We were all better musicians than three years ago because of all the shows that we've played in the last three years, even if we had less time to do it, we were way more ready to do it.
Necrot have just released their new album Mortal and it is the band’s best yet, an immense lesson in death metal that shows a band dominating the death metal sound with focussed precision from beginning to end. Gavin Brown caught up with vocalist/bassist Luca Indrio to hear all about the album as well as well as touring with favourites like Exhumed and Cannibal Corpse, the new wave of bands that they are a part of and all things death metal related.
E&D: Your new album Mortal is out now. How did the recording and the creation of the album go?
Luca: Well, the, the process was a little different than Blood Offerings, for sure. For Blood Offerings we had more time to write the album and more time to get it done while with Mortal, you fast forward three years from Blood Offerings, and in those three years we’ve played almost 400 shows. We’ve been on tour a lot. We haven’t really passed on any tour that we got offered. That’s when we realized, we’re going to have to write the album in between tours. And in between tours, we usually get two or three months for a break, so we were on tour. We went to Australia, Japan, then we got back, and after a week we went on a 45 days US tour. That was before recordings. After the Decibel tour, pretty much we had three months and a half break before another big tour, so in that period, we wrote the album, I wrote all the songs. We practiced them. We were jamming almost every day and we got the whole album done right before leaving for a three month tour. Then we got back from tour where we never played the new songs, because obviously, they weren’t even recorded yet. We got back to Oakland and we took 10 days off, and then we practiced all the new songs again for three weeks nonstop every day. We got into the studio stayed until the album was done. The process was really cool in my opinion, because there was a little more pressure, you have less time to get things done, but at the same time, in the less time you’re working towards it every day. Also, when you come back from three months of tour, you’re super tight with your band. We got into the studio after practicing for 20 days in a row every day, those songs were so ready. You know, even if we had less time, we were so much more focussed. I was way more confident with my abilities, way more. We each were more confident, man. We were all better musicians than three years ago because of all the shows that we’ve played in the last three years, even if we had less time to do it, we were way more ready to do it.
E&D: Would you record like that again in the future?
Luca: Yeah, definitely. One of our strengths as a band is that we created a team around us, that is kind of like a family where we all really care about each other, because even Greg from Earhammer Studios who recorded the album, we have known him for more than 10 years. We’ve been friends with him since forever. Same with Scotty from Tankcrimes, so we like to keep people around that all care for each other. We would do anything for each other. We’ve been really good friends for such a long time, it is like family and that’s when you get the best out of things, because you’re not just doing things for yourself anymore. You want to do a great record, so that it’s good for my bandmates. It’s good for Scotty and the label, and it is good for Greg and Greg wants us to succeed. He wants us to make the best record. We are all working so that everybody can benefit from it, and it gives you that extra push that is not just like, Oh, I’m just doing things for myself. We do like to keep the same people around, especially because they’re extremely talented people like Greg Wilkinson, he isn’t second to anyone!
E&D: You released the track ‘Your Hell’ ahead of the album’s release. On the track you talk about the relationship between the victim of violence and the perpetrator. Can you tell us a bit about the song and how you came to write a song about that subject matter?
Luca: Well, to me, we never wrote such a violent song and I wanted to do it in a way that is like a metaphor for direct violence or an obvious example of it. Victims of trauma, especially at a young age, often they perpetrate trauma onto another person later on in life sometimes without even realizing it and that they’re doing it. I wanted to talk about that, someone who who been raped when he was little for example, can eventually grow up to be a very violent person. I wanted to talk about the moment in which the two meet in the future and it doesn’t have to be like that. Everybody’s future is different, but it can be a common thing that happens. I wanted to talk about that one moment where the victim and the perpetrator kind see he’s passed in the victim and the victim eventually sees his or her future in the perpetrator. It is pretty much saying how trauma affects people and lm and how it doesn’t end. Trauma creates more trauma and your hateful actions create more negativity.
E&D: What’s the feedback to the new material been like so far?
Luca: Oh, people have been liking it, definitely. We’re very happy how it has been received, and to us, it was like we were sure that we were going to do something better than Blood Offerings, we never had a doubt about it and Blood Offerings was an album that everybody loved. So, we were pretty confident that this was going to be something better than Blood Offerings. I think that we did something better than Blood Offerings, at least from, from the band perspective and every listener is going to have their own opinion for sure.
E&D: Have you got any tentative tour plans at the moment or are you just gonna wait to see how things pan out with the way the world’s going on?
Luca: Unfortunately, it is not something that we can control. We have a booking agency, one for Europe, one for the United States, then they’re working for us as we speak, they’re actually working for us more than ever because basically their priority right now is booking tours that might not happen. They’re putting all this work into booking, 35/40 shows for us. Then eventually, in a couple of months they’ll be canceling. Then they have to start their work again a couple of months later, so we have people working for us, making sure that once things start over, we’ll be able to be one of the first bands that get to go back on the road. This is really speculation though, because we have no idea really. Europe might get back to shows before the US and right now, US citizens are bad to travel anywhere, so even if shows restarts there, it wouldn’t make any difference as we wouldn’t be able to fly there. There is international politics and stuff we don’t know, this is beyond our control. We just know that we’re ready to go whenever they let us.
E&D: Would you be playing a lot of new material from the new album when you can?
Luca: Yeah. As soon as we can, we were supposed to be on tour, starting mid May and the album was supposed to come out at the beginning of June. We were going to do a 45 days US tour, and then we were going to come back from that and after two weeks we were going to come to Europe for about 30/35 days. Then we weren’t going to fly to South America in September. Between May and September, we had around 90 – 95 shows that got cancelled that we were supposed to do supporting the new album. We will do them whenever we can, but I really don’t know, man, what’s going on. We’re not holding our breath right now, it’s very depressing but I think it is wrong to sit around, waiting for things to go back to normal, you know, or crying about whatever you lost or whatever you are supposed to do right now. It’s just time to focus on other things you can do and do what you do and just not focus on that too much, knowing that you’re ready to start over whenever that happens. I think the mentality of just waiting for that is making people depressed, you need to move on, you need to make up some other shit for the mid time, you know?
E&D: Going back to happier touring memories. How did the Decibel Tour go last year with Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Immolation and Blood Incantation tour go? I managed to catch the New York show and it was incredible!
Luca: The tour was amazing. I think that, that your was our real breakthrough that made us invincible because that tour was amazing as far as the shows, but it was also the roughest tour. We had a van and a trailer and it was snowing most of the tour, ice and snow, sometimes an eight hour drive would turn into, like fifteen hours because you had to go forty miles per hour. It was brutal, it was insanely brutal as far as the shows being sick, but it was also insanely brutal when we were touring with a van and the trailer in those conditions as well. The main bands were on tour buses, so they were traveling at night. They will leave after the show, go to sleep in the tour bus, and when you wake up, you’re in the next city. That’s how it works. When you’re in the tour bus, when you’re in the van with a trailer, you have to try to keep up, but they don’t have any breaks for slipping. So the way the tour is booked, it is booked for people with tour buses and they’ll go even to a farther city, if they can have a better show where they’ll get more money and more people, because they can travel ten or twelve hours during the night, you know? For us, that tour was insane as far as keeping up with the main bands and the shows were amazing, but after that tour, everything else that we’ve done after the tour has been a walk in the park. We went out for like three months with Exhumed. We were out for forty five dates after we just got back from a long Australian and Japan tour and it was like a piece of cake!
E&D: What were some of the highlights of the tours?
Luca: Well, tour that we went on in June was with Exhumed and Gatecreeper, and the highlight of that tour was like first of all, we are really good friends. Exhumed, they’re from the Bay, from California, and we’ve known them for a while. The guys in Gatecreeper, we have also known them for a while, so that tour was great because the thing is that people are really excited right now about bands like us, about bands like Gatecreeper and Blood Incantation. It’s like they’re almost more excited about these new bands than the old bands that they’ve already seen a million times. So when you put together older bands of death metal that people respect a lot and newer bands like us and Gatecreeper that people are really excited about, you make a tour that is meant to sell out every night. Every night was rad. Like Chicago. That is always such a sick place to play. If I can think about like specific nights. Well, I mean, New York, we played in Brooklyn, was it that one you saw?
E&D: No, the one I saw was with Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel in Times Square.
Luca: Yeah, that was the PlayStation Theater, that was great but this was the other tour, the Brooklyn show with Exhumed and Gatecreeper, you couldn’t even get anywhere inside of the venue with how many people were there, that was insane.
E&D: Like you mentioned, alongside Gatecreeper, Blood Incanation and bands like Tomb Mold, do you think those bands and yourself are keeping the linage of great death metal bands going? It seems like this is another wave of great death metal bands.
Luca: Sure. I mean that is for people to say, but definitely we are the most active band now. I don’t know if Tomb Mold is a very active band just now, but I know for sure that Blood Incantation and Gatecreeper are too. We have been friends with Blood Incantation for a really long time, like before the band existed because we were friends with Spectral Voice. I have a vivid memory of me going to see them in when nobody knew who they were. There were like 15 people at the show, but, yeah, we’ve been friends with them forever. We know that these guys do and that they are true to what they do. They have done all the underground stuff or whatever and I feel like bands us and Blood Incantation have a little bit more experience in the underground. Even before with other bands, we were all in other underground death metal bands, even before we started these bands. Bands like Gatecreeper are kids who were more into hardcore and Tomb Mold too, they are people who got into death metal with the new wave. They’re like, Oh, this is cool. Let’s do it, and they can turn out to be great bands. I feel like bands like us and Blood Incantation, we were already playing death metal in like 2007/2008 with other bands. Other bands, they kind of jumped on when the wave was getting popular, coming from a different background, you know, without taking anything away from them. They’re great friends and whatnot. It’s just like a different background.
E&D: Are there any other newer death metal bands, you could recommend for us?
Luca: There is a band called Funeral Leech that is really good, from New York. Galvanized from Finland. Torture Rack from Portland. They’re not exactly new band, they’ve been around since 2011, but like, they haven’t gotten the attention they deserve. Ascended Dead from San Diego, they’re pretty sick. There is a great amount of good death metal out there right now. Superstition from New Mexico, they’re sick.
E&D: If you had to choose a big four of death metal bands, who would you pick?
Luca: Well, it would be Death, Immolation, Morbid Angel and this is kind of hard because you’ve got leave someone out. I mean, I would say Bolt Thrower, you know, you have to say Bolt Thrower, for the consistency, every single Bolt Thrower album is great. I have other bands that I really love in death metal, but eventually I don’t like their full discography, so I’d rather not put them in the mix.
E&D: Who do you feel are the most underrated death metal band ever is?
Luca: Maybe Slugathor from Finland. I would say them, most people don’t even know who they are and I think they’re amazing. I don’t think they exist anymore. Another band that I always loved was Vomitory, that’s another band that I always liked and I don’t think they play anymore either though.
E&D: Yeah, the members formed another band called Cut Up. I don’t know if you heard them?
Luca: Oh, okay.
E&D: They are really great, same sort of thing as Vomitory, you should definitely check them out!
Luca: Oh killer, I’ll check them out for sure, thank you.
E&D: What has been the best metal gig that you’ve ever been to?
Luca: Bolt Thrower, Autopsy and Benediction in Oakland. That was insane. A great night, 2013.
E&D: You can’t get better than that!
Luca: Yeah, right! It was so sick.
E&D: What have been your most memorable experiences from your time in Necrot so far?
Luca: Well, we have had a lot of those moments. We have accomplished more than we ever thought was even possible because we already got to go on tour with Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse and Immolation. We went on tour with Suffication. We went on tour with Exhumed. We played with Possessed. We played with so many of the great bands from death metal, bands that we would have paid good money to go see, instead got to see them for free, for a month, every night! The highlights are many, The highlights are when they told me that Blood Offerings was on the billboard chart and at the time I didn’t even know what the fuck billboard was, because I just didn’t even know that it was a thing! We were just on the cover of Decibel Magazine and that’s a big thing, that’s real, because we always like wanted to do this and we’ve done this for years without making any money or losing money and making sacrifices for it. Now we put all this work in and we’re good at what we do. We know that and people like it and it is very gratifying. Absolutely, it’s exciting now we can like, we have a new song out and we have a hundreds, thousands of people that want to listen to it or they’ll write us messages and be like, Oh, you guys are great. You know what I mean? It’s really cool. It’s just gratifying for sure. I guess the big highlight would be the Decibel Tour because being on tour with Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse! Steve Tucker from Morbid Angel loves us. We became really good friends on tour and he just loves our band. Every night at half way through the tour, he started saying he started calling us out from stage telling people halfway through the Morbid Angel set, he would stop and be like, Hey, you guys heard the Necrot set, it’s sick as shit! . He kept saying we are the future of death metal from the stage, almost every night and I guess that’s probably the highlight of my life.