– Hello, thanks for taking your time, hope you are all healthy over there. Has the whole pandemic situation affected the band’s activity and the work surrounding the release of the new album in any way?
Thank you for taking time for us. The pandemic has definitely affected the release of the new album, support shows and how we have been forced to market and push the release. Shows are few and far between…and what is happening for shows leaves a lot to be desired. We have been focusing on pushing things online…but even that has been a chore with most of America focused on nonsense propaganda and media fueled hatred. People need to turn the media off and focus on themselves for a bit and quit giving their souls to the media.
-What are you focusing on right now?
We are working on a couple things actually. We have all drum tracks done for the new album as well as several vocal tracks. We have a very large chunks of the album complete and the majority of it planned out.
We are also working on a limited release maxiEP that we are pretty excited about. This will have a slew of cool things we are including on it from unreleased track from Splendid, live tracks. A couple covers and a new single.
– You have just released your sophomore album, “The Divine Apostate”. What does it mean to you? Is a second full-length a step further into your own personality and learning from the experience of making a debut album?
The progress we made from our first album to our second was great….on all levels. We have all been playing for a long time and have a great chemistry with each other, and it shows on Divine. I think we are all proud of what Splendid is and how it was received, but we really held nothing back in Divine. If it felt comfortable, we did it. Being able to let go of apprehension when writing and recording is key to falling into yourself…and tapping into the well of creativity. Honestly, I felt we hit that about halfway through the album…and we are definitely in full motion into these next two releases.
– Already the album’s title itself gives a hint that you lean more towards the dark and the mysterious. How do you transport this to your sound?
I think that comes naturally. Our tone dictates a lot of what comes out in riffs and song structures. We have worked pretty damn hard to get the tone, power and articulation in our tone and this brings our new levels of ability in writing. Lyrically, I try to let the songs tell me what they are about before I start writing. To me…each song has a story waiting to be told…you just have to listen to find it.
– In fact some of the lyrics have a poetic aesthetic. How is the process of writing your lyrics and how much effort do you put on the language’s aesthetic?
I work pretty damn hard to accomplish just that. I have always viewed lyrics as an opportunity to give the listener power to control and interpret the song on their own personal level…much like poetry. Elegance and fluidity are crucial to leaving that door open to a listener. I like to direct the topic, instill a motiv and concept but leave a window open to derive from it what you will. Using a bit of eloquence is something I personally found appealing.
– Does Death Metal nowadays have some else to say tan just gory stories and gnarly images?
Every song writer delivers in a unique way…I think those who stand above the rest find ways to apply their skills without falling into the stereotypical ruts. 1000 writers can apply the same topics, and there will always be a few who can do so with grace and elevate themselves uniquely. Those are the goals I set for myself…
– On the record you’ve managed to build a sick and sinister overall ambience. What does inspire this? Movies, books, art, moments…?
Life. As a group we don’t really focus on movies or books. We are all fairly busy with family, children and careers. We all grew up and spent our formative years in the early 90s scene. Our goals have always been the same..to create as near a perfect metal album as possible. To do this, the mood and vibe needs to be consistent and powerful. The more we embrace who we are as people, the better we are able to fall into that pocket.
– Before releasing the album you parted ways with your original drummer. How did you find Matt? Has the new blood made you go further in creative terms? Because it can be the other way around sometimes.
I met Matt several years back when Jason and I’s previous band played with Matt’s previous band on many occasions. I was always impressed with his abilities. There are a lot of amazing drummers out there, but not many modern drummers encompass the traits it takes to embellish the vibe of the 90s….Matt definitely caught my eye in his ability to blend modern techniques with old school bones. His abilities have absolutely opened doors for us. We had a few songs written for Divine prior to Matt coming on board. But once we had him involved…it changed our writing to a degree. We became a bit more flexible for sure.
– One of the songs that manage to stand out off the album is “Coalesced with Wickedness”. Both for its diversity as well as for Snowy Shaw’s collaboration. How was this song born and crafted and why Snowy Shaw?
We have always loved working with friends and icons that have inspired our passion for metal. When we write, we are constantly talking about who we would like to work with..who would be fun to collaborate with…who we could potentially blend our sound with. When we started working on Coalesced, Snowy’s name was brought up and we wrote to accompany what we know Snowy is capable of doing. Snowy has been someone I have admired for decades on many levels. He is a fantastic drummer as well as an outstanding vocalist. We sent him a copy of the raw track and discussed what we were hoping to accomplish and he was all in. Snowy is a rad dude and full of spirit.
– Anyway you already had guest artists on your debut, like LG Petrov among others. What does having guest artists add to the songs? Are these artists friends or influences (or both)?
Some are friends…some are influences who become great friends. To me, collaboration and comradery is what metal is all about. I was always a huge fan of hearing guest spots on early metal albums and seeing the brotherhood that built the metal scene that made us who we are today. It has been an absolute honor to have each and every guest, engineer and producer be a part…and we look forward to working with others on all of our releases…its just part of what we do.
– Even though there’s an obvious influence from Swedish Death Metal in your music, there also some US DM among other kinds of Metal. How easy is to make something varied without straying from your traditional Death Metal path?
At this point in our musical careers…Death Metal is all we know and I don’t think we can deviate from that if we wanted to. I think the US influence is more apparent in Divine as we were very relaxed, comfortable and confident in what we were doing and things shine a bit brighter as a result. What you hear there is an absolution of who we are and what we love.
– You worked again with Jon Zig for the cover artwork. What significance does the artwork hold?
Zig is amazing. We worked with him on both Splendid and Divine. He is slated to do art moving forward as well. We have a pretty intense plan for where we have been and where we are headed.
– All this about “The Divine Apostate” being said; how would you describe it in just 3 words?
In due time
– You are all veterans in the scene, having previously played in several other bands. How and from what need was ANGEROT born?
When our previous band split…I was good with being done. I had spent over 25 years playing in bands and if I was to continue I wanted to do so on my terms doing what I have always wanted to do. Fortunately for me, Jason. Bill and Josh were very much on the same page with me. We weren’t sure how we were going to accomplish it, but we knew we would have a good time trying. Things have come a long way in a very short period of time.
– How do these other bands affect what you are doing now with ANGEROT? What do you bring here from that experience? Not just in sound terms, but in terms of experience as musicians and songwriters.
Experience brings wisdom. We have toured, spent time on labels, managed and mismanaged every element of being a musician. I have personally never been more relaxed and confident in what I am doing musically. The world has changed dramatically since I was 20 and my goals have as well. I absolutely love the direction Angerot is headed, what we have accomplished and look forward to what we have yet to deliver. As fond as I am of what we have done…I think we have yet to peak.
– What’s different from the 90’s scene now there’s an obvious resurgence of the old school aesthetics even among younger generations?
Loyalty. Dedication to the scene as a whole. As much as I eat, sleep and breathe Death Metal…it saddens me to see how quickly some are to throw bands and musicians under the wheel. Metal, and Death Metal specifically, blossomed on honest rebellion and the power of free speech. Now, we live in an era of social narcissism and the desire to dethrone and burn those to prove how much we care. It’s all flipped backwards and become a bit disconcerting.
– I think we all already know Metal tends to be a quite nostalgic «community». When Simon Reynolds researched on the cult of retro on «Retromania: Pop Culture’s Addiction to Its Own Past» he wondered if: “Is nostalgia stopping our culture’s ability to surge forward, or are we nostalgic precisely because our culture has stopped moving forward and so we inevitably look back to more momentous and dynamic times?”. Applied to the Metal world, what’s your opinion? Do we use to look back because we feel there’s something missing on most of today’s music?
I am not sure I agree with his sentiment. Forgetting your roots in the name of progress is how things crumble and fall. Acknowledging your history, respecting your roots and influences is how you truly move forward. Knowing your success and your failures and knowing what works and what doesn’t is crucial. Too many view change as progress and view consistency as being stagnant…I view it the exact opposite. There is no greater power than consistency.
– And before we wrap this interview up, what are now your near-future plans? What are you focusing on right now as a band?
Album three…and the maxiEP are the main focus.
– That’s all from our side, thank you once more for answering our interview. If you’d like to add some final words; feel free to do it.
Thank you very much for the insightful interview…one of the best so far. Cheers!