BIRTH A.D. (Eng.)

– Hi, thanks for your time. What are you currently up to? How is everything doing right now with BIRTH AD?

As of this writing, I just got off a tour as stage manager for Marduk, and I got bronchitis and broke a rib in a fall, so I’m actually not at my best right now. But I am excited that the album coming and looking forward to the dates on the East coast with Evil Army.

– First off, as you are about to unleash your debut album I guess there may be some people who aren’t familiar with you yet; could you please share some history of the band?

We started in 2009 as our main band, Averse Sefira, was starting to slow down. I had a crossover band back in 1989 called Afterbirth, and I always wanted to revisit it. I wrote a bunch of new songs at once and then we got together and recorded them three months later as an EP called “Stillbirth of a Nation”. In October of that year we did a tour of Japan and since then we’ve played several shows with classic bands like DRI and Rigor Mortis.

 

– As I said, you will soon release your debut full-length album, entitled «I Blame You» so, how are you feeling about it? What are your expectations on it? It may be an exciting moment for you guys, I guess.

I’m pleased it’s finally coming out! I wasn’t expecting it to take a year after it was recorded to be released, but I’m really glad to be working with Unspeakable Axe/Dark Descent, so it was worth the wait. I think the fans we already have will be pleased and newcomers will enjoy it as well. This is the first band I’ve ever had where the response was almost unanimously positive, so we’ll see where it takes us.

 

– Though «I Blame You» will be released next April you were formed in 2008. How has the ride until this first album been?

It wasn’t until 2009 that we actually started doing anything, so I’d say that was the year of formation. Either way, the response has been far better than I would have expected. I didn’t know if anyone would be interested, and I wasn’t confident that all the Averse Sefira fans would accept the change. Everyone has been very supportive of it, however, and a lot of my friends from other bigger bands have made a point of supporting it. It has been great so far, and I expect it will only go up from here.

 

– And how could you say has BIRTH A.D. evolved since it was formed?

There hasn’t been much evolution, we’re just bigger and badder now. I’ve finally become a proper vocalist, which took a little time since this band was the first one where I actually did all the yelling. After working with Alex Perialas, we know exactly what we’re capable of, so now it’s just a question of maintaining it going forward. We’re not going to evolve or change; that would defeat the purpose of the band.

 

– As you did with the «Stillbirth of a Nation» EP, on this «I Blame you» you are showing a pretty 80’s sound in the form of Thrash/Crossover/Punk, with some nuances from bands as SUICIDAL TENDENCIES or CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER I could personally say but, what have been the most influential bands for the band’s sound?

If I had to pick one, it would be SOD, namely “Speak English or Die”. That album had a massive effect on me way back when, and it is still one of my favorites of all time. Then the next obvious one is DRI, who I like just as much, then Cro Mags, early Prong, Fearless Iranians From Hell, Nuclear Assault, early Corrosion of Conformity, and of course Slayer! I also have a few Death Strike/Master nods in my songs too. I hear Suicidal Tendencies and Cryptic Slaughter a lot, though admittedly neither band is as high on my list. I like the first ST album, and select songs from Cryptic Slaughter, but I’m not as fanatical about them.

 

– And what bands on your style could you suggest? Do you believe the good old essence of the 80’s/early 90’s has faded away due to the big amount of bands, less originality and tools as the Internet?

If you mean current thrash bands, I wouldn’t know what to tell you. Listen to any of the old stuff I mentioned above and you’ll find your way. And I wouldn’t agree that the essence of the old guard is totally gone, as old-style death metal is really thriving again in the internet age, which is really exciting. As for crossover, I would say that the sound has been subsumed by a softer, more formatted version where it’s all party-hardy pizza thrash. I created Birth A.D as a response to all that, where there’s a real message and some dangerous ideas being thrown around. We are living in grim times, and we were overdue for some new battle anthems.

 

– In fact it seems the whole Metal world is somehow saturated in this digital era, where almost anybody can publish their music and people have easier access to a lot of different bands. Due to this I would like you to tell our readers what are BIRTH A.D. bringing new or different compared to other bands.

Authenticity. This isn’t some kind of late-model clone band we’re doing, but a proper continuation of where all those great old albums left off. I was there when they hit the shelves, and it always killed me that so many of the bands had only one crucial album to their names. Does anyone really care about anything past “The Age of Quarrel”? If you buy this album, you’re going to get something directly from the source without any of the modern overformatting that happens so often these days. There isn’t much in the way of bona fide crossover out there right now except for us, and if that’s what you’re after, Birth A.D. is the answer!

 

– The cover artwork also takes me some years (decades) back but, what did you want to reflect on it?

Like everything else attached to the band, I wanted to bring back the handmade style of cover art from the era, long before Photoshop even existed. I grew up reading comic books and Judge Dredd was always a favorite of mine (and a lot of other metalheads as we’ve seen). My original idea was to hire Brian Bolland, who really popularized the character, but then I found that the current artist, Cliff Robinson, was available for commissions and every bit as good as Bolland. I wanted someone who could create a scene that was in the traditional comic book style without it becoming silly or childish. Cliff gave me exactly what I was after, and I couldn’t be happier. The funny part is that we started working on the concept months before any of the “99%” protests on Wall Street came about, so it was even more plugged into current events than I expected. Anyway, it was really a dream come true to have such a great cover from an artist such as Cliff. I think it really sets the idea of the album perfectly.

 

– The album’s title is pretty eloquent, I guess it can hold different meanings depending on the person who reads it, depending if you read it in first person or more in a subjective way but, what meaning does it hold to you?

You got the right idea, though when I came up with it, “you” effectively meant “everyone”. But yes it can mean a collective or a single person, because in the end, aren’t we all part of the problem? There’s too many people on the planet and quality of life continues to plummet even in the wealthiest nations. It’s funny, because I’m actually pretty sociable overall. I like humanity, it’s people I can’t stand!

 

– Your sound is pretty straight-forward and violent, and I think you’ve got the perfect production for such sound; a good balance between raw and clean, really organic, providing a certain old flavour. Could you please tell us how was the production process like? Was the sound obtained what you were looking for?

The simplest version is that we went to Pyramid Sound in Ithaca, New York, and recorded with Alex Perialas on most of the same equipment he used to record

“Speak English or Die”. I went to him with the specific idea of recreating that process, and he said there was no other way he wanted to do it, so it was just meant to be. We spent a week and a half recording, then another five days mixing, so it was appropriately quick and dirty.

 

– Lyrically you are not afraid of covering social issues but, what have been some concrete subjects that have inspired you for your lyrics? The USA lately has experienced some remarkable events so, is the current social state of your country an inspiration for you?

I don’t ever want to get too up-to-the-minute with my lyrics because then they lose impact over time. It’s better (and easier) to talk about universal complaints that aren’t going to go away anytime soon. The current social state of America influences me in that I use it as a way to compare how things used to be relative to how our situation continues to decline. America will one day be the largest third-world nation on earth if we don’t start making some serious changes, and I plan to focus a lot of my new songs around that premise.

 

– All this about «I Blame you» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?

Crossover thrash assault!

 

– And finally; what are your near-future plans?

We’re going to push “I Blame You” like crazy and see where it takes us. I want to tour everywhere, so start demanding us and we’ll come see you!

 

– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.

Cause problems and kill hipsters!

 

Sergio Fernández

sergio@queensofsteel.com

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