Posts Tagged ‘Interviews’

[Originally interviewed for KtmROCKS E-Mag Issue 09]

LILLE GRUBER is considered to be one of the most unique sounding and versatile drummers in the death metal world. He is the only remaining founding member of the German brutal death metal monsters Defeated Sanity and has also played for numerous death metal bands like Cenotaph (Turkey), Belphegor, Twitch of the Death Nerve, Mucopus, Sinners Bleed, etc. Here is the interview with him:

Greetings from Nepal, Lille! How have you been doing lately?

Hey there, I am doing fine! We are preparing for the Euro tour with Gorgasm in August/September right now and things couldn’t go better!

Going back to your starting days, who inspired you to start playing the drums? At what age did you start playing?

The person that inspired me the most to play drums or music in general was my dad, who also was a musician. I grew up in a community of musicians. All my dad’s friends were musicians and I heard and saw them play everyday. So I guess that influences you as a child.

Your style of drumming draws a lot from some other elements of the drumming world and makes your sound and style unique than any drummer I have personally heard in brutal death metal. Can you elaborate on how you created your playing style?

Well, I really take music in general seriously. My aim is to make serious music, not pop music. So if you wanna make the best music you can, you will look up to the best, the top of the music world. And that includes mostly jazz, classical, folklore but also pop, rock, soul, blues, of course metal and even hip-hop, electronic stuff, etc. A good musician gets inspired by all musical art form. For how I created my style, my way of playing evolves from my preferences and what comes out is a mix of all that I prefer. I guess you create your own style in a way where you listen a lot to other drummers/musicians and then first try to imitate, then find your own way how to involve this stuff.

How do you tune such a unique set of drums?

I really just learned to really tune my drums haha, before I just worked on the drums until they kinda sounded cool for me. For me personally a very important thing is to have the snare nice and high. A too low snare drum seems too “fat” for me, a high one is nice and dynamic, also has that punch.

What kind of snare drum do you use to get that tight sound?

I use a Ludwig Black Beauty snare drum – to me, the mother of all snares. Although, I can’t even say that. I just never used much other stuff besides that cause I never felt the need.

Would you care to elaborate a bit on your current kit?

My current kit consists of 1 bass drum with double pedal (never could afford a second one plus it has no room in my rehearsal space haha), 2 hang toms, 1 stand tom, 2 crashes, ride, china, hihats and the crashes have splash cymbals and a bell on top. I like playing around with splashes now; it’s the first time in my life I had the money to afford some small cool stuff like that. It’s a Pearl Master series kit btw.

Tell us the way you approach after every album? There is quite a shift in drumming between all of your albums, each got better than the previous.

Well thank you, glad to hear that! Well I never give up and never stop doubting myself so I guess that is the reason for always improving. The general style of every album changed too – different song structure, different riffs. So that is the reason for a different drumming style as well. Also, every album had different drum sounds. None of them really satisfied me yet. I hope I can get closer to my vision next time.

How much do you think that the change in band’s lineup affects the style of music that it plays? What has been the case with Defeated Sanity?

Hmmm depends what situation you have. I think the most important is if the core band knows what they wanna do, if new members come into the whole thing they can be either “executors” or creative minds that vastly change the material. For us, when Chris came into the band his style of playing inspired more fast grinding then we had before. I remember I had to really keep up with him in the beginning. He writes less “contemplated” stuff than going for raw fast insanity, which is a nice contrast to what I was doing.

Sadly enough, quite a lot of bands use programmed or at least triggered drums on their albums. What’s your thought on programmed drumming? Were you ever tempted to use programmed drumming?

I was never tempted to do that stuff. We need organic, human sounding drums. Well programmed drumming works for a few bands, I am thinking about Heinous Killings and Mortician here. But for a live drummer to sound like a machine (=trigger¬ing the whole kit) makes no sense to me. Also lots of guitarists do it cause they can’t find a drummer but wanna release shit…. so it’s kind of “worst case scenario” thing.

What bands are you listening to right now? And what sort of music do you normally enjoy listening to?

Right now I have been on a big old school trip haha. Listening to lots of old Malevolent Creation, Monstrosity… the more thrashy stuff you know? Always listen to jazz and classical stuff on the side, but my main menu is still metal. Right now listening to Watchtower “Control and Resistance”. Immense album!

Could you name some drummers who have influenced you a lot?

So many great drummer out there, so this time I will mention a whole lot of them haha: Tony Williams, Jack De Johnette, Billy Cobham, Wolfgang Teske, Alex Marquez, Stephen Shelton, Rick Colaluca, Lee Harrisson, Chad Walls, Jon Engman, Brad Fincher, Gene Holgan, Sean Rein¬ert… the list is endless.

So what’s up with your current bands, Defeated Sanity and Cenotaph? You were in verge of touring?

Well, with Cenotaph I don’t do stuff anymore. I haven’t heard from Batu in a longer time now. I think they are working with a young line up in Turkey now and it seems to go really well with their drummer. With DS, as I said, we are right now preparing for the Euro tour starting in August. Also working on 5 new songs and writing much more material than that. I think the next album will be recorded next summer. I am confident about it.

You have been the only remaining original member of Defeated Sanity now. How does it feel to drive the band as the only founder member remaining?

Well, first and foremost it’s sad to have lost the founding member Wolfgang Teske last year to cancer, RIP!!! He was there with me from the beginning, and then decided he couldn’t do it anymore in 2008 because his fingers didn’t work that well anymore. But with Jacob and Chris, the core of the band seems like my first real band, so it still feels like this is the first line up (minus Wolfgang). It’s a great feeling to know, the 4th album is coming up and things just keep getting better for us. Also is a hard task to top each album you released before though. Songwriting-wise, we can’t top the last one, but we will try to make the production better.

Can you please tell us about each member and a brief background of Defeated Sanity?

Yes, gladly! Jacob I got to know when we were building a new line up after I came to Berlin from Bavaria. I saw him with his old band CEREBRIC TURMOIL, who made a crazy mix of math core and death metal and when I saw him play I knew he was the guy I wanna work with, he was a young fucker too, 17 years old. Chris we met a bit before when we were searching for a bass player, some bassist came to audition and brought Chris with him. In the end we decided to work with Chris but not the bass player. The latest member for DS is Konni on vocals. He was in Despondency before and we have known him since the Demo days. He is a very good frontman and singer, so we are a very strong team!

Who’s writing the songs? What are the main themes/subjects of the music?

Well I would say I am the musical director in this band. I hear lots of riffs from my band members and compose even more than that myself… and most time in my life I spend with contemplating about putting them together in a good order. This happens on the way to work in trains, at the instrument, or just walking around, or while giving lessons. Lyrical themes are all inspired by the evil in this world. Both the evil that we witness ourselves, but mainly the repugnant things we hear everyday in the news or whatever. We are just very fascinated with cruelty, violence, dark thoughts.

Are there any goals you want to reach drumming-wise?

Yeah, for sure. I try to get faster and more accurate with my double bass. But on the other side I wanna get more fluent with improvisation and jazzy stuff. If u ask me, two contradicting things… but practicing completely different things must be good for you, as you will get a broad horizon musically. I might wanna start jazzy stuff when I get old, haha. That would rule!

Anything you do besides drumming (I mean some other jobs)?

No, I only give music lessons right now (guitar and drums), it’s my job.

Lastly, any advice, tips, would you give to younger drummers here in Nepal?

Play everything SLOW first, if you wanna be able to play it fast. Also incorporate dynamics in your playing. Listen to the drummers and the bands I mentioned! And listen to them good, and then play your own stuff and try to emulate it at home while playing your style in the shows!

Thanks a bunch Lille for your kind reply ! Keep it brutal, and keep it sick.

DEFEATED SANITY:
http://www.facebook.com/DefeatedSanity

[Originally interviewed for KtmROCKS E-Mag Issue 09]

So the Singaporean grindcore specialists Wormrot have greeted the world with yet another brilliant album “Dirge” a couple of months ago, and which has already burst a lot of balls throughout the globe. Here’s an interview with the band’s founding members, Arif (vocals) and Rasyid Juraimi (guitar).

Greetings from the Himalayas, yo! Firstly, I would like to congratulate Wormrot for the amazing worldwide response on your new album “Dirge”, which many would consider to be one of the best grindcore releases of this year already. So let me start with this: how would you define ‘grindcore’ yourself? And how would you define Wormrot?

Rasyid: Right now, I would say grindcore is a bastard child of punk and metal with less limitation. I would say Wormrot is a band that plays catchy tunes at a faster BPM.

So how did the band come into existence?

Arif: Wormrot started out as a death-grind project formed by me on vocals and Acit (Septikaemia, Hellghast) on drums. We took in Halim (Arbitrary Element, Cardiac Necropsy) to fill in the bass. I met an old high school friend Rasyid who had just completed his national service (2007) by a chance meeting through a mutual friend and was invited to try out on the guitars. A couple of jamming sessions followed yet we couldn’t find a comfortable stride. Rasyid and I decided to go on our own to form a grindcore band, retaining Wormrot as the band name. Fitri was a friend of mine in camp while we were in our national service. He fitted the empty drum slot comfortably. And hence was our current line-up positioned.

Hey, when I first heard the band name, I thought you guys would sing something on gore and disembowelments and necrophilia and stuffs, but you actually sing about… you know, some other things on life. I mean do the lyrical themes have anything to do with the world around, the society and politics pissing you off for some reason?

Arif: The lyrics are always about my own personal issues. We don’t have any hidden messages through our songs. Just a warning to assholes around the world not to fuck with us or rather me. We’re not a political band. Rarely would I incorporate the army negativity into our songs but at the same time making it humorous amongst the degrading words. Lyrical ideas will never fade. Personally, I’ve experienced tons of shit that are most likely to contribute to the theme.

I very much would like to stick the band’s style with that of Insect Warfare or Kill the Client. So what made you guys ending up with generating some no-bullshit, straightforward grindcore sound?

Rasyid: It actually came naturally to us. Like I said before, we just wanna play some catchy and easy-to-listen riffs. Simple aggressive music.

Tell us what you guys dig more personally – hardcore or death metal?

Rasyid: I’m going with hardcore. I never ‘get’ death metal.

Arif: All of the above. I can’t really say which one I prefer the most. Basically I listen to everything. Although I’m leaning more towards grind and powerviolence these days.

Well, there’s no bass in the band’s music and I came to know it was on purpose. Anyway, do you think you guys would hire someone on bass anytime in future?

Rasyid: NO!

Arif: 3 is a crowd.

Talking about your current record label, how did Earache Records first find you? Were you guys surprised or something at first to have known Digby Pearson, the label’s owner, was actually very impressed with the band?

Arif: Pretty much shocked actually. We were looking for a label to release our second album and we did ask some labels but we didn’t approach Earache cause we didn’t think they would be interested anyway. So when Digby himself messaged us in Myspace, I was refreshing the page a lot of times not believing what just happened. We could not believe it!

Well, and let me tell you that the music videos of songs “Spot a Pathetic” and “Erased Existence” you released in past couple of months were fucking amazing. I really liked the concepts. Anything on this? How was their making process like?

Arif: Both videos were recorded live in one of the shows during our US tour this year at The Blvd in LA. Earache and Dave, the videographer, did a tremendous job in coordinating for both videos.

Considering that an average Wormrot song lengths below one minute, how long does it take to write a song? How’s the songwriting process like?

Rasyid: It depends dude, sometimes it took less than 10 mins to write a good song, sometimes it took us 6 hours sparingly to come up with an ok song. For “Dirge”, we came into the studio with basically nothing, sometimes I didn’t even have a standby riff to play. It was really a ‘starting from nothing’ process.

Oh, that must have been a crazy experience then. Well, you guys have recently played your shows in US and Europe. How was the whole feel playing in those parts of the globe? How do those gigs differ from the usual Wormrot gigs in south-east Asia?

Rasyid: Actually we suffered from the ‘just another local band’ stigma (in Singapore), until we gained exposure from our touring, and recently, our signing to Earache. Maybe it shows that “hey we’re fucking serious and we’re here to make a difference”. We’ve been getting better attendance numbers in our recent gigs than our early years, definitely. Singapore’s a conservative crowd, but more and more are throwing their inhibitions on the moshpits.

How much have you noticed, in your career till now, that Asian bands are often overlooked by the metal world at other corners of the world?

Rasyid: It’s a sad unjust fact, but it’s not gonna change. We know, and have seen, many quality bands in Asia, but the spotlights are shining too brightly on the other side of the world that they are contented with what they have there. And unfortunately, people in Asia are tuning in to the West much more than they bother about what’s under their noses, contributing to the ‘just another local band’ stigma.

“Just another local band” stigma? Talking about it, I came to know the local bands in Singapore are often overlooked by the crowd there (bands playing in front of ten), while they agree paying even very big amounts to catch international groups live. Is it so?

Rasyid: Yes, it is and it’s common, nothing’s gonna change. That’s why we’re playing more shows in the US and UK. Sometimes you just wonder “why should I ever give a fuck about the Singapore scene”, and the answer lies in those 10 people watching the shows. That is a good enough reason.

That’s a great thing to hear, man. What are you guys’ day jobs by the way?

Rasyid: Right now I’m a driver in a furniture company.

Arif: I’m a freelance artist doing artworks for bands and I can be reached at my website ‘Rotworks’ (http://www.rotworks.net).

So what’s ahead of this, yo? I guess it’s too early to ask but when could we expect another Wormrot release?

Rasyid: FUCK OFF! NOT SO SOON! By the way, thanks for the interview dude!

Arif: A new one? Hahaha! Won’t be too soon brother. Thanks for the interview.

Thanks for the interview, guys. And all the best for everything that’s ahead.

You could check out more about the band through the following links:
http://myspace/wormrotgrind
http://facebook.com/wormrot
http://twitter.com/wormrot
http://wormrot.tumblr.com

– Interviewed by Awaken/The Sickening Art

[This interview was originally taken for KtmROCKS E-Mag Issue 09.]

Devoid is a thrash/death metal band from Mumbai, India. Here’s an interview with them:

Hello guys, firstly, I would like to congratulate Devoid for the awesome international response on your debut album “A God’s Lie”. To begin with, for those who haven’t listened to your music yet, how would you describe a typical Devoid sound?

Thanks a lot for the wishes, man. The awesome international response was surely a pleasant surprise. Hard work does pay off. For people who haven’t heard our music, we are a thrash/death metal band with hint of melodic elements. Conscious efforts have been put in to NOT sound like any other thrash act and hence, it’s an interesting listen.

Devoid has definitely made an impact in the Indian metal scene with the release of the album and the band is obviously getting a healthy amount of exposure in the international metal arena as well. So how has been the six years’ journey till now?

Our six year long journey has been needless to say, tough. Earlier it was the lack of funds to buy good equipments. Later it was the lack of funds to record in a good studio. Determined to come out with an album, we took matters into our own hands. We recorded the whole album at MotorG studios which is the brainchild of Arun (band’s vocalist/guitarist). Recording the album was huge learning curve for the whole band. In these six years, we have not given up and practiced our asses off to become better musicians and more importantly, a tighter metal band. The band’s closest friend and manager, Roydon Bangera has played a very important role. He handles all the business end of the band, which according to us is as important as the band itself. Together with him, we have grown as a unit. Opening for bands like Cradle of Filth and Decapitated, who have been our childhood heroes, was definitely a dream come true. We have set very tough goals for ourselves, so right now we’re nowhere near where we imagine ourselves to be. We’ll be pushing hard as always.

Could you describe the concept behind the album and its name? Any meaning that Kali on your album cover depicts?

The face of Kali is a placeholder for God and why specifically Kali needs no reasons! If any Hindu God/Goddess deserves a spot on a metal album, it would be Kali and it is probably because she is a badass who crushes demons with her feet, then tears them from limb to limb and then wears them as trophies around her neck while obliterating everything everywhere. Very metal. She, the God, is sticking her tongue out because at the tip of it is the source of the meaning in the album title – A God’ Lie. It signifies the divine lie, hot and ready for selling and spreading. The colors and the images on the album are the brainchild of Shakti Dash. He is an intense guy and he knows his trade. He really got into the album and he wanted to represent what he felt through the music and the lyrics.

Tell us something about the recording of the album, which was entirely recorded and produced by the front-man Arun Iyer. How was the experience?

One of the main reasons for us to record this album on our own setup was the lack of funds. We never really intended for it to be a complete DIY project as far as production is concerned but since I (Arun) had dabbled with the recording arts before I thought it’d be much safer and readily available for any last minute tweaks, and believe me there were a million of them. It was a brilliant learning experience for me and I am really looking forward to more. The final sound though on the album was never good enough for me and that stretched on and on for a year till we settled for a sound that was closest to what we had in our heads all along. I understand that in this age records short of pristine quality is thrown right off the window, but to my surprise people have taken the under-produced sound, if you may, rather well. I am not entirely satisfied with the final sound on the album and now, when I spin the album again I usually find more than a few things I’d like to change but that process was seemingly endless. But hey, with jack-diddly for a budget, I think we did just fine.

Was there any reason you had put the “Beer Song” as a bonus track? Is it because of the difference of its lyrical concept as compared to the other songs?

Speaking on behalf of the band and the evident numerous minge sessions, we all love beer! This song was one of the quickest songs that came out of the jam room and though it stood out of our set list, which became a major reason for us to enjoy this song even more. We were scared if this would backfire on us but thankfully it is now a crowd favorite too.

You are among those bands in the world that are reviving the genre of thrash metal. Tell me few of your favorite groups among the revival horde? And also some of your other major influences that you’ve incorporated to make this album?

The first band that comes to my mind is definitely Hypnosia (if they were still around). Their album “Extreme Hatred” according to me is one of the thrash epics. Sadly, they disbanded after the tragic death of their drummer. Amongst the others are Lazarus AD, Destruction, Bonded by Blood, Deathchain, Violator, etc. These bands came out with some really good albums which had that essence of old school aggression but didn’t sound like copycats. We in the band grew up listening to bands like Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Kreator, Sodom, Sepultura, Pantera, Exodus, Cannibal Corpse, Deicide etc and the influence is hence understandable. But, Slayer has had the biggest influence on us. Slayer is the reason why we started this band. We just wanted to be as fast and brutal as them. “A God’s Lie” is a mixture of all our influences and we’ve tried to make the album sound as interesting and not boring or repetitive as possible.

Arun, you were surprised to learn that you also have fans here in Nepal. Had you expected it at first? How about a Devoid gig here in Nepal for us, the Devoid fans?

It’s always makes us happy when someone appreciates our music. When I read on Facebook on one such event page as to how many people wanted to see Devoid live, we were ecstatic. We do hope that someday we get to showcase our music to Nepal.

So what were your expectations out of the album, when you first started working on it?

Honestly we had no time to think about expectations as our prime aim was to record what we felt was our best over the years and since this was our first attempt in recording, we took all the time to make this one count.

It’s sad that the record label you’re signed in, Demonstealer Records has now closed its label division. But I’m confident that there might be few international labels as well, out there who are eyeing on you. What do you think?

Yes, Sahil who owns Demonstealer Records did issue a notice explaining as to why he decided to shut his label. So presumably, our next album will be released on some other record label. About international labels, we leave that responsibility on our manager to select the most suitable option for us. We would love to be on an international label to increase our chances of international tours.

I wonder if you guys have already started writing for your next release. Well, have you? Could you enlighten us a bit about it as well? How different is it going to be from the last album?

Yes, we have started working on some new material although it is a mess right now. We have all the ideas in our head and we just need to execute them in the right manner. We’re taking it easy to get the right sound. It’s going to be a little different from our last album – less melodic and more brutal and faster. That said, we will retain all the elements that make us sound unique.

So how do you see Devoid, lets say, five or ten years down the line?

Touring Europe and recording in a top notch studio.

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

Keep supporting metal, and all deserving bands. We hope we will have the pleasure of spreading our music to Nepal soon. Cheers!

You could check out more about the band in the following links:

http:// facebook.com/pages/DevoidIndia/140937786471
http://reverbnation.com/devoidindia

– Interviewed by Awaken/The Sickening Art

[This interview was originally taken for KtmROCKS E-Mag Issue 09. Caught these guys up in their great practice space at Sanepa. This is not the full version of the interview.]

Hello guys, what’s up with the band lately?

We’re currently working for our sixth studio album. We’ve added a new bassist, Kundan Shrestha (ex-Wings of Spasm) and our former bassist Bhaskar will now be the second guitarist for the band.

A new album? Could you enlighten us a bit about this?

Yes, we have started working on it. We’ve just finished composing one song, which we’ll be playing in the forthcoming gigs. Musically, we’re up to some straightforward black metal this time, with a bit of funeral doom influences. There won’t be any death/grind elements as in our last album “Putrefaction Eternity”, but you could observe some raw black metal and brutal black metal influences within. This will be some primitive, cold and depressive black metal, to speak.

Any concept the album will embrace?

As said above, this time our lyrical theme will revolve around the depressive side, the melancholy of life, built in with dark fantasy.

So when do you think will it be out?

We’re not in hurry for that. This time, we’ll do the thing slowly and steadily. We’ll attempt to achieve the best quality music no matter how long it’ll take. We’re just in the songwriting process and there is no any rush at the moment.

You guys had recently played in Deccan Rock, Hyderabad in your first ever performance in India, which was headlined by Decapitated. How did the tour go? What was your anticipation before the tour, the actual gig and the responses?

Well, it wasn’t any minor thing for us. The anticipation was really huge for all of us. It was an honor to play alongside one of our favorite bands, Decapitated, whom we are following since their debut release. The crowd was a little thinner than what we had expected, about 500 (in the first day), but the gig went awesome, and it was one of the best performances we’ve ever given. After our set, we were stunned with the reaction of people. Those weren’t just “you guys were pretty good” responses, but “man! you guys surprised me, I didn’t know good metal bands existed in Nepal” sort of responses. Obviously, there was a bit of underestimation from the crowd before, thinking that we’re from Nepal. But later, they were literally shocked through our performance, and we were shocked through their reviews. Gaining “the best band of the day” title (in some review) is obviously a huge thing for us. A great appreciation was there for our drummer Surya and guitarist Pankaj, who had better stage presence than rest of us (haha).

After the gig, we could also converse with the guys of Funeral in Heaven (Sri Lanka) and Violent Eve (Spain). They were really cool guys and we have become good friends with Funeral in Heaven.

About the upshot of the gig, I guess it could be an opening of the door for other local bands to the international metal arena. We’ve given them a hint that we have a decent metal underground here and it could be good for our local scene as a whole. So overall, it was a tremendous achievement.

Also, few promoters in India have shared their desire to invite us there, in cities like Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, so hopefully, we’ll be playing there soon. Also, we might be playing in Sri Lanka as well, with the help of our friends in Funeral in Heaven, and we will also be trying to bring them here in Nepal.

Having released five albums, you have a lot of song options to select for a gig. How do you normally select songs?

Well, it’s all in random. There’s no such criterion at all. But sometimes the wish of crowd would drive us pick few songs as “Forever Winter”, “300” and “Infected” which have always been the local crowd favorites.

What was your set-list in Deccan Rock like?

In order, “Pashu Samrajya”, “With Vengeance I Bleed”, “The Ruin of Immortals”, “Winter Blossom ov Ceremonial Grief” and “300”.

So what are the upcoming performance dates in your diary?

The three confirmed are KtmROCKS Black Tour, Nepfest and Silence Festival, the latter one opening for the mighty Vader. Under the Black Tour, we’ll be playing in Pokhara, Dharan and Kathmandu, that’ll take place around Dashain/Tihar. After these concerts, we would probably stop focusing much on playing live for a while and concentrate on our next album.

Your last release “Putrefaction Eternity” had received some critical reviews from the listeners. What do you say?

Our last album was a total experimentation. We had brought together black metal, brutal death metal and grindcore elements all in one mixture. So there was a greater risk of disappointment for the listeners who would want some regular Antim Grahan stuff. It wasn’t purely black metal and it wasn’t purely brutal death metal either. So, with many listeners taking it as a total shocker album, most of the fans of the typical Grahan melodies/symphonies could be dissatisfied.

Nearly 23,000 likes in Facebook. Had you guys expected that you would have such a number of fans when you first started Antim Grahan?

First of all, we hadn’t even expected that there would be something called Facebook, haha. And no, we seriously hadn’t expected this at all, since we were formed just as a college band for the sake having fun without much seriousness (in the beginning that is).

You’ve definitely come a long way observing a drastic change in the local underground. Any new band in scene that you really like?

Yes, there are a lot of excellent bands lately. One of them is Hatebook, who look really promising. Although not so new, we really like Binaash and their straightforward no-bullshit brutal death metal blended with some grind. Also, the black metal band Garudh, whose raw and primitive sounding music we like. And how can we forget Define Mental? Haha.

(I was interviewing there and Surya was playing keys and Niraj was with a guitar so…) You guys seem to be multi-instrumentalists, right? What instruments can each member play?

Parash (vocals): I can play drums.

Surya (drums): I also play guitar, madal, flute and keyboards.

Niraj (keyboards): Flute and guitar.

Pankaj (guitar): Well, I can growl and can also give some drum beats on pop songs, haha.

Bhaskar (guitar): I also play bass and drums.

Kundan (bass): Drums and guitar.

Alright, thank you very much for the interview, guys, and all the best for the upcoming album and the gigs.

– Interviewed by Awaken/The Sickening Art

[This interview was originally taken for KtmROCKS E-Mag Issue 9]

InnerGuilt is a thrash/death metal band from Beirut, Lebanon, who are playing in this year’s Silence Festival, Kathmandu, on October 15. Here’s a short interview:

Hi there. Thanks for taking some time to do this interview. Since most of us here in Nepal are unaware about your band, could you briefly tell us something about InnerGuilt?

Hey, thanks for the interview. The band was formed back in November 2010 by the members Sako (the front-man) and Serge (lead guitarist). Shortly, we had released a single entitled “Burden of Guilt” which got many positive reviews and feedbacks. The first show we played was at Holy Noise, Dubai which was great. After two months we headed to India to perform in Deccan Rock Fest 2011 and got many positive reviews both from the crowd and the reviewers. Currently we are a four piece band and we play thrash/death metal. InnerGuilt are:
Sako Helvajian – Vocals
Serge Keshishian – Lead Guitars
Gary Kabakian – Bass
Christ Michael – Drums

What’s up with the name InnerGuilt? Any philosophy that your lyrical themes follow… or should I say, follows your music?

InnerGuilt is a word that explains the authority’s power against the poor and the weak, the justice that always stands with the guilty; the guilt that lives inside every person and it is reflective towards wealth, power and dissoluteness. It remains inside and is denied by humans, who seem to be clean and white but yet, BEASTS. But the music plays the biggest role in the band and the band’s theme.

The band was formerly called Tristmoon that played melodic black/gothic metal and had also released a full length album under the name. How did the sudden change in name and musical direction come in?

InnerGuilt has nothing to do with Tristmoon. Some of InnerGuilt’s members used to play with Tristmoon and that was it. Now it’s a whole different thing! There is much aggressive theme, music and lyrics now.

You seem to have a varied musical influences then, i.e. from gothic metal to thrash/death metal. What are your individual musical backgrounds?

The gothic part has never been InnerGuilt’s members’ background, but Tristmoon’s. We always knew we would be a thrash/death metal band, and that was the thing. InnerGuilt’s members are mostly influenced by thrash, death, progressive and technical metal music.

Recording anything soon with the new band name and genre on?

Actually we are recording our debut album “Slanderous Society” and hopefully we’ll be able to release it in our Asian tour “Show No Mercy” starting September 2011.

You guys had recently opened for Decapitated in Deccan Rock in Hyderabad, India, with some great reviews. I heard you guys wowed the Decapitated guys as well?

The reviews were all positive and we surely were satisfied. Opening for Decapitated was a dream coming true. This awesome band is one of our biggest death metal influences, and we can’t wait to share the stage with them once again.

Did you guys catch up Antim Grahan from Nepal in that show? Plus have you heard anything metal from Nepalese underground?

I wish we did, but we arrived to Hyderabad in the morning of the second day of Deccan Rock. But I’m sure we’ll catch them soon and many other Nepalese bands as well. Concerning the Nepalese underground, we’re excited to know more about the metal scene over there.

It might be really hard to operate a metal band in a Muslim country like Lebanon. How’s the reaction of the general people over the music? Plus do you see a hint of change on the general taking on it in due time?

With all respect to our Muslim brothers, sisters, friends and fans, Lebanon is not a Muslim country. It’s a mix of 18 different sects! The majority of the population is Christians and Muslims, and it has always been this way. Compared to the middle-east, Lebanon is the ONLY country influenced by the western culture. In the past, a lot of Lebanese bands faced major problems with the cops, but not anymore. Nowadays you can play metal music; you can have long hair, piercing and tattoos. We always have metal festivals and concerts including international acts and local acts.

So how’s the overall metal scene over there? Any cool bands you would want to recommend us?

The scene is great in Lebanon. We have a lot of rising bands with good music like Level 7, Tormented and many more. We have some old and well known bands like The Weeping Willow, Oath to Vanquish, Post Mortem, Element 26, Nocturna, Melancholy and many more.

Thanks for the interview, guys. At last, a final shout-out to end this interview?

We would like to thank you for interviewing us, and all the Nepalese metalheads over there as well. We are looking forward to play in your beautiful country, and make friends and fans. Cheers to you all, best regards from Lebanon.

You can download the band’s single “Burden of Guilt” through their official website: http://innerguilt.com.

Interviewed by Awaken/The Sickening Art