First of all, congratulations on the new album 'Disfigured Narcissus'! Its release was in September, how were you guys anticipating the release at the moment? What did you expect from it?
Thank you! We've been really happy with the way the albums been received. I'm always the pessimist and expected the worse but I've always had a good feeling about it; we all have. The feedback we've had from people has been excellent and the reviews we've had have been really good. For me it's been really exciting and I can't wait to get on the road playing the new stuff.
The new album appears three years after the release of the debut record 'Ruin The Memory' (2004), what have you guys been up to in the mean time? Did you have a hard time getting things done?
I joined in August last year and we've been working hard since then! I know after the first album was released they did a few tours and were busy gigging. A lot of the material for the new album was already written when I joined the band and I know Neil and Wayne worked really hard on it all and with Liam and Noel leaving it's not been easy. We don't like to rush songs – we like to work at them till we get them right and are totally happy with them.
Last year your debut was re-released via Anticulture Records, what was the exact reason for this?
It was to say to people we were still here! It's been three years since it was originally released and there's been rumours about us splitting up so it was like a message to say “We're still here”.
The new album is also released through Anticulture, how is the relation between Gutworm and the label? Are you happy with their efforts?
The relationship is good! They put out 'Ruin' and they have pushed the new album a lot so we can't ask for much more really!
What did you try to do different for this album in comparison with your debut album 'Ruin The Memory'?
I know that Neil and Wayne wanted to progress from what was done with 'Ruin the Memory' – make things a little more complicated and less flat out heavy all the way through. It's been a while since Ruin and they've matured as musicians and songwriters and they wanted this to reflect in the new material.
Is there a certain Gutworm working ethos? How do you decide when a Gutworm song is finished?
It's pretty friendly and laid back really and songs do tend to evolve as we try different stuff out but we all pretty much have to agree on what we think is good or not. It can be frustrating but we're just making sure we are all happy with what we are writing. As for when is a song finished? We changed things right up to the moment we recorded some of the songs; in the studio there was a couple of occasions where we tried a couple of new things out in songs and it sounds better! So I guess when it's finally recorded is when a song is finished.
How important are the lyrics for Gutworm? Do you guys try to convey a certain message to your audience?
I know the lyrics are all very personal to Neil and he really cares about the way he writes and I'm really amazed by the lyrics on this album if I'm honest. He took great care over them and he's very proud of them. I think he has a right to be.
When listening to your work it is hard to pinpoint a certain musical style, it seems you guys take influence form a lot of different genres. How would you call the music that you make and which are the most important musical influences for Gutworm?
I always find trying to define the music you play the hardest thing. I don't like to do it really and just let other people try and label us – We've been called a lot of things when people have heard the new album. It's always good to keep them guessing. I wouldn't say there was one particular influence that is most important – we write music that we would want to listen to.
You guys have had a pretty hard time throughout your career, it seems, did you ever think about leaving music for what t is and concentrate on other things? What is it that keeps you motivated when the going gets tough?
Being new and not going through all the stuff they have been through it's hard for me to say but I know all about all the bad luck that has happened – it's called The Curse of the 'Worm!!! There's always going to be times when you sit and think “Is it all really worth it?” but we love what we do. There is no better feeling than playing live and seeing people really into your music: You feed off it. We keep going as it's what we've always wanted to do. Why give it up when we've worked so hard to get where we are?
How ambitious are you guys for Gutworm? What do you guys still want to achieve with the band?
We are all quite laid back and just take things as they come really! We've no desire to be the best metal band or be the heaviest or anything like that!
According to your biographical info, the British media seem to be pretty proud of Gutworm and reward you with positive reviews. How important is this media attention for the band? How have reactions on your music been abroad?
The reviews for the album have been really good and we're pleased with the way it's been received. Any media attention is good as more people hear of you and then the chance of more people hearing the music is greater. We've a good fan base and hopefully in the UK and hopefully with all the positive reviews this will increase. The reviews we have had abroad have also been very good. The only time I've played abroad was at Hellfest this year and we pulled a good crowd and went down well so I guess we are getting good reactions to it all.
With the record being released in September, what are your plans for promoting its release? Are you going to do a full-fledged European tour?
There are plans in the pipeline…..
Ok, these were all my question, good luck with the band and hope to see you play live soon somewhere in the Netherlands!