středa 19. října 2016

Interview - MERCYLESS - We're still using the despair and misery of people to jail people up in stupid beliefs.

Interview with French death metal band MERCYLESS.

- answered Max Otero.

translated by Markéta, thank you!

Recenze/review - MERCYLESS - Pathetic Divinity (2016)
Minirecenze/minireview - MERCYLESS - Altered Divination (2016)

Ave MERCYLESS! I didn´t find any interview with you in Czech. So firstly, I would like you to introduce your band to readers who don´t know you. You might as well start from the beginning and tell us the whole history of MERCYLESS.

Max Otero: Hey!! Long story short, it all began in 1987 then we made 3 demo tape till 91' and since then we've released 6 albums, multiples compilations, 1 split album, 1 LP, 1 best of and of course we've been touring a lot and made copious amounts of shows and festivals with bands like Death, Obituary, Cannibal Corpse, Unleashed; Tiamat and so many more! And now we're releasing our brand new album, "Pathetic Divinity".

You have released your new album “Pathetic Divinity” in October. How do you feel about it now after a while? And what about the fans? How about the critics?

Max Otero: It's a bit too early to have enough of a step back, but according to the reviews and the feedback we've got, we're proud of it. This album particularly represents a lot to us.


How was the new material for “Pathetic Divinity” born? How MERCYLESS compose and make new material?

Max Otero: As always for the last 30 years, I make riffs and arrangements ideas, then I work on them with the drummer for the whole setting of the song and at the end we do the bass, solos and the lyrics. That's our special formula, giving an album in a year of work!

Who is the author of your lyrics and what are they about? Where do you find inspiration?

Max Otero:  I do, I try to "philosophy" about the downgrading influence of religion and beliefs in the modern world, with all its downsides and what it may imply, Obscurantism, Obedience, manipulation of the masses….We're still using the despair and misery of people to jail people up in stupid beliefs.

Who is the author of cover for “Pathetic Divinity”? I really like this work. How did you choose this motive for your cover?

Max Otero: First of all, thank you very much.

The Author is David Sauner, a friend that is along our side for 30 years, with whom I had many conversations about the general concept of this album, we managed to find the idea of "macabre procession" that leads us to nothingness, a bit like our modern civilization. He got "it" really quick and put a humongous amount of work on every tiny little bit of detail of the artwork, We wanted something hand drawn, as the one in the 80's, far from the Photoshop ones that we see way too often nowadays! 

I really like the album´s sound. It is dark, cold and sharp at the same time. What studio did you choose for recording? Did you comment the finished sound and mastering?

Max Otero: We've worked with Phil Reinhalter at Psykron Studio, trying to get a really organic sound. We wanted to go back to something essential and very direct, something massive and detailed, as if we've recorded in analogic. Phil put a lot of work and effort in the final mix, in order to have this really "brut product" without concessions. Fred Motte (Loudblast, Gorod, Otargos...) took care of the mastering.


The new album was released by the French Kaotoxin Records. Why did you choose this label and are you happy with the work they did?

Max Otero: Simply because Nico is a long-time fan and he knows how to work in order to promote each bands. It's a really sane relation with a lot of exchanges and mutual respect, a superb label for us!

You have been playing since 1987 which is a long time for a band. We can say that you are a legend. How was the beginning of your band? How was the band found and what was the first impulse to play death metal?

Max Otero: I Don't really appreciate the term "legends". We've started amongst thousands of other bands, trying to be the noisiest possible and have a lot of fun ... Along with demos and shows, we started to influence the thrash and Death metal universe of the early 90's, it wasn't easy because the scene wasn't developed and we had to impose this genre very direct and brutal for its era... We've got introduced to Death Metal with bands like Possessed, Venom, Death, Pestilence…


Nowadays, most people downloads albums from the internet and use only the digital form. What do you think about this issue? I am interested in your musician´s point of view.

Max Otero: I think that as of now it's a bit too late to whine, Labels and Media haven't done a single thing to palliate the phenomenon the good way. Internet made a lot of great things but it didn't help bands in their economic actions, Alas! Now it is true that in Metal even if we don't sell a lot of physical copies, there are many fans that still buy the products and other goodies... The only matter IMHO is legal downloading, the platforms and advertisements put up a system to make a lot of money on artists because lobbying is more and more present in the musical industry. It's a shame to witness the dividend remaining to the bands.

I think that “Pathetic Divinity” would look great on vinyl. Have you thought about that? How do you feel about LP records and their sound? Are you a collector?

Max Otero: I truly love LP, I find the covers way much more beautiful and interesting to look at than a cd, there's more dynamism in the sound as well, and of course I like it better because I'm a real collector!

Are there any new albums which caught your attention recently?

Max Otero: The last Epica ... JUST KIDDING! The new Asphyx and the new Rabaellium!


Do you know and listen some Czech bands?

Max Otero: Brutally Deceased, but don't forget to give me some other bands because I'm not familiar with the Czech scene!

What are MERCYLESS´s plans for the next few months?

Max Otero: Promote as much as we can this brand new album, and tour as much as well! We're touring with Putrid Offal in November, another one with Avulsed in April 2017 and then we're hoping to do as many festivals as we can, like the Brutal Assault!!!

Thank you so much for this interview and I wish you a lot sold records, hundreds of crazy fans and tons of good ideas.

Max Otero: Thanks a lot for the support, I hope we could meet in your beautiful country, it would be a real pleasure!  Don’t hesitate to contact us and don't forget: STAY EVIL