Messages Carved in Flesh

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Hiss From The Moat is a pretty intense death metal band from Italy. Incorporating brutal blackened death metal, alongside a few corish sounds, similar to Whitechapel, but by and large this is ferocious evil death metal. Their debut 2013 album, Misanthropy is quite a brutal offering and there are a lot of brutal elements on the album. While there are plenty of blast beats and such the band does give the songs a chance to breathe. There are some incredible groove elements that are beyond heavy and just kicks ass.

Hiss From the Moat drummer James Payne is also the new drummer for Hour of Penance, however the interview focuses on Hiss From The Moat.  If you love brutal and well played music that has hints of Hour of Penance, Behemoth, as well as the brutal Italian death metal scene, Hiss From The Moat needs to be in your collection at once. Read on for the interview with James Payne.

So, James, how long have you been doing this for and what do you hope to accomplish with Hiss From the Moat?

Hiss from the Moat has been one of my first projects and it was started in 2006/2007. After we started touring around our country and  Europe some members of the band got proposals form bigger bands and dedicated their time to other projects, ending up to put Hiss from the Moat in a period of stand by. In 2010 me and Jack (guitar player) decided to write new stuff and ended up writing Misanthropy. Hiss from the Moat is a project in which we can freely express ourselves in obscure atmospheres and we want to spread our anger all over the world with our songs and devastating shows.

How did the deal come about with Lacerated Enemy Records and is it just for one album? Apparently they put out the physical CD, but are you now on Show no Mercy Records?

I met Zdenek, owner of Lacerated Enemy Records, on tour and he listened to Misanthropy and liked it. Since Nuclear Blast distributed the album in digital format, with Lacerated we accorded to do the physical format distribution of the album. Show no Mercy Records, instead, printed the first Hiss from the Moat EP The Carved Flesh Message.

Describe what went into writing Misanthropy and did you achieve your debut album goals?

While writing Misanthropy we wanted to express the anger and disgust we feel for humanity who lies to themselves to justify their failures in life.  All the music is a discharge of anger through blast beats, powerful riffs and a chain of lyrics that despise humans and religion. We did achieve our goals, the expectation when you write an album is always to sign with labels and tour, we’ve signed to Nuclear Blast and Lacerated Enemy and now we’re planning some tours.

Since the album already featured a Hour of Penance presence with you on board, but HOP’s Paolo also sang on the album… but has since been replaced with Davide Cazzaniga? Will Davide be on the next album and what dynamic vocal range does he add?

Davide was the first singer of the band and was on The Carved Flesh Message EP, he is no longer in the band now. Paolo from Hour of Penance did all the vocals on Misanthropy as a session singer since I wrote all the lyrics and did all the vocal metrics.

Do you want the band to stand separate from Hour of Penance and is Hiss from the Moat a full time project or just a studio band?

I definitely want to keep Hiss from the Moat separated from Penance and to make the band grow while I’m not busy with them and my other drums projects that I have. Maybe one day we’ll be able to become a headliner band, that’s always the goal for every band of course, but now it’s just a space for my creativity.

Misanthropy is really a ferocious blend of brutal death metal, with some hints of black metal? Do you agree? I notice some Behemoth like moments and it really is a killer CD, dude; good job.

Exactly! We wanted to give a ferocious sound alternated to black metal atmospheres. Behemoth is one of the band we’ve got inspirations from, as many others, but seems that people only noticed the Behemoth sound influences.

Thanks for the nice words, much appreciated.

I love the stop/start riffing on several of the songs, it’s not just blasting away. Explain to us what makes a good memorable guitar riff?

All the riffs have been thought not as technical skills to demonstrate on the guitars but as parts of the songs that were sang before executed. All the instruments have been written with a musical approach and giving space to the vocals which is something that usually doesn’t happen in death metal.

The CD booklet layout is exceptionally well designed. Please share with us the layout, what went into the cover and what does the band name Hiss from the Moat stand for?

The ideas were always coming from me mainly, and with the help of my friend Fabban, also singer for Aborym, who is a great designer, we pulled out the final ideas for the booklet. The cover of the album was designed by Christophe Szpajdel, also known as the lord of the logos, and pictures were taken from Mirko Bettini.

Do you even have ideas ready for a sophomore album and how does some of the material sound in comparison to Misanthropy?

We actually have another album already written and a bunch of other stuff in mind but will now focus on taking Misanthropy as far as possible first.

The Italian death metal scene is really incredible, whether it’s the more well know bands like Hour of Penance, Fleshgod Apocalypse to the lesser known, but equally killer bands, like Putridity, Unbirth, Hideous Divinity, Logic of Denial, Vulvectomy, etc… what is in the drinking water in Italy that is really making your country a force to be reckoned with in the extreme metal community?

I think there’s a lot of hate, disgust and discomfort of living in this country that is taking people to create, vent and invest a lot of time on this kind of music. It’s not an easy moment for our country and people are starting to feel the need to expel all their frustrations.

Are you supportive of the death metal community by going to the shows and seeing the bands? Any live shows planned for HFTM this year?

I’ve always been to live shows but unfortunately now I don’t have the same time to dedicate as I used to, so my activity to live shows has decreased a lot. But when I can, I  support live shows, of course. We are currently planning to do some tours with the band in 2014.

What influences you and makes you want to make such extreme music and how do you like playing live, recording and rehearsing?

I think music is not something you chose, it’s something that chooses you. It’s a form of art and it helps to express yourself, as I said before, in this album we wanted to expel hate and disgust so this was the only possible way for us, violently and powerfully. I hate rehearsing, I’ve never been a rehearsal drummer, I like playing live shows and recording albums, which is always a challenge with myself and pushes me to become a better drummer all the time.

James, how do you drum so freaking fast and how and when did you learn how to be such a killer drummer?

I practice a lot, I study a lot, not only drums, but my body too, my brain, how the rebounce works, how the pedal works, how my body reacts to these external forces. There’s a lot of work behind it, but basically I push myself where I see people stopping.

Any final comments/thoughts for our readers?

Yeah, don’t justify yourself, you can always do better and be better than what you are, work and improve yourself. Most of the humans are unworthy of the gift of life, my rejection of lies brought me to hate the human race, and work hard to achieve my dreams.



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