Here is a fresh new interview for all you guys and I can not be more excited about it. This time I got a chance to interview fresh five-headed metal band from London, Ontario called DeSever. These guys are only about a year old and they already gained a solid fan base. Well, if you work hard and if you don’t give up, you know a bright future is ahead of you. They started playing trash metal, but since every member has his own style they expanded to other sub-genres. Even if they are trying to play powerful and high energy metal, they are still down to get a cover done that you normally won’t expect from a metal band.
All this and tons of more in the interview below. Enjoy reading.
1. Can you guys please introduce yourself first. Who you are, where do you come from and what kind of metal you play?
Well, although we come from different cities, we’re all currently situated in London, Ontario. We all met in college, being classmates in Fanshawe’s Music Industry Arts program.
It’s actually been kind of difficult lately to describe our sound under one sub-genre. We definitely started out writing thrash metal, but all of our members have different styles, so we’ve expanded from that and we now have elements of groove, death, progressive, a whole bunch of stuff. Mainly we try and play powerful, high energy metal.
2. You are quite a fresh band. Does this mean your friendship is also fresh, or do you know each other for a longer time?
Some of us started writing together about a year ago from now, but we haven’t been a full band for that long yet. Our friendship is about as fresh as out band is, but we’ve been working hard, so we’ve gotten to know each other quickly. Playing shows all summer has definitely sped up the “band bonding” process, haha. We met at college last September, all taking the same program. It was Adam and Gibson that first hooked up and began writing together, acquiring Jeff as vocalist shortly afterwards. As time progressed, and with more songs being written, the band added Tyndall early in the new year and acquired a drummer. It wasn’t until mid September of this year that Matt was approached to join the band as replacement. They had heard his previous works, and joined forces.
3. What’s up with the name DeSever? Tell us it’s origin.
It means “to re-attach”. We found out later that the word “desever” is an actual word, but it has a different meaning than ours. Adam and Gibson wanted a name that was unique, and close enough to real word that it would still make sense to people. So “DeSever” sounded cool, we went with it and we’ve gotten good reception from it.
Jeff: Well, first thing’s first… we all have to somehow get there! It’s easy to play local shows, but when we start travelling, it becomes more of a challenge this early on. It doesn’t stop us, but it certainly helps when we’re able to arrive early and settle in. It gives us time to mingle and get comfortable, but also time warm up and get ready. Jumping jacks and breathing exercises for me!
Can G: I’ll warm up unplugged and have max 2-3 beers to settle the nerves. And poop, that’s essential.
Matt: Warming up to my pre-show playlist is a must, followed by some brief meditating just before hitting the stage.
5. When did you get into metal music? For any specific reason?
Jeff: I think I first started listening to metal when I was about 12 or 13. I always enjoyed heavier, darker types of music, but before that, I only had what I was exposed to – stuff like Rob Zombie or whatever. Sometimes I think I got into the idea of metal before I acquired the taste for the music itself. Beyond the intensity, technicality, and everything else, I think a big part of why a lot of people love metal is being able to identify yourself with something huge.
Cam G: My brother bought me AC/DC “Stiff Upper Lip” when I was around 12 or 13, and that was so much more powerful that any of the stuff I had before, it was raw. I don’t remember how, but I progressed right into Megadeth from there. “Rust In Peace” made me pick up guitar and start teaching myself. It also spun from the fact that I’d had 10 year of classical piano lesson up until then, and I was sick of being told what to play. So I grabbed a guitar and progressively got into heavier music. 80’s thrash has a special place in my iTunes library, something about that energy is awe inspiring.
Cam T: I started listening to metal at the age of 12. My cousin introduced me to some heavier music such as All That Remains. I was blown away by the virtuosity of the guitars and the tightness and speed of the drums. I had never heard screamed or growled vocals before, and I liked them. Within a year I was listening to many different styles of metal, and I started to step back and fully appreciate the mass diversity of the genre.
Matt: The earliest I started listening to metal would have been during my high school years around 2005. I started out in the hardcore/metalcore scene, but have since vastly expanded my musical horizons into the sea of metal’s sub genres. I think it’s the complexity of the layering and arrangements that grasps my attention the most, with abstract/intricate lyrical content at a close second.
Adam: My brother got me into Metallica and Megadeth and even Korn when I was 14, so I’ve been listening to metal for almost 15 years.
6. Do you ever play covers? Why yes, why no?
Jeff: We have only played one so far, but we’ve been working on a couple. We’ve come across ideas of covering Metallica and Pantera songs as a tribute: we feel our audience would really dig hearing our renditions of the classics. We’ve also done a cover of a Spice Girl song though, so I guess it just depends on what side of the bed we wake up on.
Cam G: We did the Spice Girls as part of the college project, we’ve been too busy writing new material to lean more covers. Google that Spice Girl’s cover though if you want to hear something left field.
Jeff: For people with an open mind, I think metal is inspirational and eye-opening. A lot of people see metal as a negative thing, but for me, it’s empowering. I’ve been exposed to a lot of different way of thinking, whether it be from a political or religious point of view, or just life itself. Whether I’m happy, sad, angry, or indifferent, metal has always been something I can turn to, and come out on top. It’s hard to feel alone if you’re a metalhead.
Cam G: Affecting the world around me? Well they keep blaming those school shooting on metal, which is total bullshit, so right now metal is globally seen as negative by the majority of population. Maybe that’s why he love it, but we also know what it’s really about, and millions of people share that feeling with us. Metal fans are a huge community, you won’t find better people out there.
Cam T: I think people tend to fear what they don’t understand, but there’s an undeniable allure to this music. When I was first getting into metal, I though that a lot of it was absurd, especially lyrically. I saw these bands writing about hatred and murder and all kinds of taboo subject matter and though it was so off kilter compared to music I had been exposed to before. I soon, however, grew to appreciate the intensity and catharsis of metal. Its in many ways the same as watching horror film for entertainment, and also at times like reading a challenging novel that takes patience to fully grasp. Metal is not for everyone, but I sincerely believe it is a style of music that everyone should give a solid chance. Metal brings people who share the interest together, which is a beautiful thing. Saying that Cannibal Corpse albums should banned in certain countries because their lyrics promote violence is as silly as saying that The Catcher in the Rye should be banned from public schools because it turns people into Mark David Chapman.
Matt: I don’t think metal (or any genre of music for that matter) affects a person’s outlook on the world or how they operate. Music is meant as accompaniment, as soundtrack if you will, to the personal cinematic experience we call life. It is a reflection of our internal struggles, our emotions, our visions of the future and the past. Or it can simply act as an escape from the mundane existence that resists change in the same way a novel, TV series, or video game can. If anything were to change because of these additional experiences it would be because our minds weren’t concrete in that mindset, technically allowing any aspect to intervene in it stability.
Adam: The people around me who don’t like metal are starting to open up to it more by witnessing the love I have for DeSever and the growing potential were gaining.
8. Your current top 3 bands.
Jeff: Behemoth, Killer Be Killer and Sentenced.
Cam G: Skeletonwitch, Slash and Exodus.
Cam T: Opeth, Mars Volta and Death.
Matt: Between The Buried And Me, Erra and Vildhjarta.
Adam: Revocation, Killer Be Killer and Sylosis.
9. What advice would DeSever give to fellow bands?
Jeff: Don’t give up once you’ve found your band! If you’ve found a group of musicians that you get along with, and you’re digging the tunes you’re making, keep at it. Don’t let your ego get in the way… Keep getting tight, keep progressing. In the end, that’s all the matters… the music. It won’t be easy but with had work, and good music, everything else will eventually fall into place. And hey! If it doesn’t, you just have to do what makes you happy.
Cam G: Be prepared to not make much money for a long time. Up to 10 years, maybe even more. I’m not speaking from experience, but I see that a lot. Despite that, if this is really what you want to do, you won’t give up. Persevere, and take control of everything that you can affect as a band, and do something about it. This goes beyond the music and the shows, learn about recording, management, producing, tour rig setup, literally everything. And be friendly to everyone, you never know when someone who can help you in a big way is in the audience.
Matt: Die for your craft. The commitment needed to surpass the thousands of others doing the exact same thing is excruciating and unfathomable. Do what you love, let your passion dictate your direction as oppose to others, and break as many genre boundaries as you can. And always be practicing, with or without your band members, and sometimes even without your instrument. Having a tight performance is more than just playing everything in time; its about working off each other’s energies, the crowd’s, and your own to bring the song to life. Believe in yourself and always ask for advice if you think something isn’t up to par.
Jeff: At this point, it’s free promotion. People don’t steal your music because they DON’T like you. It’d be nice to make death metal and see every penny for your work, but we’re in an age now, where you need to think outside the box. There will always be ways to make money with your music, and it’s just a question of how you’re going to mold into the evolving industry. For example, maybe look at who’s stealing your music most, and go tour there!
Cam G: You just have to be thinking forward and creatively all the time. Give your fans a good reason to buy your music instead of pirate it. I still think if someone were to steal our songs, it’s still a compliment. I’d rather them have it on their iPod that not have it.
Cam T: Necessary evil. Taking music sales of the picture for artists makes it much more challenging to make profit, but in today’s industry there are other methods of making up for lost pocket weight. Music should be about the listeners, and no one can deny that having pretty much everything ever recorded at their finger tips is a great way to capitalize on the extensive source of aural pleasure that is music.
Matt: Piracy is an evil that won’t be leaving anytime soon, or ever. At the stage we’re at right now it’s not do much a problem, but once we get more of a fanbase, especially more so on the internet than our physical distribution reaches, the only logical place the outliers can obtain our music is through illegal means. The eternal struggle of an artist in this internet age is to combat the inevitable loss through piracy with other means, be it live streaming, online distribution, or altering prices for the best possible return.
Adam: It’s bad, but it’s not going away. Bands offering their album for cheap is something that I think is helping. (All hail Bandcamp!)
11. Favorite soft drink?
Jeff: Cream Soday.
Cam G: Does beer count? I try (and fail) to stay away from soft drinks.
Cam T: Sizzurp.
Matt: Dr. Pepper, sonuvabithch!
Adam: Dr. Pepper, (Matt is my new best friend).
12. Outside metal, what music do you like? (Bring out all your secrets)
Jeff: Outside of metal, I usually just go full-out pleb and jam some radio tunes. Rock, punk, country, pop… Whatever’s catchy!
Cam G: I was asked this questions pretty recently… currently I have some Michael Jackson, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Lady Antebellum among others… that’s just the really weird ones. I have a ton of rock n roll, I’m a big fan of Slash’s guitar work. Lots of classic rock in there too.
Cam: Prog rock, psychedelic, punk. Mostly the classic stuff.
Matt: I enjoy music from all genres evenly, if it’s well presented and produced. Outside of metal I tend to listen to classical and post-hardocre. I don’t know how many times I’ve had a Sleeping With Sirens or an A Skylit Drive melody stuck in my head when I don’t heavy access to anything to help change it. I also have a vast collection of video game/movie/anime OSTs that I find myself throwing on more often that not nowadays.
Adam: I grew up on classic rock and blues mostly, but I like me some Eminem, Judi MInd Tricks, Ice Cube, other varieties of Rap and recently my wife got me into Justin Timberlake’s last 2 albums.
13. Finish this sentence: If I were Bigfoot…
Jeff: If I were Bigfoot, I’d still chew my toenails.
Cam G: … I’d fuck with hikers a lot. Pop out of the woods, scare them, then say “no one will ever believe you” and destroy their camera before running off. And piss on their shoes.
Cam T: If I were Bigfoot, I would have big feet.
Matt: If I were Bigfoot, I would revel in the natural majesty of the world as a singularity.
Adam: If I were Bigfoot, I would force Hollywood to make a Harry and the Hendersons sequel and put me in it!
14. What are currently top 5 most played songs on your iPod/mp3 player?
1. The Beatles: Twist and Shout
2. Betraying the Martyrs: Let It Go
3. Born of Osiris: Machine
4. Forgotten Tomb: Joyless
5. Dax Riggs: Terrors of Nightlife
1. Annihilator: King Of The Kill
2. Judas Priest: Hell Bent For Leather
3. Metallica: Battery
4. Black Sabbath: The Mob Rules
5. AC/DC: Back In Black
1. Vildhjarta: Dagger
2. Gojira: Toxic Garbage Island
3. Mastodon: The Wolf Is Loose
4. Tame Impala: Mind Mischief
5. Mars Volta: Ilyena
1. Nobuo Uematsu: Dancing Mad
2. Between The Buried And Me: Swim To The Moon
3. Vildhjarta: All these Feelings
4. Epica: Kingdom Of Heaven
5. Tesseract: Eclipse
1. Revocation: Witch Trials
2. Revocation: Scortched Earth Policy
3. Battlecross: Beast
4. Killer Be Killed: Wings of Feather and Wax
5. Sylosis: Sand of Time
We are actually taking a bit of a break from shows for now. We’re participating in a big event called Share the Land early in the new year, but beyond that, we might just play a local show here and there to keep the rust from building up. At the moment, we’re in preproduction for our debut album, and we’ll be working on that into the spring, so maybe we’ll get a tour going after that! Who knows… In the mean time, we’ve got 11 killer song ready to go, and plans for various visual media to keep everyone up to date!
16. Would you like to add anything to this interview? Anyone special you’d like to thank?
Jeff: Everyone keeping my head in the game! There are a lot of people out there, who know who they are, who keep me in good spirits, so a big thank you to them.
Cam G: Thank you Blek Goat for heaving us! Keep metal alive – go to shows!
Cam T: I thank anyone who listens to our music and comes to our shows. I also thank all of my family and friends for their support.
Matt: Thanks to anyone who has supported me in any aspect of my music career so far. Special thanks to my previous bandmates, show promoters, and industry officials I’ve meet and learned from. I wouldn’t be doing any of this without your assistance.
Adam: I would like to thank my wife Angie for supporting me. It’s not easy being a husband and a bandmate especially early in your career. Also thanks to Blek Goat for the interview!