Death metallers Decrepit Birth is an act that has been in the works since the 90's. During which they have gotten signed quite a few times, released a handful of albums, played shows as well as toured all over the place. There are no plans on stopping but may be some gaps in between for them which is fine and dandy at least for them. Guitarist/backing vocalist Matt Sotelo talks of their past, present, and future.
1. Can you please tell me the story as to how the band got its name Decrepit Birth? What does this name mean for those who may not know?
Matt: Yeah it's a name our singer Bill came up with a long time ago. It was just a name be brought up, the representation is kind of different than some people would think. Some may think it's something gory related, but it is not like that. It is more symbolic of something else, kind of like a world of where you're born into it, that has it dying. As soon as your born you're dying. Another way to describe the meaning would be that it has these decrepit ways of being born, into something new is more or less the meaning of what we wanted to go with for our band's name. It's not really something that matters to much to us, it is really just a name to us now. We're not trying to go around spreading the mean of our band's name, it is just our name.
2. You guys have been a band for over 15 years now, did you guys do anything to celebration the BIG 1-0 mark or did it not cross your mind? Will you be doing anything in regards to the BIG 2-0 in a few years time?
Matt: Well we had a 10 year mark kind of, the band has been around since the 90's, we officially came out with our first album like in 2003, had gotten signed before that in 2001 with Unique Leader Records. That is kind of when the band started at least it is what people say. But the band has been around before that, the mid to late 90's as a hometown local band back then before any of this happened.
As far as celebrating any mile stones we have not planned anything. But a 20 year celebration may be a good idea. So we will see what happens, when that time comes along for us. But celebrating anything between now and back then, nothing was done. But there is always the future like I said with the 20 year mark coming up.
3. While your band has been around for such a long time as it is, why has the band only released four albums to date?
Matt: There was a long gap between the time of our first album in 2003 to our second album in 2008. So basically it was due to life believe it or not. This is not all I do in life, having other things going on, music is more of a hobby for me. I do get paid, I make money off our merch and music, but it is not enough to make a decent living. So I am grateful for it, but it takes a long time to being in a family and be in a band as well. So it took 5 years between our first and second album because my kid was born so that took up sometime as well.
From there it only took 2 years between the second and third album release, which at the time we got signed with another label, so we went and wrote, recorded, and turned in that third album to the label to get out there as soon as possible. Now we're at the fourth album which has taken a bit longer than the rest, at 7 years time length to get out. Honestly I don't know how the time just flew bye, since our signing with Nuclear Blast Records, with our last album being released. I had other work and music going on, writing songs for other types of music at the time. I did not start writing new material for this fourth album until about 2013-2014 then we were done by 2015. Then by mid-2016 the recording was done so now we are here and it has been 7 years and time just flew and life got the best of me and us.
I enjoy nice things in life, as far as being on top of the band of all times of my life, I am just not and that is where it is at really for all of us.
4. Speaking of the fourth album which is titled "Axis Mundi", this will be your first new album in seven years, why such a long time period between albums?
Matt: Just simply life. Like I said before, life and time just got in the way for all of us really. But we are here now, have this new album and plan to go out in full force with promoting it, playing shows whatever we can do to get back out there!
5. "Axis Mundi" will be your second release for Nuclear Blast Records, how has this relationship been going with them since signing on back then?
Matt: It's been going decently. I like them a lot. We have also signed on with Agonia Records for Europe, so we're happy with what they are doing out there as well. Out here in the U.S. they want to push bands in a certain way. It is not really how we want to present ourselves, sometimes they have different opinions and ideas of what they want of us, but they are very understanding of what we want to do. We are not a giant metal band ya know? The rules are a little different, we are a underground death metal band. We don't want to be flashy and really out there all the time. You would not really see a lot of the artists or bands in magazines back in the day at the local shop in the 90s. The mystery of it all is not there anymore, you have to find that fine line of putting yourself out there, not giving people everything all at once. So doing little bits and pieces for publications, zines, is fine every now and again.
6. For the longest time you have gone with renowned fantasy artist Dan Seagrave for your album's assorted artwork, why keep that relationship going and not try someone new? Does he already know what you want and just tosses it out without you giving any input, because you have worked together for so long now?
Matt: We're friendly and have hung out one time. We have a lot of respect for his work and artwork. When I was a kid, I remember back in the day seeing his art and wanted his artwork to be a part of my work which we got to make reality. He is able to put our ideas into a vision of his and ours. We are able to do a sound scape while he does it visually and he always gets us. We have worked with other artists for other pieces like merch, random artwork for this or that. But Dan is the man for us for cover artwork but you never know. At this point I don't see anyone else doing album cover's for us but him.
7. Will we ever see Decrepit Birth perform any of your releases in full from start to finish, or is that not your style to do?
Matt: It's not to say we would not do it. It is just hard for us. Some of the songs off our albums, like our first album, have not been played for so long. Not sure if I could even play them anymore. We just never played them , just wrote them and tossed them on the first album. For me my personal favorite would have to be our second album. I do love our new album for sure, but that second album of ours is just a personal touch for me personally. Any album we would do front to back would be that album. A lot of practicing would come into play, playing those songs would be 45 minutes of music, it is intense. We could do it, and we would do it, but it would be that second album for sure. So we'll see what happens.
8. What about hearing any of Decrepit Birth's material in acoustic form, including the death metal vocals, would that be something you would like to try?
Matt: Not sure if that would work for us. But having acoustics in our music here and there within our music, not death metal singing over it, but melodies played out here and there, on our albums has been done. Now having us perform an acoustic set or record a song with the death metal vocals would really work out. Don't think we would be the right band to do that, but maybe there is a band out there that could get it to work out that way. I'd say maybe Opeth has done it, but we will stick to the heaviness of our music.
9. When can we expect to see a live release in the form of an album or DVD come from you guys. Have anything in mind or nothing yet?
Matt: We have thought about it. We definitely want to do a live DVD. Our problem is our issues with drummers. To secure a drumming that has nothing going on, or to focus on a tour with shooting shots here and there or picking one night out. It is just setting it all up really. If we can work it all out, we would want to do it. Maybe in the next couple of years something will be in the works live DVD-wise than a live album. You have to see it and hear it to get it.
10. What else do you guys have planned for the rest of this year?
Matt: It's funny you ask, because I have just been focused on just that. We have a management team and an agent, trying to set up stuff for us. We thought we had something but it did not work out. It would suck to not have anything set for this album's release. We are not going to be on tour for this album, but how it worked out which sucks. We were hoping to have it released for this last run we did but it did not work out. It was ready but it was not ready for everyone else's part to be put out yet. So we won't be on tour when this album is out there. But I am hoping we can set something for the fall. Winter time for me and the band just does not work out so well. So we will see what happens. We will be touring in the future just nothing set just yet, but it is coming!
11. Anything else you would like to add or say to the fans or new fans out there?
Matt: Thanks for the support, come check us out on tour, we will be on tour! Hope everyone enjoys the new music, and comes out to see us next time around!