Hello, how are you and what is up in the EMBALMER band? I guess you prepare some new T-shirts....
TIM: I'm stoked to be a part of the legendary group that has helped define the genre of grind!!! And yes, we've got some sick new shirts out for the song "Limbs in the grinder" Featured on "13 Faces Of Death". The artwork was lended to us by Mike Majewski of Devourment. We've also got a 2 song demo in the works that I'm very pleased with thus far.
DON: Doing great, just getting our two songs 2009 Promo CD finished up with Brian Forgue of Syphilic. Shits coming together nicely, definitely the bands best work to date. And yea we just released the killer new LIMBS IN THE GRINDER shirts with the Mike Majewski artwork. They came out great.
RICK: Everyone is doing great. Currently we are just finishing the mixes up on the brand new promo, and I must say some of our sickest material to date. The brand new shirt available through Gorefiend is a Majewski classic, Limbs in the Grinder, also we have a couple more ideas floating around.
Who is the main EMBALMER leader? Is interesting that from the original members who formed EMBALMER has left no one....
TIM: Though there are technically no original members from the first line-up, Rick Flemming, our vocalist has been in the band since the "Rotting Remains" demo was recorded. The Embalmer that everyone knows would not exist without Rick. He has been in the band the longest, but there is no sole leader. We are all leaders, and we all equally contribute to the life of the band.
DON: Well, I guess in terms of the leader, that would be Rick. He has been in the band the longest. But, we all write the music and take on responsibilities for booking shows and stuff.
RICK: I am the longest lasting member. As far as a leader we really don’t have one main leader but Brian and myself work closely together in decision making, being the senior members in the scene.
Sometimes around 1998 EMBALMER disbanded ... after how many years has it been revived? Why have you broken up and who came up with idea to renew it?
RICK: We were gone till 2005 when Roy and I decided to revive band. The band broke up around that time due to the lack of interest and devotion in the band.
I have to admit that "There Was Blood Everywhere" CD is already cult, it sounds absolutely deadly, while listening I feel as if I was in the old cellar full of musty, corpse smell. What inspired you to write lyric to The Cellar song?
RICK: The lyrics to The Cellar were inspired by one of the greatest horror movies ever The Evil Dead. I wrote those lyrics though original vocalist Toby Wulff came up with the title.
Why have you chosen to add some old stuff to the "13 Faces of Death" album?
RICK: A couple of the tracks we did to better versions, recording wise. Then there was the sense of wanting to bring the old with the new, since it had been so long we played them songs, you know kinda bringing the generations together.
What's the latest news on your 3rd album? Do you have an album name as yet, or any song titles? How do you feel your music has progressed from your earlier releases?
TIM: This new generation of Embalmer is much faster, more brutal and doesn’t sound at all dated while still maintaining the eerie Embalmer sound.
DON: Well, we are writing, and shopping for a label at the moment. We've got just the two new songs for the promo done at this time. The music for these newer tracks is the fastest, brutal shit the band has EVER done. Expect complete annihilation...
RICK: The new album will be called The Apocalyptic Bloodshower. Some new titles right now are “ Hollowed out Corpse”, “Invitation to a Slaughter”, which those two are on the brand new promo. Other titles in the works are One Bullet, Six Skulls, Hung Upside Down and Stabbed Repeatedly, and Zombified Children of Sodom. The new music has progressed immensely having more serious musicians and more diverse players involved.
It seems you've had a few line up changes recently, what were the reasons? Would you care to expand on this??
TIM: I care not to comment on any ex-members. They will not be shaping the future of this band.
DON: Well, it seems every death metal band has a revolving line-up. Circumstances. I don't care to elaborate about such things.
RICK: Anybody who’s not in this band anymore was either to lazy to get their shit together to jam or tour , not up to par musically to keep up, or just not a cool person. We all like to jam and have a lot of fun doing it, but were all very serious but what we do as well.
Would you say having the new members in the band added anything to your sound?
TIM: As being a new member myself I feel that it has given us all new inspiration and a new sound. Fresh, young musicians working with extremely experienced and old-school guys allow us to stay sharp and not lay down like dead dogs. We refuse to write watered-down material.
DON: Brian has added a nice touch of professionalism to the band. A lot of quality control as far as what riffs make the cut and what sucks.
RICK: Tim is an amazing drummer he can do anything we want him to do. Brian adds a lot with his speed picked bass style, and Don has been the tightest guitarist the bands ever had.
All of your songs emit pure fear and horror… Where is your source for this macabre inspiration? Will be the new material in this way moreover?
TIM: Some of my inspiration comes from Horror movies, but most comes from everyday events that occur in life. People are murdered everyday where we live. Reality is far more frightening than anything in movies.
DON: Horror movies, brutal Cleveland winters, and weed.
RICK: The lyrics mostly come from horror movies that we’ve grown up on and partly from my own sick fucked up mind since I’d love to kill people the way I describe in my songs. The new material will sick as fuck, more brutal, more twisted, and more intense.
I think technical bands need clean sound to hear those neck breaking riffs, but the bands as you, AUTOPSY, INCANTATION etc. need more dirty sound that show off the atmosphere. Will you regard for this at recording of a new album?
TIM: I myself am a technical player and love technical metal. I agree with the fact that some bands should have that dirty sound, but I like my production to be more solid and not so much "clean" as solid, punchy and in the mix equally. Especially with the new Embalmer style.
DON: I think we will take a 'middle of the road' stance as far as tones on the new album. We want the riffs to be heard cleanly, and of course having better musicians now will make that much easier, but we also do desire that creepy, eerie, cellar vibe to come through as well.
RICK: I definitely have always been very fond of production for our style kind of like Autopsy Mental Funeral; the best way to describe it is a dirty sound. I’m definitely myself very happy with the songs we wrote on 13 Faces of Death, but the mix down sucks. So it won’t sound like that. The production stuff I did really had to do with the concept, song arrangement, samples, and the final structure of the songs and order on the disc, but the people who engineered that disc and recorded fucked the whole dahm thing up. The Blood Everywhere e.p. was mixed by Bill from Relapse and I think our mix was dingier. My favorite mix on any of our shit has to be the Rotting Remains demo which is tracks 5 to 8 on the Blood Everywhere disc. I would love to get a dirty raw sound like that then it really sounds fucking creepy as fuck.
How do you go around writing an EMBALMER song? With the sophistication of compositions, I'd imagine it'd take a fair while to arrange the music. Are you sometimes forced to write on the road a lot?
TIM: Mostly just tweeking riffs and bouncing ideas back and forth with the other members until we are all satisfied, and with four people all having to agree it can be a stressful thing. However, we are all strong individuals and are very easy to work with, and we all love doing it. We try to write the most intense, bone crushing fucking songs that we can without straying too far from the original Embalmer sound.
DON: We all contribute to the writing process now, and I think that will come through in the quality of the new songs.
RICK: We get high as fuck, get in a room and come up with the best riffs possible. Something mediocre gets tossed right away; only keeping the creme of the crop riffs and arrange them for maximum brutality.
Have you ever thought about experimenting with your sound, or do you save that for other your bands?
TIM: I usually save the experimentation for my other band Pig Chicken Suicide, but it is always fun to fuck with a certain sound for a certain song. Again, as long as we stay within the Emablmer "zone" then we are free to do much. It is good to experiment with new shit, but we have a formula and try to stick to it. Hear it is: Sick, Brutal, Satisfying!!!!
DON: Not really, we just try to keep it grindy. There is some stuff, as far as guitar techniques, that's new to the band at this point. More two-guitar parts, and tapping and things like that.
RICK: We try and keep it classic the way it began, grind, gurgle and screams. I think on the last album we went a little thrashier which I liked but was probably a little experimental. This current lineup is just writing what we feel Embalmer has always been.
Which bands would you say made you want to found own band, and who would you say is the most influential musician on your own personal playing style?
TIM: As a youngster I was heavily influenced by bands like Napalm Death, Blood Duster, Cephalic Carnage, Cryptopsy etc..
One of my main influences as a drummer would be John from Cephalic Carnage though there are many others.
DON: For me, Morbid Angel, Incantation, Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation, Deicide, Origin, Dying Fetus, Cryptopsy (OLD!!!) these were all some of the first DM bands I got into years ago, and continue to be my biggest inspirations. I like a wide variety of metal, including more underground stuff, but that doesn't influence me as much.
RICK: I was influenced to want to play by Slayer for sure but by the time I could actually play I would say my favorites were Cannibal Corpse, Autopsy, and Terrorizer.
Are you 100% satisfied with the support you receive from the scene in Ohio? Do you think it could possibly get any stronger than it is at the moment, or has it peaked?
TIM: The Ohio scene in my opinion could be better. It is a strong scene, and without it we might not have come as far as we have. There are many sick bands to come out of OH such as Hemdale and Regurgitation, but there is always room for growth.
RICK: I used to love the old days back in 93 to about 97 in Cleveland the scene was fucking huge but nowadays it’s a dying breed. I think that one day the scene could get huge again and even bigger and would love to see the old days again.
DON: It's probably a lot better than other places, as far as the number of bands of all kinds of metal, and a ton of places to play. Any shows we do here are always awesome, but I think our best crowds are out of town shows.
What's on your play-list at the moment?
TIM: As far as my personal playlist?? SS18 "fucked on a bed of nails" Devourement "butcher the weak" Embalmer "There was blood everywhere" some Aborted and Molester too...
DON: the new Bloodbath, Hail of Bullets, the new Syphilic, older Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Odious Sanction
RICK: Serial killer confession tapes.
When you play live, do you try to stay close to the studio version or do you like to change things up? Which song is your fave to play live?
TIM: We try to play as close to the recording as possible live, especially with th older stuff we are a little more free with newer stuff. Roy and I have two extremely different styles so you will hear that in my fill-ins and blasts, but we keep it close.
DON: We do stick to the studio version, though everything now will be faster and cleaner sounding. My guitar leads are improvised live a good portion of the time. I'd say so far Necro Filing Cabinet is always a killer song to play live.
RICK: We play them pretty much the way we record them sometimes a little faster live. Favorite song to play live probably They Can Smell Our Blood from the last album and Morbid Confessions from the old stuff.
Have you ever been in Europe? Ok, that's all, thanks for the interview. Add some message for your fans?
TIM: I have never!!! I can’t wait to tour over there and get out of the wretched states for a while. The scene in Europe is so strong and everyone is so supportive. I can’t wait to go sick on stage for all you crazy fuckers!!!!
I want to thank all our fans for sticking with us for all the years. We'll keep writing quality music as long as you keep listening.
DON: Not yet, but we have just been confirmed for the bands first European appearance at the NRW Fest in Germany!! Very excited for that. And for the fans, thanks for being supportive and pumping us up to keep putting out the best grinds we can!!! Without them we are nothing. Stay sick!!!
RICK: Never been but will be later this year and can’t fucking wait.