čtvrtek 5. září 2019

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Interview - INSISTENT - Play fast, die old!

Interview with death/grind band from Czech republic - INSISTENT.

Answered INSISTENT, thank you! 

Translated by Lenka, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Recenze/review - INSISTENT - Suspect (2019):

Ave INSISTENT! I think this interview will be bit atypical for our readers. We mostly publish interviews with death metal bands but you play grind. But in my opinion there is but one music. It could be good music or a bad one. Your latest act “Suspect” intrigued me so much that I think we should promote your music. Could you introduce the band to us? 

Vokatej: Ave, Master! 

We are four in INSISTENT. Drummer Přéma (Soul Decoder, ex-Deligence), vocal JIří (ex-Deoag, SWyF), guitar Dan (Diphteria, ex-Deoag), Vokatej (ex-Ahumado Granujp, ex-Deoag). If I have to put us somewhere it will be death grind. 

Jirka: Hello, I just want to add that we came together at the turn of 2017 and 2018. We know each other for some time. The ideawas to play extreme metal voluntarily ad to the fullest. Dan and Petr are in the grind scene for several years, but me and Přéma are coming from modern core styles. We have released split “Serenity Of Suffering” with BUT in 2018. Both records have been published by Filip Prchal (Ossie), Neonarcis l'infantive collective. We want to play extreme and fast music in future for sure. 

Let´s be honest, what you have achieved what tons of bands will cut out their kidneys to be in your possition. You have recorded great album, you were invited to play at Obscene Extreme and Symbolic festival….It looks like you are on the right path. Do you feel it same way as a band? Feed back should be important for everyone who is creative. I have read good reviews about you. Have you received some criticism as well? What do you think about “Suspect” with hindsight? 

Vokatej: Feedback is very important for sure, the positive one even the negative one. And that is up on you which feedback you will take care about. I take care more about the positive one. Good feedback always pleases me that is for sure. But I always take into the account the bad one as well, but mostly it is about why we don’t try for different sound or why we don’t try to play this or that way and so on. You cannot please everyone. We play what we like to play and how we feel it. If we speak about the gigs this year we are happy, but we would love to perform even more. We are very happy for the opportunity to play at OE, Symbolic and lots of other great events. Of course we are satisfied that we receive offers for great club concerts and festivals, who would not be, but we are down to earth. Nothing is for free and every band has to work hard and the same applies to us as well. I am happy with EP Suspect. 

Jirka: I am very happy that our work is well received and we collect the positive feedback. I am always open to hear negative criticism as well because it is the reason to think about your work. I am really happy for honest opinion from friends and even people who are not so much in the grind scene. If I look backwards on the EP, I see some things we could have done better but that is normal. I am still happy with the record as it is and hopefully we are wiser for next time… it is gonna be more brutal…hahaha 

Přéma:I just wont to say that I am really happy for everything that is happening around INSISTENT right now but nothing came for free. These are the fruits of hard collective work in the rehearsal room and experience we have gained over the years in other bands. Thanks to this, the recording of SUSPECT was so easy and at the same time quick and sure process. Nearly everything was recorded almost on first try. That is the reason why I am so pleased with the positive feedback we get. We don’t need to change our approach so there will be more energy to kick it on in the rehearsal room. 

I´m very picky in grind. I could listen to anything on concert, but I wouldn’t play it in my headphones. Lots of good stuff was released in last few years, but from Czech grind scene just three albums got my attention. Your latest one, novelty from Kandar and Bowel Fuck. All three are quite dark and cold with sharp melodies. I could feel the inspiration from the north or am I wrong? Who was role model, what shaped you as a band? 

Vokatej: We like loads of bands from north, but I cannot say that they have influenced our music. Of course we are impressed when new band appears or someone release new great stuff. One would say, this is how we imagine the music should sound, but still we are doing our own music in our own style. Either we love some idea (riff) or we don’t. Everybody in the band has own favourites. Some of them are even common. 

If we will speak about me, I love grind and death metal. I love the straightness, intensity and the darkness you were speaking about. The rest of the band has it same and maybe that is why we sound like this. 

I always rate the albums as a wholesome thing. In today´s overproduction I want to get complex piece in my collection, which I take care like about mine own child. I have my own ranking system. I move CDs back and forth on the shelves according to what I currently listen most. 

You have interesting cover. Who is the author and what does the tied character in the dungeon represent? 

Jirka: We wanted to highlight the darkness of the album, so the album art is grim as well. We had cooperation with Marek Řípa on our CD. He was maximally helpful. Werewolf in the forest, the art is dark and dirty. I like working with metaphors and this is very specific and everyone can guess what might follow. 

For the SUSPECT album art is responsible Alan Grnja. It shows isolation and imprisonment. It shows a victim who is imprisoned as well as most mythical creatures that people fear. The dark concept of a werewolf waiting for his uncertain future. On the next record the story of our wolf friend will continue a little. 

If the Czech band want to have a good sound, they need to record with Otyn, that´s what I keep saying. Your sound is really great. With what instruction did you come into the studio? Did you have some “template” how you want to sound? And who was the person that finally approved of the sound? 

Vokatej: Otyn is God, friend and absolute professional in what he does. We always like to come back. Not just because there is a pub next door, so you can drink all the beer you want while recording. It is like second home for us. We have recorded there for several times with our ex-bands or with the current ones. 

We didn’t have any instructions when we came to the studio. Just to be there and try for the best. We even didn’t speak about the sound. We just set up the equipment, spoke about the recording for a bit and then we started. Přéma was done in two or three hours. We have recorded the guitars and vocals on second day and on the third day the base guitar. Than we have listened the material maybe for 10 times. The subsequent mix and master mix we discussed by e-mail and phone calls with Davos studio. Everyone said what he wants to change. But mostly it was like more of that, less of this and at the end we liked the result. 

Every time I listen to new album I try to find out the words how to describe it. This time the words I came with are cold and darkness. These are mostly the emotions I feel from you latest album. This is my opinion as a listener. How did you compose the songs for new album? 

Vokatej: Well, each of us brinks some riffs for the rehearsal, than we put it together. Or we just jam and something just comes up. Standard procedure nothing new. J Sometimes we disagree about the sound of some song, but we are clever guys and we always find the compromise. Jiří is taking care about the lyrics, he has a free reign. We cope with his inhuman scream when we have done the final frame of the song. But generally he is able to scream it right on the spot. 

Jirka: The composing of new material is collective work each opinion counts in. But the result has to crush your bones every time. We like the muddy waters of darkness although we enjoy fun as well. It belongs to metal and we want it like that. But behind most of the material is Dan, he is like a machine. Voko brings louds of constructive ideas and he supports the vision of developing new material. I am happy that guys give us the space for different options so even I could bring some new riffs. All the material arise during the rehearsals and jamming, it is mostly about the feeling. We were relatively done with the album before the recording, we were missing just few lyrics, but at the end was everything on time. 

Přéma: I have never encountered this much of creativity before. Guys brings new riffs steadily. Right now we have lots of new pieces ready for future. Not just Dan and Vokatej bring in the riffs but Jirka as well. He can sing and plays the guitar as well and brings in interesting ideas time to time. I would love to write more riffs as well, but right now I concentrate on drumming. Grind is animalistic and the best way how to achieve it is by trying in the rehearsal room. 

Lyrics are important, aren´t they? Are the lyrics important in your songs? What are the lyrics on Suspect about? Who is the author? 

Jirka: Well lyrics, I want to stick with the wave or darkens. I am looking for the inspiration in my proximity, in actual happening in society and how the people treat each other. All of this I try to feature in my texts. Most of this topics I could express in some metaphors and everyone could interpret it differently. I was thinking that I will do some small introduction for each song where I explain what inspired me to write it. Mainly it is about the dissatisfaction with society and the path we have taken. I work with people so I have opportunity to observe the differences among moral principals and thought processes. But is not the rule, the song Suspect is about werewolf and his metamorphosis into human being. I also try to emphasize the pronunciation of the singing itself so that the lyrics are at least partially understandable. 

I saw your gig just one time at Symbolic. You know how it is. It´s an open air, you are bit drunk and first few bands you usually don’t even notice. But your performance burned my brain out. Live presentation is so important for the band in my opinion. Even more because the people under the stage usually buys CDs and merchandise. What do you think about concerts? What does the live performing means to you? 

Vokatej: I can speak for all the guys in the band, we enjoy the gigs pretty much. We like to leave everything behind and just go and enjoy it. You have opportunity to meet with friends from other bands, fans who came to support you, you have a chance to speak with people you haven´t seen before… I enjoy live playing a lot and when the set is done I am so full of energy. Gig is about the connection between the band and people. Satisfaction is expressed by shouting and sweaty pants!!!! No record is able to give you this kind of atmosphere. J 

Přéma: Sometimes it is a fight and things does not come out as desired, but again it is a specific of live performance. People tends to remember it even more than someone who plays sterile and perfect music like from recording. For me is performing like going to dance while running up the stairs with shopping bags. The reward is energy and adrenaline rush. 

Most of the Czech bands usually go around Czech clubs and festivals and people see them like ten times a year. I know it's hard to go abroad, many bands return and because they start abroad again from the beginning, they say that the conditions are same everywhere and eventually they become some kind of relic. But it is not the same for grind, right? Czech grind is quite known. Bands have tours abroad and we have OEF here. What about INSISTENT and performing abroad? Do you want to play there? What about the records, do they sell abroad? 

Jirka: For the time being the playing abroad is bit of unexplored waters for us. We have done some smaller trips to Austria and Slovakia already. Now we would like to try bigger bites. We are in some negotiations but we fight with time, it is the biggest barrier. 

If we are speaking about selling abroad we cannot say anything bad. Youtube, Spotify and Bandcamp are nice proofs that we really need to reach outside of Czech Republic. I am down to the earth I don’t expect huge number of fans at our gigs. But I am looking forward to spend time with friends, have some fun and sell some CDs. Like a holiday by the see. When we will go next time, it should be great. 

What is nice about underground scene is that you can see on the same stage trash, death, black and grind. Personally I like to taste different styles and pick what l like. Grind scene is quite big in our country but people stick together and support each other. That is perhaps just my point of view as a person who is not completely in the scene. How do you perceive the Czech grind scene? By the way, I never met a grinder who was upset, is it even possible? 

Vokatej: hahahaha, everything is possible. When we get angry, we go to hide somewhere, where we bang head into the anvil and walk with bare feet over the lids of beer ... it is relieving and nobody knows anything afterwards. Try it…:)). 

Your point of view is quite extract. Czech scene works like a family. Bands support each other, they are touring together, etc. We have a lot of promoters who organise great events during the year and not just for local bands but for foreign bands as well. I cannot forget to speak about the solidarity, there are lot of benefit concerts which have my big respect. We are glad if we can support good cases with our playing. 


Each band has some kind of target what they want to achieve. What is the target for INSISTENT? Do you have some vision, where you want to be, were you want to play, with who you want to play? Or under which label you want to produce next album? 

Jirka: To state the target is great! I mostly have just dreams which I would like them to come true. Playing at OEF side by side with the great names is and will be one of them. I want to get back there! We would like to play at Brutal Assault and Czech Death Fest in Czech Republic. We would like to play with Niles and Napalm Death. These are the biggest dreams. 

We have already played with Misery Index, Full of Hell, PLF or Whoresnation. Those gigs were great experience and success. The next target is clear – not to stagnate and play grind, have gigs and record new things. 

Vokatej: I got it just like Jirka, playing great festivals, concerts and hoping to get lucky sometimes and have a club concert with Napalm Death. I have a great respect for Napalm Death. 

Přéma: My dream is to create really brutal, animalistic and heavy music which is run by testosterone, muscles and alcohol in our veins and of course in friendly atmosphere with huge portion of fun. Well and push ourselves forward in the scene. If I could speak for myself I would love to play with titans of extreme music like Cryptopsy, Krisiun or Hail of Bullets/Gorefest if they decide for comeback. 

Finally, one obligatory but important question. What are INSISTENT preparing in the coming months? Do you have something to say to your fans? 

Jirka: If everything goes well, you can look forward to live video from OEF. We would like to play abroad and in CZ as well. We are negotiating who will tour with us. But right now it looks like Czech band Converge will join us. In cooperation with Chris Ramirez we plan to go over the see. And next year, next album! We have already included two brand new songs in the set and I believe that the rest of the material will be ready in a year! Anyway, we thank all the hell risers who go to concerts, listen to metal, buy merchandise and bring joy to us and other people! 

Thank you for the interview, I wish you tons of sold CDs, full concerts and faithful fans. I am looking forward to see you at some gig soon. Good luck in your personal lives. 

Vokatej: Thank you for to opportunity to have this interview and for you positive feedback on our work. We really appreciate it. Good luck to you too!!! 

Play fast, die old! 


Recenze/review - INSISTENT - Suspect (2019):

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