Let´s start with a compliment: Your new album “Clients” is one of the very few album with a very high technical standard that doesn´t give me a headache. The album can hardly be put in a certain category but I´d say that it combines elements of Death Metal, Grindcore and Hardcore. How would you describe your own music and is there a bigger compliment than saying that your music is hard to categorize?
You nailed it, pretty much. We're a death/grind/hardcore band with all sorts of progressive and experimental elements and outside influences. We like the idea of doing something different and trying to think outside the box. I'm glad it doesn't give you a headache.
As I said before: The songs on “Clients” have a high technical standard and are very diverse. How do you write songs? I guess you just want to keep it exciting for yourself, but when you´re rehearsing, are you just jamming until there´s something like a song or is everything planned like “Hey, I´ve got an idea for a cool break. What do you have?”?
one member will bring the skeletal structure of a song. It usually gets to a
certain point and there's a little something missing that the rest of us will
come forward and add our influence and ideas. We write slowly and some songs
have taken months to finalize.
With bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan and Into The Moat getting more popular: Is making music more and more complex the only way to keep it interesting?
sir. Look at bands like Isis and Cult of Luna that are taking a more minimalist
approach. I think it's gotten to a point where certain bands are too focused on
technicality. Our focus is songwriting. We could definitely play more technical
material than we have currently, but we chose not to and try to vary things up
without going way over the top. Most of the stuff I listen to lately tends to be
slow and heavy.
The closing instrumental “He was dead when I got there” sounds totally different than the rest of the album. Is there a certain story behind it?
was a sad, epic piece that I feel really rounded out the record. The rest of the
disc was so all over the place that I think the return to melody and simplicity
was a good place to finish.
I don´t have the lyricsheet but I can´t help but get the impression that there´s some kind of concept behind “Clients” or at least some kind of headline for the whole album. Am I totally wrong?
sir. You're actually quite right. A Client is simply anyone is a patron of a
store. I liked the term because it was vague, broad and absolutely universal
because no one can realistically make it through life without being someone
else's client. The basis being that when you put us under a microscope,
from an outside point of view, we get a whole lot weirder. Maybe not to the
extent of the Antman and Black Santa, but you can't truly perceive your flaws
the same way some outsider can.
The whole record is about different individuals who have been plagued in some way by an range of social, mental or circumstantial affliction. A lot of it has to do with mental disorders, substance addiction and themes of hubris and tragedy that take these different characters from the top of the world into a state of hell on earth, scrounging at the bottom of the barrel. Most of the songs have long, in depth explanations and started out being inspired by a real life person that was then bastardized and morphed by imagination into these larger-than-life, super hero/super villains
The cover art is based around the Antman character. He is basically one of the main players in the record and as a person in real life, the man who the painting was based on was the first person to get me writing about the concept of Clients.
In Europe your first album “Fused together in revolving doors” was released through the Dutch Hardcore label Reflections Records. Now you´re signed to Metal Blade. What are the main differences between working with a Hardcore label and being with Metal Blade (besides the fact that Metal Blade is much bigger)?
share a common ethic and understanding with us since they come from very similar
origins. They couldn't necessarily afford to give us a ton of money to record or
ship a shitload of albums, but they give everything their all and I can't even
begin to explain how much I appreciate everything they've done with us. Metal
Blade was a logical step to help us progress as a band. We're very happy to be
working with them.
According to the info you were on the “Alternative Press” list of “100 bands to save you from corporate Rock”. I think that´s a great reward for all the work you put into the band. Do you think it´s cool or is it exaggerated? Are there even some worries about becoming part of a hype?
about hype is for bands that have time to worry. We tour a lot and we deliver a
strong performance live. If the masses don't get it, they don't get it. I never
expected AP to step up and give us an honor like that and I don't necessarily
expect their readers to really understand or care about us. If they care,
great. If not, we're still going to keep churning out of music the way we want
to and it's no skin off our back.
Can you imagine why heavy music is so popular at the moment? Do you think that this is a trend that will be replaced by something new in the near future and that the popularity of heavy music will get back to “normal”?
think music has been getting more extreme for a long time now. There's an
oversaturation of new heavy bands coming out, which can definitely burn out a
genre. However, I think the influence set forth by some of the biggest bands of
the genre can only really further the heavy music movement in the future. Five
to ten years back, bands like Sepultura, Earth Crisis and Vision of Disorder got
pretty sizeable. Whether kids get burnt out on Lamb of God and Killswitch
remains to be seen, but their influence can only further what the younger bands
10 years from now are creating.
You just returned from being on tour. How has the tour been? Any plans for a European tour, yet?
was great. Lots of shows. Lots of crap. It was fun. We're coming to Europe
October 20-November 20th with Bury Your Dead. It'll be a gas, I'm sure.
Which audience do attract? Are there more Metalheads in the crowd than Hardcore-kids?
a good mix of everybody now. I really enjoy the audience we pull because it's so
diverse and it's good to see so many different people in the same place enjoying
the same thing.
Have you realized any changes concerning security since the killing of Dimebag Darrell?
sir. That was a freak thing done by a nut. You can't really plan for something
ridiculous like that.
That´s it. Thank you very much for doing this interview!
for taking the time. See you when we come overseas!