It’s been less than a week since everyone’s eardrums have been graced with one of the Metal scenes biggest and best releases of the year and Decapitated are already starting to receive acclaim that’s been long overdue. With ‘Anticult’ still melting minds as we write this, therevivalmusic.co.uk’s very own Stephen Budworth had the pleasure of sitting down and chatting to the genius behind it all.
therevivalmusic.co.uk: I’m joined by the awesome Vogg from Decapitated, how are you today dude?
Vogg: Hey guys! I’m doing very well, I’ve been spending time with my family here in Kraków which is a small town in the south of Poland. I’ve had a great day mostly spending time with my brother’s daughter.
therevivalmusic.co.uk: Good to hear, I guess it’s good to get a bit of family time in before the whole touring cycle starts?
Vogg: Yeah, I try to spend as much time as I can with my family, it’s really important to me these days but I don’t have much time anymore, especially with Decapitated having these summer shows planned out. Everything takes up a lot of time from rehearsing the songs to travelling, we’re pretty busy these days. We had our new album come out 3 days ago which I’m really excited about!
therevivalmusic.co.uk: That leads perfectly into the first thing I was going to ask about the new record, how have you found the reaction so far?
Vogg: Good! Surprisingly good to be honest with you. I didn’t expect the positive reaction, I had a feeling there would be a lot of complaining about the change in style, the fact that we don’t sound like we did on the Winds of Creation album but it didn’t happen! There’s been so many great reviews and positive comments on the YouTube videos, it’s killer!
therevivalmusic.co.uk: I couldn’t agree more, I reviewed the album a few weeks back and it’s one of those records where I’ve not been able to put it down since I got it!
Vogg: Yeah, I think the production really helps with that. I was listening to the album myself earlier today in my father’s car, he’s has a pretty good sound in his car, I’m jealous ha-ha. It was sounding really good, the guitars sound so crisp as do the drums and vocals. Man, I have such positive thoughts towards this new album.
therevivalmusic.co.uk: Awesome, the first thing that really hit me about the new album was that it’s really accessible compared to the older material but done in such a way that it’s still Decapitated. During the creative process we’re there any conscious decisions made about the new material appealing to a wider audience or did this just happen organically?
Vogg: Well, there we’re a few conscious decisions that we made before this album. We tried to make a shorter album than Blood Mantra. We wanted the songs to not take time getting to the action and be more immediate, so you don’t need to wait that long for a solo or riff change. In some ways, the songs are catchier than the previous albums. A conscious one was a song off the new record called Kill the Cult which is kind of this Radio song, we really wanted to do a song like this. It’s like a Rammstein style Radio song but still heavy as hell and drawn heavily from the death metal scene or even the more thrashy Pantera scene.
therevivalmusic.co.uk: Definitely, I could see someone who’s not that familiar with Decapitated stumbling across Anticult and then exploring the rest of your back catalogue. Is it fair to say that the new album would be a good starting point to get into Decapitated?
Vogg: Well, I think if a new fan was to listen to Anticult and then go straight into a previous album like The Negation or Organic Hallucinosis it can be a surprise just because it’s so different. There are songs like Anger Line and One-Eyed Nation off Anticult that wouldn’t feel out of place on both those older records. There are a few elements on this new record that are connected to the older albums even the really old stuff back in the day.
For me Anticult is like a compilation of all the best things Decapitated have done. This new record is different, there’s a lot of grooves going on and we’ve not been a typical death metal band in a long time. Since Organic Hallucinosis we’ve been going for a different direction and this album was over 10 years ago. I think Decapitated are still a Death Metal band but we just don’t concentrate on the death metal scene so much these days.
When I’m writing I concentrate on finding a riff that sounds great and then making a song that’s extreme metal, doesn’t matter if its slow or fast whatever. Dude, I’m looking for the power in the music because for me it’s like freedom, making a composition on the guitar. People need to know that this new album is from the heart and we wouldn’t put out any record just to make the band bigger. I need to feel the riffs and I really do with Anticult.
therevivalmusic.co.uk: Sure, and again that does lead really well into the next question. In my review for the album, I mentioned that the Death Metal genre in 2017 seems very bloated with a lot of bands that do the same idea over and over again whereas with you guys there’s something so unique unlike any band out there. With Decapitated having such a unique sound, are there any bands that you look at to draw inspiration from?
Vogg: Man, I’m not a big fan of the metal scene these days, talking about Djent or Deathcore bands. I’ve never been a big fan. I look at bands from the late 1980s to 1990s and maybe that’s why we sound different. I take experience from old albums by Sepultura or Meshuggah. I don’t want to go in the direction that most metal bands go for these days maybe that’s why we are different.
therevivalmusic.co.uk: Absolutely, with songs like Kill the Cult off the new record the Sepultura influence can really be heard now that you mention it.
Vogg: Yeah! I even look more towards rock bands for inspiration these days like Alice in Chains or the Foo Fighters.
therevivalmusic.co.uk: That is a surprise, there bands that you would never normally associate with death metal, another reason why you guys stand out so much. Living with the album for a good few weeks now, there’s not one song that I can imagine not crushing live, was it tough deciding on which songs make the setlist?
Vogg: Right now, we’ve only been playing the first Single Never for festivals but slowly we’re starting to bring in our second single Earth Scar. We are still undecided about which other tracks are going to make the setlist so far.
therevivalmusic.co.uk: That’s another amazing thing about the album, whichever tracks that make the setlist are bound to take people’s heads off. For someone who’s just stumbled across Anticult is there a song you would recommend as a good starting point?
Vogg: I would say it would have to be our first single Never. There’s a lot of elements on this track that connect to the whole album. There’s fast parts, melodic solos, heavy grooves and really good vocals. Yeah, I would recommend Never.
therevivalmusic.co.uk: As a fan, I’ve always felt like you guys have stayed under the radar in terms of major exposure but in light of Anticult I can honestly see Decapitated playing on mainstages at festivals like Download, is this something that crosses your mind or is there any ambition to make the band as big as bands such as Lamb of God or Machine Head?
Vogg: I don’t see anything wrong with playing on big stages at big festivals in-between some of the big names in the metal scene. Man, I decided to be a guitar player and make my band. I spent 21 years playing metal in every shithole on the planet and to be honest I dream about taking my band to the next level and representing our music to bigger crowds. I’ve dreamed about that since I was 15-years-old ha-ha!
therevivalmusic.co.uk: Ha-ha not to say that the previous records aren’t mind melting but with Anticult in particular, it really is up there as one of the 21st century classics, I’m positive that the metal community won’t see any issue with you guys stepping up to those bigger stages.
Vogg: Thanks man, that would be killer!
therevivalmusic.co.uk: So, with festivals in mind, Bloodstock festival here in the UK is around the corner, what can we expect from Decapitated’s slot?
Vogg: Well, we will come to Bloodstock and we will kick your ass ha-ha! We are working on a crossover setlist with old stuff and new. I personally cannot wait, it’s one of my favourite festivals in Europe and we’ve only played there once! It’s kind of a challenge because 90% of the best Rock and Metal comes from the UK. I get this feeling before I play a show in the UK and it’s a feeling I miss. The thought of being up there on the big stage at Bloodstock can be distressing but we will be up there and will try to kick your ass as much as possible, UK fans, you guys are always killer.
therevivalmusic.co.uk: If your set at Bloodstock back in 2014 was anything to go by every other band may as well go home.
therevivalmusic.co.uk: Lastly, I’ve heard from a reliable source that you slay on the accordion?
Vogg: ha-ha yeah man! I play on the accordion sometimes but not so much these days because I spent 17 fucking years playing this instrument in music school from when I was 7 years old to 25. I was pretty good at that shit and did a few lines on some of the early Decapitated albums as well as some of my friend’s projects. Maybe I’ll return to it one day and record a few things for YouTube so all of the Decapitated fans can 100% be disappointed with what I’m doing with my life ha-ha
therevivalmusic.co.uk: Ha-ha, I don’t know, stick up a cover of Spheres of Madness on the accordion and I’m sure well forgive you!
Vogg: Very good idea!
That’s all folks,
Don’t forget to check out Decapitated’s Anticult which is out now on Nuclear blast.
They play Bloodstock on August 11th see you in the pit!