Hemoptysis rise to power

Arizona’s metal horde sees a new name surface in the ranks of powerful death metal: Hemoptysis. Delivering crushing, brutal death metal combined with thrash and a fresh attitude of work ethic, the band works hard at delivering the best they can while adhering to their own metal philosoph(ies). They have many influences, but stray from trying to sound like copying any one particular sound. I got a chance to get some questions for BRUTALISM with Masaki (guitars and vocals) and Travis (drums) and each provided their own insight towards where the band is headed after a big debut.

Hello Hemoptysis. First off congratulations on the new album that’s coming up/ already out. How has fan reception of it been so far?
Masaki: Thank you. It has been great so far. We’ve received rave reviews and the European edition will be released in Europe through Rock It Up Records on May 27th with the "Shadow of Death" Music Video as a bonus feature. We hope more people will give it a listen and give us a chance.

Would you say it’s been a huge step up from your last EP, ‘Who Needs A Shepherd?’ How does it embody the full fury of your metal philosophies?
Masaki: Absolutely, yes. We experienced and learned a lot in the past two and a half years, have and stepped it up in many ways since we released the “Who Needs A Shepherd?” EP.  Having a phenomenal lead guitarist like Ryan Miller (Who also plays for Excessive Bleeding) was a huge plus for us.

Any main concept behind it or is it just straight up death-thrash with semi-connecting themes?
Masaki: We play what we love and put our passion in the music.
Travis: We don't limit ourselves by genres of music when we write songs. The album doesn't exactly have an overall concept.  Masaki and I write lyrics based on our lives and personal experiences. That is where our passion comes from.

For those of us who don’t know, how did Hemoptysis come together?
Masaki: Travis and I met through a mutual friend in June of 2007. We started jamming together a few months later with Sunao (our bassist) and a different guitarist. Sunao wasn’t a permanent bassist back then, but he officially joined us in February, 2008. We went through several lead guitarists and Ryan Miller joined us in the beginning of 2010.

What made you choose death-thrash metal and who are some of your influences?
Masaki: We weren’t planning on doing death-thrash. I’m the main song writer. I was not planning on singing in this band, especially with the style of singing I do now. It all came naturally, blending all of our influences and backgrounds, turning it into the current Hemoptysis sound. I’m a thrash guy. Ryan and Travis are death metal guys and Sunao listens to everything including non metal music.

Being from Arizona and since there’s tons of metal bands from there (like Job For A Cowboy) did you find it easy to gain a decent fanbase there? At the same time… were there high expectations to live up to?
Masaki: There are tons of great bands out here in Arizona. However, it is never easy to gain a decent fanbase no matter where you are. The band has to work really hard to get attention and make people turn into fans. We have so many great bands out here including well known ones like Sacred Reich, Flotsam and Jetsam, Job For A Cowboy, Landmine Marathon and Vehemence, to name a few. There are always high expectations to live up to when trying to stand out from all the other bands in the world. It’s just not Phoenix. It’s everywhere.

So what’s planned for the near future… any touring in the works or are you just going to take it easy and reap some of the success of the ‘Misanthropic Slaughter’ release?
Masaki: We are currently getting ready to shoot a new music video. Meanwhile, we are playing as many shows as possible in different states and cities. Also, we are writing new material for the next album.

Have you done much touring before? What do you think is best about it?
Masaki: We’ve done a week-long regional tour in the South West US, but other than that, we’ve mostly done weekend tours. It is getting tougher and tougher to tour nowadays especially for unsigned bands that have no tour support. We are doing what we can and we hope to tour more often. We love touring and getting to see old fans and new fans at shows, as well as seeing new places. Those are always the best parts of touring.
Travis: Increasing gas prices make it hard to afford to tour, as well.  We do what we can.

With CD’s slowly fading from the market and more downloading occurring, did you find it easy to market the music or has Youtube, Myspace, and I-Tunes been an easier way? Do you think eventually the future of CDs- usually seen as the icon of music- will be gone forever and what do you think of it?
Masaki: We can’t deny the fact that online marketing is becoming the main marketing tool, making it easier to reach the audience. However, word of mouth is still the basis and by far the most effective marketing tool. You just have to be more accessible and make it easy to find you by having Facebook, Myspace and every other website possible. It’s definitely getting easier to reach people, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy to get fans. You have to have a quality product to attract them and keep the momentum going. Though CD sales are going down day by day for every band, you can’t get the same quality of sound from MP3s. Also, you can’t experience the exciting moment of finding a new album at a record store, reading the liner notes, reading the lyrics while you listen to the CD, and so on. While the trend is going towards downloading MP3s, there are people that still prefer to have the physical copy, especially metal heads.

With the metal world itself evolving ever since you started listening to it, what do you think has been its greatest gains or possible downfalls? How will Hemoptysis do its best to bring the best of the genre to the listeners?
Travis: The biggest downfall was Nu-metal, for sure. The greatest gains in metal would probably be the resurgence of thrash metal and bands willing to play guitar solos in songs again. Nu-metal eliminated guitar solos and took away a lot of musicianship. The musicianship is back with solos and more complex music that keeps the listener interested.  Hemoptysis does its best to keep that musicianship alive and keep it interesting by combining several types of music into one band.

Lastly, when not focused on your music, what is the best way for you to unwind and de-stress from all the difficulties in the recording world?
Masaki: It is hard for me to not to think about the band or music, but I like traveling to refresh and de-stress.
Travis: Drink!

I appreciate your time for BRUTALISM and our readers; any last words before we part?
Masaki: Thanks for your support! Our new album “Misanthropic Slaughter” is available at http://www.misanthropicslaughter.com and it will be in stores in Europe on May 27th! Please follow us on Facebook and stay updated! http://www.facebook.com/hemoptysis We hope to get to see you at the shows in the near future. Please spread the word and help us get our name out! Thank you!
Interviewer: devilmetal747
May 31, 2011

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