Interview with Matt Ralph (guitar)
Interview conducted by Michel Renaud
Date online: September 11, 2000
What is the musical background of the current band members? Did any of you play for some other band in the past, or is Deämon your first experience?
Musical background.. I've been playing for about, probably 9 years now, I used to jam with a couple friends now and then, mostly I used to sit in my room and played along with Guns 'n' Roses cd's!! I also played clarinet in public school but I don't think that really counts - I just kinda pretended to play!! I also play a little piano but nothing complex.. I think Cory was born with a fuckin' guitar in his hands!! He is the fastest guitar I think I've ever seen. Him and Jose were in a band together before Deämon with our former singer who played drums. I think he did a lot of what I did with Guns 'n' Roses, only he was a Metallica nut before they started suckin it up!! Jose has been playing guitar for about 15+ years and bass for about 4 or 5 years. He was in a band in Swizterland called Nevrose, he did singing and guitar. And James has been playing drums for probably about 13 or 14 years now. He used to drum in high school. Before Deämon he was in an Ottawa punk band - Generic, which did really good around here they disbanded about '95 or '96.
How did you come up with the name Deämon, which I must say has an unusual spelling?
I hate that question!! :) I don't really remember - we decided to change our name (again) and wanted something that we thought was cool and something we were going to stick with (we had about 3 names in a year prior to Deämon) and sounded a little evil at the same time. We had a few brainstorming sessions and I think Cory came up with Deämon (pronounced dee-ay-mon). And we stuck two dots over the a in hopes that people might realize that it wasn't deemon.
What are the band's main influences?
Main influences now.. Slayer - although that's not as great of an influence as it used to be but definitely still there in our newer songs. Cannibal Corpse, Deicide. Death (same deal as with Slayer). I'm sure there's others but those are the main ones now..
I have to say that your EP, End Of Ages, is pure joy to listen to. It's 14 minutes and I once had it playing continuously for about 4-5 hours. Bottom line, I'm craving for more. I understand that you are working on a full-length album. How's that coming along?
Well.. lets see.. since we completed the End of
Ages CD we have.. hmm.. about 5 new songs done.. one in the works, which I
think will all end up on the new CD.. plus a few older ones and we may re-record
End of Ages & Inheritance for the full length as well..
But nothing is really decided yet. The new songs are pretty cool.. I
like them all!!! In the same veins as End of Ages.. Lots of fast
grooves.. You may have been able to pick out some of the new ones at shows..
Any tentative release date?
Tentative release date.. hmm.. Mar 13/2001... Kidding... I don't know.. I'm hoping for an early 2001 release date.
My understanding is that End Of Ages is more of a promotion instrument. Will the album revolve around a specific concept, or will it be more like a gathering of the best material you have on hand at the time?
Hmm.. Like I said nothing has been decided yet. I don't really see us making a CD that revolves specifically around one concept, not intentionally anyway.. Although religion is a big influence on us lyrically speaking - some song titles - Long Dead Christ, Facts of Fiction, Sold Soul, Devolved, etc.. But our songs are about other things too.. It'll probably end up being a collection of our best/newest material at the time. Which I think is what most bands end up doing.
Has any record company shown interest so far?
We've a few labels looking at us. Dwell Records was the first who we recorded AC/DC's Hells Bells for in a la- Deämon style. A label in London (England) seemed really interested in us as with one in.. hmm.. some other European country. There's also been quite a few distribution companies interested in us.. But that's not something that we're really looking into yet with the one demo CD we have and a couple of shirts!!
You've played as opener for some big names such as Incantation, Exciter, and more recently, Cannibal Corpse. Those must have been great experiences for you?
Yeah.. all those shows were really cool.. The Exciter one was our first time at Barrymore's. Incantation.. was amazing to watch... I think those guys are close to the top of the pile for brutal/satanic/heaviness. And then there was Cannibal Corpse.. ya, that was ok.. j/k... That was our best show to date. Amazing turn-out, thanks all!! You listen to a Corpse disc and you don't really realize what they are doing through those guitar riffs.. Then you sit 5 feet away from them and watch.. Wow!.. It was simply amazing. One of the best shows I've seen, apart from Slayer! :).
With a few exceptions, you've mostly played in the Ottawa area. Are you guys looking at playing elsewhere in the near future, some metalfest or similar event?
Yeah.. we're always looking to do outa town shows.. I think Montreal is our main goal right now. We plan to do Milwaukee and possibly New Jersey in 2001. We were going to do it this year but we lost a spot there in the end. We had a promotion guy out west contact us about a few dates out there as well.. As long as our gas/transportation, and accommodations are taken care of - we are pretty much game!!
Getting back to End Of Ages, can you tell me a bit more about the songwriting and the studio recording?
The majority of guitar riffs are all Cory's with the exceptions of a couple in Devolved, which were mine. Basically Cory comes in with a song worked out in his head and we'll all together pick it apart and make a few minor modifications here and there. Lyrically.. in the past most of it has been Cory but I've been doing a bit more. The studio recording for End of Ages was done in one weekend. Recorded/Mixed.
We could have done more songs but we wanted something that was going to have a decent recording and mix and if you try and squeeze 8 songs into one weekend your not going to get the mixing time you need. We spent Saturday 10am 'til about 2am recording, drums/beds, bass, guitar over dubs, and solo's and maybe some vocals.. On Sunday we finished the vocals in the morning and mixed until about 2am. I think James and Lee mixed about 2 weeks later or something. I hate recording. Especially when your time is as confined as that. Studio time doesn't come cheap so when you're in there and in the back of your mind you're always thinking... ok I gotta do this in one take we don't have time to fuck around, then you just get frustrated - especially if you keep fuckin' up.. you just gotta do your best to keep calm and relax I guess..
I'd like to thank you for your time, Matt. Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Hmm.. Ok here's the standard thingy!! Check out our website for news, shows, etc @ http://www.deamon.ca and check out our mp3's http://www.mp3.com/deamon. Check back frequently & Thanks for the interview dude! Stay heavy!!
|Other information about Deämon on this site|
|Review: End Of Ages|
|Review: Descend Dethrone|
|Review: Synopsis of Sin|
|Review: Condemned to Darkness|
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