The festival brings together some of the best extreme metal bands on the island of Ireland. As part of our build up to the event, we will be interviewing all of the main stage acts: today it is the turn of Dead Aeon vocalist Jack Penders to go under the spotlight…
How would you describe your style of music?
In the past, we described our music as a form of blackened death metal, drawing influences from the likes of Behemoth and Decapitated. Currently, our music has taken a darkened, more chaotic turn. These days atmosphere is just as important to us as power. Our guitarist, Chris, has recently taken a lot of influence from bands such as Ulcerate and Gorguts – hence the change in the music. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still death metal, and in a way, a lot less black metal, but it’s definitely not conventional, straight-forward death metal.
Who all is in the band and how did you come together?
Currently Chris Winsryg is the guitarist, Evan McGuigan is the drummer, myself on vocals and we recently acquired Darren Walsh to play bass. The band has been active for a good few years, since I was 13-14, and throughout the years I’ve played music with Darren in one way or another. At one time, he was even the bassist for Dead Aeon, before we were even called Dead Aeon and were just a covers band. After parting with our long term bassist, Daniel Doherty, it was an instant, unanimous decision to ask Darren to join us again – an,d honestly, we’ve never felt more comfortable on stage. It feels fresh, new and exciting again. Darren has been blowing people away at our gigs and we can’t wait to see him do it again once people hear what weve been working on.
Do you have any material available?
Back in 2012, we released our debut EP, entitled ‘Apotheosis’. It was recorded during the summer of that year with Michael Richards of Track Mix Studio. The EP is available to order from our Big Cartel shop, and is also streaming on our facebook page. There are also music videos for the tracks ‘Rise To Power’ and ‘Mass Culture Theory, directed by our good friend, Emmet Kiernan.
Do you have any new material coming out in the near future?
Due to things such as line up changes and other commitments – college, work, etc. – we’ve found it difficult to find much time to get together and write and construct songs. However, we also take every chance we get to do so, so slowly but surely the new material is taking form. In a way it’s a good thing: it gives us time to really digest each riff, each drum beat, each bass line and each vocal pattern, to make sure it’s the best it can be. We’re in no rush to release new material, but we also can’t wait to share it. Like I said earlier, the new material has evolved from our previous release. It’s definitely more intricate and intelligent… definitely less straight-forward. Our current goal is to write enough tracks to release a full length album, release it in Ireland and eventually tour it abroad.
Have you played with any of the other bands on the MOR bill before?
We’ve actually played with quite a few of the bands on the bill, which is one of the reasons we’re so looking forward to playing. It’s going to be seeing a lot of old friends, so its guaranteed to be a great event. We’ve played with Coldwar, Overoth, Eternal Helcaraxe, Zhora, Putrefy and Aeturnum Vale before, so it’ll be great seeing them all again.
What other bands on the MOR bill are you looking forward to seeing?
Personally, I can’t wait for Zhora: they’re definitely one of the best bands in the country and a joy to watch live. I also can’t wait for Eternal Helcaraxe: we haven’t seen or played with those guys in years, so it’s about time.
What is your assessment of the current state of the Irish metal scene? Is it in a good state of health? Are there too many bands and not enough venues/promoters, or is there a good balance between the two?
I’ve always thought that there were numerous ways to look at it. On one hand, the more bands the better: the more bands there are, the stronger the scene becomes. New metal bands are coming out of the woodwork every day, and it’s great to see such an passion and interest for metal music. On the other hand, I do agree that there aren’t enough venues to accommodate the growing number of metal bands: this results in the same bands playing the same venues every week, which causes a serious drop in crowd attendance. We haven’t been in the scene too long, and from what I’ve been told, it used to be a lot better. Nowadays, people don’t go to local gigs as much, whether that be from lack of funds or over-saturation. In saying that, it doesn’t stop promoters from putting on gigs. Dan Flynn has been running Carnage pretty much every week since we started playing in Dublin and he has to be commended for all he’s done for the Irish scene.
Is there enough support for the metal scene in the Irish media? Or is that important?
I don’t think it’s integral, but I do think more media coverage would be helpful. There is a wealth of excellent bands in the scene who deserve more worldwide recognition. Coverage in the IUrish media would definitely help share and spread some of the amazing music that comes out of the scene.
Is social media more important that traditional channels (ie newspapers/radio) in communicating with your fans and attracting new ones?
Definitely. Due to social media, bands can get in contact with their fans directly, update them on upcoming release and tours and promote their material. Nowadays it would be extremely difficult to find a band without a facebook page, and frankly a band would be foolish not to use Facebook to their advantage… it’s pretty much free advertising.
Outside of the bands at MOR, what other Irish bands would you recommend PM readers check out?
Vile Regression have just released their new album, entitled ‘Empires’, and it’s absolutely brilliant. They’re also one of the tightest bands I’ve ever seen live… not one bum note or snare hit out of place. Dichotomy are also in a league of their own. They released their debut album, ‘Paradigms’, last year and I still listen to it regularly – some of the best technical death metal I’ve ever heard, because it’s not technical to the point where it becomes annoying… the perfect balance of technique, groove and atmosphere.
Apart from your instruments (obviously), what is the one essential item you always carry when playing a gig or festival?
EARPLUGS. I cannot stress this enough! I know too many musicians with developing hearing problems. I understand a lot of people don’t like them, but for whatever reason, it’s not worth risking your hearing. It’s also great going to bed and not having a huge ringing in your ears.
Finally, MOR is a week after Bloodstock: do you think a festival like BOA would work on the island of Ireland?
I don’t think Ireland is large enough to have a metal festival the size of BOA. I understand festival goers have no problem in travelling, but the countries that host BOA, Wacken and other big festivals have a much larger population already, which helps bring up the number of festival goers in the first place, before accounting for all the ones travelling from different countries. Perhaps if metal was more popular, or even more accepted in Ireland, then a big festival would be feasible – but right now the best we have is the likes of Monsters of Rot and the Siege of Limerick, which is no bad thing!
To find out more about Dead Aeon, check them out at www.facebook.com/DeadAeon.
For more information on Monsters Of Rot, including tickets, visit http://monstersofrot.com/
Tomorrow, we go old school with Jason from NI death metal veterans Putrefy.