This Saturday extreme metal quintet De Profundis will begin a seven date tour across the UK, proudly in association with Zero Tolerance Magazine. We caught up with them before their aural assault across the country.
From July 5 to 13 they will be taking in venues from Wakefield down to Brighton (though having pre-empted Scotland’s vote on independence they sadly won’t be getting up to the Highlands). With their brand new EP Frequencies just released and as they’re due to play Bloodstock in August too, what better time to catch them than now?
And if that’s not enough to entice you, for six of the seven dates they’ll be playing with India’s Demonic Resurrection. Graham Matthews caught up with guitarists Shoi Sen and Paul Nazarkardeh as they prepare for battle.
How did the recording process for Frequencies go?
Shoi Sen: Very smoothly to be honest. We did everything at my home studio including the drums which is something we wanted to try out for a while since I built my studio. We had Fernando once again engineering and mixing it at Studio Davout in Paris. To be honest everything went so smoothly this time, everyone was well rehearsed. With the line-up change last year (Roman Subbotin, guitarist was asked to leave), no one headbutting each other, no fucking ego clashes or stupid four hour debates about the length of a fade out on one song. Only Nick (Drums) suffered a little from the excessive amounts of blasting.
Paul Nazarkardeh: The only thing resembling a ‘problem’ was that the songs on Frequencies are insanely fast and the riffs rather finger-breaking to put it lightly. As a result we had to be on top of our game. We got out of it unscathed, but not without a suitable amount of blood and sweat.
Has much changed stylistically or in terms of topics covered, compared to The Emptiness Within?
Shoi: Throughout the entire writing process we consciously wanted to make shorter, punchier songs without losing our progressive side which we have achieved successfully. Also again with the line-up change we felt the shackles were off technically and musically. Paul (Nazakardeh) joining was a kick in the balls in terms of inspiration so the writing process went really quickly from that point onwards.
Why did you choose to cover Death’s Crystal Mountain?
Shoi: Because it’s a great song and we love Death! We’ve been playing this song live for a while so we wanted to immortalise our version of it. It’s nice to see people who have heard it feel we’ve done justice to it and put a nice De Profundis touch to it. If he were alive I would hope Chuck would have liked it.
And why did you decide on an EP rather than another album as it’s been two years since The Emptiness Within?
Shoi: Actually we have a full album recorded as well. The point was to make sure that we have a sustained period with new material. We are now looking to get a label to release the album hopefully later this year. The plan was to get as many people as possible listening to this demo, so that’s why we made it a free download. We are using the EP as a taster/teaser for the album.
Apart from the Wakefield date the rest you’re playing with Demonic Resurrection. How did that come about?
Shoi: Our booking agents Nazgul came up with this tour. Demonic Resurrection are here playing a number of festivals so they wanted to play more shows. We’re looking forward to it a lot it will be great to get some shows under our belt with the new material before we kill the Sophie Lancaster stage in August. Musicially the two bands will work great I think, the crowds are in for a treat so make the effort to come to the shows. Trust me it takes a lot to drag me and Craig out on the road during the World Cup.
Obviously they’re from India but what do you think of the UK’s current extreme metal scene?
Shoi: The scene is getting better from a gig attendance point of view I feel generally. Band wise to be honest we’re not too bothered about what other bands are doing or who is around. We are only concerned about how De Profundis is growing. We’ve always been slightly on the margins as our music embraces so many palettes of metal so we don’t thankfully feel we belong to a particular genre within extreme metal, be it Second World War aficionados or purveyors of the English heritage.
You’re playing at Bloodstock in August too, will this be your first time? And do you have anything special planned for it?
Shoi: No this is our second time, we played on the Unsigned stage six bloody years ago! Since then we have done a lot, like releasing two albums and an EP, eight or nine tours, so to be honest it was about time. We are planning on firmly stamping our name in the UK extreme metal scene. Zero Tolerance has supported us right from the start so it’s about time the UK crowd understood why. Expect a high octane heavy set.
Finally, why should fans come to one of your shows?
Shoi: If you are into melodic yet technical extreme metal then you should come to watch De Profundis. If you like a live band that treats every gig as their last one and therefore gives their all at every show then come and see us. Yes, our music is not accessible on the first listen but just take leap of faith and De Profundis won’t disappoint you.
Paul: Since I was one of the aforementioned ‘fans’ until about 10 months ago, I can say with only a touch of arrogance that live, this used to be a band that gave a ‘punch in the gut’ live experience. With the new line-up and the new material being as it is, it’s now a ‘stab in the face’ live show, as death metal damn well should be.