Fallujah Singer Explains Delicate Heaviness On "The Flesh Prevails" After Summer Slaughter Performance
"The Flesh Prevails," the third album by San Francisco atmospheric death metal outfit, Fallujah, has an airy, dualistic quality. Guitar harmonies, synth, keyboards and even female vocals instill the record with angelic beauty. While the vocals harmonize with these light aspects, their guttural nature reveals a certain darkness beneath. Also, the guitars and drums are played at a speed that adds a hint of violence to these peaceful melodies. This speed and all the layers may seem chaotic at times, but there is a gentle finesse that helps the band maintain balance.
Fallujah's approach and ability has led to their garnering much accolades by fans and critics alike. Their placement this year on the extreme metal tour, Summer Slaughter, has increased their popularity while continuing to inspire an already built in audience (I noticed many Fallujah shirts). I caught up with vocalist Alex Hofmann after the group performed under scorching heat in Austin, Texas to talk about the Summer Slaughter and "The Flesh Prevails," which was released less than a week before this interview.
Rex_84: Fallujah is currently on the Summer Slaughter tour. Where are you at on the tour?
Alex Hofmann: Right now we're in Austin, Texas. It's hot as balls! We're heading to Dallas tomorrow. We're about a week in. We have about a month left. It's a long tour for us. We're out for five weeks.
Rex_84: How has the tour been so far?
Hofmann: It's been crazy! Hands down, it's been the best tour we've ever done. It's been a lot of fun. All the bands are really cool. Everyone seems to know each other. It's been nothing but a good time besides the crazy heat.
Rex_84: Has it been hot the whole time you've been on tour?
Hofmann: Phoenix was really bad. I'm not cut out for this (laughs).
Rex_84: Did you stay hydrated today?
Hofmann: Absolutely! I drank an entire gallon of water, chugged it all down.
Rex_84: What do you think about the crowd today?
Hofmann: It was fun, given how wet and sloppy the whole thing was. I saw a lot of Fallujah shirts. It was great.
Rex_84: What did your set look like? I know you played at least one song off your new album "The Flesh Prevails."
Hofmann: We played two new ones and two old ones. We only had twenty minutes to play. We picked "Sapphire" and "Carved From Stone" and then two from "Harvest Womb." We couldn't pick any from "Nomadic," which sucks, but we can't really do a whole lot about that. All the bands have a very limited set.
Rex_84: Do the limited sets assure all the bands get to play on time?
Hofmann: Pretty much. Mainly it has to do with the fact that there are ten bands to get through and not everyone can play for an hour. They have to cut it a little short to accommodate all the bands you'll get to see.
Rex_84: Do you play at the same time everyday? It's early in the day.
Hofmann: Yeah, it's crazy, we start at 4:10 every single day. We have exceptions here and there. 4:10 on the fucking dot! It's not even a little bit earlier. Honestly, this way is great. We get it done early in the day and then enjoy the rest of the show.
Rex_84: "The Flesh Prevails" just dropped on Tuesday. What are you hearing so far?
Hofmann: Nothing but good reviews.
Rex_84: I've seen a lot of 4 and 5-star reviews.
Hofmann: I've seen nothing but good reviews. It's pretty cool. It's what we've been working hard for. I've got no complaints. The whole thing is accelerating so fast.
Rex_84: Is this your crowning achievement?
Hofmann: So far, yeah. It's better than anything we've ever done. It's been the coolest thing we've ever done.
Rex_84: Is this your breakout album?
Hofmann: I would have to agree with that. Yes.
Rex_84: Tell me about the layering and atmosphere and what you were going for in that regard?
Hofmann: We were trying to create a level of intensity that didn't rely on heaviness, didn't rely on technicalities. We wanted more of a wall-of-sound approach. A lot of synths. A lot of keyboards. A lot of clean guitars. A lot of effects to create this wall of sound that is punishing but in a much more delicate way. I think we succeeded doing that.
Rex_84: Who worked on the production?
Hofmann: Zach Ohren (Sharkbite Studios--Animosity, Suffocation, All Shall Perish) did the whole thing. He fucking killed it. He spent so much time going above and beyond that we will use him again.
Rex_84: Is this your first album on Unique Leader Records?
Hofmann: It's our second and then we are all done. We are looking to move up.
Rex_84: How has this label treated you?
Hofmann: It's been good. They've provided what we've needed. They were what we needed at the time and now we're ready to move up.
Rex_84: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Hofmann: If you plan on coming out to watch us at Summer Slaughter, get here early. We'll make it fun. You won't be disappointed.
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