– Hello, thanks for taking the time. What’s the band currently up to?
We’re preparing for our as yet un-announced European tour in November, so that’s the primary focus, just a lot of rehearsing.
– First off, I hope you don’t mind to start making some history of ULCERATE…
I’d advise anyone to just check out our site, all the info about our history is there… http://www.ulcerate-official.com/
– Why did you pick «Ulcerate» for the band’s name?
We were originally called Bloodwreath, but when it came time to record our first demo we had a stylistic shift and a member change-up so it felt right to change the name as none of us were really fond of the original moniker. We had a song called Ulceration on that first demo which we really liked the sound of, so we decided to work something out of that.
– And what are the main musical influences for the band? As your sound is quite unique actually.
Nowadays we don’t really pull from direct influences per se, but when we were teenagers starting out I remember us being really into Immolation, older Cryptospy, Angelcorpse, Gorguts, older Hate Eternal, Today is the Day etc and wanting to kind of develop a sound that took influence from those kind of bands. We’ve also got a fairly large appreciation for bands like Neurosis, Jakob, Bohren und der Club of Gore for example, so that’s obviously crept in as well, trying to frame that sludge/noise and down-tempo feel into a death metal context. By the time we had gotten our demos out of the way, we’d more or less found a sound that we were happy with, and it started to become much more of our own thing.
– Your latest «The Destroyers of All» came out like 6 months ago; how was its acceptance?
Acceptance? As in how it was accepted by people? More or less we got the reaction we were expecting, a lot of people really seem to connect with it, but at the same time we’re starting to get a little bit of comparison made between this album and Everything is Fire especially, with the obligatory internet bickering over which album is better and why.
– This album mixes different elements and really personal song structures, that’s why I would like to know how was the songwriting process.
Songwriting for this album was the first time we sat down for 7 months or so solid and worked on it every day. We wrote the entirety of the album from start to finish in a linear fashion as much as possible, and the track order on the album is the order we wrote them in (asides from one track) so from the outset we had a very clear vision of what we were wanting to achieve. And we’ve kind of stumbled over a pattern of pre-production whereby we write a couple of songs, then take a week to record them as well as we can just as we would for an album where we work out a lot of the finer details of the melodic interplay / counterpoint. This also helps us nail the production direction that is going to suit the songs.
– And, though I know it’s hard; how could you describe this CD in just a few words?
The overall sound we were aiming for was large, open, bleak, all-encompassing and oppressive.
– Experimentation is an important fact in your sound and you have always been evolving constantly. Could you say this is your most mature album or just another record different to the previous ones?
Yeah it feels like the most mature effort for sure, but every band is going to say that about their latest work as you’re always progressing. But for me, it’s a 2-way tie between this album and Fire in terms of enjoyable tracks, as some of our best songs so far are on Fire no doubt. In relation to works earlier than the last 2 albums, yeah this material is a huge step forward.
– You have recorded, produced, mixed and mastered the album yourselves, as well as created the artwork. Is this a pro because you know exactly what you want or does it just mean more work?
Well it’s certainly more work in terms of time, but it’s definitely not a chore or anything like that. We get as much fulfillment out of art and production as we do out of writing and performing the music. It’s all as important as each other, so it’s really crucial for us to have control over all facets of the band’s output.
– And talking about the artwork, I would like you to tell us a bit about it; what does it mean, etc.
It’s a visual depiction of how I see and hear the music and lyrical concepts – the figurative depiction of the wolf attacking the elk references predatory
conflict at all levels of nature – that conflict is a very natural thing and that humans for the most part are certainly not above the rest of the animal kingdom in this regard.
– Still apart the album’s sound; what are the main lyrical ideas?
The title is a reference to humanity as a whole and our ability to unwittingly lay waste to ourselves and our environment, and our reluctance to do anything about it until it’s at a breaking point.
– We don’t get that many bands from New Zealand; how’s the Metal scene out there?
New Zealand’s metal scene is really pretty weak to be honest. There’s only a handful of bands, and out of that handful only a very small amount that actually persevere and have done worthwhile things. It’s a tough environment for extreme bands to be in, being so geographically isolated. You have to really love what you’re doing and be prepared to sacrifice most things in your life for the music with very little outside validation, due to the isolation and small population. It seems 9/10 bands over here lack the tenacity to push through the first formative years – I can name maybe 3 bands outside of ourselves that have made it past the 1 album mark.
– A few years ago we could see you touring Spain with KRISIUN,
NILE and some others. What are your memories of that tour?
For us that our first international tour experience, so we were both humbled and blown away by the shows, the organisation and professionalism of everything. Plus, everyone on the tour were fucking great guys to hang out and talk shit with! We had particularly good shows in Italy, France, England – but every country was great – it was also a chance for us to get out and see these cities for the first time in our lives, which is a total bonus.
– And finally, what are your near-future plans?
Near-future for us is to tour the album overseas – so we’ll be in Europe in November/December, and we’re heading over to the States next year for MDF as well as a small number of headlining side-shows.
– That’s all, thanks again. Now feel free to add some final words.
Cheers for the support, we appreciate it!