It was written long ago that a band would arise to us. And bring us one step closer to Armageddon. Here now is something for all you death metal fans out there. Straight from the seething, morbid heart of London Ontario. Listen closely my fellow Larvae, the time is certainly nigh.
“…And when He opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say come and see. And there went out Ataxia, and power was given to them that sat there on to take peace from the earth, and that they would kill one another: and there was given unto them a great sword, and that sword was Death Metal.” – Book of magGot Chapter 13 verses 5-6
First off, what is your definition of ‘Death Metal’?
Zumlahr: Death metal to me is an outlet. Everybody has things in their lives that are frustrating, whether its family, jobs, life in general. Everybody needs an outlet. Some people take it to far and make violence there answer. I prefer to throw on some Corpse and just mellow out to it. It lets out a lot of anger, just by listening. Being on stage PLAYING death metal, is that much better of an outlet.
Derek, how long can you growl like that before killing your vocal chords?
Derek: I have really never tried to take it to that limit..I make sure my approach is the same every time and my technique stays within my range as to not fuck anything up in my throat…Live is when I really stretch beyond my bonderies cause I want to give a show and not hold anything back this is what I do this shit for..We jam for about 4 hours and I giver every time like the first time with no pain and oh ya Lots of fucken beer and whiskey shots..
When I try to do guttural vocals my voice cuts out after about 10 minutes. Did it take a long time to build vocal stamina or did it come naturally to you?
Derek:I started doing death voks about 8 years ago and sure it took me a bit to build stamina but I was determined and focused and quickly caught on. I had a great teacher at the time the guitarist in ‘Eschatus’ Brian Dorion was eager to teach me some tricks so we could rock the fuck out, from there I was doing my first show in a matter of a few weeks and the rest has brought me up to this point still spiting the shit from the mic..as far as being a natural without tooting my horn this is all I’ve really wanted to do in my life and I believe I was born to do this and will do so till I can’t no more…
Can you tell us about your lyrical writing process?
Derek:I start off with a big fucken bong and listen to the song endlessly till it’s ingrained in my head…the song has been gone over in the jam spot for some time before I actually get a recording so I have an idea where I want to put stuff before sitting at home writing it..as far as lyrics I’ve been writing since I was 13 and with out writing a novel lets just say it has been one wild ride from then till now so the inspiration isn’t to far from me I love words and patterns and as I said before I was born to do it whether it’s for fame or fortune or my well being it’s what I need to do and ATAXIA is a great outlet for that…my ideas come from the every day things I’ve seen and have saw that have pissed me off and will piss me of in the future…
‘Unbalanced’ starts off with this great bossa bit. Where did the idea come from to use that?
Zumlahr: Nigel had shown me that progression a couple years ago, I said it would be a pretty cool idea to start a song of with it. Except because we play in B Standard tuning it would still be different than the norm. And its pretty hella cool!
You use a lot of time changes. Are these pre-thought out or do they come naturally while writing?
Nigel: Usually we create an compilation of riffs, find one that we all like as an intro, then we can pick and choose the best suited one for the next section from our arsenal of riffs. Sometimes things get a little wacky but we like it that way.
Zumlahr: Sometimes we will think about different ways to phrase things, to make them more interesting, but generally its just how it happens. Nigel is one of if not THE best guitarist ive ever played with or seen live for that matter. His theory knowledge and his innovations are unbelievable. A lot of the crazy timing stuff comes from him….but I’m pretty weird sometimes too i guess
What is the sound clip at the beginning of ‘Manipulated Ascendancy’?
Nigel: Its from the movie Time Bandits. I was watching it one day around the time we recorded the A.I.Cide demo, and we have a song about manipulation, so it just clicked in “stand by for mind control”.
What bands influenced you guys?
Nigel: For me to pick any bands directly is hard but I could say I have been influenced by all kinds of music right from death metal to jazz.
Zumlahr: I personally am influenced by everything, from Rap to classical to rock to metal and so on. You never know when you are gonna pull influences. Bandwise for Me personally would be Suffocation, Cannibal Corpse, Necrophagist, Spawn of Possession…..wow there are thousands, but metal wise those are the big ones for me. But I’m also influenced by Billy Sheehan as a bass player, Victor Wooten a little bit, and then you got Primus, Protest the Hero, Red Hot Chili Peppers…..TOO many people honestly!!!
Zumlahr, you are not a ‘typical’ bass player, what kind of gear are you using?
Zumlahr: I play a 6 string bass, i have a cort A6 and also a Schecter Stilleto Studio 6. I’m playing a Firebass 700 Peavey amp through a 1*15′ Black Widow. I also use a Boss ME50B effects pedal.
And I use gods pics…….my fingers!!!
Do you have a release date for your album ‘A.I.cide’?
Nigel: We have decided to just release the album for free online. Soon we will hostÂ a link that you can download it for free in high quality with the artwork. We might make a few copy of the disc for promotional reasons, but no one really buys cd’s anymore, do they?
If you guys could play any venue co-headlining with any band, where and who would they be?
Nigel: That’s a tough question there so many good bands out there. I guess I would like to do something that no ones done before, maybe like playin at harp in alaska and they can beam that shit into everyone’s skull all at once.
Define Ataxia with a haiku
Nigel: you have lost your mind
no control of your own will
you’re now ataxia
Check out Ataxia Here at http://www.myspace.com/ataxiacanada