Monday, July 28, 2008

VACANT COFFIN cover artwork!

VACANT COFFIN "Sewer Skullpture" CD coming later this year!
artwork by Wes Andersen!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

CRYPTICUS interview!

The new CRYPTICUS album, "They Called Me Mad", will be out soon on Razorback Records. Here's an interview with mastermind, Patrick Bruss, that lets you know all about it!

1. Patrick, tell us a bit about the upcoming new CRYPTICUS album, "THEY CALLED ME MAD". It this a concept album? What are some themes you're taking on with it this time around? Anymore Lovecraft inspired stuff?

Patrick: Hey Billy, here we are 3 years later doing another interview!
I initially didn't intend it as a concept album, but as I was writing the lyrics they all ended up concerning weird obsessive madmen & secret cults planning elaborate & supernatural revenge upon the world for its lack of imagination.
I'm not expecting any radio play, to say the least!
As always, I snuck in many Lovecraftian elements, but "THE SHUNNED HOUSE"
& "ASTROPHOBOS" are the only real literary adaptations this time.

2. Why did it take over 3 years for the album to be completed?
Did you become METALLICA or something? haha, just kidding.
What were some of the hardest parts of doing the album and some of the challenges and goals you had for it.

Patrick: Hey, we still have 2 months to go before it's officially 3 years!!
Also, I'm pretty sure this sounds MUCH better than "ST. ANGER"!
(or "ST. ANKY" as I like to call it.)
I basically kept changing things & re-recording stuff until I felt
that there were no boring, or redundant parts & that it was all evil!
Then I got really obsessive & began to micro analyze every detail,
trying to capture my weirdest thoughts & translate them into Death Metal riffs.
After about a year I had so many strange elements lying around
that it became a titanic task just to assemble everything
into something someone else might possibly enjoy listening to!
Luckily my friends Justin, Andon & Carl came on board & helped give me some perspective as well as lending their talents.
Initially I just wanted to make some more evil Horror Metal,
but things got WAAAY out of hand & it turned into a Frankenstein monster with a life of its own! In the end it all came together as a good sequel to the low budget original. If the first album was "THE EVIL DEAD", this would be "EVIL DEAD II"!

3. One of the things that's different on the new album are the use of real drum sounds, instead of the drum machine from the debut.
How do you feel having real drums over the drum machine this time around?
Who performed the drums, by the way?

Patrick: That was one of the big challenges in the beginning.
I'm so used to doing everything myself that it felt very strange
involving other more talented folks!
It was a true collaboration - My friend Carl Kumpe (of the late PAINSTAKE)
played the drums, but they were mainly composed by myself & my buddies
Justin Lascelle & Andon Guenther who are in ENEMY REIGN.
Putting the 2 albums side-by-side there's no comparison:
The live drums have a much nastier, more rotted sound to them & alot more character!

4. The new album once again features artwork from Allen K.
What is it about his art that you enjoy so much and that makes you want to work with him? A few people have said the new album art reminds them of the DECEASED "SUPERNATURAL ADDICTION" art, which is not shocking since it's the same artist. But the art on the new CRYPTICUS album was drawn YEARS before the DECEASED one, right?

Patrick: As far as I know, yes.
Either way though, Allen K. is a master of the macabre
& I'm a HUGE fan of that DECEASED album as well!
Both DECEASED & Allen K. have been a huge influence on CRYPTICUS,
so it's no coincidence.

5. You told me you felt the new album is more "cinematic" than the debut.
Tell us what you meant by that.

Patrick: I set out to create an album meant just for headphones.
Every song leads right into the next one & there's a lot more weird,
progressive riffs & atmospheres than before.
Strange interludes, snippets of macabre dialogue & more creepy keyboard parts!
The title track alone has almost as many riffs as the whole first album.
Instrumentally it's much crazier than before, but it's all meant to create a circus of horrors in the mind of the listener.

6. CRYPTICUS seems to be a band that is a pure "album only" band.
Everything has been crafted perfectly to be a true album listening experience.
Are you content with this, or do you ever see yourself playing live in the future?
What makes you prefer recording albums over doing the whole live thing?

Patrick: I've been on tour with other bands & never really enjoyed it.
Too goddamn hectic!
I'm much more of a studio musician -
I like having the time to experiment & change things.
Just like my hero Dan Swano I sweat all the tiny details,
but thankfully I don't have all that damn talent of his to weigh me down!
I'd like to play a couple of special shows someday,
but that would be purely for fun, not for commerce.

7. Musically, the new album is more varied and a bit more "insane" sounding,
but still keeping that catchy early 90's Swedish death metal influence strong.
What were some things that helped to influence and inspire you for the new album.

Patrick: Oh boy - this will probably freak-out alot of the Razorfiends,
but besides my steady diet of NECRONY, DISMEMBER & INFESTDEAD,
the new album was hugely influenced by SIGH, GOBLIN & early RUSH!!
I've combined the weird, proggy aspects of '70s & '80s
Horror movie soundtracks with the Scandinavian Death Metal elements.

8. Your vocals seem to be even deeper and more "inhuman" than on the debut album,
though I remember you told me that doing the vocals were the most difficult part of the album. Tell us about the vocal recording process and what you like and dislike about it. And how the hell do you get your voice to sound like a demon lurking deep within the grounds of hell?

Patrick: Unlike Rogga Johansen, I haven't been blessed with the voice of Hell
so it's pretty tough for me to do this crazy stuff!
I refuse to go the Goregrind route & just pitch-shift everything,
so my throat gets pretty messed up by the end.
This time I discovered that eating hot peppers between verses helps to preserve the gross growls. A better microphone helped too!

9. It doesn't seem like CRYPTICUS fits into any one "scene" or genre, despite being total death metal. It seems like the people who enjoy the band are people who really enjoy quality death metal and aren't looking for the next trend or fad,
and just enjoy the band for what it is. How do you feel about that?
Are you happy being a cult band or do you have any bigger goals for the band?

Patrick: Well Billy, as you know I've been turning down offers to play OZZFEST for years now. They just refuse to fulfill the pipe tobacco & New Belgium Beer clause in my rider! Seriously though, I'm just really happy that there are morbid individuals out there who share my love for the macabre & hatred of sunlight!
All my goals concerning the CRYPTICULT involve horrific plans best not described here - just read the lyrics to "MOAT OF BLOOD" & you'll understand!!

10. I remember a few years ago you were planning to do a split CD with RIBSPREADER. Whatever happened with that release plan?
What are some bands you'd like to do splits with if you could? Do you plan to do any EP's with CRYPTICUS ever?

Patrick: I will if you put them out ya bastid!
I'd love to do anything with Rogga, him being another hero of mine.
I think he's probably too busy these days though.
My dream splits would be with DEMIURG, CLAWS, MACHETAZO or VACANT COFFIN. I'd really like to do some 7" releases in the future, so anyone interested
in releasing some cursed vinyl needs to get in contact!

11.You're currently recording for the debut BEWARE! album.
Tell us what that's been like so far and how it's all going and what you expect people will think of it. What kinds of musical influences are you bringing to this band?

Patrick: It's coming out great!
Wayne from DECREPITAPH has done all the drums & they sound awesome!
So far it's a mix between DECEASED, "SHOW NO MERCY" era SLAYER & CIANIDE.
A total Deathbanger's ball!
It's all in the spirit of early '80s Death/Speed Metal,
so I'm going to keep it raw & under produced as an antidote to all this triggered, soulless bullshit Metal. I hope all the Razorbastards will love it!

12. Thanks for creating an amazing and memorable new album!
People are really gonna be blown away by this very special and horrific recording.
Any last words?

Patrick: As always, thanks to you & Jill for releasing so many awesome underground gems & for giving my music a chance to be heard outside of my basement! It's great to actually be a part of my favorite label!
Now get to work on finishing that CLAWS album!!!!

CRYPTICUS myspace page