2013 has been simply outstanding for brutal death metal, seeing releases from the likes of Devourment and Defeated Sanity. The outliers in the genre have got to be Spanish death metal oddities Wormed though, with their new album Exodromos smashing faces and blowing minds this week on Willowtip Records. We were chomping at the bit to hear from the guys responsible for one of the most intriguing albums of 2013 and naturally, they delivered! We asked bassist Guillemoth & vocalist Phlegeton about the concept behind Exodromos, the possibilities moshing in zero gravity, and more in our interview below.
Hello! We just wanted to preface this interview by saying we’re all huge fans of your work here at Heavy Blog! Tell us who you are and what you do.
G: Thank you so much! We are Wormed from Spain, we play Sci-Fi Death Metal, and our CD Exodromos will be out through Willowtip on March the 26th. We started in 1998 and we have one CD more called Planisphaerium and two MCD Floating Cadaver in the Monochrome and Quasineutrality.
Can you tell us a bit about the concept on your newest album, Exodromos?
P: Exodromos is a prequel of our first full length Planisphaerium. The story tells about futuristic science concepts and chaotic visions of the last human left in cosmos, his name is Krighsu, one of the last “Chryms”. He has all the knowledge of the science, culture and history of mankind held in his brain.
Is there an underlying theme or message you want to convey in your lyricism or is it up for interpretation?
P: Still within the controversy of being death metal and all the “evil” that entails to be part of this sect, our main theme, is the salvation of the human conscience. It’s a visionary concept, it’s not destructive, but a pacific thinking.
Here is a short extract of the synopsis: “Before the total Solar System’s destruction, the Aglyptians last world order created a project to introduce information concerning to everything discovered by the human beings through thousands years in subjects cryogenically frozen and connected to mega servers in such a way that when they’ll be awaken they’ll be reborn as superior human beings, with a superior intelligence, they will know everything. The Terrax trusted those 100 men with the future of mankind, seeing as using their skill, they’d lead the humanity through the vast cosmos to a safer planetary system.”
This is the why the title is Exodromos: EXO “outer, external”, DROMOS “course, path”
Is there significance of the album art? Who are some artists that inspire your art?
P: The album art is the front view of the spaceship of Krighsu, once escaped from the absorption of the universe to the Xenoverse, it’s a relative lull in all this chaotic journey. Above all, I am inspired by sci-fi movies and old video games, I’m a frequent reader of what is happening on the space and new technological discoveries… with all of that in my head, no wonder that science fiction stories materialize. Perhaps is a message from a future civilization rooted in the subconscious, who knows?
With the concept in mind, your vocal style is often unintelligible, so without lyrics it would be lost on many casual listeners that there was even a high conceptual element across the Wormed discography to begin with. What is your philosophy when approaching vocals or lyrics when it comes to dilemma?
P: The music of Wormed is weird and frenetic, so the vocal style for Wormed has to fit with the bizarre sound, the complex patterns, and our own futuristic/tech concept. This is still Death Metal, so an understandable voice would not make sense here. If you are reading the lyrics while you are listening the album you can follow the phrases without problem, but I must admit that this is only for the most adventurous listeners.
I once saw a video on YouTube with all the phrases and words of one track from Planisphaerium, exactly was “Pulses in Rhombus Forms”, it has a worse vocalization indeed than nowadays, but was edited with lyrics perfectly fitted on the timeline like a karaoke. If somebody could do it, why can’t others?
Obviously you’re a bit of an astro-enthusiast, but you seem educated far more than most lyricists about astrology and astrophysics. Do you have any formal space-related education?
P: Thanks for the praise, well, aside from books and internet investigations, I don’t have any formal education on these topics. I am a very restless guy, self-taught and researcher… I remember my grandfather called me “the astronaut” ;)
I try to show an objective position and not a hard sci-fi vision of mixed theories of scientifics, astronomers and astrophysicists… this is like a sci-movie but interpreted in a musical context, as Ridley Scott shows his visions in movie industry, we show our particular form of tell a history of inspiring entertainment.
What are some of the creative and physical limitations and/or liberties to moshing in zero-gravity?
P: Hahaha!, this is a fun question, what a coincidence! J. Oliver and I had fun imagining a Wormed concert in zero gravity, where the low frequencies and explosions of the palm-muting chords would displace the crowd side to side, in a metallic geodesic dome! Sure, this will be our show in 2029.
Many outsiders view slam and brutal death metal as a “primitive” or possibly even a ‘dumb’ music style that is focused on groove and brutality, yet Wormed are on the forefront of making brutal music intelligent with complex lyricism and progressive and technical musicianship. Was it a goal to transcend these stereotypes or did this happen organically?
G: It’s always the same, people can talk a lot of shit when they don’t understand what they are listening to, they can think brutal death metal is primitive but I disagree. I think when bands like Deeds of Flesh or Cryptopsy or Disgorge (just to name a few) recorded their first releases everybody was amazed, those bands wanted to take the music a step ahead in terms of brutality, technic, speed… and that’s what BDM means for us. BDM has changed a lot through the years and not all the bands are very original but we just try to play the music we’d like to hear. We don’t think when we are composing if this is brutal enough, if it’s how BDM should be… no we don’t care about these things. We have a lot of influences, not only BDM, and nowadays we try to make songs with a kind of feeling, we try to take the listeners to the vast cosmos, to put them in the Krighsu’s skin to feel what he feel.
Likewise, how do you approach songwriting in order to avoid getting trapped by genre limitations? What is your angle when writing music? Can you let us inside your head a bit and run through a typical writing session for us?
P: We always start with the guitar compositions, later we adapt all drum grooves, we make a brainstorming to choose the best breaks and weird tempos and once is all perfectly connected,, we play all patterns many times until we internalize the whole track. When the song is set, I insert the vocals. Sometimes in a wearisome rehearsal day, we can have written 20 secs of a track, its crazy.
Wormed is a great band name and I think the simple one syllable name is definitely a part of your success. It’s a catchy name, being easy to bring up in conversation. Was it always Wormed or did you guys ever have a different name before you settled on your final title?
G: Thanx again!! We think Wormed is a quite strong name and with the logo fits perfectly. J. Oliver and I started playing when we were 15 years old and we had many stupid names till we started Wormed, too stupid to mention!
P: Nowadays, the band name is related to universe, wormholes, space time… etc, but when we chose the name years ago, we didn’t talk about this topics, the meaning was adapted while I wrote the lyrics of our first MCD “Floating Cadaver in the Monochrome” in the 98′.
How is the metal scene in Spain? Any acts that are typically overlooked in North America? What is your favourite Spanish metal band?
G: I think we have a very strong scene, we have bands like Machetazo, Haemorrhage, Adrift, Looking for an Answer, Avulsed… bands that have an international name and play in some of the most important fests in all the world. For me the problem is many new bands start and very few follow through. I mean, we have very good musicians with good ideas and good technique but very few of the bands that started after us have kept playing. Things here in Spain are very bad, no jobs, very few money, no support at all from the “scene”… but we can’t surrender, we have to keep working and that’s the only way. However there are some new bands that are working very hard, playing everywhere and making some good cds, bands like Vortice, Under Vultures, Wrong, Angelus Apatrida, Noctem…I don’t have a favourite one! I like all of them! haha
What is your schedule looking like for 2013? Can we anticipate Wormed hitting the US any time soon?
G: We have some shows, in May will be at the Neurotic Deathfest in The Netherlands, some concerts in Spain in May and June, in September DeathFest in Germany, in November a tour in UK, and we are talking to make a tour in North America and other in Europe, so I hope we’ll get there!
Random question that we like to ask: How do you like your eggs?
P: Over easy, and cook it to me fried with olive oil, please!
Any last words for the readers at Heavy Blog is Heavy?
G: Thanks for the interview, and thanks all the readers of Heavy Blog is Heavy, check out our new CD Exodromos, out on March the 26th! Are you ready for the journey?
P: YOU ARE WORMED!!!
Guillemoth & Phlegeton / WORMED
Exodromos is available now on Willowtip Records. You can stream the record below: