Without no doubt,this sentence drawn from the song “Vault of membros” summarizes perfectly the universe developed by the band and its position in the medium of death metal.The "old school "death is returned to the front of the scene since a moment now, there are a lot of outings every months,saturation is not far.One might have feared that Disma would go completely unnoticed by being yet another old death metal band lost in the shuffle.But as always and in all areas,there are leaders and followers. Obviously,Disma is among the first and reigns supreme on old death metal,and this since his first demo.How could it have been otherwise in view of the pedigree of the members of the group (Incantation,Funebrarum,Abazagorath).It is also true that the return of Craig Pillard has fueled the curiosity and interest of many.But more than a matter of people, the group has managed to impose itself with his music,what is the most important.The group isn’t very present in the media, true to its motto of quality over quantity,Bill and Daryl did us the honor to answer questions from Psycho to discuss about the monster Disma.So,get ready,they are proprietors of the abyss !!!
01 – Hail Disma!it’s very pleasant for us to have an interview from the band.It’s clear that Disma is one of the best dark death metal bands that we have heard nowadays and your first album “Towards the megalith”have marked the spirits by placing it among the top names in the genre.So,for the Psycho readers who still don’t know the band,can you introduce the band and its members?Tell us what are the reasons that led you to create the monster Disma.
Greetings!Thanks for featuring us in your zine now please send us that case of Brittany Ale as promised!
CRAIG PILLARD -VOCALS
BILL VENNER - GUITAR
DARYL KAHAN - GUITAR
RANDI STOKES - BASS
SHAWN ELDRIDGE- DRUMS
Disma was formed to create the heaviest and darkest doom death known to man!!!
02 - You have surprised everyone by not creating a glam Rock band.Why have you mounted another group of death metal?You haven’t said everything in this style?
We tried to get you to join but you refused because your neanderthal didn't mount you so the vision of creating a glam band died with you.We don’t feel limited by the style of music we play.In a universe that continually expands there is always more to be found...
03 - How did you convince Craig to join the group,who seemed far from death metal for a while.Were you worried of his lack of interest and motivation for this project and in case of refusal on his part,had you planned another singer?
After Shawn and Randi joined the band we practiced for many months without a singer.We would have close friends come to the studio to try some vocals,but nothing serious.Craig was aware of the band but he felt he had no time in his schedule for it.Several months later Craig saw a final version of the song "Vault of Membros" on video at Randi's house.It set a spark off in him and wanted to try out immediately.He was drawn to the doom aspect of the music as well and the raw sound.He came down to the rehearsal spot and the rest is history.
04 - The two groups share common members,some might be tempted to see Disma as a Funebrarum bis.Obviously,there are certain musical similarities between these two entities,the music is closely connected to a same root of influences.But for you,what makes that Disma is clearly distinguishable from Funebrarum?
This is the first time we hear of such a theory haha.The approac ,songwriting and sounds of each band are quite different but it is up to the listener to decide.Take it as a sign of our dedication to and passion for DEATH METAL!!!
05 - Given the style practiced by the group and the pedigree of its members,were you afraid to expose yourself to criticism that could tax you of “opportunistic”,the revival old death metal is trendy in recent years.
Trends in the Metal world do not exist for us.We write and play music that we enjoy ourselves.Everything else is just part of the “scenery”.We never thought about other bands and what they were doing when DISMA was formed.No one ever criticized us for trying to hop on the “old-school” bandwagon.If anything FUNEBRARUM were playing in this style long before the OSDM trend wave was born and may have contributed to it’s birth in 1999.The time was right to unleash DISMA for more personal reasons.
06 - For a group of experienced musicians who have played in respected bands like Incantation,Evoken,Funebrarum,why be going through the demo stage as a group of young novice,then you could have easily found a label and a good deal?Have you felt the need to(re)prove yourself,even after all these years?
The main reason we never tried to go for a deal right away was that “internally” the band was never thought of as a super group, or a one-off project of any kind.This was a full-fledged band that would go through all the normal channels and processes.Our vision from the start was to create a "demo tape" and shop it around.We collected demos ourselves and wanted our own for Disma.
07 – The reception in the press(fanzines-webzines)was excellent,I have read nothing but praise.Did you expect such enthusiasm?
No we were quite surprised and pleased by the response.We didn't think people cared about this "kind" of death metal anymore.I was sure our local friends would appreciate the music but did not expect the younger crowds to go fucking crazy for us.We are really pleased people seem to enjoy what we do.
08 - The word of mouth has worked very well,your demo was eagerly awaited by many people.How long did it take to sell all the copies?How many copies have you pressed?
We hand-made about 500 demos overall.I don't recall how long it took but they did go kind of quick through our MYSPACE page (which is now gone).Early copies had different color covers like blue and green etc.Those were the rarest ones.Those who got a copy of one please post a photo on our Facebook page.
09 - Sometime later,you release a split one title on Doomentia Records.This practice of splits is nowadays become extremely rare(except in the grindcore).Many people hoped your first full length.This split was it a way for you to say "we do what we want when we want it"?
The 1st split was arranged by Daryl and Anti Boman.They kept in touch over the years and we thought it would be a great idea to do a split together.The 2nd split was done with CONVULSE to coincide with our European mini tour with them.The "DAYS OF DEATH" 7" released on DOOMENTIA records.The releases were timed a bit strangely but it all worked out in the end.
10 - Is it because Anti Booman from Demilich sings in Winterwolf that persuaded you to share this split?I guess this group has had some influence at the moment of the release of "Nespithe"?
Demilich is a great band.They are old friends and an influence for sure. Their 1st demo "The Four Instructive Tales of Decomposition" is a classic and a personal favorite of ours. Winterwolf is also a another great band as well and we were glad to share the split with them.
11 - The same year you released an ep 2 tracks "The event" on Necroharmonic.As for the split with Winterwolf,only a vinyl edition is available.I guess it’s a format that you appreciate but don’t you think that this "exclusivity" could discourage more than one(all the fans who have not a turntable) and push them to download your songs.
We think vinyl is the best format to appreciate an analog recording.There is nothing better than pulling out your records,firing up the turntable and listening to that first crackle when the needle hits.Plus if you don't like it,it will at least be a nice looking coaster.We were even considering releasing them on a cassette tape as well.People will download the song regardless.
12 - Following the release of your demo,your reputation has swelled rapidly.Both splits received very good reviews from the press and fans.All of your releases were sold out very quickly. Have you felt some pressure before attacking the composition process of the new album?
Not really,the other songs on "Towards The Megalith" are actually some of our earliest material that we had written before the demo and split 7” eps.The song "Chasm of Oceanus" was one of the first songs Daryl and I wrote together.Regarding our upcoming second album (yet unnamed) we hold ourselves to a high standard and are making sure the new album material surpasses everything we have ever done so far.
13 - How is the songwriting process divided among you and who is mainly responsible for the musical direction?Does everyone contribute to the writing of the music and lyrics or does one of you act like a tyrant who puts his ideas forward?
Daryl and I write most of the songs but the other members also have a hand in making Disma what it is.We have definitely streamlined the process of songwriting.
14 - Besides,in order to write such a dark and tortuous music,do you need a special atmosphere while composing?For example,do you lock yourselves in a dark,cold cellar oozing with dampness and dead rat reeking?Do you resort to some substances like alcohol or drugs to find inspiration?Or is it something natural for you to write killer riffs?
Killer riffs come naturally,Death metal is mere childs play to the death masters that we are.....MUH HA HA HA !!! We write under the influence of finely crafted beers and Buffalo Wings!A great combo to get the creative mind flowing.Also,another good way to know when we've written something killer is when we both look at each other and go: PPPHHHHSSSSSSTTT!!!
FUCK YEAH!!!!!!!!!At that point we know we've got a keeper.
15 - I’m very impressed with the sound on the album!It sounds so heavy,dirty and raw but with a lot of power.All the instruments sound really organic and natural.How did the studio sessions go for your album?Have you recorded all instruments with analog technology?
We have recorded using analog tape machines for all of our recordings.It is the format that Disma will always use.We also take the natural approach to recording.No big effects or anything we cannot reproduce live.We hammered the songs out pretty quickly and didn't waste time.We knew what we wanted and I think the recording came out better than we expected.Total filth and brutality!!!Screw that digital crap. We want to jam,not cut and paste!
16 - You trusted Chris Pierce for your first outings,he seemed to be the sixth member of the group.Why did you choose this time Steve d’acutis ? Tell us a bit more of him.
Chris Pierce is great.We enjoyed working with him.His is not the sixth member by any stretch of the imagination just a guy with a studio that has analog equipment.Steve Di recorded our friend's band Evoken and we liked what we heard,specifically the drum mix...We are exploring new options for our second album and have a few studios in mind.
17 - I’d like to have your opinion concerning bands who use and overuse studio technology (triggers,pro-tools,editing etc...).In the end,they may get an ultra-powerful sound but it’s totally artificial,clinical,smooth and entirely devoid of personality.I equate this to a technological doping.Have you got the same opinion?
I am also not a fan of triggers and protools.Nor am I a fan of most modern music.There is always an exception,but the old way is the best way.Sure its easier,and if your looking for a pristine, crystalized sound that would be the route but not for us!
18 - From a purely musical point of view,have you been scratching from your vocabulary the words “evolution” and “risk-taking”? What should we expect from you in the future?
You should expect a sicker and heavier recording on the next album.We are not going to release a jazz or metalcore funk album.Nor will you find a cleaner sound or trendy writing.I think that is what people like about us. We aren't taking chances by playing with our sound but we have a lot of room within Disma to create and explore different ideas.We don't want to get stale,but we aren't going to let anyone down either!Only darker and heavier is the way to HELL!!!!!!
19 - For the album,you took three tracks of the demo,one of the split and one of the ep,which leaves us with only three previously unreleased tracks,making for a "new album" that does little in the end.Some might be tempted to treat you slackers ah ah!Is it because you're not quick composers and fervent followers of the expression:"quality over quantity"?
We definitely take our time when writing music.As we said before we hold ourselves to high standard of quality when writing and aim to produce the sickest most destructive music possible.Some people churn out the same regurgitated crap.If our songs do not evoke a feeling in us then they are not worth releasing.Things are moving faster for the band nowadays.
20 - This album exudes a particularly sinister and haunted atmosphere.I highly recommend to listen to it in complete darkness.A real musical nightmare for the listener!Was this the goal?is it important for you to get this kind of emotions?
Yes,listen to it in the dark and as loud as possible.Try not to touch yourself!