Texas Embalmed were interviewed by Wilhelm Lindh, an interview with some very controversial opinions. I as European democrat and without further ado, uncensored. Nuno Ribeiro
Wilhelm Lindh: Hey guys thanks for taking the time to talk to me, what up, anything you want to get off your chest right off the bat?
Embalmed: Thank you and yes right of the bat we would like to thank David Garcia and Dark Blasphemies and Paul Hebert from Corpse Gristle Records for their support of Texas Death Metal and for everything they do to help get all the very talented bands from this region heard.
W L: You guys where active in the early 90's and then split up in 1995, what was the reason behind the split? And then you got back together in 2012, what prompted the reunion?
Embalmed:The reason for our split in 1995 was due to some personal health issues with original founding member and drummer John Steadman. Issues that would eventually take his life in 2005. The recent reunion with Dave Tillery and the re-formation of Embalmed was just random luck and a situation where everything just kind of fell into place and we all just went with it. I hadn't spoken with Dave since we split up and because of social media we ended up re-connecting right about the time me and Ernie and Brandon decided to put our current band Cunthammer down for good. We had been in the studio and already tracked most of Brutal Delivery of Vengeance and when Dave agreed to come on board Ernie switched to guitar and Dave took over bass and we continued on with the recording and decided to make it an Embalmed full length album.
W L: Who does what in the band, is there a master mind or is everything a collective effort?
Embalmed: In our current line-up it is me Ed Taylor on guitar and vocals, Brandon Partain on drums, Ernie Jaramillo on guitar and backing vocals, and Dave Tillery on bass. For the recording Ernie did most of the bass guitar work and I tracked all the guitars except for a lead on Stalker Texas Mangler, and one of the leads on Pieces Remain that Ernie did. Most of the tracking for this album was done before Dave joined otherwise he would have done all the bass parts.
As for this album it wasn't really a collective effort. All of the music was written by John Steadman and myself. This album was something I wanted to do since his death as a tribute to all the good things we did together and to give proper production to some of the awesome ideas and songs he was a part of. 4 of the songs on this recording he had a major contribution to and these songs defined our style as we progressed as a band.
W L: I reviewed you debut album Brutal Delivery of Vengeance , which I enjoyed very much. What first drew me in to the album was the massive guitar tone. What gear did you use to get this awesome tone? The album sounds perfect imo, massive but not the overproduced crapfests we generally get today. Was the sound of the album something you strived for or, it just turned out that way?
Embalmed: Thank you I really appreciate that you get where we are coming from as far as the mix and all the tones and production we were able to create. I spent a lot of time and over $12,000 of my own money to make this album. The sound of this album was something I definitely strived for and I meticulously mixed every sound and sample and cymbal and guitar sound and with the help of JT Longoria I was able to take what was in my head and put it forever onto disc. It was almost as gratifying as my 3 kids being born when I heard the finished product. It might not sound like it but I put 3 years of my life into it. I made lots of mistakes but I learned a lot about the recording process and because of that we plan to have another full length out before the end of this year. As far as gear I play a Kramer American Custom 1 neck through the body and plug into a Yamaha OD 10M II Overdrive pedal and plug that into a Marshall JCM Lead Series 100 head. The old kind with only 6 knobs and a high and low input. Ernie uses the exact same setup but with a Jackson guitar. On the recording I also used an Ibanez guitar for some of the leads and rhythms and another JCM 800 head for some parts but 90% was done with my Kramer and Marshall, It's the exact same gear I've been using for over 20 years. I've tried all the new stuff but I always go back. There's just nothing like the warm sound of the old Marshall tube amps in the practice room and the Yamaha overdrive pedals in my opinion.
W L: What other band do you guys play in, if any?
Embalmed: I only do Embalmed. Ernie has played in many great bands here in the DFW like Demonseed, Creophagy, and his Slayer cover band War Ensemble. Brandon did vocals in Psychiatric Regurgitation and currently Dave, Ernie, and Brandon are doing a little side project that is the brain child of Dave Tillery. We are all trying to focus on getting things done and to get back in the studio by August to begin a new Embalmed album right now. We have 6 songs in the works and are planning on recording 9. I really want to get 2 full lengths out in one calender year. A lot of people waited over 20 years for BDOV so I want to keep it coming now that we are all focused and able to make the music I've been dying to do.
W L: Having been in the scene for such a long time, how do you feel it differs from when the band was active in the 90's? Do you see the new technology as something good or something bad, internet downloading, digital recording and so on?
Embalmed: I think the social media is great for getting your band out there and for people across the globe to be able to hear your new stuff in an instant instead of having to wait for a cassette to arrive in the mail. Of course all the free downloading cuts deeply into album sales but if I was worried about that I wouldn't have spent the past 25 years of my life in the Death Metal scene. It costs more money to be in an underground Death Metal band than you will ever make. The people who do this shit do it because they love it and they just have to get these damn songs and rhythms in their heads onto tape and be done with it so they can move onto the next riff that is constantly going through your head. I am very happy though about how social media has brought us all together and caused a resurgence in the metal scene.
W L: How is it going on the live front, are you getting any gigs? Is it hard getting gigs in your neck of the woods? I saw that you guys are going to support Nile in May, what are your thoughts about this.
Embalmed: In Texas and especially in Dallas and Fort Worth you can go to a great metal show every week. There are so many venues and so many great bands here like Primordiuus, Empty Shell, Meshia, Devourment, and on and on. We have to turn down a lot of shows right now because we are working hard on a new album but we could play every weekend somewhere in Texas if our schedules allowed it. There's a lot going on here and there's a lot of excitement about the current metal scene in Texas, from Dallas to Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christie to the mighty Houston mosh scene. There is also great promotion in Texas like the Pit Bulls and the DMS here in Dallas some people are calling this the next Tampa. I hope people out there get to hear some of the new bands from here like Primordious, great stuff and of course Prophecy always delivers. I'm really looking forward to the Nile show. We are going to be shooting some live stuff for a video for the song Insurgent Killer
W L: How is the songwriting progress for you guys, do you jam out songs in the jam spot or do you bring riffs/finished songs and you just show the other guys?
Embalmed: We don't really jam so to speak. Me and Chris Stevens wrote all the Cunthammer stuff by jamming and recording and then taking pieces and making songs out of it but now I just bring a finished song to the table with a clear idea and work everything out with Brandon. We are working on a song now that Ernie has written and I'm collaborating with Dave on some stuff.
W L: Can you give me a short, but sweet, walkthrough of the lyrical landscapes Embalmed traverse? I assume it is gory stuff, but I might be wrong of course.
Embalmed: A majority of our stuff is military/war themed with some serial killer and some just pure violence themes. We aren't re-inventing the wheel or anything like that at all just writing about what interests us as far as movies and reading and history goes. A couple songs like Bludgeoned were inspired by ex girlfriends haha.
W L: What is you view of the world, are we fucked or do you think better times are coming?
Embalmed: We're not fucked. Not here in Texas, we have concealed handgun licenses and everyone can carry a pistol in their car. As soon as we legalize marijuana like Colorado this will be the best place in the world. You have to be insane to do robberies and bullshit like that here because almost everyone and most women are armed and ready. Thieves and rapists are a little hesitant here because the little old lady they might fuck with will probably have a bigger gun than them. With the millions of people that live here in this area I believe its a necessity. We allow so many people just to come on into our country and state with very little regulation and I couldn't imagine living here in a state where guns were illegal and feel safe. If some criminal wants to do harm to me or my family here in Texas we are encouraged by our laws to protect ourselves by all means. As for the rest of the world i can't really say if you are fucked or not but in my opinion most of the world is fucked, that's why America is the big brother for all the oppressed nations. They can't save themselves from tyranny but a few well placed bunker busters and all of a sudden you have a free country.
W L: On a lighter note, what is on the horizon for the band?
Embalmed: Next for the band is to try to get another full length out before the end of 2014. That's my #1 goal right now.
W L: Being American, what is your view on Obama care? And the general state of the US?
Embalmed: Haha! Obama care and this whole administration is a joke and it has fucked over many MD's and their way of doing business. Democrats here are no different than socialists and I want nothing to do with that. America is about freedom and a place for everyone to do whatever their heart desires and make the most of whatever they can be without government intervention. The republican party supports individual freedom and that's what I support. Democrats want handouts and government health care and government this and that. Fuck that everyone is equal here if you want something work hard and go get it.
W L: Do you like county music? I personally love it, I don't think there is any sadder music than Hank Williams sr. Would you agree with this? And could you specify why?
Embalmed: I enjoy some of the older country music I'm not gonna lie. I've been a fan of Dwight Yoakams movies and music for years. He was awesome in Sling Blade and When Trumpets Fade. The country now is so corny though that I find it un-listenable.
W L: Bathtub slaying is my fav track on the record, could you give me your thoughts about this song? And which song is you favorite song on the album?
Embalmed: Thank you I'm glad you like that song. That is a song i wrote with John Steadman in 1999. We recorded it originally as Blastwound in 2000. I was disappointed so much in the production of the Blastwound recording that I decided after John's death that I really wanted to bring some of those older songs back and give them a proper do over. That song along with Bludgeoned and Bloated Cadaver were a high priority for an updated version. I like to give a shout out to Embalmer and Forged in Gore from Ohio. We just did a 3 date Texas tour with them that was awesome. Embalmer has been around since the early 90's like us and it was great to finally do some shows with them. I respect their old school style.
W L: The bass is loud in the mix on your album, did the bass player have you guys at gun point or what happened? I mean a lot of times the bass is barely audible on metal albums for some damn reason. I personally would like to get most music remixed with the bass turned up by let's say 25%. Would you think this would be a good idea? What I am trying to say id kudos for letting the bass be heard, tour bass player is awesome!
Embalmed: I totally agree with you. A lot of metal and Death Metal recordings over the past several years are very drum driven and the drums are so high in the mix that every other instrument is secondary. In my opinion metal has always and will always be a guitar and riff based genre.And if you want to have a thick ass guitar sound the best way to do it is to have an equally and impressive bass tone and sound. It goes hand in hand. I mixed this album with the help of JT Longoria and it was my insistence that the bass be brought to the forefront. It just takes a song from mildly brutal to absolutely crushing by working the bass into it. I've always loved the overdriven bass tones that you can hear. It's a beautiful sound like the bass tones on Carcass' Symphonies of Sickness. I'm glad that you get it and enjoy it because it was definately a conscious decision and a lot of work went into the bass on this album. Thanks to Ernie and his kick ass Spector bass.
W L: I don't want any of you to feel left out, so a big cheer to you all! Who in the band would go furthest in are you smarter than a fifth grader?
Embalmed: Dave Tillery is absolutely the smartest one in the band.
W L: Ok guys, one of my cats just decided that my keyboard was a good place to rest his head. He says Hey! Thanks again for shooting the shit with me, any last words?
Embalmed: Thank you and thank you to your cat for his/her patience. Thank you to everyone out there who supports extreme music and inspires us all to keep doing what we do. Ed Taylor
Sweden`s Wilhelm Lindh*, "Portuguese by adoption," guitar player, composer and owner of the Doom / Death Metal band The Gardnerz, reviews here in HeavyHardMetalmania.net. Careful and professional analysis to the music and albums with suggestions of what there is to see and hear ... not to be missed. "The wisdom is found in the extremes, all extreme Metal here!".