Sven De Caluwé interviewed by PSL
I remember when I met up with you in Antfarm Studio back in December both you and Thijs said that you thought the new record was a step up music-wise. In my opinion it sounds like a huge step up, there's really no way you could proper compare it to the previous material is there?
Thanks for the nice words man! Well basically we always try to do something new when we write new stuff, so it's not really our intention to write the same album every time [laughs]. It's still the same band off course, but there are a lot more different angles we worked out this time around I guess.
It sounds like you gone a slightly groovier approach this time around! I spot groovy passages on tracks like "Blood Fixing the Bled" and "Threading on Vermillion Deception" that sounds somewhat inspired by a band like Illdisposed!
Well, we definitely did aim to have a lot more groove on the new record, since we felt that lacked a bit on Goremageddon. We added a lot more heavy parts and grooves, breakdowns to this album to alternate between the blasting. Illdisposed has always been a band we liked for years, and they have some killer grooves for sure, the comparison is not all that wrong on certain parts I think, however our sound is quite far apart from Illdisposed as well.
You got some odd but very cool keyboard samples on a track like "Voracious Haemoglobinic Syndrome" who's idea was it to incorporate those?
Tue came up with them, but we wanted to experiment with that ourselves, so we basically just asked Tue to feel free to do whatever he thought would be cool on certain parts, and it works really well I think. He's one talented guy.
Has the fact that you've written the songs in only a couple of months added anything to the vibe of them?
Maybe to the fact that they all sound a bit more spontaneous. I think throughout the years of playing a lot live and getting more of an idea of what we want, we just work faster with writing songs because we know what result we're looking for. In opposition of where before we spent ages on writing songs, which were more collections of riffs, rather than real songs. And we surely work much more efficient under a tight deadline than anything else [laughs].
What struck me instantly when listening to The Archaic Abattoir was the solos; they seem a lot more present than on for instance Goremageddon!
There actually are more solos on Goremageddon than on The Archaic Abattoir, but they might be more recognizable on The Archaic Abattoir, or have a more distinct feeling I guess. They are definitely placed on much better places and I think they add more to the music than they did on previous efforts.
You decided to record in Antfarm Studio with producer Tue Madsen and the result is quite different from both Goremageddon and The Haematobic EP. Are you happy with the final outcome?
Yeah, we're extremely satisfied. Off course Goremageddon, which was done by Jacob Hansen still sounds like it should, the production fitted perfectly for what type of record it was. But this time around we just wanted a clearer and open sound, and from what Tue was doing on his recent productions, we just judged it would be the perfect guy to work with. And it was. Personally I think both producers deliver stellar work, they just have their own 'sound', and this time around Tue fitted more on the direction we were working on.
Did you approach things differently in Antfarm compared to for instance what you've recorded in Hansen Studio?
Well besides for the fact we didn't have a session drummer, everything stayed the same, I think we even worked faster on this one. The whole thing was recorded in 14 days and then Tue mixed it a month later. The main difference being we were not present for the mix for the first time, which really leaves the producer to do what he's actually best at: producing! And you can listen to the tunes with a fresh ear, which is nice. But both Jacob and Tue are very relaxed guys to work with who both know what they're doing.
How has the response been to the new album so far having in mind that it's a bit different from past material?
Extremely positive for the most part, off course you have the diehard fans who believe we're going to record another Purity of Perversion or Engineering the Dead, which is obviously not going to happen. But you know when you're in a band, you always have people with these comments, who like the demo better, or who think a band sells out when they just expand a bit of their sound because they want to see what there can be done with the sound to make things a bit more interesting. In this case we don't care much, feel free to like or not like our stuff, we do it in the first place for the enjoyment of playing, and if our heart wouldn't be at it, we wouldn't be doing it.
You had some trouble with the artwork. Did things end up turning out as you expected?
Yeah, the guy we worked with on Goremageddon seemed to turn out quite unreliable for the third time in a row getting too near the deadline and when we had some comments he didn't reply at all so we chose to work with someone else this time around, who did the job seamlessly and perfectly to our demands. We're very happy with the end result!
How did things turn out with the limited edition of the album? Did you manage to return peoples belongings [the hair, teeth and nails] to the right owners?
Yup, we're actually doing that right now, I'm sure they're all happy to get their nails, hairs, teeth and bloody strings back [yes, we did get a bloody thong, how kick ass is that? I'm betting it came from Jacob or Heinz from Hatesphere, since we made love on the recent Morbid Angel tour, we might have ripped something up there!].
Not really, we did expect it to be a shitload of work, but you know, at least we did something special this time around, and it was to thank people for the effort they also did in supporting us as a band.
How many fans did participate in this gimmick?
We printed about 1000 limited edition boxes, but don't ask me exactly how many people sent In something for this, I'd have to check with listenable for the exact amount. I believe it was a couple hundred?
Do you have any European tour dates planned for the coming months?
Since we're super lucky on the touring front, same answer as always: no! [laughs] We're however scheduled to tour the US a lot this year, beginning with a 4 week tour with Suffocation, Cryptopsy and Cephalic Carnage in October. We're however playing all over Europe by ourselves, including Denmark, this summer! [Frederica Hardcore Fest] and our first Scandinavian dates. Hopefully we'll tour later on, maybe with Hatesphere, that would be fun!
Anything you wish to add to conclude this interview?
Thanks for your support man. Hope to see you at the festival this summer!