Inhuman Condition - Interview
Inhuman Condition have released their debut album "Rat God" on June 4th, making all those who mourn the good old Massacre in "From Beyond" times happy. At least that's how I feel. Taylor Nordberg and Jeramie Kling took the time to chat with me via Skype about the album, their time with Massacre, side projects and more. Thank you both for doing it and for everyone else - enjoy the interview!!!!
Hey, how are you? Thanks for taking time for the interview!
T: Fine! Thanks for having us!
Inhuman Condition has not been around long. You guys kind of grew out of Massacre. Can you tell something about the reasons for the split?
T: We joined Massacre in September of 2019 and we wrote 14 songs that were going to be the new Massacre release and extra tracks and whatever. Over the course of the next year, it became apparent that it was not a good situation to be in. Long story short, we ended up leaving the band and they had already found new members the next week or whatever and we knew that our music was gonna be scrapped, so we decided to keep the music and do something with it. Jeramie has known Terry for years and they had been chatting after the whole split, and they had some stories to share and compare and Terry had heard the music and loved it. He wanted to play on this, and it just blossomed into this beast.
J: Yes, we asked: "You wanna play on it?" and Terry asked if we want to make a band. It wasn't the plan at all, but it just grew into it. We asked Terry if he would like to join us as a full band and Taylor and I said alright, let's go man (laughs). Rock n' fucking roll!!! We just moved forward from there and actually it worked out better. All the best to the Massacre camp, it was a blast playing those songs and anything from "From Beyond" was amazing, it was a great experience to have and all those fans we met from Massacre were stoked to be and that made us stoked to be and that reflects in the music that we wrote. You can hear it in the songs we wrote. It sounds like we're fuckin' charged. So, all the best to them!!
So, you took all the songs with you to release them under your new band name…
T: Yes, nine of the songs are on Rat God and we have five other songs that will be on an EP or another full-length.
The feedback on social networks is already pretty good. You have also been able to play some concerts, among others with Deicide. Did you expect such a positive feedback, after all back then you haven't released your first album Rat God yet?
J: I was personally very surprised. It was an overwhelming thing. It was a local show like I was used to know when I was a younger guy where everyone was just stoked and supported the band, just had a good time. Tampa crowds can be very restrained, but it was just overwhelming and positive: I think the people were hungry enough to make this show happen and it became something cool (laughs).
T: I thought that people would be curious about it and check it out, but it's been super positive so far…
J: Yeah!!! Overwhelming!!! Overwhelming!!!
Apropos, who is the Rat God?
J and T: That is a good question….
J: Look at this, that was in stereo, me and that guy. I don't know. It's kind of anything that you write down which is up for artistic interpretation. To me, the song 'Rat God' is written about Richard Ramirez, so it's about the Night Stalker. But if you look at the album cover, that kinda goes with one or the other titles, that's the next step, which is about walking on people on the way way up. Using humans as a staircase. "Rat God", whoever that is, is a real unsavory fella. Scum of the Earth, bottom feeders, sucking waste of others. That's some lyrics from 'Tyrantula', he (points to Taylor) wrote those and its so fucking death metal (laughs). We played it at the show, and it was my favorite part that I got the yell live. Yelling about total scumbags. Fuck those people. I mean, everybody can relate with that, everyone had to deal with a complete scumbag, either you're at work with them or you're married to or they're your brother or sister…I know that I've encountered with these persons many times over, so you know how to yell about it (laughs). The 'Rat God' is really that person to you that means a total scumbag to you.
Stylistically you are very close to "From Beyond". Do you consciously not want to separate yourselves from the roots?
J: We were members of Massacre and we wanted to write the next Massacre record, we wanted to pay an homage to everything the people loved about it. The riffs and some of those grooves, some of the simplistic things that happened and that was the total goal. So, when people say it sounds like a total Massacre rip-off, we say yes, that was the point (laughs). And that's why we were so gutted when we separated because it was like, how will this gonna be released now because it sounds like it's Massacre. Then it would have been a Massacre-worship band, which is cool, but we weren't that happy with that. When Terry said "let's do it", we were pretty happy about it. When he was up recording, here's a cool story for me as a fan. I think, we're all fans. At the end of the day, we're all music fans, at least I am. He was up recording track and bass and I looked up at Taylor and said, "oh my God, that sounds so killer" and to Terry that his bass sounds so fucking awesome. He said "Thanks dude, I got this bass on the Scream Bloody Gore tour in 1987. I got it from a music shop in North Carolina and this is the one." It is a Charvel from '86 or '87 and I guess really sounds like it. And in that man's finger's playing, it sounds like it. So, it all came together then like the whole project glued at that point, which is pretty awesome. So, it was a bit of a fan-boy-moment saying, "oh my God, that is the Death bass!!!" (laughs).
You are still a bit younger - how is it to play together in a band with a celebrity like Terry Butler?
T: He is one of the nicest people on Earth. Terry is super easy to work with, he is super chill, he is very much a team-player and very much involved. It's zero stress working with Terry. He is well-prepared and has ideas and he doesn't complain about things but is very constructive. I have zero complaints, it's a pleasure hanging out and playing with him.
J: It's pretty crazy looking over to him and thinking "that's Terry". His other people he shared the stage with are Trevor Peres and Chuck Schuldiner, you know…. (laughs), so it's pretty cool. Every single day of my life I think "wow! I don't know how, I know it was a lot of work but, holy crap, I'm stoked to be where I'm at in being able to create at the velocity and the amount that I am, pretty fortunate.
What are your personal faves on the album? I think the groovy songs are pretty cool....
T: You probably have to name all the nine songs (laughs). I like 'Euphoriphobia', the opening track a lot, it's a total face-smasher, only 2 ½ minutes. It's got real wild guitar solos which is real fun and it's got a cool bridge which, I guess, is pretty essential in a good death or thrash metal song. I am a big fan of 'Killing Pace' as well, I guess that's our "Toxik Waltz" mosh song and Paul (Mazurkiewicz) from Cannibal Corpse wrote the lyrics and vocal patterns for that, and his lyrics are just amazing on that. That was a cool collaboration.
J: Yeah, it's totally like Cannibal Corpse. That's fuckin' awesome (laughs), again, we're just fans!! We have keys to a fast car, that's really awesome. For me, the heaviness and the chorus of 'Tyrantula' is great. "Hail Tyrantula, Lord Arachni-God". Taylor wrote the lyrics and its so cool sci-fi death metal. I think he created a new bad guy that Godzilla has to fight in the next movie.
Do you also play old Massacre and Death songs live, or are you limited to the new songs?
T: No, we only play our own songs to avoid any confusion or trouble.
J: Yes, we don't want any confusion, so we keep playing our own songs. I mean, I really wish the Massacre guys all the best, what the band has done means a lot. Our opportunity that we got to play with them means a lot.
Was the songwriting and recording process of the album somehow affected by the pandemic?
T: It was pretty chill. We had written and recorded the music in November 2019, at least the rhythm guitars and drums. I added solos few months later and when Terry joined, he did his parts and then we did the lyrics and Jeramie did the vocals. We did it all here in our studio (Smoke & Mirrors Productions), Jeramie mixed it and I mastered it and we tried to do everything in-house for the project.
J: Hell yeah, we did everything. We did the layout for the vinyl, the CDs, the tapes, the Twitter page header, all the filming for the videos, shirt designs, we did everything. The shirts are hosted on our own website, we've done all of it because when we've been home, we've tried to do all we can. Well because you can doesn't mean you should (laughs) but I say all the time we're crazy people but what else would we be doing in reality?? Starting new jobs? Starting a new career path right now? I know some folks did it, some people have turned the twitch - our bass player in "The Absence", Mike he does a twitch run he is making a pretty good living of that right now but that is a hustle, that's a whole another career. We went into a different direction. We went in digital design and studio, filming, all that media that needs to be done for our production. It is great cause we can have our hand in everything, even if you read the spine on the CD, it says "BOOGIE" when you turn it upside down (laughs).
T: That's our catalogue number (laughs).
You still play in some other bands, for example Eye Of Purgatory and Goregäng. Goregäng is releasing their new EP "Long Live The Grime" today and Eye Of Purgatory "The Lighthouse" in June. Can you also tell something about these two bands?
T: Yeah, that was a pretty cool project. We play in it with Rogga Johannsson, who we also play in "Ribspreader" with. We've been in "Ribspreader" for a couple of years, and he wanted to have a project that was a little less brutal. He asked if we wanted to play on it and we decided to switch up instrument roles, so I play drums and keyboards and Jeramie played bass. It's some kind of Edge Of Sanity-worship stuff and it's going to be out in June on Transcending Obscurity Records with some special edition as boxset and coffin boxset and stuff like that.
For Goregäng it's our third release, our first EP ws self-released in 2015, our full-length "Neon Graves" came out with Transcending Obscurity Records in 2019 and this release we decided to do DIY again because it was the original plan of the band. So, we had 10 or 12 songs recorded and demoed after "Neon Graves" came out and we picked a hand full of them to do an EP for now, we put a White Zombie cover on it (Electric Head Part I (The Agony); M.) and we threw a couple of live songs on, too.
What are your major musical influences?
J: It varies. For talking about death metal, it's classics like Morbid Angel, Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, Monstrosity – obviously, I'm pretty steeped into Florida death metal. I like a lot of other stuff like Origin or Hate Eternal, as far as non-death metal is concerned, I should take White Zombie, Whitesnake live in 78, Rainbow…we listen to a lot of stuff, whatever the mood hits we throw it on.
T: The new Benediction and the new Napalm Death are really good.
What are your plans for the future? Is there already something more concrete?
T: We have a show on July 10th with Gruesome, and we have our first tour in September on the east coast of the US.
J: I got a bunch of shit for Venom in'22.
What are your absolute favorite albums? And what has blown you away lately?
T: The new Gojira is in the mail, I'm much excited about it.
J: The last Judas Priest was fucking great!!! A fucking killer, man!!
Yeah, right!! Great stuff!! I wanted to see Ozzy and Priest here in Dortmund in 2019 and it was postponed now two times…I doubt that it will be hard to see Ozzy alive here in the future….
J: You know, it's really hard for the older bands that are still touring. I take Venom as an example, Jeff just turned 60, you know he's not a spring chicken and I feel bad that he's lost 1 ½ or 2 years of his touring ability. Those are precious years…no doubt he had a good time at home with his wife and he's enjoyed that but in a playing sense it's kind of a hit. There's a plenty of bands that I feel bad for like Ozzy, Judas Priest, Deep Purple, they're all kind of robbed of couple of final years. It's sad.
Yes, it is. And sometimes it it good to get away from your wife and get on tour again, haha!! Do you have any last words for our readers?
T: You can get Inhuman Condition goodies at inhumancondition.bandcamp.com and alternate versions of CDs, Vinyl via Black Serpent Records in Germany, Spiritual Beast in Japan, Rapture Records in Brazil and Metalized Distro in Mexico. Check out your nearest distributor to you or you can directly order from us.
Thanks for the interview!!!
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