Going strong with loyal legions and good intentions

Korpius knows what makes death metal decent, and this reflects in their latest album, ‘Shades of Black.’ Rather than stick to one side of death metal, the band does their best to mix many different influences into their music, from black to technical, and the reception from fans has really show an interest. Starting strong and still going strong, Korpius value their support from whatever wake of the world it comes from, and refuse to let their fans down by trying new things all the time, on albums or shows, to surpass expectations. I got a chance to talk things over with Phil and Max, who both perform on guitars and vocals in the band, to learn more about how well things are going within the realm of Korpius and beyond…

Hello Korpius. How are things going?
Phil:  Hey!  Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. Things are going super good in the Korpius clan and we couldn’t be happier with the release of our new album.

So how have the fans been receiving your new album, ‘Shades of Black?’ Has it been as expected? The album seems very well rounded.
Max: Fans are really enjoying our new album. We’ve been receiving very good reviews! We hadn’t expected such a great answer from fans and it really means something to us.
Phil: We worked hard on this album during the past 4 years and I think it finally pays off!

What goals did you have towards ‘Shades of Black’ to make it better than the demos you’ve accomplished so far? What is the main concept… if any at all on the album?
Phil: ‘Shades of Black’ isn’t a concept album. However, the title reflects the message generally delivered in the songs. We live in a world where things aren’t always good or bad, a world where there are a lot of different degrees of bad and evil.
Max: Our first goal was to make this record perfect to us. We wanted an album without any mistakes, regrets or "we should have done this that way" and we succeeded. We invested more time and money in 'Shades of Black' then in any other recordings we ever did. We wanted something that sounds pro.

Are there any big musical influences that helped shape the album’s sound you’d like to name?
Phil: Our first influences come from bands like At The Gates, Cephalic Carnage, Arch Enemy, Opeth or even Dimmu Borgir. We don’t restrict ourselves only to metal; most of us listen to other genres such as old rock, jazz, classical music and even world music. In recent years we have been enjoying the new breed of metal with acts such as Obscura, The Faceless or Gojira.
For those who don’t know, how did Korpius begin? Did you find it easy to start up with a metal fanbase in Sherbrooke, or did you have to branch out quite a bit?
Max: Fortunately, the crowd in Sherbrooke supported us since the beginning of the band in 2003. They remain our biggest fan base to date but we always look forward to recruit new fans around Canada and hopefully in as many countries as possible. Isn't that what people want when they start a band?

What is your musical philosophy, or your philosophy behind metal itself? What does it involve that drives you to create the music that you do, either for yourselves or the fans?
Phil: Korpius’ philosophy in making music has always to be the most diversified possible. We do not restrict ourselves to pure death metal, black metal or progressive music. We always wanted each song we write to have its own sound, while representing what Korpius is and will always be; an extreme metal act with a great groove and awesome guitar work.
Max: When composing, I think that we just go with the moment, how we feel that day. It adds different colors to the songs which we couldn’t achieve if we had a linear way of writing music. We like different style of music and that helps us avoid a predefined mould.

Do you think that death metal has progressed for the better for the past several years, or has the values of ‘a good death metal album’ somewhat deteriorated?
Phil: I think it depends on what band we are talking about. It is a known fact that some of the bigger bands release an album just as an excuse to be on tour for a few months. This, in the long run, isn’t what will usually make ‘a good death metal album’ in my sense. I think that the music industry in general is the reflection of our consumer society where everything seems outdated in a matter of months. In my opinion, ‘a good death metal album’ is one you will still be listening in 5, 10 or even 15 years. At The Gates’ ‘Slaughter of the Soul’ was out in 1995 and it faces the test of time very well!

With the sad fade of music stores due to poor record sales, it seems the CD is in peril as far as a form of music with more and more people downloading, and not always legally. Do you believe that the band will eventually go fully digital in the next few years? Any plans on how to combat illegal downloading if so?
Max: I can't imagine that the band will go fully digital one day because releasing a CD is like a trophy to us. You finally end up with something in your hands after all these years of hard work and that feels so great! The problem is that Internet is so big that I don't think it is possible to combat illegal downloading. Some people will buy your CD just to rip it and seed it on the internet, it’s that bad.
Phil: I started buying vinyl records and that is for me the answer to the imminent death of the CD format. I will always buy CDs because they are so convenient but when I really like an album I also buy it on LP and the feeling is just very different. In my opinion, bands should put out more “exclusive” merchandise to get the die-hard fans something they can really enjoy.

Are concert tickets as outrageously priced as they are in the U.S (where I’m from)? How can Korpius, and perhaps other artists as well, find a way around large, conglomerate mergers to make things easier on the fans, and therefore a more enjoyable experience in coming out to the live shows?
Phil: Quebec has a great local scene with a nice show circuit. Local bills are usually cheap and the bigger bands in town are usually worth the bang for the buck. We are lucky enough to have a lot of great bars in the province and a lot of support for local bills. People don’t seem to mind paying more to see bigger acts in bigger venues; I think there’s something in Quebec for every metal fan!

What’s a live show like for those who go to see Korpius, anyway? Do you like to do anything in particular or memorable, like use pyro, lights, fog, or always meet and greets after?
Max: We always work on getting better and better, show after show. We push it harder every time and we can see that the fans are enjoying that.
Phil: We always look at the shows’ videos together when they become available. We try to focus on what we did well and what we still have to work on. This has paid off in the past and helped us get our live shows something that you will remember!

Speaking of fans, what do you like best about them? What has been the nicest thing any of them have done for you that has really made a mark on the band and affirmed that you’re doing the right thing?
Max: In our hometown, people are really awesome, we have fans that have been there since day one and that tells us we are doing the right thing.
Phil: It is always great to meet new people in places we’ve never been. The best thing fans can do is to come and hangout with us at the merchandise table after a show.

So what’s next in the near future? Another album? Touring? Maybe some time off to create new concepts?
Max: For now, our goal is to promote the album, make new contacts and then start working on a new album.
Phil: I think after releasing ‘Apocalyptic Vision’ in 2007 the word was out about Korpius in Quebec. With this new album ‘Shades of Black’ we want to push the band to new limits and aim for the whole Canadian market. We already started working on new material, but this is only to be sure that the new album doesn’t take another 4 years in the making!

When you do get time off, what do you like to do?
Max: When we get time off we hang out with friends. These days we are all hooked up on the Canadian ‘Habs’ Hockey series! Go Habs Go!
Phil: We usually like to attend local shows and have fun with our buddies. Life is short; enjoy it!

Do you find balancing life in Korpius with other things such as family or daytime jobs difficult, or are you one of the lucky few that has everything in its place?
Phil: We are all very busy guys. However, Korpius is the sacred activity that can’t be touched. We always have room for the band, no matter what.
Well, I wish you luck in the future and a big thanks to your promoter for letting me listen to the debut album. Do you have any last words of wisdom to me or our Brutal readers?
Max: Check out our news updates on Facebook , ReverbNation and our Blog (www.Korpius.com). If you'd like to see us in your hometown send us an email to contact(at)korpius.com and we will reply asap. Thanks to all the fans and don't hesitate to talk about the band to your friends and family.
Phil: We have a new video coming out for ‘Awaking Terror’ in the next week or so, be sure to check it out and share it with your friends! Cheers!
Interviewer: devilmetal747
Apr 24, 2011

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