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Interview - DEEDS OF FLESH - I'm definitely open to the possibility that there is life on other planets.

Interview with legendary brutal death metal band DEEDS OF FLESH.

Answered Mike Hamilton, thank you!

Translated Duzl, thank you!

Recenze/review - DEEDS OF FLESH - Nucleus (2020):

Ave DEEDS OF FLESH! Greetings and have a nice day. I hope you're well. Thanks to the pandemic, everything in the Czech Republic is still closed. I left work just last night and the whole city looked like it was after the apocalypse. I wore headphones with your new "Nucleus" record and the whole experience took on a completely different dimension. I know that the recording was not easy at all, there is a lot of work behind it. How do you perceive it from a distance? 

MIKE: Greetings and thank you for the interview. Nucleus could very well be the soundtrack to a post-apocalyptic world for sure! It was actually intended to be perceived that way from the beginning. There was a tremendous amount of work involved to make this album . Musically it had been written and recorded by Erik, Craig, Ivan and Darren 2 years before the release in 2020. Working on this album as a lyricist and vocal arranger was familiar territory for me. Erik, Jacoby and I always collaborated on the arrangements- musically, vocally and lyrically on the DOF albums we recorded together. 

When I started preparing the questions for the interview, I still didn't know how to ask about Erik Lindmark sensitively. But I think this topic is still very open and painful, so I would just like to express my sincere condolences and focus on music. Erik wrote the music for the novelty, it is his legacy, you took it, added arrangements, lyrics and started recording. How did "Nucleus" come about? Who was the main initiator and I understand him well as such a legacy, a tribute to Erik? 

MIKE: Thank you for the kind words. Erik, Jacoby & I became a brotherhood. Our time together brought about incredible discussions, timeless jam sessions and finished music that is still considered cutting edge today. It was devastating losing our friend and a part of our family. When Jacoby and I went to his memorial, the power of the moment and the sharing of memories really told us that we had to finish Nucleus, that we had to help Deeds of Flesh pick up where Erik left off. A necessary coming back into the fold. The work was cathartic and connected us to Erik. While Nucleus may feel like an ending to some, it really has become a tribute to Erik and the newest chapter for Jacoby and I. Deeds of Flesh will evolve in the years to come but it started with the three of us. In a small California studio where we rehearsed and created music without limits. 

You have been entrusting the covers of your albums to Raymond Swanland since 2005. This year, the cover is toned in blue. It evokes a bit of a graphic from the last Covenant Alien from 2017. A demonic wave, warriors flying to the ground. I imagine a lot of things, but what exactly does the motif show and how does it relate to music? Raymond did a great job, I still have to think about the packaging. 

MIKE :We have been working with Raymond since Crown of Souls and have a great deal of respect for him and his talents. Raymond has been perfect in helping us capture our vision for the albums - Crown of Souls, Of What's to Come, Portals to Cannan and now this masterpiece” NUCLEUS” We wanted the color and concept of the album to have an ominous feeling placed within a cold landscape. The existing cover is what Raymond created from our description below, which is a testament to why we have been working with him for years. He's the Man! 

The Cover is a depiction of the advanced race of warriors rising and assembling after cognitive enhancement by the Earth's Overseer. The concept behind Nucleus is a storyline that introduces the Overseers and the Elders intervening and aiding the last of humanity in the final battle between man and an invading alien horde. 

Backstory: The Nucleus is an organic enhancement to man implanted by the Overseers (who are enormous ancient beings that were delivered here millions of years ago). A small parasite is released from the Overseers that feeds a special venom to the brain, which aids man in becoming an all powerful being. The beast that delivers the parasites is sort of a twist on H.P. Lovecraft's character Cthulhu and partly inspired by old Norse myths of sea creatures. 

The Elder Race is the origin of humanity in the Universe and carried the Overseers and the Nucleus along with the DNA spores to earth. Now that the final war has come, the Overseers make their way to the surface to spawn the parasites on the worthiest of men. The last of the human race is enhanced and equipped with the mighty powers to fight the final battle in hopes to regain the Earth. 

Zack Ohren was in charge of mixing and mastering again. The novelty comes to me cooler, rawer, darker than the previous album. Was it an intention? You've also been working with Zack for many years. Does that mean he alone understands how you want to sound? For technical death metal, sound is very important, the instruments must be legible, but the plate must not lack animality. You did it again in the news. Did you speak to Zack, did you have any comments, or did you leave everything to him? 

MIKE: Zack worked closely with Erik, Craig and Ivan on the production for Nucleus. Darren recorded his drum tracks and sent them to Zack for final mix and mastering. We work with Zack because he is very talented and has a great ear for metal. I have a great amount of respect for his work on our albums and the other death metal albums he has engineered and mastered. 

"Nucleus" is the end of a story that you have been telling as a band since 2008. Your former drummer Mike Hamilton took care of the lyrics. How hard was it for him to build on previous records? And where did he want to lead the story, to go? 

MIKE: Jacoby & I collaborated on the lyrics for Nucleus. I wrote about 75% of the lyrics and about 50% of the vocal arrangements and Jacoby handled the rest. Erik had some song titles in place and we came up with the rest. I have years of experience writing lyrics. Erik, Jacoby & I collaborated on - Mark of the Legion, Reduced to Ashes, Crown of Souls, Of What’s To Come & Portals to Canaan. I love the process and find that it comes naturally to me. I would say the most challenging part was creating an interesting and entirely new story arc picking up where Portals left off. I feel we accomplished that. 

There are a large number of guests on the new board. When I first read this information, I wondered if the album would be fragmented, if it would stick together. Who actually had the main say, who was the main organizer and supervisor? It's very nice to have so many famous names on the album, but for everyone to do perfect performances and everything fits perfectly as a whole, it's almost a miracle! How did you all get together? 

MIKE: Jacoby and I were the organizers and had a pretty in depth conversation about the guests we wanted on Nucleus. We wanted to invite artists that were close personal friends and important to the history and success of Deeds of Flesh. Most of the vocalists are or were in bands that were on the Unique Leader roster. I give all credit to Jacoby for managing the vocal recording sessions. Thanks to a lot of hard work on everyone's part we were able to make our deadline in time for the 2020 release. 

The new record actually worked in all respects. In addition, it has the ancient metal spark that I love music so much. You have kept the animal, I still feel that music is played by "people and not machines", as is often the case. But it's also very important for me to see the band live. Will DEEDS OF FLESH also perform with the new record? But who will take over all the vocal parts? Jacoby? Are you planning a new tour and will we see you in Europe? 

MIKE: For now, the main focus is to make sure this album is properly released in Erik’s honor. We all worked really hard to make sure the integrity of the Deeds of Flesh sound was kept on Nucleus. Yes, Jacoby will be the vocalist if DOF performs live. With Covid 19 the future of concerts is bleak and only time will tell if Deeds will play live again. There are a lot of factors to consider but I'm always optimistic! 

In what form will DEEDS OF FLESH continue in the future? Is there any new music planned? And if so, do you already have any ideas ready? 

MIKE: We have had discussions regarding the future of Deeds of Flesh. We are entertaining the idea of writing new material as well as small tours and festivals. I can tell you that we are highly optimistic about all the possibilities. 

Like a thread, DEEDS OF FLESH themes intertwine sci-fi themes. Which writers do you like best and who influenced you the most about the band? What about movies? 

MIKE: For me personally, I've always been a fan of Sci-Fi themed movies and books. I like authors Frank Herbert, Ray Bradbury and Zecharia Sitchin. Alien, Aliens, Prometheus, Alien Covenant, Dune, The Thing, Blade Runner, Transcendence and Westworld are all movies that inspired me. I've watched them for years and they are all influential. 

Do you believe in extraterrestrial civilizations? It sometimes occurs to me that as a human being we have been very lucky to have survived so long. When I look around, I have a weird feeling that something is happening, it is changing. We have an internet that was amazing at first, and we suddenly find that it can be a pretty effective bad weapon. What do you think about contemporary society and its direction? Sometimes it seems to me that we are just a colony controlled from space. So many illogical steps, poverty, wars, the destruction of the planet cannot be true. But I don't want to blame anyone else - we are unteachable. 

MIKE: I'm definitely open to the possibility that there is life on other planets. We would be remiss and arrogant to think that Earth is the only planet to inhabit life in the universe. I'm not so much concerned with Aliens visiting or taking over Earth. We have yet to produce any proof of aliens existing. I'm more concerned with the increasing power and influence of technology. Technology is advancing at such an alarming rate. It's exciting, interesting, scary and worrisome all at the same time. I feel before long and possibly in our lifetime there will be an issue with artificial intelligence taking over and gaining momentum in certain aspects of life. It's already happening now. How long before man becomes obsolete?


Thank you so much for the interview, I appreciate your time. I wish the new "Nucleus" and the whole band to be successful in all aspects. I'm looking forward to more music from you and I'm going to really add volume to the player. The new album really worked! May you prosper in your private lives. 

MIKE: Thank you so much for the interview. I want to personally thank the many Deeds Of Flesh fans and friends around the world, travelling through space and time for their decades of support! In honor of Erik Lindmark ….”ONWARD”!

Recenze/review - DEEDS OF FLESH - Nucleus (2020):

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