Dave Haley of Psycroptic Discusses The Creative Process Behind "The Inherited Repression"
Band Photo: Psycroptic (?)
It's not a stretch to say that I absolutely loved the new Psycroptic album or that the band is capable of putting on a great show in a live setting.
After hearing the changes made on "The Inherited Repression" I was interested to see what drummer Dave Haley of Psycroptic had to say about their creative process that led to the new album being such a breath of fresh air in a predictable metal scene.
Matt: I've got a review written for "The Inherited Repression" up and I just want to say that it's very different but still miles ahead of your last album but it still feels like a natural progression and may go down as my personal album of the year. I like how there are a lot more quiet and restrained moments on the new record, it's kind of a breath of fresh air for a band as heavy and chaotic as Psycroptic. What made you decide to take the band in a different direction on The Inherited Repression with regards to songwriting?
Dave: Wow, thanks for your kind words. Well, as any one who has followed our albums we're all about changing things up and taking new and different approaches to our 'sound'...and the only thing we had in mind with the material on this album was to keep it as catchy and 'groovy' as possible, while still having it heavy and dark. I think we managed to get there. Of course there are certain things here and there that you think 'oh maybe I should have done this or that', but we're very satisfied with how it all came together in the end. The musical path we are on now is one that we're excited about and look forward to pushing further.
Matt: What circumstances led to your departure from Nerecell?
Dave: I was never actually a full time member of Nervecell – I only played on 2 albums. Great band though. I havent actually met the guys in person yet though. Hopefully I can in the future.
Matt: I caught you opening for Carcass back when you were touring for ObServant. Are there any tour plans for the new album, something like Mayhem Fest of Summer Slaughter?
Dave: Nothing is planned as yet, but if we get a cool offer we'll try to make it happen. Touring the US for us is a very costly exercise and takes a lot of planning to make happen. We dont make money touring and still have to come back and work day jobs so its quite hard to make it happen. But we love touring and want to do as much as we possibly can...so we'll just wait and see what happens with it all I guess.
Matt: Jason seems to have a new vocal style this time around. What got him to change and really settle into this new voice?
Dave: I guess he wanted to push himself a lot more in a different direction. He also wrote a lot of the lyrics and worked hard on the actual phrasing of the vocals a lot more than on previous albums. He did a lot of demoing by himself and worked very hard in the studio. We all give each other free reign on our individual parts – we might offer some ideas or suggestions but at the end of the day we each personally get the final say as to what we put on the album. We like to change things up a lot and have different approaches while still staying 'true' to our sound, so I guess with that ethos in the band, we'll have a different sounding album every time we record.
Matt: It seems like The Inherited Repression took into account a lot of constructive criticism about ObServant, is that accurate because the result is very different but it's a lot more focused and mature this time around and reminds me a lot more of Sufocation and Mastodon than The Dillinger Escape Plan?
Dave: To be honest, we didnt really take too much notice of what was said...really, at the time it was released everyone said a lot of positive things about Ob(servant) and it wasnt til we actually started recording the new album that some of the criticism came out. So, it really didnt have an impact at all on things one way or the other. We still think its a great album – it was the best album we could have done at that point in time, but with anything there are holes here and there and things we could have done better. We knew what we did wrong and right on that album and it was up to us to decide what to do next. We have taken it to another level with 'The Inherited Repression' and we're very happy with it.
Matt: What was it like to record all of this in your brother's home instead of in a big name studio with a big name producer? Are there advantages to having control over the songwriting process? Also, who did all the mixing and mastering?
Dave: Its very relaxing doing it in Joe's studio. We've never had a big name producer be involved – we have always done it our selves. Logan Madder mixed our last album but didnt do any 'producing' at all. We've never had a producer helping with song writing – its always just been the 4 of us doing it. As far as producing goes, it has always be Joe doing it. We were very confident in Joe's abilities so we gave him a shot at doing the whole album. He well and truly showed that he can record and mix an album to a high standard.
Matt: How was the last tour without Jason and will he be back on the road for the next one?
Dave: Jason had to sit out the last US tour due to family commitments and we had Zdenek from the band Godless Truth fill in. He did a great job filling in for Jason. After the US run we did a lot of Australian shows with Jason and of course he is a full time member. Everyone does what they can, but of course every now and again someone isnt able to do a tour so they sit it out and we use session members. Its just how it goes really...
Matt: What kind of warmups do you do and who are your drumming influences?
Dave: Warmup wise I just do whatever I can do get my body warmed up and relaxed at the same time. This mainly involves single and double strokes and just generally getting 'in the zone'. I dont have a set routine really, just whatever comes into my head. As far as influences; lots! Just to name a few – Gene Holgan, Derek Roddy, Sean Reinhert, Dave Weckl, Benny Greb, Johnny Rabb, Dave Lambardo, etc. The list is endless really!!
Matt: What's interesting is that both of out countries are talking about censoring the internet at the same time. How do you feel about this issue considering how important the internet is to marketing in the entertainment industry today?
Dave: I think its a very very bad idea. Governmental control on the internet is a very dangerous thing and it will open up the flood gates for more repressing rules and regulations. Governments dont have the best interests of the people in mind...they have the interests of the large corporations whom make campaign contributions to get them in power in the first place. Money talks. Im not going to rant about it too much as I dont want to ram my opinions down peoples necks...but more awareness needs to happen among the general populous about what shit is really going on.
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