Check out the song: “The Fallout”

Echidna I have long been a fan of the thrash metal scene but over the years so many lackluster acts have flooded the scene and in my opinion ‘watered down’ the genre. Every once on a while though a band comes along that stands out from all the others, injecting new life and hope into the scene. So it was with great pleasure that I stumbled across the Portuguese thrash metal band, Echidna and their new release, Dawn Of The Sociopath. This is a record that packs a punch and will have you snapping your neck and begging for more. I was able to catch up with guitarist Pedro Lima to discuss the band and their new release. Here is how the conversation went.

What can music fans expect when they pick up a copy of your new disc, Dawn Of The Sociopath?
Pedro: They can expect a metal record which tries to create a modern mix between thrash, death and even some progressive metal aspects. If they have any previous knowledge of our sound we think they will find it to be heavier, especially because of the darker melodies we tried to use this time around.

Are you guys happy with the way it turned out?
Pedro: We are very happy. Obviously there are some nitpicks that we can find and even things we want to try on future releases but overall we are very pleased with our new work.

How quick are you in the studio? Can you usually knock things out in a couple of takes or does it take significantly longer?
Pedro: We can give a rough time frame of the time we spent on recording the instruments. We took a week to record the drums, two weeks for all the guitar work, three days for the bass and another week for the vocals. After that most of the time was actually spent editing all these things and tweaking all the loose ends to turn the recording material into an album.

Do you decide on tones fairly quickly or do you tweak obsessively?
Pedro: It depends. There were some things which just sounded right from the first moment but if it was not the case we would spend a good amount of time just trying to get those details exactly how we wanted them. We think it’s a healthy balance between deciding quickly when it fits and tweaking obsessively when it’s needed.

What is the writing process like for you guys?
Pedro: Pretty natural. Usually someone comes up with an idea like a riff or a melody and we go from there. We like to include everyone in the writing process because it’s those individual contributions that make our music sound what it is.

When you write do you ever think about the live performance?
Pedro: Sometimes. Not that it can actually influence a song or that we would change a song specifically for the purpose of playing it live but of course that there are small moments in the songs that we feel right away that they are going to be great moments when played in front of a live audience.

What’s the story behind the title of the record?
Pedro: It’s about a violent journey from a sociopath’s perspective and encompasses the moment of self-realization of this wretched mind until the inevitable downfall of society catching up to him. Above everything else, it’s a human story about a strange human condition that society still has a very hard time understanding.

Check out the song: “Obscuring My Reason”

Can you talk about some of the subjects you tackle on this record?
Pedro: We talk a lot about empathy (or the lack of it to be precise) and what that implies in a modern society. We reflect on all these restrictions and expectations placed on human behavior since birth and how society reacts when something does not quite work as expected. It’s also about trying to show how easy it is to break that line is if you have a predisposition for violent behavior and we think it’s fascinating that a sociopath can feel no empathy besides his own personal satisfaction. That’s what we wanted to play around it, in a certain sense, looking at modern societies and our obsession with the misery and death of others, aren’t we all a bit sociopathic?

What kind of touring plans do you have in support of the record?
Pedro: We have already been playing throughout October and we have a few shows lined up until the end of the year. However, we Are currently putting together our tour for 2012 which we hope will take us most of the year.

What is next for Echidna?
Pedro: Probably touring during the whole year of 2012, getting our album to our audience and trying to capture new fans. Eventually after touring we will want to sit down, start writing and record again. We hope to show up in 2 or 3 years with an album that further shows that we really don’t want to repeat the same formula indefinitely and that we can keep on surprising our listeners.