Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

(Originally interviewed for KtmROCKS EMag 08)

So, with the release of their debut studio full length “Maniacal Miscreation” in 2010, Cerebal Bore have become a force to reckon with in the global brutal death metal circles. The band rises from Scotland and is currently signed with Earache Records. Here’s a short interview with the band’s guitarist Paul McGuire.

Hi, thank you for your time, Sir. To start with, could you describe Cerebral Bore’s sound for those who haven’t heard your music before, in just one sentence?

Hard one, as this person could possibly be a death metal fan who hasn’t heard us, or a strict fan of pop music who hasn’t even heard death metal let alone Cerebral bore. So my descriptions would differ depending on the person. To the Death metal fan, I would say we are a fast paced, brutal band with a modern sound and guttural vocals.

Alright freely describe your music and please tell us about your musical influences as well.

We are brutal but catchy I would say. Not too over the top but not gentle in any way either! Musically, I’m not sure who inspired us, just the genre in general I think. I always find this question hard to answer!

Could you tell us briefly about how the band got started?

We started out in 2006 in Glasgow, Scotland, and recorded a demo which became the only demo we ever recorded before signing to Earache records in December 2010. Our line-up went through a few changes before it settled on our album line-up. Som is Dutch and is the only non-Scottish member of Cerebral Bore. She joined the band in July 2010 and has already played more than 10 countries as our vocalist.

Personally I have always wanted to see the world, and just knowing that it could be possible with my own band has always given the inspiration needed to keep going and to work hard.

So how has the band’s music evolved since CB first began?

I would say that we have got a lot more brutal and a lot groovier! There was a much more old school vibe to our older stuff, I’ve tried to go for a fresh sound always but I would say that we have come closer to it in the more recent songs we have done.

CB released the full length album “Maniacal Miscreation” last year and was very much well received by the fans. Tell us a bit about the album concept and production.

The album was recorded and mixed/mastered in Wales at Foel studios by Chris Fielding.
We didn’t have an overall concept but we tried to get a lot of Scottish references throughout the artwork and lyrics as well as the samples. The album will be officially released in April 2011 by Earache records.

Several lineup changes in terms of vocalists, has that affected the band in anyway? And personally how do you manage your time with different projects?

The vocalist problems have only made us stronger to be honest, it taught us to keep working and not be held back by anyone. I don’t have any other project that take up any of my time, as being the manager of this band takes every minute of my spare time.

How did you get along with Earache Record Label at first?

I sent a link to their website and got a reply within the hour saying that they were already preparing a contract proposal for us, so it turned out to be a strange coincidence, considering it was the only label I personally approached.

How’s the songwriting process like?

I don’t have any kind of recording gear or even an actual guitar setup at home, so it mostly comes down to us having a band rehearsal the next day, so I stay up for an hour or 2 and write something and go jam it with the other guys the next day. But other times when I have access to a drum kit, I can write a lot faster by playing the drum part and then playing the guitar part over it to make sure it works then way I imagine it in my head.

Could you give us an idea about the gear you use?

I don’t have my own amp, but I have 1 guitar which is a Jackson Rhoads model, which I got for free from Jackson in 2008 when they gave me an endorsement. I also have a few boss pedals including noise suppressor, Metal core, and tuner! I am also endorsed by Spectraflex cables, In Tune guitar picks, and EMG pickups, which I also use regularly!

What are the immediate music career goals of the band?

Hoping to get to Asia and South America, also to maybe get our video on MTV!

So when’s the next album supposed to release? Any plan or update already?

The next album will be ready for early 2012 I think, but who knows. It all comes down to the music being ready and not rushed for the sake of a deadline. We have already begun writing and I just bought a new drum kit to help the process.

How much are you guys into playing (video) games? Cerebral Bore is a weapon in some Turok game right?

Yes! Our drummer is probably the biggest gamer, but none of us are actually fans of Turok!

So we’ve learned that you guys are also playing in Underground Unleashed Festival, Darjeeling this year! Are you familiar with the metal scene in India? And what are the band’s expectations out of this gig?

I am not overly familiar with the Indian scene but I know that it’s great from what my friend Shaun (Putrid Pile) told me about his recent show there. I don’t like to get my hopes up or have high expectations of shows, which usually makes them far better than they may have been if you built them up too much!

And have you guys ever thought of doing a gig in Nepal?

I can honestly say that I have always dreamed of the thought of a show in Nepal! It is a country I have always wanted to visit, with awesome stuff like the Himalayas and Mount Everest. Which I am told I can see from Darjeeling! So anyone in Nepal who wants to book us…we are available!!

Once again thanks a lot for your time and the interview, any last message to CB’s fans in Nepal?

Thank you! People of Nepal, come see us in Darjeeling or demand a CB show in Kathmandu !! We hope to come blast your faces off one day! Keep making that awesome hashish!!!

You could find out more about the band in their Myspace page.

– Interviewed by The Sickening Art

(Originally interviewed for KtmROCKS EMag 08)

Arsames is a (Persian ancient) death metal band that comes from Mashhad, Iran. The band had played in Sikkim Music Festival last year alongside X-Mantra, and they will also be touring Darjeeling for the Underground Unleashed Festival in September later this year. Here is a short interview with the band’s front-man Ali Madarshahi and manager Mohsen Faiiazi.

For those who haven’t listened to your music yet, could you please describe Arsames briefly?

Arsames is the first Persian ancient death metal band formed in 2002 in Mashhad by front-man Ali Madarshahi. Most of our songs are based on ancient Persian mythology.

What does the band name Arsames actually mean?

Arsames (520 BC) was the king of Persia during the Achaemenid dynasty, who was the grandfather of Cyrus the Great. He was the first instructor of human rights in the world.

So how do you define Persian ancient death metal?

Well, it’s not a separable genre. All death metal elements like heavily distorted guitars, deep growling vocals, blast beat drumming, etc. are used in it. The only vital distinction lies in our lyrics and the use of Persian scales in songwriting.

You guys had headlined the Sikkim Music Fest last year, sharing stage with X-Mantra from Nepal. How was the whole experience playing in this part of the continent?

Yeah, that was really a good experience. To meet new people has always been lovely for us and we met many nice people there too. Metalheads in all corners of the world have the same attitude – they always look like a strong Army full of emotion and kindness.

I really liked the behavior of Nepali bands especially X-Mantra. Their music was really awesome.

And the band is also playing in The Underground Unleashed Festival in Darjeeling later this year?

Yes, we are already excited to travel there once again!

Well, the band had released the debut album “Immortal Identity” in 2010. How have the responses been so far?

We got well regards from fans and it has helped to keep us working and working.

And I’ve learned the album was dedicated to Ronnie James Dio, R.I.P.?

Yes, Ronnie J. Dio was a great person – the voice of metal, and his career was so huge and honorable that we decided to dedicate our album to him. And also, we wanted to show our sympathy to his family and his fans.

The band has announced the start of work for the next album, “Epic of the Kings”. Has the work started already? How is it going so far and when will it probably come out?

Yes, we have started it recently and we will effort hard to release a good album for our listeners. We are satisfied with the process of our work and we hope the album will be released at the end of 2011 or early next year.

Could you explain the philosophical/lyrical content behind Arsames’ music?

As said above, we focus on cultural and ancient background of Persia for the lyrics as you know most of pop bands focus on shallow topics such as materialistic love and have ignored some deep meanings such as culture, identity, humanity, etc.

And what are the band’s primary influences, musically?

Our musical influences include Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Kreator, Amon Amarth, Behemoth, Opeth, Arch Enemy and many more. I think we are also looking for something from our ancient Persia to create an epic music that no one has done before.

Could you name few of the notable concerts you have played?

In 2009, we performed in an international three-day Unirock Festival in Istanbul, Turkey, where we opened for Amon Amarth. We had shared the stage with famous acts like Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy, Kreator, etc. then.

We’ve learned that heavy metal music is illegal to perform in Iran. So is it that there is no live scene there? Have you played any live show there?

Yes that’s right. Metal music is illegal in Iran and there is no any metal performance here. We haven’t played any live show in our own country, and we are not going to do that till the day the government accepts to give us the permission of doing it with vocals.

So what do you say about the overall existence of heavy metal bands in Iran? How hard is it?

It is very hard to play metal music in Iran but I think it’s a good chance to practice and work harder for being great bands and make some new music in this situation.

In fact, Iran is one of the hardest places to play metal music but don’t forget, this hardest situation has made us to be stronger, heavier and louder. We love to see metalheads grow up in our country and be a main part of the metal world. When we talk about 3,000 years of culture, we have to stay and fight for it!

What about the western music in general in Iran?

Most of the Iranian people like pop music; they follow the news about their favorite superstars and their new stuff. Moreover, they try to keep themselves up-to-date. There are a lot of genres of music that they like and listen to, like heavy metal, jazz, rock, blues, hip-hop, etc.

How are the metal recording studios?

There are some underground recording studios here but they are limited in hardware and software.

And what about women into heavy metal?

We have some female metal vocalists in Iran and they are trying hard to prove that Iranian females could be good metal vocalist as well!

Well, I read somewhere that you (Ali Madarshahi) are into heavy metal music for more than twenty-five years. How did you discover the music (and the western music in general) at first?

(Ali-) I first discovered rock music. When I was a kid, one of my family members gave me some cassettes from Pink Floyd (“The Dark Side of the Moon”). I was inspired by their music, and it was an awesome moment in my life to listen to something different than what I have listened before in radio, so I decided to discover more of this kind of music. Then I slowly started to find records by Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Metallica, Sodom, Testament, Megadeth, Kreator, Venom, Exodus, and more and more, so the METAL side of my life began to grow. I was fourteen when I started with heavy metal.

Cool. So what do the band members do besides playing in Arsames?

We do individual works for money – teaching music, graphic designing, etc.

Finally, any last words you want to throw to the metalheads here in Nepal?

Well, I wish good days and luck for our fans and other metal bands around the world and also I hope a peaceful year for all people and all metalheads in Nepal.

Thanks for the interview! HORNS UP TILL DEATH!

You can check out more about Arsames in their official band pages:

Official Arsames page

You could buy their stuffs at Amazon.

– Interviewed by Samyam Shrestha

(Well it was supposed to be “Interview with Bikram and Bijay Shrestha”, but unfortunately Bijay couldn’t make it to the interview, thus it has taken this form)

Bikram Shrestha has been one of the finest drummers our local underground scene has witnessed, who has been a part of numerous bands as Prakanda Bimba, Taamishra, Angel Dust, Monkey Temple, etc. and also a live member for X-Mantra. Here is a short interview with the guy:

What’s up, yo? Anything specific you’re working on lately?

Bikram: Naah, nothing actually. I’m not involved with any band right now, so I have to say I’m in a break for the time being, before coming up with anything new.

What about the Monkey Temple’s new album which was going under the recording process?

Bikram: I had recorded only a song with the band a while ago, and I’m not aware about what’s going on with the band and the recording process right now.

Prakanda Bimba. Taamishra. Angel Dust. Monkey Temple. Besides the obvious genre differences, what are the differences or distinctions you could find in playing with each of these bands?

Bikram: Prakanda Bimba was primarily a learning process than anything else. For that matter, I’m still learning and it is a continuous process, but it was crucial for even the basic things then.

Besides the genre differences, I don’t find any significant distinction between these bands, but since I’m more into death metal, playing death metal came from my inside more than when playing other forms of music, and thus I felt easy.

So having played such a varied musical genres, which is your favorite genre to listen to?

Bikram: I listen to almost every type of music, but like I said, it’s got to be death metal on the top, followed by jazz and electronic music.

You were also a part of a major death metal band, Taamishra. What happened to the project all of a sudden? Any chance of reforming?

Bikram: Subash (guitarist) had left Nepal to pursue his higher studies and thus the band was dismantled just after. I don’t think the project will reform again.

How did you get into playing drums? From what type of music did you start playing?

Bikram: I was 17 when I bought my first drum kit, after I did my SLC. I started playing them just from that point. I straight away began with death metal, since it had struck me really hard. I had bought twin pedal in my first purchase itself.

So how was the whole learning process? Did you take any course or learned things by yourself?

Bikram: Well I haven’t taken any formal drumming lesson till now, except that I had joined Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory for a very brief time for gaining jazz skills. Beside that, it was all self-learned with the help of my friends, and persons like Sarthak (ex-Prakanda Bimba) had also encouraged me a lot.

What were/are the best and the worst thing that have happened to you as musicians?

Bikram: Well, I can’t recall any worst thing right now, and I am still waiting for the best thing to happen, haha. Being a musician, I think more people have started to recognize me. Once in Butwal, when I was playing with X-Mantra, a bunch of audiences had approached to me. At first, I thought they have come towards me as I was the drummer of X-Mantra in the show, but I was really shocked to have asked, “dai, tapai Taamishra ko drummer haina?”. It is stunning that people even from such unnoticeable places do recognize me as ‘Taamishra ko drummer’, haha.

What changes do you feel in the overall Nepalese underground music scene over the years? From the time Prakanda Bimba first entered the scene to the present times?

Bikram: The obvious changes are – many good musicians are sprouting lately and the sound system in gigs has also improved. Tei ho.

Any of your favorite local bands?

Bikram: Binaash is my favorite local band right now who play my type of music – brutal death metal. I also like Jugaa. From the past scene, I like Cruentus, Maya, Inside 2 Stoopid Triangles and early X Mantra.

Who are your primary musical influences?

Bikram: It’s got to be bands like Deicide, Nile, Origin, Cryptopsy, Meshuggah, etc. and drummers like Derek Roddy, Vinnie Colouita, Jojo Mayer and Dennis Chambers who’ve influenced me a lot. Deicide was the band that dragged me to playing death metal at the beginning.

You (along with your bassist brother, Bijay) were also in a back-up band in Image Channel’s Guitar Maestro’s ‘metal round’. How was the experience with the guitarists?

Bikram: Well, everything was a rush. We only got one day to jam up with ALL the guitarists, and that too, for performing their originals. No wonder, we messed up numerous times onstage. The guitarists were amazing.

You were also session musician for a movie track or something. Could you tell us something about it?

Bikram: It’s not a movie track or anything. It’s just a promo music for a movie called “Batch No. 16” that we recorded in Silence Studios. Actually I had never thought I would be recording something for a movie someday. Ramailai vayo.

So what do you do besides playing music?

Bikram: I do nothing besides playing music. I’m still trying my best to perform the best as a musician. Music is everything that I do.

Any last words you would want to throw to the readers to end this interview?

Bikram: Support music and support musicians, and thanks for the interview, dude.

– Interviewed by Samyam Shrestha