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Interview von: arne mit Necrophagist, am: 02.09.2004 ]

Fans des technischen Death Metal sind Necorphagist längst ein Begriff, doch markiert “Epitaph“ nun ihren Relapse-Einstieg. Handwerklich in allen Belangen auf höchstem Niveau, lassen etliche Soli, ob nun von Gitarre oder Bass (!), immer wieder die Kinnlade klappen. Necrophagist sind musikalisch zwischen Death, Morbid Angel und Capharnaum zu verankern.


Musicscan: give our readers a short briefing about necrophagist, please. what do we have to know about yout band?

Necrophagist: Hi there. We are four guys from different parts of south Germany. Necrophagist was founded in 1991 by Muhammed Sucicmez, who is the only remaining member from that time. Necrophagist went through a couple of line up changes and released two demos, before Muhammed recorded the first album Onset of putrefaction all an his own. Various more line up changes followed. Hannes Grossmann (Drummer) is in the band since August last year, and bass player Stefan entered the band during the recording sessions in September 2003. I play with Necro since May 2002. The music we play would probably best be considered as progressive Death Metal.

Musicscan: just tell me a bit about your motivation to play especially this crazy and technical kind of metal music, please.

Necrophagist: Well, I guess that’s pretty much the same with all of us. We just play the kind of music we like ourselves, try to make an album that we would actually buy ourselves if we heard it. We like different styles as Death Metal, Progressive Rock, Fusion, Neoclassical/Shred stuff and that kind of thing. When I first heard Onset, I thought that this record combined all of that really well and Necrophagist soon became one of my favorite bands. Of course, when I heard they’re searching for a guitar player, I didn’t hesitate. With Stefan and Hannes it’s the same, they play that kind of music because they love that style and because they are really dedicated to their instruments.

Musicscan: many of todays heavy bands seem to miss originality and passion. your band has tons of both and i'm impressed every time i listen to your songs. is it just a question of the right attitude towards music? what do you miss within the heavy music today?

Necrophagist: What I think when I hear many of today’s bands is that many of them don’t focus on the songs enough. Necrophagist is not all about chops, odd time sigs and guitar wankery. It’s all about composition. Many bands these days neglect that in my opinion. Many just focus on technique, try to be as technical as possible, but they don’t write riffs in which the notes make sense, that build up tension and release, as the classical masters used to compose. Others often just try to be as brutal as possible. Anyway, I’m really impressed by the musicianship in many new bands, though. Almost everybody seems to play damn well, there are many, many talented musicians around.

Musicscan: could you imagine another way to get rid of your frustration and aggression besides being in an extreme metal- outfit?

Necrophagist: Now, I don’t consider any of us particulary aggressive and frustrated, not more than anybody else, you know, everybody has to deal with a lot of shit in their daily lives and has to master it somehow. I don’t really know what you mean by extreme metal outfit, but we’re defineately not into that childish corpse paint type of stuff or something like that. That’s just pubescent to me. On the other hand, the music is, of course, dark and aggressive, and that’s why you shouldn’t wear a Hawaii shirt and short trousers on stage, that wouldn’t fit. It would be quite funny, though.

Musicscan: your sound is really powerfull and highly metallic. was it your intention to create that particular sound or did it just happen? do you like to challenge your listener?

Necrophagist: Of course that was our intention. Our stuff might be technical and progressive at times, but mainly, we are a METAL band. Shredding and poly rhythms are cool, but it’s even more important not to forget the metal spirit. In my opinion, metal is meant to be powerful. Besides that, of course we want to keep our music interesting for the listener, but it should be fun listening to this record. We don’t want to appear over progressive and confusing to the listener. You should also be able to enjoy the songs when you’re not a musician yourself.

Musicscan: when you produce a record, do you only think about the NOW or is it important to you what you yourself will think about it in a couple of years?

Necrophagist: Who knows what one thinks in a couple of years? I think both is important. You should be satisfied with your current record now, but of course you don’t want to look back in a few years and think “Damn it, I could have done that better!”.

Musicscan: what are the feelings you get out of your music and is there something you want the people to leave with?

Necrophagist: I feel that there is a certain depths about the music and about the lyrics. It’s like creating a picture, just with harmony and rhythm instead of colours and forms.. Most important, the people should enjoy the music. But it’s sure not a bad thing when the expression of the music and the lyrics makes one think a little about certain aspects of life and so on.

Musicscan: what's your self-understanding of necrophagist? what does your band stands for? what are goals you are reaching for?

Necrophagist: As I said before, we’re simply a metal band, playing the kind of music we enjoy the most. Our goals are to become better musicians and to write better songs, to improve as a band. And of course we want many people to know about us and to like our music, but without having to compromise.

Musicscan: What do necrophagist offer their listeners? Why should someone pick up your cd or come to your shows? What is the thing that is different about your band that separates you from others?

Necrophagist: I would describe our music as fast and brutal while still being melodic at the same time. But not in that Sweden Death kind of style, I would say with a little more depths to it. I think there is a dark and melancholic atmosphere in our tunes and there are lots of technical moments, and of course, tons of guitar shredding, so it should appeal to anybody who likes brutal Death Metal, traditional80’s heavy metal, guitar/shred stuff, fusion etc . I think that a lot of people who are not particulary Death Metal fans can get into our music as well.

Musicscan: what are your thoughts on how metal/metalcore is getting more big-time these days?

Necrophagist: Of course I think that’s great for our scene if it gets bigger and gets more attention and that more people become interested in that sort of music and that a lot of the disrespect for that scene is gone these days. On the other hand, whenever a style of music gets more attention, it may even influence a trend, and trends often bring out bands that are not into it with their hearts and just release records for being part of that trend, but in the end the music lacks quality. Think about all those 80’s hair bands and those awful hordes of grunge and nu-metal bands that came up with those trends. As long as that doesn’t happen too much, I think it’s always a good thing when our style gets more popular.

Musicscan: what lessons have you learned from being involved with grind/metal/hardcore? What has it done for you?

Necrophagist: Playing metal didn’t really change my personality if that’s what you mean. Of course it helped me to become a better musician and I met many many really cool people being involved with that scene, as musician and as a fan.

Musicscan: how did it happen that your new record "epitaph" is released on relapse records? have there already been a german band on relapse before? it's a great honor for your band i guess...

Necrophagist: I don’t know if there’s any other german band on Relapse, I don’t think so. Of course it’s cool to be on such a big label. They have been interested after hearing Onset of putrefaction, and they seemed to like our last year’s show at the Maryland Deathfest, so that’s how the deal got together.

Musicscan: what are bands around in the metal/hardcore-circus you guys respect for their technical abbilities and what are the bands you personally are interested into?

Necrophagist: I am myself not such a big Death Metal fan. Some bands that I like are Death, Cynic, Martyr, Theory in practice and that kind of stuff. I also like a lot of Progressive Metal like Dream Theater, Symphony X etc., and of course, a lot of guitar hero stuff, Yngwie, Vinnie Moore, Vai, Satriani, Greg Howe, Brett Garsed, Tony MacAlpine, Allan Holdsworth, Shawn Lane, Scott Mishoe, George Bellas and thousands more. And I like the older bands as well, the mighty Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Megadeth, old Metallica, that’s what got me interested in music and in playing guitar really. With the others it’s quite the same, although everybody has his own personal favorites.

Musicscan: What is the thing you guys feel especially proud of (whether compositionally, lyrically,...)?

Necrophagist: I don’t know. Each has his own moments of the record that he is especially proud of, it’s hard to say really.

Musicscan: can you take one typical necrophagist song and explain what you hope people are getting out of it, please.

Necrophagist: Maybe “Stabwound”. It has really fast, brutal parts, crazy drumming, catchy riffing, dark, atmospheric parts ,neoclassical elements, weird time signatures, brutal vocals and lots of guitar and bass shredding all over the place.

Musicscan: what kind of feeling is it to play your songs in front of a crowd? how long does it usually take until the kids go crazy?

Necrophagist: That depends on where we play (and how we play, ha ha) and if they know our tunes from the records or not. At the Maryland Deathfest for example, people went crazy from the first moment we started to play, at our show with Immolation and Marduk last year, they just stood there and listened without going crazy at all for the whole show. So, it’s different from time to time.

Musicscan: something you would like to mention at the end? just do it.

Necrophagist: Take care and have fun. Life is good. And check out our record while you’re at it.

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