Non trendy death metal of Asphyx
Hey how's it going? First I would like to thank you for taking the time from your busy schedule to do this interview.
Bob: Everything's ok. We always enjoy doing interviews.
I got your new CD "Death The Brutal Way", it sure blows away all that so called death metal that's coming out these days. Plus this is the way death metal should be played. Brutal and primitive.
Bob: Thanx for the compliment! Yes well, we do what we want to do, and that's producing raw, primitive and straight forward death metal like we always did. People sometimes wonder why we play so primitive and simple and why there is almost no progression, haha. But those are the people who don't understand Asphyx. We have quite a following since the old days and that's also mainly because of our simplistic, non-trendy -we only do what WE like- kinda style. I mean, if we listen to Death Metal, we listen to Autopsy, Venom, Hellhammer, Majesty, old Death/Massacre, Slaughter, Messiah, Necrophagia, Grave, Winter, Necrovore, Incubus (Fl.), Obscurity, Deathstrike/old Master, Repulsion, Ribspreader, Obituary, Nihilist, old Sodom etc.THAT'S what we call Death Metal.
That says it all.
The so called death metal which is polluting the scene the last years is, in my humble opinion, pure rubbish and has absolutely NOTHING, I repeat NOTHING, to do with real death metal and the way it was supposed to be. Today it almost sounds like most of these bands are involved in a freaky hyperblast hyperdehyper most technical contest without any care about the song itself or cool riffs and rhythms. It's just a freakshow without any soul. Fuck that.
Asphyx been inactive for quite some time, what were the main factors into resurrecting Asphyx?
Bob: That was the phonecall on a sunny Saturday afternoon around 15:30 in September 2006. It was the organiser from the Party San Germany who asked if I could reform Asphyx for a reunion show at the 2007 edition of the PSOA. At first I didn't feel like it at all, but they kept calling so I said "ok, let's see if it can work out"... I phoned Martin and he was very excited about the idea since he was wondering around for several years already to make some brutal old school with Asphyx again. Then I contacted Eric and unfortunally he said no due to some personal issues. Then Martin came up with the idea of getting Paul Baayens (Hail Of Bullets/Thanatos) involved since Paul was offering himself for the job. He said to Martin in some pub "what about Asphyx?".. Martin said "nah, Eric can't make it and without Eric Bob and me won't do it..." so Paul said "ok, I will do it. I'm the man for the job"... Martin "what??? are you serious? Do you know what you're saying here? I mean, man, replacing Eric..."
So Martin phoned me with that idea and at first I said no. But after a short while I thought t myself "Hell, why not?" So here we are.....
I'm glad that the band came back into scene cause these youngsters these days need to know what real death is all about.
Bob: Thanx. That compliment means alot to us. I mean, we stay true to ourselves and our roots. The youngsters today think that the hyperblast technical bullshit really is death metal.... they can't be further away from the truth. It's time they discover the real shit! Claim Death Metal? Then know the history! If not, then fuck off.
Who came up with the idea to revive Asphyx from it's long slumber?
Bob: The organisation from the Party San. They were the main trigger. We got offers from other festivals as well, years earlier but it never happened.
Martin you got the hail of bullets thing going and now asphyx how you manage to balance both bands?
Martin: It's not that hard, really. We have a very good and tight bandschedule and it works out great. Right now I'm busy writing lyrics for the next HOB album, so that has the priority now, and when there is a next Asphyx album coming up then that one has the priority. Same goes for shows. In the end, it's all good fun.
When I first heard you got kicked out of Pestilence I thought the band was going to suck balls but you joined Asphyx and released "The Rack" my reaction was hell fuck yes. It was like to kick your bandmates in the balls?
Martin: hahaha! Yes, you're absolutely right about that one! When I first came to the Asphyx rehearsal in 1990 I was blown away by the brutal simplicity of the songs and the immense loudness in the rehearsalroom. It was amazing! I knew then that Asphyx was the right band for me. With Asphyx I could do my thing, what I enjoyed doing most. Simple and effective death/doom metal. "The Rack" was already written for 80% (old songs) and then I came up with "Vermin" and "The Rack" itself. We recorded "The Rack" in our rehearsalroom which also was becoming a 8 track studio, The Harrow studio. The studio wasn't finished at all for recording, but we did it anyway with Harry. The sound is honest and immensely raw. Still VERY proud on that one!!
Asphyx played their gig in the US in their at the Maryland Death Fest. What you guys were feeling at the time when the band got the invite to play at one of the most biggest fest in the US?
Bob: Yes, the Maryland Deathfest was the first time we played on US ground. It was great! We had a great time overthere and all was perfect! The MDF is a brilliant fest! We got great response from the audience. It was special for us. Anyway, we'll be playing at the MDF 2010 again since we couldn't play our whole set last time due to "things".
How the US fans responded to Asphyx? Most likely you was pretty exhausted not only you had to perform with Asphyx also you had to perform with Hail Of Bullets too.
Martin: Great!! We got a great welcome which pleased us alot! Cheers for that! Of course it was exhausting, headlining with Asphyx on the Friday night and the next day playing with HOB in a extremely hot sun!
Bwoaahh!! The hottest show we ever did! hah!
First the band was orginally signed to Century Media the label that released the previous Asphyx albums. Now you got hooked up with Ibex Moon which owned by another old schooler John of Incantation. Can you tell how that deal came about?
Bob: We still are signed with Century Media. Already since June 1990. But Century Media US didn't want to release the album in the US since they thought our market was too small... so we contacted Ibex Moon to handle the US side of things, which they did. They do a great job for sure! It also is great for us that fx. John is an old school veteran like ourselves, so he knows the history and is in it with his heart and soul, which is very important for this kind of music. Ibex Moon is the ideal label for Asphyx overseas for sure!
How well the album doing now?
Bob: The album is doing very good. Better then expected even. I think we're around 15.000 copies worldwide now which is great for our kind of death metal. Also the old albums are still selling.
Is the band planning to do a US tour next year?
Bob: No.We don't do any touring. But we'll do the Maryland Deathfest again! And that is killer!!!
What are the bands plans for the time being?
Bob: Next Eastern(2010) there will be a brutal live dvd/cd "Live...The Brutal Way" which features our "Death... The Brutal Way" release show in Essen/Turock in Germany as well as the band's history with some old footage. It will be a brutal old school piece of rawness. After that we'll start working on the next album.
When the band played at the MDF did you have a chance to catch up with the people you been in contact since the Pestilence days. How was you feeling at time when you got to see your brothers and sisters that haven't seen in a long time?
Martin: We met Chris Reifert. That was great! Chris is also a friend of our drummer Bob so we had a nice evening! It all was a great catch up, and will be next year as well.
Before I end this I like to say it's been a long time. I hope you guys come to Texas. I'm looking forward to seeing you again Martin it has been a long time. We got a lot of drinking to do. Most importantly welcome back.
Bob: Texas should be great! In fact, one of the best brutal death metal bands hails from Texas and that's Necrovore! So it's (un)holy ground as well.
Martin: Drinking is always good! So from here we say thanx and PROOST (cheers).