Interview – Chase Mason of Gatecreeper

I had the honour and pleasure of meeting Chase Mason of the mighty Gatecreeper before their gig at the Glasgow Audio with Ratlord and Necrocracy on Tuesday 19th September. Chase can growl with the best of them, but once you sit down with him, you realise that he is a really nice guy, easy to talk to and a metal fan who is happy to talk about the band and music. Their performance was as tight a set as I had ever seen and everything I had hoped it would be. Review of the gig is to follow, but I hope you enjoy some insight to the mind of Chase Mason. Hail Gatecreeper!!!

You have been on the European tour for almost a couple of weeks now…how has it been so far? 

It’s been good… the shows have been cool. The fact that it’s our first time over here and the shows have been good; it’s really cool that people want to come and see us on the other side of the world.

Any countries that you would like to visit that aren’t on this current tour? Surprised there is no Sweden on there!

Yeah, I would love to go to Sweden, Norway, Spain, Italy… it was just time that prevented us to going to places this time.

You have toured America extensively since the album was released last year. How difficult is it to survive out on the road being away from family and worrying about bringing in income from the band?

It’s not too bad. We always have a little bit of a break in between tours. We try and have a month in between and at this point, all of us still have other jobs. I mean it’s getting to the point where we are going to have to do one or the other. But for now it’s been good. Hopefully if things keep progressing the way that they have, then we will be able to survive off of the band but its not there yet.

I reviewed your debut Sonoran Deprivation for two websites here in the UK, so I have done my bit to spread the word. Is your fan base in Europe getting bigger all the time? 

I think so. Sometimes people will write us on Facebook and come to this city but it’s the power of the internet which is really cool and the distribution in Europe from Relapse that is allowing this to happen.

Not that I am saying that America is your comfort zone but does it feel like your starting all over again and may have to tour Europe extensively again to build that fan base? Does that keep the excitement levels of playing new places, etc.?

We came over on our own this first time which might have made it more difficult than if we came as support for another band. We just wanted to come and get our feet wet and get used to it and open the doors for the festival season next year. We have had a very good experience so far and learned some lessons; maybe stuff that we can do better next time, places that we shouldn’t go and places that we should come back.

How has the relationship been with Relapse? It must have been a no-brainer to sign a record deal with them?  Did you have a lot of options at the time?

They have been really cool. We had a couple of different options. When we recorded our album actually, it was going to go through a different label but that fell through, so the record was done and looking for other options. This other label had pointed us to Relapse who had already been following us so they were already interested and the record was already done, so I think it was a no-brainer for both sides because we are able to say “here it is”. There wasn’t a whole lot of risks, they were able to hear it and just wanted to sign us. It’s a label that we have all followed for a long time and there is not really a better fit for the band.

Is there anything about the debut that you would like to change or redo now that you have had a year to reflect on it?

Yeah. I mean I am very critical about a lot of stuff that we do so I always find things like if we had more time to record, we had to pay for it ourselves so we did not a huge budget to do it so we kind of used the time that we were able to afford. If we had more time going back we would take our time on it, record and finish different layers and be able to have some time with that and listen to it for a week and go back and maybe fix some stuff and maybe be able to do that a couple of times. We just recorded some new material.  We always use our thoughts from our last session and use that as a learning experience. Last time I remember I wished that I done the vocals a couple of days later so now it was scheduled that way.

Is the plan to release a new EP before the next album or what are your plans for the rest of the year?

We are going to release an EP; we are going to do a 7” and a split. They have both already been recorded. So we are going to spread those out a little bit with the 7” should be out in a couple of months. So a couple of new releases out then concentrate on the second album.

It’s bands like yourselves and Sentient Horror who keep all things Swedish alive but what I found more interesting about you guys was that I heard more Dismember than Entombed. Would I be right in saying that Dismember have influenced you more than Entombed did?

Yeah definitely. I love Entombed, Left Hand Path and Clandestine are classics but they did put out some albums later that weren’t very good. Dismember never put out a bad album.  I think that stands for something. Even Massive Killing Capacity where a lot of people were kind of iffy on it, but I really like that album. A little bit more of the rock song structures and that’s what we do in Gatecreeper.

So what’s on the death deck just now in the van?  Is it a fight to get the next CD on?

Usually when we are in our own van, the driver is usually in charge of the tunes. After a while touring we just bring in our own headphones and listen to what we want.

Fun question to end this interview.  Do you have any guilty pleasure when it comes to listening to non-death metal?  I mean you can’t be angry all the time!  

Yeah, I mean it’s not really like a guilty pleasure as I listen to a lot of music that is not metal. I was listening to Teenage Fan Club on the way here and I like some of the gothic stuff like Sisters of Mercy. Stuff like that is good to listen to in-between, and also some ambient music.

There you have it. I told you all that he was a nice guy. I hope that we get to see the band Gatecreeper again soon in Scotland as this band are going to go places. It may hinge on how the second album sounds, but if their debut Sonoran Depravation is anything to go by, the world is there for the taking for Gatecreeper.

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