BEHEADED – 17 år i gamet
Death metal pionerene Beheaded fra Malta har vi vært innom tidligere her i Terrorredaksjonen, men siden det er noen år siden og intervjuet forsvant med Kanadakrisen i jula 2006, fant vi ut at det var på tide med en liten oppdatering fra Grand Prix øya sør for Italia. Denne gangen er det bandets relativt unge vokalist Melchior som har besvart våre spørsmål, som ble stilt av Karina Bueno.
You were the first DM act to appear in Malta, what where the difficulties that showed up at the very beginning?
At the time Beheaded formed I was just trying to get over the shock of not having my mum breast feeding anymore!!! I did not experience these difficulties at first hand due to the fact I only joined the band in 2004. However the founding members did recount some of their initial difficulties from time to time. The most significant difficulty the band encountered in the very beginning was the fact of being tabooed for playing extreme music and accused of promoting heretic anthems against Christianity or practising occultism.
In fact I recall one particular situation where David Bugeja (Former guitarist and founding member) had to appear in front of some clerical authorities and tax duty officers as the band's spokes man in order to allow it introduce its first full length album (Perpetual Mockery) in Malta and be able to sell it. They where not going to allow the band expose such unorthodox music and lyrics. After a long debate the authorities surrendered to the solid arguments of David and gave the go ahead to sell the album on the local market. It was not easy at all!!!
Living in a small isle like Malta where religion dispersed its roots deep into the Maltese culture and has a lot of power/influence amongst the individual's daily life, you will be easily misjudged for playing an extreme form of music such as death metal. You will be subject of so called "cultural" prejudice. Conclusion; both Factors do not go hand in hand.
Have the rising of Beheaded within your scene influenced other people to start their own DM/Brutal projects?
Yes indeed! Before joining permanently the decapitator's clan in 2004, they where one of my major influences in extreme music. Beheaded are considered to be by right the pioneers of Maltese death metal. Through the years, I saw and heard a lot Beheaded influence in most of our local Death metal acts. This is expected due the fact Beheaded where the instigators of the aural art of Death metal in Malta. The band was also the first Death metal band to have exposed extreme music off the Maltese shores gaining all of respect and admiration from the local and foreign scene.
How important do you think a positive reaction from the public after releasing an album or during the live performance is for the motivation of the band?
People come up to us cheering and remarking that we are one of their main source of inspiration which in my opinion is more satisfying than any major award or platinum recognition…..Hmmm Nahh I don't think so! Jokes apart, it feels good having a lot of hard work paid off by having people idolise you and recognise/appreciate your music making it one of there point of reference. This is very important for us. In fact this is one of the factors which kept the band alive and kicking for 17 years determined to unleash pure crushing brutality.
Beheaded has changed labels almost for every new release, what things were not satisfying about your previous labels? Does this have any influence in the band's development? Do you ever regret having signed with them in the first place?
In my opinion every single decision you take regarding the band's progress has not to be regretted. Every decision is significant to the band regardless if this is right or wrong. These decisions help the band to mature and get strong throughout its existence.
The band signed with its first label X-treme records back in '96. Through this label Beheaded released their debut full length album "Perpetual Mockery". This contributed to the bands off shore exposure. The relationship was good. However this was a very small label. The band felt that the label would not give the desired and necessary push to next level and ended the deal shortly after the release of the album. In fact X-treme had to be liquidated due to financial problems.
After X-treme records, Beheaded got a deal with Danish underground label Mighty Music in 2000. The band felt that this deal would provide great exposure. In fact with this label Beheaded Released the Highly acclaimed MCD "Resurgence of Oblivion" and the second full length "Recounts of Disembodiment". Both records provided a vast exposure and gave the band more credibility. Originally the relationship with this label was good and everything was going smooth. As time passed by communication between the label and the band was diminishing. In fact after the release of "Recounts.." the relationship with Mighty Music started its Downfall up to the point where the band decided that it was time to change. At the end of it, Mighty Music did not meet the band's requests and expectations.
Luckily enough now we are signed to Unique Leader Records. Unique Leader gave the band that long awaited push to the next level. "Ominous Bloodline" is the record that sums up all the bands hard work throughout these years: Technique, Groove and crushing brutality. The relationship with Unique is strong more than ever. Communication is great which is the key of a successful relationship between a band and a record label together with a good dose of respect!!!
For all your recordings you guys have worked with Temple studios in Malta (Rammstein, Steven Spielberg), why is it that always makes you come back every time? / Are you planning to exclusively record with them in a future? What is the importance of working with a producer that you know so well?
Three simple reasons; David is a very old & good friend + he is an amazing producer. David produced all Beheaded albums except for the Demo "Souldead". We know what to expect from him and he knows what to expect from us. However at times he surprises with his "Magical" touch. He would do things you would not imagine that could be possible. David makes things look simple for us whilst they would not really be simple for him at all. In my opinion, this is the secret of his success together with a lot of patience. We definitely all agree to have the successor of "Ominous Bloodline" will be recorded yet again at Temple studios.
Do you guys use any available source of inspiration (movies, books, violent reality) when it comes to writing or is it just a product of the imagination?
When it comes to Lyrics, we tend do blend fiction with reality. We basically write about what is going on around us; issues that we do face and experience in our daily life. These issues some times are taken for granted and unfortunately we do not take them into deep consideration as we should. Somehow we reproduce these thoughts or issues (call them what you want) into a surreal dimension. This creates a twisted and dark feel to our lyrics which also leaves our followers open to interpret and understand them in their own ways and means.
Please tell me more about the future plans for Beheaded, are you guys writing any new material now?
This upcoming Month of June we will be playing at a local venue (Remedy) on the 6th, which will be a warm up gig before going to Germany and play at the Hunxe 3 day open Air Deathfest which will take place on the 12,13 & 14th June. On July 26th we will be participating to a Local Extreme metal festival which will be followed by a full European tour together with Inherited Disease, Inveracity and Suffocate Bastard in August. More updates will be posted soon on our myspace page www.myspace.com/beheadedmt.
Regarding new material, all I can say is it is in its initial stages due to some turbulences and inconsistencies we had in the past year due to line up changes. As you would probably all by now, Omar Grech left the band last year leaving a vacant position. We had quite a hard time trying to find a replacement, However by the end of last year we finally found a replacement; the young and talented NiK Farrugia. However Beheaded is currently writing new material which hopefully will be unleashed in a near future and hopefully we will record the new material as soon as possible.
How would you describe Beheaded's live performance? What do you focus on more while playing live?
It's crushing, brutal, energetic and also entertaining. We do our best in giving the 101% in every show, no matter what. Being in front of a crowd of 5,000 or 20 people we always give our utmost performance. We try to deliver our energy on stage to the crowd standing in front of us. We want to make every single sacrifice. Every single cent spent from our fans worth it; Worth a life the experience!!!!