Australian death metallers Psycroptic made quite a stir with their second album The Scepter of the Ancient. Now the band is back with the successor Symbols of Failure after a change of label and vocalist. Symbols of Failure have already spawned a lot of attention in the media and I off course could not pass on this either so I got hold of drummer and founding member Dave Haley to answer some questions about various topics.

Dave Haley interviewed by PSL

What do you set you apart from the majority of death metal bands?
I guess the fact that we aren't scared to try different things that usually sit outside the death metal genre. I think we're not really a typical death metal band as we aren't out to be heavier than anyone or faster than anyone. It's about writing cool songs for us - music that we enjoy to play. In the end it's up to the listener to decide though.

Musically where do you think the biggest difference is between Symbols of Failure and the predecessor The Scepter of the Ancient is?
I think the songs on Symbols of Failure are better written, the production is better and the packaging is much better. We worked very hard on the material to insure that we were happy with it all before putting it to tape. We've quite happy with the results of the album.

What do you think is the biggest qualities in your music nowadays?
Hopefully the fact that we write good songs. We try to insure that the music we write are songs and not just riffs chucked together. Hopefully the listener can hear this fact. We have a wide range of influences from all styles of music which helps us think outside the musical square when writing.

Has it affected the music that you had to replace Matthew Chalk shortly before the recording?
No. Matthew never wrote any music, so it didn't affect the songs at all.

Has Jason Peppiatt bought some new things to the band?
New aggression and enthusiasm. He is a really great live performer and kicked our ass on the live front. He is very dedicated to the band and really wants to get out and tour a lot, which is exactly what we are hoping to do in support of the release.

A thing that struck me as being kind off odd is that there's no solos on the album. Why is that?
We've never had any solos, as it's really just not our thing. Joe is an excellent guitarist and can do some shredding solos, but he has no interest in doing them in Psycroptic. I guess it is due to the fact that when a guitar solo is played, some times the song can loose momentum and intensity. And live it would sound stupid as we only have one guitarist.

You've recorded and mixed the album yourselves. What were your motives for doing it that way?
Mainly due to the financial and time benefits it created. We were able to spend a lot longer on the recording of all the instruments and were able to insure that all the parts were up to our liking. All the recording except the drums which were recorded in the local studio Red Planet were recorded at Joe's home studio set up.

I think you have achieved a somewhat dry, but heavy and clear sound. Are you satisfied with the result?
Yeah, we are pretty happy with the sound Joe got on the album. Of course there are always bits and pieces that you want to change when listening back, but for the most part we're very happy. Considering it was only second thing Joe had ever recorded, he did a fantastic job. We will definitely be recording it the same way in the future I think.

What kind of music are you influenced by? It doesn't sound like you solely rely on for instance death metal?
All kinds. All styles of metal of course from death to traditional metal, as well as other genres of music. We listen to anything that is quality music, but predominately metal. I personally listen to a range of music that will help me with my drumming and the other guys are the same as well.

Lyrically what kind of topics inspires you?

Science fiction stuff mainly. Anything that is a little bit different and twisted. The lyrics on the new album are different to the ones of previous albums as I wrote them instead of Matthew so of course the style is different. The themes on the album deal with twisted science fiction inspired stories.

You split with Unique Leader a while ago and signed with Neurotic Records. What's the story behind this move?
Just a change really. After the line-up change we wanted sort of a fresh start, something different. Nothing against Unique Leader at all, they were cool to us. Neurotic knew that we wanted to have a 'fresh start' so they offered us a good deal which we accepted. We have high hopes for the growing label that is Neurotic.

Is there any specific meaning with the bandname?
Nope, it was made up by a friend of the band at the time. We actually haven't seen him in years as he went a bit crazy and left our city. I don't know where he is now. I guess it's up to the individual to come up with there own meaning for the word.

You're about to go on tour with Hate Eternal. Could you say something about that?
Well, I'm really not sure what is happening tour wise at the moment as some things seem to have fucked up with the tour. All I know is that we are dying to get on tour, and it is all out of our hands at the moment.

Could you provide an update on the Australian death metal scene? I'm mean besides you, Blood Duster and Fuck… I'm Dead it doesn't seem that visible!
The death metal scene is okay, but there aren't too many newer bands coming up. There are some really cool bands like Omnium, Intense Hammer Rage, Lurking, and The Dead who are coming up and establishing themselves these days. At the moment hardcore is really big out here so most young bands are going down that path. Hopefully some newer extreme metal bands start soon.

Anything you wish to add to conclude this interview?
Thanks very much for it! If people want to check us out go to or

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