Friday, February 6, 2015

Band Interview: CRITICAL DISMEMBERMENT

Interview with Erik Martin of Critical Dismemberment

Critical Dismemberment is described as an “internet death metal band” that was founded by you with Chase Fincher. So is your music exclusively available on the internet? Explain the reasons you arrived at this decision for the band.
For now, our music is exclusively on the internet. We are talking about making some physical copies of our debut release and possibly the EP we are working on now. When we started this project, it was just us messing around and making music we thought was badass and posting it pretty much everywhere. When we got approached to be on Operation: Underground, that's when things started to take off for us. So, unless some big time label picks us up, I think we will continue moving forward as an internet based band and try to legitimize it as a proper outlet for music and hopefully inspire more musicians, who are hundreds, if not thousands of miles away to create music together.

Which one of you thought up naming the band Critical Dismemberment Were there any specific influences for the band name or was it something you chose because it was an attention grabber?
It really came down to having something different and out of the norm. It obviously is an attention grabber and we have gotten some negativity from it. We've been told it's too long to be a band name or it's too much. We really don't care. The name came from a conversation I had with my best friend while he was at a concert. Long story short, he told me that if a man didn't stop hitting on his wife, he was going to critically dismember him. So, when we were coming up with names, that conversation came to mind, threw it out there and we both loved it and felt like it fit the sound we were going for. I think if we weren't called Critical Dismemberment, we were going to go with Cowards Blood, which doesn't have that "shock factor" that we currently have.

How long have you personally been listening to death metal? What made you decide you wanted to be a musician for a living?
My first experience with death metal was Slayer as a teenager; after that I was hooked. The first song I listened to was "South of Heaven". I instantly dove headfirst into the genre and never looked back. The idea of being a musician for a living has been with me since I was child. My earliest memories always revolved around music in some way; growing up, listening and having a deep love for music and creating it is something I work really hard at. I haven't made it my only job yet but that is definitely how I want it to end up.

What bands were you listening to religiously before you discovered Slayer? And what bands did you start seeking out once you became a death metaller? What do you look for when it comes to appreciating extreme music?
Before I found Slayer, it was Metallica, Motley Crue, basically anything 80s hair and 90s alternative. Bands like Soundgarden, Marilyn Manson and Korn. Once Slayer opened up the floodgates of extreme metal for me, it was bands like Morbid Angel, Dying Fetus, Exodus, and Testament. Basically anything that was heavy, fast. When it comes to extreme music I am sort of picky. I really like the bands that are all out heavy, but I also like the bands that write complicated music. Pianos, choirs and anything symphonic gets me real excited. I usually gravitate to the guys that are doing something real and unique or adding twists to death metal that you wouldn't think of. One band that has been a big influence on me this past year is Markradonn. I still remember the first time hearing them and being blown away with what they were writing. It’s bands like that that most interest me.

What about Markradonn spoke to you the first time you heard their material? How important do originality and creativity have in extreme music as it stands now?
Really the use of brass and timpani. Just the overall HUGE sound that was accomplished. Nobody ever thinks to combine the elements Markradonn does and continue to add to that sound. Every time I listen it’s like doing it all over again for the first time. There are so many bands that just emulate their favorite bands down to a tee just for the financial gain instead of the love of music. I honestly feel like both those concepts are lacking in today's scene. In the underground it’s not as bad, but once a band gets a little success and a little taste of the financial good life, it’s like they sacrifice what got them into that position on the first place. I could honestly care less if either of my bands "make it". I do not want to give up the sound of either, that we have worked tirelessly on, just for a little financial freedom. I think of more bands thought like that, it would be a different scene.

You are based in Arkansas and Chase Fincher is based in Missouri. Did you come into contact through the internet?  How did the two of you come to write material together using the net to correspond?
We did come in contact through the internet. We worked and released a song together called "One Up" and stayed in contact for about a year or so. After really doing nothing musically we decided, let's start an internet band and see what happens. If anything, it will be fun.

What is the story of you and Chase coming into contact through the net? Were you actively seeking musicians to work with at the time or just seeking new contacts to correspond and trade with? How long have you been working together?
Chase and I met through Facebook. It really was a chance meeting. He was doing his solo work in Elizabeth's Honor and I was the vocalist for another band and it just took off from there. We have been working together steadily since late winter/early spring of last year. It hasn't been long, which makes the small amount of success we have even more mind boggling, at least to us.

How much has social media helped metalheads connect over vast distances, and arrange working relationships involving trading and composing, since you became involved in the underground?

I honestly have seen a difference yet. People would rather have time in practice space, with their bandmates writing and recording when it comes to the composing aspect. On the other hand, it is almost an essential tool in today's world in order to connect and share music with other metalheads. That's not to say some bands aren't doing it the old school way by playing shows and doing it strictly by word of mouth, but social media has to at some point be a factor in getting your music shared and also reaching out for more opportunities if you want it to be a legitimate way to support yourself and your family.

Is word of mouth still an important factor in making a name for yourself and your band?
Signed or not you still have to take the business approach to things. You still have to promote yourself outside of label support or promotional companies/websites. For both Critical Dismemberment and Skin Drone, word of mouth has played a huge role in getting our music out there. We've been lucky enough to have a lot of people genuinely like what we are creating to help spread the word about us.

What band are you involved in locally? Do you remain active with them since forming Critical Dismemberment?
The only other band I'm in is Skin Drone with Otto Kinzel of Bluntface Records. I mutually split with the band I was in when Chase and I first met. They were located in Memphis; I just wasn't able to make band practice and they needed someone who could be there. It’s only about a three and a half hour drive from where I am, but my day job can be demanding.

Being that you and he are involved in an internet based band, is it easier to sustain Critical Dismemberment as a two piece project? What instruments do you and he handle while writing your material?
We feel it is easier to sustain it as just the two of us. We have talked about adding other members but ultimately decided since we are on the same page creatively, adding members is just adding more fuel to a fire that doesn't need it. We can accomplish what five to six piece bands in the same genre are doing. As for instruments, Chase handles guitars, bass, drum programming and synth. I do all the lyric writing and vocal performances. We have decided before starting on these new records to become more involved with each other’s duties. You will probably hear some guitar from me and a lot more symphonic elements that I have begun writing. You will also see more lyric contributions from Chase going forward as well. We would really like to write music where both of us are, equally involved in the writing process.

In addition to Markradonn, are there bands with similar symphonic elements that make you want to take a similar route?
Aberration Nexus, a one man symphonic black metal band manned by Chris Meyer. His writing style and the way he composes his orchestrations is nothing short of breathtaking. It is brutal yet beautiful all at the same time. He definitely lit the symphonic fire in my brain. There's also Dimmu Borgir and Cradle Of Filth. Behemoth in the early days played a small role in that mindset as well, but it was really Markradonn and Aberration Nexus that really inspired me to want to incorporate that sound into both bands. Being that Critical Dismemberment has taken more of a grind approach recently, it's easier to write and layer for Skin Drone, though you will hear the influence in both bands. Both Haniel and Chris, I hope, will have guest spots on the Critical Dismemberment full length; that's how much we respect those guys and the music they create.

How much time did working on and recording “One Up” take? How was your experience arranging it online?
The writing and recording process was pretty quick actually. We had far inferior equipment to what we have now and little knowledge on how to properly execute what we were trying to accomplish. It was definitely a learning experience writing and structuring music strictly through Facebook messenger and a few emails but we powered through. We actually not too long ago just found that song and it made us both cringe, it sounds so archaic compared to what we are able to do now.

How do you and Chase go about recording together? What programs do you and he use to share your ideas on the web?
The writing process we have is different but it works. It starts with an idea that one of us comes up with. We will work it out, usually over Facebook messenger, then Chase will musically work on it over the span of a week or so, depending on time and inspiration. I will write the lyrics to the vibe of what the song is giving off. Then, we record final takes and make small edits we deem necessary and then Chase will do his thing producing it. When it comes to sharing ideas, Dropbox and YouTube links for inspiration are our best friends. It sounds confusing, but we have written and recorded music this way for about a year now and have it down to a science. At first, it was difficult but once we got a solid routine it is something that we don't even think about anymore, we just do it.

In what ways have you improved your recording methods since the release of “One Up”?
The equipment we use is definitely a step up. We both have invested a lot in guitars, studios, and mics. Chase uses an eleven rack now, so he can fine tune his guitar tones. I went from a dynamic mic using a free Studio called Audacity to a full blown pro studio with a condenser mic and an audiobox. We just now have really figured out the ins and outs of our equipment and it has definitely made us better songwriters now that our equipment isn't holding us back. The biggest thing though is that Chase and I are very comfortable writing and recording together, we both know what the end result should sound like and what sound we are trying to accomplish.

As an increasing number of bands are building home studios and using internet equipment to record, will bands continue to record at traditional recording studios or will more bands follow suit to have more creative control over the work?
I would hope that bands would follow suit. The scene needs less bullshit and more artists. There is a lot of animosity in the metal world today. It seems like every week a member is leaving a band and has a confessional about how this member or that member sucks as a person or it was just one person running the show etc. I have an issue with this new trend of "Slayer vs Metallica" that social media seems to be doing constantly. Who cares if one band is better than the other? It should be about the love of the music, how the music speaks to you and makes you feel. There needs to be less hate, shit talking, egos and God complexes and more support and bands doing it for the live of the music instead of fortune and fame.

Those comparisons between bands has been going on since the 90s. Before that there were comparisons between “guitar gods” and endless debates over which guitarist is more proficient. What about the current Slayer vs Metallica trend do you object to?
It’s the competition that bleeds into the underground scene. Instead of us all supporting each other. It’s a constant competition of who is heavier, who is more brutal. We need to get to the point where everyone is supporting each other instead of competing with each other.

Have you had more experiences with mutual support between you and other bands, or have there been more instances where you dealt with bands who wanted to compete?
We actually have had a lot of mutual support with a lot of bands. We haven't really dealt with bands wanting to compete. The underground has let us in with wide open arms and called us its own. We are really lucky to have had the support that we have from all the various bands, blog's, and radio stations. Metal Devastation Radio owner Zach Moonshine gave us our first interview when we were practically unheard of in the scene, and we were the first band to get a second interview when our EP dropped. MDR has been huge in helping support us and growing our fan base. Another DJ is DJ Lunatic Fist, with just about every release from both bands, he's been there blasting the songs and has also played a significant role in our growth. I'm sure though, with the new direction Critical D is taking, we will probably get bashed and hated upon for using more electronic music and 8bit sounds in our music, but if we aren't pushing the boundaries as artists and doing something different, then there is no point in us even writing and releasing music. Pissing people off comes with that territory.

How did you come up with the idea to incorporate electronic music into your compositions? Is there a particular process you do this by?
I really didn't do it until Chase introduced me to it with Elizabeth's Honor. From there it was just getting as many plug ins as possible and seeing what happened through trial and error until we got the hang of writing good sounding electronic music that wasn't over the top or too much. We pay very close attention to how much goes in and that it is actually complementing a certain part of the song without just being thrown in there just because it sounded cool. There is no real cut and dry process to it. Normally Chase handles the majority of it and I'll program some choirs or fire up the keyboard and lay down some subtle organ tracks or weird ambience that fits. We have an in orthodox way of writing electronic music, but Chase does a damn good job of making it work.

What inspired the lyrical content of “One Up” and what did you make an effort to convey when writing it? What first interested you in being a lyricist?
Being that the song was heavily Nintendo core I decided to take an approach of, everyone's played super Mario brothers, we've all had one life left, there's that anxiety that comes along with it, but with the added twist of playing it in a sick game of Saw, like that last life is your life, if it ends, so do you. It was fun and a nice break from what I usually write. I found out I had a knack for writing poetry when I was in the fifth grade,  and wrote it and the occasional short story up until my sophomore year in high school. It was then that I was getting into really heavy, complex music and I found myself paying attention to the words more so than the music itself. So, I just started writing lyrics, which at first was just glorified poetry. I then found a book called "The Art of Great Lyric Writing" and it completely changed how I wrote lyrics and structured them, even down to writing songs that were purely metaphorical and the story telling side of lyric writing. There was a lot of time spent reading a dictionary and studying a thesaurus and just reading every type of book genre I could possibly get my hands on.

What sort of poetry and fiction were you writing from the fifth grade to high school? Who wrote and published The Art Of Great Lyric Writing and how did your writing improve after you read it?
Poetry was about anything and everything. I've always had a fascination with Edgar Allan Poe and William Shakespeare, I studied everything I could about them and read everything I could that they wrote. When it came to short stories, in the early innocent years, it was about knights, or medieval war; some of it I don't even remember. As I grew older, the poetry got more personal and dark. I grew out of writing short stories. I had a real passion for the short and sweet poetry. Most of the time it was just metaphors for what I was going through in life, but every once and a awhile I could come with a poem that was something I just made up, and it usually was dark, sometimes violent, and just all around weird. The Art Of Writing Great Lyrics was written by Pamela Phillips Oland and was published by Allworth Press New York. She basically explains that it’s not about making your words rhyme; lyric writing is different than writing poems, and every good song has a beginning, middle, and end. It probably took me a year or so to break out of it but once I really started applying what I learned from that book to my lyrics they just took off. I try and make every song I write follow that formula, whether it be something personal or a song that is fictional. That book even breaks down why it is important to use some words and not others for song flow purposes or to not sound like an idiot. In a nutshell, it’s really a book for writing more mainstream music, but a lot of her techniques can be applied to this genre of music, you just have to put yourself out there and try things that no one else is doing.

I’ve interviewed quite a few people who cite Edgar Allan Poe as an inspiration of one sort or another. What sort of an inspiration has his work been for you? Are there any specific examples of his writing?
His work just spoke to me. It was everything I wanted to write laying there in front of me. The darkness, depression, helplessness, themes that I often write about. It would be an extreme sin for me to pick just one or two examples of his work. It all was an inspiration to me and still is to this day. Whenever I get writer’s block, I always read "The Fall Of The House Of Usher" or "The Raven" and that usually clears it pretty quick. It’s as though he always put himself in his stories; especially his detective stories. I in some way, shape or form have always done that thanks to him. You never know which parts are fiction and which are real life.

Would you ever consider setting one of Poe’s fiction pieces to a song? Deceased did so with “Dark Chiling Heartbeat” based on The Tell Tale Heart and they didn’t do too shabby a job.
I would love to do something to that effect, although it probably wouldn't fit with what Chase and I are writing. Our music is way too chaotic to get the point across in what Poe was accomplishing. If we were to ever slow down, I would like to set one to "The Masque Of The Red Death". I think a concept album telling each of the victims’ stories in the seven rooms would be an amazing feat to pull off, but like the Shakespearean concept, incredibly difficult to pull off, but it could be done. Who knows, maybe it will be another Skin Drone album to,o haha.

Was the phrasing William Shakespeare employed in his writing a help for you to improve your lyric writing?
It wasn't his phrasing as much as it was his storytelling. I remember reading Hamlet for the first time and thinking to myself, this would be a badass concept record. I enjoy his tragedies more than the others. It was the poetic darkness that really drew me in. His ability to make you feel happiness, and feel pain was a real inspiration when it came to lyric writing and something I still try to hone in. I want you to be pissed when I am, sad when I am. I want every listener to feel all the emotions I try to convey and perform in every song, it something that I work very hard to achieve in every song that ultimately makes a record. Shakespeare and his tragedies were a major influence on that style of writing for me.

A concept album based on Shakespeare’s writings has yet to be undertaken. Do you think such an endeavor could be pulled off? If Skin Drone was to attempt a concept album based on Shakespeare, which of his works do you imagine it would be based on?
I think it could, it would take a lot of meticulous planning and have to be well thought out to be executed probably. Nothing is impossible in music. You never know, it may be a future Skin Drone record, haha. It wouldn't be based on a singular work of his. It would most likely combine stories and characters using his stories and combining my own. I would probably link all of the characters we decided upon, like Macbeth/Romeo & Juliet and tastefully intertwine their stories to tell one big story while keeping their original stories in place. Then to add drama, incorporate small amounts of Hamlet and/or Othello. I would still maintain the tragedy elements of all their stories but add to it a lot. For example, make Romeo maybe suicidal from the get go, and deal with all the emotions and thoughts in his head. In the same story, Juliet only acts she falls in love with him in a secret plot to eventually murder him and use the original ending as her way of executing him, only her poison was just wine or something to that effect. The possibilities are endless, just getting all those thoughts into one focused idea and getting the music to help tell the story and have it all come out flawless would be a huge endeavor, but something that could be done. Just talking about it has given me a lot of ideas, I may actually pitch this to Otto, haha.

How much of a step forward in the evolution of extreme music would a Shakespearean concept album be? Would it inspire other bands to follow suit?

I'm sure it would be a small step forward in the extreme music world. Something other than blood, guts, murder, and Satan disemboweling people is always a step forward. I would hope that it would inspire bands to take risks, big or small to go outside the comfort zone or out of what is ordinary and be different and do something that has never been done without being scared of the consequences. So many bands are afraid of a negative comment or review, if Otto and I decide to move forward with that idea, I would hope to see more bands doing concept records, Shakespearian or not. Most of the lyrical content in today's extreme music, more so in the "mainstream" or well-known bands is almost always the same. It gets redundant and boring even if the musicianship is great. If writing a record like that is what it takes to start a revolution, or renaissance, even on a small scale, that would be extraordinary.

Explain how the band was approached to appear on Otto Kinzel’s Operation: Underground compilation.

We had already released The Seventh Trumpet Sounds and Room 911, and I had developed a friendship with Haniel Adhar Markradonn by this time. He messaged me one afternoon and said he and Otto were working on a compilation album and that we needed to be on it. From there we sent The Seventh Trumpet Sounds to Otto; he liked it and put us on. Otto also mixed and mastered that track as well. If it wasn't for Haniel believing we had what it takes to be put on the international underground stage, I highly doubt we would be where we are at without his and Otto's support and help guiding us through the underground. That album was HUGE for us to be a part of.

How long have you been friends with Haniel? How did you two first meet and how much support have you given one another?
Haniel and I have known each other for the better part of a year I would say. If I remember correctly we first met through Reverbnation and just kept tabs on each other for a while until we connected on Facebook. There has been a lot of mutual support between the both of us. We are always sharing each other’s music and helping spread the word. He is definitely one I am glad to have on my side and his help and guidance have been priceless.

What sort of guidance has Haniel offered you regarding working in bands for a living?

It’s been mostly how to be professional in a somewhat nonprofessional world. How to approach radio stations, blogs, zines etc. and not come off as a stuck up individual or band that seems like these people should listen to you just because you think you’re the best thing to happen to music. Staying humble is one of the best ways to circumvent that. We have also learned from him how to properly promote yourself and your music etc. I think the best shred of knowledge he gave us; and this was learned purely by just reading everything that he posts; is to not a give a damn about the haters and trash talk and focus on the music and creating it. You have to stand up for yourself in this business and defend your music to whomever doesn't get what you are trying to accomplish or create and if they still don't get it, move on from it. So, it really hasn't been on how to do music for a living, but more of a constant lesson in how to sustain success no matter the size, connect and maintain relationships with all the people in the scene that truly support the underground and the musicians in it.

As long as you’ve been actively playing in bands, have you noticed that remaining humble helps a band’s longevity?

No one wants to invest their hard earned money in douchebags and self-proclaimed kings of the scene. A couple bands can get away with it; Attila for example, Emmure (specifically Frankie) but nine times out of ten, just in a few of the local places here close, those bands didn't last as long as the ones that were constantly doing things for the fans. Everything from free shows, or if there was a cover, I've even seen some bands give merch away. The one thing I learned quickly was that without the fans, your band is nothing. Calling them out, ripping them off or throwing an Axl Rose fit will get you nowhere fast. Stay humble and your fans will help you reach the top. That's why I try and do the personal studio updates, the one on ones, and make the people who support us feel like family. To me, that's what they are, one huge extended metal family.

Describe the writing and recording process for The Seventh Trumpet Sounds and Room 911. Were these both full length releases for the band? What did Otto most appreciate about your material when you sent it to him?
The writing process was pretty simple on those songs. Chase already had written the songs a year or two prior; basically all we had to do was clean them up, change a few things and put lyrics and vocals to them. They both came together respectively in a matter of a week or two. Chase and I hit a stride pretty quick and the reception to Trumpets was huge. It was probably the most successful song we had written for any project. We followed that same formula with Room 911 and it took off as well, up until the release of The Paper Boy; they were our most popular songs. I remember when we and Otto were talking about first signing with Bluntface, he simply stated that Trumpets was badass. We were doing something different and worked really hard to achieve what we were writing. It was probably between him liking the material we were writing and the amount of creativity and time we spent on doing so.

How much additional exposure has Bluntface Records gotten the band since you and Otto began promoting one another?
Otto's been able to spread our name out there pretty far. We are still understanding the scope of how many people actually know who Critical D is outside of social media. The radio airplay and interviews with radio stations that would probably turn us away any other time has been invaluable. We've had people from many different countries email us and tell us they like what we are doing or just a simple, keep rocking love you guys type thing. We are definitely bigger than either Chase or I ever imagined starting out; we will probably never be able to repay Otto for all the time and energy he has put into the band and getting us out to as many people as possible. Without his help and guidance we certainly wouldn't be where we are today. I can say with certainty that Critical Dismemberment will be a Bluntface band for its entire existence. Otto believed in us when we were still really small and trying to figure out the scene and he has introduced to so many people, radio stations, other bands etc. His help in our growth and presence is priceless.

What radio stations in the States and worldwide have been airing the band since you and Otto hooked up?
Metal Devastation Radio has been a huge supporter. We just teamed up with Whatever Radio; they will start blasting our tunes shortly. Another couple of stations that have played us a lot is Rock Bandom Radio, Metal Thunder Radio and Metal Messiah Radio I believe. I am constantly networking with other stations. Each station has several DJs so we get put on a pretty regular rotation worldwide. That sort of ties into the people from all over emailing us showing support and asking when the next record is coming. Without those stations we definitely wouldn't have the fanbase we have now. Now more than ever, these radio stations are the new word of mouth, and it is very important to make long lasting relationships and show mutual support for them if you want to succeed.

Quote lyrics you have penned for Critical Dismemberment songs and explain the thought that went into them.
This is something I wouldn't normally do. I usually just let people in when I say this song is just personal, or this is me telling a story; this will be the first time delving into them publicly, haha. OK. There's a line in the song "Room 911" which is probably one of the most personal songs I have ever wrote and released. "The sun hits my skin, but I can barely feel it, they say it gets better, but I can hardly believe them". Those two lines right there tell the story of me being in an unhappy relationship and using prescription medication to deal with it. I had a severe addiction to hydrocodone and wrote that song at the height of it. It was such a relief to hear it, for every personal song like that I write. It’s like the final nail in that chapter of my life. Another set would be from Nightmares End, “Why are you scared to talk now? It’s never been a problem before... blood swirls in the drain, separation from life, you will never be the fucking same". This is me metaphorically saying, now that I'm clear headed, you don't want to put me through the hell you did, my feelings for you are dead, without me, life won't be the same. Nightmares End is the unsaid part two/finale of Room 911. It talks about me moving on not only with my addiction, but with that particular relationship. The only other personal son on that record was "The Seventh Trumpet Sounds". That song describes in detail what I see in a recurring nightmare. The part two to this song will actually be a Skin Drone song called “Revelation". I go through the apocalypse in this dream, seeing everything from angels and demons fighting to the devil himself feasting on the righteous. I felt like writing about it might help make it go away, so far no luck, the dreams aren't as frequent, but I still am haunted by it. The Damnation Of Elizabeth is just a story I made up. Since Chase’s solo act is called Elizabeth's Honor, I thought it would be cool to incorporate a song about a fictional character who is put to death for witchcraft only to come back from the dead and cause hell on earth. There will probably be one song about her on every record telling her story up until her ultimate destruction. Feel My Wrath And Tremble is another song about the apocalypse, one that is fictional and the unofficial prelude to Trumpets. When I first heard the riffs, the story came to mind of the forces of good and evil getting ready for the final battle and through that battle, the earth destroys everything, along with itself. It’s a weird concept, probably one that won’t be expanded upon in future records.

Did you have any legends or folklore in mind when you thought up the concept for The Damnation Of Elizabeth?
Really when I started writing it, the idea of the Salem witches came to mind. I found out a couple years ago that I am related to one of the Salem witches. I was always fascinated by the whole story and how they handled the punishment of them and the outrageous stories behind their crimes. I wanted to sort of blend that story with a bit of the occult and through death make her immortal with a weakness, like vampires. For future songs in the story, I will be doing a lot of research of the trials themselves, picking out certain judges for her to torture for sending her to her death and ultimate rebirth. There is a house in Salem that is notoriously haunted by a spirit who, if I remember correctly, was wrongfully accused and put to death for being a witch, I would like to include those feelings and that story into hers somehow. There are so many different possibilities and stories you could tell on the subject, it could be practically open ended, and so many different old legends and European folklores you could include in her story helping her cause mass destruction and vengeance. I haven't really mapped out her story to far, but I can promise it will be a roller coaster ride of blood, vengeance, anger and sorrow and eventually, her eternal destruction forever.

What publications about the Salem witch trials would you recommend in particular, for the information they provide the reader?

Through Google and if you can find a history book at your library. Since it really is based on occultism, it’s hard to find legitimate facts about the Salem witches without it being distorted in some sort of way. From what I've read and learned it’s a highly romanticized portion of history and you have to sift through a lot of BS to get real facts, which is why I decide to just make up a character and tell a story that is completely fictional. Almost everyone knows the history, so why not tell of the aftermath of a real witch. It’s a far more interesting story than ‘you're guilty, burn alive’.

In addition to those we discussed, are there other new ideas you have in mind for future recordings?
Being in the recording process, we are really focused on the task at hand. There are still songs that need to be fully written in order for me to come up with a story. With Skin Drone, we are leaning more towards the story that inspired Silence Of The Lambs, with the man who took way to much psychedelic drugs, ripped his face off and fed it to his dogs. There is also an idea floating around of telling the story of a fictional notorious serial killer who is female. I will probably do more writing with occult roots, like hauntings, demons, the battle of good versus evil (non-biblical) and possibly aliens, who knows. Half the time I have no idea what a song is going to be about until it is halfway finished musically. In Critical Dismemberment, we have the 8-bit album talking about the Nintendo and Sega characters from earlier, and the full length will more than likely be a personal record for both Chase and I. I would like to take some of the apocalyptic themes we have touched on in earlier songs and expand on them, but it’s the same situation as Skin Drone. Until I hear the music, I don't know what to say.

Critical Dismemberment

-Dave Wolff