Lock Up is a band that created so much buzz before their debut full-length "Pleasure Pave Sewers", because of its dream team cast and raging rumors about the second coming of Terrorizer, that it became the most anticipated grindcore release in recent years. And while Luck Up looked like one more side project on the market, Nick Barker (Dimmu Borgir), Jesse Pintado (Napalm Death/Terrorizer), Shane Embury (Napalm Death) and new vocalist Tomas Lindberg (At the Gates) who replaced Hypocrisy's Peter Tagtgren come back with the mind crushing "Hate Breeds Suffering" and prove their dominance while strengthening their top spot in the grindcore throneroom. Shane Embury delivers the highly anticipated answers to my brewing questions...
How did the idea of Lock Up come to life? It's not like you and Jesse (Pintado) played some easy listening style in Napalm Death and needed a way to get out your aggression somewhere else...
Well, originally when me, Jesse and Nick met together we were just talking about our favorite bands from the old days and we didn't really see it as an extension of what we're doing in Napalm Death. We just thought that it would be a fun to do and we wanted to take it a little bit further extreme wise and make it a little bit more basic compared to what Napalm Death is at the moment. So, making extreme stuff and having fun those were the main initial ideas. We also wanted to make our music in the spirit of the old school where we'd record it very quickly and spontaneously.
Wasn't the growing popularity of nu-metal also one of the reasons for the band's inception?
Yeah, a little bit. I mean, when we got back from the clubs and sit around and played our favorite albums we watched MTV and got pissed off at some of the bands that are coming out these days. We just though that some of the bands don't have any spirit and we wanted to form a band to show what metal is and what extreme music is all about.
Do you have a favorite nu-metal band or you just hate that style?
I don't hate it but I'm not really into it. That style just doesn't do anything for me at all. A couple tracks from new Slipknot album are really good but the rest of that scene I wouldn't even label metal.
Is the name Lock Up taken from a death metal drumming technique in which the arms are stiffened to produce lightning-fast blast beats?
Yeah, well the thing with a lot of English people is that we have a lot of terms and words we just play around and that's just the way we are. The friend of ours, every time he sees somebody playing very fast he looks at the drummer and just goes: "look at the drummer, he's locking up on the stage" meaning he's playing a blast beat and we just thought it would be a cool name for a band. It wasn't really death metal or grindcore it was just kind of mixture of everything.
While initially Tomas Lindberg was going to replace Peter Tagtgren for Wacken Open Air 2000 only, he stayed as a new vocalist on your new album. Was Peter not interested anymore or did he not have enough time to continue with one more project?
At the time when we were ready to do some shows Peter was very busy in the studio and we said we're going to look for a new vocalist... Well, originally before we did "Pleasures Pave Sewers" we did really want Tomas to sing on the album but we couldn't contact him and the deadline for recording the vocals was getting very close. Peter always said to us that he probably wouldn't be able to sing live with us so everything was cool and the vocals he did originally were just to help us out. Tomas really went for it and we are really happy because Tomas has more of a hardcore voice that is something we were actually searching for.
Did you ever meet before entering the studio or was the material again recorded without any rehearsals?
We actually rehearsed for a week before we went to the studio, which obviously is not much compared to other bands. We work together very quickly. I mean, Nick has a photographic memory he remembers songs very quickly. The first track of the album, strangely enough, was a mix of riffs between me and Jesse and actually come within the studio. That was the first track and only track that we made in the recording studio. So, it was very spontaneous again and I think it came out the way we really want Lock Up albums to sound like.
Did you at least send a tape with the music to Tomas or did he just fly over to Great Britain and Framework Studio before having a chance to hear the new songs?
He came a day before for one rehearsal and I think he did a really good job.
Was the fact that three of you live in England the main factor in selecting Framework Studio instead of Abyss where you did your first album?
Pretty much, it was easier for us this time. We got the songs ready and we wanted to record them before Napalm and Dimmu got busy with touring. I know that Dimmu is touring very soon and we wanted to get it done and out before they hit the road and Framework seemed like the obvious choice this time.
Are you and Jesse again solely responsible for music and lyrics or was it a whole band effort?
Music yes, it's Jesse and me but lyrics Thomas actually wrote seven songs. As we were recording the music he had a lot of lyrics written already that he had for a while and he just listened to the songs and kind of pasted them together. So, he wrote half of the lyrics for this album.
Can you describe the general concept behind the album's lyrics?
For example, the song 'Fake Somebody / Real Nobody' is about a person that everyone met in its life, kind of like liar, cheater... very simple song. A lot of the songs, especially the one that I wrote tend to be quite vague. They usually deal with subjects you think about when you're depressed, disappointed... Everyone has been through those phases when they go crazy on the weekend and for the next three, four days they feel like shit, recovering from it and thinking about where my life is going. So, the lyrics try to cover that kind of subject. Also at this same time usually when I write the lyrics and then when it comes to recording, I look at the lyrics and sometimes I don't even know what I was talking about back then. It's very confusing. But for me music is the main thing and I don't like even talking about lyrical concepts. I'd rather see people read them for themselves and interpret them on their own.
But you've got to tell me about 'Horns of Venus'. I always thought of Venus as this beautiful, sweet goddess... so what horns are you talking about on this song?
'Horns of Venus'... hmmm. I don't know, don't remember. Cool title? [laughs]
I just though that the main message was; women are evil...
No, I don't think so, but then again I like your idea. You could say that. I like the idea that people put different concepts to lyrics that are actually vague. I find it very intriguing.
Speaking of my concepts... How exactly does the cover art relate to the album's title if at all? To me 'Horns of Venus' would fit the cover more appropriately.
Yeah, I'd probably have to agree. I guess, we just thought "Hate Breeds Suffering" sounds cool. We just wanted a cool cover to look at and it didn't necessarily have to mean anything. It just looks good and represents the style of music we're playing.
Will there be a chance to see this new material live?
We're hoping to. We've got some festivals booked this summer... we're doing Wacken again I think, and With Full Force in Germany. We will try to come over to the States and do some shows over there this year and the schedule looks like it might happen between May and June. Hopefully it'll all work out but at this time we really don't know.
Before we end this interview can you tell me what the deal is with the Napalm Death DVD that was just released by Earache? I've read that the band said this release is basically illegal and Earache responded by saying "we've asked them but they declined any involvement."
It's not illegal at all. Earache had every right to release it. The problem being really is the relationship between Napalm Death and Earache that is very very bad. Several times they've asked us get involved with the DVD but at the same time we're not paid our royalties for our albums. Basically every six months you get your royalty statements, our royalties were always late and right now we haven't been paid for 18 months. That's why we didn't get involved with the DVD.
I think there's nothing to add here...
Entered: 1/26/2002 5:24:41 PM