čtvrtek 4. srpna 2022

Home » , , , , , , , , , , , , , » Interview - OBSCENE - Death metal misanthropy!

Interview - OBSCENE - Death metal misanthropy!

Interview with death metal band from USA - OBSCENE.

Answered Brandon (drums) and Kyle (vocals), thank you!

Translated Duzl, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx. 

Ave OBSCENE! Greetings to catacombs! First, let me express my appreciation to you. I follow your band since 2017 since you released your first EP “Sermon to the Snake” and you belong to my most favorite bands. Here in the Czech Republic, you are not very known, but this is a very small country with a tiny underground community. How exactly the OBSCENE was founded?

BRANDON - Obscene was founded in 2016 by me, our former guitarist Ryan Green, and Kyle. Ryan and I had been playing in a more technical death metal band at the time and for years prior, and wanted to do something more in the HM-2 vein, similar to early Bloodbath, Dismember and a myriad of other Swedish classics. I wanted something different and new to the area. Vocally, I thought of Kyle, because I believe around that same time he mentioned wanting to front a band again, and I’ve always enjoyed his presence and performance as a frontman. Fuckin’ wild pipes on that guy. He didn’t hesitate to reply and agreed to check it out. I initially had a bunch of ideas for songs sitting around, basically the entirety of the “Sermon to the Snake” demo, and we recruited our good friend and bassist Erik Lund (Recently passed and eternally missed, RIP), and other buddy and guitarist Josh Kappel. We jammed the songs I had ready and written, played a few shows with them, and after a while Ryan had to step down from his position. We went under Blood Chasm at that time, too. We then changed our name, recorded the demo tape, signed to Blood Harvest, and played some more gigs before Erik and Josh had to do the same. After all of that, we picked up Mike Morgan on guitar, who I also played with in that same technical death metal band mentioned earlier - and Roy Hayes on bass, he had history with all of Kyle’s old bands and we knew him well in the scene and knew of his tone and talents. Since then, it’s been an unstoppable freight train of riffs! Couldn’t be happier with the current state of Obscene. We’ve only been growing stronger with every release.

KYLE- Hey, thanks for being with us since the demo! Always cool and validating to hear people who have supported us since the jump.

Recently you released the new record ".​.​.​from Dead Horizon to Dead Horizon", which is again full of pure real death metal. With which feelings did you enter to the studio? For example, did you have a plan, where and how do you want to move from the last album? In my opinion, the new record seems to be darker and at the same time colder. I have to admit that the atmosphere of the whole album literally captivated me.

BRANDON - We do enjoy pure and real death metal. That’s why we do what we do. We went into the studio with pretty much the same intent that we had during the “Inhabitable Dark” session. Guns blazing, no bullshit, straight to the point, raw tracking, and fin. We did Inhabitable over the span of a weekend. With the new album, we had a week booked in Mercinary with Noah. A little more time to really experiment with stuff, and make sure we were thoroughly satisfied with the end product. Darker and colder is definitely the vibe we were shooting for. I’m glad it served you well!

Noah Buchanan, the "metal guru" took care of the mix and mastering of the album again. Why exactly him? Personally, I like his handwriting, which really fits your music. Generally, the sound is great, it reminds me of the old records from the nineties. Was this a purpose?

BRANDON - We chose Noah for multiple reasons. One, we wanted to try out a new place, new sound, etc. Two, we all enjoy Nunslaughter, and know how talented the dude is as a musician and behind the board. Three, Mercinary has the original board that was used in Morrisound studios, as well as the early days of Mana. Endless amounts of classic records that influenced us all were tracked, mixed and mastered through that thing. It was surreal to think that ours would be, too. I’d consider that a definite selling point, ha!

KYLE- Brandon pretty much nailed it all, but I’ll add that we wanted to také a chance on upside. We’re not a band that’s going to experiment too much or step out of pocket so it’s important for all of us not to put out the same record twice. It’s a big reason why besides the band itself, we all worked with new people on ‚…From Dead Horizon to Dead Horizon‘. We think the gamble paid off.

I pay a lot of attention to the graphical part of the CD and I like your cover arts. Who is the author of the monster on the new record ".​.​.​from Dead Horizon to Dead Horizon" and what is it supposed to express? I had to order a T-shirt immediately, I really like the motif, just please tell us how it relates to the music, how they are thematically interconnected?

KYLE- When working with artists, we like it to be more of a collaborative effort than us dictating what we want. We told Skadvaldur to pretty much go nuts with just wanting a revenant scouring a field filled with corpses. We also sent some lyrics and rehearsal tracks. This sort of policy has served us well and there’s no reason to alter this approach as of yet.

I would be interested in the process of how the new songs of the OBSCENE are created. Are you like traditional musicians who are closed in a rehearsal room and simply play, or do you use modern technology and send ideas to each other on the internet? Do you go for a beer together?

BRANDON - I’d say traditional, for sure. We shut the basement door at Mike’s, and we just start playing. There are plenty of riffs that are written and recorded via voice memo on our phones and sent to one another, but we do the bulk of it from scratch. Random improv riffs always turn into something cool when we’re all involved, it seems. We’re all great friends and have known each other for years. Unfortunately work and home life generally keeps us apart until we find times to jam and hang out. The last tour we did with Morta Skuld was great, and an absolute blast being able to be around everyone for more than just a few hours. I miss it already.

All members of the band are also members of other metal groups. I believe, OBSCENE is important to you, but how do you deal with it when you have duties with your main bands? Is OBSCENE a classic band or only a side project for you?

BRANDON - Obscene is our main band at this point, and generally the main focus with everyone. I also front a death/doom band called Mother of Graves that is about to release a new record, which is equally important, but I manage my time with both of them properly and cherish them the same.

When I look at Metal Archives, the number of bands, where you play or you played in the past is really impressive. But do you earn your living? Or do you have to have a classic job? And can you tell us what fields you work in?

BRANDON - I have never used music as my way to sustain myself financially, unfortunately. Never been on that level to where I can keep my bills paid and not work a mundane shift. Outside of music, I manage a pretty sizable distribution warehouse. I stare at part numbers all day and receive/organize/ship inventory. Home appliance stuff. Parts. It’s exhausting, but it keeps me going and also allows me good PTO to use for band life.

KYLE- That’s something I’ve had a bit of an internal grapple with. I’m sure making a living playing extreme music is cool and all, but I’m not sure I’d want to be in a position where I feel like I *HAVE* to do this. I’m here because I want to be. And I don’t think it’s all that difficult to také time off work to accomplish your goals. I mean, if your job won’t allow you a week or two off to tour or record; that’s a shitty job and you need a new one. I’ve also been fortunate and lucky to have an incredibly supportive and patient wife where having to leave for a bit isn’t a domestic issue.

You are old experienced dogs who play in their own way. You have your own handwriting, which is something that is sometimes forgotten today. A lot of bands just sound like copies of others. I am sure that you had some idols. Who influenced you as a musician and who was your main idol? When and how did you actually start to play? What was the first impulse to grab the musical instrument?

BRANDON - Of course. I’ve always looked up to the works of people like Chuck Schuldiner, Dan Swano, Dio, Klaus Meine, a ton of others around all spectrums of music and genres. Drum specific, I’d say Dave Lombardo, Pete Sandoval, Vinny and Carmine Appice, Scott Rockenfield, to name some. All are phenomenal and forever unrivaled in their musical wizardry and power. I was probably freshly a teen when I first strived to learn guitar, then after that wanted to try out drums, and here we are today. Took some years to really take it seriously and progress, but it all paid off in time.

KYLE- I had played guitar a little in high school but I sucked and never got any good. I’ve always been a passionate fan of underground and extreme music for as long as I can remember. I pretty much weaseled my way into my first band, and it’s been a lot of trial and error to get to where I am vocally. I prefer the more tortured and acidic sounding vocals to the standard gutturals (nothing wrong with those tho!) so guys like Martin van Drunen, John Tardy, Tomas Lindberg, Killjoy, Marc Grewe, Chris Reifert, Scott Ruth, Tom G. Warrior and Chuck Schuldiner were all key. Also, guys like Edgy 59 from Burning Witch, Johnny Morrow from Iron Monkey, and Blaine Cook from The Accused played a role as well.

I think the biggest reward for each band is the reaction of the fans. I like smaller clubs, where musicians and fans are close to each other. How often does OBSCENE perform? Do you go on tour sometimes, for example? I made a search on the internet and I didn't find too many live videos from your performance. How about OBSCENE and concerts? How about a tour in Europe with INCANTATION? I would love that.

BRANDON - Small clubs are always fun. Pack them up with people, give everyone some beers, and it’s bound to be a great time. Well, we had tour plans in 2020 right when the Inhabitable Dark came out. This was also the time that Covid struck the earth and everything shut down. So, needless to say, our plans were canceled. We had just bought a new van and everything. Prior to that, we did a bunch of local gigs, a few weekend tours around the midwest, and that’s really about it. Now that everything is opening up again, we plan to invade many more towns and venues. We’ve done a few one off gigs and some fests since. We just got done with a 10 day tour with Morta Skuld. Went through Missouri, Oklahoma, 4 days throughout Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio. It was great. I’d love to get this band out of the country for something like that! It’s been talked about, for sure. It seems the new record is reaching tons of new ground.

KYLE- Shit, a tour with Incantation would be a dream come true! We’re hoping to get overseas next year and hit up one of if not both the American coasts by then too.

I've always wondered which kind of music do musicians actually listen to. Do you have any albums that you like to listen to again and again? And what about some new records from recent years? Did some record impress you enough to buy a CD?

BRANDON - Depends on the mood! I have a pretty large collection of records, tapes and CD’s here ranging from death metal, to doom, to heavy metal, to black metal, to classic rock, to hair/glam/shred stuff. I take influence from many different genres and combine all of them into what I do. I try my best to keep up with new bands and records, but man, there are just so many bands anymore that it kind of overwhelms me. Not necessarily a bad thing, but in the end I generally stick to a lot of older stuff!

KYLE- I try to keep it balanced with new and old. None of us exclusively listen to death metal, but we obviously know our shit. I’ll give ya a good old fashioned playlist:

Holy Moses-Finished With The Dogs

Lucifer’s Hammer-The Burning Church

Samhain-November Coming Fire

Cerebral Rot-Excretion of Mortality

Phobophilic-Undimensioned Identites

Deep Purple-In Rock

Witch Vomit-Abhorrent Rapture

Satyricon-Dark Medieval Times

Wraith-Undo the Chains

Apostle of Solitude-Until the Darkness Goes

Death metal is my favorite musical style. I am mainly fascinated by its darkness, or by a dusty smell from old graves. However, strength and pressure are also important. When I listen to a good record, I'm literally full of energy. What does death metal mean for you? How does it affect your life, your view of the world, how do you perceive death metal as a musician/composer/author?

BRANDON - Death metal will always be held near and dear. It’s the rawness, the power, the anger, the horror, the macabre, the intensity, the speed, the pent up aggression released and manifested via scorching riffs, maniacal vocals and pummeling drums. I don’t know what I’d do without it, honestly. It’s the best outlet there is.

KYLE- Gotta be the vibe and atmosphere. Once you know, you know. I mean „caveman riffs and blast beats‘ are cool and all, but death metal is a lil bit more than that. On the other hand I don’t think masturbatory noodling and pissing contests about how fast one can do a gravity blast means anything. We wanna hear songs that makes ya feel something.

Thank you very much for the interview! I wish not only to the new album ".​.​.​from Dead Horizon to Dead Horizon ", but also to the whole band OBSCENE a lot of success. I'm going to listen to the album again! It's really great. Additionally, I wish you good luck also in your personal lives.

KYLE- Hey, thank you, Jakub! We appreciate the support. Keep it obscene! OUGH

Share this games :