This time the victim to fall into the GMA interrogation cell is guitarist Bizz, of whom formerly played with the American industrial metal act Genitorturers feat. David Vincent of Morbid Angel. Bizz now plays with the Australian Industrial Metal / Alternative Metal mob Our Last Enemy and it was time for GMA to get the low down behind why Our Last Enemy could be the next big Industrial metal export since the glorious days of The Berzerker (minus the grind). No musicians were harmed in the interrogation process.
By Rhys Stevenson
So Bizz, how long has Our Last Enemy been going and what would you say the band's music style is without the use of genre tagging or cliches?
Our Last Enemy was formed in 2006. Our music is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. I'd say it's 50 / 50 but it only takes moments to dream up some killer riffs, but it takes a much longer time to work out the finer details to get the most out of those cool riffs and other musical parts. In other words, inspiration comes easily. It's the arrangements and the finer details that require lots of attention. I think that's where most bands go wrong. They just slap a song together and call it 'good enough'. We don't do that. Sure, it ALWAYS starts with inspiration, but to end up with a final product that you're truly happy with, it takes a lot of work. That said, there is the occasional song that just seems to write itself, and it all comes together quickly. But even with songs like that, we like to dig deep into it and make it the absolute best it can be. I think it's called O.C.D. Haha! But seriously, after all is said and done, an artist must know when the painting is done. And that is one of the reasons we run this band as a true democracy. We vote on what stays and what goes, until the majority feel that the song is complete. From there, the songs just sort of mutate naturally somehow. Just like my answer to your question just did.
And who inspired you to become musicians and who do you idolize?
I don't remember. I've loved music since I was old enough to sing. I don't 'idolize' anyone. I think idolize is a strong word. It sounds like worshiping someone. I bow to no man. Except maybe Alice Cooper haha.
I like a lot of bands from different styles of music. Over the last 13 years, I've been listening to a lot of Japanese metal and Visual Kei. But my influences spread across a many different styles of music, including (but not limited to) Punk, Industrial, Metal, Goth, 80's New Wave, etc. If it's good song writing and it has a cool vibe, I probably like it. But especially if it has a bit of a dark vibe or lots of attitude.
Focusing on New South Wales, how do the metal bands in cope during the times of wild fires?
Well, I think we all just sort of watch the news and hope the fires don't reach our own houses lol. I dunno. I've only been living in Australia for a little over 4 years. I guess I should say that we do benefit concerts or something cool to help the less fortunate. Like maybe give out free Our Last Enemy t-shirts or free dinner dates with teen heart throb and lead singer of Our Last Enemy, Oliver Fogwell.
Seriously though, we haven't actually done any benefits for wildfire victims that I recall, but we'd certainly be happy to do so should the opportunity arise. So there you have it. Our hearts may be black, but at least we aren't heartless. Oh, wait...maybe it's not our hearts that are black. It's our........lungs.
On a whole what would you say the trickiest thing about being an Australian Metal band would be?
Breaking out of Australia. Also, The Wiggles give us metal bands a run for the money in terms of heaviness. Those guys are really brutal with songs like Rock-a-bye Your Bear and Toot Toot Chugga Chugga. It's mindblowing. I mean, how could any of us ever compete with that sort of brutality?
How does mainstream media cover metal in Australia?
Oh, come on. We've got to keep some air of mystery about our country!!! lol
Reverting to Our Last Enemy, what plans does the band have for 2013 and beyond?
I personally don't want to say too much just yet, but it looks like it's going to be a very big year for us, which means it will also be a big year for our fans. Lots of exciting things in the works.
What is the local town / city metal scene like?
Sydney is a great place. There are a lot of good bands and loyal fans.
Finally any thank you's, hello's and any other messages you wish to say?
Thank you for your interest in Our Last Enemy. It's zines like yours who make a big difference to bands and music fiends alike. I'd also like to send a big thanks out to all of our fans, future fans, and to anyone else who has allowed us to pollute their minds by reading this interview.
We hope to see you all in the UK at some point in the not-too-distant future. Until then, remember to question authority and don't forget to do whatever you want.
In our search for some of the most unknown places for metal we checked out Nepal. Mostly what we know about Nepal is that Gautam Buddha was born there, Mount Everest exists there and that it is mainly mountains with very little economy boost in the past. So, from the not-so Metal things about Nepal, we now showcase another subculture that's flourishing in the hills, mountains and valleys of Nepal - the Metal Culture.
We have Sunil Dev Pant, the vocalist cum bassist and founding member of UgraKarma (which is Sanskrit meaning: Harmful / Extreme Action) answering our questions. What will come as the biggest shock to most of the people out there is this band exists from 1999. Yes, and the fact that they have stuck around is testimony to their love for metal, and on the down side the unfortunate situation that happens when talent doesn't come into the open just because its not mainstream. Read on to find what Sunil had to say to GMA..
Farzand: Greetings from India. How is it going in the hills brother?
Sunil: Bestial hails!!! The hills are alive with the sound of death and destruction because of the monsoons.
Farzand: We keep hearing about the devastated economy of Nepal, in all of this where does Metal come in?
Sunil: I have found that Death Metal really has nothing to do with the economy. In fact it flourishes even during war, desperation and turmoil. Death metal is universal, every country has at least one Death Metal band. But there are problems associated with being in a band in a poor country: lack of decent equipment, poor quality sound during gigs and recordings, very little exposure, fewer metalheads attending gigs, etc. But all these things do not matter if you really want to do it.
Our practice space (which was mostly my room) had a drum set with no snare (replaced by a tom), no toms, one broken cymbal, and hi-hats without a stand. We had one proper guitar and a f**ked up amp. No microphones so we'd just have to growl louder than the instruments. Gigs weren't much better either: rubbish power amps and constant feedback.
Things have changed now. Lots of practice places have popped up all over town, bands now have decent gear and if they can't buy shit they can always rent. Gigs have good sound quality, even the underground ones.
Farzand: So, how did UgraKarma (Sanskrit, Meaning: Harmful Action or extreme action, doesn't have to be harmful) happen in all of this?
Sunil: UgraKarma started out in 1999 with the idea of playing what we loved to listen to. Back then we were into Death, Black, Thrash and Grindcore and that's what we wanted to play. Did a few shows, won awards (hahahahaha), got our material recorded, got a demo and an album out.
Farzand: Kathmandu seems to be metal hub of Nepal, having bands like Jugaa, Binaash, amongst others spreading it around, how have the people responded to this evolution?
Sunil: The local scene has gotten f**king huge. Lots of people in high schools and colleges seem to enjoy metal music in general. Massive crowds and big stages at shows. We are also starting to see some popular bands from the West play in Kathmandu: Vader, Napalm Death, Decapitated etc.
But Death Metal is not really popular. It is still underground, if I may use this heavily misused term. Difference is that 15 years ago most kids would not know what death metal was, now almost every kid knows what it is even though they may not listen to it.
But Death Metal gigs are f**king intense in Kathmandu, insane mosh-pits, crazy headbanging and a very supportive crowd. There are some really good Nepali DM bands actively playing shows and recording their stuff: Binaash, Dying Out Flame, Broken Hymen, Narsamhaar just to name a few.
Farzand: 14 years till this day Ugrakarma exists, and many people haven't heard the term, forgot the band, must have been some struggle to stay up with real metal?
Sunil: We play Death Metal, and there are lots of struggles if one chooses this path. We understand that this kind of music is not liked by everyone, we will never get rich and famous playing Death Metal. But the love for the art is what keeps us going. We have a small but a strong fan following and that also helps us to keep pushing forward. We don't really care if people remember us or not. UgraKarma is not for the masses, and we are happy with it.
Farzand: Which bands do you sight as the one's who turned you all into forming Ugrakarma?
Sunil: Macabre, Rigor Mortis, Sarcofago, Slayer, early Sepultura, Von, Cranium, Cannibal Corpse, Sinister, Unleashed, Sodom, Morbid Angel and many more. Teutonic thrash, Brazilian Death / Black, American / Japanese / Dutch Death Metal, English Grind etc.
Farzand: What are the topics you guys like dealing with while making songs?
Sunil: Death, Destruction, Perversion, Serial Killers, Anti-Religion etc. Newer stuff is similar but we are also including parts of our land and culture that we find interesting: animal sacrifice en mass, death of mountain climbers, chaos and destruction, killings etc.
Farzand: 1 demo, 1 album, 2 singles (one featuring on the Ghazalat compilation), where do we hear UgraKarma next?
Sunil: We are currently recording an EP slated to be release by Legion of Death (France) on vinyl. There will be a CD version for Nepal only. Once this is done we are planning to do a full length album. But we will be playing a shit ton of live shows before we head into the studios again.
Farzand: A word for all the guys out there supporting metal the way it should be done?
Sunil: To all metalheads out there, support local metal and stop running after popular bands from abroad. The ones that really need your support are the bands that are just starting out: go to their shows, buy their merch, spread the word thru social media, shake their hands, take picture with them... just f**king support your local metal band whatever way you can.
Bestail hails to all!!!!
Ugra Karma are:-
Bikram - Drums
Prateek - Guitars, Vocals (formerly also bass)
Bijay - Vocals (backing), Bass
Sunil - Vocals, Bass (formerly also guitars)
By Farzand Bawa
In Italy "It’s really hard to be noticed and not be compared with veterans like Lacuna Coil".
Country - ITALY
Genre - GOTHIC METAL
Label - REVALVE RECORDS
Since your debut album 'Fall From Heaven' dropped last year, what has been happening in the camp? Have there been any new songs? Any line up changes?
Yes, a lot of things have happened. Lately we had an important line-up change. In fact our drummer Zeljko left and went back to his hometown in Serbia. So our new drummer is Paolo Faccioni, he is a great drummer and a funny boy! On the 31st May we re-released our album “Fall From Heaven” with some new distributors.
Taken that Gothic Metal is a fairly popular genre globally, is it popular in Italy? What bands are there in this genre?
In Italy it’s not the most popular genre. Anyway there are some great bands like Lacuna Coil, Mandragora Scream, Theatres Des Vampires, etc.
Do you feel the Italian metal scene is not getting enough attention that it deserves?
It’s a matter of fact that in Italy there are loads of metal bands, but really few are known internationally. Anyway for newcomers it’s really hard to be noticed and not be compared with veterans like Lacuna Coil.
How did Sin Deadly Sin get signed to Revalve Records and what was your fans reaction to this?
We got signed by Revalve Records after being contacted by the label’s management. They heard our music on MySpace and we met and found out there could be a great cooperation.
Has Sin Deadly Sin played any festivals and have you (or are you) played / playing outside of Italy?
Last year we played at few big festivals, like Metalcamp in Slovenia and Metalfest in Croatia. We have also played at the biggest open air festival in our country like Rock Im Ring and Alpenflair, and at some contests.
What future plans does the band have and what challenges would you say lay ahead for the band?
We are looking for some opportunities to play live and promote our music in Europe.
Finally are there any hello's, thank you's, greetings you wish to say to friends, family, fans, etc?
Yes, we’d like to thank all of our fans and supporters, everyone who enjoyed our music, our label, and of course, you Rhys!
GMA's British correspondent Rhys Stevenson caught up with East Anglian metallers Lucien Sarti just before their appearance at the final of the East Anglian Bloodstock Metal to the Masses, answers were given by Leigh.
So guys, what does Lucien Sarti mean and who the chose the name?
Lucien Sarti was apparently the gunman on the grassy knoll in the Kennedy assassination. Or was he? It suited us as the shadowy unknown people ready to dole back some old school values into the local metal scene. Frans came up with it, so I hope I'm not misrepresenting.
You're in the M2TM East Anglia final, do you reckon it's going to be tight?
It's gonna be very tight I believe, there's some very good bands in the final. But we will play our socks off as we always do, and I'm sure we'll be fine.
What does M2TM offer unsigned bands and especially those who didn't enter this year?
Its a prize to shoot for isn't it? Something to aspire to, and also to let yourselves think, especially if you are a new band, as we are, to think f**k it, let's go for it and see what happens. How far can we go? It's a test.
If Lucien Sarti do win, how will you be celebrating?
Haha, beyond the obvious of getting absolutely smashed? I'd be so pleased I'd do a little dance. And I dance very badly! In all seriousness though, I'm sure we'd be very overwhelmed.
What 2013 plans do you have and will there be any tours
The rest of 2013 will hopefully taken up with lots of gigs. A tour would be great naturally, and we shall see how our funds can accommodate. We also have some new tracks in the pipeline, and our game-plan is faster, darker but without losing our melodic edge. Should be good!
What was your reaction when you learned you will be in the m2tm final?
We were surprised for sure, but I saw it as a vindication of our style. People really did seem to like it, and I can assure you we shall be even better in the final.
Finally do you have anything to say to fans, friends, etc any hellos?
To the fans, thank you so very much for your support thus far. The next few months are gonna be a blast. To our friends, we can offer our most sincere thanks for putting up with our endless talking about the band. My most profound thanks is to my father who sold his prized air rifle to buy me my first electric. Told you it wasn't be a waste of time :-)
Foreskin, the Thrash Metal band hailing from the mass populated Muslim city of Lahore, the cultural hub of Pakistan and ancient capital of Punjab, speak up on how Metal in general has evolved in Pakistan and about their journey in making music, life and the ever-raging battle they face against preserving Metal against other genre's.
Vocalist / Lyricist Hassan Umer Amin of Foreskin spoke to GMA's Indian Correspondent Farzand Ali Bawa.
Farzand: Greetings from India, how is it going over there brother?
Hassan: Hey bro. Going alright, we're finishing up our EP recording and jamming for an upcoming gig.
Farzand: How has Pakistan had its effect on metal music?
Hassan: Difficult to say. On one hand, you'd expect that places like Pakistan would be able to produce some of the most insane, original, ass-kicking metal on the planet simply 'cos of the daily s**t we go through. There's been a precedent in history for this, New York and Brazil in the 80's for example, which were f**ked up dangerous places but with some of the most forward-thinking Metal / Hardcore / Punk scenes.
But with Pakistan, music as a whole seems dead and stagnating. There are some prominent 'popular' metal bands these days but none of those tickle my fancy, a lot of them lack originality and just have a basic understanding of 'metal', ends up making them feel soulless and contrived.
It wasn't until recently when Dionysus, us, Lohikarma, Necktarium, Khorne, Irritum, Myosis, and some other bands injected some originality and genuine underground ethos back in the scene. Dusk is also returning which is great. Those guys are by far the best metal act to have existed in this country.
Farzand: Bands like Strings, Jal and cults like The Zeest have been fairly known before, but the curiosity as to how the metal scene evolved back then still remains and where it currently is now.
Hassan: Metal started back in the late 80's with a Heavy Metal band called The Barbarians, apparently. Then Dusk started in the early 90's, influenced by the growing Death, Doom and Black metal scenes. They ended up being a very creative and forward thinking Doom metal band responsible for some of my favorite music.
In the late 90's to mid-2000's Karachi was the basic hub with frequent gigs, Lahore giving it a run too, but most of those bands never recorded and were just there to play gigs. A lot of them just died out when the Music TV channels started, because everyone suddenly wanted to play pop or rock. Bands like Soul Vomit stuck around but disappeared eventually despite a decent comeback. Some people involved with Hell Dormant / Autopsy Gothic can be seen in Karachi Butcher Clan these days.
In the mid-2000's, Eleventh Hour / Venom Vault was responsible for thrusting Islamabad into the limelight and it's still one of the top places for metal, though personally I think the quality has dropped since the golden days of Venom Vault and Depletion. Some of the folks from that scene are still around, and you can find them in the bands Black Hour and Inferner - Black Hour especially being a fantastic live band.
Lahore is a bit strange. It starts something then dies out, then starts again. We had the legendary Corpsepyre a decade ago along with other Death metal bands but when the gigs died out, they died out too. There was then a kind of revival with Dementia, Orion, Odyssey, Takatak, and other cool bands... but it died out too. Nowadays the Lahore scene has bands like Keeray Makoray, Takatak, Dementia, Dionysus, Foreskin, Irritum so it's a pretty musically varied environment, though splintered.
Farzand: Now coming to Foreskin, how did this project come into existence?
Hassan: In 2009, Amar and I were sick of the scene at that point and wanted to start a Punk Crossover / Thrash band. We just hated everything around us and wanted to give everyone the middle f**king finger. We named ourselves Foreskin because, well, f**k the world we're FORESKIN hahaha! We played some gigs, the first gig we played was also Dionysus' first gig - we've been sister bands ever since. We put out a demo called BITP in 2011 showcasing our old crossover sound in all its sloppy flavor and then split up for a time. Got together again and puked out the Anger Management demo with longer songs and more extreme influences added along with Sheraz of Dionysus doing the most of the songwriting whilst I continued to just focus on Vocals / Lyrics.
The Anger Management demo was well recieved, especially Hack N' Slash which is my favorite song from us to this day. So we started working on an EP after buying some new equipment. You can hear 2 promo songs from it on our Bandcamp, but the final version will be different. The song Anti-Kvlt is also available on the Ghalazat compilation.