středa 15. září 2021

Interview - CENTENARY - Death metal gives me peace of mind.

Interview with death metal band from USA - CENTENARY.

Answered Jim Albrecht (bass), thank you!

Translated Duzl, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Recenze/review - CENTENARY - Death…The Final Frontier (2021):

Ave CENTENARY! Greetings to the catacombs! When I wrote a review of your last album "Into the Graveless Beyond" two years ago, I thought, damn it, this band would be worth an interview. I listened to the album over and over again. The morgue massacre, exactly as it should be, I thought. Can you please introduce us to CENTENARY? How did you get together?

Cheers! Thanks for the interview, man. Centenary was first formed iin 2014 by Mike Bradley. I joined the band in 2015. I first met Mike years ago, when he was in a local band called All Creation Wept and I was playing bass in a band called Genocya. Our vocalist Allen Mercer and lead guitarist Matt Cunningham joined in 2016. We knew Al from his old band Nurse Ratched and Matt was in Genocya with me. Adam Davey(formerly of Surfer James) joined us in 2019.

Let's go to the new album "Death… The Final Frontier"… I've had it at home for a review for a while now, but instead of writing a few lines, I listen to it over and over again. I really enjoy it! This is the perfect exhumation of old death metal! How was the record created and what has changed in the two years since the last act?

Thanks, man! Glad you are really enjoying it. We spent most of 2020 writing the songs and recorded it in February of 2021. The biggest change since the last album, is the addition of Adam on drums. He joined shortly before we released "Into The Graveless Beyond", so this album was our first time getting to work with him on new material. He played a huge part in the creation of these songs.

I've been listening to death metal since its inception and you know what still fascinates me about it? Sound, yes, that dusty, moldy sound. You sound like a mix of ancient albums from Sweden (NIHILIST, DISMEMBER, ENTRAILS, GRAVE) and American schools (MASTER, CIANIDE, DECEASED). How did you manage to achieve such a great sound on the novelty? It is great angalog sound!

Thank you so much, man! That's a huge compliment. We've played shows with Master and Deceased, so thats good company to be in, haha. We recorded everything as natural as possible. The album was recorded digitally, but we did not go to a recording studio. Jeff Vergiels brought his recording gear over to where we rehearse at, and we tracked all the music there in one weekend. We worked on making sure the drums, guitar, and bass tones were where we wanted and then just layed everything down. No triggers, click tracks, etc. We recorded the vocals at Jeff's and then he mixed everything. Then we sent it to Mount Doom here in the Detroit area for mastering. We are super happy with how it turned out. We improved our production without losing any of that raw sound we love.

The theme of your lyrics is horror. Where do you get inspiration and which authors are your favourites? Do you have any movies that you can watch all the time? How were the lyrics created and who is their author? Do you also read books? Which one influenced you the most?

We draw a lot of inspiration from old Horror, Sci-Fi, and B-movies. Classic TV shows like "Kolchalk: The Night Stalker". Al writes most of the lyrics. Sometimes we'll come up with a song title or concept, and then he writes the lyrics. He also reads a lot of books, so he draws inspiration from there for songs like "Tower Of Excarnation". Sometimes real life inspires us, like with songs like "Remote Manipulation". When I read, it's usually some Stephen King or Clive Barker. The last book I read though was "Stay Ugly: The Life And Near Deaths Of King Fowley".

I also like the cover for the new record. The author is my favourite painter Juanjo Castellano. This time, the motive really worked. How did you get together with Juan? And why him? Is the painting painted to order or have you already chosen from the finished works?

Thanks, we love Juanjo's art as well! Mike had been put into contact with him a few years ago, and the cover was originally going to be designed for "Into The Graveless Beyond", but we ended up saving it for "Death...The Final Frontier". It was an original painting he did for us. We gave him the concept and he did all the rest. It came out awesome and it fits this album perfectly.

How did you actually get into playing death metal? You can feel from your music that you are also a fan of true death! When did you start playing and what bands did you go through? What about the first concert? Who was your role model and whom did you admire in your beginnings?

I was born in 1971, so I grew up with a lot of "traditional" Rock and Heavy Metal. In the 80's I discovered Thrash Metal, and then got into Death Metal in the 90's. The local scene here in Michigan, was what got me into Extreme Metal. Bands like Lucifer's Hammer, Masochist, Summon, Production Grey, Gutted, name a few. We had a great scene here in those days. I joined Genocya in 2002 and have been playing Death Metal ever since. We all have a pretty good background in old school Death Metal. Some of my inspirations on bass are Jeff Walker from Carcass, Shane Embury from Napalm Death, Lemmy, Dan Lilker from Nuclear Assault/Brutal Truth, D.D. Verni from Overkill, and Joe Bench from Bolt Thrower.

The whole world knows what happened in Detroit. Has this situation affected your lives in any way? And to the music? Does the city inspire you in any way? And how is Detroit doing today? I also mean in terms of the scene, clubs, promoters and bands.

We love Detroit. We're proud to call it our home. There is a great scene here with some great venues and bands. Lots of good people and fans. This city definitely inspires and influences us. We recently played our first show here in over a year and a half, due to music venues having to close down due to the pandemic. We played with Deicide, Internal Bleeding, Kataklysm, and Begat The Nephilim. All the bands were great and it was a sold out show. It felt great to be back on stage and it was an awesome show!

The theme of the concerts is also connected with the previous question. How are CENTENARY with them? Do you play often and often? Do you prefer festivals or smaller clubs? And are you even willing to travel far? Aren't you attracted to a longer tour?

We love to play shows. It the funnest part of playing this music. Most of our shows are in smaller clubs. We've played bars, DIY venues, and some outdoor shows. Sometimes we travel outside Michigan. We've gone to Chicago, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Buffalo. We usually take long weekends, to travel for shows. We're open to pretty much anything, but we do all have jobs to work around. So extensive touring isn't always possible. We never rule anything our though.

What does death metal mean to you? Is it a lifestyle, a hobby, relaxation? How would you define it? You can easily embark on philosophical considerations.

For me, Death Metal is definitely my favorite music to play. I love the riffs. The drums. The vocals that sound like they came from the crypt. I wouldn't necessarily call it a "lifestyle", but I put everything I have into playing it and it gives me peace of mind. Sooths my soul. It's music, at the end of the day, but its great music.

A necessary question at the end. What is CENTENARY planning in the coming months? What can we fans look forward to?

Aside from the album release on September 10th, we have a couple local shows coming up. We are planning some other gigs for 2022 and we will also start writing for the next album.

Thank you so much for the interview. I'm leaving for work in a minute. I'll go around the cemetery. It is clear what will play in the player - "Death… The Final Frontier". And really loud. I wish the album the best possible sales and I hope that it will reach as many listeners as possible. Good luck to you in private! Death metal forever!

Thanks again for the interview, man! Appreciate your love for the new album. Cheers!

Recenze/review - CENTENARY - Death…The Final Frontier (2021):


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