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......::::PATH OF DESOLATION (Switzerland)::::......
Realized at: 07th, November 2014
(Answers by: All members)
 

 

" I think the voice and the guitars are the most important elements to define the Death metal, of course there are a lot of Death Metal bands but they are all different in a way. The Death Metal would be a dark beer for me, it’s something stronger than all the other but there are a lot of different dark beers though.  " (Steven - Guitarrist)

1. Hails Dave, you are one of the founder members, however you have been previously active with another bands like 3 DAYS OF SILENCE and THE NIGHTSHADE. Tell us about your evolution as a “musician” and getting involved in the scene. What is your opinion on the underground nowadays than it was before?

Dave (vocals): Actually, Steven, Grant and Loïc founded PATH OF DESOLATION. I joined them a few months later, just after my previous band, XICON split up. I started THE NIGHTSHADE more than 15 years ago. At the time, I didn’t know how to sing or scream. I just learned as I went along. Exploring my capabilities has always been my way to get better as a singer. Every record I have worked on allowed me to evolve, to try new things with the vocals. Today, I am evolved in three bands – PATH, 3 DAYS OF SILENCE and DIABLERETS, and they all are very different, vocal-wise. I love that because I can experiment in various directions. I guess what I do in 3 DAYS influences my work in PATH and reciprocally. Regarding the evolution of the underground, I remember that when we started the Nightshade, there were pretty much only hardcore bands in my area. We were, in a way, misfits. Today, we have a richer underground scene in Switzerland, the musical level is higher than it was 15 years ago, I think.  

2. Since POD´s inception, you`ve gone on to become with a very well produced EP entitled “Soaked Jester”, the 3 songs and the whole sound on it is really perfect in my opinion. Could you please tell us some details about the composition work and who was the man behind the engineering and mixing?  

Steven (guitar): I’m the main songwriter in the band, I work with with my ESP Eclipse, an external soundcard and my computer with Guitar Rig. I like working with a computer, I can edit the songs and share them easily. The composition of the 3 songs took less than 5 months. I wrote the intro of “Rest In Your Fears” a week before we founded the band. “Soaked Jester” is my favorite song of the EP because they were a lot of emotions when I wrote it. “The Word” is the most powerful of them, I think I was angry when I wrote it (hahaha). We talked a lot about the studio and we thought it was a good idea to work with someone like Anna Murphy. It was my first experience and I enjoyed it a lot.

Dave: The EP was recorded and mixed by Anna Murphy. I had played with Eluveitie with my former band and I met again Anna later on in Germany, where I interviewed her. We had a long chat and we found out we had a lot of shared musical tastes. We thought it would be cool to work together on a future release. So when we started thinking about recording with PATH, I got in touch with her and we did it.  

3. One of my fave areas is art work. In my opinion bad art work can’t kill great record but great art work can make a half decent record seem so much better? What are you opinions on art work?

Grant (bass): For me, in a day and age where it is harder and harder to sell records, because people no longer want to spend money on them; it is very important to have solid artwork. It is how you are going to visually market your product and try to make people take note that your record exists. You could have written the album of the year, but with lacking artwork no one will take notice. For Soaked Jester we found a graphic designer who has already worked with established bands, Rise to Remain just to name one. We sent him some lyrics and he came up with the great image that is used on the cover for the record.  

4. I also have to mention, as a leading point. You have a guest appearance from Anna Murphy (Well known as a member from ELUVEITIE band) on one of your songs. Could you please share some details about this event with us? How so you attained to do this?

Dave: Well as I said, she recorded and mixed our first EP. We had just finished recording the vocals for the EP and we thought this could be nice to have some female vocals on one song. We simply asked her, she said ‘Sure!’ and just sang.

Steven: Dave asked us about it during the recording session and we were like “Why not! That would be great but will she accept?” Everybody was afraid to ask her and after 20 minutes Dave did.

Grant: We were really surprised about her reaction. Five minutes after asking her, she had the lyrics and was in the recording booth.  

5. How would you characterize the development of POD on this short period of existence? What are your most redundant things to achieve in the shortest future?

Grant: Over the 15 months that the band has existed, we have all really progressed as musicians and Steven’s ability to write more technically demanding parts has progressed too. The fact that we don’t just work on music once a week in the rehearsal room is important too. We can all record at home so we can send tracks and ideas to each other very easily. This allows us to progress quicker in the writing process.

Loïc (drums) : I think the most important in a band is team work. Whenever Steven brings in a new song, every other band member add his own ideas and enrich the track. It may take a lot of time but at the end of the day, it give more varied songs that the ones that’d be written by a single person.  

6. Over the years death metal has evolved to be not just one specific sound. Is there any specific death metal sound that means more to you than the other?

Grant: Everyone in the band has different tastes in metal. We all like melodic death to an extent but I think I am the only one who likes all the genres of death metal. I feel that death metal has moved on like every other sub-genre of metal. It has been fusioned with other styles and the although “pure” death metal does still exist and the old legendary bands are still going, people have been incorporating new elements to the style (keyboards, clean vocals, etc.) Of course there are death metal purists who don’t even give these elements a chance but at least then not every band band sounds the same. People mixed Punk and Death Metal back in the early 90’s and that became Grindcore, so from a very early stage death metal was already evolving.  

7. The music of Path Of Desolation is very varied, with softer, slower passages and real intense heavy and brutal parts. Is this planned or does it just happen naturally during the song writing process?

Steven: This is a good question, I would say it depends on the mood but as you say sometimes it just happens naturally, emotions help me a lot when I write music. I’m always working on my computer so I can record every single thing that I play, then I try to add a second guitar. I can spend a lot of time on it but when I can’t find anything valuable for me I start listening to others bands. I try to figure out what make them so special and good.

Dave: I left XICON because the writing process had become tedious. Everything was discussed and thought over and over and over again. Spontaneity and fun had completely vanished. I don’t want to get back to this situation. I enjoy it more playing music with our guts than with our heads. This is really cool for me to work with these younger guys in PATH: they all bring a lot of freshness, enthusiasm and energy to the band. Things I had missed with my former band.  

8. Let´s talk about aesthetics, Do you follow a certain aesthetic in the way you dress for the band? There’s a specific aesthetic to melodic death metal?

Steven: Not really, we are just trying to dress in black, at the moment we are more focusing on the quality of our gigs.

Dave: Nope. Loïc just disguises himself as a deathcore drummer, but that’s pretty much it ☺

Loïc : I don’t use any particular disguise. I just like to feel comfortable when I play. When you’re hitting a drum kit it can feel really hot. Our keyboard player Nipo also like to feel comfortable : he ALWAYS plays barefoot. Sometimes, just to piss the other band members, I wear a cap: I know Steven and Grant don’t like that.  

9. Vinyl format have nowadays gained unbelievable comeback. And tapes finally came back too! Do you see any advantages in different formats like LP, CD and MC and which one of them you personally prefer?

Dave: I’m old so I have lived the tape-trading era. I am very nostalgic of this period and still love tapes and LPs. I’m not into mp3 at all. I buy tons of CD’s because I need to have something solid in my hands, to read the booklet when listening for the first time to an album. It wouldn’t have made a lot of sense to release a vinyl with PATH OF DESOLATION. It would have been expensive and since this EP is mostly used to promote the band, we would have missed the point with a vinyl. The guys we send a physical format must be able to listen to it quickly and easily. A CD does the trick.

10. You've been playing a number of shows recently and you have gained a reputation for your performances; are live shows a central aspect of Path Of Desolation? What have been the best and worst live experiences you've had?

Steven: My best experience was our first gig, it was in a small bar and we were opening the night. The crowd was awesome, the feeling was really great.

11. OK, please define death metal with your own words, and if death metal was a beer, which one would it be?

Dave: Tough question… Deicide, Dark Tranquility and Vader are all labeled as ‘death metal’ acts. But they have little in common in my opinion, musically and visually. Maybe energy and groove are the common denominator. So maybe death metal is all of the beers you can find in a bar and you have to taste them all to know what it’s really about.

Steven: I think the voice and the guitars are the most important elements to define the Death metal, of course there are a lot of Death Metal bands but they are all different in a way. The Death Metal would be a dark beer for me, it’s something stronger than all the other but there are a lot of different dark beers though.  

12. I always enjoy hearing what life is like outside of a band. What can you share with us about what your lives are like outside of the bands? Wives, kids, jobs, hobbies?
Steven
: Well, I’m still a student, no wife and kids yet, the band is my main hobby but I like playing video games and reading mangas.

Loïc : I got no kids nor wife. Still a bit young for that. I work at night in an institution that shelter drug addicts. During daytime I play the drums, go sport training, play video games.

Dave: I got married earlier this year. I work as a journalist and have too many hobbies, including beer brewing, beer drinking, playing in three different bands, writing for a metal magazine called Transit Mag, reading books, cooking, hiking…  

13. I’ve noticed your pretty solid technical skills. Are you a self-learner, or do you have some musical education? Do you think that musical education is important, when creating, or playing music? Or both?  

Steven: I took guitar lessons during 2 years, it helped me a lot to know the basics and I learnt a lot about my instrument, this is something really important for me. After this is started self-learning, listening to other bands helped me a lot though.

Loïc: I took drumming lessons when I was a kid. I had a break for a while and got back to it more seriously when I was 16. I started playing songs by Amon Amarth, In Flames and many others. I learnt a lot from watching videos on Youtube. I think that music is important in people’s life. It can help getting more confident. A far as I’m concerned, is a passion!

Dave: I started ‘singing’ when I was 16. At the time I played bass and sang on some Offspring and Nirvana covers… Not really proud of that but there it is. I joined The Nightshade a few years later and started with the harsh vocals and learned how to do it as I went along. I took singing lessons a few years back and it really helped me with the screams, as I learned new breathing techniques…  

14. Well, that would be all for the moment...thanks very much for your time. If you have anything to add in the end to conclude this interview.

Dave: Thanks for the interview. We’re writing new songs as we speak and intend to record a full-length album as soon as possible. We’re really looking forward to share these new songs with the world.

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