I caught up with the rising Swindon quintet way back in April of which was a momentous time since Azz Willoughby left the band and now The Twist in Colchester has shut down.
I spoke to them about the band history, their latest album 'Almost Heaven' and some other little banter, all of which finalized as an overall decent interview.
So here we go, I managed to catch up with Kobi Farhi of Israeli Oriental Metal legends Orphaned Land, bring the sounds of the Middle East to one website.
Emerging Dutch Death Metal mob Bodyfarm got a good stripping over when I spoke to their guitarist / vocalist Thomas Wouters, this band are looking set to be the natural successor to Hail of Bullets, check it out.
1. Who came up with the band name and what does it mean to you personally?
When Quint (drums) and I just started Bodyfarm, we named our very first song after the band’s name. We didn’t have a band-name yet and Quint thought it would be a good name for our band. I was skeptical at first, but Quint convinced me. It’s catchy and short. That name is part of our lives ever-since, haha.
2. How did you guys form and were their any line-up changes since the beginning?
In the late summer of 2009 I asked Quint if he were interested in starting a death metal band together. We were both in other bands back then and those bands didn’t please us any more. Quint was interested, and a few beers later we had a new band! A few weeks later Winfred Koster joined (ex-Pleurisy, ex-Bloodphemy) us. He rehearsed with us a few times but then he kind of magically disappeared and never showed up again. So we went looking for other musicians and we found them, Bram Hilhorst (guitars) and Mathieu Westerveld (bass) who were already friends of ours.
3. You signed to Abyss Records, can you explain how this came about?
Yeah we did. Abyss Records contacted us through MySpace right after we uploaded our very first tracks. They offered to release our EP in jewel case and booklet. We’re still waiting on that though. The slipcase is already for sale at the Abyss Records web-shop.
4. With Dutch Death Metal concerned, do you feel it has become a common genre in the Netherlands?
The metal scene here is pretty big and I think there’s a lot of death metal fans amongst us. Outsiders don’t have clue what death metal is about but I think that counts for pretty much every country. I’m glad The Netherlands have a pretty big metal scene. There are a lot of festivals here, and a lot of club shows for major death metal bands to play. The death metal underground is less popular. That sometimes frustrates me. I think we are a bit spoiled, hahaha.
5. You're currently in the studio preparing for your debut album, how long has this taken, how many songs will there be and what other information can you give us?
Yes! The drum recordings are planned for late September. Writing this album has taken a lot of time. We’ve been doing a lot of gigs, so most of the time we’ve been rehearsing for shows, but all the material is done now and we’re ready to enter the studio. There will be 10 tracks on the album, including a cover from a legendary U.S. death metal band. The artwork will be done by Erik Visser, who also did artwork for the latest Severe Torture album and our friends I Chaos. This album is gonna kick ass if I may say so myself, and we’re looking so forward to the result! The material on it will be in the same style as on the EP, but my vocals have changed in a good way. They’re lower and aggressive.
6. Your self titled debut EP, what was the general response you got from it?
The responses where surprisingly good from all over the world. People seem to like it that we only do what we love, and not trying to be innovative or technical or something. I think our music is ‘honest’ death metal. The responses we got really motivate us to continue with this band, and make a killer album.
7. Does any of the band members play in any other bands, if so which ones? If not, who would your dream band be to play with?
Quint plays in a punk/streetcore band, Bram has his own brutal death metal band called Cavitation and Mathieu plays in Baatezu. I don’t want to play in a second band, I’ve got my hands full on Bodyfarm.
8. Finally what can we expect from Bodyfarm in the next few months or so?
In the next few months you can expect some video footage from the studio! Quints drumming, vocals, guitars, etc. Maybe some rough samples from the mix. For all of you who care: checkout www.myspace.com/bodyfarmnl, but mainly: hook up with us on Facebook! We’re not that hard to find, haha.
A new revelation in the Global Metal Network, the next step is here, audio interviews, here we have Aron Parmerud, guitarist of the Swedish Melodic Death Metal sextet Marionette, check it out.
DEATH / THRASH METAL
I spoke to Dale Linsdell (vocalist) and Dan Oldcorn (bassist) of the Death / Thrash Metal quartet Merciless Terror from Nottingham to see what the mob are deviously planning,having just released their latest EP the Notts County lot have had this to say:
1. When, where and how did Merciless Terror form?
Original Drummer Dan Mulligan, Guitarist David Siddons, Original Bassist Aiden Hornbuckle and I formed as a “Melodic Death Metal” band called ‘Autonomy’ back in May 2009. We had a practice or two then realized it really wasn’t working so we decided to play a style of music we all liked, something that had energy and raw passion… Death metal! We then wrote our first song ‘Exiled To Suffer’ in April 2009 and decided to call ourselves MERCILESS TERROR!
2. What does the band name mean to you and who came up with it?
Merciless Terror means to me the style of music we play, i.e. merciless and pure terror! David was actually the one who came up with the name while him and me were in the kitchen trying to decide on what to call ourselves. The other potential name was ‘Fear The Aftermath’… glad we didn’t pick that one!
3. What inspired you to play Death / Thrash metal to the tone of post-apocalyptic lyrical themes?
The Post-apocalyptic vision of dystopia has always somewhat been some sort of fascination with me.
It may be clichéd to write about this subject *laughs* but it can definitely conjure up more imagery for actually writing lyrics as well as the music itself. Plus I think Dale and I have both dabbled in the Satanic themed bands before…but there’s only so much Satan bashing you can do before it gets old *laughs*
4. Who is the biggest band you have gigged alongside and has the band played any major festivals?
I’d say the biggest band we have shared the stage with is death metal legends BOLT THROWER. We also had the honor of having a few beers with them in their tour bus; they were down to earth and gave us a hell of a lot of helpful advice. We have not played any major festivals as of yet, but who knows what the future will hold…
For me personally I’d say Malevolent Creation, just because I wasn’t in the band for the Bolt Thrower gig!
5. You released your debut EP this year, how long did that take to record and was there any problems?
The E.P only took 2 weekends to record. There was some minor problems which I wont go into, all I can say is we are glad it is done with and look forward to getting our debut album out! Which we will be writing later this year.
We went in, I think around the beginning of September and recorded the CD as Dale said in 2 weekends. We laid the drums down in one weekend and everything else on the second weekend. Baz mixed the CD at Doghouse Studios before sending the E.P over to James Murphy (ex-Obituary, ex-Death, ex-Testament) where it was then mastered. As for problems, I won’t go into detail but we did hit a lot of snags along the way.
6. Explain how you managed to get signed to local Nottingham record label Bad News records?
Bad News Records owner Baz Barrett approached us after hearing us during a band rehearsal at his studio in Nottingham, ‘The Doghouse’.
Yer, I think we were a little skeptical at first, but after a lengthy band discussion we decided to accept Baz’s offer, which has definitely been one of our better decisions!
7. Does Merciless Terror have any immediate plans for a debut album and/or UK/European tour?
We are currently in the process of writing our Debut album, which we will be aiming to release it next year! There is a possibility of a tour later in the year with an old-school death metal band, which I can’t name at this moment in time. However a tour of Finland is also confirmed for December with Bob Malmstrom, which we are extremely looking forward to. As for a UK tour, we are always somewhere in the UK at some point so if you can class that as some sort of long-term tour then yeah…
As Dale has mentioned we’ve started to gather some ideas down for the debut album. We’ve only had a short while to start preparing for the writing, as we’ve had a pretty busy year thus far with gigging and touring and obviously finally releasing the E.P. We also just finished a short UK tour promoting the E.P where we also crossed to mainland Europe to play a few shows over in Belgium! However we’ve always got gigs around the UK, we’re definitely not a quiet band in that respect *laughs*
8. For prospective musicians going into bands, what advice would you give them?
Play what you love, and give it your 110% every show you play!
Practice, Practice, Practice *laughs* definitely sticking to your guns would be a huge piece of advice! Don’t follow the trends so you can get laid haha. Play something you’re passionate about and stick at it…don’t give in after the first hurdle you come up against! The last thing I can think of is…work hard! Don’t expect things to fall onto your lap! Get out there and get it done for yourself!
9. Finally what is your opinion on fans downloading music for free when they cannot access metal cds in their country i.e. Iran.
I’m not really bothered. Not many people buy CD’s these days anyway, even in our country! Bands make pittance on CD sales these days. I personally think if it gains the band exposure then why the hell not? Also I think those countries have strict rules on freedom of speech etc so I think its great for those people to be wanting to listen to something different. Those people deserve to have it for free!
Agreed! I used to be bothered about the issue of illegal downloading, but times change and you accept things as they are. I think we’re all up for downloading music to a certain extent and we’d like to think people would then go out and buy a physical copy *laughs* However if people can’t physically buy a copy of our CD I have no problem for them to download it…I don’t think I’d lose any sleep over it!
Seems like the Merciless Terror boys got it all going for them, what will they dish up next, hopefully a brain-blaster debut album, watch this space.
I spoke to Rob Williams (vocals / bass) of the Metal sextet Iyus from Southend-On-Sea to see what the boys in black are getting upto, recently they gigged with Southend stalwarts Merciless Fail and are now burning blisters in the Rayleigh Battle Of The Bands, this is what he had to say:
> How long has Iyus been going and what is the best point in your career so far?
Iyus has been going for about 9 months now. Personally I'd say our best moment so far has been getting through to the finals of the Rayleigh Mill Battle Of The Bands, playing that gig in general was just fantastic.
> What does the band name mean and who came up with it?
Surprisingly we don't get asked this very often haha, it doesn't actually mean anything, it was created by our guitarist, Josh and our ex-vocalist (also named Josh). They were talking about Tenacious D and wondered how you'd pronounce the "ious" and for whatever reason that name stuck!
> How does it feel being part of the Rayleigh Battle of The Bands competition?
Well for us it's a way of gauging our progress this year, being a fairly young band it means a lot to us to be able to get through to the finals. But also aside from all that it's great fun competing alongside bands we're friends with.
> Is there any plans for a CD release this year?
Well back in February we released our first 4 song EP, but since then we've dramatically matured our writing style and as such approach our song writing with great criticism and care. Showing our progress from since we started is very important to us, so recently we've just been releasing singles, however a CD with plenty of new material will be on the horizon as soon as possible!
> How did you guys form and was there any line-up changes over the years?
It was a simple phone call between Josh and our old guitarist Jake that got it going. To be honest we haven't had that many changes since our first EP, before that when the band was first starting there were a few, but we feel with every change we've become a stronger, more solid group.
> Are you at present looking for a label deal or planning to continue being independent / unsigned?
We of course are constantly looking out for what's in our best interest. We're a band that take risks and try anything, but we are equally as wary. Being signed would be a dream come true, but whether we are ready for that quite yet is another question. I'm sure when the opportunity arises we'll be ready.
> Is there any tours your planning to do, whether it be local or regional or even per se East Anglia?
We're always talking about organising a tour, next year we definitely will be on the road.
> Is there any tips you could give to budding musicians?
Don't be waiting for things to get moving on their own, do everything yourself and don't be afraid to try anything!
> What can we expect from Iyus that has not already been mentioned?
We have some exciting gigs lined up and a new single (Alpha & Omega) on it's way. Be sure to check us out at facebook.com/IYUSofficial to keep updated!
So overall a promising time for Iyus, as Rob said, check out Iyus on their Facebook!!!