čtvrtek 26. srpna 2021

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Interview - KILLING ADDICTION - All of the songs are in some way related to the idea of cult-like worship of technology.


Interview with death metal band from USA - KILLING ADDICTION.

Answered Patrick Bailey (Bass, Vocals), thank you!

Translated Duzl, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Recenze/review - KILLING ADDICTION - Mind of a New God (2021):

Ave KILLING ADDICTION! Greetings to Florida, I hope you are well and have survived the Covid in good health. I admit that I didn't really trust to the new full-length album from you. Many bands that have returned have lost energy. But when the new album "Mind of a New God" came to me for review and I played it, I sat for a while and really enjoyed it. How do you feel about this album? And what are the responses from fans/critics?

Thank you, we’re all doing well and hope the same for you and everyone in the Czech republic! I understand your thoughts about comeback albums, especially when so much time has passed since we first formed so many years ago. There is an inherent aggression in the blood of youth and when that settles it can have a potentially negative effect on trying to write heavy music. Metal in general is fueled by aggression and adrenaline. When bands lose that kind of an edge it is disappointing.

I’m glad to see that Mind of a New God exceeded your expectations. The response has been beyond what we’d hoped. I haven’t seen or heard about any disappointment. Most feedback has been through the roof and many people have placed it among their list of 2021’s best albums. Even the less enthusiastic commentary still described it as a respectable follow-up to our previous recordings.

Another question arises. What have KILLING ADDICTION actually been doing since 1998, when you released your last EP? If I'm not mistaken, you still play in the same line-up. In 2020, guitarist Devon McDonough joined you. How did you get together? Please take us through the history of the band.

We basically all did our own thing for many years. We still kept in touch but personal interests just pulled us in our own directions. Killing Addiction didn’t end on bad terms. There was an oversaturation of bands and that sucked the momentum out of the underground scene.

I moved to Los Angeles in 1999 and came back in 2001. The other guys were still here, and they pursued other musical interests. We reformed in 2006 with three of the four members from the previous lineup. Chris York, our drummer, was the only one who didn’t rejoin then because he was playing full-time in another band, but he returned in 2013, which was when we started playing live shows again.

We’ve known Devon for about ten years. He plays guitar in Ebullition, another death metal band from Ocala that has been around for a long time. He’s a great musician, is really easy to work with, and learns our material very quickly.

Let's go to the new album. Personally, I really like your new sound. It is dark, dense, massive. This is exactly how I imagine a job well done! Where did you record? And who is signed under mastering, mixing, production?

Thank you, that’s a very welcome description! Mind of a New God was recorded at Helton Music, which is here in Ocala. It’s the same studio where we recorded our last two EPs. Ray Helton is the wizard behind the studio work. He engineered, recorded, mixed, and mastered the project for us, and he co-produced it with us.

Ray is great at dialing in instrument tones and balancing out everything in the mix, and he understands how everything needs to be set up to capture the large sound you need in a death metal recording.

The cover made by Samuel Arayay is monumental, I think it can really captivate and fits perfectly with the music you play. Please tell us how you got together and how you chose the motif?

Sam is a phenomenal artist. I found his work while browsing images online and then contacted him to see if he had time and interest in working with us. For this album we hadn’t really settled on a definitive concept for the cover art. We had some ideas, but weren’t really sure in which direction to take them.

So we picked a few images from Sam’s work and told him what we liked about them. We knew we wanted this cover to be different from anything we’d done in the past, including different color themes, but we didn’t give much actual instruction beyond that regarding the content of the image itself. Instead, I sent him two demo tracks that we used while preparing for the studio, along with the lyrics, explained some of the themes of other songs and of the title track, and from that information he created the cover.

As far as I can remember from the 1990s, KILLING ADDICTION was also interesting to me because it had different lyrics from the others. I have an old "Omega Factor" cassette somewhere at home, and even then I remembered the lyrics over time, they seem interesting to me. Do you also deal with philosophy and religion on the new album? Who is the author of the lyrics and where did he get the inspiration for them?

I write all of our lyrics. I’ve never had an interest in stereotypical death metal lyric themes. That doesn’t mean there aren’t people who write those kinds of lyrics well, because there are. I just prefer to write about other things. The lyrics for the songs on Mind of a New God do follow what came before in some ways. Omega Factor used themes that were mostly set in hypothetical future timelines, and the new songs are entirely aligned with that.

The central, underlying theme for this album was to sort of continue where Omega Factor left off. All of the songs are in some way related to the idea of cult-like worship of technology. In some cases the songs are explicitly about that and the others are about potential ripple effects or secondary consequences that could result from that source.

The title track of Mind of a New God is about super-intelligent artificial intelligence that becomes self aware. That idea was tied into the concept of the technological singularity, which is what Condemned to Nothingness is about. What that refers to is reaching a point where our technology evolves so rapidly on its own that we can no longer control it, and humans become obsolete. The artificial intelligence views humans as being in the way of its goals, so there’s no real malice towards humans in its intent. The violent intent comes from the humans willing to sacrifice themselves and others for what they believe is the new future without us.

With the new album, you came to a time that is completely different than when you started. There are new technologies (studios, possibilities, computers). Also today, everyone spends a lot of time on social media. You started in the 1990s and a lot of things are completely different today. How has it affected you as a band and how in your personal life as musicians?

Things are very different now. Bands have it so much easier now in many ways. It’s so much easier to create a great album now, because nonlinear editing is a production miracle. It changed music production in the same way that word processing changed the world of writing and publishing.

Omega Factor was recorded entirely on analog tape, and was recorded and mixed in one weekend because the recording was self financed at a time when we were so young we had no real money to speak of. Nowadays, we’re in a much better position to take our time and get everything recorded and dialed in exactly how it needs to be, which makes a world of difference.

Social media is a convenience and a curse. It makes marketing easier but the downside of the internet is now there’s a deluge of information even greater than the oversaturation of the scene in the past. As a band, it’s cool being able to communicate directly with people in real time, which would never have been possible in the past, apart from phone calls. It makes it easier for us to coordinate band practice, shows, and the business side of things, but it also has the potential to become too intrusive if you’re not careful about how you use it.

How do you create new material? Was Devon McDonough's engagement a reason to make your music richer, more varied? It seems that way to me. I would be interested in the process of creating a new song. Do you go somewhere together to the rehearsal room or do you solve everything over the Internet?

Our process of writing is the same now as it’s always been. The major difference is that now we focus more on actually crafting a song. We’ve always started with ideas by ourselves and then shared our ideas when at rehearsal. Sometimes the idea is used as is, but sometimes it’s modified or scrapped. Now we think about how parts work together, when they should repeat, and overall song arrangement.

In the past, we still came up with most of our ideas independently, but we gave no real thought to song arrangement and structure. We just took a bunch of rhythms we liked and strung them together regardless of how well they actually worked together.

I think any differences heard on Mind of a New God come from Chris Wicklein now being the primary writer. On our previous recordings Chad wrote most of the music simply because he wrote almost all the time.

Chris and I have our own contributions but were nowhere as prolific as Chad. Chad’s and Chris’ writing styles compliment each other, probably because they grew up playing together, but this is the first time we’ve heard Killing Addiction solely from Chris’ interpretations of what we are. All of the songs were written by the time Devon joined, but he did record some leads for this album, and there’s no doubt he’ll be involved in our song writing now. The main thing is to create parts that still sound within the realm of what we’ve already established as Killing Addiction’s sound.

What about KILLING ADDICTION and concerts? Do you like to play and do you play often ? And are you just sticking to local events or are you planning a tour to promote a new album? How hard is it for you to play in Europe, for example? I'd love to see you live.

The most difficult aspect of touring now is coordinating our individual schedules. It’s rarely a problem for local shows, but if we want to play out for a week or more, and try to bring another band along, that’s much more difficult. We would love to tour Europe. Chris Wicklein has played there with his other band, Druid Lord. In fact, they’re scheduled to be back over there in November.

Killing Addiction just played our first show back, after recording the new album, and we have a few more lined up for the end of 2021. After the start of the year, we definitely want to make our main focus here touring out of state. It would also be great to make it to Europe, even if it were for a festival and a few extra dates.

As I mentioned, you are one of the rare bands in which musicians play together more or less from the beginning. Does that mean you're friends too? Do you go for a beer together? It seems to me that there is a mutual chemistry between you, if you understand me. Will you go somewhere to a concert?

That’s true. If you look at most bands that have been around any length of time there are usually many lineup changes. If we hadn’t lost Chad in 2016 there’s no doubt we’d still have our “classic lineup” as it’s sometimes called. We’d always had an understanding that we started this together and we’ll end it together.

We’re definitely friends, but more like extended family. Chad and I met Chris Wicklein when we were 14, 13, and 12, respectively. In fact, Chad and Chris weren’t musicians then. They started playing guitar so that we could form a band. I’d taken piano lessons for about six years by then. We met Chris York in high school. So, we’ve all known each other for most of our lives. We still hang out when we can, but it’s more difficult than it was when we were younger. Back then we probably spent more time together than apart.

I have been listening to death metal since the 1990s. I am a loyal fan and like everyone I like to sometimes remember the good old days. How did you start with music? Which band brought you to death metal and who were your idols? What about the first concert? Please remember for us. What was it like in Florida in the 1990s?

I think Possessed was the first death metal band I heard. A friend at school let me hear some of Seven Churches and Slayer’s Hell Awaits, and I was in shock. That was in 1987. The heaviest band I’d heard until then was Iron Maiden. Soon after, the same guy introduced me to Kreator, Dark Angel, and Death.

What really pulled me into death metal was hearing Morbid Angel’s Thy Kingdom Come demo and the original Grindcrusher compilation. There were so many genre-defining bands on that recording: Morbid Angel, Carcass, Bolt Thrower, Napalm Death, Terrorizer. It doesn’t get any better than that. That was in 1989 when we met a guy named John Claypool while visiting Daytona Beach. He was fundamental to our introduction into the underground metal scene.

All of those bands had a huge influence on me and on Killing Addiction in general, as did Atheist, which was the first death metal band I saw live. They opened for Testament and Vio-lence in Tampa. My first time seeing Morbid Angel was around the time Altars of Madness was released. There were probably no more than 100 people there and Amon (now Deicide) opened for them.

Back then, there was a kind of energy in the Florida death metal scene, and in general, that I think you can’t capture now simply because those were the formative years when it was all new. Being a part of it as it was all coming to light was a unique opportunity.

What are KILLING ADDICTION plans in the upcoming months?

For now, we’ll continue to promote Mind of a New God through marketing and Florida shows. In early 2022, we’ll take our live shows back out of Florida, probably starting up the east coast. We’re looking forward to performing for fans out of Florida again. We’ve also had a few ideas about what to do next, regarding the next release, but haven’t committed to any decisions about that yet.

Thank you very much for the interview and for your music, I really appreciate it. I really enjoy the new "Mind of a New God". By the way, I'm just listening to it again. I wish you a good sales, sold out concerts and all the best in private life's. Cheers!

Thanks very much. It was a great interview and fun reflecting on the journey that brought us here. We really love the enthusiasm we get from people like you and those around the world who continue to make all of this possible through your support. Take care!

Recenze/review - KILLING ADDICTION - Mind of a New God (2021):


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