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DEAD ASYLUM - Interview

Thursday, 15 June 2017 17:35
Published in Underground News

Samantha Landa and Mike Lister of DEAD ASYLUM (Vancouver, CANADA)

AU: How are you? Where are you now, what is your view is out the nearest window? Set the scene for us.

 Sam: Well, I’m lying in bed at 11:30 am on the Saturday after our album release show in Vancouver, and thinking I should join the land of the living soon. The nearest window is a weird angled skylight, so I can see from here is the sky and the corner of a tree. It’s not very exciting. And here I was, thinking I was being so badass answering these interview questions from the comfort of...well, you get it.

 Mike: I’m at St. Augustine’s having a beer. The Skytrain just rolled by and I see somebody setting up their market of stolen goods.

 AU: You're on the verge of dropping your latest effort “Death Always Wins”. How does it feel and what are your goals with this release?

 Sam: It feels good, but at the same time, anytime you put out music you really believe in, you’re going to be a little nervous about the response. We make music we like, and that isn’t going to change, but there’s still the question of “will anyone else like it?” So far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. The goals with this release are to capture Dead Asylum’s sound that has been developing since our debut (2013’s General Carnage). We spent the last few years dealing with lineup changes and reevaluating where we want to go as a band, and now it’s full steam ahead. It’s a more developed sound now, and we think we’ve figured out who we are (as cheesy as that sounds). We’d like to get as many ears on Death Always Winsas possible, and that starts with a US tour in August/September.

 Mike: The goal is world domination.

 AU: The recording process can be rewarding and challenging at the same time. Tell us about the highest highs and lowest lows of tracking this record in studio. What did you learn?

 Mike: I’ll start with the lows. Recording guitar solos is not my forte because I’m a rhythm guitar player first and foremost. Having to record them over and over and over again and making sure they’re in the right key and the timing is right is a process, especially with two astute musicians like Eric and Roger lurking over you as you’re recording. The highest point for me was recording ‘Welcome’ because I screamed so high and so hard that when I listened back it just gave me goosebumps.

 Sam: As a drummer, I usually focus more on the energy of a live show than the precision of my playing, so studio work is always stressful for me. There’s nothing like playing through a song and messing up the same part--and the more I focus on it, the more frustrated I get, and the worse I play. I’m working on relaxing more, which is tough when your playing is isolated and all ears are on you. But let’s focus on the highs now. Being done. And also listening back to a part you nailed and feeling like you don’t suck that much after all.

 AU: For all the drummers out there, what is your game changing piece of drum gear?

 Sam: Having a drop clutch for my hi-hats was a game changer.

 AU: Current influences in your playing... what are you listening to and finding inspiring?

 Mike: Old school. Motorhead is what inspires me the most. And James Hetfield’s rhythm playing is incredibly inspirational to me.

 Sam: Currently listening to lots of melodic stuff. Mors Principium Est, Omnium Gatherum. Finland rules.

AU: Tell us about how the band formed, and what keeps you going, keeps you together.

 Sam: Mike and I started jamming and writing, and joined forces with another pair of musicians who had been playing together for years. We were all dying to play shows again.

 Mike: What keeps us going? Dogged idiocy. We’re too stubborn to stop. As Lemmy said, “We’re not qualified to do anything else.”

 AU: Since you're doing some dual album release shows with Unleash The Archers, we need to ask an important archery themed question: if you were the leader of a small medieval army on a open battlefield versus a similar sized army, would you prefer to have a dozen archers to unleash (for a distance approach) or a trio of heavy armour horse cavalry (for a up-close shock approach) and why?

Mike: Well, considering the English longbow at one point was considered the pinnacle of modern warfare, archers win over heavy cavalry every time. Personally, I’d prefer to swing an axe into somebody’s face, but hey, if I had to choose, it’s archers.

 Sam: What he said.

 AU: Death Always Wins; what do you think about advances in medicine and death being delayed or non-existent? We could live in a digital world infinitely!

 Sam: There’s an episode of Black Mirror about this. If I could save my consciousness and live forever in a digital utopia, as long as it’s big enough, maybe I would. But death will always claim your physical body--and it should, because this planet wasn’t made to handle billions of immortal humans.

 Mike: No matter how many cures they come up with, you’re still going to get old and die. Even with all the medicines in the world, you can’t beat the clock. Death will always win, even if it takes 100 years. It’ll win eventually. Patience.

 AU: Who do you want to tour with in Europe? Let's reach out to 'em via this article and make connections.

Mike: Kreator, Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy.

Sam: What Mike said--especially Kreator--but I’d also love to tour with Izegrim (Listenable Records). They’re from the Netherlands and kick ass!

 AU: Last words to Canadians in the mosh pit:

 Sam: \m/

 Mike: Show me something!

-Erik Lindholm



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