Jason (J) was lucky enough to catch up Andi (A – Bass) & Mike (B – Drums) of the legendary Welsh death metal band Desecration on a recent UK tour. Here is how the chat went down…
(J) Evening gents. First of all, thank you for spending the time to have a quick chat. So: Malaysia, Russia, Spain… and then Rhyl! Do you guys only play the exotic locations then?
(A) Yeah – One minute it was Bangkok, and then it was Rhyl! I know which one i prefer… I love North Wales!
(J) How was it out there in Asia – well i hope?
(A) It was fantastic, we had some technical issues in Malaysia with the PA dropping out all the time, so that was the least fun we had.
(M) When we say “the least fun”, it was still great though!
(J) So how did it all come about then? Was it just an unmissable opportunity or something you had always planned to do?
(A) We went over to Singapore at the end of 2012 but we ended up having our set cut really short was the event over-ran, but the promoter had promised to have us go back. So while we were going out there, they booked us a couple more gigs, and we also made a contact for Thailand and booked a show there too.
(J) You made the most of it while you were out there then?
(M) Absolutely – we did yeah!
(J) You’ve really busy touring for the last couple of years and been very prolific on the circuit, yet your last album was release way back in 2008 (Forensix)! First of all, what has the reaction been like to the disk?
(M) We’ve had really good feedback from that album. But we wont release anything unless we are ready to release it. We’ve always written stuff in our own time, and so if it takes 6, 7 years to get it out, at least you can guarantee it will be a quality product every time.
(A) We have been writing over the last year or so though, but it does take a little while as we have other bands in the mix. Ollie (Guitars and Vocals) and I are also spending time in Extreme Noise Terror, and Mike is playing with Onslaught, so when we get together thing were happening! The new album is pretty much finished (writing wise), and is just in the stages of being mixed now.
(M) The actual recording process was slowed down as well as we had some problems in the studio – without that, its likely the new album would have been out 6 months ago perhaps? We pretty much lost everything and had to re-record it again.
(J) No way, that’s a nightmare! And your not the first band I’ve heard this happen too. So, where do you guys stand in terms of recording process as ive seen a lot of bands claiming to be going back to “old school” recording methods. IE Without the use of triggered drums etc.
(M) Specifically – the triggers thing is almost certainly a lie! (Laughter!) But many people misunderstand the terminology of “triggers” as its usually there. It unlikely you’ll find a metal album out there that hasnt had some drum re-triggering. You might find lots of good, natural sounds from the drums if they’ve used quality mics and a good engineer, but you’d be hard pushed but it is all about “your” choice of sound really. We’ve recorded the drums for the new album in my own studio and we’ve done a great job of capturing them.
(J) With Desecration having been in the game for around 20 years now, how do you feel about the “old” way of recording versus the “new”?
(A) A few years ago when we were talking about the album we’ve just finished, we had toyed with the idea of recording it in a really old school/Motorhead kind of way, but the nature of the music doesn’t always lend itself to that, as it needs to be more precise and sharper. We certainly all prefer the older Death Metal style and sound, and we are still a traditional band in terms of riff/song writing!
(J) Are you able to tell us when the new material will see the light of day?
(M) Well, we’ve been playing some of it live for a little while, and we will tonight as well, but the artwork is done and we are just doing the mixing, so once we are happy with that, its should be in the next few months – or, however long it takes to press the CD’s and vinyl! (Laughter!)
(J) So, we cant have a chat without mentioning Desecration’s first full length release: “Gore and Perversion” which back in the day caused all sorts of controversy (Due to its album artwork, song titles and lyrical content, accumulating in it being banned from sale! – Editor); is this something the band have since reflected on at all, and do you think it helped to launch the band in any way?
(M) Yeah, of course it helped, i mean look, people are still talking about it now!
(A) It gave the band some notoriety or whatever, and it helped get the band noticed before they started gigging all over the place.
(M) I wouldn’t call it a gimmick, but every band has there “thing”, it wasn’t deliberate, it just so happens its now the “thing” everyone knows us by.
(J) Do you guys still keep an eye on the underground Death Metal scene? Do you actively follow whats happening?
(M) I don’t get much chance to see whats going on but i still like it, I’m still a fan! I do go to gigs when and where i can but its normally through other people now like when they are at my studio etc.
(A) I certainly try to keep my hand in!
(J) I’d had a look at your website (www.desecration.co.uk) and noticed a few vinyl releases on there – is this something you guys are fans of, or perhaps even collect?
(M) Well, we originally had some produced as we liked it, even though it wasn’t a big seller in the UK, it is something that does well abroad… In fact we sold-out of all the vinyl we had on the first date in Bangkok!
(A) It has become a more recent trend that people are choosing options like a vinyl release with a download code more and more, as you get the best of both worlds – you get the nice picture disk as well as the instant delivery of the digital tracks. The new album will also get a vinyl release as well so those that love that sort of thing get a nice collectors item.
(J) Do you think bands will start to ignore a CD release in the future?
(A) I think so, as i think people have always loved vinyl but suddenly it is a bit more fashionable again. We’ve always been vinyl fans, and i think everyone that’s in a band wants to have one of their releases on vinyl!
(J) Just as a generic interview question! What have you guys been listening to in the van while on tour?
(A) & (M) Ah! Well, we had some Cinderella, Steel Panther, Deep Purple, some Status Quo, Thin Lizzy, Danzig, ZZ Top!!
(A) To be fair, that’s probably more metal than we would normally listen to while on tour!
(M) Yeah, once we’ve played a set and need to chill out afterwards we’ve been known to listen to Jamiroquai or The Brand New Heavies or anything with a bit of funk!
(J) Any final thoughts or anything you’d like to tell our readers?
(M) Yeah, make sure you listen to our new album (“Cemetery Sickness” – Details below) as its fuckin awesome ! I know every band says this, but we’re not contracted to put anything out, and we don’t put rubbish out!
(J) Thanks again for your time guys, and cant wait to see you play later on – All the best!