Latest release: Foul Play (Prime Cuts)Band site: www.facebook.com/malignantmonster

Perth melodic death/thrash metal crew Malignant Monster are one of many exciting acts appearing on the Loud-approved Bastardfest tour that’s tearing through Australia and New Zealand in September/October. The band will be appearing at the Perth leg of the tour and Loud chatted with vocalist Cain Cressall about their festival appearance, an update on their next record, opening for metal’s biggest names, his membership in industrial/death metallers The Amenta and more.

Q: It’s been six years since Foul Play was released. What’s the latest on a new studio album from Malignant Monster?
A: We’re in pre-production right now. At this stage, it’s looking like we should have it all tracked by the end of the year. It probably won’t be mixed, mastered and released until early 2012.

Q: Good to hear. How is the new material you’re working on shaping up compared to your debut?
A: I still enjoy the songs on Foul Play but our sound has mutated drastically since 2005. There are a couple of songs we don’t play live anymore because they have become so irrelevant to what the band represents now. They just don’t sound like Malignant Monster anymore. The new album is much more refined, extreme and horrific. As clichéd as it might sound, this is genuinely evil music; something I believe is greatly lacking in extreme music, these days, worldwide.

Q: Great stuff. The band has opened for numerous high-profile overseas acts – what have been some of the highlights among those shows?
A: Probably the reactions we’ve received from playing international supports. As a support act you can’t expect headlining touring bands to actually watch your set. We’ve been lucky enough to leave some great impressions with many of these bands over the years. The last support slot we played was for Forbidden. I became friends with Craig (Locicero, guitars) and Mark (Hernandez, drums), who were so into it they actually thanked me for the performance. As a long time Forbidden fan, that kind of response goes a long way. We’ve received similar responses from various international artists including members of Behemoth, Cryptopsy, The Black Dahlia Murder and God Forbid, to name a few.

Q: You also joined The Amenta two years ago. Has that band’s recent activity made it difficult to find the time to work on Malignant Monster?
A: Malignant Monster has always been a bit of a struggle. Our progress has always been quite staggered. The Amenta is a well-oiled machine that just keeps snowballing. It has been a great journey for me and has taken me around the world. It does eat into a fair bit of my time but it kind of just motivates me to push harder when I do have time to work with ‘Monster.

Q: The band’s upcoming touring schedule includes a performance on the Perth leg of Bastardfest. What are your expectations for this festival?
A: If last year is anything to go by, it’ll be wild. Bastardfest 2010 was a raging success. I believe this was due mainly to the killer lineup and the genuine nature of the whole thing. It might not be as large scale as Soundwave, but festivals like that have so many shit bands and even shitter fans. Bastardfest is for people that actually enjoy and support extreme music as opposed to just the image. The lineup this year is much bigger which I’m sure will parallel the turnout.

Q: Indeed. What do you think Malignant Monster can bring to Bastardfest that the other bands can’t?
A: Pure evil, ugliness and perversion. Malignant Monster is the most sinister on the bill. I’ll eat the soul of anyone who dares argue that statement.

Q: Many heavy metal bills in Australia seem to focus on quantity over quality. However, Bastardfest incorporates not only many of the country’s best bands, but a diverse collection of them. Do you think more promoters in this country need to make their shows more of an “event” like this?
A: If you’re going to put on a 10-band show, yeah, try not to put on too many shit bands. Actually, try and avoid shit bands wherever possible. Even if you do have a great lineup, cross-genre shows don’t normally work unless they’re promoted really well. Leave it to the guys that know what they’re doing.

Q: How healthy do you feel the Australian metal scene is at the moment and do you think an event like Bastardfest will bring it some long overdue extra attention?
A: As far as the bands go, I’d say there are more high-quality metal bands in the country than ever before. However, the support for Australian metal is greatly lacking compared to times past, particularly in the more extreme end of the spectrum. The scene is so saturated with fashion, trends and pretentious nerdy cunts. Maybe we’ve just been so spoilt with international tours that the scene has stopped giving a fuck about our own artists. Not to say there’s no support at all, but it does seem that we are something of a dying breed. Yes, I think Bastardfest is a healthy kick in the ass.

Q: On a more personal note, what new releases have you been enjoying lately?
A: I can’t remember the last time I heard a new release that really grabbed me. The new Furor album is the first in a quite some time. War Upon Worship – get it, if you’re into unrelenting brutality.

Q: Any famous last words?
A: One special mention I should make is that Bastardfest is going to be, our drummer, Ben Stanley’s last show with us. We are committed to making this a royal send off for him, as he has been a valued member of Malignant Monster since 2003. We wish him all the best for his future musical endeavours. That aside, if there is any single show worth making the effort for, to show some support for Australian heavy music, this is it. Do not miss Bastardfest.