Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Undecimber Interview

 1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
We just finished recording the new album, so we are kind of high on that feeling right now. But then our drummer decided to leave the band shortly after the production was finished. He had private reasons outside of the band to quit so we parted as friends, we wish him the best of luck. The pick of a new drummer fell on Jan Zombie (no relation to Rob), previously from Feed, Phrank and Machinery. He adds a new dimension to the sound with his technical skills and we're having a blast exploring this new side of Undecimber.
2.How would you describe the musical sound of the new album and how how does it differ from the previous recording?
This album is much darker, and more gritty. We flirted a lot with ambient orchestral sounds on the last album, which turned out great but we wanted to make a contrast to that this time. Also, the first album was a selection of our best material at the time, which sort of turned out to be a "Best of Undecimber" album at that point. It was more a compilation of songs with no tie between them. The new album is written conceptually as an album. It is definitely a more unified production. We were also very involved in the mastering process this time, and asked the studio to go crazy on the bottom frequencies. It turned out to sound really badass.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the new release explores?
War, definitely. We felt WW1 and WW2 has been explored to death so we decided to get into the mood of the American Civil War. We actually had a voice actor from Texas to narrate over the intro on the song Solitude to get that genuine southern drawl. The album is not a tribute to war, it's pretty much meant to be from the perspective of a dying soldier. So there's a lot of death, but that goes without saying. As a contrast to death we made the piece Beyond the Grave, a love song dedicated to the city Los Angeles. It was pretty much written in one day, at the Rainbow in Hollywood.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name Undecimber?
Undecimber is Latin, and can be roughly translated into "the thirteenth month". It was coined by Julius Caesar in 44 BC, he added two months to the year to basically squeeze more taxes out of his people. I think we were just perversely attracted to the concept of the number thirteen, Undecimber seemed mystical enough to fit as a band name. Plus, it sounds cool.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Definitely playing at Bar Sinister in Hollywood, LA. The crowd was crazy, and the place is so gothic it stuns you. We played at Whitby Gothic Festival in the UK a couple of times too, people there are just insane and so in tune with the show. We really love Whitby, and the fact that The Sisters of Mercy declined the offer to play the festival is just beyond me. That's just one awesome crowd they'll never have.
6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the touring plans for the new album?
We are exploring the American market since we are getting a lot of attention over there. We're probably starting off with a smaller tour on the west coast. Then we will tour Europe, the UK is still our biggest fan base and we love them back. If we got any juice left after that we might do some shows in Scandinavia, but the blood level in the alcohol system is usually pretty low at that point.
7.The new album came out on Downfall Records, how did you get in contact with this label and also how would you describe the support they have given you so far?
We were looking around for record labels at the time, Downfall Records was the one label that showed some mutual respect and didn't just speak Excel sheets. These guys are actually into music and flirted with us on our level as musicians. I'd say they had us at hello. Given the current situations with the music industry, Downfall walked that extra mile to make Undecimber heard all over the world. They take care of everything that has to do with our album, anything from promotion to distribution. Downfall Records is one of the few real record labels left.
8.On a  worldwide level how has the feedback been to your musci by fans of gothic and metal?
Our US fan base has grown a lot lately, there is something very Scandinavian in our music that makes us exotic with that crowd. Not a lot of Swedish bands manage to make themselves heard in the US so we are truly grateful that they choose to listen to Undecimber. And we always got a great response in the UK which has been a surprise. I mean, they invented goth, but they love Sweden.
9.Are there any other musical projects besides this band?
You'll probably see more of Snakes in some constellation with American musicians. We're going to leave it at that for the moment, it'll be a surprise. Jan Zombie is a wanted pro drummer and does a lot of sessions in between his duty with Undecimber. He's touring Japan a lot.
10.What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
With our new drummer and his musical direction we're probably going to explore the industrial side of Undecimber a lot more. Like, noise industrial. Probably with more rock influenced guitars as a contrast. At one point we discussed the idea to make an album with acoustic versions of selected Undecimber tracks but we're not that kind of band really. It would probably be more fun for us than for the fans.
11.What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
People used to describe us as Rammstein meet Sisters of Mercy, which actually make a lot of sense. There are some more organic sleaze rock feel to some of the songs on the new album too. Sort of like sneaking Mick Mars into the studio while we were asleep, but it's just a flirt and nothing serious. As to what we are listening to, the beauty of Undecimber is that we listen to so vastly different styles of music in the band. And all those influences come together so perfect in Undecimber. But all in all we mostly listen to dark gloomy shit.
12.Outside of music what are some of your interests?
Mizzy is a dedicated scuba diver. Lash is a true horror fan and collects skulls and other weird shit. Jan Zombie’s only hobby seem to be playing drums. Snakes is into custom motorcycle painting. His place look like a graffiti artist had a seizure in there.
13.Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview/
Check out our new album Dead Inside. And thanks for the Jack & Coke, don’t put so much coke in it next time though.

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