Sunday, March 19, 2017

Kalopsia Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?

Matt: We’ve been really focused on promoting “Angelplague” at a level like we’ve never done before. So doing press, booking shows, nailing down our new live sets. It’s been a really fun and active time.

2.You have a new album coming out in May, 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?

Matt: It’s by far our most diverse and aggressive material to date. Our last album was focused on adrenaline and dexterity, this album is a bit slower and meaner. So it’s a little more knuckle dragging on the musical side. But as always, there’s a blend of melody and a variety of elements from thrash to grindcore to hardcore, all weaved throughout. I know it’s cliche, but I think it’s the best thing we’ve ever done.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?

Matt: This album is centered around the themes of sickness, death and religion. I lost some people close to me over the course of making this record, and dealing with concerns like “burial or cremation” and the religious rituals around death. I’m atheist but my family is not. So those themes were very much stirring under the surface. “Destined to Return” is about accepting death. “Christened Upon the Slab” is about the business side of death. How for some people, a body is a body. You can’t do an autopsy on a person, you have to do it on a body. “Scorched Earth and Blackened Skies” is about how we build things over the course of our lives in defiance of our mortality, but in the end it gets washed away by the sands of time. It’s not a concept album, but these themes are weaved throughout.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Kalopsia'?

Matt: It was just something I stumbled upon. It basically means, “the delusion of beauty,” which I thought was interesting. I also liked that the ambiguity of it meant it could evolve as the band did.

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

Matt: We’ve been really fortunate to play with a lot of incredible bands, including opening for some of our favorites, like Suffocation and Internal Bleeding, for instance. We also have our regional buddies, Dysentery, Forced Asphyxiation, Hypoxia and Cognitive, who we’ve played with more than a few times. New Jersey Deathfest was great. Packed show, solid performance, but it was a thousand degrees in there! Haha

When you come to see Kalopsia you’re going to get a no-bullshit, full on auditory assault of high energy death metal! Stage diving is welcome!

6.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?

Matt: We are currently booking regional shows and making plans for a broader tour. These things are delicate and can collapse quickly, so I can’t say more than that until details are finalized. Tell your local promoters you want to see Kalopsia!

7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your newer music by fans of brutal death metal?

Matt: We’re this sort of interesting case of old-school meets new-school, so people don’t immediately know what to make of us. The pure-breed brutal fans dig the rawness of our riffs, but think we could tune lower, haha. The old school purists are like “What’s all this mosh crap?” Yes, I’m talking about you Mr. Bouks. Haha

8.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?

Matt: I am also in a band called Ruinous. Our debut album “Graves of Ceaseless Death” came out in November on Dark Descent Records. Our bassist Drew is the mastermind behind Hammer Fight, who released “Profound and Profane” on Napalm Records. It’s an incredible record from an awesome band. Justin, our drummer is in Hammer Fight, as well as Abacinate, who are a personal favorite. He also plays drums live sometimes for Dysentery, whose new album “Fragments” is out now. Steve plays guitar in Deteriorot, who I think are writing new stuff. I mean, I’m so fortunate to be surrounded by all these mega-talented people, though scheduling things can be a bit challenging at times! Haha!

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Matt: The promise I made when I started this band was that the core elements of catchy death metal would remain. Anything else is not Kalopsia. Doesn’t mean I can’t do other stuff, just means I need to call it a different thing. So the core elements of sort of death metal, thrash and hardcore will remain. It’s always a question of proportion. “Amongst the Ruins” was a very thrash-oriented death metal album. “Angelplague” is a little more focused on slower and heavier. For the next one we will probably go even more neanderthal before swinging back to the faster, more dexterous stuff. No promises, but also no compromises! Haha

10.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?

Matt: In the old days, it was second wave death metal, bands like Deicide, Malevolent Creation, Suffocation, etc, meets classic thrash, meets 90s hardcore. So bands like Hatebreed, All Out War, NJ Bloodline, Walls of Jericho, For the Love Of... , etc. Those influences combined to form the early incarnation of Kalopsia. Of course bands like Slayer, Megadeth, Gwar, Pantera and Metallica were already in my DNA, so those influences remain in everything I do.

Nowadays it’s almost embarrassing how much great music is out. I literally can’t keep up. The new Cognitive is awesome. New stuff from Abnormality and Dysentery. Horrendous is great. Gorephilia. Artificial Brain. The new Immolation record is fantastic. I mean, the list goes on and on and keeps getting longer. Temple of Void, Heisenberg. Oh and Vomit Remnants has a new record coming out! On the non-metal side Three Six Mafia, Run the Jewels, Zomboy, Excision, MF Doom. Honestly, if I had a year to do nothing but listen to all this incredible music that has come out in the past 5 years, I still wouldn’t have enough time.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

Matt: I’ve spent so much of the last three years working on “Angelplague” and “Graves of Ceaseless Death” that I haven’t really had time for much besides work, Netflix, family stuff and books. It’s been a dream come true to have these two fantastic records get out of my head and into the ears of the metal world. Now I need to recharge the batteries before writing the next two. It’s a blessing to be so busy with such great people doing such fun, creative work. For a death metal dude, I sure do smile a lot these days! Haha

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Matt: Thanks for taking the time to talk with me, and thanks to your readers for taking the time to read this far. “Angelplague” is out May 19th on HPGD Productions (cd) and Proper Death (vinyl). You can find all our info on our website

Keeping with the theme of the record, hug the people you love, build the life of your dreams, and don’t wait. The reaper’s watching! Thanks for the interview.

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