Decimatus talk about their debut album, ‘Catalyst for Rage,’ national tour with Envenomed, Edgar Allan Poe, and Spider-man.
By Mandy Craig.
Melbourne’s dark metal lords, Decimatus are a band that encapsulate the deep raw energy of anger and rage into their music, especially in their recently released debut album, ‘Catalyst for Rage.’
From the onslaught of the drums and exceptional power-driven riffs, you can definitely hear and feel each track’s aggression, which the band say they culminated through the time span of writing the album.
Besides the cool intensity of, ‘Catalyst for Rage’ Decimatus’s lead vocalist, Tommy Jennings says the band love writing music that their fans can head bang too.
“A lot of people call us groove metal, but to me we’re just a band that loves writing riffs you can bang your head to! I don’t think we sit in one specific genre. We have some fast pace thrash songs, then some slowed down groovier songs. Mix that together and you got that Decimatus sound.”
With a band name derived from a Latin word, guitarist, Booga reveals it was a title for the band they discovered by accident.
“Decimatus was something that was kind of stumbled upon. We wanted just one word to describe what we were all about, but something not too familiar…’Decimate us’ was one that kind of rolled off the tongue but made no sense. Being that it was two words, I pushed it together to be, ‘Decimatus.’ Funnily enough it turned out that it was a Latin word meaning, ‘to choose by lot, every tenth man for punishment’ which sort of worked out perfectly.”
Talking to Tommy and Booga from the band, they give insight into their debut release, ‘Catalyst for Rage,’ – from writing fight music, to Spider-man unleashing spider webs during recording; plans in store for the year, and how an Edgar Allan Poe short story came to influence track, “One Foot in the Grave.”
Q: Decimatus, you guys released your debut album back in January, and recently, a powerful first single, ‘One Foot in the Grave,’ with an accompanying music video to intensify the story within the track. With these awesome achievements, and it’s only the beginning of 2015, what do you dig most about releasing, ‘Catalyst for Rage’?
Booga: Well ‘Catalyst for Rage’ is our debut full-length album, so really it is unknown territory for any young band. We have released two EPs in the past and while they were great to record and release in the first couple of years, it really doesn’t compare to the excitement of releasing an album. It was a rough road in its process, being that we had to replace members at a time that we were knee-deep in tracking. Luckily we found replacements in Josh Rech and Pauly Brammer reasonably quickly. Finally getting to launch the thing was a massive weight lifted because of the amount of hurdles we faced to get it there. Now it’s out and getting a great response, all we are really looking forward to is taking it to every stage possible and getting on with smashing it out live.
Q: You guys are described as a hybrid of Pantera, Testament, and Lamb of God. Which bands do you feel inspire and influence you as a band, why?
Booga: Definitely three of those bands would be Testament, Lamb of God and of course Pantera. To say we’re a modern hybrid of those bands is a great compliment. Although, there is no way that only those three inspired us to write the way we do. Song structure is a big thing and what feels right at the right times. Bands that do this are a massive influence, and that’s not just keeping to metal. Early Metallica, Slayer, Black Label Society, Dream Theater and Machine Head are influences, but great rock bands and blues artists just seem to give the right kick at the right times as well. Stevie Ray Vaughan, Gary Moore and Thin Lizzy; AC/DC, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin all were great at kicking you in the teeth when you needed it. I think that plays a big part in song writing for us.
Q: The first single off your new album, ‘One Foot in the Grave,’ is inspired by an Edgar Allan Poe short story, about how death eventually finds the rich and powerful. What is the name of the story, and what drew you towards Poe for this track?
Tommy: It’s called ‘The Masque of the Red Death’. I’ve always had a fascination with Edgar Allan Poe, and this story is one of my favourites, it’s horror at its rawest.
I always tried to imagine what the Red Death looked like stalking from room to room, wrapped in bandages with blood seeping through. It’s just a real horrifying character and the theme behind the story just really resonated with me.
Q: Would you say the darkness of fate and death are the key themes on this album? What is the main story within, ‘Catalyst for Rage’ and its tracks?
Tommy: Fate, faith, and death definitely play a major part in the theme of the album. It’s by no means a concept album, but I think the constant bad luck we had throughout the years culminated into this aggression and rage, and we brought that to the stage. We just poured all that raw emotion into the new songs we were writing at the time, musically and lyrically. A good friend of ours gave the album a listen, came back to us and said, “That’s fight music!” I was like HELL yeah it is! It was the perfect description for the album from start to finish.
Q: When working on, ‘Catalyst for Rage’ in the studio, was there any awesome or fun moments?
Tommy: Oh man. There were a few! One that will stick with me forever was on some down time between recording drums. Sav put on this Spider-man costume; I have absolutely no idea where he got it from, and started doing the “go web!” moves, jumping out from behind these brick pillars outside the studio. You have to make your own fun I guess! Pretty sure we have that on video somewhere. Maybe it will surface!
“A good friend of ours gave the album a listen, came back to us and said, “That’s fight music!” I was like HELL yeah it is!” Tommy says of, ‘Catalyst for Rage.’
Q: What was the writing process like for this album?
Tommy: The songs were written over a long period of time, and it’s surprising to me how well they all go together on the album. There’s a real flow there from groove to more thrashy and it was lucky it worked out that way. Going into the studio we didn’t have an abundance of songs. Actually we had one less than we wanted to, so we wrote Usurper during the recording process and that was the last song we wrote for the album.
Q: Do you have a track on the album that you dig playing live the most, and why?
Booga: I think for us on stage, ‘Ashes to the Urn’ would be a favourite. From the groove of the first riff to the heavy outro riff, it’s a song that just makes our necks that much sorer after a show. The riff after the second lead break is just straight out, straight forward metal, but it’s a riff that you could see yourself annihilating a punching bag to and isn’t that what metal is all about?
Q: What is next for Decimatus, Any other plans for the year that you’d like to reveal?
Booga: The main plans for us this year is to get back to the stage and kill it.
We have a national tour coming up with the legend Melbourne band Envenomed. Absolutely wicked guys, so we are really looking forward to partying with them. We definitely have our horizons set for the international stage, but like all things it will take time. We are just trying to do the right things, step by step, but who knows what’s in store for us if we play our cards right.
Copyright © Music Mayhem with Mandy 2015
Message to Fans
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