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Интервью с Malebolgia,

Joseph Byron (guitar)

Being a really schocked by the extreme atmosphere of chaotic opus "Rise For The Inexorable" by MALEBOLGIA (North Carolina, USA), we have tried to receive answers for all the inspired questions from it's mastermind Joseph Byron immediately.


Hi Joseph! How you're doing? Are you ready to pay some attention to our modest web-zine?

Hello! Thank you very much for the oppertunity to write a little about Malebolgia. I appresciate your thoughtful questions and comments. Please find below the responce to your questions. Let me know if you need anything further from me.

Just to be hot on the trail... Tell us about debut full-length «Requiem For The Inexorable». What's your personal opinion about it?

Hey man. Thanks for the support! Personally, Requiem For The Inexorable turned out really well. I actually like what we put together. It's got speed and atmosphere and I like how Jamie King captured our dirty sound. The artwork turned out crazy! Tim and Camille did a really good job. I think it compliments the sound overall.

Promo campaign has already started impetuously and as long as I can see you're one of the main initiators of it. Do you think that label's work only is not enough?

Well, I think that the band has to work just as hard if not harder. Any label will do what they need to do to make money and support the scene but the band has to push the effort even further. Maybe it's just me but I could not see myself just sitting around while someone else busts his/her ass promoting something that I should have interest in. The other thing is that I felt a little bad because Comatose did not really have the budget at this time to release the record but Steve really liked it and we wanted to work with him.

Joseph, tell us about relations of MALEBOLGIA and Comatose Music? Are you satisfied with attention that label pays to your business? What can you tell about Steve Green? Is he a good choice to deal with?

Steve is really cool & has done a great job in the time we had. When we approached him to release the record we had already postponed the release because another label was dragging ass on it. So we contacted Steve to put it out and then we told him we would like to have it out in two months! He had a lot of other things planned and was very busy with other releases but he busted butt and got the thing out. I am very happy with our relationship because we just shook hands on the deal and we knew we could trust him to do the right thing...which he has.

I'd say that MALEBOLGIA is a "dark horse" yet for majority of metal fans. Could you tell in short about events that preceded releasing of «Requiem For The Inexorable»?

Yeah I would agree with you he he. Basically, Kevin and I had been planning the recording for five years! The hold up was always the band members coming and going. That really put a hold on everything. We had several songs written and finally things fell into place with the arrival of Tim Knouff on Bass and Matt Lovett on Lead guitar. Before that we had self released several 4-track demos, a 6 song demo called Synchronized Stabbings, and then we recorded two songs (Infesdead & Born Of The Nephelim) we had written for this album to help promote. Around 2006 Disemboweled Records approached us about releasing a 3 way split with Infected Malignity and Tragical memories which Boy released on tape. Then it was released by Vrykoblast Productions on CD. Other than those recordings, we played many shows and it seams we were always teaching somebody our songs ha ha!

In the band bio we can find that time before MALEBOLGIA was more into traditional brutal sound. But now you make accent on quality of playing and more complicated complex arrangements. What led to such changes? Is this an unavoidable creative evolution or yearning for eccentricity?

Maybe, I'm not sure. Kevin and I just started writing in this more dissonant style and Kevin kept getting faster and faster and it just morphed into this hybrid of death metal and grind. I think the biggest change that we made consciously was in lyrical themes. The gore lyrics are cool and we all love gore themed bands but Kevin and I had some personal experiences and outlooks that we wanted to express though the band. I have found that it makes me more passionate about the band because it means something on a personal level. Other than the lyrics, the rest of the sound change was just a transition and honestly, many fuck ups and accidental slips that we thought sounded good. So we kept them and then started using them on purpose.

There are three sixes on the logo of MALEBOLGIA well known as the number of the beast. Do you follow the dark way?

No we simply liked the image of it. It is like a statement that we are not what we seem to be. I think I would be correct in saying that most of the guys in the band don't even believe in Satan but the imagery of something considered to be dark gives a vibe or atmosphere that may well represent the sound of the music.

Joseph, your release «Requiem For The Inexorable» shows great performance technique and at the same time you create unique atmosphere of chaos. How do you reach this?

Thank you! First of all, I play really dirty. I am not a very clean, tight player, so I have tried to use that to develop a unique sound. I use a lot of dissonant diminished chords which helps the atmosphere and dark melodies instead of using single note riffs. When we do use single note riffs, usually Matt is playing a harmony so it still sounds dark and thick. I think most of the "chaos" sound comes from Kevin's style of drumming which just pummels through each song. Also, the way Kevin uses his cymbals to accent the riffs help the intensity of the song structure as a whole.

Are there any professional musicians amongst members of MALEBOLGIA or did you train all your musical skills yourself? Oh, by the way, send my regards and respect to your drummer. His work in «Requiem For The Inexorable» is really impressive.

Thanks! I will let Kevin know.....I am self taut and I think everyone else is except for Matt. I think he went to school for Music and had taken guitar lessens. I know Kevin is always studding techniques to help improve timing stamina and speed. As for me, I learn new stuff from accidental fuck ups and from Matt. Matt is trying to teach me how to sweep pick. Ha ha! I'm getting better but my fingers tend to get in my way ha ha!

I'm sure you've been asked hundreds times about it but still I can't stand of it. So how grounded is presence of bonus-track «Cock Rockin' Fever» on the CD? Don't you think it totally contrasts with main material from «Rise For The Inexorable»?

Well I think it basally does contrast. It was not initially meant to be on the record. It is just a joke song we used to play warming up and Kevin wrote some of the dumbest lyrics ever so we just recorded it just because it was funny and we thought people might enjoy a good laugh. Once Steve heard it, he thought it was hilarious and wanted to put it on just as an extra fun track. Pissing puss was not supposed to be on the record either but Steve liked it as well. Back in 2001 we recorded another fun song titled "Porno Song" and many people found it to be funny and disturbing so we thought we would follow it up with something even more ridiculous. We do not see it or Pissing puss as part of the album rather an attachment.

How often do you face negative attitude to work of MALEBOLGIA? Do you take criticism resignedly or you don't pay any attention to it leaving carpers poisoned by their own venom of malignancy?

I'm sure there are many people who do not like us. Usually, it is people who just don't get it or simply do not like our style. That is perfectly ok with us. We understand that this music and MALEBOLGIA is not for everyone. We play the music we like and we hope other people like it. What really pisses me off is when people don't even want to check it out because it's not "cool" or in style. Other than that, if people don't like it, we are simply playing to the wrong crowd.

Is there any concert tour planned for support of «Requiem For The Inexorable»? And if so who will pay organizational costs - band or label?

We are not really planning a major tour rather a series of short tours. This is mostly because of our jobs but yes, we will be going out. For example, we are playing 10 dates up the east coast of the US and into Canada in June/July. Then later on we may do another short run. The band would inure the expenses hoping to recoup the expenditures by selling merchandise.

Joseph, how do you think how soon your European fans can gladly see MALEBOLGIA's live performances?

We would love to play in Europe. I personally like to travel and learn about different countries. Basically, we would consider it if the timing and circumstances were right. I'm not sure when that would be but hopefully soon.

How impressive is extreme scene in North Caroline and what place does MALEBOLGIA take there in your opinion? What bands you are befriended with?

It is actually very terrible!!! The type of music that is cool here is where you would dress up like a girl with pants that are way to tight and be depressed. Sometimes there are good shows but overall, it seams like it is really hard to get people to come out and support any kind of music. Many of the venues have closed down because no one comes out to shows. It really sucks.

Now let's talk about your instruments and equipment. What amps and instruments do you use during rehearsals?

I use a Mesa Boogie triple rectifier half stack along with some assorted Boss effects peddles. I love my BC Rich Warlock Deluxe. I like the way it plays and it is really comfortable. I have put a Gibson dirty fingers pick up in it. I also love my Gibson Les Paul studio. It was my first real guitar so it will always be special but I usually don't play it out that much. I also have a BC Rich Mockingbird and another Warlock but the Warlock Deluxe is my main instrument. Kevin is playing a Mapex Drum set and is currently trying out several brands of cymbals. Tim has an endorsement with Madison Cabs so he is playing a 4 X 10 cab and has recently acquired a GK amp head. Matt has a 100 watt Laney amp head and uses two 4 X 12 Emperor cabs. He plays PRS guitars and uses and assortment of effects peddles. Josh uses whatever mic he can get his hands on and his vox. He he.

Have you ever tried to play some cheap shitty instrument in the beginning of your musical career? How important for rookie musician is to have a high quality instrument?

Yeah, actually my other Warlock is a very cheap guitar but when you just want to have something that does not mean much to you when you play out it fulfills its purpose. I think it is very important to invest in quality instruments. Not only do they sound better but they are usually better to play. This is important because when you first start to learn, it seams really hard and if the instrument you are using is shitty, it just makes it that much harder to deal with. At the same time, usually when you first start messing around with instruments you typically do not know how to take proper care of them so you would end up damaging a very nice guitar. I guess I can see it both ways and it depends on your financial situation.

How did playing in band influence on you, Joseph? Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

Playing music is like breathing. I truly need to be playing. I feel like the experience of playing in MALEBOLGIA and my previous bands have been an excellent experience not only for my sanity but for life in general. I would say that it has help in organizational skills as well as the art of perseverance. I would like to think of myself as neither an optimist nor a pessimist rather a realist. Whether things are bad or good makes no difference in striving for perfection.

Does MALEBOLGIA feel fans' support? What does it alike? Here our fans use to make appeared musicians deadly drunk. Do you have such tradition?

Ha ha ha! No. Not really. We have some very good friends of the band who come out to shows when they can and support the scene, but as fare as crazed fan's, I'm not sure we have that impression on people. Tim and I rarely drink but the rest of the guys would love it if the fans would get them drunk he he.

That's actually all. What are your last words for all metalheads of Russia?

Thank you very much for the opportunity to talk about MALEBOLGIA with you. It has been fun and the questions were really thoughtful. To all the metal heads in Russia: Don't follow trends and do things because your friends tell you it is cool but, be open minded enough to accept new things into your life while making them your own. Thanks for the support in Russia and hopefully one day, MALEBOLGIA can play there. Check out the website and get a t-shirt or a hat while your there. Thanks again. See you soon.

Thanks for reply, Joseph. I wish the MALEBOLGIA creative progress. Always stay same original and don't turn your way!

Cheers, bro!

Вопросы—Papa Vader


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