Fleshgrind - Interview
Plowing through all the death metal pretenders out there, are Chicago's own Fleshgrind. With their unrelenting style of brutal death metal, these guys pose a major threat to any band thinking they are extreme. Fleshgrind brings more to the table than just speed however, as they have a wide range in dynamics as well. I recently had a chance to speak to Fleshgrind's guitarist, Steve Murray, about their new album and various other topics. So, without further ado, I proudly present to you...Fleshgrind!
- Adam Block
To start things off, how long have you guys been together, and how did it all come about?
We have been together 8 years this month, March. So, we started off in March of 1993 if you don’t want to do the math. Rich our singer and Dave our old drummer had this band called Burial, so I started jamming with them on that. Then that went to shit, so we basically turned it into Fleshgrind. Soon after, we did our first demo in December of 93 entitled "Holy Pedophile" which really got the ball rolling.
You guys have a new record out called "The Seeds of Abysmal Torment." Tell us a little bit about the album and how it differs from the old one.
Yes we do, its out on Olympic Recordings and should be in most stores. It’s a bit different than Destined For Defilement. We replaced our old drummer Dave with our current drummer Alan and he is WORLDS better than Dave. so we were able to do a lot more and try a lot more than before. So the newer stuff is a lot faster, more varied, just a lot better I think. Also we replaced our old bass player Ray with our current bass player Jimmy, who also plays guitar for the band Avernus.
Who are the main song writers for Fleshgrind?
I write all of the music, but our drummer helps out with arrangements and occasional hummed out riffs here and there. Alan and I both write the lyrics as well.
Have you been able to take any of the new stuff out on the road yet?
We played 2 shows, one in Tennesee and one In Alabama right before the album came out. Unfortunately, at the Alabama show, Rich broke his ankle REALLY bad and so far we haven’t been able to play any shows for the new album so that really sucks, its hurting the album ya know. But we will be back! All bands go through down times. It’s been 6 months since that last show.
Give me a little bit of insight, if possible, on what a normal Fleshgrind live show is like.
Ahhh its nothing too crazy, no stage props or visuals. We have intros sometimes, our drummer makes them up, or we sometimes use Vivadli's "Winter" piece. Other than that we just bang out on stage, we really get into it. We try to have the crowd participate. Creates a really cool vibe.
As of now, do you guys have any future tour plans?
Yes we will be doing at least 2 weeks in Europe with Deeds of Flesh and Resurrected. It will hit Germany, Spain, Italy, Austria, and the Netherlands. We toured there last year with Resurrected and it was KILLER, so we cant wait to go back. As far as the US goes, we will tour I'm sure after we get back from Europe, but nothing is concrete as far as the US goes as of now. But we will be touring the US.
How is the death metal scene overall in the U.S.?
It has its ups and downs. Good spots, horrible spots. I think the bands are putting out quality music, but there aren’t as many as there should be. I think too many bands latch onto one thing extreme and beat it into the ground. Like if they're fast, its non stop ALL the time, and it stops being extreme to me anyhow. It’s great for a few songs, but not a whole cd. Nothing wrong with a tempo change to my ears. Or super deep vocals the WHOLE time gets to be UN extreme. Like you become desensitized to it. No dynamics kills it after awhile. To me anyhow. To each their own, right?
What are your opinions on nu-metal bands such as Slipknot, Mudvayne, etc.?
Ummm, I don’t pay much attention to those bands. I've never heard Mudvayne. its cool that Slipknot promotes death metal though, I have to respect that. But I haven’t heard much of Slipknot. Its just not my thing and if its not my thing, I don’t pay it much attention. If other people want to listen to it, then listen to it. I might not like the new metal stuff, but I cant stop it and things evolve, they just do. A lot of old thrash fans don’t like death metal, so on and so forth, its just the way it is. Some people listen to it all, if so, whatever, doesn’t affect me. Who’s to say what others should listen to.
What bands do you enjoy listening to in your spare time?
Shit, lots of bands, to name a few: Kiss, Nevermore (the new one is AMAZING), Hate Eternal, Suffocation, Sacrilege (Sweden), Dark Tranquility, Yattering, Vader, Skinless, Mortal Decay, Regorge, Disgorge, Dying Fetus, Spinecast, Fleshtized, Krisiun, Severe Torture, Malevolent Creation, Lividity, Burial, Immolation, Coercion, Pyrexia, Deeds, Angelcorpse, Gorguts, Morbid Angel, Rain Fell Within and classical. I try to keep it varied from style to style.
Who influenced you to become a guitar player and how long have you been playing?
Well I originally wanted to play bass when i was a kid because of Gene Simmons, but I found it to be boring at the time, ya know. So i picked up the guitar. I was really into old Motley Crue, well I still am really into old Motley Crue. Then of course Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer etc.. Guitar players that I love now are Erik Rutan, James Murphy, Alex Skolnick, Yngwie, Eliot Fisk, Casey from Fleshtized.
So what is next for Fleshgrind?
Get past these problems, and tour our asses off and write!
Got any final words to say to those death metal fans out there?
Thanks a lot for the interview, and check out our new album. Hope to see ya on the road!!
P.O. Box 7142
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