Interview Questions: Extreme MetalZine 2017
Responses by Jake Burrmann (Guitarist/Founder)
1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new ep?
Absolutely, we released the new EP back in May this year. Since then we hit the road for 4 weeks, a full U.S. tour with Bury The Rod, Casket Robbery and our Australian brothers in In Death. After getting back home, I’ve been working on new material, almost have a full albums worth for the next one now. Other than that, its been a lot of behind the scenes stuff. Getting music videos together, and just sent out promo packs to labels and agencies. So trying to keep busy and keep momentum going.
2.In May you had released a new ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
This is always tough, genre labels, I mean. Though we do self-describe ourselves as Geek Metal. As far as the music goes, I am big into heavy, melodic, groovy styles. Which is featured predominately on the new EP. I like a good mix of things, and the band reflects that with our songs sometimes taking a weird or different turn. As far as our older music, it doesn’t really differ too much. We’ve gotten a bit more technical over the years, but the groove has stayed.
3.You refer to your music as 'geek metal', can you tell us a little bit more about this term?
Sure. As I mentioned above, genre labels are tough, and a lot of people will judge you based on what you’ve been labelled. We write about some weird stuff at times, one older song is called She Used My Face As A Pregnancy Test, nerdy things, and mix styles of metal as well. So instead of putting off people that don’t like death metal, or metalcore, progressive or grind or whatever, we decided to make our own label. Hoping it would spark interest rather than put any one person off. We utilize a variety of metal genres, and in the end, its just metal. Heavy music.
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
We took a new approach to this EP, and actually have a theme, or “concept” behind it. The title is “Terra Mourning”, which I came up with while driving home from work. I had terra forming in my brain for some reason, more, weird nerdy shit. And we needed to get an album title. The world is going to hell in a hand basket, quicker now it seems. I thought of the loss of the planet, and there came mourning. So, the album is focused on man, our hubris, our eventual fall, and the desolation of the earth and those few who survive. We decided to geek it up a bit more and include Cthulhu, to act as a catalyst for the story, and wipe the world clean. The songs aren’t out right political, but the lyrics can be interpreted many ways, depending on where the listener is coming from. Which I find is the best, gives each fan a way of discovering the meaning for themselves.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Repaid In Blood’?
We are big Black Dahlia Murder fans. And off their first album “Unhollowed” in the track Funeral Thirst the lyric is “my penance with blood be repaid. Repaid!” We took from that and came up with Repaid In Blood. 11 years ago, using the internet, and trying to come up with a single word band name was impossible. So, when we picked out that line, we loved it, searched online to see if it was taken, and now here we are.
6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We always love playing our home town of San Jose at our favorite local dive bar, the Caravan Lounge. But as far as highlights? We’ve played a handful of local showcases/ Metal Fests that were pretty awesome. Opened for All Shall Perish way back in the day, a favorite band of mine. Austin, Texas is always a blast, great metal out there. Madison, Wisconsin can throw down as well.
As far as stage performance? Sweaty, we get sweaty up there lol. We like to have fun, groove and move around. Our singer Darrell is very theatrical, likes to bring a visual to what he is screaming, and interacts with the crowd. We feed off the crowd’s energy for sure, and love to interact with them.
7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Yes, definitely, but not until next year. Working on getting the new material put together, and looking into getting some representation in the industry.
8.On the ep you had done a cover of Salt'N'Peppa's "Push It", what was the decision behind doing a death metal version of this song?
In late 2015, we had a friend, Jerry of Apothesary, covering vocal duties for us between singers. We were in the rehearsal studio with him working on the set for a few shows we were doing, and our then lead guitarist Tyler, was messing around with a funky riff. He just so happened to do the main riff for “Push It”. We all laughed, and Jerry said we should do the cover. We did just that. As it happens, the breakdown in the original song, perfectly translates to an 8-string guitar, so it just made sense to follow through with it. Also, the video was shot live with puppets I made of all of us. So, doing a silly cover was a perfect reason to finally make a music video featuring us as puppets. I had been wanting to do that for years, so got to cross that off my band bucket list lol. I did mention it being silly, we certainly did the cover jokingly. Anyone taking us being serious about that song, shouldn't do so, it was done for a laugh lol.
9.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
Yes, just dropped off the promo pack in the mail this morning actually, so off they go!
10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of death metal and metalcore?
Had to go check our Tunecore to answer this, and surprised to say, our most foreign streams come from Russia. So that’s pretty cool, had no idea. But as far as feedback, pretty positive. We have fans in Australia, Britain, and Indonesia that are into us. Haven’t had the chance to play out of the U.S. yet, but we are exploring the chance to tour Europe, possibly next year.
11.When can we expect a full-length album and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
If all goes well, a full length could surface by late next year. The band consists of members spread out across the U.S. so getting together is difficult. Luckily our drummer Juan lives only about twenty minutes away from me, so a lot of our rehearsals consist of him and I. As soon as we can hammer out the new songs, we can send them off to the rest of the guys and get production going.
As far as the music goes, the cliché of “it’s the heaviest, most melodic material to date” comes to mind. I know a lot of people throw that and similar statements out there when describing their new music, but it rings true here as well lol. I’ve been trying to refine what we do, keep things groovy, just enough chaos, and always keep things heavy. I try to write fun things to play, keeps me interested in what my fingers are doing, and also keep the audience entertained.
12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Some of my all-time favorite heavy bands consist of The Red Chord, All Shall Perish, After The Burial, Cannibal Corpse, The Acacia Strain, Meshuggah, Deftones, and of course The Black Dahlia Murder. I draw inspiration from all these bands, and strive to create a metal tapestry of my musical influences. I like to push myself during the writing process. As I mentioned above, I like to write riffs that are fun to play, but also a bit of a challenge as well. Keeps me striving to do better and push myself as a musician. I’ve been listening to all of the above lately, but also enjoy other things than metal. Some classic rock/ pop from the 70’s is fun. Some Bowie, or Parliament, to funk things up a bit. I can appreciate most genres of music, and it’s always good to cleanse your musical pallet from time to time. Take a step back from heavy music for some time, then come back and appreciate how brutal metal is. Variety is the spice of life.
13.What are some of your nonmusical interests?
Movies, reading, comics, science, travel and anything Star Wars of the above mentioned lol. I’m a huge Star Wars fan, and it’s a great time for geekdom right now with the resurgence of SW and all things Marvel. Lots of great entertainment out there to be found. Oh, and dogs, if there is a dog at the party, I’ll for sure be saying hello to the pup lol.
14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Yeah, thanks for the interview, and support! We are on most streaming services, so feel free to stream us on your favorite one. Spotify and iTunes being the most popular I guess. Also, check out our YouTube page, we have lots of original, fun videos up there featuring our music and the weird things we do to keep us entertained.
On a more serious note, there is a lot of hate out there in the world. Have fun be safe, tell your loved ones you love them, and try to be kind to the random people you meet in your life. We play loud aggressive music, it’s an outlet for sure. Go to a show and let out that negativity that builds up daily. But otherwise, keep an open mind, listen to others, don’t just react. Most of all, respect each other. And in the immortal words of Rick Sanchez, “Wubba lubba dub dub!”