The Swiss death metal band Mnemocide are in the Meet The Band spotlight this week. They just released their debut full-length album Feeding The Vultures. Vocalist Matthias and guitarist Richy introduce us to their band.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief hystory of Mnemocide.
Matthias: Mnemocide was founded in 2017. But the band members have known each other for many years from a earlier band project. So we are a very strong unit from a personal and musical point of view. For this reason the songwriting process was easy as soon as we had the vision of how the band should sound like. We played only two shows before we entered Iguana Studios in spring 2018 and recorded the 4 track EP Debris. We released it without a label and the reaction of the media really pleased us. This gave us the confidence to follow further on this musical direction. More shows followed and we grew as a band. In 2019 we were ready to record a full length album and so Feeding The Vultures was born. And finally we can release it with a strong label supporting us. We are grateful how things evolve.
Describe the songwriting process for Feeding the Vultures.
Richy: Our two guitarists sit usually together to put their ideas together. Thereafter we meet and complete the song. During this process every idea is welcome and discussed, because we want every member to contribute, so that in the end the songs belong to the whole band. During this process, Matthias starts thinking about the vocal rhythms and then presents his lyrics. Everyone has to be happy with the whole song. If any part is not liked by a member, we do not use it, period.
How did you come to work with producer Christoph Brandes, and how was the experience?
Matthias: We’ve known Christoph since 2014. He got our attention as a producer of bands we are familiar with such as Bitterness and Unlight. So we recorded the last album of our former band at his Iguana Studios in Germany. After this experience there was no doubt at all that we would work with Christoph again. Working with him is amazing, he knows exactly which sound a band needs to shine. Besides, he is a very nice and relaxed guy. I think he is one of the most underrated producers for rock and metal. This guy should be famous!
What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
Matthias: For me as singer it was the recording of the song “Like Ghosts.“ I was struggling with my vocal lines in the refrain. It didn’t sound convincing. So Christoph listened to this part over and over again and suddenly he started to sing. I immediately ran into the recording room and tried it out and there it was: the killer refrain the song needed.
How does the sound evolved from your 2018 EP?
Richy: I think the sound is pretty much the same, in the sense that Debris can be seen as a first glimpse into what would come in the future. When we were recording Debris, we already had some stuff which ended in the actual album. For our first EP we just took those songs that the band would feel more comfortable with at the time. However, in Feeding the Vultures we started implementing all the samples and interludes a lot more than on the EP. Daroc, who is responsible for these soundscapes, is meanwhile a full and official member of Mnemocde. He was contributing so much in terms of visualization already, that asking him to join the band after he started being active in terms of sound, was a natural step in the evolution of the band.
What lyrical topics do you cover?
Matthias: The main topic of the album describes how the seed of hate turns into war and destruction. It is written from a more general point of view than a personal. It is like a cycle that turns on and on and on. From segregation and blind nationalism to outraged anger and pure hatred. There so many world leaders these days (like in the past) who know exactly how to pull these triggers. And the masses are still willing to follow….and again, blood will be spilled.
How did you sign with Czar of Crickets Productions?
Matthias: We knew Fredy (owner of the label) for many years from his own band Zatokrev. So we watched his label evolving and it became obvious that he does a great job for his bands. Fredy loves what he is doing and he is a great passionate musician. So, you can imagine how proud we were when he signed us. He is not someone who can be easily convinced.
What are your goals and expectations for the album?
Richy: Our goal is clearly to go out there and present our animal to the people. With the whole pandemic situation, which is affecting all of us, it has become however unclear how we will be able to move in the next weeks and months. But anyway, we are doing our best to promote the album via all possible media, being it social media, magazines, radio, etc. We have a lyric video coming out on the song “In Pain,” and a few weeks earlier we released our first single “Crash and Burn.” So we are trying to gain momentum as much as we can despite the situation.
What has been your most memorable Mnemocide live show?
Matthias: This was the Mehsuff Winterfestival 2020 in Zürich. We were sharing stage with bands like Paradise Lost, Grave and Dismember. We were absolutely astonished when we were asked to play there. There was a big crowd in front of the stage during our show and they really enjoyed us.
How did you get started in music?
Matthias: I was on holiday with a friend of mine in 1995. We were eating a chicken while we were listening to Unleashed. Suddenly he came up with the idea of founding a death metal band. He wanted to play bass guitar and I was too lazy to learn an instrument, so I became the shouter. We both knew Richy (guitarist) and we asked him to join us. After a few weeks we had our first band together.
Who were your early influences and inspirations?
Richy: We are a band of six individuals, whose musical consciousness began in the ’80s and is continuing until now, basically. So everything from Kiss and AC/DC to Napalm Death and Slayer has put some influence in our hearts and brains. For sure we can say that death metal in its rather raw version has always been the main traction.
What was the first metal concert you attended?
Matthias: For me it was Alice Cooper in 1991 in Zürich.
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected Switzerland, and you personally?
Matthias: Luckily, Switzerland wasn`t hit so hard by the pandemic like Spain, France, Italy or Great Britain. I guess our government did a good job. But still we have between 1800 and 1900 casualties. Nobody in the band has lost someone beloved or lost his job. But these are hard times and we deeply hope it gets better very soon. Of course we had to cancel some shows or postpone them.
What is currently in your heavy musical rotation?
Matthias: Disbelief, Katatonia, Sulphour Aeon, Vader, just to name a few. I am really looking forward to listening the new Paradise Lost record.
Anything else you`d like to mention or promote?
Matthias: Stay tuned for Feeding The Vultures and check out our Facebook or website concerning the activities of the band. For any requests feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay healthy and confident and check out our music. If you like death metal, you will love Mnemocide!
(interview published May 16, 2020)
Listen To Mnemocide – “In Pain”