Death metallers Rex Shachath formed in late 2011, then a few years later at the end of 2014 a matter of fact, they decided to lay low for the time being. Sometime later they came together again to create all new music and picked up where they left off. Guitarist Andrew discusses the band as a whole and the plans they have, including their new music with everything else in between.
1. What type of band are you?
Andrew: If you are referring to the style of music we play, I would call Rex Shachath a death metal band… I guess the best way to describe our sound is old school with a modern flair.
2. Tell us the brief history of your band.
Andrew: The band formed in 2012… After a couple of months together we recorded our debut, an EP entitled ‘Sepulchral Torment’ which was received very well. We released that in September 2012 and hit the road immediately upon its release. We spent nearly three weeks touring the UK and since then we’ve been back and forth, all across UK, and into parts of mainland Europe. We had planned to record two EP’s in quick succession, and in fact we did, but things got held back on the business side of things, hence why our new record ‘Revocation Of The Blood Elect’ is only seeing the light of day this year. We’ve been sitting on that EP for over a year!!!
3. How did the name Rex Shachath come into the picture? Does it have a meaning behind it?
Andrew: When we formed, we didn’t have a name in mind and it would be at least a couple of months before we eventually decided. We just started jamming together and writing music. We all thought about names for a few months, and each time we got together we all pitched ideas… As we were writing and defining our sound we all knew when the right name was said we would all know it. So there was no real rush… at least unless until we had started recording. If I remember correctly it was our vocalist Dave who suggested the name. The words are taken from two languages, Latin and Hebrew, Rex meaning King and Shachath meaning destroyer… corruption… So essentially what the name means is king destroyer or king of corruption.
4. Why did you guys decide to lay low come the end of 2014?
Andrew: As I mentioned earlier, it wasn’t the plan, we did want to record and release two EP’s in quick succession. We actually recorded the new EP ‘Revocation Of The Blood Elect’ around November 2013. It’s just taken us most of 2014 to get the label side of things sorted and organised its release. We finally have a release date of November 20th so expect more hustle and bustle in the Rex Shachath camp from now.
5. What were you guys doing during that time period?
Andrew: Waiting for the most part… We were in discussion with various labels for a while to begin with. Eventually we signed a contract with a French label, Great Dane Records. They had to do their thing and schedule the release… and that takes some time. After the label negotiations we worked on a few things, for example, getting merch designs together, we shot a music video for the title track which is out now, and we also put together some behind the scenes footage of the recording of the EP (which should be out soon).
6. You made the announcement of your return with this EP ‘Revocation Of The Blood Elect’. What's your take on it as a whole?
Andrew: I’m really happy with this one, we all are. I think with our first release, ‘Sepulchral Torment’, the music was a little more old school. We didn’t spend too much on the production side of things with that one, which is totally fine because the production we got really suits that record. But with ‘Revocation Of The Blood Elect’, the music has a lot more modernity, it’s a lot more cohesive and together for lack of a better word. We have some massive riffs on it and so it was important for us to capture that sound as best as possible, so we put a lot more into the production. We headed out to Wales to record it and Joe our producer did a fantastic job. In terms of the writing, it’s a lot more mature and the song writing is smarter. We recorded ‘Sepulchral Torment’ very quickly after forming, only a few months. Since then, as a band, we’ve spent a lot of time together, in the practise room, on the road, on stage… we’ve gelled and I think that that chemistry comes through on this record, it’s a lot tighter. We spent a little more time writing as well which gave Dave a lot more time to pen the lyrics. Overall I’m very pleased with the result and I think it’s a great record.
7. Why go the direction of releasing another EP instead of a full-length?
Andrew: From the beginning the plan was always to record two EP’s and then a full length. We’re still a relatively new band and we need some time to work together, and really settle as a band. A lot can change between records, that much is evident when you compare ‘Sepulchral Torment’ to ‘Revocation Of The Blood Elect’. Also, you only record a debut full length album once. It’s a massive statement of intent so you have to get it right, only get one chance. Having said that, you never know, we are planning that the next release will be a full length, but, I think it’s better to release a really strong EP than a more diluted album… so there is always a possibility that the future holds yet another EP. Time will tell…
8. Did you feel any pressure to do this follow-up release to "Sepulchral Torment"?
Andrew: Yes and no. That pressure of expectation always rears its ugly head at some point… People will always ask when the next release will be out but that’s normal… people always want more, and when they get it they want more again.
There comes a point that you realize that nobody can rightfully expect anything from you. It sounds cheesy but music is art and art takes time. I don’t think deadlines are good when it comes to writing, it should take as long as it takes and as an artist you need to be happy with what you’ve created. The other thing is this, we’re a small band, who really cares? I doubt people are really that eager about a new Rex Shachath release, people aren’t thinking about it everyday, checking our website, praying for a new release.
9. Is it important for you to paint visual pictures with the songs?
Andrew: Me personally, I don’t think so. At least not at this point in time. To me this band is all about creating good, heavy, catchy music that’s fun to play and perform. Lyrics are important, they need to be intelligent and have some sort of substance, either personal, observation, reflective… But visually, I’d say this band is a lot more stripped back, down to basics and what really matters most in a band, good music and putting on a kick ass show.
10. What would be the cinematic equivalent of "Revocation Of The Blood Elect"?
Andrew: Good question. Very good question… It has to be something quite violent I would imagine. Ok, I got one, The Raid. If you haven’t heard of it… It’s an Indonesian martial arts film. It’s based around a block of flats ran by a crime boss. A SWAT team goes in to clear it out but the crime boss sees them coming and locks the flats down. The good guys have to fight their way through the flats, floor by floor, door to door, everyone is trying to stop them but eventually they get to the top and well, you can imagine what happens, they take the leader down.
11. Where is the new material headed?
Andrew: Where will NASA discover intelligent life? Who knows… I’d like it go further down the route we’ve taken with ‘Revocation Of The Blood Elect’… maybe expand on the bigger soundscapes we’ve touched on for example the ending of the title track. Time will tell…
12. What's your favorite song on the EP as of right now?
Lyrically this song has a strong subject, it’s all about taking down the leaders and those in power, with their victims and those they’ve trampled on the way to the top getting their own back. Just because of who they are or their bloodline doesn’t make them the best people for those positions. Rulers need to be selfless and work for the people because they want to, not because there’s something in it for them. They need to work for the greater good, and respect nature not rape it for profit. But often we find that those that are in those positions, especially those that inherit it, will abuse their place. Greed is a fucking horrible thing.
13. How about plans for the rest of this year, leading right into next year?
Andrew: We’ve not much planned this year expect for the release of ‘Revocation Of The Blood Elect’ and a few more videos of behind the scenes things. We are in discussions about some touring next year but as of yet there’s nothing solid. Best way to keep up to date is to follow us on social media, Facebook etc.
14. Have you heard of Rex Shachath?
Andrew: I recognize the name… not sure exactly who they are though… are they any good [laughs]? Thank’s for the questions!