Contorted Perceptions

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After many, many years stuck in the wilderness, the UK is finally getting back into the Death Metal arena with legions and legions of quality bands. Despite the intricate nuances of these new minions, they all comfortably sit under the encompassing banner of “Death Metal,” be it the blitzkrieg insanity of Infected Disarray, the guttural perfection of Embryonic Depravity or the freakishly bizarre Crepitation and Amputated, these bands are Death Metal to the bone. Ingested, produced one of my favourite (and most played) albums of 2009, they are another cast iron example that extreme music is healthy and vibrant on these shores. Ingested first came to my attention as the standout band of the North-West Slam Fest 3 way split extravaganza that was released in 2007. The potential demonstrated on that juicy entrée was mouth watering, and they satisfyingly outdid themselves on their full length. I spoke with drummer Lynn Jeffs, on whom the band’s guttural insanity is pivoted, he had plenty to say on the scene, his tenure in Annotations of an Autopsy, and the future plans for Ingested.

The first thing, for the uninitiated, can you give us the origins of the band, what your original intentions were etc.

Lynn – We started in about, I think, summer 2006, the four of the lads had been in a band before that, they changed their drummer and got me in and changed the style a bit, we basically wanted to write the heaviest death metal we could write. There were good bands like Amputated, Desecration that had been around for a long time and we wanted to take it to the next level make it heavier and even more crushing.

Nice, so what were they doing before you joined?

Lynn – they were in a band called Age of suffering, it was the same four lads but with a different drummer, I was playing in a band called Crepitation at the time which was from Manchester also, and we we’re all good friends, their drummer left and I started doing sessions for them and that’s how it started, I was meant to play a few shows but it got more comfortable so we said, let’s make a go of it.

Nice, in fact, that’s the first point I wanted to go through with you, what’s the deal with Crepitation?

Lynn – We’re all good friends, with Mark, the singer, all of them in fact. Basically I and Sean left, about 2 and a half years. One of the members of Crepitation wasn’t into what we were doing and he sort of fell out with the rest of us, but we didn’t care, we were still friends with all the rest of them. Obviously it comes around on the internet all the time that there is beef between us but we don’t care, people make up that shit.

That’s the impression I got, that people are reading a bit too deeply into it.

Lynn – It’s like forums, I don’t post on them, I read them now and again but I don’t post on there it’s full of wankers most of the time.

It’s true, usually its people with too much time on their hands and no other real interests

Lynn – That’s how it is innit.

So have you played live with Crepitation lately?

Lynn – Nah, we aint played with them for years. I think that we’ve played 2 or 3 shows since we (Lynn and Sean) left 2 years ago. They got a lot of members in their band, their singer is in Amputated, their guitarists are in Neuroma, and their drummer was in infected disarray, I think it’s a side project kind of thing more then anything.

Ah ok, because they also have a couple of guys that were in Days of Perversion, Adam.

Lynn – Ah yeah, from Blasphitized, he’s a cool guy. I went to see Desecration about a week ago and Blasphitized were playing .

So that comes to my next question, there is a view that the direction you were taking your sound was viewed as somewhat “blasphemous,” what are your thoughts on that?

Lynn – I mean we take a lot of influences from different music, we don’t try to coin ourselves as one kind of genre, I mean we are death metal and we try to play the most brutal death metal in the UK. There’s a lot of bands in the UK, the more modern ones anyway that have a cleaner production, where those in the underground are a lot rawer, and basically all we want to do is write the music we want but have a clean production that sounded heavy, that’s it really.

Again, that leads to my next point, then, how pleased are you with the album?

Lynn – I’m very pleased, I mean whenever you do anything, you always look back on things that you could change, and obviously for this, that’s the case, I mean we love it and for a debut it’s great but we’ve already started writing for the next one and we are saying we can do that better and this better. Everything’s a learning curve and look to be more innovative on your next one.

And to keep moving forward, because that’s something I usually discuss with people, in that I always prefer it when a band improves what they are rather then abandoning what they are and going onto something completely different.

Lynn – A lot of bands do that. With us, we all love similar things but we also listen to different music, I might listen to Coldplay or Radiohead, Sam might listen to Madonna, but we it comes to death metal we all like the same bands so its good when we write together because we have those similar interests.

How do you feel the album compares to the split with Crepitation and Kastrated?

Lynn – I think it’s a massive improvement, the production is better, the song writing is more grown up, we’ve grown up within ourselves and as songwriters. It’s like the older bands like Slayer, who get to a certain point of comfort and keep improving their skills, even if people say they’ve been writing the same songs for 25 years, it’s not true. For us, it’s just the beginning and we want to keep improving as songwriters which we feel we have done from the split to the album and we hope to for the next one.

We’re you tempted to re-do all the split

Lynn – No, I don’t think, I mean it did cross our minds, but I think it would have made the split a bit pointless. We like to keep the old songs as they are.

So from here Lynn, where do you see the band going (musically)?

Lynn – We just did a show in Southend and we were talking about this and where we are going to go. Sean writes the main structures and he’s already wrote about 10, then he’ll come to me and I’ll add some further tuning and we’ll keep layering it but in the end we want it to be as heavy as possible and also catchy to make a memorable album.

Great, I think that’s the best way to go! So what made you start playing drums?

Lynn – My dad was a drummer, he played in drums in the 60s, 70s, for old rock bands playing Led Zeppelin and Thin Lizzy covers. I got a drum kit, started playing, listening to drummers like John Bonham from Zeppelin, kept playing and playing, getting into heavier stuff when I was about 11 or 12, stuff like Slipknot, Slayer, Pantera, from there Cannibal Corpse, Sepultura , Deicide, Nile, you just keep playing, keep finding new things.

So when did you start playing?

Lynn – When I was about 11 or 12

Jeez, so you must be conditioned

Lynn – Yeah (laughs)

Now, I have a question here, my favourite styles are real particular, I can even go beyond the boundaries of metal or hardcore and identify something even more particular, so what stands as my real favourites are bands that play the 90s, new school hardcore, so Earth Crisis, Morning Again, Day of Suffering but that, and proper slamming death metal, Devourment, Prophecy, Viral Load

Lynn – Music with groove.

Exactly, and then from there, tough, heavy hardcore.

Lynn – When I was reading your review, the comment about UKHC struck me and us as a whole, because nobody ever says that, Sean and I listen to bands like Terror, Knuckledust, Hatebreed, it’s not a main influence, but the bands you listen to invariably influence your playing.

Right, it’s just when I was listening to the full length, and hearing the breakdowns and the chugs, I was thinking, “god this is pure LBU fodder,” I mean if you played with LBU bands, it would go off in a big way, because when I hear it I’m thinking BDF and Ninebar in some instances, not in such a direct way but it’s there, more so then some of the American influences, at least to my ears.

Lynn – I mean, at the moment, you have people trying to divide the scene, at the end of the day, metal is metal and hardcore is hardcore, but, take slamming death metal, it wouldn’t be what it is without hardcore, so it’s kind of pointless to cut the scene up, there should be cross pollination and mixing of styles, it just breeds better music in the end.

Gotcha, and I definitely am with you on those points. Right, my next points are to do with Annotations of an Autopsy (AAOA – who Lynn was a member of until recently when he stepped down from the band). When I got the Annotations full length, I have to say I was slightly disappointed, for me it didn’t really live up to the promise of the EP. I am not saying that to be a cocksucker, for me, it’s just the honest truth, now, with your full length (Ingested), that’s what I was expecting from AAOA, I have played that so many times, whereas with the AAOA, I think it’s the production that ruins it for me.

Lynn -You know I didn’t drum on that album?

Of course, it was a completely different line-up. The only original guy now is Steve no?

Lynn – It’s Steve and Jamie.

So clearly they’ve gone through a lot, maybe that’s why the album didn’t sound as it should have done, because to me it doesn’t sound like they were really there, because the songs are good but it lacks something.

Lynn – I really don’t know, from what I gather Jamie wrote all of it with Steve with little or no input from other members, coupled with the fact that they were fighting against a deadline. Not to mention that it was so hyped up and everyone was waiting for it, so I think that was a factor, but above all, the fact that they had no other input from a drummer, or other members, but still, I think it’s a good album.

I mean it is good, but compared to what I was expecting and especially after the EP I was thinking “Jesus, the band is killing it, they’re on it,” so from there I expected the album to be like the EP but X 100, which is what I got with your (Ingested) album, but not with AAOA. It’s still a good album, but I don’t play it as much, maybe when the new one comes out, that will change. That being said, I am really interested in the new one, when’s it due?

Lynn – It’s due in January, I don’t know the exact date.

It’s going to be on Nuclear Blast no?

LynnSiege of Amida in the UK and Nuclear Blast for the rest of the world.

Cool, now, do you think (and this may seem like a crazy question), Ingested can reach the same level of hype as AAOA?

Lynn – I don’t see why not, I just think it will take more time, when AAOA bought out that EP, everyone wanted to hear that, whereas what we were doing was more extreme but I think now that all the kids that were into that will like us now. Take all the kids that were into Funeral for a Friend, now they are into heavier bands, then you have kids that were into Bring me the Horizon discovering Whitechapel and then Devourment and Cannibal Corpse, so now everyone is listening to more extreme music so I think we’ll get there.

Great, thank you, now my next question is on UKDM, in my eyes its gone bloody bananas in the last few years, why do you think it has mushroomed in this manner?

Lynn – Personally, I think it’s the best its ever been for a long time, especially since the days when Napalm Death started to play DM and Carcass were in their prime, and then UKDM was dead for such a long time, nothing was happening at all (for about 10 years).

However, even then there were bands you could cite as being good, but now, there are so many amazingly good bands that really understand what they are playing.

LynnNot only that; they are getting younger.

Too right! And even more talented, so do you think it’s got the staying power?

LynnAs long as people stay dedicated then yes, the problem with a lot of UK bands is that they give up if they fall at the first hurdle. I really don’t see why it can’t happen because the UK is a small place so it has a lot of potential, especially compared to say the States which is so huge.

Or even Germany.

Lynn – Right. People don’t think to tour all the smaller towns and just stick with Glasgow, Manchester (BDB – no need to mention London, that’s a given), so when we did the Trigger the Bloodshed tour in June, we were playing all these little towns like Torquay, Exeter and the shows were sick. I think that’s how you get out there more, and that’s what the underground Death Metal bands need to start doing.

Cool, so who do you think are the best bands in the UK right now?

LynnDyscarnate, Dead beyond Buried, Trigger the Bloodshed obviously, Embryonic Depravity, Infected Disarray, Fleshrot, there’s so many, Man Must Die is another good band.

You could go on all night.

LynnAmputated is another one.

Of course, they’ve got a new album out soon haven’t they?

LynnYeah, I stayed at Mark’s house (vocalist of Amputated) and I heard it, it’s really, really good.

Wicked, how’s it sounding, is it more slam?

Lynn – Definitely more slam, it’s wicked, it’s got a gore-grind influence in the vocals, Mark’s off his head and comes out with some sick shit.

I am looking forward to it, it’s going to be a good one. Right, last question, where do you want Ingested to be in a year’s time?

LynnKeep on touring, we’re doing Bonecrusher in January, hopefully that will be a forecast of things to come, we might go to America next year but we’ll see. We want to find new fans, show them what Ingested is about!

Are you excited about the upcoming European Bonecrusher tour with 3 Inches of Blood, Necrophobic, Obscura, The Faceless and Carnifex,?

LynnReally can’t wait.

The bill is insane.

LynnIt is, when we first got the bill, we were amazed, it’s such a mix with brutal Death Metal, and then Black Dahlia, which is just Black Dahlia and then 3 inches of Blood, Necrophobic, should be really good.

I should come along, it looks good and I hope you don’t have to endure any nonsense like the recent Hell on Earth tour in London which had a grand attendance of about 100 people (in a 800 venue).

LynnJesus, I hope not.

Should be ok, what with Black Dahlia headlining, I just hope people come and see you.

LynnWe’re on quite early, a bit later in Europe, but in the UK it’s half 5, but we don’t care; we’ll go nuts either way.

Cool, let’s hope so! Right, last, last point, favourite records this year?

Lynn – This year so far, Despised Icon has been a great record, new Job for a Cowboy, just go the new Nile album and listened to that, really good (he had an advance copy), new Dying Fetus is amazing, the Abysmal Torment. Loads of good stuff, but you know, I was saying to the lads the other day that it’s so difficult to keep up with everything that’s coming out.

It’s almost impossible.

LynnBloody Marduk is bringing out a new album this year, I didn’t even know that till yesterday, there are so many bands, it’s hard to keep track. However, it’s better now because it was the case that there were so many bands and lots of them were shit, but now, it’s the opposite.

Too true, what did you make of the Devourment album?

LynnI was a bit disappointed to be honest, I think it’s a good album, but Mike Majewski was saying this is going to be the best Devourment album ever and that they were going to bring new elements to it but it’s the same shit really.

Great, that’s it then, thanks very much Lynn, that’s my lot!


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