Interview with Czech death metal band FEEBLE MINDED - answered Pavel and Honza.
translated by Markéta, thank you!
Ave FEEBLE MINDED! In the end of last year you published your new album „The Perfect Suicial Act“. I have to say that it is a massacre. Are you happy with this album? Do you have any reviews or comments from fans?
PAVEL: Hello! Of course we are happy with this album because it is our “comeback” album after hibernation which happened because of family or personal reasons. Reviews are great so far. To be honest, I didn´t expect these reviews. I am a sceptic and that´s why it is more pleasant to hear those reviews, it makes you to do more work with your band.
HONZA: Hello, there is are a lot of reviews from our fans. I don´t read comments below articles, however after BiL posted their record on the internet I saw a lot of discussions which surprised me. No hate, only positive reactions. What the hell is this world….
You album was published with NICE TO EAT YOU by Vláďa Prokoš and with Japanese AMPUTATED VIEN RECORDS. How come? Did you cooperate with Japanese guys? What label took part on what with publishing your album and how do they advertise your brand? Are you happy with this collaboration?
PAVEL: This question is better for Vláďa. The publisher is NTEY RECORDS and they cooperate with Amputated Vein Records. If this is only about distribution or if Japenese guys also force some copies on, that´s what I don’t know. We wanted to publish our album with death metal label and be heard with more people who are focused on this kind of music which is perfect with NTEY. After our quiet time which FM had it´s amazing to have this label because we don´t have to start from scratch.
HONZA: Actually we hadn´t been looking for a publisher. However there was another offer than Vláďas one and it was in some ways more interesting but for reasons which Pavel mentioned we went for NTEY.
The first thing that hits you about your album is the great cover. I didn´t really get who is the artist? However this cover really fits your music, like a coffin fits death body. How did you choose the cover? Did the artist hear your music before? Or did you choose from their previous work?
PAVEL: This cover was supposed to be different and with a different artist and different technique. We just didn’t finished early enough so our album was published in the end of the year and not earlier. The booklet was made by our singer Honza in 24hours on computer and he took booklet authors photographs and mix them together. And that´s what you can see now. And I actually answer other questing: author did and do know our lyrics because he writes them by himself and I think the cover evokes the lyrics and 24hour work perfectly.
HONZA: We´re glad you like your cover. The motive of this cover was made in one night when most of the time took the searching for photographs with the suitable licence. While searching we were thinking about more than one visions. The rest was just manipulation with it, editing, colour correction and a little bit of handiness with drawing. The second half of the day was taken by collection information about the record and making the graphic of the rest of the booklet and the print of the CD.
Between your last and second last album there was some personal problems in your band. Mr. Stembus left and you took Tomáš Halama in. Why was that? Tomáš is known as a composer n BRUTALLY DECEASED and HEAVING EARTH. Did you comment or take place in your new songs? How much did he do on your new album?
PAVEL: There were more changes than that. Štembus went to play with NEUROTIC MACHINERY. Jaromír (base) was tired of death metal and his salvage Banjo was irresponsible, another base player Petr left because of no free time. There is only me, Honza and drummer Véna left. We did played a few concerts in this group, however it didn´t feel good enough. After that I was offered an engagement in HEAVING EARTH by co-player from IMPERIAL FOETICIDE Jarda Šantrůček and Žlababa from HE. And that was where I met Tomáš Halama which offered me to be our base player after Feeble Minded concert on the Czech Death Fest 2012 but it happened 2 years later. He didn´t talk to our new album, because I don´t talk to his work in Heaving. He just came to our studio by Otyn and during that we were sleeping after a long night. Tomáš recorded his base lines in the morning and we didn’t trench. I think he did a fantastic job we are so happy!
HONZA: I just add that before Ádoš came to our band the 99% of music did Pavel and only Pavel. Others did just one or so riffs on album. Adam came to almost done songs for Perfect…however we did a few changes after his come and the change is noticeable on the album´s mood and the whole work. The new stuff are prepared by Pavel and Adam together and that´s how new songs for our album are made.
I really like the sound of your album. You choose Otyn and his Davos Studio. He did a very good job and I am not afraid to say that this work is almost “European”. You are easy recognizable, readable and at the same time raw and cruel. That´s what I like! How long took the recording? Were you prepared for it with a clear vision or did you do those thing in the studio?
PAVEL: Yes we had known Otyn for a long time, we liked the subtitles he did. The drums were recorded in Otyn´s place and guitars and vocals were recorded in the home studio of Feeble Minded. Base lines and reamp of the guitars in Otyn´s place. And we did mix and production on the phone and via emails.
HONZA: In one moment, Otyn was not happy. He sent us a mix and we talked about changes at a distance. We were talking about dynamics and spectral substitution of instruments which meant for him that he had to change the mix when he thought it was finished. But when he did change it he sounded happier than us.
There is no memo of the lyrics author on your booklet? What are your lyrics about and who is the author?
HONZA: The authorship of the music, lyrics, cover and part of the production and recording is awards to the whole band in the booklet. When we do something for FEEBLE MINDED we make FEEBLE MINDED the author. It looks better in our eyes. When I download mp3 record and there are names instead of the name of the band I would kick someone for that. Our lyrics are classic – the themes of or songs are: autotomy, suicide, atheism, suicide, suicide, murder, suicide and suicide in the end.
I can´t help it and I have to ask. Why do you have so much gap between your albums? Since the 1996 (the beginning of your band) you have published only 3 long played albums. Why so small number?
PAVEL: You are right and you are not the first person asking us that. There are 2 splits, 1 DVD, a few compilations, promo records but also playing in other projects. Looking back we can see that it was not the happiest solution and now we do just the regular records. There is no way that band such ours would be able to do more than that.
HONZA: Well, be careful about the 1996. That year and the next one, we just get to know the instruments and that´s all. Since the beginning there has been 15 people (I hope I didn´t forget someone). Some of them came back and leave again. We also had a few base players who we didn´t even seen – at least they didn´t waste our time. We also had a drum automat and a recording device with a recorded drum sounds form the studio. It takes about a half of a year to teach and synchronise with people who play with you. The time flies, you have no idea. Plus we played more than 200 times live on concerts and one year after the My Anorexia publishing we played 50 events per year. So, that´s why it was impossible to meet each other in studio to play.
I have noticed that you are going to baptise your album soon. Please tell us when and where is it happening? Furthermore you will be in Pilsen (Božkov) on the 19th of March 2016 where we are organizing the DEADLY STORM festival. Can we look for your new albums songs? Or are you guys preparing something special for us?
PAVEL: Yes, I would like to invite you to go to Rokycany to the Nová Sparta Restaurant where is our festival (which we organize) SUICIDE!FEST. It´s happening on 2nd of April and we will baptise our album with our friends from Heaving Earth and Cutterred Flesh. We will play the new album (all songs from it) and some older songs from the My Anorexia album and of course classic lavages from Pernicious Intergrowth. We are so glad to play on DEADLY STORM festival in Božkov and we are looking forward to be there. We are going to play our new album songs The Perfect Suicidal Act and two songs from My Anorexia. And maybe we should bring the champagne and pre-pop it there.
Speaking of concerts, you don´t really play live that much. Why? I still think that playing music in front of fans and give them the music face to face is the best promotion ever! People have the personal experience, they buy CD and maybe has a nice hangover after.
PAVEL: Well we played before more and often and we still do. Someone has to just invite us. Now we have the new album and steady structure, so there is no problem to play live.
HONZA: As I said earlier we played before a lot and two years ago we just cut it. We played a few time in Morava – you driving there for 4 hours, you wait there for 3 hours until there is the time for you to go on stage. Because there is a local band who has to do their sounding for a half an hour and play for an hour. Then there is a sound engineer who destroy your work and you look like an idiot. Fortunately (?) people didn´t came back (the organizations told us that this is a rare situation) and (tired as hell) after that you sit in a car and drive home for another 4 hours and you are thinking if this is worth it. And a next week it´s the same…And we also don´t organize the exchange events which is very important for the Czech concerts industry.
Death Metal is so extreme that there is not a lot of people who would listen to it. That´s why bands have to go abroad to be noticed. Do you want to do some concerts in foreign countries? Do you talk to foreign labels? Do you want to be noticed on an international level?
PAVEL: As I said earlier there is no problem for us to play abroad. We´ll see, maybe there will be some opportunity in an exchange programs. We have some contacts from earlier however, I don´t want to jinx it. You will know it when it´s time. You can be noticed internationally through the internet. And that´s what we are trying to do now. We have good reviews on the new album so we´ll see. It´s important not to freeze and work on ourselves and on new album. The Perfect Suicidal Act is like a jumping board for us. It´s like a cornerstone for the future FEEBLE MINDED.
HONZA: We published an album so there is a period of promotion coming. On the other hand we play for a long time, we enjoy death metal and we do FEEBLE MINDED for our pleasure and fun. We have never kissed anyone´s ass and we don´t want to change it. We try to share this album through our friends, we contact labels before we send them the record and it´s various with zins.
Pavel and also Tomáš play in HEAVING EARTH from Prague. So there is an important question – how can you guys work it out? Is there a big difference to compose and record for one or another band? I´m curious about the attitude and the procedure.
PAVEL: Well, we work it. I don´t go to HE auditions and Tomáš don´t go to FM auditions. But seriously, sometimes we are together and we play at home for both bands, they play on concerts with klik so the sound coordination is not a problem. This is an interesting thing for musicians and I think that fans don´t really care about it. It´s different with music composing – Tomáš does HE by himself and me and Adam do FM. We usually prepare riffs or the whole songs and then we talk about it and mix it and come up with guitar lines. It´s going to be 50/50 with a new songs and there is a good example of our cooperation the song “The pain is fascinating”.
Do you have any new band favourites from the Czech Republic? I´m curious what musicians listen. Do you like the same music? When you travel to a concert what music is playing in your car?
PAVEL: Right now I listen the new Beneath – The Barren Throne and I really like it. Then I have Hate Eternal – Infernus, Hellyum, Dissolution, Brute and a lot more other records. Most of the time I listen death metal and when I don´t know what to listen, I just put some Metallica – Ride the lighting or Slaver – South of Heaven, King Diamond in the radio. When we go to play we usually listen anything what we have. When we don´t like it, we turn on the radio – Blaník, maybe. That´s really funny to listen when we are returning from concerts. You know the old songs from prehistory.
HONZA: I don´t have a lot of time to listen to some music in peace. I listen music at work when I program and that´s when I´m choosing for something familiar, so it doesn´t bother me. I also listen music in my car where I have the latest Nile, older Tyrant of Death (Parasite, Alice,…), Fortiori – Sloan, Cryptopsy – The book of suffering, Perfecitien – Corten.
What are your plans for the next few months as FEEBLE MINDED? Do you want to go on a tour or something to promote your new album?
PAVEL: I still think about a tour however, I still think about who is going to pay for it. It would be ideal to go with someone who we know (like Heaving Earth did) even for the price. There is a lot of people who say that it´s not good, but that´s the reality. I don´t have any problem with this – it´s a great promotion how to be noticed in front of a lot of people and how to get new fans and also to see the world. It would be a great vacation. We are looking for a sponsor.
HONZA: There should be a merch happening soon – our clothing with motive of the new album and we also going to launch our new website: www.Feebleminded.cz. You will be able to order everything which is connected with our new album and a few stuff from the previous one.
Thank you so much for this interview and I wish you a lot of concerts full of fans. And I wish they pluck off your hands to buy our new CD!
PAVEL: Thank you for this opportunity to be on your great blog. You rock. Sometimes I think about how you manage to do all of this? I wish all of you the best, listen music and enjoy it as much as we do and see you guys on concerts!
HONZA: Thanks to you and everyone who read the whole interview. Support music and be well!