“Man’s will is controlled in great part by the dark side, be it outside influence or supernatural forces or just from within our own twisted minds.”
– Steve Asheim
Interview by Jason Guest
Jason: Hi Steve. Thanks for taking time out for this interview. I’ve been listening to In The Minds Of Evil for the past week or so and it’s another killer album from the band.
Steve: Thank you that’s great to hear.
Jason: Deicide have been making death metal for over 20 years now. How do you guys keep it fresh and, with so many releases to your name, avoid repeating yourselves?
Steve: Well we just try to come up with memorable riffs and then do what we can to make it as heavy as possible. And if we hear anything that’s too similar to another song we’ll either drop it or change it enough so that there’s no problem with it.
Jason: What is that keeps Deicide motivated to make music and to stick to their guns?
Steve: I think we just enjoy what we do, being heavy I mean. I never felt a need to lighten our approach to writing and I don’t think anyone would expect us to. We make heavy records, that’s what people want from us and we’re more than happy to provide that.
Jason: In The Minds Of Evil, is the band’s eleventh album. How does it compare to your previous works?
Steve: I think it’s right up there with our best stuff. It may even be our best. We’ll have to see how other people rate it, that’ll be interesting. But I think it’s pretty good, top 3 for sure.
Jason: What are the most significant musical developments on In The Minds Of Evil compared to previous releases?
Steve: Well musical developments, I don’t know if I’d go that far. We’ve developed some pretty heavy tunes but I think the term implies we’ve added something significant to our sound that we didn’t have before, which we haven’t. It’s still drums, guitars, bass and vocals, all as sick as possible. If anything, we went in a more old school direction.
Jason: Kevin Quirion has played with Deicide for a while now and he makes his first appearance on record with In The Minds Of Evil. What has he brought to the band and the writing?
Steve: I think he’s brought an incredible tightness to our live sound and presentation, which has been obvious to anyone who’s seen us perform with him compared to without him. And he brought some good material and a superb work ethic to the new record. We’re really glad to have him on board as a member of the band.
Jason: Can you tell us about the artwork and what it represents?
Steve: I think it shows how man’s will is controlled in great part by the dark side, be it outside influence or supernatural forces or just from within our own twisted minds. Whatever your personal beliefs are on the subject I think everyone can relate to the image.
Jason: Who is responsible for the artwork? And how much freedom did you give him/her in its design?
Steve: This guy from Australia named Simon Cowell. Yeah you know we actually never gave him any instruction at all on what to do, so he definitely had free reign to do what he wanted. Glenn Benton found the art online while scouting for artwork and we just obtained the rights to use it.
Jason: For this album, you worked with producer Jason Suecof. He’s worked with numerous bands including Trivium, God Forbid, DevilFriver, The Black Dahlia Murder, and many more. Why did you choose to work with him for this album? What did he bring to the recording sessions?
Steve: He’s a cool guy and a big Deicide fan from when he was a kid. He told me he knew exactly what the new record needed to sound like, and I totally believed him. And we were both right, he did a great job. And the sessions were cool and fun. He’s really great to work with, super cool guy. As soon as the session starts getting a little stale, it’s break time. In that sense, he knows how to get the best out of everyone, including himself.
Jason: Death metal is a very influential genre, it’s spawned a number of subgenres, and countless bands are citing old school death metal as inspiration. For you, why is death metal such a potent force?
Steve: I think it’s because it’s just the ultimate expression of aggression and brutality that can be brought forth in audio form. What gore or horror is to cinema, death metal is to music while still being music. Some bands or musical forms can create a bunch of noise and call it brutal, and it is. But with death metal you have to try a little harder than that. The musical integrity has to be there as well, for me anyway.
Jason: Rock and metal were once deemed “dangerous” by the powers that be but now seem to almost acceptable and feature heavily in the mainstream. Has metal lost the potency it once had or is this movement into the mainstream testament to its power?
Steve: No it’s still plenty potent and extreme; it’s just not new anymore so nobody is shocked by it anymore. That doesn’t mean they don’t like it or respect it. Plus I think some fans from the old days are older now and have maybe moved into certain positions of authority and they kind of leave the door cracked so more people are exposed to it.
Jason: What’s your opinion of the internet and its impact on music?
Steve: Eh, you know it’s a double-edged sword. On the one hand you lose money on sales, but on the other hand you’re gaining fans and exposure. Everyone’s just gonna have to let the dust settle over the whole thing and hopefully one day they’ll have it sorted to where everyone has access to it but no one feels ripped off. If all the major media outlets who enabled all the downloading stepped up to the table with respect to the artists, I think that would go a long way.
Steve: No not really. There’s always been crappy music and good music and great music. It’ll always be up to the listener to discern what it is they do or don’t like. Some people like crap, to them it’s not crap though, it’s just raw or whatever term they choose to describe it, and that’s fine. Music is art and art is subjective. That’s the whole point.
Jason: Has the internet affected fans and what they expect from music? How do you feel about that?
Steve: Not really. I’m still a fan of certain bands and I don’t expect anything different from a band than I did before the net. Just put out good records and do great shows. The net can’t change that.
Jason: What does the future hold for Deicide?
Steve: Hopefully a ton of more shows and a few more records. And all the good times that go with it. Not too much to ask for, I don’t think.
Jason: Will we be seeing you in the UK to promote In The Minds Of Evil? and if so, will we be seeing you in the Midlands (Birmingham or Wolverhampton perhaps)?
Steve: Yes I certainly hope so. I remember Birmingham and Wolverhampton as two great cities with great fans and I very much look forward to returning there for some gigs, playing a lot of the new songs.
Jason: Thanks again for taking time out for this interview. Do you have any closing words for our readers?
Steve: Thank you for your interest and support and hope to see you all soon and I hope you all dig the new record.
Keep up to date with Deicide on Facebook here