Deicide - Interview
Although Deicide don't need further introduction you might not know that they have a new guitar player, namely Taylor Nordberg who is also involved in Inhuman Condition, The Absence and many more bands. When I read about this news, I took the chance to ask Taylor via Skype about how this happened and got a pretty nice look into the daily insanity of his and the band's life and of course the answer to the most important question - will there be a new Deicide album (also answered below). Enjoy reading!
Hey Taylor, how are you doing? It seems that you've been pretty busy the last year!
I'm doing pretty great! Yeah, it's been quite a busy year. Last year we put out our first Inhuman Condition album and here we are a year later promoting the second one ("Fearsick") so it's been kind of a whirlwind that's been just going through all that stuff.
I think it got released in July, didn't it?
July 15th and it was released on Listenable Insanity Records once again which is Jeramie and I's label. We have a couple of labels around the world that we licensed the album to so we’re gonna have a Japanese version, a European version, a Mexico/ Central American and a South American version and our US version as well. Each territory gets their own unique bonus track to encourage all the collectors to get all the editions - the Brazilian edition has a Faith No More cover for example.
You're the new guitar player of Deicide - how did you get this awesome job?
I've known Steve Asheim, their drummer, for about five years. He and I actually played in a cover band down here together with Rob Barrett (Cannibal Corpse, ex-Malevolent Creation) and Bill Hudson (CircleIICircle, NorthTale) and we did Priest and Maiden covers mostly. We only did a couple of gigs and it was just for fun in between Cannibal Corpse tours or whatever. So I've jammed with him before and in 2019 my band The Absence did a US tour opening for Deicide and we became fast friends, I mean obviously we're all Florida folks so we all got along really great and it turned out that Glen (Benton) actually lives a couple of streets over from us (laughs). We always joke that he said "if you guys are ever in the neighborhood…" and we say "Glen, we're always in the neighborhood, we live there!" (laughs). We all became really great friends and when I heard they needed a guitar player, I made a couple of audition videos, Glen came over and checked them out and invited me to practice and then kind of all clicked from there and it's been smooth sailing ever since.
Did you already have the chance to perform some live gigs with them?
My first gig with them was on May 21st in Vancouver. We did a headline show there and then the following weekend we did our first Legion set at Maryland Death Fest. We closed out the outdoor stage on Sunday, which they said it could be the last Maryland Death Fest ever so it was a pretty intense evening, but we played Legionfrom the start to finish for the first time ever at that show and it was pretty awesome.
Do you know why they want to quit Maryland Death Fest for good?
They said they definitely won't do it next year but they just had a whole lot of hurdles to jump because of Covid and the insurance for the festival went through the roof so they said it's almost impossible to make it happen this year. It has been one nightmare after another so they said they'll definitely take next year off and consider doing another festival of some sort in '24.
You've said that you're living not too far away from Glens' house. Makes this whole situation with rehearsal, songwriting and all that more easy?
Yeah, we practice about 30 minutes from here and we practice every week which is great because most bands these days don't have the chance to get the whole band together and practice every week. I mean sometimes bands have members across the country or from different countries and they only meet two days before tour. We've been fortunate that we can jam every Wednesday, every Monday or whatever and then really get locked in and it's giving me a chance to find my way in the band's sound as well. Playing along with a new drummer, a new bass player and another guitar player - that's like a learning process but it's been a killer having all these rehearsal times. It's like high school again when you come home from school and have band practice (laughs).
How is it working with the guys? Is it quite a relaxed atmosphere?
Thankfully I've known the guys before walking into this situation so that was a big help. But they were super welcoming, there was nothing like a hazing period or anything like that, you know being the new / young guy in the band (laughs). It's totally chill, we all have a really good working and personal relationship. Maybe I was a little bit anxious or nervous during the two first minutes of practice and as soon as the first note hit, I thought "ah this is cool".
How do you get all the time to play in so many bands? I mean, you're also involved in Inhuman Condition, The Absence, Goregäng - just to mention a few.
(Laughs) Well, I'm not really sure. It seems every day is forty hours long. Thankfully not a lot of the projects overlap a whole lot so like right now The Absence isn't really doing much at the moment. I will start writing at some point this year but that's kind of like being on hold for a minute and Jeramie and I’s other band Goregäng, we're not really working on. We have some material but we're not actively finishing it up right now. The Inhuman Condition album, we pretty much have all the prep work done, have all the merch ordered and everything. We can kind of just coast until the release, getting the singles and the videos up. It's not an everyday activity that we need to attend to so thankfully not overlapping a hundred releases a time that makes it easier. We have the Inhuman Condition album, after that we're putting out the Umbilicus album which is my rock band with Paul from Cannibal Corpse and after that we're probably put out another punk record with our band Fore. That will probably round up at the end of the year and then who knows what's gonna happen next year (laughs).
Hey, that's quite a shitload of work! What about The Eye Of Purgatory - is there any new to tell about?
Well, we've actually had the follow-up album finished for maybe a year or so, we're trying to find the time where we can get artwork, new photos, start the layout and all that. That's another band I have with Rogga Johansson from Sweden who plays in a hundred bands as well. So we have another Eye Of Purgatory album and also actually two Ribspreader albums pretty much ready to go. Again, it's about finding some time and about finding if we want to shop it to labels or if we wanna self-release.
What would you say is the most difficult Deicide song to perform for you personally and why?
Rhythmically I would say 'Repent To Die' which is on the Legion album, it's such a burner. It's like a 100 miles an hour and there’s about two million notes in it. That's a really fun song and such a rush to play it because it's such a challenge. What inspires lead-playing wise, any of the Ralph Santolla leads are pretty challenging - like 'Homage For Satan', 'Death To Jesus' is another burner, 'Scars Of The Crucifix'. But 'Repent To Die' is probably the burner at the whole show.
And which one is your favorite album?
I think I bounce between the first three. I mean for different reasons. I love the first one because it's super thrashy and it's just like getting into super brutal blast beats of death metal, Legion is killer because it's like technical but like still has great riffs and Once Upon The Cross has a great production and is such a catchy album - it's like full of hooks. I probably would lean to Once Upon The Cross but all three first records are pretty much spotless.
Do you also have a favorite track?
I don't know, one of my favorites to play might be 'Trifixion'. That whole middle section is just so heavy to play live. When we play to practice it's like "uhhhh, yes!!!" (laughs). 'Trifixion' gets me pretty pumped.
Do you already have plans concerning a new album?
Yeah, when I joined, they actually had the majority of the record written, not recorded or anything but each of the guys had three songs and then I contributed in a couple that will try to work in as well hopefully. We don't have any concrete plans when we start the pre-production or actually go to the studio or any of that stuff but it's been kind of on the backbone. We've been focusing on the Legion stuff for right now but the music is killer and it all sounds like Deicide and Steve's songs sound like Steve's songs and Glen's sound like his, Kevin's sound like his - it's a pretty killer and a pretty cool mix. It has a lot of that old-school Deicide sounds that I know everybody wanna hear.
What about touring? I saw that you're doing a special "Legion" anniversary tour in the US - what about Europe?
The plan was to do a tour in Europe in April with Krisiun but that got canceled unfortunately. I haven't heard any other plans if it got rescheduled or canceled. I think traveling to Europe is still a little bit up in the air. We have some friends that are traveling this weekend even though we kind of get an idea of how it was. Was it crazy, was it nerve-wracking, was there crazy security? We just plan it by year and it seems that the whole Covid thing is kind of winding down anyway so as long as there is no crazy war happening….hopefully we can get over there sooner or later.
You posted a funny pic on Facebook where you can see that you mom baked some Deicide cookies. What did she say when you told her that you're going to be their new guitar player?
Well, my parents have always been super supportive. They weren't necessarily musical or played instruments or anything but me and my two brothers have always been always on our paths and they were super supportive of all we did. My older brother played drums when we were growing up so he and I were always jamming up in the basement or jamming in my oldest brother's room when he moved out. So they were always super cool and then came the long hair- "they're still good kids" and the tattoos - "oh that's okay". My brother got dreadlocks and my mom said "well, it's okay, they're still nice people!". But they were never into metal and me and my brothers were all ego scouts and boy scouts so it's not that we were some street folks. So they were pretty sportive of kids being metalheads and I actually kind of converted my mom to be a metalhead a bit. She really likes Dio, Megadeth and Judas Priest so yes! So she has kind of been converted and was super excited when I told her about the Deicide news. I mean obviously I've had their CDs, their shirts and their posters since I was 15 years old so she understood how important that was and she makes these awesome cookies and hand decorates them for birthday parties or weddings or whatever and I said "mom you should make some like upside down cross cookies or something" and she said "okay, I can think about that". Easter Sunday we got a box in the mail and I opened it up and it says "from mom Nordberg" and it was a bunch of Deicide cookies with 666es, the Legion and the Deicide logo. She said "I didn't mean for you to get it on Easter, it was just a coincidence" but it was just perfect!
Besides Deicide and the new Inhuman Condition record - what are your plans for the rest of 22?
We have three Inhuman Condition singles that will come out before the album, there is the Umbilicus single coming out too. We're doing the US Legion tour with Deicide and Inhuman Condition is actually opening up for them. Jeramie is actually singing for Inhuman Condition and he is mixing Kataklysm live and Deicide live. So it's gonna be a crazy tour. With Inhuman Condition we haven't been out West yet, we have only done a Mid-West and an Eastern Coast tour so we're really looking forward to saying hi to our fans on the other coast. After that hopefully we'll be either in the studio mode with Deicide or The Absence or finishing up the releases for Umbilicus and the new Venom Inc. albums coming out in September so I know that Jeramie has a bunch of singles and videos coming out. And next year is gonna be even busier somehow, it always ends up that way so hopefully more records and hopefully get all these records out that I keep forgetting about.
Overtures Of Blasphemy
In The Minds Of Evil
To Hell With God
Till Death Do Us Part
Doomsday In L.A
Stench Of Redemption
When London Burns
Scars Of The Crucifix
In Torment In Hell
When Satan Lives
Serpents Of The Light
Once Upon The Cross
Amom: Feasting The Beast
- Pantheon - Empire In Ruin - Feb 01
- Act Of Impalement - Infernal Ordinance - Feb 02
- Skratte - Akt II: Des Wolfes Klagen - Feb 03
- Palace Of Worms - Cabal - Feb 03
- Memoriam - Rise To Power - Feb 03
- Mithridatum - Harrowing - Feb 03
- Godiva - Hubris - Feb 03
- A Diadem Of Dead Stars - Emerald Sunsets - Feb 03
- Black Water Sunset - Engraved Spectral Aeons - Feb 03
- Scáth Na Déithe - Virulent Providence - Feb 03
- Bodyfarm - Ultimate Abomination - Feb 06
- Häxanu - Totenpass - Feb 07
- Moonthoth - Uroczysko - Feb 07
- Crimson River - Here’s To The End… Again - Feb 10
- Atomwinter - Sakrileg - Feb 10
- Funereality - Til Death - Feb 10
- Terrestrial Hospice - Caviary To The General - Feb 10
- Withermoon - A Testament To Our Will - Feb 10
- Frozen Dawn - The Decline Of The Enlightened Gods - Feb 10
- Sermon - Till Birth Do Us Part - Feb 10