It seems that the United States is crawling with death metal bands, coast to coast it looks to be the one genre the country can agree on. The only issue with the fact that we’ve produced so many death metal bands is that a lot of the times, they just plain suck. From the “metal non grata” of deathcore to the diehards that enjoy great music but just don’t have the knack to produce it; death metal is way too easy to come across. Ultimately, discovering a US death metal band is like finding a scene kid at a Hot Topic, or finding a hipster at Goodwill. Eventually, they all just sort of blend together and fade into a rather boring sea of the same-old shit.
Fortunately, I have some great news to deliver to you death metal faithful, so gather ‘round. There has been a death metal band discovered hiding in the cornfields of Beatrice, Nebraska. These corn-fed boys were brought up on all of the right elements of good death metal. They have blended together quite an enjoyable mix of jaw-dropping machine gun drumming, killer riffs, and fantastic gutturals that could take on some of the genres great names, no doubt. To the faithful, I deliver unto you Garoted.
Forming in 2008, they already have three releases under their belt, a demo, a full length, titled “Praise Hate, Praise Murder, Praise the Beast”, and an EP “Evil Personified”. Their second full length album “Visions of Death and Destruction” is set to be released in early 2013 through Dunkelheit Productions (GER). As I was lucky enough to get my hands on the music, it’s safe to say that this is one hell of a sophomore release and is sure to get the band recognized in death metal scenes around the world. This album is 38 minutes of pure, soul crushing death metal.
I was able to chat with the band and asked them a few questions about their metal careers so far and what they see in their future.
So guys, what is it like being in such an extreme genre of music in the middle of the Heartland? Was it difficult to get a solid band line-up formed? Whatever you guys did has clearly worked.
D Stansberry: Its interesting. We are proud of where we’re from, and we feel its our obligation to show everyone that midwest metal isn’t all Slipknots and Dirtfedds. True metal lives in the heartland and we are right in the center of it. We have only had one member change, things didn’t work with our original bassist. So we found Zach, who coincidentally attended our first show ever, and added him on second guitar. I believe we were moving forward without bass until I stepped in and offered to try out. I learned all the songs 2 weeks prior to a show and things have been the same ever since. If we changed the lineup we’ve agreed that we would change the name. We don’t want to be a club-band.
Drew Frerking: It’s a bit of a blessing and a curse at the same time. It’s great because it’s small enough that we can have our chance to perform instead of having to be tossed aside with numerous bands of the same genre. There is however very little of a metal scene here locally, hence why we do our best to travel to outer areas for exposure. It was a bit difficult in the beginning to find the right members for this band, all of us had originally played in bands we were unhappy and unsatisfied with. The weird thing though is how all of us came to know each other and become a working unit of musicians, so strange but I am extremely happy to still be doing this with a consistent line-up.
Zach Mckeighan: I was really amazed to see all the talent in the band when I attended Garoted’s first performance. I managed to keep in contact with Drew, which led to jamming a few times and landing a spot on as a guitar player.
Tell us about the metal scene in your neck of the woods, does the small size translate into better fans and followers?
DS: Well were all so spread out, we consider ourselves to be ‘centralized’ in lincoln. We don’t particularly like to use that word ‘scene’, but I feel the ‘scene’ in lincoln had a weak moment, but now all these awesome bands are starting, and it’s not all metal. So were trying to start something new, something people can actually believe in, be a part of and enjoy. We tend to play more in the Kansas/Missouri area; we’ve gained a small following in that area which is awesome! Now were starting to bring together the KC scene with the Lincoln scene and its going to turn into a midwest connection unlike anything we’ve ever seen! The fans are great, we have a ton of friends that support us and we keep making more fans and friends every show we play. We’ve been fortunate to play with so many killer bands that give us places to stay and just treat us great. So yes, its great its much more personal, I enjoy talking with people about anything and everything, I feel like the bigger cities might not have that intimacy as much…I could be wrong.
Drew: I consider Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri to be the scene we are part of. There are great bands from all areas but I feel that we are most welcomed into Missouri. The more we play there the better each show gets with real metal fans supporting the bands that perform there. We have made tons of friends in those areas and it’s never a dull moment, you can attend an after party there and see the entire scene of bands there just having a great time!
Zach: The more shows that we play usually brings in more people who haven’t heard us live. Its great seeing dedicated new fans as well as ones who were there from the beginning.
In regards to the recording of the new album, I’ve read some pretty interesting things. You recorded in your own studio? Tell us more about how you managed to get such a polished and professional sound, because a lot of bands out there could use some tips.
DS: Well we really didn’t intend on it. We demo every song after its written (our infamous “Dungeon Rehearsals), and as we were demo-ing these tracks preparing to go into the studio, we realized what we had. The perfect sound we wanted, raw and relentless. So we decided why go to a studio, spend a bunch of money on something we may not be happy with? It just came naturally, it was very organic in nature and just felt right. Not to say it wasn’t a pain in the ass…
Drew: This was the first album we had self-sufficiently recorded. The reason for doing this was because we were so disappointed in the outcomes of recording production on our past efforts. We’d spend all this money on traveling expenses and recording costs just to be unsatisfied with the final outcome. As time went on we became more self-reliant and we decided it would make more sense to spend our money on recording gear and try it out ourselves. This is the first time we are 100% happy with the recording of our songs, I had a vision how this album was going to sound and we achieved it. It wasn’t easy though.
Zach: Drew recorded the whole album in his basement, and sent it to Daniel Collabolleta of Succorbenoth to be mixed/mastered. After a few releases prior we discovered that this was the most cost/time effective that worked best with our schedules and ended up being the best release to date.
After such a great album release, do you guys plan on doing any touring? If so, where?
DS: It seems impossible for us to tour. We all have so much going on in our lives, its hard for us to even get together and rehearse. We hope very soon we will be able to do such. Any band that says its easy is full of shit, we live for metal but we can’t drop everything to tour. And I’m a parent now, some of the other guys are going to school, there’s a lot of hills to climb but we aren’t going anywhere, so you’ll be seeing us on the coasts in the future, and europe!
Drew: Touring is still up in the air and there are lots of hills and obligations we need to get past before such a thing happens. The time isn’t quite right yet but it is definitely something we wish to do in the future, only time will tell.
Zach: We’d be glad to tour where ever there is metal fans to listen.
A big thank you goes out to Garoted for taking the time to sit down and chat with me. Keep an eye out in 2013 for “Visions of Death and Destruction”! Until then, make sure to follow them via your choice method of social networking to keep up with what’s going on!
Drew Frerking – Guitar
Zach Mckeighan – Guitar
D – Vocals/Bass
Nolan Weber – Drums/Backup Vocals