Interview: Scullfucker

Congratulations on the new album ‘Anatomy Of Loss’ which will be released 7th April.
How are things going?

Thank you! Yes, are debut album is finally finished, and due out Friday 7th April on Grindscene Records. You can pick up a copy on our band camp or online through the usual retailers.

Things are going well so far. We have received plenty of pre-orders, the reviews have been really positive, and now we are working on booking some shows to accompany the release. It’s pretty busy round here, but definitely exciting times!

How did the recording process go and did you use alot of time in studio, or was it a quick session? Are you satisfied with the final result?

The recording process was difficult, and we did take a long time in certain areas. I have my own studio set up, sort of, so we opted to record the album ourselves; which basically meant i recorded, edited, mixed and mastered the entire thing on my own. Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid! Firstly we had an issue with the tempo in one of the tracks which resulted in re-tracking all the drums, then i became obsessed with the perfect guitar sound and re-recorded the guitars several times, and then i had huge problems getting the mix where i wanted it. It was a painful process, and it is very hard to remain objective when recording your own music. In short, i just spent far too long agonising over the sound of things instead of just getting on with it.

Having said that, it resulted in a very satisfying result. All the hours did pay off, but i do feel i just spent too long on it. There are elements i would like to improve on, but we’ll leave that for the next album.

Anatomy Of Loss is your first full length album, you also released the single ‘Choking On Concrete’ and the EP ‘In Light Of Dark Rays’ in 2015. The EP was a good taste of what to come, I never heard the single yet. How has the response and feedback been so far?

The single was basically a fast call to action to get our name out. Gary had just joined on drums which really moved the band into a position where we were strong enough to really make a go of it. ‘Choking On Concrete’ was very effective, and got a lot of attention, but it’s not a track that truly reflects the musical direction we have taken. The EP, as you say, was more of a clear indicator of what was to come.

The feedback so far has been pretty amazing. I appreciate reviews are always subjective, but we’re steadily getting 5/5, 9/10 type scores. We just hope that trend continues!

Are there any tours/gigs planned in the future to Promote the album?

The album launch show is 8th April in The Limelight 2, Belfast, with our good friends Shrouded and Valpurga. We are still booking shows for the rest of the year; so far we have confirmed Dublin 29th April (Metal 2 The Masses show), Belfast 16th June / Dublin 17th June (w/ Stranglewire), and Sunflowerfest in July.Scotland/UK dates are currenlty being arranged for end of May, along with a few dates in October mainland Europe. We are working with Titan Music Agency for shows, so we just let them take care of it. I hate booking gigs, it stresses me out!

When did The Crawling start as a band and how did you end up with the style you play, was it just natural or?

We started end of 2014 with our current line up. We had a few guys in shortly before, under a different moniker, but they didn’t work out.

Our style developed pretty quickly and naturally. Initially the band was supposed to be a laugh; couple of guys just jamming out some old school death metal, but once Gary came in on drums it was clear we had the ability to do something more. At that stage I simply just allowed myself to write the type of music I personally enjoy, I didn’t focus on staying within specific boundaries, just amalgamated the type of riffs I love from the bands that influence me the most – paradise lost, my dying bride, katatonia, early anathema – along with the heavy double bass riffage.

Have you played in ant other bands worth mentioning during your career?

I’ve led a sheltered life when it comes to bands to be honest. Since I was 16 I jammed with the same drummer for 15 years. We started Honey For Christ back in 1998 and that was my main focus up until 2013. HFC was a lot of fun, and we got to do some really cool things throughout our career. We played along side Lacuna Coil, Cathedral, Orange Goblin, Nile, My Dying Bride, Entombed to name a few. We made an appearance at Bloodstock in 2007, toured the U.K., parts of Europe with our good friends The Prophecy, and drank a fuck load of cider in the process! Good times.

What is your favourite track on’Anatomy…?

Poison Orange is the stand out track for me. It has my favourite lyrics from the album, and the vocal lines really work over the verses; I think it’s my best performance. I had the majority of the song written for a long time, but it wasn’t really working, something was missing. I remember coming home from rehearsal one night and listening to the demo and the chorus riff just came to me. It really brought the song to life. It’s enjoyable live as well.

Which bands inspired you when you were younger and as a musician?

When I was very young, Status Quo was my introduction to the rock, and soon led me down the path of heavy metal. From there I quickly discovered Iron Maiden and Metallica – they remained my core influence while growing up, but also spent a lot of time with Motley Crüe, Twisted Sister and Def Leppard (still do).

I didn’t pick up guitar until I was 15 or so. By that stage I had moved onto the more extreme acts of the time; Sepultura, Decide, Cannibal Corpse and Carcass providing the majority of my listening. My guitar playing was inspired by Max Cavalera, I loved his style of rhythm playing – it was so tight. I also wanted to be a singer, so Max was just the coolest fucker out there. James Hetfield was another huge influence, I remember learning Master Of Puppets from start to end … ish.

What was your first experience with metal and do you remember the first record you bought with own money?

My very first encounter with heavy metal was through a mates big brother, I think I was about 9 or 10 years old or so. We all attended the same primary school and this guy brought in a huge ghetto blaster loaded with Iron Maiden, I can’t recall which album. We all gathered around the back of the school and it was blasted out. It sounded so evil! We ended up getting in trouble and the ghetto blaster was banned forever! Ha, ha!

I think the first album I bought with my own money was ‘Iron Maiden – Killers.’ It was birthday money, and I think I bought it from a store called “IT,” but I can’t be sure. We used to go into “IT” all the time and look at the tapes; heavy metal had its own section. It was a locked glass cover to stop us from pinching the boxes! It was a big thing back in the day to copy the tape, then steal the cover from the local music shops. Eek! (Well, I got both tapes and covers haha ED.)

Your lyrics are dark and sinister, is this something you write on autopilot or do you have a deeper meaning or personal stuff behind them? I’m a writer myself and I now it’s easy to ‘camouflage’ the true meaning…

Writing lyrics comes quite easily to me. I write from a very personal perspective, and I find life provides plenty of inspiration. I’m at my best late at night, usually after I’ve been alone for a few hours and half a case of beer in me – alcohol helps me write unrestrained. Although, sometimes I have to edit them when I sober up; a bit too much inappropriate disclosure on occasion.

My words are usually camouflaged, but I kinda work back to front. I tend to write about an experience I have seen, or someone close to me has gone through, then once completed I go back and add in elements to coincide with something else that is going on in my own head, or things I’m having problems processing.

My writing is very cathartic, it is certainly a tool I utilise to get through difficult times, but it can make it peculiar singing them over and over. It can often feel like I’m going over a period of misery on a loop; healthy I’m sure! Ha, ha!

Scullfcuker Webzine

Interview By Gravarson Almighty

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