Steve Asheim – Drummer of Order of Ennead and Deicide
Interview by Luxi Lahtinen
Steve Asheim, the drummer of Deicide, is on his new exciting journey under Order of Ennead´s name – having also Kevin Quirion (Council Of The Fallen) on vocals and guitars, Scott Patrick (Resurrection) on bass and a young rookie named John Li taking care of lead guitars.
Order of Ennead´s blend of black- and death metal is somewhat extraordinary: Kevin´s snarling and vicious vocals and crushing guitar riffs, Steve´s thunderous and pounding drums of doom attacks and beautiful piano interludes, Scott well-hitting bass rolls and John´s truly phenomenal lead work – all these together, throw its listeners into an unforgettable and violent musical journey where one necessarily doesn´t want to return back from once paying a visit there. Order of Ennead certainly deliver their goods more than well on their self-titled debut that is supposed to be released by October 13th 2008 through Earache Records.
Steve Asheim reveals more accurate details to Metal-Rules.com about the band – how they got together, what kind of a process it was for them to get their debut album recorded, touring plans – and so forth. Now keep on reading – and praise the Lord Satan!
GETTING STARTED WITH ORDER OF ENNEAD
How are you doing Steve? So, you don´t have any major earthquakes or tornados in Florida area going on right now where you live – well, excluding a lethal tornado named Order of Ennead? ;o)
He-he… No, everything´s good down here. No disasters yet.
Would you say that Order of Ennead is sort of continuum to your previous band Council of the Fallen with Kevin (Quirion) and Scott (Patrick; Resurrection), but just brought on the next level as far the ideology and musical vision of this band are concerned?
Kevin might say it is for him. He wrote and then and he writes now, so the continuum of his efforts remain the same. But for me it´s something new. I had only started working with him under that name just to call it something. But as we progressed it was clear this was something else than what Council of the Fallen was.
Since you have played with Kevin and Patrick before, was it kinda easy to start building up a concept around Order of Ennead, as each of you actually knew in advance how you wanted tis band to sound like?
It was interesting how everything evolved in a very natural way – almost with no effort, just discussion and decision. It all very much followed its own path to completion.
When you recorded your first 3-song demo in November 2007 already (the songs on that demo were "As if a Rose I Wither", "Seeking the Prophets" and "Introspection and the Loss of Denial"), how much these songs did change when you recorded them for your debut album again? Did you do any radical changes to any of the song structures for those three songs in the very question?
We actually demoed the songs 3 times. The first time is when we initially write the song. We capture it on tape as soon as we can get through it once. We then listen to it, and decide what we want to change – if anything, then change it and demo it again. That´s the 2nd demo. The guys woll then build vocals and leads on. If by the time we record the album, if we decide to change anything else, we´ll just do it in the final prep for the recording session.
Then even in January you also recorded your second demo with this line-up – this demo having 5 songs ("Conferring with Demons", "Reflection, an Endless Endeavor", "Dismantling an Empire", "A Cry to the Perilous Sun" and "As Long as I Have Myself I Am not Alone") this time. How much did these demo songs change structurally in the actual album recording when you entered Audio Hammer Studios in June 2008?
Same approach with it as with all the songs. But basically, the only changes are kind of just cosmetic – no total upheavels or re-structuring. That actually happens when we´re discussing the arrangements before the recording of the 1st demo version of each song.
Santiago Nobles (Aghora) who played some guitars in Council of the Fallen before, did some leads for both of your demos. Why didn´t use him for your debut album as a lead shredder then? Did he become so busy with his other band Aghora and other life activities that he couldn´t be used for the recording of your debut album?
That, and he lives along way down the coast in Miami. If he had just lived across town, he probably could have made the time more efficiently. But with him living so far, it was a bit much to ask or expect of him. But he did such a great job on the demos and is a great and creative player.
SIGNING TO EARACHE RECORDS
You approached some labels with your demos, and eventually made your choice and signed a deal with Earache Records. Was one of the reasons for making a deal with Earache the fact Deicide are on the same label – and since they have treated you so well so far, it was actually pretty easy to get Order of Ennead signed to them?
It was the obvious choice on where to begin shopping the demo, though we did try other labels. Earache just seemed the easiest to able to co-ordinate with on the other projects. It’s like no matter what was getting the attention from me at the time, they would be happy either way.
I think for some of us the most interesting person in Order of Ennead is only a 19-year-old John Li, who plays some amazing leads on your debut. You started auditioning lead guitarists on April 2008, and sometime around in May 2008 you chose John as the lead guitarist for Order of Ennead. What were his best assets as a guitarist to make that final impression on you that made you eventually to choose him over some other candidates for the lead guitarist´s position?
For me it was his playing. It was hands down the most suited for what I thought the music needed. Plus his availibility, dedication to craft and proximity, he was the best obvious choice for us.
AT THE RECORDING STUDIO
Could you tell us something about the recording process of Order of Ennead´s debut release? Did you face any major setbacks while recording your instruments for this album?
Recording was smooth. It´s a comfortable process for me, I enjoy it. So if there are any problems, I don´t really see them as such, it´s just something to work out.
How was Mark Lewis (Black Dahlia Murder, Devil Driver, Trivium) as an engineer? Did he give you any useful tips along the way when the recording progressed on?
Mark´s a good kid and a great engineer, but I´ve made enough albums, I know what I wanna hear and how to get there.
What made you choose him over other engineers? I mean, not as any disrect for your choice, but the guy hasn´t produced any real death metal bands earlier, but mainly all of these nu-metal, mallcore or deathcore (or whatever bands – you name them!) bands, so could you kindly kill all of our curiosity why you ended up choosing him to twist the buttons in the studio regarding the recording process of your debut album?
We had a very small budget to record the album with and Morrisound´s availability was not suiting our schedule. Mark offered us a great deal and as much time as we wanted right when we needed it. It was a great offer and after meeting him and hearing some of his work we decided to use him.
Who played all those piano parts for this album? Were those paino parts´ intention to bring in more harmonies and balance to the album, which overall is very darn intense and brutal as wholeness after all?
I play the paino pieces for the record. It was very much an attempt to bring other elements in to the band´s repertoire and to broaden our approach to how we can make music. Can we make solo piano seems relevant to heavy metal? I think so – let´s try it and see what everyone else thinks. It´s maybe a risk but I´m willing to take it.
How much does playing drums in Order of Ennead differ from playing drums in Deicide in your opinion, besides the fact that you use more blast-beats when playing the Order of Ennead´s songs?
The main difference for me is how I get to approach the songs. Less as it´s composer and more as a drummer, which I haven´t gotten to do for a number of years, since I´ve been writing all of Deicide´s music since ´95. It´s cool - it frees up my mind to just be able to focus on drums and drum parts and fills and extra stuff – instead of focusing on just backing up my musical ideas. It´s weird…
Order of Ennead´s self-titled debut will hit the stores on October 13th 2008. What kind of pre-expectations do you have about people´s response toward it?
I honestly think people are ready for a newer twist in metal. All the same old death metal and black metal and whatever metal routines being played out over and over. I think Order of Ennead has its own little niche in the scene to fill.
The lyrical contributon on your debut album, also differs quite much from so-called ´standard black / death metal lyrics´. There´s more deeper thoughts in your lyrics – and overall they are more in-depth than you could possibly find from your avarage black/death metal band´s lyrics. Do you find it kinda annoying that some bands don´t seem to pay enough attention to their lyrics so that the whole package could stand out a bit better, and not just the music only?
Well, that´s what I mean about the same old routines being played out over and over. I know I was ready for something a little different, and I think this is it. The lyrical approach has a lot to do with that.
PLAYING SHOWS AROUND
Order of Ennead already played a show in Ft. Laurendale, Florida with Deicide and Adrift on 13th September 2008. How was the response from the crowd? Were they mostly positively impressed by Order of Ennead´s performance at that particular night?
We did that gig and some gigs on Deicide´s recent Italian tour and the responses from all those gigs were very positive. People are gonna be ready to hear this stuff when it comes out. It was good to get there with it and start generating a buzz from the ground up. It reminds me of when we were getting Deicide started – or Amon actually, back in the day.
What about playing more live with Order of Ennead. Once your album is out, does Earache Records has some serious plans to put Order of Ennead on an extensive tour or something? Can we expect Order of Ennead touring across the world – from Europe to the States to Asia, etc.?
We actually discussed recently getting Order of Ennead some serious touring plans and we expect to get that moving in the right direction soon. They - the label, wanted to judge the initial response from reviews and the band´s enthusiasm for the project before pouring a bunch of resources into the band. But we have decided to go full steam ahead so we will see what can become of this all.
What about time sharing between Deicide and your other band Order of Ennead? Can Deicide still be considered as your main band? I mean, whenever Deicide gets activated for touring, or recording a new album, does Order of Ennead have to put on ice for that time. Is that so?
I don´t think so. There´s a lot of time in year and on paper – enough time to effectively tour both bands. It will be a matter of scheduling and logistics and if everyone co-operates it should be fine.
What can you still remember from the times when you played in Amon in 1987-89 before the name was changed to Deicide? Any ´wild and juicy stories´ from that era, he! ;o)
All kinds of stories, man… Blood, guts, violence, metal… you name it.
One last question before I can release you from my little torture chamber. What do you expect from 2009 as far as Order of Ennaed´s world domination is concerned?
Well, we´ve got to start from the ground up, but it will be interesting to chart the band´s progress – see how far we can go and long it takes to get there. It will be fun. I’m looking forward to the journey.
Thank you Steve so much for all of your efforts to get this interview done. Any last words, perhaps?
Just wanna say thanks a lot for your interest and support and hopefully to see you out at Order of Ennead or Deicide gig soon!