Psycroptic Interview

An interview with Dave Haley:

Could you please tell us more about the history of the band, how things started?

Joe and myself were playing in a band that wasn't really doing what we wanted to do musically so we started jamming on new material. Once we had enough songs we asked Cam to play on bass and Matthew to sing for us. Pretty much a normal beginning for a band. We just kept writing material and once we had enough we started to play shows and all that stuff, then the albums started to come. The first few years were very slow for us until we changed members, replacing Matthew on vocals with Jason. This was when we started to tour and pushed the band more.

What's your opinion on your previous albums "The Isle Of Disenchantment", "The Scepter Of The Ancients", and "Symbols Of Failure" nowadays?

Each album when we have done has been the best we could do at that point in terms of songwriting, production, artwork and all of that... They all have fun songs to play live, and we are proud of what we did on them, but the new album is definitely our strongest and my favorite album that we've done. I personally never really listen to albums I have done to be honest, as it would kill the songs live for me.

Your killer album "Ob(Servant)", where did you record it, who produced it? How was the process of recording?

We recorded it in a local Tasmanian studio and also in Joe, our guitarist's home studio. This way works best for us as Joe knows all the songs and the material, so he as well record it. We got Logan Mader to mix and master it in the US. Technically speaking, Joe produced it as he wrote the music and recorded it. It was a very smooth process and a relaxing album to actually make.

Who writes the lyrics, what are they about? Is there any concept in them? Are the lyrics an important aspect of the band or are they just there to guide the music?

I write the lyrics, and they just explore a wide range of dark themes surrounding humanity and the evolution/devolution of the species. Each set is a stand alone story that is inspired by things I'm interested in, but they are written in such a way that the reader can give them his own meaning. The lyrics are important, but the music is first and foremost. We don't have a message - they are just to complete the music.

How did you get in contact with Nuclear Blast? For how many albums have you signed to them? Are you satisfied with their work?

We had been in touch with Gerardo from the US office for a while, and we knew he was a fan of the band. We talked back and forth about the possibility of signing to the label and he basically said he had to convince the European head office before a decision could be made. Well, a few people put for us good words including Maurizio from Kataklysm, and so the German office sent us an offer. We are signed to them for a few albums, which is great as they are a killer label. Thus far they have been nothing but great to us - just really cool people doing a great job in the metal realm. We are very happy to be on the label.

When it comes down to writing a new song or an album what's the process like?

Each song is different when it comes to writing which is a good way to make sure you don't repeat yourself. For this album Joe pretty much wrote all the material and gave us completed songs to learn which we had never done in the past. It was a great way to work, as we got a very different sounding album which is what we like to do.

Have you played live a lot? What tours have you done in the past?

Yeah, we have toured quite a lot - 4 European tours and 1 US tour. We have plans to get back to Europe with The Black Dahlia Murder and Cephalic Carnage in early 2009, then back to the US. We usually go out as support to a bigger band in Europe and the US, and we go out as headliners in Australia.

Tell some of your experiences playing live.

Of all the shows we have played I would say the shows on the US tour were the best we have done. We have done a lot of shows, and every show we do is important to us. We try to put on the best possible performance for those who have come out to see us.

What are your expectations for Psycroptic in the future?

We just want to tour as much as possible to as many different places as possible. It's great to be able to travel around the world by playing music. We just want to push things as far as we can go - you only get one shot at things in life, so there is no point doing things in half measures. In more defined terms, we hope to do a couple of European and US tours in 2009 as well as to continue to write new and interesting music.

What do you guys do when you're not out on the road? Do you guys work or school?

We all have to work while we are not on the road. Cam and Jason are tradesmen, I'm a drum teacher and Joe records bands and teaches guitar. We are quite busy at home getting bills paid so we can continue to tour. We don't make much money from the band at all, as it goes back into more touring and recording costs. It's very expensive to run a touring band. There are a lot of costs people don't realise.

Are there any cool touring/recording experiences or other bizarre stories you would like to share with us?

We have had a lot of crazy and cool times on the road as well as some bad times - but that's just life really. I can't really single out one story as there are so many but it's always really cool to meet some of the people you grew up listening to and admire which has happened a few times. Each day on tour is a new adventure with a story of its own.

What's your favorite place to tour/play?

Each place we play is really cool as it's a honour not a right to be able to do this. Of course some shows are better than others - that's just the way it is. We really like touring the US as the crowds there were really cool and supportive for us. I can't wait to go back. Touring Europe is great to as there are a lot of countries there I like to explore. Each place has its own unique and special charm.

What do you know and think of Romania?

I know I want to visit there! To be honest I don't know too much, but to visit there would be excellent, as I really love exploring new places. It seems like a very interesting and cultured place with a long history. I know Romania has a very bloody and brutal history, and the people of the country are proud and strong. I really hope we get there one day.

What's Tasmania for you? What is the metal scene like there?

Tasmania is a great place, it's quite small population wise which is good and the nature there is very beautiful. It's not how most people would expect. It looks very European, but with a ruggered edge. I would encourage anyone who is going to visit Australia to make a journey down to the island of Tasmania. The metal scene here is small, but it's very supportive of Psycroptic and we really appreciate the local people. There are some cool bands down here that people should check out, such are Ruins and Zero Degrees Freedom.

How did you come up with the band name?

It was actually coined by someone who we knew years ago. We couldn't come up with a name, and he just came out with it one day. It sounded cool so we used it. None of us have seen him for years though - the last time I heard of him he was in a mental institution.

Currently all over the news is the out-raging gas prices, what are your thoughts on that issue?

Well, it's our own fault really. There are abundant alternatives to gas, but we haven't implemented them yet, so we have no one to blame but ourselves. Humans are naturally greedy - the oil industry is the most greedy of all of them. They have us all hooked on gas like pathetic drug addicts, and they can do anything they like with the prices. Sure there are a lot of other factors that influence prices, but we should be using other alternatives to save money and nature itself.

Is MySpace the great Satan of the 21st Century?

Haha, yeah probably. It seems like it's a necessary evil for bands these days, people using it to check out bands, keep in contact with people and all that stuff. I'm a sucker for it as it helps promo the band and it's an easy way for people to keep in touch. I just don't like the fact that it takes so much of my time!

Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview, any thoughts or comments?

Thank you very much for the questions, hope to see you very soon on tour!

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