čtvrtek 8. října 2020

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Interview - SYMBTOMY - We want to be a proud part of the scene with everything that goes with it.

Interview with old school death metal band from Czech republic - SYMBTOMY.

Answered Dejvy and Duzl, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Recenze/review - SYMBTOMY - DEMO#1 (2020):

Ave SYMBTOMY! Greetings to the grave. In your case, the first question is clearly self-explanatory. How do two guys from Kolín and a girl who lives in London come together? Dejvy is probably the principal of the ensemble, but what about the others? How did SYMBTOMY originate? 

Dejvy: Ave master ... I could start with the obligatory "... journey of the Lord ...", but in this case I would rather choose "alcohol causes a lot in a musician's life..." :-). In truth, the idea of ​​breathing life into a band in a purely Swedish old school style has been in my head for a long time, but there was no time, bandmates, so there was no tendency to break anything over the knee. When Duzl joined our SYMBOLIC team as a booking manager taking care of foreign bands, various topics began to be discussed along with the beer after the meetings. During one of the sleepless nights Duzl mentioned, that she would like to be a part of a band that will be musically close to her, and she would also like to try performing. Unfortunately, she couldn't play any instrument, so logically the choice fell on the bass (I definitely don't want to say that I consider the bass to be an inferior instrument). Her innate diligence in taking steps to improve has made me sure to "wait" for her. So Adis from ELYSIUM recorded bass for the demo, but Dáša should be ready to record the debut CD. I approached Martin to cooperate because I know him very well from SECTESY - together we got to the stage that I know exactly what I can expect from him. His position (in line-up) is currently based on hosting and we will see what the future brings us. 

SYMBTOMY is a new name on scene and you started nicely „from the ground up“. First demo. Only three songs, it reminds me of the nineties. Does that mean you „reconnoitre the terrain“ first? Or have you already written other songs? 

Dejvy: Already at the time of recording the demo, I had composed fragments of other songs, but the plan was to "record a three-track tape" and "reconnoitre the terrain". Simply to start in same way as most of the bands did in the "nineties". We didn't want to rush anywhere and we wanted to give it a free run. I'm not saying we don't have ambitions, but I think „everything has its time“. Now the most important thing for me is to put together a line-up and start working as a regular band. 

Demo # 1 was released only on cassette and digitally. The cassette will be undoubtedly a beautiful collector's item in the future, but for me still the main medium is CD. When Demo # 1 is out, does that mean it will followed by Demo # 2? A lot of bands do it that way. Then a compilation comes out where all the demos are nicely together. What is your plan? Or will a full-length album follow? 

Dejvy: Originally, the "demo" was supposed to be followed by 7´EP, but in the end I decided on a CD. I have the material completely composed, so it's time to debut with a full-fledged recording. 

Dejvy and Martin are together in SECTESY. It is also a band that plays old melodic death metal. The main composer is also Dejvy. When I compare the two bands, the signature is similar. How I should to explain this? Where will SYMBTOMY go? Are they gonna be darker, more raw? And will both bands work in parallel? 

Dejvy: You're right the signature can‘t be denied. I have encountered a reaction that it is harmful and I should break free from my familiar thinking. I take the opposite view. In my opinion, it's great that my signature is recognizable from others - honestly, if you make music with your heart, you can't even calculate and compose something that wouldn't be natural to you. However, I honestly feel that I play in SYMBTOMY differently from SECTESY. Tempo, compositions of riffs, melodies - I feel quite a big difference there, but I understand that the listener may perceive it differently. Either way, some time ago, the decision was made to stop creating new songs for SECTESY. The desire to "chase after delusions" in the form of new records has somehow disappeared. We fulfilled everything we wanted (cassette, CD, LP, LP BOX), now we just want to play for fun - dust off old things in the concert set (there is something to choose from), try some other cover songs and go to play just selected concerts which will fit into our pretty busy schedule. This actually solves the problem that in the future the songs of both bands wouldn‘ t "rub" against each other any way. 

You have a guitarist, a singer, a bassist. But what about drums? It's probably not a problem in the studio, there are a lot of studio players, but who composed and recorded the drums for Demo # 1? 

Dejvy: As it was said at the beginning, SYMBTOMY was created as a project - actually, when I breathed life into this band I was even not thinking about looking for a line-up. I love to work with people I respect and from time to time I feel like appealing to musicians I like and offer them a "guest". I wanted to record the demo in peace. We tried it all with Štěpán (POPPY SEED GRINDER), whom I know very well for years when we been together in DESPISE. I recorded the guitars myself, I left the solos again to Frank (ex-GARBAGE DISPOSAL) with whom I really enjoy working and I asked Adis (ELYSIUM) for bass lines. The plan was to put together a recording, and then address potential musicians for post in the band. It's nonsense to explain to someone "that your new band will sound like this and this and that the musician needs to be this and this technically advanced". Simply, here is a recording and you like / don't like it, you can / can‘t play it, that eliminates a lot of problems and bids. 

SYMBTOMY played the first song live. You played a cover from KRABATHOR at the SYMBOLIC festival. For Duzl it was first ever performance in front of people, right? How did you feel? The response from the fans was great, I also liked the performance, but what next? Are you planning some another concerts? 

Duzl: Thanks Jakub! It's true that we met on the stage in the partial line-up of SYMBTOMY, but I was there only as a guest during the performance of SECTESY. I remember when Dejvy and I discussed over the beers how my first performance will probably looks like,…. small club, a few people, and in the end it turned out a „little“ differently when the idea was born in Dejvy's head to throw me straight into the water, with the idea that I can play a cover song with SECTESY within the Symbolic festival, main reason was to let me "touch the podium", for what I am definitely happy in retrospect. Of course, I was nervous before the concert, especially because no one had ever seen me play before, and we didn't have any rehearsals, maybe the guys from SECTESY was also a little bit nervous about it haha ... however, the nervousness on the stage was replaced by the concentration to play everything right, so paradoxically I was no longer nervous on the stage. On top the support before, during and after performance from the fans was incredible, so the final impression and feeling is definitely great and I'm looking forward to the next show, hopefully in full line-up and with songs of SYMBTOMY. We definitely would like to play concerts in the future and we have already some offers, however, everything is conditioned by the line-up, then we will be able to plan whatever. 

For SYMBTOMY and SECTESY, the graphics by Jakub N. Rusek is also a typical signature. I just love his black and white zombies. Excellent cover! How did the one for Demo # 1 come about? Did he make it to order or did you already choose from the prepared works? Hey, I have to ask… are you planning black t-shirts? For those of us who are well fed, whites are simply not very suitable:). Did Jakub (Kuba) also create logo SYMBTOMY? 

Dejvy: I would like to start from the back, yes we are planning them. Otherwise, cooperation with Kuba is already ... how to say it, perhaps ... simply, Kuba is something for my work, as Derek Riggs was for IRON MAIDEN or Vincent Locke for CANNIBAL CORPSE. His attitude is incredibly close to me, and today I can say that we really become more than friends over the years. I can't even imagine that the graphics for anything I produce would be made by someone another than him. It's the same with SYMBOLIC - the whole festival (both big and small) speaks to people via his graphics and I can't imagine that it should be different. As for the original sketches, these are unreal stories so far. We always do it the same way - I have a vision, we sit down, we drink, I present that vision to Kuba and we slowly move towards realization. It was the same with „ZOMBIE-MAN“ who appeared twice at SECTESY graphics, at JESUS, who reached immortality while is devoured by zombies, at the zombie MUNICH who baptizes innocent toddlers in blood under the zombie altar, at the cover of IN THE SECRETION where we dare to make a joke and make „picture“ of us... with all the SYMBOLIC graphics, including a visualization of the entire SYMBOLIC team climbing from Třídvorský rybník and, in fact, even now at SYMBTOMY. I love "B" horror movies, I am a fanatical collector of 70's films and it doesn't matter if they are the genres ZOMBIES, GIALLO, SLASHER or CANNIBAL. I love it ... I love it so much that I want everything wrapped up in this theme. So the theme for "demo # 1" was preceded by a phone call and the sentence "Kubajs, I already know where we will move the zombies again so that we don't repeat ourselves". The main actor on the cover is ZOMBIE IVY :-) ... yes ... ivy hungry for the brain of a young girl tossing in convulsions at one of the cemetery tombstones. Every normal person would send me "to the proper limits" with my fantasies, but it can be said that Kuba is riding on the same wave with me, and sometimes he can (in terms of the overall result) be really creative. 

Otherwise, the SYMBTOMY logo, as well as the SECTESY logo and once the DESPISE logo is my work. I always want to have full control over the visuals, and since the logo is the distinguishing mark of the band, I always made them myself. 

I have to throw most of the demos that get into my hands because of the sound. But „DEMO#1“ sounds professional. No dirt, noise and ear pain, but a beautiful clear sound. In demo notes is written - sound - Dejvy's Hell / HollySound Studio. How I should to understand this? Does that mean that everything was recorded at Dejvy home and then mixed elsewhere? Tell us more about this please..

Dejvy: I'm happy to explain how I'm used to working for many years. Regarding the realization of recordings, it is the same as with Kuba and the covers. I love working with Holly, a person from the HOLLYSOUND studio. We will always record the drums there, which I will then take home ... I will record all the guitars, solos + bass, then the vocals in the radio and I will return to HOLLYSOUND for mixing and mastering. That's exactly how a lot of musicians work ... yes, it saves money, but I'm more concerned with other aspects. For example, I only record when I want (which is often due to the amount of work in the middle of the night) and when I feel like to record. I can then welcome guests with me whenever they have time and we don't have to worry about recording at the exact time in Holly's studio. The radio then provides us a professional environment for recording vocal parts. It just seems so logical to me when the possibilities are here. 

You've distributed „DEMO#1“ all over the world, and I've already noticed some reviews. I think you're very well on your way. Now you just need a good label now, am I right? Are you looking for some? What is your experience so far and in which direction do you want to go? 

Dejvy: Yes, we are working on it. Our goal is to capitalize on the time spent on the band, at least by making the recording spread all over the planet. There are possibilities, so we try to take a full benefit of them. The review is being published every day right now and we are glad that our name is slowly but surely getting into the subconscious of the fans. Of course, we are already dealing with the selection of the company that will publish our debut CD. I have a rough idea of ​where to go, but it's still early for some specific names. So far, it's important for me to get "DEMO # 1" to fans. That is why the cassette is published for Europe at the Slovak IMMORTAL SOULS, for America we have a license at FROZEN SCREAMS IMPRINT and today I wrote Duzl to look for an Asian publishing house. My main goal is to make the demo available on all continents at an affordable price for shipping. 

As I already mentioned. Duzl is in London, the rest of the band is in the Czech Republic. How do you rehearse? I know that a lot of big bands only get together at a concert, otherwise they manage everything via internet, but how SYMBTOMY work? 

The rehearsals have not been on the program of the day yet, because we do not have a permanent line-up yet, but something is already beginning to take a shape. At SYMBTOMY (same as in the past) at SECTESY, I always recording complete songs with a metronom at my home studio and the others just thinking about their parts. Then everything is rehearsed (we know in advance which songs will be played at concerts and which will not, so it is not necessary for Láďa / second guitarist SECTESY, or now the second guitarist SYMBTOMY / to learn those songs, because I always record all the guitars on materials and then we just fine-tune details. So it has been the same with SYMBTOMY so far, and I assume that it will continue to follow the same model. 

You also have three guests on Demo # 1 - Jonny Pettersson (WOMBBATH), Johan Jansson (INTERMENT) and Ralf Hauber (REVEL IN FLESH). They are all respected and experienced musicians who have done a great job. In the first promo materials, you also mentioned John Stuart Walker from CANCER. Why didn't it turn out in the end? When SYMBTOMY will play live, will Martin take over their parts from demo? 

Dejvy: My condition during the foundation of SYMBTOMY was that in every song we will ever record, there will be a guest whom I respect for his contribution to the history of DEATH metal. Duzl agreed with this, and that's why these names appear on "DEMO # 1". John was supposed to be part of a song that Jonny eventually sang. The reason is simple. John lives in Madrid, ​​a place extremely affected by Covid-19. Unfortunately, he was unable to visit the studio during the summer and record his parts. So we agreed on his later hosting. So I can say for sure that John will appear in one of our future tracks on the debut CD. For the concert presentation, I can only say: yes, either Martin or another singer will take over the complete vocal parts of himself and the guests. 

The situation with coronavirus pretty messed up everything at the moment, but when everything calms down, how will the SYMBTOMY continue? What about concerts? What about full - length CD? What about tour? How far do you want to go with the band? What is the direction and goals? 

Dejvy: We firmly believe in that. As I have already indicated, we are preparing our debut CD, we are looking for a stable line-up for concerts and we are also planning a tour. We want to be a proud part of the scene with everything that goes with it. 

Thanks for the interview. On the end, I have to write one more thing. For a long time now, I haven't been so tense with any band about what's next. If „DEMO#1“ should be bait, I ate it with a reel. I'm already looking forward to more music from you. Good luck to you in every way and let it play! 

Dejvy: We thank to you for the opportunity to present SYMBTOMY to many fans who would otherwise go to complicated way to find us. Your support is the driving force for us and honestly a mirror that doing something as music, what is overlooked today, is a meaningful thing. I really thank you for your interest and your time.



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