NEW INTERVIEW WITH SERPENT VENOM FROM THE U.K. →
AS TOTALFUCKINGMAYHEM IS NOW DORMANT, I’VE CONTINUED THE SITE IN COLLABORATION WITH FINLAND’S DAMNED BY LIGHT WEBZINE. THIS IS THE FIRST OF MANY INTERVIEWS TO COME IN COLLABORATION WITH DAMNED BY LIGHT. GREAT INTERVIEW, CHEERS AND ENJOY!
INTERVIEW WITH JONAS STALHAMMAR (GUITARS AND...
TFM: What can be said about Bombs of Hades and their fierce sonic assault to the ears? They can continue on their path of sonic destruction as far as I'm concerned. I welcome the pain with pleasure! Every release continues to smash, destroy and mutilate; and I can't but help to head bang to the ferociousness of the riffs that are blasting out through my speakers. The pulverizing rhythm section and the guttural and infernal vocals that Jonas is able to belch out. We were able to have a small chat with Jonas, here's how it went down. The last couple of years, seem to have been very productive for Bombs of Hades. With a number of splits, ep's and a new full length album that came out just a few months back the band seems to be moving forward, full steam ahead with new material. What have the last few years been for you? What are some of the most memorable experiences you have had in the band these last few years?
Jonas: Well, no sense in resting is there? I’ve been really prolific in the writing process these past years and it’s still going strong. We’ve had some really good stuff going on the past 2 years and it’s great to see the good response the band is getting. The recording of the new album and our first shows abroad has had some great highlights during 2012 at least.
TFM: Your trajectory as an artist and musician is most certainly very influential and cemented. Most people may seem to relate with you in the legendary God Macabre in the early days, but there were other bands such as Abhoth & Utumno that you were part of. Can you tell us about your early days and your beginings as a musician?
Jonas: Thanks, but I still have a hard time considering myself as influential to others. I started playing guitar when I was 7 years old when my older brother gave me his acoustic guitar. From that moment, and even earlier, I knew that I was my calling to play and create music. When we formed ABHOTH back in 1988 it was my first “real” band experience. We have all come a long way since then. But I guess I’ve had a really strong musical vision ever since I can remember. In UTUMNO though we had Staffan Johansson (guitarist) as more of the main musical visionary.
TFM: Can you take us back to the beginning of Bombs of Hades and tell us a bit about the circumstances and how the band is born?
Jonas: The circumstances are still pretty hazy due to the fact the band was born on a drinking binge me and bass player Anders had back in 2002 haha. We just wanted an excuse to go down to the rehearsal room and bash out some aggressive crust influenced death metal. The first couple of years were more or less just one long drunken rehearsal. Then the songwriting got a little more serious and we decided to take the band into a more serious fashion. And that’s more or less it.
TFM: Chambers of Abominations was released in 2010. It managed to garner some very good press and was well received by the fans. Can you tell us a little bit about your experiences in the studio during this period?
Jonas: The first album was recorded and mixed in just 2 days. Very fast and very cheap. And that’s just how the album sounds also, fast and cheap haha. It was recorded in a friends' studio he has in a rehearsal space. Not much to talk about besides the fact that the shortest and by far easiest song “Carnage” needed about 10 takes before we could get it just right. Go figure.
TFM: Does the band manage to stay active in the live circuit?
Jonas: Very much so, especially the past year. We want to play live as much as our normal day jobs and personal life will allow us to do you know.
TFM: I understand you've also managed to do some work as a producer? Would you care to elaborate?
Jonas: I haven’t produced anything really besides our own records. I would love to produce other bands sometime, but I doubt anyone will ask me to do that haha. I guess producing the Bombs Of Hades records come pretty naturally since I write and arrange all the songs and have a pretty strong vision on how our records are supposed to sound and be like.
TFM: Continuing on with the production theme, if you were able to handle the production for any band(s) or artist(s), who would you pick and why would you consider working with them?
Jonas: Oh, that’s a tough one. I don’t know, the bands/artists I really admire I wouldn’t have the guts to work with. I doubt I’d make any impact on any of those artists. It would be great to produce younger bands who still don’t really know much about doing records. Mainly help with song structures and in what order they should be in on an album.
TFM: Are there any producers whose work you admire or of whom you are an avid fan?
Jonas: I’m a big fan of the “old school” line of producers like Phil Spector, George Martin, Jimmy Miller, Norman Smith, John Anthony, Martin Birch, Tony Visconti, Bob Ezrin, Al Kooper, Todd Rundgren, John Cale, Tom Wilson, Brian Eno but also guys like Flood and Alan Moulder. I truly don’t think there are any really good producers in metal, not in the last 20 years at least. I like the early stuff done by Terry Date, Tomas Skogsberg and Harris Johns and maybe a few others, but that’s it. The problem with the “so called” producers in metal is that they seem to focus more on the generic sound of metal, and not on the songs and the actual structure of the album. A band like Opeth were lucky to be able to work with a guy like Steven Wilson because that’s when they began to make really good albums.
TFM: Many artists now a days, are fluent with many instruments. Is that your case as well?
Jonas: Guitar is my main instrument, but I do play the drums (well, not as a good as “real drummers”), but I also play the bass and a variety of keyboards.
TFM: Are you a gear fanatic? Would you care to further elaborate what your current rig set-up consists of?
Jonas: Not a fanatic about modern gear anyway, haha. Well, I play mainly a Gibson Flying V and a Gibson SG. Söderback also uses an SG and we both use Marshall JCM 800 heads and Boss HM-2 pedals. I also use a MXR-phaser and Boss Digital Delay Pedal. Ekman’s main bass is Ibanez Iceman and he plays that through an old 70’s Vox guitar head. Forsberg has been beating the shit out of his 70’s Ludwig set for a long time now.
TFM: With the release of your latest album, are there plans to possibly (hopefully) tour North America?
Jonas: Hopefully we’ll get to play North America someday soon. That’s certainly a goal anyway. We’ll be working on that for sure.
TFM: We all tend to have those "influential" albums/artists that we hear when we are growing up, as kids. If you could name 5 influential albums of all time for you, what would they be?
Jonas: Oh, this a real tough one since I could mention hundreds of records that have been life- changing for me and that I would take with me to my grave. I’ve been a record collecting fanatic for most of my life and stumble upon masterpieces all the time. But to name 5, hmmm: Van Der Graaf Generator “Pawn Hearts” (1971), Rainbow “Rising” (1976), Autopsy “Severed Survival” (1989), Fields Of The Nephilim “The Nephilim” (1988) and Tim Buckley “Goodbye And Hello” (1967). But as I said, hundreds more.
TFM: What lays ahead for BoH, 2013 is here. What short term/long term plans lay ahead for the band? Any personal goals you'd like to achieve?
Jonas: For 2013 the plan is mainly to do as many gigs as possible for us supporting “The Serpent’s Redemption”. We have a couple of split releases in the pipeline also and then on to record the next album. Personal goals for the band is to do more albums (I do love being in the studio) and to get to do shows in USA and Japan and other places in the world I haven’t played in.
TFM: Any last words/thoughts?
Jonas: Many thanks for the interview Marco and watch out for even more stuff from Bombs Of Hades in 2013!!!
INTERVIEW WITH YUICHI KUDO DRUMMER FOR THE BAND...
TFM: The following interview and band for that matter is not for the faint at heart. Prepare to be crushed beyond the unthinkable realms of brutality. Desecravity comes to us from the wonderful country of Japan. A country that is thriving with not only an abundance of culture, food and history but with an incredible concentration of musical talents as well. Their brutal technical death metal will leave your eardrums bleeding but begging for more at the same time. We were able to have a chat with Yuichi Kudo, who is responsible for punishing the drum kit without any mercy. Here's what he had to say. Thank you for taking the time. What kind of a back ground can you give us about Desecravity?
Yuichi: First of all, before I started DESECRAVITY, I had lived in the United of States and Canada for several years. After I came back to my hometown Tokyo, Japan, I formed DESECRAVITY in late 2007. The first member is Yujiro who joined as a guitar player and vocals in the same year, and over the next several years, we have changed members dozens of times. Now we have Daisuke on the bass and Shogo on guitars & vocals, both who are really professional and solid members. I am so proud to be with them.
TFM: Implicit Obedience was released earlier last year. How has the overall response been towards the LP? Are you surprised and satisfied with these results?
Yuichi: Absolutely satisfied! We've gotten so many positive results more than expected, especially in the United States and Europe. We have been getting visibility in the global metal scene day by day. Also, when I gave our demo to Erik for mixing & mastering the first time, I got a good reaction from him. Accordingly I have confidence from getting a positive result.
TFM: I believe Willowtip handled the release of Implicit Obedience. How did you manage to gain the attention from the label? Did you have other labels that offered to release your LP?
Yuichi: It was very simple, I did nothing special other than send the demo to labels, fortunately we got some offers , especially from European labels. One day, I got the opportunity to talk with Jason, who is the president of Willowtip, he was interested in our music and I decided to sign a deal with Willowtip which I had hoped for. I was so happy at the time.
TFM: With the release of the album, I managed to see that some Japanese tour dates are posted on your official site. Have you had the opportunity to venture off into other countries to promote the album?
Yuichi: Yes, after the album was released, we toured around South-Eastern Asia first before touring Japan. It was a short tour though, but it was really successful. The Japan tour in 2012 was also very successful and we had a great time with all the fans and everyone who supported us. If we could have more time, we would've wanted to tour other cities as well. However, we had already planned a follow up Japan tour in early 2013 and will be playing with ABORTED, SYSTEM DIVIDE, DEVOUR THE MARTYR and EMPIRE. This hasn't been announced yet though we have been planning another tour in Europe spring 2013.
TFM: Your drumming is unrelenting. How long have you been playing the drums and what is a typical drum practice session for you like?
Yuichi: I have played the drums since I was 15 or 16 years old. Well, I usually start stretching muscles and warming up with some basic strokes, then play DESECRAVITY's songs and have a jam session with fusion and latin music for fun. I like playing other kinds of music. I am also the main song writer in this band, I wrote new riffs and played the drums with them, it makes me more creative for song writing while playing the drums.
TFM: Would you care to elaborate on the kit that you're presently using?
Yuichi: I have two drum kits, one of them is for recording, which is a Pearl drum set with Sabian cymbals. My other kit is an acrylic drum set and Zildjian cymbals for live sessions. All hardware is Pearl, heads are Remo, sticks are VicFirth and kick pedals are Trick drums. And I use triggers only for the kick drums. The module I use for the triggers is Alesis.
TFM: Are there any particular drummers that you look up to?
Yuichi: I have a bunch of favorite drummers, it's so difficult to pick particular drummers, but off the top of my head, Virgil Donati, Marco Minneman, Horacio Hernandez, Flo Mounier, Ray Luzier, Dave Dicenso, Akira Jimbo, Billy Cobham and so on. I usually listen to lots of different kinds of music, so the drummers I mentioned above are not only metal, but also Latin, Fusion, Jazz, Funk and so on, there's no need to explain who the are, they are big artists.
TFM: For your upcoming European tour that you're planning for 2013, if you could hand pick some of the bands that could embark with you on the tour, who would they be?
Yuichi: As a matter of fact, I haven't heard all the bands who will tour with us, the tour agency has already selected some European bands for the tour. It will be the first tour in Europe for us, and we are really excited. There are so many great bands in Europe, I cannot pick any bands in particular.
TFM: Describe the scene in Japan, it's always been known for producing an incredible amount of music from every genre of music out there. Some of my favorite bands are from Japan.
Yuichi: Well, I think entire metal scene in Japan has been growing everyday and in these later years, there is a gradual increase in the number of bands who play out of Japan. Not so long ago, only a handful of bands would have been able to do. But now, I believe the Japanese metal scene is getting bigger on the international scale.
TFM: What lies ahead for you? What future plans are there for the band?
We have many plans in the future. Though there are some things I cannot announce officially for now, we have already announced a tour in Japan with ABORTED in February of 2013, and a tour in Europe in the spring of 2013, we have also recieved some offers for summer and winter. We will announce any updates in due time.
TFM: Any last words?
Yuichi: Thank you Marco, I enjoyed interview very much!
INTERVIEW WITH THE BOYS IN BIO CRISIS, D-BEAT/PUNK...
TFM: 2013 is here and well, we're alive and kicking. No crazy partying like the year before, last nite was a calm bringing in of the new year. With that, we welcome 2013 and our very first interview of the year, Bio Crisis from Tijuana, Mexico. They have a crazy year ahead of them, new album, participation in Obscene Extreme Festival the America edition and possible tours. We had a chat with the boys about everything happening within the band and such. Here's what they had to say. What can you tell us about the origins of Bio Crisis?
Neto: Well first of all thank you very much for the interview, Bio Crisis was born in late 2005 from the ashes of my old h/c-punk band, we decided to start experimenting with what for us was a new genre in the D-beat/Crust scene. Our sound was primarily influenced by Spanish, Swedish and American bands, and after some years and some line up changes we began to find that personal sound that we are defining now!
TFM: Coming from the border city of Tijuana, Mexico; how would you describe the punk scene in your town? Is it a thriving scene with a good sense of support from locals?
Luzen: Well living in a border town has brought us lots of bands, I can assure you that we are the city that receives most touring bands in our country, and yes I think the scene here is getting much better. I have been doing shows here for some years now and now I see a solid underground scene, there are a lot of DIY bands playing almost any genre, and playing it good as well as lots of promoters that always try to help touring bands no matter if they come down on a week day, or different than other cities in our country, we have a few bars that are more than willing to help consolidate our scene...
TFM: Your latest release, "En Memoria Al Dolor" is beautifully produced. Congratulations, can you tell us about the experiences in the studio that ultimately culminated with the release of this record?
Patrick: We definitely owe a lot of that to our great friend Mora, if it weren't for him, this record would have probably never sounded anything like it does right now. The band suffered and passed through a series of "unfortunate events" we could say, that led to a VERY long recording process, which took us almost 3 years to finish. So Mora was very patient and helped us in everything throughout the whole process. Regarding the experiences lived in the studio; I think they are too many to mention. But we had a great time, for example, recording with our friends from Los Dolares and Jauría, and with Dr. Bautista from Thanatology as well, recording the "percussions" (hitting cardboard boxes) for the last song was also fun hehe. Every single experience, I think, led to the culmination of this release, and although we could've continued working on that album for ever, we all ended up really happy with the final outcome. Glad you liked it by the way, Thanks!
TFM: I've noticed via your Bandcamp page, that the album is available digitally; will there be a vinyl release in the near future, if not already?
Luzen: We released the album in a Digipack CD as collaboration between some really good DIY labels (Replenish, Detesta, Negligent, Culture War, Akracia, Tomorrow Belongs to Us and Bloodpact Records) then we put it on Bandcamp as “pay as you want”, now the LP is almost done and will be released as a gatefold by Replenish Records in the USA and Modstand records in Europe (Denmark), there are also 2 tape versions of the album coming down, one as a pro cassette by Replenish Records in America and the other as a DIY cassette by Tarung Records from Indonesia.
TFM: In the past you've been featured in some very interesting compilations and even a split with Sweden's Slaktattack. How did you manage to become involved with Slaktattack for such release?
Luzen: I just listened to the band and really liked them, then showed them to all Bio Crisis’ members, then we contacted them via internet and we arranged for the split 7”, finally searched for the labels and we asked our friend Adrian (Anger Designs) for the artwork. Funny story: One day we booked a show in Tijuana for the Swedish band Agrimonia and randomly we met a Slaktattack member. That was really awesome because we didn’t know each other personally!
TFM: How active are you in the live circuit? Are gigs hard to come by and moreover, do you have the opportunity to tour much? Have you ever had the opportunity to come across the border into the U.S. for a tour?
Patrick: Yeah, I would say that we are a pretty active band right now and that at least here in Tijuana it is not that hard to play shows, cause like I mentioned earlier, a lot of bands from outside like coming here to play and Bio Crisis every so often plays in some of these shows. The band has gone on tour once, through Mexico, I believe it was in 2008, and we had to cancel our second Mexican tour in 2010 due to the accident that Neto (guitarist) suffered. We are currently trying to organize ourselves so we can go out on tour soon, because it's kind of hard with everyone in the band working and/or going to school, and not having enough money. But it is definitely something we are all looking forward to. We have in fact played some shows across the border: San Diego, Corona, & Los Angeles to be precise. And they were ALL great shows! US shows are kind of new to us because it was until this year that everyone in the band finally got our visas to cross the border. So we don't have that many US shows under our belt, but playing as much shows as possible over there is also something that we are all looking forward to! Mares also adds – We actually played at "Power of the Riff" last march in L.A. and we also had a gig in south central L.A. at Rito's house a member of SMD... there's even a video on you tube from that gig.
TFM: Alan Douches does incredible work and I'm sure was just a privilege to work with. In regards to the artwork, what can you tell us about that?
Luzen: The artwork was done by our friend Adrian from Bumbklaatt he does Anger Designs, he did a great job, we all wanted a cover that represented our city. Neto adds – The whole album is dedicated in some way to our city Tijuana, which was the most violent city in the world a few years ago. The buildings in the artwork actually exist in the city; some of them like the big grenade in the center are classic city icons. I thought it would fit perfectly with our lyrics, so we decided to give the artwork task to our friend Adrian, and he got our feeling perfectly.
TFM: 8) Recently, you were announced as part of the roster that will be performing in this year’s first ever Obscene Extreme Festival in Mexico. It must be an exciting time for the band. Can you elaborate how this all came to be? Any special plans for the performance at the festival?
Luzen: Well we are really excited of being part of the first Obscene Extreme in America, we sent a CD to our friend Curby in the Czech Republic and he invited us to play we are definitely down with that, we don’t have any special plans for the fest other than just try to give out our best performance ever like always and try to support the festival as much as we can! Angel adds – I believe it was because of all the work we have done as a band, playing live, booking shows, making contacts, recording and having our album releases in various formats, honestly we are very excited to play there and we hope that people that haven’t heard us can go there and enjoy our performance so they can leave with a good impression of us, all that we are going to do that day will be: to rock n roll! Mares also comments – We're thrilled!, can't wait to perform in the OEA Fest. We know the festival is going to give us a lot of exposure to people who haven't heard us, so expect the best performance that Bio Crisis can offer.
TFM: What are your thoughts on file sharing? Some people really oppose it; others think it's a tool especially for up and coming acts to help spread their sound. Thoughts?
Neto: Not everyone can afford to buy a record in Latin America, so I think it’s a good thing for punks. Besides I think it kind of pushes the bands to make good albums, so people will really like them, and buy them, if not you’re fucked. I see it as an evolution of the scene, and I’m cool knowing that there are people in Russia or Indonesia that like our album. Mares adds – File sharing is the bomb! We've gotten a lot of music from around the world thanks to file sharing and we also know that is the best way to make yourself known as a band, if someone wants to buy our album; it is welcome, but just knowing that people are listening to it makes us happy.
TFM: Best tacos and cerveza in Tijuana?
Luzen: Fuck yeah, we have the best tacos in the world and we have some really good beer here also, craft beer industry is not that popular in our country but now it’s getting bigger and better. We have a good friend that produces a really good stout called Masacre, I highly recommend that one! Patrick adds – I'm a vegetarian, so I don't eat dog meat haha, but I could definitely recommend the ones from Tacos Salceados, they have the best "Vegetarian Quesataco" in the world, and with some killer salsas too! Some of the best beers in town (in my opinion) would have to be the ones by "Ley Seca Brewing" and "Zesde Cervecería" these dudes are crafting some good ass beer!
TFM: What are some of the most influential albums that helped pave the way to who you are today?
Neto: Besides all Crust, D-beat and Melodic Crust, of course, I would say that “Robot Wars” by Shikari and “Chronoclast” by Buried Inside were two of my favorite albums from which I learned those depressive-angry riffs. Luzen adds – That’s a hard question I don’t think there are specific albums I will just say most of the bands that we listen to, from Amebix to Burried Inside to Madame Germen. Patrick comments – Oh man, it's hard to think of a specific album or albums cause they are too many to mention! But to summarize the list I can think of the complete discographies from any band like The Beatles and Sigur Ros, to Propagandhi, Los Germenes, Envy, Ekkaia, Assück, Genocide SS and Nasum. Really, the list could go on forever. Angel states– Damn what a complicated question, ok I’m a D-beat lover so as a first choice I will say Punkista by Avskum and All Day Hell by Wolfpack among others, I think it will be an endless list! Mares comments – I can think of Baroness’ Blue Album, Amebix’s Sonic Mass, Envy’s Recitation and Awake Inside a Dream by Angels of Venice as some of the albums from the last years that have had a great impact in my musical taste.
TFM: According to the Mayan calendar, the end of the world is right around the corner. Are you stocked up with supplies and ready for the zombie apocalypse?
Luzen: Hahaha of course we are ready for a zombie real life movie! I’m a big fan of zombie films so I think I know the rules now on how to survive the zombie apocalypse. Angel adds – I already have my machete ready and my Colt fully loaded hahaha! Of course we have to be ready, we never know what will happen, the other supplies that I have are some cold beers and a bottle of whisky!
TFM: What plans lay ahead for the band in this upcoming 2013 and beyond?
Luzen: Right now playing Obscene Extreme America and some dates in the US, maybe a tour in the summer, record a new album, organize more DIY shows, I think that’s all that comes to mind for now! Angel adds – We have already booked a show for our friends Nausea from L.A. in January here in Tijuana and for February we have a couple of shows in Phoenix and El Paso followed by Obscene Extreme in March, let's hope that we can tour outside our county for summer!
TFM: Any last words?
Angel: Thanks a lot for the interview and keep an eye on us because we are going to record this next year wait for more Rock n Roll! Mares comments – To all the people who had the time to listen to our album cheers cabrones! And to those who haven't heard it yet I encourage you to do so before December 21st.
INTERVIEW WITH TONI (VOCALS) FOR THE BAND UNION OF...
TFM: Up next hailing from Germany, we bring you Union of Sleep. They have been rattling the cage of the underground community with their crushing sound, and have released some great splits with the likes of Pyramido and Black Sleep of Kali. A couple of full lengths under their belt also, 2009's self titled Union of Sleep and 2010's Death in the Place of Rebirth. We had the pleasure to catch up with Toni, who handles the vocal duties in UOS; and this is what he had to tell us. What kind of a background can you give us with Union of Sleep? Can you also tell us who the current line up is?
Toni: It all started in a midsize town called Hagen. A nice but real boring place... there is nothing better to do than to start a band or move away! We've all known each other for a long time...for instance I've known Rocco, one of our guitar players since I was a kid. We had a band or project together when I was 16. Later I began to hung out with the guys of DOOMTOWN, BURIAL and THE NOW DENIAL all cool and heavy bands. I went to their shows or traveled a bit with them, when there was room left in the car. That`s when I met Ash. He had the most experience in working with a real band that somehow worked. Making records and travelling around doing shows, all that stuff. Then there was Raven, our drummer. He had a different musical background, but we talked a lot about slow and heavy music and then one day he showed up to our first rehearsal. It was finally Frobel, our bass player, who used to sing, or I should instead say, shout in a D-beat punk band named FATAL at that time, it was Frobel who stopped us from only talking about doing a "doom" band and put some pressure on us all so we finally made it through the first hours of tuning low and jamming loud! To this day that is still the same line up - Ash/Guitar...Frobel/Bass...Rocco/Guitar...Raven/Drums and Toni/Vocals...
TFM: I believe in 2008, your first demo surfaces. Can you take us back and tell us a bit what the expreince(s) leading up to this recording were like? How as the demo recieved by the public?
Toni: Yes..we recorded that 4 Track demo in the summer of 2008. Ash asked Rec-O-Rob, the other guitar player from The Now Denial to set up some recording time for us. So we went to his tiny, filthy rehearsal room that he worked out of in those days and did that four song demo within one day on an old multi-track recorder. Real old school. It was a lot of fun, we had a good flow and liked the sound of it! So we put it on tape and CD-R and made some copies of it. We ended up sending it to some people who were concert promoters. They liked it so we had a few shows. That`s were we could sell or hand out a few demos to the people who enjoyed our sound. It was all done the DIY way which is still the way we wanna do things; except having one (or two) small labels who bring release our records you know?
TFM: Your first LP, the self titled Union of Sleep is released roughly a year after the demo is. I believe; Per Koro Records steps in to release that and your follow up LP Death In The Place of Rebirth. How did this relationship ensue and how satisfied have you been with working alongside Per Koro?
Toni: Yes, you are right. We recorded 4 new tracks again for that first record and put the demo songs on side B. Markus of Per Koro stepped in to release that. He runs that cool label in Bielefeld, he is a friend of Ash and I knew him from punk shows, he went there to sell records. We played a show with Kylesa and Markus showed up. Then we had a nice talk and things were done. Really easy. He liked our sound and we liked the way he thought about running a label. Per Koro is a one man army, DIY and "down to earth". For example, when we did the first LP and the inner sleeves came in and had to be cut, Markus did that himself!! He is not running this label for the purpose of making money he is in it for the music and the people! That is cool! On the other hand, we were able to sell our records through his distribution and I believe we nearly sold about 2000 copies of our first two LPs, what more can we ask for!?
TFM: To people out there unaware of your sound, how would you describe it to them?
Toni: Oh well, that is a hard question. I`d say we play pissed off, dark and slow tunes, mixed with true words. UNION OF SLEEP never sounds too comfortable!! Call it doom or sludge... I really don`t care! Just check us out and decide on your own!!!
TFM: A couple of splits have been released thus far, one with the American sludge/doom band Black Sleep of Kali and the other with Sweden's Pyramido (whom I had the pleasure to interview earlier this year). How did the idea come about to work with these 2 bands? Are there more splits in the works?
Toni: Pyramido are heavy as fuck! We played with them some time ago. We were asked by Hell Comes Home Records, about a huge campaign where 12 seven inches have been released, each one being a split. Pyramido did their slowest song ever, we did our fastest song ever on that particular split. A violent prosecution to TEPCO, the company that runs nuclear plants in Japan. The split with Black Sleep Of Kali was released through two labels, Per Koro and This Charming Man Records, the label of a good friend, Christian. He played drums in The Now Denial and sometimes helps us out on drums when Raven is out of reach. I really love that split. Black Sleep of Kali play crazy things on their side. Their drummer is a beast!! And our four tracks work, well, I think it is the best Union Of Sleep you can get your hands on. Really dark and fucked up. I like the atmosphere a lot. And the sound and the words! In the future we wanna do a record on our own once again. There is nothing bad to say about doing a split record but the next thing we release will be our own angry baby again!
TFM: Describe what the recording experience is usually like for Union of Sleep? Stressful? Smooth? Intense?
Toni: Well It is different every time. I prefer rehearsals. But being in the studio always seems to be hard work on the one side and being in kindergarten on the other side! The first recording session was a good and easy flow. The next time we had something special in mind and it turned out to be a mess! Then we recorded "Death In The Place" that took 5 days in "Tonmeisterei" in Oldenburg. An odd but cool place to record with tons of old amplifiers! I've never been in a studio for such a long period but it was interesting to see how things developed in the end. It was fun to hang out with the other guys in that place for days and have total focus on the music and of course, have some drinks and some spliffs!! I remember getting into a confrontation with Ash about a special tune and we did not speak to each other for the rest of the night. Then we all saw that ANVIL movie and just laughed a lot. The next morning we were all good again and things were fine.During the last session, our four songs for the split with Black Sleep of Kali, was the first time we recorded most of the stuff playing live with the exception being bass and vocals which would be added later, all this in one flow. In the end it took us 16 hours to record and it was one rancid rush, in a good way though. I had been a bit drunk at the end of my vocal session, which is not very professional, but a nice feeling. I hope we can do that again in the future, to maintain that special feeling and record immediately. Maybe this is the way to come close to what UNION OF SLEEP should sound like.
TFM: Lyrically, I'm assuming since you handle the vocal duties, you also deal with the lyrics. Can you tell us about the lyrical content and themes that are involved in the songs? Where do you draw inspiration for the development of the lyrics?
Toni: Yes, I do most of the lyrics. In the past Ash had added a few lyrics as well. I am down with his lyrics but can only comment on mine. Lyrics have to fit to the music. I also do poems and have been writing lyrics since I was a kid. They come to me like pictures. When it comes to a new Union Of Sleep song I usually pick the darker ones, it all depends on how I feel about the mood of the song. On "Death in the Place" I wrote more songs about loss and being pissed off. The last record has more positive aspects in the lyrics, I even did a love poem, but no one got it until now, I disguised it with riddles, ha ha! Every song should be a story in the end. A story about life in general, if you want to read it like this I must admit, more often than I must say, more often a story about a certain point of life where things happen that we cannot forget but wish we could. I cannot forget very easily and life can fuck you a lot!!!"
TFM: From a singers stand point, are there any vocalists that you look up to? If you could front an influential band in the vocal department, who would it be and why?
Toni: Bobby Liebling is one of the best front men I've seen in years, forget all that young "metal-pose" bad guy image you are forced to see nowadays. He is odd, but true! I like to hear Lee Dorian (old Cathedral), Wino or Ed Vedder singing live and I think that Mike Patton is a vocal genius! We played a show with GOATSNAKE last year and I was impressed by seeing/hearing Pete Stahl warm up before the show, very professional, but also very smooth. In my opinion, the best voice of all time was Roy Orbison. He could sing very high but also very low tunes with a special atmosphere, no joke. I have many of his records and I can sing along with most of his songs (but not the very very high ranged songs, I must admit). The band I would like to play with? Well, there are so many if I wanted to do a heavy blues record I would like to jam with the guys from MOTHER SUPERIOR, the backing band from Henry Rollins. They are fucking good! Then the special team would be: Danny Carey from TOOL or Keith Moon from THE WHO on the drums. Danny Carey plays so many strange beats with so much power and Keith Moon was like the first punk exposure for me, no one destroyed the stage like he did!! For the guitars I would choose SLASH on the one side. He played great stuff, with a lot of feeling, back in GUNS N` ROSES and I know from a friend who once met him, that he is a smart guy. The other guitarist would be a clone: A monster made out of the genetic parts from Tony Iommi (for main riffs), Dimebag Darrel (for crazy-riffs), Jimi Hendrix (for the experience) and Neil Young (for the sustain). There is nothing more to say about that mega-guitarist anymore, right? Except that he would be 10 feet tall and would play a so called "quad guitar", like that guy from NITRO!! Yeah!! That`d be frightening and cool as hell. Finally the bassist. There are so many good bass players it's not an easy choice but I would want to have Philipp from BURIAL, NIGHTSLUG (ex- THE NOW DENIAL) to join me in a band one day! He sometimes helps us out when Frobel ( who is still the No. 1 UOS bassist forever, no doubt!!!) can not join us! I would pick him not because he is the best bassist of all time but he has the best fashion style (check out his boots and gloves). We've talked a lot about doing a project together for a long time, but we didn`t start until now. Hope he reads this here and things finally start moving forward one day!! Ha ha!
TFM: Can you tell us a bit about giging locally? What's your scene like back home? Has the band also had the opportunity to go out and venture outside your hometown and explore the tour experience?
Toni: Hagen is my hometown, but very boring. I have to drive to cities around Hagen to see good bands. We played in Hagen a few times, and it was fine. Back in the 90`s there were some good punk and metal bands here, where we have nothing better to do than to buy a guitar and start a band. I don`t know exactly what is happening in Hagen at the moment because I moved away 2 years ago. I would choose our friends from BURIAL, NIGHTSLUG and SOUL INVADERS. They are good bands with a good live set! Union Of Sleep has played a lot in Germany but only a few times in countries around Germany. We have been part of 2 tours that did work really good. We usually play smaller places, where people do shows and help us out by giving us food, doing the advertisement, etc. They do it for free, because they dig our sound and want to support. Thanks for that. Being on tour is fun, most of the time, sometimes it's very exhausting. But then again you play a nice gig where you meet funny people and the nights end up being very long. That`s what I love the most. Having so much fun that we all are close to choking or shitting in our pants from the laughter.
TFM: When we're all growing up and coming into contact for the first time with this fantastic music that we listen to, we always come across records/albums that just swipe us off our feet. Can you name at least 5 of your most influential albums of all time?
Toni: 1. GUNS N` ROSES "Appetite for Destruction" - A good record when you're 12 years old. 2. PANTERA "Vulgar Display of Power" - a good record when you turn 14! 3. THE GOD MACHINE "Scenes From The Second Story" or "One Last Laugh In A Place Of Dying" mmm, can I choose both? 4. MY DYING BRIDE "As the Flower Withers" - I don`t like their newer stuff, but the first two LP`s are masterpieces in my opinion. 5) There was that PEARL JAM live bootleg from 1992, I guess or 1993 that kicked my ass so much!!! They played live versions of THE DEAD BOYS ("Sonic Reducer"), NEIL YOUNG ("Fuckin` up"), THE WHO and THE BEATLES, so I was exposed to music I had never been in contact with.
TFM: Is there another full length LP in the works? If so, when do you fore cast a new LP for Union of Sleep?
Toni: Well it's not in the works but in our heads. We already have two new songs up our sleeves and some good riffs, but we feel no need to rush into the studio as of yet. Some of us have some other projects that we're involved in (I can share with you 2 names: NIGHTSLUG and DOLCH). So we will see. I don`t think we will release it next year, but maybe during the first half of 2014. We want to give it time and once it's out it will be very dark and rancid, that`s for sure! Be prepared!!
TFM: Any last words?
Toni: Thank you Marco and TOTALFUCKINGMAYHEM for rolling with this site and being aware of the underground. Walk on...and NEVER DIE!!!
MIKKO ANTERO FROM FINLAND'S THE REALITY SHOW GIVES...
1. Tragedy - Darker Days Ahead 2. Death Hawks - Death & Decay 3. Burning Love - Rotten Thing To Say 4. Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind 5. Arkhamin Kirjasto - Torches Ablaze.
CHEERS TO ALEX BOUKS FROM INCANTATION. HERE'S HIS...
Rush - Clockwork Angels Angel Witch - As Above So Below Darkest Grove - Coming of 2012 Autopsy - All Tomorrows Funerals Evoken - Atra Mors
BEST OF 2012 CONTINUES WITH SCOTT ALISOGLU FROM...
1. Grave - Endless Procession of Souls 2. American Dog - Poison Smile 3. Superchrist - Holy Shit 4. Dawnbringer - Into the Lair of the Sun God 5. Grand Magus - The Hunt 6. Kreator - Phantom Antichrist 7. Asphyx - Deathhammer 8. Accept - Stalingrad 9. Overkill - The Electric Age 10. God Forbid - Equilibrium
NEPENTE Release Video For "Suffering is the Seed"
Colombian death/black metal assassins NEPENTE have released a video for the title track to their forthcoming album Suffering is the Seed. The album is due out soon on MetalHit.com. In the meantime, soak in the visual sickness at this location. Savage and unforgiving, yet smartly composed for maximum memory retention, Suffering is the Seed is not only NEPENTE’s finest offering to date; it...
SVART CROWN HIT THE STUDIO FOR NEW ALBUM.
French death/black metal band SVARTCROWN has entered St Marthe studio (Kickback, Hangman’s Chair, Arkhon Infautus) to begin the recording process for the band’s forthcoming third full-length album. Studio footage of the band in action has been posted at this location. The as-of-yet-untitled album is set for a Fall 2013 release on Listenable Records. Over the two years since SVART...
CONTINUING ON WITH BEST OF 2012, JIM LOWDER FROM...
Torche - Harmonicraft Dog Shredder - Brass Tactics Rabbits - Bites Rites Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind Fister - The Infernal Paramount Gaythiest - Stealth Beats Kowloon Walled City - Container Ships Author & Punisher - Ursus Americanus
THE BOYS IN BIO CRISIS FROM TIJUANA, MEXICO TELL...
Luzen - Martyrdod - Paranoia Neto - Latitudes - Individuation Mares - Wolfbrigade - Damned Patrick - Propagandhi - Failed States Angel - Neurosis - Honor Found In Decay
AN INTERVIEW WITH ERNST (GUITARS) FOR THE BAND...
TFM: I've always been a huge fan of D-beat, crustified, anarchistic and pulverizing punk. It always manages to captivate me and it launches me into a total state of rebellion and it fuels my anger. Such is the case of our next band...Anger Burning from Gavle, Sweden. Their perfect blend of punk, highly inspired by the likes of legends, Discharge and Anti-Cimex. I was first introduced to their furious sound by my good friend Bjorn Larsson from the mighty Mordbrand also from Sweden, (Thanks Bjorn!). I immediately set out to purchase their 12" by the name of "When." We had a small chat with Ernst who plays guitar in the band, this is what he had to say. What can you tell us about the formation of Anger Burning? Can you take us back and tell us how it all got started?
Ernst: In 2006 I was impressed by watching Ced's drumming in his different bands and projects (Minister Död, DH Pamoash etc) so I asked him if he wanted to start a dis-band. He said yes and suggested that we should try a vocalist who, quote "Sounds like Wattie in Exploited". That's where Vidar steps in. Then I asked Simon, who I played with already in Assassination at the time, if he wanted to play bass. Then we just started making songs and rehearsing.
TFM: What is the current line-up?
Ernst: The lineup has always been and will always be Vidar vocals, Cederick drums, Simon bass and Ernst guitar.
TFM: The Discharge sound is undeniablly present in Anger Burning and even noticable in the band logo itself. Was this the concept from the get go? Or was it something that gradually became structured into the band?
Ernst: It was more or less the concept from the start, yes. Sometimes it's been a little Anti-Cimex vibe too but our main influence is and will always be Discharge.
TFM: Your most recent LP entitled, "When" was released this year. What were your experiences in the studio during the recording process? Do you find that the studio atmosphere is a bit less strenuous now compared to your previous experiences?
Ernst: The story behind the When 12" goes back to 2008 when we did the first recording for that record.. Another label should have released it but a year passed and then we somehow realized that the recording sucked anyway so we decided to re-record it and change some songs. So we did. Then after... I don't know how long ... Toda at Rawmantic Disasters told us he wanted to release it and that all we had to provide was the artwork, which took us another year because we suck at communication. So then finally after a couple of months it got released! The studio? Well, we always record everything whereever we happen to rehearse for the moment (we've always borrowed other bands practice spaces). Ced is our sound engineer, he's the best for this kind of sound. We work fast so recording sessions are a walk in the park.
TFM: Are any of your back catalog releases such as the 7"s and the 2009 V/A CD "Skitliv" still available?
Ernst: The Warcharge 7" and the split7" with Discover and a few of the 12" are still available from me, yes.
TFM: Have you managed to go out and explore the touring circuit?
Ernst: So far we have made three small tours in other countries in Europe. 2009, 2010 and 2012. It's been nice and we will try to tour once a year.
TFM: According to the Mayan calendar, the end of the world is just a few weeks away. With this being said, along with essential items for your survival; food and clothing, you are also able to grab 5 records/cd's to take with you. Which albums would these be?
Ernst: I would rather take 7" vinyls but if the limit is 5 I guess it would be more clever to grab full length albums to get as much music as possible so uhh... difficult but perhaps these; Man Is The Bastard - D.I.Y. CD; Godflesh - Streetcleaner LP; Gore Beyond Necropsy - Noise-A-Go-Go!! CD; Rupture - Lust And Hate LP; Discharge - Decontrol The Singles CD.
TFM: Drink of preference for total and complete intoxication?
Ernst: Whatever comes my way, I have no idea, never remember what's most effective...
TFM: Name a few artists that would be of your outmost interest to record future splits with?
Ernst: Can't think of any special ones... All bands who love what they're doing and kick ass are always interesting.
TFM: 2013 is right around the corner, what long term/short term plans does the band have in store?
Ernst: I think a split7" with LIVET SOM INSATS is going to the pressing plant in late January. We will continue releasing stuff on Rawmantic Records, we we're told to put together another 12" so we are currently working on writing new songs. Some other splits have been discussed as well. Time will tell. Perhaps we tour Finland and other cool places we haven't been to before.
TFM: Any last words?
Ernst: Guess I would have to quote Discharge: "YOU take part in creating the system". Keep it simple. Do what you have to do. Fuck what others think.
BRANDON SQUYRES' FROM AMAROK, LIST OF FAVORITE...
Amenra - Mass V Destroy Judas - Wake (Vinyl) Inter Arma - Destroyer Pall Bearer - Sorrow And Extinction Protestant - Reclamation Samothrace - Reverence To Stone Wildernessking - The Writing Of Gods In The Sand Year Of No Light & Altar Of Plagues - Split
A BRIEF CHAT WITH BUNGO UCHINO AND HIS NEW PROJECT...
TFM: The mighty Coffins from Japan, is a force that should not be wreckoned with. Their latest opus, "March of Despair" is crushing just as any other of their previous efforts ,it's no wonder that it's one of my top records of 2012. But, with all due respect to Coffins, we're not here to talk about them. Uchino has ventured off into new territory, and has felt the need to give birth to another one of his passions. The riffs should be endless and crushing, coming from Uchino's six string monster, there should be no doubt about that. We had a brief conversation with him, this is what he had to say about his new project...Oozepus. Uchino, you have a new project in the works. What can you tell us about this new project and if I'm not mistaken, there's also some material that is being recorded in the studio? What can you tell us about that as well?
Uchino: OK, I started a new project by the name of "OOZEPUS" this year. It was born in order to create more riffs and experiment with sounds I generally don't use in Coffins. I mean, I'ts not death metal that I'm playing but it's more of a heavy doom junk sound in this band, like old SWANS, FALL OF BECAUSE/old GODFLESH. From old times, I love Industrial, No-Wave and Heavy Junk sound and find myself often listening to them. Originally, the former band of Coffins was a Godflesh/old Pitch Shifter type industrial death band by the name of: COMPROMISE YOU NEED I was playing around 1995. Eventually, I re-started this band with Ryo (Coffins vocalist) and other members by the name CYN last year. But it didn't work out after all. As Ryo and another guy started Guevnna, I decided to invite Satoshi (drums from Coffins) and my old friend Okubo (Bass from Albiorix Requiem/Linkraft/ex.Armenia/ex.Mothra), to start a completely heavy junk band. We are still in the rehearsal stage as of now. But we will do a recording for our 1st demo at the beginning of next year, and are going to move positively for getting a release deal. If your are interested, please contact us!!
TRISTAN SHONE THE MASTERMIND BEHIND...
1. Channel Orange - Frank Ocean 2. Until The Quiet Comes - Flying Lotus 3. Trilogy - The Weeknd 4. Ufubulum - Squarepusher 5. Luxury Problems - Andy Stott 6. Chasms Of My Heart - Theologian 7. Life - Taurus 8. Sickness Will Pass - Stoneburner 9. 1991 - Azaelia Banks 10. The Idler Wheel… - Fiona Apple
SICKO'S SANTI & HECTOR FROM THE MIGHTY NASHGUL...
Santi top5: SAINT VITUS - Lillie: F-65 ALDEBARAN - Embracing The Lightless Depths SLEEP - Dopesmoker (reissue) ANHEDONIST - Netherwards AUTOPSY - All Tomorrow’s Funerals Hector top 5: EYEHATEGOD - New Orleans Is The New Vietnam MORBUS CHRON - A Saunter Through The Shroud DEATHRAID / DESPERAT split - (Only Deathraid Side) KNELT ROTE - Trespass GENERAL SURGERY - Like An Ever Flying Limb ...
RICH FROM ARIZONA'S TWO PIECE "TEMPLE" HAS ALSO...
1. Lunar Aurora - Hoagascht 2. Pig Destroyer - Book Burner 3. Meshuggah - Koloss 4. Anathema - Weather Systems 5. Blut Aus Nord - 777 Cosmosophy 6. Katatonia - Dead End Kings 7. Agalloch - Faustian Echoes 8. Amenra - Mass V 9. Master’s Hammer - Vracejte Konve Na Misto 10. Deathspell Omega - Drought
OUR GOOD FRIEND/CORRESPONDANT REYNOR DIEGO FROM...
Quite a few years back, The Wire Magazine had a feature called Last Day On Earth, thoroughly enjoyed the this column immensely. I thought I’d revive it for the TFM webzine. The premise is you’re on Death Row, you’re about to be executed, how would you spend your last day on Earth? You get: Three records/albums, one film, one book, three visitors, last meal, music for your...
CORY VON BOHLEN FROM HALO OF FLIES DISTRO & THE...
TERRIBLE FEELINGS Shadows LP NOT ON TOUR All This Time LP PLANKS Funeral Mouth LP TOUNDRA III LP COLUMN OF HEAVEN Mission From God LP
MEXICAN GRIND LEGENDS ANARCHUS, JOIN OBSCENE...
One of the fucking living legends of grindcore with 25 years in the rumble and still powered by alcohol and reactionary die-hard mind. Starting in ´97 and with over 18 recordings between splits and albums they are absolutely the most prominent grindcore band from Mexico and since the very beginning the whole idea of these punks was to do the fastest and most powerful band with...
BJORN LARSSON FROM SWEDEN'S DEATH METAL PURVEYORS...
Marduk - Serpent Sermon Mgla - With Hearts Toward None God Seed - I Begin Nominon - The Cleasning Bombs of Hades - The Serpent’s Redemption
JOCKE SVENSSON FROM BANDS LIKE ENTRAILS &...
1. Deathspell Omega - Drought 2. Graveyard - Lights Out 3. Mgła - With Hearts Toward None 4. Karnarium - Otapamo Pralaja 5. Tormented - Graveyard Lust 6. Rust - Damned Hellish Voids 7. Marduk - Serpent Sermon 8. Morbus Chron - A Saunter Through the Shroud
UP NEXT WITH HIS LIST OF FAVORITE RELEASES OF 2012...
Animal Collective - Centipede Hz - LP Peaking Lights - Lucifer - LP Sun Araw - The Inner Treaty - LP Conan - Monnos - LP L.A.N.D - Night Within - LP Beach House - Bloom - LP Spiritualized - Sweet Heart, Sweet Light - LP The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Aufheben - LP The Cosmic Dead - The Exalted King - Cass Rabih Abou-Khalil - Hungry People Whirr - Distressor - LP Bonnie Prince Billy - Now Here´s...
SHANNON FRYE FROM AVENGER OF BLOOD ALSO...
1. Asphyx - Deathhammer 2. Accept - Stalingrad 3. Grave - Endless Procession Of Souls 4. Bloodbound - In the Name of Metal 5. Herman Frank - Right In the Guts 6. Testament - Dark Roots Of Earth 7. Master - The New Elite 8. Kiss - Monster 9. Overkill - The Electric Age 10. Aura Noir - Out To Die
JEREMY BRENTON FROM LAS VEGAS' DOOM BAND, DEMON...
- Pallbearer - Sorrow and Extinction - Six Feet Under - Undead - Down - IV The Purple EP - High on Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis - Gypsyhawk - Revelry and Resilience - Witch Mountain - Cauldron of the Wild - Witchcraft - Legend - Candlemass - Psalms for the Dead - Pilgrim - Misery Wizard
PER BODER, FROM SWEDEN'S MORDBRAND AND HIS...
Nachtmystium - Silencing Machine Bombs of Hades - Serpents Redemption High On Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis Pallbearer - Sorrow And Extinction Evoken - Atra Mors
LASSE FROM FINLAND'S DOOM TITANS HOODED MENACE...
1. Pallbearer - Sorrow and Extinction 2. Anhedonist - Netherwards 3. Anguish - Through the Archdemon´s Head 4. Horrendous - The Chills 5. Tragedy - Darker Days Ahead
JERRY FLORES FROM LOS ANGELES' BLOODY PHOENIX AND...
VIHAN RYTMI - Taistele Vastaan Demo KROMOSOM - Paranoid E.P. TRUST - Trst ROSENKOPF - Rosenkopf DEAD CAN DANCE - Anastasis SEX DWARF - Demo