METAL PULP AND PAPER: Hello Matt! So glad to be catching up with you. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us at Metal Pulp And Paper. We appreciate it.
How are you? Is everyone happy and healthy?
MATT UNSWORTH: All good! Recovering after 6 weeks of van life in the US, so the spine is gradually readjusting.
MPAP: For those of you that just stumbled onto this interview and haven’t heard of Dyscanate yet, let’s get everyone on the same page. Dyscarnate is a Death metal band from Horsham, England that formed in 2004. We will talk about it a little more here shortly, but they just released, With All Their Might, on the Unique Leader label this past September 2017. What else does everyone need to know? What can you say to grab their attention, to catch their eardrums?
MATT:Dyscarnate is no-frills, nostalgically appealing, groovy and fresh death metal played by 3 men who sound like 10.
MPAP: You were just out on the road opening for TheFaceless and Lorna Shore which started June 26th in Seattle, Washington at The El Corazon, wrapping things up on August 3rd in Laguna Niguel, California at The Karman Bar. How was the tour?
MATT: It was an absolute blast, we made a lot of new friends, played some new cities and put down the hammer. Our live show is the tightest and most exciting it has ever been, so we had a lot of fun playing for some new audiences – we're already spoiling to bring it back to the US.
MPAP: Are The Faceless a pretty good group of guys to hang around before and after the shows?
MATT: Awesome dudes – they had a few lineup changes throughout the course of the tour as the new guys were session players who often had other commitments. I was really impressed with the level of musicianship being delivered without the chance to extensively rehearse with the new lineups – their stuff is so technical. We had a great time hanging with them too. Tubing with all the guys in Austin, Texas was one of the highlights as we really got the chance to hang out together without the pressure of playing a show.
MPAP: What about Lorna Shore? Any stories you can share here with us?
MATT: We became very close with the Lorna boys over the course of the tour; they’re a really fun group. They had a rapper called Lil Uzi Vert turn up to one of the shows who threw down in the pit and brought his whole entourage – totally bananas. In fact, Mike Portnoy was at that show too! Most nights after the show we’d just piss around with Austin, Connor and their good friend Ghost B. He’s another rapper.
MPAP: Still speaking about this tour, when you go out on something like this, that’s almost two months long, and then you add on top of it being over 4,000 miles away from home, does it ever get to you? Is there ever a moment you reflect on and go, ‘what did I get myself into?’
MATT: All the time! You get ‘what is life’ moments constantly – normally when we’re doing silly things like perusing Walmart for peanut butter M&Ms at 4 am. Touring's a really weird, nomadic way of life. The long-distance driving isn’t so bad as we’re traveling relatively comfortably – but it does sometimes feel like your life is on hold while you’re away.
MPAP: What is life like out on the road for Dyscarnate? Is it non-stop drinking and partying until the next show or is everyone pretty responsible behind the scenes because you have a job to do?
MATT: Do M&Ms count? We’re all pretty good. We like to see as much as possible, so it’s important for us to be pretty compos mentis when we wake up. On the road, we’ll stay away from hard drugs and too much drinking. Over the course of 6 weeks you can really mess yourself up (I’ve seen it happen many times), and ultimately the live show starts to suffer. But don’t get me wrong – we have our nights!
MPAP: When you do make it over to the US, do you try to sightsee as much as possible? Or is there not enough time between shows, getting in, and getting off the tour bus, doing sound checks and all that, all the while trying to squeeze in some rest and downtime?
MATT: This time around the tour was pretty relaxed schedule-wise, so we really took advantage and went to check out as much as possible. We saw the Cali Redwoods, Niagara Falls, The Great Salt Lake, most of Manhattan, stacks of beaches and went tubing in Austin amongst loads of other bits. If we’re not checking out cool natural and historic stuff, you can be sure we’ll be looking for the best place to eat in town – if we’re coming anywhere near you, don’t hesitate to let us know where we should be checking out! Hatty B’s Chicken, Nashville, and Dinosaur BBQ, Rochester have been our highlights in the US so far.
MPAP: Moving forward, you have a very dear friend that’s also in the music business. He’s a drummer named Chris Adler, who happens to be from a Richmond, Virginia metal band called Lamb of God. What’s it like to have someone like him of that magnitude give praise to your band and say, hands down Dyscarnate is one of the best death metal bands out there? Here’s the actual quote that I’m sure you’ve seen already, ‘While I don’t feel the need to argue it, they are also, in my opinion, the best metal band in the world right now.’ How does that make you feel when something like that is said?
MATT: Fulfilled and validated both personally and professionally. I told him I remember going to see Lamb of God way back on The Ashes Of The Wake tour in Brighton. It was one of the more extreme shows I’d been to up to that stage and was a real source of inspiration for me – especially since we founded the band very shortly after. For him to tell us that our music is really inspiring him now is totally crazy, almost makes it feel like things have come full circle. He’s such a great dude.
MPAP: So, how did that friendship come to happen?
MATT: He just hit us up on email one day saying he was a huge fan! Of course, I immediately assumed it was some kid trolling us, but we kept chatting, and it soon became obvious he was legit. He drove 4 hours to come hang out in Baltimore, where he also ran our merch stand (giving a few fans a surprise!) and engineered our front of house lights for the show. What a guy.
MPAP: Some reviews of your latest release were also giving some high praises as well. One headline stated: ’Dyscarnate May Have Just released The Best Death Metal Record of 2017.’ What’s your first reaction when you hear something like this? I’m sure it makes all that hard work, blood, sweat, and tears worth it, right?
MATT: We were so excited about the direction our writing took; we wanted to make sure we didn’t pull any punches on ensuring the album would be everything it could be. We 100% gave ourselves to the production process; even doing a lot of things ourselves to ensure they’d be handled the way we wanted. It’s definitely gratifying to have such positive reviews - it feels like people are appreciating the absolute mountain of work and love that went into it. It’s the thing I’m most proud of having accomplished in my life, creatively.
MPAP: Now that the dust has settled, and With All TheirMight being out almost a year now, how are feeling about it now after all the killer reviews?
MATT: See above!
MPAP: Are you nervous at all to head back into the studio, knowing you have to live up to this release and do better than ever for the next one?
MATT: We’re not in any particular hurry to get another album out super-fast. It feels to me like a lot of bands go for quantity over quality; endlessly churning out material to sell the next t-shirt. I think there’s a lot of touring life left in this record yet, but we do have some riffs and ideas about where we would like to head next. I know that anything we do will not see the light of day unless we are 100% satisfied with it, so there is no danger of us releasing something sub-WATM!
MPAP: Going back to Chris Adler mentioning you are one of the best death metal bands out there, is there a band out there that you feel the same way about them? Who out there has your attention?
MATT: We don’t listen to a whole lot of metal in the van – there’s enough of it at the shows! At the moment the funk band Vulfpeck are getting a hilarious amount of playtime. They’re like a really cool modern version of the Jackson 5.
MPAP: On behalf of myself, and Metal Pulp And Paper, I’d like to thank you all for taking the time to be a part of this interview. We look forward to what Dyscarnate does to finish out 2018 and beyond.
Any last words for those that just stumbled upon this interview and stuck it out till the end?
MATT: Thanks for reading - peace out!
Dyscarnate: Matt Unsworth, Tom Whitty, Chris Adler (Lamb of God), Al Llewellyn
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Matt Unsworth-Dyscarnate / September 12th, 2018/ Interview #119