It wasn't until recently that I really became aware of Swiss deathgrinders Embalming Theatre thanks to Dave from No Escape Records. The band has put out numerous split-releases and EP's on various labels as well as one full-length album through Razorback Records. The band just recently finished recording their new full-length album therefore I thought it would be interesting to learn a little more about these Swiss wackos. Bassist Steve was the one to answer my questions about their lyrics, influences and their fetish for 7" EP's among other things, but the guitarist Dave also added a line or two.

Steve and Dave interviewed by PSL

Where would you say that Hormones From the Dead differs the most from Sweet Chainsaw Melodies?
Steve: Hmm... there are more samples. The production has improved a bit, and there are only 11 tracks on it instead of 22 [laughs].

I found your stuff quite amusing, particularly the goofy clap part in "Buried Alive III - Suffocation in the Sand-box" how did you get the idea of doing that?
Steve: Well, there was this riff that wasn't going through the whole song and we had to pause for a moment at the end of the song to do it. We thought about filling that hole, et voilà, someone came up with the idea of clapping. We play this song live too, and the people seem to love it - because there are always some who do the clapping! We just finished the recordings for a new CD, and there will also be something special on it, not clapping but... you'll hear.

You've released numerous of 7" and split CD's. I'm curious to know why doing all these "little things" instead of putting out a regular album?
Steve: Well, that's some kind of attitude, I guess - Dave and me both we like the vinyl stuff, and in the beginning, we were looking for bands that would do split-releases with us. There's also the reason that we weren't known from the start [no band is] and some of the bands would bring the attention of the underground to us too. Also, Dave is a big fan of Agathocles and has all their stuff, so they're kind of idols and we want to put out much stuff too. But I guess there will be full-length albums of us in regular intervals too.

You've got quite a few things going on various labels [it seems], so out of curiosity who will be releasing your next release?
Steve: That well be Power It Up from Germany, who will release a CD compiled of all our 7"s and also the forthcoming full length CD we will record this weekend. There might be some small releases too, but those were planned some time ago, so that's not really news, I'd say.

Dave: The new full length CD will be released by No Escape Records!

You've got a couple of new split CD's coming out soon, does this mean there will be no new full-length album for a while?
Steve: We've just been in the studio and record 32 tracks, and there will be a brand new full-length CD [and hopefully an LP version too]. Some of the upcoming stuff found on our website has been planned some time ago but isn't released yet, so some of this stuff includes older songs. We can't change that because we already had decided to put those songs on those releases and don't want to take them back because labels isn't always so fast in putting out stuff.

Your lyrics are apparently based on real events. Do you think reality often exceed the imagination?
Steve: Hmm… no. Imagination normally is triggered by real events. And sometimes imagination can make things worse than they really are. But I guess it's more disturbing if you read or watch something you know is based on real events and not just sprung from a writer's or director's fantasies.

You blend a lot of [sick] humour into the music. Do you think it's important to maintain a bit of distance to all the gory and repulsive stuff by doing so?
Steve: Definitely. Some events Marco [our singer] writes about are absolutely weird, and a good deal of it is ironic. That's like if you don't know if you should laugh or feel disturbed. I guess that's kind of a defend-mechanism, you can better handle that kind of stuff if you have a good deal of black-humour.

Your band name is a bit unusual, how did you come up with that?
Steve: That was Marco's idea. We at first thought to name ourselves after the horror movie by Joe d'Amato, Anthropophagus, but there was already an Italian band using it. So Marco found out that in England the students call the autopsy room embalming theatre, and that's all that is to it.

Like with a lot of other bands within this genre the samples are an integrated part of your music. Are they totally made up or borrowed from movies and documentaries?
Steve: Most of the time they're out of horror and splatter movies, sometimes mixed with other stuff and background music. The sample work on the past releases has been done by Mia Wallace, but now we got someone new.

There's death metal, deathgrind, deathgore, goregrind and honestly it's often difficult to tell one apart from the other. Where do you feel that you belong in that spectrum?
Steve: I would say we're deathgrind. We try to bring some real heavy and brutal elements into our music, but also very fast parts as used in grindcore. Also, you might find elements from punk and hardcore, but primarily we're old style grindcore.

Which bands besides Carcass [obviously] have had an influence on you?
Steve: Uh, there are an awful lot of bands. Terrorizer, Repulsion, Napalm Death, Extreme Noise Terror, Doom, Filthy Christians, Fear Of God - just to name a few of the old legends.

The Swiss scene seems a bit weak at the moment, isn't there any other death metal or goregrind bands besides you and Cropment?
Steve: Of course there are. There's bands like Disparaged and Requiem who both already released CDs, and Carnal Decay. There are a lot more, of course, but that's just the three I like the most.

Do you have any gigs coming up?
Steve: Well, not until the autumn because our singer Marco will be in the US for about three months, so we have to keep low profile for a while. But it looks like we'll be playing one at the end of the year in Germany - I would like to do that, so I'm full of hopes that we can do it.

Anything you wish to add to conclude this interview?
Steve: Well, thanks for the interview! Keep on grinding and watch out for the upcoming CD!

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