Edin Ibric interviewed by PSL
What made you put the band together and is there a story with the name?
Pedestrian-13 was pretty much born out of my love for grindcore and death metal, mostly the old school brand from the late 80's and early 90's. It started off with only me in the band and some ideas for grindcore songs. Since I'm primarily a drummer I've usually only had the opportunity to play and write drum parts in bands so I wanted to see if I could pull off writing entire songs. That's really how it started for Pedestrian-13 and so far it's worked out pretty well.
As far as the name goes, I remember reading an article a while back about this intersection where pedestrians kept getting hit or run over by cars, the caption said something about the 13th Pedestrian being struck and rushed to the hospital with serious injuries. Some how that just stuck in my mind and I rearranged the words into Pedestrian-13. I really liked the sound of it because it wasn't a typical grindcore or death metal name.
You all sing and play guitar in the band. Is this a result of Pedestrian-13 starting out as a two-piece?
Yeah this is pretty much why. I had wrote, played and recorded all the parts for the music on the Victims EP as well as sang for three of the tracks but then I decided to ask my good friend Conrad if he'd be interested in joining to do some vocals to mix up the voices on the EP a bit. Then when I started tracking the drums for the first few songs for the Circles album, Conrad had some pretty killer guitar riffs that he wanted to try over some of the parts which worked out great for those songs. Conrad and I have played in bands together since the early 90's and he's pretty much always just played bass and sang back up vocals so this was a great chance for him get out some of his guitar riff ideas and do a large portion of the vocals in the band.
You've gone from a two-piece to a trio. What made you make this move?
We thought it would be great to start expanding the band during the writing of Circles and get a primary guitar player to help with the writing and recording of the album. We didn't have to look very far, our good friend Bill Zimmer was the perfect fit and all three of us have been in so many bands together over the years that the transition was simple, it felt pretty much like it had always existed that way. Bill and I were pretty much 15 or 16 year old kids when we first started playing together. We've always had this ability to just spontaneously jam stuff out and know exactly what each other is going to play before we play it. To sum it up it just felt like the right thing for us to do.
I know you're inspired by grindcore, but I get there feeling that you're inspired by other types of music as well?
Yeah, grindcore and death metal are the common interests we all share, especially Carcass, Bolt Thrower, Napalm Death, Brutal Truth, Suffocation, Terrorizer and Deicide. We definitely have a lot of other styles we draw upon when writing for Pedestrian-13. Conrad is really heavily into hip-hop, most notably the Psychopathic Records bands, which I think you can hear a bit of that in some of our songs. Bill's pretty into New York hardcore as well as bands like Dimmu Borgir and Cradle Of Filth. Fear Factory is also a huge influence on him. I really dig all that stuff too, but also love industrial bands like Laibach, Wumpscut, Leather Strip. I'd say we're pretty open to all of our influences spilling into the music we write as Pedestrian-13.
Your music is simple. Is there a certain idea behind this?
Yes there is a very good reason we write our songs this way. Most of the projects and bands we've all been in or are currently in have been pretty complex as far as the songs go. In general it seems that a lot of extreme music over the last decade has increased in complexity so much that sometimes we miss just having short, simple, fast and heavy songs. We still love the complex songs from a lot of the bands out there, we just wanted to simplify and "cut out the fat" so to speak. So in Pedestrian-13 that's what we try and do, just cut out anything that doesn't seem necessary in our songs and we try not to repeat parts over and over. So really we just focus on the necessities of grindcore with other flavours thrown in from time to time to mix it up a bit.
Do you have actual lyrics? And do these play a big role for the band and the music?
On Circles we definitely have lyrics though they didn't end up playing a huge roll on the album. It was more about the vocal patterns and delivery that we focused on mostly on the album. On the next album we've already planned that the lyrics and vocals will be playing just as big of a roll as the music does if not even more. The whole writing process for Pedestrian-13, has been a steady evolution from the Victims EP, to Circles and now to the new material that's in the works. On Victims we had no lyrics, the vocals were actually completely spontaneous on that record. When the music was complete, I basically would hit the record button and whatever came out in the delivery on the first take was what ended up on the EP. It was kind of an experiment to see how it would sound and for the most part people didn't seem to notice or mind that there weren't any really lyrics. It's kind of cool in a way because Conrad did the leads on "Murdered" and "Slit" and they were each just one take and he had never heard the songs before that moment so it was pure spontaneity of what he felt while hearing the music.
How do you go about writing songs? Do you write as a band or do each of you just sit home and come up with riffs and parts?
I'd say our writing process is definitely out of the ordinary. At this point every Pedestrian-13 song has been written starting with the drums. I always write the drum track first before anything else. Usually I'll get an idea in my mind of a song as a drum arrangement, occasionally I'll hear a riff in my head over some of the drum parts but usually it's just the drums. I'll then record the drum arrangement that I have in my mind which is always done in one or two takes, completely unrehearsed to give it a more spontaneous feel and I find there's a bit more of a live jam energy to the drums doing it like that, which I really like. After the drums are done we'll write and record the guitar riffs over the drum parts and then we'll record the vocals when the music is complete.
You put out both the EP Victims and Circles in 2010. How has the feedback been to those efforts?
The feedback has been great on both. We've received a lot of compliments and support from many people internationally, which has been amazing. It really motivates us to keep growing and take what we're doing with Pedestrian-13 to new levels with each release. Even if there was a lot of negative feedback it wouldn't stop us, these songs are just way too much fun to write for all of us.
Both Victims and Circles were recorded at Cosmic Bacon Studios. What made you go for that studio?
Cosmic Bacon Studios is actually my home studio. It's basically my basement and a Laptop with some really great software and equipment. It's such a huge advantage for independent bands to do all their recording themselves these days, especially with the technology available. I use garage band on my MacBook Pro to record pretty much all of the projects I'm working on, it's software that comes free with your Mac and is really simple to use. When you don't make a lot of money on your recordings it's much more cost effective to do it this way. You can record as much as you want, whenever you want with some pretty good results. We've had a lot of positive feedback on the production of both albums, the next one's going to be even better since we've learned so much from the first two. I don't think this method will ever replace the professional studio experience but with the way the music market is these days it just makes sense to save where you can and put that extra money into promoting your band.
We're not actively looking for a label right now even though it would be really cool to be on one of the labels that we've always admired. If a label was interested we'd definitely look at the possibility of signing. Really we're trying to do it all by ourselves right now to see what we can accomplish on our own and so far it's working out pretty well. We just got digital distribution for Circles which is great because it'll be available online really soon from a bunch of vendors world wide, including Itunes. We're just waiting to find out the official release date of the album and we're coming up with our promotional materials.
Is Pedestrian-13 a project band or do you play live as well?
Currently we're a project band, but we'd like to put together a complete live line-up of musicians in the new year to get ready for some shows and festivals in Spring and Summer 2011. So we'll be looking for some musicians in the area to join the fold in the near future. For now we'll just focus on writing the next batch of songs as a three-piece and go from there.
What next do you have planned for Pedestrian-13?
There are a few things in the works for Pedestrian-13 and a lot more to come. We've started shooting a music video for "You Said It With Your Eyes" from the Circles album. We're hoping to have that complete soon so it can be released just before the album is out on Itunes. We've already starting to write some material for a new EP we plan on releasing early 2011.
How is extreme music doing in Ontario and Canada in general these days?
Extreme music is doing really well in Canada and Ontario. We live just outside of the Toronto area in a city called Oshawa and there are pockets of all kinds of extreme metal bands all over the place. There are some really cool extreme bands in our area like Strings Of Ares and there are a few great bands that have decided to reunite after a bit of pause in their existence like Inbred and Nailed. Conrad's actually singing in Inbred and they'll be playing live in October so we're looking forward to that very much. There are tons of great bands coming through Toronto all the time so the scene is pretty much bigger then ever.
Anything you'd like to add to conclude this interview?
We'd really like to thank you for the support and say we're all really big fans of Supreme Brutality and are very honoured to be interviewed by you. Hopefully we'll be able to come to Denmark at some point for a show in the future.