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Malthusian | Interview


Without warning, Malthusian have crawled this year from some utterly dark nebula into the melee of both the local and global death metal scenes, to much fanfare.

And deservedly so.

For a band who have technically only played one gig and recorded a mere four songs to create such a ripple may seem like almost nonsensical – but there is a very real reason for the hype and accolades the band have already been showered with.

With the freshly recorded demo about to detonate, JAMIE GRIMES lifts the veil on a band who may well prove to be Ireland’s great Death Metal Hope

***

Firstly – the band had been in existence for well over a year and a half before there was any real breaking of cover so to speak.

This was a strong contrast to the more “instant” path many bands have taken whereby many will pop up, throw songs up on bandcamp and fuck off again within a year. Was there a master plan at work or has this slow approach been accidental?

The idea of the band and the first steps towards formation were made over two years ago with a small number of practices and the intentions set in place.

With each member playing in different bands for many years and being familiar with how the dynamics of a band work we were in no rush nor did/do we feel we have anything to prove to anyone by putting out rehearsal recordings or other such bullshit to create a buzz.

Some bands have more time/money etc and things work at a quicker pace for them but that is not the case with Malthusian. The approach wasn’t exactly a master plan nor was it accidental, we just know what we are doing and what we like and respect in bands so we just used common sense.

So let’s address the concept of Malthusianism in the context of the band.

My basic understanding of it is that it has to do with a rapid population growth leading to decreased food and natural resources – combining that with the title “The Mother’s Blade” I get the sense that there might be a theme of nature taking revenge on humanity.

Would that be a fair assessment? Can you expand a little on how the idea relates to what you’re doing?

“The power of population is so superior to the power of the earth to produce subsistence for man, that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race.” —Malthus T.R. 1798

It is a very intriguing concept that is somewhat disputed in some circles as to how much it applies today but it raises a lot of very interesting questions as to the power of the role of the human race.

I think our ignorance and greed will be returned upon us through our own doing. Every human is God in their own mind and this will be our downfall.

There is an overall concept of the band through the name and lyrics that will be elaborated on even further with our next release, which there are a number of ideas being aligned for at the minute, but it is very early days and we can see no reason to set restrictions on our art.

We all instinctively know what is or is not appropriate but as many new bands have shown, death metal, black and doom metal are malleable resources. There is plenty of life left on their stinking bones.

It’s interesting to me to see a concept based more in reality than the usual occult/horror type one used by many bands.

Was this something that was there at the inception of the band or did it follow later? Was it always the case that it had to be something more, for want of a better word, corporeal rather than a load of pseudo satanic bullshit?

It is certainly something that was there from the beginning in as much as these thoughts are relevant to life in general but with the name we were able to consolidate the ideas into a more cohesive concept.

The theological aspect of some bands be it pseudo or not is not something that interests us and therefore not something that would work for us.

Each member has their own views on each facet of life and death but they hold those personally in the same regard they hold any ideal.

Our logo hints at otherworldly or supernatural concerns which reflects certain elements of our lyrics. The physical world and the inconceivable afterlife are in a constant dance with one another and we are caught in the middle so naturally we will draw inspirations from both sides of the divide.

The aesthetic – particularly the live presentation, is again very deliberate with the visuals, hoods, bone jewellery etc. Some might perhaps argue that this is a gimmick – firstly how do you respond to that, and secondly how if at all do you expand on that for future gigs without repeating yourselves or losing impact?

I know you’ve mentioned that you plan to be selective about gigs – how do you decide what is and isn’t a suitable setting?

We Have absolutely no opinion whatsoever on whether or not people think we use these things as gimmicks or not. We play a certain style within a certain genre of music that does and always has embraced the theatrics of the entire presentation stretching as far back as the genre itself.

The music is there to create an atmosphere and these thing enhance the experience for the listener or viewer. As far as losing impact through repetition, these things are secondary to the music.

If we continue to write and perform well, what we view as good music, but someone is bored because we had our hoods up the last time they saw us, fuck them. Go and watch Rammstein. We’d rather play in a lightless room.

Similarly, the aforementioned hoods and abbreviation of your names suggest you might be trying to keep the personalities price of clomid of the members seperate from the band as a singular entity.

Do you see this anonymity as being a way for the band to be something of a vessel, a way to slip into charachter? And is there a danger in all of this that you’re to some degree subscribing to a bunch of genre tropes?

Yes, to an extent and again it is all relevant to the presentation of the band. John Doe playing guitar does nothing to accentuate the listener’s experience.

Who is creating the music is of very little relevance.

If someone uses a pseudonym in a band people seem happy that they know who they are but if a band doesn’t have any details of members people feel like they are being somehow duped. It’s bullshit and makes no difference.

It should also be noted, as you know, there is no real mystery as to who is in the band.

We’re 30 years into the genre now and it has expanded and mutated into various different strains in that time -How or where do you view your place within the Death Metal tradition? Do you feel it is essential at this point, given how long it has been around, to push it forward?

I think we are taking from both pools. There are a number of dissonant parts that would have us rightly placed among the newer bands who are trying to recapture the horror and unease that was initially created by the genre but we often tend to couple these with straight down the line death metal riffs so I think we sit perfectly in the middle.

As with the first half of the question we are happy with both the new and the old.

If metal ceased to be in the morning, there is more than enough there to keep me happy until the day I perish yet it is always good to hear something fresh to set the mind wandering.

Some of the newer bands seem too focused on being difficult, dissonant and about atmosphere. Naturally these elements are all to be found in our work but the main thing we worked on in rehearsals was to have strong identifiable riffs.

Endless chaos loses its impact after a while and the music loses longevity. Memorable riffs, on the other hand, are timeless and we will continue to push ourselves to, first and foremost, craft music that will last.

In terms of the recording – you were in the studio for a couple of days with Ola. Did you have a very definite idea of what you were going for in terms of production? I know you enjoyed working with Ola – how collaborative an affair was it?< ?p>

We had a number of ideas that we went into the studio with in terms of production but they mostly fell by the wayside and the songs took a form of their own.

As it was our first time recording this band this had been expected and I think due to the strength of the songs we were happy to see what direction they would take naturally.

Working with Ola was great. I don’t know if I’d call it a collaborative affair as such but he had a number of ideas for certain bits and made the whole experience a very relaxing one. He will be called into action again no doubt.

I believe in addition to the three songs on the tape, a fourth song was recorded for an upcoming split 7″ – am I right in thinking this was the newest song you had written? Can you tell us something about it and what kind of progression from the first set of songs it takes?

Yes, that was the most recently written song.

It’s definitely a different sounding song with a few sections that are firsts for us but it most definitely has our own black mark on it. Each song has so far been released in the order they were written so it will be easy to note the progression/regression in the tunes.

The 7″will be a few months into 2014 at least. The other band is on board but things have to fall into place. Once again we are not rushing to get it out just because it’s recorded.

The demo is already planned to be released on vinyl and cd after the cassette run (which by all accounts is likely to sell out almost immediately).

For a band making their debut this is all obviously moving along nicely which may, in turn result in the usual begrudgery in some quarters. You must be prepared for that?

Am I right in thinking you’re looking outside of Ireland rather than within in terms of response? Are there any plans afoot as yet to hit the mainland or beyond?

These songs mean the exact same to use now as they did when we wrote then, there is no reason for us to have any interest in something that has absolutely no impact on what we are doing.

If people like it, which they seem to so far, as the response has been overwhelming both here and further afield, then we are delighted and welcome to the session and the people that don’t will continue to mean just as much to us now as they did when we started.

Our only focus is on creating powerful, evocative music that will stand the test of time.

Interview by Jamie Grimes ::: 27/10/13


20 Comments
  1. This band is great and seem to have all elements nailed. artistic and talented and integral. truly impressive. could be the best dark death metal from Ireland. Im excited for the demo CD and following album and live shows also.

    The only thing that isnt perfect to me is the bands logo. Im a big logo nerd and I have to ask is that really the final logo the one in the video and the picture above cus it sucks. that would be my only possible criticism.

  2. Eoin McLove Says:

    Yep, that is the final logo. We like it.

  3. Okay ha well thank you for a direct and quick reply. like I said Ive huge resepct for your work the only thing is I think the logo could be cooler maybe. but hey Im just a fan its your band. any chance you have a link available to it to see it better (and also to save it and use it-I make nerdy graphic lists ov my favorite bands :P) cheers

  4. Eoin McLove Says:

    I don’t have a link to it, sorry. Maybe Matt has one.

  5. Black Shepherd Carnage Says:

    Think the logo matches the nature of the project perfectly. Really excellent stuff, a real work of passion.

  6. wizardinblack Says:

    Very much looking forward to listening to the rest of these recordings, what is show by way of Hallucinogen and what is hinted at in the interview is a strong sense of confidence that they have managed to produce something artistically original yet not expressively inaccessible, …songs…in a genre which has really been lacking them for sometime. Looking forward to catching the live performance next month.

  7. wizardinblack Says:

    “what is shown by way Hallucinogen”

  8. Where did the concept for the logo come from? It looks somewhat familiar…

  9. Eoin McLove Says:

    Familiar? The idea was having a levitating figure crossing some kind of rubicon that could suggest a few things.

  10. I agree with Danny the logo is shit but the music is good.

  11. It’s ALL about the logo lads.

  12. Eoin McLove Says:

    Actually, the logo is important. We wanted something that would stand out a bit and represent what the music is about. we didn’t want something too obvious or standard and we are happy that we have achieved that. What others make of it is out of our control.

  13. Interesting interview lads, that tune is some grower. Demo. Want. Now.

  14. Looking forward to the demo!
    Will defo pick up the CD.
    Tape… Maybe?

  15. Tape should be here next week.

  16. I think the logo is great and fits the music perfectly, I really don’t see where you lot are coming from.

  17. open face sugery Says:

    Cheers folks. We’re happy with the logo. We may change it in the future but it’ll be for more substantial reasons than people outside of the band not liking it.

  18. I think the logo is fucking great and , more importantly, the music is fucking great as well!

  19. […] snart skulle jag gissa, men vänta er ingen fantastisk ljusshow. Så här svarade Malthusian när Metal Ireland intervjuade […]

  20. Looks in the same vein as the logo Watain used..but i’ve been listening to metal since i was 12 and i’m 39 now and logo’s never really bothered me or influenced me..but this is really good stuff!!

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