Interview: Extremity

Aesop and I put together the skeletons of these songs very slowly, with lots of trial and error, over the course of about 8 years.

Extremity is the death metal powerhouse from Shelby Lermo (Vastum – one of my favorite current bands), Aesop Dekker (Worm Ouroboros, Ludicra, Agalloch, Vhöl), Marissa Martinez-Hoadley (Cretin, Repulsion) and Erika Osterhout (Necrosic, Scolex, Trepanation). Extremity’s debut album Extremely Fucking Dead is a contender for 2017’s Top Ten Metal releases list, letting us all know that they are here to go straight to the top of the Bay Area death metal scene in no time.

I was able to catch Shelby for a few questions – commenting on their upcoming plans for another full length. No live plans as of now, but if they come to a town near you, definitely check them out!

(((o))): What was the writing collaboration like? There are some real heavy hitters in this band, all creative and talented. Was it an easy writing process?

Shelby: Aesop and I put together the skeletons of these songs very slowly, with lots of trial and error, over the course of about 8 years. It was actually pretty easy, we were just really on and off about it. Erika and Marissa came around about a year or two ago and give their input, and a lot of the meat was added in-studio at Earhammer during the recording of the MLP.

(((o))): What are some of your biggest influences in metal?

Shelby: I’m a big fan of classic early 90s death metal–Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation, Morbid Angel etc… Pretty obvious from the music Extremity plays. But I listen to all kinds of heavy stuff, from classic rock and NWOBHM to modern tech-shred stuff. It’s the old stuff that influences me though.

(((o))): I know Aesop loves Bone Thugs In Harmony. What are some of your other non-metal influences?

Shelby: I probably listen to ambient music, dungeon synth, classical, and film soundtracks more than I listen to metal nowadays. Tomita, Wendy Carlos, Penderecki, old Mortiis, Basil Pouledouris, and Umberto are a couple favorites.

(((o))): There is a pretty distinct breakdown in ‘Chalice of Pus’. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Shelby: We knew when we were writing the song we were gonna put something weird there, but until we hit the studio it was just a breakdown where we shut of the distortion and picked on some weird chords. It wasn’t until we got to Earhammer that we busted out the acoustic guitar and keyboard to really flesh it out.

(((o))): The Intro to the album ‘Mortuus est Valde’ is super fucking spooky. Can you tell us a little bit about that? How was it recorded?

Shelby: Aesop put that together, mostly with pre-existing samples and stuff. It was finished before we started recording the album, he showed up on the first day with the whole thing done.

(((o))): Any future tour dates? Any other releases coming out in 2017?

Shelby: Nothing booked at present. As of right now we’re just focusing on writing a full-length, which you can expect some time in 2018.

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