ME: This particular style of old school death metal has been coming around a little bit more recently, though it has pretty much continued to stay deep underground. Unlike new crap things such as the “thrash revival” and “deathcore,” etc..or whatever other new sub-genres are out there. Why do you think OSDM has stayed so far underground?
BRIAN: I have no idea. I simply listen to what appeals to me. I don’t take into consideration what is “big,” or what other folks listen to. I don’t want to sound like the stereotypical “kvlt” loser kid who listens to records and burns incense all day, but that is how I feel about it. That’s not to say I don’t listen to records. I do.
JAKE: Death metal as a whole has never really been a popular kind of music, so I don’t see why it would become popular all of a sudden. As for these other styles, I guess they do a better job of incorporating elements that are more easily accessible/digestible to a bigger audience than death metal ever could.
JUSTIN: Because it’s genuine. It’s made people who have no reason to make it any bigger than it is. There is no ‘wow’ factor to exploit to the masses. There is no murderous mytharc to piggyback like black metal. There is no kitschy gimmick like thrash, there is no fashion statement to be made like metalcore. It’s as genuine as it was 20 years ago – it has never progressed. There are still dudes writing crushing albums in basements and garages the same way they did in 1991. With that said – NEW FUCKING MORTICIAN ALBUM PLEASE.
WAYNE: I’m not sure really. I think it may be because the average “DM fan” still wants their music to have pop sensibilities and glossy production and the real obscure shit isn’t like that. Also, most of the newer styles really don’t have the same vibe as what came before it. You really have to be a nerd for OSDM and horror movies and capture both elements to really “get it” I guess. The two go hand in hand, and most metalcore or tech death people are into shitty breakdowns or how many notes can fit into a song rather than the overall mood. Thankfully, the real DM style has come back a bit in recent years. I gave up on DM in 94-95 when all my favorite bands started putting out thinly veiled pop albums with distortion. That is when I got more into BM and weird shit. That scene was more alive then and the musicians understood what it was like to push boundaries in different directions and create their own thing.
DERRIK: Because it’s uncompromising and most people can’t stomach it. I think it’s just as accessible, but people would much rather listen to something catchier along the death metal lines like Obscura or Dying Fetus. And yeah, it’s so pure that only someone on the same level can truly appreciate.
JUSTIN: People who listen to something like Behemoth or Obscura hear us and think we’re not trying. I love reading reviews where people complain about out lack of riffs. Those bands do not suck. Those are really good bands who are good at what they do, it’s just that what they do is not what WE do. Not to say I like either one of them, but they do not “suck.” ALL GORGUTS SON.
BRIAN: I think my attention span is just too small to follow the new style of overly technical death metal. The old school stuff appeals to me, because it has a deep, crushing sound. It isn’t overwhelming to listen to, and I don’t have to be a mathematician to play it. “Overwhelming” is a bad choice of word, but you know what I mean.
DERRIK: Fuck that shit. The same people couldn’t write a song to save their lives, widdly and skwonk don’t make an album. Some people pull it off through spawn of possessions, first one is fucking killer.
BRIAN: Of course, Derrik. There are exceptions to everything 🙂
JAKE: Technicality should only be employed when the intent of a song requires it..
BRIAN: Exactly. Being technical for the sake of being technical is pointless to me.
JUSTIN: Braindrill? That shit’s terrible, but they can still play circles around me..I’m talking from a technical ability standpoint.
BRIAN: It takes an extraordinary amount of skill to play that material, and I probably never could, but it doesn’t appeal to me. Sorry, ready for next question.
JAKE: When it sounds like some hyper-active dog jumping all over me then I’m out.
JUSTIN: Exactly haha.
DERRIK: Fuck that dumb shit! I fucking put an honest try to it. It’s like extreme weight lifting for guitar players. What did you prove you can play 1,000,000,000 notes while holding a cock in your mouth? Not to mention the utter lack of lyric thought, that shit’s a let down. On paper I should love guitar music like that, but it doesn’t make for good listening or a good album.
ME: OK. Besides the stated Incantation influence, who else has influenced Father Befouled? Have they always been the same or have they varied a bit from album to album?
JUSTIN: Morbid Angel, Monstrosity (In Dark Purity), Excruciate, Drawn and Quartered, Demigod, Fleshcrawl…lots of stuff, not so much in riffs and sound, but in feeling. Immolation for sure.
DERRIK: Old Morbid Angel and Immolation, personally
JAKE: In Dark Purity rules! Wayne probably hates it lol
BRIAN: Wayne hates everything. Wayne is elite. Haha.
JUSTIN: Top 5 death metal albums. It’s really special to me. One of the first DM bands I ever saw live.
JAKE: Same here. I saw them in a biker bar in high school to like 12 people. Insane.
JUSTIN: Nice! I saw them at the “North Florida Hardcore and Metalfest,” this clusterfuck of an event. Then saw them in Atlanta two years later and it CRUSHED. Jason Avery was their best vocalist. This was when I was like 18 or 19.
WAYNE: I’m pretty sure for Justin it’s Morbid Angel as the other main influence. I don’t really bring many drum influences to the table, as I have to change my playing a lot to fit the type of riffs he writes. FB is the fastest and most challenging band for me to play for. I’m usually more into playing the Doom/Death type of style where everything is much more simple and not as abstract. But, it is fun to be challenged sometimes!
ME: What interested each of you to play this vein of old school death metal verses following the Swedish or Floridian path?
JUSTIN: Originally I just wanted to do something dark and death metal. It wasn’t until after I wrote the first couple of tracks that our original bass player told me how much it sounded like Incantation. Until then, I was only an Incantation fan in passing. From there I just rolled with it…the sound clicked with me. It sounded genuine and menacing. Abysmal and suffocating. Not that I do not like those others, but it’s been done to death. No pun intended.
BRIAN: I do love old school death metal. I was never big on the Swedish sound, aside from early Entombed, but I do love the Florida stuff.
JAKE: I’d consider both those styles a part of “old school death metal” also..classic Swedish death metal never evolved into something “new,” and Floridian death metal, though technical and always pushing the line, is essentially the backbone of classic (old school) death metal – as to what inspires me to play anything – well it’s never set out to be “I shall now write an old school this or that record” or any shit like that. I just take the building blocks of what made my influences my influences and try to build upon them in my own way.
DERRIK: Well I play the style of death metal that we play in father befouled because IMO it’s the darkest, most evil and blasphemic. What you get is what you hear, nothing fancy or technical and nothing to win over people. There’s also no bullshit gimmick to be heard or seen, I hate religion and I play satanic death metal, Plain and simple
WAYNE: I never really paid much attention to the locations of bands or what style they played. I mean, Fleshcrawl is from Germany and Cancer is from the UK, but you wouldn’t know it. I draw influences from all over, but when it all comes down to it, I just do my own thing. I’ve had people tell me Decrepitaph sounds like everything from Autopsy to Deicide to Therion to Morbid Angel to Satan knows what else. I think you just need to sit down and PLAY and whatever comes out is what you sound like.
ME: Also, many of you are in other bands. Tell me about them and what is going on with them.
JUSTIN: Let’s see: Encoffination – slow, crushing, eerie death metal. Fixing to start work on our third record for Selfmadegod, which will hopefully be a double CD/album. Also, Vomitchapel – bestial black death metal like Blasphemy or Black Witchery or Archgoat. Really perverse though. Debut album just finished up for Osmose. And, Festered – old school, thrashy death metal all about horror nerd stuff. We will do a second album sometime. Plus any number of other ideas I have for shit that I sometimes try to get out of my head. Right now I’m working on a new death metal project which is falling way more into the Scandinavian sound verses the obvious american sound of Father Befouled. Before Father Befouled I had a black metal project called Hills of Sefiroth that was really terrible drum machine black metal, but I put out five albums, all on labels, and people bought them haha.
JAKE: The only band that I’d consider that I play in is Prosanctus Inferi. This is the only band I create anything in. I’ve helped out in Father Befouled heavily and Void Meditation Cult in the near future. Those are the only ones worth mentioning.
BRIAN: Father Befouled is the second death metal band I’ve played with, and the only one of the two that I’ve performed live with…but I wrote nothing for either band. I play guitar, bass, and am one of the vocalists in a two piece black metal band called Oakmoon. We are mainly focusing on playing shows here in my area, and finishing up the writing of our album, which we’ll be recording with Justin in late winter or early spring. The best way I can describe it is “very traditional style black meal meets newer, destructive Texas-style black metal.” I also do all instruments and vocals in a “war metal” (a term I kind of dislike) band called Black Rituals, but I’ve recorded nothing, and have done no live shows yet. I have three songs written, and will probably write a few more before recording here locally. A black metal band called Dominium is working on getting me added on bass, but the band is about 100 miles away in Richmond, VA, and the process is taking some time. Oakmoon is my main focus at this time
DERRIK: As far as my other band goes, I use it to get out all the other influences I’ve got. Its kinda a blackened Death/thrash band very reminiscent of morbid angel and absu with like nifelheim. It Brings the riffs. We’re currently playing shows in the south east region, breaking in our new drummer and getting ready to let justin record about seven songs i’d love to put out on a 12″ split. As far as prior to father befouled I’d just jam Instrumental style stuff kinda like Indricothere. Probably should mention that the band name is Abyssion.
WAYNE: I forget how many bands I’m in. It’s at least a dozen or something. Since I moved to California, I’ve kinda put everything else on hold and been working on a new full band here in San Diego that I will be talking about soon. Decrepitaph still remains a priority although we no longer live near each other. The next album is recorded and should hopefully be out by early next year. We also have a compilation CD of all old material and a new track coming soon as well as a split 7″ with Humiliation. There are new Encoffination things planned as well. We are finally going to do the next Festered album this year too as people seem to want a new one and it’s been like four years. Vanessa is working on a new Scaremaker album right now. The Loathsome album we recorded 3 years ago is finally coming out this fall too. I plan to do more Wooden Stake sometime too when I have a second to breathe. I guess those are the main ones right now. I’m kinda thinking of doing another Skincrawler album next year for the hell of it. We shall see.
ME: I was told to ask Justin about the cover art on the new album. Apparently some famous comic dude or something had a part in it?
JUSTIN: Yes – Richard Friend. He draws for DC Comics. But he did the art for the Loss album, for which I did the layout. I sent him some ideas and he nailed it. He pulled this nightmarish, claustrophobic image out of my head and made it real.
ME: Now I know Justin leads the band, but how does everything work itself out with everyone being scattered all over the place? Do you ever practice? Do you find ways to manage to all work together from a distance?
JAKE: I pretty much just take the tabs and listen to the songs a few weeks before a gig and play all of them every night and that’s about it. I learn the recorded stuff on the spot when we do it.
JUSTIN: It’s all done long distance at this point. Lots of emails and phone calls and videos of me playing the riffs haha. No practicing unless we are going to play, and in that case we will work it out to have a day or two together. It’s all logistics and just making it work. But I have to hand it to these guys – I can tell them to show up, and they’ll be there, we can not say one word to each other and just rip into our songs without having played them in over a year. Could not ask for more out of band mates. I think if we all lived close, and had to practice weekly, we’d hate each other.
BRIAN: For the most recent show, Justin sent me tabs, and the two then-unreleased songs a couple months before the show. A few days before, Wayne flew to Georgia, where Derrik and Justin were, and did one day of rehearsal. They then drove all day to get to where I was, where day two of rehearsals commenced. We all drove up to NY/NJ together, did one more run through up there, and we were ready. We did three run throughs of the set with me in the fold. I think the guys said they did about two in Georgia.
JUSTIN: Yep – and without ever laying a NOTE with us together we played “Sacrilegious Defilement” with Brian in one go perfectly the very first time we got in a room with him. It’s playing with people who are dedicated to what we do that makes this possible.
DERRIK: Justinand I only live a couple hours apart and go to shows and hang our pretty regular with a couple other metal dudes. I generally send him a few riff Ideas and we might jam out some Ideas but he generally has the overall thing much more well mapped out than I do. He can see a finished product, all I can see is a badass riff. But when we jam we all pick a couple songs and practice all together and because of the professionalism we all maintain it goes aver very smoothly. As far as solos I tend to think Haunting, Grief ridden, Chaos.“but when we all get together to play live” is a better way to put that “when we jam” line
WAYNE: We make it work somehow. We all have our own home recording gear, so that makes it easy to do things that way. As far as playing shows, it has to be something worthwhile since we live in three different states. But, we can get together and jam for a day or two and get all the songs down and be ready to play. We’ve all been around the block and we know what it takes to do your homework and be ready to play live when the time comes.
ME: Your previous drummer committed suicide in 2009. Did that cause any change or turmoil in the band? Wayne, was it awkward for you to replace a deceased drummer?
JAKE: Beyond the obvious drummer change, I don’t think it drastically changed anything band-wise. Maybe stylistically Justin wrote a little different to Wayne’s style.
JUSTIN: No, he was destined for it. It had nothing to do with us. He had his own personal demons and we all saw it coming, unfortunately. IT definitely cast a pall over the band for a while, but Wayne was the obvious choice. I was already laying with him in Encoffination at that point, and he was a great friend to the band. He knew Antichristus as well, so it was an easy transition for him.
BRIAN: I didn’t know Antichristus very well, and I never played with him, but I did hang out with him (and the rest of the band) over the course of a couple of weekends. He was a very nice person, and I enjoyed talking with him and hanging out, but he seemed like a person who was difficult to get close to…like he was very distant. Just an impression of the maybe week or so (combined) that we spent together.
DERRIK: Well Antichristus was “different”. I think it changed the band a little, but It was what it was. I miss him and wish he was still here with us .he was very much a defining part of our sound when he was in the band. However the transition into the style of drumming wayne plays is very comfortable to me, and i think was the right direction for us to go in, in any case. Also there are a few people who are not in the band but are certainly part of the Father Befouled family and wayne was and is one of those people so it wasn’t an awkward transition or anything.
WAYNE: If you knew Mike, you knew it wasn’t much of a surprise. He was truly a weird and unique person. Justin called me to tell me about it and basically told me I was the new drummer because they had shit planned haha I was kind of nervous because their style is so far out of my comfort zone, but we made it work. He had to adjust some parts for me to play them a little better, but it seemed to work out in the long run.
ME: Ok, well I’ll let you all sleep if you have nothing else to add!
JUSTIN: Later gator. Go quietly masturbate yourself to sleep.
JAKE: I only masturbate loudly.
DERRIK: Obscure and graceless, denial of Christ eternally.