One of this year’s musical surprises is in my opinion US Gore / Deathers EXHUMED newest effort “Anatomy Is Destiny”, which takes the band’s own trademarks of straight grinding, bloodlusting Death Metal to a new level of musicality, melody and technical skill. For the first time in EXHUMED’s career one can really enjoy the killer riffs this band is able to create and although their sound has become a lot more clear, they have not lost any of their brutality, drive and morbid humour, but let Matt Harvey (guitar / vocals) speak for himself…
Horns up, you old corpsefucker!!! How you’re doing? What’s the latest news from the morgue? Any new corpses to be exhumed and violated?
“There’s always something new in the morgue – the only depression-proof industry outside of prostitution and alcohol… There’s always something / someone new to dissect, lavage, scour, scrape off the floor, or ingest.”
You got a damn great new album out, what feedback did you already receive on it? I guess a lot of people were extremely surprised, right? In my opinion "Anatomy…" is musically the best you’ve ever done, only the production is a bit too polished for my taste.
“So far the reviews and shit have been really positive which is cool, I suppose. You’re one of the first people to tell me that it’s too polished. We all feel that it’s our strongest record to date and are really happy with how it came out.”
How could afford such a "big" producer, since Neil Kernon has worked with the likes of NEVERMORE and CANNIBAL CORPSE I guess Relapse had to spend a lot of money on him, is that correct? Or did you have to work as street hookers to get the bucks together? Are you satisfied with Neil’s job? Was it a smooth recording and mixing process?
“After sending Relapse some demo versions of the new songs, we both agreed that the new record would need a much cleaner production to bring out the elements in the music. Relapse made things happen with Neil and it worked out really well. I know that we got a pretty good deal for the album, considering the end result. The recording process was actually really intense, as we pushed ourselves a lot more than we had in the past and worked pretty much 10-12 hours every day for 10 days. It was a bit of a challenge, because we never tried to pull off an album as tight and clean as "A.I.D." before, and we only had a limited amount of time to do it in. Working with Neil was great though, he had a ton of energy and enthusiasm for everything and really pushed us without being an asshole – he was more like a coach or something.”
On me "Anatomy Is Destiny" had the effect that CARCASS "Heartwork" has on people who only know "Symphonies Of Sickness", I hope you get my point. Although you kept the typical EXHUMED trademarks, "Anatomy…" sounds like a completely new dimension of EXHUMED. Would you agree? How do fans from the early days of EXHUMED react on the CD? Did people accuse you of sounding mainstream?
“A couple of people that I’ve known for years were surprised at first and didn’t know what to think, but they have since come around to totally dig the record, which is a good sign. All the trademark EXHUMED stuff is still there, the early-NAPALM style Grind riffs, the thrashy moments, but there is some stuff on the record we haven’t really done before. I think we haven’t lost any of the Grind and the stuff that we’ve done in the past, we’ve just incorporated some other elements as well, which is a good thing. We always want to continue evolving and growing as a band with each album to keep things interesting, but we won’t ever totally abandon what the band has always been about, which is traditional Death Metal and Grindcore, mixed with brutal Thrash. There’s really a lot of room in there for expansion and taking things in different directions within that framework.”
Your long-time drummer Col Jones has left the band, is it true that he’s a scientist in cancer research? I never expected a member of a Metal band having such an impressive job! Are you other guys lawyers, child doctors or proud unemployed drug addicts?
“No, we’re pretty much derelicts and wage-slaves… Col is indeed a cancer researcher. You can check out his company at www.genitope.com. They’re working on patient-specific cancer therapy for non-hodgkins lymphoma. Hey, Chris Lykins quit ATROPHY to become a doctor… so you never know.” so you never know.”
Have you already found an replacement for him?
“For the tour plans in the immediate future, we are playing with a guy named Danny Walker, who also plays drums for our label-mates UPHILL BATTLE. We’re doing some warm-up shows on the east coast for the European tour and he’s doing a great job. As far as a permanent replacement goes, that’s still up in the air.”
On your website you mentioned DEKAPITATOR, CRETIN and CADAVERIZER as musical projects of Jones and other EXHUMED members, what’s the latest news on them? I can’t wait to hear a new DEKAPITATOR CD!!! How’s CADAVERIZER progressing? Have they managed to record anything yet? Have you already heard some CADAVERIZER stuff? I was told they have recorded a rehearsal, does it contain vocal parts by Kam Lee? My dick gets hard when I think of that, aaarrggghhh!!!
“Col will be playing with me in DEKAPITATOR and CADAVERIZER, and with a couple of our old friends in CRETIN. There is a CADAVERIZER rehearsal (6 or 7 songs I think), but unfortunately there are no vocals on it. Kam ended up backing out of the project before we got to record. We are planning on re-animating it though, although I don’t know who will be on vocals.”
Back to EXHUMED… I heard you sick bastards have got censorship problems again, is that correct? I saw the US version at a store lately (incl. a live bonus CD) and hell, it features some gruesome photos of you guys, who’s responsible for that sick art? I guess it was a lot of fun playing dead, fucked up and massacred, right? Do you know what’ll happen to the German version? Isn’t censorship shitty?
“That copy must have been an import or something. That’s killer that you were able to find the real version of the CD – there’s hope for the German slaughtercultists yet… The photos were conceived and the make-up was done by us, but the photos themselves were taken by a Swiss guy named Alex Solca. That’s why they look so much more professional than the photos we’ve done in that vein in the past. The copies that will come into Germany after the intial run is sold through or confiscated will have a plain, two-fold booklet, and people will be able to send away for the real booklet for one euro. Censorshit is ridiculous. I prepared a statement that will be translated into German for the censored version voicing our opinion on this phenomenon.” (I got my CD at Idiots Records Dortmund, who are available via the Internet, too – www.idiots.de – don’t trust their online catalogue, call them! – Stefan)
Will you sell some US versions on your European tour in October? I guess most fans will appreciate that…
“Abso- mothafuckin – lutely. We will bring over the full-on shit for you guys.”
Let’s talk about the album again, what’s your personal favourite on it? I love ‘Under The Knife’, ‘A Song For The Dead’ (great solo) and of course ‘In The Name Of Gore’!!!
“Hmmm… So far my favorite track is um… I don’t know… I don’t really have a favorite. So far ‘The Matter Of Splatter’ seems to be the favorite amongst fans. ‘In The Name Of Gore’, ‘Waxwork’, ‘Under The Knife’… fuck, I guess I like almost all of them equally.”
How do you explain to yourself the musical progress on "Anatomy Is Destiny"? Was it just some kind of natural development or did you do it with intent – I mean: did you say to yourself "Now we don’t do another raw Gore / Grind CD, but a well produced album no one would expect of us and that shows that we are great musicians"? Damn, this was sort of a little bit complicated question, but I hope you understand it, fuckin’ English!!!
“Well, we knew that we wanted to do a record that had more slower sections than "Slaughtercult", but aside from that, we didn’t really have a game plan. The first couple of songs we worked on, ‘Death Walks Behind You’, ‘In The Name Of Gore’ and ‘Consuming Impulse’ kind of set the tone for where the album was headed. Once that was established, the direction just kind of happened. I have been practicing a lot since “Slaughtercult”, and learning a lot about playing guitar and getting back into that kind of stuff, which brought out a whole new side to my own playing, and I know that Mike, Col, and Bud all stepped things up individually, just to do the best album that we could.”
Since I only have a promo CD of the album I don’t know the lyrics, are they in the same manner as on your previous releases? What horrible, humorous perversions have you dealt with this time? Do you have found a few new gore movie inspirations or are your lyrics entirely based upon your private experience with dead bodies?
“Actually, the lyrics are a bit more dark and serious this time. The humor is getting pretty abrasive and really, really cynical. Some of the songs, like ‘Waxwork’, ‘Consuming Impulse’, ‘Arclight’ and ‘Death Walks Behind You’ are pretty much straight-ahead hack and slash, but there’s a lot of subtext and weird shit going on in ‘In The Name Of Gore’, ‘The Matter Of Splatter’, ‘Song For The Dead’, and ‘Grotesqueries’ as far as subtext. There’s some philosophical and political and other weird angles on things that we haven’t really explored before, but it’s all put across through the gore motif.”
Who is the girl or the dead children choir singing on the CD? Whose idea was that?
“The girl is my god-daughter, Sakara Birdsong. I got the idea from ALICE COOPER and "A Nightmare On Elm Street". I think it turned out really cool and creepy. That’s one of my favorite parts on the whole album actually. It’s so sarcastic and eerie at the same time.”
Do you look forward to your European tour? What do you think of the bands that’ll accompany you? I like INHUME, they are intense live, but CEPHALIC CARNAGE… urk! Will there be any new show elements like shitting onstage or throwing pig bowels at the audience? Will you do the traditional "puke solo"?
“I’m really excited about this tour. I think that it should be our best yet. I know CEPHALIC CARNAGE probably isn’t to your tastes, but they are a great live band and they are really good friends of ours, as are INHUME, on both counts. The show will be a bit different this time but it will still definitely be Gore Fucking Metal…”
What past experiences with German Metal heads did you have? Do you like Germany, people’s mentality and our bands / scene / zines? Will you anally rape my favourite hoe Thomas Westphallus of NECROMANIAC?
“I will make sweet love to Thomas with my nose while he gets a blow job from the midget that I’ll be fucking up the ass. All we need is butter and leather… Germany is one of our absolute favorite places to play. I think our most intense fans are probably in Germany and we always look forward to playing out there. Plus we love Turkish food, which is abundant in Germany.” (Hail the “Döner”!!! – Stefan)
Ok, we are close to the end, just let me know what’ll happen next with EXHUMED! When will the Relapse-comp of your early stuff surface? Will you release some morbid vinyl EP’s in the future again? When and where can one check out the two new videos? Are they gory?
“Up next is a split live 10" with Aborted and then the "Platters Of Splatter" DoCD, which will be out next year. We’ll be back in Europe again in April of 2004 on the No Mercy festivals with CANNIBAL CORPSE and HYPOCRISY as well. Beyond that, who knows.”
Alright, thanks a fuckin’ lot for your answers, I hope to shake hands and drink a beer with you in Osnabrück on the 24th of October! Until then, "Prost" and GORE FUCKING ON!!!!
“Fuck yeah, dude! We’ll see you there. Thanks for the support and I’m looking forward to German beer!” Band’s website: www.exhumed.us