Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Interview: Let's Get To Know Gomorrah's Bowen Matheson

You know that death metal has been around for over 30 years now?

I think the most accepted as the first death metal record was Seven Churches by Possessed, featuring Larry LaLonde, later of Primus of all people.

It's funny though, the acts that were big back in the old school death metal days are still playing the same clubs they were then.

The new school death metal bands are also playing the same clubs as the big bands too.

Extreme metal is something hard for most of the uninitiated to really want to appreciate. The drums are overbearing. The vocals lack any sense of melody. The guitars are abrasive and sharp.

It's just such an awesome sound, I can't figure out why it's not catching on in the wider world! Today, a band that straddles the line between new school and old school death metal took some time out of their schedule to give me some background information.

Please meet Bowen Matheson of Gomorrah.

GM: When I first opened up the email, for some reason, I read "The Haruspex" as "Imperial Suplex." Can you tell me what the title means?

GH: A Haruspex was a person a person who practiced Haruspicy - a pre-Christian Roman practice which was believed to be a form of divination through the inspection of entrails from sacrificed animals. 

It ties in with the lyrical concept of the album in the song "Nine Kings of Sulphur".

GM: My favorite question to ask...what are the five most important albums of all time?

GH: is it your favourite because bands always just pull things out of their ass like I'm about to?

GM: Yes.

GH: Here are 5 of our favourites:

1. Bloodbath - Nightmares Made Flesh
2. Behemoth - Evangelion
3. Nile - Annihilation of the Wicked
4. Cannibal Corpse - Kill
5. Decapitated - Organic Hallusinosis

GM: I see that in the past there were a couple more members in your band. How has the transition affected writing, touring etc?

GH: it has made planning shows far easier, and the writing process is much more focused and less c
ompromises had to be made. 

Jeff and I were on the same page for more than 95% of the time and he helped give direction when I was fishbowled in the writing process.

GM: Speaking of which, what are your plans for touring The Haruspex?

GH: we have two shows lined up for Kelowna and Vancouver BC at the end of February and are looking for developed tours for the later spring and summer of 2016.

GM: All I can tell you about Kelowna is that the Rockets exist up there in the W. Tell me about your hometown?

GH: Kelowna is the largest city in the Okanagan region of southern British Columbia, with a high focus of tourism and wine business and not a whole lot else of industry. 

The city is made up of a high number of people having moved to the city after developing their careers and lives - and this was even the case for my and Jeff's family. 

It's very difficult to get a career in the city with no skills or directed post secondary education. Most people, again including Jeff and myself, usually leave the city to make money elsewhere. 

The city itself is a kind of paradise to me and I definitely took the entire region for granted when growing up there.

GM: Are you fans of the Rockets by any chance?

GH: Hell no. Hahaha but I had a friend who played for them? I don't follow any of that at all.

GM: What kind of gear are you using on this album?

GH: I used several Ibanez guitars with Dimarzio and Bare Knuckle pickups, a Fryette Deliverance 120, 
a Two Notes Torpedo Reload and the WOS III plugin, a Warwick 6 string Corvette bass, and DR strings. 

For pedals I used an Adventure Audio Siamese growler, a boss HM-2, and a Malekko 616 delay in their own individual and combined applications.

GM: What tuning?

GH: C# standard with a low G# or F# depending on the song.

GM: How does an off the wall death metal act break into the larger metal consciousness in 2016?

GH: By being just that - off the wall. We get a lot of recognition for being completely unexpected from the Kelowna area. 

Generally this sub genre of metal awaits elitists who doubt the band's ability level due to the over production of several albums. I'm going to enjoy seeing the doubtful faces change when we play.

GM: How do you consume your music?

GH: CD, vinyl, and digital through bandcamp, Spotify, and iTunes.

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