Actually I didn't think that Martyr AD would ever come up with the answers to the questions I sent them, because I sent the e-mail like three months ago! But finally I found a mail in my inbox (thanks Dana for your help!). Well, the interview is here, but the answers are quite boring to be honest. I mean it's not like I do the same kind of interviews all the time (at least I hope not), I really spent some time thinking about the questions. Therefore I find it kinda annoying if the answers are shorter than the single questions. Anyway, Martyr AD's latest record rules, so you should read the interview anyway...
Hey Tara, anything from your side to start this interview off with?
hey this is tara from martyr ad. sorry it has taken so long to respond. we've been on tour for 3 months and don't have access to a computer that often.
Congratulations! "On earth as it is in hell" is a real killer album in my eyes! Concerning the heaviness and the sheer brutality of the songs I'm sure you must be pretty satisfied with the record? How have the reactions to the album been so far? Anything else than praise would surprise me!
the reaction to the record has been amazing. it's better than we expected. we were a little nervous considering its been a few years since our last record came out.
Between "On earth..." and your first record "The human condition in 12 fractions" is a period of three long years. What were the reasons for this long break? If I am right you had to replace two members, so was that line-up change responsible for this pause? And also the change from Ferret to Victory, was that also a reason why it took you so long to come up with a follow-up to "The human condition..."?
yeah we had a couple of member changes. andy and karl from holding on joined the band next year and me and joel, the guitarist, were planning a wedding, so it was a really busy time. we had changed from ferret to victory a long time ago so it didn't really have anything to do with it.
As I said it took you three years to come up with the successor to "The human condition...", so do the words in the booklet "Thanks to all our friends, family, and everyone who has helped us out, supported us, and stuck with us through all the fuckin' shit" refer to this particular time? I guess these three years were not that easy for you, because many bands came up with brutal albums after Martyr AD and gained lots of attention, attention that Martyr AD had deserved! Did you also think about that? Please describe your feelings during this break.
i don't know. that's a tough question. it's hard being out of the spotlight because people have a short attention span so they will forget about you if you're not out there. it was personally frustrating because i hate being at home. i love touring so i was miserable being at home.
Did you ever think about breaking up during this time and if so, what made you go on?
yeah, i don't think it was really discussed but i thought about it because it was a long break. i'm fucking glad we didn't though.
How did you survive the last three years, did you work in regular jobs, did you study, etc.? Have there been any tours or shows during this period of time?
yeah we all work regular jobs when were home, we still do. we didn't really play any shows except for a fest in Germany (Yep, that was Pressure Fest in Essen in 2002 that I attended. And Martyr AD rocked!! - Stefan). that was the beginning of the new martyr ad.
Let's talk a little bit more about "On earth...": When did you write the songs for this record? Were they finished a long time before you went to the studio or did you write music over the whole three years?
we really waited to write the record when we got permanent members which was hard because there was a lot of pressure from victory to get the record out. we did it in a couple of months.
Did you write any songs before the line-up change and if so, did you use any of those or did you start all over again?
we only had a couple of songs written or finished before andy and karl joined because we weren't really motivated considering we didn't know if we would find anyone.
How long did you record the album? Did you record it in one session or did you go to the studio over a longer period of time with longer breaks in between the single recording sessions?
we did it in a couple of weeks. we were there for 12 hours a day. it wasn't the most fun i've had recording. i was definitely glad when it was over.
How did the recording process for "On earth..." look like? Which instrument did you record first, which came next etc.? And what was the job of producer Joel Johnson? Did he had an impact on the songs as well or were they completely arranged when you entered the studio so that he was "only" turning the knobs?
well, you always have to do the drums first, and then i think we did bass, and then each guitar individually. joel basically wrote all of the songs. he was just put on there because he arranged and wrote everything.
I could imagine that the lyrics on the new record were influenced by the depressing three year pause, is that correct? Or are the lyrics dealing with something completely different?
(Strangely, Tara didn't answer this question. Maybe she overlooked it or simply didn't like it?! - Stefan)
As I said before, you had a line-up change after "The human condition...". What were the reasons for this and who left the band and when? Do you still get along with the ex-members?
basically, we just weren't friends with the singer mike, and justin just wasn't into it anymore. he was having a difficult time with his double bass so he left. it's not fun being in a band that you're not friends with.
Please give me all information about the two new members, did they play in other bands before, how did you find them etc.
andy and karl were both in a band from minneapolis called holding on. when that band finished it just was the perfect fit for them to join. it was funny how it happened considering that we were friends with them for a really long time.
Apart from the line-up change you also changed the record label: Ferret put out "The human condition..." while the new album comes out on Victory Records. What was the reason for this and why did you decide to sign with Victory? Were there any other interested labels (which ones)?
at the time, ferret was not giving his label 100% and we didn't think the record would have gotten the right distribution. of course now that's his full time job so he concentrates fully on that but were happy to be on victory. they really came to us and showed interest. there were one or 2 other labels but victory was the best choice for us.
Now another strange thing happens: Tara just stopped answering the last questions I had! Maybe she decided to do the rest of the interview later and then just forgot about it and sent the mail. Or maybe they are on tour again and don't have access to a computer... Anyway, here's the rest of my questions which I'd really have seen to be answered. Oh well...
On "The human condition..." you could hear lots of influences from your former band Disembodied I think, with Martyr AD being even more brutal! Apart from these influences you can make out more Thrash riffs and drum parts on the new record, too. Sometimes I think one can hear out bands like The Haunted. Would you agree on the description of your current sound or am I totally wrong here? How would you characterize "On earth..."?
As I said some of you guys played in Disembodied before, so was that kind of a burden for you in the beginning of Martyr AD as Disembodied was a very popular band? Or did you have lots of attention from the very beginning because of that and was that an advantage for you?
I saw you on stage in 2002 (or 2003??) in Germany at the Pressure Fest in Essen and I think you were one of the best and brutal bands during the three days of the festival. How did you like this festival and will you come over to Europe soon for a full tour (I hope so!!)?
I remember right you said during your set on that particular festival
"Have fun with Hatebreed, the best Hardcore band on this planet."
What makes this band so special for you and did you like the Youth of Today
reunion as Youth of Today also played on that festival?
Nowadays more and more bands with a Hardcore background play Metal influenced music, and I have the impression that shows with both Metal and Hardcore bands are quite a normal thing these days. What do you think is the reason for that? I mean some years ago it was kinda impossible to see both Hardcore and Metal bands on the same stage...