Michael Kilborn - Guitars, Bass
Gordon Denhart - Vocals, Guitars, Drum programming
Death metal, if you dig deeper, always gives you pleasant surprises. With us on Aristocrazia Webzine the duo Never To Arise (composed by Gordon Denhart e Michael Kilborn) which has just released the debut "Hacked To Perfection" of which you will find the review in our list.
Welcome on our site and let's start without getting lost in pleasantries: how Never To Arise did born and what were the paths that led you to the metal and, specifically, to death metal?
Michael: Several years ago, Gordon and I met through a mutual friend with whom we had each played with at separate times. He felt we would get along very well because of our interests in recording original music. Pimarily for the first few years we became friends through mutual interests in American sports. In 2007, Gordon approached me with a project that he felt he needed my help in (That project eventually became NTA). As far as my path to metal when I was first learning guitar, I became interested in jazz fusion with such bands as Mahavishnu Orchestra. Metal was able to satisfy my love of agressive music yet still be techinical.
Gordon Denhart: I have been a metal fan practically my whole life. The gravitation towards playing death metal has a lot to do with not only the intensity of the music, but the opportunity to create music more from a compositional standpoint as opposed to writing a standard "song".
The record reflects a fervent passion for the sound of the early nineties, there is a fair balance between the darkest and most threatening aspects of bands like Deicide and Malevolent Creation, the brutality of Cannibal Corpse and something reminiscent of the bestial macabre "irony" of Broken Hope (my adoration for Joe and his associates is indisputable). How the writing process of "Hacked To Perfection" did done?
Gordon: I do all the songwriting, and it involves the creation of many riffs as well as writing the drum patterns and lyrics. Much time is taken to decide what riffs work where,or if they work at all.My goal is to create something not only violent, but musically interesting with a certain cohesiveness and flow to the songs without being too predictable.More time is spent assembling the parts than actually manufacturing them, I guess you could say. Writing riffs is really the easy part.
Michael: Basically Gordon handed me the songs when it was time for me to play bass and lead guitar,and I also helped with the editing process.
I heard the disc over and over again and I had no critical details to be displayed in the review, I liked it and when an album involves and presents those songs that will remain in the head, in my opinion the work is successful. I have only one question: the use of drum machines is only a matter of convenience or is increasingly difficult to find a drummer of flesh and bones?
Michael: Right from the beginning NTA was meant to be a duo.
Gordon: Yes it is not only convienient, but drummers can be strange people.
In the booklet there are no texts, could you enlighten us on issues and in particular what is that makes "her" famous "I Made Her Famous"?
Gordon: The lyrics all deal with a crazed man who has an extreme hatred towards women, although he will not hesitate to kill anyone who happens to stand in his way. Murder, mutilation, sexual degradation... these are the themes throughout the CD. "I Made Her Famous" is about a random killing. This person is not well known until her mutilated corpse is found and identified, and makes headlines in the news. Now she has been made "famous"... now everyone knows who she is.
Death metal was, and still should be, a vehicle for strong emotions and focus on a sphere of atmoshperes and topics related to man's relationship with horror, decadence, frustration, primordial cults and, of course, death, usually in a range of scenarios not reassuring. Why we finished to talk about veganism, for example with Cattle Decapitation, and sci-fi with Rings Of Saturn? Many people's fears are changed or many bands exploiting the genre (deliberately distorting it) only for his impact?
Gordon: Well,other bands can write about whatever they want I guess. We all want to make some kind of impact.Personally I am not interested in the eating habits of another band. Some people may think we are exploiting the genre too, but I strongly believe in what we do.This is my personal belief in what death metal is really all about. As long as others approach their music with the same integrity, I wish them no ill will.
Is there a character who believe fundamental in death metal scene? A person who has indelibly marked you and the way in which you approach this art form?
Gordon: To pick one name...for me its not really that hard. It has to be Chris Barnes. I am a big fan of the early Cannibal Corpse as well as many of the Six Feet Under records. His lyrical approach is what I consider the standard for death metal. All of the gore and porno bands of today... lyrically Chris Barnes has already done it. Maybe he should get royalties from all of us!
What is your thought about the world of music today? There are things that, given the chance, would you erase all and others of the past that you would rather relive?
Gordon: As far as music goes I am pretty much in my own world. No matter how lame any trend may be,there seems to always be a new discovery even if it is an older band I missed out on earlier. I don't really want to bad mouth any particular style of metal even though I personally may not be a fan of it.
Michael: I would eliminate ipods because I believe that's the point when it made it nearly impossible for a Musician to make a living on original music.
Internet, digitalization and file-sharing are useful to allow an album to turn as much as possible, and quickly reach in all parts of the globe, what do you think should be the "questions" that a healthy listener and buyer of music should ask? It is not created a form of annoying "disposable" and ill suited towards the albums? It's become too easy to discard a disk and go immediately to another?
Michael: To expand my answer to the previous question, I feel that the enjoyment of purchasing an entire album has been destroyed.
Gordon: Today listeners can sample the music before buying a CD, although they could just download it via filesharing. The true supporters of music in general and Metal in particular will still gladly purchase the physical product. There are a lot of underground bands that are very good though, and the fans are aware of this.If you release a record that is well crafted and can grab the listeners attention repeatedly, you will develop a loyal fan base given time.
Have you heard some Italian metal albums? Have you got to come into contact with realities like Electrocution and Antropofagus, for example?
Michael: I suppose Gordon is more familiar with the Italian scene. Through my own ignorance, the only band I'm familiar with is Lacuna Coil.
Gordon: I must say that when I think of Italian music the first thing that comes to mind is Disco and not necessarily Metal. I am familiar with Antropofagus though... their latest CD is very impressive.
Change the subject, Never To Arise have had, have or will have a live dimension or they are only a studio project?
Michael: We are a studio project at the present time,although we can never say never when it comes to performing live.
There is a gig, which you have seen, that you consider memorable and that, if it were possible, would you relive in every moment?
Michael: To be honest I have never had a band of any genre affect me in that way.
Gordon: I have been to some outstanding shows, but I can't say I ever had a life changing moment at a gig. I am not really a social person,so it is listening to a new record in private where music has had the greatest impact on me.
In an ideal tour that bring you coast to coast in the U.S., with what formations would you like to share the stage?
Gordon: Cannibal Corpse and Six Feet Under, with Chris Barnes joining Cannibal Corpse on stage at the end and playing a few of their old classics.
Michael: Behemoth, Gorguts and Opeth.
What are the biggest political and social flaws that you found today in your country? Instead, how do you see the European situation?
Michael: I feel in our Country the extremism of our two political parties have destroyed the ability to compromise and therefore affects our political system as a whole. As far as European politics, I will not comment for I feel I am not schooled enough in your issues.
It is often said that art, music in this case, is the best form of communication: how the metal world can help to unlock this "crisis" that is gripping much of the industrialized countries ?
Michael: I feel being able to express yourself in any kind of art form (especailly music) relieves a certain kind of pressure and anger that may exist underneath.
Gordon: Well Extreme Metal can certainly get people's blood boiling! Whether that is enough to cause a revolution is questionable though.
What can we expect from the future of Never To Arise? There is already some new material ready?
Michael: Many songs have already been written and I would expect our writing and playing to evolve.. I would also hope that our fan base continues to grow.
Gordon: Yes,we are not going to stop with just one album. In fact we look forward to recording again in the coming months.
And with this last question we take our leave, just the time to say hello to our readers, the final word is up to you.
Michael: Thank you very much for the opportunity of doing this interview. Also thanks to Dennis Munoz, Dave from badGod Music and Gordon for including me in this project.
Gordon: I would like to say thanks to anyone who takes the time to read this and to listen to our music. We want our music to be heard in as many countries as possible, and I know there are great Metal fans in Italy as there are throughout the world.