Sean Beasley interviewed by PSL
You've just come back home after touring Europe. How did the tour go?
The tour was great. Every night it was packed and always with good crowds no matter where we were. It was one of the best tours we've done. To tour with a band like Cannibal Corpse is a pleasure because they can bring the old school crowd, plus the new younger crowds.
You're about to tour the US and Canada alongside with The Faceless and Beneath The Massacre amongst others. How extensive is this tour?
It's a month long tour. I guess it would be standard length tour. Four weeks is usually smooth.
Do you enjoy touring or is it just a necessary evil?
Well, everyone loves the shows. That makes it all worthwhile. Touring is extremely important to support your releases. Another good perk is being able to travel the world, something not everyone gets to do. When the tour is more than six weeks it gets tiring near the end. And the worst part of touring for every musician is finding a clean toilet. That's usually the first mission every day.
Now that you've become a trio has it made it difficult to play any of the songs from War of Attrition, Destroy the Opposition or any of the other CD's live? Have you had to change some things?
No, we can still do any songs that we want. We are not the band that has a lot of harmonies and parts made for two guitars. So being a three piece makes it easier live. We also don't have many solos in our songs and that's the only time when you know there is only one guitar.
After guitarist Mike Kimball left the band did you right away make the decision to go on as a trio or did you think about getting another guitarist?
We thought about getting another guitarist and tried a couple of guys out. None of them worked out and we were very busy at the time, so we got used to being a three-piece. Now it feels natural like we've been one for a while.
I guess line-up changes are almost unavoidable in any band. Do you think that it's the life style that makes it the most difficult or is it just as much the chemistry in the band?
Well the chemistry has to be there or it won't work anyway. But I think the lifestyle makes it more difficult. Everyone is not cut out for this. Travelling and touring takes its toll on you if this is not where your heart is.
With all the line-up changes that have occurred, do you think this is line-up is the strongest so far?
I think so, we all get along great and we live close enough to each other to practice as much as we need to. Only time will tell but I think it's the strongest.
How do you go about writing music? Is there a certain way you always do it?
Usually John or I have a song about 80% done as far as riffs and tempo map ready before we do it together. Then the drums can make small changes and then the vocals can make some other small changes. It's been the way we do it and it seems to work.
Do you get inspired by other bands, different styles of music or even things that are not related to music?
We are definitely inspired by other bands that we tour with. And with other styles it has its place when you start to write and add elements you think would work well with our style. There is plenty not related to music when it comes to lyrics. Just watch the news for a couple of hours and you have some new material.
Compared to War of Attrition where do you think the biggest difference in the music is nowadays?
I guess it would be the balance of the songs. We wanted to write more balanced songs and stay away from too much of any one thing in each song. We didn't want too much blast or too many technical riffs in each song.
We wanted to try someone with a fresh ear. Not someone who will make us sound like the last couple projects they have done. It was a great experience working with him and look forward to recording with him again.
How prepared are you when you're in the studio? Is there room for changes when you record?
This time around we were very prepared compared to previous albums. There is always room to make changes though. We made a lot of them in the studio. It's a process when you are in there and we always make a lot of changes.
Do you take care of things like t-shirt designs, booking shows and that sort of things yourselves or is it something that Relapse Records handles?
We do all that ourselves except for the designs that Relapse uses. We have management and booking agents that take care of the shows.
How much do you use Blunt Force Records nowadays? Is the label only for pre-Relapse releases or do you expect to put out other releases as well?
No, as a band we have nothing to do with Blunt Force at all. That is John's thing only and we don't even know what he is doing with it now. So definitely no releases on Blunt Force Records.
Your mix of death metal, grindcore and hardcore have been a big part of setting off the deathcore style. Has it benefited the band that this offspring of death metal has become so popular?
I think so. Most of the kids that are into that scene don't know who we are. Without those bands doing well they might not ever hear of us. So it's a stepping stone into heavier music.
When you're not touring and playing music what do you then do for a living?
I am a carpenter. So I can find work if necessary between tours.
Anything you'd like to add to conclude this interview?
Just like to thank the fans for all the support to let us keep writing and playing brutal music.