Guitarist Rana Freilich, of the New Zealand metal band Legacy Of Disorder, spoke with me recently about the band’s newest release Last Man Standing. The band have already shared the stage with GWAR and are getting ready to head out on the “Fate or Chaos Tour” alongside GWAR, Cancer Bats and DevilDriver. Here’s what Freilich had to say about all things Legacy Of Disorder!
Now that your new record, Last Man Standing, is complete, how do you feel about it and are you satisfied with the outcome?
Rana: Yes we are really happy with how the album came out, both song-wise and production-wise. It has a great flow from start to finish. We can’t wait to play these tracks on the upcoming U.S. Fall Tour.
What is your writing process like?
Rana: I often like to work on new material at home so often I will take complete songs or riffs to the band and we discuss them, as everyone has to be happy. Jason our bass player brought a great complete track which made the new album also. We also work together to come up with ideas, we have had James listen while both Jase and I throw riffs back and fourth randomly until we come up with the right riff for a certain part of a song. Myself, James and Jase pen the lyrics. Sometimes I will have a complete song written, but without lyrics and James will say hey man I really want to pen the lyrics for this particular track.
Before we record in the studio we demo everything on pro-tools at our band head quarters and make sure we are happy with what we have and experiment with different things. We can all be honest and straight up with each other. If you feel something isn’t working just say it, as the final outcome is to make the best music you can and to be happy with it yourselves. Everyone has a say and has input in the music writing and I believe that often makes for a happier band.
When you write, do you write with the live setting in mind?
Rana: Yes. I feel we are always thinking “will this sound powerful live? Will it make the kids bang their heads? Will this part start a circle pit?” Live is where it‘s at, that’s where the fans really get to see if the band can pull it off. As I’m the single guitarist in the band we don’t like to add too much in our album recording that we cannot reproduce live. The fun part is taking it to the stage and watching the carnage commence.
Check out the song: “Last Man Standing”
What made you decided to work with Sterling Winfield? Did he push you in directions you had not thought of?
Rana: After we recorded our first demo in New Zealand years ago now, we didn’t know whom to record our debut album with. A record distributor gave our manager some names and one of them was Sterling. I am a major Pantera fan so when our manager asked “are you keen to work with Sterling?” we were stoked! We recorded our first album with him in Texas 2008. He came to New Zealand to record our new album Last Man Standing. We have really built up a great friendship and work ethic between both Sterling and the band. Sterling brings out the best in us, a spade is spade to him… if you play it, play it well. If you can’t play, don’t expect him to do some studio magic to make you sound like you did something you didn’t… if you know what I mean? He knows we are very well-rehearsed before we get even near album recording time and we know with him he will bring the best out in us. I imagine us recording together for a long time to come.
Are there any tracks on Last Man Standing that are personal favorites or that have good stories behind them?
Rana: I think the album is full of great tracks… lyrically we cover a lot of ground. Tracks “Break” and title track “Last Man Standing” cover how we see our planet being slowly destroyed by humans ourselves. “March To Death” is about operation Babarossa in World War II, “Impaler” is written about the tyrant Vlad the impaler, “Hell Tonight” is written about being sentenced to the death penalty for a crime you never committed. These are just a few examples. It’s hard to name my favorites as I like them all… but I really do dig “March to Death”.
You guys are from New Zealand. How does the metal scene over there compare to the scene in the U.S.?
Rana: Population. In New Zealand there are far, far less people so there are less people listening to metal. I also believe metal is more mainstream and accepted in the U.S..
You are getting ready to go back on the road with GWAR. What was it like touring with them earlier in the year? Was it intimidating at all? Were the crowds receptive to your music?
Rana: It was great. No not intimidating, and yes the crowds seemed to really dig our sound. The whole GWAR band and crew were really good to us and we had a blast. I think once you tour with GWAR you become a fan yourself. We cannot wait for the up-coming Fall tour – it will be bad-ass!
Any rituals before you hit the stage? If so what are they?
Rana: No not really. I like to fiddle on my guitar and do some stretches and stuff and generally get focused to kick as much ass as you possibly can. I believe this is how it goes for my bandmates as well. We do always meet before we hit the stage and feed off each others’ energy which in turn makes more energy, and then give that energy to the audience and in return they give it back… that’s how it goes.
What would fans be surprised to find on your iPod?
Rana: For me personally, probably not a lot… I am a metal fan first and foremost and listen to mostly metal, unless you were surprised that I dig Dire Straits, Bob Dylan and a bunch of rock n roll bands? I should have got James our vocalist for this question.
What is next for you guys?
Rana: Well our new album is released through Megaforce Records MRI / Sony Red on September 18th and then the “Fall Tour” through October/November with the Cancer Bats, DevilDriver and GWAR. After that we will write more music and chill for a bit over Xmas with family and stuff. But coming February we will be back out touring. It’s been a great year for us and next year will even be better. So spread the word about Legacy Of Disorder, buy the new album, come and check out a show during the Fall tour and head up to our merch stand and meet and hang with the band.
Check out the song: “Break” [Live]