Busy as usual the Swiss goregrinders Embalming Theatre is currently working on new material for various releases. The band also recently had their 2003 debut Sweet Chainsaw Melodies re-issued by Power It Up Records as well as a compilation of their 7" material put out. I thought it would be approbiate to get the lowdown on those releases as well as hearing what the band is currently doing. Bassist Steve quickly answered my questions with a few comments from guitarist Dave.

Steve and Dave interviewed by PSL

You just played at the Giants of Grind festival in Germany. How did that go?
Steve: It was great! There weren't too many people, but it was fun nevertheless. I just hope for Tom and Power It Up Records that the festival will get some more attention over the next years because it really is a cool event.

Power It Up recently re-released your 2003 debut Sweet Chainsaw Melodies. The Razorback Records version was it already out of print?
Steve: Yes, that's true. If I'm not mistaken, Razorback Records did 1500 copies of our first full-length album. The Razorback Records issue of Sweet Chainsaw Melodies has been sold out for about a year or so!

You seem to switch back and forth between No Escape Records and Power It Up as well as a few other even smaller labels. Is it important for you not to bind you to one label or is it just a coincidence that you have releases out on so many different labels?
Steve: Of course we like to be as independent as possible. It would be cool if there was a label to pay all the studio costs and organise some tours, but since we all have to work and got jobs, this wouldn't be so easy I guess. So the way things are right now suits us alright. Another thing is that it's quite cool to release stuff with many other bands, like the split-CD's and the split-7"s and so on.

Power It Up also recently put Jane Saw Me. I understand this CD was compiled of material from your 7'EP's. What's the story behind this release?
Steve: It was Tom from Power It Up who came up with the idea. He wants to do the vinyl-version of The World is a Stage... For Murder! but wanted something to cover the costs because vinyl of course doesn't bring in much profit nowadays. So Jane Saw Me is a compilation with all our songs that we put onto 7"s so far. There are 56 songs on it and it has a playing time of approximately 69 Minutes.

A thing I noticed on your latest album The World is a Stage… For Murder! was that you had cut back a little on the samples. Is there any particular reason why that is?
Steve: Uh, I don't know. I guess that's based on the topics of the lyrics, and Marco [the vocalist] is working those out. I'm not that fond of samples and intros, but it depends on how good they are and how well they fit the song. As long as they aren't too long I don't care anyway [laughs].

Musically there isn't a whole lot of difference between Sweet Chainsaw Melodies and The World is a Stage… For Murder! which I'm thankful for. Do you think you'll alter anything on the next album or are you happy with things as they are?
Steve: [laughs] I guess we won't "develop" ourselves or be bringing new elements into our sound [not much, anyway]. We play that kind of old school grindcore we ourselves like the best, so nobody has to be afraid of our next album sounding like a mix between early Metallica and Robbie Williams or something alike.

You often blend some rather odd things into the music like the Tiroler music in "Bags with Heads", the clapping in "Buried Alive III: Suffocation in the Sand-box" and the piano in "Bulldozer Blues". What will be the next?
Steve: Honestly, I don't know. Those things are mostly quite spontaneous. The piano was done by our mixer at Schweinesound studios, and I think he himself came up with the idea because he was so fond of the track "Bulldozer Blues". Our drummer recently came up with a guitar riff with a Russian-like melody, so that will be the special thing on our next recording.

Most of your songs clock around the two minutes. Do you deliberately try and keep them that short or it just a coincidence?

Steve: Normally, when we write songs, we only bring up two or three riffs. It would be really boring to play a song with only two riffs for five minutes. On the other hand, this is like musical warfare: get up - attack - and get back to cover [laughs] No, seriously we just like it that way. Grindcore songs shouldn't last much longer than one and half minute or at most two minutes.

What do you think makes a good goregrind or grindcore song?
Steve: A catchy, groovy starter which gets relieved by a fast and brutal riff.

If you should recommend a handful of goregrind bands to the readers which bands would these then be?
Steve: Frightmare, Repulsion, early Carcass. I guess Marco and Dave are more into that kind of stuff, so they could probably name some more.

Dave: Some of the grind-bands that are great is Nasum [R.I.P.], Regurgitation, Retaliation, Gadget, Rotten Sound, Sayyadina and so on.

You regularly have cover-songs on your releases. Do you do this just for fun or is it more meant as a tribute?
Steve: Definitely meant as a tribute. Those songs are more or less from old, mostly defunct bands and of course they all influenced or at least impressed us in some way.

What's the story behind you looking for the members of the long-defunct Swiss deathgrinders Exulceration?
Dave: A few weeks ago we got a copy of Exulceration's unreleased LP from 1993 and the songs are great! So we thought perhaps they would be interested to release their songs as part of a split with us! We currently try to get in contact with them so please help us if you have any info about the whereabouts of the band!

I imagine you have a lot of split CD's and 7's in the works. Could you say a little about what next you have coming up?
Steve: We're going to record some songs in July/August. Some of these will appear on the split with Frightmare. Besides that I don't know anything. I kind of lost track of all the releases back somewhere in 2002 or so [laughs].

Do any of you have other bands besides Embalming Theatre?
Steve: Heinz [the drummer] also plays in Disparaged and René [one of the guitarists] plays in some rock-band.

How does the remainder of the year look for Embalming Theatre?
Steve: First we'll be recording some new songs and then we'll be doing some gigs. And if all goes well we'll be touring in California, USA the first two weeks of October.

Anything you wish to add to conclude this interview?
Steve: Well, thanks a lot for the interview! And keep on grinding all you people out there!

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