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Interview - DE PROFUNDIS - No rest for the wicked!

Interview with death metal band from United Kingdom - DE PROFUNDIS.

Answered Paul Nazarkardeh.

Translated and questions prepared by Duzl, thank you!


Hi Paul! 

De Profundis was formed in London in 2005. Can you clarify your background a little bit...How did you get together, who invented the name of the band and besides metal what else keeps you all busy in daily life?

[Paul Nazarkardeh – Guitars] The name De Profundis comes from the Abruptum song 'De Profundis Mors Vas Consumet' as decided many lineups ago by our vocalist Craig Land, shortly after he came to the UK from his native South Africa. Most of us in the band are full time musicians... so the metal is a big part of daily life! We all have a lot happening musically. Arran [McSporran, bass] has recently been touring with Virvum from Switzerland, Shoi [Sen, guitars] has been working with ex-Judas Priest drummer Les Binks, Tom [Atherton, drums] is becoming a true mad scientist of music at PhD level and I've just recorded an album with my black metal band Formicarius. No rest for the wicked!

Since May, you have out your fifth terrestrial album called "The Blinding Light of Faith". You released the album at Kunal and his Transcending Obscurity record in far India. Why’s that? There are a lot of labels in England, did you try to establish cooperation with a local label, or did you get a directly offer from Kunal? 

Transcending Obscurity is everything that an underground independent label needs to be! It's become the 'cool' thing nowadays to totally dismiss labels as a thing of the past. It's not true. The music business is changing faster than ever before, and the best thing a band can have is a smart label that knows how to release music in the present. 

Every artist must remember not to compare themselves to their friends but to their idols. That means always looking beyond just our native UK – especially in these strange times where our country is scrambling towards isolation! We received a few offers for The Blinding Light of Faith, but we felt TO was the best option. Despite the distance, Kunal's support to his bands and the label's many followers in Europe is excellent. No wonder Death Metal veterans like Paganizer and Master work with him! 

On the last album we can see again the new band logo (in my opinion, the best one). During your existence you have already changed the logo three times. Can you say that each logo characterizes a specific chapter of your musical development? Can you retrospectively compare the development of the band from first to last record in relation to logos?

There is a funny story to the new logo.. Before releasing The Blinding Light of Faith we came close to abandoning the De Profundis name altogether! The sound of the band has changed so much since our inception, we wondered if last years Decayed compilation was a fitting end – a time to reboot under a new name. 

What made us change our mind? Shoi asked for advice from an artist we had recently toured with, who then urged us to keep the name going rather than start from scratch. So we have none other to thank but David Vincent of Morbid Angel, I Am Morbid and VLTIMAS for the De Profundis name surviving!

Still, we went for a change of logo to mark the full death metal onslaught of the Blinding Light of Faith. It was made by the brilliant Gary Ronaldson of Bite Radius Designs and fits the modern De Profundis sound perfectly. 

Is there any other direction where you would like to move as a band or have you finally found yourself in death metal?

Death Metal has always been at the heart of De Profundis' creative core, even in the earlier, doomier days. With this record we have finally been able to realise that in full thanks to the tightest line-up of musicians the band has ever had. We don't believe in making the same record twice, but I don't see us straying from death metal. 

(My most sincere apologies to anyone who was looking forward to a folk/power metal De Profundis album any time soon.) 

You recently played at the last show of Vallenfyre in London, how did you enjoy your performance and how would you retroactively rate this concert? The gig was sold out and for me it was a very good show, although sometimes the sound was not entirely perfect, how did you feel it from the band's position on the stage? I think you had a great response from the fans, did you enjoy the gig? 

The Vallenfyre show marked the end of a very long and brutal Summer supporting the Blinding Light of Faith! After our UK tour, then joining the Totenritual II European tour with Belphegor/Melechesh and then our appearance at Bloodstock Festival 2018, it was an honour to bring the Blinding Light of Faith to our home town of London. It's a hard city to play sometimes because so much is happening in the city every day and Londoners can see basically any band they want, so the very positive reaction was great to see! 

I can never understand bands who are content with getting wasted then stumbling onstage to deliver sloppy, weak live shows. Save that for the pub bands. And instead of whining on Facebook about people not coming to shows, make your show unmissable! 

At the gig I bought the vinyl of your last album „The Blinding Light of Faith“, I really like it! Not only on the musical side, which is really great but as well cover art is amazing… who is the author of this artwork and who came up with this concept and what does it exactly represent? 

Thank you again for buying the vinyl! The artist is Alex Tartsus, who has also worked with Sinister and our labelmates Depravity. This was his concept:

“I decided to put a grotesque figure of a man, with pages nailed to him from the scriptures. Also, his eyes are bleeding, nails are in them, his mouth is tied, and on the neck there is a rope, to each of the temples there is one blow. This symbolizes humanity, which under the influence of religious dogmas has lost the ability to think outside the permissible framework and look at things with an uncomplicated gaze and speak what it thinks. This figure is the Mankind enslaved by religion"

A terrifying imagination indeed. I like the vinyl a lot, as the bigger sleeves definitely bring the horrors of the album art to life! 

If we talk about your last album, tell me who is the author of the music, who is the lyricist, you have a split role, or are you all doing everything? What was the inspiration? I hear the influences from Dismember, Hypocrisy, Edge of Sanity, but somewhat more progressive, am I right? 

The music writing process in De Profundis is quite democratic, with the songs being arranged between the five of us at our own studio in North West London. Craig writes all his lyrics. Our influences musically are extremely diverse, ranging from Deicide and Dissection to Allan Holdsworth and Queen.

We try to find a synthesis between the technicality of modern 'tech death' and the riffs of Old School Death Metal. All those bands you mentioned were definitely names mentioned in the writing process! I see the best of classic death metal as quite 'Progressive'. Songs like God of Emptiness, The Philosopher or Veil of Maya were all breaking completely new ground at the time. There weren't any trends to follow yet! It's that pioneering spirit we try to capture in our writing.

Where did you record the album? Who is responsible for sound, mastering and production? Can you take us through the album and tell us more about the whole concept?

The theme of The Blinding Light of Faith is simple – it is a condemnation of the evils committed in the names of the Abrahamic religion. Every people on this earth has suffered under Abrahamism, and this album is about that suffering. There is no Cartoony Satanism and no Political subtext, just the horrors of the unholy trinity that is God, Allah and Yahweh. 

Pete Dowsett produced and mastered the album and quite frankly I'd be happy for him to do the same for our next 12 records! Pete has a very hands on approach where he became like a 6th member of the band, doing whatever he could to make each song sound special. However, he doesn't fuck about – he definitely cracked the whip and made sure we recorded perfect takes for him to work his magic with! We recorded it between our own studio, Pete's studio and Parlour Recording Studios in Kettering.

If you compare last album with others of your recordings, process of recording which album was the most difficult for you? Are these songs now more complicated for you? For sure playing doom, black or death metal is quite different.

The previous record was my first album with the band and The Blinding Light of Faith is Tom Atherton's first record with us. We certainly like to challenge ourselves musically – there are enough bands chugging endless simple open string riffs ad nausea. It's not easy playing in De Profundis – a number of ex-members left simply because their life situation meant they could not maintain the proficiency and endurance on their instrument to write, record and tour such technical music! The music gets harder, but this line-up gets tighter and tighter. We played a track from our debut album Beyond Redemption live last year and it felt very odd playing such a simple song at one of our shows! 

What is your opinion of the current death metal scene in England, especial in London? Which bands you consider important, whether new or old. Is there any local band that you consider to be your idols and has influenced you in your musicians' career?

The glory years of the British Invasion or NWOBHM or even classic British extreme metal is long behind our country now. The UK is no longer a place of opportunity for artists. We're isolated from the mainland under the thumb of people that consider the Musician to be inferior to the Banker, the Estate Agent or the CEO. Brexit will only make it worse.

On the bright side, we have a strong extreme metal scene in this country. I've no interest in the Slam/Pornogrind bands that are popular here, but there's plenty of great REAL death and black metal with bands like Blasphemer, Deadwood Lake, Sufferer, Trivax and many more making proper British Steel! 

The biggest British influences for us are and always will be Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. The fact that Priest can make an album as incredible as Firepower as the members are pushing their 70s is mind blowing. 

Can you tell me what to expect from De Profundis in the future? Some plans and visions, the closest concerts? 

Next for De Profundis is Iberian Warriors Festival in Zaragoza, Spain, which we will be playing on November 2nd.. We have our last show of the year just before Christmas in Birmingham, just so the baby Jesus Christ gets to fully appreciate The Blinding Light of Faith.

There are a number of countries that need to hear the album live, so I hope 2019 will bring us to places like Germany, Holland, France, Czech Republic, Sweden and Belgium! Besides that, I think it's time to write the next album... 

Thank you Paul for your time and answers!!! I really appreciate it! I wish you a lot of success on the metal scene at home and abroad, hope to see you soon somewhere on the stage, than on the bar for some beer and the last words are yours…! 

Thank you for the support of De Profundis and of course giving me the opportunity to rant about things in this interview! To anyone who's looking for some modern Death Metal with the Old School spirit, check out The Blinding Light of Faith!

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