Ben Rosputni and Matt Hobart
Interview by Erich Heintzelman
Back before Christmas I was able to interview Matt Hobart and Ben Rosputni from the Phoenix, Arizona band Fracture Point. Fracture Point is a Death/Thrash metal band that is making some noise in the underground with the album INHERIT THE DOWNFALL, which was released on an independent label. The music is technical and bludgeoning and the guys gave me some insight behind the making of the album, their favorite tracks, and what the future holds for Fracture Point. If you have not heard them yet, check ’em out!
First, your album Inherit the Downfall sounds like a lot of time and effort was put into it. How long did it take you to write and record the album?
Ben: About two years full circle. We wrote, practiced and performed during the process. Recording was around a month probably.
Matt H: It took about 10 months of writing songs here and there, then previous to recording we took a hiatus on shows and focused just on writing new material.
How does the writing process work for the band? Do you have a main songwriter or is it more of a collaborative process?
Ben: Musically it’s definitely a collaboration. Lyrically Matt H and I will either write together or tackle certain songs on our own. Depends on how the music comes together. At times writing is extremely difficult when the progressive side of the music shows, I don’t listen to any Progressive Metal.
Matt H: Usually riffs are brought to practice and we all piece them together and do our best to connect one to the other and make them get along with each other and drum patterns. Then Ben will take the song and think on it for about a month or so, maybe utilizing a graphing calculator and an abacus and puts the lyrics to the music.
I must say the album art is quite impressive. Who did the work on that?
Matt H: It was Seth Siro Anton. Known for his fantastic art and also his awesome band Septic Flesh. Check them out if you haven’t heard them yet and his art too!
How would you describe your sound and style?
Ben: Imagine being slapped across the face after being kicked in the nuts with a steel toe boot.
Matt H: Progressive pit metal with lots of groove and some technicality.
Phoenix is a city that seems to breed heavy and aggressive bands like yours and Flotsam and Jetsam for instance. How is the metal scene in Phoenix, and how much of an influence does it have on your music?
Ben: A little better than some I suppose. It’s all about playing faster, harder and meaner than the rest regardless of where you live. Let the performance speak for itself both live and on disc.
Matt H: There is a ton of metal out here in Phoenix. A lot of great bands, and some semi-great bands. Alot of bands that came from previous groups that broke up, and alot of bands with vocalists who like to claw at the air and wear girly pants. They’re quite clique-ish and sometimes don’t like it when you say hello or make eye contact.
Let’s talk about some of the songs. “IED” is a great opening track and has a memorable beginning riff. What is the inspiration behind that one?
Ben: Great question. Matt H wrote that one. It may have been Oreo Cookies and Porn or simply buttered popcorn.
Matt H: This is one of the few songs I (This is Matt H by the way) actually wrote the lyrics to (Ben wrote all the others except for "Inherit the Downfall"). Lyrically the song is about a soldier in the war in Iraq. I was watching the military channel and there was a caravan of tanks on their way to a location through some seriously shady spots that they knew were littered with IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). One of the tanks got hit and there were casualties. I wrote the lyrics from the viewpoint of one of the ones who died. What was going through his head, like if you knew you were about to die, but you were in a war you didn’t really agree with. So some of the verses go back and forth between thoughts of being a hardcore killing machine soldier and questioning oneself and why you’re there. One of the last lines in the song "Why are you praying, God can’t help us now" was actually a few of Pat Tillman’s (former Arizona Cardinal) last words before he died in action.
There are not many guitar solos on the album but “Image” has a nice solo and backing bass rhythm. How do you guys decide when to use a guitar solo in the songs?
Matt H: I think [Matt] Bond actually had the idea to throw a solo in that one. I’m more of a riff guy, and not much of a shred master so that’s why there aren’t too many solos on the album.
There are 12 songs on the album. How many songs did you have to choose from for the album?
Ben: We had some older stuff available and some other stuff that was scrapped. The twelve we ended with were exactly what we planned on recording when we went in the studio.
Matt H: 12… Had to make all of them count. I think we were talking about making a really brutal version of the theme song to Full House as a secret track, but decided against it. Which is probably good because that might have been totally gay.
What choice tracks would you recommend to someone about to listen to your album for the first time?
Ben: I guess it would depend on their taste in metal. I myself being a pretty straight forward metal guy I like my music with groove and good riff construction which leaves the drumming to be the skull cracker. I would say Failure State, Manic Aggression. I am personally a big fan of Witness in the Shroud.
Matt H: Failure State, Inherit the Downfall, Image.
Overall are you happy with the album, and what, if any changes would you make on the next record?
Ben: I’m still trying to figure that out for the next time I’m in the studio. The vocals on Inherit are a mirror of the level I was at in that point in time. Now when we go back in it’ll be a definite progression. The finished product to me is more something I can dissect to make better vocally. I feel I can always improve upon my ability.
Matt H: Extremely. The next record just has to be way better.
There are several different styles of music in this album, from thrash and black metal to metalcore. What bands were your main influences?
Ben: I’ve always found inspiration from the same bands. Occasionally a new group may sneak in but it’s rare. As always it’s Hypocrisy, In Flames, Lamb of God. I can find inspiration in anything aggressive and followable. The more progressive or crazy it gets the less I’m interested.
Matt H: Funny really none of us are too influenced by any of those 3 genres. And honestly there are so many damn bands that influence us it would be hard to make a list. I think we tried on our myspace, check it out.
You guys have a loyal local following and have shared the stage with some big name bands. Do you expect some of the record labels to start taking notice?
Ben: Hopefully. That would definitely be a culmination of a lot of hard work at this point.
Matt H: Yeah I think they’ll take notice, if any of them survive the current musical economic disaster that’s going on right now. They’ll only really notice bands that are already fully funded and have rich grandparents.
Are you guys currently working on any new material?
Ben: Actually yes, we have begun working on number dos as I like to call it. Currently we have two songs written and music for a third near completion. Still in the early stages and we have at least seven or more songs to complete and test out live before we even think about recording.
Matt H: Absolutely. Got 2 new songs were playing live and one very nice one we’re polishing now.
What can fans expect out of Fracture Point over the next year?
Ben: I guess time will tell. We are pretty focused on finishing up the couple of shows we have left and start concentrating on writing. Hopefully we will be back in the studio in the first half of 2010 and continue on our path of destruction.
Matt H: New material, plenty of shows, brutal pits, debauchery, and recovery.
Thank you for the interview. Keep us posted on your next release and thanks again!
Ben: No thank you!!
Matt H: Thanks Erich!