Hi there. Congratulations to your great new album. Please describe the reactions to the CD so far.
Thank you very much ! The reactions are excellent so far! I think alot of people were expecting us to go softer... They got the slap in the face they deserved with this realease!
Do you care for the opinion of your fans, the press and people in general? Or is it just you and your music?
Well of course we care about their opinion, because we wouldn’t be there doing what we love if it wasn’t for them. But it doesn’t affect our writting in any way, as we are not pressured or limited by anybody. We write what we love to hear and feel good playing.
Some of our readers may never have heard about you. Please give us a short briefing in the band's biography.
The band as been around for 6 years now, released 3 full lengths : Consumed By Your Poison, The Healing Process, The Ills Of Modern Man, and the fourth coming one Day Of Mourning (out september 22nd), been tourring extensively in Canada, the United States and Europe for about 4 years now.
Was there a moment when you realized that “Day Of Mourning” would become something special?
It hit me one day when we were relaxing at a venue on the Never Say Die tour, and everybody in the band was busy working on pre-prods. Eric wanted me to hear some parts he just recorded, and that’s when I knew a monster was about to be born... It was only a shitty pre-prod recorded with a pod and drum machine... Still, it sounded so fucking heavy!!!
Let's talk about your new CD. What are the differences between "The Ills Of Modern Man" and "Day Of Mourning” in your opinion?
Day of Mourning had a more organic approach in it’s recording... We’re all sick of overproduced albums with parts that bands can’t even reproduce live, so we aimed for a more “live-like” sound. It’s also the first album where the writting was done mostly on the road. I think it had a good effect on it, as everything that came out was more raw and hardfelt than if we were working on it back home.
What are the reasons for these differences?
We simply wanted to put out something that we felt good listening to, an album in the veins of what we loved and still love: brutal, live music.
What is the message of "Day Of Mourning"?
Day Of Mourning encloses the loss and consequences of the lives we’re living. We’re not home often, and therefore it’s hard to maintain relationships and friendships. It also has a deeper meaning for Alex, as he lost a close friend this year.
My favourite is ´Black Lungs´. Can you tell us something about this song and its history?
Black Lungs was written by Alex E. It deals with addiction and overcoming it basically.
And what about ´MVP´?
MVP was our drummer’s loss of control! Even when he’s not on tour, he spends countless hours on his drum kit, and he loves challenging himself and coming up with new ideas and techniques to push the envelope of what he’s doing. As for the lyrics, it’s an ode to the classy ladies out there...
Which one is your favourite song from the album and why?
My personal favourite would have to be Made Of Glass, simply because it’s one of the most fun songs to play. MVP is another one, because the drumming on it makes me smile every single time I listen to it.
How and why did you choose the album cover? Is there a further meaning behind it?
Our graphic artist Felix came up with the cover, and we loved the fact that the background was white and that it was completely different from everything else out there. It doesn’t really have a further meaning behind it, it’s simply a badass, innovative cover!
Are there some lyrics that are special to you? Tell us something about them.
Les Temps Changent is pretty special to me, as I can relate to it alot. It’s about being stuck in a self-destructive relationship and finally moving on. I strive to be as positive as possible, so this song is pretty strengthening for me.
Where do you get your inspirations from?
Personal experiences, life on the road and its consequences, but mostly writing what needs to come out.
What about the recording process of your new album? Any stories or curiosities to report?
Curiosities ? Besides the fact that we were lost in the woods, isolated from the rest of the planet, not really! The recording was one of the smoothest ones ever, and we worked really hard on it.
How would you describe your own music?
Incisive, precise, vicious yet still very simple and organic.
How do you create your sound? Which equipment do you use?
We try to keep it very simple and heavy: regular guitar stacks.... Drums with triggers on the bass drums only... Needs to work on CD AND on stage, not one or another.
Please tell us something about the process of songwriting.
We usually start out with a riff or drum part, then build it up from there using Cubase. Then everyone gets to hear the other’s ideas and we keep writing until everybody is satisfied. It’s cool because that way, we all get to work on our “own” songs before sharing them; wish simplifies the process of getting your idea through.
What are your musical influences in your opinion?
We all listen to different stuff...From 70’s rock to hip-hop, everything has its place in the van’s CD player. I think we’re influenced by all of it, and that it’s why this band produces music that doesn’t sound like anybody else’s.
We'd like to know something about your background in making music. How did you learn to play, what are your experiences and which musicians are your main technical influences?
I started playing with a friend of mine at age 14... Like every other kid I wanted to have a band and started playing shows right away! I’ve had countless bands and learned to play by taking classes and jamming with different types of bands. My main technical influences are very death metal-ish, as I’ve never been in any other type of band in 10 years!
What do you think: How will DESPISED ICON sound like in let's say five years? Is there a master plan?
There is no plan what-so-ever; we’ll keep doing what we love for as long as we can! Who knows, we might not even be around in 5 years... But if we’re still around, I think it’ll be brutal as hell, but still easy to listen to and very groovy.
Please name some lately released CDs that you like to listen to at home.
Architects (UK) – Hollow Crown, Terror – The Damned The Shamed, Trapped Under Ice – Secrets Of The World, Thy Will Be Done – In Ancient Of Days, Deeds Of Flesh – Of What’s To Come, Municipal Waste – The Art Of Partying etc...
Do you still watch other bands play? Have there been some shows lately that impressed you?
I still enjoy going to shows, although it’s getting harder and harder to catch the good ones as I’m rarely ever home...Architects(UK) put on one of the best shows I’ve seen in a while, but for me the best live set ever is and always will be Suffocation.
What makes the difference between DESPISED ICON and other Deathcore bands?
Age ? haha
Most of the guys in the band are over 25, and we’ve all had bands for 10 years or so... So we’re different in the way that, we know where things come from, and we lived it too. We’re not just a bunch of kids doing it because it’s the hot thing right now; the band was doing this and touring way before myspace took care of hyping things up. Plus I think the band has always managed to keep its very own sound, regardless of how many bands would suddenly pop up out of nowhere to steal its spot.
We'd like to know something about the underground in your hometown. Are you still in touch? And if so: Where do you hang out? Are there some yet unknown bands that you like?
I’m still in touch with the underground, although I’m rarely home to check out shows... Unknown bands from Montreal to check out absolutely; Vatican, The Last Felony, Punchout!, Blindwitness, and of course Beneath The Massacre, Ion Dissonance, The Plasmarifle etc
How important is it for you to play live on stage?
Absolutely crucial!!! We’ve all been playing live for years, so to get the opportunity to do it in front of good crowds every night is a blessing for all of us. We’re really appreciative of it and cherish it a lot.
Are there still some bands that you would die to play with?
SUFFO! The Dillinger Escape Plan, Converge, Cannibal Corpse, and probably Exhumed because they used to play the sickest set ever.
Please tell us something about further Live activities.
We’re touring the States in a week, then it’s back to Europe for the Never Say Die tour. Other surprises are soon to be announced...
What do you expect of your latest record?
Make us rich and cocky, of course.
Nah I don’t know... Hopefully take us to places we’ve never played before and keep us around for a while!
Still three questions to go. What do you think of Metal web magazines?
There aren’t that many around from what I know... As I said earlier we’re rarely home so we don’t get to check it out that often... The one I love to check out every once in a while is lifersmontreal.com, good interviews and exclusive live footage.
Is there something that you have never been asked but always have been eager to say?
What is that, a mixed salad?
We are looking forward seeing you in Germany. Best wishes to you all. Any last words?
We’re looking forward to coming back as well !!!! Europe has always been very supportive for us and we truly appreciate it!
Keep supporting the bands you love, they need it !
Ich danke fürs Interview!