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Monday, November 30, 2020
GIK Acoustics - Europe
GIK Acoustics - Europe
The Moshville Times

Interview: Alex Jones of Undeath

Hailing from New York state, Undeath have been writing their arses off and released seven recordings of various formats since their two-year inception, culminating in being signed to Prosthetic Records and releasing their debut album Lesions of a Different Kind in October.

For me, Undeath are like Cannibal Corpse at their grooviest mixed with slower Morbid Angel and Incantation. Death metal is a genre where everything has more or less been done before, so Undeath have spent their time on quality songwriting and Lesions of a Different Kind has that in abundance. I therefore took it upon myself to get in contact with the band about their formation, the recording process for Lesions of a Different Kind and what is next for the band.

Thank you, Alex, for your time and I wish Undeath the best for the future… I will be watching.

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

Rochester, New York

How long have you been playing together as a band? 

We just passed the 2-year mark about a month ago.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

I think we place more of an emphasis on catchiness in songwriting than a lot of modern death metal bands, as opposed to just being the loudest band or the most evil band. We just want to write good songs you want to listen to over and over again.

How does it feel to have the new album Lesions of a Different Kind ready for the masses to hear for the first time? How much blood, sweat and tears did it take for it to be ready?

It feels amazing! We worked on that album for a while and put our hearts and souls into it, so the fact that it’s out there for everyone to enjoy is a pretty remarkable feeling.

Being active for a couple of years now, how would you say the new album compares to that of your earlier material and do you think you have found the sound you strive for or will Undeath continue to keep experimenting?

I think the material on the album is a natural evolution from what we were doing on the demos. It’s not a radical departure by any means, but rather just a big step up in terms of craftsmanship and consideration. We’re very comfortable with our sound right now and I think we’re just going to keep trying to improve on it and polish it.

If you like what we do, consider joining us on Patreon for as little as £1 per month!

How was the recording experience at the Headroom, Philadelphia? How long did the album take to record?

I was up in Rochester while Matt and Kyle tracked the album so I don’t exactly know, but I think it went great haha. I tracked all the vocals at home once the guys came back. Scoops seems like an awesome dude though!

Before this fucking virus, how often were the band able to get together and rehearse in the studio? Where do you get together and record?

We practiced as often as possible before the virus – typically something like four or five days a week. There was a brief lull when things started getting really bad around April / May when we took some time off to self-isolate, but we’ve basically gone back to our old schedule since then. We’re at least practicing two or three times a week now.

How are the songs constructed in the studio? Are there the main songwriters of songs that take care of everything or is Undeath a band where all members contribute to the songs?

Kyle is pretty much the brainchild behind all of our songs. Generally, when he has something 100% written on guitar, he’ll take it to Matt (our drummer) and Jared (our second guitarist) and they’ll hammer it out in the practice space until everyone is up to speed on it and it’s a completed song. Then he’ll send it to Tommy (our bassist) in DC to learn, and finally I’ll get brought in to learn the lyrics and patterns and whatnot. It’s a very streamlined process!

Is there a main lyricist within the band? With yourself being the vocalist, do you write all the lyrics or does the whole band contribute to the lyrics?

Kyle has written basically all of our lyrics to date – I think the only things I’ve contributed lyrically are adding a few key “fuck”’s here and there, which I’m more than happy with (laughs)

You have recently been joined by guitarist Jared and bassist Tommy. How easy or difficult was it to find these new members and are they already bringing fresh ideas to the band?

We knew we wanted to have Jared in the band for a while, but it was just a matter of waiting for him to move back to Rochester so he could finally join the band. As far as finding a bassist, that was a lot more difficult. We spent a long time searching for one and just when it seemed like we were never going to find anyone reliable, Tommy basically showed up out of the blue. We were familiar with his other band Tomb Warden, who fucking shred, so one day I just asked him on a whim if he’d like to join the band and thankfully he was down! They’re both awesome guys and have been fantastic to have around.

Being a now five-piece band and having different musical influences within the band, is there sometimes a lot of negotiating in the studio or do you feel you are writing the music you want to for the band?

We haven’t really spent any studio time together as a five-piece yet, but Tommy and Jared are already bringing new ideas to the band to work on, which has been very cool.

How hard is it for a band like Undeath to survive in the current climate where bands have to tour non-stop and sell merchandise in order to bring money back into the band? 

Financially speaking, we were already operating on razor-thin margins before Covid hit, so that just made things even more complicated. But we’ve also been extremely fortunate in that people who like our band want to actively support us by buying merch and records and whatnot, so that makes things exponentially easier and I can’t begin to thank people enough for that!

Before Covid, how hard has it been to juggle the touring side of things with the everyday jobs? Do you have plans to go on bigger tours and further afield in 2021 when things get better?

Everyone in the band wants to do it full time so there’s never been any question that we’re just going to fucking go for it and take whatever sick tours come our way. As soon as it’s safe to do so, I promise you Undeath will be playing everywhere we possibly can!

Before the internet, magazines and fanzines were the places to find out about new bands and trends.  Now publications are replaced with thousands of websites catering for all genres. Do you think that some of the passion has been lost or do you think that the internet has been a good thing for music and Undeath?

Yeah, I honestly think a lot of that passion has been lost and I think the unfettered access that people have been given to the artists and labels that they love has turned a lot of them into entitled crybabies. Beyond that, however, there’s no denying that the internet has helped expose thousands of bands who otherwise would never get the time of day from larger, physical publications. It’s a poisoned chalice, really. I just try to keep my head down and do my own thing.

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You have recently signed with Prosthetic Records with the release of your new album. How did this come to fruition and how has the relationship been so far?

They slid in our DMs! That’s honestly how it went down. Steve from Prosthetic hit us up on IG, we got to talking and the rest is history! So far things have been great and I’m looking forward to what the future holds.

You guys are prolific songwriters with a number of releases under your belt. With the debut album being recorded in January, what’s next for Undeath?

We’ve got most of the next full length written, so we’re looking to record that sometime early next year – most likely February. We’re also talking about doing a 7” with Maggot Stomp, which should be a lot of fun. Got some other stuff in the works as well that we can’t really talk about yet, but I assure you we’re in for a busy 2021.

A fun question to end this interview.  If you were a DJ and were allowed to bring 5 CDs to the party, what would they be?

If I want everyone to have a good time:

  • Cam’ron – Purple Haze
  • Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Piñata
  • Future/Lil Uzi Vert – Pluto x Baby Pluto
  • Isaiah Rashad – Cilvia
  • Benny the Butcher – Burden of Proof

If I want everyone to be miserable:

  • Altarage – The Approaching Roar
  • Devourment – Obscene Majesty
  • Human Agony – Putrescence of Calvary
  • Indian – From All Purity
  • Pissgrave – Suicide Euphoria

Any last message for our readers here at Moshville Times?

Keep music in schools! Thanks for reading!

Lesions of a Different Kind is out now through Prosthetic Records

Grave Pic courtesy of Jared Welch

Unearth: facebook | twitter | instagram | bandcamp

About The Author

Ricky

As Trevor Peres of Obituary once said, "Anything to do with Death, Dying or being Chopped In Half, then I'm into it". Been into death metal since the late 80's and a lover of dark ambient, its simply a case of opposites attract.

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