DEATH ANGEL guitarist Rob Cavestany recently spoke with United Rock Nations about the group's soon-to-be-released ninth studio album, "Humanicide". The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
Rob: "There's no more that could have been done to make it any better coming from us. What you get is us trying as hard as we can. [Laughs]"
On the inspiration behind the album's title:
Rob: "'Humanicide' is basically the self-extinction of the human race. It is very dark, in a kind of a dark time [with] the way that things are going around the world these days. It's no secret — all you have to do is turn on the news, go on social media, talk to somebody on the streets. You'll see that there's a bit of a problem going on between relations of humanity. It's hard to get away from it; it's ever-present. It's not like it's a brand new situation — of course, it's been going on, but the thing is, you see it more and more now because of social media... Everyone knows the same feeling. There's just a lot of tension happening, especially between the relations of humans. Our band has experienced this since we first started in the '80s, being that for one thing, we were all young and these Filipino cousins that didn't fit the normal look of the heavy metal band. We experienced harsh people all over the place for no apparent reason but because they weren't able to accept other people, or something other than what they think is how it's supposed to be, and that seems to be the problem persisting today. People are just thinking that whatever the way they do things or the way their particular scene is, that's how it's supposed to be everywhere else. They're not accepting of others, and it's getting really blown up in a bad way these days. The powers that be are not helping these situations — a lot of them aren't. This gives great inspiration for the kind of aggressive style of a concept that belongs in heavy music like this. You need to focus on some heavy topic one way or the other — it's not like singing about lying in the park in a bed of flowers having your Valentine date with you. This kind of movie that is presented in this genre is more of an intense, dark horror film. That's kind of where we're coming from."
On producer Jason Suecof (DEICIDE, TRIVIUM, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER), with whom the band has now recorded four albums:
Rob: "I just love the clarity and the power of the final product of the production that we get working together out of his studio. I think his records come out sounding very clear and strong and bright, and you can hear everything. I just love the clarity and the separation of the instruments. He's like retaining an old-school feel, but combining it with a modern production feel. That's what we're shooting for. The working relationship that we have together, we've become really close friends. We've been working together now for four records over practically a decade, so we know each other really well, and we kind of know what we're thinking, we know what we're trying to get out of each other and we know how to work together."
On the band's writing process:
Rob: "Basically, it's the same. The basic formula has been the same for a few albums now, of course with a few different variables. I'm compiling ideas and riffs while we're on tour for the last album, and then when it comes time to get serious about writing, I kind of write in batches. All of a sudden, in a couple months, I'll write half the album all at once. I'll make demos, and me and Will Carroll, our drummer, will meet up at the rehearsal studio and jam it together and work out beats and arrangements. I'll record his live drums, because I want to take the extra step to keep an organic feel in there and keep a live energy feel, because nowadays, with all the technology, you don't even have to be in the same country together. You can just use all the technology and put files across the world and back and forth and assemble the whole thing without even being in the same room, but I don't want to do it that way. I'm from the old-school, where there needs to be a human energy happening between multiple people in the same room connecting, so I make sure to take the extra step to do that all the time, especially with the drums. That's how we come up with the basic blueprint of the songs, and when I have these musical demos, then I give it to Mark [Osegueda]. Mark never writes lyrics until he gets the music from me and spends a little time listening to it. What he tells me is that my riffs and the sound of the song, that's what will bring the lyrics out of him... Pretty much almost all the time, I love it right away, what he comes up with. After all these years, I guess we kind of know what each other's thinking without having to talk about it."
"Humanicide" will be released on May 31 via Nuclear Blast. It marks the band's fourth consecutive album to be produced by Suecof, as well as the first time the band has ever recorded more than three albums with the same lineup.
DEATH ANGEL recently wrapped up an American tour with OVERKILL. The group will kick off a summer European tour on June 2 in Plzeň, Czech Republic.