Cryptopsy - Interview
Cryptopsy’s “And Then You'll Beg” was one of the most anticipated releases of the year 2000 and our Canadians with cold blood delivered their most vile album to date which is nothing short of technical perfection, whacked-out guitar riffs and inhumanly fast and complex drum beats. It seemed like Mike DiSalvo’s departure might slow down this fast-speed train but Flo Mounier doesn’t think so. He even thinks that it can only make them stronger, adding another element of distinction to create something a little bit new... but you can read about it yourself below...
Probably the hottest question right now… What’s the real story behind Mike DiSalvo’s departure?
I can’t really go into details too much... he had some family thing he had to take care of and probably he couldn’t have been the part of the tour coming up in Europe so we all agreed upon him leaving. It’s really a family thing when he made a decision that was family orientated. Family first basically, you know what I mean? It just happened that way and it was conflicting with what our schedule is going to be so he kind of backed out and that’s it.
Is this becoming the Cryptopsy’s rule, a new singer every two albums?
Yeah, that’s what it seems to be. Actually, a different member every album is Cryptopsy motto now. [laughs] Shit happens... it’s always pretty much been John, Eric and I that have been pretty encored within Cryptopsy and I could say that everyone will stay from now on but it seems some people change, times change, this and that but Cryptopsy has always been innovating. I think what it brings that it’s going to bring another color and that’s why people actually like Cryptopsy. Every album is different and maybe a new singer will add another element of distinction and create something a little bit new... we’ll see.
All the vocalist changes have to concern you a little. There were already a lot of fans that had a hard time accepting Mike after Lord Worm. Now, after two albums with a new vocalist, just when people got used to the new voice you are again going for a change...
Sure, but you know what? Change is good. [laughs] I’m not concerned, I’m not concerned at all. I like change and I’m not concerned at all with what people are going to think. People have to keep in mind we are not making millions of dollars here, so for somebody that has to leave, take decisions it’s hard to balance two jobs at this same time and do this and that... They have to understand Mike left for a reason. Shit happens and now we just move on and continue to put up a good music.
Any chance Lord Worm is coming back?
Not likely. He gave all that up a long time ago and I don’t think he would be in shape to start all over again. Personally I don’t think he’d want to. I think he’s comfortable in doing what he’s doing and he gave it up for a reason. He didn’t want to do it, didn’t want to tour that much, so if he wants to come back he has to call us because he made it clear to us a while ago that it wasn’t for him.
By the way, what is he doing right now?
Actually, he’s teaching English as a second language. He’s an English teacher [laughs] It’s perfect for him he knows English very well.
Were you surprised with the final vote on Best Metal Artist award you received at the MIMI's (Montreal International Music Initiative)?
Was I surprised?
...it’s not too often an extreme metal band wins any awards...
Actually two years ago we were a runner up too and we were nominated and did win. It didn’t come to us as a big surprise but you know, the more you go on the more your name gets a little bit bigger, you make this big magazine and people start to hear a little bit more of you and it’s all about proper promotion whether its extreme metal or not. I guess the category being as it was, out of all those bands I guess we toured the most and the most all over the world so it was kind of normal that we would win but it did so good it was as a little bit of a surprise cause you’re right, not everybody has easy time accepting this kind of music. It was good. It was like all the hard work is starting to pay off. It’s not like this award is really a pay off or anything like that I’d rather have more fans and do more touring but we liked it and accepted it. Whatever.
Don’t you think that there is more metal everywhere recently and that is not an underground like it used to be anymore it’s actually hitting the main stream?
Oh for sure. I mean the more the time goes on the more metal is going to be. With all those extreme sports, extreme movies and this and that you’d go for some music that’s more pumped up. You are not going to go for something like party every day or whatever, no, it’s more like in your face. The society is more fast paced, it’s more in your face society, little bit... not violent but aggressive if you wish. So yeah, it’s going to come up front and it is coming up front. All those Korn type bands, Deftones and this and that they are making distortion and a distorted voice if you wish too although a little bit more acceptable.
I don’t think the type of music we play or the boys in death metal and extreme metal world will ever be played in the radio that much but at least it’s getting a little bit closer. Maybe that’s why the media is taking a little bit more interest... It’s hard for a media to accept metal as a serious art form. For some reason it’s always been, it’s been so many clichés around that and it’s always been hard for media to really say “yeah, this is here to stay and it’s acceptable art form and respectable art form”. But there is also a lot of bands that encourage that negativity that media has towards metal by displaying blood and guts everywhere and just talking about raping this raping that. You can’t really get a positive image.
I think most of the time it’s the lyrics that stop heavy metal... regular people don’t want to listen to the music about gore, Satanism or topics like that...
No, it’s not sane. It’s not a reality. What the problem is a lot of bands think it’s real and want to be considered real but it’s a joke. These guys paint blood all over their faces or stuff like that and it’s not real blood... and if it is it’s even more stupid. Why give yourself that image? So you can go home, pop open a can of coke and watch loony toons or something afterwards? It doesn’t make any sense. I understand difference between live performance and reality but a lot of times that is done it’s given a really bad name. Look at Marilyn Manson, you see him on American Music Awards every year and he just gives metal such a shit name, I think he does. And he might do it as a joke too and it might be funny to him but for 14-15 years old kids and their parents it’s not. They don’t understand that humor so they going to interpret this as just a crap...
You just got back from Fuck The Commerce Fest in Germany, how was it? Anything unusual happen there?
No, it was just amazing. [laughs] It was really cool. A lot of cool people, a lot of cool bands and great treatment by a band called Spawn. Just awesome, awesome, super-nice guys. We made a lot of connections and had a really great time, just plain and simple.
So are you enjoying the road? How’s the tour treating you?
Good man, very good. I can’t say there’s really been some catastrophes, knock on the wood, but there hasn’t so far and it’s been really positive, really good, a lot of fans, a lot of pushing... just all around it feels good to go touring and actually see that you are accomplishing something more rather than just pedaling and getting nowhere type of thing.
After all that drum pounding do you have any back spasms?
No. [laughs] Knock on wood again, there you go (he actually did knock on wood - Zgred).
No, nothing. I try to develop techniques that make things a lot smoother for the body. I studied a lot of professional drummers just to get their technique and how they can go on with more like a jazz style where everything is more loose and how they can go really fast with their hands not getting tired, not breaking to a sweat. And that’s the key playing an instrument, is just to become comfortable and relaxed playing it as much as possible so that little energy is spent on the concentration and on the right movements. So, I try to do it that way, if not then for sure by the time that anybody gets like 25-whatever and has been playing for 9-10 years will definitely have some kind of health problems.
You just answered my next question... Do you have any secrets or special techniques on how to become one of the fastest drummers in the world?
There is technique, no secrets. There is no secret to play drums, just practice. They say practice makes perfect... and it’s not bullshit [laughs]
So, who inspired you?
I think music in general inspired me and not one particular drummer. You always have your influences but I never really ever mimic or try to copy any drummer, which could have been a mistake I did when I was young because it’s a good thing to start like that and then branch out. Right now, I don’t have a favorite drummer I just have a whole fucking selection of music that ranges from every genre possible. I just like listening to everything and all these ideas are coming to my head and create the ideas for whatever I drum.
What’s in your CD player right now, then?
Oh shit, you want me to take a look? Hold on it will take just a few seconds, I want to be exact on this question. It might be embarrassing though [laughs] OK, oh my god, my fiancé’s cd Madonna... there is the new Napalm Death and... I’m gonna cheat... I’m listening to a lot of new Dimmu Borgir, which I like a lot, Dave Weckl Band and stuff like that, pop-jazz. I listen to a new band called Coldplay, they always play on the radio, this is like a newer Pink Floyd type of folk-rock type band...
How often do you hear “slow down” from other members of the band?
Well, I usually hear this from new members coming in. [laughs] They say “Oh god, can you slow down this part a little bit?” I tell them “in a live situation you got to get used to it, it’s only going to get worse” [laughs] “Don’t tell me to slow down in a practice cause you got to be ready for live” But, no it’s not that often.
What your most challenging song to play live?
That’s a very good question. Let’s see... from the songs that we don’t play anymore that would be ‘Loathe’ on “Whisper Supremacy”, that was pretty challenging... ‘Cold Hate, Warm Blood’ is pretty challenging... On the new one ‘Screams Go Unheard’ it’s a lot of fun but it’s really challenging. There is a bunch I guess... on "None So Vile" fun but challenging too was ‘Crown of Horns’... They all make me break into sweat and they are all challenging in their own way, it’s hard to pin point, they all got a little bit of something that it’s different... they are all challenging in their own way.
Than on an easer note... what’s your favorite to play live?
Probably ‘We Bleed’, that’s a lot of fun but I like newer stuff, like I said I like change. For live; ‘We Bleed’ and ‘Screams Go Unheard’ are a lot of fun. ‘We Bleed’ shows showcases if you wish, a lot of different stuff on the drums and on the guitars too so it’s a lot of fun to play. There is a whole bunch of stuff in it, it’s a long song...
“And Then You’ll Beg” is Cryptopsy’s the most technical and stunning accomplishment to date, how did you come up with material for this album?
We wanted to make it a little bit simpler as far as riffs, as guitars go. Not to have too much notes that nobody would really pick up, hear anything. So we wanted to make it a little bit simpler that way but we wanted to make it a lot more musical. So what I was doing on drums wasn’t that much simpler it was little bit more technical but it all fit. We tried to give each other breathing room, like the guitar does its part here that crazy I’m not gonna fill it up with something crazy too and vice versa.
How did the recording process go? Did you have any problems?
Studios are always tough because we are big time perfectionists and it’s hard and nerve-wracking. It took us about 2 months to do on and off and you know, there are always a little problems like how to get a better sound and this and that but generally it went really nice and smoothly. I think this is the album we are the proudest off as far as music goes.
The album is visually outstanding as well; to me it perfectly reflects the music inside, speed, chaos and death. Was it your intention during the design process?
Yeah it was. We wanted to have something really fast and heavy, just hit you face on and basically mow you over. [laughs] That was kind of our intentions and we wanted to create some kind of link between the artwork and intro, outro and the flow of the album.
Your web site is also very interesting and unusual. How much do you think Internet helps promoting your music?
Helps a lot. The same guy who does our internet stuff does our covers and our merchandise. He’s just a crazy genius. Yeah, it helps a lot... It’s free advertising, people can go any time and leave their comments... we don’t necessarily answer back cause it would be crazy answering back all the time but we take all the people’s advise and take into consideration. We got merchandise up there, we got news, anything that happens we try to let the people know as soon as it happens. I think it’s a great promotion tool.
Being on the subject, what your opinion on Napster and MP3s?
MP3s I think are positive because they can generate a little bit of income for the bands. Napster, on the other hand, it’s good for those who can afford it, can afford the albums, but it’s mostly the people who can’t afford it, who have computers, who can go on and download all that stuff. I think it’s counterproductive. What’s the point of fighting with the record labels, negotiating, going through this mess and shit if people can just take it from the computer. It makes us work like five times as hard and having absolutely no reward for it. I mean, we can’t kid ourselves it’s gonna be some way to make a little bit of money doing this or else we couldn’t buy instruments, we couldn’t have a better sound on our next album... I don’t like Napster personally, I’ve never been on Napster even though I can get free stuff I always try to support bands. I like to have a cover, original CD, what have you. But MP3s I think are positive. They can give you a little bit of band history and it’s productive. Small bands can put their songs out there and start making a little bit of money, get 3 cents every time it downloads or something like that.
I guess with your busy tour schedule you don’t have time to think about the new material yet or do you?
No, not really. Actually we’re starting to think about it a little bit but not fully. So, no new songs, titles, nothing yet but it will come. It’ll be interesting...
That would be all, anything you’d like to add?
Just thank you. Thanks for the support and keep on doing this, it helps out the bands a lot.
The Book Of Suffering (Tome 2)
The Book Of Suffering (Tome 1)
The Unspoken King
Once Was Not
Trois-Rivieres Metalfest IV
None So Live
And Then You'll Beg
None So Vile
Blasphemy Made Flesh
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