MORBID FLESH interview with Gusi
Are you still searching for some killer old styled death metal bands? Are you also impressed by the new Spanish acts like Atarazia, Graveyard, Onirophagus and DDDD and want to listen to another brilliant representative of their scene? Well, search no more. Here is MORBID FLESH! I suppose they could be known to you already, because the debut CD “Reborn in Death” was released already in 2011. But I am now truly impressed with newest recording of this band, “Embedded in the Ossuary”. It’s nothing new, but just like in many similar cases the music is so damn good that I cannot walk by it carelessly. I must recommend it. Read now what Gusi had to say about his band and also about Insulters, which is his another project. I could probably ask more questions, even relate some part of this interview to Graveyard, but damn… it would be too long then. So, Morbid Flesh is the most important subject here. Enjoy!
Hellz!!!!! Great to have you here on the Panzerfaust pages. Ready to answer few, not necessarily music related, questions? Hope you have some cold beer and killer music in the background playing, so they will make the whole answering thing more easy and pleasant he!
Hails! It’s a pleasure to be here on these pages. Let’s start!
A lot of cool things started to be going on in Spain in the past couple of years, when speaking of death metal. There were years, when not many really good bands have existed there, but suddenly we were blessed with the killer sounds of bands like Graveyard, Insulters, Teitanblood, Ataraxy, Banished From Inferno, Morbid Flesh, Domains, Onirophagus, Decapitated Christ and so on and on. Tell me your impression on that! What caused this resurrection of Spanish death metal scene?!
The thing started a few years before of what you mention I think… In the past it was indeed the case that there was no space for a Spanish Death Metal band in the scene. It’s true that music-wise there was nothing really impressive here, there were just a couple of good bands. I think that after all these years all of us, musicians and all the rest that somehow were involved, started to fit together and now we are a bit more respected outside of our borders. I don’t think that something extraordinary happened… I think that the musicians involved started to be more serious. Many of us are the same guys in other bands as well, that helped a lot to start new bands by only changing the one or other musician.
And what’s your view of the early 90’s death metal scene of Spain? I think there were some truly great bands, but somehow not many of them really managed to get a bigger status in the European or worldwide scene. Which of these old demos / albums / bands belong to your favourites, which you would truly recommend and wished they actually gained a little bit more?
Frankly speaking I was never a big follower of the Spanish scene of the 90’s due to the fact that I’m too young. My generation is a bit later than that…
How would you estimate the role of Dave Rotten and his labels in the process of creating and evolving of the Spanish death metal scene? I have a feeling like he was kind of a leader of it back in those days and today he also supports it strongly with his Xtreem Music.
Back in the day probably yes but nowadays it’s not the case I think. I had connections to bands that were on his roster of bands on his label and they were not that satisfied. Maybe if you are a bigger band then it’s a bit different. Beside of this, it’s very good that there is a label that also reviews tons of other bands of the region.
Ok, Morbid Flesh now… First I want to ask you about the band called Undertaker, which is a predecessor to Morbid Flesh. What memories do you have from these times and two demos, which Undertaker has recorded? What led you to change the name into Morbid Flesh and kind of start everything from the beginning?
All this happened long time ago when I wasn’t a member of the band yet. The band was established, they simply changed the drummer and I joined them. Makeda (bass) came a bit later and there were some other lineup changes but the band remained the same for years now. Undertaker was a band that had several problems with the lineup again and again. It was like a first band in which many of us did the first steps. I can’t remember exactly what happened but I can remember a day when we all were in the rehearsal room and we were bored of the songs. More than the songs, I think the problem was the type of music. It wasn’t that personal. It was OK, but we weren’t 100% satisfied so to say. This was the reason why we had so much lineup changes all the time I guess. We started thinking about a radical change in our music. Something more raw and dirty. We buried Undertaker and established Morbid Flesh. For us it is a completely new band, they have nothing in common excepting that some of us were already there. Very good moments we had with that band, but that is all history now.
Has this change of the name also brought a change in the music, which both bands played? Or maybe Morbid Flesh is kind of continuation of Undertaker?
Yes, yes, completely. Once we changed the name it all changed. An absolutely new face! Hell!!!!
With Morbid Flesh you quickly recorded a demo and an album titled “Reborn in Death”. How happy are you with them? How do you perceive the songs, the sound and everything about them, few years after the recordings? What feedback did you get with that LP?
They were good times of change, but we were on the border of splitting the band. The demo “Dying Lapidation” was very well received and for the LP “Reborn In Death” we already had many songs completely ready to be recorded when both guitarists left the band. Only three of us were still there: Makeda (bass), Vali (voice) and myself.
We thought of giving up the band but on the other side we didn’t want these songs to get lost. We wanted to record them and let them pressed in some edition for the future. Exactly on that time we got an offer to press “Reborn In Death” on CD. So I recorded the guitars and the drums by myself. That was hell! Believe me! Hehehehe. But it turned out well. At that moment we were very satisfied with the sound of the album. As usual, you always find here and there some things you would change if you have the chance but taking into consideration the situation we had in the band at that moment, we can’t complaint at all.
There was quite long break between “Reborn In Death” and “Embedded in the Ossuary”. What were you all guys doing in the meantime? Was Morbid Flesh active or maybe putted slightly on a side, considering that most of you play also in some other projects like Insulters, Graveyard, etc?
That was the moment when the lineup changed. The new members had to learn all the songs and then we started to work on new material for “Embedded In The Ossuary”. It was a long time… I don’t think that the other bands / projects influenced somehow at all..
And now “Embedded in the Ossuary” is out. And damn, it is truly killer piece of death metal. I can see a great progression and maturity in your music, in the way that it just sounds better; it is more aggressive, the riffs are just awesome, great arrangements, dark atmosphere, killer production on the EP… And fantastic artwork! Well, I can only say positive things about it. How would you see this? Any plans for the vinyl release?
Yes, we are very happy with this edition. It has a lot of positive aspects, it sounds more personal in our consideration. And slowly we feel the whole thing is more and more mature in a way. We are waiting for the news about the vinyl edition. I guess we have to wait and see how the sales of the CD develop…
Music of Morbid Flesh obviously has a strong influence from the classic Swedish death metal, and it can be heard not only in the sound of it, like the killer guitar tone, but also in the melodies and leads you incorporate (like in the truly amazing “Entrance to the Ossuary”), in the specific groove, atmosphere… Since you’re a guitarist, tell me which of the aspects is more important for you, when songwriting: the atmosphere and melody or that aggression and groove? Also, such “From Beyond the Bounds” sounds a lot similarly to Bolt Thrower, which is also one of my fave bands ever!
Frankly speaking, the music we write is not intended to sound Swedish... The influence of those bands is there, no doubt, that’s true. The same case if the one or other song sounds for you a bit after Bolt Thrower. That’s inevitable, this is something you carry inside of you, in your head every time you write a new song. Every song needs a passage, and atmosphere… call it the way you like. Everything is important I can’t choose only one.
In Morbid Flesh you swapped the drums for guitars. Was it difficult for you to adopt to new instrument, especially in the live circumstance?
It’s actually easier that what I thought it would be. It isn’t easy, of course, but with some edication and some effort it was possible. Perhaps the most difficult task is the section with the solos, but the result is OK, I think.
I suppose there must be a great comradeship between Morbid Flesh and Graveyard, as not only you, Gusi, play in both bands, but you also always work with Javi at his Moontower Studio. How does it look like then from your perspective? Is there a special bond between the bands?
Yes, indeed. We know very well and we understand each other. Music-wise we are also on the same level. And we also go to the same studio, for many years now. Javi has a lot of experience and he has a vision of how every instrument and every aspect has to sound. That makes it all a lot easier. By the way, if the formula is working, why should we change it? It’s true that we are somehow bonded to the circle of people we have actually here surrounding us.
Do you like sitting in the studio, working on the album, recording all instruments, etc? Or this process is always stressful or boring for you, so you prefer playing rehearsals or gigs? What was the recording session of “Embedded in the Ossuary” like for that matter?
Back in the day I loved it to go to the studio, record something and enjoy there as many hours I could. But nowadays I have to agree that it’s harder to record all the instruments… Once recorded it’s easier to mix and master them; I like that part, adding some details, melodies and so on... That’s nice. I prefer to play live; that’s the moment when you see the band giving it all on stage. The record process of “Embedded In The Ossuary” was very smooth though since we shared the sessions with the guys from Insulters. It was great! We were all there, all together!!
IIt is no reason to deny that Morbid Flesh belongs to the new generation of old styled, classically sounding death metal bands… this scene has arose into something of a monster, great and killer movement, with many fantastic bands, albums, demos… What is your view on that? Many people say that the “Swedish death metal” book is one of the things, which ignited this old school flame, what do you think?
I guess that all this was not originated by only one thing. There were a lot of circumstances I think... That book you mention, all the revival of the Death Metal had... Think that some people say now that Swedish Death Metal is a trend now… But I think we should not give a shit about all this. We should enjoy all this and feel a little bit how it was back in the day when I didn’t have the chance to live. For me it’s great and I totally enjoy it.
You’re absolutely right. Looking back into the history of death metal… Back in the early 90’s quite many – mainly Scandinavian and British – bands started to change their music drastically after one or two LPs. Let me just mention such Convulse, Disgrace, Amorphis, Paradise Lost, Cemetary, Tiamat, Atrocity, Pyogenesis and so on and on. How do you see this nowadays? Why do you think so many bands started to change back then? Do you like some of the albums, which these bands released after the (r)evolution or you don’t tolerate it and only stick to the early demos / death metal LPs?
You can call me an idiot, but I think that usually, when a band wants to innovate, they ruin it all. All the bands you mention started very well but they followed some trend or I don’t know what. Fuck ! They all do not have that feeling anymore with the stuff they created before.
Do you think that the same can happen also nowadays, with this New Wave of Old Styled Death Metal? Actually such bands as MorbusChron, Tribulation and Miasmal are already bringing some new influences to this music, I think and they really succeeded.
This may happen in some years, I agree with that. For the moment I think it’s still far away though. You are right with that statement that many bands, and the new Morbus Chron is a clear example for this, are losing a bit of power and are instead adding some experimental things. The productions are also cleaner and cleaner. Sometimes I miss that destroying guitar tones of the 90’s…
Shall we talk also about Insulters? You just released a killer album and I am very impressed. “We Are the Plague” is very different to your other bands, but similarly devastating. How did this project start? Whose idea was it to play something in this style, which would combine the classic thrash metal with obscure black metal?
If I remember well it all started in a local street where we stopped to eat some hamburgers with some friends. All of them became later members of Insulters back in 2008. The idea was to have a project that could serve as excuse to share some beers, parties and all the rest what could come, hehehehehe. We wanted to play a “cabrón” Metal, hehehe, some dirty thing we could play being drunk. Something easy and primitive. But the whole thing started to develop and the reactions were great after recording our first Demo. Hence we took it more seriously until this day and we are now really established as a full band.
Any words about the previous to “We Are the Plague” recordings of Insulters, like the demos and split you released? What were they like? Are any of them still available? I ask this, simply because I only know the album.
The first demo was titled “Skull Krushers” and was released by Fistbang from Greece. The second demo was called “Black Vomit” and released by Praise Unholy Records from Portugal. Afterwards we released a split with Nocturnal Hell under the organization Sabathell Metal Attack. All of them on tape. I think it will be very hard to find that material… perhaps you can still find some copies of the split. A compilation with all the demos was released as well and I think there is still the chance to get a copy of that edition.
Ok, something different now… but I just must ask this hehe! I suppose someone living in Barcelona, you must be a freaking fan of blaugran? Is it true that for you people in Spain football and club is a religion? Is it possible to live in Barcelona and not be infected by it at all?
Yes, it is indeed a fucking shame. I think one of the few people not infected by that plague it’s me! Hehehe! And I’m fucking proud of it. It seems that when a game starts the world stops completely. And also the music. Regrettably the metal is on a second place when the game starts… Fucking football fans!
Ha, I also have one more question related to Catalonia. Your parliament has forbidden corrida, which is quite controversial matter, knowing how important corrida is for the Spanish traditions. What’s your view on that?
I think it’s good. On the one side you have the situation to have to kill animals for food or to survive. But to kill animals for pleasure or for party with our people I think it would be better if all those fucking maggots would kill each other. It seems that those idiots still live in the past, in the time of the barbaric hordes.
I must use the opportunity and ask what’s new in Graveyard, what plans do you have for the nearest months? I ask this especially as Graveyard belongs to my very favourite death metal bands around these days, I collect your vinyls and damn, love them all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well, currently we are “on vacation”. I guess we will be in that mood all the summer and a bit more because we all have other projects and bands like Korgull The Exterminator, Foscor, Lux Divina, Insulters, Morbid Flesh… We can use this time to concentrate on those and disconnect a bit of Graveyard. The next step will be to write new songs for new releases like a split or a mini-CD. Nothing is certain yet. I’m really happy that you like Graveyard! Thanks for your support!
I finally, I also need to ask you about Agonised, which is your new band. What it is like?! Why so many bands?
Well, many years ago I had a lot of free time… I was unemployed so I started several projects. Agonised was my solo project but I can’t dedicate much time on it now due to the reason that I’m involved in too many other bands. I keep it aside until I have some free time…
Well, I’m sure you can think for yourself why I have this name hehehehehe... Some time ago I had a bourbon bottle the whole day. All days a week. And it was typical to open a Jack Daniels bottle on every INSULTERS show and drink it empty until the fucking last drop. If we had a Jim Beam bottle it was no problem.. we drank that one as well! Hahahahaha
I love the artwork for “Embedded in the Ossuary”. But the one for “Reborn in Death” was also killer. I think that such horrendous horror stuff simply fits the best for such death metal and I never enjoyed the lyrics of some old school bands from early 90’s, which played rough death metal but had social or other lyrics (Death, Gorefest, etc). I am very happy to see that most of the bands nowadays also use some of the best artworks ever created for death metal bands! Your opinion?
For me this are aspects that are connected to each other. Obviously that the music is the most important thing but you need to add some cool cover. A cover able to represent the whole work you did for the album. And I think that Death Metal lyrics shall not cover aspects like society, politics or that shit. Death Metal is obscurity!!!!!
OK, thanks Gusi for your answers and time you spent on this interview! Hope you enjoyed it! Any last words?
Many thanks for the time invested in this interview!