Just a few months ago Brandon Mitchell had moved away and left Swallowed By Apathy behind. The other member (Kevin) credited for writing on Dysgenesis picked up the pieces after Brandon left and was going to continue the project. Just days ago things took a sudden turn when Brandon decided to take the band name back and sever his involvement with Kevin. In this interview we get Brandon's side of the story and get some new info on what is to come in the near future from Swallowed By Apathy.
Foul Feast: There seems to be a disagreement in terms of how much input Kevin had in the writing process of Dysgenesis. Give us your side of the story.
Mitchell: It's simple. I wrote the record while living in Newark, 3 hours away from where Kevin lives. I sent him the tunes to work on his bass parts until I could get up there to track in his studio. Other than that he wrote the lyrics to "Journeyman of the Lucid" and "Cynical Transparency". As far as vocal melodies for those two go, I came up with them myself. While he did program the drums on "Dysgenesis", I was there to translate what drum parts I thought would fit because I play drums myself and wanted to make sure it wasn't impossible to achieve for live shows.
FF: What caused the sudden change of heart? Why not take the band name with you when you first split ways with Kevin?
Mitchell: Well, when I told Kevin I needed to home with my family he flipped out. I was under the impression we would put Swallowed By Apathy to rest for awhile. Out of respect for him I didn't want to just kick him out and take shit elsewhere, I figured it was only fair. Later on he decides to get this childish attitude and say "I'm doing it without you." His tone of voice was basically like "fuck you". I mean this was minutes before I went home. I don't know if being rude to me made him feel manly or what but I'm not one to be talked down to. His father basically made me leave immediately and although I payed for half of the discs I wasn't allowed to take my cut. I financed the mixing entirely out of my pocket as well as other things we needed for the band. I had a job while living up there and Kevin made to effort to follow up on his applications. Working long days were stressful but I still came home energized and ready to rehearse. Kevin always had an excuse as to why he didn't want to practice. It seemed as if rehearsing the same song over and over got old to him. I have a lot of live experience so I wanted to get everything as tight as possible. Kevin had never been in a band in his life before Swallowed By Apathy and live shows didn't seem to be a priority. To me giving the audience my best is everything. Swallowed By Apathy isn't meant to be a studio project. I formed it with the goal of playing live and that is what I intend to do. If you must know about my change of heart, it was losing my Grandmother to cancer on Thanksgiving. It's changed the way that I view everything now and the only reason I didn't take Swallowed By Apathy back sooner is out of respect for Rob and Conor (who isn't with the band anymore). I worked too hard to have someone take it away and get the glory for my blood, sweat, and tears.
FF: Will you be using any of the material that was written when Kevin was still a part of the band on the upcoming release?
Mitchell: After the record was finished I immediately began to write because I am always full of ideas but Kevin didn't want to work with me. What I had worked on before I left Cleveland was constructed purely by me. I got some good material out of that time frame but the stuff I have been working on since I came back home is more evolved.
FF: How do you feel about Kevin's new project Aethereal Inception? Do you wish him the best in his future endeavors?
Mitchell: I was unaware until you had mentioned it. He still has yet to restore my admin rights on the original Facebook page so fuck him. I don't wish him any luck but at the same time I don't wish him harm. I more or less just don't give a shit one way or another. I'm thinking about my band at the moment.
FF: Are you and Kevin still on good terms after all of this?
FF: Has a new line-up been considered yet?
Mitchell: A new line-up is already in order. Josh Chilcote is our new guitarist and we back as far as Junior High School. He was actually the first drummer of Swallowed By Apathy and did session work on our 2010 demo. Him and Steven (our new drummer) also play in Vultaria which is a death/thrash band that I was with for almost 2 years. I released 2 EP's with them and I'm looking to have Vultaria play with Swallowed By Apathy any chance that I get because they are insane live. Josh is normally a front-man so for this it's kinda new to see him focusing purely on guitar. He also played bass for the band Only Flesh who are currently label-mates with Goatwhore on Rotten Records. The guy has a wicked stage presence, a professional attitude, and live experience out the ass. Not to mention he knows how to have a good time. Steven is without a doubt the most talented drummer I have ever worked with and I'm willing to bet ever will. He's a blast beat machine and soaks up new techniques like a sponge. He's a really diverse musician and I'm looking to bring his black metal influence into the band a bit. I guess the real "new" guy is Ryan Boggs. He is handling bass duties and is levels ahead of anything Kevin could do with the genre. I hate watching Ryan play because he actually shits on most guitarists I've played with and he uses his fingers. lol
FF: You've been in bands previously in that area, any chance we may see some of the people you have worked with before in Swallowed By Apathy?
Mitchell: haha! This question has already been answered but yes. You will be seeing them! As a matter of fact we are getting ready to do a photo shoot so you can actually see them.
FF: How is the new stuff going to differ from what we heard on Dysgenesis?
Mitchell: More clean vocals! I'm not going to sugar coat it. lol Most bands say, "Oh it's going to be the heaviest thing we've ever done." or something really cliche. It's going to be the most melodic thing we've done yet. It's going to be musically much heavier and very dark at times. But I have a lot of ability as a singer that needs to be displayed on this record. It's not going to be a massive departure from what we've already done. It's just going to be a logical step forward and I'm making it a bit more progressive. The catchy choruses will be there as always. The record is going to be called, "The Oracle of Disarray" and some song titles are, "Death Will Pave Our Way", "Trinity", "Unworldly Entity", "Mark My Words" and "The Imminent Question". I just gave away a good amount of info on that but I can tell you there will be no instrumentals, covers, or filler tracks. It's all going to be full songs and I'm shooting to have about 13 tracks recorded between now and late 2012. Expect an early 2013 release! We're hitting the studio in January to record a new single so keep your eye and ears out for that! Also we will be playing live a lot in 2011! We'll have some hometown shows as well as shows in surrounding states so who knows, maybe we'll be in your area.
FF: Do you plan on keeping Chris Clancy involved in the project at all in the future?
Mitchell: This time around we are recording in our hometown with a guy by the name of Joe Wahl at his home studio. He has the tools to mix and master our record just fine as well as a degree in music recording. We'll be in good hands! haha I love what Chris did with the first record but I wanna try something different this time around.
FF: Any final thoughts?
Mitchell: http://www.facebook.com/swallowedbyapathy is our new Facebook page!!! "Unlike" the old one and "like" the current link because that's where all the current and up to date info is. Oh and keep supporting FoulFeast because he's got tasty reviews and cool info on unsigned metal acts. Hopefully this covers everything!