Marasmus was born in late 2007 from the lack of real Death Metal in the Kansas City scene. It grew out of other bands that were friends for years, since then those bands have faded into memory and Marasmus started writing. With new breath and new killer ideas the band came to life in an attempt to bring the genre back to the city without breakdowns and without compromise. Not one member is trying to conform to any traditions or any fads, just the uncompromising brutality that is the beast of metal disease known as Marasmus. Best proof is the actual album “Mountains Of Dead”!
How are you guys? What was the harder way, to ascend the “Mountains Of Dead“ or coming down again?
Greetings from Missouri! This Devon Ferrara the vocalist and lyricist for Marasmus and I have to say. It is way harder to be on the way down the mountain. Simply because your dead and you would be falling miles down a horrible stench and splintered bones. But the mountain was fun to stack HAHA!
Tell me about the “Mountains Of Dead.” What is the ideological background for it and what’s your inspiration to come up with a title like that?
The idea for the album came as we are looking at current events in the world and realizing we are on our way out as a species. We have made terrible decisions with how our lives have been set out for us and people are clearly losing it. If we as humans don’t kill ourselves then the Earth will be soon tired of our bullshit and that will be the end of that. I guess in an Orwellian or Nostradamus kind of way we are predicting the future. Every city in the world will look like our album cover if we don’t turn things around.
Tell me about the development of the album! It’s tightly packed like an aid package for World War III , musically as well as the sound, ha ha. Was it a difficult album to put together?
We developed the album to be our first sledge hammer impact into the scene. We were just so tired of hearing the same breakdowns and the same inward pig vocals on everyone else’s albums. It was hard from the stand point that we really tried to make an album that could bring together the Death Metal fan and other fans of metal. It was intended to be a more listenable recording, then what we did in the past. The vocals were meant to be heard a little easier, not so guttural that you can’t understand what I am saying but not weak enough you would question our metal brutality (if you will?). I think you could put this album as the sound track for World War III. That’s what we wanted to music to sound like and I think we got pretty close to what we envisioned.
Was it a challenge to mix it and find the right decisions until everyone was satisfied?
The Mixing was actually really easy. We had an idea for the sound we were trying for and our buddy Adam Mitchell the engineer on the album really helped with convincing us with what was going to sound good. We saw it as a chance for someone that knew what they were talking about in recording to do their thing and we saw it as our place to focus on the execution of the instruments. This plan really worked for us because when it comes to live sound we know our stuff. But when it comes to recording at the time we really didn’t know what was best for our type of sound. Adam really made this all possible.
Is there a special reason for putting “Gnostic Decimation” on the album? It was on the previous EP too, right?
Gnostic Decimation was on the Diseased EP. We felt it was a good concept and had good lyrics, but that first recording was just not what we wanted. We didn’t take our time with it and we had very little money to support it. So we just wanted to re work it a little and see what it sounded like with the sound of “Mountains of Dead”. We think it came out a lot better!
Gloomy atmosphere with corresponding melodies and brutal blasts, are these the components of true Death Metal?
The sound of true Death Metal is always debatable. From our region of the country which is the badlands/Midwest Bible belt area. Deep, dark and fast reign here! But it can always be adjusted and be taken differently. I think any new twist on metal in any case is a good thing. Our perception was and is to get back to the meat and potatoes type of Death Metal. There are just too many cookie cutter bands in our opinion. But the feedback that we get is that we sound a lot like Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, and Decapitated. So we think if your band has un-programmed drums, low tuned guitars and you have guttural vocals you are some form of Death Metal. We do think all these sub-genres hurt our culture more than it helps.
What are your roots and how much creativity and innovation of your own is put into Marasmus?
Our roots are in extreme music and extreme art of all kinds. We treat this form as performance art as well as music. There is a certain amount of character acting as well as execution of the instrument you’re playing. I don’t think anybody in this culture takes themselves too seriously?
Does it concern you that some parts (in variations) sound familiar in terms of death metal?
It does concern us to sound too much like anybody else. But you also have to be aware of the culture and audience that you are trying to capture. They expect certain things and I think those are the parts you are referring to. I think we would get reviews that could go either way. I think it’s funny how we get reviews that say something like “it’s nothing new” or “it sounds the same”. Then you go to another album that person reviewed and they will just rave on how some thrash throwback band is so original. Of course we like all of that music, but sometimes it does seem that Death Metal gets a bad rap from people that don’t listen to it.
In a musical way you make a pretty serious impression, so you are not the guys who just like fun and gore? How serious are you taking this?
It’s all fun and art to us. Nothing is too serious or too contrived. The themes of the lyrics can be serious though. I try to use real world problems and give a more animalistic take on the idea. But that is as real as it gets. Horror movies are fun and horror music is even better.
What are the lyrics about, daily insanity, morbid crudities, where to leads the journey?
All of my lyrics are about what humans do to themselves. Things like war, politics, murder, starvation, etc. Even the name Marasmus has its roots in a disease that for all its biological affects it is actually perpetuated by humans. Starvation does not have to exist it could easily be stopped, but it’s because of greed and indifference that it continues. The journey leads to a place where Human failure is glorified and brought to the forefront. Cannibalism exists, murder exists, and all of the terrible things that Mommy told you about are really there. Whether you like it or not?
The drums sound almost inhuman sometimes. Have you had some help in the studio or is your drummer Trynt really that kind of dervish?
Our drummer is a maniac! Pure and simple! We made it very clear that all instruments were played like the Dark Lord intended BY HAND! There was no programming, no tricks, only handmade brutality. Trynt Kelly is a purist when it comes to drums and he takes it very seriously. He recorded the entire album one track at a time. For the most part everything was played as a whole take per song. There were some punch in tracks for tempo change. But that’s it!
Is it the easiest part in the band’s life not to succumb to new trends in metal? What’s your recipe?
New trends in metal are very easy to leave behind because in our opinion they are not new trends. Most of the younger crowd doesn’t remember “DRI”. So when they hear a new thrash song it’s like a breath of fresh air. Little do they know that it has all been done before. We are of the opinion that the old Death Metal style is where it at. But that’s just our opinion.
Do you care about the name dropping in your reviews? Someone could get a identity crisis!
Name dropping in interviews is sometimes necessary for us in the extreme metal community, simply because it is hard to get any press from the main stream when you are an up and coming band. Although, some people just go completely overboard with it. I think if you are from the same region of some other bands or you really are friends with some of the bands or names you are dropping then I think it’s OK. But if you played one show with some big name act, then it’s probably good for you to keep your mouth shut.
Disgorge Media – this is your own label, right? Is it advantageous having all parts of the band in your own hands?
Disgorge is actually our buddy’s label. His name is Dustin Albright and he is the Bass Player for a band called Diskreet + others. He has been our friend for as long as we have been playing music in the Kansas City Metal Scene. It is a small business agreement that we have with him and he helps us with production of discs and some small distribution stuff. He is a really great dude and all who know or have been involved with Dustin at any capacity has nothing but good things to say, including us.
What “deficiency syndrome” was actually responsible for the formation of the band back in 2007?
If there was any deficiency it was the lack of Death Metal in our town. We had a whole lot of “unearth “ cover bands and a lot of “butt rock” as we so lovingly call it, but no real extreme metal. So I would have to say it was that lack of brutality that sparked the band or bands that grew into Marasmus.
I mean the band’s name contradicts the brutal and energized music of Marasmus, right?
The name represents the cruel things that humans do to themselves and others. The disease is just bonus. HAHA
You have not released much stuff until now. What are the reasons, maybe you have missed your chance getting a big one in the scene already?
We didn’t miss any chances. We were just working on our craft and our delivery. We plan on making a lot more material available soon.
What lies behind the “Mountains Of dead” now, what is the next logically consequence, what comes now?
Behind “Mountains of Dead” are a lot of pissed off ghosts and spirits that want revenge on the murderous vortex called humans. So we have a lot of ideas that kind of work around that theme. But it is a little too early to say at this point. I know we have some videos planned for songs and some serious new material that is going to smoke the first set.
Last undead spot is yours!
It was a pleasure to do this interview and we hope to be in contact with all you crazy fuckers in the future. Stay tuned for more music and other things in the near future. Cheers and Horns from Missouri!