“The Passage Of Existence” is a brand new offering from Monstrosity. The album will be published though Metal Blade on 7th September. So, please, could you present Monstrosity’s latest offering to our readers? Yep !! 12 new songs from Monstrosity. The album was licensed by Conquest Music Inc to Metal Blade Records and we look forward to everyone hearing the record finally. Its been a long process to get everything ready but its done and were ready for the world to have it in their hands.
I guess that there are already reviews around and there’s also a song on YouTube channel. Are you satisfied by the comments of both media and fans when it comes to Monstrosity’s new album? It definitely seems like the response has been bigger this time. I think several things have attributed to that. First I would say we are just in the internet age so I think people are exposed to underground music easier. Secondly I would say the long wait between records created a certain curiosity in the fans maybe, since it had been so long… and last I would say the fact Metal Blade is releasing it worldwide this time people are taking more notice. I have to think too that it has to be good or the responses wouldn’t be good. We tried to step things up since it had been so long we knew expectations were pretty high.
Where did you record “The Passage Of Existence” and who was the producers? Also, who has done the cover artwork since we have to consider that it still reflects your style and expression. I was the main producer with the other guys helping out. Its pretty much the same for every album. We have different engineers on different things. In this case, it was Jason Suecof who did the drum session and Mark Lewis handled mixing the record. The cover art was done by Timbul Cahyono. He did a great job and really stepped up to the plate and got things finalized quickly. We had been waiting on another artist but he was just too busy with other projects so we bailed on him and went with Timbul and he kicked ass. He did some great shirt designs for us as well so it worked out and it goes with our concept of the record.
In fact, the band returns after more than decade of pause so please could you tell us a bit more about the time that you have spent between your two latest records? Why there was such a long period of silence? Ok long story but here goes… In 2007 we finished up Spiritual Apocalypse and we went right to Mexico for a tour with Marduk. From there, we did the Vital Remains US tour and some other headlining US runs. That brings us to 2010 where we did a South American tour and some European festivals to wrap up the touring cycle for that album. We started seriously writing the new record in 2011 and then we were working on the DVD and doing a few gigs here and there like the 70k cruise, Barge to Hell, and a short Florida run, all while still writing the record. We started recording the album in 2015 and things took awhile to get sorted out. When Mark Lewis was scheduled to mix Mark English was still finishing his leads so Lewis had to move on to his next project and we got shuffled in the queue so that took some time before he was ready to go on our mix. Not his fault of course that’s just how it went and that took up some time along with dealing with the artwork and all of the business aspect regarding the label stuff. It just took forever but sometimes to get it right you have to go the extra mile and we look at it like that is part of the price of perfection.
“The Passage Of Existence” is your actually 6th full-length so could you compare your latest offering with your previous albums? If you need to compare it with your sound with which albums you would link it? I think of it as the next step in our natural evolution. The albums are organic in the fact that we go out and rehearse the songs. Especially with this album, I just made sure my parts were worked out and the songs were where we wanted them to be. Playing them a bunch of time helps because you find things that you will throw in and add that maybe you wouldn’t otherwise. We do that with all of the albums and it seems to work. I just see this album as kind of a next step in our path, a forward continuation. Losing members to other bands has been sort of a blessing and a curse. I have been lucky to have great players always in my universe so I always find different guitar players to work with through the years. It keeps things fresh and it keeps the standards of the band higher. The songs I write and the fact that I write a lot of the lyrics too gives us a consistent identity even though there are different guitarists in there.
Although that the band was not active for such a long time and period Monstrosity still owns a cult status among many death metal lovers. So, how do you feel about it? That’s actually a misconception. We’ve been active the entire time. Were working behind the scenes maybe, but were always active. The band hasn’t ever broken up or anything like that. It just seems like when we do albums there’s a strong push because of the interviews and stuff but then afterwards it kind of dies out as far as press but were still working regardless if its studio or live or whatever. Were doing something usually. As far as the status of the band with the fans. Were happy the response has been so good and we just want people to hear the whole album and get it out there. We knew the die hard fans would be there for us so they are the inspiration to keep moving forward with things even when there are obstacles.
Could we say that “The Passage Of Existence” is the final return of the band at the scene and what could we expect from the group in the near future? I don’t even know what that means but I can tell you I’m already working on the next album and hopefully it wont take another 11 years. We plan to hit the road after the New Year like I said but were going to be cautious too. We only want to play shows that make sense. Were tired of playing small clubs with bad sound and zero lights. We do it, and I’m sure we will do it again at some point, but we want to try and step things up and not just settle on any old gig that is offered. We want to move forward and make things as pro as they can be, not that we didn’t before, but we were just willing to do shows just trying to make it all happen and now we are more concerned about putting on a better show for the peeps.
Since now Monstrosity has made a return do you plan to have any shows in order to promote your latest issue? Are there any plans for tours or festivals during this or next year? We haven’t been touring as much because we wanted to wait and time the touring with the album release but that didn’t work out because our singer had some other things going on so it looks like we will be waiting to tour after the New Year. We work with Massive Music in Poland and we are working on coordinating a tour when the time is right with them. We are just waiting to see what happens with that. We thought we were going to tour in the fall but like I said our singers schedule conflicted with what we had going on so we were forced to wait.
There are some new names in the ranks of Monstrosity, so please could you tell us a bit more about the fresh forces in the band? Its actually the same line up as the last album with a new guitarist Matt Barnes added. So its our most consistent line up yet actually. The other guys are Mike Hrubovcak, Mark English, and Mike Poggione who has been with the band for a long time. So Spiritual Apocalypse line up plus one basically. So there you go. !! Thanks for the interview See you on tour !!!
- Answers by Lee Harison
- Interview by Marko Miranovic