WE HAVE THE ETERNITY TO SKEWER YOUR MEAT
MASADA was conceived in 2008 by myself, Chris Milewski, with the intention of not only creating aggressive music, but also something that involved a sort of uniqueness and actual thought. Shortly after, I was joined by renowned drummer Craig Smilowski (ex-IMMOLATION, ex-GOREAPHOBIA, RELLIK,) bassist Matt Dwyer (RELLIK,) and vocalist Cazz “The Black Lourde of Crucifixion” Grant (CRUCIFIER, ex-GRAND BELIAL'S KEY.) In November 2010, about 6 years or so after being written, the recording of 2 tracks finally commenced. After numerous added delays, the "Suffer Mental Decay" demo EP was finally finished and released on May 21, 2011... and here we stand.
2. I could say your music is at the border between quite old school American Death metal from the mid 90's and what once was called techno death (Techno for technical, not electronic)... Sometimes your demo feels like some French techno death bands I used to listen around 1994... How come you play this kind of music in 2011 when everyone wants to be so retro or so modern/ unlistenable? Maybe you realized being as old school as possible is not an end?
We don't intentionally try to sound "old school" or anything... we just play what comes natural to us! For instance, when I write the riffs, I just pick up my guitar and start playing. It's not on my mind to sound like anything. Having said that, we just play what we want... so on the flipside, if MASADA doesn't please bands or fans of the modern sound, that's fine with us!
3. If you had to pick a couple of bands from the following list, to grossly define how MASADA sounds, which ones would you choose? (I'm not necessarily talking about your influences, but those who could sounds close...) MORTA SKULD, old GOREAPHOBIA, REVENANT, ATHEIST, BRUTALITY, DEATH (Human/ Individual), early GORGUTS.
From your list, I'd say MASADA is musically most similar to ATHEIST, DEATH, and early GORGUTS but noooooowhere near as technical! In some reviews, we've also been compared to PESTILENCE and DEMILICH. Not a band bunch of bands to be compared to.
4. According to wikipedia, the word "Massada" has historical roots and was an Israeli fortress (Dating back to few years before the birth of Jesus Christ). Did you choose the name for this reason? Tell us more about the meaning this moniker has taken for you...
an ancient plateau-top fortress where hundreds of Jewish zealots
committed mass suicide rather than becoming slaves to the Romans.
It can be seen, rather hypocritically, as a great victory of pride...
but we chose the name because it perfectly illustrates how brainwashed
fools, in this case by religion, will ultimately come to an end,
either mentally or physically, as a result of their stupidity.
5. Why was the first demo so short? Ok it can give a quite good idea of your genre, but it contains only two songs... There wasn't more music to be ready at this time, or you were quite low on recording budget?
I guess there are a few reasons. One reason the "Suffer Mental Decay" demo EP is only two tunes is that fact that much of those involved with MASADA are active in other bands as well as busy with family, work, and other projects in life... because of this, we really can't dedicate as much time as we'd like to practicing and recording. Another reason is that I swore to myself that I would get those two songs recorded. As anyone who knows me can attest, I've got a problem of writing a ton of material only to throw it away before recording. The two demo EP tracks were already quite old when we recorded them, maybe 6 or so years old, but they were finally recorded. Now hopefully the newest material won't take as long!
6. This first demo was offered for free to download on a couple of music websites. Would you say you have some trust in the filesharing systems and thought it would spread the word quite well, or didn't want to get involved too soon in the work it takes to recording a demo? (This said, are you quite satisfied with the way the Internet has spread your music? How are the feedbacks?)
Ahh, it's true... The modern world of technology is upon us so it was decided to offer the demo EP as a free download. It's easiest for us and cheapest for those who want it (it's free!) In fact, we encourage anyone and everyone download and share the tunes freely. We create this music for people to listen to... not to cash in and make money! Now... I personally prefer something tangible and I'm well aware that many other people feel the same way. So for that reason, we do also offer the demo EP on CDr for $5.
7. According to your biography, the two songs from this demo were written 6 years before the recording... We could wonder how the newer songs would sound. Can you describe what we could hear one day? Will there be little differences, or not?
As of December
2011, there are 3.5 new tunes written. Musically, they are a little
more progressive, but don't be afraid -- any listener would be able
to tell it's MASADA! I think the comparisons to ATHEIST, GORGUTS,
PESTILENCE, etc. are still very much fitting.
8. MASADA was created by Chris Milewski in 2008, and two of the members (Drummer and bassist) also seem to be quite busy in the thrash metal band RELLIK. Would you say MASADA is the band of Craig, who would write most of the music, while other guys would be sessions musicians... Or does it happen a different way?
Basically, I started the idea of MASADA just with a few riffs, maybe 7 or so years ago but we didn't get moving as a band until around 2008. It's a peculiar beast I suppose... MASADA is my focus, while Craig and Matt focus on RELLIK and Cazz focuses on CRUCIFIER. I write all of the material, then when we can find the time, we all get together to go over it! For instance, right now Cazz has bringing a new CRUCIFIER lineup up to speed and RELLIK is currently finishing up recording new material. I'm working on the new MASADA tunes! Some day, we'll get them recorded.
9. The not very precise Metal-archives doesn't tell much about the past musical activities of Chris Milewski... Did you play in other metal bands before, and was something recorded? When did you discover metal, what led you to this kind of music, and what were your first Death metal reversed cardiac arrests?
I've played in some other metal bands in the past as well as taken part on some other recordings, but nothing of great importance. My main focus now is MASADA and that's what is important!
As for when I first discovered metal, I'll say around 1988 when I was about 6 years old. I'm the youngest in the band, so besides for some bands like METALLICA, KREATOR, HELLOWEEN, I basically missed the thrash metal wave and jumped right into the Death Metal scene! I lucked out because Frank from DETERIORATE used to run a Death Metal section at the Tower Records store by my house. I would go in there as a young kid and get IMMOLATION, GORGUTS, ASPHYX, MORPHEUS DESCENDS, UNLEASHED, PESTILENCE, CIANIDE, etc. tapes and CDs. I still remember The first CD I ever bought was "In the Eyes of Death" compliation... the second was IMMOLATION "Dawn of Possession." Tower Records carried all the good stuff! Well to me at least... Grind Core, Red Light, JL America, Nuclear Blast, Century Media, Peaceville, etc. (yeah, some of those labels were decent back then!) I remember the store used to carry some good shirts too! Unfortunately, I was just a kid so they were huge on young me. I ended up looking like I was wearing a Death Metal dress, hah!
I also used to write to a lot of bands back then and I'd get a lot of flyers in return... that exposed me to many underground acts. And of course, I was too young at the time to go to shows, but The Cell Block, a local venue that hosted many killer shows ,was right down the road as well. Funny, because Craig, Matt, Cazz... they were playing shows there! Anyhow, the place burned down... afterwards, I went in there and found some goodies... I specifically remember finding a DEMENTED TED sticker of all things. Good memories!
10. A little question about your lyrics: Does "Toxic unreality" deal with hallucinogenic drugs or is it about the severe effects of pollution? Can you tell us more about the subjects of your texts?
I suppose the title "Toxic Unreality" can apply to hallucinogenic drugs and pollution, but it's actually about how the blinded masses of the world are brainwashed by the media and how their lives are ruled by the distorted false reality they see on television. The other track, "Suffer Mental Decay," deals with a similar theme -- it describes how mankind is blissfully ignorant and blind to the world around them. Just look around, it’s not too difficult to see what I mean!
11. How is the metal scene in Usa? The band is located in Pennsylvania, would you say there's something like a cool metal scene (With some cool Death metal bands we might like to hear about, and hunt, and listen) or do you regret an epoch of unlight and burning underground vivacity?
is specifically from the Philadelphia area. While a whole slew of
Death Metal bands came from PA, which is quite a large state, the
immediate area around Philly had an great scene in the early 90s.
Many death metal bands (both good and bad) came from the Philly
area... CRUCIFIER, DETERIORATE, CEMETARY EARTH, AFTERBIRTH, NECROTION,
HAZARAX, RELLIK, INSATANITY, MORGATORY, just to name a few... not
to mention some great bands from the immediate area in NJ and DE.
I'd say in the mid to late 90s, it really died down, but it seems
to be picking up steam again. There are a number of bands from the
area today but honestly, I can't even begin to talk about. It seems
that the new wave of crusty black metal is picking up steam -- something
I don't really follow. A shame... many of the old bands do not exist
anymore, but at least CRUCIFIER and RELLIK are still around and
12. Which records did you listen to the most the last months, or weeks? Do you search and try many new records, or are you generally bound to your old albums' collection?
I'll admit, I am rather close-minded when it comes to what I listen to. I am definitely bound to the old stuff in my collection as far as metal goes! It's the stuff I grew up with -- nothing really sounds like that these days. Too bad that I don't like what has become of death metal, but I don't like the modern sound or retro sound. It's just not the same! Lately, I've been listening (in the car) to MORPHEUS DESCENDS, SADUS, ASTAROTH, MORGOTH, THERION, etc. but also stuff like URIAH HEEP, BLACK WIDOW, TYBURN TALL, CANNABIS INDIA, and SALEM MASS!
13. What should the listeners who still care about small bands expect from MASADA in the future? Tell us what we need to know, and feel free to conclude.
Firstly, I'd like to say thanks, G, for the interview and your continued support! It is greatly appreciated! To the rest, they can expect new material that'll hopefully continue to please their senses, For those interested... you can get updates, reviews, interviews, photos, etc. on our facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/masadadasam. You can download the "Suffer Mental Decay" demo EP for free at http://masada.bandcamp.com. Download it and spread it like the plague!
Web page: http://www.facebook.com/masadadasam