Call me an ignorant fool, but I was never really a big fan of the extreme Spanish underground scene. But the older you get, the wiser you (hopefully) become and as a result I finally discovered a couple of Spanish bands that really blew me away! One of them is GRAVEYARD (which were already interviewed by Thomas) and the others are the extremely cool UNCONSECRATED! Whoever calls himself a fan of early 90s Death Metal the Swedish way simply has to check these guys out as they deliver the best oldschool Death Metal of that kind in years! Needless to say that we had to contact one of their founder members for an in-depth interview. And here it is: sit back, relax and enjoy what guitarist Dave had to tell us...
Greetings Dave... hope you're in the right mood to answer some questions about your great band UNCONSECRATED and Death Metal in general?!
"Of course! Thank you Frank for giving us the opportunity to appear in Voices From The Darkside, so that people will find out about the updates of the band."
UNCONSECRATED was formed in April 2006 by Robert and yourself... How did both of you get together? Did you already know each other before? Has anyone of you been playing in any bands previously already?
"I got to know Robert just by walking in the street in Valladolid one day. I simply saw a guy with a Napalm Death t-shirt, so I talked to him, because there are only a few people listening to extreme music here. So our friendship basically started there. Robert was more into brutal Death, so we started to meet and I showed him some oldschool stuff. Some time later, we both decided to buy a guitar, and to create a Death Metal band. Robert has never been in any band before, but I was the singer of Burial Ground in the year 1991, a Death Metal band from Valladolid. I played with them for 8 months more or less, we did a couple of shows, but I had to leave the band because of health problems."
Who came up with the band's name UNCONSECRATED, the logo and everything? Does it have any deeper meaning for you or did you just choose it because it sounded good?
"Once Robert and I decided to create an oldschool Death Metal band, we started to think about names. Just by chance, listening to the Crematory (swe) mini "Denial", I saw the song 'Unconsecrated Ground' and I liked the way "unconsecrated" sounded... it was perfect for the band, so we chose it."
If I understood your bio correctly, you already had several songs written only 6 months after the band was formed... Does that mean you were still writing and rehearsing as a 2-piece band at the time? If so - who of you was playing bass, drums and who did the vocals? And why didn't you complete the line-up first?
"It is a long and strange story. We both had never played guitar before, and we had no rehearsal room, so each one played at home and wrote some riffs. When we had some stuff done, Robert came to my home and we put together all the riffs. After six months we realized that we had six songs working that way. We worked hard, and almost every day we had new riffs. That's why we could do that songs so quickly. We never played in a rehearsal room, so that's why we didn't complete the line up first. We didn't need it."
When and how did you get together with Kent and Lorenzo on vocals and bass respectively? According to your bio, Kent is originally from the Norwegian Death Metal band UNSPOKEN and Lorenzo from a Spanish band called ERED... How did you convince both to join UNCONSECRATED? Were both just session musicians at the time or did they join you as fulltime members right away? Did Kent move to Spain for this?
"I knew Lorenzo for some years, and I knew he plays guitar and bass in ERED, so it was not very hard to convince him to help us with the bass recording, because oldschool Death Metal is the style he likes most. About Kent, it was different. Before him, we tried some other people. Shadowolf, from the Spanish Black Metal band wolfthrone, recorded two songs, but it was not the result we spected for our style. Some time after, an English friend gave me the link to the UNSPOKEN myspace site, just to listen to their songs, and after listening to Kents vocal work, I decided to contact him. Some days after, Kent answered me that he was ready to record the vocals, which he did. And you can listen to the result! Anyway, we are working the same way as we did at first, so Kent still lives in Norway and plays in UNSPOKEN and VARULV, and will continue recording the new songs. Lorenzo only recorded the first demo, because he had no time to record the "Dark Awakening" demo. Now Overlord records the bass, besides lead guitar."
But it seems you had quite a few problems in finding a drummer as you decided to work with a drum machine in those days... Aren't there any good drummers in your area?
"There are good drummers in our area, but at that time we were such a new band that it was hard to find anyone to help us. I asked some drummers, but none of them could find a way to record 13 songs without spending lots of money in a studio, so we decided to use a computer drum machine. Robert did it, and the result is awesome, specially having in mind the few experiences he had."
Tell us a bit about your debut demo "Unconsecrated Cemetery" which you recorded in October-November 2006... Where did you record it, how did you find the right studio for it, how long have you been in the studio and what kind of response did you get on it?
"Both demos were recorded at home with our computer, because we didn't want to spend money on our first release. Today it is very easy to record at home, and for us it was the only way to do it. The money we saved was the harder work we had to do, but it makes us feel even more proud, because all the work is ours, both the songs and the production."
Did you spread a lot of copies around to labels and zines? By the way - in which format did you release it? Tape or CD / CD-R?
"We never did any copy of the demo ourselves. After having the songs recorded, we sent some mp3s to friends. One of them, Dani from Dan's Crypt Records, offered us to release the whole CD. We signed a contract with his label, so the first (and only) copies were done by Dan's Crypt Records as an official release."
What made you record a cover of UNLEASHED's 'Dead Forever' on your debut demo? Was UNLEASHED your fave band at the time? Did UNLEASHED ever get to hear your version? If so, what kind of response did you get from them?
"Of course, Unleashed is one of my fave bands, specially the old stuff, so we decided we could cover one of their songs. 'Dead Forever' is a great song, so we chose it. Just a little after the song was recorded, I contacted Fredrik, Unleashed's drummer, asking him to release the cover on our demo, including lyrics in the booklet, and I sent him the song. The response was incredible, he really liked the cover and gave us permision to release both the song and the lyrics in our CD, so we did it."
Are you playing any other cover songs during your rehearsals maybe?
"Not really. We are focused on writing the new album. Covers are right for starting a band, but I don't really like them on albums. I don't think that we will record any cover songs on future releases."
Tell us a bit more about the original UNCONSECRATED songs on that demo... are you still satisfied with them? Which bands / albums had the biggest influence on you when you wrote them? Maybe you can name your ten favorite Death Metal releases here?!
"Of course, I'm really satisfied with the songs. Looking with prespective, maybe now I would have changed some things, but I'm very proud of them, and still really like'em. Our main influence is Swedish scene of the early 90s, but not only. About my top ten, hard to tell, but let's try: Entombed - "Left Hand Path", Carnage - "Dark Recolections", God Macabre - "The Winterlong", Dismember - "Like An Everflowing Stream", Crematory - "Denial", Unleashed - "Where No Life Dwells", Grave - "Into The Grave", Morpheus - "In The Arms Of...", Excruciate - "Passage Of Life" and Epitaph - "Seeming Salvation.""
How do you actually judge the Spanish Death Metal underground these days? Would you agree that it has become a lot stronger over the years with bands like SCENT OF DEATH, GRAVEYARD and UNCONSECRATED that are all playing very cool oldschool Death Metal? Any other upcoming bands that we should be aware of maybe?
"There are a few oldschool Death Metal acts in Spain these days, at least that I know. Specially compared to the scene we had in the year 1991, with bands like Necrophiliac, Unbounded Terror, Obscure... In other styles, of course the scene is getting stronger. There are really good bands coming up in brutal Death, like Wormed or Human Mincer, in Black Metal like Foscor or Numen... I think all of them are first line bands, but it is not the case with oldschool style bands."
Your second demo "Dark Awakening" was already recorded very quickly after the first one (in April / May 2007)... What made you record another demo already after such a short period of time? Did you record it in the same studio again as the first demo? Where do you see the biggest improvements compared to "Unconsecrated Cemetery"?
"As I told you before, after finishing the first demo, we didn't make any copy, so we just continued playing and writing new songs. Shortly after we already had another six songs, which could be used for a new demo. "Dark Awakening" was recorded at home, as the first one, but some things changed. We changed the tuning and improved the sound quality, thanks to our experience with the first demo. The structure in the songs of the second demo is quite better, and the sound quality is really improved, of course without breaking with the oldschool Death Metal sound."
At which point of time did you get together with Dan's Crypt Records and was it planned right from the start that the first release would be a CD that combines both demos?
"I know Dani for many years, because I used to buy CDs from his label. Some time after we finished the second demo, I told him to listen to the songs in our myspace site. He really liked them, and offered us a contract to release a CD with both demos."
Is it the original demo covers that were used for the booklet's front- and backside? Both look great, but especially the "Unconsecrated Cemetery" art is excellent... Tell us a bit more about the guys who did the artwork and how you found out about them...
"Yes, the covers in the CD are the ones we thought of at first. The "Unconsecrated Cemetery" cover was made by a close friend of ours, called Andrea. I told her what we were looking for, and she simply draw a perfect cover. About "Dark Awakening", it was made by Roni from Finish LIE IN RUINS. The way we worked was the same. I gave him the idea, and he just drew it perfectly. We are very happy with the result in both cases."
Will you continue to work with Dan's Crypt Records or was it just a one off deal for the re-release of the demos?
"We signed a contract with Dani for two full lengths, but after some disappointments, we decided to leave the label. We are searching for a new label now. We have some good offers, but we want to wait until we have the new CD written and recorded."
Did you play any live shows after the release of the first and / or second demo?
"No, we are a studio band at the moment. Distances are a big problem for us, so there are no plans to play live, but who knows..."
When and why did you change the band's logo? Weren't you satisfied with the old one any longer?
"The old logo was okay, but it was not professional enough for us. We decided to change it into a better quality one. Rob Smits, who has done CD covers for bands like Avulsed, Demigod, Excavation, Broken Hope... did the new one. We didn't want a full new logo, just one in the same style, but just better, and so he did it. The result is great for us, we are really satisfied with it. It is very easy to work with Rob."
What was the reason for Robert to quit UNCONSECRATED in December 2007? Has he stopped playing music completely or does he have a new band going already?
"After the second demo was finnished, Robert had to go to live in Madrid because of his job. I kept working on new riffs, but Robert hadn't time enough to write and play, so he decided to quit the band. He has started a one man project, working step by step, but there are no other projects in his mind, I think."
But it seems that you already managed to complete the line-up again as Overlord from the Black Metal act WARCULT joined you on guitar and you even found a drummer in Jacobo from Death Metallers THE NONE... Tell us a bit more about the new line-up and how you got together with them? Will there be a Black Metal influence in UNCONSECRATED from now on, due to Overlord?
"Overlord is a great friend of mine. We know each other for some years now, and we both knew about the other one's project constantly. When Robert left the band, I directly thought of Overlord, because of his experience as a musician, and in recording music - he engineers all the sound in warcult, including drum machines, so I asked him, and he accepted. Overlord also plays in THE NONE, so Overlord asked him to record the new songs of the band, and Jacobo also accepted. About the influences, Overlord likes oldschool Death Metal as much as Black Metal, but warcult is warcult, The None is The None, and Unconsecrated is Unconsecrated. Every band has its own sound and style, and we are not gonna mix them. Unconsecrated will be doing oldschool Death Metal till death."
From what you told me, you have already recorded a brand new song entitled 'Buried In The Crypt' in the meantime, which is going to be released on a Death Metal EP series by Relapse Records... Tell us all details about this? Did Relapse contact you or did you send them your old material at some point?
"It was really surprising for us when we recieved an email from Relapse Records, asking us to appear on one of their new Death Metal series EPs. It was just unbelievable for us, but it was real. The song is done, recorded and sent to them. We are going to share our EP with ABOMINANT, a brutal Death Metal band from Norway. It was surprising to do a split with a Death Metal band in the suffocation style, but their sound is incredible. It is a big honour for us to be on the same EP. We have no news about the release dates and so, but we'll keep you informed. The only information we have is that the Relapse Death Metal Series EPs are composed by five EPs, with two bands each, with bands like COFFINS, GRAVEHILL, CARDIAC ARREST, FATHER BEFOULED, DRAWN AND QUARTERED, ABOMINAT and, of course, UNCONSECRATED."
Ok Dave, I guess this should be enough for now... the last words are yours! All the best for you and UNCONSECRATED and thanks for taking the time to do this interview.
"Thank you very much for this interview. I just want to tell everyone who's reading these lines to keep supporting oldschool Death Metal, and all extreme forms of Metal. You can check out our myspace, where you'll find some of our songs and most recent news at www.myspace.com/unconsecrated. Keep the oldschool flame alive!"
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