After several years ASPHYX surpised us (or not that much considering all the times we have seen these kind of reunions with the only aim of earning some money) with a reunion show and, a bit after, with a brand new studio album. This may do some people wonder; why have they done that, what will happen with this reunion… Their drummer, Bog Bagchus, talk to us about their latest release «Death… the Brutal Way» and all the questions this might do arise on us as well as their future plans, which relesing a DVD and another album figure among them.
– Hi Bob, first off let us thank you for your time and for reviving Asphyx.
Bob-Yes.Thanx for sending the interview,Tania.Much appreciated!
– Let’s start with your latest album, «Death… the Brutal Way». Personally I think that title can fit with both some of your lyrics and of course also your music. Why did you choose this name for the album?
Bob-Yes,the title fits perfectly.Well,Death The Brutal Way is a slogan we already use since 1989.Metalion from the Slayer Mag.once came up with it and we started to use it.It fits our music the best.No compromise.
– In my opinion this album still keeps that Old School sound and obviously the very own Asphyx hallmark and I guess that’s what all the Asphyx fans expected from you. Are you happy with the result of this full length? Is it difficult nowadays to keep this sound alive?
Bob-Yes,it still has,of course,all the typical Asphyx elements.It’s hard,brutal,heavy,raw and very straight forward.We do not want to play anything else besides this.We are very happy with the outcome of Death The Brutal Way.The songs are great and the production is great.It’s not difficult for us to keep our sound alive.Asphyx will always be Asphyx.
– And of course, the one I’m sure you’re tired to answer… How has been it’s feedback? Both by press and fans.
Bob-The feedback has been great so far.As well by the press and,most important,by the fans.Of course there are always people who don’t like it,but that’s ok.But for 95% we get great response.
– You have always had a really personal style that makes your music be so recognizable. Now in this CD you mix that Old School sound with some modern touches, but you’re still that recognizable, which I think it’s one of the Asphyx ingredients for success. Is your music just what it comes out from you or in some way do you try to not disappoint your fans?
Bob-Modern touches?? Can’t think of any,really.I hate modern approaches,haha! But,seriously,it all comes very naturally to us.When we sit down in the rehearsalplace and work out Paul’s compositions it all falls
into place,like it did in the past also.This is our very own style and this is what we want.We only think of ourselves,to be honest.It must be 100% Asphyx,nothing else matters.If WE like it,then the fans will like it.
– Maybe that unique sound is due to that Death Metal sound mixed with some kind of Doom (or slow) parts so I can imagine your influences are varied. Which are your main influences? Also as drummer.
Bob-Yes,we always had the heavy doom in our songs.That I like the most.But we have various influences and they are:old Venom,Hellhammer/Frost,old Messiah,Slaughter,Necrophagia,Majesty,Master,Winter,old
Death etc.My own influences,as a drummer are:Abaddon(Venom),Chris Witchhunter(Sodom),Ron Sumners(Slaughter),Joe Blazer(Necrophagia) and Steven Priestly(Celtic Frost).Not the usual drummers,but I like them the best.I don’t care for technical shit,I’m only into straight forward powerrumble.
– You have published this new album nearly a decade after of «On the Wings of Infierno» and after a reunion show as well. When and why did you start writing new stuff?
Bob-We started write new stuff in the beginning of 2008,I think.Paul came up with the riff of Scorbutics,and Martin and I were amazed by it,so 15 minutes later Scorbutics was born.From that point on
Paul just kept writing riffs and composing songs like hell! Unbelievable!! It all sounded awesome.Well,Death The Brutal Way is the result.It wasn’t planned or so,it just happened very natural.
– And talking about writing and the composing, how has it been? How uses to be in a band like Asphyx? As well as the production process.
Bob-Well,the guitarist,in this case Paul,comes up with riffs,he starts to compose a song of it,send it to our Gmail and then Martin and I are checking it out.And shortly after that we go into our rehearsalroom and
start jamming.The production process of the new album has been mostly between Paul,Frank(our engineer) and Dan Swano.
– In the album we can find a track called «Asphyx II (they died as they marched)». Is this a second part of your «Asphyx (forgotten war)» or does exist any kind of connection between both songs?
Bob-No,it’s not a sequel of it at all.It stands by itself.There is no connection,except that it deals with war.Also musically Asphyx II is a total different song.Total doom devastation.
– Paul is the newest band member (besides Martin’s return). Do you think is he bringing something new to the band? Was lacking something before he joined you?
Bob-Paul definitely brought new blood to the band.That’s for sure.He’s very enthousiastic and has alot of ideas.Good ideas.It’s thanx to him that there is a new Asphyx album.
Well,in the On The Wings Of Inferno period there was something lacking for sure within the band.It didn’t had the real bandfeeling we had in The Rack days.I mean,the On The Wings…period was a good period and is
a good album for sure,but personally I didn’t got too excited about it all back then.That period feels «empty» for me.Same goes for the God Cries period.No magic as well. But when I think of the Embrace the Death,The Rack or The Last One On Earth times it feels very good right away.Classic times!!
– All members of the band are involved with different musical projects, some of them are really active bands. Did this suppose any problem for the recordings? I don’t think so for gigs since it seems you still keep in mind that idea of not doing tours, don’t you?
Bob-We have no problems at all.The schedule of Hail of Bullets and Asphyx are all in cooperation with eachother.As for Asphyx,we don’t do any tours.
– You have recently played at the Maryland Death Fest, that was your very first visit to the USA, how was that experience?
Bob-The experience was great and we got great response! We had a killer time out there!! We go back next year again,since we couldn’t play our full set due to «overplaying» by a band before us.
– People who assisted to your show saw a Martin and Wannes having a little duet. Wannes has also done some backing vocals for the album and I really think he has a great voice. Have you ever thought any of you of including a few more vocals by him?
Bob-Wannes does do backing vocals now and then.He did some on our new album as well.Yes,he has a good voice indeed.But Martin is the main vocalist and should do 99% of the vocals.
– A few months ago you played in Barcelona at the Battlefield Extreme Fest II sharing stage with some Spanish bands. What are your memories of that show? I’m sure some readers would love to know your opionion!
Bob-Yes,Barcelona was great! One of our best shows for sure! Killer!! We have great memories of that show and the day after.The bands who played there that night were also great!! We enjoyed it alot! Looking For An Answer and Graveyard are brilliant bands!!
– A lot of years have passed until your first demos or «The Rack», what has changed since then in Asphyx? I mean both as musically as personally.
Bob-Well,musically pretty nothing.We always stay the same.Personally alot.We have,an cliché,grown up and take things less personal now.We can relativate things alot more and talk to eachother when something
– And what has changed since then in Bob?
Bob-In me ALOT.Like said,I’m alot more open now then I was back then.Also I have a family now,a wife and 2 sons.They are the most important for me.
For the rest,I’m pretty much the same as it comes to personal interest.I still adore horror movies and still am a 100% metal fan.And I do visit Formula 1 races,which is another passion for me.
– And finally, which are the nearest future plans for the band? Will this be just one album and some shows?
Bob-Well,playing a show in Berlin in 2 days,we will release a split 7″ with Hooded Menace from Finland and there will be a new album as well.But first there will be a live dvd from our elease show in Essen/Germany of Death The Brutal Way and that dvd will also contain the whole bio/history of Asphyx as well.Featuring ex-members etc.It will be out in the beginning of next year.
– That’s all, Bob. Thank you a lot and our best wishes with Asphyx, hope to have the chance to see you again in Spain!
Bob-Thanx alot for this cool interview,Tania!Cheers! We hope we’ll play in Spain soon again!!!