Despite being slap-bang in the middle of Overkill’s set at the London date of the annual MTV Headbangers Ball tour, it’s still a pleasure to meet and hang out with the guys from Deserted Fear and talk all things death metal, a sense of humour in music, their third record Dead Shores Rising and working with Century Media. On this, their first tour, they’ve been sharing a rather plush bus with Finnish melo-death four piece Insomnium as they’ve leveled Europe. Sat on the candlelit bus, we talk through all the above topics and more…
It’s been a lot of fun. Insomnium and Overkill are really nice guys, Bobby Blitz would always come backstage after our show with pizza. We’re sharing this bus with Insomnium too and they’re crazy!
Am I right in thinking this is your first tour and first time in the UK?
Yeah, first time in the UK. We’ve played a bunch of shows in Germany, obviously and we’ve played some shows with Morbid Angel, travelling in our own van and sleeping in hotels and stuff. It’s awesome.
So hanging out with the bands and talking to Bobby Blitz especially, what are the best stories you’ve heard?
I think it was really nice when he came backstage and told us about his family and the time his grandma came to an Overkill show a long time ago. Also one time after a show we came out and there was nothing to eat so he brought us pizza!
What a dude!
Yeah! I also always have a basketball on me because I play a lot and he came in and took it and started playing against me!
When you first started out as a band, did you ever think you’d find yourselves hanging out with people like Bobby Blitz and touring with Morbid Angel?
No, we never expected this. We just wanted to write our own music and have fun doing it. I think we spent more than two years in the rehearsal room because nothing was good enough to play live! When we started playing live, one thing kind of led to another really. It’s crazy!
As a new band yourselves, what do you think it is that has led to the Cavalera brothers and bands like Overkill and Insomnium’s longevity? What do you think they do that has kept them on the road for so long?
I think they didn’t learn anything else! It’s just passion for rock ‘n’ roll. After this, if you go and check out Overkill, you’ll see what I mean. The fact they’re as old as they are and still rocking is great. I think it’s just fun and for us, we all have day jobs too so we can come out and do music and then go home and do work and stuff.
What do you guys do as your day jobs?
Fabian: I work in an institute that builds parts for something… Some crazy scientific stuff! I don’t know what I truly do there! Something with machines and drilling holes and stuff. Our singer’s doing the same and Simon’s at school at the moment and is a cemetery gardener.
That’s really cool…
It sounds cool but it’s more about flowers and stuff!
This tour is the Cavaleras playing Roots in full. Do you remember the first time you heard that album? Or are you not really fans?
Fabian: I’ve never really been into Sepultura. I saw them live when it was the real Sepultura and they were who I started with when I was young. Honestly I enjoyed that more. I (Simon) got to know the first two albums when I first heard of Sepultura and I loved them very much. The later albums are not so much my thing but all the old metal fans say “Why don’t they play Roots?”.
Do you have any favourite songs off that album?
It’s gotta be “Roots Bloody Roots” hasn’t it!
While you’ve only got the three albums out at the moment, from them are there any you’d love to play in full further down the line when you’re in their position?
We’ll have to see what albums are yet to come! That’s a hard question, I don’t know. I love all the songs and it’s always hard to make a setlist so that would be a hard decision because everyone has their own favourites.
In Germany we have been quite successful before Century Media but they helped us make a huge step outside of Germany, into Europe. Our former label was just a German one so being with Century Media has helped a lot. We did so many interviews on the new album from all over the world. It was just crazy.
You also worked with Dan Swanö on the new record and he did the new Insomnium album too. How was that?
Fabian: Well we’ve been working with him since the first album. We just asked asked him if he wanted to work on it, we sent him some demos and he loved it so we’ve done three albums so far. He’s a really nice guy and he helped me a lot because we were recording on our own and he told me what to use, which gear and how to set it up. We wrote a tonne of emails and we also went to meet him because he also lives in Germany now.
Do you reckon you’ll continue to work with him in the future then?
Yeah, why not?
How are you feeling about Dead Shores Rising a full year on from its release and how does it sit with all your other albums?
It doesn’t feel like a year, it feels like it’s been a month to be honest. It’s been crazy because after releasing it we played so many festival shows and we had a small tour in April and so much has happened. The record’s great though, we’re very happy with it as we are with all our records.
Awesome, got any favourite songs personally? Any favourites to play live?
Fabian: I love “The Carnage”…
Everyone loves “The Carnage” man…
Simon: It’s the easiest to play live too haha! It’s a good mix of songs I think. I like the fast ones but I also like the slow ones for the drums because I have more space to groove and have fun.
Watching you guys live and seeing the video for “Open Their Gates” (check it out below), it’s obvious there’s quite a big sense of humour in the band. How important is that to you guys and do you think metal needs more of it in general?
I don’t think metal needs more of it specifically but we can’t take ourselves too seriously haha! When we thought about the “Open Their Gates” video and we were coming up with ideas, it was just a case of someone coming up with a dumb idea and everyone giving their input and you can see where that went. Also, I don’t think it’s just a case of metal, I think in general it’s very important to not take yourself too seriously otherwise life is pain!
Having been hailed as this really promising new death metal band and touring with Morbid Angel and sticking comfortably within the confines of the genre on all your albums, what is it that makes death metal so good? What is it that you really love?
Fabian: Ooh, what is it I love about death metal? Well I don’t listen just to death metal. I listen to everything but when it comes to writing music, death metal is just my passion. I just can write death metal, I don’t know how to write anything else!
Simon: I think it’s a mix of the intensity and the variety of the emotions you can put into death metal. To someone who’s not into it, it’s just noise but if you have a nice melody and then a fast part and it goes up and down, you can create something really interesting and that’s what I like.
Did you get to hang out with Morbid Angel very much when you were out with them?
Oh no, not very much. I think they were touring so much that they wanted to be on their own understandably. We talked a little bit sometimes and it was nice, we met at catering and stuff. It was a good atmosphere but everyone was doing their own thing which is ok.
Who would you really like to tour with?
Simon: Opeth. I would love it, same as Dismember or Bolt Thrower!
Fabian: Personally I’d like to tour with Heaven Shall Burn because we’re from the same area.
Yeah, you’ve played with them before right?
Fabian: Yeah, we’ve done a couple of shows together and that was a lot of fun so to go and tour together would be nice. Also for me touring with Soilwork would be cool because their keyboardist Sven and I always hang out at festivals.
So what has 2018 got in store for the band?
Fabian: Songwriting. The next shows are in March and April and we’re not doing many festivals next year, just Wacken and stuff. I’ve never been and I’m not really keen because there’s so many people! So we’ll be focusing on songwriting mainly because we’ve played so many shows this year. It’s enough for now.
Can we expect an album next year or early 2019?
Yeah, I think it’ll be early 2019 but we’ll see how the songwriting goes. If the songs are shit we don’t want to release them!
Dead Shores Rising is out now via Century Media