Long running US brutal death metallers Mortal Decay is currently working on the follow-up to last years Cadaver Art, an album which showed a slight change in approach without compromising the brutality of their sound. I recently got the chance to ask guitarist Joe Gordon some questions about Cadaver Art, the line-up among other things.

Joe Gordon interviewed by PSL

You've had some line-up changes since Forensic. Has this affected the songwriting in any way?
Not really since John and I are still at the head of this whole thing, and we always wrote all the stuff anyway.

Do you feel you have a stable line-up at the moment?
Definitely. Everyone in the band is hungry. We've already started writing for the next CD, so I'd say everything is going pretty good. We have some touring plans in the works as well, which we couldn't do with some of the other guys we've had in the band.

Where do you hear the biggest difference between Cadaver Art and your previous album Forensic?
I would say the drumming. Anthony and Justin have two completely different styles, with Justin being a little more straightforward. Forensic was a little more technical in the arrangements. This time around we concentrated more on structuring, and not just seeing how many ways we can play on one riff. The songs are shorter because of it. And shorter songs means more tracks in a live set list.

Somehow I'd gotten the idea that you played typical brutal US death metal, but I quickly learned that there's really much more to your music than just that. What do you think it is that sets you apart from most of your countrymen?
I don't really think we're that much different than most bands, I just think we concentrate on making things interesting for us, as most bands probably do as well. It's hard to answer a question like this only because I don't want to sound like we're the only band that does what we do [laughs]. Listening to other styles of music helps with throwing the different things that we've done so far into the mix. Smoking a lot of pot also helps [laughs].

You vary the tempo quite a bit instead of just blindly blasting ahead. Is there an explanation to this or is it just a coincidence?
We definitely like to change the pace a lot, while keeping it brutal. Blasting is great, I love our fast stuff, but spicing up the songs with weirder riffs and lots of slammy parts is just part of what keeps it interesting for us. So we definitely make conscious efforts to vary tempos and things like that.

Is there some sort of concept story in the lyrics this time?
Not really, only "Cadaverous Sculptures" parts I and II have the same theme. There might be parts where the lyrics could be interchangeable in other songs, but the songs I mentioned are the only intentional ones.

Did you have any guests on the album?
Yes, a couple guests actually. Our former drummer Anthony sang "The Ravenous Addiction", and a good friend of ours came in and helped out with "Cadaverous Sculptures" I and II.

Which bands would you say have had a major impact on your music?
Well, there are the obvious ones like Suffocation, Morbid Angel, Ripping Corpse, Carcass, Napalm Death, Cannibal Corpse, Gorguts, things that we grew up listening to. But we've also been listening to a lot of the newer death metal that's been coming out in the last 5 - 10 years and picking up on what they're doing as well, like Cryptopsy, Nile, Deeds Of Flesh, Disgorge, bands like that that get us going and inspire us.

You've recorded in B.V. Studios. What made you pick that studio?
B.V. is run by Brian Valenti, a former guitar player. He played on our Grisly Aftermath demo which can now be found on our A Gathering of Human Artifacts CD. He's trying to get bands to go there and said he'd record us for almost nothing, just to get a name out there. Everything turned out really well, except we had very little time to mix and master, so the levels kind of jump around a little bit. But for the most part it was a very good experience and we plan on doing the next one there as well. Plus it's right in our back yard, about a ten minute drive.

The band has co-produced the album. What were your motives for doing it that way?

We've actually co-produced all of our stuff. It's just better that way. It helps us with getting the best product that we can, and to have our name on it as well is satisfying.

Did you achieve the sound you were aiming for?
I'd say yes, but like I said we had very little time for mixing and mastering. Next time around we'll have to allow ourselves more time. Or not spend so much time on other things.

Are any of you active in other bands besides Mortal Decay?
Yes, our bass player plays guitar in Polterchrist, and our singer plays guitar and sings in Polterchrist as well. And Justin was playing drums in Pyrexia, but I'm not sure what's up with them right now.

You've just played a string of shows in Europe alongside with Beheaded and Brutus. How did that go?
It was great aside from our van breaking down at the end of the tour. We had 7 more shows to go, and it would've taken 3 days or so to get another van. We just kind of cut our losses and went home. Also, many apologies go out to the fans in the cities we had to cancel out on. We'll certainly make it up to all of you sick fucks!

You had Zdenek Simecek from Godless Truth fill in on vocals on the tour. Why was that?
Our singer had just gotten a promotion at his job, and couldn't come over there with us. Zdenek was the tour manager, and has been a fan of ours for a while. It seemed only natural to ask him to help us for the tour. We didn't want to drop off the tour. So thankfully he said yes, learned a bunch of songs, and did an awesome job.

Do you have any shows in the coming months?
The only things we have booked right now are Central Illinois Metalfest and Gathering of the Sick. We're trying to book shows in between because they are 2 weeks apart, and why not just stay out there and play, you know. We are also confirmed for Bloodletting North America 6 with Disgorge, Severed Savoir, and Psycroptic for October/November, but we're not doing very much until then. Maybe some local stuff, and possibly a few days trips here and there. We're just going to continue writing for the next one until something comes along.

Anything you wish to add to conclude this interview?
Thanks, Per, for the great interview and support. Anyone wishing to contact us can do so at www.myspace.com/mortaldecayusa. There are links to our personal pages on there as well. Please get in touch about merchandise, shows, questions about the band, or just to shoot the shit. I hope all of you readers out there enjoyed this as much as I did. See ya on tour!

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