Desecration's Andi Talks of the Cemetery Sickness Going Around

Death metallers Desecration have been around for quite sometime and have been hard at work writing and recording for their latest album "Cemetery Sickness". Bassist Andi Morris discusses the album, studio time, and plans these guys have for the future.

1. Can I get a backstory on the band/ band biography?

Andi: Formed in 1993 and after just one demo "Mangled Remains" DESECRATION recorded their debut album "Gore & Perversion" (1995), which was banned upon release! The artwork AND lyrics led the band to their arrest under the Obscene Publications Act. A one year court case was eventually dropped but they were warned to ‘tone down’ in the future.  A Norwegian record label later released this album with a censored cover.

Naturally, after lying low for a short period of time, they were offered a contract with Copro Records and hit back with "Murder in Mind" (1998), an album with similar content but with mild artwork and unprinted lyrics. This even included a track called "A Message to the Censors". A three week American tour was next and an appearance on the Texas Metalfest.

After inevitable line-up changes, ‘Inhuman’ (2000) was released. The band performed a European tour and European festivals and shows, sharing the stage with bands such as NILE, CANNIBAL CORPSE, MORBID ANGEL etc.

In 2002, the fourth album was released "Pathway To Deviance". During the same studio session "Gore & PerVersion 2" was recorded. It was a great idea as this time Ollie and Mic recorded it faster, heavier and better as a better band would! This came out in 2003.

2005 brought "Process of Decay", the critically acclaimed concept album depicting in detail the decomposition of a corpse, which got rave reviews in many magazines. A UK tour with VADER, another with SUFFOCATION and gigs with DEICIDE, NAPALM DEATH, BEHEMOTH followed along with a new label contract. Andi joined the band at this time and shortly after Ollie and eventually Mic, and Andi would join punk grinders EXTREME NOISE TERROR.

In 2008 the band headed back to the studio to record "Forensix" for Metal Age Productions. This album took the band all over Europe, including many festivals such as OBSCENE EXTREME, INFERNO, DEATHFEAST and BLOODSTOCK.

In many people’s eyes, Desecration became UK Death metal legends AKA "The Welsh Death Metal Bastards". Over the last few years they have performed headline shows mostly in UK but also some shows in Russia and Asia. Mic recently joined UK thrash outfit ONSLAUGHT, meaning all members were busy! It’s been a long time coming but at last, 2014 sees the band better themselves again with a brand new album, CEMETERY SICKNESS, their second for Metal Age Productions with a controversial cover, explicit lyrics and kick ass tracks such as "Cabletie Castrator", "Cut up and Fed to the Dog", and "Coffin Smasher" (for the first time with an official promo video!)

2. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Andi: We're based in South Wales, which has a very small death metal scene. We've recently done a few gigs with local lads Sodomized Cadaver, and another bunch of brutal locals are Crytophile. We don't to play locally too much though, as Wales is very small, so we often tour the UK, most recently with Basement Torture Killings, Zombified and Foetal Juice. I think we've done something like 4 tours in a row with that line up now, which shows how well we all get along! Definitely check them all out.

3. How and why did you want to call yourselves Desecration, what does that mean and represent for you guys?

Andi: Well that was way before my time in the band, but I that there's nothing cryptic about the meaning. It suits our lyrical and often graphical themes in the fact that we destroy what is precious. This is really apparent with our upcoming album cover where we are seen to be desecrating a cemetery.

4. What bands have influenced your band and its sound?

Andi: The 3 of us are fans of old school death metal, so that's what we play. We enjoy bands that have memorable riffs and well thought out song structures, and hopefully that shows as an influence to our song writing. Influential bands over the years have got to be the classics like Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse and Vader, but also others such as Pestilence, I do like to think that we play faster than those guys though, especially live.

5. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

Andi: The lyrics are always quite traditional gore and horror related. Sometimes about certain serial killers, others just describing horrific acts. There's an incredible amount of perversion in there, and there's usual pretty obvious sexual overtones. We're not a political band, so we don't have a message in our song content, except that if you think about the 3 of us sitting down to write these lyrics you might realize that there is something seriously wrong with us.

6. Is it important for you to paint visual pictures with the songs?

Andi: Definitely. If you don't you're essentially just writing rude words to form a song. We like to think of a scene, or series of scenes for the lyrical theme for a song, and map out how it would play out. I think this comes from Ollie being a huge horror movie fan so that has instilled a lot of ideas and situations into his already twisted brain.

7. What's the story behind your current single "Cemetery Sickness"?

Andi: Lyrically it's about a very disturbed individual going into a graveyard at night and pleasuring himself all over the graves and the dead contained within. We often laugh when we see the lyrics for that song as you cannot glance at the lyric sheet without seeing something utterly sick and disgusting. The single itself was released last year as a split 7" picture disc with our friends and fellow perverts Basement Torture Killings. It's actually a completely different recording to the version that appeared on the album so if you listen to both you'll hear some slight differences.

8. What's your take on the album "Cemetery Sickness" as a whole?

Andi: It's been a long time coming as we've all bene so busy with our other bands, so it's a huge relief to have it all recorded and ready to be released. We've written the songs over a period of several years, basically since Forensix came out in 2008, but several of the songs have been tweaked and chopped until we've been 100% happy with them. I don't think there's a single note or cymbal hit on the album that we haven't scrutinized in great detail. I know we're all pleased with the outcome and the reviews so far are really positive so hopefully others will think so too.

9. What would be the cinematic equivalent of "Cemetery Sickness"?

Andi: It's hard to pin this down to a single film as there's not only one theme to the album. It would definitely be a horror film though. Perhaps it's better suited to the whole horror genre as we have songs about graveyards, chopping people up and feeding them to animals, cannibal morticians, and also a slight twist on a common theme with a song about a female serial killer who likes to dispatch of her victims by castrating them with a cable tie.

10. How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?

Andi: That's a difficult question to answer really as we approached this very differently to any album we've recorded in the past. Usually we've had 2-3 weeks to record the whole thing in one block, but this time we had a bit more room to play with as we recorded at Mic's (drummer) studio (Sonic Forge) in Cardiff. This meant that we could go in over several sessions and try things out, especially with the vocals. Really the recording took around 10 months, but if we actually added up the time into one block it would probably have been around 3 weeks to a month.

11. What kind of "sound", production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?

Andi: The only thing we all knew we wanted before recording was a more natural drum sound than has ever been on previous Desecration albums, and I definitely think that has been achieved, and I think the album sounds way better because of it.

12. What kind of input did the producer have during the process?

Andi: The album was produced by Joe Thompson who runs the studio with Mic and he helped in all kinds of ways. He didn't change anything as far as song structures or anything like that went, however he has got a really keen ear and picked us up when we didn't play something as tightly as he would have liked, or if a certain note would sound better in a particular place than others. He really knows his stuff fair play.

13.  And are you pleased with the final outcome? Like (sound - production wise)?

Andi: Yes, as I mentioned earlier, I think it's the best sounding Desecration album, and I know we've worked so hard on these songs that I really hope others like it as much as we do.

14. Did the producer use any (weird) experimental mixing and/or recording techniques?

Andi: No, we're an old school band and aren't looking to change anything from that dramatically. To be honest if Joe had suggested we tried putting the amps in the fridge, or making sure we stood westward whilst playing in a certain time signature, and east for another, we would likely have done it, but thankfully he's a straight up guy and just got the job done exactly how it was required for the music style.

15. How did you go on about capturing your "live sound" in the studio, or perhaps you didn't?

Andi: That's not something I can even pretend to know anything about. Joe and Mic ran the show, and we just played what were supposed to when we were told. I know that when we were recording the bass they were taking two inputs and then ended up with a really nice growly tone in the final outcome. There was some amp modelling involved I think, but it's all far too technical for me to answer properly.

16. Please inform us about your favorite songs and lyrical highlights and why?

Andi: My personal favorite song on the album is Cabletie Castrator, mainly as it's got a different lyrical theme, where the killer is a female. This lead us to the idea of getting a guest vocalist in for the middle section, and asked a friend of the band, Millie Crampton from Craniation to step in and lay some vocals down. She absolutely nailed it and I think it's a real highlight of the album.

17. Does your vision for coming up with music get affected at all by time?

Andi: Well the whole album took a long time to write as we were so busy touring with Desecration, but also Extreme Noise Terror and Onslaught. However in other ways this time away kind of helped, as there's always a lot of waiting around on tour, so we used this time to write the lyrics of the album.

18. Did the record company interfere with anything on your "sound" and songs?

Andi: No, Metal Age Productions are great like that. They just let us get on with it and have given us nothing but solid feedback, even when we took nearly a year to record the album! They did ask us to design a slipcase for the album cover however as they could see it getting banned in several countries with it being left like it was.

19. Are there any "crazy" behind the scenes anecdotes from these sessions that you can share with us?

Andi: Nothing too crazy, we do have pretty much a full albums worth of funny vocal out takes that Mic kept threatening to put on the album somewhere. The main funny thing about the album is the places the lyrics were written in, as mentioned usually whilst on tour. The title track Cemetery Sickness was at a merch stand in Belfast, Mortuary Debauchary's concept was thought up whilst drunk in Cleveland, USA, Cut up and Fed to the Dog was written in Dublin, Coffin Smasher was written in a minibus in Germany, with most of Extreme Noise Terror laughing at what Ollie and I were coming up with, and Cunt Full of Maggots was written whilst Ollie and I were paddling in a swimming pool in Singapore.

20. How would you describe the sound of your new CD to any potential new fan?

Andi: Catchy, savage riffs with brutal vocals and choruses you can remember. Lyrics that will disgust you, and speed that will impress you.

21. What about plans for this year, what do you guys have lined-up?

Andi: We've just done a short tour of England, and have another coming up in June. We have a video coming out in May for the track Coffin Smasher, which you really need to see if you want to watch us actually digging up graves, and then the album is out at the end of June. We have a few festival appearances over the UK booked in, and hopefully we'll have some more confirmed soon.

22. If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do.

Andi: Nothing more than I've already said really. Just to please check out Cemetery Sickness on our bandcamp page ( where you can listen to the title track and pre-order the album. Watch the video when that comes out, I promise you'll love it, and come and say hello at any gigs we're playing. We're always camped out by the merch stand.

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