Interview: De Profundis

Photo: Thorin Earl
Photo: Thorin Earl

[avatar user=”wolfie” size=”50″ align=”left” /]Prior to their opening slot for Enslaved at the end of September, we managed to grab ten minutes of London-based progressive black metallers De Profundis’ time. Aoife asked them about their influences, new material, live shows and disappearing producers before the band teased us with hints about next year’s Incineration Fest.

Are you looking forward to the show tonight?

Yes, very much. We were supposed to go on tour in November, it was all confirmed, but then it fell through as some of the guys couldn’t make it across. We were supposed to be on the road or a whole month with Immolation and Origin, but it’s been postponed to next year. So we get to play this one night, though, which is good.

I can hear overtones of Opeth and Death in your sound and lyrics. Were they influences on you?

Yes, definitely. I’ve been listening to both of those bands pretty much since they came out – myself and Shoi, the two oldies. Both of those bands were a massive influence on us, Opeth less so these days. They’ve changed a lot over the years and so have we, but not in the same direction. Death, most definitely. Also bands like Atheist, Cynic and Pestilence. Bands from the early 90’s when things started getting a bit more technical, but always melodic. It’s important that we always have melodies in our music.

You’re about to release a new album, Kingdom of the Blind. How did you go about writing the material?

Well, this time we wanted to go in a more death metal direction. The songs we’ve written in the past have tended to be much longer. Since the first album, the songs have been getting shorter and more to the point… but also more complex. We decided we wanted to condense it, so that we could get the maximum impact in the shortest amount of time. We downtuned the guitars slightly so they fitted in more with the vocals, speeded things up. But we still had about the same amount of ideas as in the past, just fit them into a shorter timeframe.

It’s still pretty melodic and easy to listen to. There are a lot of hooks and not overly complex for the sake if it. It’s always about the song. We give everyone the chance to shine over the course of the album, but the main thing is to create good songs.

What are your plans for after the album release?

Well, the tour is on hold as I said, but we’re already halfway through writing the next album. This means we can focus on that a bit more now. Paul and Chris are effectively our managers now and working hard on what we can do after that. Some of us are thinking of a video. We had one off the last album, but the line-up’s changed a little since then. Two people have left since then and it would be nice to do one with the current line-up.

Whatever we do, we have a good team behind us to push us than we’ve had in the past. Hopefully they’ll be able to get us onto show, festivals and what have you. We always want to play and get our music out there to as many people as possible. There’s a lot of momentum at present as the reviews are coming through for the album and they’re by far the best we’ve ever had. We’d always get good reviews, but we’d also get some scathing ones. In the past we’ve been a little… quirky. But with the new material we’ve gone a bit more direct, and the songs represent what we do live. Even when we were playing the slower stuff, we found ourselves going faster than the album so we made a decision to write faster material this time. The thing is, again, we’re going even faster than this album!

De Profundis - Kingdom of the BlindDid you encounter any problems recording the album?

When are there not any problems?! We’ll start with the writing of the album… we parted ways with our guitarist partway through the writing and Paul came in. The writing went off in a totally new direction with his input. During the recording our producer disappeared on us towards the end of the project… with the mix! Fortunately our drummer has a friend who’s a producer so he helped us work with what we had to create a final mix with a few changes that we’d wanted to make. It’s strange – the producer is a very good friend of ours and we’ve not heard from him in a year! We didn’t do anything to piss him off, he just disappeared!

The thing is, no album is perfect – it’s what drives you to do the next one. Kingdom of the Blind is as close to perfection as we’ve managed, but there are still things that we want to fix for the next one.

If you could tour with any band, who would it be?

Actually Enslaved, who we’re playing with tonight, would have been pretty close to the top of my list. They’ve been a massive influence on the songwriting of the band for many, many years. It would be great to do a full tour with them. Opeth would have been up there in the past, but not so much any more. I’d be happy to tour with old school death metal bands like Unleashed who’ve got more of a melody to them. They don’t seem to tour all that much, unfortunately.

The best fun we’ve had on tour was with Malevolent Creation. We thought we’d struggle with the death metal crowd but we went down really, really well. It’s one reason we were so happy to get on the Immolation tour. They have that old school sound that we really like, rather than the new sound a lot of bands have that we just don’t agree with. Technical stuff for the sake of technical, devoid of melody… That’s not what we grew up on. A lot of the new stuff is just background noise. We want to write and hear tracks that hook you in.

How was Incineration Fest?

It was on a small stage which was… tight! But a lot of people came to see us which was good. It was a little hairy as we played a lot of new songs that day. It’s good to see that kind of event in London. From what I hear the line-up next year is even bigger, but I can’t say anything yet! There was a big change in scale between the first and the second festivals. This time I don’t think it’s going to be as large a chance, but it’s still going to be a step bigger.

Last question – any messages for your fans?

Yes – buy our album! Come and see us live and support proper metal. Don’t listen to what the magazines and radio shows tell you to. Explore for yourself.

De Profundis: official | facebook | twitter | youtube

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