how are things going in Australia this week?
Not any metal shows this week, so a little quiet. Beers and Metal at home.
did you first start listening to metal music and who were the first bands
you listened to? The first album you purchased with your own money?
I started listening to Metal around 1988. The first Metal albums I heard
were Reign in Blood and Master of Puppets. I was a big Slayer and Metallica
fan so the first albums bought would have been a Slayer or Metallica album.
I believe all the members
of the band have been a part of the UG scene since at least the early 90's.
What is your opinion of the underground metal scene back then and now?
Back then many of the earlier bands were pioneers and layed the foundations
for Metal moving forward. But for a long time now the scene seems watered
down with a lot of average bands and albums getting a lot of promotion. Home
recording has changed a lot. Back then it was normal to hear a demo sounding
like it was recorded on a tape deck. There was some really raw sounding demo
tapes. These days you can buy some cheap software and depending on your
skills can record at home with very high quality. You don’t even need a real
drummer!!! So it’s a completely thing now. But the Underground is cyclical
and eventually the scene becomes a parody of itself and implodes. Just like
it did in the late 90’s. The shit like death core or metal core gets left by
the wayside and people get back to listening to the true Underground bands.
You always see bands compared back to the early era, in that it sounds like
Sodom, Beherit, Grave, Incantation or Blasphemy etc. because these bands are
legendary and have survived the purge. Out of the ashes rises new bands
carrying the torch of the true Metal Underground spirit. There’s a lot of
great Metal bands out there today and although the word ‘Underground’
doesn’t carry the exact same meaning these days, it’s killer that there’s
still some maniacs out there keeping the underground spirit alive.
you ever do much tape-trading back in the early days? Do you remember what
the first few demo tapes you bought were? You’re first foreign band demo?
Sure a few. But I was surrounded by people who were extremely active tape
traders. So I was luckily flooded with choice. Some killer demos I remember
writing for were Desaster ‘Lost in the Ages’, Masochist…
you a regular reader of fanzines back in the late ‘80s through the 90's? In
your opinion what makes a good fanzine? Do you think fanzines / webzines
still have importance these days?
Not in the 80’s for me but in the 90’s there was always different zines
around. From ’94 Abominator had many interviews in various zines. So there
was always different ones around. I think Sadistic Execution interviews
always make for an entertaining fan zine!!! Also brutally honest reviews are
always a good read. Fan zines whether online or printed are a still
essential for a band to spread the word. Especially newer bands.
were your fave fanzines from the your early days in the scene? Do you keep
up with any web-zines these days?
I remember Slayer mag, Voices From the Darkside, Full Moon Zine, Grimoire
and a few others. I don’t order any these days. I just read online now.
was the spark that led to you forming Cemetery Urn in the beginning? Who
would you say are the bands biggest influences? Do they remain the same over
a decade later?
I decided to start the band after the 4th Abominator album was recorded. It
was started at the bar in 2005. I was having a beer with Damon Bloodstorm
from Bestial Warlust/Abominator and we were talking about the lack of Death
Metal bands we liked and we both agreed it would be killer to start a pure
Death Metal project. I wouldn’t say there are any particular bands that we
tried to mimic, it’s just always been focused on an early era of Death
Metal. The beginnings of Death Metal when Thrash just got heavier and
evolved into Death Metal (I loved that time period! -Dale). The direction of
the band remains the same and always will. I’ve just found different ways to
write over time.
Bloodstorm was a founding member of Cemetery Urn and was with the band for 7
years. What led to his departure? How has his absence (he seemed to be the
band spokesman etc…) changed the band and was it hard to replace what he
brought to the Urn?
Damon retired. He’d had enough. Damon was doing all the social networking
and most of the interviews. So after he left I had to learn MySpace and
Facebook etc, as well as do all the interviews. Plus he left before any
lyrics were written for the 3rd album ‘Cemetery Urn’. So I had to ask C.
Volcano of Abominator to write and record the lyrics for the album. But
during that time It wasn’t just Damon that left. Every member from ‘The
Conquered Are Burned’ era quit, so I had to rebuild the entire lineup from
scratch. It caused the band to lose momentum, which is why there was such a
large break in between the second and third albums.
the line-up changes disrupt the song writing process? Also it seems some new
members are generally less experienced than the old line up. So, how did
that change the overall band dynamics and things such as recording in the
I write all the music myself so there was no problem writing the guitars for
‘Cemetery Urn’. I wrote about twenty songs to get the final ten for
‘Cemetery Urn’. But I don’t write many lyrics so there
was a delay in the vocals. That’s why I brought in C. Volcano. He’s a lyric
writing machine. For the current album ‘Barbaric Retribution’ I brought in
the live Bass/vocalist for Abominator ‘S. Geoffory’. He’d done a few
Abominator shows with us so I knew he had enough live experience to handle
the role. The lyrics for ‘Barbaric Retribution’ were a collaborative effort
which included 3 songs with lyrics written by C. Volcano.
In the Studio I record the bass and guitars. The studio is always just
producer Sam Johnson and myself. So no matter what’s happening with band
members it always just ends the same way with Sam and myself completely
sleep deprived in the studio for a couple of weeks.
Cemetery Urn is getting ready to release their fourth full length release
through Hells Headbanger's. How did you come in contact with this legendary
label and sign with them?
I self released the first two Cemetery Urn CD’s on Cemetery Recordings.
Which was a distro I started for the Cemetery Urn project. I was trading
CD’s into catalogs all over the world. Over time the HHR trades out sold
every other outlet. I think it was HHR that offered to release the LP
versions of the ‘Urn of Blood’. They did such a killer job that after ‘The
Conquered Are Burned’ CD was released I got them to do the LP for that as
well. After that the Australian postage rates went up a couple of times and
it became too expensive to distribute from Australia. Plus I thought it was
about time the band had some professional level promo. So I offered them to
release all formats and now HHR handle all promo and release all CD’s, LP’s,
Cassettes and digital formats from the U.S.
believe with your previous releases the band handled / financed everything
from the recording etc… plus sales and distribution deals. So how different
is it having a record label now and having them do all of that?
The promo and distro from the mighty Hells Headbangers is way beyond what I
could achieve. ‘Barbaric Retribution’ has been reviewed in well over 100
magazines, both online and printed. It’s beyond any label promo that I’ve
ever been involved with. I’ve heard you can buy a Cemetery Urn CD in Target
now!!! Maybe even Walmart!!!
think this situation is better now having record label support or at least
less time consuming? Besides the new release does the band have any other
merchandise available for the readers?
The main roles of the label are to handle promo, pressings and distro, so
it’s a huge time saver. It also frees up my time to concentrate on other
aspects of the project like writing songs and arranging tours. For ‘Barbaric
Retribution’ HHR will have CD’s, LP’s, Cassettes, short and long sleeve
shirts. The band has Merch available at shows, the rest is handled by the
have been some of Cemetery Urn's most memorable shows over the years? The
band did a tour in the USA very early in it’s existence. How did this tour
come together and how did it go? Was it what you expected going into the
The ‘Burial Procession of Europa’ tour we just finished is by far our most
brutal accomplishment. We worked with Killtown Bookings and Necrowretch to
play 14 shows in 8 countries across the EU. Locally we played with Sadistic
Intent and Archgoat in Melbourne for D. Bloodstorms last show a few years
back, which was a great end to the Bloodstorm era. We toured the U.S. in the
early days with over 30 shows over 2 tours. Our friend Chris Hatewar booked
most of the U.S. shows for us. Hatewar has a network right across the U.S.
The first tour was with Angelcorpse and Gospel of the Horns. So although
Cemetery Urn was mostly unknown, we had good attendance. The second tour we
headlined and as we had released two albums through HHR and toured the U.S.
already and it had great support from the U.S. maniacs!!!
there any tours or shows coming up in support of the new release? Who are
some bands you will be sharing the stage with? I would imagine Cemetery Urn
at their best live, true?
The new album ‘Barbaric Retribution’ was released just in time for the
European tour. The album launch was the first show of the tour at ‘Killtown
Death Fest’ in Copenhagen. During the tour we shared the stage with killer
bands such as Demilich, Spectral Voice, Cardiac Arrest, Blood Incantation,
Phrenelith and many many more killer bands. We’re currently working on
further tours through Asia and the U.S. as well as some local shows.
Cemetery Urn live is an extreme experience of Barbaric Death Metal!!!
Cemetery Urn comes out of the storied Australian metal scene. What is your
opinion of Australia's metal scene? Do you think the Aussie scene has it’s
own uniqueness compared to other scenes around the world?
The Australian metal scene is the same as everywhere else. All the genres
and sub genres are represented. I don’t think you can say the entire scene
has a unique sound. I mean a Grind band, Prog/Glam Metal or a traditional
Black Metal band is going to sound pretty much the same no matter where you
are in the world. But there has been some legendary Thrash and Death Metal
bands from Australia like Slaughter Lord, Hobbs Angel of Death, Sadistic
Execution, Bestial Warlust, Portal, Destroyer 666, Abominator, Vomitor.
These bands were very well known and influential outside Australia and were
similar in the raw Thrash/Death Metal sound. It’s this raw barbaric
style/sound that is referred to as the ‘Australian sound’. Although this
only represents a small section of the Australian Metal scene, it is the
best section of the Australian Metal scene.
are your all-time favorite bands coming out of Australia currently? What are
some new bands you feel the readers over here should check out? Can you
recommend some Australian ‘zines, distros and labels?
All time Australian favourites would be Sadistic Execution, Destroyer 666,
Bestial Warlust, Slaughter Lord, Armoured Angel, Necrotomy, disembowelment.
Some active bands worth checking out are Eschaton, Ignivamous, Abominator,
Denouncement Pyre, Nocturnal Graves. Modern Invasion and Aurora Australis
are labels worth checking out. I’m not aware of anyone doing a zine here at
the moment. International postage is so expensive here that running a distro
is completely pointless.
you my metal brother for taking the time to fill this interview out! Do you
have any final words for the readers?
Look out for Cemetery Urn on tour through the U.S. Canada and Asia in 2019.
New album ‘BARBARIC RETRIBUTION’ out now on HELLS HEADBANGERS RECS. THE
STEAMROLLER OF ARMAGEDDON IS ON THE MARCH AGAIN!!! AUSTRALIAN BARBARIC DEATH