Interview with bassist Bilibaldus
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: October 8, 2018
Finnish thrashers Malicious Death formed in 2002 and is a product of the second wave of Thrash Metal that has produced a host of bands like Pyöveli, Jumalation, Flame, Hellbox, Wengele, Axegresssor, Evil Angel, etc. A little trivia; the band was named after a song by legendary Finnish underground Speed/Thrash Metal legends, Necromancer (R.I.P.).
The band's debut album, Devilization, was released on the band's own label Rebellion Records in 2003 as a limited run of hand-numbered vinyl limited to 300 copies, which soon sold out. Malicious Death's raw, unfiltered, merciless and straightforward Thrash Metal mostly reminded fans of the vicious German acts of the eighties; Minotaur, Violent Force, early Sodom, early Destruction and so on. These furious Finns' follow-up album, War and Power released in 2005, continued the band's worship of early Kreator, Slayer, and Destruction.
It took five more years for the Malicious Death camp to get their next album out, ...From Above (2010), their first album on small Finnish label Disentertainment Records and four more years to get the band's fourth and latest album out, Last Nail into the Coffin (2014), the coffin cover left slightly open on purpose. The band's Thrash zombie has been getting stronger and angrier ever since, getting ready to attack us all again, after a long break.
The Metal Crypt contacted the band's bassist Mr. Bilidaldus "The Sonic Violator of Ripping Chords" (Bilibaldus meaning a brave sword man according to ancient Finnish mythology. There you go, another piece of trivia) and asked what's been cooking in the kitchen of Malicious Death as of late.
Luxi: What's up in the Malicious Death camp? To me, it looks like the band has been keeping a pretty low profile for quite some time...
Bilibaldus: Well, low profile suits us. We are not handsome magazine cover boys. Malicious Death had a short break that became not that short. Life just happened; family and kids, work, etc. We haven't broken up or anything, just sorted our personal lives out a bit.
Luxi: The band played at Vernissa Mosh Fest in Vantaa, Finland, a while ago and it was your first gig in two years. Were you nervous after such a long break?
Bilibaldus: At first, I did feel nervous then I didn't and again I did. Waves of feelings went through me while I was the on stage with the band. I wanted to give so much at that gig. I probably put some extra pressure on myself there. It's just normal I guess? At least I have a hunger, urge and love to play Thrash with this band. I haven't lost the spark, not yet, so it feels great. The gig gave me lots of energy to continue. I hope we gave something positive to the audience as well.
Luxi: How did you like the festival, with its bands and its location?
Bilibaldus: I loved the atmosphere and the festival area. It was so nice to be on stage when you can also hear those waterfalls behind you. Churning out thrash in that scenery was just perfect. Or maybe just beautiful. Haha!
The bands on that day's bill were great. I missed Friday, but Saturday was definitely cool for Thrash from the start to the end.
WANTED: A COMPETENT INTERNET NERD WITH A SALESMAN'S SKILLS
Luxi: I noticed that it's tough to find updated information about the band as the official web page obviously disappeared a long time ago and I couldn't find a Facebook site for the band either. Will there be some improvements regarding all this?
Bilibaldus: I know this is something that I'm not good at. I'm not good at advertising or selling my bands. We definitely need help in that department; some enthusiastic fan who would be constantly running through record stores and companies, trying to sell us like a maniac and also keeping our band pages interesting and updated. Feel free to contact me if you are willing to grab this job, OK?
The Internet is a cool thing but personally, I'm not interested in keeping Facebook or any related web pages updated (I could say something about this social media thing, but it won't change anything). There used to be some fan-based Malicious Death Facebook pages but who knows what happened to them. Maybe people just got bored of us because we are neither that active as a band nor interesting as people. Just four forever young thrasheads enjoying the Thrash Metal universe.
Luxi: It's no secret that the band took its name from one of underground Thrash Metal legends Necromancer's (R.I.P.) earliest songs. As far as I can remember, you have never tried to play the song live. Why is that? Hell, your name obligates you to do so....!
Bilibaldus: Behind the name, Malicious Death, is another Finnish legend, a guy named Otto Taurus Luotonen. It was the end of the eighties at Lepakko - a legendary gig place and another living room for the teenagers at that time. Taurus came up to me nose to nose and shouted," Malicious Death!! Malicious Death!!! What a great fuckin' song or what???". That came to my mind when we were thinking of our own band name back then. The word "death" is a tribute to Death, Blessed Death, Napalm Death etc. You get the point. Then again, the letters M and D remind me of a band that I truly love; Mekong Delta. I know I'm alone here with that (actually you are not, count me in too - Luxi). I have met a few fans in my life that also like them but not that many.
As for Necromancer, I saw them so many times live - and hell, "Malicious Death" is one of the most legendary Finnish Thrash Metal songs ever. About covering Necromancer, who knows - perhaps someday. We are not that much into cover songs but who knows, maybe I'll ask Taurus for some help because his band Forca Macabra, has played a Necromancer cover live.
Luxi: You have all been busy with jobs, families, normal routines in your life and stuff, so I was just wondering how much time have you had to come up with new songs for the band?
Bilibaldus: Not enough, that's for certain. I have written several new songs at home but we haven't even practiced those yet. We have eight new songs already and some of those were in the setlist at the Vernissa Mosh fest. We were planning to record at least some of those new songs soon. I also have some ideas for our next album, but you can never tell what will happen next. You see, there are four guys in the band and we all build up these songs together, so my influence is on them pretty small in the end.
NOT QUITE THE LAST NAIL IN THE COFFIN
Luxi: Your latest album Last Nail into the Coffin, came out in April 2014. I am hoping the album title wasn't a clever metaphor that the band's (recording) career would be completely over... or, was it after all?
Bilibaldus: Last Nail into the Coffin has several different meanings to me. The main thing is that the last nail is always the first nail in another thing, i.e. leaving something behind and starting a new chapter. Secondly, I don't like restricted rules or orders. I'm more into disorder and chaos. All that provokes me to do more songs and pushes me forward, so in other words, Last Nail wasn't our last album. I was pretty wrecked mentally when we were finalizing the Last Nail album and wasn't sure where my life was heading to. I hate the album for a few reasons and one is because that time in my personal life was so dark. Luckily, I found a new start to bring more light into my everlasting dark life. Nowadays I have better feelings about things and am looking forward to doing new Thrash Metal with the band. I feel much more motivated regarding my life and doing new music for the band, which is just great.
Luxi: On that album, you have lot of Whiplash's punk influence in your songs, which worked for yours truly at least.
Bilibaldus: Well, Punk music has been a big part of my life and the other guys, too. When we started this band, we sort of decided to bring the Thrash back to Thrash Metal and nothing else. But years have passed. Vocalists have come and gone (and now a drummer as well), and my mind tends to change a million times in a split second. Basically, I want our influences to be heard. Punk and Hardcore were influences for Thrash and I have nothing against them. It is part of me and my musical influences. So those come very naturally.
Whiplash's Power and Pain, man, I love that album. It has everything I could dream of having in our songs. Also, I finally had my Blessed Death moment on the album's s title track. To me personally, Blessed Death one of the biggest influences for sure.
OF CHOOSING THE FAVORITE BABY
Luxi: Which album, out of the four you have done so far, do you personally regard as Malicious Death's most coherent and pleasing album and why?
Bilibaldus: So, you're asking which of my babies I love most, huh? I think War and Power is the most coherent album from us. It was an evolutionary step from Devilization, which is our debut album. I think if Marko "Red" would had stayed in the band, our sound would be more traditional Heavy Metal influenced Thrash Metal. I know there are fans that like the Last Nail album and even I like some of my writing on there. But personally, I would have done it differently and the album itself just brings bad memories to me.
The Devilization record has a pure and innocent feel to it, so it's quite fascinating actually. For the ...From Above album, which is the band's third baby, I have the least close contact to. I have neither bad nor good memories about it. It's just there. But I'm always going forward, with the next album and so forth. I already have several ideas ready for the next album. We have such songs written already as "Necromancer", "Let The Sleeping Dogs Lie", and "Digging the Grave". However, the future is unknown to me. First, we need to get a new guy behind the drums and then we see what we may bring out and when.
Luxi: Have you ever thought of adding a second 6-string shredder to the band line-up to increase the firepower, both studio recording and live wise?
Bilibaldus: In the very beginning, I was thinking of having another guitarist on stage with us. Thank Satan, the other guys said no. It was all due to me being insecure about myself and maybe I was a bit shy, too. I didn't have enough experience performing live either. Now I see it's one part of our personal sound. We don't need a big massive heavy sound. Actually, I love annoying lightly buzzing guitars that tear your ears apart and blow your head off. But what I have learned all these years, I love wrong things in music, hahaha!!!
Luxi: Are there any drastic changes in your musical orientation as far as your new songs are concerned?
Bilibaldus: We have a lot of perversions in our musical taste and that's nothing new. I see nothing dramatic coming. Everything for us starts from Thrash Metal and its surrounding influences. Add a taste of Crossover and a sip of traditional Heavy Metal, and maybe a flirt of blackish Thrash and who knows what else. One of my plans was to say that the Last Nail record was also the album that would mean a new musical start for us. I was thinking back then that we would bring more of our influences and perverted fantasies into our music but still keep it mostly on the old-school Thrash Metal side of things. Just playing fast and outrageous Thrash, which we love most.
Luxi: Thrash Metal has been making a resurgence for years and some retro Thrash Metal/Crossover bands have succeeded in making an impact on the masses (Municipal Waste, Warbringer, Suicidal Angels, Crisix etc.). What's your take on this second coming of Thrash Metal?
Bilibaldus: I don't mind seeing more Thrash bands, or Thrash influenced bands coming out. I'm happy if they get some success - it is great! It takes nothing away from me. Also, it's great to hear that there are still thrashers around and new generations are finding the genre exciting enough to keep it going.
Luxi: The same thing is happening in Finland; it's yesterday's news that some of the Finnish Speed/Thrash bands that ruled back in the day have reformed (The Hirvi, Terrific Verdict, Prestige, A.R.G. etc.) and a bunch of new forces have stepped in (Radux, Architorture, Home Style Surgery, Ceaseless Torment etc.) over the past few years. Do you believe many of these are just in it as long as it's fun for them to play Thrash and they will be swallowed by the earth because they won't have enough passion and determination to put 100% into these bands?
Bilibaldus: The Hirvi's new album is just superb, it's amazing. So much better than any big Thrash Metal band has done for years. I am hoping they will get more attention and success in the future because they absolutely deserve it.
I have no idea why many of these bands have done comebacks. I just hope they're enjoying what they're doing. They can be on a nostalgic trip or whatever if they're truly enjoying it. Then again, some of them never made their comebacks because probably lost totally the passion for playing Thrash Metal due to a number of reasons. Their own stars shone for a while for the right reasons; because of their passion, love, and feelings that they gave of themselves to fans and got something back.
For me, Thrash Metal gives me a lot of energy; for my work, living and life in general. It's like laughing; it adds years to my life. Thrash Metal can be evil, mean, angry, violent or whatever. It just makes me smile and puts me in a good mood. That's why I love it and play it. I'm a selfish bastard, and doing it for the selfish reasons, haha!
Luxi: Do you miss the old days, before the Internet when one really needed to put in some effort to find all the killer bands? Tape trading, return my stamps back, kill the posers etc. - they are all a part of those jolly good times when we were both young and wild - and now we are just wild, ha!
Bilibaldus: Yes and no. I am happy that life goes on and doesn't just stand still. I miss being young, innocent and stupid. Rational thinking wins too many times nowadays. But I'm still learning new music; finding new artists and bands, and that is always great. I can find new bands on my phone even. You couldn't do all that back in the eighties, haha!
Luxi: You guys know your Thrash (hands down), so could you tell us why playing and listening to Thrash Metal is such an addictive thing? Does such a thing exist as an "ultimate Thrash Metal album"?
Bilibaldus: As I told you earlier, Thrash Metal makes me happy and puts a smile on my face. It takes away depression and anxiety. It is a sort of mental practice really. "Thrashfullness" if you like. To me, Thrash is perfect when it's not precisely or professionally played. It should include some roughness and even mistakes. It should have a harsh sound, not too balanced guitars, etc. maintaining its aggressiveness and primal power. Thrash Metal should be raw. There are many different styles of Thrash bands. There's no such a thing as the ultimate or perfect Thrash album, not for me anyway. There are tons of great Thrash albums out there with (almost) perfect songs on them. If I collected ten of my favorite songs on one album, it wouldn't be the ultimate Thrash album either, you know. An album has a personal mood and flavor that comes with a certain time, era and musicians that play and build up that album. Time and era can be tomorrow, next year or whenever. It doesn't have to be like it used to be. Life goes on and things change. I keep myself interested in new things in general, but I surely don't like them all. I am always trying to find out what new metalheads are saying about their music.
Luxi: What does the near future (2019-2020) hold for Malicious Death?
Bilibaldus: We hope to finish these eight new, fully raging MD songs and get them released in 2020. Our wish list also includes perhaps more gigs and happiness, of course!
Luxi: That was it for now. Thank you for your time and thrash on! The last words, well, just be my guest... ;o)
Bilibaldus: Well, our drummer just let us know that he has quit the band and stopped playing for good. This fact may change some of our future plans. Thanks to Jerker for all these years and I wish you all well in the future. Malicious Death will be continuing with a new drummer. We just have to find one that fits the line-up.
|Other information about Malicious Death on this site|
|Review: ...From Above|
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