úterý 12. července 2022

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Interview - VIOGRESSION - Death metal dripping with bad blood!

Interview with death metal band from United States - VIOGRESSION.

Answered drummer Duane Timlin, thank you!

Translated Duzl, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Recenze/review - VIOGRESSION - 3rd Stage of Decay (2022):

Hail VIOGRESSION! Hello to the American underground. I hope you're well. I'm listening to your new album "3rd Stage of Decay" for the third time now and enjoying it incredibly. It's actually a bit of a throwback to the good old days for me. What are your feelings about it? I guess it wasn't easy to make, or am I wrong? After all, it's new music from your band after a long time.

Greetings Deadly Storm cheers, hails to you and our Czech friends across the sea. I must say I really miss your fine Pilsners. Anyway Duane here and I am going to answer these here questions to the best of my ability. So right, the new album we feel good about it even more so now that it is finally out! For us it wasn’t very difficult to make really we did spend a lot of time on it through the demo process and actual recordings than anything so I would say it was more time consuming than hard. Also it’s good to hear that it takes you back to the old days that pretty much let’s us know we did our jobs!!

Of course, I remember VIOGRESSION from the 1990s. Then you were gone for a long time. You came back in 2014. But that wasn't the first break, if I'm not mistaken. Could you please give the fans an overview of your band's history? Why did your bandmates leave back in the day and how did you go about finding new ones?

History ok. The band actually goes back to 88 having released three demos leading into the 90’s in 91 the band released Expound and Exhort and toured with Pestilence and Death on their Human tour. Following that and a guitar player change came Passage which was a struggle with getting the recording out and unfortunate incidents that led to internal struggles and at that point in time the band changed directions and formed Medusa Oblongata, and beyond that there was some other experimentation with certain members like Brian doing Cynic briefly and Barry working cover bands and such. Fast forward to the early 2000’s Bryan Jaeger and Brian Deneffe started working on riffs and sounds which ultimately led to the A Pure Formality ep and the reformation of the band which is where I come in. We did a few shows and all hell broke lose with in the bands members personal lives forcing them to step back than dropping out all together. Luckily being in the industry for a long time myself with a lot of persuasion from Deneffe wanting to continue I reached out to some guys who happened to be at the right place at the right time so enter Jason Hellman, Matt Holtz and Jim Potter And 3rd Stage of Decay is born.

The new album is based on classic, traditional American death metal foundations. How was it created? Who wrote the riffs and what was the process of creating the new song? Please let us take a look into your „kitchen“.

Instead of being in the fastest and most ridiculous competition the goal out the gate was to put out the true classic death metal album. Sure we throw some modern elements in there to keep it

Interesting for other audiences being that most of us are from the old school it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that, that is what you are going to get from us. 3rd Stage of Decay I believe showcases how we have matured and tricks and things we have picked up along our musical journeys together as well as individually. As far as things work for us the musicians usually get together for the most part and hash out riffs get the structures down and demo them out before dissecting them and polishing them up before getting them to Brian so he can start working on lyrics. This approach works best for us versus sitting in a room and trying to do things piece by piece which I personally think slows things down. Hellman is a riff machine where as Matt is a little more detailed, but is getting better so there never is a shortage of material and things seem to come together quickly if we want them to. We definitely work well together. With 3rd stage in particular all the bells and whistles were done in my studio so a lot of things were evaluated and added and or written while we were in the middle of our studio session. And that covers that.

I only have the promo at home and I'm still waiting for the original CD, but what blew me away first is the sound. It's massive, dense, wild and animalistic at the same time. In these "artificial" times, it's almost a miracle. Where did you record and who is signed under production and mixing?

That is all part of the fine details, so we recorded At Belle City Sound with our old friend Chris Djuricic who engineered and Mixed, The album was mastered by Dave Otero at Flatline Audio, The album is self produced and yes we got the sounds we went after we wanted it as raw as possible with out losing any edge.

The cover by Zbigniew M. Bielak reminds me of a deserted swamp, a swamp where one can easily get lost. What assignment did you give to this favourite artist of mine? Or did you choose from already prepared paintings? And how does the motif on the cover relate to the music, what is it supposed to express? How did you and Zbigniew get together?

Well like most artists looking to get work he originally contacted us as a fan of the band, and through talks leading up to the recording we had demo tracks of everything which was sent to him him and a blank canvas and what he finally returned to us was a glorious and magical masterpiece. One that fits every area of the release the songs the titles and the like. It’s the Murder mystery cover we were looking one that is visually appealing, opens the minds sensors and leaves so much room for imagination. He really knocked it out of the park for us. It was great working with him.

The album would definitely deserve a live presentation. But do you play concerts at all? Do you tour? And have you played any songs from "3rd Stage of Decay" live? How did they work and what kind of response did you get to them? 

Yes to all of the above so things get a little tricky and confusing here. So yes we play shows and have been definitely been trying to do more. So we did just do our first run for 3rd stage where we have to take out road guys with us as our local guys can only commit to so much on the end. But we are making it work. so finally yes the majority of our set has been the new material and has been received very well and works well with the younger crowds. Of course we sprinkle in some of the old songs for the old heads. We have a growing list of new songs we have another album written and being finished recording now and are about half way through writing a follow up to that as well. So we have a nice catalogue between new and old and future shows we plan to write our sets out accordingly to the show so we don’t leave anyone out.

VIOGRESSION are for me a band that is synonymous with the death metal I love. What does this style mean to you? How do you perceive its essence? Is it a hobby? A lifestyle? You can answer this question in terms of philosophy.

Same for us coming from the Old School ourselves thats what we know, have done for many years now and what we enjoy to do. We like most write what we like first if we think it’s good we release it and hope that everyone out in the world appreciates the sounds we put out. of course everyone has a different approach to it, for me personally it is definitely a lifestyle. It’s what I do best and have spent the majority of my life now living the dream and bleeding for the music. It’s never been a hobby.

You came back in 2014, but you are not exactly a band that suffers from overproduction. Why is that? No time or money? I'm also curious to know how you feel about the changes that have taken place recently as a musician. We have completely different, new technologies. The internet, sound, everything has changed.

No interest actually would be a fair assessment I guess we are not a band that necessarily needs over production to be cool or sound better, we prefer to give the audience our sound, and when seeing us live get that sound. Also we can actually play so another reason. The modern ease of use of certain technologies Is helpful at certain times. But for the most part it’s shit. I don’t necessarily agree what it has done to the way some people think and it takes away from the imaginations of some. I guess in a nutshell we prefer to do things the hard way.

Sathanas Records is releasing your new album on CD and digitally, but what about vinyl? Aren't you planning to release it as well? What about you and physical media? Do you collect them?

Yes and Yes we are working on finding a home to release this and possibly Passage on vinyl but are still looking for other options or ways to do that.

What is VIOGRESSION planning in the upcoming months? I hope we won't have to wait so long for a new album again? Do you have anything to say to the fans? You can now...

The plan is to hit the road and be out as much as we can. To the fans I say thank you for the support we all appreciate the comments, reviews and appreciation for the new album. Also I would say to them to make some noise which helps us and makes it easier to get out there and in front of you guys. And I can assure you all you will not be waiting long at all for new material behind this we are sitting on a pile we are ready to start throwing at you guys and more cooking. Our main focus at the moment is getting in front of everyone and displaying some of this 3rd Stage of Decay!!!

Thank you very much for the interview. I appreciate it. I wish your band as many sold out shows, sold out records and merchandise as possible. All the best in your private lives. I'm gonna go check out the new VIOGRESSION again. "3rd Stage of Decay" is a great album all round. Thanks for it too!

Thanks again Jakub and Deadly Storm you have no idea how much that means to us, It lessens the thought of all the work we put into it and lets us know we did what we set out to do cheers bud and hope to see you all very soon!!!

Recenze/review - VIOGRESSION - 3rd Stage of Decay (2022):

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