Thursday, February 1, 2018

Necropanther Interview











1.         For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

PA:  I was in Wichita, Kansas with my bass player, but I wanted to play with the best musicians so we moved to Denver.  Craigslist brought Joe, and Joe brought Haakon.

HS:  Marcus and I played together in HAVOK, and we played both with Joe in MOORE, so when our original bass player moved, we already knew there was chemistry there and he was a natural addition.

JJ:  We have a certain format that is short, fast, and contains a hook. We are a purely metal band, but we touch on a lot of sub-genres. Our lyrics are about futuristic dystopian fantasy. That makes us fairly unusual within the Denver scene, and I think that’s good for everyone.

2.         How would you describe the musical sound that has been presented on the recordings that you have released so far?

HS:  Paul did most of the writing on the first album (Necropanther), and he has a more aggressive death/black metal style than me or Joe.  For that album, we went to Eric Rutan (Goatwhore, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel) for that dark, gritty mix.

PA:  Eyes of Blue Light has a lot more lead guitar melodies, a lot from Haakon’s writing, so we wanted to go to a master of melodic death metal style.  That’s how we chose Fredrik Nordstrom.

JJ:  We’re a melodic death metal band, but we’re an American melodic death metal band, which means we’re more thrash-oriented and aggressive.  We consciously wanted the two albums to have different sounds, both in material and production.

3.         The lyrics on the new album are based on Frank Herbert’s novel 'Dune', can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this novel or saga?

PA:  Concept albums work well for us.  We all have very diverse writing styles, and telling a story lets us weave those styles together in a logical format.

JJ:  We all like Sci-Fi, too.  We were batting around ideas for this album and someone said “Dune.”  It was one of my favorite books when I was a kid, and there are a lot of concepts to explore in it.

MC:  Reading “Dune” was as much a part of the learning process for this album as learning the music and both endeavors were awesome.  Herbert’s novel is a great read with a lot to it.  I like that telling these stories lets us avoid prototypical death metal platitudes.

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

PA:  I would sometimes play Pantera for fun when warming up/practicing.  Somehow, that morphed into calling band practice “Panther Practice.”  When we added the death element, Necropanther was the obvious evolution.

JJ:  Metal is supposed to be fun.  We wanted a name that’s over the top – something a little different and memorable.  Something that shows we don’t take ourselves too seriously.

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

PA:  We had a show in Wichita this summer on our way back from playing the SXSW music festival .  The place was full of people who were there to see us.  Getting such a great following outside of your home base is pretty awesome.

HS:  Our biggest show was when we played with OVERKILL and NILE.  That show was so much fun.

JJ:  We’re all committed to performing a show that’s true to the record, which means a certain amount of practice. We always play with full stacks, which is again about commitment to putting on a good show.

6.         Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?

MC:  We are lucky enough to live in Denver, home to an amazing metal scene, so we like to play locally on a regular basis.  That being said, we pride ourselves on being a durable live band- I don’t think much is out of the question for us.

HS:  We’re planning shows in Kansas, Missouri, Wyoming, Texas and New Mexico this spring and summer, so look for us!

7.         Currently the band is signed to 'Sailor Records', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?

PA:  Actually, we are releasing Eyes of Blue Light independently.  Sailor Records is a great, boutique label that focuses on some of the top original music groups in Denver.  We were honored when they invited us to join them with our first album.  We love the other bands on Sailor, but as the only mainstream/death metal band, we were definitely the “weird kids on the block.”  An independent release allows us to really focus on the metal market.

8.         On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of melodic death metal and thrash?

HS:  I’m Norwegian, so I’m really looking forward to some international reviews and commentary on this album.

PA:  It was very cool travelling to Gothenburg, Sweden for mixing and mastering with Fredrik Nordstrom.  Metal seems to be much more of the mainstream culture there.  I actually ate a hamburger in a restaurant owned by one of the In Flames guys.  Anyway, Fredrik was extremely complimentary about the album, so I’m really proud of that international feedback.

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

JJ:  More writing, more recording.  While Marcus played on this album, he wasn’t in the band for the writing process.  He’s a great composer, and I’m already excited to get to the next album where he can be in the creative mix.

PA:  We are lucky enough to have a band where all members are good writers, so that’s always a focus for us.

MC: Stay the course: write, record, play out.

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?

JJ:  Of course, all of the “usual suspects”, but we all have expansive musical interests. We play metal, but there are certain concepts or musical procedures from further afield. Simply playing them with metal instrumentation gives you something new.

MC:  Too many to name.  I have more of a thrash metal/punk rock background but love black and death metal.  I also have experience playing a multitude of styles:  jazz, orchestral, funk, blues, etc.  We draw from all manner of music, classical to avante garde.  If you listen closely, Eyes of Blue Light has a wide array of “nods” to musical genres, crafted into metal songs.

PA:  I probably draw the most inspiration from real life experiences.

11.   What are some of your non-musical interests?

PA:  If I’m not playing my guitar on stage, I want to be deep under the water.  I scuba dive as often as possible.  I was an instructor for many years, and my goal is to teach my whole band how to dive.  One down, two to go.

JJ:  Paul’s an excellent diver and dive instructor. When he’s diving, he’s very calm and deliberate, almost like a different person. Even though the band takes up most of our time together, time with these guys doing something totally different is nearly as fun.

MC:  Skateboarding.  I’ve been shop sponsored for about ten years now and love going on skate-camping trips with my friends.  I’ve been lucky enough to skate a few contests and demos here and there.

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

PA:  Thanks for having us!  We hope you enjoy the new album.

JJ: It’s OK to like different kinds of metal, art other than music, and music other than metal.

HS: Support live music- go out and see a band this weekend!

MC:  Ride skateboards, drink beers, play mu

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