Chris, first of all congratulations with the new album, with Torment you guys launched a new Six Feet Under experience. Old school influences are combined with a brutal yet crisp production. How the songs, music wise did come together?
Thank you! We’ll Jeff had quite a clear vision on the direction of the songs. He is a great musician and very deliberate in what he writes. It was just very refreshing to me when I heard the songs for the first time. It struck a note and I felt it was perfect for me to write the lyrics to. We worked hard to get right feel across, on the other hand the writing went effortless once we found the right direction. In the end it all came together very easy.
The over-all feel of the album is very organic/natural; did it go different from the previous writing and recordings?
We’ll this organic feel is very important to me, and it always has been a important element in the recording and writing. The last fifteen to sixteen years we didn’t want the music to get over-processed and are we more interested in capturing performances and learning more and more about that over the years. Of course we embrace the technical possibilities, but not over using it. As said before capturing the performance is key, these day’s you can redo a recording a thousand time, but the magic happens within the first time you record a song. Everything in the process has to be well- prepared to make this work, the equalizing, the tone. But the preserving the original idea is always on top of my mind.
Jeff is responsible for the music on Torment, did he had a complete free hand in the writing?
Absolutely, I surround myself by the best people; Jeff is just on a whole different level, musicianship wise. I totally trust him, it’s like going into a very good restaurant and you’re telling the chef how he has to prepare your meal. Jeff is cooking up some amazing stuff, so no need for me to step in. Jeff and I are working together for obvious reasons. The guys in the band keep it interesting for me and force me to push it all further.
Marco took over the place on the drum stool, where did you dig him up?
Marco is with us for quite a while (live), he used to play in Brain Drill with Jeff, when Kevin Talley left the band, Jeff and I talked about the free position, five minutes later he became our new drummer. Marco is a very talented drummer, the best I worked with in this band! He played all the drum parts Jeff wrote and added his own flair. I’m still impressed by the things he did on the album, it’s almost inhuman, he just does unbelievable stuff behind his kit. Marco lives in his own “drum “bubble, he probably isn’t aware of his skills, 100% natural. These day’s a lot technique is being used when recording an album, the end result can be tight sounding but missing an organic and lively feel. Marco did all part in go, it was challenging to him to capture the raw performance, the music in its purest form. Sometimes the songs move away from you, this time all elements synchronised in a great way. You can’t win the lottery every time, hahaha
I wish man, hahaha.
You have been writing blunt lyrics for quite some time now, how do you get inspired?
I just take one song at a time, I don’t think about it all at once. I kind of look back at it when I’m done, and often think; wow, where did which come from. I listen to the energy and emotion of the song and then something just clicks. I don’t try to question it, but there is place I go to, that kind of dictates what it is.
When the clock ticks 4:20?
Yeah, that’s the spaceship I get to journey on, hahaha
I was wondering if the horrors of the results of last elections in the USA could be some good inspiration?
Haha, no, no, no! Well maybe the disgust of all everything. I don’t know, it’s more horrifying than everyday life what is going to happen. We have such a great country, it sucks that someone is fucking it up so bad…
I wonder when he (Trump) will be aware of his 'Bloody Underwear' (song of the new album)
Hahaha. Well talking about that song, everybody wanted a part two of 'Fucked With A Knife', so I thought that would be a great place to start hehehe. You know, if Holland would let me move there, I would move tomorrow. You guys help a lot of refugees, so you have to help me and let me in. Well you might not because you’re afraid I will smoke all your weed, hahaha.
Besides the music, the artwork of Torment also shows a fresh, but rotten approach, can tell us some more of how the artwork came to life
I met this artist, Septian Devenum, on Instagram, who happened to be a fan of the band and lives in Indonesia. We became friends and he was starting to do some t-shirt artwork for me. He is an amazing designer and does work for big companies and also designs for videogames. Septian is great with digital and sketched work. I was blown away by his ideas. This image he created just jumped out of me, it had something to do with “duality”. The idea of duality has unconsciously been a driving force in the subject matter of this band, lyrically, in my whole philosophy in life, about the idea of good and evil. Those elements can not to be seen separately, but as one. Also, the idea of duality and nonphysical entities. When I saw the cover, it struck me. This cover shows all it is about. It just spoke to me.
You have to bring this feel to life (or live as you please), a few hours before this interview was planned, the news came out that Jack Owen is joining the band….
Yeah man, Jack is back with me, we’ll have a blast for sure! We have been talking of and on for a number of years, now the planets aligned. To get the new songs to the stage we have to be a five piece because some of the songs are so intricate we won’t be able to perform with one guitar. We could, but it will not come out with the same strength as we intended.
Are you bringing this five piece to Europe?
We’re planning at the moment; hopefully the summerfests will fit in and get some cool club shows We’ll definitely have our traditional end of the year festival tour! Thanks for the conversation, hope to see you all on tour!