Video Interview with TYSONDOG

Midnight Album Cover Art

Video Interview with TYSONDOG
Interviewed and Edited by Chris Galea

Recently, Chris Galea got a chance to catch up with Kevin Wynn, bass player of NWOBHM band, Tysondog, to chat about the band, their new album, “Midnight” which came out on 29th April 2022, and what inspires them.

Check out the full video interview here:

Video Interview with TYSONDOG

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AmpF9ODVEo

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Chris Galeaand Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

We Struck Gold – Interview With Ever Metal

We Struck Gold Logo

We Struck Gold – Interview With Ever Metal
By Beth Jones

Recently I had the chance to catch up virtually with UK based band, We Struck Gold, to find out a little more about their music, what inspires them, and what they have in the pipeline now that live music is back. Thanks to them for taking the time to answer my questions. 

Welcome and thanks for joining us for this interview. You’re a new band to the uk scene, so before anything else, please tell us a little about the band’s roots, and what inspires you to create music.

The band is based South West Of The UK In Bristol. We have been around for a few short years, however we have finally found a sound and line-up that we are extremely proud of.

Our passion for creating music comes from our day to day lives. That being times of positivity or times of struggle. Music is our voice and we want as many people to hear us.

You’re currently releasing singles from your upcoming EP. Can you tell us about the message that these songs are trying to convey?

The Songs are a compilation of many things. The songs reflect our everyday lives, things that we are passionate about. The past two years has been hard for everyone, there is something everyone can connect with.

What’s your approach to songwriting? Does it start with a lyric or riff, and grow collaboratively, or does one member focus on creating the backbone of your songs?

The tracks usually start with Jesse Musically, he lays down the foundations for a track. We all give our input, maybe rearrange things to see what fits the song best. Omar is usually quick to have some great melodies for vocals which may totally restructure a track completely. Songs can come together very fast but then again some may take time. We are still working on tracks we made before this current string of releases. Some songs take time, we may need to walk away and come back to them a few months down the line.

Now That live music is back, tell us a little if you can about upcoming shows, and where can people see you?

We are over the moon that live music is back! It has given us all a new perspective on things, I think we can all agree? As far as seeing us, we currently have a string of dates where we are hitting a lot of the big cities around the UK! You can find the announced shows here! 

www.Linktr.Ee/Westruckgold 

The world is a testing place at the moment. If you had one message to give to your fans right now, what would it be?

Persevere and overcome…

Music can be a great solace and a great healer. What will people find in your songs that they can relate to, and find comfort in?

The new material speaks for itself we think. The song titles we have chosen pretty much sums up what the track is about. But then music is all about how we as listeners perceive it. 

The scene is packed full of great new music right now. What would you say is the thing that makes you stand out from the crowd?

Our live performance is definitely something everyone should experience! Being put in a live environment is where we excel!   

After the release of your EP, what do you have planned next?

We plan on hitting the studio to keep the music coming! The pandemic gave us a lot of time to create music and we haven’t stopped writing, it had is plus sides as well as it down sides!

What’s the ultimate goal for We Struck Gold and your music?

We could give the generic reply of big tours and big stages. However I think our main goal is to emotionally connect with our listeners. If we can give people the same feeling we all get from music we’ve done our job. If we help just one person who needs to be picked up and helped in times of struggle, we’ve definitely done our job!

Finally, where can people go online to discover more about you, and find your music?

www.Linktr.Ee/Westruckgold 

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Video Interview With Venomous

Video Interview With Venomous
By Victor Augusto

In February of 2021, I was lucky enough to discover another brilliant Brazilian band to review. More than just loving their music on a first listen, I was astonished just how many details the EP “Tribus” offered, despite only having just four tracks on it. The lyrical subjects, the cover art and the music were so rich that I spent way more time than usual to analyse and try to describe them. 

Today, more than a year after that, I am glad that I had the chance to talk with vocalist Thiago Pereira and the Guitarist Ivan Landgraf to understand more about what they put into Venomous’s music. 

Tribus EP Cover

I hope you enjoy this Brazilian Melodic Death Metal band as much as I’ve enjoyed discovering them.

Video interview with Venomous

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgjCuAOQgCE

Video edit by Victor Augusto
Live video of ‘Eerie Land’ and ‘Unity’ recorded by Venomous.
Images of the band taken by the Venomous official video of ‘Eerie Land’ and ‘Unity’.
Background music: Venomous – ‘Eerie Land’, Venomous – ‘Unity’ and Venomous – ‘Duality’

LINKS:

Venomous Promo Pic

Tribus EP review

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Victor Augusto and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with Gravehuffer

NecroEclosion Album Cover Art

Interview with Gravehuffer
By Victor Augusto

My lack of creativity in writing introductions is nothing new for all the readers of Ever Metal (by the way I am copying this intro from my review), but today I have to repeat something that I often mention in introductions to my reviews. This is how amazing it is seeing a band’s evolution while I have the pleasure to follow them, releasing their albums, since they have formed. Of course, Gravehuffer (from Joplin, Missouri) are not a young band and they are very experienced musicians, but I am the lucky guy who has reviewed all of their albums since 2017 and I have to say that Gravehuffer is one of the most intriguing and challenging bands that I have reviewed so far. 

I had the pleasure to talk with the guitarist Ritchie Randall to dig deeply on how they achieved such an amazing result on their last album “NecroEclosion”. 

Victor Augusto: I confess that I tried to find the meaning of album’s title, but I couldn’t understand it. Could you explain the definition of the word NecroEclosion?

Ritchie Randall: It means to emerge from a cocoon of death. We were going through the pandemic, lost our singer and had to cancel a lot of shows at the time. It all went into the sound of the record. 

Victor Augusto: NecroEclosion, for me, is a pure American album. Not that the album is just for American listeners, but it is a hard criticism of things from your country. You talk about those who stayed at sea a long time during the colonization, also about the disco music and even the NASA missions off of earth, but it’s always related to the USA. Was your intention to be focused on American history or American culture, or did it just happens naturally?

Ritchie Randall: That’s an interesting observation! I never thought of it that way. It was definitely not our intention, but it could relate to all of the upheaval going on in the United States at the time we wrote the album. So, I guess to answer your question, it happened naturally. 

Victor Augusto: There is the typical acid humor that Gravehuffer always uses in the best way, as you hear in ‘Death Before Disco’. It starts with a funny version of ‘You Should Be Dancing’, from the Bee Gees, that shows the wreck that Disco music made of the music industry decades ago. It also criticizes the cocaine and other stuff involved with those who were part of the scene. I think it also shows how we have plenty of excellent and varied material here, and I am not talking about that stuff from Disco clubs, that could make Robocop (with rusty hinges) dance like hell! Could you talk about this sense of humour and about this song?

Ritchie Randall: I think we always have that cheeky sense of humour going on throughout all of our records. How it manifests into a song can vary a lot though. Mike (Jilge), our bassist, has been wanting to do the ‘Death Before Disco’ idea as long as I can remember. We’re talking since the late 90’s! He learned the bass line for the Bee Gees song and so at that point, we had to do it ha ha ha! It was a lot of fun to step out of our comfort zone for a minute there. Travis came up with the idea for the lyrics to be about the disco culture of the 70’s and how it tried to ruin the music scene.

Victor Augusto: You also talks about serious historical subject for example in ‘Ghost Dance’, which is about the mass killing of the Native Americans in the USA. The backing vocals, like the ghost of the indigenous ancestors screaming for help to anyone who could stand and fight. Melodies bring the feeling of a ‘last breath of hope’ amongst all the chaos that sadly didn’t save them from the coward’s killing. Was the band’s intention to bring all these emotions for the song?

Ritchie Randall: Yes, it was. We had the subject matter of the Wounded Knee Massacre already picked for a song, and we wrote the music to specifically fit with what happened. It was very emotional to write. It’s something that means a lot to us, being from the United States. We haven’t always treated people the best ever though we’re a nation of immigrants. Travis (McKenzie – Vocals) once again came up with the lyrics and really did a fantastic job! We let a few of our Native American friends listen to it before it was released, and they really thought we did that part of their history justice.

Victor Augusto: ‘Custom Of The Sea’ also has a serious subject. It is about those who stayed at sea a long time during the colonization. Many people went mad and died. By the way it is a perfect song to understand the bands sonority! Could you explain this track? 

Ritchie Randall: Sure, it’s about cannibalism at sea and how it was basically allowed until a trial outlawed it. We just thought it sounded like such an intense thing to go through! I saw an article on the internet about it and wanted the band to write a song that put you in the headspace of the people who were living through it. We had no idea that took place back then. It was actually called the ‘custom of the sea’ and it happened very regularly. If the sailors ran out of rations, they would kill the people who were the sickest and eat them. 

Victor Augusto: Musically, you are not restricted to only one genre and you are getting heavier with each album release, even though you keep your main spirit of Crust / Hardcore and Thrash Metal. For example: ‘Quarantine Death Machine’ reminds me of Sepultura when playing Hardcore. ‘Smaller Than Death’ has a Doomy side. ‘Stingray’ is more Punk Rock in style, but it is very heavy as well. Gravehuffer is a band that always wants to surprise their fans. What makes you always want to play whatever you want, no matter the style?

Ritchie Randall: Thanks! We basically write how we are feeling at that particular time and it translates to the sound of the music. Sometimes we are feeling in a good mood, sometimes we are angry, sometimes we are bummed out, it just depends on what is happening in our lives at that time. The only rule in this band is there are no rules!

Victor Augusto: This new album is pretty organic and raw, of course it is amazingly well recorded. It is funny because in an age that most of the bands prefer to do a much-digitalized production, you went against this trend. Is it a pattern for Gravehuffer or do you think that the compositions asked for this raw production?

Ritchie Randall: Thank you once again! It’s a little bit of both actually. We come from the era of bands that had that more raw production. There are times when we will hear a band with polished production and then see them live and they sound nothing like their record. We want our live sound to translate to our albums. We’re a loud, aggressive, and intense band and we want the production to match that.

Victor Augusto: It is funny because I’ve already heard the album, to review, since October or September of 2020. I took a long time to listen to it because I was involved with other things in the end of the last year. But I clearly remember the post of a review that totally showed a person who didn’t understand the band’s idea and talked a lot of crazy things. It pissed me off and made me want to go deeper into this album to write the best review ever that I could, considering my limitations ha ha ha ha! How do you handle with these kinds of things coming from magazines and people connected to journalism?

Ritchie Randall: Your review is fantastic and also we appreciate that you think highly of the album to include on your 2021 albums of the year list! Bad reviews are rare for us thankfully, but when they do happen, they tend to be a little bit short sighted. They don’t really ‘get’ what we are doing it seems. That’s OK really. We understand we’re not for everyone. There was one that we made an example of because they got a little bit personal in the review and that’s not cool. Other than that, we don’t mind. We just appreciate that people are taking the time to listen and write their thoughts about our music!

Victor Augusto: We first meet each other when we were at Sare’s Invasion radio show. By the way Sara was the person who told me about Ever Metal. Since then, I have reviewed all of Gravehuffer’s albums and you don’t leave more than 2 years without a new release. How is the composition process working to have so much good material in a short spaces of time?

Ritchie Randall: Yeah it’s been great being a part of the family at Sare’s Invasion! We are always writing, practically every couple of weeks we’ll have new ideas to present to each other. Our phones and computers have hundreds of riffs, lyrics, melodies, beats, you name it! We have stuff from 7 or 8 years ago still sitting around. We may use it, we may not, but it’s nice to have that wealth of material to have at our disposal.

Victor Augusto: You started touring just in this year, after all issues from COVID during 2020 and 2021. How are the shows so far? Do you have any intention to tour outside of the US, such as a European tour?

Ritchie Randall: The shows have been good. A few great ones too! Attendance is still on the lower side, but I think people are just being cautious and that’s OK. Regardless, we have a blast and love meeting new people and playing our music for them! We do plan to play outside the US, it’s just the cost and timing that we have to figure out, but we are actively pursuing it!

Victor Augusto: Over all these years playing in a band, what was the band’s achievement which made you feel most proud of that’s worth all the hard work so far?

Ritchie Randall: Probably putting out vinyl. That was something I never thought I would do! It’s always been one of the dreams! NecroEclosion in particular. Just wait for our next record. It’s really going to raise the bar! We can’t wait for people to hear it!

Victor Augusto: Thanks for your time. I really hope to see you in concert someday. For sure I will be on the front row and screaming whilst you play, like the stupid crazy fan that I am. Please let your us know your final considerations for your fans and for Ever Metal’s readers, also the plans for the future.

Ritchie Randall: Thank you for the insightful questions! This was a lot of fun! We would LOVE to play Brazil! Wow that would be amazing! As far as the future, we are finishing up this new record that has a 21-minute epic song about Dante’s Divine Comedy, and another side of our crazy antics. Kam Lee from Massacre and James Murphy (Death, Testament, Obituary, Cancer, etc.) is playing lead guitar on the Dante song! Many more shows as well! Cheers! 

LINKS:

Gravehuffer Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Victor Augusto and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Video Interview with EVILE

Evile Tour Poster

Video Interview with EVILE
Filmed at Boston Music Room, London – 24/02/22
Interviewed and Edited by Chris Galea

One of the UK’s most loved Thrash bands, Evile, finally managed to take to the road again in February 2022, to tour their most recent album. Chris Galea went along to their show at the Boston Music Room, London, and managed to catch a quick interview with drummer, Ben Carter. And here it is!

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Chris Galea and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with The Crown

Royal Destroyer Album Cover Art

Interview with The Crown
by Victor Augusto

Ok, before I start my smooth talking, let me travel back in time. The year was 2002 and my older brother appeared at home with two albums from a Swedish Death Metal band. I clearly remember, to this day, when The Crown albums “Hell is Here” (1999) and “Deathrace King” (2000) started to play on our old stereo. After that, I understood how amazing the music from Sweden was. We became fans and we never stopped looking for the band’s new releases, even though it was not an easy task at that time in South America. 

I was living in a very poor neighbourhood, in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), without access to the internet or a computer, even though those two things were becoming popular at that time. Heavy Metal was a very strange kind of music for people who lived in that place too. I had no money to buy magazines either, but the years have passed and after almost two decades, here I am, without words to describe how happy I am to have the opportunity to talk with The Crown. 

Thanks to the vocalist Johan Lindstrand for taking part in this interview. I do hope you have fun reading about the long career of this amazing band! We have many things to talk about, including their newest release, the killer album “Royal Destroyer”.

Victor Augusto: Since the first time that I heard The Crown, my impression was that the band prioritises creating music that brings energy and could thrill the listeners enough to bang their heads. No matter if you are playing in more of a Thrash or Death Metal style, this is the sensation that the band offers. For this new album that approach hasn’t changed. At the band’s very beginnings, was it your intention to sound so brutal or did it happen naturally?

Johan Lindstrand: The intensity was there from the beginning. We were very inspired by Morbid Angel and Deicide amongst others and we loved the fast brutal stuff. Back then we didn’t have so much of our own identity, but we grew into our own sound more and more as the years passed, but the energy kind of stuck with us. So that’s a very important thing for us for sure, but the cool thing in this band is that we have so much creativity going and we mix a lot of different elements to make the sound more diverse. That’s very important, I think. When you have many songwriters, like we do, you can create that rollercoaster album which puts the listener on high alert because he doesn’t know what will come next. 

Victor Augusto: The crown has released three albums over the last 6 years and you have kept the same line up as well. Do you think that the stable line-up and the sequence of tours helped you to reach the musical result on Royal Destroyer?

Johan Lindstrand: It’s always good to have a steady line up with people you enjoy hanging out with and who are pretty much in sync with you musically. It makes everything easier. We rehearsed really hard for “Royal Destroyer” and we also had to postpone the recording due to Covid-19, which in the end gave us more time to rehearse and make the songs better. So, it’s all about hard work mixed with great band chemistry. 

Victor Augusto: Talking about the long-time partners in crime Marko Tervonen (guitar) and Magnus Olsfelt (bass) have been together since the beginning of the band. You also stayed with them most of the time during the intervening decades. Even though you have had a few break ups and hiatus, you’ve still conquered and urged a huge respect worldwide. How is the relationship amongst you three after so many years?

Johan Lindstrand: The relationship has always been good. We have been friends for a long time now. We were only kids when we first started and we have grown up together playing Death Metal in a kickass band. Like brothers in arms. More than half our lives have been dedicated to this and it’s kinda crazy when you think about it. 

Victor Augusto: Of course Robin Sörqvist (lead guitar) and Henrik Axelsson (drums) are amazing musicians who joined the band for the 3 previous albums (Henrik just for the last 2). What could they offer to the band’s sonority of the band’s sound, considering you already had a strong identity when they joined?

Johan Lindstrand: They have been amazing from day one. They have brought in a new boost of energy into the sound and also into the band chemistry as well. Great guys that fit perfectly. I hope they stick around till the end. 

Victor Augusto: Returning to the past, I remember after discovering the band, I spent many years without knowing anything about the releases available because I was so broken that I hadn’t access to either the internet or the money to buy heavy metal magazines. When I finally had money to find and buy a new album from The Crown, I discovered “Crowned in Terror” with Tomas Lindberg (At the Gates) replacing you on vocals. It is curious that I didn’t know anything about Tomas or At the Gates, but I loved that album even knowing that you are the best man to be THE band’s front man. How was that experience to have him on the band at that period, if you don’t mind talking about it?

Johan Lindstrand: Tomas was in the band for a very short period. They did that album and went on tour in the States. It simply didn’t work out. I believe it’s hard to come into an already established band and try to fit in. But I think that “Crowned in Terror” is a great album and Tomas did a great job. Many people love it, including me. Respect!! 

Victor Augusto: On 2021, the band showed old videos from when you were called Crown of Thorns. My impression after I saw it was that you’ve always had that classic Swedish sonority, that brings a really dark atmosphere, but The Crown seems to flee from it towards a more aggressive style of music. Was it your intention to focus on this aggressive sound to be different from the other Swedish bands at that time?

Johan Lindstrand: As I mentioned before we were very inspired by classic old school US Death Metal and there wasn’t that much melodic stuff happening. I guess we just wanted speed and aggression, but pretty early on we started to mess around with more melody and made our sound wider. We have never felt like we belong anywhere in the Swedish scene. We have always drawn our own path. 

Victor Augusto: “What is happening, Victor?”. Those were my wife’s scared words after I screamed a concise and loud “Holy Shit!” when I was reviewing the newest album “Royal Destroyer” (2021). The reason for this reaction was because all the tracks from the album sound like you just wanted to create the best set of songs ever. There is not one song which sounds like it was a case of “more of the same’, just to complete an album. How hard was it to achieve this result when you were composing for this album?

Johan Lindstrand: We had a lot of songs to choose from. In the end we threw I think 2 or 3 songs away which didn’t feel as good as the others. I think we knew pretty early that we had good material in our hands and when you get that positive vibe; it’s all about rehearsing to make it even better. And we nailed the whole album in 7 days in the studio. We didn’t want to overwork it. We wanted a fresh, live feeling and those songs ended up perfectly on the album. 

Victor Augusto: Still talking about “Royal Destroyer”, it is a mix of everything you’ve done along the decades, but even more brutal. Just the fast and killer opening song ‘Baptized In Violence’ feels ready to destroy everything. I felt even a bit of diluted Hardcore in the mix on this track, amongst the Death Metal. How did you work together to compose this album?

Johan Lindstrand: ‘Baptized in Violence’ was actually my contribution to this album. Me and Magnus wrote the riffs, but I had the idea in my head before I wrote anything. I wanted something really intense that was around one minute and it was more for fun in the beginning, but the band loved this so much it ended up as the first track. I was sceptic at first because it was a more playful vibe compared to the more serious stuff but, in the end, I feel it really deserves a spot. Cool intro to the album. 

All the other songs are composed the way we have always worked. People write stuff at home, then we mess around with it in the rehearsal room to make it even better as a unit. When we have enough songs, we start to think about making an album. We have so much influence coming into this band from all five people which makes the sound more interesting. We have no boundaries in this band. If it feels right, then we record it no matter if it’s a ballad or a one-minute grind song. 

Victor Augusto: Which is the song that each of you most like from “Royal Destroyer” and why? 

Johan Lindstrand: My personal favourite is “Let the hammering begin”. It has a classic vibe to it, but it still feels fresh. Great arrangements. 

Marko Tervonen – Guitar: I think ‘Let The Hammering Begin’ is one bad mo-fo that contains all the elements a good song requires!!

Henrik Axelsson – Drums: ‘Scandinavian Satan’ 

Robin Sörqvist – Lead Guitar: Best on the album is the solo in ‘Full Metal Justice’. Energy, Thrash, shrimpsallad and a hard on!

Magnus Olsfelt – Bass: First riff of ‘Baptized In Violence’ is a highlight for me. Vintage Quorthon-style!

Victor Augusto: Despite Ever Metal being based in the UK, I am from Brazil and I know few people here who also like The Crown. How is the reaction of South American metalheads to The Crown? Do you think that one day you could tour here? 

Johan Lindstrand: We really hope to get over to South America in the future. That would have been awesome. But I really don’t know how the status of The Crown is over there. Hopefully it’s good. 

Victor Augusto: You have a DVD “14 Years of No Tomorrows” that has many good live performances from festivals and concerts you’ve played between 2000 and 2003, as well as bootlegs from the nineties. Do you have plans for new material from a live concert, perhaps with a documentary to discuss your long history?

Johan Lindstrand: We actually released a live show in 2015 on our YouTube channel. Pro-filmed and 90 minutes long. Other than that, we don’t have any plans to release more physical stuff like live DVD’s and documentaries. But who knows? It might happen in the future. 

Victor Augusto: I can’t describe how happy I am to have talked to you. I really hope to see the band live someday, no matter where in the world. Please let us know your final words for the fans and the band’s plan for the future. 

Johan Lindstrand: At the moment we are writing hard for our next album which probably will be out in 2023 and I hope that the world will go back to normal soon so we can go out and play for you all. Thanks for the support and thanks for the interview, Victor. 

Cheers / Johan 

The Crown – ‘Motordeath’ (OFFICIAL VIDEO)

LINE-UP:
Johan Lindstrand – Vocals
Magnus Olsfelt – Bass
Marko Tervonen – Guitar
Robin Sörqvist – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Henrik Axelsson – Drums

LINKS:

The Crown – Royal Destroyer review

The Crown Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Victor Augusto and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with INFRARED

From The Black Swamp Album Cover Art

Interview with INFRARED
By Victor Augusto

I don’t know how long I will be able to keep myself interviewing or reviewing bands from all around the world. I just do my job of writing gibberish about music and seeing what the bands will think of my strange thoughts. Sometimes they like it and we become friends….

Infrared are one of the most notorious bands from Canada that I have had the pleasure to discover. After reviewing their last two releases, I felt that it was a good time to do this interview. Considering they are a band that appeared in the eighties and returned after a few decades of hiatus with a very intense frequency of releases, we had a lot to talk about.

Thanks to the Vocalist/ Guitarist Armin Kamal, Guitarist Kirk Gidley, and Bassist Mike Forbes for taking part.

Victor Augusto: Starting with the early days of Infrared, you appeared in 1985 and recorded a demo tape in 1986 called “R.I.P. (Recognition in Power)”. I’ve listened to this demo tape on YouTube and I was surprised, because you’ve already had some very mature compositions and even a reasonable record production for that time and for a first release. What do you remember from this period and from the recording process?

Armin Kamal: I remember we felt very green going in to record. We had never recorded anything beyond recording our jams on a ghetto blaster. So, recording instruments separately or trying to play together and hearing ourselves with a good mix in headphones was very foreign to us. And then doing the vocals separately without playing guitar at the same time was weird. 

We recorded the demo not far from where Shawn Thompson, our original bass player, lived. I also remember the recording engineer was a minister or priest and so we were really concerned about using an F-Bomb in the track ‘T.O.C.’, so instead of saying “Get fucked”, we said “Get back”. We never bowed to pressure again after that. Ha ha!

Victor Augusto: You had quite a short existence during these early years, but after seeing the video of ‘Thoughts Caught (In Between)’, from this first demo tape, I had the impression you were a very focused professional offering. What could you tell us about the shows and how much of a part of Thrash Metal scene at that time you felt you were and how famous you became?

Armin Kamal: That track was the only track we re-recorded after Kirk (Kirk Gidley – Guitars) was no longer in the band. It was done at a more professional studio in downtown Ottawa called Ambience Studios, I think. We then re-released the RIP demo in ’88 with that new version of the song on it and we shot a video with Kirk’s sister’s boyfriend at the time. That video managed to get on the nation’s music station called Much Music and from that we gained a short-lived notoriety across the country. I remember receiving all kinds of fan mail from that time which was interesting and surprising. It was Ian Myers who was on that recording and in the video. He left shortly after and the band did not last long beyond that departure.

Before he left and as even part of the video, we played at one of the city’s biggest clubs called Barrymore’s. It was a good time and lots of fun, but the band could not survive too many band member changes. The band had started as a group of friends first, then musicians second. Once that dynamic changed, it was the beginning of the end. Until, of course, the original friend group decided to fire back up the Infrared engine!

 ‘Thoughts Caught (In Between)’ video

Victor Augusto: You stopped in approximately 1990 and returned more than 20 years later. What have you done with your lives during this time? Were you involved with anything related to music along the way?

Armin Kamal: I played in several different bands after Infrared disbanded. Many of those involved Alain Grouxl (drummer), which was nice because we work so well together. There were other projects, like a couple of cover bands which I used to improve my vocal capabilities and one long standing original project called Dirty Beloved. Kirk did not really pursue music and instead focused on career and family. Mike (Mike Forbes – Bass) only started playing guitar and bass later in life, which surprised even me given how good he is. He plays like he started in his teens and yet only started in his mid to late 20’s! He played in several local bands as well including a project or two with Alain.

Victor Augusto: After this long hiatus, you returned in 2014. In 2016, the first full album “No Peace” had all the old tracks, from your demo tape, re-recorded together with some new songs. How hard was it to continue work which started over 30 years ago and what was the biggest challenge with that? 

Kirk Gidley: We had to dig up old cassettes and listen to them and figure them out as it had been such a long time. Armin extracted the songs from a cassette and sent them to me. It was challenging for me as I still played guitar, but I hadn’t played with a drummer since the 80’s. I just thought about that recently and Al (Alain Grouxl) is the only drummer I’ve played with and Infrared the only band I’ve played with.

Armin Kamal: All the songs on that album were all old songs from the 80’s. Some we had never recorded beyond on a Ghetto Blaster. So, figuring out what we played and the lyrics was challenging. We also ended up slowing some of the songs down to make sure the picking was articulate and truth be told, we were not in fine speed picking form at the time we recorded. Now we play them faster live!!!

Victor Augusto: You are keeping up a good frequency of releases since you’ve returned (“No Peace” – 2016, “Saviours” – 2018, “Back to the Warehouse” EP – 2019 and “From the Black Swamp” – 2021), averaging no more than 2 years of waiting between releases. How is the composition process for you and how do you get inspired to create so much material in such a short time?

Kirk Gidley: We kind of feel we are trying to make up for lost time in a way. We have a lot of song ideas and we enjoy writing music. I am finding with each release that we are improving, and I think we will keep releasing music at this pace. If you look back at the 1970’s and 80’s, bands released albums every year. I feel if Infrared was a full-time band, we would probably release albums more frequently.

Armin Kamal: Even as we record and produce an album, we still noodle on our guitars and come up with and capture new ideas for future songs. So, by the time an album is released and we are promoting it, we go back and start sifting through our riffs and figuring out what makes a good song and the process starts all over again.

Victor Augusto: After listening to “No Peace” and “Saviours”, I could hear a bit of Traditional Heavy Metal mixed in with your Thrash Metal style. I guess it was introduced with the cover of Iron Maiden’s ‘Wrathchild’ on the “Back to the Warehouse” EP. For the new album, this element feels less present. Could you tell us about your influences currently?

Kirk Gidley: We can’t help not sounding like our heroes growing up; it just comes out in our writing styles. Our influence nowadays is pretty much the same as it was years ago. I know we all listen to the same bands and the funny thing is all the bands we grew up with are still around which is so amazing to me. The bands that are still around today really proves the longevity of great music and great bands. It’s not like pop music, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Look at all the metal bands that are still together and successful. It’s incredible. We do listen to newer bands like Gojira and Mastodon etc. and we tend to listen to a lot of local bands as well, bands we have met playing shows.

Victor Augusto: The newest album “From the Black Swamp” came when we finally had a breather from the Covid-19 situation and it is a brutal album. It looks like you had a lot of anger and many feelings to get off your chest for this album. What changed in your lives during these two years of lockdown and what came from it that could have inspired the new compositions?

Kirk Gidley: Well, we had more time on our hands being locked up in a house especially in a Canadian winter. Lockdowns are frustrating and I guess that came out in the songs. I think the album is also strong as I mentioned earlier. We are gaining more experience in song writing and working as a team. I think our next album will be strong as well. I believe if you don’t strive to improve every album what’s the use? Time will tell.

Armin Kamal: Not only did the pandemic piss us off, but I also went through a separation / divorce of a long marriage shortly after the pandemic started. Speaking with the guys in the band, we found we had similar experiences and the theme of hardships in relationships seemed to be common and we had never really written about it to this extent. Whether it was with a partner, girlfriend, boss, co-worker, friend, etc., it is something every human can relate to. Write what you know. 

‘From the Black Swamp’ video 

Victor Augusto: Summarizing what you talk about in the lyrics the subject matter goes from religious mind control, or bad relationships, to the energy of bands on stage. From what I could see, all the subjects are very personal for all members and you’ve found a way to scream it all out on a record. Do you create the music inspired on the lyric concept, or do you fit the lyric over the songs?

Armin Kamal: For us, it almost always starts with a riff or group of riffs that seem to fit together well. Then this gives us a vibe, and then a topic we may have on the mind might fit one of those songs and then the lyrics are written. 

Victor Augusto: Musically, I could hear many amazing references from good Thrash bands in this album. ‘Tribal Junction’ opens the album, in the best ‘Criminally Insane’ way (Slayer), the style of ‘Among The Living’ (Anthrax) in the intro to ‘Evil Ascent’, or ‘Practice What You Preach’ bass (Testament) in ‘Eternal Exile’. Even Metallica’s ‘Orion’ on the closing song ‘Semita Domum’. Nevertheless, it is all a matter of references, because this album showed us a band with a much stronger identity than before. If you could do a self-analysis of it, what could you tell us about the band’s musical evolution for this record?

Mike Forbes: We took more time to refine the songs for this album. If anything, the pandemic gave us reason to take our time finishing the album as the music scene had really taken a hit. The songs were originally done early into the pandemic, but we felt that releasing an album when we couldn’t get out and play live to promote it didn’t make sense. We chose to take the time to really listen to the songs and refine them. I’m glad we did because some great ideas came up during this time. 

I suppose you could say that there may have been a little more emotion put into the album to make up for not being able to express ourselves in a live setting. An emotional “all in” effect, if you like.

Armin Kamal: Not only that, but with 2.5 albums recorded (2 albums and one EP before the new full), a lot of lessons were learned and we gained some more maturity in song writing and trimmed a lot of fat. We became more efficient at delivering a vibe, even though there are still some longer songs on the album, most are not. That alone takes some skill. As Kirk mentioned, if you are not improving, learning and growing, why continue?

Victor Augusto: After the album release, you’ve started a tour in Canada to promote it. How is the Heavy Metal scene for shows there, and how big are you in your own country? 

Mike Forbes: The pandemic is still affecting our ability to tour very much. We have a few shows with Exciter lined up in February that have now been postponed until the July timeframe. We played one show in Ottawa in support of the new album and get a strong sense that the scene will still be good once things open back up from the pandemic.

As far as how big we are in our country, I would say that we are known in the Canadian Metal scene by a fair amount of people. I really have no idea how to guage this.

Victor Augusto: Do you have any plans for tours out of Canada, like in Europe, USA, or even in South America?

Mike Forbes: We would love to play in Europe, the USA and especially South America. Those are the places where the best Metal communities and festivals are. Our goal is to get out and expand our audience.

Victor Augusto: About your personal lives. Infrared is an active band, but we know it is hard to keep a band running without having a side job. How do you manage your work and personal lives with the band’s schedule? 

Mike Forbes: We usually rehearse once a week as a band. When we have upcoming shows, we will usually double up on our weekly rehearsals. Each of us rehearses on our off time from our work schedules. I am fortunate enough to work from home which means my bass is always close by in case the urge arises.

Victor Augusto: Do you guys meet each other when you are not playing, like friends and put the families together for a barbecue?

Mike Forbes: Yes. We are in touch daily and hang out with each other. In fact, we are due for another camping trip. That’s one of the great things about this band, we are friends. It makes everything so much more enjoyable to experience all of this with people you like being around ha ha!

Victor Augusto: Last question before we finish. The song ‘No Masters, No Gods’ is my favourite track and last year I was out of my city working in a very complex Air Traffic Control activity. Every day, my workmates and I heard this song when we were preparing to go to work. It was like a source of adrenaline to ease our anxiety. Have you ever received any kind of feedback like that from your fans about how your music helped them or followed them through something in their lives?

Mike Forbes: I love hearing stories like this. I know there are songs that are essential to my being. Songs that give me a certain feeling every time I hear it, like a drug. I have had a few people tell me stories of how listening to one of our songs gives them inspiration. 

Not to sound selfish but, we write music for ourselves. By this, I mean that we don’t try and please people. It’s an amazing feeling to know that music that obviously connects with us, also connects with others. To know that our music can inspire good feelings inspires me to never stop making music.

Armin Kamal: I just received a text message the other day from a friend who also went through a separation and he uses our latest album as therapy. This made me happy beyond belief, because it made every ounce of effort that went into the album worth it. And then to hear your story! Wow! Please, please … do not let any planes collide or we will be blamed and hated in Brazil!

‘No Masters, No Gods’ video

Victor Augusto: Thanks for your time. I really hope to see you all in concert someday. By the way, when I shared my review of “From the Black Swamp”, I discovered that few people know the band here in Brazil. Please let us know your final thoughts for your fans and for Ever Metal readers, the band’s plans for the future.

Armin Kamal: First, it is very cool to hear that we are known in different places around the world. We do hear this quite a bit and say if we could just travel all the people who know and like us to one location, we might have a hell of a concert! Ha ha! We really hope to meet many of the people who have bought our albums and support us. It really means a lot to us. Once the pandemic subsides, I think we will be playing like hungry teenagers again and leaving a lot of aggression on the stage! Peace!

INFRARED LINKS:

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Victor Augusto and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with BROWBEAT

Browbeat Logo

Interview with BROWBEAT
Interviewed by Beth Jones

Italian Hardcore band Browbeat were a new name on me when their about to be released EP dropped in my inbox. I do like a bit of Hardcore, and their bio sounded like they would be right up my street! I reviewed the EP, and decided that we all needed to know a little more about these guys. Luckily, I managed to grab a quick email interview with them, so we can all get a bit more of a flavour for what makes this band tick. Enjoy…

Hi guys, it’s nice to talk to you. Firstly, can you tell us a bit about the band? What style of music do you play, how long have you been playing together, and how did you start out as a band?

Hello to everybody! It’s nice for us too! When we formed in 1998. We had a common idea which was to create music in the most intense way possible by combining anguish, heaviness and lyrics that would highlight the problems of society. At that time, we were in the middle of the 90’s Hardcore / Crossover/New Metal scene, and it still gave us a great inspiration to play our music. In the band you can hear everything. Our sound ranges from old school Hardcore to more modern, from 80s Thrash to Death Metal and the most extreme Grindcore. Let’s say we don’t have a favourite band or genre, we like to listen to good music and take inspiration from that. We have been doing shows since 1998, then we broke up in 2007 and reformed in 2017. From the original line-up there is only our singer M.V. The current line-up has been together since 2018.

Your new EP, “The Showdown” is about to drop – tell us a little about that – what inspired the songs, and how long have you been working on it?

The Showdown was born naturally in a few months, trying not to follow trends but playing simply what we liked. After the pre-production phase, we found ourselves in the practice room testing out the songs and fixing the last details. Right from the start we had an excellent feeling about the total performance of the songs. Listening to a lot of different music, and what we feel every day in our life, are the main factors for writing songs.           

Musically, who have been your greatest influences?

Hatebreed, Merauder, Madball, Rage Against the Machine, Earth Crisis, Lionheart, The Acacia Strain, the first Machine Head and Biohazard are the bands that have influenced us most. We are very related to the 90’s scene, but we also appreciate more modern bands, such as Nasty, Knocked Loose, Antagonist AD, etc …

Obviously, the world’s been in a weird place for the last couple of years. How have you managed to keep your music going, and have you been able to get back to live shows yet?

During the pandemic, we took the opportunity to write new songs and record pre-productions.  We did a few shows but not like we used to do before Covid.

What have you got planned for 2022 (covid permitting)?

We love the stage and the contact with the fans, so we simply hope in 2022 to do all the shows that can be done in our country and abroad, also because we will have to promote our new EP.

You guys have been around for a pretty long time now, and you’re all very experienced musicians. What advice would you give to young bands just starting out on their journey?

Definitely study music and practice every day. Believe in what you do, have patience and perseverance, and try not to throw money to incompetent and unreliable managers. But especially, always try to have fun.

How do you approach songwriting – is it a collaborative thing between you, and what comes first, the lyrics or the riffs?

Luca Cocconi is the main composer of the band.  He takes care of the music, by writing the guitar, bass, and drums sessions. After the pre-production phase, we meet in the rehearsal room to rehearse the songs and fix the final details. Later when the musical part is complete, MV, the singer, writes the lyrics.

You’ve already played gigs with some of the greats of the genre, but if you could organise a dream gig, which bands would you want alongside you on the line-up?

The list would be very long but if I were to organize the concert of my dreams, personally I would call the Rollins Band as headliner, then Biohazard, Downset, Inside Out, Gorilla Biscuits, Public Enemy, House of Pain, Earth Crisis, Hatebreed and Browbeat as openers of course … ha … ha …!!!

The EP contains a cover of ‘Slave New World’ by Sepultura – why did you choose that song to cover?

Because for us, Sepultura represent one of the best bands of the 90s Metal scene, in their powerful and innovative sound, and for the lyrical concepts.

“CHAOS AD” and “ARISE” are two absolute masterpieces. Even though almost 30 years have passed, the lyrics of ‘SLAVE NEW WORLD’ are still very relevant, especially for the period we are living.

Thanks for your time guys, it’s been great to talk to you. To finish off, can you give us one sentence to describe what Browbeat, and this new EP, will bring to the listener.

Thanks Ever Metal for giving us this opportunity. 22nd January 2022 our new EP “THE SHOWDOWN” will be out, and will surely bring to the listener so much brutality, impact, power and energy! Stay tuned!! Stay angry!! Stay HC!!

LINKS:

Browbeat Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with Adam Biggs, of Rivers Of Nihil

Rivers Of Nihil The Work Album Cover Art

Interview with Adam Biggs, of Rivers Of Nihil
Interviewed and Recorded by Sheri Bicheno

As soon as I heard that Rivers of Nihil were about to unleash their new album, “The Work”, via Metal Blade Records, I rushed to submerge myself in this absolute journey of an album… and I was not disappointed. 

Philadelphia based Rivers Of Nihil are certainly no strangers to the abundance of growth around Progessive Death Metal, with their years spanning since 2009, and 4 stunning studio albums, 2 LP’s, and an impressive itinerary of shows under their belts. 

It needs to be noted that the album artwork featured for Rivers of Nihil is none other than that of the renowned Dan Seagrave (Memoriam, Entombed, Lawnmower Deth) and the links to the fantastic artwork on the new album connects to those of the elder… my advice – go and find out!

This has got to be one of my favourite releases of 2021 by far – paired with the anticipation after their success with “Where Owls Know My Name”, Rivers of Nihil offer a new palette with “The Work”. I was lucky enough to be joined by bassist Adam Biggs to have a chat about the concepts and deeper exploration behind their new offering. Have a watch below:

Interview with Adam Biggs, of Rivers Of Nihil

Rivers Of Nihil are:
Jake Dieffenbach – lead vocals
Brody Uttley – lead guitar, keyboards
Adam Biggs – bass, vocals
Jon Topore – rhythm guitar, keyboards
Jared Klein – drums, backing vocals

LINKS:

YouTube video for “The Void of Which No Sound Escapes”

Rivers Of Nihil Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Sheri Bicheno and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.


Video Interview with PRESSURE

Video Interview with PRESSURE
Interviewed and recorded by Sheri Bicheno

Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, Pressure are an eclectic flavour of Rock that combines the concepts of dealing with everyday pressures and hurdles that go hand in hand with uplifting and positive messages to keep pushing forward!

They are a breath of fresh air and fantastic to talk to. I caught up with them ahead of the release of their new single, ‘Pressure’, to talk about what drives their visions and passions for this new offering and beyond. They give me an insight into the heart of Pressure, and talk about their story that keeps us in constant anticipation to where the next chapter may lead…

Exclusive Video Interview:

LINE-UP:
Guitars, drums, backing vocals–Simon Forsell
Lead vocals–Olof Jönsson
Guitar–Emil Salling
Vocals – Olli Violet
Bass – Ignacio Arrúa

PRESSURE LINKS:

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Sheri Bicheno and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities