Dismember Drummer Discusses New Album
Chris Kee of Live4Metal recently conducted an interview with DISMEMBER drummer Fred Estby. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
Live4Metal: How was the whole recording experience this time [on "The God that Never Was"], compared to your previous studio work?
Estby: "The difference was that this time we recorded in one stretch, like we used to do ten years ago. Last time we recorded like, here and there. This one was a very intense recording. Also Martin, our new guitar player, has been very much involved in the music writing for this one. He was also in the studio the whole time so there were more people to react to and talk about the sounds."
Live4Metal: How do you feel the new album stands up next to your back catalogue? Where would you put it?
Estby: "Well, of course, if you ask anyone who has done a new album, they are always going to put that one first, but one thing I do really like about it is the sound. I'm really pleased with that. I would put it in our top three easily. Hopefully I will still say that in two years time, but I think I will because the songs are strong and the sound is good too."
Live4Metal: Your press release makes a point of stating that you used no computers, triggers or digital enhancements when recording the album. Is that really important to you?
Estby: "Yeah, sure it is. Like today, this is the first time ever I actually have to use a trigger on my bass drum and it fucking sucks. I hate it. Hearing that sound makes me think of a computer. It's not a dynamic sound that I am concentrating on bringing out of the fucking drum kit. So tonight I am going to play without any bass drum in my monitors which won't be great but it's better than hearing that computerized sound. All the bands have the same kind of drum sound these days. All the bass drums sound the same! Like the guy providing the drum kit today didn't even have a hole in the front head."
Live4Metal: How has the whole touring experience changed since the early days?
Estby: "Oh, it is very different. I have got three kids and a wife, so it's a different story. It's not fun in the same way. It's fun to be on stage and it's fun to meet people, fun to travel and see the world, but still you have something back home that is giving you a kind of bad conscience about the whole thing. Being away you miss so many responsibilities, so when I am home I really concentrate on catching up on everything I missed, trying to make up for everything that I haven't done at home while I've been away. We have tried to make the tours shorter. Also with the longer tours you don't feel you are getting a better financial agreement. On shorter tours you can concentrate on playing better venues, venues you really want to play at, where the people really want to see you. The venues that show the most interest are the ones where the band most wants to play and that makes it fair for the band and the audience."
Live4Metal: How much ambition is there still in the band to take things to a higher level?
Estby: "Of course, we would like to be bigger, but not at the cost of being a band that plays for people who actually don't care. I would like to expose the band to a wider spectrum so that people could realise that this kind of music has a lot of potential. Not only that but this isn't the kind of music that is going to disappear in a couple of years. We've been here for eighteen years."
Live4Metal: And what would you say have been the happiest and most enjoyable parts of those eighteen years?
Estby: "I think now. We have more time and we are actually living from our music right now. We managed to a bit in the early '90s but not much. That was when we actually built the credibility that we have now. We did a lot of touring, we had debts, we just lived the life and there was no other way. For many years we had very bad financial status so we had to work, we had to have day jobs. Then we have had families and member changes, we've been through a lot of harsh periods. Apart from now there was the time when we actually got to put out an album, to tour and we actually sold albums too. That was also a very exciting."
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