středa 29. prosince 2021

Interview - MASSACRE - Honest death metal from the Florida swamps!

Interview with legendary death metal band MASSACRE from USA.

Answered Mike Borders (bass), thank you!

Translated Duzl, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Recenze/review - MASSACRE - Resurgence (2021):

Hail MASSACRE! Greetings to the underworld. I was expecting the new album "Resurgence" like every death metal fan with great anticipation. It's been seven long years since the last record. Why so long? Please describe how the new album was created? But I must say that the wait was worth it. It's an absolute carnage!

Good morning Jakub, honestly, when we decided to do this thing again, recording a new album wasn’t even talked about. It was old friends getting together, playing shows, having fun. That was the plan, sadly it didn’t take long before the drama kicked in, the head butting, the clashes of personality. But it wasn’t long after half the band quit that we were getting contacted by Nuclear Blast, so we had to put a working line up together and start all over again. We recorded a new album and once again, clashes, conflicts, and it all fell apart. years' worth of work down the drain, In the end it all worked out, I really think at this point, listening back that fans would have been disappointed with the work. Not there was anything wrong with the recordings, the songs, but it wasn’t quite right. Under a different name, a different idea, and as its released now by our past members, its fine. It just wasn’t “Massacre”.

MASSACRE today is just two people - Kam Lee and Michael Borders. Does that mean they are the foundation? What about the other musicians, how did they contribute to the creation of the new songs? Who wrote the riffs? Also, you each live in a different country, did that give you any problems?

Yes, as of now, Kam and myself make up the core of the band. Everyone has a role to play, and we all do our parts. The new album was primarily written by Rogga and Jonny. It just worked out that way. Kam writing lyrics and Scott doing guitar solos. There never was any studio headbutting with someone telling the other “no, play that part like this, or don’t use that frequency on your track”. We all did our part, our way, each having faith in the others, and honestly was a very smooth process despite being done remotely from one another.

"Resurgence" has a great cover. It's signed by Wesley Benscoter. An excellent artist, his work for AUTOPSY, BROKEN HOPE, DECEASED, DEFILED, are not only interesting but memorable. He has unmistakable handwriting. How did you get together and why him? Does that mean that he was the one who could best represent what's happening on the album? Like, did he hear your music beforehand?

Kam reached out to him after Gerardo at Nuclear Blast mentioning him as a possibility. He jumped on it and got it done for us.

The cover and the lyrics, everything is inspired by H.P. Lovercraft. Which is your favourite work of his? How do you create lyrics? I think it's really hard to write something meaningful that fits the phrasing and doesn't sound silly. What are the lyrics on "Resurgence" about?

Kam has always been a fan of Lovecraft, always been a base of his ideas. That and old horror movies.Also there was an effort to “connect” some of these songs to those on “From Beyond”, as a true follow up to the album.

The sound was mixed by Dan Swano. I have to say, it's a good one. What was the brief? I find the newness old-school, but at the same time perfectly legible, dark, cold. How was it working with Dan? He's a great professional. By the way, how did you record? At each other's homes or together?

Jonny premixed everything, before sending to Dan, we gave him some direction, a general idea of what we had in mind, basic idea was to keep it a bit on the raw side. Sometimes all the studio poish takes away from the honesty of it all, wanted it to sound good but real.

On October 31st you released a single Halloween song. Does it mean that this song didn't fit on the album anymore? I know the single was released on CD? Aren't you planning a vinyl? How do you feel about Halloween? What does this holiday of the dead mean to you?

Halloween is Kams birthday haha. And the song was something we did for fun. I will tell you, there are two more EP’S and a LIVE album, done, ready at Nuclear Blast, that will release this summer 2022, already working on songs for the next album and will still drop random singles, covers, what ever we feel like doing. Fun song, hit record, release it.

Speaking of music carriers, what is your relationship to them? Nowadays, everything is streamed, downloaded from the internet, most people only listen digitally. I'm an old dog who still collects CDs, my friends collect vinyl, even cassettes are making a comeback. How are you? Are you a collector?

Streaming is starvation for musicians, and sounds like shit as well. Metal fans tend to like physical copies but judging from the numbers, streaming is a big deal. I’m not the collector I once was , and am guilty of downloading music for the flash drive in my truck since they don’t put CD players in new cars nowdays. Sadly between work, and the band, driving is the only time I get to listen to new music these days.

What about MASSACRE and concerts? Do you have any line-up for live performances? And will we ever get to see you on stage with the musicians who contributed to "Resurgence"? How about some touring (hope you won't forget Europe!)?

We just played a couple of shows here in the states, next year we have maryland Deathfest of course, a show in NYC (Day of Death) and we just signed a festival date in Texas with Carcass. We have a live line up, separate from recording. Europe is still a variable with the shutdowns, its hard to plan anything right now.

This brings me to the future of MASSACRE. I know that it was written somewhere that fans have something to look forward to in 2022, that you already have more material ready. Is that true? What do you have in store for us?

Haha already answered that one. Yes, new EP, and LIVE album, new singles and other fun releases. I know it sounds crazy, but we really are trying to have fun with this these days!

I've been listening to death metal since the beginning. I wonder how you perceive this style as a musician. What does it mean to you? Lifestyle? A hobby? Feel free to get philosophical.

In the beginning, as a young kid learning to play,while yes, you set out to play what you want to hear, you are limited it what you CAN play and as well, by the connections you make. I know great players that never could find the right crew, or while you can PLAY a certain music well, you can’t write it. As example, I’ve played bass for 40 years now. , my first real band was Massacre, ive played in other bands, played on albums for different types of music, I LOVE to play death metal, that feeling of the stage shaking under my feet when I hit the big low notes, but its very hard for me to write death metal music. I can, I have, there are parts on From Beyond I wrote, but if I just sit down to noodle around and write, other things come more naturally. It may be my age, not a kid anymore, it may be other music that influences me. I always felt the “only metal” mindset to be limiting and dull. In the early days you would never admit to liking a non metal form of music, labeled as a poser haha, But I enjoy anything well done, talented or cool at this point.

Do you have a message for the fans? To the labels? Promoters? You have space!

I just want everyone to know tthat we truly do apprecaiate, at this stage in our careers, to be able to still do this and have fans reach out with words of praise. Girls sending pictures of themselves in Massacre shirts is cool too!

Thank you very much for the interview. In the 90s MASSACRE were my big hero. I'm so glad you're back. I wish the band nothing but sold-out shows, truckloads of sold-out records and merchandise and I'll be looking forward to the live show! I'll be partying in the front row! May you guys do well in private too!

Thanks again Jakub!!


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