UNDERGANG (Eng.)

– Hello, thanks for your time. What are you guys currently up to?

Hi Tania, first off thanks for writing this interview for us and for the interest in our band. Sorry about the delay, things have been busy here the last months.
Right now we’re preparing for a trip to New York to play a show on May 4th with AUTOPSY and FUNEBRARUM, followed by a show with DISMA on the 5ft.
Other than that we just finished the rough mix for an upcoming 3 track EP to be released around summer by Me Saco Un Ojo and Dark Descent records. Always plenty of things going on here.

 

– You have just finished a tour with FUNEBRARUM; how did everything go?

Absolutely awesome! The tour went great and we had a shitload of fun with the FUNEBRARUM guys. The tour was organized by a new booking «agency» called Kill-Town Bookings run by a friend from the Kill-Town Death Group. He did a really good job and most of the shows were really cool.
This was our first time touring Europe and we got to visit some countries we hadn’t played in before which was cool. Met a lot of good people, played with some cool newer bands with SEPULCRAL (it) and ESCAPE THE FLESH (Cz) probably being my favorites.
We shared some cover tracks with FUNEBRARUM almost every night, with Matt Medeiros doing vocals on a BOLT THROWER cover and Daryl Kahan doing vocals of a MACABRE END cover, that we played and then me being invited on stage for shared vocals on a GRAVE cover with FUNEBRARUM. Was a lot of fun!
The tour also led to us being invited to join the show in NY with them and AUTOPSY followed by the single date with some of the members other band DISMA.
We definitely feel like having gained new friends which is always cool.
Thanks to everybody that attended the shows on the tour in February, gave us food, beer, weed and shelter! You all rule.

 

– You recently unleashed your second full-length album, that’s why I guess some people won’t know about you yet. So, could you please make some history of the band?

Well, the band was formed in the late spring of 2008. Originally it was meant to include more members, but as those people didn’t show up for our first rehearsals we just stuck to being a three piece and our bassist turned from rhythm guitar to bass and I picked up the vocal duties along with being the single guitarist. We’re pretty happy with how that turned out and couldn’t’ imagine it being any other way nowadays. Alright, we played out first show in Copenhagen in August the same year, recorded a single promotion demo track after that. Played some more local shows, recorded our debut album «Indhentet Af Døden» during the winter of 2008/2009. I did a run of 100 promo cassette tapes in summer 2009, we got a deal for the LP version of it on Me Saco Un Ojo records, an all new label at that time hailing from London, and a CD deal by Xtreem Music was accepted a little after that. Our debut album was out in January 2010, we did a weekend tour with our friends in DEAD INSTRUMENT after a release show in Copenhagen. Played a ton of more shows, did a two Germany dates with Japanese friends ANATOMIA after the first edition of the Kill-Town Death Fest in 2010, had the CD version of «I.A.D.» out in February 2011 through Xtreem music, extremely delayed as I messed around for ages getting the CD lay out ready…Retarded as fuck.
We recorded our second full length «Til Døden Os Skiller» in February 2011, but had to wait with the release through Xtreem Music as he didn’t won’t two UNDERGANG albums out that close. So I released a two track teaser tape of the rough mix recordings and spread 6-700 copies during the remains of that year. We did a 16 date US West Coast tour with San Francisco based ACEPHALIX in May/June 2011, played at the Danish festival Roskilde Festival in summer 2011 and more shows in Denmark, Germany and Holland during that year too.
February 2012 we had our second album released and we toured Europe promoting it the same month.
That should lead pretty well up to where we are today.

 

– And would you mind to shed some light on the band’s name?
UNDERGANG is a Danish word meaning something like «world downfall». We found it pretty suitable for our music, when we more or less settled on our sound upon writing the first 5 songs. Heavy death metal postulating the downfall of the world of mankind

 

– As I said, you have recently released your second album, «Til Døden Os Skiller», how’s its feedback being? Are you satisfied with it?

Mainly feedback and reviews have been pretty good. To me the new album is a natural follow-up to our debut and I think a lot of our listeners would think so too. The album is heavier, a bit better produced and we play as better musicians than on the debut. Nothing fancy, just filthy and heavy death metal in the vein as we like listening to ourselves. I’m sure everybody’s got their own opinion on the new record, so I can’t and won’t really state how it’s all like any further.

 

– And how could you describe the record in just 3 words?
Rotting Beyond Belief!

 

– I think you have been through a clear evolution, both in songwriting and musicianship but, how do you think has UNDERGANG evolved since Indhentet Af Døden?

We grown a bit as a band for sure. For starters we’ve become slightly better musicians, our feel is tighter and we follow each other in a better way than on «I.A.D.» I think. The songs are a bit more structured than on the debut, which I believe also gives the songs a bit catchier and probably a bit easier to listen too. Besides that I’ve handled all artwork and layout myself this time around, given visually the album more of a «real» picture. The lyrics a bit better written too I think, though my it’ll never be great poetry, haha.

 

– In fact we can find some elements you didn’t use before that much, the samples for instance. How did you come up with this idea?

On the debut we only used the single sample in the intro, but actually intended to use it a bit more than that. It’s definitely no original idea and it’s much in the vein of IMPETIGO and MORTICIAN. We wanted to add more of a horror vibe to the album and it does create a bit creepier atmosphere to the overall impression of the record to me. Some might think to the use of it is a bit too much, but we feel that all samples used lives up to it’s purpose. But as all the talk in them is in Danish, as well as everything else about UNDERGANG, the samples might come off a bit confusing to some.

 

– We can also find a instrumental track, “Kadavermarch”. Were you looking for something different to close the album with?
I always loved the instrumental tracks near the ending of the early METALLICA albums and to some content «Kadavermarch» is our tribute to «The Call of Ktulu» and at the same time the title comes from a Danish horror novel written by Dennis Jürgensen and released in 1991, probably the book I’ve read the most times in my life, hehe.
So we wanted to create a heavy, sludgy ending to the album that’d leave the listener with a feeling of despair, along with a satisfaction to the experience of «Til Døden Os Skiller». I feel like the overall atmosphere to the song along with the acoustic ending lives up to that description. Also, by my mistake, our A. Dødshjælp wasn’t credited for coming up with and playing a lot of the additional acoustic guitars in the ending. He also wrote and played the piano intro «I.A.D.». Man, I’m a bit of a dick for forgetting to mention that in the credits I guess haha.

 

– I noticed your vocals sound even lower this time around. Was this something you aimed for?

Well, thanks! Actually I think I did some lower and heavier vocals on the debut, but that not of any concern. I wanted to do the vocals even sicker this time around and have tried more gurgling and hysterical ways of performing the lines. This is something I take even further on newer recordings as I want to make UNDERGANG more disgusting from every release.

 

– Also riffs sound clearer, still having a really heavy and crushing sound. Did you approach differently your guitar work or maybe the production had something to do with this?

We recorded «T.D.O.S.» in a different (and an actual) studio this time around, still with the same sound engineer but as all the machinery was different the sound has evolved a bit natural from that. Also, I used new distortion pedals for this release, compared to the build in distortion of my Peavy amplifier on the debut album. Aimed for a more varied guitar-tone for each guitar track in the songs. A bit clearer sound, but still crunching and filthy.

 

– Due to the aforementioned I would like you to tell us how was the songwriting process this time around. Did anything change at all?

Not at all. We’ve basically build all the songs in the same manner from day one till now. I write the riffs at home (on an acoustic guitar, honestly), arrange them in the first shot of an order and bring the song to our practice. A. Dødshjælp and I work out the drum patterns and arrange the song fully. Then I show K. Ondsind the bass-lines and he comes up with his slight different ideas for that. Then we come up a name for the track, either together or me alone and I write the lyrics about the subject of the title and then make the words fits the vocal patterns I imagine for the song.
Some of the newer songs since then has been written in the practice, with all of us combining ideas for structures and then I come up with the riffs for it. But actually we have only ever erased one song and that was the one song I didn’t write, haha. Must have been back in 2008.

 

– Your sound has always been really intense, both in slow and fast parts, and heavy. Is this the main focus on your music? What does in your music have the biggest role?

It’s all about being as heavy as we can possible create it. We then throw in all the blends we feel like the single songs needs, but it’s build around the riff for sure. A lot of people in nowadays extreme music seem to forget about the riff and confuse heaviness with speed and techniques. Fuck all that bull-crap, I say!

 

– Your lyrics are in Danish so; would you mind to tell us what do they deal with?

As we chose a Danish name for the band it only came natural to keep the lyrics in our native tongue as well. The lyrics deal with Death, Decomposition, Suicides, Madness, Decay, Child-murder, Torture, Necrophilia and what ever demented things I might feel like the songs gives me of inspiration. It’s death metal, so it’s supposed to be about death!

 

– This album has been released by Xtreem Music, a Spanish label. How did you hook up with them?

I believe it was Dave of UNCONSECRATED who played our 2009 promo-tape for Dave Rotten of Xtreem Music and as he liked the songs he wrote us and offered to release our debut album on CD and LP as well as our second effort, when that time would come. As we already had made an agreement for the LP release with Me Saco Un Ojo records we offered for him to do the CD version, as his offer was the best we had gotten on that subject. He agreed to that and he then did the CD version in February 2011 and now both the LP and CD version of our second album. We appreciate everything he has done for us and we’ve met a few times at festivals and shows in Denmark and Spain. A good and dedicated guy right there.

 

– And do you know any Spanish Metal bands by the way?

Of course! Mainly Death Metal though, as it’s what I listen to the most. I only want to name those I actually do like but amongst them, off the top of my head, I’d name TEITANBLOOD, ATARAXY, WORMED and MACHETAZO.

 

– We know some Metal bands from Denmark, but it doesn’t seem to be many bands playing your same music style. Are there any acts worth mentioning playing such a straight-forward Death Metal?

Actually, the Danish metal scene doesn’t really appreciate what we do. So to us it’s much more fun being outside of DK when it comes to playing shows. The Danish metal bands are into different things than we are and they all sound very typical Danish. Something that is hard to describe but you can tell from listening to it. At least as a fellow Dane. But there definitely are some good bands worth mentioning. Of older ones I like the first demos from DOMINUS (all later era stuff is shit), EXHAUST, CAUSTIC, INFERNAL DEATH etc. of newer bands I’d recommend checking out CEREKLOTH, STRYCHNOS, MOLD, DEUS OTIOSUS, SCAVENGER BRATS, DEAD INSTRUMENT, TORCHLIGHT and BOTTOM FEEDER.

 

– And finally, what does the future hold for UNDERGANG?

More shows, more touring, more releases, more boozing…All that we already do, just taken further. We’re always working on new stuff and taking the band further into the underground death metal madness. Right now we’re working on getting the new EP finished, finally getting our split with ANATOMIA out and booking a Scandinavian tour with local youngsters MOLD this summer.

 

-That has been everything from my side, thank you once more for taking the time. If you want to add some final words, feel free to do it.

Thanks you for this interview and the best of luck with Queens Of Steel!

Rotting Eternal,
– D. Torturdød / UNDERGANG.

Tania Giménez

tania@queensofsteel.com

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