- Hello, Morris! The first question might be really obvious: why there is almost no online presence of the band? No Facebook page, nor Instagram or so? Don't you want to stay in touch with your audience?
- Hey Dima! Yes while this may come as a surprise to many people in this day and age we choose to not participate in the social media charade. Of-course we want to stay in touch with our audience however, we do not need Facebook or Instagram to achieve this. Think of it as weeding out the “flavor of the week” fans. Those who want to reach out to us will find a way just like you did!
- Alright, let's move on to you and your music. Tell us, how did you join the band? How and where did you hear about Blood Incantation?
- I actually met Paul twice, albeit the first time was extremely brief, way before we started jamming together while we were both living in Boulder, Colorado. The first time was when I walked into some pizza shop on Pearl Street Mall (aka hell on earth). Paul could immediately tell I listened to heavy music so he wrote down a ton of band names on a napkin and handed it to me saying these were all the projects he was involved in. One of the many was Blood Incantation (along with Velnias, Abysmal Dimensions, Spectral Voice). Fast forward about two years later. I had started playing in a black metal band called Stillborn Fawn. Thom, the bass player invited me over to a party his girlfriend at the time was having and lo and behold there was Paul along with Jeff who would much later become the bass player. At the party Paul and I spoke about Disincarnate amongst many other completely sick death metal bands and he invited me to join him and Isaac in creating Blood Incantation.
- So, for some time you stayed as a trio, with Isaak on drums and Paul on guitars/vocals. Why didn't you have a bass player? And you even recorded first 2 demos without a bass, didn't you?
- We were only a three piece due to the fact that we were forced to be. No one in Denver really cared about the style of death metal we wanted to play (only wanky suburban tech death nonsense) so finding a bass player proved to be quite difficult. The first two “demos” are simply rehearsal tapes that were made to show people what we were trying to achieve. They were created as a means of finding a bass player and for ourselves to be able to listen back to what we were doing. Calling those tapes demos is somewhat a collector mentality because they are just rehearsals before we achieved final form. The songs were recorded minutes after we finished arranging the parts and before we had a full grasp on the material so they are fraught with mistakes and imperfections.
- Starting from your third and last demo, "Astral Spells", you invited Damon Good to play bass. Was he originally planned to become a full-time member of the band or still just a temporary one?
- Astral Spells is the first tape I would consider an official release. The material is comprised of unmixed studio recordings that would eventually become the Interdimensional Extinction EP. Damon was invited to play as a session member for the EP so no, he was never intended to be a full time member.
- Since all the demos were released on tapes, what can you say about this format? Could you try to explain why there is such a hype around the tapes nowadays?
- Cassettes are a great for many different reasons. From the consumer side it’s an affordable product that is easily collectable and allows a different art format than a CD. From the perspective of a band they are again, super cheap to produce and make self releasing your music to a physical format other than CDs super easy. From the sound perspective, they offer a tonal quality that is warmer and suits certain recordings better than other, more treble based, formats. The cassette resurgence has been going strong for several years now so it seems as though today its somewhat back to being a standard. I remember maybe 6 years ago when people would be surprised about having tapes on your merch table but if someone asks me that today it’s a dead give away that this person is not interested in the underground. Speaking of, cassettes have never actually died in terms of underground culture. They are a crucial format for demos, mix tapes and trade material between those trying to spread the plague!
- With your next release, "Interdimensional Extinction" EP, you signed with Dark Descent Records. How did it happen? Did you receive any other offers?
- The offer from Dark Descent came shortly after Tyler from Ajna Offensive sold out of the Astral Spells promo on his website. Matt has always been super cool to us and it was just a totally logical idea for the both of us to work together. We are super lucky to have such a well respected and hard working label just down the road from us, it makes things much easier than having to rely on email or phone communication. Dark Descent has always believed in our music and no, we did no receive any offers from any one else although even if we did I’d like to believe we would have picked DD regardless. As far as North America, there really isn’t a better label when it comes to underground death metal.
- I think that that EP has one of the best covers! How did you come up with that idea, or was it the idea of the artist, Bruce Pennington? Is there any story behind its creation?
- Bruce Pennington has been drawing sic fi based imagery since the late 60’s. The cover for the EP was something Isaac found after hours of searching the annals of the internet. Upon discovery we knew we had to have this as the cover. It was pretty simple really, we emailed him asking for permission to use that piece and the image for the insert and he was totally into it! I wish I could say it was crafted specifically for us but I can say I’ve never seen it used for anything before this.
- This whole thing brings me to the topic of the lyrical themes in your songs. You sing about the ancient gods, pro-civilizations and other related topics. Who is mainly in charge of the lyrics? Do you all share the same opinion regarding these theories?
- Paul writes all the lyrics for the band. However, we are all on board with the views and beliefs scattered throughout. We have all fully submitted ourselves to the void and accept a dismal fate. Reality is meaningless and mankind and his creations are but a joke in the scheme of the overarching cosmos that will in time crush any and all things you perceive to be important.
- In 2015 you released a split with Spectral Voice. And what is interesting, that you played in both bands. So, how did it go? And what made you finally choose Blood Incantation over the other band?
- I actually did not play in the Spectral Voice side. That song was taken from the same recording sessions as the “Necrotic Doom” demo which was recorded as a two piece with Paul and Eli. The only other person on that side of the recording is Casey who used to be a former live vocalist member for Spectral Voice. However, even before the demo was recorded Spectral Voice had evolved into a full lineup band. Our recent full length was recorded and written by all four member. Perhaps there is some confusion but I am a full time member of both Spectral Voice and Blood Incantation. The release of the 7” went over quite well as we quickly sold out of all copies. It’s a shame that it is now such an expensive commodity. We did not release the produce to be flipped by scum for profit. This will be remedied soon enough…
- Alright, now we can talk about your debut full-length, "Starspawn". You recruited Jeff Barett as your new bass-player. What happened with Damon? Is Jeff considered being a permanent member now?
- Jeff is a permanent member of both Blood Incantation and Spectral Voice. Nothing happened with Damon, he’s still a top notch shredder! As I mentioned earlier Damon was doing us a favor by filling in bass parts for the EP. He was never intended to be a full time member. I’m trying to picture a reality where we would have to go back and forth from Australia to the States just to practice and it seems a nightmare! Anyways yea, Jeff is a full time and crucial member to both projects.
- I wasn't really able to find much of information, so, could you tell us about the recordings? Where did you record the album, who was the producer, how long did it take you to finish everything?
- All the info is there! But yes I’ll gladly share the details. We recorded “Starspawn” entirely in analog onto 2” tape at World Famous Studios which was at the time located in Westminster, Colorado but has since moved to Lakewood. It was produced by Pete de Boer. The whole record took about a week to record and mix. We spent the first three days tracking and the rest of the time was focused on mixing it into what you hear now. It was as straight to the point as possible so as not to have it sound like modern tech death compressed trash. All it really takes is practice and commitment, not pro tools.
- The opening track, "Vertification of Blood (Part 1)", is very peculiar for the Death Metal, and lasts almost 14 minutes (!!). Tell us about that song, what is your original intention to write such a long track? Did you consider at some point to split it into 2-3 songs? How many shots did you need to finally record it?
- “Vitrification of Blood pt. 1” is indeed a special composition. It took over a year to write and was practiced in parts. There is actually a video somewhere on Youtube where we played the first quarter of the song live as a three piece (prior to Jeff joining) because that’s all we had written for it at that point. There was never a point where we considered splitting it up because it felt natural to keep it going until it’s logical end. It is intended to be a mind expanding song that sucks you into a specific state of being which is required for understanding the rest of the record. We did however decide to call it part 1 after the fact. “Hidden Species” was written before VoB and became the second half after we had some time to understand the concepts behind both compositions.
- While it sounds very authentic and atmospheric on the record, how do people perceive it live? How do people usually start to behave after 7-8 minutes and the song isn't over yet?
- If you think playing part 1 is a harrowing experience to witness, imagine seeing both parts performed together as one solid 22 minute song! To me it seems as though there is some sort of time warp happening. People seem to enjoy the bold statement. I’m sure some posers decide it’s too much for them and walk out on the experience but those people enlightened enough to understand something truly intriguing is happening often stand there in disbelief. The most rewarding feeling is seeing people’s faces when we play the last riff of part 1 and immediately power on into the first riff of part 2. Usually a look of disbelief or a “what the fuck?!?!” expression can be noticed haha.
- There is an upcoming European tour, together with Cruciamentum. What are your expectations? Is it going to be your first EU tour? Are there any particular cities/countries you'd like to visit?
- Yes as I’m writing this the tour is only a few days away. I feel honored to be able to witness the sheer power of Cruciamentum every night for two weeks. It’s hard to say what my expectations are because I have never been on tour in Europe before. This will be my first trip overseas in a musically related way. I have been waiting for this opportunity for a very long time so even if every show sucks I still get to be in a city on a different continent with a band that crushes most other death metal bands. We are playing many places I’ve never been to before so naturally I’m excited for that reason alone. There are plenty of places I want to visit and play however, this trip will skip over many of them due to time restrictions. Prague is a city I have wanted to play a show in for many years and I can say with full confidence we will return to decimate whatever is left after this coming tour.
- Alright, thank you for this interview, Morris. In the end, would you like to say a few things to our readers and maybe share some of your future plans?
- We will be returning to Europe in October and this second time around Spectral Voice will be joining the bill for “Necrotic Doom Over Europe.” Prior to that Blood Incantation will join UK’s Qrixkuor for their first shows in America for June’s “Western Abominations” tour. We have world domination plans in the works so stay tuned. Thanks for the interview Dima and remember: Stay Space, Stay Home, Stay Death.
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