It’s hard to believe that in two weeks I’ll be engaged in all out war on the battlefield in Trutnov, Czech Republic. The four days of jams, buds, and booze I look forward to every year are just over the horizon. It’s becoming seriously hard to function on a day to day basis without often getting distracted and becoming slightly giddy at the thought. One of the things I love the most about Obscene Extreme is that it covers a huge cross section of music. Grindcore, death metal and goregrind are definitely dominant but there’s always a few old school punk bands kickin’ about, a band with a bit of black metal lurking in the mix, and this year, there’s even a pre-fest doom party featuring Finnish death doom dealers Hooded Menace and the UK’s own Esoteric. Germany’s Chapel Of Disease embrace this spirit of mixing it up, albeit leaving the grind side of things out of it. Their careful consolidation nods to many of death metal’s luminaries, and while frequent comparisons to early Pestilence, Death, Possessed, Entombed, and Grave are not unwarranted, they’ve managed to fuse a huge range of influence into a sound you wouldn’t be mistaking for anyone except COD. They’re one of the bands I’m looking forward to the most, I’m likely to be in large company because their live performances are about as common as a hot, sunny summer British day. In fact, the UK has the proud distinction of being the only country the generally elusive band has ever toured. Laurent Teubl emerges from the shadows to shed some light on the sickness.
ZT: Both the split with Lifeless and ‘Summoning Black Gods’ were really well received. Were you surprised at all by the reaction or had you come out of the writing and recording process knowing you had a gem on your hands? What do you think it is about your music people really get into?
LT: I remember the thoughts on the reception of the album were much more tensed than they were while releasing the demo. Maybe it was because this time we knew, that quite a lot of people would pay attention to what we were doing, since the demo made our name spread pretty decent. But then again, we do this whole stuff for us in the first place… I guess one can never deny, that you just can never completely not give a fuck about how your music is being received.
So, we knew that it was a good album and were confident about what we were doing and still are. Yet, there are situations where we really get surprised by some thoughts on the Summoning Black Gods album. Most of the times, those reactions do not come from some sort of magazine or anything, but maybe mails or conversations with people just wanting to share their appreciation for what we do.
ZT: Looking back at what would you have changed about it, if anything?
LT: Ha, of course. I’d like to meet someone who actually insists on not wanting to change anything about his last record. If that would be so, wouldn’t that thing we call a “band” have accomplished everything it ever wanted?
Yes, I really have quite some things I would change about it, let it be production wise or song writing wise. Yet I do believe, that an album always marks a point where a certain band had certain abilities and certain limits and did the best of it they could. I think we did pretty good and I think we are able to do better as well. For me that’s all the motivation I need, a good biography and a chance of letting it go better.
ZT: People love throwing the word old school around when describing you guys. What does ‘old school’ mean to you in the context of death metal and your music? What do you think of this so-called ‘old-school revival?
LT: I wouldn’t be able to define the term “old-school”. When it comes to us we can only say that we do the sound we always been listening to and always been wanting to do. Polished, fancy blastbeating, pig squeeling death metal just never belonged to what we were into, without even wanting to judge people being into that music, that would be unfair. When we wrote ‘SBG’ we were quite a bit younger and just listened to very impulsive and raw metal, so that’s what we wanted to do ourselves, without ever telling us that we just have to sound old school, there just really wasn’t an option to us.
The old school revival stuff has its ups and downs, just like any revivals. You have a few really outstanding bands in it, many really crappy ones, but none of both would exist without younger dudes actually wanting to do what they are doing. Then you have some old bands getting together again and really ripping it apart and then you have those that actually ruin that once so big of a name they had through their attempt of a revival. I think people just shouldn’t go just searching for old school sounding bands, they should just search for good sounding bands, that’s all.
ZT: I’d first heard of you because of your UK tour this year, which was the first time you’d actually toured properly, yes? What made you choose the UK? What was your overall impression and how did the shows go? What did you learn from the experience and what will you do differently next time around?
LT: The credits of the UK Tour belong to Stuart Bartlett of BRO UK Promotions all the way. He wrote us a few months after our demo was out and we wrote Occvlta to join along, since we were always really into their stuff, without really knowing them. It was our first tour and it was just perfect, for which we probably would have to thank Stu for once more, since there are way bigger tours not going as well as ours. The two bands got along really good, we met really cool people along the way and the concerts were visited okay, some days were better, some were more weak, but that is something normal in the metal scene. Touring has its own touch to it I must say, hard to describe, but those are days when you only focus on those minutes of playing live, bus rides, cider, sleeping, talking and eating. Which is pretty cool up to a certain point I would say. I wouldn’t want to do something like this every 2 months for 3- 4 weeks or so.
ZT: With the band picking up momentum considerably since the release of ‘Summoning’, what have been some of your proudest moments as a band? Some of the most memorable?
LT: Of course we were proud being asked just after our first demo to come over to the UK for about a week and that tour we will always remember (it’s just screaming for a revival in my inner self).
Another thing we will always remember is playing with NIFELHEIM. Not because we had a lot to share with each other, but just because that has been a band we have been listening and obeying to for years and we always wanted to play with them. To me that band will always be one of the best extreme bands ever.
ZT: You play shows pretty selectively in general – what’s your criteria for a gig you want to play and why did OEF sound right for you? How do you think you fit in on the line up?
LT: Our most important criteria would probably be the bands we actually play with. We don’t like to play just for the money we get, but want to be part of concerts we would like as fans as well. The line-up has to be right. One other reason of us not playing every month would be, that we do not want to overplay ourselves and become boring to a certain crowd. I think one shouldn’t be able to see a band he or she likes every second month or so. Then that band would lose its charm.
The OEF has an own traditional touch to it, we are looking forward to playing there. It is a very mixed line up, yet I think we can not do wrong to share a stage with Napalm Death, Grave, Hooded Menace or Graveyard. I think we’ll do just fine there.
ZT: Who are you looking forward to seeing?
LT: I’m looking forward to see Hooded Menace, Evoken and Graveyard. We will have to leave Friday morning since we’ll be going to Iron Maiden in Oberhausen on the following Saturday. So no Napalm Death or Grave for us.
ZT: How do you see Chapel of Disease progressing in the future? Do you have a definite vision or are you more of a band that just jams it out and lets it happen naturally? Have you started writing more?
LT: We have started writing again, yes. All I can say at the moment, is that we know that the next record will be quite different than our debut. We do not discuss in what direction we have or want to go, we just let it happen and see how it turns out and if we want to release it. We really like the SBG album, yet all of us knew, that we do not want to be a band who repeats itself. We don’t have an exact vision, our only vision will always be to keep evolving or let the whole thing rest if we would not be able to evolve anymore. But things are looking great at the moment, so let’s just see and wait I guess.
ZT: What’s up with COD for the rest of the year? Future touring plans? World takeover?
LT: We don’t really know yet. A tour with a killer lineup would always be cool, maybe there is still room to plan something like that, but we really can’t tell yet. We will have some single gigs going on but mainly we’ll focus on writing some new tunes. As you are probably noticing right now, we do not really plan to far ahead but just let it happen… World takeover, yes, why not, we wouldn’t be able to make it worse anyway. Cheers!
FYI: If you’re thinking of a last minute trip, flights to Brno are much cheaper than to Prague – half the price. Only an hour and a half on the train to Prague which will cost you a measely seven squid. Feel free to look me up on Facebook for any advice. One love!
For all the info you need about OEF 2013, just click on the poster below!
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