Destruktor

author EW date 04/01/10

The world of death metal might be a crowded one these days, as might that of the old-school DM sound, with release following release on a staggeringly frequent basis but only a few show a true ability to hit the nail on the head and tread the fine line between classic influence and plagiarism with great accuracy. Should you be someone who is fed up with the stereotypical overly-sanitised feel of modern DM or simply want an alternative to the more common technical guttural blast then a band like Destruktor will be for you: full of killer riffs, a healthy attitude to 'success' and a great slab of blackened death metal that is essentially 'timeless'. If you have not acquainted yourself with my review of Destruktor's recent effort "Nailed" then now is the time to do so before I give you to the email interview I recently conducted with the band’s mainman himself.

RF.net: Alright guys, how’s things going in the Destruktor camp at the moment?
Glenn: Firstly, cheers for the interview, your support is appreciated. I am Glenn, guitarist and vokillist for Destruktor. Our debut full-length "Nailed" was released recently, and we have played a few gigs this year (2009). We have just had 4 weeks off from rehearsal due to me moving house and getting the band room organised. We have a gig lined-up for Feb 6 with Cemetary Urn, Urgrund and Order of Orias. We are just working on our list for that, and chipping away at some new songs.

RF.net: After nearly a decade and a half since formation the band has finally seen fit to release it’s debut album, "Nailed"? Why such a long time?
Glenn: The main reasons behind the delay are numerous. I have always stated I didn’t want to do a full-length for the sake of it, I wanted to have a solid foundation to build from, and maintain a solid line-up to ensure we had the songs well performed before going into the studio. Because of numerous delays due to members coming and going from the band, we never had the stability to hammer out enough songs to record a full length. It would be reasonable to say I take my time with writing songs also, I like to give the songs time to develop, so we kept on doing splits, EP’s, MLP/MCD’s, occasional gigs, etc until myself and Jahred (drums) had a solid alliance which resulted in us having written 10 worthy songs over time, and no bass player to do the job. It was decided we would record the album as a 2-piece because that is the only way for the best result for the songs we had conjured!!

RF.net: I don’t know if you saw my review but I commented in it my perceptions of the change in style from the "Nuclear Storm" EP to the modern day; from a more Deströyer 666 theme to a rougher rawer Death metal sound on the new LP. Is this something you have been consciously aware and/or pushed at all?
Glenn: I will just go and read your review. Fuck man, good review man, glad you enjoyed!! It is certainly not a conscious thing. 3⁄4 of "Nuclear Storm" was written when Jarro returned to the Destruktor fold after a stint with Deströyer 666. He surely had some influence on the structure and style, but I think we were a little more aggressive, and lot less epic than Deströyer 666. He brought a couple of new ideas to the fold, but I think you’ll find through our history, we are different with every release, but maintain the traditional Destruktor sound, "Nailed" is just a better produced, and more death/black orientated, and a bit less thrashy. I would never push allowing obvious influences infiltrate the Destruktor way, plagiarism is not my creative at all.

RF.net: Following on from the previous question, do you write your songs with a 'Destruktor sound' in mind? How are they composed within the group?
Glenn: Over the years, I have had a very strong influence on every Destruktor song. I guess by now I know what suits and what doesn’t. I don’t write with a sound in mind, but I know what is not acceptable within a Destruktor song, and I continue to weed out the weak moments. I am judgmental of every part of a song, and I fix what is excessively boring or weak. Why rush a song? These days I would say there has been more contribution from band members. Because now I don’t have backlog of songs to work on, the new songs evolve as a band, not with me having all these ideas on how everything should go. The next album will be different again, because our new bass player Brad is contributing ideas that have fitted with the Destruktor realm, and he has written lyrics, so we should see an evolvement with newer stuff, though I don’t expect it to be radically different. We know what works and what doesn't. Don't fix what ain't broke.

RF.net: Is there or has there ever been any particular vision or 'concept' behind the lyrical topics and subjects that Destruktor sing about? In more than just the lyrics I get the feeling Destruktor are a metal band first and foremost so it’s fair to say there are certain standards that bands usually have to meet with their subject choices…
Glenn: I would adhere to that last part. Destruktor is not here to re-invent the wheel, we are just presenting the music we love ourselves in our own way, so yes, we use some clichés and standard themes. I think we have the occasional unique lyrical content, but we are not trying to preach the same message over and over. We keep it dark, violent and brutal as good death/black metal should be. We do not have a particular concept, we cover many realms from violence & evil, to suicide and elitism, and everything in between. Of course we are a metal band first and foremost!

The cover art relates to the title song directly, but that is about as concept as we get. There is very little cryptic content within our lyrics, they are generally straight to the point, just like the music! What you get is what you see!

RF.net: One doesn’t need to be an expert Metal-ologist to realise Destruktor take a considerable influence from the days of yore, much of it being late 80s/early 90s underground metal. What is it about those days in your opinion that has continued to provide such a lasting influence to so many metalheads ever since?
Glenn: Yes, Destruktor has some influence from bands such as Morbid Angel, Grave, Darkthrone, Mayhem, Blasphemy, Beherit, Sarcofago etc. Maybe because a lot of us metalheads discovered extreme music through those years, and metal was the in thing through the mid 80’s until 93 or so, before grunge came through. This era attracted more metalheads than any other. A lot of these people thirsted for more extreme stuff in the early 90’s, and this shit is the stuff that got us into it. There will always be a place for albums like "Altars of Madness", "Left Hand Path", "Into the Grave", "Deicide" and "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas", they are from the days when there was a certain “magic” about this music, when it was fresh, and not ruined with triggers, click tracks, nice sounds and over-production. It had a raw power which has only been duplicated occasionally in the years since then.

RF.net: Which bands of a more modern ilk are the members of Destruktor appreciate of? Do you favour some of the different takes on the old-school DM format that bands like Nile or one of the many ‘brutal’ bands use?
Glenn: Speaking for myself, I don’t mind some of the brutal modern death metal bands, but it’s not my things really. I get into shit like earlier Krisiun, Diabolic, Ophiolatry etc, and Nile is decent, though I haven’t heard their later stuff. Jahred is more into that sort of shit, he loves the brutal intensity of Hate Eternal and Nile, and Brad also has an appreciation for all good extreme death/black metal.

RF.net: One of my colleagues on RF.net commented that with a cleaner/more 'fashionable' vocalist Destruktor could sell a hell of a lot more given the quality of riff on "Nailed". I see his view as very complimentary but does it annoy you on any level that even a fairly minor change in style and image could have the potential of exposing your band to a larger and more impressionable (shall we say…) audience?
Glenn: Yeah, the comment on the riffing is a compliment, but I am not going to change what we do to appease the masses. If we can appeal to the masses through honest extreme death/black metal, then great, but don't expect me to water down our music for more fame and shit. That is not the Destruktor way. What should I do with the vocals? Put half screams, half growls, do a scream style to make it "cool", put clear vocals, fucking rap??? We would be betraying ourselves to do this shit. We have had different vocals throughout our releases, "Nailed" just tends to be lower, darker, and heavier in all ways. Maybe it will keep us forever in the underground, but so be it...

RF.net: I hope I’m not mistaken in believing that the band are all still based out in Australia, is this correct? How has being so far away from the more obvious metal markets of Europe and North America affected both the upbringings of yourselves individually and that of Destruktor?
Glenn: We are 100% based in Australia, and we all live within a few kilometres of each other. Individually, I can’t really say for the others, but for me, Australia is a good place to live. The only thing I really missed out on over the years by being so isolated was killer gigs and festivals. Back in the day, Australia very rarely had the killer international bands tour, but these days flights are a lot cheaper, and lots of bands are touring. I don’t care for a majority of the gigs these days, it is either bands who should’ve toured when at their best, or newer more modern sounding metal bands. I like going to local gigs just as much a lot of the time. As for Destruktor, it has limited our touring capabilities due to the cost and logistics in setting up a decent tour. In Australia, the 5 main cities are all 10-hour drives or more away from each other, and flying is the best option. Apart from an occasional smaller city, there is really only 5 cities worth touring to, so you have limited options. In Europe, the same space contained within our main cities would contain 20 bloody countries. It would be killer to get to Europe or America, or anywhere really if it is organised properly. It has been mentioned, but not followed through with, but maybe once "Nailed" has spread it's disease, we shall get somewhere.

RF.net: I can't speak so much for Australia but here in Britain and I'm sure in America too metal as a whole is having what could be described as a boom period. What do you put this down to and as someone I’m sure who’s been a metal fan for many years what major differences do you see between our metal world today compared to years gone by?
Glenn: I guess I can see a slight increase in metal activity over the last couple of years. I work within the general public, and I certainly see a lot more people wearing extreme metal shirts, but it’s the same shit. Lamb of God, Cradle of Filth, blah, blah. I find that a lot of the metalheads are computer metalheads. They get their information online, download songs, upload their new bands' song. This has probably contributed to the rise in metal popularity. Everything has been made more accessible via the internet, and people can pick and chose what they want now. There is an alternative to the TV and the radio,that is a good thing. I don't think metal has the same aura it used to have, because of lot of the fans are not diehards. There are a lot of part time metal fans these days. More than in the past. Back in the 90's, getting a tape, CD or vinyl was hard earned, paid for, and sent in the mail. It was gold. Getting an underground video was rare, now we have Youtube, which I even use, but it is taken for granted, it is not valued the same way as getting a third generation of a dub of a camcorder video shot from the corner of some seedy room. Some will understand, some will not.

RF.net: Has the band previously toured outside of Australia? Do you have any touring activity planned in the near future?
Glenn: No, we have never toured outside Australia. We are looking at going to New Zealand this year, and further in 2011. It really depends on the offers/organisation. We will put feelers out over the coming months and see what will happen. I have a feeling we will go to America first. And then see what happens from there.

RF.net: Do the three current members of Destruktor have any other projects on the go at the moment? If so could you please tell me about them?
Glenn: Brad has played with metal veterans Veil of Anguish for years, and plays away at his own home recordings from time to time. I sang vocals for Funerary Pit’s "Winds of Hell" release, but that is all I have ever done outside of Destruktor, and Jahred has done bits and pieces. He floats about, doing random shit, but Destruktor is his only serious focus, as it is with me.

RF.net: That's all I have for now. Thank you for answering my questions and with Tribulation's "The Horror" providing me with this year's best old-school Death Metal record. Any last words?
Glenn: Cheers for the positive words, and the support, it's appreciated. Any maniacs interested should get in touch with the band or Hells Headbangers for merch. All general enquiries to me at glenndestruktor AT yahoo DOT com DOT au.

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