Necros, guitarist of UNDEAD, presents the album “False Prophecies”, a homage album to Chuck Schuldiner, and speaks about gear and future of the band.
Dynamic, acoustic, powerful, melodic and terrifying are the right words to define the music of UNDEAD. We play Death Metal inspired by the origins of Death. The time when the frontier between death metal and grind core was distinguished, when the melody had an important place in the structure of the title, when quickness was not essential. “False Prophecies” is close to first DEATH and contributes to its evolution.
What were your influences in the past and what are they now ?
Necros : What has inspired UNDEAD is the original wave of Death Metal. The one that gave life to the genre.
Noctidiurnal : Old school Death & Black metal! Death is my life to be Undead !
How were UNDEAD created? Did you meet each other in another band ?
UNDEAD was based on a simple objective: Rekindle the fire of original Death Metal.
The first look on your album is the cover which represents the Death into a foggy forest. May we know who created this cover and what do have to understand?
Facing Death alone ! The one that blocks your path through Life’s nebula.
The album title, False Prophecies and the titles like “Praise the Absurd” or “Descending Souls” announced a theme. Which message do you want to share with this album?
King Oscuro : The lyrics are about the evolution of Human through the spectrum of this artificial world , the need of redemption through sacred texts and testaments , Lost souls in quest of light , the fear of this tunnel that animates the livings , the obscure conscious that leads civilization to its end , and the revolution of life so awaited that we call Death ….
Well, it’s pretty clear ! Let’s speak about your titles and be honest. Your songs remembers me, in a good way, a lot of “old death bands” such OBITUARY or MORBID ANGEL, some parts sounds slightly like EDGE OF SANITY , some others of DEATH and so on. Was your plan to stick to this old and legendary death bands ?
Necros : We’ve composed « False prophecies » by using the same writing Codex than DEATH‘s first albums, for as individuals we were born in this genre. Some may find influences from a band or another but that’s subjective. I think it’s supposed to be a pleasant Death metal album that was created within the foundations of the genre : Brutality and guttural voices yet with melody and dynamism…
Your songs have many facets, some have solid riffs, some others brutal riffs, some others give more space to some soli and so one. What were your process in order to compose songs ? Did you want to avoid any kind of “too technical death metal” ?
Necros : The writing process was identical for every titles. I let myself drift by a riff that expresses the main feeling of the song, which shall be used as the future skeleton of it. Then it might be a chorus or a verse, whatsoever, then comes the creation of contrasts brought by other riffs and rythms. From this point I start to discern the place of the melody and solos in the structure. I also try to give the song a breather for the singing. Overall it’s the base for a title by UNDEAD. This step takes about 3 or 4 hours. Titles are then worked on and on to adapt the duration of each singing parts, the harmonies in the rhythms in general , in order to find a good equilibrium. That process keeps on and on until the recording.
We’ve decided to compose efficient riffs to contrast with much more complex and technical solos , in order to valorize them. This method is more scripted for the emotion than the playing technique, Because music is mainly about emotion , isn’t it ?
You’re right, music is about emotion. Let’s move on and speak about Chuck Schuldiner, DEATH fondator, who are your major influence. Have DEATH’s albums been used to evaluate your records ?
Necros :As said before, DEATH is elementary for UNDEAD. Some said that « False prophecies » is somewhere between «Leprosy » and « Spiritual Healing », and that’s what we wanted! By the way , the LP vinyl contains an exclusive cover of « Choke On it » from the album «Leprosy ». If a song could define a genre , I’d shout « Choke On it » !
Necros :Our connexion with Listenable Records was almost natural. We were looking for a good label and they loved the album. Why would we do otherwise ?
I’ve found only a few details about your album. May we know where your album was recorded and mastered? What was the recording and the mastering process? Did you provide strict decision about the sound direction?
Necros :We’ve decided to record at Studio Replika, with Lars Bragten. He also took care of the mix. That guy put a lot of investment and work in this album. We were looking for an acoustic dimension. He worked really hard on the takes and the mix to withdraw what happened in the room during the recording. It’s an important matter in our music. We wanted to avoid the unrealistic and almost plastic-like sounds and I think that’s a success, thanks to Him. For the Mastering, Listenable Records have released stupendous albums from Conkrete Studio. Frederic Motte has done an outstanding work on « False prophecies ».
What were your gear (guitars, amps, pedals, etc) used for this first album? Are they more “old school gear” or recent ?
Necros : To record the album , I used a LTD F250 with HZ4 mics , they have a great dynamism compared to active 81. Mahogany provides a good rythm. For the amp I used a serial dual rectifier by Mesa Boogie with a Tube Screamer on a 4×12 Line6 baffle.
Noctidiurnal : I used Ibanez Guitar with a Roctron FX and a Mesa Boogie pre amp.
Your music tends to be quite technical sometimes. Could you please provide some tips to the guitarists who would want to cover your songs?
Necros : Accuracy is a must have for the expression of our music, at least in my opinion. Try multiples combinations : strings, picks, amp setup in order to sharpen your accuracy to the finest.
Noctidiurnal : Play as you die… Till death play us part.
Thanks for that advice. If you take a look forward do you have any regrets about the records? Did you reach the desired goal?
Necros : We don’t have a single regret on this album. We’ve spend a lot of time with Lars Bragten to find the best sounds, the best balance for the record to sound the greatest it could.
Your album has been released few weeks ago, did you already get some feedbacks ?
Necros : the feedbacks are positive , and it feels great! As mentioned by the “fans”, our music brings something new, fresh despite the “oldschoolness”. I was wondering how and came up with the idea that the dynamism of the album plays a major part for it, as for the writing and the mix. We don’t let go at any time! We’ve put a lot of ourselves in it and it can be felt through the album, and I think that’s why people like UNDEAD so much.
As you said the limited vinyl propose a DEATH ‘s title cover, ‘Choke on it’. It confirms your decision to honor the death metal master. May we know if this cover will also appear on a CD ?
Necros : « False Prophecies » is an homage to Chuck Schuldiner and is overall masterpiece , but ‘Choke on it’ is an exclusive to the LP vinyl.
The band is new, an album has been freshly released so may we hope to see you on a tour with some others bands of Listenable Records by example?
Necros : We’re thinking about going Live … UNDEAD on tour will bring the end of times ! Ahaha
As far as I know you want to keep your identity secret, like the recent GHOST B.C by example. It’s a way to keep and control mystery around you. May we hope to see you a little bit more maybe into a future music video ?
Necros : A music video will be released soon , in order to illustrate a title from our album but I can’t say much more for the time being.
What are the plans for UNDEAD in 2015 and 2016 ? Did you already start to work on a new album or do you still have some songs in stock ?
Necros :We’ve just released « False prophecies » and we’re looking forwards to have feedbacks from death metal fans ! We’ve got some projects but it’s a secret for now …
As fans of old death metal scene may we know what are your thoughts about the newest death metal scene ?
Necros :I’ve seen some really good things in the newest deathmetal scene. The borderlines of musical violence are always pushed further and further and I love musical extremism. But UNDEAD isn’t a part of this movement, at least not in this type of extremism. « False prophecies » is really dynamic but emotion is our main concern.
This was the last question, I give you a last word. Thanks for your time !
Necros : Thanks for the interview