If you are a fan who enjoys old-school brutality similar to early 90's death metal gods like cannibal corpse,Morbid Angel,Suffocation etc. then you should defintly take the time to check out New York's Disfigured Dead's second cd "Relentless" which was a split release between the mighty Butchered Rec. and Sevared Rec.
Enjoy the madness and metal until next time
Interview with Kyle drummer and vocals for Disfigured Dead done by Patrick
1.Hello Kyle how are things in New York these days?Please tell the readers a little about yourself.
Hey! Thanks for doing the interview! New York, well its a place to live haha. I'm one of the founding members of Disfigured Dead, and will have been playing drums for ten years this upcoming January.
2.When did you first discover metal music?Who were some of the first bands you listened to? Who are some of the current bands that have caught your attention?
I actually was introduced to extreme metal, and more specifically death metal at a very young age. It was the summer in between my 3rd-4th grade in school. I had to be around 9-10 years old, and the first band I heard was Cannibal Corpse. Of Course I had already heard Slayer and other like bands while still in the 3rd grade. First death metal album i bought in 1999, so i had to have been 9 years old, was Cannibal Corpse "Bloodthirst"! What an introduction! haha Then bands like Morbid Angel, Deicide, Sinister, and Nile all just came right after! As for bands that have just been coming out well there are always great bands it seems like everyday haha. SepticFlesh are an older band but since they came back in 2007 they have been making amazing albums! Well they just hit the studio to record the follow up to The Great Mass which will be super good! New Ulcerate "Vermis"!!! The band Hour of Penance is a band I've watched for awhile and their newest album Sedition is fucking heavy as hell! Also really loving the new Fleshgod Apocalypse and Svart Crown albums!
3.At what age did you become interested in playing the drums?Are you self taught or did you take lessons at first?
I've wanted to play drums since i was 5 years old. I asked my mom every year for Christmas for a drum set haha but she thought it was a phase. So when I was 13 I got one. I am self taught. I always wanted to be the one to push myself and be responsible for where i took my playing. Actually in 2012 i really started pushing myself a lot more and have pretty much played 2.5-3 hours a day for the last year and a half working on speed and other things i wanted to expand. The new music we have made since Relentless is a good showcase of the results for sure haha.
4.Who would you say are some of your influences/favorite drummers?Do you play any other instruments?
I get influenced from all sorts of players. Big fan of Derek Roddy and George Kollias. Would say they have drove me to push myself a lot. Tom from Meshuggah truly amazing player! I really dig the style of Jade from Hate Eternals playing. He puts a lot of groove in the music yet keeps it so extreme. Krimh ex Decapitated has a style a lot like mine so i like his of course haha. There is the jazz/progressive/fusion player Gil Sherone who is just insane who I like a lot. Man I could just go on for hours! As for other instruments no i don't play any others. I spend a lot of time humming riffs to the other members while making new songs haha but they still don't see my talent haha.
5.You also do handle the vocals for Disfigured Dead when did you become interested in singing?Who are some of your favorite vocalists?
I have actually sang in every band I've been in since i was 13 starting out. Always wanted to really. My first influence and probably the person who influenced my sound has to be George Fisher of Cannibal. They were such a huge band for me, i see them still today as one of the templates for death metal. He has a great voice and i wanted to sound more in that range. Also Frank from Suffocation, just a punishing voice. I also really like ATF Sinner's voice from the band Hate.
6.Do you do anything special to keep your throat/voice healthy when when recording or preparing for a live show?
We use to always sing at practice back in the day so there was no need to do anything. As we've grown and changed we actually never sing at practice now sad to say, but we just work on playing the music. So before shows we will all get together and perform the set straight through with vocals so we can get our voices back in check. Actually the reason we started recording our own vocals is because of this as well. After we wrote all of Relentless we had 2 months before the studio to just practice the songs. Well we did get them very tight and down but never sang during any of this period of time. So after we tracked all the instruments we went to do vocals and my voice sounded like shit! I knew the only fix was to go home and start singing everyday and get back in the swing of things and then track vocals. So after we got home we bought pro recording software and i spent a month singing to the disc everyday then recorded. Think we did one or two songs a day and it turned out great. So that was a good reminder to why you need to try keeping everything together and not forget about certain aspects of the music for sure.
7.When did you and the other members of Disfigured Dead first meet?What is the current line-up for the band?For the readers who have never heard Disfigured Dead's music how would you best describe it?
Well the original line up of Dave, Everette, and myself all went to school together. Dave and I have actually been in bands together since I started playing drums. After our first record Everette has parted ways with us, and my brother Ryan has come in playing second guitar. We did have a new bassist, Nick, but he left after Relentless. With each album we like to embrace new elements and progress musically and vocally. We don't want to just get stuck in a rut and keep turning out the same release each year or so. The first record is very old school death metal. So if you are into the early Death, Cannibal Corpse, Deicide you will definitely like the music. We wanted to keep that eerie sort of vibe we heard in those early days of death metal and incorporate it into our music. As for our second album Relentless we took what we had and tried to push further. We were influenced by different bands and albums. We wanted to try and make the structures not so straight forward, different ways to start/end songs, cooler vocal patterns. We were more into the styles of Suffocation, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Sinister. Not that these albums sound just like those bands but thats the type of feels we tried to capture. We wanted this record to be heavier, more brutal, and not so straight forward and we definitely achieved that i'd say! Since then we have wrote and recorded all but vocals for our third record, and yet again the influences have changed. We wanted to make things faster, more extreme. We added some cool atmospheric elements and riffing. As before the drumming has really been pushed to a new high for the band. And we are super excited to finish this up and get it out hopefully next year sometime!
8.Disfigured Dead just released their second cd "Relentless" as a co-release between Sevared rec.and Butchered Rec. how did you come in contact with the two labels?Do you feel it is better to have two labels spreading your music/release as it helps get it out to more people around the world?
Yeah i do think two labels releasing your album can help spread the word more. In this specific situation both labels appeal to different subsects of Death Metal fans. So opposed to just getting heard by one audience we are also exposed to another, who might never have checked us out other wise. The way i met Patrick Pagan (Butchered Records) is kind of a funny story. My brother Ryan (Guitar), Nick (ex-bass), and myself went to see Deicide in Rochester on their To Hell With God tour, and Pagan was there passing out show flyers. Well he came over to us in line and asked if i knew the band Nunslaughter. Well I've known of them for a very long time and i told him yes we also are on the same label. He asked who we were and turns out he actually was a fan of our first record. Barrett, the owner of Sevared we actually met at a Dying Fetus show. haha funny in a way.
9.How long did it take the band to write the songs on Relentess?Does the whole band usually work on new songs/material or does one,two members handle all the writing?
We actually started writing Relentless right after recording our first record Visions of Death for Hells Headbangers. We wrote probably 5-6 songs, but at that time we needed a break. We had been writing/recording for two years straight and lost a member so we took what ended up being a year break. When we came back adding my brother on guitar and Nick on bass we started writing immediately. We kept a few songs we had before the break (Deranged Consecration, Self Dissection, Cauterized) and actually re-worked another Baneful Barbarity and then wrote the rest. In the past Dave and I wrote most of everything, but with Relentless we did a lot of all sitting in the same room making the songs. It was fun and different for a change. My brother kicked in and made riffs/deciphered the riffs i'd come up with haha. I remember working on Summoning Execution and how we tried doing various approaches. When one person finally understood one part they forgot another haha. So overall things took a bit longer then they usually do but it was something new and i'm glad we did it. Since we recorded Relentless we did write and have mostly recorded our third record. With this Dave and I wrote everything in about 4-5 months, so again each album is a little different in ways of writing.
10.How has the response been from the metal fans and the metal press so far?
So far i actually haven't heard anything bad. With our first record we had mixed reviews, but so far so good with Relentless! It's really great how much some fans have responded to the record. Reviews are starting to come back and they are all about the same ratings and i think we really achieved exactly what we aimed to do with this one. Its catchy, heavy, and just unrelenting haha.
11.Does Disfigured Dead have any upcoming shows/tours in support of the new cd?If yes where are some places you will be playing and who are some bands you will be touring with?
We already did a Tour with the band Sapremia back in June but unfortunately we had car troubles in Milwaukee and had to miss the rest. At the moment we have just a few shows we are playing around New York before the end of the year, and we are talking over the idea of doing a smaller 5-10 day tour in the spring/early summer.
12.In your opinion what is the best and the worst thing about the underground today?And what does the term Metal Underground mean to you?
Good question. Well the best would have to be the loyalty of the fans. They in general really love the music and actually support the music. Now for the downside. I don't like alot of the pre-conceived notions that come along with a band being an "underground band". I've heard people talk shit about bands selling out or loosing sight of their roots because they try to naturally progress as musicians and writers. Some people think you need to have these terrible sounding albums/productions and look a certain way. It's a small way of thinking really for some. Just put your head in a box and just look for a band to put out the same record every year or two. Like Slayer i'm so glad they never tried to write another Reign in Blood. Why the hell would i want them to? They already did it and it is great, but now i got all the other great records to listen to that all offer different emotions and feels. The word progression shouldn't be initially associated with being a negative aspect, but yet an exciting one. As for the term itself, it means more to me of a passion for the music. It's really loving what you do and not doing it or changing it for anyone but yourself. We will always change/progress. We love to add in new elements and get better playing our instruments, and we do it because we love this music. We don't love putting out records to hear what review sites say or if people think we are underground we do it because we just love making music. Underground is just a true love for music to me. I mean death metal as a genre really has always gotten media exposure from the very beginning. Radio stations play it, death metal albums are not rare to see in the billboard top 200 charts, among other charts, in major blockbuster movies. It is honestly everywhere. You don't need to be less progressive to be underground, you don't need to follow the pre-conceived notions to be underground. I think if you just love this music and embrace it for yourself then your as underground to me as anyone haha.
13.I saw on the bands bio that I received that you guys have already started working on songs for the third Disfigured Dead release.Is their any information you can share with the readers so far?How many songs have you guys written?
We have! The record is actually already written and mostly recorded. We honestly started working on songs the day we got back from the studio. I actually wrote lyrics for that album while at the hotel during the week we spent out recording Relentless. I don't want to give away much bit can spill the little i have in other interviews. We always have and always will be writers first. It comes very natural to us. This time just Dave and I wrote everything. Nick had already stepped down from being a member and my brother was busy with restoring a classic truck. Dave and I had so many new elements we wanted to explore and we were really influenced by different things. The third record isn't as brutal as Relentless but it is way more extreme. We were more influenced by bands like Hate, Decapitated, Behemoth, Lost Soul. We put alot of feeling into the songs, and they are a lot faster. We started writing in about February 2012 and were all done in about June. The plan was to record in Oct but we got pushed back to March of this year. So far we have all the drums, guitar, and bass recorded. We have to just finish up the vocals and sound clips/effects at our home studio!
14.Any idea how many songs will be on the new release?Will it be through Butchered or Sevared rec.or has the band and labels had time to discuss this? Any idea when the new songs/release could be out?
I can say the record will have 8 songs on it. More aggressive and extreme. We put alot more atmospheric elements into the music. The lyrical approach has changed, no more blood and guts haha. We wanted the lyrics to fit the darker music we were writing and again not to get pinned down to a style where we felt we had to follow. So the lyrics are very dark and metaphorical. Anyone who reads them will find his/her own meanings and truths within. As for the label we haven't talked it over with the labels no, we are going to most likely go another route and find a different deal. We will have it all finished up by early 2014 so hopefully late next year it will be out! All depends on the set backs like art and label, and any negotiating that may happen. I'm sure we will have some of these new songs up by next summer for a teaser though!
15.Well Kyle thanks a lot for taking the time to fill out this interview with me.Do you have any final comments for the readers before we end the interview?
No thank you! it was truly my pleasure. I want to thank anyone who helps keep this music alive, and especially fans of Disfigured Dead. We have alot of exciting shit to happen in the future i can promise you that! Always feel free to contact us through facebook, www.facebook.com/disfigureddead or email me firstname.lastname@example.org . If you are looking to get a copy of the new record or shirt again hit me up and i'll send you the link. Thanks again and we will keep you posted with any/all news! -Kyle