Interview by Jonathan Matthews
We had a chat with Daniel Beiers, the bassist of the band KHEMMIS, who have recently been signed to Nuclear Blast Records. They have a new album coming out June 22nd which is titled “DESOLATION” and sees the band open up new doorways of endless possibilities in their musical journey. We discussed the recent label signing and the upcoming album release, as well as the possibility of an Australian tour in the future!
SR. Hey man, how are you going?
Good thanks man.
SR. Congratulations on signing to Nuclear Blast records! You’ve got a new album coming out, titled ‘Desolation’, are you looking forward to that being released?
Yeah man. It’s crazy, we’ve received the vinyl copy of the album already and it’s really weird to have the finished product and not be able to share it yet.
SR. You recently released a music video for the single ‘Isolation’. Can you tell me a bit about the production of the video?
This video was interesting because we didn’t have a lot of time, and we didn’t really have any budget. A local tattoo artist who loves doing these kinds of projects came to us and said ‘hey, do you want to do a video?’ Nuclear Blast insisted that we have a music video and this tattoo artist is a real nice guy. He had a bunch of ideas, we said no to a couple of them, and yes to a couple. He got all of his friends together and made it all happen, except for the live stuff. We shot the live footage at a local venue. Our involvement was actually really just one weekend, and then just some little bits and pieces to finish it off. Other than that, it was all put together really quickly. Given the circumstances, we were really impressed with what was pulled together.
SR. How is the song being received over all?
I think the song is being received well over all, the album reviews are on hold right now until the release, so we haven’t had a chance to see any of those yet. I feel that the track is somewhat of a departure for us, we’ve never done a song that short before, or a song with that ‘catchy’ vibe. Some people are crying doom, and not in the music sense, but oh well. I’ve read some comments online that are like ‘oh…they’re signing to a label and doing this now… well that was fun while it lasted’. We try not to take too much stock in comments like that, you can’t judge an entire album from one song. We do have some tracks on this album that are quite long, ten minutes plus. To those people we just say ‘You may not like the new album, but we hope you do. Just give it a chance and give it a listen’ because there’s a bunch of different tracks on the record, and if you liked us before, there’s going to be at least a few tracks that you’ll like now.
SR. Are you guys planning an Australian tour any time?
We’d love to! Unfortunately that’s really hard for a band of our size to make a trip like that, it’s very expensive. Obviously we don’t do this for money, otherwise we wouldn’t be playing underground metal, but we’ve got to get to a level where it can pay for itself at least. Australia is a big place, but hopefully we can put together enough dates to make that happen. Hopefully “Desolation” takes off and catches people’s attention over there. I’d really love to get over there. Hopefully Australia likes this new record and we can get over there to play it for you.
SR. What’s your favourite track off the new album?
That’s a super hard question. Everything is still very new to us, and the whole album is like a newborn baby to us, it’s hard to pick a favourite. If I had to pick a favourite though, I’d have to go with ‘From Ruin’ which is the final song on the record. It’s not only fun to play, but it’s compelling to listen to. I think it really mixes a lot of styles that I love, and I think we did a really good job blending the styles together. It’s fun to listen to, and fun to play. It’s not overly complicated, but it’s definitely not easy either. It has this really sick bridge part that I think people are totally gonna dig. I’m looking forward to playing that one live.
SR. You’re the bassist in the band, did you use any new gear in the way of instruments, amps or pedals?
Every time we record we use different gear. The only thing that’s the same is I use are Seymour Duncan quarter pound bass pickups. I’ve been working with them and I like them, I’ve used them for every recording, but in a different bass each time. They’re a really hot, classically tuned P pick up. The low and the low mids are a little more pronounced and it’s a great overall sounding pickup to me. This is the first time I’ve used my new custom bass in a recording. There’s a shop here in LA in the states, it’s a great custom shop, I had this bass made for me based off my specs and it sounds great & plays great. I’m very excited to be able to play it on the album. I used my Orange ADA 200B amp for the first time, on the previous albums I always used my AMPEG. I used my Black Arts Toneworks Pharaoh pedal for my dirtier fuzzy tones. I always use Black Arts Toneworks on all the albums, it kind of has this hum that I like. Other than that, I used a vintage AMPEG cab which I actually sold to our producer. It works out well for me, I don’t have to lug it around, and it’s there in the studio now for when we want to record next.
SR. Have you guys got any pre or post show traditions or rituals?
We have a toast, we’ve never not done it. We do a toast to each other, we walk back to the drummer. Then we usually have a little sample, some ambient noises to get us started which kind of leads into the first song. Ben will hit that pedal and kind of get the mood going, then we’re ready to go. Other than that, I do push ups before every set and I stretch a little bit. Phil likes to stretch heaps, because he really likes to move around heaps on stage and go crazy. A little stretching, some push ups and then a toast! That’s all there is to it!
SR. It’s been really lovely chatting to you, cheers!
No problem man, it’s been a great chat.
“DESOLATION” is out now through any Nuclear Blast Records retailer or online!