METAL PULP AND PAPER: Hello. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for Metal Pulp And Paper. We appreciate it.
DEAD ANIMAL ASSEMBLY PLANT: Absolutely. It’s our pleasure.
MPAP: Great to finally be able to speak to part of Portland, Oregon’s own Dead Animal Assembly Plant band. How is everyone? Happy, healthy? Hopefully, no one has gotten the terrible flu that’s going around?
DAAP: Surprisingly we are all happy and healthy. What madness is that? What are we doing wrong? Haha. Fortunately, we avoided the wretched plague that was going around.
MPAP: Let’s start off with, if someone were to stumble upon DAAP first release at a record store, what would you want to say to them as they picked up Strip Off Your Skin and began to look at it? What would you want to tell them they can expect to hear when they listen to it for the first time? Any song you want them to hear first to pummel their eardrums with right from the start? After they listened to it, and of course after they bought it, what else would you want that person to walk away with? What are you hoping that the new listener will experience?
DAAP: If they found the Strip EP in the store? Run. Far and fast. Plug your ears and hum really loud. That album feels like several lifetimes ago. I made that back when DAAP was just me tinkering in a studio. Still trying to figure things out (I suppose that never ends right?) What they can expect to hear is the larval form of DAAP. The essence is consistent, but the sound has drastically changed as the years progressed and different people joined (and left) the band. Try listening to "Strip Off Your Skin" or "Zero Hour"…those probably are the best indicators of the path that lead us to where we are now. I hope the new listener keeps listening and continues along this long-twisted road with us.
MPAP: Are there emotions, messages, or anything you want to get across in your music and your lyrics?
DAAP: Honestly, we want to explore the entire array of emotions, concepts, and constructs. Religion. Politics. Crime (both true and fictional.) The degradation of society and the all the endless flaws of this broken species. Nothing is more horrifying than reality.
MPAP: Before we get too far ahead and go any further, let’s tell everyone about your band DAAP. All the kids are tucked into bed and want to hear a story. Without any further ado, tell them the story about Wilhelm Schröder and the Sweet Meats Slaughterhouse?
DAAP: Ah good ol Wilhelm Schröder. A German immigrant that settled into a Rockwellian village in the 1800s and founded the Sweet Meats Slaughterhouse. All he ever wanted was success and was incredibly innovative in the world of butchery. He revolutionized whole sale slaughter, and all was well until the cattle died off. Desperate and cornered he decided to feed the townsfolk to the very machines that caused the place to prosper. Unbeknownst to the villagers Mr. Schröder began selling the processed human back to them. They grew suspicious and eventually der Metzgermeister was tossed into his meat grinders. The Sweet Meats Slaughterhouse sat empty. Slowly decaying - until noises started to emanate from the abandoned hallways.
MPAP: Now that we know a little bit more about the band, give us a quick introduction to who your partners in crime are and what instruments they play.
DAAP: Z.Wager - vocalist/producer/programming // Eric “Zero” Bergen - drums /guitar/bass/co-vocals // Rags - guitar/bass // Buzz - guitars/bass and recently we added Jason Moore into the mix to step into Eric’s position of playing drums. But don’t worry Eric is still with the band. Also, occasionally we will add our good friend Jesse Summers to play our demon priest who dons a marching band bass drum.
MPAP: The metal music genre isn’t welcomed by many. It seems it is very hard getting anywhere in the music industry unless you’re embedded in the pop hip-hop culture. What keeps you determined to keep going and pushing on in DAAP for the metal community and of course your fans worldwide?
DAAP: It’s a sad truth that the very top of the music food chain in terms of financial support / grand scale worldwide fan bases are the commercialized disingenuous trope-laden pop stars. But it’s a business through and through. There’s no altruism. How much money can be made exploiting either the starving artist? How much money are you willing to pay to force your way into people’s consciousness? The determination really comes from the desire to create and connect with people. To contribute something back into the same ether that saved our lives. Even after all these years - every show is just as exciting. Every interaction equally important. Sharing something personal with people and in hand they share a part of themselves with us. That’s the true pay off.
MPAP: Going back to something mentioned earlier in the interview, Portland, Oregon, sum it up musically for you and DAAP?
DAAP: Portland will always have a powerful place in all of our hearts. Not only is it the city that brought us all together but gave us a lot of opportunities outside of this to explore new things. Before being a 'band' - we all had separate projects and musical/performance ambitions. Although the face of Portland has gone through a lot of phases and faces - there is a foundation of family. Sure, there are always band rivalries or nonsense drama (usually ego driven hilarity,) but beneath it all we support each other.
MPAP: At the end of the day, as you might sit back and reflect on life, what does DAAP mean to you?
DAAP: DAAP has meant the realization of many dreams that I never thought possible. It’s a conduit to explore the different aspects of our personalities. To be a living comic book character. A reason to be ridiculous and never truly grow up. it’s freedom and an endless source of inspiration. Even if it stopped right here and now - we all would have a lifetime of memories. So, in short. It means everything.
MPAP: Moving on, let’s talk about your latest release, Gods Gonna Cut You Down that came out back in August 2017. "God's Gonna Cut You Down", also known as "Run On" and "Run On For A Long Time", is a traditional folk song which has been recorded by numerous artists from every make and model of genres out there. The lyrics are a warning to sinners that no matter how hard they try, they will not avoid God's judgment. Your version was influenced by Johnny Cash's rendition of the song. What inspired you to pick this song and record it? Did the lyrics mean something special to you?
DAAP: We’re all enormous fans of Johnny Cash and that song spoke to Eric initially. He was the one who presented the song to us to cover and of course we were instantly in. None of us had an idea of its true origins until we went searching for tempo/key information. That’s when we found out it had much older roots and had been covered by endless people spanning many decades. So that really made it more appealing. Much like "Stagger Lee" had been covered by a bunch of people putting their personal stamp on it - we wanted to do the same.
MPAP: The song features guest vocals from Erik Gustafson of the Industrial/Electro-Rock Band Adoration Destroyed? How was that being able to collaborate with him?
DAAP: We love Erik to pieces. He is one of the sweetest and most genuine people we’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting/working with. We were a fan of his project well before asking him to collaborate on this song. The timing was perfect for filming because he was coming to Portland to play guitars for 16Volt at PIGFest. So, we were able to snatch him away for a few hours to ensure he would be in the video.
MPAP: Anyone reading this that hasn’t seen the video for it, yet you are missing out. Care to add anything to this?
DAAP: Yeah how dare you! Go watch it now haha. Something I do want to add that maybe gets missed is that all the photos seen in the video are all people who have passed. They were contributed by friends/family/fans when we were preparing to film the video. That made the whole experience of putting it together that much more personal. We’ve all experiences immense loss and to share this with everyone was emotionally draining (but very touching.) Oh, and be sure to check out all of Karl Whinnery’s videos - he’s absolutely amazing.
MPAP: Also, in 2017 DAAP released OHF: Prime Cuts. You took songs from your 2016 Old Fashioned Hellfire release, and as you said; "breathed new life into them." Why did you decide to do this? Did you feel Old Fashioned Hellfire wasn’t recorded the way you wanted it or something? Was releasing OHF: Prime Cuts because you wanted to accomplish something that you hadn’t been able to do before in all your previous releases?
DAAP: OFH was a bittersweet release for a lot of reason. It was disjointed and unbalanced. We have to be honest with ourselves or else we’ll keep repeating the same mistakes. We’re happy with a lot of the songs on an individual level but we know there wasn’t enough cohesiveness. So, when we had the opportunity to work with Marc Jordan and Howie Weinberg - we wanted to pick our personal favorites that we felt could use being reborn - as it were. But we’re not going to lament on the past and just see it as another learning lesson. So, all’s well that ends well in this case.
MPAP: Recording new music has changed over the years. Before bands would get together and then spend 9 months in the recording studio trying to come up with new music. Now everyone can almost be hours or States apart and send each other music ideas through emails or record them on their iPhone and share them on the computer. When it’s time to start writing new material, how do you go about the whole recording process?
DAAP: Up to this point we’ve had the luxury of all being in the same area. So, we would get together entirely or just a few of us and start writing/riffing. The recording process is pretty fluid with us…no particular order or structure. Someone may come up with a concept. Lyrics. A guitar riff. Then we will expand on that until something comes together. We like to include everyone’s input and influence. Since we all come from different musical backgrounds/preferences it gives everyone a chance to put themselves into the song. And in the end, it has to be fun. If it isn’t fun, then what the hell is the point? Sure, you can bicker and get frustrated (and everyone has to compromise) but as long as you’re still having a good time then that’s what counts.
MPAP: Let’s move on to a subject now that has been all over the news for many years, but seems to be gaining more attention recently, suicide and bullying. These are two things that almost seem to be the common right now. Bullying can take many forms: physical, verbal or social. It is a very serious issue that requires a quick call to action. There is bullying in every community and social rank. Bullying varies according to gender, sexual orientation, religion or race. There are many things that you can do about bullying. Stand up for yourself or for those weaker than you. Talk to a teacher, your parents or a trustworthy adult. What would you want to say to someone that is being bullied, or to someone that is depressed and thinking about suicide?
DAAP: That’s an excellent question and is incredibly complicated on so many levels. Humans are apex predators. We prey on everything around us…we devour and destroy for the betterment of ourselves. It’s a harsh reality and with this pack animal mentality it’s impossible to escape. What do you say to someone who feels hopeless and empty? Who dreads waking up everyday…dreads going to school..going home..being around all the abusive elements? There really are no mix of words without sounding like some self help cliche. The true strength to endure comes from the fire inside. Not letting those who try to destroy succeed. For using the pain and turmoil as fuel to be something better. To know that personal worth is not based on what the huddled masses decide. Life is flux and let the reality of change drive you to live for the next day. And the next. And the next. Because however low you feel - appreciate the experience and let it be your spring board to a better you. Bottom line is - never fucking give up.
MPAP: What’s next for DAAP? Any tour announcements, or new material you can mention here?
DAAP: We are currently working on a new album that is due out later this year. We are also on the verge of releasing a remix album - with some insanely amazing remixes. So keep yer grapes peeled for that. If you want something completely different then you can also hear an exclusive soundscape we recently did for the Belgian artists - Mothmeister. You can pick up a download of that only via their recently published art book. It’s absolutely glorious. Nevermind our bit - just get that book! We do plan on touring again this year and getting further out there. It’s going to be a busy year and we really hope we can get to more cities.
MPAP: On behalf of myself and Metal Pulp And Paper, I’d like to thank, Dead Animal Assembly Plant for doing this interview. We look forward to what Dead Animal Assembly Plant does in 2018 and beyond.
Before we bring this to a close, are there any last words you’d like to say to all the readers and your fans out there?
DAAP: The slaughterhouse is always open for everyone. We are family in blood noise and madness. This idea that is DAAP wouldn’t be still here if it wasn’t for everyone out there who have supported us. It truly leaves us speechless and we promise to keep this gore train going just as long as y’all promise to come along for the ride. We’ve only just begun. Cheers everyone and thank you for reading our drivel!
Dead Animal Assemply Plant/ March 4th, 2018/ Interview #95