Friday, April 23, 2010
Exhale was founded in the summer 2004 by guitarist Johan and drummer Gustav. Since both had been raised with Brutal Truth, Napalm Death, Nasum and similar grindcore-acts they went with the concept "grind is the shit, let´s make some". After a few rehearsals they went to a studio to record some hard grinding tracks. The studio engineer Ulf took place as a vocalist and Karl was brought in to handle the bass. Three tracks were recorded and finally released as "...die inside" in august the 4th. Late 2004 new bass player Johan is added to the lineup.
Spring 2005 Exhale made a bunch of live performances and recorded a full-length album. After trouble with a Spanish label Exhale later signed with Emetic Records to release the album and "PROTOTYPE" was released early 2006. Soon after, Ulf quits and new vocalist Peter joins. After touring Europe in 2006 and touring the US in 2007 the writing of a new album begins. Viktor joins as a second guitarist and quits soon after. Andreas make a try on the axe and proves to be up for the job. After touring Sweden in 2008, the last details of the unnamed album are done and discussions are starting with different labels. Early 2010 Exhale signs to Dark Balance records for the release of the most furious and chaotic grind/death album yet, titled: "BLIND".
Tell me about the band! What is the state of play currently?
We are five regular guys who share a passion for music. Started in -04 and since that evolving into the well-oiled bone-chrushing grinding machine.
To what extent has the stuff been changing and what has influenced the musically orientation? Or was it way clear from the beginning?
We added a new guitarist and got a new singer, this combined with more experience and the will to take the music a step further to what we think is grindcore. In the beginning we didn´t have a real vision of the sound, we just wanted to create some hard grinding music. The sound has developed since the start and will continue to do so.
Many people approach you close to NASUM. Are you bothered about that? Or is it maybe your satiated aim?
We are not bothered about it, and Nasum is not our main influence either. We just want to play fast music and Nasum is the kings of grind so the comparison is inevitable.
I mean musically it's unmistakable. And the bandname...you can´t get out of this. Beside that comparisons' you have the power to kick yourself forward...I´m sure. Have you got your own identity? Your own special way to feel and live Grindcore?
No it´s true. We took the name from Nasums "Inahle/ Exhale", but we just wanted to play some fast, hard, grindcore and and did not care if the sound was/is similiar to another band.
Tell me about your album "Blind" and the way of production into the studio.
Blind was recorded in the same studio as “Prototype”. It´s recorded by our former singer Ulf Blomberg, and it was recorded in two sessions.
You have some kind of Sunlight sound on that album. Was that in your mind from the beginning or was it blind chance?
I think the Sunlight studiosound is the best you can get. So we tried to get our sound similiar to that audiopicture.
By the way...blind. What do you mean by blind? Blind for what?
People are in general blind to what is happen around them, people have to open their eyes, start to think critical, and questioning their sourrondings. Short said: Dont´ swallow everything you beeing feed with.
One of my faves is "Paperwings". What is it about lyrically?
It´s about having the courage to take a step beyond your comfort zone and broadening your horizon, growing as a person even though there may be a risk involved.
"Fools"is a pretty catchy song. Tell me about who are the fools?
The "fools" are the ones you don´t want to be, the ones that only seek material happiness when there´s so much more to life.
It seems you have a foot in the door of real Swedish Death Metal. Not on the firs look, but if I hear "Turning Blind" I feel some of the spirit of the early days. What means it that for you? Is it just for fun?
Classic Swedish death metal has always been a inspiration for us, but when it comes to writing songs we just do what we feels to do to, if it in the end result in a swedish deathmetal sound then be it.
"Blind" deals with high speed and a lot of aggression. Because that, is it all the important to use some decent heavy parts to go ahead. Or am I wrong?
A mix of fast and heavy parts are necessary to keep the songs dynamic and more interesting to the listener. And the different kinds of riffs and beats also give each other more effect when they are mixed up with different tempos.
Would you say "Blind" is a typical Swedish product? Never thought about having to deal with other influences, other styles? Are you proud about swedish scene?
Yes it probably is since we are coming from Sweden and have the Swedish scene in our blood. We are proud about the Swedish scene, it´s good grindbands that are coming from Sweden like - Nasum, Regurgitate, Saayadina, Arson Project and so on.
Don't you think the running time of "Blind" is a bit too short? Maybe it leads people just to rip it for free from the net instead of buying it?
Those who plan to download the album will do so anyway regardless of how long the runningtime is. Quality can´t be measured in minutes for example: " Reign in blood" is shorter than our album but still worth it´s weight in gold. We could always fill the album with 10 more songs but it wouldn´t be songs where happy with and that wouldn´t be good for anyone.
Is "Blind" something like a follow up to "Prototype". Or were you looking for some "new shoes"?
It´s a follow-up to prototype but what you hear on “Blind” is just the natural development of the band. We wanted to to take the music a Stepp further to next level without losing what we where satisfied with earlier.
Your album has been ready for some months now. What's with the delay? Are you pissed off? Are you disappointed with Shane Embury and Feto Records?
The reason for the dealy was labelbussiness. We had a deal and a releasedate witch didn´t actually result in a release wich of course made us dissapointed at the moment, but Kim of Dark Balance did an amazing job and weré really happy with the result and how everything tourned out in the end.
Is Dark Ballance really the right label now, I meam they deal with a lot of metal, but grind seems to be new ground for them. Does it not play a roll? What do you expect from the label?
DB has done more for us than we expected already. And the label is not the only contact with the world a band got, and we can set up a lot of things ourselfs. Though contacts we´ve established through the years. In any case, DB will defenately keep doing a great job.
Any firm intentions for the near future? Or do you take things as they come?
We are going to do as many shows as possible and record and release new material as soon as possible. We always make plans for the future but sometimes things don´t work out the way we plan. But that´s life.
Last spot is yours!
Thanks for taking time and having interest in Exhale, check out our shows and keep the scene alive!! http://www.myspace.com/exhaleswe
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Well kiddies its “Ali the great Metallian” (and altar boy) back with yet another interview with underground legend Jeff Becerra from “POSSESSED”. If you haven’t heard of them, then you have been living under a rock for the past 25 years! Possessed hail from California , and are the death metal masters of their time… Napalm Death coined the phrase “grind Core” AxCx coined the phrase “noise core”, Possessed coined the phrase "Death metal", and their still going strong today, 25 years later!!!!
Greetings Jeff – How are things in sunny California?
Things are truly fantastic. I have lived in California my entire life and it is just a fantastic place to be. Tons of clubs and metal bands and the scene (while not as big as it used to be) is really good. It seems like the California fans really know their metal and aren't afraid to show it.
How are things holding up with the new line up of Possessed?
Terrific! We all get along very well and are truly like an extended family. These guys have all been big Possessed fans since the 7 Churches album and were so heavily influenced by Possessed for so long that it feels just like it did back in the day. And the fact that we actually like each other and get along so well makes it just that much better. Before it felt like I was married to three ugly women...now it feels like a real family. I have a ton of respect for Rick, Bay, Ernesto and Emilio and that is a major plus when you have to spend so much time around each other. You can really get to know your band when touring and honestly, they just are all great guys and it is an honor and a pleasure working with them. They are professional and really into what I/we are doing and trying to achieve with this new project. We have some really cool new songs that we are writing and I am very pleased with the new direction that we are embarking on.
How did you coin the term “death metal”. It seems like an obvious term to use, but yet you defined the term for many, many bands to come.
To be honest, Black Metal, Speed Metal and Thrash Metal were already terms being used. With Possessed we intentionally started out wanting to be different than all of those genres. We wanted to be faster, heavier and darker than any of the bands that were out there back in the Early 80s. Death Metal just seemed like it described what we were doing and since we were really trying to be an original band, It just came natural for me to write the song Death Metal. I had no idea when I wrote it that it would actually become a genre. But I did know that it was a cool and heavy song. I guess I just got super lucky that the fans/supporters dug it so much that it grew into what it did.
Any plans of new material from the new line up besides the contribution you did on the tribute CD? Which I have to say, it was a really good CD.
First let me say, "Thank You" for the compliment. I was really happy with how The Exorcist turned out on that tribute as well. I thought it sounded deeper and heavier than the old Possessed and fit well into the more contemporary style of Death Metal that is out there today. We are currently writing some new material and it is definitely in the works. We are not in a huge hurry but just really taking our time to get it right. It is extremely important to me that the new material is well received by Possessed fans/supporters both new and old so I want to put all I have into it. I have one song called "The God That Never Was" and another entitled "Ritual Belief". That is all the information that I want to give up at this time about the new material as I really want it to be a surprise. I think with the new Possessed material it will put us back on the map and people will see that we are the real deal and actually a much better band than the old Possessed.
You influenced many bands, even to this day your music still inspires many to pick up a pen and write or join a band. How does that make you feel?
It makes me feel terrific! I mean that is really what it is all about. In the music world everybody is influenced by another. And whenever I hear people say that they are/were influenced by my music it really feels good. It makes me feel like I have contributed something positive to this world and really inspires me to keep on playing. As long as there are people out there that still want to come to my shows and want to hear what I am doing I will be up there doing it. That's why whenever I see bands up there like Motorhead and Exodus it gives me a lot of inspiration. But when I see a lot of the younger and newer bands that cite Possessed as their influence it validates what I am doing and really just proves that Death Metal is here to stay.
I understand you are in a club of sorts called the NYDM? The NYDM is known to have a chapter in almost every state within the USA and has even reached over seas with chapters there as well. Care to elaborate on what the club is and what it does?
Yes. The NYDM is an underground music club that is dedicated to promoting the players and the underground music scene in general. We are a very exclusive club and completely down for our cause, the scene our brothers and sisters and music in general. The NYDM is like a family to me and I am extremely honored to be a part of it. Recently I have been promoted to NYDM National West Coast Regional President and I also am the California President as well. It is a huge part of my life and I will always think of myself as NYDM until the day I die. This club was started by Will Rahmer (Mortician) and Randell Salmon back in the day and now it has grown to be an International World-Wide Metal Club. NYDM is the largest metal club in the world and the real deal. There are many who try to copy what we do but none of them compare to the NYDM. I am very proud and honored to be a part of the NYDM.
What happened to Possessed after “Beyond the Gates”? It was almost the height of the band, you guys were exploding on the scene, and then you were gone. What happened?
Actually "The Eyes Of Horror" was our last official project together. I guess what happened is that we were all very young back then and like you just said we "exploded" so fast that it was all really just overwhelming to us. For the longest time everything was going perfect. We all got along and life was great. But after a while it just seemed like nobody was into it anymore (except for me). I loved playing in Possessed and it was my life. But then Larry quit too go join up with another band and Mike and Mike said that it would just be too much work to train another guitarist. I begged them that we should stay together and that we had a good thing going. But they just didn't want to go on and I couldn't make them stay. So that was that. I personally think it was the biggest mistake that they ever made. But since they were no longer into it I would rather us to have broken up then to do it when all of us were not 100% into it. But on the bright side of it. After we disbanded I got a chance to go to College and have a family and make a good life for myself doing something else besides metal and I think that helped me to be a well rounded person in life. So now this time around I know what it is all about and know how to handle things a lot more.
I know Mike Torreo tried to carry on with different members and holding onto the Possessed name, and even recorded a couple demos, but nothing ever came out of it. Do you still talk with the other guys?
Actually no. I don't talk to the guys anymore.
I have read some interviews in the past few years with Larry LaLonde, and someone always tries to sneak in a Possessed question on him. He will never elaborate on his time with the band, as almost he doesn’t care to share his contributions he did with Possessed or even to the death metal underground.
I haven't actually got to see or read any of Larry's interviews yet. But I have heard that he doesn't like to relive his Possessed past at all. I guess now that he has been with Primus he just wants to be recognized for that. I don't think he is very proud of his being in Possessed. For what reason I don't know. I would think that he would be proud to have been a part of the creation of the DM scene. But who knows what makes him tick. I still love Larry as he is a great guy and he was a good friend and brother to me back in the day. Always happy with a positive outlook on things.
Does it feel different to not have Mike Sus, Mike Torres and Larry LaLonde in the band with you? Or do you feel you will still be able to create the feeling that Possessed has created even with new members?
To tell you the truth it feels much better now then back then. We had always thought about getting a new drummer even back in the day and almost did at one point whenever Sus didn't have double bass. But then he got double bass so he stayed in. And we had Brian Montana at first so we also made a guitar change. With changes in Possessed it always made the band better. So like-wise the new changes in Possessed were made to make the band better. And Possessed is a better band now. More professional an tight and the fact that we all get along so well is just a cherry on the top. I think that all bands throughout history have made changes to better themselves and Possessed is no different. Sometimes we just need to embrace change instead of trying to make something work that never will. Of course at first there were a few fans that weren't happy with me having the new band.. but after a while people got used to it more and more and to tell you the truth now, people are liking the new line-up much more than the old Possessed. Once they saw Possessed live they liked it even better. I think after the new material starts coming out people will really see that this is the real deal Possessed and that we are here to stay. We are playing to much bigger crowds and have a much better response then we did back in the 80s so I think that is proof positive that the fans are very happy with this Possessed and this will be the Possessed that stays together hopefully forever this time!!
During the time of Possessed being gone, you were paralyzed… and you were recently hospitalized in Finland. How are things holding up for you? Things getting better?
Yes, things are getting much much better. I have had an extremely rough past two years and came very close to dying. But now I am on the mend and ready to get back out there and do it again!! If it weren't for the band, the fans and of course the close support and help from my family I don't think I would have made it.
Do you plan on touring again with Possessed? I know a lot of places that would LOVE to see the reincarnation of Possessed visit their town.
Oh definitely. We have already toured around quite a bit with a great response. It is just amazing how much Possessed has grown since the 80s. We played the Wacken to like a hundred thousand people, and Brazil, Chile, Finland, Mexico, NYC, some US States just to name some of the places and it has been wild and fun as hell with some maniac crazy crowds..lol. Next month (May) we are playing the Maryland Death Festival which I am really looking forward to. In June we are doing a small South American tour playing Lima Peru, Venezuela and other South American Countries (still working out the specifics) then in October we are off to Germany again for the Way Of Darkness festival and also we are going to do a surprise small club show just for fun. There are just so many offers on the table now for Possessed and it really is like a dream come true to see everything that I have worked so hard for for so many years to finally come to fruition and for Possessed to finally get the world wide notoriety that we deserve. I am very happy with the way things are going and very appreciative to all of the fans and supporters both new and old.
Jeff, it was great talking with you, any last words to the readers?
Thank you. The pleasure was all mine brother. I guess I would just like to say, "Thank You" to all of my supporters and the supporters of Possessed both new and old. I have been very lucky for so many people to embrace what I am doing and to always have such positivity towards Possessed throughout the years. Not a day goes by that I don't feel lucky to have what I have and I owe it all to the fans. Hopefully Possessed will be coming soon to a town near you. I would also like to send out my love to my son Jeffrey Jr and my daughter Sonny.
Interview by Chris / ZHB
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Ali the great metallian back with yet another EXPLOSIVE interview with the humorous, always entertaining and some of the best grind played on this planet… Birdflesh from Sweden.
Please introduce yourself and what is your position in the band?
I am Smattro Ansjovis and I sing and play drums in a band called Birdflesh.
How did you come up with such a whacky name like birdflesh for the band?
When we started the band I wrote down some typical death metal band names on a piece of paper. But when it was time to name the band, Birdflesh was the only name I could remember because I had lost that piece of paper. We thought we could use that name until we found something better. I guess we never did.
You lyrics are basically funny… What made Birdflesh decide to take the extra step of originality? Why not continue in the same vein as all the other grind core bands, singing about politics or gore?
Exactly! Why not do like everyone else? I hate serious and boring lyrics and I have no idea how to write them. It's funnier to write and read crazy and stupid lyrics. It wasn't really our meaning to write these kind of lyrics. It just came from our brains.
And your stage attire, that cracks me up… no one else has the guts to come out dressed up like that. What made you guys decide to dress like the way you do?
It is our former bassplayer's fault. He was a much better musician than me and our guitar player so at our first show he was so embarrassed playing live with us so he wore a mask and pyjamas. It was a great success and on our second show we all wore stupid outfits.
Birdflesh has played the Maryland death fest a few times (located in the USA) why not a US tour as well? Most bands will make tours out of their travel time for Maryland.
It's about being away from families and work. Of course we'd love to tour but so far the time hasn't been right.
What happened to Barbro? What led to his departure from Birdflesh?
Barbro plays guitar in another band and he felt that he couldn't give Birdflesh enough time. It was probably the best thing that could happen to us. Barbro wasn't that into extreme music and he is not a bass player. And his voice sucked. We love him though.
I also understand you are involved in other projects. General Surgery, Jigsore Terror, Etc… Care to elaborate on any of these other projects, or any others?
Right now it's only Birdflesh and General Surgery that I play with. GS has some shows coming up this spring and summer. We will probably start writing new songs later this year. I have also plans doing another album with Jigsore Terror. If there is time of course.
You must be pretty busy since you have so many musical projects… Does it pay well for you, or do you still have to have a full time job when you’re not playing grind core.
I have a full time job. I make signs. You know, with neon lights and stuff. So unfortunately I don't get enough money from my music.
Any plans for a new album in 2010?
We have some new songs ready but I don't think we'll do a new album this year. We havea split with PLF in the works and I hope we will record some new songs soon.
The „farmers wrath”, is there any significance to why you picked a farmer for the theme of your latest CD? Or is it just adding to your humor?
We are from the farmy parts of Sweden. So it was in our nature to use a farmer theme. We get bullied because of our accent and stuff. Especially the guys from General Surgery, they laugh at us and call us farmer boys.
How do you feel about the American music scene? There are some good bands form here, but there is also bands that like to call themselves grindcore, but are really not… (I.E. between the buried and me, bands in that vein)
I don't really care about what bands call their music. I think it's up to the listener to decide what to call it. I know we have a lot of crazy fans over there and we get very good response when we play there. And you havea lot of good bands, yes.
I like to call them lipstick metal… If you had to describe those bands in 3 words, how would you sum it up?
Lipstick metal is a good description. 3 words? Dont. Careabout. Them.
I honestly feel Europe has the better scene in metal music in general… granted we have a few bands, but nothing like Europe… Why do you think us Americans are not able too catch onto that scene. Is there something in the drinking water in Europe that makes every child a grind core musician straight form the womb?
I have no idea. Very good question but I don't know what to say. Maybe it's the weather? We have to sit inside drinking beer and write songs all the time.
Ok, Last crap is yours… maybe contact for fans and merch orders… or maybe use the space to just people hi…
First, a big thanks to you for your support. And to all our american fans, we love you. Cheers!
People can reach us at myspace.com/birdfleshgrind
Interview by Chris / ZHB
Friday, April 2, 2010
UNITED GUTTURAL released the new album from the Transylvanian brutal death metal act NECROVILE, entitled "The Pungency of Carnage" almost one year ago. So let´s see what happened since them. I have talked with Ela/ bassplayer and very busy in her local scene with a lot of other activities.
Hi Ela. You are just coming back from tour with your band NECROVILE. I hope it went great? Tell me about it!
Hello! Yes, it was awesome! We played in Austria @ Apocalyptic Deathfest with Master & more bands, in Sofia (BG) and a few shows in Romania! You can find some photos and videos on my myspace blog profile www.myspace.com/ela_bass
Your album "The Pungency of Carnage" was released via United Guttural last year. What did that do for the band?
We've sent the recordings to some labels and got a fast feed-back. We've chosen UG because they have a history in releasing brutal death metal bands like Deaden, Malignancy, Putrid Pile, Lividity, Corpse Fucking Art, Fleshgrind, Cenothaph, bands that have influenced us. It was a big step for us, as an Eastern Europe band to sign with a US label.
How do you see the album today, after almost one year after the release date? Is there something special on it that throws it into sharp relief of the multitudinous mass of yearly releases? I mean for you personally.
I see it is pretty ok for the first album, there is always room for improvement. But for the next one we will pay more attention to details. There are a lot of good bands out there, but we're just doing what we like and not try to copy anyone.
Your songs have a very special "drive" for me. They are brutal, very accomplished and seeming totally un-evaporated. Do you just knock out the songwriting or is it still hard work?
Thanks, the compositions are coming natural, it's not so hard work, we feel in that way.
In what musical tradition do you see the band? Have you found your own identity into the scene?
Brutal death metal, with some technical & melodic stuff. Yes, we're on our way in finding our own personality as a band.
Tell me about your guest appearance with LIVIDITY last year at Obscene Extreme? Was it just a spontaneous thing?
It was spontaneous in a way. I'm a big Lividity fan, musically they are also one of my influences. I met them in Romania before, they are great people! I talked with Dave, and I say "Man, I know to play some Lividity songs, and then Dave says: com'n Ela play with us @ Obscene, it will be fun!" What can I say more: A dream "cum" true!
What about the mandatory OEF festival cd? Did you have to pay for your song on it? United guttural seems to not care about European matters I think.
We decided to pay for the song and not to involve UG in this matter.
When you share the stage with the "big ones" do you get an adequate notice before going up on stage with them? A lot of bands go down fighting in the interlude. Or do I see it too negative?
Playing with bigger bands like Suffocation, Vader, Nile, Grave, Sepultura etc. always motivates us, so we don't have internal band fights. It's quite the opposite, in fact.
Does the band enough puff for a new album? What is the state of play?
Yes, we have 6 new songs, we're already playing a few of them live, and the rest will be finished soon! I hope in 2011 a new album will be out.
Do you see yourself as an exotic bird within the scene? I mean there are a lot of women into it, but it isn't in their domain. What do you think about nonsense like that actually?
I feel I belong to this scene, I'm just comfortable playing live & all that.
You are dancing on several weddings. You are playing in 2 bands and you run a promo agency. Can you give 100 percent on that all every time?
I try to do my best for all. Sometimes I'm really tired because I work a lot, but who cares, if I do what I like it's a pleasure! Also I'm a band manager for a good Romanian progressive death metal band, Illuminati, I write CD & concerts reviews for one of the best Romanian metal site, Metalfan.
Tell me about CLITGORE! Do you take yourself for a ride with all that porn stuff?
Hehe, Clitgore was my idea in 2007 when I tried to do a grindcore band with girls. But I didn't find girls. We begin to play from October 2009, and things are going really fast! We played more than 15 concerts already in three months. All the members play in other bands and have live experience, it's easy to work. Now we're recording our full length album.
What about Necrogore Promotion. Tell me about the staff and your work!
The name is play of words from my bands, "Necro" from Necrovile & "Gore" from Clitgore. I promote usually brutal death metal, gore grind & progressive death metal. When I can, I help some black metal, hardcore and punk bands.
I make once per year Transylvanian Deathfest for death bands, and Undergrind Party for grind bands. I organize shows in the biggest towns from Romania, Cluj-Napoca & Bucharest.
How do you finance your projects? I'm sure you're not getting rich with metal. Have you had enough sometimes?
I have a job like pharmacist. No, metal is just my hobby!
What status has metal been in your country by the young people? Do you have to fight against stereotypes? Does that music get recognition publicity?
Is pretty ok, with goods and bands, but the best fact is that the scene is still alive, and we're keeping it that way.
I think it is hard to gain a foothold in the scene in general, because the mass of new bands is amazing and a lot of them croak without even being heard. What do you think?
Yes is true, there are a lot of good bands, but if it's coming from our hearts the public feels it.
On the other hand it is impossible for the fans to stay on top of things. What is your opinion as fan?
I think that nowadays it's much more easier for the fans to stay in touch with the favorite bands because of the Internet.
Thanks for your time, last spot is yours!
Thanks Jörg for interview & support, hope to see you soon at some beers! Gore greetings to everybody! Support Your Scene, Support Extreme Underground!!!