I had the opportunity to interview Vogg of the Polish death metal band Decapitated at the Philadelphia stop of the Ophidian Trek: a tour featuring them, Baroness and headlined by the now legendary Meshuggah.
A bit of back story before I begin: last time I had interviewed someone at this venue I ended up being poisoned by a chicken steak and ended up in the Penn Hospital ER.
The time before that, the talentless hack vocalist from Suicide Silence threw a water bottle into the press area during their set (in an attempt to distract the crowd from his homoerotic vocals). The bottle hit my camera, spilling all over, destroying the mini disc inside…there goes all 6 of the interviews I had done that day. How water did this is beyond me, I thought in 2012 we had Cyberdyne like electronics. So, going into this I felt as if I was cursed.
This was originally a video interview, HOWEVER, as I was speaking to Vogg: Tomas of Meshuggah was in the next room playing on his warm up kit. The audio sucks so, I typed it all out for everyone’s entertainment. Besides, I have such a fat pumpkin like head with a witch nose. It wasn’t Halloween and Lance Hendrickson was nowhere to be found.
Mark/SK: Christ man, it was a fucking warzone trying to get back here.
Vogg: Yeah (texting and looking around)
SK: So, I’m Mark and this is for Stereokiller dot com. What is your name and what do you do in the band?
Vogg: Ok, I’m Vogg and I play guitar…in Decapitated.
SK: Awesome. You don’t look the same as you did on stage. It’s been a while since I’ve heard you guys; tonight you were fucking awesome.
Vogg: Thank you. Very good show tonight, it was just going and going.
SK: I don’t know if you could see the floor but, people were wild.
Vogg: Oh yeah (smiling), it was good. I look to the crowd and saw lots of people who were probably seeing us for the first time and they would kind of look and listen like “What the fuck is going on” then they would just go. I think we had a great response.
SK: Hell yeah, from what I saw of most other shows, the crowds were all like “MESHUGGAH RULES” but tonight everyone went off.
Vogg: Fuck yeah, thank you man.
SK: I think we’re about the same age. I’m 29.
Vogg: I’m thirty.
SK: I have been hearing about you guys since I was 16 or 17 and it’s good to see you are still around killing it.
Vogg: Haha, yeah man, we try to do the best.
SK: It seems like you guys are holding it down and staying above the trends…you know the “dumbed down death metal” that everyone loves.
Vogg: Ah yeah, ahahaha. What is that…deathcore and…oh djent!
SK: Ha! The worst.
Vogg: I have VERY deep roots in thrash metal music and death metal music; you know old school thrash metal music. It’s in my hands and it’s in my blood, you know? So it isn’t like, right now I want to play this or that. I’d like to say that, ehhh, we aren’t 45 year old men and we stay away from, eehh…we aren’t your typical fashion death metal band these days. We have had our own sound and I feel that people like it.
SK: You guys are definitely keeping up and ahead of the times and people tonight were way into it. So, what’s your latest album called and when did it come out?
Vogg: “Carnival is Forever” and 2012 no, no…hell no 2011.
SK: Are you guys working on a new album now?
Vogg: No, hmmm, I have started thinking about what types of moods and music I’d like to create for the new album. Sometimes I jam myself for us, sometimes just to see what I have. But right now we are still promoting last album. That will go into next year for sure, we will promote as much as possible in United States, South America and Europe before we start our next one. We also did 2 videos and were gonna do probably another one, full of promotion.
SK: Are you guys going to tour the States again?
Vogg: Oh yes, yes.
SK: I noticed that you have the same guitar as Karl Sanders, except his is a Seven string.
Vogg: Really? He plays a seven.
SK: Yeah, and it’s gold. Speaking of…I’m a huge gear nerd. You know, I like to know everything about everyone’s tones and setting. What do you tune to?
Vogg: On this album we tune to C sharp. Sometimes we are tuning to…we like to use a few. This time its C sharp standard also drop B and B standard. On the Previous album we used D standard.
SK: If you had to pick one, drop or standard, which do you prefer?
Vogg: I prefer standard since that’s how I learned. But drop can be cool sometimes, I can do it but ehh I just try it and sometimes make some interesting stuff.
SK: Most of my friends that play death metal are usually dead set on one or the other, kind of interesting that you said that.
Vogg: Because if you change for drop you know your chords change then you have to switch and no one wants to do that.
SK: Ok, I won’t talk about guitars anymore; we’ll end up missing Meshuggah.
SK: So if you guys had the chance to work on a movie, with a certain director, who would that be?
SK: Yeah, even if it wasn’t Decapitated’s music, if you could just work on a film composing whatever you’d like for the score.
Vogg: Ahh. Who was it that directed 'Lord of the Rings'?
SK: Peter Jackson.
Vogg: I think our music would fit with scene of war. I think if I ever had the chance to work with a director…who is the guy…”Pulp Fiction” guy (snaps his fingers fast)?
SK: Haa Tarentino.
Vogg: Yes yes Tarentino.
SK: Yeah, everyone says that. Best choice.
Vogg: I love his movies, even if he stole lots of ideas from Japanese movies.
SK: What sort of Japanese stuff are you into? I didn’t know you dug that stuff.
Vogg: I like….sword of….sword of the something
SK: If you want to see some great Asian films, check out some of the dramas coming out of Korea.
Vogg: I have seen some of that stuff, lots of things about people fighting with themselves, within their own mind.
SK: Ok…Korn of Limp Bizkit?
Vogg: Uhhh Korn. Although I saw Limp Bizkit cover a Metallica song and it was awesome. But Korn, I love Korn.
(Mind you the other band member in the room and my brother who was holding the camera start laughing)
SK: What new albums have come out, newer stuff that you are into?
Vogg: Hmmm new albums. I do not know. It’s hard to say, I listen to old music.
I missed this question earlier…what is the writing process for you like?
Vogg: Most of the time, I write the riffs and give them to the drummer. I always do all the riffs. Sometimes out drummer comes up with a part. In the past Vitek would come up with stuff… he would record drums first then I would write riffs to the drums. It is different but once we started writing this way it was a sure way to know that it will be a good song. It’s all about the riffs.
SK: I have to try that.
Vogg: You should try it! It’s so cool when you have drums already recorded, you can only, you know, think about riffs. Sometimes when you have drums ready, you can do some nice tricks and breaks. We’ve done 4 songs like that so far.
SK: What was the song you opened with tonight, it was brutal?
Vogg: Today, 'The Knife'
SK: I didn’t expect you guys to come out swinging like that.
Vogg: Oh yeah man, we were looking to make the set list quite intense, especially the first 3 songs to make people smashed. Then we have a more organic song. It’s mid tempo. Then the 5th songs starts with a clean tone and some toms…very atmospheric. We tried to have the set show a lot of power but still have atmosphere. This makes everything more interesting. Then “Spheres of Madness” at the end, everyone knows that song…every metalhead in the U.S.
SK: Fuck yeah, one of those staple songs.
Vogg: Of Course.
SK: How has Meshuggah been? Do you watch them every night?
Vogg: Oh fuck yeah, as soon as I hear the intro (does invisible orange).
Vogg: It’s a good show, those guys are just professional musicians on a whole other level of artistic playing. The concept of the production of the show is great.
SK: Oh for sure, this is a good tour. Great mix of bands.
Vogg: Oh yes, great mix…We come out and it’s like “BOWWWW” then Baroness and it’s spacey.
SK: Hahaha. Do you know who you may be coming back here with on your next tour?
Vogg: No we aren’t sure yet.
SK: You should come with Pathology, just because I really dig them. They are on Victory Records.
Vogg: Victory…hmmm I do not know them.
SK: They used to be hardcore label, now they only sign bands with dudes that look like girls.
SK: But yeah that would be a great tour. Anyways, thank you for talking to me, let’s do this again.
Vogg: For sure.
SK: Wanna go watch Meshuggah?
SK: Oh I forgot….look at the camera with me and say “Fuck Brickhouse”
Vogg: Ok, am I gonna get in trouble or something.
SK: Nah, he’s a vagina.
Both: FUCK BRICKHOUSE (we both give the camera the finger)
All in all this was a great interview. If you have the chance, go see Decapitated when they come through your nearest city. Pick up their albums too, good stuff if you are into non tight pants death metal; aka deathcore.