Devourment is an American death metal band from Dallas, Texas. Formed in 1995, the band has split up and reformed three times and only one of the original members remain. The current lineup is Mike Majewski, Ruben Rosas, Chris Andrews and Eric Park. The band is currently signed to Relapse Records, and were previously signed to Brutal Bands, United Guttural and Corpse Gristle Records. Devourment has also had albums re-released by other labels.
Since their foundation, the band released a demo, Impaled, and an album, Molesting the Decapitated, before disbanding due to the jailing of vocalist Ruben Rosas. There was a brief reformation of the band during his incarceration, which saw the initial release of compilation album 1.3.8., and a brief reformation upon his release in 2002. The third reformation years later has seen two re-releases of1.3.8, two DVDs and two full length albums, Butcher the Weak and Unleash the Carnivore. Devourment is currently writing material for their fourth album 'Conceive in Sewage' and will be released by Relapse Records.
Here i just get answer from Mike Majewski and i am very glad to find it. We talked some other topic and also about Devourment new album 'Conceive In Sewage'. I think all death freaks knows this band and can't wait to get their new album because the New album is very different like previously album....its mean they give fresh sound and mixing old school style too. Well.....i think you better read our new interview here now and don't forget to get their new Cd by Relapse Records.
John Yoedi : Hi Mike, how are you there ? Pleased talking to you again and thanks for your kind support for Busuk Webzine. This is twice, we did an interview but first time it has been long time ago and I still used for Busuk Magazine not Webzine like this time. And my friend Kieran James (Australia) and I share for this blog. Well, what’s happening in the DEVOURMENT camp at the moment ?
Mike Majewski - A lot at the moment, our new album is just days away from release now, we just shot our first music video, and getting ready for some shows in the next few months. Its been pretty hectic here.
JY : First off, Many congrats for Devourment and will be releasing soon for new full length album ‘Conceived In Sewage’ in February 19th, 2013 by Relapse Records. I bet lots of death freaks can’t wait to get it. Also you guys must be really pleased and although I know you have been working hard to have the album available all over the world and it will be gonna sick album. How does it feel to finally have this album done and released ?
MM- It’s a big relief for it to finally be coming out. We put a lot of time and work into making this album. We recorded it in June of 2012, and it doesn’t get released until February 19th, so that’s over half a year we have to wait, which was not easy. But its all coming together now, a lot of people are excited about it, and its getting killer reviews from online magazines.
JY : Well, would you like to tell me a bit about recording for the new album ? And did everything go to plan ? I heard, You working together with Erik Rutan to recording this album…is it right or ?
MM- Yes, we flew to florida to record with Erik Rutan, and it was a great experience for the band. All of the major stuff went to plan, but there was some issues with getting the guitar and vocals sounding right. But Rutan is a master so he figured out the issues and everything turned out great. Rutan knows how to bring out the best in you and makes you give your best performance, he is tough but fair!
JY : Any new and different techniques you have approached this time ? And do you think the new one is more ‘old school’ or ?
MM- Yes for sure, we definitely thought mixing old school style with Devourment would give it a fresh sound. We don’t want to repeat ourselves so it was important for us to try some new things, change it up a little bit. To me, it has the angry vibe of early 90’s death metal, which is still my favorite era for death metal. I wanted the vocal arrangements and lyrics to be a throwback so to speak, where you can actually understand a lot of the vocals and make it catchy and fun to sing along with.
JY : And how do you feel ‘Conceived In Sewage’ compares to your previous album ‘Unleash The Carnivore’ ?
MM- The obvious difference is the production. We took some different approaches to song writing, as far as expanding our style a bit, but I think the thing people will notice right away is the vocal approach. I threw it back to more of the approach that was on Butcher the Weak, as far as more varied vocals, some mid range and even a few higher vocals. If I sang the same way I did on Unleash the Carnivore, meaning all lo gurgles, it would have been very boring in my opinion, it was important for me to show some range I think.
JY : Would you like to describe your vocals style. If I am not wrong (or maybe I am wrong because I only hear one song from youtube teaser lol) , your vocal style a bit different for the new album not same like previous album....can’t heard like pig snooring and deep guttural. What kind of vocals does you use ?
MM- Yeah for sure, If I burped out low gurgles and grunts every second, it would have sounded just like Unleash the Carnivore and hundreds of other slammy Brutal bands out there, so I tried to mix things up a bit, with some more traditional death growls, and even some high screams in the right places.
JY : There are a host of special guest/session musician on the new album ‘Conceived In Sewage’. He is Travis Ryan from ‘Cattle Decapitation’. How did this come about ?
MM- We toured with Cattle Decapitation in 2010 and became good friends with those guys. Also seeing Travis sing every night, I gained a massive amount of respect for his vocal skill, he is one of the best in death metal in my opinion. When they were recording their new album, Travis asked me to do some backups for one of their songs, so right then I asked if he would do the same for us because we would be recording soon and he agreed. He turned out some ultra sludgy guttural lows for the song Fucked with Rats.
JY : There was a four year gap between the release of ‘Unleash The Carnivore’ to the release of the album ‘Conceived In Sewage’. How come it took that long ? What did you do during this time ?
MM- We don’t rush getting into a new album. We usually take a break after an album, just live our lives and such, but eventually we get the itch and know its time to start writing. We tweak the songs a lot and don’t try to rush to get them done. We wont take that long for the next one I think though, we are already talking about writing new songs.
JY : I want to talking a bit about the lyrics, the lyrical themes of death metal usually talking about mutilation,torture, rape and etc. Are there some sort of concept story in the lyrics for Devourment new album ?
MM- Not really, its more of the same. Maybe a few new topics like end of the world and apocalypse type stuff, but the themes are the same really. I did try a different approach as far as writing lyrics though on this album. Previous albums, its really tons of words all jumbled together. On Conceived in Sewage, I wanted to let the vocals breathe more. Less is more kind of thing, and make the lines more memorable, like old school death metal.
JY : And when you worked on the new material, were there any basics from ‘Conceived In Sewage’ that you wanted to retain or things you were looking to improve ?
MM- Yeah we just wanted to improve the overall songwriting and make more death metal songs, instead of blast, slam, blast, slam over and over. Its been done to death and its not interesting to us any more, we are trying to write better quality music.
JY : Toshihiro Egawa did the artwork. Was it painted out from specific ideas you had or did you just leave it up to Toshihiro to come up with something ?
MM- I gave him the concept and he just ran with it. I told him he had all the time he needed to work on it so make it super detailed, and he sure did. The detail is astounding on that art, I just love it.
JY : You release fourth album to Relapse Records. As we know Relapse Records is big Label with some sick roster such as : Abysmal Dawn, Brutal Truth, Dying Fetus, Haemorrhage, Nekrophagist, Suffocation, and etc. Are you happy with that label ? And how far are you into the contract your signed to Relapse Records ? Is it only for one album release, as like what you did before to another labels/records ?
MM- Its great really, they are great as far as promoting an album and building hype, so I’m excited that more people will know about our new album than before, and hopefully build us a bigger fan base. To be a part of Relapse’ roster is definitely great for us, and should take us to a higher level for sure. We signed for 1 album, with an option for a second, which essentially means if they are happy with us and sales and shit, they would want to put out another one. So far so good I think, I believe pre sales have been very good.
JY : Well, I want to talking a bit about your personally now. When do you started or choose to play metal music ? Which bands inspired you back in the day to start ?
MM- Haha this will make me feel old. I was always drawn to rock and metal. My first exposure to anything guitar driven was Van Halen. When I was a little kid, my oldest sister had Van Halen 1 on cassette, and I was obsessed with it. Back then it was pretty edgy, and I love the guitar work and screaming vocals. From there it evolved into stuff like Twisted Sister, and other popular metal bands of the day. When I got into high school I discovered Metallica and Megadeth, and from there my tastes just got heavier and heavier. The first death metal album I heard was Obituary’s Cause of Death. When I heard it at first, it was kind of silly to me, the vocals didn’t make any sense to me, but one the music clicked for me, so did the vocals, and I became obsessed with that album. So much so I went and bought every death metal album I could find. The stuff like Internal Bleeding, Cryptopsy and Mortal Decay got me into brutal death metal. See Im an old fucken piece of shit haha.
JY : You are the one of the founding members of Devourment and only original member left. Started off playing bass, later did vocals for the original recording of ‘Butcher The Weak’. What made you decide to do vocals until now ?
MM- I wouldn’t say I am a founding member, but the original bassist for sure. Well its pretty well known that we broke up shortly after Molesting came out. Then, the band members mostly went their separate ways. Ruben and I always remained close friends and always stayed in touch. He and I didn’t want the band to end so we kept it going. When we started it back up, I was going to be on bass and our original vocalist, Wayne Knupp was going to come back on vocals, but he chose to back out due to some stuff in his personal life. At that point, I decided to give the vocals a try because I understood how it needed to be done, and after a lot of practice it ended up working out pretty good.
JY : All death freaks known, beside as vocalist of Devourment….you are also as artist for many underground album art covers and others merchandise. What do you enjoy the most – making the music or artworks ?
MM- That’s a tough question, really both. I have been into drawing and music since I was very young, so to be able to be in a band that I love and do artwork for other killer bands is pretty much a dream come true.
JY : Would you like to tell us about what is gears do you use to records and do you used the same amp/guitars and etc for live shows ?
MM- Im probably the last person in the band to ask that question, I know I should know but Im lazy when it comes to that shit, I have no idea. Ruben changes his shit often enough to where I cant keep track. All I know if Eric has a Trick drum kit.
JY : And do you have any endorsement ? If so, please tell us ?
MM- Eric is the only member of the band with endorsements, which I believe are Trick Drums, Vic Firth sticks, and DB drum shoes. We all endorse beer though haha
JY : Just a side question, What do you think about BUSUK WEBZINE (www.busukwebzine666.blogspot.com) ? In Busuk Webzine we are try to use two language ‘English language’ and ‘Indonesian Language’ and also try to update news everyday.
MM- Looks killer man, any support for bands like this is essential!
JY : How has the crowd creation been towards you so far, both on disc and live ? How do you find the reaction from audience when you are playing live ? And where was your best overall gigs so far ?
MM- Its pretty much always killer and violent haha. Our music is just perfect for a live setting, its goovy and heavy, perfect mix for mosh pits.
JY : On a final note, Indonesian has a reputation as a country with a strong death metal fan base. Lots of great bands have toured to Indonesia such as Disgorge, Napalm Death, Suffocation, Dying Fetus, Misery Index, Kataklysm, Nile, Psycroptic, Putrid Pile and etc. It would be great to see your band play in Indonesia one day. Did you have ambitions to come here ?
MM- Yeah I am well aware of that and it is indeed on our list of places to play, we want to very badly and have had a few offers, but the time wasn’t right. Some day it will work, and we will definitely come and crush it there!
JY : Well, many thanks for your time and support. Best of luck with the new album and also for Devourment. Is there anything else you’d like to add ?
MM- Thanks again John! Conceived in Sewage comes out February 19th on Relapse Records, order it you brutal fuckers!
(Interviewed by John Yoedi, February 11, 2013)
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