– Hello and, first of all, thank you so much for answering to our questions. How is everything doing right now with GOREGÄNG, right after having released your debut album? How does it feel?
It feels great! We started this band in 2015 and it was a slow and steady build, but it is awesome to see it’s finally out here.
– Both of you have and are still involved in other Metal bands into different styles. Where did the need of creating a project like this born?
We basically just wanted to do a studio project that would sound like «monster music». Jeramie and I have been playing music together for 10 years now, and it always sounds like us, but this was unique because I decided to play drums and then we shared guitar/writing duties.
– What is GOREGÄNG and your music to you?
The band is a great outlet for both of us. Jeramie gets to express himself through lyrics and vocals, as well as guitar, and I get to write from a drummer’s perspective, so it’s all very cool and exciting and fresh for us.
– As I said, both of you have different music backgrounds. How do your other bands, or the bands you were part of in the past, affect what you are doing now with GOREGÄNG? Not just in sound terms, but in terms of experience as musicians and songwriters.
We learn something from every project or band we interact with. Whether it’s good or bad, or just interacting with the other creative people influences you. We are fortunate to have a studio and the ability to make any kind of band we want to. I think each band may have slight nods to another but overall I don’t think this one sounds like any other band of ours.
– Musically, what are your main influences? You seem to draw from different Death Metal scenes but also from Crust and Hardcore Punk.
The scale of influences between the two of us is crazy. Anything from Frank Zappa, to Death, to Faith No More, to DRI, etc. Death Metal being the biggest influence overall, but my drumming influences come from Ken Owen (Carcass), Away (Voivod), Bill Andrews (Death, Massacre), Lars Ulrich (Metallica, ever hear of ‘em??). I’m a fan of varous Punk styles too, so when the drums are Punk, the riffs come out having a bit of a Hardcore edge.
– That Hardcore influence is present in those gang vocals, which are pretty unusual in OSDM bands. When writing the album, did you put some effort in trying to find some trademarks that could make the band sound more personal?
When Jeramie was writing lyrics and recording vocals for our first EP, he had certain parts that he said required gang vocals. It came about pretty naturally, given that it had a Hardcore vibe in Death Metal clothing.
– «Neon Graves» also has a good sense of melody (even catchiness) that doesn’t take off your overall brutality. How easy is to get a good equilibrium between these apparently opposite elements? Do you take advantage of melody to make aggression have a bigger impact?
I think having two songwriters helps with having a diverse sound. In this band the riffs I write tend to be more «caveman» and crusty overall, with a few simple, sinister melodies. I get to write beautiful harmonies in The Absence, so I like playing more Crossover Thrash riffs in this band. Jeramie, on the other hand, gets to unleash his inner guitar player in this band, and he has a great sense of melody, so it’s cool to watch it all develop.
– Some lyrics are more in the Punk side too, dealing with political/social issues. What topics do you touch on some of the songs? What did inspire some of them?
Jeramie writes most of the lyrics in the band, and for the most part he writes about personal issues. Not his, but just humanity’s issues and observations. We also have a song (loosely) written about how mosquitos devour me here in Florida («Weightless Sentinels»).
– Talking about this, does Death Metal nowadays have some else to say than just gory stories and gnarly images?
I think there have been «intelligent» lyrics in extreme music since the beginning. You may not have seen them on Roadrunner or Metal Blade, but I think as time goes on, interest in the gore stuff dwindles. I still enjoy reading an over-the-top lyric every now and then, but I like a lyric that makes me think, too, and I think some of Jeramie’s lyrics are like that.
– The cover artwork reminded me a lot to «Left Hand Path», was it a conscious nod to Swedeath? How did you work on it and who was in charge? What was the idea you had for the cover?
Well the story behind the artwork is pretty amazing. When it was decided Transcending Obscurity Records would release our album, we asked our friend Juanjo Castellano if he had any unreleased artwork we could use. He had worked with us on a Ribspreader album before this, and we love his work. Anyway, he sent us four or five pieces, all killer. But there was this one. We had name the album «Neon Graves» months before this conversacion with Juanjo, so seeing this piece with a GRAVE in the forest with NEON orange goo coming out of it, it was too good to be true.
– On the record there are some tunes that were part of your debut EP. How have they morphed?
There were just some changes in the mix.
– The sound on “Neon Graves” is very organic yet clear and powerful, but not overproduced. How did you record it? How did the whole production process go?
Jeramie and I have a studio here in Spring Hill, Florida called Smoke & Mirrors Productions so we record all of our projects here. First I recorded the drums. I just went in and made up songs on the spot, then we wrote the riffs over there. It comes together in a different way doing that process. Then bass, and then I mixed the album and Jeramie mastered it.
– This being said, did you have clear what kind of sound did you want for this opus? How did you work on this aspect of the album?
We didn’t really have a definite sound we wanted, but we used the HM-2 pedal mixed with «regular» distortion so it’s a wall of guitars, and we wanted it fat. And even though the mix is a few years old at this point, we’re proud of how it turned out.
– In your opinion, what would you say differentiates you from other bands into the style? Or what’s the ingredient a band into the genre needs to pass the test of time?
You have to bring something unique to the table. Sometimes that means a different sound. Sometimes that means a crazy drummer or a crazy vocalist. I think we stick out because it’s not super technical, so it’s accessible to Heavy Metal fans, and I think Jeramie’s vocals are unique and savagely brutal.
– There’s now an obvious resurrection of old school Death Metal. How do you guys feel about it? Is it easier to get out there due to the growing interest or the fact that there’s a lot of bands doing this makes it harder?
I love Death Metal, so I think it’s cool there are so many bands. I’m sure it is more difficult simply because there are so many bands, but if you really want something to happen, you’ll figure out how. We’re just doing what we do, and we’ll see what happens!
– And now, what are the near-future plans for GOREGÄNG? Being a duo, are there plans for live shows?
We have done some live shows here in Florida as well as a short run along the Southern United States. When we play live now, I play guitar, Jeramie sings, we have our buddy Jesse Jolly on bass (Blightmass, ex-Amon, who has also filled in for The Absence on a few occasions), and on drums we have Dwane Nihiser (Church of Disgust, Disevered).
– That’s all from our side, thank you once more for answering to our interview. If you’d like to add some final words; feel free to do it.
Thank you for inquiring! Check out our album «Neon Graves» out now on Transcending Obscurity Records, and stay tuned for album #2! Cheers.