Wednesday, July 29, 2009
BURIAL RITUAL from Milwaukee are an invincible proof, that Old School Death Metal still kicks ass. That insane band just released thei first album “Tower Of Silence” and I have talked with singer Chris Brooks about it. If you are into atmospheric and blasting Death Metal like VITAL REMAINS or NILE you will have a lot of fun with them!
Hi Chris, how are you man? How is it going with your first album?
I'm doing great, thanks for the interview! Everything is going really well with the album. It's getting a lot of good feedback, so I'm very pleased. It's taken 2 years to write, record, and finish this album, so we're all feeling very accomplished.
What's behind the meaning of “Tower Of Silence”, please explain it!
The "Tower of Silence" is a very old method for disposing of the dead. When a person dies, they're taken to the top of the tower where they are left to decompose in the sun, as well as being picked clean by birds and insects. I thought this would be a fitting title for the album since it flows with the theme of the whole band, which focuses on death, the occult, and burial practices.
How did you find out about Zoroastrians. What's the fascination behind it?
I found out about it through random research into burial practices when I was trying to come up with material for lyrics. After reading more into it I was fascinated, and incorporated the entire practice from death, decomposition, and eventual disposal of what remains. I've always believed that lyrics should tell a story or have some point to them and not just be a collection of random this's and that's.
Tell me something about the band!
Our band has a sick work ethic! We try to play as often as possible and will sometimes play several shows a week for months on end. We love playing live, we're definitely a band that is all about the music. Intensity is something we really focus on, and if we don't walk off the stage absolutely exhausted, then we didn't do a good enough job!
On Myspace you name lots of musical influences, but there are almost no death metal bands and most all of them don't fit with your music on the first blink. Is there something that I have missed?
Our band is quite eclectic in our personal music tastes, most of us also listen to other forms of music besides extreme metal. In fact, our guitarist really doesn't even listen to death metal! I think that's a very good thing because we're able to bring new elements into our songwriting due to our diverse musical backgrounds, and we try to keep each new song interesting and different from the last.
In my eyes “Tower Of Silence” is an unblemished old school album! And a great one! But do you really believe that it will break the mold of the genre as it says on Myspace?
Thanks! I hope it does, or at least moves us in the right direction. We're not the kind of band that is trying to be faster and more brutal than everyone else out there, in my opinion too many bands are attempting to pull that off and what you get is a ton of music that all sounds the same. Perhaps instead of breaking new ground, we want to go back to the roots of metal and perhaps do things a bit differently and bring our musical perspective to light. I've always been a fan of stripped down, no frills metal that kicks you right in the teeth, I don't believe that music has to be super technical to be good.
“Atop the Funeral Pyre” departs from the other songs with it's melodic touch. Is it something that you wanted to do, something you would try out?
Most definitely, and we plan on doing more songs like that in the future. Melodic music kicks so much ass and is very fun to write, so expect us to incorporate it even more into our ever evolving sound. In my opinion, it takes a lot of talent for a band to successfully write melodic music and make it rock, which is why I'm such a fan of bands like Vital Remains. Songs like 'Dechristianize' and 'Scorned' have so much feeling behind them and aren't simply a wall of noise, which sets them apart from everyone else. I'm hoping Burial Ritual can be at that level some day.
What about “ Fantasy of Rape” Is it so hard in Wisconsin to convince a chick to stay?
Haha, the women in Wisconsin are great! We literally threw that song together about a week before we were supposed to record the album, and I finished writing the lyrics the night before I had to lay down the vocal tracks. The song is inspired by an ex-girlfriend of mine and all the horrible things I'd love to do to her, so it all worked out in the end! 'Fantasy of Rape' is one of my favorite tracks off the album, and few fun to play live since I always dedicate it to the ladies!
The outro reminds me peripheral on NILE. Coincidence or on purpose?
A little bit of both. We weren't intentionally trying to copy Nile's sound, but we wanted an outro that had the same kind of atmosphere behind it. 'The Gathering Storm' is actually going to be the intro for the first track off the next album, so it definitely sets the mood for what's to come. The new song will jump in at the climax of the outro before the wind blowing, so everyone has a little taste of the next album already!
If each bandmate has different musical tastes, how does songwriting work? Is it democracy or despotism?
Democracy all the way. Everyone in the band contributes to the songwriting, and believe it or not we all kind of know what we want to hear without having to fight over it. I started playing guitar almost 2 years ago to help out with writing guitar riffs, and I wrote all the riffs save for one in 'Benedict's Last Breath'. When we write we all throw out suggestions and then piece the song together bit by bit, and the whole process goes by pretty smoothly. I write almost all the lyrics myself, though from time to time the rest of the band will throw in suggestions.
On that album you use 2 Songs from your earlier released EP. Why? Are they the same songs or variations?
Actually, 'Tower of Silence' features all new songs, we didn't use anything from the 'Last Rites' EP. We considered adding a song from the EP to the album, but decided against it since our sound has changed quite a bit since our first 4 track release.
Lyrics are about death and burials. Do you tell the people just anything or are real “investigations” behind it ( besides the title track)? Are there so many ways to get corpses under the soil?
Every song has some kind of story behind it as I mentioned earlier, I don't believe that lyrics should be pointless and simply "there to be there". I do research when I get stumped on writing lyrics, but since I'm also an amateur author it comes fairly easily to me. On the next album there is going to still be a focus on burial practices, though I also plan on writing about ancient torture methods and devices, and how it was all done. There's a lot of material out there to cover, and if bands like Nile can write so many incredible albums based entirely off of Egyptian culture, then we should have no problem cranking out tons of songs with interesting topics.
Cover artwork and logo have crucial changes by comparison with your EP. Do you think that comic styled graphic fits to your music more?
We wanted to do something a little more fitting with our band, the album, and what we're trying to accomplish compared to our EP. I think it works for us so far, though I wouldn't be opposed to having a more graphic cover for the next album. We'll have to see!
Who had the idea for your album cover. That pic stays obviously in direct connection with the album title. What about the Myspace appeal for a graphic artist?
We all sort of had an idea of what we wanted, which was a 'Tower of Silence' in the background, and decomposing bodies around it. We found an artist that could bring that vision to life, and I think he did a great job. I'm not sure if we'll use the same artist for the next album or not, because we want to find the best person we can to take our ideas and make something out of it.
Your album is self released. Was no-one interested? Or is it the way you want to go?
I'd certainly love to get signed to a label, but we haven't had any offers yet. We've been sending out copies of the album to all kinds of labels both indie and major, so we'll have to see if someone takes interest. For now though, I'm happy with being underground.
Aren't you afraid you'll get a lack of ideas in the future? What is your propulsion?
Not at all, with our diverse musical background and the vast wealth of subject material for me to write about, I think we'll be cranking out songs for a long time. Hopefully if we can get some label support we can focus even more of our energies on writing music, because this is something we all want to do with out lives. We strive to better ourselves and keep our fans wanting more, because there's nothing more satisfying for us than to see and hear people enjoy our music.
I think that's enough, last spot is yours!
Thanks again for the interview! I just want to thank all of our great fans for the support over the years, without you this band would not be where it is today. Keep supporting the underground, and stay sick!
BURIAL RITUAL myspace