Sunday, November 30, 2014

Redacted Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
  Jon: We are <Redacted> and we play rock and roll. In all seriousness though, the world of independent music that hasn't been through any sort of 'profitability' filter like a record label or a producer is a really exciting world of half-finished ideas, spastic creativity and endless optimism. You'll hear stuff that is the love child of a few people that was made because they thought the world needed to hear it, rather than because they needed to eat or pay rent. It can be inspirational and theatrical. It can be whatever you want it to be. The World Commander and I have been lifelong metal fans, particularly extreme metal, and we wanted to write music together that was interesting and heavy but uncomplicated. We wanted there to be that DIY aspect to it. We respected the work ethic of bands like Death and Bathory where you've got some incredible music with its own mindblowing ethos behind it, but played by a few guys in hi-tops and Motorhead t-shirts.
  We spent a year writing the sort of out-of-nowhere death/thrash that we like to play. We settled quite early on with lyrical themes and song concepts, intentionally choosing esoteric sci-fi and paranormal themes with a tasty twist of tin-foil-hat wearing conspiracy theory. Death metal lyrics should be intimidating, but the Satan thing has been done so many times, so well, by such brilliant artists that it can be very hard to come across as anything other than cliché at worst, and a tribute at best.
  Richard: We play a bit of thrash, a bit of death metal, we smash it with some melody, and then grind it into a fine wine to pour into your ear holes.

    2.Recently you have released an album how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
  Jon: The demo came together miraculously well. I'm really pleased with the end result. These songs were written between the two of us, over the space of a year and yet there's a real feeling of 'togetherness' on the album. We definitely have a sound emerging, despite the fact that we would write a song and think "That sounds NOTHING like the last one I wrote!". It came out very well, and the quality of production for a free and independent release is something we can both be really proud of.
  Richard: It's definitely a "prequel" sound. Jon and I started this on a larf, but it's only since realising we have something that /clicks/ that we are taking it a bit more seriously. Just a bit though. Alien Nation is an important stepping stone, a lesson in what to do and not do next time.

3.I have seen the band labelled as a 'Hypocrisy' rip off, do you feel you have evolved from that on the new album?
  Jon: Haha! That is a running joke between us. The sci-fi horror stuff, the electronica-touched death metal parts. Hypocrisy got there first. They're a huge influence on us and our sound and we both feel like they're hugely underrated and really deserve the same level of respect and acclaim afforded to bands like Obituary and Morbid Angel for their contribution to death metal. We'll keep paving our own way in the songs we write and flexing our muscle in different creative areas, but our roots will always lie in the incredible bands that came before.
  Richard: To be honest, I'd love to sound /more/ like Hypocrisy sometimes, haha. Peter Tagtgren's voice is huge and so versatile. That being said, I think we are bringing a lot of influence into the band: Katatonia, Lich King, Celine Dion, the list is long.

  4.Your lyrics cover some esoteric, Illuminati, conspiracy theories and u.f.o themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in those topics?
  Jon: We're not crazy. We're the last people you'll ever hear shouting "Bush did 9/11!" outside of a song lyric. But the conspiracy theory, the paranormal, the fear of the unknown is such a juicy topic that's ripe for song lyrics and inspiration. Some have been touched on before in great depth. I know the illuminati is a common theme in metal music, but who's singing about aliens and big black Northumbrian dogs? Us! That's who!
  Richard: We're both skeptics, we just fucking love The X-Files.

  5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Redacted'?
  Jon: When classified documents are released under the secrets act, any information which could be potentially damaging to that government or national body is removed with the term <Redacted> in its place. Often, in highly sensitive documents this almost renders it unreadable. We loved the idea that you were telling people something while telling them nothing. In our mind it's a really clear signal from your leaders that they're watching you and that you can't be trusted. It seemed to fit with the lyrical themes.
  Richard: A Twitter joke gone wrong... and then appropriated for a serious band. <Redacted> is the sanitisation of information. In this far flung Orwellian future we are the truth behind layers of red tape.

  6.Has the band done any live shows or is this a studio project?
  Jon: It started as a studio project and was always meant to be one, but the interest generated and the love we have for this project and how much it's grown with us in the last year, it would be a tragedy if we didn't consider the possibility of taking <Redacted> on the road at some point.
  Richard: We haven't done any shows /yet/. Jon lives in Leeds and I live in London. We are currently recruiting a live bassist and drummer for some attempted shows... sometime down the line.

  7.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
  Jon: We aren't signed and currently we're not the sort of band that would be considered by a major label. They're looking for regularly touring acts with an already profitable fan base. We're passionate musicians giving our work away for free. If the right opportunity came along, we would love to sign to a label that would let us reach a wider audience and be able to stay alive while we travel the country doing what we love.
  Richard: We are definitely looking for a label, but it's hard in this day and age. There are a lot of good bands out there who have been unsigned for a long time. We're not gonna let that get in the way too much though. The response to Alien Nation has been huge and we are gonna keep at it if only for ourselves.

  8.On the new album you did a Motorhead cover and Sepultura medley, what was the decision behind doing your own tributes to these bands?

Jon: I wish I could give a really deep reason behind that but we just think those bands are really cool. The Sepultura medley came about because we couldn't decide which song to cover so we decided to do them ALL. Trivia buffs may have noticed a Soulfly song hidden in there too.
  Richard: Motorhead are just... classic. They injected speed into a genre that sorely needed it. You can never go wrong with some Motorhead when you are in a rut. It's just good balls out, slap you in the face rock.
 The Sepultura medley was Jon's idea as I am not a huge fan of the band beyond a few songs here and there. It was really fun though. We got a lot of riffs packed in that nine minutes!

  9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of underground metal?
  Jon: Overwhelmingly positive so far but we want to reach more people! There's a huge amount of choice out there now. Tape trading exists in spirit only. There's all these amazing bands in South America and Greece and Canada and the United States that are all desperate for you to hear their work and you can get all of it from your bedroom. They are all online. We're part of that scene now and that's really cool but you have to press gang some people into listening to your stuff so the pushing never stops. It's a two sided coin. As a musician I want as many listeners as possible but as a fan, I love that there's so much great stuff out there and that publishing belongs to fans and not labels anymore.
  Richard: We have already gotten messages from fans in North America, the UK, Greece, Brazil... it's been crazy, I was not expecting such a big response so early out of the gate!

  10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
  Jon: We're going to get heavier. A lot heavier. We're pretty heavy already but we're already writing songs for a full length release next year and they're sounding tight and chunky.
  Richard: I can see us doing a lot of different things within the band. The songs we have and the songs we are writing are varied. We kind of straddle the line of complex songs like Truth is a Privilege and simple songs like They Always Wear Black. A lot of people only lean one way: "I listen to Dream Theater" or "I listen to Hawkwind." ...I say listen to both bands!

  11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
  Jon: Oh god 2014 has been an incredible year for metal. Standout albums for me have been Anaal Nathrakh's Desideratum, Cannibal Corpse's A Skeletal Domain, Opeth's Pale Communion, Bloodbath's Grand Morbid Funeral and Behemoth's The Satanist. I've also been revisiting some real classics that I didn't give enough time first time round. Slowly We Rot, Left Hand Path, Domination, Effigy of the Forgotten. All great albums. As for influences, well, Hypocrisy are a given for us but also you can hear splashes of Slayer, Kreator, Motorhead, Sabbath and Priest in our sound in places. They're the sort of things I grew up with so they're heavily rooted in my playing and writing.
  Richard: The bands that inspire me to write <Redacted> material are Hypocrisy, Sodom, and Bloodbath. ...Grand Morbid Funeral is a fucking beast.

  12.What are some of your non musical interests?
  Jon: I don't have many. I'm a big music guy. When I am not doing music stuff, I read or I cycle. Sometimes I play video games but it's not long before it's right back to music again.
  Richard: My hobbies are all over the place. I love video games, but I also love nature. Sitting down with a good game is fun times, but getting lost in the woods is one of my favourite things. Hard to do that in London though. I also love to cook, read about history especially World War II, I'm also a huge fan of A Song of Ice and Fire.

    13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
  Jon: Keep listening to heavy metal and keep watching the skies.
  Richard: Watch the skies!

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