Hey Rob —- I guess by the time you see these questions the vinyl copies of the LP have just arrived, so the first question is are you happy with the finished result?
Very happy, they turned out great, iron bonehead did everything they promised, hail satan!
The new record seems like a pretty solid step up from The Devil’s Poison in terms of the sheer insanity of the songs (and the leads!) —- when you started writing did you feel like you were trying to top the last album or was it just a case of writing whatever came naturally this time around?
Some of the songs I had floating around on tapes for a while – we played one of these trax at our first ever gig actually, it just didn’t suit the other albums. We had a second guitarist for this album, so things needed to be a little different, specially from the last album, so we ran a completely different guitar sound on this album, a lot dirtier, hahahha!
So for the past couple of years now, you’ve been living in Ireland —- has it been hard to keep the band going since the move? Were you ever tempted to try and get a line up of the band together here in Dublin for convenience sake or anything like that?
The only thing that’s difficult is playing shows, we used to play quite a bit before I moved to the opposite side of the planet. I write all the music and lyrics, so that part hasn’t changed and slackness still prevails haha.
With the distance between members, how did the actual writing/recording process for The Escalation take place?
I went back to Australia for 7 weeks to jam with the other guys, and we also roped in a new guitarist, Horror Illogium (PORTAL) to help us out with the madness. We jammed for 4 weeks straight, putting riffs I had on tapes together, the usual drinking sessions and showing off till it all came together. “Prayer to hell” was actually only finalized in the studio while we were recording – we record all of our albums LIVE in studio, so the recording process is very quick, this album only took 4 hours to record, ie, a 5 minute song takes 5 minutes to record. Then we spent 2 weeks on and off mixing and mastering the fucker, Mick at Vibrafeel Studios has been working with us for over 18 years now, so he knows what we want, which helps a lot.
I haven’t seen the lyrics yet but can you explain a little about the idea behind album title/title track?
The Escalation of the darkness and evil, most of this album is based on Lovecraft and the Cthulhu mythos and the adoration of satan.
Let’s talk about artwork for a bit – Vomitor’s releases have always featured very simple, very striking artwork that’s as blunt and horrific as the music. How important is artwork to you guys? Is it something you think about while putting the music together or is it an afterthought?
Usually the artwork is complete before we record, as I do all the art for the albums too. This time around I had an idea that I just couldn’t translate to the page, so I sent my rough drawings to a killer artist in Poland, he had it looking how I wanted it in 2 days hahaha! I still spend a month or so on the rest of the artwork, I like the covers to be part of the listening experience, or something that I’d like to get in the mail you know, I hate photoshop covers and bright shyte.
There’s a song called ‘‘Metal or DIE’’ on the new record that seem pretty much like the definition of what Vomitor is about, just die hard Death Metal in it’s purest form. What is it that keeps your interest in playing this kind of music after so long?
I was born for it. I’ll be there til death, metal is life for us, everything we do in our lives is based around metal and our comrades all around the world, no better people than drunken metalheads.
I know you’re a total 80s head when it comes to old death/thrash generally —- in this age of reissues and the like, are there any old ‘‘lost’’ gems from the demo trading days you think people need to check out? Any old Aussie bands in particular?
Azagthoth (UK), VOOR (Canada), Infernal Death (Texas), COVA (Brazil) and the usual Blasphemy demo, Sarcófago demos etc. I think most things aren’t lost gems anymore anyway, with NWN pressing a lot of the old cool shit on vinyl, they’re keeping it alive.
You also work as a tattoo artist here specialising in metal-related tattoos – how long have you been working in the field? And how has The Devil’s Den been doing since you opened last year?
Been tattooing now for 4 years, life in Dublin and the shop is great, metal all day and metalheads from all over the planet coming in for metal tattoos, what could be better?
Finally – correct me if I’m wrong but it’s now 10 years since Bleeding The Priest. How do you feel about that record a decade on listening back to it? And any particular plans to celebrate the decade anniversary?
Yep, 10 years ago the priest was mutilated with hate, I still listen the album a lot, its fucking perfect for me, our goal was to make a record that we could thrash out to, cause no mutha was making that kinda noise anymore, I think it will be pressed on vinyl again very soon
You’re about to hit the USA with Negative Plane to round out the end of the year, anything about it in particular you’re looking forward to? And is this your first time there?
Yeah, first time for me touring the States, the other guys have toured there in other bands – PORTAL, Gospel of the Horns – so I’m looking forward to hitting the booze with our American brothers and sisters indeed, and eating tons of greasy food, BEWAREEEEEE!!!