On October 13th, Ironclad recording artists The Destro will be releasing their latest CD, Harmony Of Discord. In the two years since their first release, the band has been extremely busy touring the country including dates on both the Ozzfest and Mayhem ’08 tours. I recently spoke with guitarist Nick Emde about the writing and recording process for Harmony Of Discord.
The name of the band The Destro 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?
Nick: Not some crazy story really. There are a lot of assumptions, which are more interesting than the true story. My favorite is people relate it to the GI Joe cartoon character, whose name is Destro, who has a silver head of metal. So people think silver head/metal head… not really the reason, but pretty funny.
Now that Harmony Of Discord is complete, how do you feel about it? Are you satisfied with the outcome?
Nick: We are probably more relieved than anything. We spent many many nights writing and we busted out the record in one week! In all actuality, we could have spent way more time, but it came out awesome, especially considering the time we had to do it. Satisfied for now. Tone wise- we are way happier, there was a conscious effort in that regard for sure.
What was the writing process like for this CD? Did you guys all write together? How long did it take?
Nick: Me and the drummer Jono spent months in a little closet sized rehearsal room, usually heading up there after work and hitting it hard until 3 or 4 am, then head back home and work in the morning and do it again and again. It probably took us four months of actual hard work, the 1st couple we spent scratching our heads, trying to figure out what to do!
Give us some insight into the Harmony Of Discord lyrically. This is a super pissed off sounding record.
Nick: That can only really be answered by our singer. He went through some really rough life situations this time around during writing and it definitely went into the songs. We can definitely all relate to the first song “Justifiers of Malice’s”. It was based around our perspective of growing up in the same small town and how it seems to keep people down sometimes. We have a lot of friends who refuse to leave and many who don’t believe in you, so it was about rising above and crushing all the nay-sayers and nonbelievers.
This is a very good-sounding record. That being said, Do you decide on suitable sounds fairly quickly, or do you tend to tweak tones obsessively?
Nick: More specifically, me and the drummer are pretty particular on what we play on and through. He is always tweaking his kit and I am also listening closely so I will know what speakers sound right with what strings on what pickups! There is always room for improvement and when we were in the studio for instance, we tried like 14 different guitar heads and worked the EQs on the amps pretty hard. Eventually, we found the best combo was my Marshall head with a Maxon overdrive through a Mesa Boogie straight cabinet with vintage 30’s. To get there we had to go through a lot though, so it was a bit stressful at first but turned out awesome.
How did you guys first gain the attention of Iron Clad Records?
Nick: It is interesting how we got label attention. We recorded and pressed our debut, As The Coil Unwinds, on our own. I went online and found tons of label addresses and mailed out little press kits to a ton of them. Within a week, we were getting responses. Our showcase was last minute when Unearth came through Dallas and had a band cancel… so we took the slot! He watched from the side of the stage and he dug it.
Are there any tracks on Harmony Of Discord that are favorites or that have good stories behind them?
Nick: All of the tracks just remind me of being stressed, cooped up in that little-assed jam room trying to write a record.
What benchmarks do you use to determine when you have written a good song or to determine that a song is finished?
Nick: We know when our song is good when we are comfortable with the song and we can jam out to it. If it makes us want to drink beer and whiskey too… that’s when it really gets the stamp of approval.
What is the toughest lesson you ever learned in the studio and on the stage?
Nick: Toughest lesson for me is to watch the drinks before stage. Since we started touring we have learned that drinking a handle of vodka and a 12 pack of beer before the set is a bad idea.
What does the future hold for you guys as a band?
Nick: The future of us is to better our songs and live show and take this band as far as we can! I hope that we can take this overseas as well. Anything we can to broaden our fan base. Immediate future includes us jammin’ our new songs and hopefully selling many albums! [ END ]