Archive for DECIMATION



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AFRESH: What got this band together and started in this business?

Decimation: It really all stemmed from the breakup of the 2 separate bands we were in at the time. We got together out of our newly found boredom and our desire to do something completely different (and infinitely better) that what we had already been doing.

AFRESH: Who writes and produces all the material for the band?

Decimation: The writing is done as a collective during rehearsals, and then most times it is tweaked by our guitar player using Guitar Pro at home. Using Guitar Pro helps us demo ideas without the hassle and expense of having to record and re-record ideas. The ideas are brought back into practice and refined and debated. Lyrics are also a collective effort, although certainly not as easy to write as the music.

AFRESH: The band played in front of or with any acts our readers would know from the Mainstream?

Decimation: Being a death metal band, we don’t get the chance to play with many “mainstream” acts. We have played with a couple of well know acts in the metal underground such as Skeletonwitch, Dreaming Dead, Dark Haven, SHAT, Cauldron, Enforcer, Droid. We’ve also had shows setup with larger acts like Daath and Vital Remains that fell through for various reasons.

AFRESH: Where can people access your music on the web?

Decimation: Several places. They can hear us at our MySpace page (, our Facebook page (just search for Decimation), our iLike page (Decimation MHK). You can also download and preview from iTunes.

AFRESH: Any embarrassing moments on stage?

Decimation: We luckily have not had any Spinal Tap moments. The only embarrassing moments we have had are due to bad on stage sound and not being able to hear each other.

AFRESH: Any good stories you want to tell us?

Decimation: Playing with SHAT is always a good story, but it is something that is best left to the uninitiated. If you haven’t seen or heard of SHAT, you really need to seek them out and discover them on your own. It’s much better if you are unprepared for what you are about to see and hear!

AFRESH: Who is the band’s musical influence?

Decimation: All 5 of us come from different musical backgrounds and influences. But overall we try to meld the sounds of the Florida death metal scene in the 1990s (Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, etc.) with the San Francisco thrash metal sound of the 1980s (Testament, Exodus, Metallica). We also sprinkle in some Scandinavian death and black metal influences (Hypocrisy, Dimmu Borgir, etc.)

AFRESH: How did the band get together?

Decimation Bill and AJ (our guitar player and drummer respectively) were in another metal band that broke up. AJ switched to drums and they started jamming on some new material. They recruited Donald (bass) after his previous band had also broken up and he brought their vocalist with him (Brian). The band stayed a four piece for about 3 years and then added a guitarist dedicated to lead playing (Rob) just a few months ago.

AFRESH: What is your musical background like?

Decimation: Bill and AJ were formally trained in school on percussion, but that is the extent of the formal training.

AFRESH: Any other members in your family that are musicians?

Decimation: Most of our parents have tinkered with instruments, but nothing that was as intensive as what we are doing.

AFRESH: What is the TOP reason why you want to play music?

Decimation: We love the way music makes us feel, both as listeners and players. We hope to inspire that kind of feeling in others.

AFRESH: What’s your stance on file swapping?

Decimation: We understand the need for it, but ultimately it can be damaging. If you want to sample a band or album, it is great, and absolutely necessary in today’s day and age. It’s helping to create a bunch of new fans that way. But if those new fans don’t actually purchase the art, then they are ultimately bringing about the end of that art. Musicians can’t survive on nothing. It costs a lot of money and if there is no return on that investment, it is not a very wise business or career choice. The love of something doesn’t put food on the table or pay the bills.

AFRESH: What is the process of making a cd?

Decimation: Pretty straight forward process. Once all the material is together, you hit the studio and record. Once that’s done you get into mixing and finding the “sound” of the album. Once that step is done you move on to mastering, then to duplication. It’s not a very glamorous process to talk about. Every band will approach this a bit differently, and maybe even repeat or move steps around, but these are the basics.

AFRESH: How do you get the word out about your music?

Decimation: A lot of correspondence, both online and off. Obviously you promote through you online presence (MySpace, Facebook, etc.), but you also have to send info to magazines and e-zines, a lot of whom still want actual press kits. But ultimately, playing live is still the best (and most exciting) way of getting the word about your music out.

AFRESH: How is your local response to your music?

Decimation: We play in a niche genre, so the audience is usually always that small niche as well. But we have a core of dedicated fans locally that help keep us going strong. Metal has always been good in the camaraderie of its audience.

AFRESH: What is the furthest you have traveled for a gig?

Decimation: So far the farthest we’ve made it is about 3 hours from our hometown. We are planning on a tour of some Midwest states and possibly a separate tour of Texas in the coming year, but we didn’t feel comfortable just jumping into the deep end of touring. You can lose a lot of money if you don’t do it right and we wanted to have a firm grasp on booking, routing, and everything else that a hired tour manager would normally have to deal with.

AFRESH: What tune on the cd are you most proud of?

Decimation: That’s like picking a favorite child! We are proud of them all for different reasons. We think they represent a wide variety of our influences, while retaining a core signature sound. I would think that is what we are most proud of.

AFRESH: Describe your band in 3 words

Decimation: Heavy. Fucking.  Metal.

AFRESH: How do you think times like the economic recession is affecting musicians like yourself?

Decimation: It makes it extremely hard to tour and thus get your music out to live audiences. Also, a lot of bands have other jobs that actually pay the bills, and those jobs have been disappearing as well. The need to provide for a family has driven quite a few bands into extinction because money for musicians (of all types) is not there. The industry is in a serious financial crisis at the moment.

AFRESH: Why do you think people are into your music?

Decimation: It’s good, aggressive metal. You can try to give a deep, meaningful answer to this question, but ultimately it comes down to whether the music is good or not. Our fans feel it is.

AFRESH: How do you think your band will affect the music scene?

Decimation: I don’t think any band tries to affect the scene, unless they’re doing it as a deliberate anti-scene type of band. All I can hope is that people will hear us and channel us an influence into their music, they way we have channeled our influences. The only real affect I’ve seen is that the bands we play with are getting heavier! Just a little friendly competition!

AFRESH: What is the toughest lesson you ever learned in the studio and on the stage?

Decimation: No matter how bad it is, you have to go out there and slog through it. That and ALWAYS RECORD!!!

AFRESH: How has Myspace and the INTERNET impacted your band?

Decimation: Death metal is a niche genre. Social networking allows all the little pockets of fans around the world to reside in one common space. It’s an indispensible community and way of promotion.

AFRESH: What is a live performance like?

Decimation: High energy and high impact. If the band and the crowd aren’t sweating and bruised by the end of our 45 minutes on stage, we didn’t do our job that night.

AFRESH: What does the band have planned in the coming months?

Decimation: We will finish recording our first full length CD (The Wicked Divine) in November and December. We will then get it mastered and duplicated and have it released to iTunes just after the first of the year. From there, we are going to play often and get back to writing some new material. We have a few ideas that we may slap together as an EP toward the middle of next year.

AFRESH: What is your latest album and why should people buy it?

Decimation: Currently we only have an EP (…And the Meek Lay Dead) and a single from the forthcoming album (The Wicked Divine) released. The EP was recorded and released about a year after we formed and represents a completely different incarnation of the band musically. We were still finding our sound. So if you wanted to get a general idea of the band (or have heard our newer stuff and are interested in how we got there), the EP is a good pickup. The single Anything (To Feel You Burn) was just released at the end of October to promote the upcoming release of our album. If you want a taste of what the band is now, this is the song for you. It is currently available on iTunes.

AFRESH: Can you share with us one or two of your favorite moments with the band?

Decimation: Taking the stage for the very first time as a band was great moment. We had to go through a lot to get to that moment, and it felt great. The other moment that comes to mind would be when we headlined the 2008 Manhattan Metalfest and had the best crowd we have ever played to. It was a 45 minute, non-stop pit!! It makes you feel good when people are THAT into what you are doing!

AFRESH: What are your current tour plans if any?

Decimation: We are talking about a Midwest/Texas tour in 2010.

AFRESH: Do you have any last comments or words of advice for the listeners/viewers?

Decimation: Support local music!!! All of the greatest bands started in garages, basements, and small clubs. It was only with local support that they became the Metallicas, Nicelbacks, and Led Zepplins of the world.

AFRESH: Tell us about your local music scene?

Decimation: The Manhattan, KS music scene is small, but varied widely. It is home to Kansas State University and one of the US’s largest military bases (Ft Riley) which is where the diversity comes from. It is helped greatly by the local rock station (101.5 KTMF) running a weekly local music showcase. For all that, the scene is struggling because bar owners are hesitant to book and pay for bands. Internet jukeboxes and DJ’s are a more sure thing, and they don’t cost as much. But there are a few bar owners that support local music with a diehard passion. There is also the Manhattan Music Coalition (MMC) which helps sponsor local music festivals and other local music events. They also helped raise money for bands to replace lost equipment when a tornado destroyed a storage facility that most of the local bands practiced at in June 2008.

AFRESH: Let’s talk ability a little about the bands equipment list. What is everyone playing and do you have endorsements?

Decimation: No endorsements, but we are diehard believers in the equipment we use. AJ (drummer) uses only Mapex drums, Sabian cymbals, & Pro Mark sticks. Bill (rhythm guitar) plays a BC Rich Warbeast exclusively and only uses Randall amps & cabs, D’Addario strings, & Dunlop Tortex picks. Donald (bass) plays an Ibanez bass with a Galleon-Krueger bass amp & cabs. Rob (lead guitar) plays Jackson guitars and uses a Peavey 5150 amp & cab. The band uses only Monster cable instrument and speaker cables.

AFRESH: Different groups have unique ways of writing their songs. How do you guys ago about writing your music?

Decimation: The writing is done as a collective during rehearsals, and then most times it is tweaked by our guitar player using Guitar Pro at home. Using Guitar Pro helps us demo ideas without the hassle and expense of having to record and re-record ideas. The ideas are brought back into practice and refined and debated. Lyrics are also a collective effort, although certainly not as easy to write as the music.

AFRESH: Is it collective effort or is it more the efforts of one particular member of the band?

Decimation: Collective, for the most part. But sometimes ideas take shape away from the practice space and end up being songs before you can bring them to the others. A perfect example of this is the song Sweet Oblivion off of our upcoming album. That song was written by Bill in a couple of days between practices. Bill became so attached to the demo of the song as he wrote and arranged it that he adamant about not changing anything. And for that song it works. But all of the other songs are written and arranged at rehearsals, and fleshed out with ideas and opinions of the rest of the band.

AFRESH: How would you categorize the style of the band? And did you ever consider or try playing other styles of music than the one’s you are playing now?

Decimation: We consider ourselves a cross genre of death & thrash metal. When AJ and Bill first got together, it was conceived as being a more melodic type of metal band. But the addition of Donald and Brian’s influences morphed the band into what is today; for the best as well. But we’ve never considered playing anything outside of the metal genre.

AFRESH: What is your name, and name your group/band/act?

Decimation: Decimation

AFRESH: Where are the artists from?  What is their talent in the group?

Decimation: We are all from Manhattan, KS. The group consists of Brian on vocals, Bill on rhythm guitars & backing vocals, Rob on lead guitars, Donald on bass guitar, and AJ on drums.

AFRESH: How did the band get the name?

Decimation: We struggled with a name for a LONG time. Decimation just seemed to fit the pummeling and punishing nature of the music, and no band had registered the name at the time we formed.

AFRESH: How would you describe your music/art/entertainment for the public audience if they have never seen you before?

Decimation: A brutal combination of thrash and death metal.

AFRESH: How long have you been performing live or making art?

Decimation: Decimation has been around a little over 3 years. We’ve all been performing in bands since at least 2001, and playing our instruments for a long time before that.

AFRESH: Where did you meet your group and how long have you been together now?

Decimation: We met as parts of other bands that used to play together. Decimation has been together a little over 3 years now.

AFRESH: What has been the biggest challenge for you or the group?

Decimation: Between traveling for gigs, recording, and making merchandise, keeping money in the band coffers has been the biggest challenge!!

AFRESH: You’ve heard of the term “starving artists” before, how do you cope with major obstacles?

Decimation: By remembering why we’re playing. Going back and listening to the bands that inspired you is a good way to do that.

AFRESH: Everyone loves a celebrity so what advice do you have for the youth of today?

Decimation: Find your passion and follow it.

AFRESH: What does your family think of your performance and do they support you?

Decimation: They don’t understand the music, but are very supportive in our pursuit to make it.

AFRESH: Thinking back, did your family carry on the same musical/artistic interests?

Decimation: They set us on the right path. They listened to good music and nurtured our interest in musical pursuits.

AFRESH: Do you have your own favorite type of music and is it any different from what you play now?

Decimation: Metal is our favorite type of music, but it is blessed with so many sub-genres that you could say we like a different type of music than what we play. You can hear all of those types melded into our music.

AFRESH: Do you have other interests or talents you would like to share with us?

Decimation: We make one hell of a bar trivia team. The depths of our useless knowledge is amazing!

AFRESH: What has been your strong influence to continue performing?

Decimation: We like making music and we like the music we make. If those 2 things fall into place, the rest pretty much takes care of itself.

AFRESH: Does anyone in particular influence your artistic/musical talent?

Decimation: If we had to simplify it, it would come down to 3 bands: Testament, Deicide, & Hypocrisy.

AFRESH: Who does most of the song writing/art/literature?

Decimation: It is all a collective effort.

AFRESH: If you had to change one thing about your music/group what do you feel would be the best change to benefit the group overall and why?

Decimation: A little more financial freedom would be nice. If we had more hours in the week to dedicate to this pursuit, we would be unstoppable!

AFRESH: Have you ever had any strange or stalker type fans that you are aware of?

Decimation: Just the REALLY drunk ones!

AFRESH: While getting ready to perform have you ever been interrupted by fans who snuck in to the dressing room/rehearsal?

Decimation: Nope. Our anonymity is safe.

AFRESH: Tell us about your most embarrassing moment if you care to share it with us?

Decimation: One word: Jagermeister

AFRESH: What has been the most bizarre thing (thrown) on the stage with you?  How did you react?

Decimation: People get thrown into us all of the time. All you can do is push back, and keep kicking ass!

AFRESH: What is your wildest story with the group?

Decimation: There was this one girl we have dubbed the “Mag-Lite Chick”. Use your imagination.

AFRESH: What has been the worst nightmare for the group?  How did you get through it all?

Decimation: Anxiety attacks in closed vehicles on long road trips. Just gotta deal and push through it.

AFRESH: What are your up-to-date performance plans?  New releases?  Tours? News?

Decimation: We will finish recording our first full length CD (The Wicked Divine) in November and December. We will then get it mastered and duplicated and have it released to iTunes just after the first of the year. From there, we are going to play often and get back to writing some new material. We have a few ideas that we may slap together as an EP toward the middle of next year; hopefully a lot of shows and a couple of tours in the upcoming year.

AFRESH: If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead or alive who would it be? Why? (Name up to three)

Decimation: Chuck Schuldiner (formally of Death/Control Denied): one of the greatest guitarists and songwriters in metal history.

AFRESH: Have you been involved in any benefit performances?  What was it and how did you become involved?

Decimation: We have done a couple of benefits: a few Christmas benefit shows, a benefit show for local bands affected by a June 2008 tornado.

AFRESH: Is this your first interview or do you have some other articles/stories about you posted somewhere for public viewing?

Decimation: We have been interviewed a few times on the local music showcase the local rock station broadcasts. Video of the interview we did back in March can be viewed on our MySpace page, our Facebook page, and our YouTube page.

AFRESH: Do you have a website of any type?  (Name all options)

Decimation: We currently have pages setup on MySpace, Facebook, You Tube, iLike, & Reverb Nation. Bill also tweets band information from his account, BilldozerMHK.

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