Kyle McGinn of Dead Rhetoric recently conducted an interview with frontman Maurizio Iacono of Montréal, Quebec, Canada-based melodic death metallers KATAKLYSM. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
Dead Rhetoric: I know the album was originally scheduled for April. Was there a reason it got pushed back?
Maurizio: "It took longer to get mixed. We gambled a bit on the production with this record since we used a different type of producer — when we approached [producer] Jay Ruston we knew that it was not something he had ever done before. So, when he got the record he was like, 'Holy shit, this is really heavy.' I don't think he was used to doing stuff like KATAKLYSM before. He's worked with STONE SOUR and STEEL PANTHER and ANTHRAX… so for him it was new territory. So, for us, it was something that we needed to make sure that we were on top of. It took longer to mix than we expected so we were on it for about five, six weeks. Usually a mix is done in about two weeks, so that went over our schedule. But the end result is phenomenal; we are very happy with how it ended up. It was so cool that he was so clinical about it. He took his time. He was really on it from day one, so it was a good experience to work with someone like that, someone outside the box in death metal, so to say"
Dead Rhetoric: Do you feel that by using Ruston you were able to accomplish what you wanted from the record?
Maurizio: "Right now, everybody is in a tunnel as far as extreme music goes. We use the same producers and same guys. At some point, everybody starts sounding the same, even though musically it's different. There's still that same touch from the producers. We used Andy Sneap, which is one of the big guys — he's worked with ARCH ENEMY and MEGADETH. He did a great job on 'Of Ghosts And Gods'. But he's doing so many bands, and a lot of people are using the same old producers. We wanted to try someone who was outside — someone who was familiar but does a great sound. When we heard what he did with the latest ANTHRAX record — that was the one that we heard and said, 'Holy shit!' It just sounded so big and powerful, so we looked at what else he had done. We heard what he did on the STONE SOUR album, and the thing is, you want to get a producer that knows what guitar should sound like, but you want those drums to be really pounding. That's where it gets difficult with producers. That's [Ruston's] master. We were very happy he accepted. We got lucky because he's Canadian, and the whole band is originally from Canada. It was an easy decision for him and us to work together. It was meant to be in one sort of way."
Dead Rhetoric: I saw you were all working together with the writing and citing some of the older albums. Do you think that approach aided the end result?
Maurizio: "Yes, because, look — KATAKLYSM has been around for a long time. The band has just celebrated 25 years together. There's a lot of history there, and a lot of time. We all have families and things change over the course of time. When we first started, the band was all we did. There was nothing else than getting our guitars and jamming. We'd spend the whole day just practicing and working. With that mentality, we created some of our biggest records. We realized with technology, that it was easy for us to send some files and the next thing you, there's a new record. I'm not knocking any of my records out or downgrading them, but it does have that type of feeling that it's not the same as four guys jamming under the same roof. For us to do that, it's difficult. We live in different places. I'm in Chicago, Jean-François [Dagenais, guitar] is in Texas, and the other guys are in Canada. So we used that technology a lot for the last couple of records. For this one, we decided to take our time. We went to my place, we went to the studio — we wrote it together. I think that sparked some crazy chemistry that worked really well. The problem is that some days, you just wake up in the morning and have breakfast and there's nothing coming out. You are like, 'Holy shit, we are wasting time!' But when it does come out, it is just like, 'Boom! It's there!' That's what's worth the time. That's the problem today with a lot of bands is time. No one is really putting in that effort of jamming together, and I think some of the biggest records in the world came out from dudes just jamming in their garage. While you and I are talking, there's someone jamming in their garage right now that could be the next METALLICA. That's the thing that we are lacking in today's industry. It's so fast and processed. The essence of making records is all about the feeling, and I think that comes when four-five dudes get together and start thinking about different riffs. This is the first one in 10 years that we have done like that."
To read the entire interview, visit Dead Rhetoric.
"Meditations" will be released on June 1 via Nuclear Blast.