by George Athanasiou and Kostas Vaxevanos
After more than ten years you decided to release new material. What made you put the discography part on ice back then and what made you to reconsider? What did you miss (and not missed) all this time from music?
We did not put the discography on ice back then, we actually split up the band in 2013 after 24 years of non stop action. It was a collective decision. We actually didnt have more energy to carry on anymore. We could say the fire was burned out. We decided to call it quit. To never ever reunite again. But we were luckily wrong and in 2017 we did a one off show a temporary thing at Summer Breeze Fest to honour the memory of the old Metal Blade Europe manager Michael Trengert who was also manager of SBF and passed away in 2013. We agreed to do this and we enjoyed so much so we decided to do more in the future. So in 2019 we reunited again to play live only and celebrate our 30th anniversary which we did. So why we considered to release new music again was because of the success of 2019. We had some shows postponed becaue of the pandemic and another 2 years passed. In the summer of 2021 we decided to do a new album and be a band again as in the old days. I personally didnt miss music so much cause i was in Cut Up and Nifelheim and other bands but from time to time i missed playing with Vomitory which were closer to my heart. It feels great to be back again!
You unleashed “All Heads Are Gonna Roll”, the same-title track of the new album that really blew us away. Slayerish, catchy but still Vomitory. What did you change in the writing process of the new songs?
The song writing process it was pretty much the same as usually were back in the day. When we write by our own , we finish a complete song before we present it to the band. We are not the kind of band of having jam sessions, in rehearsal place and write together, we dont work like that. So this time it was
Me and Erik who wrote music and lyrics. Erik wrote all lyrics actually. For the music it was a split between me and Erik , we worked more closely this time and was very successful way of working and satisfying i could say. For «Dead Man Stalking» we wrote the music together. Also we decided to built «stronger» choruses for the songs, more memorable. This way songs have a more powerful identity by their own. We had choruses in our songs before, more or less but maybe not as obvious as they are in this album. I could say we pulled off pretty well.
Tell us some things about the recording procedure. Where did you record the album etc. Who was involved behind all this “beautiful gory mess”?
We recorded all the instruments in our rehearsal studio Bunker Z16. This was the first time we did this. There were different reasons we did this but it worked pretty good. We had the freedom since we were in our place but we still had a strict schedule because of our daily life, home, families and so on. It was a new experience for us and that recording was engineered by Mats Lindström who previously runned a studio in Karlstad Sweden. He had the equipment so he brought the machines there. The vocals were recorded at Leon Music Studios outside Karlstad were we did the 3 previous albums as well with Rikard Löfgren as enginner. This time he was coaching and supporting rather than producing while we were doing our takes there. I think they did a terrific job Rikard and Erik so vocals turned out absolutely great in this album. When all was done album was sent to Lawrence Mackrory at Rorysound studiosin Uppsala Sweden for mix and mastering who did real magic and we are all very happy how the recording turned out!
The lyrics must be in your usual, known themes, right? Death, combats, war? Haha
Yea the lyrics are in fact the usual staff haha we regular write about death, war, gore, horror and so on… cause we play Death Metal metal you know so why not haha. As i mentioned before it was Erik that wrote all the lyrics on the album. I did named some song titles and was my only contribution with the lyric part.
In the meantime, of your absence many things have changed. Now dominates the Artificial Intelligence but also the Ukraine-Russian war, energy crisis and so on. Would you trust the AI in Vomitory’s music e.g.?
There are a lot of things that have changed the last years the band was away not least the music and record industry it has changed quite a lot in a bad or a good way. Of course is all these you have mentioned but to answer the question… ABSOLUTELY NOT. That comes not near our craft. The same goes with album artwork and merchandise and designs. A.I can be a useful tool maybe for an art draw as inspiration but the way i see it you cannot create real art . I mean there are so many great artists in Death Metal, metal scene in general, underground artists that can provide real works instead computer. Still doesnt look as good or original as becoming from the hands of a real artist.
Listening to the new material, what are the characteristics that you consider to be the greater advantages of your new album?
The great advantages of our new album…i would say when we started to write it we looked back the albums we did in early 2000s like Blood Rapture, Revelation Nausea etc. We focused more in the style of riffs we had back then. We didnt changed their style but compared to riffs from our last album Opus they are more straightforward. Opus ia a great album but now when i listen to it maybe we complicated things a bit too much haha. I cant recall for which reason but this is how it sounds to me now. So… we aimed for a more straightforward approach and we managed to do that on the new album. Also we made more memorable choruses as i mentioned before so we gave the fans a chance to sing along on our shows. Also i think the production is really brutal and modern. At the end sounds organic but still brutal. I hate to use this word but i think it sounds refreshing haha
Do you think the formula album/tour that many bands adopted for every two years is something that works for your band or not? I mean it has the advantage of consistency staying around but is it maybe a trap to be bored or release less quality albums? Your point of view on this?
It works for us but maybe not with a 2 year plan anymore. We adopted that in the past but not sure if it will work now. Maybe too tight. We work in a steady basis though. I dont think bands get bored by doing this quick pace but not sure if they are objective if they apply quality in the album. Thats more to the fans to decide. I think you must keep the balance. There are so many band and releases out there but is important to stay relevant. Balance is the key…
Any interesting behind-the-scenes stories from the studio?
Not really haha because we were in such a tight schedule recording this album. We didn’t have the time fooling around or hanging out as we do most of the times lol We were very busy all the time and focused to finish the album.
What do you think is the most important skill for an artist to have? How do you stay inspired and motivated in your work as a drummer?
I think an artist should have big ears, to be able to listen, to adapt to other musicians. A small ego is also very good lol. I just love drums. I love other drummers play and that keeps me motivated either is death metal or some soft rock. Is always interesting to watch a drummers approach even if the drumset is huge monsterkit or a small piece drumkit. Is fascinating and inspiring as well. I suck at practising lol I always think that is boring to practice alone and improve myself. Jamming with the band is my practice habit mostly the last 30 years. I do practise sometimes but to do that is important to have fun doing that. Ok i am sitting down and doing these rudiments but cant find joy in that. I put some favourite music, my headphones and play drums along and i discover drums parts i didnt know how they played it. And then rewind and go back and listen more carefully and all of a sudden you hear something new. This ishow i started and this i do to this day.
Are there any plans for touring?
Sure there are! We are doing some festivals in Europe this summer including Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Finland and in mid September we are doing a full European tour for about a month. Its not officially announced but i guess soon there will be a map with countries and tour dates. After that we are going in Mexicofest in November and same month we hope we will be in Asia too. We see what happens with that. We end the year in Eindhoven Metal Meeting in Netherlands and hope to see you guys there and more to come in 2024!