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Razoreater Talks Chaotic Grindcore And A Love Of Vinyl

Photo of Razoreater

Band Photo: Razoreater (?)

The chaotic grinding metal masters from Razoreater are just about to drop "Vacuum Of Nihil," and we had the pleasure of streaming the entire insane LP ahead of its official release (if you missed it, check it out now!).

Only days from the LP's official detonation, Stephen Pickles from Razoreater checked in with us to discuss the band's predilection for short and sweet atomic blasts of metal ("It's definitely a conscious decision to make our songs grab you by the balls and be as intense as possible...") and the decision to only release on the vinyl format.

You can pre-order your own copy right here and read the full interview with Stephen below.

xFiruath: Is there any particular significance to the band name? I think I recall the phrase being used in a Clive Barker novel some years back.

Stephen: I wouldn't say our name has much significance past the fact we're all Amenra and Star Wars fans. Razoreaters are an assassin droid in the Star Wars universe. We did originally start under a different name, but decided to change it after one or two shows.

xFiruath: Can you fill me in on a history of how Razoreater came together and what the band has accomplished so far?

Stephen: Myself and Sam Gollings have been playing together in bands approaching nearly ten years, but all of us other than Luke were in a band together previous to Razoreater. We started Razoreater at the very end of 2011 when me and Ben were living in a flat together. We didn't really know any drummers at the time but someone told us about this young kid Luke. We met up with him, hung out and started jamming a few days after in our bassist Dolmes' bedroom. Luke's abrasive drum style blew us away from the get go so we began writing stuff from there. Since we've been together we've put out 3 releases, toured the U.K. quite extensively and managed to get over to mainland Europe two or three times as well, including playing Incubate Fest in Holland. We've also shared the stage with some of our favorite bands along the way too which is always a bonus.

xFiruath: I saw on Facebook you mentioned many delays in getting this album out – what sort of hurdles did you experience and how did you end up overcoming them to get this thing finally released?

Stephen: There were a few things that slowed everything down including labels dropping and artwork, not to anyone's fault, don't get me wrong. The artwork was hand painted by our good friend Rob Clarkson who wanted to make sure it was right every step of the way. Naturally this slowed things down but otherwise he'd have had to repaint the whole thing and that wouldn't have been great for anyone.

The record was also originally going to be released through Church Of Fuck and Skin & Bones records but whilst we were still doing final touches to the artwork COF emailed saying he couldn't commit to the release anymore. That's was cool with us because he released some really cool things instead including the TEEF tape, Ithaca's 7" and Dwid Hellion of Integrity's noise project Psywarfare's 7". All really great releases. So after that we sat on it for a bit looking for another label to approach about helping us out. That's when we got WOOAAARGH on board alongside Skin and Bones. Cris at WOOAAARGH Really helped pull the final bits of the release together and turn it into something really fucking cool so we're thankful to him for that.

xFiruath: On a similar note, can you fill me on some of the details of the recording?

Stephen: We recorded with another one of our good friends Alex Smith of Let It Die fame. After hearing what he had done with the Let It Die records we were excited to take up him on the offer of recording the EP. We feel he captures the rawness and energy of the band along with good production. Something we didn't previously have. Alex is a fan of the band also and even stood in on drums during our last European tour, so it was a no brainer for us. It was recorded over 2 weekends at Let It Die's rehearsal space at the Parlour Studios, Kettering. Coincidentally it is the same place Napalm Death have recorded their last few records.

xFiruath: The longest song on this LP is just a bit over 3 minutes, with most shorter than that. Is it a conscious decision to do short and to the point tracks, and how does Razoreater typically go about putting together a new song?

Stephen: It's definitely a conscious decision to make our songs grab you by the balls and be as intense as possible so having short, to the point songs is sort of a byproduct of that. We generally write songs as a whole band but either myself or Sam will have an idea and we'll build from there. We tend to go with what feels rights for everyone when deciding what sections should go where. This is perhaps why some of our songs have a chaotic feel.

xFiruath: What sort of themes and ideas are you putting forth with this LP and what sort of picture are you trying to paint in the listener's head while hearing this barrage of awesome chaos?

Stephen: If you read through the lyrics they are all generally dark themes around real life emotions, things Ben has read and his ideas. It is pretty open to interpretation we just aim to make our music as unpleasant as possible.

xFiruath: Is this just going to be a vinyl release, or are there plans for regular CD, cassette, etc. If so, will there be any bonus tracks anywhere or are these five tracks the end of it?

Stephen: We wanted to get the initial release out on 12" as we feel this is the best format. However we may do a CD release in the future, who knows. If we did and we were to add a bonus track it would probably be a cover as we have a couple in the bag already.

xFiruath: What's on the horizon now that the LP is coming out – do you have any new material already in the works, and will you be taking these tracks out on the live circuit?

Stephen: Yeah, we plan on writing a full length to follow up this release and maybe a split record. We already have 5 songs finished for that. All the material on the 12" and a couple of the new ones are already creeping into our live set because we get excited about playing the new songs as soon as we've written them. It also helps with gauging the songs both musically and lyrically.

xFiruath: What's going on in your local music scene these days and what's the best live show you've seen recently?

Stephen: Peterborough is pretty dead with not a lot going on outside of hip, pay to play clubs. We have played some good shows at a local community centre that had good turnouts. Camblast promotions and The Infernal Sea are doing a lot to keep the scene going in Peterborough but most bands just bypass it. The scene around the U.K. is thriving though, you can go to pretty much any city or small town and find a show to go to, it's great. It's hard to say just one as there were a lot of good bands we either played with or saw live in 2015 but Torpor really blew me away when I saw them in Brighton a few months back. Oblivionized, the Infernal Sea, Human Cull, Let It Die and employed to serve are always a pleasure to watch as well.

xFiruath: Anything else you'd like to add?

Stephen: Just a thanks to Red (Skin And Bones / Let It Die) & Cris (Wooargh) for helping us put the record out, to anyone and everyone who continue to support us and to you guys for the questions.

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur splits his time between writing dark fiction, spreading the word about underground metal bands, and bringing you the latest gaming news. His sci-fi, grimdark fantasy, and horror novels can be found at Amazon.

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