I found out about the existence of DISGRAVED when I had to do a review of their first demo, the two tracker “Demo 2013”. After a couple of listens, hot damns and this is quite cool, I believed the band to be Swedish, until I started to dig a bit on the interwebs. The band was from France and delivered Death Metal as I’ve never heard it from down there before. The sound took me right back to the Sunlight Studio days with the fat grinding guitar sound that Tomas Skogsberg did back then, the sound that made Swedish Death Metal infamous together with bands as CARNAGE, GRAVE, DISMEMBER, ENTOMBED and the likes. A young French band sounding Swedish and quite secure on what they are doing, I had to get in touch and hear how they became shaped like that! I had a good chat with guitarist, bassist and drum-programmer Korwent and growler and lyricist DarkMorue (DM).
How did the two of you in DISGRAVED end up as a band?
KORWENT: Well, we have been good friends for a very long time, discovered extreme Metal almost together so I think playing music together was a logical outcome for our friendship! We’ve been planning to do so for a really long time, but didn’t have a real occasion to start a project! Until a day in early 2013 when we were meant to meet friends and party, and finally found ourselves alone together, then we decided to play music and DISGRAVED was born!
DM: Yeah, we already made some random Grindcore before, but not a real and serious project playing the music we really love (like early 90’s Scandinavian Death Metal). But it seems to have always been a dream, that now comes true, and is likely to continue for a long time (or at least we hope so!).
You hail from France, though have a certain taste for good old Swedish Death Metal, judging from the sound on your first release “Demo 2013”, how did the sound end up like that?
KORWENT: The band that made me listen to Death Metal the first time was DISMEMBER, and from the very beginning I loved the grinding tone of the Stockholm bands! So even if I really enjoy a lot some American bands, my favorite sound was and still is the European sound, not only Swedish but mostly Swedish, for the tone it has. That’s why, as for my contribution to the band, I naturally incorporated elements from that scene, but I hope not to just copy past bands, and hope that DISGRAVED will develop its own identity with time, and as for this criterion the demo is in my opinion a success, as it is no copy/paste of any band I know (but if there is one sounding just like us, I NEED to listen to it!).
DM: The typical Sunlight sound is just the most perfect Death Metal sound. My favorite Death Metal Bands are true Scandinavian Boss HM-2 worshipers too, both Finnish and Swedish (DEMIGOD, ENTOMBED, NIRVANA 2002, you know what, haha), and the actual revival of the Death Metal scene led by bands like HAIL OF BULLETS, BLOODBATH and ENTRAILS may just be the best thing that happened to Music since the beginning of the century, along with the last MORBID ANGEL album…
Where are you from in France, and how’s the Metal scene around that area?
KORWENT: We are located in Gif-sur-Yvette, a small town near Paris, where we are something like one of the only three Metal bands (together with NEPENTHYS and SYNTHETIC WATERFALL), and the only band playing something that can really be qualified as extreme Metal. On a larger scale, the French extreme Metal scene is far more renowned as for Black Metal than Death Metal, which is no problem for be, but could be if you ask DM :).
DM: The French Metal scene is really active, and got many really impressive extreme formations (LOUDBLAST, KALISIA, MISANTHROPE, CATACOMB, MASSACRA, SUPURATION, AD PATRES…). To talk about the actual Old School Death Metal scene from France, you MUST check the latest records from NECROWRETCH, CADAVERIC FUMES, AFFLICITON GATES and TORTURE THRONE.
KORWENT: These bands are indeed very good! Go give them a try!
What I miss a tad about the sound of your music, is a human drummer, not that your programming is the worst I’ve heard, I just like the organic feel of a drummer. Are you planning to get one aboard DISGRAVED in time?
DM: To be honest, as the demo was fully recorded in a bedroom, it was impossible to record a human drummer.
KORWENT: Yeah, everything was recorded in my bedroom, and I mixed it on my headphones! The reason why the drums sound so fake is that, we found members to complete the line up during the recording and mixing of the demo, so we decided to release it as soon as possible, and go on with new material and the whole band! That’s the reason why the sound is so raw and the drums are so obviously a drum machine. But for the next recordings to come, we will have the real drummer and much more time for the recording and mixing, so the sound will be far more crushing and listenable!
And as for the programming not being the worst you’ve ever heard, I feel REALLY sorry for the bands having a worse programming than ours, because there is no humanization at all on the drums :D. (Well, I can come up with a few releases with worse drumsound, Anders)
DarkMorue and Korwent
Besides finding inspiration in the music from the old masters of Death Metal, where else do you find inspiration for your music, and how do you work when writing a tune?
DM: By walking in the forest, listening old Edith Piaf songs and murdering kittens. More seriously, we both listen many genres (from Ambient Electronic Music to Goregrind, along with Progressive Rock and Industrial Metal), but we focus on True Death Metal when we’re working on DISGRAVED. The way we work is simple: It is Korwent that write nearly everything, from riffs to the whole recording and production with personal material. I only help him with lyrics and ideas, but he is the only real musician here, I’m only here to make some strange and loud noises with my throat, haha!
KORWENT: Writing a song can be just as fast as it can be really, really long if you ask me.
Sometimes, I end up with lots of riffs in a very short time, sometimes I cannot write anything for weeks, but I always find them just by sitting and jamming on my guitar, finding something cool and writing it down. I use a lot Guitar Pro because I am used to writing songs I play alone, I hope it will change, when we will be able to really use the potential of having a complete line up, because what I like the most in composing, is the emulation between people playing together and writing something in common.
I would like to ask the same about the lyrics, where is the inspiration for the lyrics found, and what do they deal with?
DM: Ahem… We just wanted to write some Death Metal lyrics. The really first version of ‘Imminent Death’ was featuring mash up lyrics of BLOODBATH and GRAVE songs… And the final version isn’t really better, just talking about stuff like “HAHAHA you will die because I’m going to murder you!”
‘Untoten Wehrmacht’ actually has more “street credibility”. We wanted to make a song about zombies, then watched the movie Dead Snow and ended with a song telling an epic story about a World War versus Nazi Zombies. We’re now just waiting to be called a NS band because of the use of the Wehrmacht word, it would make a lot of publicity and turn us into eternal legendary rock stars!
KORWENT: I think everything to know is said, we do not really focus on lyrics which mostly deal with the usual subjects of Death Metal, like zombies, massacres and stuff.
How did you end up with the moniker DISGRAVED?
DM: DISMEMBER – GRAVE – ENTOMBED. Crush these three words, and you end up with DISGRAVED. It doesn’t really mean anything, sounds catchy and is a perfect reflection of the band’s spirit. Perfect to me.
KORWENT: We were having such a hard time trying to find a good name for the band as we wanted something catchy and straight forward, but every existing cool word was already taken by at least half a dozen bands. So we started to say bullshit and mixing band names as jokes, but when we came up with the idea of DISGRAVED, we were like “Oh, that’s a really stupid name, but it’s very cool!”. So we finally kept it!
DM: And the logo is pretty sweet. Disgusting, sharp and dismembering, I just love it *insert lame emoticon right there*.
You recorded two tracks for your first demo, have you been working on more material since then, and do you have any idea of when we will hear new from you?
KORWENT: Even before the demo came out, we had a few other songs being composed, but we decided that we were going to release only two or three of them the first time, as in a style where an album is around 35 minutes long, having something longer and calling it a demo (especially when it is the first release) would have been a waste of material in our opinion. So we decided to keep these two tracks plus another which we finally did not record as we found members for the band in between, and thought we would keep it for our next release! And as for that release, we really cannot give you a date, probably during next year, but it will be like, the sooner the better! One thing is sure, do not expect us to release only a little 2 track demo like this time, the next one will be far longer!
How has the demo been received?
KORWENT: Until now, there have not been many reviews of the demo (which is in my opinion normal, because of its duration) but the few we had are in my opinion incredible! The only thing people criticize are faults we already knew the demo had, and already planned to fix for later releases, so it’s very positive for us and makes us want to go on!
DM: Yeah, we weren’t expecting that much for a very first serious recording, so I thank you again for your review !
DISGRAVED is a rather new band, though what is the history of the two of you behind, is this your first band, or have you been a bit around?
DM: DISGRAVED is our really first real band, as we are still young students. We already did some stupid parodic Grindcore under the name of KORMORUE (Korwent + DarkMorue, you see…), everything we did under this name is uploaded on Youtube, if you want to check it… ‘Anti-Lama Radioactif’ must be our greatest hit!
KORWENT: Yeah, KORMORUE was mostly drunk shit we did during parties with a few musician (or not musicians…) friends. But I think it is what launched DISGRAVED in some sort of way: We considered that many of the riffs in KORMORUE should have been used for real songs, as they were in our opinion pretty good, so we decided to make something more serious (even if serious is not the word that describes DISGRAVED most accurately).
What records have the two of you been playing a lot lately?
DM: The new single from BABYMETAL is fucking awesome. And the new DEEDS OF FLESH is going to be my album of the year. To talk about true Death Metal, I really love the new records from ENTRAILS, JUST BEFORE DAWN and TORTURE DIVISION. Really digging the early albums of THERION too, fucking crushing masterpieces, impossible to have guessed that they’d turn into the Opera Metal, we all know them for now!
KORWENT: I really enjoy a lot the latest TORTURE DISVISION too, but I have to admit I have listened to so much old school Death Metal lately that I came to a saturation point! So I listen a lot to other bands in other styles, ranging from NOKTURNAL MORTEM to DEEP PURPLE… Just before answering that question, I was listening to “Agent Orange” by SODOM, though.
Thanks a ton for answering my curios questions, if you have something to add, feel free to fire at will!
DM: I fucking hate you, Voices From The Darkside is the worst webzine ever and I curse your whole family to be raped with a toothbrush every full-moon night. I still thank you for the time you spend, and just want to say that Death Metal will never die, Horns Up, Stay Brutal and usual shit like that \m/
KORWENT: Thanks a lot for your support, I really enjoy having contacts with people interested in the band, so that make me even more eager to have new things to release, so expect to hear from us again!
And keep on listening to grinding Death Metal!
And do check out my review of DISGRAVED’s demo over at Voices From The Darkside