Sunday, May 22, 2016

Archaic Decapitator Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new ep?
A) Well, at this time we're in that limbo area between having the product on hand and waiting to release it! It's scheduled for June 7th, 2016, for which we are all very much excited. We've played one gig a few weeks back with Decedent (some former members of Capharnaum) and our friends, Xenosis, who put on a Death Tribute gig on Chuck Schuldiner's birthday, which was crazy. Basically the entire band of Xenosis is also known as Cross-Turned Dagger, a Death cover band, and they killed it with a chronological performance with a tune from each Death record! Played flawlessly, might I add. It was definitely one of the best experiences I've had because for most of us in the metal community, Death was so monumentally influential. It felt great to see so many people from various backgrounds come together (as one!) and celebrate the life of Chuck.

2.Recently you have released a new ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
A) Oh yeah, this EP has very little similarity to what we've released in the past. As far as the music, it's definitely taken a turn for the melodic with some touches of black and traditional death metal. When Archaic started we were essentially teenagers who worshipped bands like Blood Red Throne, Decapitated and Bloodbath, particularly the 'Nightmares Made Flesh' record. That band was by far our biggest influence, and so we focused on writing evil-sounding death metal, and that's what it was back then. Dirty, zero-fucks-given death metal! Over time I grew as a guitar player and a writer, my tastes shifted and evolved. My focus has always been primarily on the feel and less on the technicality. If you're playing to impress I think that's awesome, but personally I have to be able to fully feel the energy of the music to perform as musician. Archaic essentially split in 2010 when I moved out to San Francisco for 4 years. When I lived out there I wrote music sporadically, never with any goal or focus, and the songs weren't ever really polished, it was more of a reflection of how I felt at any particular, yet random, time, spaced out over the 4 year period. 'The Catherine Wheel' EP, which we released last year, was the result of those random songs molded together onto one disc. With this year's release, things have definitely changed, I feel that I have finally been able to identify my own sound and there's a consistent feeling, a common denominator for each track.

3.In the beginning the band was more of a pure death metal band but the newer music shows more of a melodic side of the genre and also has some thrash and black metal influences, what was the decision behind going into this musical direction?
A) Well, as I've said it was more of an evolution than anything else. Even with the old death metal/grind stuff we did there were some touches of black metal in the mix. Our singer, Kyle, was drumming back then and he was a huge fan of Windir and Absu. For a time we even had the headset-mic setup and played as a two-piece! Personally, my inspiration comes from a wide musical spectrum. Metal-wise, however it would have to be Peter Tagtgren and Hypocrisy! That guy is a monster. Beyond that, I'm huge into 90's and 2000's era of Swedish death metal/melodic death metal. The thrashy stuff you hear is mainly inspired by Dew-Scented, a band from Germany that I've loved since I was in high school. Also bands like Hatesphere and Carnal Forge.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
A) The new EP is quintissentially about enlightenment and acceptance. It is also somewhat of a concept record about an individual struggling with bipolar disorder who goes through manic and depressive states which fluctuate with each song. Throughout the record the character is dealing with his instability and trying to accept reality and the inevitable. Kyle and I have always had a fascination with the psychological aspect of life and it has been a big part of our lyrical content over the years. I was a psych major in college and have been a social worker in the mental health field for close to 8 years at this point so quite a bit of the inspiration is from personal and vicarious experiences.

5.On some of your early material you also covered some satanic and occult subjects, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?
A) Haha! No, no, no... there was never any occult or satanic content. For example, the song 'Skullfuck Satan' was lyrically more comical than anything else, it was written about the elitist black metal kids that we would run into everywhere that hated all music except the rawest, blackest, trvest, sounds-like-it-was-recorded-into-a-trashcan-black metal. Most of the other songs were just about your run-of-the-mill death metal content, like chopping someone in half. It was fun!

6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Archaic Decapitator'?
A) Honestly? It sounds brutal.

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
A) We used to open for a lot of wicked cool bands at the Webster Theater in Hartford in the 2000's when it was under different management. We got to play with a ton of cool people back then, including Opeth, Naglfar, Unleashed, GWAR, Devin Townsend, Dark Tranquillity, Soilwork, Daath, Hypocrisy, the list goes on. We also opened the first Summer Slaughter there, the one with Necrophagist! (I think that was the first one), which was definitely a highlight! Ralph's Diner up in Massachussetts is one of the coolest metal venues we've played and we can't wait to play the new stuff for the folks up there! Last summer we played at The Metronome with Begat the Nephelim in VT, that was awesome! (That Heady Topper IPA is delicious). In all honesty, we haven't been able to play more than a handful of gigs in the last 2 years for various reasons. I'm always looking forward to the next one.

8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
A) As of right now it's difficult to say. I want to say yes but we need to find stable members, primarily a rhythm player and a drummer. The age-old drummer search for a death metal project is an arduous process, but hopefully that will be settled before too long and we can get back into the normal swing of things.

9.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
A) Not yet! We've just been more focused on the music itself, releasing solid material that we are all proud of and putting on the best live performance we can whenever we have the opportunity! All of us are living our own lives outside of this endeavor, so I think we have a 'come what may' perspective. The project is most certainly a priority but none of us have any delusions of grandeur or anything like that. If something happens, it happens, if not then I still wouldn't trade this experience for the world.

10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of death metal?
A) Overall it's been very well received from what I hear! Which is great! We're very excited to finally release this new record on June 7th! I feel like the current state of the musical content is something that Archaic always strived toward, and we all feel that much closer to that goal with 'Light of a Different Sun'.

11.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
A) Our bassist, Craig, also played bass in Formless. However, I think Formless split after releasing 'Eon'. Their guitarist, Ken, plays in Xenosis and I'm not really sure how everyone else is dispersed. Besides that, Craig, Kyle and myself are just focused on Archaic now.

12.When can we expect a full length album and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
A) At this point in time I can't really say if I'm planning to write an LP's worth of material to release. It doesn't make sense to me, as an underground act, to pump out that much music at once. I'd much rather stick to 5-to-6 song EP's in the meantime and focus more on a half-hour's worth of cohesive music that's filled with feeling and power. Even if the opportunity presented itself in the future, I think I'd focus more on infusing more progression into the same amount of songs and having a longer record rather than having 10 or 12 separate tracks. Quality over quantity, I guess.

13.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
A) As I've mentioned before, mainly Hypocrisy. Besides that, from the metal side of things, I've derived great influence from Vehemence, Bloodbath, Emperor, Naglfar, Yyrkoon, Soilwork, Kalmah, The Black Dahlia Murder, Anaal Nathrakh, Dimension Zero, Mors Principium Est, Old Man's Child,  Insomnium, Amorphis, Dark Tranquillity, Arsis, Strapping Young Lad, Theory In Practice, things like that. There's a ton of others of course. Definitely have to throw Gorod in there! I've loved that band for so long, I'm so glad they are finally getting some well-deserved recognition worldwide! Currently I've been listening to a lot of atmosheric stuff, kind of like Esoteric, Atoma, Enshine, Exgenesis, Atlantis, and exploring that side of the woods, it's really a whole different level of depth. There's a really cool proggy band called Caligula's Horse that I've been getting into. Throughout the work-week I barely listen to metal, I find myself throwing on a lot of Devin Townsend, Pain of Salvation, Leprous, Muse, Steven Wilson's stuff, Queen, Zappa, Allman Brothers.

14.What are some of your non musical interests?
A) Video games! Horror movies, the goriest of anime's! I know, pretty typical. And school, I'm going back this year to an RN program.

15.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
A) Just a big thank you from all of us in Archaic to everyone that's taken the time to check out 'The Three Poisons" in the last few weeks and our music in general! We live off of this stuff, spiritually. Everything else is really secondary, so if you guys enjoy it as well then the journey's been worth it so far! We're premiering one more new one, 'Cult of Reanimators', before the official release of 'Light of a Different Sun' on June 7th! I hope you enjoy it and perhaps we will see you at a show sometime in the future! Thank you!

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