Memoriam – Karl Willetts Frank Healy Scott Fairfax

May 20th, 2017
by Arto Lehtinen

INTERVIEW WITH MEMORIAM 

(Karl Willets and Frank Healy and Scott Fairfax)

Interview and pics by Arto Lehtinen

How many of you still adore the old death metal gems Bolt Thrower and Benediction? If so, get your eyes and ears on Memoriam feat. Karl Willits and Andy Whale from Bolt Thrower, Scott Fairfax and Frank Healy from Benediction. Memoriam definitely stand for the old school death metal spirit. Their debut  album, FALLEN, is a brilliant piece of evidence for this old school approach. Metal-Rules.com sat down with the whole band (minus the drummer) and then finally with the singer Karl Willets to talk about the album and beyond. 


FORMING MEMORIAM

When Memoriam was formed, did you want to start a new era with the band and did you feel that you have some kind of pressure because you have a past with classic bands?

Karl : Absolutely, yeah. That’s a good question. I think that the opportunity to do Memoriam is really…We wiped the slate clean. It’s a complete new fresh start for us all. Of course, we have the heritage of what we’d done previously in our other bands, so we were aware of that.

There is, as you say, a certain amount of pressure on us at that. Comparisons are always going to be made about what we’ve done in the past. As I said, we’re proud of our musical heritage and a lot of what we do now, it does draw reference to the past. To make sense of where we’re at now and move to the future, you do have to draw reference to the past.

We are building on what we have achieved. We’re not really starting from the bottom run again, really. We are at a very privileged position because we’ve worked and been seen in the metal industry for 30 years or so. We are starting Memoriam from a slightly elevated position.

We’re drawing on the fan bases from our previous bands and the influence is there and always will be because that’s who we are as people. My vocal style is, my vocal style and it won’t change. It’s slightly adapted and changed to suit and to fit and do what I want to do, which is great.

We got complete and creative freedom with Memoriam which is what makes it such an exciting project or band to work with. I won’t call it a project. It is a band in its own right. There’s no set formulas that we have to work to, which was fairly restrictive, I found in the bands that I’ve been involved with. There is a complete new feel that Scott Fairfax here brings along. He’s the main contributor to the song writing process.

Scott :  It’s all my fault.

Karl  :  Yes, it is all his fault. It’s been logged that we did want to just -The whole concept of the band, really, was just to have some fun. That is, really, the bottom line of what we doing here. We just want to enjoy what we do and create a bit of joy in our lives.The original concept was to just get together and have a crack with some mates – Do some cover songs and…

Scott  : …And go to rehearsal.

Karl : Yeah, just go to rehearsals, bust out some cover songs, and maybe do some local gigs. That’s all the intention in the first place was all about. Then this one here – He said to us, “Hold on just a second. It’s all very good doing this, but I’ve got a few ideas for some songs that might work.” When he fired over some songs to us which was in about December 2015, that’s when it all changed. The whole concept changed completely because the songs that Scott has put together…

Scott : There’s a couple that were pretty complete, weren’t there?

Karl :  Yeah, absolutely. Within a matter of a month, we had two or three completely new original songs and we just built it from there. It’s sheer pleasure to be doing it.

When members of classic bands start a new band, the fans can sometimes be a little bit picky.  When you put an album out they’re monitoring it  – “Okay, Bolt Thrower and Benediction guys involved” – and they compare it to the other stuff. Did you think in your mind what the fans might think of your new band?

Karl : Yes, absolutely. That’s a good question. To be perfectly honest, we just did it for ourselves.

Frank :  We still do.

Karl : We don’t really give a fuck what anyone else thinks, to be perfectly honest.

Is it more like a punk attitude?

Karl : Yeah. We just want to do it for ourselves. It just happens to be a bit of a bonus that everyone actually does quite get what we’re doing. I think people have grown up listening to the music we played with the other bands, and they appreciate what we’re trying to do, and they understand where we’re coming from as well.

Frank : It’s an honest band though, isn’t it, because we’re wearing our hearts on our sleeves with the lyrics and everything. We’re very open. Death metal tends not to be, isn’t it? It’s just about death, and gore and horror, but this one is about love and loss.

Karl : Yeah, it’s very relevant. We’re singing about things, the lyrical content, in particular, is about stuff that’s going on in the world around us right now. We have said previously that we’re trying out new things. We’re a four-piece, so the dynamics of the music we’re creating is different. We’ve got that open, blank canvas to try out new things on the new album with new samples, which we wouldn’t have even contemplated using with the other bands.

A lot of the lyrical content is a lot more overtly political as well, which I probably would have strayed away from doing with the other bands as well. Yeah, we’re trying out new things and the bottom line is that we’re just doing it for ourselves.

Scott : And we’re having a laugh doing it as well.

Karl : We’re having a laugh. Every Thursday and Friday we go to rehearsals. It’s the highlight of the week for us all. We used to have a great crack and anything else on top of that is an absolute bonus.

Frank : It helps with creation as well. All the time it’s just new songs, new songs, new songs.

Like an endless resource of writing riffs and creating ideas?

Frank : We’ve still got 8 songs from last year from the Hellfire era that still haven’t been used yet. We’re trying to piece them now with all of the new stuff that we’re writing. We’ve got an album more or less ready now.

Karl : It’s all about being a band, really. For me, it was all about being creative and writing new material and doing these things.

 

BEING CREATIVE

I read your interview in the Terrorizer magazine as you said that “When Bolt Thrower kind of went on hiatus – and now it’s gone, basically – Memoriam has given more creative aspect for you and other guys and you find a new way and enjoy writing more music nowadays”.

Frank :  Nothing is out of bounds for him to write as far as we’re concerned. If it concerns him enough to write it, then it’s important enough for him to write it. We don’t say as a death-metal band that there’s certain subject you can do. Which a lot of bands do. They put themselves into a corner and you get trapped in that one type of lyrical subject.

Karl, he’s got absolute freedom. Some of the stuff, I might not agree with in the future, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be allowed to say it. Do you know what I mean? I don’t necessarily agree with him politically on certain subjects, but that doesn’t mean he can’t say it. It’s stuff like that. He’s using words like “Love” and “Lust”, which are not used in our genre of music really.

Karl : I have a platform.

Frank :He’s got that freedom to do that.

Karl :  I have a soup box and I intend to use it.

Frank : It’s nearly 30 years, you’ve got something to say.

Karl : Musically, the inspiration. A lot of it all comes from Scott. Scott is maybe from a different generation of influence than the rest of us in the band.

Scott :  Ten years later really, isn’t it.

Karl :  He brings a different kind of influence and that’s what creates what we doing and that’s what gives us that different edge to what we’re doing. It pushes us beyond the boundaries of what we were doing before. It would of been very easy to become…

Scott :  … A carbon copy.

Karl : A Bennie-Bolt Thrower. A benediction, Bolt Thrower kind of a copy. That would have been very easy territory to go down and we just don’t want to do that.

Scott : It’s not saying that we’re not going to write a rift that sounds like Bolt Thrower. If it’s good, we’re going to use it.

Did you miss writing new songs and lyrics because Bolt Thrower released the last album Once Those Loyal in 2005, and the latest Benediction album came out almost 10 years ago?

Frank : In 2008.

Karl : It’s been a long, long, long time since we’ve actually been within that creative process. As I said previously, being in a band, for me, is all about that creative process. I found not being able to do new things, ultimately, very frustrating. Very, very, very…It was great to go out there and do the odd half a dozen gigs a year and play the old songs over and over again, brilliant, but it’s almost like being a cover band in a way.

With Memoriam, it’s a whole new chapter for me and all of us in our lives. To be able to create new songs and at the rapid pace in which they’re coming. That fire that we’ve got, that creative fire, is really, really strong within us. We really enjoy that song-writing process and Long may that last. It’s fantastic to be in this position. We feel very privileged at this stage of our lives to be able to do that.

Frank : Technically, we could do a double album if we wanted to.

Karl : Yeah. Potentially, we’ve got three or four albums in the bag.

Frank : It comes out fast and furious, because once he bounces the main crux of the rifts and that, we’re all, “We’ll do this bit with that bit and that, with that…” And then that’s that song done. Suddenly, another one will come in. We’ve got about 15 or 16, haven’t we?

Scott : Yeah, definitely.

Karl  : I think we, kind of, build on our experience within the industry. We know what we do and we know what’s shit and we know what’s good.

Frank :  We don’t mind telling each other what’s shit.

 

The war theme is part of the lyrics as well as political issues. I guess the political matter is coming from your punk background?

Karl :  Indeed, absolutely. I think the difference with Memoriam is that we’re a band that’s been born out of a situation. We’re a band that was born out of grief and out of sorrow. The lyrical content on the album maintains the connection to the war theme. Which is always going to be a theme that is always going to be in the words that I write. It’s an endless eternal issue and an endless source of inspiration for me.

“Last Words” on the album, the last song, is a classic example of that. On this new album, with Memoriam, I’ve got the creative freedom to explore different platforms on different avenues. Yeah, I am talking about issues in the world that I find affect me directly. With the songs that I mentioned before like, “Reduced to Zero” and “Corrupted System”. They’re all borne out of anger of the system that we live in, the rise of right-wing ideology.

The brexit is a massive issue for me. I’ve got to that point in my life where I really don’t give a fuck what people think. I want to say what I want to say about things. I think as a musician or as an artist, you have to get above the parapet and say what you want or what you feel. It’s no point hiding behind your ideals or burying your head in the sand. You‘ve got to actually try and make a difference.

Try and challenge people’s ideals and make people try and think about things in different ways. Yes, there’s a lot of different aspects and a lot of different avenues that I’ve gone down with Memoriam. It’s not strictly about war anymore.

War can be related in many ways to the general war of life, which I have always harped back to. There are other avenues that I’m quite proud to explore and yes, you’re right that does come down to my heritage, and my punk background, and where I originally come from. I haven’t been able to do that in the past. The freedom to be able to do that right now is absolutely liberating.

Scott : It’s the same with everyone. Everyone is allowed to do what they want. Andy can do whatever drum beats he wants, I can do whatever guitar, Frank does whatever bass, and it all comes together.

BEING ON NUCLEAR BLAST

When speaking of the industry, you are now with Nuclear Blast. You’re, basically in good hands right now.

Karl : Absolutely. Talking of Nuclear Blast, from my point of view, I’ve never been on a record label that’s been more supportive and more enthusiastic about what you do. The overwhelming support that they’ve provided us with for “The Fallen”…

Frank  : I don’t think that they know what the word, “No” means, do they.

Karl : They can’t do enough. It feels like being part…Without sounding clichéd, it just feels like being a part of a big family. They are a part of what we’re doing and our success. A lot of it is down to the effort they’ve put in.

Frank : You’re not fighting with the label. A lot of bands end up fighting with the label. We’re with the label and the label is with us.

Benediction has been on Nuclear Blast since the beginning.

Frank : That’s part of it. I’ve got a good long working relationship.

Karl : They’ve opened up the door for us, really.

Did you try to even shop Memoriam to other labels or was Nuclear Blast the priority number one for you?

Karl : We were approached by several labels, but it was Nuclear Blast that actually picked up.They were the ones that initially showed the interest, and because Frank’s got that working relationship with him already. Frank had that working relationship with Nuclear Blast, so we knew it was going to work anyhow, when they approached us.

When we started out, we didn’t really think any further than doing local gigs and maybe putting out our own seven inch. Doing ourself for these things. When they came along the offer they gave us was very good and we would have been stupid to turn it down. It was a no-brainer really. Being involved with Nuclear Blast has opened a lot of doors for us that maybe we couldn’t have opened ourselves. It’s worked really well.

Bolt Thrower used to be at Metal Blade and I guess they had to be interested in Memoriam.

Karl : They did, but they played interest too late. They weren’t first to the table.

Frank : The deal was done and dusted by the time I asked.

Karl : The early bird catches the worm.

 

USING THE TECHNOLOGY WHEN CREATING MUSIC

How do you know that  this riff is for Memoriam and this one is for Benediction, or even for  Sacrilege?

Frank : You don’t. If it sounds right and we like it, we use it.

Karl : Yeah, if it works; it works.

Frank : If sounds like Sacrilege, we’ll use it. If it sounds like Benediction, we’ll use it. We don’t care.

Karl : That’s why the songs come together so quickly. That’s why the song writing process is such an easy pleasurable process, because Scott here, comes off the rifts, Frank has got so much experience in actually structuring songs as well over the years. He comes up with the mid-sections and the bridges. The starts and the finishes.

We’ve actually got a song before we even go into the rehearsal room. With technology as well, we can forward each of them on mp3 before we even go rehearsal room.

Scott :  Stick them all in Dropbox. There you go.

Frank : You have the chance to listen to it before you go to the rehearsal room and it comes together really quickly.

 

It’s much easier when you use the Dropbox and you can listen to the music in advance and then you edit it together in the rehearsal place, right ?

Frank : I think you’d be a very stupid band not to use technology nowadays. All these people say, “Old school in the rehearsal room…” Fuck off!

Scott : There’s a lot of people who have wrote a riff and forgot it. I try and get it recorded and then it’s there.

Karl : That’s what makes the song writing process so quick.

Frank : If it’s a rift I keep remembering six, seven months down the line, it’s usable. Even though he’s probably got bored of it because he wrote it two years ago…

Scott  : …Or totally forgot about it.

Frank : It doesn’t mean it’s not any good and if it sticks in my head then we’re using it. It’s as simple as that.

Scott : What if I’ve learnt it again?

Where do you get the ideas for a riff?

Scott : I just play along. You sit and home and mess about and, “That’s good, I’ll use that.”It’s nothing. There’s no technicality to it. You just playing the guitar.

 

DAN SEAGRAVE’S COVER ART

The front cover of The Fallen album, is it somehow related to the lyrics and did you give all the details to Dan Seagrave?

Karl : Yes.

Scott : Yeah.

What kind of details did you give? Did you have some kind of ideas how it’s supposed to look?

Karl : Certainly, yes. I mean, from the onset we all had our own things that we wanted to do within Memoriam. We had things that we wanted to achieve. One of those things that Scott, in particular, wanted to achieve was that he wanted Dan Seagrave.

Frank : That was it. I didn’t want anything else.

Karl : That was why we approached Dan Seagrave in the first place. We weren’t sure whether he would be able to fit us into his fairly busy itinerary-He’s very, very popular. We gave him a very brief overview of what we wanted. I think the design brief we said we wanted a funeral procession across a devastated battlefield with a kind of ethereal feel to it. We sent him some songs, and the subject of the lyrics, and the song titles. From that he drew inspiration to create the album cover that he created. We’ve seen the album cover come through from the initial sketches from when he first started to put the sketches together back in September, 2015?

Frank : Yeah, September.

Karl : We’ve seen it develop and develop into what it is and what it finally was. We’re absolutely blown away it goes hand-in-hand with what we’ve created musically and lyrically. We’re really proud of the album cover.

Frank : If we never did another album, we’d be happy with that we would be remembered for that.

Karl : Absolutely, yeah

Scott : I just remember looking at the early Suffocation Effigy Of The Forgotten, Benediction or Morbid Angel and so on.

Karl : Yeah, Altars is the big inspiration for us. It was great having him on-board and he really got it. He really understood where we were coming from. It’s very solemn and quite ethereal in its concept

Scott : Every time you look at it there’s something else.

Karl : Yeah, the detail in there is absolutely amazing. He’s done us proud with that and we’re very, very pleased with the way that that’s come out. We were just worried at one stage that we got the album cover. So I was just thinking, “That’s a great album cover. Let’s hope we can create an album which matches the quality of that.” But, we have and it’s been well received and we’re very pleased with the reception it’s had.

It’s very sad because it goes out as a  CD or MP3 file, but if its released a real vinyl then you are able to see all of the details.

Frank : We based it on vinyl. We wanted it as a gatefold from the very inception.

Karl : It’s because we come from that era of vinyl, you know, or gatefold. That’s what we had in mind.

Frank : That’s our mind-set. We always think of it as a gate fold, the album cover.

Karl : Yeah, the original inception, we had that.

What did Nuclear Blast think about the cost? It costs anyway to print that kind of cover.

Frank : It cost us more. The budget, we went two thirds over the budget that they gave us, but they didn’t mind because they were behind us. They just let us…

Karl : They kind of understood what we were trying to achieve.

Scott : And, they know what we wanted.

Frank : And they let us. It’s kind of like they haven’t said no to anything.

Karl : Well, it’s Markus at the end of the day. Mark runs the label and has been into what we’ve been doing for 30 years-

Frank : I think he’s a fan of the band, really.

Karl :He’s followed us. And, we’ve seen him and his business grow, purely off the passion that he’s got for what he does. It kind of goes hand-in-hand with what we’re doing, so it is a pleasure to work with him.

A BIT OF BENEDICTION AND SACRILEGE 

You are doing more gigs than Bolt Thrower did during the last 10 years ?

Karl : Yes, absolutely.

Frank : That’s a conscious thing we’re doing though.

Scott :  We like playing live.

Karl : When Martin died and it all stopped and I thought, “Well, what do I enjoy doing in my life?” And what I enjoy doing in my life is being in a band and doing gigs. I’d always felt frustrated doing…It was great, don’t get me wrong, but by just doing a handful of shows a year, I just felt that it was a waste because life is short. One thing that we’ve learnt is that life is short. You don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow or in the next six months. So, enjoy it and grasp what you can in life and do what you can.

Frank : Do as much whilst you can before they say you fucking in can’t.

Karl : We’re absolutely having a blast. We’re absolutely having a blast doing this and we’re really enjoying it. We enjoy it and you’ve got to embrace the things that you enjoy in life and do it as much as you can, while you can.

Frank : It also helps that the four of us are good mates.

Bolt Thrower started doing less and less gigs and obviously Benediction are not that…

Frank : We’re just lazy. It’s the same principle as Karl with his lyrics. I’ve got this backlog of stuff I’ve written, and written, and written. That’s just not been used and what I do now is, I’ll bounce a bit off Scott and he’ll say, “Yeah, that…We can use that bit over there…” We bounce off each other.

 I can’t help now asking what’s the current status of Benediction now?

Frank : We’re writing.

When are you going to get back into the studio?

Frank : Yeah, 2018. We won’t get in the studio this year, because also don’t forget you’ve also got Dave, the singer, who’s in Anaal Nathrakh as well. They’re out touring as well. Rooie and Daz are the two main songwriters. We’ve got about four good songs at the moment and they’re busy writing more.

What do these main guys of Benediction think about you forming Memoriam?

Scott :  Very, very supportive.

Frank : Daz, he just lives for Benediction, that’s all he does.

Scott : He’s only ever been in Benediction, I think.

Frank : He wishes us all the best, but he’s not really bothered about what I do outside of Benediction. He’s very focused. No, there is an album coming.

Do you think that it’s possible for you , the Memoriam and Benediction to do the same gig in the same night or is it physically impossible?

Frank : No, I can do that.

What about Sacrilege?

Frank : They never play live. Studio only. There’s new album coming from that, a mini album as well. They never play live, ever. Not that we wanted it that way. That’s just the way it is because Tam, the singer, doesn’t want to.

DISCUSSION WITH KARL WILLETS 

Memoriam, basically, formed as a tribute to the late drummer of Bolt Thrower. Is the album basically also a tribute?

Karl : Yeah. In general losing Kiddie was the catalyst of the start. That’s why we got together in the first place. Without his loss, probably, we’d have carried on doing our own thing and our own channels. Yes, definitely Kiddie is the catalyst. The album, in a way, is a direct tribute to him. The first song, “Memoriam” is a specific tribute to Kiddie, himself.

The album, itself, is a tribute to Kiddie, but also more generally to those that we’ve all lost in our lives. It’s something that we can all relate to. We’ve all lost people that we care for and that we all love. It’s just really a tribute to that. To loss in general.

As you said, you’re very excited with Memoriam, because you got more and more ideas for the next album.

Karl : Absolutely, yeah. There’s tons of ideas. We’ve already got. Lyrically, I’m drawing from direct experiences in my life as well. I think, before I talked about things, but they were kind of like almost subverted within the theme of war. Now, I’m kind of open about things that affect me in my life.

For example, we’re doing a new song for our next album, which is called “Stare Into the Abyss”, which is all about dementia. I’m, at the moment, experiencing it with my mother. She’s 90 years old and she’s suffering from dementia.

I think it’s important to actually draw on the relevant aspects of your own life and convey them, because a lot of people can relate to that as well. As we all get older as well, there are all these things to experience. We all experience these things and so we can share these ideas and these feelings.

It’s almost, Memoriam is more of a, kind of, cathartic experience for me as well. It’s a way to express my feelings more openly as well. Why we did it in the first place is it was the best way I could actually pay tribute to Martin as well. Openly celebrating his life through the lyrics.

What other choice did I have? To sit down doing nothing? Wait for things happen that may never have happened or get up off my backside and make something happen.

How far are you going to open your life in the lyrics? What is the limit?

Karl : I don’t think there’s any limit really. I think as an artist you have to really be able to know that and have that time. I think that maybe come from getting older as well and being a little bit more confident in your ability as well.

I think it’s something that I hold myself to. It’s to be true with what I’m saying and also to the audience that I’m talking to. You have to be true to what you’re saying. At this stage in my life, if I was saying something that I didn’t believe in, people would see straight through that. You have to be passionate about what you’re singing and what you believe in.

I am passionate about the rise of right-wing ideology, which I find extremely fearful. It features in “Reduced to Zero”, “Corrupted System”. Brexit was a massive influence as well.

The brexit plan.

Karl : I’m totally full European. Our whole career has been based on the freedom of movement across Europe.


I wonder what’s going to happen, because it sounds very confusing when you read news like that. All of a sudden, the Brit is going away from the European Union. Then all of a sudden, they are not going anywhere. I don’t know what’s happening.

Karl : Absolutely, it’s almost…As with America, it’s caused a massive division within the country. They are no longer the “United” States of America, we’re no longer the “United” Kingdom. We’re very divided in our opinions. It seems to have polarized people. It’s all driven by fear. The world that we live in should be all about acceptance of difference and embracing people for who they are and what they are. Accepting people for being different. That’s what makes the world an interesting place.

If we’re all sitting in one place and we all have this same ideals, that’s no way for a civilization to go. I find it a very exciting and an interesting time. The one thing that may be come positive about it is that there are a lot of reaction with politics coming out.

There are a lot of people standing up and resisting to what’s going on and we do see the younger people getting more politicized. Which is great. I think from my life, for the past 20, 30 years, we’ve been actively discouraged to be political by the media and by the power that was in place.

And social media is a powerful influence on what the people think.

Karl : Absolutely. They’ll have a massive influence on the way people lead their lives and things like that. Consumerism has been a massive…People have really stopped thinking about the good of everyone and really started to think about what they want themselves.

You know, they’d like a bigger TV, they’d like a bigger car and that’s got to stop. At some point in life, that’s got to stop. The one thing I can only see positive coming out of all of this negative right-wing bullshit, is that people will start standing up against it and start making a stand and become more politicized. I hope.


I remember when Margret Thatcher was in the government and in power in the UK, people lost jobs and there were completely riots and bomb strikes…

Karl : Yeah, absolutely. That’s the era that we were born out of. We grew up in that kind of like Thatcher era. You know Falkland’s War saved her. A great loss of life, but the flag wavers came out and put her in power for a bit longer.

We grew up with that. I was directly affected by that. My dad lost his job because of a riot as a production manager at Land Rover as a result of the political situation. The rise of technology as well. I think there’s a direct correlation, very similar the times are right now to how they were back then. It’s a challenge to ideology.

Was this a good time to have the platform for starting bands?

Karl : We had someone to rail against. We had a system that was in place that we disagreed with and the music was a result of that like, our voicing our opinion of contempt against this system. Maybe for the past 20 years that has been on the back burner, but now is the time. Hopefully, we might see a whole range of new voices coming out and stating their discontent or the contempt of the system that’s out there.

Long may it last and that’s what makes metal such an exciting platform and an exciting thing to be involved with, because each generation comes along and creates its own sense of identity within that. That’s what makes it a great place to be in.

When the depression was in the early ‘90s, that was a real, in my opinion, platform for death metal and black metal bands as young people started to express their voices because they had no jobs and so on.

Karl : Yeah, absolutely.

I suppose, basically,  it was a desperate time for people that have a specific feeling.

Karl : Absolutely. For me, from my generational perspective, I may not like the newer types that come out or the different opinions that come out in metal. It may not sit well with me, but I understand now, at my point of life, that it has to happen. People have to create their own identity. You have to make a sense of belonging and create an identity and a scene that relates to them.

I didn’t agree with the black metal thing. I was totally opposite from where I’m coming from. Now, a few years down the line, I understand it a lot more, I think, and realize that it’s part of people trying to assert their own personal identity and create something new and exciting that they belong to. That’s what it’s all about. Identity and belonging.

This made me wonder, what is the difference with young Karl and Karl nowadays? 

Karl :  Yeah. I think I’m a bit wiser, a bit more knowledgeable, a bit more worldly wise. A bit less…What’s the word? A bit less…A bit calmer in my approach to life.

Less cynical?

Karl : Yes, maybe less cynical. I think having children as well. I’ve got two kids. That makes you a bit more attuned to the world that you live in as well. It makes you a bit more sympathetic to the world that you live in as well. It gives you a different perspective on life because you’re almost starting to live your life again through their eyes.

Yeah, I think it puts you in line and in tune with the world you live in. I think I’m generally a lot more a bit more balanced maybe and a little less reactive in my stance and a bit more confident in my approach to life. I know who I am, I know where I’m going, and I’m enjoying it.

I usually conclude the interviews by asking the guy what are the five essential albums that shaped his music taste in their youth and still. What about you?

Karl :  Yeah, you tend to. I’m entirely stuck in the ‘80s, music wise. For me, the great bands that have influenced me in metal are, obviously, Sacrilege, “Behind the Realms of Madness” was a massive impact on me and how I do it. Antisect, “In Darkness There Is No Choice”, is a massive, massive influence on how I view life. Crass, “Discharge” …But then metal as well, kind of like that…The growing crust-punk kind of thing was big for me in the UK.

All the early Slayer, Haunting in the Chapel, Celtic Frost, you know, all of those loads of…Those are the songs that…They are the stuff I still listen to. I find it hard to get beyond those songs because, without trying to sound negative, but a lot of the bands that I hear today are just weak copies of the past.

I am pretty much stuck in the past, but there is a lot of exciting things going on out there. I had an interview with a good prospect for the future. There’s some great bands that are doing some exciting stuff out there and the future lies in their hands. Long may it proceed.

All right. Thank you very much.

Karl :   Good man. Thank you.

 

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