectations quite yet – as Decaying was formed less than a year ago. Every song, except `Strangled` are less than a year old as well. It`s always a hard road as a newcomer. We`re hoping for more visibility now and to get more listeners of course. Will take some time, but things are definitely advancing! We`re confident that this kind of music will find its way... Although I know that we have no chance of `getting big` – in that case we should change the genre to metalcore or to poprock, you know.
`Devastate` CD contains tracks from 2 Decaying demos. Were these distributed before? Do you prefer to call it a debut full-length or compilation of these earlier releases?
The two first demos `New Order` and `The Annihilator`, yep. We have distributed them only in the internet and I have sent some to certain review places – and received suprisingly good response. I think we didn`t have much time to think about distributing them anyway, as we received contact from Hellthrasher Distribution even before the release of our second demo! I would say it`s a mix between those two... More leaning toward `compilation of the first two demos` because of the drum machine.
Sort of recognizable mark for Decaying are these over 10 minutes anthems. Gosh, there are demos that are shorter than these! Was it on purpose or turned out this way naturally?
I have tendency of writing these long songs which large amount of riffs. Decaying is definitely a riff oriented band. The problem is basically that I have problems of stopping the songs early. Always a new idea comes up and prolongs the song. We don`t have any choruses yet, so the songs don`t have that basic structure either – they always move on without stopping in 3-4 minute time frame. In my opinion none of the songs are boring, even though they may have some passages that can be shortened a bit. Right now the long songs distinct us from the mass at least! While other demo bands have 3-4 minute songs consisting of three riffs – we have couple of over ten minute songs with over 8 riffs. And of course `Annihilation` is no less than over 14 minutes long `anthem`, so…
Ok, so what was the story: `we love old Asphyx, so will practice my voice skills to sound as if I were Martin van Drunen` or maybe rather `my screams are so alike to his, so what Death Metal could we perform, if not `The Rack` worship`. Joking now, but you`d agree, this can be a matter, when these high pitched vocals come in?
Haha; it could have been simple as that for sure! Comes as no surprise: I`m a very big fan of Van Drunen`s vocals in old Asphyx, Pestilence and nowadays in Hail Of Bullets. They`re just so `in your face` and out of the ordinary – actually they sound like his throat is full of deadly acid or something. Although I think he is one of the best or even `the best` death metal vocalist; I initially didn`t aim to get anything near to his vocals out of my throat. I was just trying, on one summery day, to hit these `high pitched` screams used by Corpsegrinder for example. Instead of getting those kind of vocals, I somehow managed to get a pretty different kind of scream out of my throat. At beginning it sounded like a mixture of weak `Lemmy` and primitive Van Drunen. Instantly I thought `what the fuck` and recorded a clip with my cell phone – singing along Scorbutics, haha. So I basically found those vocals without even trying to copy Asphyx or something. The vocals possibly haven`t fully `settled yet` though, they`re pretty strange after all. But I think they`re a great variation for sure. They’re not 100% like Drunen`s though, he`s a machine! The lower growls on the other hand were taken for granted – I have used them for few years.
You use drum machine. Is it your choice or couldn`t find an indyvidual dedicated and skilled enough to join you on drums?
Yeah, unfortunately that`s true in this case – and it of course bothers us too. We didn`t have a drummer at that time and we were eager to get the first demo `New Order` done as fast as possible. Also I had used drum machine before and didn`t have the money for thinking about studio drum recordings. Everything on the first two demos are recorded and mixed/mastered home by the way.
Well, there is some risk with die hard Death Metal maniacs, who are very sensitive to anything that`s artificial and synthetic. Have no fear about this?
That is excatly what I`m fearing the most. Probably some people will find the drum machine a very bad thing although the songs are good quality. The most annoying part of computer drums are the cymbals, and they sound artificial indeed. They`re of course real samples but... yeah... Anyway, the drums should be somewhat tolerable. And trust me – I tried to make them as good as possible. Maybe we`ll rerecord these songs (at least some of them) sometime, who knows. Let`s hope the drum machine doesn`t ruin everything, I think not!
How about live shows? Do you use machine as well or hire some session drummer?
Now, fortunately, we have a drummer, (Benjam Lahdenpaa) and he can handle the songs very well. He has also nice opinions about some drum passages and is dedicaded to the band... and uses much more complex fills, etc. We will definitely have real drums on the next recording, no doubt about it (new songs already in the works). When we`re jamming songs at the rehearsal place, they absolutely crush.
Only thing we are missing now is a bass player. Then we would be ready for live shows, haha. I got the second guitar player (lead/ rhythm) sorted out now too. Otso Polenius took over Olli Suurmunne`s place as the former one couldn`t come to the band practice.
You have some lirycs about war - what interests you more: gloryfying braveness and courage of soldiers, showing meaningless from the point of private or historical sight into battlefields maybe?
Actually they both interest me, war is an really intriguing theme to me. Right now I haven`t written much lyrics from soldier`s perspective though. Decaying isn`t tied to any certain theme fortunately. I don`t have to write lyrics concerning specific themes. Anyway the lyrics will handle (mostly) war, death and so on... The typical Death Metal stuff, haha. But seriously I think that Decaying`s lyrics should be reasonable and the listener could read them, while listening, without laughing at them. You won`t hear any of this `you die, fuck you, die
motherfucker` kind of lyrical nonsense from us! Speaking about lyrics – damn I had hard times with `Annihilation`.
Do you have interest in Death Metal scene in Finland? Which old bands and which new you consider most worthy?
I don`t have that much interest in the Finnish death metal scene. We have very large amounts of demo bands sounding all basically the same – only very few of these bands stand out. Also our professional death metal scene is somewhat boring. There are large amounts of brutal death metal/grindcore and non-stop blastbeating (which is fine in some bands though) artists. Then there are many melodic death metal and death doom (not our style) bands… I don`t know many good old Finnish DM bands actually; I`d say Amorphis and Demilch. The `new ones`: Torture Killer and Wintersun. Really few to be honest. I have found my influneces mainly elsewhere.
Can you say there is knd of Death Metal center city in Finland (like Stockholm in Sweden)? Do you have any fellow local bands in your area that you could reccomend?
The metal cities in Finland are Helsinki and Oulu for sure. Helsinki is bigger so I have to say that it has the largest amount of death metal bands probably. Oulu is the `most metal` city though as it`s much smaller. Although Finnish people like metal, it`s anyway in the minority. We have one nation-wide radio station for metal, `Radio Rock`, but they play mostly shit. You won`t hear any old school death metal from there…
Imagine Bolt Thrower/Asphyx/Decaying tour, guess you would a lot for such event, right?
It would be fucking great to tour along Asphyx and Bolt Thrower. Warming up for any of our / my favourite death metal bands would be a fantastic. Then of course after the show we would go straight to the audience to prepare getting our faces melted, haha! Maybe one day we will be playing on same stage with `the old guys`!
Thanks for interview, good luck with the band. And for the real end - best Asphyx album and song in your opinion?
Thank you! Oh man, that is a hard question!! I would say `M.S. Bismarck` from `Last One On Earth`, which is a classic. Such a Devastating song and album...