Category Archives: Interviews

INTERVIEW: Revocation

These questions were answered by David Davidson, vocalist and guitarist of technical death/thrash metallers Revocation.

 

How would you describe your style of music?

The core of our sound is death/thrash, but there’s also a strong progressive influence as well.

 

What would you say the main message behind your music is?

I don’t think there is a singular message behind our music, it can mean so many different things to different people it’s a bit too hard for me to distil it down to one main theme.

 

Describe your songwriting process.

It all starts with a collection of riffs that I think fit well together. From there I start working out the arrangement in my head and eventually record a rough demo on my computer. Then I’ll send that demo to our drummer Ash so he can get familiar with the structure. Once we get in a room together, we start jamming through the parts until everyone is up to speed and then I’ll make some little tweaks here and there or the other guys will make some suggestions of ideas to try out arrangement wise. After all the parts feel solidified I’ll start working on lyrics, solos and melodies to complete the song.

 

How do you decide your setlist for shows?

We usually start a group text thread and bounce different songs off each other. Generally we’re usually all on the same page so it doesn’t take us too long to lock down a setlist.

 

Do you have a favourite show that you’ve played?

That’s a tough one seeing as we’ve been touring pretty solidly for the past few years. One show that sticks out in recent memory was a festival in Colombia called ‘Manizales Grita Rock’. There were about 14,000 people there, so that was a pretty unique experience since I’ve never played in front of a crowd that big before.

 

What is your favourite song to perform live?

Currently, ‘Madness Opus’.

 

What is your craziest tour story?

We were on tour with Darkest Hour and Periphery a few years back and I was trying to get Misha to stage dive since he had never done it. I tried to assure him that it was totally safe so I went off and dove into the crowd. The first time the crowd caught me and rested me safely on the ground, the second time however things didn’t quite go as planned and long story short the back of my head hit the concrete floor and I ended up in the ER with eight staples in my head. After all that I’m not surprised that Misha never followed my lead!

 

Does anyone in the band have any bad habits?

We all used to party a little too hard on tour, but we seem to be mellowing out as the years go by.

 

If you could go back to the beginning of the band, would you do anything differently?

No, I like to thank of any mistakes that we’ve made along the way as a learning experience.

 

And finally, any advice for young bands or people thinking of starting a band?

Try to find your own voice and be creative.

 


 

You can check out Revocation here:

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INTERVIEW: Peter Pepper

These questions were answered by ex Retard-O-Bot frontman and now solo artist Peter Pepper.

How would you describe your style of music?

We describe our music as ‘adventure punk’. No avenues are off the table when writing or performing, if it’s taking us where we want to go. It’s honest to how we see the world, focus on where you want to be and have a blast getting there.

Who or what would you say your biggest influences are?

My biggest influences are boredom and mediocrity. We can do whatever we want to, so when boredom starts to set in, it’s a reminder that I’m in too familiar of a place and that I better make a change. Whether that’s me writing a song or doing some low budget, punk travelling to the other side of the world. Take a chance, do something rather than nothing, make something new. That’s what drives me.

How has your music evolved over the years?

Slowly, haha. But it’s still fun to do, so I’m good with it. And people like what we do, so that’s a nice bonus.

How different is working on your solo project to your time as part of Retard-O-Bot?

Both are great in different ways. ROB was my first band and there was definitely something magical about the way it all evolved. Just being these dumb kids from Florida, having the opportunity to tour the country, meet and make friends with our awesome fans, perform with bands that we loved and make a small footnote in that era of music was the most insane ride ever. Peter Pepper is the natural progression of that experience. It’s ROB 2.0 with all the software updates, RAM and processors maxed out, meaning we can have more fun and adventures because all the fundamental stuff is second nature now, because with ROB we were still figuring all that shit out. And that was important, I’d recommend to anyone thinking about starting a band or a group that is hung up on logistics, just fucking do it. If you don’t start somewhere, you’ll end up talking yourself out of it and getting buried under all the ‘what ifs’. Make something that didn’t exist before you.

How important do you think social media is to the growth of an artist?

It’s necessary.

Is there an artist that you feel is underrated?

There are countless artist that don’t get the attention they deserve. We’ve toured with some of them. Music and art are suffering right now due to a lack of organic methods of discovery. Pandora, Apple Music and Spotify, they’re convenient but it takes time to get something new and exciting. I’d love to see John Wheeler and any of the projects he’s working on get major attention. I’m happy to see Eric Nally getting new opportunities that are receiving notable attention. The music industry has contracted so much and the business model has changed so much, that overall there is less of a risk taken on content in the fringes and this tends to filter out the art/music that progresses us as a culture.

Do you have a favourite show that you’ve played?

So many!

How do you decide the setlist for your shows?

You get a feeling for how you want things to flow and blam-o, that’s it.

What is your favourite animal?

I like the koala bear. The dude’s got two thumbs and hugs things all day. Angler fish are rad too, biting their mates and being absorbed into their body is pretty tight. There’s a ton of epic animals. Like chickens, come on, these things squeeze out breakfast on the reg.

And finally, tell us an interesting fact about yourself.

An interesting fact… my grandfather was the head of Electron Microscopy at a national laboratory in the 1960s. In addition to contributing research that advanced the field of microscopy, he also worked with lunar samples from Apollo 11. Shortly thereafter another blood relative of mine became the first American astronaut to travel to space and later commanded the Apollo mission to the Moon.


You can check out Peter Pepper here:

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INTERVIEW: Chuckklez

These questions were answered by horrorcore artist Chuckklez.

 

How did you get started in music?

I started writing and making music when I was about 14 years old, back in 2006. I use to listen to a lot of old school gangsta rap when I was younger, until one of my friends introduced me to underground music by showing me Esham. When I first listened to his tracks off of ‘KKKill The Fetus’ I became fucking addicted, which influenced me to create my own original style of music. Once I graduated out of high school, back in 2011, I recorded my first track ‘Keep The Heads And Eat The Rest’ and I’ve been rapping ever since.

 

How did you come up with your pseudonym?

When I came up with the name ‘Chuckklez’ when I was hella young. The name popped into my head like a voice or something that whispered in my head randomly, so I decided to claim it as my own to help create my image.

 

How would you describe your style of music?

What really describes my style of music is entering the mind of a psychotic person. It’s disturbing, dark, demonic, deep, shocking and mostly evil in my opinion. Every topic I talk about in one of my songs is pretty much me telling a horror story, using what’s going on in this world and what people are actually doing when they go crazy in real life.

 

Describe your songwriting process.

When it comes to writing, it takes me a couple of weeks or a month to complete a track that I’m currently working on for an album or collaborations. It’s because I don’t want to rush my work and I focus on making a rhyme sound perfect for a topic more than anything. If I do the opposite then it’s not gonna come out the way I want my music to sound.

 

What would you do if you weren’t making music?

If I wasn’t making music I’d probably be doing GFX like I used to or maybe get a job voice acting scary sound effects for characters. Honestly though if I wasn’t making music today I would’ve been dead a long time ago.

 

Do you have a favourite genre?

The music that I listen to every day is mostly horrorcore… but also like other genres such as ‘devil shyt’, death metal, old school gangsta rap, alternative rock, hardcore hip hop and a little bit of blues.

 

What was the first gig you ever went to?

The first gig I ever went to was Mars and Kung Fu Vampire in Walnut Creek, CA around 2011. This was the first time that I met KFV and Mars in person and they were mad fucking cool for real. Plus it was a great show.

 

Do you have any bad habits?

I kinda have a bad habit of talking to myself when I’m in certain places I live or hangout at for no reason at all, which freaks some people out I guess!

 

What is your favourite film?

Oh man, there are so many films that could be on this list that I really love watching constantly. I would have to say ‘Zombi’ by Lucio Fulci and ‘The Shining’ are my two favourite films of all time.

 

And finally, what would your pornstar name be?

If I was a pornstar, I would go by the name ‘Scorpio Larue’. I’m lovable to the ladies and hardcore when it comes to fucking.

 


 

You can check out Chuckklez here:

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He also has a new album coming out in the summer called ‘Mind Of Evilness’, so keep an eye out for that!

INTERVIEW: Kamelot

These questions were answered by Oliver Palotai, keyboardist of power metal band titans Kamelot.

 

How did the band get started?

Kamelot was formed around 1988 by Thomas Youngblood, in Tampa/Florida. While the band back then was all American, today we’re multinational, with our singer coming from Sweden and myself from Germany.

 

Where did your band name come from?

Well, obviously from King Arthur’s court. In the beginning the band focused more on medieval subjects and historical ones in general. That changed through the years, but the band name remains.

 

How would you describe your music?

Symphonic, heavy with some progressive elements. We give ourselves a lot of room to experiment and to surprise our listeners with every record.

 

Who or what would you say your biggest influences are?

Speaking for myself, my main influences come from jazz and classic music. I always loved heavy music but my main studies happened in those genres opposed to metal. Besides being a guitarist and bassist, as a keyboardist or pianist you’re rarely influenced by metal players since the history of the keyboard/similar instruments is a long one and the most impressive things have been done centuries ago.

 

What has been your biggest challenge as a band?

Probably the period of trying to find a new singer some years ago. But we were more than lucky meeting Tommy Karevik, he brought so much fresh energy into the band.

 

What has been your favourite show to play?

There have been so many good ones over the years! One that was crazily good was at the O13 in the Netherlands on the last European tour. So much energy exchanged with the crowd!

 

Any crazy tour stories you’d be willing to share with us?

Ah, one of the most dreaded questions. We have an experienced crew, which means smooth shows and travel most of the time. I am also a pretty boring person backstage, reading books and partying very little. The crazy stories all happen inside my head.

 

What would you say the main message behind your music is?

There is none, no definite one. I might see a certain message in our music, but it will be something very different for another listener. That is the universal uncertainty of music, which is a great thing!

 

If you could go back to the beginning of the band, would you do anything differently?

No. We consider ourselves lucky to be where we are today and with how things went.

 

What is your favourite song to perform live?

I like so many. Of course as a keyboardist, I enjoy the moments where the wall of sound of my bandmates is lessened for a little while and I get to have some personal moments. Like in ‘Song For Jolee’.

 


 

You can check out Kamelot here:

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INTERVIEW: Abiotic

These questions were answered by John Matos, guitarist of Florida death metal band Abiotic.

 

First question, how did the band get started?

The band got together back in the summer of 2011. We were all in different local bands at the time and I reached out to a few of the most talented members that I could find to get Abiotic going.

 

And where did your band name come from?

Abiotic means anything non-living or the antagonist to life. We felt that the name and definition was a good representation of what we wanted the band to sound like.

 

How would you describe your music?

The music is fast, melodic and heavy, with some darker, borderline progressive parts. I’d say we’re a death metal band for sure, but we get labelled with all kinds of subgenres.

 

Who or what would you say your biggest influences are?

My biggest influences right now are Death, Cynic, The Contortionist, Wretched, Necrophagist, The Faceless and Animals As Leaders.

 

What has been your biggest challenge as a band?

I’d say our biggest challenge as a band has been bouncing back from the member changes we went through a couple of years ago. The band had built up so much momentum and we had to take some steps back just as the doors were opening. But overcoming that challenge has made us stronger as a band and has lead to the strongest Abiotic line-up to date.

 

What has been your favourite show to play?

A show we played recently in Austin, Texas with Between The Buried And Me was one of my favourites to play for sure. It was the first time playing songs off of Casuistry to so many faces at once. The crowd was leaving it, so it was all around a good time.

 

What would your dream tour to see or be involved in be?

Right now I’d love to be on a tour with some fellow Metal Blade artists. Whitechapel, The Black Dahlia Murder, Cannibal Corpse, Behemoth, Between The Buried And Me and Fleshwrought would be tits.

 

Does anyone have any bad habits?

We all do, but they’re tolerable to where we haven’t killed each other… yet.

 

And finally, what is one thing you couldn’t live without?

Good question! Music would be difficult to live without, for sure!

 


 

You can check out Abiotic here:

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INTERVIEW: The Bunny The Bear

These questions were answered by Matt Tybor, vocalist of Buffalo bizarros The Bunny The Bear.

 

How did the band start up initially?

I originally started this project in 2008. I honestly never planned on it becoming a full time serious endeavour, but shit happens I suppose. I just wanted to do something fun and unique, so we could build on it.

 

And where did your band name come from?

That was completely random. I just said to myself ‘I’m going to start a band called The Bunny The Bear and run around in little kids plastic masks for the hell of it!’. And I did so… and here we are today.

 

How would you describe your music?

I’ve never really been able to answer this question with satisfaction. I suppose I would say fun and unique. Possibly a tad obnoxious (in the best way)!

 

Who or what would you say your biggest influences have been?

My family and my own stubborn attitude. Honestly, I’m never quite satisfied and always want to do more/get further. I’m not one for giving up, though there have been plenty of times I’ve considered such.

 

What has been your biggest challenge as a band?

There’s been so many! But I don’t know, probably just keeping this project rolling in general. There are always so many bumps in the road and sometimes it’s hard to keep driving. Time away from home has always been hard for me. I’m a homebody.

 

What has been your favourite show to play?

I’ve had a ton of favourite shows! There’s no way I could pick one or even ten! No way!

 

Have you got any crazy tour stories you’d be willing to share with us?

Damn, there are way too many to count and most of which I wouldn’t want to share.

 

How has your sound evolved over the years?

Honestly, I would just say it’s matured a lot. I think our latest album, Food Chain, is much more focused than any prior effort.

 

You’ve had quite a few different members over your time as a band, has this affected things in any way?

Not really at all. I’ve only had revolving touring musicians since since I’d say early 2012, so I’m pretty used to it at this point. Being the only songwriter has made it pretty easy to take out people I think are right for the current job and not have to worry about the sky falling when one of them can’t come out or has moved on to other things in their lives.

 

Your sound is quite unique and therefore can be a bit polarising, how have you found dealing with the negative comments?

I think I’ve learned how to ignore negativity… but honestly, I’m not sure I’ll ever be to the point where negative comments don’t affect me somewhere deep down. Truth is, you can never satisfy everyone so you just need to learn how to live with it.

 


 

You can check out The Bunny The Bear here:

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The Bunny The Bear have an upcoming tour across the United States with dates at the following venues:

February 11th – Albany, NY @ Bogie’s
February 12th – Hamden, CT @ The Space
February 13th – Providence, RI @ Simon’s 677
February 14th – Cambridge, MA @ The Middle East
February 15th – Trenton, NJ @ Championships
February 18th – Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
February 19th – Richmond, VA @ The Camel
February 20th – Charlotte, NC @ Tremont Music Hall
February 21st – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
February 22nd – Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbit’s
February 24th – Orlando, FL @ Backbooth
February 25th – Elizabethton, TN @ The Bonny Kate Theater
February 26th – Newport, KY @ Southgate House
February 27th – Akron, OH @ Musica
March 1st – Whitehall, PA @ Planet Trog
March 2nd – Staten Island, NY @ Hashtag Bar
March 3rd – Buffalo, NY @ The Waiting Room

 

You can order your copy of their latest album, Food Chain here.

INTERVIEW: In Solitude

These questions were answered by Pelle ‘Hornper’ Åhman, vocalist of Swedish heavy metal band In Solitude.

 

Lets start off with how the band got started.

In Solitude comes out of an elongated process of things that reach back into childhood. The core of the band stems from our earliest attempts at grasping any kind of musical expression. However it wasn’t until 2006 or so that things took a turn towards anything resembling a real band.

 

How did you come up with your band name?

I figure we recognized an affix with which we could penetrate our mutual substantive, a finger pointing towards great presence in great absence. Although plucked from quite a volatile place at the time, it has made more and more sense with every note that has been struck. If you ask me, we couldn’t have a more suitable name.

 

And how would you describe your sound?

I don’t know. Something terribly right, thrown in with something terribly wrong. Music from a bucket of light in the quarry of death’s groin.

 

Who or what has been your biggest influences?

Any maestro that uncovers the world as it actually is, any maestro that makes us distinguish. That can be, and has been, anything from David Bowie’s ‘Low’ to Yukio Mishima’s ‘Gogo No Eiko’ to Pan’s junction in the foliage of Uppsala’s botanical gardens.

 

What has been your biggest challenge to overcome?

This band.

 

What has been your favourite show to play?

I don’t have one in particular, but there were a few shows on the latest tour that made a big impression on me. Coming back to certain places in Germany like Trier, Essen and Leipzig was very special. That’s really where it all started for us, and seeing the great reception there was very moving.

 

Any crazy tour stories you’d be willing to share with us?

On this latest one, well… seeing the world tumble on it’s blood in a backyard in Paris whilst drinking tea would be one. The ‘sleepwalking incident’ would be another.

 

How has your music developed over the years?

In a more urgent and important direction.

 

What is your favourite song to perform live?

That changes with time, but recently I’ve really enjoyed playing ‘Horses In The Ground’. There is something pushing that song, especially in the live situation, that always reaches a special place.

 

Any advice for young bands or people thinking of starting a band?

Do something that no one has done before and do everything yourself. Other than that, don’t take advice from someone like me.

 


 

You can check out In Solitude here:

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