Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Deamon (Death Metal from Ottawa ,Canada)

Official Facebook Page - http://www.facebook.com/deamonofficial

Jonathan - What makes a good Death metal band?
Shawn - In my opinion it's a good mix of the roots musically and respect and understanding of the old school and why what we have today is what it is.It has to be in your blood and with all the bands out there it goes without saying that you have to step it up a notch and at least have a bunch of guys that know how to play their instruments. If you are just jumping on the latest trend it will show in the songs. If there is no passion and it's all overproduced in the studio it will reflect in the music.
Jonathan - What's your opinion of the DIY movement?
Shawn - If you are talking in term of recording and so on I think it's a great thing. It gives people more access and options unlike in the older days when you had to have a bunch of cash and go in the studio on a time frame. However it does give people the chance to doctor and edit the crap out of things to a point where it's almost mechanical and impossible to reproduce live which is a shame. Much respect for the bands that are choosing to go back to analog recording and put out albums with minimal editing.
Jonathan - I really believe the only passionate way to do music is with your heart. But sometimes hard times and trouble can get in the way. Why is it so important for you to be in a band and do you have any funny stories to tell?
Shawn - For me on a personal level it's a release and something I love. It's no different than the jock that goes to the gym or your grandma that like knitting to change your mind frame and relax or on occasion maybe even get out some frustration and forget about the daily grind. It's something that has always been there and it's tough when it's not. A few year back I took a year hiatus and It called to me the whole time. I just had to keep playing and get back to it. We have had a bunch of member changes through the years and countless set backs but no matter what we come through and keep on going. Until I physically can't do it anymore that's just gonna be the way it is. Keep on going.
Jonathan - What's the origin of the band name, Deamon?
Shawn - Well since the name was not chosen by any of the existing members that's a bit tough to answer. I know lame eh? It is what it is.I will go out on a limb and say there was booze involved and some hot chick name Dee and someone said " hey hey" pointing at her ass and another guy replied " Dee eh mon" with a wink!
Jonathan - Have you changed the band's name before?
Shawn - It's been the same band name since day one. There was a point where we considered changing it due to some member changes but opted against it since the style remained the same with the new people. At this point it will not change.

Jonathan - Who are your major influences? Or do you just write what you like and that is the result?
Shawn - I know me and Ron grew up with all the major original power players from the late 80' to early 90's that paved many roads and put out ground breaking albums so in that regard I don't think we will ever be able to get that out of our system and not let it influence us to a certain extent. We all listen to all the newer stuff too though in the death metal vein. Mike and Arend are a bit younger so they may have a few more influences we may not have. I personally listen to a lot of old rock too where Ron does not etc etc. It's a huge mix really but in general when we jam or write it's not based on anything in particular. It's more just from feel. We don't try nor do we want to sound like anyone. It just works.
Jonathan - How long have you all known each other?
Shawn - I've known and played with Ron for around17-18 years and Mike and Arend more less since they joined the band. We kinda knew of them since both Mike and Arend have had other bands we've shared the stage with in the past but we didn't really hang out before since there is a big age difference so our circle of friends never crossed paths unless it was music related.
Jonathan - How did you meet?
Shawn - I met Ron at a party probably almost 20 years ago when he moved to Ottawa and shortly after we started jamming. Other than a few times in the past here and there where we were in separate bands we've almost always stuck together since day one as far as bands go. As for Arend and Mike again we shared the stage before but really got to know them better when they joined.
Jonathan - When did you form your band?
Shawn - The band was formed in 1997 By a bunch of buddys and they put out a 4 song ep in 1999 but didn't really do much or play outside of Ottawa till 2001-2002 when I joined and shortly after Ron and we put out the first album. Not saying it had anything to do with us it's simply how it worked out. Cory Malone the original singer/guitar player unfortunately left a few years back so at this point none of the original members from back in 1997 are present. We decided to keep on going since me and Ron are on all the full length albums and the band wasn't really known before then anyways. Basically anyone anywhere out of Ottawa that had seen Deamon had seen the band with me and Ron anyways.
Jonathan - What inspired you to make music together?
Shawn - We just love death metal and enjoy it. It certainly wasn't for money fame or chicks or we'd be rapping or cutting our hair like Justin Beiber.

Jonathan - Im sure some countries or crowds are more enthusiastic than others, do you have any particular anecdotes to tell us? Any funny moments? Disappointments?
Shawn - There seems to be some weird thing over the years where bands get big abroad. Probably because there is movements and styles that develop and it becomes a new sound and refreshing to hear? I don't really know. I think the internet and media today has clearly shortened the gap and access in general. As for funny or disappointments... every band goes through them and has horror stories of bad shows in certain cities. Even the big players. It just happens and you can point at all sorts of factor from the weather or bad timing or promotion etc etc but you never really know. You just move on and hit the next show. Only once in the bands existence did we skip out on a show, We were doing a small tour with 2 other bands and on the second last day we hit a town I won't mention and by 10-11 there was one person in the bar. we weren't playing the next day but the 2 other bands were so we told the promoter to keep his $ and we got in the van and drove through the night home. We heard from our buddys in the other bands that they ended up getting drunk and jumped up on stage, swapped instruments and had a free for all drunk jam instead of playing their sets.
Jonathan - Which songs do you perform most frequently?
Shawn - We don't play any off the ep since nobody in the band now was on it and the style is different and we don't play anything from the first album since musically we feel the band came together and hit our groove on Descend. We mostly play stuff from Descend and all the new material we have. It's not to say we won't ever pull and oldy out for a few shows but right now we on concentrating on looking forward and playing what was collectively written with the current members somehow involved as well as the songs we personally enjoy the most. There is some songs people scream for at shows that we don't play but we can't play them all all the time.
Jonathan - Do you ever play any covers?
Shawn - Not really for shows but sometimes when we jam we fuck around and some covers may come into play. Who knows maybe some day we'll throw one in for the hell of it.
Jonathan - Who writes your songs?
Shawn - In the past it was mostly Ron and Cory with maybe the odd riff from me or other members for the basic structures. By the end of it as probably most bands it still becomes a collective effort with a little bit of input from everyone. The new album which will be out shortly was mostly written by Ron since Cory left the band and the lyrics and vocals were all written graciously by a good friend of ours Mark Howitt from Wolven Ancestry. We had all the material written but at the time we were searching for a vocalist and didn't want to wait to get it down and recorded. We can't thank him enough and it came out great. So i guess the new album is a little different than what we have done in the past in terms of writing. Anything we have worked on since has been mostly a collective thing so we can included everyone and their styles and influences in the music. There is no dictatorship or main guy really.
Jonathan - What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs?
Shawn - In the past the topics have been mostly dark. Nothing specific per say. We aren't gore or satanic specifically but those elements of religion or a little splatter has always worked it's way into it. A bit of a musical horror film I guess you could say. The new album is also in the same vein with some slightly political areas. We gave Mark a direction but asked him to stay somewhat true to the past albums and not stray too much from that style and topics. We pretty much let him do his own thing. Me and Mark sat down before actually recording and went over the lyrics and changed the odd wording or pattern etc but it was 90% his doing. We respected him and had faith in him which is why we asked in the first place. We didn't want to interfere too much with his writing.
Jonathan - Do you think these topics will change over time?
Shawn - They may or may not. Now with Arend in the band he also has his freedom with it. With so many older songs now memorized in his head I would assume it will or has influenced him a bit. In the end just like the music we all have a certain degree of input and opinion. If a line or song title sucks we'll just say it. If it sounds like a 13 year old girl wrote it listening to lady gaga then it gets changed plain and simple. It's death metal and no matter what it will probably always stay in the darker side of things.

Jonathan - Could you briefly describe the music-making process?
Shawn - Most times when we jam we will run through our set and after we will either just start fucking around or on many occasions when that happens someone will have come up with a few things at home and we will start putting the other instruments and ideas to it together. There had been situation though in the past where Someone has come in with 90% of a song all done and if it sounds good to everyone it just stays that way with a few minor tweeks.
Messiah despised for example is a song that people ask us to play all the time and that wasn't even supposed to be recorded. It was unfinished and recorded for the hell of it with drums put on it at the last second in the studio. It turned out to be a favorite for many people. The new album coming out also has one of those. Ron recorded a song I had only heard in riffs here and there. When I went into the studio I had never actually played or jammed it before nor did I know the structure. I made some notes and put drums to it on the spot following the scribbles I had made and it will be released on the album. On the other hand we had a tune we had been playing for a while and we decided to scrap it and not put it out.
Jonathan - What are your rehearsals generally like? Do you have a set time each week in which you practice or are rehearsals more spontaneous?
Shawn - We have a set day and time. We aren't religious about it. Sometimes someone is tired or can't come but we mostly try to get a jam in a week or more if we have shows coming up. We are serious about the band and always have been but we aren't trying to make a living out of it and we all have day jobs and lives and girlfriends like anybody else. We do what we can.
Jonathan - How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?
Shawn - It has definitely gotten faster heavier and probably a hell of a lot tighter. I for one have only ever played drums with Deamon. I was formerly a guitar player in many bands. This came to from what appears to be a common issue which is a lack of AVAILABLE decent death metal drummers. Needless to say when I started I didn't have as much speed nor technique. I'm by no means a fantastic drummer now but I can play without killing myself and I get the job done. Rons riffs have been pretty consistent over the years but just like me years of doing anything and chances are it will noticeably get better. There is this thing that develops after a while of jamming with the same people where you become in tune with each other. I can put drums to something someone wrote without them questioning it. Almost like you know what they are thinking. It becomes more natural and less of a constant battle or discussion and clash of opinions. It just happens. With member changes there isn't much chance that the music won't at least change slightly with new influences and players. The only way around that would be if the same guy wrote all the music all the time.
Jonathan - What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
Shawn - What a cluster fuck at times. With us it has been by far member changes at the worst times.Not getting discouraged and giving up when you are idle because of it for long periods has been the hardest at least for me. After Descend we lost our good friend Topon (fuck the facts) and had to find a new bass player. After we found one I ended up leaving for a year and they had to find a new drummer. A year later I came back wrote some stuff and then Cory Malone left. Found a new singer and guitar player then the bass player left. Etc etc etc. If people wonder why it has been so long since the last album that's kinda why.It may take months to find someone that fits in. Then they learn the songs and you have to jam for months to get tight, start playing some shows and get things up to par and blam someone else leaves. There goes more time finding someone, teaching stuff, playing live etc etc and it happens again. It's been a struggle at times but there has been many solid moments with long term members and that's what keeps you going. We currently have what I believe to be a solid unit once again are back on track. When things like that happen the song writing kinda takes a back seat to simply getting a full band able to play back together.
Jonathan - What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands?
Shawn - Do it because you love it and nothing more. You will have no disappointments if you don't become a rock star. Pick friend who share the same passion about it and people that are on the same level mentally and musically and with the best of luck it will last and go a long way. Oh and patience lots and lots of fucking patience and money to waste on gear. It's gonna cost you before you make anything if you even do.
Jonathan - For those who don’t know you, How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a demo 
Shawn - We have a myspace, facebook and bandcamp for merch, digital downloads and so on as well as many other things fans have put up over the years like videos, tunes etc... You can always contact the band directly for stuff as well as labels and distros that carry anything of ours.
Jonathan - And the last question is all yours, you decide what to say here!
Shawn - Fucking metal all the way!

If any of you are fans of Canadian Death metal and really want to support the underground scene, check out this band and show them some respect!

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