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Demonic Resurrection - Stay demonic (Sahil) - Online Jul 2006

Hi Sahil, Alex from "The Metal Observer" here, how are things in the DEMONIC RESURRECTION camp?

Hey Alex, things are good in the Demonic camp right now though we are on a small break from touring to get some new material together for our next release whenever it is destined to happen. Apart from that everyone’s busy with their jobs and I’ve got a shitload of projects that need completion, since I started my record label I find myself very busy with that.


Indian Metal has not really reached the average Metalheads' ears, so they most probably have never heard of DEMONIC RESURRECTION before, so please give us a little blurb on who you are, where you are from and where you are going.

Well we are DEMONIC RESURRECTION (as you must have guessed by now) and we hail from India, Mumbai city in particular. DEMONIC RESURRECTION has existed for 6 years and the current lineup for 3 years. This new album is the 1st offering from the new lineup but we have an album from our past which came and went without much noise on the international scene. We are planning to invade your homes and years and treat you to some Demonic Metal. Demonic Metal incase you are wondering is our brand of music which would be a hybrid of Death/Black Metal with Power Metal. And in case anyone hasn’t heard our material yet is the place to go and our album is out on all the major labels like Century Media and The End Records. And of course “The Metal Observer” rated it 9/10 that means you got to buy it ;)


Now with a name such as DEMONIC RESURRECTION one would rather imagine some primitive, nihilistic and utterly Satanistic Black Metal, not the diverse sound you have on offer, did the band's style change throughout the years since you had chosen this as your name?

The band’s style did change from the beginning with the current lineup but even earlier we were far from being an utterly satanic Black Metal band. We had a sound that was more fragmented where we’d have one song, which was completely Black/Death Metal, and a bunch that sounded like a slightly more menacing version of THEATRE OF TRAGEDY complete with female vocals et all. I think I just chose the name because I just liked the way it sounded and I was heavily into OLD MANS CHILD, EMPEROR, CRADLE OF FILTH and DIMMU BORGIR and I thought it would sound cool next to names like those (I was 16 so don’t blame me). But I think the name’s good and I wouldn’t change it for anything.


"As Darkness Descends" is your second release under the DEMONIC RESURRECTION moniker and I must say that I've been pretty impressed by the quality and the sheer spectrum that you cover. How did you approach the song writing process, did you want to unite all these different elements under one umbrella or has it rather been something that "happened" while you composed the songs?

The song writing process was well just done at our jam room. Since the lineup was new and we were starting fresh we just started composing together from riffs or ideas that we came up with. Though 3 of the songs (“Dreams Of The Dead”, “Behind The Mask Of God” & “Spirits Of The Mystic Mountains”) are reworks of older songs I composed in-between the 1st album and this new lineup coming into being. I think the sound came from the fact that all of us had very different influences. For Mephisto his influence was DIMMU BORGIR and he bought that grand feel to his keyboard playing, as opposed to JP who was a complete Death Metal freak then and wanted to play blast beats and fast double bass along with a lot of technical song structures and parts and opposed to me who was a lot into Power Metal and wanted to have the verse-chorus structure, clean vocals and a whole bunch of things like that. So I think as we practiced and wrote more songs everything came together and we fine-tuned the songs and after 3 years of composing and jamming and recording we released our album and I think those 3 years show in that album.


With the many layers and facets of a DEMONIC RESURRECTION song I could imagine that it is not a matter of a day or two to get a composition completely done, how can we envision the whole process?

Our songs were composed like I said over a period of 3 years and since I am a sound engineer by profession I would often record our tracks and then we’d sit and work on ideas and layers after the basic song is done. I think for us personally DIMMU’s “PEM” album was really the benchmark in terms of production and for me personally BLIND GUARDIAN’s “ANATO” was what I wanted the vocals to sound like. So I think somewhere along the way we got a good mix and sound without sounding exactly like the above bands. When it came down to the studio sessions we actually went backwards and tracked the keyboards with their intricate layers to a click followed by bass guitars and drums and then vocals. After that I did a lot of stuff during the mixing process so it was a lot of work.


So I could imagine that your influences are pretty wide-spread, which bands could you cite as such?

Well I would say Pradeep listens to everything under the sun, I’ve noticed he likes movie soundtracks a lot. Husain listens to everything from PINK FLOYD to ABORTED. Mephisto was a huge fan of bands like NILE, DIMMU BORGIR, EMPEROR, CRYPTOSPY, DARK FUNERAL, MARDUK etc. JP again DIMMU BORGIR, HATE ETERNAL to RUSH, DREAM THEATRE and even some jazz drummers. I personally am a huge fan of BLIND GUARDIAN, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, OLD MANS CHILD, DIMMU BORGIR, THE CROWN, BERZERKER, SOILWORK, DARK TRANQUILLITY and other assorted Metal bands.


And if you had to pigeon-hole your style to someone, who has no idea what the heck you sound like, how would you describe it?

If I had to I’d say we sound like a cross between DIMMU BORGIR and BLIND GUARDIAN or maybe even OLD MAN’S CHILD. Though personally it’s hard to just pigeon hole the style so I’d say ‘Demonic Metal’.


You also are using a fair amount of excellent clear vocals, as you are the singer of the band, did you have any part in those, too, or did you enlist outside help?

As much as I love singing, I can’t sing. So yes we did enlist outside help for the clear vocal parts. We had 3 guest singers on the CD who are Kanika who did the female vocals, Nimit who sang on “Spirits” and “Frozen Portrait” and in fact he sang the same parts on the demo versions of our songs as well. Lastly we had Pervez who sang on the title track “A Darkness Descends”, “Apocalyptic Dawn” and “Where Shadows Lie”. It was an honour having him sing because he is a session musician and has been singing for more than 20 years and he was just fantastic. I however did get a chance to sing in “Carnival Of Depravity”. That’s the only singing I did on the CD.


How have the reactions from media, fans and labels (within India and abroad) been so far? Did you get any emails from labels interested in signing DR?

The reactions from the media everywhere has been fantastic, I mean every website, magazine or otherwise has rated the album very highly and that is very encouraging. Also fans have given us great reviews across the world so it’s very satisfying. As off now I held off approaching labels because since I have been doing good so far on my own I might continue this way. But Nuclear Blast had asked for our demo and one of their staff members really loved it and recommended it to ‘the boss’ however he didn’t share the same enthusiasm. However I have been told to send in the next album as well whenever it’s out. I will however in due time send out the CD along with the press kit to some more labels.


And if so, what would be criteria for you to choose a label for your band, as I am pretty sure you would not sign away your soul just to have the CD with a label name on it…?

Well basically a label that is willing to give us great distribution internationally. We would want a label that believes in the band and is willing to push it in terms of promotion. I don’t want to be just another name in a catalogue. I want to be important enough for a label that they will put in 100% into the bands marketing and promotion as I would put into the music and recording.


Something truly worth mentioning also is the artwork, which does not stop with the cover art, but continues on throughout the whole booklet. How much importance does the overall package have for you?

For me the entire CD is important. I hate buying a CD for 10$ to find 4 sides to the inlay and no lyrics and things like that. I used to love the Rob Zombie inlay I got because it was so detailed and well done. So we got together a design team which was headed by Prashant (EXHUMATION) and had Deepti & myself. We sat many nights and worked on the inlay. I wanted all the lyrics to be included and each song I wanted there to be a separate artwork related to the song. So I guess all that hard work paid off because an impressive package might make a person interested enough to buy it just based on the cover. So it plays an important factor.


Do you think that giving someone a package like this might make them actually rather buy the CD than simply download it?

I always believed that if you package your CD well and price it correctly it will definitely sell. I mean you can’t stop downloading because a lot of people no matter what will download and it’s ridiculous to try and stop it but I truly believe and I even ask fans to buy the CD if they like the band. I don’t mind if someone downloads the album just to hear it and see if it’s worth their money and I hope if it is they will buy it because it’s not just a CD with music it’s a complete package that is worth your money.


What is your personal favourite and least favourite song of DEMONIC RESURRECTION and why?

My current favorite DR song is one that is going to be on the next DR album called “Beyond The Darkness”. My least fav DR song I guess would be “Behind The Mask Of God” (but this applies only to playing it live not on the record :P)


You also organize the "Resurrection" festival in Mumbai/Bombay, could you tell us a bit about that as well?

Resurrection is currently the only dedicated concert for Extreme Metal. It’s not a festival in the true sense of the word because it’s a 5hr show inside a club but it’s the closest to a festival that you’ll get here for Extreme Metal. There used to be a Deathfest in Mumbai till 2003 but that just died out so we took it upon ourselves to keep the music alive and we (Barcode Entertainment) started Resurrection. We’ve carried it on for 3 years and are going to be having Resurrection VI in October. We even released a compilation of Extreme Metal bands under the same name. We also released The Resurrection Zine which we give everyone free at the gig and we have done 2 issues so far and will be releasing Issue 3 with Resurrection VI. Basically we bring down the best Indian Extreme Metal bands to play this gig. We hope in the future to bring down international bands as well as take it to cities like Pune, Bangalore and Delhi.


Most people do not really think of India when thinking of Metal (or the other way around). Could you tell us a bit more about the scene, which as far as I know is pretty regionalized?

Well I would say the scene is mostly concentrated in 3-4 major places like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Pune. Of course there are bands and things happening elsewhere but the ‘big/pro’ bands are generally from the above cities. The scene is growing a lot now and also the quality of the music is improving. Earlier the best band was the one that could play the most crowd pleasing covers to perfection. Now it’s the band with the biggest following for its own material. A lot more gigs, albums, label etc etc are coming up and the scene is starting to bloom. The scene here encompasses everything under one room. Black Death, Hardcore, Metalcore, Alternative, Hard Rock, Classic Rock etc etc all the bands play together and a lot of people enjoy all the different styles happening at the same time and I feel that makes people quite open minded. The audience has matured and grown along with the bands.


I have only heard three bands from India so far, DEMONIC RESURRECTION, KRYPTOS (Hi Nolan!) and IIIRD SOVEREIGN, which bands would you overall see as the best/most hopeful?

For me personally the Indian bands I really like apart from the ones you mentioned above are EXHUMATION (Brutal Death), NARSIL (Death Metal), MYNDSNARE (Technical Thrash), ACRID SEMBLANCE (Melodic Metal) among the bands I really like a lot.


How is the situation in India as far as being able to buy Metal releases and also tours coming through?

Well at one time the only Metal available was the 3 M’s being METALLICA, MEGADETH and MAIDEN. But a lot of PANTERA, SEPULTURA and NAPALM DEATH was available in those shops that sold pirated CDs. Later on we got all the SYSTEM OF A DOWN, KORN, SLIPKNOT etc and EMI released all the BLIND GUARDIAN albums (which I bought). However one company took up the catalogue of Metal Blade and Nuclear Blast and started releasing CDs and tapes of bands but the quality was very substandard. But every single CANNIBAL CORPSE album is available in major record stores. Also a lot of the Roadrunner catalogue has come in. In recent times I have managed to get a lot of original underground releases through my label/distro. Also previously we had 3-4 people starting mail order distro’s, which had some good releases. But overall we don’t get the cool stuff that we want like OLD MANS CHILD, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, DIMMU BORGIR, EMPEROR etc etc. I’m hoping I could bring all these titles to India someday. Tours are impossible. It just won’t work because the costs for flights, performance fee’s etc are too high and there are no companies willing to sponsor. We get acts like Bryan Adams, DEEP PURPLE, JETHRO TULL, SCORPIONS etc. The most Metal band to come was at the Great Indian Rock Festival where they had EL NINO from Norway and FREAK KITCHEN from Sweden. That’s about it. Again this is an area where I am working on with Barcode Entertainment (a company I am a partner in started by Husain) to basically bring down some killer extreme Metal acts.


In many countries Metal has its fair share of problems with religious groups, especially in predominantly Islamic countries, have you encountered any problems of this kind yourself yet or is the Hindu community more open towards this kind of music?

This community is too small to bother anyone really and I think there are far greater problems for the Hindu community then some young kids playing Heavy Metal. But yeah lots of individual face problems at home with parents disapproving of the style of music or for bands with neighbors complaining when they practice and things like that. We did once however got a show cancelled in Goa because the Christian community claimed DEMONIC RESURRECTION was Satanic and that the organizer of the event said they won’t be selling drugs but you could easily get them at the gig and after a newspaper carried that report the show got cancelled.


Could you give us a few words on the personality of every band member?

Well I would start with Husain (Bass) who I’ve been friends with for over 5 years now and has been with DR the longest from the current lineup. He’s the funny, insane guy in the band and is always fooling around and would be the jester in the band. JP (Drums) is the silent quiet kind who doesn’t make a big noise with his mouth but does with his drumming. He is generally very calm and composed at all times (including when he is blasting at 280bpm). Mephisto (Keys) is well a mix of being a clown now and then along with Husain and otherwise the middleman and the mediator in the band. If there is a problem he is the guy who will fix it. He also has a tendency to get angry once in a while but he just stays angry and doesn’t progress from there. Pradeep (Guitars) is very straightforward and easygoing. One of those people you can’t hate and who has no grudges against anything or anyone. Very rational but is known for his ‘DUH’ moments now and then. I’ll leave myself out of this one :P


What are your goals for DEMONIC RESURRECTION and how have they changed since you started the band?

I guess when I was younger I wanted to be a ‘Rock star’ of sorts, tour the world, be signed to the biggest label around and stuff like that. Now I’ve understood the way the world works and I’m more focused not just writing great music but getting it out there and promoting the band. I still have similar goals to get our CDs available worldwide and get to tour abroad and locally and basically let this be the only thing I do in my life. In short always I’ve always wanted this to be my profession. Playing in DEMONIC RESURRECTION fulltime without having to compromise on the music. I hope someday my passion turns into my profession and I can quit my day job.


What do you do when you are not making music? Last time I checked bills didn't get paid by enthusiasm and creativity, they still want money…

Well I worked for 4 years as a sound engineer at Power Station studio and also worked on events with the same company. I recently joined the events team at one of the leading newspapers in India a few months back which I quit to join India’s largest music distributor called ‘Furtados’ and I shall be handling their ‘Artist Relations’ and Events. Along with this I run my label (Demonstealer Records), home studio (Demonic Studios) and work on events with my bassist as Barcode Entertainment.


If your music was an emotion, which one would it be?

Music is an emotion. It’s every possible emotion. I think music is sadness, anger, happiness, joyfulness. I mean FINNTROLL makes me happy. KATATONIA brings out the sadness in me. CANNIBAL CORPSE is my rage and so on and so forth so music is every single emotion.


How do you define success? Only in terms of sales or is there a different definition of success for you as a band?

I think success is a bit of everything. At the end of the day your success if you happy doing what you do, you get good reviews, people like your music, you have a huge fan base, you have people at you gigs, you sell tons of CDs. This is however commercial success and if you’re in a band most of the time you’re part of the music biz and the above mentioned success. However if you are a non commercial entity then I think most of your success is being able to pen down your music and get the approval of the people who the music is meant for.


If you could not compose and/or play music, what would you do?

That is a hard one but yeah I’d do what I am doing now which is organizing events (concerts) and running a record label along with being a sound engineer. Now if you take all that away from me then I’d probably be cooking somewhere.


What do you love to hate in today's music industry?

I think after I started my record label I saw both sides of the coin. I just hate the fact that people are cheap bastards and don’t buy CDs even if they really like the band and listen to the mp3s all the time. And of course corporate money hungry blood suckers.


Do you think that there still is a real underground, as there had been many years back?

I can’t really say because I am so sick of this whole underground vs mainstream and true Metal vs poseur Metal and all that garbage. It’s all music at the end of the day and for me if the band’s good then I don’t care whether it’s underground of mainstream or true or false. In fact I would be lying if I said I knew what underground you were referring to for me like I said it’s just music, either good or bad.


What made you start to play music and form a band in first place?

I would have to give credit to my friend Sunil for this. I got into Metal towards the end of my high school and Sunil said let’s form a band so I said sure why not and we formed SLAVES OF PAIN which was me on vocals and him on guitar. Of course it didn’t last very long. After this I would say Devin Townsend was one of my biggest influences along with Galder from OLD MANS CHILD and EMPEROR. These guys made me want to go out there and be a serious band. Of course this was all with some help and inspiration from PANTERA and FEAR FACTORY as well.


Which album in musical history would you wish was yours and why?

Hell, there are TONS of albums that I wish were mine because they just kick so much ass!!! I think I’d like to have written either STRAPPING YOUNG LAD’s – “City” or DIMMU’s – “Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia”. And if I got some more choices it would be EMPEROR – “Anthems”, OLD MANS CHILD – “The Pagan Prosperity” and BLIND GUARDIAN – “A Night At The Opera”.


How important do you think is the internet nowadays to promote an up and coming band?

You can always do it without it but you’d just be missing the biggest medium in today’s time. It’s like sending your snail mail via a pigeon. The internet just connects you worldwide. Period. Nothing has a bigger reach not even radio and TV and print media. The internet is the future and everyone’s going to have to come up to speed with it.


If time travel was possible, which historical period would you like to visit and why? What would you miss the most from our time?

I’d like to go and see the dinosaurs but certainly not live among them and become lunch for some hungry dino. I’d miss everything I own, guitars, drums, computer etc. I’d also like to take a trip to a time when kings were around and sit down for one of those ‘FEASTS’ where they had the whole pig with the apple stuffed in its mouth.


India is a very booming economy, have you noticed any changes in the scene, like more bands emerging due to more money being available etc.?

I see change but I’ve never connected it to the economy. I mean there are more quality bands today but less quantity and maybe that’s because I avoid the college competitions which is when most of the crappy bands come out to play. I see improvements in terms of that gig prices have gone up, CD prices have gone up and people are willing to pay. Earlier a gig and CD would each cost Rs.100 which is 2.5$ and now people are willing to pay anything from 150-200 for either (ie 3-4$) which though not a huge price hike is a sufficient enough one and people will pay if there is quality assured.


In the past few years Indian authorities have made it a mission to replace the old city names such as Bombay, Calcutta etc. with names less tied to the British colonialism. What do you think about this?

Frankly I’m always going to call it what I call it. I think my life is too precious to care about issues like this. However I don’t really see the point in it but then again they want to make it more Indian and remove the British trail which I guess is a fair enough reason, however it sucks because there always is some ulterior motive when a politician wants to start doing something like this.


I've been told that you make a mean omelet, care to share the recipe for us food-a-holics out there?

Oh it’s just a normal omelet that I make and just throw in whatever I feel like but here goes anyway. Take 2 eggs and beat the crap outta them and while your at it thrown in some milk, salt, pepper, herbs, garlic powder etc etc whatever u like. Heat some oil in a pan and pour in the egg. Grate cheese over the egg while it cooks, you can also thrown in some ham, spam, lamb etc and then just fold it and let it cook and within 2-3 minutes your done.


Just as a side note - what do you think of "The Metal Observer"?

I think “The Metal Observer” is great site and over time you guys have built a reputation and people definitely adhere and respect the reviews written on the website. Also the content is very interesting and I think I would put “The Metal Observer” in the top 5 websites for Metal.


My traditional last question is: What is your favourite question about DEMONIC RESURRECTION that you have never been asked, but would finally want to answer?

Hmmm this is a very tough question. This is one question I’ve never been asked but sure as hell don’t want to answer :P. I think this is the 1st time I have absolutely no answer for you. However on that note ‘Cheers and Stay Demonic!!!’ \m/


2000: Demonstealer (CD)

2005: A Darkness Descends (CD)

Alexander Melzer

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