ASHMEDI (Melechesh) – Scream for me Israel
Ashmedi is the lead singer of it Israeli band MELECHESH. He has formerly appeared in The G-String Series, but this time it is his vocal capacity it’s about. He started to Growl as a 15-16 year old. In the beginning he had a more death metal approach, but has in recent years changed the vocals more and more to a black metal style. His main advice to young growlers is that they have to warm up, while Barney from Napalm Death, Chuck from Testament, Ronnie James Dio and Klaus Meine of Scorpions is his greatest sources of inspiration and vocalists he looks up to. Here’s Ashmedi from MELECHESH and his contributions to The Deepthroat Series.
When did you start doing extreme vocals (What year and at what age)?
1990, I was 15-16 back in Jerusalem.
What made you start to do extreme vocals?
I liked the death metal voice , now I have black metal type vocals.
Can you describe the technique or the techniques you are using?
Well, I try to use my lungs and support it with stomach muscles while I apply some pressure on my throat. This also removes pressure from my back. Playing guitar and doing black metal vocals tires my back (backside of ribcage)
Has your technique changed during your career?
Yes, first of all I did types of death metal fully depending on throat, then started with black metal but I also only depended on throat and words were not articulate or understandable, depending on heavy reverbs back then. However, with time and experience I developed ways to do my vocals with full articulation so that many words are clearly understood by the listeners without the aid of the lyrics.
Have you ever hurt yourself by using a "wrong technique"?
Well, if I am pissed off and shout in a wrong way I feel instantly that I harmed my voice. I try to control the way I sing, but often during some songs by the end of the set I feel immense strain on my vocals, but usually I recover within hours.
Is there something you do on a regular basis to keep your voice in shape? Any routines?
Yes, before singing I do warm up exercises, breathing, expanding my lungs, then do low volume grunt/humming to warm up my vocal chords but also mouth and tongue exercises that look ridiculous but they help so much.
Do you think it can be dangerous to do extreme vocals?
To some extent yes, but with proper care one can get away with it.
What is most important for you – to make cool sounds and interesting rhythms, or to have a clear diction/pronunciation?
Definitely the latter, I work hard to articulation, I say this is my vocals and I’m uttering lyrics that are important to me so I focus on the articulation part and the warm up helps a lot.
Do you think that extreme vocals can be made into a science, like "this is how it works for everyone, to make this sound you have to do this etc"? Or is it more intuitive and individual how to do it?
It is more intuitive and individual just like one’s own natural speaking voice, it just happens.
Do you have any advice to people who wants to start doing extreme vocals?
Warm up! And don’t strain your chords, use lungs and diaphragm/stomach to assist. Drink lots of water. They say coffee and cola are not good but they work for me, but I noticed during recording of the newest album that small sips of whisky help as well. Feel the words, see them as images and give it 100%. For feeling primal I even recorded the vocals late at night till daw, Naked! With only occult jewellery symbolic items and a small red light! No one was allowed in that part of the studio. I wanted solitude, it really worked for me.
Mention three extreme vocalists whose style you admire, and explain your choice. What specifically do you like about the styles of those three? Also mention three vocalists (not necessarily extreme vocalists) which you have been influence by, and explain in which way you have been influenced by each of them.
- Barney Greenway of Napalm Death, he sounds like a raging mad bull in a very good way.
- František Štorm of Master’s Hammer, he sounded freakishly dark and original on their first couple of albums.
- Chuck Billy of Testament I think he is versatile, can sing gritty, grunt and do clean very well.
Non extreme vocalists:
- Ronnie James Dio, he sings so well and his voice leaves a mark, he makes me want to sing rock songs. Timing and execution are flawless.
- Jeff Martin of The Tea Party, this man can sing! The emotions he put are inspirational; I learned the importance of deep lyrics and delivering them with meaning.
- Klaus Meine of Scorpions, his voice was always there as a child, I am used to it and I think he is so unique, his octaves and melodic presentation appeals to me.
Who do you want to challenge in this series? (Who should be the next extreme vocalist to answer these questions?) Give a brief explanation for your choice.
Mika of Impaled Nazarene… He is a maniac so is his vocals.