– Hello, thanks for answering to our questions. How’s everything doing right now into the band’s camp?
Well, at the moment we’re taking a very short break from performing. Currently working on new material as we always seem to be, and preparing for some larger scale touring this autumn.
– You have recently unleashed your debut album and are a quite new band so, could you share some history of PALLBEARER and tell us how did the band get together?
Brett and I started Pallbearer in 2008, during one of the most difficult times we had collectively experienced. The ideas we shaped there were incredibly cathartic and helped us strive forward. A bit later we asked Devin to join, and since then we have had several drummers, most prominently Zach Stine, who played on the demo and Sorrow and Extinction, and Chuck Schaaf who is our current drummer.
– You are hailing from Arkansas, and it seems like Doom Metal is really in good shape in the US; but we don’t actually know that much bands from Arkansas beside RWAKE and a few others so, how is the Doom or Metal scene out there?
At one point, the scene here in Arkansas was thriving, but it seems to have died out a bit as of late. Everyone is getting older, doesn’t have as much time for playing as they once did, and the shows are more infrequent. it is still alive and I hope to have some contribution in the continuation of what was once great community here.
– Anyway it seems like you are more influenced by European bands but, what musical influences have helped building the PALLBEARER’s sound?
We are influenced by quite a few different things, speaking for everyone, I’d say Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Camel, Rush, Popol Vuh, Solstice, Saint Vitus and My Dying Bride have all had a profound influence on our specific way of making music.
– As I said, a couple of months ago you released your debut album, “Sorrow and Extinction”, which is getting really good reviews. Did you expect such a good feedback for your first opus?
Certainly not on the scale that it has been, no. We of course, worked hard on the album and were glad to have accomplished getting it made, but we definitely did not expect such a wide range of response to it. It has been humbling and an interesting experience thus far.*
– For all those who may be interested in getting your album: how could you describe it in just 3 words?
Not complete darkness
– If I’m not mistaken Chuck was living quite far from the rest of the band’s members, how did this affect the creative process of the record?
Chuck was not in the band that the time of the recording, he joined afterwards, so he was not involved with the creative process. He did engineer the record though.
– In fact the recording process was quite slow. Would you mind to shed some light on how was this process like?
At the time, we had to work around everyone’s various work and school schedules, and our own tendency to edit things, and fix drunken mistakes from previous sessions. In the end it was definitely arduous as it took us nearly a year to finish the recording, but I believe it was worth it.
– The album has an overall live feeling, maybe due to the production you had this time around, less clean than the sound you had on your demo. How different was this time around the production process compared to the way you worked or approach it on the demo?
That’s not really an accurate description of the two to me. The demo was recorded very quickly and cheaply, whereas we recorded the album on a 24 track analog tape machine. It is much fuller and more nuanced that the demo, which was essentially made simply to document that period in time for us.
– On this first full-length you have included “The Legend” and “Devoid of Redemption”, both featured on your demo as well, but I’d dare say this time they both sound crispier and vocals are better as well. Why did you decide to have them on the album too?
We have never really been satisfied with the demo production as a standalone release, we felt that those songs fit in with what we wanted to accomplish for the album and deserved the better production. We had other songs we could have included, but it wouldn’t have fit the feeling we hoped to achieve.
– In fact it’s only left the Billie Holiday’s cover for “Gloomy Sunday”, which I have always been curious about. Why did you choose to cover that concrete song?
*That was an idea of Brett’s. He suggested it around the time that we had decided to record the demo, and we chose to cover it on the recording. *
– The cover artwork for your demo had a really special atmosphere, and you make no exception for the new one. What meaning does the new cover hold?
The cover art for “S&E” provides a small glimpse into the overarching concept of the album. We have always preferred to leave that interpretation up to the listener rather than take away the mystery. I will simply say that it is a part of the journey described in some of our songs.
– Lyric-wise it seems you take the album’s name seriously. Could you please tell us what do some lyrics on this effort deal with?
I can’t really speak for the meaning of all the lyrics; the parts that Brett writes on his own have a secret meaning to him that he will not divulge. The parts I have contributed to speak of parts of a journey through other realities.*
– I read you were planning to release a 7’’ split with UZULA. Do you already know something else about this upcoming release?
Actually, it’s looking like this will be a split 12” now. I believe it will have two exclusive new songs per band. Apart from that I don’t have any concrete details.
– And finally, what are other near-future plans do you have?
Next up for us is touring more extensively, and of course, slowly making progress on writing for the second album.*
– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
Thanks for the interview!