Give the uninitiated a brief history of the band! What caused this army of two to unite?
Michael Kilborn:Gordon and I met through a mutual friend who we both played in bands with at separate times in 2000. We became friends because of mutual interests in recording and watching sporting events. When Gordon needed some help with this project, I accepted and my role in this project expanded.Gordon Denhart: Michael and I have been close friends for many years,although musically we basic did our own things independently.When I came up with the concept for what would eventually become Never To Arise, it was only natural when you have a friend as talented and hard working as Michael that I would want to join forces.
How would you describe your music to someone who may think metal comes from a shopping mall?
Gordon: To anyone who thinks Metal comes from a shopping mall – prepare to die! Seriously though, we are a classic Death Metal band who’s music will carry weight long after the trendy “mall metal” bands have come and gone.Michael:Our music is primarily death metal with speed thrash and other extreme influences included.
Correct me if I am wrong, but ‘Hacked to Perfection’ is Never to Arise’s debut full length, yes? How did these songs come together? Was there no demo in circulation, etc.?
Gordon: Yes,this is our debut CD. I had written enough material for a 6 song demo in 2006, which we just put online and tried to let as many people as possible hear it. Over the course of time I wrote 4 more songs and we got more involved as far as the recording process. We finally had all ten tracks finished in 2009.Michael:Gordon had a few of the songs already partially written when he first approached me with this project. As time went on, and as I said before my role expanded we eventually recorded a 10 song demo which several of the songs had been up on the internet when we began talks with Bad God Music.
When you were writing the songs for ‘Hacked…’, what were your goals? Where there specific ideas you wanted to express in your music?
Gordon: My goal was to release a collection of songs in the classic death metal vein as I perceive it to be. Also I felt there are too many sub genres of death metal, which create their own sets of rules. We are a Death Metal band,pure and simple. Less constraints means more creativity and the ability to give each song its own identity.Also,I feel the lyrics should be violent and about death. I am not into religion nor do I care if others are. I am not a philosopher. I am not a social commentator…you get the idea.
Give me some insight to the recording process of ‘Hacked to Perfection’. The instruments are performed extremely well with no lack of superior songwriting, structure and melody. Was the studio a good experience or are you at home more on stage?
Michael:The project was recorded entirely in our home studios. Gordon recorded his rhythm and lead guitar parts at his home studio. He also programmed his drums there. All of the parts were then sent to my studio where I would record my lead guitar and bass parts and also Gordon would record his vocals.Since right now we are a studio band, this is our only experience. Gordon: I am not really at home anywhere but at least in a home studio you can do it over until you get it right.
Although the drums are listed as being programmed, I can’t really complain as their delivery is spot-on, full of fills, double stops and accents that align perfectly with the guitars and song-flow. Is there a lack of death metal drummers in the Floridian Death Metal scene or did you want to use a drum machine purposely?
Gordon: There are good drummers out there,but its just way easier to keep a band together with fewer members. We put a lot of effort into making the drums as realistic as possible.I programmed the drum parts but both Michael and Dennis Munoz,who mixed the CD, also put in a lot of effort to create realism. And a drum machine doesn’t show up late,drink all your beer or try to bang your girlfriend when you’re not looking.Michael:For now, we are happy with the situation at hand. But there is no telling what may happen down the road.
Personally, I have never been one for the gore-driven death metal that infects your music…but I must say, ‘Hacked to Perfection’ is fucking relentless and on my recommend list! Tell me about your lyrical influence. Fantastic films of horror or true life histories of cannibalism, torture and genocide?
Michael: This is Gordon’s department here…Gordon: It started with what I guess you could call revenge fantasies, but certainly some true life incidents have given me ideas. Its actually a lot of fun writing this type of lyrics,and they go along with my beliefs as to what Death Metal lyrics should be all about. Normal people should be offended,and fans of the genre should enjoy them. Not trying to win a Pulitzer Prize here…
The guitar work on ‘Hacked…’ is ferocious and razor-sharp. Some players can rip shit up ‘cold’ others have to ‘warm-up’, get their fingers loose, play scales, etc. Which would you consider yourself. Who influences your guitar playing or, at least, what inspired you to learn in the first instance?
Michael:Basically for me, I warmed up for my leads by familiarizing myself with the songs by playing along with them.My Uncle Gus inspired me to play the guitar. My major influences originally were John McLaughlin, Michael Schenker, and Eddie Van Halen. The current two I have been listening to a lot lately are Chris Broderick and Michael Romeo.Gordon: The old licks that you can play in your sleep come out naturally,but newer techniques and more creative playing takes some warming up for me.I go way back as far as just learning the instrument: Schenker,Ulrich Roth, Glenn Tipton,Van Halen,Rhoads etc… as far as songwriting my influences range from many styles of death metal as well as technically adept thrash bands like late ’80s Voivod and Coroner.
How did your relationship with badGod Music come about? Where there offers from other labels or any other versions of ‘Hacked…’ released overseas?
Gordon: Dave Lindley,the owner of badGod Music,had been playing a couple tracks from the demo on his weekly radio show for awhile. He eventually approached us about signing us to his new record label. I think it’s a great fit and we have total artistic freedom with badGod, which means everything to both of us.
What is Never to Arise currently working on? New material, live shows, etc.?
Michael:We are currently in the process of putting together some new music.Gordon: Yes, enough material for another record has already been written…right now we are practicing our instruments hard and concentrating on promoting “Hacked To Perfection”.Live shows are not really a priority at this time,although someday that may change.
In the future, what are your plans? How will you expand upon the already relentless sound you have achieved?
Gordon: It will be even more relentless! We want to make everything we do withstand the test of time without drastically altering our style.
Michael:Basically to keep progressing and be even more ferocious.
Thanks for your time, the last words are yours!
Michael:I would like to thank all of the people who supported us in our initial stages, Bad God Music, Gordon for this opportunity and you, for trying to help spread the word.
Gordon: A big thank you for taking the time to talk with us,it is much appreciated.Also Michael for all the hard work he has put in both musically and studio-wise. And without the support we have been fortunate enough to receive,we would be nowhere. We plan on making the most of this opportunity.Nothing can ever be taken for granted.