1. Can you tell us a little bit about the new project and band?
MASADA was conceived in 2008 by myself, Chris Milewski, with the intention of not only creating aggressive music, but also something that involved a sort of uniqueness and actual thought. Shortly after, I was joined by renowned drummer Craig Smilowski (ex-IMMOLATION, ex-GOREAPHOBIA, RELLIK,) bassist Matt Dwyer (RELLIK,) and vocalist Cazz “The Black Lourde of Crucifixion” Grant (CRUCIFIER, ex-GRAND BELIAL'S KEY.) In November 2010, about 6 years or so after being written, the recording of 2 tracks finally commenced. After numerous added delays, the "Suffer Mental Decay" demo was finally finished and released on Judgement Day, May 21, 2011. Believe it or not, even with the release of the demo, the world failed to end... and here we stand!
2. How would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the demo?
One could expect generally mid-paced old-school death metal with some bizarre riffs and structures thrown in! It's somewhat progressive, but not really (make sense?) I've seen it compared to Pestilence, Atheist, Destruction, Death, Obituary, and just old school death metal!
3. What are the lyrical topics that you explore ith the demo?
The general theme of the demo is exactly what the title implies, "mental decay." The title track describes how the majority of mankind is blissfully ignorant and blind to the world around them. "Toxic Unreality" is about how the blinded masses are brainwashed by the media and how their lives are ruled by the distorted false reality they see on TV.
4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
The band name of MASADA was chosen really for one reason. Masada is an ancient mountaintop fortress where hundreds of Jewish zealots committed mass suicide rather than becoming slaves to the Romans. It can be seen, rather hypocritically, as a great victory of pride... but we chose the name because it perfectly illustrates how brainwashed fools, in this case by religion, will ultimately come to an end, either mentally or physically, as a result of their stupidity.
5. Have you had the oppurtunity to do and live shows yet, if so what are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
We haven't played any shows yet so I can't really comment. Time shall tell!
6. All of the band members have a history in the underground, what made all of you decide to go for the more old school sound?
We did not strive for nor did we deliberately go for an old-school sound, it just came out that way naturally I guess. Craig, Cazz, and Matt were all very much active in the "old-school days," so I suppose it's in their blood! We wrote the tunes and then recorded them. It's really as simple as that!
7. Currently the band is unsigned, are you looking for a label and if so, what kind of label do you feel that woul be a perfect fit for the band?
That's right, we're currently unsigned but we really haven't been actively seeking a label at this time -- meaning I haven't sent out any promo packs to labels as we've been focusing on spreading the name. If an interested label came along, than we'd be interested! Any label that can support MASADA is fine by me... we're not looking to become rockstars (which you can't if you play this music.)
8. On a worldwide level, how has your music been recieved by death metal fans?
The demo is circulating worldwide and people are really digging it! Much to my surprise, the most common complaint is that two songs aren't enough... people want more! It makes me happy that our work it appreciated and enjoyed. Anyone and everyone, spread the demo like the plague! We encourage you to copy it, download it, etc.
9. What direction do you see the music heading into during the futures?
We have started working on new material already actually. It's a little less simplistic than the demo and a little more technical, but it's still very similar in style. You'll know it's MASADA!
10. Do any of the band members currentl have any other projects going on besides this band?
Both Craig and Matt are currently in the process of recording some new tunes with the death / thrash band RELLIK. They've been in action since the 80s and are still thrashing! Cazz is still doing the blackened death behemoth, CRUCIFIER. He's in the process securing a lineup of some original members to work on a new full length album. I myself don't really do anything except MASADA.
11. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music, and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I'm the youngest in the band... I grew up on the Death Metal of the early 90s. The other guys are more influenced by traditional Heavy Metal and 80s Thrash! Well, get ready for a long list of bands: Agent Steel, Atheist, Autopsy, Bathory, Black Sabbath, Candlemass, Carcass, Carnivore, Celtic Frost, Crumbsuckers, Cynic, Dark Angel, Death, Destruction, Entombed, Exodus, Gorguts, Heathen, Iron Maiden, King Diamond, Kreator, Krisiun, Led Zeppelin, Mercyful Fate, Misery Index, Morbid Angel, Morgoth, Napalm Death, Nocturnus, Obituary, Onslaught, Ozzy Osbourne, Paralysis, Pestilence, Possessed, Rush, Slayer, Sodom, Terrorizer, Twisted Sister, Vendetta, Venom. That's just to name a few!
12. Does Occultism or Satanism play a role in the music?
No, MASADA itself has nothing to do with occultism or satanism. MASADA is about society, thoughts, and the mind.
13. outside of music, what are some of your interests?
I can't speak for the rest of the guys, but I personally am admittedly quite a nerd. Outside of all things related to music, I'm interested in local history, mid-century architecture & design, computer graphics, and 50s-70s US culture. I'm also heavily into Italian cinema of the 60s-70s (gialli, spaghetti westerns, poliziotteschi, exploitation, etc.) and classic cartoons (Betty Boop, Felix the Cat, etc.)
14. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Firstly I'd like to say thanks to you for allowing MASADA to be part of your webzine... it is greatly appreciated! I'd also like to say hello and thanks to everyone who has helped MASADA and to everyone who enjoys our music! Download "Suffer Mental Decay" for free at http://masada.bandcamp.com/ and like us on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/masadadasam!