- Hey, Joe! First of all, let me congratulate you on your new release! Are you happy with it? Does it feel the same like after you released your first CD?
- Thanks! Yeah, we're really happy with this one. It's a little different to some of our other stuff but it feels like a good progression for us and we're really enjoying playing the songs. It kind of does actually feel a lot like it did after our first CD in that we're really proud of the result and it all feels quite fresh after quite a gap between releases from the last album.
- Why did you decide to go with a self-titled CD? Did you discuss any other possible album titles?
- There weren't really any other titles that we had in mind. I mean we could have named the album after one of the songs on the album but it was a difficult choice as to which one we'd name it after. The album also has similar themes throughout so in terms of lyrical content its all pretty related. It kind of just made sense on this one to go with the self titled idea. We were toying with it on the last album, but with this one it was pretty much a given.
- With every new full-length your music becomes more and more elaborated and interesting. How could you describe the work process on the new material? When writing new songs, are you trying to make them better that on a previous album or does it happen on its own?
- I think the music tends to go in a direction of its own on each release. Of course we do want each album to better than the last, but in the end its all going to be a subject of taste. As we record each album, the one that we are working on at the time is always my favourite as its all fresh and a good representation of where we're at at that point. So even though this album is definitely my favourite so far, when we record the next one that will be my favourite.
We tend to start writing quite close to when we record each time which I think tends to separate the albums a lot too. I think if I constantly wrote material between albums they'd all kind of blend together and perhaps just be variations of the same thing. This way hopefully our style is still recognisable on each album but the delivery is a bit different and fresh each time.
As for the process of writing, its a bit different these days as to how we used to do It. My brother lives quite a fair way away from the rest of us so we don't tend to write material together so much any more. Early on we used to just kind of jam it out and see what we came up with but we can't really rehearse any more because of the distance. So I tend to write most of the material alone and then just email scratches to Dave for him to jam along with and get his thoughts on it.
With this one there was actually quite a deal of material that was recorded in the studio – we had the main structures together but there were a lot of riffs, vocals and drum parts that we just kind of came up with on the fly. It made things quite exciting and we came out with some interesting results.
- How would you compare this album to the previous one, "The Inherited Repression", and then to the very first one, "The Isle of Disenchantment"?
- Well I think this album is probably the most comparable to “Inherited..” as opposed to earlier albums. I think that would be the same with any band really – the new album being the most like the last of their back catalogue. But having said that, it's still quite different in its own way. I feel that we've matured quite a bit with our song writing and the structures that we apply on the new one makes for better and more catchy songs. That's of course my own opinion.
As for “isle...”, obviously a lot more different from that but in a lot of ways I like to think that if you listen to that album and the new one that you can still tell its the same band. I think we have a certain style in our playing that you'll still feel its got the same DNA.
- By the way, the next year marks the 15th anniversary of "The Isle..." release. Do you have any plans to celebrate it?
- Well I hadn't really thought too much about it. Makes me feel quite old. But i'm sure that we'll think of some way of celebrating it. We haven't played any of the songs off that album for a long time, so perhaps next year we'll see a few of those songs make a comeback. We'll have to wait and see..
- The "Psycroptic" album cover is just amazing. In your own interpretation, what does it mean? How does it reflect the music on this album?
- To be quite honest, i'm not totally sure what the cover actually means. What we try to do with each album is basically give either a bunch of lyrics or a theme to an artist and let them go for it. Give them total creative control. I think that way you end up with really interesting artwork and at times something that you totally don't expect which is always exciting. So with this one I think the artist had some lyrics and just went with their own interpretation. I think it looks awesome! Its very different to what we've had in the past but at the same time I think it suits the album perfectly.
- All the way through this album, especially in the songs "Echoes to Come" and "Cold" there is a clear influence of Far East. How could you comment on these oriental motives?
- Well I don't think that there was any particular motive – it's just kind of how the songs ended up naturally turning out. The way these songs started out, they were really just the heavy parts by themselves. If you take out the acoustic intros and all that they are really just straight down the line thrash songs really. The acoustic parts that I put in there are really just acoustic treatments of the main themes in these song, but it just turns out that they have that particular sound about them when they are played that way. So yeah, totally unintentional but also just totally fit with the vibe of the song.
- All your albums consist of 9 tracks, how could you explain it? Is that some kind of tradition?
- Haha, yeah I think that it is. We are quite aware of it these days. I'm pretty sure that for the first three albums it was a total fluke – they just happened to have the same amount of songs. So since then we've just kind of run with it, so yeah I guess that it is a bit of a tradition for us.
- Did Jason leave the band? Are you looking for his replacement? Who will go with you to the announced Australian tour?
- Well we've still got Jason in the band. There was a point there that, depending where you may have seen us play, we would have had a Zdenek of Godless Truth filling in for us. For quite a period there Jason was unable to tour overseas because of family commitments and the like, so for quite a few European tours and perhaps a US tour or two Zdenek was filling in. Jason will be back out on the road with us everywhere from here on in as he's a lot more available for touring these days.
- You've joined Prosthetic Records recently. How did it happen? And why did you leave Nuclear Blast?
- With the last record that we did with NB I just don't think that a lot really happened with it. It probably wasn't really pushed in the direction that we kind of would have liked. Totally no bad feeling or anything – Nuclear Blast are a great label and did a lot of good for us. But I think as a label and us as a band we both have very different priorities. The Prosthetic thing has been on the cards for quite some time and I think that they totally suit us for what we're trying to do and for what we're trying to achieve.
- Last year you released a very nice Boxed set. Could you please tell us a bit about this edition? Do you still have any copies left?
- Unfortunately all these box sets have pretty much sold out. We may have a handful to sell on the road but that's about it. I personally don't really know a lot about how it all came to be to be honest but it was a Finnish label called 'Blood Music' that put it all together. It is a three vinyl box set called “Psycroptic: the early years” containing the first three albums with both the old and updated artwork. It looks really impressive and is a really cool thing to have.
- Some time ago you adopted a Tasmanian Devil. How is he doing? How did you call him? How else do you contribute to the environment?
- Yes, we called him “Psycro”. We did a local show and raised money to adopt one. This basically means that we just raise the money needed to feed and look after him medically. Unfortunately its quite a crisis here with the Tassie Devils at the moment, as they are very close to extinction. Over 95% of them have died out due to a contagious face tumor that is spreading amongst them. Very sad, so we try to do what little we can to help.
- Thank you for this interview, Joe. What would you like to add in the end of our conversation?
- Cheers for everyone's support and hope you all enjoy the new album. See you on the road sometime this year!