Fancy listening to a band who are a musical embodiment of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Look no further, as today’s Band of the Day, Basement Torture Killings, have got that sound down to a tee. The death metal quartet follow in the footsteps of horror-metal legends, such as Autopsy and Exhumed with their gore-obsessed lyrics and fast-paced brutality. The band were kind enough to give us a brief look into their madness.
Simple things first, where are you guys from?
We were initially an internet recording project with members in Sweden and the UK, we are now all based in and around London.
How did you meet?
As I said before, we were initially an internet recording project, and it was myself and an old friend. I went to visit him in Sweden and we went to see Grave and Nominion play. The next day, instead of going sight seeing, we decided to write and record a song for fun. That night I went back to the UK, but whilst I was at the airport in Stockholm I paid to use the internet and created the band’s Myspace and from that, the band was born.
The initial line up fell apart a couple of years ago, so I had to find new members. Our bass player applied online, I already knew our drummer from London and I also knew Beryl, our vocalist from Bristol, and approached her to join. It is a good feeling in the band at the moment. We all get on and have a shared passion, which is great.
How long have you been playing as a band?
This year sees our 10th anniversary although this is only the 2nd year with this line up.
Before you get sick of being asked, where does the band name come from?
We knew that we wanted to call the band Basement Torture Killings but we didn’t want to just copy Dennis Rader’s ‘Bind Torture Kill’ moniker for a couple of reasons. We had an image in our minds that the characters that we play within the band would commit their heinous deeds far from prying eyes and we figured that a basement playground would suit them. So the name Basement Torture Killings kind of came from that thinking really.
What are your influences?
Musically our routes are very much in the old school 90’s death and grind bands; Carcass are a very big influence as are bands like Exhumed, Impaled, General Surgery, etc. It’s mainly just the classic death and grind stuff. Personally I’ve always liked thrash and black metal, and for the first time we have started to incorporate more of these styles into our music.
Visually, we are obviously inspired by horror movies. One of the more subtle influences would be The League Of Gentlemen. I think that the 50’s theme and horror characters are very much inspired by those guys.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
I would say our music is high tempo death/grind, the vocal style we use is different to a lot of the current gore-grind bands. We have started to incorporate elements of black metal and thrash into the sound which has added some more texture to our overall sound. I think the one thing that sets us apart from other bands at the moment is that we aren’t massively reliant on being super technical or have loads of slam riffs. We are an old school band, but we do not try to copy bands from the past; we just try to write music that I like to hear.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
The band’s lyrical theme is focused around horror, torture, and murder. In that sense we are very much a gore grind band. That said we have also started to write about the killers in the band, and our new album features an origin of songs of all the killers. This was really fun to do and I think in the future we will pursue this more. We have never really written about real killers in the way that Macabre does, we have sometimes created stories that are based on real killers, but it is always fantasy based.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
The live setting is where we are most at home, I couldn’t tell you how many shows we have done as a band accurately, although I guess around 150. With this line up I think maybe 30 or 40 shows. Our shows are very visual and we like to interact with the audience as much as possible, so we will hand out wine filled blood bags and things. Our vocalist likes very much to sew (home made) organs into a teddy bear which end up being pulled out and thrown into the audience. Our shows are a mess normally, but we like to think that people have fun. There is also an element of people being creeped out by our visual presentation. I guess its similar to watching a horror movie!
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
I think some of the crowd reactions have been fairly crazy, especially recently. I had a monitor pushed off the stage and onto my foot last year. At the same show, some guy seemed to collapse on one of the monitors at the end of a song and I honestly thought that he was really injured. As soon as the next song started, he came back to life like a zombie or something and then carried on moshing! One of the teddy bears that Beryl cut open on stage recently had so much stuffing, the whole stage looked like it was covered in snow. There have been some things here and there, but they will remain secret for now.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play etc.?
Well I’m not really the best person to answer techy questions. I personally play a Monson custom guitar as my main instrument, I also have some ESP’s, BC Rich Ignitor, and Moser Custom Bastard V. Amp-wise, I used to use a rack set up which had rocktron and mesa boogie stuff in it. However I’ve recently got a Kemper powered head which I am now using. It’s really portable and sounds great so I am happy with that. Our bassist uses a BC Rich Iron Bird and also a Sansamp bass pre-amp which he normally plugs into an Orange head. He has a load of pedals as well although I’m not sure what they are. Our drummer has drums. Sorry I’m not sure which make, etc.!
What are your plans for 2017?
The album is just about to be released, so we are going to be playing many shows in support of this. We have already announced our 10th anniversary and album launch show which will see us play alongside General Surgery and many other awesome bands. We are playing this year’s Incineration Fest in London, and also heading to Portugal and Poland. We are also looking at lining up some other European shows for the summer. In April we head out for a four-date short run with Party Cannon, Necrosis, and Scordatura that takes us to Glasgow, Dublin, Belfast, and Liverpool which I think will be a lot of fun.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Well I guess the headliners would be Carcass, and for the opener I would say Stranglewire. They are a new band from Belfast and have released a really cool video. I know that they are due to release their debut EP and I am genuinely excited to hear it.
There’s Something About Beryl is released the 7th of April and can be pre-ordered here.