Drummer Donald Tardy of Florida death metallers OBITUARY was interviewed on the November 21-23 edition of Full Metal Jackie's nationally syndicated radio show. You can now listen to the chat using the Podbean widget below.
To see a full list of stations carrying the program and when it airs, go to FullMetalJackieRadio.com.
Full Metal Jackie: We're here to talk about OBITUARY's ninth studio album, "Inked in Blood". Don, what's been the biggest advantage in using a Kickstarter campaign to fund an OBITUARY album?
Donald: We just didn't want a typical contract on any record label, and that's kind of what the history of the band was, and [what the history of] most bands is. You know, you get signed into a record label that wants to, basically, own the rights to it for almost forever, and we knew we just really wanted to step out of the ballpark and think outside the box and do what we can to own our product more than we have in the past, and, really, just have a say-so on our future. The Kickstarter campaign allowed us to raise enough money to actually get this album recorded, mixed, produced, mastered and in our hands before we even needed help from a record label, and that gave us a lot of power to really negotiate and figure out what we wanted with the future of this record. And Relapse stepped in and they just knew that we already had final product, that we would simply use their engine to market it and press it and get it distributed throughout the world, and they did a fabulous job so far with their part.
Full Metal Jackie: "Inked In Blood" is the result of several years of writing songs. How would the album have turned out differently if the songs didn't have all that time to develop?
Donald: Looking back now that it's a completed album, I think it just helped because, with so much time in between songs, it seems like each song has got its own feel, its own vibe and its own character. And I think, maybe, had we been rushed or had we really tried to push the envelope, they might not have had such individuality. And so, it's a monster album. It's 12 songs on it, it's the longest album we've ever written and we could not be more excited about it. Each song is just pounding, and we're really stoked that the response has... So far the fans have really been digging it.
Full Metal Jackie: OBITUARY is regarded as pioneers of the death metal genre. What aspects of the new album, "Inked In Blood", push the envelope of death metal the most?
Donald: I don't know. OBITUARY is there and we're happy with the style and what we bring to the table, and I think when fans buy OBITUARY albums, they're looking for that. We don't try to reinvent the wheel; we never would do that. We know that OBITUARY stands for something solid and that mid-tempo, groovy feel that OBITUARY has. So we didn't wanna step too far out of it, we really wanted to stay true to our roots. But, of course, I personally think the band, individually, gets better with every year that goes by, every album that we record, everyone seems to get… We find our knack that much more. And that goes to say with this album. This album just seems so much more just catchy and just easy to listen to, and that simple, groovy metal that we're known for. We really found ourselves with this album. Again, we're super excited about these new songs and we're really looking forward to fans seeing it live and getting their hands on this new album.
Full Metal Jackie: What makes the new album and the new guys, Kenny Andrews (guitar) and Terry Butler (bass), the foundation for OBITUARY to have lots more years playing and recording?
Donald: We're very comfortable in our skin. The writing process and our train of thought when we're writing songs is simple; we don't care what other bands are doing on this planet. we don't care what demands our record label would have or what other things are going on on the earth. We simply try and write a song, when we start one, to just write the most heavy song that we possibly can that we like, because I believe that if we're in love with our songs, I think our fans are gonna really dig it. And that's kind of the mindset we have. With Terry and Ken on board, it's a refreshing idea of band members coming in with a positive attitude and professionalism. And they brought to the studio their ideas and their ears. And when me and Trevor [Peres, guitar] were done writing a song, they would listen with us and they would give us [suggestions, like], 'Maybe you should add something here,' or, more importantly, to let us know, 'Maybe this song doesn't even need to be as long as it is.' So it was good to have input from Ken and Terry. And Ken's solo style is a beautiful blend of a little bit of Allen West meets a little James Murphy. And I think that was missing from OBITUARY for these last few years and Ken really brought that back to the table. And I believe that's what fans want and they're really gonna see the difference with Ken's solo style, that it's back to the roots with us. And it's a good feeling.