Dead Existence will continue to punish others
So, ‘Endless Misery’… this is a big leap forward. Have you had a similar acknowledge from other sources with good overall feed back?
Jake: I think everyone in the band knew this was our strongest material as soon as we started playing it. This album has definitely refined what we think we are good at and maybe cut away the unnecessary parts. It feels like it has more conviction behind it and this is definitely reflected in the feedback we have had so far from our peers as well as publications.
How do you approach such a recording, I am aware that there are a few other projects that band members are involved with, is there a defined split of your time in terms of writing and recording?
Jake: To be honest we have never had to split time between other projects. Everyone has multiple things on the go but we’ve always put as much as we need into DE. Its a slow moving beast but it doesnt rest, we feed it as much as it requires.
Where was the album recorded?
Jake: Skyhammer studios in cheshire. It was engineerd by Chris Fielding (from Conan) who is always excellent to work with.
Have you changed any of your set up in the studio, different amps/guitars etc? The mid-range seems to be a lot more boosted on the album?
Fred: We tuned down the guitars am extra half step from C to B which affects the sounds and feel a bit. Chris got a new guitar, I had my amp modded and updated my overdrive pedal equipment wise. Most of this was just natural progress that comes from experience and refining your sound. I definitely have a better idea of what I want and how to get it than on previous recordings. With Matt in the band now the bass became a lot more low end and dirty which meant the guitar definitely needed to focus more on the mids. Recording with Chris Fielding at Skyhammer also had a big impact too he really helped us capture our sound.
Worthless has a touch of experimentation about it. Where does that come from?
Fred: We all listen to a vast range of music so difference styles and ideas always creep in. This one was a bit unusual though as it was written at home instead of jammed in the studio and on an acoustic guitar. While there was no specific agenda I was definitely trying out a lot of new ideas and seeing where the song would take me without any regard for style or structure.
You seem to have a lot more free reign on your arrangements too is this something you have pinpointed on this recording (or is it simply a natural occurrence)?
Fred: We’ve never followed any strict patterns in arranging songs most of them have just flowed from the beginning to the end in whatever way we thought it needed to. By the time we started writing for the record we had definitely gotten better at this which allowed us to be a lot more free with structures without losing the plot.
What was the reason for changing the band logo? This one looks a little more razor blade suicidal!?
Jake: I think that just happened naturally along with the album. When we were getting the artwork together for the new album (by the very talented kristina vladi) it just seemed right to have something with more of a violent, frantic feel to it. Its just a bit more in line with the direction our sound has gone in.
Lyrically, what inspires you all?
Jake: The lyrics for dead existence are inspired by negativity and self loathing plain and simple. The songs are not naratives and they dont really have a message, its just an outpouring of hatred. That wretched, unkind part of us that we keep hidden. For this band i’ve always been lyrically inspired by emotions rather than particular themes. Thats where the band name comes from as well. The true bleakness within the human soul.
With Matt now a solid member on bass (forgive me as I am not sur= e of his involvement in the ‘Born Into the Planet Scars’ EP), ha= s he had and influence that could have changed any of the dynamics of the song writing process?
Fred: ‘Born…’ was recorded before Matt joined so there’s definitely a difference in dynamics with him involved.
We’ve generally written and arranged songs while jamming and he wasn’t afraid of putting his ideas forward and throwing a few riffs in. His bass playing style is different from what we previously had and he’s got a pretty clear idea of his own sound so he definitely put his own stamp on the record.
Your live shows are always special for me, the immersion in the moment in the misery of your tracks really comes across as you play. Do you have one show that really hit the nail on the head, a special show you thought, yes, that’s the one?
Jake: I think that answer is probably different for each of us but aside from some really special support slots we’ve played i think our slot at desertfest this year would probably be one. We’d been playing all week with our friends Walk Through Fire so we were ready to tear it up by then and the crowd were totally up for it. Lots of energy from everyone, it really felt like we did the new songs justice that night. Definitely memorable.
You guys never seem phased before you come on stage, do you get nervous at all?
Jake: I think that depends on a lot of things but i’d say its usually more apprehension than nerves. I think there’s a catharsis with playing live for most musicians. I always relish the chance to get lost in that bleak aggression that comes with this kind of music.
You start a mini tour in July with The Moth. How did that come about, are each band aware of each other’s work?
Jake: The Moth have toured recently with our friends Conan which is how they came to our attention but as with previous tours with Valve and Walk Through Fire its always been about getting in touch with likeminded bands for us. As a relitively DIY band its meeting those kindred spirits in other bands that make it worthwhile.
What’s your plans after your mini tour?
Jake: As we have recently stated the band will be having a significant change of pace as of august when Fred has decided he will move back to Sweden. We would never replace him so this means we will not be active as a live entity after July for the foreseable future. We will still have the album coming out on a physical format and we are putting out a split release with some good friends very soon. We are not splitting the band up at any rate but for the time being we will be concentrating on other projects (Dysteria, Landskap, Fuckjar amongst others as well as something new myself and matt are cooking up)
You have played some pretty good bills with some big names artists, is there anyone on your wishlist you would like to share the stage with? If so, what is their influence on you and your music?
Jake: We’ve been very lucky with some of the bands we’ve got to play with. We all have our personal heroes we’d kill to share a stage with but i suppose a few springing to mind that are relevant to some of us are Abandon, Acid Bath and Rwake. Obviously the first two would not be possible anymore. We have taken influences from all of those bands. Rwake in particular really strikes a chord with me. That guy has this frantic, desperate vocal delivery that i fucking love. They also have this more metallic approach to slow music that we click with.
The UK scene has picked up in terms of bands, albums and tour dates for groups with a similar stance. Have you noted a change in the crowd or the “scene”?
Jake: London and UK has always been pretty good to us but yes we’ve certainly noticed an increase in popularity and maybe a more diverse group of people showing an interest. Some of this is possibly trends coming and going but i think the other side of it is a natural progression as different sub genres within heavy music cross over and merge.
If you were in a battle royale styled game, who would be the first to go?
Jake: Fuck knows, most of us are fairly out of shape. Maxime would win for sure though, he’s like a dirty french He-Man.
How would you describe Dead Existence to those who don’t know your music?
Jake: That moment when you give up on everyone you love and accept your life has no real meaning or worth, but you know you will continue to punish others for those realities.
Thank you for your time, as you know I am a big fan of your music, I look forward to a live outing in the future. As for now, congratulations on ‘Endless Misery’, it was definitely worth the wait. Everyone should buy it right?! Regards
Jake: Yes! Get the new album and keep an eye out for some other releases coming from us soon. We are really glad you and so many have been digging the new stuff.
July is everyones last chance to catch us live for a good while!
If not dont worry, you will be seeing most of us on stage soon with various other bands. (there’s no getting rid of us).