Friday, December 14, 2012

ENTRAPMENT



ENTRAPMENT means Zombifying Soultearing Death Metal, or something like that. That classic Death Metal outfit from THE NETHERLANDS came up with a debut album called “The Obscurity Within” recently. I have talked with Michel, the man behind it, about the album.  

Hi Michel, you have played in Massive Assault, is this time still in your mind?

I’m still in contact with them. We’re gonna do a split 7” in 2013.Some of the Entrapment recordings are also done at Fredda’s Dirty Bird Studio.

Is this punk or crust feeling? who was part of M.A., determinative for Entrapment?

I used to play in a band called Makiladroras, a crust punk, metal band so I think it’s my mixture of punk and metal what you can hear in both bands.

Why did you start alone, you have had so many ideas, that you could not wait until you got a full lineup?

At that time I had no time to play in a band due to family and work situations. I still was full of ideas so I recorded them on my computer. After I had a bunch of songs I went to a real studio to record them.

Your early demo stuff is being released as a compilation. What’s the reason for that?

Many people were asking me about a cd release, since everything was on tape and 7” I thought it would be a great idea to put everything on 1 disc. Godeater Records contacted me with the same idea. And we started working on it.

On that release your creative process is plainly visible, the development comprehensible. Would you confirm that?

Yes, the first demo was recorded without any pressure…just for fun…after all the great reactions the 2nd demo had to sound just as good or even better. Same with the 7” and now the new album!
Basses, deep guitars, morbid feeling and classic solos, is this the formula to your success?
Since a few years there’s a new platform with younger guys playing the ancient style again. People being sick of those huge clinical metal productions. I think Entrapment s got an honest sound and works with the same formula as the old bands back in the days.
What about the lineup today?
We’ve got Jeroen on guitar and Henke on bass, I’ve played with them in Massive Assault. On drums we’ve got Martin who’s also playing with me in another band called Suffering Quota.
Is the band name something prophetic, do you want to entrap someone? I did not find the hook yet, LOL
Well actually the name came from the Asphyx project called Soulburn (end of the 90’s), one of the songs is called Hellish Entrapment…it doesn’t really have a deeper meaning. I thought it sounded pretty good.

Any connections to the Lovecraft universe, that influenced you lyrically … maybe? It´s a field full of perverse ideas, right?

Have to admit the Lovecraft influences on the song, it suits just really good for death metal. haha.

That kind of morbid lyrics with ancient horror and stuff, it has this influence to your music too? Relating to the atmosphere of the songs?

I think it combines pretty good. Lots of delay makes it more sinister and the way Death Metal should be. In combination with the lyrics it becomes almost a soundtrack.
 
Tell me about the new album!

Well, it’s released on Soulseller Records and  the artwork is done by Mattias Frisk singer for Vanhelgd, and he did a great job! It contains 8 new songs and 2 older songs re-recorded. The style remains the same, old and rotten death metal, but maybe this times there’s some more autopsy influences in some of the songs.

A really morbid song with goose bumps is the title track, tell me about!

The intro was inspired by the 2nd autopsy lp, after that it D beat time with a catchy refrain.  The lyrics deal with some uproar inside a mass tomb..or maybe a kind of Nightbreed theme.

The main themes of the songs are mostly simple, and than you put a net of dark melodies and solos over it. How do you arrange a song?

Actually just as you said, I starts off with a standard basis rock structure and when I’m satisfied I try to put some leads over it.
Are the other musicians conforming with your way to play Death Metal?

Yes, we know each other for years and we’re listening to the same music Besides that we’re drinking buddies in the bar, haha. Entrapments music is pretty simple to play but it’s also very punky and for some metal heads with lots of technical skills it’s hard to play something simple and energetic.

What makes you creative, or do you not see yourself not particularly creative?

I’ve always been creative. I did artschool although didn’t finish it haha. I’m a professional screen printer. Besides playing music I organize shows and do the posters and the promotion. So there’s an urge for creative exposure and Entrapment is a part of it.

Is the album something like a homage to the stone age of Death Metal, and among other things?

Pretty much yes. I think most new Death Metal bands take their influences from the old bands. It’s really hard to come up with something new these days.

How important is the feeling, the authenticity of classical Death Metal?

For me it’s very important, not only for Death Metal. I lost interest in extreme metal at the end of the 90’s with those stupid photoshop cd artwork, clinical productions etc. etc. I found the rawness back in the crust hardcore scene when bands like Tragedy, Wolfbrigade, Disfear were just putting out their first records.

How serious do you take the project from now and in the times as you worked alone in your basement ?

I still try to do everything in my own tempo and as long I enjoy it I will write new songs.
Jeroen is also writing songs now, he also did guitar tracks, solo’s and bass on the full length and it works out great.

Was Entrapment (and is) something you had to do? something with inner convincement? Or have you constant wanderings in your head, that want to get out? What is it, makes you tick?

Yes, it was something that I had to try out. Massive Assault is a death metal band with an impressive guitar sound and lot’s of 2 beats and D beats. I wanted something more raw and dirty but couldn’t find the right guys for to start a band.

Last spot is yours!

Thanks for the interview and the support!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

FDA REKOTZ - LABEL FEATURE



I will start some label features in future. And today we start with FDA REKOTZ and owner Rico. Check him out and share his excellent taste for classic death metal!

What means FDA?

Originally the meaning of it was just a blackout product. Because of this, it was clear, shortly after formation of the label, that FDA patently means FDA, without an deeper sense behind.

What’s your main – goal with FDA?

Most important is, that the job makes fun, that’s the point. I don’t want to stagnate with FDA of course , I try to keep the label growing.

Who has created the logo?

The main – logo is from the American artist Eric Musall (did the artwork for Entrails). From tiome to time I use another logo, for example on the FDA Rekotz shirts. That one is created by Dedy from Badic Art from Indonesia. 

What brought you from consumer to producer?

The love to music and the scene, I wanted to be an active part of it and spread my own musically taste. Things started in the early 90ths with 4 issues of Putrid Cadaver zine (PC Zine) and a small label. After a break  (1997 – 2004), where I had to care about other things, I came back and in the end of 2006 I formed FDA Rekotz.

Tell me about your roster!

90% of FDA are classical Death Metal Bands. No matter if its Swedish styled (REVEL IN FLESH, REVOLTING), American (SKELETAL REMAINS) or Middle – European (DESERTED FEAR, OBSCURE INFINITY, GOREGAST, SULPHUR AEON…). The style is subordinate, when a band kicks me. With GRUEASOME STUFF RELIS or NECROMORPH I got grindacts in the team too. I´m pretty open minded on that score.  If I listen to a Doom Metal band tomorrow for example and they maybe remind me on the first CATHEDRAL album or there is a Death/Doom Band like early PARADISE LOST, I would sign them on the spot.

Are you consequently old school? 

Meanwhile I don’t like the words “old school” anymore, because under that banner  exists a lot of crap too. I call it just “classic”. I started listening metal 1990, my first album was BOLT THROWERs´”Warmaster”. I started even with the hard stuff, I was and I´m a huge CARCASS fan. I can´t handle with modern metal styles, so I’m consequently old school, ähm…classic.

How do you finance your label?

The label is a full time job, 10-12 hours a day I´m in the office, working for FDA. I do layouts, care about the mail-order, promotion and so on…there are many things to do. Thanks to the mail-order and my main – distributor SOULFOOF I earn money, to finance the next releases and to pay my bills. Apart from that I´m rather modest, I don´t need golden taps privately, to be fortunate. 

You have got lots of releases – is it still manageable?

Like I mentioned, it’s a bunch of work, but it makes fun, and 1 or 2 releases per month is not too much for a full time label I think.  Every single release gets the same regard, be it promotion or other things. Under these circumstances, all things are manageable very well. 

Vinyl –  just additional business or the Holy Grail?

For me, vinyl is the real deal. Privately I buy and listen almost only vinyl. Although I get started to collect cd´s recently. But with vinyl I have a 30cm x 30cm thing in my hands, perceive any detail on the cover and have just a better feeling. It’s not about the special sound on vinyl. 

What’s behind the idea releasing tapes, and is it actually working?

I release only demos on tape, because for me a demo belonged on tape and never ever on cd or cd-r. People appreciate it, tapes sell well. Look at the CHAPEL OF DISEASE demo, it was sold out within a week after releasing date. 

What about the international connections, how important are contacts around the rotten globe?

It’s important, being in contact with other labels on the whole world. Thanks to the internet, it’s no big deal. There are people I´m in touch for years.
 
Are you a true supporter of your local scene or is quality an more important factor than local support?

Musically quality takes the first position, a band must impress me and correspond with my personally taste. It’s just pure accident that the most of my upcoming releases are from German bands, in fact it empathize the damned good quality of German Death Metal bands. If you regard it global and proportional to the land area, the best Death Metal bands are from Germany currently, no question.

Revenue office and bureaucracy – pesky flies or real hurdles?

Partially annoying, but absolutely necessary. 

Where do you have your residence?  -  And is it a modern office or moldy basement?

It´s either a sinister basement or a modern open space office. I have renovated my old cabinetmakers´ workshop years ago and since 2009 my office and store are in it. Meanwhile it gets pretty poky, but still acceptable.

What kind of deals do you have with your bands usually? Promotion – distribution, production, or the all-inclusive package?

I can’t say anything about contractual details with the bands, only that any band is certainly satisfied. 

How do you promote your bands?

I work together with the American promo agency CLAWHAMMER PR. In Europe, especially in Germany.  I do a lot by myself. I use social networks, forums, print – media and so on…to spread the glad tidings of joy into the world. 

ENTRAILS – one of your interesting bands have a deal with Metal Blade now – are you angry or proud to have pushed something?

Of course I was not really delighted, that ENTRAILS are “migrated”, precisely because I have invested much heart blood into the band. But that’s the usually way of the world, the small labels build  the house and the big ones step in…haha…

Tell me about the fests that you organize or that you are involved! 

I organize the BLUTSVENTE fest in Berlin, it takes a rest in 2013, because I´m out of the timeline and it was too late for the planning, but in 2014 we will have another edition. 12 bands, one day from Power – Violence till Death Metal. In addition I organize together with Mario Napalm the GRIND THE NAZI SCUM fest in Torgau/Saxony. 2 days with Blast Beats, Death Metal and beer. The next one starts in June 2013. And last but not least there is the NOCTURNUS fest on December 8. In Berlin, club K17. This time with PUTERAEON, CHAPEL OF DISEASE, GOREGAST, REVEL IN FLESH, DECEMBER FLOWER and FUNERAL WHORE. 

How long will the run for old school death & grind still work? And have you an plan B?

How I told you, I don’t follow a trend, I release my personally musical taste. Because of that I don’t need a plan B. Classical death Metal or Grindcore will always exist and fans will be still there. 

Give me a view through the FDA window into the future!

I have a lot of work, now on November 9.  appears “Beyond The Flesh” from SKELETAL REMAINS from California on Cd and vinyl. Than I have “Summoning Black Gods” from CHAPEL OF DISEASE from Cologne on Cd and vinyl out on December 8.. On the same date starts the NOCTURNUS fest in Berlin. On December 28.  “Swallowed By Ocean Tide” from SULPER AEON will be released and next year on January 25.  comes the new GRUESOME STUFF RELISHE album on Cd and vinyl too.  In spring next year the new releases from REVEL IN FLESH, LIFELESS and HARM are planned and we will see, what comes next.





Sunday, October 14, 2012

SOPHICIDE



Founded in 2009 Sophicide started as a one-man-project by 19-year-old musician Adam Laszlo, dedicated to creating brutal and technical, yet melodic and elaborate death metal.  After the first few months enough material was written and produced to release the first EP "The Art Of Atrocity", which gained great responses throughout. Soon Sophicide would become a respected name in the local german death metal community. Shortly after the first release Sophicide signed a deal with Willowtip Records. Since then Sophicide worked relentlessly on writing new material for the first LP. Almost two years later the deed was done - the debut record entitled "Perdition Of The Sublime" was written, recorded and produced

Hi Adam, how are you. If I name your prodigy and kiss your ass , figuratively of course, do you think I can ham it up?

Hey! I'm doing great, I've been working a lot lately and I'm kinda sleep deprived right now, but I really can't complain. And yes, I guess you could ham it up, haha.

So much positive feedback, that must be scary, or does your self – assurance absorb it like a sponge?

Well it's not really scary, rather new and unfamiliar somehow. But it sure feels awesome, I'm really thrilled about all feedback.

With your album “Perdition Of The Sublime”, you gain a lot of laurels. Are you under pressure now, as a result of people's expectations?

Actually no, not really. I don't think that kind of pressure has a positive impact on my songwriting, so I try not to think about it. I mean I'll do my best to always improve and that's about as much as I can do. So hopefully  that's  enough!

Tell me about the beginning, what was your basic idea, and who has taught you to perform magic?

It all started pretty unspectacularly, I just wanted some kind of creative outlet for my death metal ideas that didn't really fit any of my bands at that time. So I figured I'll write a couple of songs and share them online. The feedback was pretty good, so I continued and things became more and more serious eventually. So not much magic involved, really, haha.

What’s the reason that you started alone?  Because no one could keep up with you? Or do you live on the dark side of the moon?

Originally I started alone for the sake of simplicity. I didn't have any big plans with this project at that time, so I decided to take matters into my own hands, instead of searching for bands members, which is frankly a major pain in the ass, at least where I live. I have been writing and producing music alone for some time besides playing in bands, so I was already familiar with the whole process.

Ok, give me some details about the album!

Essentially the main topic of this album is the intellectual decay of society. People seem to prefer not thinking for themselves but being told what to do and what's wrong or right. I think this is a human tendency, it's not a phenomenon of our time. And this characteristic has been exploited by other people for a long time, the classic example for this would be religion, so this is a big topic on the album. Basically the overall message that I'm trying to get across is: Be skeptical, think for yourself and question everything.

The complete previous EP is part of the album. Is it the same version, or did you make any changes?

I made a few changes and re-recorded all the EP songs. So it's not exactly the same, the album versions sound a lot better.

I have read you have used a drum – machine, but it sounds pretty homogenous. Enlighten me!

That's right, the drums are sampled. I'm using Toontracks Superior Drummer 2, which has great sounds in my opinion. The samples are completely raw though, so I spent a few months getting a decent drum sound.

I hear a lot connections to classical music. Is this delusion or am I right?

You're probably right, I do like classical music and also neo-classical guitar playing, I always thought it was a rather subtle influence, but people usually notice, so it's obvious, I guess.

What about the metal – core riff in “Art Of Atrocity.” Just a gimmick or does it just fits to the song?

Hmm to be honest I don't quite know what riff you're referring to, but I think the riffs just fit the song, so there's no actual "gimmick" in this particular song, I'd say.

About the acoustic parts – device for loosening up or will you strut one´s stuff?

I really like acoustic guitar in general, although I don't play it too well actually. But I think it helps the atmosphere and it does kinda loosen up things. Non-stop blasting gets tiring after a while and I just like the combination of both worlds.

The whole album leaves behind the impression it was already written in your head before the first chord was played. Can it be?

Haha, no, not at all, I wrote it song by song. Things went down pretty smoothly though, I rarely got stuck in the middle of songs. But it happens  every  now  and  then.

How important is it to think and write sophisticatedly, to play precise? 

I think if you're talking about music like Sophicide it is important to some degree. I mean it's what technical death metal is about, at least to some extent. It shouldn't be the whole point of this music though. Playing sophisticatedly and precisely is fine, but what I care about mostly is that music conveys a feeling and brings me into a certain mood. As long as this is the case, I think it's good music. But that's only my opinion of course.

From where have you got that know how to write and play your stuff? I mean you have got an awesome comprehension for music. What are the roots of it?

Thanks, it's flattering that you think so! To be honest, I have no idea if there are distinct "roots" or something like that, I'd rather say it's lots and lots of practice. I mean I started writing songs at age 14 maybe and they pretty much sucked (at that time I didn't think so, but trust me, they did), which is kind of obvious having no experience in songwriting whatsoever. So I just continued listening to and writing music for hours every day and eventually after a couple of years I could write songs that I'd still consider somewhat decent. So that's it, learning by doing.

You use your guitar like a 70s porn star, like his magic wand. How do you manage it so that it is not unnerving? I mean lots of these modern progressive bands are exhausting after a little while.

Again it's hard for me to give an exact answer here. I don't have anything like a "recipe" for my songwriting, I'm just trying to make things sound good to my ears. But the truth is, I feel the same about some bands like you do, so of course I'm trying not to make my music sound exhausting. I'm just trying to use technical skill and virtuosity as a mean to an end instead of an end in itself.

Melody will override disharmony, is this a  compromise for being catchy?

I wouldn't necessarily call this a compromise, I think melody and disharmony can complement each other, even if that sound kind of paradox. To me writing melodic parts really doesn't feel like a compromise at all, I just like nice and catchy melodies. Then on the other hand I love the harshness and dissonance of death metal, But each one gets boring on its own after a while, at least in my opinion, so I really like the combination of both.

How important are harmonies in death metal?

For me they are essential, some people might think differently. I like comparing this to food, I mean it's the combination of flavors that make a food enjoyable, you don't want to eat something that's all salty and nothing else. And like with music there are a lot of people who just love fastfood, that tastes all the same.

Your roots are Mr. Schuldiner and his adepts. But you have your own way, you are not too fixed on some idols. Is this impudence or part of the evolution?

A bit of both maybe. I do have my idols but I'm not focused on one or two. So I guess it's just lots and lots of influences and idols that blend together and form something new, that you could call my style.

Ok, the album is here, Willowtip and Hammerheart doing their job, do you let your balls be sucked from fans and press or laying low the order of the day now?

Well, not really, besides the fact that I need to work to make ends meet the next big goal is to complete our lineup to go live as soon as possible. So that's what my fellow member Sebastian and I are working on right now.

Last spot is yours!

To end this with Charles Chaplins words: "Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness." (The Great Dictator)