Interview with Dave of Psycroptic
Pictures and interview by Michael F. Coles (4/09)
I must confess that I didn't become familiar with Psycroptic until they signed up with Nuclear Blast Records. Not really knowing what to expect, when I finally heard their (Ob)servant release, and checked out some of their other tunes on myspace, I was pretty impressed with their unique blend of metal and the overall complexity of the songs, yet catchiness and brutality as well. Like most of the other bands on Nuclear Blast, if you are looking for something new and refreshing, go and check out Psycroptic on myspace if you have any doubts. Then you can decide for yourself if you want to pursue this band any further.
The Outcast: Is it a dream come true touring with Carcass? Are there any crazy stories that you will remember for the rest of your life?
Dave: The tour with Carcass was pretty cool. As with any tour, there are a lot of stories, but it's always hard to single any out. They come up in conversation when talking with people, not so much on the spot.
The Outcast: How did you guys hook up with Nuclear Blast records? It's definitely a great label to be on with a wide variety of bands and styles.
Dave: We were in contact with them and we let them know that we were looking for a new label as things weren't working out with the previous label we were on. After some discussions, we were offered a deal from them. We are very happy to be with them.
The Outcast: Tell us about the newest release; Ob(servant). Is it a concept album? I understand that you are in charge of the lyrics and that you have more of a sci-fi theme with Psycroptic.
Dave: No, it's not a concept album per say, but there are similarities within the lyrical themes that tie them together. I like to let the reader create their own meanings to the lyrics.
The Outcast: What influences your lyrics? Life? Movies? Books?
Dave: Everything I guess. Not one element has influenced me more than another. I do like to watch a lot of sci-fi TV shows and movies, and read various types of esoteric books. So with all of this combined together, it helps shape the lyrics. It's a bit of a cop out saying that I'm influenced by "life", but that is the answer really.
The Outcast: What is the idea behind the cover? Is it supposed to be an alien life form?
Dave: We gave the artist a brief outline, as well as some lyrics to help him with the creation of the picture. The outline was a god that wants to commit suicide, but cannot due to being immortal. Based on this, and with all the creative freedom we gave him, he came back with the artwork. People may interprate as they like.
The Outcast: What does Australia think about the US government and our past president? Are you into politics at all?
Dave: I guess I do follow a little of the politics happening, as unfortunately it does impact on my life. As far as my opinions, well, let's just say all politicians have their own specific agenda's and are never really in the public's best interests. Your former president is no exception. He was not operating in the public's best interest.
The Outcast: I read in an interview that the word Psycroptic doesn't mean anything at all. Why did you decide to choose that as your bands name? What does Psycroptic mean to you?
Dave: It just had a nice ring to it and it sounded cool. No, it doesn't mean anything in a definition way, but to me it's a very important thing in my life. It's hard to say what the meaning is for me - it's more of an encompassing feeling. Psycroptic; the entity, is a massive part of my life.
The Outcast: Who are some of Psycroptic's influences? Is the band all into the same styles of Metal or do you all have different influences? Are you guy's fans of Origin at all?
Dave: We all have different influences, and no band has influenced us more than any other. We are all into a vast range of music, not just metal, so it's a big melting pot. Origin is a cool band, but I'm not sure if all the other guys are very familiar with them. I am, but Joe for example doesn't really listen to much metal at all, which is a good thing I think as it gives us a unique edge in our sound.
The Outcast: Indeed it does!! What's religion like in Australia? How much of an influence does religion have in your lyrics, if any at all? Were you ever "forced" to attend church growing up?
Dave: Religion is quite big in Australia. Yes, as a kid I was taken to church, but as soon as I reached about 12 or 13, I told my parents I didn't believe it and that I didn't want to go any more. They respected my wishes. Now I think they have come to a similar conclusion and don't go. Religion does influence some parts of the lyrics, but that's just one topic.
The Outcast: What are your beliefs on Satan and God? Do you think they are actual beings?
Dave: No. These names have been created by people. For me a "Satanist" is the same as a Christian. They believe in the same fairy tale. Religion is a fraud that is used to control people.
The Outcast: What is your number one philosophy in life?
Dave: Do anything you like as long as it doesn't hurt or negatively impact on anyone else.
The Outcast: What do you hope to find after your life has ceased?
Dave: I don't hope to find anything. I'll use this existence to find everything I want.
The Outcast: There are some Metal icons, like Mikael from Opeth for example, who claim that Death Metal is the devils music. What do you think of this opinion? Do you think that the devil actually has his own musical style?
Dave: Again, that comes back to giving "names" to things. There is no "good" or "evil", just different opinions. One person's good is another person's bad; one person's "god" is another persons "devil". If the music you listen to excites you and makes you happy, then awesome. This might be the grimmest black metal or the catchiest pop music, what ever gives you that shiver down the spine.
The Outcast: What is your opinion of Christian Death Metal? Christian un-Black Metal? Do you think it is a contradiction? I know that Mortification is from Australia. Have they been an influence at all for Psycroptic?
Dave: Well, I don't agree with the Christian religion, so it's not my thing. But musically, if a band is good and I like the music, then I will listen to them. Mortification hasn't been an influence on us, as again, I'm not sure if the other guys have heard them. I haven't kept up to date with what they are doing either. As far as Christian Black Metal, well it's a bit silly really as it is the opposite of what black metal is traditionally about.
The Outcast: Is there anything deeper that you want a Psycroptic listener to get out of your music or lyrics, or is Psycroptic merely "entertainment" for you?
Dave: It is first and foremost entertainment, but if the listener gets more out of it, then that's awesome. We're not pushing any message, or telling anyone what to do or think, so there is no hidden agenda behind any of what we do. We all have our own opinions and we respect others.
The Outcast: Thank you for the time. Good luck with the rest of the tour with Suffocation and beyond. Any closing words for the fans?
Dave: Thanks a lot for all the support!!