What makes the sound massive for Birth Of Depravity?
Manos Michaelides had a chat with Theo from Birth Of Depravity after reviewing their album “From Obscure Domains”. Let’s see what Theo has to say about the history and plans of the band.
Thank you Theo for accepting my invitation for a BOD interview! What are the band’s latest news?
Thank you too for this interview! The only news at the moment is that we are honoured to do a cover song for a tribute compilation for Terrorizer! We will record it somewhere in August I think.
BOD were formed in 2005. Were you the sole founding member? Under what circumstances was the band formed?
Actually in summer 2005, I started writing the first riffs with the purpose to create a Brutal Death Metal band. I was looking for members and after rehearsing with some people, I met Jim (drums) on summer 2007 and together we focused on practicing and rehearsing for the band to take its form.
Did you play in any other bands before BOD and why did you decide to form BOD?
No I didn’t play in any other bands. I created BOD because I always wanted to play and write Death Metal music or Extreme/Brutal Death Metal.
What was your inspiration for the band’s name and who drew the logo?
The band’s name was inspired by Decrepit Birth (I was passionate and listening a lot the “And Time Begins” album back then) and Suffocation’s ‘Depths Of Depravity’ song. So Birth Of Depravity came to my mind. The logo was created by Steve Crow from Condemned.
Do you believe that all decisions in a band should be democratically taken or someone has to be the leader in order to have things flowing?
It depends, personally I believe that if band members have common views and ideas which combine to a better result than one member’s opinion, then yes, democratically might be the best. But I don’t believe that this can happen easily since everyone has different point of views and things become complicated. I believe that in most bands there is always someone, or some members who leads the flow of things. And in many cases there’s always someone in the band who is the main brain of the band.
Let’s get back to the demo days. What do you remember from the “Promo 2008” era?
I remember the great company I had with Jim, lots of good conversations, laughs, rehearsals in studio every weekend. It was a great time and I will always remember it as pure and careless era and my first steps in the world of playing Death Metal.
How and where was “The Coming of the Ineffable” (2012) conceived and recorded?
After recording the “Promo 2008”, I and Jim continued rehearsing new tracks. Until summer 2010 we had 9 new tracks, plus 1 song from the “Promo 2008” which was re-recorded for the debut album. We went to record them at Block 33 studio in Thessaloniki, Greece at the end of October 2010. The title was our vocalist’s Greg idea.
In “The Coming of the Ineffable” recording period, you solely handled the bass duties. I saw BOD live in Athens, Greece back then and you performed without a bass player. Why you didn’t have a bass player in the first line-up and how did Thanos join the band? (I remember I auditioned for the bass in BOD back in the days). Also how important is the bass for your sound?
Yes we didn’t had a bass player for a long time because we hadn’t found someone to handle the bass duties. And to be honest we didn’t search very much because it was a long period from the end of 2010 to mid 2014 where we rehearsed a few times and we hadn’t played live since October 2012 were you saw us, so bass duties was left ignored for some time and I personally wasn’t cared too much. But bass is very important for our sound because it makes our sound more massive, powerful and brutal. It’s necessary. Thanos joined at the end of 2015, while we were preparing to record our second album and for the gig at Greek Death Grind Scene Festival in March 2016.
Please introduce us your bandmates and people that helped BOD all the way so far.
BOD consists of Greg on vocals, Thanos on bass, Jim on drums and me on guitar. People who have helped us is George Stournaras (Mass Infection), Thanasis Papaefthimiou (Extreme Violence), Inherited Suffering and Anopsys Records, Dismembered Records, Sevared Records, some zines and people like you who promote us with an interview or an album review and people who buy our merch. Thanks!
“The Coming of the Ineffable” was a co-release of Inherited Suffering Records and Anopsys Records. Were you satisfied with the result?
Yes absolutely we are 100% satisfied.
You did an independent cassette tape version of “The Coming Of The Ineffable” and I would like to take this opportunity to ask you whether you think it’s best for a band to be in a label or DIY release its material?
If a band has the time and money to DIY their release, I think it’s the best because things become so easy these days with the use of the internet and so many services that a band can handle to promote their release. Otherwise, a serious and responsible label can help the band indeed.
Your debut album “The ComingOf The Ineffable” (2012) was an excellent album. In which ways has “From Obscure Domains” surpassed it?
“From Obscure Domains” has surpassed it in everything, it’s more mature, better quality of songs, better production, better playing, it has personality and its own sound, everything is so much better that I don’t think those 2 albums can be compared. Also the final result in production was way better from our expectations.
How did the re-release of “From Obscure Domains” from Sevared Records occurred? And what happened with the Dismembered Records edition?
Dismembered records edition was sold and limited mainly in Indonesia and it was hard for some people to find the CD in distros or stores. This is the reason behind the Sevared Records re-release which I must say that it includes 9 bonus tracks, 2 tracks from the “Promo 2008”, 6 live tracks and 1 rehearsal.
BOD have fictional/futuristic/spacey/sick cover artworks. Who is responsible for the BOD artworks and how did you cooperate with Zig for the “From Obscure Domains” Sevared Records re-release?
The artwork for “The Coming Of The Ineffable” album was created by George ‘Grin’ Prasinis and the 2 different versions of the “From Obscure Domains” artwork was created by Jon Zig. Barret from Sevared Records suggested Zig for the re-release and we talked with Zig for album details and that’s all.
I know you rehearse alone for countless hours with your guitars. How important is it for a musician to practice? What is your advice?
Well I don’t practice a lot and I don’t practice as much as I want mainly because of work. I practice at about 1 or 2 hours a day and not every day, wish I could practice for countless hours alone! Practicing with a metronome is the most important thing along with practicing with other people. My advice is practice as much as you can, but practice with the correct way, do warm-up, always use metronome, learn how to practice something correctly, watch yourself how you press the note on the fretboard, the notes much be clearly heard and try not to spend your energy with sloppy playing, because you will learn it wrong. Use variations of exercises, learn from others and create your own exercises. Observe where and why you lack in a technique, try to think and understand what is that which doesn’t let you progress. Try to be better for yourself.
How many guitars and which models do you possess? Which are your favorites?
I have 4 guitars, 2 BC Rich Warlocks, a cheap model which is my first guitar and a NJ Deluxe, a BC Rich Beast NT model and a Jackson Performer PS4. I love all my guitars, each one in different and unique for me, each one has its own sound, personality and characteristics. My favorite is the BC Rich Beast NT and the Warlock NJ Deluxe.
How do you compose a BOD song? Do you have any certain songwriting patterns/steps you follow?
Songs are mainly created while playing or practicing, at least until now alone. Also when an idea comes to my mind, I take the guitar and find the notes to create the riff. Sometimes a riff or some riffs, create a flow to my mind on how the next riffs might be, I sing the notes of the riff and find them on the fretboard where later I do variations on how I want it to be at a certain tempo. Although some riffs in a song might be repeated, I don’t follow something standard, it’s how the structure of a song sounds better to be.
How often do you guys rehearse as a band? I know you live in different cities. How does this work for you?
When we rehearse, it’s basically me and our drummer Jim and this is because all the summer season our bassist Thanos works 7 days a week in a city some hours outside of Athens and our vocalist Greg lives in an island 8 hours from here. So this makes things a little difficult. We mainly rehearse in autumn and winter periods at about 1 or 2 times a week.
When should we expect new BOD material and in which musical direction is it going?
I don’t know when there will be new material, for sure there will be new tracks at the end of 2019. Musical direction will be something like what it is now, aggressive, brutal, technical but not progressive, old school, extreme and obsessive Death Metal.
Which bands/artists have influenced BOD in terms of songwriting, lyrics and production?
Songwriting is influenced by many bands, from old school late 80s, early and mid 90s Death Metal, early 2000’s ëtil mid 00s Brutal Death Metal and also old school thrash influences in riffing style. Some bands are Deicide, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation, Cryptopsy, Hate Eternal, Deeds Of Flesh, Severed Savior, Disgorge, Merlin (Russia), Necrosanct, Slayer, early Kreator and many many more. Lyrics are influenced by social/personal views till fantasy/universal/destructive demonical sick themes. About the production, we didn’t plan to sound like someone else. It all came naturally with the big help of our producer.
How often do BOD play live shows and which one was your best so far?
When someone asks us to play in a live gig, we go and play. Unfortunately we haven’t played enough live shows, but we want to play more and more! Our best live show was in March 2016 at Greek Death Grind Scene Fest in Thessaloniki, Greece! 6 live bonus tracks from this show are added in the “From Obscure Domains” album re-release from Sevared Records! We played among other great bands, at a great place with great sound engineers and was a lot of fun and energy that night. The crowd was also great!! We want more of this!! haha
Have you played outside of Greece? Do you have any tour plans?
Unfortunately we haven’t played outside Greece yet. Hope one day this may happen! At the moment there are no tour plans.
You come from Preveza, Greece. Are there any metal bands/activities in your area? I only know of “Ek Nekron” label.
From Death Metal it’s only Ek Nekron label. From other metal scenes I have 2 friends who had their own band and played heavy/thrash, but unfortunately they split up. It’s a very small city and metal is some kind of rarity!
Recently you started out a new band/project named Sarcovore. What motivated you to start out a new band? Please let us know some more about Sarcovore.
To create this band it’s something I was thinking the last 2-3 years a lot. There are ideas and tempos which differ from BOD and I want to do something which is more personal. Sarcovore consists of me on guitars and bass, vocal duties are upon 2 vocalists, my friends Greg from BOD and Mitch ex-Abnormal Inhumane vocalist and there will be a drum programming. Sarcovore will be more technical, more brutal and with the old school Death Metal feeling flowing.
I know you drew the Sarcovore logo yourself and I really like the way it came out. It reminded me of the old death metal logos. Do you create logos/artwork?
Yes the logo is old school, that’s was the purpose and there is no symmetry. It just came out in minutes drawing in a paper with a pen. After it went to photoshop for editing. No I don’t create logos or artwork. I used to create logos for myself years ago when I was in high school and that’s all.
Do you think there is an active death metal scene in Greece today? Which bands would you recommend the readers to check out?
Yes there is an active death metal scene in Greece today. The bands that I like more and I would recommend is Godless, Abnormal Inhumane, Mass Infection, Resurgency and Birth Through Gore.
Thank you Theo for this interview. It’s an honor to have met you in person. Except from a talented musician/songwriter and a shredder death metal guitar player, I admire your low profile and wish you from heart the best for your spiritual child BOD.
Although I mostly consider myself as a music fan, I want to thank you very much for your good words, support and the chance for this interview!! All the best to you too!! Hails!!