The first thing that struck me when 'United Desperation' came in, was the professional way it looks. Because of that it even surprises me more that you are not signed by a record company. How the hell is that possible?
Thanks for the praise. Our influences lie back in the eighties and early nineties heavy and thrash metal scene. A lot of great stuff was released then and it is also the reason we started Enclave back in 2008.
If you take a look at classics like 'Rust In Peace', 'Reign In Blood', 'Ride The Lightning' and so on, there is always an artistic connection between visual and audio parts. Therefore I am glad we found Michel Geritz, a skilled tattoo artist from lower Austria, who was able to interpret our music in a visual way. Concerning record companies, we thought that as a first step a classical do-it-yourself concept would be most fitting for us, because as a small band the most deals you are offered are only moderately good.
Does the fact you released the album yourselves let to more attention from record companies, so there might be a deal in the near future?
Right now we are still distributing the album by ourselves. Even though we had some good press from local and international magazines, there was no reaction from a record label until now. But that is no complaint, underground metal has always been a do-it-yourself market, until the band reaches a certain status.
'United Desperation' is Enclaves debut. Can you tell some more about the road Enclave took from forming to releasing the debut?
As told before, Enclave was founded in the beginning of 2008 by Martin Z. (guitars) and me on bass. In the beginning it was more or less some kind of tribute to our youth idols, but after realizing that it did not sound too bad, we started to write decent songs and the line up grew from a two men show to a fully fledged band. We played a lot of gigs since 2008 with different band line-ups (the story every band can sing about), recorded a MySpace exclusively released four track demo and had the honor to support some of our idols as well as popular international bands like Destruction, Tim Ripper Owens, Steelwing, Skull Fist, Gama Bomb, Warbeast or Ektomorf. Over the years Panzer joined us on drums (2009), Mathias on guitar (2011), the songs grew , the line-up was finally stable and we took the opportunity that we all had saved enough money to hit the Viennese Fast Forward Studio under direction of Jonas Petersen. 'United Desperation' was recorded, mixed and mastered from November 2011 until January 2012 and released on 19.5.2012 at our release party at Vienna's legendary Escape Metalcorner.
I hear both thrash and heavy metal on 'United Desperation'. Who would you describe Enclave? Do they fit these definitions?
You are generally right. Basically Enclave stands for a mixture of our influences which are by fact bands of the new wave of British heavy metal and thrash metal scene. If one likes to call our music thrash metal, it is just as fine for me as if one calls it heavy metal. We never wanted to be stuck in a single genre and the most important aspect for me personally, is that our music causes the crowd to drink beer, bang their heads and shake their asses!
The thrash influences are eminent on 'Pitbull', were of course the music is thrash, but we can also hear the lyrics “good, friendly, violent fun”. This takes us back to Exodus of course. Is Exodus a big influence on Enclave?
Especially me and Martin Z. are big Exodus fans, so of course they are quite an influence for us.
Everybody who saw them on the thrash classics tour last year has to admit that they are still kicking ass!
Can you name some other bands next to Exodus that also influenced Enclaves style?
I have to say that Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Testament, Kreator, Destruction and many, many more have a part in our musical DNA as well.
On 'Command Of The Blade' (not a Kreator cover!) the heavy metal influences are eminent as well. Which heavy metal bands do you take you influences from?
'Command Of The Blade' was the first track I wrote for Enclave, combining some bastard-riff of 'Battery' and 'Black Magic' with melodic Iron Maiden guitars. At this time I had a distinctive classic metal phase listening to Iron Maiden, Iced Earth, Judas Priest, Saxon, Manowar and so on. I guess it has left some marks.
What springs to mind listening to 'United Desperation' is the very, very clean production. Do you agree with me that a record with a lot of thrash could have sounded a bit rougher that 'United Desperation'?
This is quite a surprise for me to hear, but an interesting one. I always like to philosophize about sounds! At the meetings before recording 'United Desperation', me and Panzer where deeply bored of the clean high class productions you can here now everywhere. You know the ones with monstrous triggered drums where all bands have the same snare or bass drum sounds and massive copy/paste orgies in the recording process. If you listen to 'Master Of Puppets' or 'Reign In Blood', they do not sound 'old'. They have the power and natural sound that drive you nuts. So our intention was to go a little back and combine the economic advantages of digital recordings with the classical analog way (tube amps and mixers, classic compressors and effects and so on). We left most of the feedbacks, finger slides and so on untouched and if you listen closely you can hear it on several tracks. The drums are recorded without triggers, you can also hear some vocal fuck ups, but in my ears it sounds more lively and natural. We do not have to pretend to play better than we actually can and I think that is OK. We are neither professionals nor do we play classical music where technical fuck ups destroy the whole work of art. Consequential we had to sound 'more professional' compared to the mass of demos on one hand and different to the overproduced modern sounds on the other. But the more I am thinking about your question, I guess you mean that it could sound a bit more aggressive, right? I agree that one or two songs would not mind a more aggressive touch, but I think if you have a look on the album as a whole the sound covers all varieties of our songs quite good and enables to hear every detail.
In general I think 'United Desperation' is an excellent album and therefore I am very curious if there are plans for a successor in the making?
Thanks a lot for the compliment! Actually some new tunes and ideas are under progress and I believe everyone who enjoys our debut will not be disappointed. But right now 'United Desperation' is still topical and can be acquired at our homepage or at our gigs.
In the meanwhile, are there any touring plans for Enclave?
Due to Enclave is our greatest hobby and nothing we can of want earn money with, we do not have extensive touring plans. As a small fry band, I think that it is just an illusion to dream of success and the big record deals while going on tour. There is such a big risk that you loose only a lot of money, because no one likes to see the 576 support bands which carry the tours from financial point of view. Nevertheless I have to tell all those maniacs out there that we are ready for gigs in your local area anytime and interested in networking with local bands to play gigs outside of Vienna and Austria. This is what keeps the underground alive.