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author PP date 09/08/06

Tuesday night the 8th of november was in the name of Extreme Death Metal, as's own Mikkel Schläger was doing an interview with british Akercocke who supported Mortician on The Rock in Copenhagen. The interview took place in the bar in the room behind the main stage, and unfortunately Mortician were doing their soundcheck at this time. This resulted in my recording not being the best and most comprehensible piece of audio one could have hoped for. Therefore, some minor things have gone lost in the audible mudbath of drums and heavy guitarriffs coming from the next room. And lemme tell you, when Mortician do soundcheck, they do it long, and they do it loud.

Akercocke consists of 4 members. Jason Mendonca on lead Vocals and guitar, Peter Theobalds on Bass, David Gray on drums and Matt Wilcock on guitar. All 4 members were present at the interview. Can you introduce yourself and the band?

David: My name is David, and I play the drums. [Points to Matt] This is Matthew, he is the guitarist. [Points to Peter] And Peter is the bass player. And your vocalist?

David: He is outside. He's outside, he'll be around when he's ready. Can you describe the style of music you play?

David: Not really, I think that's for everyone else to decide... yeah, we don't worry about things like that. We just.. you know, we're into lots of different kinds of music, and they all influence our sound overall. So you know, lots of other people worry about what we're called, and they're worried about whether we're black metal or death metal, but we're not really interested to be honest, really. I mean, you know, we're heavy metal, and we don't really care. So it's what everyone else thinks. If you think we're a black metal band that's fine. Or a satanic death metal band?

David: Whatever.

Peter: [Laughs] If it works for you then that's what we are. It's really not important to us. Yeah that's what I think.

David: What you end up with is just getting a lot of people discussing about it. We're heavy metal. It's like; what's your favourite color, and if you like all colors you can't pick one out. I can see what you mean. So, what are some of your favourite bands in and outside the genre you play?

Peter: Outside of the genre we play? Yeah, that and inside. I guess you listen to different types of music so...

David: Yeah yeah yeah. Probably my favourite band is (metal hopsatoo?? - damn soundcheck on the background). It's an english Jazz/Punk band from the 80's. That's clearly outside the genre.

David: Yeah that's slightly outside the genre, yeah. Okay, so what about inside the genre, do you have any favourites there?

David: Not really... I like posessed from the 80's... Uhm, yeah Posessed are my favourite if you're gonna go heavy metal. Yeah, They're the band that is said to have started death metal, right?

David: Yeah. Who do you draw inspiration from to create your music, if any... bands?

Peter: A lot of different bands... Can you name any?

Peter: Posessed, Baal, Sonic Youth... Killing Joke I suppose... We have many many different influences. Okay. When you're going to write a new album, what do you do to get inspired? How do you get the ideas for your music? Do you have any... like, mode you go into...

David: You have to absorb from life, I think... That's how we do it anyway.

Peter: I really like to inspire from hatred... and I really like to inspire from love. And everyday life... definately very much everyday life. What about lyrically?

David: Well it's the same. It's no different. I mean, something can happen to you that can inspire you. You know, an event in life, or someone can say something and that makes you... [Jason enters], [Points to Jason] This is Jason...

Peter: You know, inspiration comes from around us. Hello Jason.

Jason: Hello! So, You've just released a new album called "Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone". How do you feel about it?

David: What do you feel about it?

Peter: [Laughs] I think it's really good. It's really extreme... some of it... now I haven't heard your previous albums. This is your fourth album right?

David: Yeah. Well you get very good reviews for the new album compared to some of your previous ones.

Peter: Yeah, they're really up there. So how do you feel about it?

Peter: We're very very happy with it. Very happy. How long did you work on the album?

Peter: The actual recording was a matter of maybe a month and a half?

Jason: A couple of months.

Peter: Very very very quick. The majority of it was quite quick, but some of it was written in a period previously. So all in all... a year and a half I guess.

Jason: Why didn't I get any coffee? Is that normal for you guys?

Peter: No, normally it takes us two years to do anything. About the new album. Do you think you have evolved since your previous albums?

David: Yeah, I think every album is a step forward. So how do you think that you have evolved since "Goat Of Mendes" and "Choronzon"?

David: I'd say that we've taken things step by step. I don't think there's been any massive link. I think it's always been a gradual progression from... one step forward to the next record. I think it's been very logical and very natural. And that's it really. Have you ever toured in the US?

David: Yeah with Mortician. We're on tour with Mortician now, and that's a result of when we went on tour with them last year, and we did all of the US, and we really made friends with them, and we could all... live in each others pockets for a long time and not cause any friction or anything. We had a good time, we all watched Star Wars and Robots together, and that was really great, so we're glad to tour with them. How are the US crowds compared to the European crowds?

Peter: It varies, 'cause it's a fucking big country, so it's very different, but... probably a little bit more insane.

David: Yeah, they're more party people aren't they?

Jason: They like to have a good time.

David: They like to have a good time for a long period of time. At the show they're like "Comeon let's go here! *yarrh* let's go there!". They make a lot of pits in a very short space of time. What do you do to prepare for a show?

David: Smash the dressing room up! And then we take some bottles and smash each other with them.

Jason: And fist fighting!

David: Yes that's always good yeah, and... So no warmup on the guitar, or?

Peter: Oh, yeah yeah...

David: No.

Peter: No no it's all natural. It's very easy for us... But about half an hour before, or 45 minutes..

Jason: Of physical violence.

David: You just take a quick look at your guitar before you go on stage.

Jason: And remind me which on is yours, and which one's yours [points]. Yeah, is it the one with four strings or six strings?

Jason: I don't care, I only need one string anyway. [Plays one-string air guitar]

Matt: He always picks up my guitar. How do you describe the people that come to watch your shows?

Peter: It's different... I guess it varies from country to country again?

Peter: Yeah. A Lot. Lot's of people painted black in the face and stuff?

David: No no, well, we do get som bogons, don't we, in Europe.

Jason: Yeah.

David: Classic heavy metal warriors in Europe.

Jason: That's good. We appreciate the heavy metal warlords that come to our shows. So is that a lot, or just one or two in the front row?

Peter: I'd say they are more of a majority, aren't they?

Jason: In Europe.

Peter: Definately in Europe.

David: Do we have many bogons in the US? We did, didn't we?

Jason: There was a couple. They were real hardcore...

David: With tight jeans and bullet belt, wearing tights and stuff. But I think we get quite a mixed audience in the US. So do you have any groupies?

Peter: [Laughs] What are they? Groupies yeah, the ordinary Britney Spears, yeah yeah.

David: No, never. Never.

Jason: We have a keyboard player who couln't actually come on this tour because he's in the clinic for sexual diseases.

Peter: [Laughs] Yeah. Can you name the greatest show you've ever played?

Peter: The greatest show we've ever played? Yeah, like where you had the most fun, or played the best.

David: Yeah...

Peter: That's like Donnington [Ed note: Download Festival] for me.

Jason: What about... Nottingham?

David: I was pretty comfortable in Nottingham actually.

Peter: What? Last UK tour?

David: Yeah.

Jason: No, you mean Sheffield.

David: Sheffield...

Jason: Sheffield.

David: Oh, Nottingham was the first one?

Jason: Yeah.

David: Yeah, that was crap. Sheffield was a really good show yeah. I was really happy with that. So you like bigger shows, or...?

David: No... no that was a small show. Yeah, they can see you, and you can see them. So about 200 people?

David: I don't know, how many people?

Peter: Yeah about 200. Okay, so, what's the worst show you ever played?

David: Augh!

Jason: Norway.

Peter: [Laughs]

Jason: What was that place called?... Christiansand Hallway, a couple of years ago.

David: Holland was fucking dreadfull wasn't it?

Jason: (name of a venue) in Holland... yeah fucking shit.

Peter: [Laughs] Why? What happened?

Jason: 'Cause we were shit! They didn't even correct us for it, I'd at least think we would have made some sort of impact. They didn't do anything. Was that a warmup gig or a headlining?

Jason: Nah, it was just early on in first light... main stage. Some fucking pub.

Peter: [Laughs] We did a few empty rooms in America.

Jason: [Laughs]

Peter: What was that place called in Fireville?

Jason: Oh no no... Lacauana.

Peter: Lacauana.

Jason: Lacauana was amazing.

Peter: It was like a (?) and a dog.

Jason: And a couple of rednecks.

David: Yeah that was fun... That was dreadful.

Jason: And truckdrivers. How does that make you feel? How is it like playing for nothing?

Jason: It's great! I love it! What's the greatest show that you've ever seen by another band?

Jason: Oh... Fucking hell that's difficult. I saw Rush on the "Hold Your Fire" tour. That was a mind-blowing concert for me. When was that?

Jason: Fucking hell I don't remember... A long time ago. What about you? (Peter)

Peter: Sonic Youth. Shepherds Bush Empire in 2002. It was an amazing show. Yeah they are really good live.

Peter: Really amazing live. How about you? (Matt)

Matt: I actually saw Metallica in a Australia a couple of years ago. They headlined a festival in Australia, and it was just amazing. Everyone there... there was like 40.000 people there, everyone was astonished. And they got up on stage, and they just played all their classics, and it was fucking amazing. That's all everyone talked about in Australia for the following three weeks. It was like Metallica! So that was quite impressive. Yeah, that's always a winner. How about you? (David)

David: I can't think of anything. At all... That's probably 'cause I *hate* music.


David: No... I can't think of anything. Do you have any fun anecdotes from a previous show, like what's the craziest thing that ever happened when you were on stage?

Jason: The craziest thing that ever happened when I was on stage... was, we once did a gig in corpse paint, we played with some friends in a pub in the north of England. We thought it would be amusing with all these very childish and stupid people, if we wore dark funeral corpse paint, which we did. The only problem was that it was so hot in there that all of the corpse paint ran into my eyes and I went blind! [Laughs] And I had to go to the hospital, and I actually went blind for two days.

David: And what was even more amusing was that you were actually driving us home.

[All laugh]

David: And so we couldn't go home, because you couldn't actually open your eyes. And we had to take you to A&E.

Peter: What about that red light show when you kicked the guy on stage?

Jason: Yeah, we played this very small club show, and a guy just jumps on stage, and he was dancing like this! [Performs techno moves], and it was a real tight place. [Stands up] So I just go: "Hang on then.. FUCK OFF!" [Kicks into the air], [All laugh], and I kicked him off the stage. And then after the show, a friend of ours came up to us, with this bloke... this guy, and he says: "This is my dad!" [All laugh].

Peter: And he loved it!

Jason: He loved it, he was like; "Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thanks for kicking me really hard." Okay, that is crazy. Anything else?

David: There was... before Matt was in the band, we were doing this show, and it was videotaped, so we've actually got evidence of this as well. And he got up on stage, but instead of diving off again, he thought he would take some pictures. So it was his own fault, cause he was just too ambitious. He started taking pictures, and Jason bumped into him, not knowing that he was standing behind him. And when he realized that someone was on stage, of course he grapped hold of him and mercilessly threw him off the stage.

Jason: By his neck!

David: By his neck! [Laughs]

Jason: And he got crowdsurfed.

David: So, yeah, he was gone flying off the stage into the audience. The audience thought that was great. And then they crowdsurfed him back towards the front, and threw him back onto stage again... And that was quite funny at the time, and it's even funnier cause we can watch it time and time again.

Peter: We've got it on video, yeah. Another subject: How do you feel about kids downloading your music for free on the Internet?

Jason: It's fucking bollocks.

Peter: Rubbish.

Jason: You know it's good if they do stuff like check it out, and they dig it, and they're into it... For sure, you know, I myself use the Internet as a "try before you buy" utility. But these kids... and fucking... adults, and whoever these people are who download whole albums, then find jpeg's of the artwork, print them out, and find fucking lyrics on, and then print those out and make... for fucks sake, get a life, go and buy the CD! So how do you feel about the "try before you buy" policy?

Jason: It's alright. I've got nothing on it.

Peter: If it gets people to hear music, before they actually choose to go buy a CD with some of their money, or they get the magazines with the CD on the front, or you know...

Jason: I think the Internet's really useful for that. Someone might say to you: "You should check this band out, they're really cool". You might download a couple of tracks, delete it off your hard-drive afterwards, who cares. Or keep the ones that are really good. But I'm a music fan, I want to look at the pictures in the booklet, and I want to read the lyrics and understand more.

Peter: Some people say that it's no excuse, 'cause a lot of bands have, as we do, on their website you have tracks you can download, so you can sample some tracks anyway.

Jason: People stealing music from each other, and using peer to peer networks... it fucking sucks arse.

David: I think a lot of people think records are too expensive. CD's are too expensive. I think that's why so many people take those measures. I mean, if you want a CD, you don't want to pay about ?16 and then take it back 'cause you don't like it. I mean... it's a waste of time and money.

Jason: Then there's web stores where you can buy the new Akercocke album for like ?8 or something. I mean how much is a fucking pack of cigarettes? ?8? Yeah that's true. Do you listen to the radio?

David: No, never.

Peter: Never.

Jason: Do I listen to the radio? Yeah I listen to BBC Radio 4. It's entirely news, politics and poetry. So no music on the radio?

Jason: No.

Peter: It's all poison. In England it's all poison. Yeah it's the same thing here.

Peter: Fuck that shit. So you don't like radio at all?

Peter: Sometimes I listen to Kerrang! radio which is digital. Sometimes you can hear a few tracks that are okay, but you have to sit through so much shit that's just worthless. You know, you turn it down, you turn it up. Okay, a tricky one here; imagine yourself as a fan of your band. What would you ask yourself?

David: Lend us a fiver.

Jason: [Laughs]

Peter: Would you like to fuck my sister? [Laughs] Okay all good suggestions. Anything else? If you were a fan, and you wanted to know anything from yourself. What would that be?

David: I don't know, I suppose if you're a fan of a band, you want to meet someone you're in to, and have a beer with them. And see if they're allright. That's my take on it.

Jason: "Would you like a drink?"

Peter: Yeah, "How are you feeling, would you like a drink?" yeah.

David: And try to avoid speaking about the band, without being conspicuous, 'cause that can be tiresome. It's just sometimes it's just a bit awkward, 'cause you tend to sort of... there's not really so much you can talk about but the band. Before you get bored. [Laughs] So you don't want people to come up to you and ask you all sorts of questions about the band?

David: Nah, people do. It's fine. It's just when people take it too far I suppose. It's a bit bothersome if they talk about the band continously, and what you had for breakfast that morning, and what did you have for breakfast the morning when you wrote "Bathycolpian Avatar", one of our old songs, and stuff like that. How much longer do you think you'll go on with the band?

Peter: Don't know... six weeks? So you have no idea?

Jason: 'Till it's not fun to do anymore, or when it gets boring or we run out of ideas. So you're not going to be the next Rolling Stones, like 70 year old guys...

Peter: I'd love to be.

David: If we were making that kind of money we definately would be.

Jason: When I grow up I want to be Keith Richards. What are your plans for 2006.

David: First we want to get this tour out of the way. And then we break for christmas, don't we. Like in general. And then we'll start to worry about 2006. We don't have any plans beyond this. We're here and we're trying to play as best we can. Have fun and hang out with Mortician. That's what we worry about now. Oh and we've got that show with Opeth when we go back to London. With Opeth at the end of the month. And we won't do anything after that, 'cause then it's december and a couple of weeks it'll be christmas, and we'll do the christmas thing. And then we'll think about what we'll do in the new year. So you don't have any plans for a new album or anything?

David: No. Uhm, yeah that's about it I think.

David: Oh, cool. Thanks a lot for the interview.

David: Thank you.

Matt: Cheers.

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