Tuesday, November 29, 2011

INTERVIEW: Visceral Disgorge ( Baltimore, MD -USA) Interview

Visceral Disgorge was originally formed in early 2007, spawning from the remains of a former death metal band. After many many setbacks due to internal issues they are back. In late 2009 Visceral Disgorge recorded a single demo track that got the attention that resulted in signing a record deal with Japanese Death Metal label Amputated Vein Records for the worldwide release of their debut album.Visceral Disgorge then quickly built local, national and international hype. With just the release of a single demo track the band has managed to form an impressive fan base.
Visceral Disgorge vomiting forth their debut album INGESTING PUTRIDITY. Serving up 9 bloody cuts that will captivate the enthusiasts of brutality everywhere! Featuring artwork by the legendary Toshihiro Egawa.

Here my interview with Eric, Guitarist of Visceral Disgorge. Lets check it out …..\m/

JY : First congratulations on the new album, I have to admit it is my first real exposure to the band. Your new album ‘Ingesting Putridity’ is one brutal effort and really kickin' ass. Would you say the responses you have had are what you were expecting? Are you satisfied with that ?

E: We have been totally surprised by the good response we have been getting from the album. When we were recording it, we never thought that we were making an album that everyone would love, but apparently we were. The response all over the world has been huge and hopefully it stays that way for a while.

JY : Tell us about Where you guys met and decided to form the band ? What’s the current line up ? Any changed line up before ?

E: Travis and I were in some old bands together going back to around 2003. We met just like any other musicians meet. As bands came and went, our tastes for what we wanted to do became very refined. Every band we were in together kept getting heavier and more technical. The only mildy successful band we were in together was a band called Eaten Alive. It formed back in 2003-2004 and we had some really good local buzz about us. We put out a demo and people really liked it. We played a few shows and then the band broke up due to drummer issues. From there we kind of didn’t do anything for a while. I know Travis went and did some grindcore thing called Aim For the Head. Then we found a drummer that was pretty good and started jamming again, but we didn’t want to continue with the Eaten Alive name, so we then decided to start something new. So Visceral Disgorge was born. We went through some member changes. We always seemed to have drummer issues, but that got sorted out eventually. My good friend Antonio who was with me from the Eaten Alive days chose to leave the band for work related issues, then that’s when our other guitar player Steve came into the mix. Then we had drummer issues again, went on hiatus for a bit. Found another drummer. His name is Dan and he has been with us ever since. We had a bass player a while ago, but things didn’t work out. Believe it or not, we have not had a bass at all this entire time. Good musicians are very hard to find in our area, so it’s not like we had a lot to choose from. So that’s the basic run down of how things came to be.

JY :  How would you describe your music to anyone who hasn’t heard Visceral Disgorge ?

E: Visceral Disgorge can only be described as Brutal Death Metal. There are so many genres out there today, but that seems to be the one that fits us pretty well.

JY : What made you choose to play death metal? Which bands inspired you back in the day to start playing death metal?

E: Death Metal to me is all about energy and aggression. It is the most fun music to play. It’s technically challenging and it’s one of the few genres of music that makes you go crazy and jump around. When you see kids at your shows completely destroying each other to you music, then you finally understand what it’s about.

JY : Where did the band name come from and how does it fit with the sound of the music?

E: When Visceral Disgorge started, we took a long while trying to come up with a name. Like I said before, we didn’t want to continue with the Eaten Alive name, so we need to come up with something different. We were really defining our style at the time and we needed a name that would encapsulate what we sounded like.  It’s no big secret that the words Visceral and Disgorge are fairly common words used in the death metal genre. So, what would be better then just putting those two words together? So, Visceral Disgorge it was. I had some issues with it at first. I thought that it would pigeon hole us a little too much, but the name eventually grew on me. We have some people who talk shit about it. Saying things like “come up with an original name” or “wow, another death metal band with disgorge in the name”. But the way I figure it, you know what your getting when you hear the name. Two many bands have weird ass names and no one knows what they mean. You don’t know what your going to hear when you listen to them. So, yea, we played it safe, but you know what your getting when you hear out name.

JY : Would you like to tell us briefly about your album ‘Ingested Putridity’. Where was the album recorded, who is producing it and how long did the process take ? Also how many copies ?

E: Well, we got signed to Amputated Vein in the winter of 2009 and they wanted a full length album from us. Up to this point, we only had a one song demo. But that one demo is what got us the record deal to begin with. Anyway, we knew we had to buckle down and get some more songs together and tighten things up before we could even think about going into the studio. So we wrote and rehearsed for about 8 months in preparation for the studio. We practiced with click tracks and transposed all of the songs into their appropriate tempos. It was a pain in the ass, but we did it. At that time, we heard about a guy named Durv who was out of York Pennsylvania. He ran a studio out there called Serious Studios and we listened to some of his work and we were blown away. He mainly worked with metalcore bands, but the quality of his recordings were top notch. So we contacted him and met him and worked everything out. We went into the studio in early April of 2011 and spent about 8 weeks in the studio. Durv was great. This guy knows his shit. And to take that mix of high quality recording with brutal death metal was definitely the way to go. Most death metal recordings are very low and muddy. Durv made our stuff so clear and listenable. We owe him a lot for molding our sound. Durv is the man.

JY : Do you have a favourite track off the new album ‘Ingesting Putridity’ ?

E: Hmmm? That’s a tough one. I try not to listen to the album too much. I don’t want to get to tired of my own stuff. But If I had to pick one it would probably have to be Skull Fucking Neo Natal Necrosis. It’s the last song on the album. It just starts off very brutal and doesn’t let up. That’s actually the song that we close our live sets with. Plus it has an awesome sample in it towards the end. And of course, the 808 bass drops. Gotta love the bass bombs.

JY : What kinds of things inspire you musically and lyrically? Would you say that there are any particular themes that you like to talk about in your songs, and that it’s important to have some sort of message to put forward in your music ?

E: Musically, we try and stay up on current trends. Music is getting insane nowadays, so trying to keep up with new techniques and styles is important. But I also try not to get too crazy. Sometimes keeping things simple can be much more effective then getting all technical. Mainly, if it sounds good to my ear, then it sounds good. It’s not rocket science, it’s death metal. Travis is the lyric man, so I won’t step on his toes too much. All I will say is that when it comes to lyrics for a brutal death metal band, it better be sick, disgusting and absolutely repulsive. The more offensive the better. Try to "out-do" the bands that came before you.

JY : Would you say that it is important to you that you develop your own original sound rather than simply jumping on what other bands are doing and following the trends? Which bands have been your biggest influences and how much inspiration do you actually take from them?

E: Being in a band in this day and age is very tough. It’s almost impossible to be original. Like I said before, you have to try and keep up with what some bands doing, but you don’t want to lose your identity either. Once this album was completely written, that was it….the sound of Visceral Disgorge was set in stone. So we can’t venture too far away from that without getting some shit from the fans... I totally understand that. The only thing you can do is refine your sound. Make your sound better by adding little elements of technicality and style. But don’t revamp it just because some other band is doing something cool now. As far as influences go, I would have to say bands like Devourment, Defeated Sanity, Disavowed etc... We wanted to try to blend the technicality of Disavowed with the slam of Devourment, if we have succeeded in doing that…I don’t know. We just do what we do.

JY : And how confident are you feeling that this line up is the right one? Can you foresee any more changes in the line up?

E: This line up has been the same for a long while now. We have a chemistry with each other that is hard to match. When you have the right musicians in a band, you know it, you feel it. The only line up change that we need is a fucking bass player. That’s it. If we find a bad ass bass player, then we are set. Aside from that, I do not see any changes in the line up.

JY : Are the members of Visceral Disgorge involved in other projects, or is this your main concern?

E: No one in the band is involved in any other musical projects. It’s hard enough having time enough for Visceral Disgorge, let alone doing a whole entire other project. So our main focus is Visceral Disgorge and it will always be that way.

JY : What instruments and equipment do you use in the studio and at home?

E: I have been playing the same set up for a while. I have been playing a Schecter C-1 Hellraiser through an Ampeg VH140C. That’s it. It’s as basic as it gets. I spent years looking for the best death metal sound.
I have tons and tons of rack processors and equipment that I experimented with over the years. None of it would give me the sound I was looking for. Then I discovered what Dying Fetus used. Jon from Dying Fetus has been using the Ampeg VH140C for years. Every Dying Fetus album has been recorded with one. Unfortunately they do not make these amps anymore. They were discontinued in the mid 90’s. So I had to track a used one down in Wisconsin somewhere. Had it shipped here. I hooked it up and it blew me away. Greatest solid state amp of all time. I convinced our other guitar player Steve to buy one. Which he did. So the Ampeg is what gives us our sound mainly. But I did just get a new guitar this week. I bought a Fernandes Revolver Elite. This thing is a beast. It looks good and plays even better. So I think the Schecter might have been demoted to my back up guitar status. We will see.

JY : You signed with Amputated Vein Records from Japan, how did that deal come around ?

E: Well, back when Visceral Disgorge went on hiatus a few years ago, we had the idea to try and record a few demo songs before our drummer rolled out. We figured since we aren’t gonna be a band for a while, we might as well record something. You know, have something to show for our hard work. So we recorded one demo song in our old drummers basement. The demo song sounded pretty good, so we decided to throw it up on our myspace page. It sat there for a while, people were really digging it. We promoted ourselves very well online also. We pride ourselves with our online presentation. Next thing I know, Travis is calling me at 6am telling me he has some good news. It had to be good news for Travis to be calling me at 6am. He then told me that Amputated Vein wants to offer us a contract. It was the news that took us from being a sort of serious band to absolutely serious band. So, in reality, it was that one demo song that caught their eye. They liked it so much that they wanted to put us out there. Amputated has been very good at getting us out there. We are very fortunate to have signed with them.

JY : Will you keep going to Amputated Vein Records for releasing your next album ? Or you guys thinking about looking for another Record Label ?

E: We really haven’t been thinking that far ahead yet. We have another year left on our contract, so I am sure we will have that discussion when the time comes. I don’t see why wouldn’t stay with them, but who knows what could happen in the next year. We have been just mainly focusing on playing shows and getting the current album out there. Once we started writing some new material, we will discuss our options.

JY : The cover artwork for this album is very amazing and very sick … i like it very much . Who came up with the concept, and how many designs did you have to wade through until you came to this one?

E: We tossed around a few names of artists when it came time to get artwork done. We kept coming back to Toshihiro Egawa. He is an amazing artist out of Japan who does a lot of work for death metal bands. We contacted him and told him what we wanted and he got to work on it. We gave him a rough idea of the artwork concept. He sent us a few drafts and we would send him back some notes on things we liked and thing we didn’t like. But he nailed the basic concept fairly quickly. There may have been only 3 versions of the actual artwork until he had it perfect. The rest of the work was just with the color of the art. He provided us with the cover art and other artwork that we used for the inside of the CD cover. He is an amazing artist and we will definitely consider using him again in the future.

JY : Lets talk about how  the metal scene is in  Baltimore ? Are you involved with a scene in your local area ? And are there any lesser known Baltimore bands that you would recommend ?

E: I don’t know if there is even a metal scene in Baltimore anymore. LOL. Brutal Death Metal is not really a big deal in Baltimore. So it’s very tough for us to get out there locally. That’s why we spend a lot of time in other states. There are some devoted fans that we have here, but it’s not that great. There is a good scene here from any other genres of music, but death metal isn’t a big deal around here anymore. As far as other bands from Baltimore….I don’t really know. We are good friends with a band called Condemn the Infected. Those guys are pretty good. That’s really about it.

JY : You have quite a busy touring schedule set out ahead of you. Do you prefer playing in a live environment or do you prefer to focus your energies on working in the studio, writing songs, etc?

E: Playing live is absolutely the best thing ever. I wouldn’t care if didn’t write anymore material if we could play live all of the time. It’s the ultimate rush. Seeing people beating the shit out of each other to one of your breakdowns. It doesn’t get any better then that. I do like the studio though. I like the technology of it all. Hearing how things come together in a studio is amazing. But if it’s between live and the studio. I’ll go live every time.

JY : Do you often get the opportunity to play live ? What are your reasons, if someone from another country will  invite your band to play and  you  agree with them, but then one of you are unable to play for some reason… say because family , job, etc . Will you call them back and cancel it or what ?

E: We get a opportunities to play a lot of shows. Unfortunately they are out of state, or out of the country. We usually don’t have too many issues with shows in the US because we live here and it’s a lot easier to fly to a different state then it is to fly to a different country. Scheduling is never really a problem. These shows are booked so far in advance. It gives us plenty of time to request off of work or whatever. The biggest issue we face is money. It is always about money. If we get offered to play a show in Germany, but they only want to pay us 300 US dollars. Then we have a problem, because it’s going to cost us a lot of money out of pocket to fly us and our equipment to Germany. So it seems that we have to turn down a lot of those types of shows. It sucks because they would be really good opportunities, but that’s just how it goes when you are a struggling death metal band.

JY : How do you find the reaction from audiences when you are playing live? And where was your best gig so far ?

E: If you have a good audience who loves death metal, then the reaction is amazing. Kids going crazy to your music. But if we are booked to play a show with a bunch of different bands that aren’t even death metal, then you can have some shitty shows. We get our energy from our fans. So if we aren’t getting the love, then we are really feeling it to much. But we are professionals and you have to maintain that professional attitude even when the show isn’t too good. So far….the best show we played was probably the Maryland Death Fest. That was back in May of 2011. We got a great response there. People were blown away with our performance. But hopefully we have many more opportunities to play different places.

JY : Do you enjoy touring? Many bands seem to lose money on touring and can barely pay for their food when touring. Do you have it the same way or no ?

E: Well, we haven’t been booked on a tour quite yet. We are tossing around the idea of hoping on a tour, but nothing is official yet. We struggle enough with money without touring, so you can only imagine how tough it would be on a tour. You need to sell merch to pay your way. That is your life blood when you are out on the road. That’s just the way it is. Bands need to understand that your not going to make money doing this. This is a poor mans game.

JY: On a final note, It would be f***in great to see you play live in Indonesia one day. Do you have any plans to come over here ?

E: We get people telling us all the time to come to Indonesia. We would absolutely love to play there. We hear the fans are crazy as hell out there. Problem is that Indonesia is very far away from us. It would cost us a lot of money to get out there. And unfortunately we are going to have to wait until someone wants to bring us out there bad enough. So, hopefully it will happen one day soon.

JY : Well many thanks for taking the time to answer these questions . Do you have any last thoughts or message for Busuk webzine and also for our readers here ?

E: Just want to thank everyone for supporting Visceral Disgorge and to please help spread the word about us. The more fans we have the better the chance we will get to play for you guys. Especially for all you crazy Indonesians. Stay Brutal !!!
If you are interested in booking us, please contact us : visceraldisgorge@hotmail.com
visit our site : http://www.visceraldisgorge.com and www.facebook.com/visceraldisgorge

( Interviewed by John Yoedi, November 29, 2011 )

VISCERAL DISGORGE @ The MD Death Fest 05/29/2011

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