First of all, it feels like yesterday I got a review copy of your debut album, and here’s a follow-up! Granted the debut was mostly your demo material, but how long did it take you guys to write the material to Encirclement?
Thanks for reviewing the debut album earlier, hails! I started to write Operation Citadel few weeks before June. The song writing really started going full speed in July. Everything was ready in September 2011. This was a very fast process like it was with Devastate earlier.
Were there any difficulties when getting the material together to go into the studio, or any problems that arose while you were all in there?
There was initially a problem with the lyrics, but I got it sorted out.. As you can see, there are loads of thoughtful lyrics. Anyway, the biggest problem that arose was our drummer hurting his hand just days before the drums should’ve been initially recorded. It delayed the studio for a month and the release of the album for about two months. Encirclement was supposed to be out in 2011, but I am happy with the release date now.
Had some problems with the mixing when I started. Took more time to finish than I first expected. Other than that. There were no big concerns.
Did you or the band in general try anything new for this album? Please explain if yes or no.
Other than creating a full-length album in a one session, rather than combining two demos . no. There are some improvements overall. Maybe the concept of the album is a new thing – there are now themery built around real conflicts. Devastate had some great lyrics in it, but not anything related directly to specific historical events. Overall the process went so quick without even thinking much of anything new!
So, we know how long it took, but now the question is why? Why did Decaying come out with a follow-up album so soon?
There are three big reasons to this. First of all I wasn’t pleased at all that we had only 6 recorded songs. Yes – it is 50 minutes total, but still there were only six of them. So I decided right away after Devastate to start writing new material.
Secondly – we wanted to release a consistent studio offering, with our drummer Benjam LahdenpÃ¤Ã¤ playing in it. And thirdly – we have this Finnish compulsory army service coming up in early 2012 which means our band is going to be more or less inactive during even the whole year. This is the right time to put out a good release to keep the momentum! And I think and hope we will succeed with “Encirclement”.
Is this going to be a trend for the band? Will we be seeing more releases so close to one another, or after Encirclement will the group be slowing down their pace for a bit.
As mentioned above, you’ll notice a slowdown in 2012 because of the army. We will start writing new material when we get out of there though. So you can expect new Decaying EP or something like that in early 2013! So partly yes and no. Very rapid rate anyway. Two albums now out in less than a year period.
Compared to your debut, there’s more tracks, and a couple at shorter lengths like “Artillery Barrage” and “On the Path of Subjugation.” Why did the band decide to tackle some shorter lengths on this release?
All of the songs on “Encirclement” have come out as they are naturally. We have made them with no exact length in mind.. And none of the tracks had lyrics in advance. Those two tracks basically turned out to be shorter. Of course there are at times some parts which people tend to look as “boring”, but no song can be done to total perfection! I am happy with all of them. We will read every review and opinion we can and try to improve; that’s the way it should be. I took many advices from the coverage of “Devastate”.
Do you feel that doing those kinds of tracks were a good move in the long run, or has your view changed at all since when you wrote and recorded those tracks?
It is true that those aren’t perhaps the greatest offerings on the record. But we are totally happy with them. Good songs. Brings some variation.
Will Decaying be going on tour again any time? If so, what songs can fans expect to hear?
We won’t start touring unfortunately until early 2013. Finnish compulsory military service doesn’t give us enough time to rehearse the songs nor time to arrange gigs. Only 3-4 weekends in a month are off. Also we need to recruit a bass player.
Anyway, when the time comes – you can expect an onslaught of Decaying shows! .And songs to expect – there are already two hours worth of them, many nearly 10 minutes long. If I had to pick certain live tracks right now: Initiation, Operation Citadel, Strangled, probably Aftermath, From The Cradle To The Grave and New Order. I could see these songs as a strong foundation and of course play all the rest too occasionally. We will see. Also the opinion of fans will matter greatly what we will choose to perform.
I see that for 2011, the line-up changed rather dramatically. Matias is the only founding member while Benjamin is on drums and Henri on guitars. Do you think this new interpretation of Decaying made this album stronger, or do you think that having to work as a new collective may have hindered the quality of the material at all?
Benjam is our first drummer, “Devastate” had an drum machine on it. It is true that the guitarist situation was rather messy last summer. Olli “Otu” Suurmunne left our band because of lack of devotion to this kind of death metal. I can’t say anything negative about his time in Decaying as the other founding member. We are by the way releasing within next few days a new doom EP under the name “Altar Of Betelgeuze – At The Shrine Of Light” with him, so check that one out if you’re interested in something very heavy and slow.
Then we had Otso Polenius, and he only turned up in two rehearsals total, and had no impact on our music. Henri Hirvonen arrived shortly after him and now we are starting to look like a proper band. Only bassist is still missing. So definitely this recent line-up made the album stronger. While I have composed most of the material, Henri did good work on The Hell Of Verdun for example. And he likes this kind of death metal very much.
I also noticed that the band recorded a music video for “Operation Citadel.” How did the concept of using old war footage come about, and who put it all together?
Most of the video was made last summer & I was the guy who put it together. It is not very professional video, but looks ok and works as a good promotion tool. The concept of the video works very good, the only downside is the video quality (song sounds fantastic though considering it is a web stream). All of the material is about the battle, and relates fully to the song.
Considering that this is mostly footage with the song layered over it, could we possibly see another music video at some point in the future, either in the same manner or perhaps a more traditional video including the band?
Definitely yes. We just need the time, determination and money. You’ll see a more professional video someday for sure. I can nearly imagine already what it would look like. Will be probably with a different song though. Let’s see what the future holds.
Is there anything else you’d like to mention before I let you go?
Check out the record if you enjoy some good old school death metal! Spread the word and keep the scene alive. Cheers!
Thank you for the time, I really appreciate it, and I hope all goes well for you, Decaying, and your new album Encirclement. Take care of yourselves!
Thanks for the interview & support very much. Hails!
Interview conducted thanks to Hellthrasher Productions via Scratch the Surface PR.