The Michigan group Finality are in the Meet The Band spotlight this week. Their debut album is Technocracy. Bassist Joe Cady introduces us to his band.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Finality.
Joe Cady: The idea started around 2013 when I was on the road with Battlecross as a road tech. Just a passing idea to jam with their drummer Mike Kreger who was let go from Battlecross earlier in the year. However, it really did not pick up steam until I got the chance to fill in for Hiran and Tony for some shows and tours – that sparked the fire to really create a band. I had known Dan Fayz for years and always did the typical musician, “hey, we should jam sometime” thing but it wasn’t until then that we jumped at the idea.
We started the band with Dan, JP Abboud (Traveller, Among These Ashes) and Jeremy Gillespie who was in two of my previous bands. During this time I jammed with a couple of other friends which included Tony Asta on vocals. I had known Tony sang a little but was completely caught off guard with how well he could sing. Because we were having trouble balancing schedules between JP’s bands and having to fly him from Vancouver to Detroit – it made sense to work with Tony as he was local and not terribly busy musically. When the dust finally settled we had a extremely solid lineup and a bunch of great songs that because the album, Technocracy.
Describe the songwriting process for Technocracy.
A lot of the songs on this record were songs and riffs I have had for years. I have an issue that if I can’t complete a song, it really bugs me and it’s all I can do to focus on finishing it before I can move on. It’s kind of a hinderance because I am not someone who always has 30 plus “passable” song ideas laying in the wait at any given time to work on. I usually start with a riff or two of my own or that someone brings to the table and jam it with Dan to flesh out the structure by feel. From there we hack away at it until someone we feel is a solid song.
I rarely write at a computer as I feel it becomes very mechanical and the songs just don’t breathe right, it’s too easy to copy and paste. When Tony came on board he really helped us focus on completing ideas. He would have lyrical ideas and concepts to riffs which really helped us know where the song is headed. The last thing is usually dropping the outrageously offensive song title for the actual song title and it becomes a song. The offensive song title helps keep everything fun but also gives us a gauge on where the songs are in the process. Some of those titles can get pretty ridiculous and we’d most likely end up cancelled or have to label ourselves a grind band to get away with them. (laughs)
What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
For me it would be just completing it. I took on the entire engineering and producing side of the recording process myself along with recording my own parts for Technocracy. We had a pandemic hit right after we tracked drums – so things slowed down. Most of us got Covid, a couple of us got it bad. I went through a lot of shitty life events during this process, I am amazed I was able to complete it. There were a few times I nearly had full mental breakdowns. But in the end, when I was holding the CD in my hand – I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment that is hard to describe.
What was the biggest challenge in its recording?
Learning on the fly. I had helped engineer and produce an album with the band Simple Machine. I had mixed and mastered a few demos and EPs for bands, but I really had to crash course my way through learning the modern recording process. I knew what I wanted, but how to get there was completely alien to me. I learned so much and I continue to learn from this project. I can’t wait to hear how the next record turns out because of this.
How would you describe it’s style/genre?
Personally, I’ve always hated the genre labelling because in metal because it’s gotten out of control. Heavy metal is the genre we shouldn’t have to form cliques and label it anymore than that. Our world is already divided enough as it is – heavy metal is supposed to bring our particular group people together and act as an emotional release for the listener and concert goer. So that’s what I’d say we are: heavy metal.
What lyrical topics do you cover?
Tony delivered some extremely thoughtful and honest lyrics for Technocracy. He’s tackled some interesting concepts like the erosion of true and honest journalism on “Malevolence” to losing a friend to murder on “Pain” to the breakdown of reasonable discussion, increased censorship, and emphasis on a PC dominated culture for “Oblivion.” He’s intentionally left the lyrics open to your own interpretation, which I think is great.
How was the video shoot for “Revelation”?
The video shoot was awesome. It was a lot of work though hauling gear and generators around for different shots. We didn’t bring a crew because we initially had the concept of shooting in black and white with a lot of flashing lights and such, kind of like Painkiller or Only. We chose the St. Albertus Church in Detroit as a backdrop for this due to the creepy half dirt basements and boiler room. But when we got on site and realized we could make use of the abandoned school behind it we couldn’t pass the opportunity up. Akuro Productions was great with being able to change concepts on the fly and I feel like it turned out way better because of this.
What led you to go the independent route for the album release?
We’re just practical, honestly. Tony and Hiran have done the major label thing and have had great experiences with this, as well as some extremely shitty experiences too. But when it comes down to it, it just made sense to release on our own. A label usually has the expectation of touring to recoup the investment they make in your production – that’s not something we’re able to do. Especially with the cost to get your band on the road being so high in these post pandemic times so what we have to offer a label is just our music. Let’s face it, most labels don’t give two shits about the music anymore. It’s about how much money they can make off your brand. With that being said, we’re always open to discuss distribution deals with smaller more passionate labels – another advantage to owning our music.
What are your goals and expectations for the album?
My goals have been met! Just seeing the singles out and being received well is what I wanted. There’s always the hope that more people stumble across us and dig what we do. I guess my next goal would be to somehow get the record on vinyl!
You have an album release show coming up. Any other show/tour plans?
We’re taking it slow and trying to make sure that the shows we do play are more along the lines of an event than a gig. We don’t want to play a dive bar in one town only to drive to another 20 minutes away and play there next week. We are trying to link up with other great bands and make shit as special as we can. We’re also trying to get noticed by some of the festivals out there, so we’ll see what happens!
How did you get started in music?
My uncle was a drummer and my mom a fan of all types of music, so I was raised to appreciate it as more than just background noise early on. But my need to play started around 9 years old and hearing Metallica’s “One” for the first time. I was instantly drawn to the sound and imagery it presented. This made me start taking notices of album covers in my friend’s older brother’s collections and sending me down the metal vortex. I really wanted to play guitar in a band like James Hetfield and at 12 I got my first guitar AND I got to see Metallica and Guns ‘n Roses live. It took a few years but I didn’t even know how to play a chord when I started my first band in 1994, I just knew it was what I needed to do. For better or for worse, I’m still doing it today. (laughs
Who were your early influences and inspirations?
Metallica. They lit the fire, from the album covers and reading the thank you notes in the Master of Puppets liner I found bands like Overkill, Iron Maiden, Kreator, Testament, Exodus and Suicidal Tendencies. From there I dabbled in some death metal like Death and Obituary but I was always kind of drawn to the bands with clean vocals. Until I heard In Flames’ Jester Race for the first time after that I dove headfirst into the Swedish melo-death scene.
What was the first metal concert you attended?
Faith No More, Metallica, and Guns n Roses at the Pontiac Silverdome July 21st 1992. It’s burned into my memory forever. I still get goosebumps when I think of that show.
What are some of your non-musical interests and hobbies?
I have too many and not enough time – but the main thing as of late has been audio production. I’ve been investing a lot of time and practice into that. I love being able to help bands achieve better sound. I am also a guitar tech and luthier – but I’ve kind of let all that got to focus on Finality.
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
I am a recent vinyl convert and junkie. My most recent additions are the Sentenced: The Urn 13 record box set which is amazing, and I couldn’t pass it up! I also grabbed The Lord Weird Slough Feg’s Traveller re-release on vinyl which I am excited to spin. Gamma Ray re-released Blast From The Past on vinyl… that ended up on my doorstep somehow (Amazon is dangerous). Alone Records released Among These Ashes – Dominion Enthroned on vinyl – that’s been in rotation. That’s just scratching the surface. At any given time I am always listening to Borknagar, Maiden, Iced Earth, and Metallica.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Honestly, our scene here in Michigan. There are so many great underground bands just killing it here. So if anyone is still reading I seriously implore you to check out Dagon, Imminent Sonic Destruction, Among These Ashes, Salvation’s End, Theandric, Hate Unbound, Portal of Pazuzu Tyrant (USA but the original Tyrant is always great too), Nethergate, Recorruptor, Convulsis just to name a few off the top of my head. These bands are putting on some great shows within our scene and the mid-west. So it’s worth digging into them and taking a listen!
(interview published May 13, 2023)
Watch Finality – “Revelation” Video