Ahead of Fleshgod Apocalypse's tour of the UK and after they had finished their USA stint, GMA initiated contact with and interviewed frontman Tommaso Riccardi through Skype. Having formed back in 2007 in the beautiful city of Perugia, Fleshgod Apocalypse have since then ramped up themselves year after year, delivering four extremely well-received albums:- Oracles (2009), Agony (2011), Labyrinth (2013) and their latest offering King (2016). All whilst playing all over the world supporting and headlining, last year they headlined the Sophie stage at Bloodstock to a packed-out tent and are kicking off their UK/EU tour today by performing tonight at The Audio in Glasgow (SCO).
After which they will play at three other UK venues in Manchester, Bristol and London before setting off rampaging across Europe. Where they will be performing in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Switzerland and of course Italy. After which their string of summer festival appearances take them to Germany, Belgium, France, Finland and Spain (all dates for the tours and festival appearances can be found here)
Let the interrogation begin!!!
"We never thought about it (Eurovision), that could be a good idea though I mean there are no restrictions on the music genres so you know it could be interesting to see what happens"
Having played in the US, Tommaso admitted he still felt the jet-lag from the whole tour (USA is at least an 8-hour flight from the UK; 5 hours behind, so you can understand). 'King' as said stands as the band's fourth album and was released earlier this year, so by asking for a background explanation to what is going on behind the lyrical content and what the artwork portrays, Tommaso was able to give a in-depth account to what makes the album not only what it is, but also tick.
He admits that the formula used for this albums is the same formula used for all FA albums, that is by having an idea as to what the band wants to sing about, they can break it down into smaller 'chapters', as for the artwork the "visual is strictly connected with the concept itself", essentially the artwork explains visually what the album concept is about, in fact FA likes to talk about "human beings in the terms of how our behaviour, our feelings reflect on the world we have around us and how these two different worlds: the outside world and the inner world influence themselves", essentially from this you can gather that FA are somewhat philosophical when it comes to the albums in question, whether it has to do with their Italian heritage is a question for another time.
In context with 'King' they became inspired and guided by modern societal influences but not of a political nature, adding that the band prefers to look at something in a purely philosophical way (this lead me onto thinking maybe FA could become the next band to be questioned if lyrics can be educational). Tommaso believes that people are becoming lost in modern society and in doing so getting addicted and hooked on needless things, adding that 'King' is on two different levels and Tommaso goes on to explain these levels:-
Two tracks that really stand out are: "Healing Through War" and "The Fool" and so Tommaso was pleased to explain the meaning behind each of those songs (you can watch and listen to "The Fool" below via YouTube):-
Next year the band will be ten years old, so speaking about how FA came about mixing classical elements with Technical Death Metal in the very beginning, Tommaso welcomed us into the Fleshgod Apocalypse-sphere as it were. The FA sound "came from a very simple intuition at the beginning" and "like every idea you have it's really a matter of experimenting and developing, and seeing where that idea can take you", with references harking back to their Italian background and subsequent heritage as Tommaso continues to explain:-
"Essentially in different ways we will have been fans or in any way have had influences also as kids by classical music, and of course all of us at that time were already into metal music (for a while having played in previous bands and projects), but I really think that the fact of this idea mixing it with classical music came simply from also our heritage. Of course being Italian is something that really makes it part in that we had also a lot of very important musicians and composers, so in a way it was really something that came from a very simple intuition, that then in due time of course to integrate all the different aspects and to understand the mechanism of our music and understand also the ways to reach a certain balance between all of these elements".
Because of this it would seem that the band arguably could have created their own genre as a result, but as Tommaso highlighted if you have an idea and you experiment and develop that idea, it can lead to things, but naturally the band did not set out to create a new genre because it had to be created, but rather as said, followed their instincts as Tommaso goes on to elaborate:-
"It's something that's never up to the musician himself to say because of course its feedback from people who support the band and listening to the music that's the most important thing. For sure we really tried to be as much as possible as original, but not in a way that meant we are just looking for something that has to be different just because, but simply I guess the fact that we incorporated certain elements, and the fact that of course those elements are obviously influenced simply by our own personality, in some way created something that at this point starts to be something that you can say 'OK this is Fleshgod Apocalypse'. I mean I guess that at this point there are certain elements that are recognisable as Fleshgod Apocalypse elements so we're just trying to keep on following this inspiration and this thought that we have, just trying to do our thing".
Speaking of doing their own thing, we had one of our readers ask a question some time ago about how fast (and if he has tested it) the FA drummer Francesco Paoli actually drums. At this question Tommaso delightfully chuckles and admits that Francesco unfortunately hasn't taken a 'drumming speed test' before going on to talk about said musician:-
"Francesco is really... I mean obviously he is a drummer at this point, but you always have to consider that Francesco is someone who started playing drums just because the band needed a drummer; he started in late 2008, previously as you know he was the vocalist and guitarist at the very beginning, but actually before we started touring. Then he decided to start studying drums, because it was a need of the band, so this is just to say that he's really a musician and not just an instrument player, that means that also his interest is always always the fact of giving the music what the music needs.
So actually it is true that he is probably one of the fastest drummers out there, but in the mean time he is not even that kind of 'nerd musician', he's really dedicated to the music and also the fact that he's the main composer and in a way he's like the 'artistic director' in Fleshgod Apocalypse, that gives you an idea of that he's a very transversal musician and he really does what is needed, so even for the speed and kind of techniques he uses, essentially the music requires it. I couldn't say how fast though, I guess what we really care about is the quality of the music and how the technique can be used to make music what it is."
Attention was then turned to (along the lines of 'quality of music') towards Francesco Ferrini, who in 2010 joined FA as the pianist and on orchestration:-
"He's (Francesco) been working with us actually since the beginning in the meaning that for example in "Oracles" we still didn't get to the point in which we had a full orchestration throughout the whole album, but we already had interludes and parts, orchestral parts and of course piano parts because already in "Oracles" for example the title track was a piano song and he was already working on that part of the music even before joining the band as a live member. Then from like late 2010 / beginning of 2011, he joined as a full member also in the live shows and of course since then and since "Agony" we actually introduced the full orchestration into the whole music. He started also working on composition and arrangements together with Francesco Paoli, so now it's these two guys that mainly work on the composition".
Consequently the first album that Francesco Ferrini appeared on was "Agony" and this partially formed the basis for the next question, well the other part was focusing on a specific track. One of the less aggressive songs that FA have put out, of which the music video matched the level of aggression exerted - virtually very little. 'The Forsaking' is a lovely number, it is piano-driven, full of dramatic twists and turns and as the music video goes (you can watch it below), the setting is rather majestic. Speaking about the venue, which presumably was in Perugia, I was wrong but wasn't completely far from the truth as Tommaso goes on to explain:-
"Yeah well nearby it's Città di Castello, that is like 60km (37 miles) from Perugia so yes it's in the area". What can you tell us about the venue and have you played there? "No actually we haven't, that's a theatre that is mainly used for ballet, opera and classical music, sometimes other kinds of music like jazz shows, it was really interesting that the piano that Francesco used to do all the private parts in the video is the piano that has been played a few years before by Michele Porchene (I am not sure of the name so I apologise if wrong) for example, so that is an Italian artist on piano and it has been played on by a lot of crazy musicians. But actually we've never played there, actually during tours we had the chance sometimes to play in actual theatres, but we still didn't play a full show in an ancient theatre like that and that's obviously something that could be suitable for future shows but also a live video, because I think it would be the perfect frame for one of our shows."
It's always cool to see bands play and perform in some of the most unorthodox of venues, be it a castle, theatre, church, vineyard (in Australia) or hell even right down to Metallica playing in Antarctica and The Defiled playing on an iceberg.... but what about Eurovision? Well Lordi did it and won it for Finland, soon a flurry of metal acts made the leap into the song contest: Eldrine (Georgia), Terasbetoni (Finland), maNga (Turkey) and Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko (Albania). So what about Fleshgod Apocalypse? Clearly Francesco has his eyes on the possibility as he explains:-
"To be honest we never thought about it, that could be a good idea though I mean there are no restrictions on the music genres so you know it could be interesting to see what happens, you know it could be interesting actually... you could probably have given me a good idea now (laughs)". Well Lordi did it. "Oh ya ya, that's what I mean, we could really consider to try and do that, it's one of those things that obviously fascinates me just because I like music things like that, like the Grammy awards, stuff like that so I really, you know I would never say no to anything like that just because I like the idea of participating in a contest that is so important, that's the only thing I could think about".
Aside from Eurovision being an interest, I asked Tommaso what hobbies and interests does he and the band have, how the band survives on tour and reflecting on a musicians life essentially:-
"One of the things that I love the most and I know it's a very simple thing and also probably very, VERY typical for an Italian but I really really consider food and wine as something that is a real form of art. So every time I get the chance, I really try to just see some friends and go to some place that I like, there are a couple of places here in my home town, especially a couple of wineries that I really love and we also like the people that work there, they're my friends. So whenever I get the chance and I've come home from tours I try to catch up with my few good friends and just go for some good food and wine, because I really like to experiment and try all these different things. Besides that I really like skateboarding, this is something I've discovered really late so even though I'm 33 I'm actually a beginner (I started at the age of 30), but still it's something that really frees my mind, so every time I can during the warm season (summer) I really try to go skating.
For each of the other guys, Ferrini for example he's a real expert in cinema - I like cinema but he is one of those guys who really checks out everything, so he is really into cinema so he spends a lot of time watching movies and of course going to see movies at the cinema. Paolo (Rossi) for example is a big football supporter of our home town - A.C. Perugia Calcio (it's possible that Paolo's parents named him after an ex-player of the club of the same name), when Perugia plays at home he always goes to see the match at the stadium and really follows Serie-A and Serie-B.
Francesco Paoli is the only member who has a kid for now, so of course he spends a lot of time with his kid and most of the times I see that when he has a couple of days off he always tries to go skiing, because he really likes it. So you know normal things here and there, because of course now the band became something that really takes a lot of our time and also energy, so it's so important to sometimes to try to distract yourself from what you do, even if it's your passion, sure you become used to touring and recording music, but you also learn how to manage your energy - it's about getting used to a certain lifestyle and consequently seeing if that lifestyle is alright for you.
For each of the guys and for me, I really like touring, I like seeing different places and discovering things, how different cultures work. I really like to see the world, obviously on tour you just have a very short amount of time everywhere you go, but still you get that experience that is different obviously than from going on vacation and having time to check out a lot of things, but still it's really interesting but of course it is something that takes a lot of energy both physically and mentally, because there's so many constant changes that it is impossible to call anything a routine, so that's obviously an exciting part, but also sometimes a very stressful part because you continuously switch from one lifestyle to another and that's of course very stressful.
I think this works until you're really doing what you do with friends and the good thing that in Fleshgod Apocalypse is that we're friends first of all and that means that, when we jump on stage it's not just doing our duty but it's something that we really share and I really think that, that's the only way to really take the touring life in a good way, because I could not imagine how it could be to be on tour for so much time and don't get along with each other, you know what I mean? So for us we're lucky in the meaning that we really... sometimes we also fight on every little thing but it's always a very constructive fight, so it's always getting better altogether and finding the best way to bring things together."
If you recall earlier in the interview, Tommaso revealed that he likes food and wine, well with AC/DC having already revealed their own wine and Iron Maiden their own beer, has or would Fleshgod Apocalypse ever release(d) their own wine?
"We actually already do, we have our own brand out there, for the whole "Labyrinth" promotion we put out two different wines, a red wine and a white wine, and we are putting out the new wine 'The Fool' for the promotion of "King", so it is already something that in which we are into because we, well it's really a part of our heritage so we really liked the idea so, at the beginning we wanted to do it so."
So guys Fleshgod Apocalypse have their own brand of wine coming out for the promotion of "King", so be sure to be sober enough to start drinking it (Tomasso chuckles). So how did you get into playing music and listening to metal?
"I've always been a fan of music and part of my playing when I was a kid was something that started pretty early and got me curious in the beginning, I actually started with the piano (he was 6 or 7 at the time), one of those small digital piano's from which I spent a lot of time pressing the keys and experimenting, and then my parents listen to a lot of rock music - Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Rolling Stone - and also a lot of Italian music, we had so much good Pop Rock music in Italy in the 70's and 80's; I'm from the early 80's, so I listened to a lot of my parents stuff and when they saw that I was interested in that they also introduced me to classical piano, so I've been studying classical piano for a few years when I was a kid, and then I remember that I was on probably like 5th grade when I was around 10 years old.
I remember my brother who is 9 years older than me, that when he got his driving licence I was going around with him sometimes on Sundays, just driving around the countryside and I remember that he was the first person to introduce me to Iron Maiden and I recall that it shocked me in a positive way because I remember he was listening to 'Fear of the Dark'; that actually came out when I was around 8/9 years old and I remember I was actually quite hit by this music, it was so different and then when I started intermediate school, I also had a friend of mine who was a super big fan of Queen and he gave me my very first CD as a present and it was "Hot Space" (1982), I was so blown away by Queen in particular so I started to temporarily listen to some metal music, Iron Maiden namely so after that of course discovering Metallica and then listening to Queen, Aerosmith, some rock bands from 70's / 80's.
When I was 13 years old my brother who was actually playing a little bit of guitar, pretty much acoustic guitar and so then I came pretty curious about the guitar and I remember I was continuously taking his guitar and trying to find notes by ear without knowing anything about guitar, and then I think the last push was the fact that my sister's boyfriend was a singer from a local rock band in my area and they gave me my very first electric guitar as a present when I was 13 years old and from then on I just started playing a little bit of rock music and stuff and then of course after a couple of years I formed my very first metal band with some friends of mine, and from then on of course I've been keeping on playing metal music until I found myself in Fleshgod Apocalypse.
My parents are happy of course that I was playing, they didn't push me in any direction, it's been something completely by myself that I started to do just for passion so of course they cared about me taking care about school like every parent, but in the mean time they were happy that I was playing and doing some local shows. But of course they didn't have an idea how this could or not become a job, but really they've been really supportive in that they never have pushed me in any direction, just let me do what I have in mind.
When I was 19, so right after school they asked me if I wanted to do this or that, continue into college or go to music college, or something like that, but at that time I did not know where music would take me in the end, so for many different reasons and because also I have a passion for science (his father is a researcher in medicine), I decided to study pharmacy in college - that I have been continuing also during the first years of Fleshgod Apocalypse, in the mean time I kept playing as a self-taught musician, then obviously Fleshgod became my main job and in the mean time I graduated in pharmacy, so at this point I'm a musician but at the same time I have a graduation in college, so I know something about chemistry and stuff like that. Now of course they're super happy about this and always following me, continuously communicating when I'm out - sending pictures and stuff."
Having finished their US tour, Tommaso happily stated where they have also played, where they hope to and the like:-
"We've actually been to Japan twice, we've played China, Hong Kong, Taiwan (Taipei), Indonesia, Australia, we've been to South Africa twice, Mexico twice, Costa Rica, but we're still missing South America and that's a shame, BUT we're working on it of course because I know that South America is crazy and we've been already trying to organize for a couple of times but due to timing reasons we had to pass, but we're working on it. Until now Asia in general has been amazing for us, and it's been growing really fast, I've also seen that in this particular moment with "King" we have a very high position in the charts in Japan and Australia too, so obviously we're planning on organizing a new Asian tour for "King". It's been a blast since the beginning and especially China and India, we've been to India last year and these are all new markets where there's a lot of people discovering metal music right now and it's really interesting because they didn't have the possibility of getting this, because of Governments and stuff like that.
So to see them opening up to this kind of music, to see now that it's happening is really interesting as we see fans and new fans emerging. Although I'm not very aware of what happens over that side of the world when it comes to bands, I know of some bands but still to be honest I don't know very much about what's happening with bands out there, but I see there's a lot of things happening even though it's still mainly an underground music. I do though see these bands on Facebook and continually listen to new things from all over, there's a lot of fans who send me links and stuff - there's also a lot of people interested in playing music, so of course it is a market that is destined to grow up also in terms of putting out valid bands and valid music - when a new scene starts it's always stimulating for new music to come out.
How do you keep yourself amused on tour?
"What I really try to do and I think I speak for the whole band, is really try to use that small time we have to just walk around and try to check out the places, also places we've already been because also as I've said it's always such a short time that you have because every day you play in a different city, for example in San Francisco we finished the show at around 11-11:30pm and were leaving around in 4:00am and I spent around 3 hours walking around the city at night, just because I think that's the best part of touring - it would be foolish just to.... I mean sometimes of course we do watch movies or just relax because that's obviously a good thing to do and I really like to spend time talking to other musicians and just listen to music, or sometimes just partying - that's of course a part of touring, whenever I can I also try to spend time around the city because I really like to just be outside and do things.
So that's the main thing that we try and do is seeing the place and of course now, we start having a lot of friends around the different countries - so whenever there's a good friend of ours that lives in / near the city, we obviously try to hang out with friends and spend a little time with them. Sometimes of course there's party time, but not everyday because of the show we do - it's physically challenging, so we also try to be as much as possible normal but there's of course times where you drink a little bit and you party and listen to music. It's healthy for your mind just to chill out and forget for a minute all the things about the shows and things like that."
What plans have you got for the rest of the year? (UK tour begins 13th March).
"Our last show on the tour is in London at the Underworld on 17th March, so we go back to Italy the day after and we have got ten days off over Easter, so obviously we'll try and spend time with our families and then we're leaving in the very first few days of April because we have a European tour in direct support to Ensiferum. I've seen a lot of the clubs we're playing at, there are some good clubs and so it looks set to already be a good tour so we're excited about that. Officially we're confirmed for some European festivals (having just played Hammerfest in Wales; 10th-13th March) including Hellfest (FR), Metal Days (SI), Graspop (BE) amongst other festivals, we're also trying to add other few festivals in Europe for the summer. We're working on some things for May and probably other tours between Europe and the US for the last part of the year, but nothing official has been confirmed yet. Pretty much the idea is promoting the new album as much as possible, but also going back to all the places we've been in the last few years and obviously having the chance to play new songs and play new shows."
Finally have you got any greetings you wish to send out to fans, etc?
"Of course obviously I'm supposed to say this but I always take care about saying thank you to all our fans everywhere because of course the support of fans and people who listen to our music and believe in the project is the main reason why we are here, so thank you all! Of course the same for our families, you know it would be quite impossible to be able to do this, a kind of 'crazy life' we do without the full support of our families so that's the two most important things that I would say"
Their UK tour started 10th March, lasts 7 days and finishes up in London as Tommaso said.
"See you there and thanks very much for your support!"
Following our review of Hybris' debut EP "Blinded Thoughts" released this year, we decided to take some more time out and speak to their drummer Igor "Joey" Zaton about the band's origins, what the Polish Metal scene is like and what future plans they have.
By Rhys Stevenson
How did you guys form and what makes your band different?
The relatively short story of Hybris started in the beginning of 2012, when the friendship between Ozzy and Johan grew into the birth of their Technical Thrash project, firstly just for pure fun. Time passed and they decided to take it more seriously, therefore after a few member changes, they managed to assemble a full line-up, in the summer of the same year, with Pisston on bass, and me Joey, on drums. A couple of rehearsals, some style changes and every one of us knew that it was a perfect band for him to be satisfied as a musician. From the very beginning, we worked on material and were focused on possessing our unique style, without losing an old-school spirit. We are setting the bar high and we know that. Our task is not easy, but I think we are determined enough to make it happen.
What would you say your metal style is and who or what inspired you to play that style?
We define our style as Progressive Death / Thrash. We draw the inspiration mostly from the music every one of us adores, classical German Thrash and Floridian Death Metal, but adding to it some Progressive, Oriental atmosphere that allows us to experiment with a traditional Metal sound.
What is the underground Polish metal scene like right now? What bands should music lovers pay particular attention to?
Well, to me talking about Polish Metal has always been all about the underground. Surely every local metalhead is proud of our international representants - Behemoth and Vader, but in comparison to Western Europe, the amount of Polish bands recognized all over the globe is rather disappointing. Fortunately, I can’t say that when it comes to the underground which was and will stay strong and totally worth attention. Starting with the past: The number of Polish bands that with no fear could catch up with the Western scenes, but in the past they finished their careers after a demo, or two, because of Communism, poorness and the Iron Curtain is purely horrifying.
Check out IMPERATOR - mighty Death Metal from our hometown. Although, they’ve even managed to release an LP, besides in Poland rarely can you hear anything about them. Talking about the current situation, we can easily observe a rapid growth of a young, underground scene - especially the Thrash one. There’s a great deal of new Polish Metal bands who are worth the attention, so obviously I cannot point out all of them here, but if I had to choose the one that appeals to me mostly it would definitely be ThermiT - kickass Heavy / Thrash from Poznań!
What is the meaning behind your band name and does this play a part in your lyric topics?
The term HYBRIS comes from the literature of Ancient Greece and it is used to describe the inflated self-esteem of a man that usually leads to some punishment or his personal tragedy. Although, it isn’t the exact topic of our music, it is somehow associated with our lyrics, which are mainly about human mind, it’s mysteries and wild nature.
Do you feel that Central and Eastern European metal bands are not getting enough attention from Western media?
Yes, I think there is some truth behind those words. As I’ve mentioned before I guess it is primarily due to the disability of Eastern European artists promoting themselves in previous decades. Therefore, talking about good Metal music, people usually think of Scandinavia, Germany, USA, maybe UK, or South America. Whereas countries such as Poland rarely come to their mind.
What plans does Hybris have for the future?
Currently we are working on the new material and are spending time on organizing a promotional tour across our country in the autumn. When the tour is over we are planning to release some single(s) and then probably prepare an LP.
Please tell us some things about Łódź, both in music-terms and holidaymaker terms? (such as what venues there are, attractions, what sites should people see, any famous buildings, that sort of thing)
Without a doubt Łódź should be connoted with two legendary names: IMPERATOR, which I’ve pointed out before and PANDEMONIUM - the true might of the underground, that I am honored to be part of a the moment! Analogically to the Metal scene, there are two places of biggest touristic importance that obviously can’t be omitted, while visiting our city - “Piotrkowska” - the longest trade street in the Europe and “Manufaktura” - old textile factory adapted to a huge shopping mall. Truly breathtaking!
Finally are there any greetings you wish to send out to friends, fans, etc?
Cheers to all people who keep on believing and supporting us. You give us purely powerful motivation. Thank you. SPREAD THE THOUGHTS!
BAND: Descent From Aten
LOCATION: Clacton-On-Sea, Essex (England)
GENRE: Technical Progressive / Deathcore
During the night of brutality, GMA's Rhys Stevenson slipped outside to have a natter with fellow county-men Descent From Aten. A five-piece Progressive Technical / Deathcore group who are progressing currently with the re-mastering of their EP and are also cementing the foundations for their new album. So this is what happened (you can hear the whole interview above, below are 6 questions we hand picked that we liked most):
Hey guys, so how long has the band been going and what does the band name mean?
Artis and I were researching conspiracy theories about Ancient Egypt and aliens, things like that and so we had written down a few names to do with the conspiracies and (another member takes over), the main meaning behind the band name is basically aliens ruling over Egypt at the time of
Akhenaten, when head binding began and all of that paraphernalia. The songs we do are about aliens ruling over Egypt so we try to get Egyptology in there as much as possible, I would say 'The Apostasy' kind of follows this because this means to lose faith in something. But basically the alien god Akhenaten told everyone to stop worshiping the other gods, so basically they are apostatizing because they are losing faith in all of the other gods.
Would you consider yourselves the harder or softer version of Nile?
(all moan), well they're Death Metal and we're more Technical Metal I'd say, (like Born of Osiris?), yeah that sort of Born of Osiris style really, we're more drifting towards that area of music, even Veil of Maya. Theme wise, well Nile for sure as the lyrics are near enough the same topic.
What non-music influences do you take on-board into your music and general life?
Perry King: I take a lot of influences from philosophers, I like philosophy a lot and like the Dalai Lama has a lot of things you can learn from.
Member 2: I'm sort of an agnostic at the moment, I don't really care to be honest, I don't have any religious views apart from the band and games (laughs), I'm a bit of a nerd and guitar is my life so I don't really, I guess I'm just a guitar nerd and I don't differ out so I just play guitar, that's all I do basically. I play a lot of war games so I would liken myself to a chaotic guy, I just like to kill everyone... kill everyone... (laughs), as a guy I'm just a f**king joker, life is a big joke, that's me
Member 3: Well for me I'm not into much religious stuff either, I don't take many public figures really (another member interjects with 'Justin Bieber, another quips afterwards 'who doesn't?').
Patrick Barker: I agree with Perry and the whole philosophy thing because well I sort of appreciate people who can say things that mean something, that's just outside metal but with me I'm mostly just into music and stuff, playing bass and gaming as well, we're all nerds basically (all agree), I actually game quite a lot surprisingly, too much. (So you would have your own avatar in Skyrim if you could?): pretty much haha. (another member quips 'That's where I wish I was Trevor Phillips from GTA, he just gets away with everything, he probably wants to kill you just doesn't want to!'). Yeah again I'm not really religious, I can appreciate why people believe in religion but it won't make me believe in it, but honestly if someone said to me 'I believe in God because this random thing happened to me and since then my life has been great', I'd be like well fair enough, other things could have caused that (all laughs) but yeah I play a lot of games still, I'm just like a massive gamer like I'd also say slightly political at mind, sometimes maybe, but especially if it's to do with UK politics and American, so like what's going on in America, the whole Government shut down thing I thought that was ridiculous, that's given me an idea for a song (bus screeches). but yeah with the whole NSA case (libel remark made), they are going to know what you are looking at on the internet. (Perry interjects with: 'this is what happens every time Pat and I sit down, we'll always talk about one thing and then he'll divert and go onto something else like the surveillance, Xbox one, camera spying, etc, he's like this all the time').
Member 5: As for religion I don't really believe in anything, I was born as a Christian and was baptized and everything, but as I grew up I don't really follow it by heart, I'd definitely stay with the gaming as I play Skyrim, Battlefield and GTA quite a lot, (another member interjects with 'I'm not a gamer and that's because I can't afford a console', another replies with 'you're missing out white herbert, oh and if anyone's listening into this audio Perry looks a lot like Wade from GTA 5 (see below), if anyone plays GTA 5 and sees Wade he does look like him a lot, he just needs the clown paint and that's it, he'll be Wade').
^ Perry vs Wade, yup we see a resemblance
So as a group does it matter where a band comes from, so you have bands coming out from Africa, Asia, etc people say 'yeah its music that's all that matters', does it really matter where they come from?
I wouldn't say so, if you make music you make music man. Music is for everyone, I wouldn't say it was for someone who was from a specific country or area, do what you want to do, music makes you feel good about life so f**king crack on with it. (Even when you got countries with political regimes who state if you play metal you're dead?). Really? Oh, I wasn't actually aware of that, but my view on that personally is that's ridiculous, (members interject: 'to be honest if that's the case I would want to do it more', 'I think the whole point is it's about people rising up against the Government', 'I think music is everyone's right, it brings everyone together but yeah there's not many people in our home town, but when you play at a metal gig loads of metal people come from all over, you know it should be everyone's right', 'its like we've just summoned them', 'If you enjoy music in any form, then just do it, I don't understand why people are like 'urgh metal, going to kill that person now' (laughs); 'well no because everytime you walk down the street, you hear someone playing rap on their phone loudly, you know you don't just get the urge to stab them' (laughs).
So you know 2014 is practically upon us, what plans have you got next year?
New album. In the start of December (the 6th) we're going to be sorting out the drums for the album so yeah we're going into the studio to record our full length album, which should be out around Spring-Summer time really, but that's sort of a rough estimate of when it's coming out. I mean we've written it all out, but the thing is we have to line it all and perfect it basically, it's all written out theoretically and so we have to practise and learn it, some of the stuff we end up writing it takes time and so it could end up taking longer because of how technical the album might be. Compared to the EP the album is a lot more different, it blows it out the water and so we feel people will rate us more than they did with the EP.
Finally have you got any hello's, thank you's, greetings you wish to issue to your friends, fans, family, maybe your boss at work?
I just want to thank the metal community in general, I've had a lot of random metalheads add me on Facebook because they've heard our music and thought that we were good.
I'd like to thank people like Lewis cause he 'naked Lewis', because he knows who he is, all the fans who come to our local gigs, the main ones that got us going really so I would like to say thank you to them.
I want to say thank you to some of my band-members as well because they never really like my music but they're there to support the band the whole way through, I'd also like to thank my mum as well for giving me the courage to go on.
I'd thank my family, my nan and my grandad for just being supportive and I know they think the music is a load of s**t but there's no way to sugercoat that, I know they're always supportive and I'd probably thank my mum whose probably looking down at me like 'learn to sing normally', but also the guys in Acrania for putting a word in about us to get us on Night of Brutality, the fans for sure, all our supportive friends and basically the general metal community for being such awesome people.
I'd like to thank my friends for supporting me, with the band and everything and also the bands we gig with because all of the guys we meet are cool to get along with and we enjoy their music as well.
Cheers guys and stay metal \m/
Interview by GMA's Bangladeshi Correspondent Nabil Abaddon
Banxai ChaosMaster a.k.a. Mim, is a supremely talented drummer who plays for the Technical Death Metal band Homicide. Homicide hails from Bangladesh, not really the place one would think of when it comes to that particular sub-genre of metal. However, with a very short history in the local scene, Homicide has proven to be one of the vilest bands out of the country. Homicice has just come out with their debut EP “Annihilation Pit”, which has been released by Infinite Regress Records, Australia. I spoke with Banxai to find out more about his band and himself.
Greetings Banxai! First of all, congratulations on the release of Homicide’s EP! Please give our readers a brief history of the band? How did the band’s formation come about?
Thanks! The journey of Homicide began in December, 2008 with three passionate members, Leon on Guitars, Istiaque on Vocals and Romen on Drums. They started jamming together to breed their inner violence through their ferocious and technical sound. As they were missing a bassist, the look up for a bass player was going on. A few days later, the line up completed as Anas joined the band as a bassist. As the pestilence was growing up, Romen decided to leave the band for study and other personal reasons few months later. The band was not able to find a suitable one until Reaz (of MechaniX) suggested Wahid as a substitute drummer. But it was a unfortunate for the band as Wahid also left the band due to musical differences. Finally I joined the violent squad of Homicide. The position of the other lead guitarist was maintained by Digonto (of Abominable Carnivore) for a few months, and then Shoumik joined as lead guitarist to continue Homicide's journey. Imtiaz Salim Tawkir is currently the manager and booking agent & Moin Ally is the official Photographer.
Technical Death Metal is relatively a new sub-genre in Bangladesh. What drew you guys into playing this style? Which bands inspire Homicide in that regard?
Yes, Technical Death metal is indeed a new Sub-genre in Bangladesh, but before we started this style of music, A band named Chromatic Massacre first started playing Technical Death metal in Bangladesh. Why are we doing this? Because this genre has influenced us from the beginning of our music career and we all wanted to do it. Moreover specially in Bangladesh, we don’t have many quality Death Metal bands except for the likes of Severe Dementia and Chromatic Massacre and both of the bands are paused for the time being. As we are inspired a lot by them, we wanted to continue the legacy what they have came up with, to show the whole world that Bangladesh is capable of doing this kind of music as well. The bands which inspire Homicide the most are Nile, Origin, Behemoth, Vital Remains, Hate Eternal, Cannibal Corpse, Psycroptic, Dying Fetus, Quo Vadis, Bloodbath, Decapitated, Severe Torture, The Faceless and lots more...
Tell us about the EP. The look of the album art reminds us a lot of the Ancient Greek action movies. What does the lyrical theme deal with?
Well, we wanted to make the whole EP like a story. All the songs are interrelated. And yes we talked about Ancient Greek stories in the EP. All the lyrics have been written by our vocalist Istiaque. Each of the songs contains Greek history. That is why the album cover is based on a Greek soldier and a battle field including four wolves as we are four member of the band. We also have used a shot recording in the intro from the Movie called 300.
Considering the complexed music you guys make, how does the song making process work in Homicide?
Well, usually we compose songs when we are together, like when we jam. Sometimes our guitarist comes up with his riffs. Then we make changes together to make the compositions colourful. It’s a challenge for us every single time as we make a composition, specially when we are representing Bangladesh. Most importantly to maintain the genre.
Lets talk about you brother. You have been playing drums for a long time now. How and when did it all start for you?
I never thought that I’ll be a drummer. I always wanted to be a guitarist. I used to play drums for my school parade band. Later on I used to teach my school mates as well. After that I figured out that I should continue my drumming with acoustic drums. Then I bought my first drum kit and my mentor was Reaz (Mechanix). I am ever grateful to him. Later on I found interest on Technical Death Metal as I was a huge fan of Nile. I took lessons from youtube as to how I can develop my blast beat and other techniques. Music was always my hobby. I never thought that my band and I will achieve this much. I think we all were really dedicated to what we are doing now. I must say we struggled a lot. Especially myself as we have less number of death metal bands here. We obviously don’t have many Death Metal drummers to teach those techniques. I really worked hard to come this far and yet have a long way to go.
Who are your personal influences or inspirations in drumming? And your favourite bands?
Pretty hard to answer. So many drummers in the list. Definitely my first favourite is Rafa from Severe Dementia and Reaz from Mechanix. I mainly follow George Kollias (NILE), and John Longstreth (Origin). And my favorite bands are NILE, ORIGIN, THE FACELESS, DYING FETUS, FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE, DEATH, MORBID ANGEL. Joey Jordison is also one of my favorite drummers. He inspired me a lot in drumming. Can’t argue with that.
Tell us about your gears Banxai! What do you like to use in the studio and live?
I prefer zildjian and I use them as well.
Pitch black crash 17”
Pitch black crash 18”
Pitch black Heavy Ride 22”
Pitch black splash 10”
Pitch black Hi-hat 14”
Pitch black china cymbal 17”
I also have Paiste cymbal - Paiste crash 17”
Pro-mark and Vic Firth.
Drums stick Size: 7a
Iron Cobra twin pedal. These are not good enough for Death metal Drumming. I Prefer Axis. Soon I will switch to those.
Back in the early 2000’s, bands like Dripping Gore, Bloodlust, Ostitto were the first few bands to start this brutal music in Bangladesh. Severe Dementia took it to the next level. A lot of Death Metal bands have come and gone since then and now it seems that there are only three / four Death Metal bands active to bear that torch. What do you make of the Death Metal scene in Bangladesh? How things have changed in the scene now?
Well that's really a hard question. Dripping Gore, Bloodlust, Ostitto they were the pioneers of Death Metal scene In Bangladesh (none of them are active now). We have learned so many things from them. Back in the 2000’s, it was quite difficult doing Extreme Metal. I must admit we are here because of them. Talking about Severe Dementia, they are the main Inspiration of Death Metal in Bangladesh. You can ask just anyone! Each and everyone knows Severe Dementia’s music. Severe Dementia taught Bangladeshi metalheads what is Death Metal. Because of them, we are here and extreme metal still exists here. Back in 2000’s, it was quite impossible to make people understand what is extreme metal music. To most of the metalheads back then, the idea of metal music revolved around Metallica ,Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Pantera etc. But Dripping Gore, Ostitto, Bloodlust, Severe Dementia changed that perception for good. Well, the main problem we face in Bangladesh is the lack of Extreme Metal listeners and musicians. Doing Death Metal is not an easy task. People here who are into this music don’t last long because of less recognition and lack of devoted followers. And another reason is that we have good number of Death Metal guitarists but really a few drummers. I don’t know about other Death Metal bands here, but I don’t have any plans to shut down Homicide. Recently the scene here has been changing rapidly though. Now we have quite a good number of Death Metal fans In and outside Dhaka. We have two International acts like Severe Dementia and Orator .Few weeks ago I had a tour with Homicide in Chittagong (2nd Major city of Bangladesh). It was one hell of an experience. Metal scene outside the capital is getting damn good day by day. It was quite unexpected. We are trying our level best to take it further, especially the Extreme Metal scene In Bangladesh. There are many organizations here who are working to keep up the spirit of Extreme Metal. One of them is Metal Morgue. They are doing quite well. I am really grateful to Saimum Hasan Nahian (Powersurege & Severe Dementia) and Rahman Kazi for organizing such level of gigs here through Metal Morgue. I am lucky that I have their full support.
Share your experience with the Australian record label Infinite Regress Records. How did the both parties get together? How are they promoting Homicide internationally?
Well, IRR is absolutely amazing. Basically, I mailed our mastered songs to the owners: Lindon and Steve. They are great people indeed. And they liked our tracks and agreed to sign Homicide immedietly. And so far it’s been a great experience for me to work with them. Homicide has plans for gigs in Australia and we will definitely hit Australia sometime soon. We also have plans for our full length album this year if things go well. This time around Steve is going to master all our tracks. We are looking forward to that. About the promotion, IRR is doing a great job! It is beyond our expectations and we thank them for the immense support. Not only IRR, each and every band from IRR is helping us. I would also like to thank Goliath for the amazing album art.
Thanks a lot for your time comrade! Any last words?
It was an honour giving an interview to GMA. The day is not far away when Bangladesh will have some insane metal crowds and we will arrange shows like Wacken and Bloodstock. I want to see my limits.
You can follow Homicide on our facebook page:
You can also buy our EP from :
You can also search on iTunes by typing 'HOMICIDE Technical Death metal'.