Micawber's Sean Thompson Viral Impression

Green Bay, Wisconsin's Micawber is a 5 piece death metal act who's finally found a sound to call their own. After going through a series of difficulty as most bands tend to face, they have managed to find an image that is making an impact on today's metal community. Since their formation in 2007 they have gone on to release 2 EPs, and 1 full-length entitled "Viral" and now all they want to do is to break away from the slow, boring, half-time chugs that have infected the metal scene today, while still maintaining enough energy in their music to put on an intense live show. Guitarist Sean Thompson caught up to discuss the band's historic past, present, and future plans from here on out!

1. What type of band are you?

Sean: We're a Green Bay, Wisconsin based Death Metal band.

2. Tell us the brief history of your band.

Sean: Leighton, Tyler and I (Sean) have been jamming together since we've been in high school  We got together when we were like 16 and over the years our sound has gotten progressively heavier and heavier. We've been setting up our own tours since 2008, put out 2 EPs and 1 full length album ourselves, and are just now finally becoming satisfied with the music that we are writing.

3. What’s the origin of the band’s name?

Sean: Wilkins Micawber is a character in Charles Dicken's 'David Copperfield'. The character is essentially a man with extreme financial problems who is always hopeful that things will get better in the future. Originally I got the name when I was in 8th grade and just Googled "cool words" but over the years we have kind of grown into that representation as a band. We're all extremely broke, we work any jobs that we can get that will allow us to tour, the money that we do make from those jobs is directly invested back into the band for the most part, but we're still all extremely hopeful that this band is going to take us somewhere in the future. Probably too positive of a name for a death metal band, but hey who gives a shit.

4. Who are your musical influences?

Sean: Our influences come from all over the map. Our writing style is definitely influenced for the most part by older death metal bands, but we try to incorporate some newer elements that have come into the genre into what we write as well. We're all really big into thrash too so we try to throw some of that into the mix. Our bass player Marv is also the biggest Motorhead fan and Meshuggah fan that I have ever met in my life. Our style is definitely a strange mix, I don't know if many people really get it haha. Alcohol is also another big influence when it comes to our music.

5. Tell me where the title "VIRAL" came from and what does it symbolize?

Sean: We lost our vocalist who is featured on the Viral album, Jeff Plewa, a couple months ago so I'm going to be speaking for him here for the most part. I'm pretty sure Jeff was using the word "viral" as a reference to the way that the mass media, the news, the internet, etc, is used to spread ideas and information like a virus throughout the human race. I'm not saying that all news sources aren't credible or that you can't trust anything that you read on the internet, but for the most part news sources aren't credible and you probably should trust everything you read on the internet. The Viral album was a way of saying that people's thoughts and actions can be manipulated way too easily, and sometimes the wrong people will take advantage of that fact. Look at human history in general, you'll see it everywhere.

6. What are your songs about? What specific themes do they cover?

Sean: Jeff's lyrics main focal points were political. He was voicing his opinion on the way that our country is run and pointing out that we as a society place way too much value on things like personal wealth, and material goods, and the fact that our leaders hold those same values and the decisions that they make are impacted by them is a shame. With our new vocalist Quentin Biggs we only have a few songs written. The only one that we have recorded with him, "Mass Exodus", is a take on Jim Jones and the People's Temple cult/mass suicide back in the 70's and I think he did a really good job with it. Overall I've been really impressed with Quentin's writing style, and I can't wait to see what else he can bring to the table with this next album.

7. Do you write your own songs? Can you discuss the songwriting process in detail.

Sean: All of our music is completely original, basically we just sit down as a group and come up with the best stuff that we can. We've been jamming together for the past 6 years, at this point the music pretty much just flows out when we're all in the same room together.

8. What's the music scene like in Green Bay, WI?

Sean: The metal scene in Green Bay is awesome, and it's something that we're trying to work really hard to improve for everyone. There's a lot of awesome guys from around the area that are all constantly busting their asses to book shows, play shows, help bands out and keep the scene alive. Great things are coming out of the Wisconsin metal scene in general, we love the crowds at home.

9. Can you discuss the artwork and what it represents?

Sean: The Viral artwork is essentially two people surrounding a third person and forcing their way into the third persons brain through some really brutal spikey tube things coming from their mouths haha. It's a representation of how the mass media can force their way into a person's head and influence the way they perceive the world around them. Again, all of these are Jeff's ideas so I can't be 100% sure that I even know what I'm talking about here.

10. This is a self-release but have you had any luck with finding a label?

Sean: No such luck yet, but we are working extremely hard to make something big happen with the material that we've been working on. If not though, we'll put it out ourselves, tour in support of it as much as we possibly can, and then get started on the next album. That's something that we as a band have always been about, continually trying to progress and at the same time continue to put out music that we have a good time playing.

11. How would you describe the overall sound of it?

Sean: The overall sound of our music as a whole is fast, heavy, and really fun to play and hopefully fun to listen to. Our music is by no means ground breaking or anything, we're just a couple dudes coming up with the best material that we can.

12. Did the band have any definitive goals they were shooting for before the recording process began?

Sean: Well this was the first full length album that we've ever put together, so really it was just a "figure it out as we go" sort of thing. We definitely had an idea of the kind of mix we wanted to end up with, but besides that it was really just a learning experience for us for the most part. We've all had studio experience and everything before, but when you're putting together an entire album you really have to put some work in to make sure all the songs flow together well.

13. Are you using any new instrumentation you've never used in the recording process before?

Sean: Nope, we've always just kind of kept our band simple for the most part. Just guitars, bass, drums and vocals. Heavy metal.

14. When did you start writing for this release?

Sean: The first song or two off of it was probably finished around the beginning of 2011. Some riffs on the album are ones we had been playing around with since like 2010 but we just hadn't done anything with them.

15. Can you go into one or two tracks on this release? If so, can you give us the track title and brief description of how the track sounds and how it came about?

Sean: The title track "Viral" is still one of my favorite songs on the CD, it was one of the first ones we had finished off of the album and I just remember being super stoked about it at the time. It was more fun to play than anything that we had written before, and our fans had never really heard anything like that come out of us before. The new stuff we've been working on is giving me the same feeling though, so that's probably a good thing.

16. What are your expectations for this release?

Sean: I think Viral has pretty much served it's purpose, we've toured off of it pretty heavily this year, had really good feedback from it, and the songs are still fun to play a year later. We're really just trying to keep the ball rolling though with new stuff.

17. Your plans for 2013 are what?

Sean: We'll be hitting the road in February for two weeks, besides that we don't have any scheduled tour plans as of yet. We'll pretty much either be on the road or at home writing, we're hoping to get in the studio for the next album by summertime. Keep an eye on our tour schedule, come hang out with us at a show, and keep your eyes and ear pussies open for the heaviest stuff we've written yet!

18. Anything else you want to say or add?

Sean: Drink beer, smash your television, and support underground metal!

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