Metal Blade recording artists Malefice have just released their label debut, Dawn Of Reprisal on March 3rd, 2009. Let me tell you something, this CD is a menacing masterpiece of pure destruction. This unbelievably heavy collection of tunes dishes out 37 minutes of punishing brutality from the very first song. Guitarist Ben Symmons took some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for PureGrainAudio.
The name of the band Malefice is interesting to say the least and sounds as if there is a story behind it. Where did the name come from and what is the story?
Ben: Well… I wish there was some fascinating story to go with how we ended up with the name Malefice. But basically we all sat around thinking of names, when our drummer Craig’s brother was literally looking through the dictionary and he shouted out Malefice… we all thought it was awesome… And when we read the definition was “An evil deed” or “with evil intent”… it was like the word was created for us!
Your brand new CD, Dawn Of Reprisal, was just released on March 3rd, 2009. Now that it is complete, how do you feel about it? Are you satisfied with the outcome?
Ben: More than satisfied, this album for us is one that I know everyone of us is proud of and would actually happily listen to it all the way through without feeling the need to skip tracks! We all put so much into making this album what it is we just can’t wait for the world to hear it and then come see us live so they can fully feel the force that is Malefice!
Give us some insight into the record, Dawn Of Reprisal and the meaning behind its title?
Ben: For me, being a guitarist, I was really trying to make sure all the riffs that go into this album are killer! There are too many metal albums that have come out recently with sub-par riffs that just do not grab your attention! We really wanted it to be fast, heavy as hell but with moments of pure epicness for release. Because, even with the world in the state it is in… not everything is fucked yet! As for the title, it’s about us standing up and saying what we think about how fucked up our world is and if things don’t change, then we’re in for some pretty shitty times.
Give us some insight into the album lyrically. This is a super pissed off sounding record.
Ben: Vocally it’s a very personal album for Dale, he’s talking a lot about events that have happened in our world recently, and his feelings and views on them, how our world is run, the kind of people it’s run by. It is a very pissed off sounding record. I think it’s just the best way to express and release how he’s feeling about our world; I think if Dale wasn’t in a band he’d either be in prison or dead!
How has MySpace and the internet impacted your band and do you think downloading helps or hinders the artists?
Ben: I think MySpace, especially if used the right way is a massive weapon in every band’s armory if used properly… for us we never relied on MySpace to get where we are, though strangely we were actually contacted by Metal Blade records through our MySpace! However, I think unfortunately a lot of bands do, and for some bands yeah, it works but they are few and far between, and they have no longevity! The only way to do it in this industry is the hard way… write good songs, whack ’em up on MySpace. Do as many shows as possible and repeat!
When playing together and ultimately recording this CD did you find that you could express yourself creatively enough?
Ben: Yeah totally, obviously there are times when tensions are running high and arguments break out, but they only happen because every member has emotionally and creatively invested everything in making this band as good as it can be! By the time we’ve gotten to the studio 90% of the creative element is done, so it’s generally pretty smooth sailing when recording, which makes for a much more relaxed studio environment!
The artwork is quite amazing. How is it tied to the album’s title?
Ben: We wanted the album art to mean a few things visually. On one side of things it shows that, if we as a race continue how we have been, we are going to be at the mercy of our own stupidity, and whether it be war or natural disaster we are going to end ourselves! On the other hand, it also represents wiping the slate clean and having the chance to do things differently.
How quick are you in the studio? Can you usually knock things out in a couple takes?
Ben: It’s always the funny little easy bits that end up being the hardest things to do, I remember nailing fast techy thrash in one take, but spending ages trying to get the perfect sounding pick slide! Generally, we are pretty quick I think, we try to be as prepared as possible going in, so we do not end up wasting time. We probably spent just under a month recording the album, then the mixing and mastering took another month or so before we finished the product!
All of that passion that you play with must be tough on you physically. How do you prepare for the physical demands of a tour?
Ben: Lots and lots of stretching before every show… there is never a lack of Deep Heat in our dressing room! When we were younger, (and no we’re not old yet), our bodies could with stand a 30-45min set of head banging and craziness with no after effect at all… safe to say if I did that I would not be able to move the next day, and I am only 23! It has to be that way though… standing still on stage just doesn’t work for us, we wrote music we want to head bang and hit shit too… and that’s what we do!
What is the toughest lesson you ever learned in the studio and on the stage?
Ben: Know your shit… whether it’s live or in the studio, if you turn up and you’ve not got the right gear or something’s not working and you cant fix it, or you don’t know the songs well enough and you’re making mistakes… not only do you look like a dick… so does your band! So I think the motto is… “Don’t be a dick!”
What is next for Malefice? Any plans to tour the States at all?
Ben: Next for Malefice… Lots and lots of touring anywhere and everywhere that will have us! Were going to be touring the UK in April on the Metal Blade UK Assault Tour with The Rotted and Anterior, and after that hopefully we’ll spend a lot of time in Europe and the States… but we will see what happens!