Lastest release: This is Where it Ends (Nuclear Blast/Riot)
Oakland’s All Shall Perish arose with the first wave of deathcore acts in the early 00s and have since proved themselves to be one of the genre’s most original and innovative bands. Despite some line-up tweaking they have gone from strength to strength, refining their style while remaining true to their original vision. Their third album made an impact at the bottom end of the Billboard Top 200 and their latest, This is Where it Ends is one of the most anticipated of this year’s crop of forthcoming releases. Loud recently caught up with founding member and rhythm guitarist Ben Orum to talk about the new album, his thoughts on the bands that ape their style, and if they will be back in Australia any time soo
Q: The new album is pretty brutal. It’s living up to expectations.
A: Great. That’s what we like to hear.
Q: There were a few changes in the band leading up to this album. How did that affect the recording process?
A: It affected us in a very positive way. We were working together more closely than ever as the new group. Certain members that left liked to have control, and control the situation… and that can be difficult sometimes. With the new group, it was very easy to work together and everyone kind of had a vision for what this album was gonna be.
Q: Given the timeframes that bands are given to write and record, did the new members inject new life into All Shall Perish?
A: What it did… our lead guitarist Francesco (Artusarto) is such a skilled musician — he went to school for music – I could take my ideas and share them with him and he could expand them and show me ways to build on them. So that’s what’s really cool. And Adam (Pierce – drums) just has a really good idea of what makes a good song. It’s interesting to work with new people and formulate new songs with people. It’s great. I love it.
Q: You’ve been part of All Shall Perish since the beginning, so you’ve seen how the so-called deathcore scene has really exploded in the last few years. Have you found that it has become a lot more competitive?
A: You know what? For us… after we wrote our second album, The Price of Existence, and we started noticing how many copycats bands there were and everyone was trying to sound a certain way, it kind of made us step back and realise that, you know, we had to be ahead of everyone and move in a direction that’s different, but still the same. That’s why every All Shall Perish record sounds different. Because it’s a constant evolution in the music. To move forward and keep evolving the music.
Q: With so many copycats bands out there, have you found it a challenge to make that change while remaining the same band?
A: Not at all. If you write from the heart — which we all do – if you write what you feel, it’s not a challenge at all. What becomes a challenge is when you listen to all these bands and you try to do it consciously. That’s when it becomes difficult. We write what we feel and we don’t try to compare ourselves to other bands. We don’t let that sort of stuff get in the way.
Q: The title of the new album might make people think that this will be the last one.
A: [Laughs] Yeah I’ve heard that in a couple of interviews already!
Q: So what’s the story behind it? You’re four albums in and it doesn’t sound like you’re about to split up all of a sudden…
A: After ten years of fighting, to give up right now… we’re about to go on our biggest festival tour in the US ever, so we’d be fools to end now! I think [the album title] kind of fits in with the name of the band: All Shall Perish. We all inevitably perish. There’s an ending date and an expiration point of every aspect of our life. Whether it’s the government cracking down on us, or personal relationships, or just dying. Everyone is very… they don’t really think about life as ever ending. It’s probably something in the very back of their minds that they don’t ever think about. This album’s a little reminder that things end a little quicker than you think. It’s a call to action to take care of your shit before it’s too late.
Q: You’ve had a bit of a political bent in the past. Are you carrying that through this time as well?
A: Yeah there’s a c ouple of tracks that are real political. There’s a track on there called “Royalty Into Exile“ where we pretty much chant that the government rapes, lies and cheats its way through our lives and steers us in a certain direction like lemmings. And then we have some tracks about organised religion and how they’re tied in to the whole politics of the US. I’m not sure how things are run over there, but over here everything is based off of church law. Everything is tied in to the church.
Q: Well our Prime Minister is an atheist, which is something that wouldn’t happen in America.
A: No. No it would not. [laughs]
Q: What are you listening to outside of All Shall Perish? Anything new that’s got your attention?
A: Yeah! The new Origin. That one is blowing me away. I love Origin. There’s a band called Falluja from the Bay Area that’s about to drop a new record that I’ll be checking out. They’re real good. As far as other genres though, I listen to a lot of classic rock. Faith No More is always in my player. Primus.
Q: Is there a selection of songs you could choose that would best define All Shall Perish to someone who hasn’t heard the band before?
A:[Laughs] Well that’s a tough one because there’s so many different types of songs at this point. I’d play them “In This Life of Pain“, the last track on the new CD. I’d play them “Awaken the Dreamers” and I’d play them ”There’s No Business to be Done on a Dead Planet” off the second CD.
Q: I love that track, and I have a shirt that says almost the same thing. That’s interesting too because a lot of new bands don’t really deal with issues, but All Shall Perish has never shied away from them.
A: I’m not trying to be preachy or anything, but it’s good to have lyrics that mean something. Rather than just pointless gore that you hear all the time. If anyone’s gonna listen, that’s awesome! But we’re not trying to preach.
Q: What are the plans for All Shall Perish to come back to Australia again?
A:Man, we have been trying to get back out to Australia for the past year. If anyone out there can give us any kind of decent tour, please contact our manager at allshallperish.com. We want to come back so bad, we just need the right kind of arrangement to make it happen.
Q: Hopefully that will happen because I know a lot of people are really anticipating this album and the tracks we’ve heard so far have been very well received.
A: We love Australia. Last time we were there, there was some unfortunate accidents. We were on tour with The Red Shore and they got into that bad accident. That was really devastating, that whole thing. We were at the hospital when it all panned out. I hope that that band is doing well and that the next time we come out, it’s a better time than that.
Q: Well [The Red Shore] are actually doing very well now. They did sadly lose some people then, but they have really come along since then.
A: I love to see that. You know, when we did those shows, we did a full minute and a half moment of silence, and I have to say that Australians are very respectful to that kind of thing. In the US, you couldn’t get the crowd to be quiet for ten seconds [laughs]. So thank you for that.