Death Is Only The Beginning + An Interview With Acephalix
TBR: Before we get into talking about the new album, tell us a bit about what went on between the release of Interminable Night and Deathless Master. It seemed like you guys come outta nowhere and just exploded onto the scene. Was it a crazy time or what?
Kyle: I exploded out my ass a couple times when dope sick or drunk but I dont think I’ve ever exploded on a scene.
Luca: Nothing is too crazy ever.
TBR: You guys were touring and did a bunch of festival shows leading up to the new album. Tell us a bit about some of your most memorable shows or touring experiences. Don’t spare the gory details!
Kyle: When we toured the states with Undergang from Denmark and had like 8 to 15 hour drives and played to like 5 to 10 people including the other bands, I’ll never forget that. Portland and Seattle rule. All I need is one banger in front goin’ for it to make me feel like I’m doing something right.
Luca: I shit my pants at 3:00 in the afternoon in the middle of Portland after eating a Chimichanga.
TBR: Somehow, I’m guessing that you’ve seen some crazy shit out of your fans through the years. What’s the craziest fan experience that you guys have had — for better or worse?
Kyle: When Casey from Murderess stood in front of my pedals to protect them from Dan and head banged the whole time.
Luca: I got kicked in the nuts by a ninja.
TBR: Tearing into it from the outside in, who did the cover art? Same artist that did Interminable Night? What can you tell us about them and about their work?
Luca: Dan did it. Interminable Night and Aporia were done by ZB from Poland.
TBR: When it came time to start writing songs for the new album, did you guys pull together to talk about what sort of direction you wanted to go in or did you just put your heads down and go for it?
Kyle: I just write what I want to hear: Bonehead, caveman metal that makes you want to fuck and eat pizza while banging your head.
TBR: One of the first things that people seem to have picked up on is that on this album, the crust is still strong, but there’s more of a focus on refining the death metal aspects of the band’s sound. Can you tell us a bit about that? Conscious decision or animal instinct?
Kyle:We just jumped on the swedeath band wagon, cashed in and now we’re filthy rich.
Luca:We make lots of money playing death metal that is why we do it.
TBR: In terms of the sound that you guys got on the actual recording, where Interminable was dark, Deathless is even darker and has more of a sludgy, lo-fi kind of sound. Even on CD, it almost sounds like a cassette tape …and I mean that as a compliment! Was this a deliberate sound that you guys were going for or did it just turn out that way?
Kyle: It just turned out that way. On interminable Jef cleaned up the guitar tone a lot and on Deathless its my live sound: Shit.
Luca: R.I.P. Jeff. You rule!
TBR: Deathless Master was recorded by Jef Leppard (of Vöetsek) who also recorded Interminable Night and was a close friend of the band. For those who may not be aware, Jef passed away just a few months back while riding his motorcycle with his girlfriend. We were really sorry to hear this news. Is there anything you guys would like to say about Jef and his contributions?
Kyle: Jef was a beautiful person and I miss him.
Luca: Jeff was so important.
TBR: Let’s talk a bit about your label, Southern Lord. Can you tell us a bit about how you guys came to be signed with them? Dish us some dirt on Greg (Anderson). You’ve been around long enough to have a good story or two!
Luca: Greg listened to one of our DIY demos, he loved it and asked us to work with him. We said OK.
TBR: Even though the new album seems to dial in a little more on the death metal, Acephalix has a pretty strong association with the crust punk sound. Obviously, you’re not making any sort of overt social or political statement, but I wanna get your take: How relevant do you see punk being today? Or do you guys not give a fuck about all that one way or the other?
Kyle: Driller Killer Mother Fucker.
Luca: Fuck everybody.
TBR: Southern Lord has really stepped up in terms of making a lot of classic punk albums available again for a new generation of fans. However, some people can sometimes be a bit cynical about whether punk’s best days are behind it. What do you think?
Kyle: Vomitory, the most brutal d-beat ever.
Luca: Yeah! Vomitory rules!
TBR: Any purebred punk bands who have started in the last 10 years that you feel are able to carry the torch?
Kyle: Driller Killer!
Luca: Kyle’s mom
TBR: Let’s switch gears for a quick second: What’s going on with Vastum? Will there be another album? With Acephalix treading a bit closer to that sort of sound, do you see any changes in the approach that Vastum might take?
Kyle: Yes and No. Vastum was in the middle of recording our new record when Jef died. We are gonna finish it with Greg Wilkinson at Earhammer. Vastum has its own direction with no regard for what Acephalix does.
Luca: Vastum and AX are two sepearate stories.
TBR: I really gotta know: Is Kyle as mean a motherfucker as he looks? The guy looks like a bloodthirsty, epic brawler… Ever seen him lay anybody out, drink wine from the skulls of fallen enemies? What the fuck does he eat? +1 with the Iceman. Wicked death axe!
Kyle: Pussy and lots of raw kale.
TBR: Haha! ”Two great tastes that go great together!”
Another stupid question, but Luca, I’m gonna ask anyway… You know if maybe somehow you and Dan Lilker aren’t distant relatives? He’s a pretty killer bassist and an hardcore motherfuckin’ lifer in my book.
Luca: I’m his grandfather.
TBR: Maybe a typical question from some rags, but I’ve NEVER done this sort of question before… Gimme your Top 5 All-TIme Death Metal albums.
- Grave – Into the Grave
- Six Feet Under – Haunted
- Celtic Frost – Morbid Tales
- Immolation – “Dawn of Possession”
- Obituary – “Slowly We Rot”
- Death – Human
- Immolation – Dawn of Possetion
- Grave – You’ll Never See
- Carcass – Descanting
- Morbid Angel – Altars of Madness
TBR: Any last words??
Kyle: Meditate. Lawless Path.
Luca: Eat, Fuck, Sleep, Shit, Necrot.
Daniel Butler – vox
Luca – bass
Kyle House – guitars
Dave Benson – drums
Deathless Master is OUT NOW on Southern Lord
Undying gratitude for the killer photographs to…