Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Interview With Brandon Mitchell (Swallowed By Apathy) 2

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?

Mitchell: Nope.

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!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Psychopathic Daze- Psychopathic Daze

Psychopathic Daze is a metalcore/groove metal band from Chicago. Don't let those tags scare you away, these guys actually show a solid amount of potential on this debut full-length. Blending the crushing moments commonly seen in the groove metal genre with some of the better attributes of metalcore proves to be a successful combination for Psychopathic Daze.

The album is very groove oriented for the most part, that being said the album is also pack full of melody and gives a fairly diverse selection of song structures to keep things interesting enough. The guitar tone is a tad flat for my taste but it isn't distracting enough to throw the album off much. One thing that makes this album standout a bit is it's production. Unlike many bands playing this style with an extremely polished sound, these guys take a different approach with production that is much more raw than the average. Whether this was due to their budget or done on purpose it still makes for a breath of fresh air when compared to the stagnant, overproduced, albums of many bands playing this style today.

The vocals consist mostly of pissed off, mid-ranged screams. The harsh vocals are great but a little more variation wouldn't hurt. Occasionally some clean vocals will make an appearance and although it is rare, when they do show up they are delivered in an excellent manner. One track that seems to stand out the most on this album is "Declaration". This song is a monstrous, mosh pit inducing anthem. It puts all the positive things Psychopathic Daze has going for them on display in a short, four minute time frame. If you are going to test the waters to see if this is something you'd enjoy "Declaration" would certainly be the best place to start.

Overall Psychopathic Daze have delivered a decent debut full-length. I'll be the first to say I'm not the biggest fan of this style of music, but I actually found myself enjoying most of the material here. It's safe to say that if Psychopathic Daze can make it onto my extremely short list of modern metalcore bands I enjoy, that this will most likely fit nicely in the collection of people who actually listen to the style religiously. If you are a fan of groove metal or metalcore this album is definitely worth picking up. For those like me who aren't huge fans, give it a listen anyway. Who knows, you might dig it.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Fell is the latest film from director/effects guru Marcus Koch. Rather than serving up another fun onslaught of vicious kills and gore like his previous film he took the more psychological approach this time around. Fell has a little bit of everything going for it. It is very artsy at times but it never gets too self indulgent.

Our main character Bill is really going through a difficult time in his life. He's being pumped full of prescription drugs and is creeping slowly down the path to full blown insanity. Everything is falling apart right in front of him and his delusional mind is certainly not helping matters. Though things may seem bad enough they really take a turn for the worst when he awakens to discover a dead body in his bathtub. Bill doesn't remember much about the previous night and he believes it is just a random girl he snagged up at a club. He turns to his best friend for help when he meets his wits end and much to his surprise he isn't too frightened.

The atmosphere in this movie is extremely thick. From start to finish the feeling of claustrophobia is very prominent. Bill is confined in a house that is torturing his psyche every waking moment and as the audience you can sympathize with his mental unraveling. Going into this expecting a straight up horror film may be a little disappointing to some. While the movie does have a very creepy, odd vibe going for it this isn't your typical horror flick, it delves deep into the very real horrors of someone's mind withering away. The blood is very minimal and is never over the top when it makes an appearance. There are also a few nice shots, the best examples of this would be the camera lingering above the bathtub and Bill laying on the kitchen floor on his radio. Moments like this add to the already gigantic atmosphere the film possesses.

Fell is an outstanding film. It may not be for everyone, but those with a taste for this sort of thing will without a doubt be pleased. All in all Fell never really misses it's mark, it takes a depressing, downtrodden atmosphere and runs with it. Given the vast amount of difference between this film and his last (100 Tears), a jump this big in style is a huge risk for an independent filmmaker. Luckily in Koch's case it really pays off. This is the perfect testament that Koch isn't just a one trick pony and opens more opportunities in the future to dive deeper into more story/atmosphere driven films.