Friday, March 8, 2013

Spotlight: Fiends At Feast! (USBM)



Fiends at Feast

Country of origin: United States
Location: Santa Cruz/Watsonville, California
Status: Active
Formed in: 2007 Genre: Blackened Death Metal
Lyrical themes: Satanism, Anti-religion
Current label: Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
Years active: 2007-present


Nathan: Bass
Marloc: Drums
Sammer: Guitars
Azazel: Guitars
Loki: Vocals


1. First of all, tell us how you got started. What bands did you guys start out playing in and how did you come together to form the fiends?

1. David -Fiends at Feast was started in 2008 when guitarist Sammer and myself starting jamming in his bedroom. At first we played covers but there was enough musical chemistry that we eventually started writing originals. Soon afterwards we began looking for other members and we recruited bassist Nathan and Vocalist Loki who are still with us to this day. We went through two drummers before we auditioned drummer Trevor at the end of 2009 and found a good creative fit and someone who could play at the level of extremity we desired. As with many musicians the list of previous efforts of individuals is extensive. Before I started Fiends I was living in Madison, WI and I played guitar in Pain Tractor, Slumberwolf, Corpse Fucking Tantrum/Beast Shredder, and Feast of the Zombies. Loki played in Beelzebub, Blasfemia, Garage Killers, Skinfile, and Relentless Torture. Trevor played in Dirty Minds, Young and Dead, Fat Kid, Molto Morte, Vile Souls, Slaughterhouse Gangbang, and Grievance. Sammer played in Breed for Slaughter and Nathan was part of a band called Exigent.

2. Fiends At Feast is a impressive name for an act, it certainly rolls right out the tongue and gets the point across quite with no confusion. Where did you guys come up with this name and how does it reflect you? Would you consider yourselves to be the fiends?

2. David- I'm glad you like the name. It has been interesting keeping it while also having our musical style evolve over the years but it certainly sets us apart from the sea of typical black/death metal band names. The name comes from a song title that was given to one of the first songs we ever wrote as a full band. In the context of the lyrics, the song depicts a man's journey into a demonic underworld where he comes across a group of demons feasting on human flesh. That would be the literal interpretation of it but in another more subjective sense as you mentioned we could be the fiends and we are satiating our addiction to perform and compose music. Both are true on some level but to me the name represents our beginnings as a band and the formation of our sound.

3. Talk to us a little about the debut album, Towards The Baphomet's Throne. What was it like during the recording process? Where did you record it? What did you want to bring to this album to make it stand out from the EP?

3. David- We recorded "Towards the Baphomet's Throne" in a storage unit that had been converted into a band's practice space. Luckily for us we were working with a very talented and skilled sound engineer named Aaron Cooper who had a large collection of top of the line gear and the know how to use it. So despite an unideal location we were able to a get a very decent and professional sounding album for less of a cost then if we had done it at a real recording studio. The recording process was very quick and painless. All of the band members were able to lay down their tracks efficiently while also putting forth very passionate and unadulterated performances. The hardest song to record by far was the acoustic instrumental "Despondent Themes to Thy Own Demise" since we had to record both guitars at the same time with the goal of zero over-dub or punch-ins to achieve an organic and live sound. This album has a better production value with much bigger sounding guitars and more audible drums which is a far cry from the murkiness of our EP. While the EP has a gritty underground charm to it I vastly prefer the LP since it captures more heaviness and punch without sounding over-produced . Musically, I wanted this album to be more focused then the EP and to create a more story like succession of tracks then a scattered collection of ideas and I think for the most part we achieved this.

4. Towards The Baphomet's Throne is laced entirely in Satanism, but would you consider these lyrics to be more or less based in the Lavey sense of Satanism, or would you consider them to be more of a worship of the horned goat?

4. Loki -Definitely some LaVey philosophical influences have being implemented as well some ant-religious views, just a way to expose the unjustified crimes and abuse in the hands of preacher of the word of God. Sadly it is up to every individual to either keep being suppressed with an intangible dream or wake up and indulge to all spiritual, physical and emotional gratification.

5. Who sits on the Baphomet's throne? Would we equate the Baphomet to a form of Satan or Lucifer? Also, describe the symbol on the back cover of the album.

5. Loki- We can assume that it is either one, Satan or Lucifer who sits on the throne and as well for the symbol which it is known as The Sigil of Lucifer and also named as The Seal of Satan.

6. What do you think of pop music adopting the symbol of Baphomet and other satanic imagery? I'm sure you've heard of those Illuminati websites. What do you guys think of all that? Do you think these fucking pop stars need to give metal back it's horns?

6. David- I think usage of satanic or occult imagery by pop stars can be interpreted in two ways. The first is that they are simply doing it for shock value and trying to incorporate this imagery into their fashion or stage show to give their personality/art an eccentric or psuedo-mystical appeal. In this sense their relying on their audience ignorance and lack of education on these symbols and their origins to garnish intrigue, controversy, and discussion. The second interpretation which is more unlikely in my opinion is that these pop stars are truly part a secret society and are being used to subliminally influence the masses. It doesn't seem plausible to me since if these secret societies do exist and they've spent thousands of years covering their tracks why would they make their presence so obvious and blatant to the public though that might be the trick in it self who knows. The modern usage of satanic and occult imagery has also infected other realms of culture like witch house music which is suppose to be satanic influenced electronic music. Hipster have adopted the upside down cross as an ironic fashion statement. There is plenty of graffiti artist that incorporate upside crosses in their piece in some way or another. Does all of this amount to some ancient conspiracy probably not. Lets be honest these images have a very exotic and mysterious quality and metal bands used them first and now everyone else wants a slice of the pie. Honestly, I think people using symbols that they don't understand the meaning or history behind are just making fools out themselves and make metal artists look smarter and more authentic.

7. The idea that Satan and metal go together is as old as classical music, which actually predates metal as a sort of archaic precursor. It was said that the devil would come at night to some composers and would teach them songs on his violin. Years later, we have an electric form of the violin in the form of a guitar, where the tri-tone chord is used quite frequently; especially in metal. This is considered the devil's interval. What are your thoughts on this?

7. David- I had not previously heard of the legend that the devil would communicate with classical musicians int their sleep but it is a very interesting idea given some of the dark haunting evil qualities classical music often has. The idea of selling your soul to the devil for musical talent, fame, and fortune is an age old urban legend spanning centuries whether it be Faust and Mephisto or Robert Johnson making a deal at the crossroads it's a common theme. Perhaps it has something to do with how musicians especially extremely talent musicians can have a magical trance like effect on the audience and in the past this kind of power would be interpreted as saintly or demonic. As far as the tri-tone goes I think the interval itself has incredible power because it creates extreme tension and the utter need to move or be resolved. The chord awakens intense sexual energy within our bodies and minds like when you see someone you are attracted to there's no real tangible explanation simply a need to act and be released. I think this is largely why it was considered the devil's interval because the church has always feared sexuality and the power it hold over humans beings and by labeling it as evil and taboo was their attempt to retain, I love using the chord in Fiend's muisc for all aforementioned reasons but also just because it sounds fucking evil and a great pivot point to resolve into a melodic passage or sink in farther into the depths of dissonance.

8. Obviously, we'd have to consider black metal bands like Gorgoroth to be an influence of Fiends, but who else would you consider to be influential to the band?

8. David- You are absolutely correct about Dissection and Gorgoroth, two of my all time favorites and greatest personal influences. Other bands that have had a huge influence on our sound are Marduk, Watain, Morbid Angel, Deicide, Belphegor Deathspell Omegra, Behemoth, Immolaton, Sadistic Intent, Morbosidad, and Funeral Mist.

9. The Baphomet has been depicted with breasts, which some say makes it female which would be akin to Eve and Lilith. Some might even consider the devil to be in fact a female, perhaps Yahweh's pissed off ex-wife in all regards. On your album artwork, the breasts are also present in this depiction of Baphomet. What are your thoughts on this?

9 Loki- The Baphomet has ben drawn in many shapes and with different details which can be interpreted in various ways as well, what we used in our album cover is meant to been the duality of male and female, having one hand pointing up and one down giving the meaning of "as above so below" and of course having the black flame between the horns meaning the light of the left hand path.

10. I really fucking like the opening of "Hedonistic Heresy" when it begins with "Worship Satan, God of evil in Christianity" which to me comes off as an interesting thought, being that the God of evil in that particular religion is Satan, but perhaps there's an even larger God of evil out there - something even far more vile, that we couldn't describe. Perhaps the devil is just a puppet to something more evil, a greater monstrosity?

10 Loki- Our views of Satan being as just a metaphor or an image if you may, this is in order to have something to reflect the opposite side. A greater evil for us would be this whole illusion of intangible promises delivered by monotheistic groups who have being suppressing the evolution of man kind.

11. Profecia Negra is done entirely in Spanish. It's certainly unique, but why did you decide to do it this way?

11 Loki- It was an idea that came to my mind after performing to a vast Spanish speaking crowd and taking advantage of being bilingual and trying it to see the response of the people. We think metal is and it should stay universal with no language barrier.

12. What unholy gear do you guys use? What inspired you guys to play metal in the first place? Does it go as far back as Venom and Mercyful Fate? Or did the Norwegian black metal scene kindle that demonic fire that I'm hearing here?

12. David- I use a Marshall JCM 2000 with an emperor 6x12 cabinet. I play an Ibanez RG H.R Giger signature model, an Epiphone Les Paul Custom, Boss Digital Delay, Boss Flanger, and an Ibanez Tube Screamer. Sammer uses a Marshall JCM 900 through a Marchall 4 x 12 and plays a Jackson Kelly. Trevor plays a Tama Rockstar 7 piece with remo pinstripe heads and pearl demon drive bass drum pedals. Nathan plays a Schecter Stiletto Studio 5-string Fretless and an Ibanez SR 505 through a Mesa/Boogie 400t with two Gallien-Kruger Cabs(2x10 and an 1x15). While we are largely influenced by European black metal I think I speak for everyone in the band in saying that we all have a strong love and appreciation for old school heavy metal.

13. Talk about how you guys are going to bring this brutal blasphemy to the road. What bands have you been fortunate to "spread the gospel" with?

13. David- We are planning on doing a west coast tour in the summer of 2013 and will soon begin to contact venues to get some dates in the works. This is excited for us since we never have toured before and given some of the intense reactions we've gotten just through the internet alone I'm looking forward to showing the world what Fiends has to offer as a live band. Some bands we have been fortunate to befriend and share the stage with are Blasphemous Creation, Band of Orcs, Chronaexus, Eviscerate, A Thousand Shall Fall, Necrogenic, Grievance, Gloam, Fell Voices, Ancient Mariner, Giant of the Mountain, Phalgeron, Cremation Chamber, Embodied Torment, Killgasm, Rotten Funeral, Witching Hour, Rain in the Endless Fall, and Gods in Graves.

14. Out of pure curiosity, what would happen when and if Lucifer ever did reclaim the throne? Do you think he could fix all of the things that the current guy couldn't? Many black metal bands talk about how Lucifer needs to get back on the throne and rule, but what exactly would he and his hordes of demons accomplish? To me, it almost seems like wanting another president; but then when the guy gets in office, he fucks everything up worse than the last guy. Of course, I don't see how things can get much worse these days; especially with the minimum wage going up to 9.00 an hour and the price of everything to go through the roof - especially with you guys in California where everything is already expensive enough.

14. Loki- In many religions it is known or mentioned of Satan being the ruler of this world which is a very naive way to see the whole picture. If by making an accomplishment we can say that we need to destroy the roots of all religion and build black churches instead, being that done a rigorous screening will be needed to weed out the weak, idiots, narrow minded, fools and those with no purpose in life, the ones with no balls to assume responsibility for their fuck ups.

15. What do you guys do when you're not playing metal?

15. David- Outside of the band we spent most of our time working day jobs to get by or going to school. Trevor, Sammer, and I all work for a natural foods grocery store and Loki works at a lumber mill. Nathan is a full time music major at the University of California Santa Cruz. I know Sammer is deeply interested in screen-writing and Trevor plays in a rock band called Noise Clinic.

16. Finally, what do you think is going to happen to this planet in ten or twenty years? You think we'll all be fucked, or can we expect some grand revelatory battle with seas of blood and all sorts of monsters on the earth?

16. David- As much as I would love to think the world is heading towards a revelatory battle with blood and monsters the realist in me thinks otherwise. Sadly, it seems like the threat of another mass global conflict seems more and more imminent as political upheaval, religious warfare, and economic collapse becomes influential factors in global politics. They said that the world would not survive another war on the scale of WWII and that was more then 60 years, with current technology the planet would devastated by the sheer destructive force of one powerful nations arsenal. I think another strong possible is a global pandemic where an outbreak of a ruthless disease would wipe out most of the population. So yeah it definitely seems like we are fucked but you never know what the future holds and maybe there is some fantastical epic battle around the corner. I have hope for the future at least for individual who dedicate themselves to passionate expression instead of the lust for power or greed. Thank for interview us and asking some very though provoking questions!

Thanks for making a great work of art and blasphemy. Horns!

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