Interview mit Fit For An Autopsy

Deutsche Version lesen

In the beginning of 2017 FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY brought desolation upon the metal-scene with their fourth output „The Great Collapse“. With growing success more people became aware of the Death-Metal-newcomers and so did Nuclear Blast. Bigger tours, a bigger label and a new album coming out soon, must be enough reasons to sit down with the band and have a talk about the sound of the new record, the expectations they have to themselves and the political messages in the lyrics.

So you are on your first European headline-tour ever. How is it going so far?
Joe (J): Really good, really good. All the dates so far just been like packed out venues and we can’t ask for any better. We are on tour with three really cool bands: Venom Prison, Vulvodynia and Justice For The Damned. And having a mixed tour like this is really cool. Everyone is bringing a ton of kids to the shows, so we’re enjoying it a lot.
Tim (T): Yeah, the cool thing about this run is, that it’s our first proper headliner. Like we have played headline-shows in between, you know, small festival or big festivals for that matter. But you know, as a full headliner for us, I feel like all of us are very surprised that it’s doing as well as it is. We thought it was doing pretty well but not this good. I’m pretty sure we are all very happy.
Patrick (P): Yeah, the expectations weren’t low, but this is exceeding what we thought was gonna happen for sure.

You already played a song called “Shepherd” a few months ago at a tour in America and you already announced that you would play some songs on this tour. How were the responses, how were the reactions from fans?
Blue (B): Really good so far. They didn’t have any complaints. I don’t think anyone is gonna come up just saying like: “You know, that new song fucking sucks.“
P: I don’t know, this is Germany. German people are very honest about what they like. And I’ll be honest, I love the fact that Germany is so straight forward. If you put out a record and somebody likes the last record better, they are not afraid to tell you that. And I like that kind of input. But people have been very receptive so far.

So you only played “Shepherd”?
P: Yeah, we’re not giving away too much on this one. We just signed with Nuclear Blast and now we’re doing bigger things. So this is a very important touring-cycle for FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY. So the last thing we wanna do is give away too much before it is time to put it all out there. Even now we feel, like the people who love us and support us deserve to hear everything, we’ve decided to not let too much out quite yet.
B: Considering also it has been a little while since the last we’ve been to Europe. We still need to give people a full headlining-set…
J: Yeah, a lot of people came out to shows were like: “Man, last time I saw you, you’ve been playing for like 20 minutes.” And they’re really excited to see us for a lot more songs, a lot more records.

Yeah, so I’m also excited and it’s my first time seeing you headlining. I have seen you at Summer Breeze 2017 before…
P: Yeah, that was one of the best shows we have ever played in Europe.
T: Before we even walked on, I walked to the stages and there was like no one there. So I was: “Alright boys, here we go”. And then like when we walked out, it was literally a sea of people.
P: We were the second band on the show, first band on that stage and like literally, we came out, I peeked my head with Joe and I was like: “Wow, this what we do. We play the show and have fun.” And then we walked back out and there was like 12000 people at least. Just everyone was like “holy shit”, and still to this day we talk to people and they say: “That was the best opener, that Summer Breeze ever had.” You know, 12 o clock in the afternoon that many people. And a cool anecdote about that day: The folks from Nuclear Blast were there and they watched our set that day and Gerardo (Author’s Note: Martinez, Nuclear Blast USA) had mentioned that that was one of the best opening sets, the most people. So that had a lot to do with them being interested in working with us. So it’s kind of a cool thing. Like, everybody that came to see our set that day helped us further our band and move us to a bigger label. It will always be something we will talk about. Summer Breeze kills it.

So what are your expectations with the new label?
P: I have a healthy fear. I have a healthy fear because we’re now competing with the best of the best. So we have moved from being, you know, a label that is great, but maybe doesn’t carry as much weight as Nuclear Blast. You know, biggest metal-label in the world. Like, so Slayer is on that label. It’s like Slayer is on that label, that’s all that you gotta say. I get noxious thinking about being on the same level, you know label-wise, with a band that has done such great things. I have high expectations of what the label can do with the music that we put out, with getting it to new people. But it is our responsibility to make sure that we’re producing the live-show and the music and the records and the things that we need to in order to live up to the standard that Nuclear Blast sets. So, it’s a lot to think about when we get ready to gear up for an album-cycle. And that’s why we’re holding back on releasing so fast, you know what I mean. God, it’s stressful.

So you have this new record (Author’s Note: „The Sea Of Tragic Beasts“, Release: October 25th 2019) in the making. Could you give us a hint how it will sound like?
P: Like FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY (laughs). I don’t wanna give too much away and say what everybody else says: “Whoa, it’s more metal, it’s more this.” It’s what we meant to do with the record and if you like our stuff, then you’re gonna like it.
T: I always found that fun is, that whenever bands do interviews about a new record, they always say: “This is the best thing we’ve ever done”. You know, hyping up the record. But, if you know us as a band, this is a combination of what we’ve been working on over the last however many years. And I think it pulls influences from everything we’ve done.
P: Yeah, we don’t wanna get caught in that it sounds like our old stuff, it sound like our new stuff. It sounds like everything. We never leave anything behind, we just move forward. So that means that we sound different but I just think it’s the most evolved version of FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY. And it’s heavy as always. We didn’t leave out the heavy, that’s for sure. Joe’s vocals are some of the best that I have heard, Josean’s drumming is written to be played live, we have Blue playing bass and like really knocking it back. It’s just a very forward version of what FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY is capable of.

That sounds great. So how was the songwriting going? Could you tell us something about the process?
P: It’s typical, same as we’ve always done. Will handles the writing. He’s the guy we give riffs, we pass him back and forth and what he uses he uses and what he doesn’t he doesn’t. Most times he doesn’t, because he’s got a very particular idea of what he wants to do. And then we get in the studio and me and Tim write some leads and solos, Blue does his bass, Joe helps write lyrics. Josean rewrites the drums and you know, we sit down and do everything…
B: It might not be the most traditional method of writing, but it’s very streamlined, it’s very effective.

So you have always been a political band. Will there also be political themes on the new record?
J: It’s basically just touching base on humanity. How we treat each other, how we perceive each other and how it’s kind of bullshit how we treat each other like everyone is the enemy. We need kind of like love and get together and built a force and no one is doing that. We have all the stuff going on like abortion, it’s just so much, that people aren’t able to produce a voice and we need to step up and speak for the people that don’t really have a voice or don’t really have a choice. People are getting their choices taken away everyday and it’s bullshit. And we just wanna bring light to those kind of things.

Do you think it will piss some fans off that are not of your opinion?
J: Anything that we write, everything that we come out with is gonna piss some people off or maybe will make people psyched, but we’re looking for those kind of reactions. We wanna be able to feed off that reactions, because then it starts conversation. It gets people thinking, it gets people talking about it. And that is what we want. We want people to talk about, we want people to be aware. We don’t want them to just sit around and be clueless and everything. Talk about it, be upset about it, show me that you care. That’s all we want.
P: And more than that too I think Joe and Will are very smart at writing lyrics that can be either taken for the literal sense for what they mean or also adapted to situations that people have been in in there lives. We don’t try to just come out and be like: “Hey we don’t support this thing and blah blah blah.” We write songs that we are sending a message and within that message there is some perception where you can look at it and be like: “Yeah, I felt like that about this in my life.”. Maybe not necessarily the exact thing we are feeling at the time we write that song. But it’s applicable to everyone. Everybody gets mad about something. Everybody has a stand-offish feeling. So what Joe’s saying is very true, like you should be upset about things. You know, we’re not coming out and writing a song directly about the abortion-problem we are having in the states and people having their rights taken. What we’re writing are songs about people having their rights taken away in general. So we try to make it, so people can adhere to it in a way that is multifaceted. So it just creates a feeling and then you go with that feeling in a direction that you need to.
B: When you start talking about real experiences, real life, whether it’s the struggles that you deal with or the struggles that somebody else deals with, you always gonna have that contingency of people who are like “I don’t agree with that, I don’t live that.” But you know, as long as you have a proper light outlook on the world, you realize that not just your situation is the way the world works. And you know, everybody’s experiences can be different. You can grab the lyrics and put it, spin it toward how it applies to you. But you know, most people get different things out of the different lyrics they read. We might be a little bit more specific in the subject matter, but we think you can always take one facet back from that, that might not be directly what we’re trying to get to.

On your 2017-album “The Great Collapse” you had the song “Black Mammoth” that was about the oil-policy in North Dakota. The pipelines that went right through the habitats of the American natives. How were the events going afterwards? Did it make a difference?
J: It brought awareness. It made people talk about it, it made people open up and see it. I watched a bunch of YouTube-reaction-videos to it and people became more interested. They were like, I kind of wanna look into this now because that’s a thing. And that’s all we care about. As long as your looking into it and getting acknowledge and getting everything that you need to know. That’s all that matters.
P: And also the one really important thing with that is, that we’re always in the States, we’re always talking about: Who has it the worst? What people have it the worst? And we can’t leave anybody out and anybody struggle out. And I think that that was so overlooked in such a major way. So to have people to react to it and have people visualize it and be able to say: “Hey, maybe we’re forgetting about something here. Like there is some folks that can really use some help right now. I think it’s so important. You know, we can’t forget about everyone. Everyone deserves to be defended and deserves to be free and deserves to be treated the right way. So when there is a group of people that are getting looked over because there are so many other social issues going on and it’s getting buried under the surface, to be able to help push that up is a really good thing. And you know, we have a really cool platform that we can use to bring things like that to the surface. So it’s, I’m really proud of that whole thing on every level.
T: It was also kind of funny. When we initially put out that video it was a massive reaction to it. On one side you had the Fit-fans that knew what we were about for a long time and knew that we are not an extremely political band, but we have strong stances on certain things and we put that into our music. And then you had other fans that had no idea. That I guess just listened to the music-side of it and didn’t really pay attention to anything lyrically. They were like: “Oh what the fuck? You guys are becoming a political band now?” I was like our brains kind of exploded, because we were like: “Whoa, you guys haven’t listened to us.” Like even before I was in the band personally. You know, it was just funny like I knew what the lyrical content was like and then joining the band for “Hellbound” and “Absolute Hope” it’s like, we still had a lot of things that had to do with, how people treat each other and social issues. When all these people showed up out of the woodwork and were like: “What the fuck, you guys becoming political now?” We were like: “Where the fuck have you been?”
P: And also on the other side of that we had interesting things happen. Like when we played in Canada and some folks, some native Canadians came out to our show and thanked us. And we’ve played in areas close to where the things affect people and they’ve come out they thanked us and said: “Nobody speaks for us at all. It’s really great.” And those were the things I feel good about it. But that’s not why we do it, but it’s a nice feeling… Something that I always really wanted, I wanted to say that it’s important to us not only to talk about these things, but also to do things. Like, when the Syrian refugee-crisis happened we made a T-shirt and all the proceeds from our T-shirt went to aid, refugees. And then when the “Black Mammoth”-song came out we were talking about the Belle Fourche Pipeline, we released our record. We had one package which was a T-shirt which was like a the tree with blood coming out of it, which is representative of the whole thing and our CD. And we took the proceeds from that and we donated it to help for the legal fund for what was going on in the Dakotas. It’s just important to really do those sorts of things and not to just use it as a platform to do something for your band. So, we try to be a part of as much as we can on a bunch of different levels and you know, if people are unaware of that, people should be aware that we do that. And we’re not afraid to speak out, we’re not afraid to deal with the things we talk about and we wanna thank everybody that supported that along the way. Because that’s really important to us.


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The next one might be a little funny question. You have some very impressive and concise lyrics, for example “God is a lie and men is a failure”, that draw a very pessimistic view of the world. But where do you see the beauty in the world?
T: Anything that is not men.
P: Puppies (laughs). I think right now, current climate, there is a lot of bad things going on, but it’s forcing a lot of good things to the surface. I think conversation is good, I think talking about problems is good, I think people that care enough to argue in a reasonable manner about the issues that are happening in the world right now. Whether you agree with each other or not, it’s still doing good. It’s pushing forward ideas and getting the conversation out there. So I see a lot of really awesome things happening through conversation. And I can find beauty in like, everybody hates Donald Trump. You know, he’s a fucking nightmare-president, but the beauty of Donald Trump is that he’s forcing the conversations out. Now we have to talk about it. Now we have to communicate. We have to talk about the problems to make it better. And I don’t think the beautiful things need to be discussed as much as the dark, seedy things need to be discussed. I find a lot of pleasure in putting forward the darker side of society. So there is something beautiful in that too.

To come back to the more musically aspects. You started with “The Process Of Human Extermination” as a Deathcore-band I would say. On the way to “The Great Collapse” you became more versatile, more Death-Metal-influenced. Could you describe the development of the band since the first album?
P: Well, first album I’m the only that was in the band and then we brought in Josean. When Josean came in and added a different element, we could do different things, we could move into a different direction. And then Will decided that he didn’t want to tour as much and Tim came in the band. And then we brought Joe into the band, and then Blue came into the band. Well yeah, Joe came before Blue. It’s just the idea of adding different members and the idea that vocally we could do more with Joe. He can sing, he can scream, he can do crazy highs, great lows, he’s got a bigger package, so that meant we could start experimenting with more things. He has more vocal range. So we could just do more, we had a broader spectrum to work from. And I got a phone-call from Will as we were writing “Hellbound” and he said: “I had these ideas and these things that I wanna try.” So we did that and then Nate left and we came in that “Absolute Hope”. We discovered Joe two weeks before we went into the studio.
J: Everything was already written. So when I came in I was like: “Alright, so I’m just gonna do this and that’s how it’s gotta go.” So we we did that record and after knowing what I’m capable of, when I were able to kind of like, do little more different things and try a little bit more intense things. And it kind of made me a lot better vocalist with pushing myself to trying to do all these things.

So that would explain the clean vocals on “Heads Will Hang” and “Flatlining”…
P: Yes. And here is the thing. It took us a minute to realize that Joe has never recorded like that before and he was being pushed in different directions by Will, because Will is that kind of guy that can see ability in a person that you can’t see. He pushed Joe to do something in the last record. And then Joe developed this thing and realized what direction he wanted to go and to make it better for him personally. So now on the new record vocally he’s exploring what he did before, but now he’s got that whole new thing that he discovered. Anytime creatively when those kinds of things are being presented, it’s going make all of the creative process that’s going on, you wanna go further with other things too. You know what I mean. So, it was like, man we can do this, let’s try this, let’s try that. And we don’t care about impressing a group of people or putting out a record that sounds like this. We wanna put out cool shit that we like playing and evolve. We don’t wanna put the same record out. We want to keep evolving. And you know, if you look at all the greatest bands in the world. I just watched that Queen-documentary and they went from being a Rock-’n‘-Roll-band to making disco-songs, doing all these different things and there were no restrictions. And that’s what we wanna do. Staying within the guidelines of what FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY is. But you know, experimentation leads to new things and learning new abilities and restrictions too.
T: Cause we were definitely, a lot of us were afraid to like kind of do couple of other things. Especially vocally. It’s like, we know how we feel but we just don’t know how everyone else is. So sometimes you gotta take a little bit of a risk, but I feel like what we’re doing, we’re taking a good risk, but we feel very comfortable and confident. I’m not afraid.
P: Yeah we feel like everybody’s gonna get it. It’s getting crazier and crazier and this new record, it does not lose the aggressive side. It is an FIT-FOR-AN-AUTOPSY-record, but there are some surprises too. Some surprises about being more aggressive and then some surprises about being more melodic. Different things, very cool stuff. Like, we go more towards one side, more towards the other, we punch right through the middle like we always do. And we’re just trying to do what we like. We get to tour with more bands that are bigger than us. We see things that work, we see things that don’t. We’re becoming more and more educated on what works in a live-show, what we want to deliver. And the more we get to go out on tour and play with different bands, the more we’re learning.

So with Will you have one of the most famous Modern-Metal-producers in your band. Do you also have another producer that can bring some ideas from the outside?
P: No, that will never happen.
T: We’re in the bubble. We’re very comfortable with the process we have going. I don’t think we really see the need. Who knows, maybe…
P: Maybe a co-produced song one day. You know, we’ve had people show interest to work with us. We do the “Depression-Sessions”-thing, where we’re talking about maybe doing another one of those. And we would do it with a different band. So there’s always like weird outside-influences in different things. But as far as producing a whole record I think it will always gonna be Will. Unless Will chooses that he wants to bring somebody in for fresh ideas. If we would work with somebody else it would be Wills decision, because he’s given so much to us in the recording process. His process is crazy.
B: He always has the final vision when it comes to a final product anyway. So, he’s great with looking forward in terms of that kind of thing.
J: And we have a lot of trust in Will.
P: Yeah, at the end of the day, we really trust him. And we understand that he has his view of the band but he also understands what we would like it to be. So he’s easy to work with.
T: We are all team-players and he is as well. So I think we all go in the right direction that we need to.

You also had a very interesting tour in the US a few weeks ago with Hatebreed, Obituary, Cro-Mags and Terror. Is it something different to tour with a package with that many different genres?
B: Yeah, I feel like, with that tour what was cool is, like every band on that tour influenced another band on that tour on some level. Except for us, cause we’re like that young-kids-band on that tour. When you think about how Obituary influenced Hatebreed and how Hatebreed was influenced by Cro-Mags and how Terror was influenced by Hatebreed and Cro-Mags.
P: We were influenced by every band on that bill.
B: It’s really cool to kind of come together and do a mixed-genre-package like that and have it work so well and get everybody get along so well and just hang out.
P: So like, to go out with bands like that, with that kind of historical make-up and to be treated as an equal and to get along with everybody and have everybody helping everyone. It’s a showing of what you should do as a band on tour. It’s this thing, like, you expect to be treated a certain way sometimes, because you know, people have paid their dues way before you. Not one time did I feel like anybody was looking at us like: “Oh, they’re children. They’re not professional blah blah”. It was, hands down, the Trivium/Arch Enemy-tour, that tour and the Sepultura-tour, with all those historic bands, it’s the best year and a half of touring that FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY has ever had. Best we’ve ever been treated. And I wanna thank them through any interview and any facet for giving us the respect that we got on those tours.

What are the best bands at the moment in your opinion?
B: I try to do this thing every week where I sit down and I listen to almost every release. Like Metal-wise. It’s something I’ve been doing for the last couple of months. And there are so many insane bands that are coming out. I was very surprised, because usually once you get to a certain age you’re like: “Everything new sucks. I just wanna go back and listen to old Death-records or Carcass-records and stuff like that.” But I’m starting to find bands now, especially when looking for bands to tour with, that I really like.
P: It’s a hard question. I go back to my top four always. I mean it’s fucking Meshuggah, Gojira, At The Gates, and Carcass. But I mean, I listen to like Steely Dan and John Mayer. I like a lot of different bands. New bands wise I really like Venom Prison. I think they’re really cool. I like all the bands on this bill. I don’t know, it’s tough. It’s a tough one for me.
J: Me personally the two records I listen to absolutely non-stop are the new Venom-Prison-record and the new Moon-Tooth-record. But that’s just because I’ve been friends with those dudes forever and I think that whatever they put out is absolutely perfect.
B: The new Moon-Tooth-album has been heavily on my list. The new Horrendous-album is one of my favorite albums this past year. I’m a big Death-Metal-guy generally anyway, but Lago had a great album last year.
T: I found that band Holding Absence from the UK and that record was fucking awesome as well.
P: The new Misery-Index-record is on heavy rotation right now. That fucking record rips.

I would have one last question before coming to an end. Touring and being in a band is a very stressful thing. How is it to bring family and the band together?
J: It’s very rough. You just kinda have to make it work. You just have to know and understand that if you wanna keep doing this for a while, you gonna have to keep making sacrifices. When you think you’re done making sacrifices, you’re not! And if that’s what you wanna do as your dream, you gonna do it.We have all been roughing for years. But we love where we’re at, we love where we keep climbing. So that’s why we keep doing it, that’s why we keep taking the sacrifices. We keep doing these things because we see something worth coming out of it.
P: For me, the only one in the band that is married and has a kid, it’s not easy. It’s one of those things like watching your kid grow up through Facetime and it’s really up to you as a person to decide how you’re going to handle the family, girlfriend, husband, wife, exes and how you’re going to do it. I try to be as present as I possibly can, but you know, I’m gone for six or seven months a year. New record-cycle is coming and it’s gonna get hard again for a little while. But I think technology makes it much easier and my wife is extremely supportive of the band. I mean, not only just me, but everyone. She loves the whole band. And my son is, these guys are like uncles to my kid. So when they go away with me, he misses them too. So we have a real strong bond. And I don’t really say this too often, but I really appreciate the way these guys treat my family and I try to do the same for them. And we all try to be there for each other when things get hard. And we are family. This is my family, my son and my wife are my family… I see Tim’s butt more than I see my wife’s butt and that’s a problem. But it’s the truth (laughs). So we spend a lot of time together and I would fucking kill, steal, borrow, beg and sell everything I own to make sure everybody here was safe and taken care of. And I think that that’s what it becomes after a while when you spend enough time doing this, when you’re on the road with the right group of people. When you have the right intentions in mind. And we argue like children, but in the end of the day it’s for the betterment of the project. And for the betterment of all the people involved. And for Joe’s Mum and for Blue’s family and for Tim’s family and for Josean’s family and for my kid and my wife. It’s everything. So, it depends on how you approach it and I think I’m lucky to be in this band, because I see a lot of longevity. Cause we all care about each other. Except for Blue (laughs).

At the end of each interview we do the traditional So I give one word and you answer with the first to come to your mind.
New York: Josean (Jo): Craziness. J: Pizza. B: Hardcore. T: Grimy. P: Childhood.
Gojira: Jo: Heavy. J: Whales. B: Unique. T: Amazing. P: None better.
Social media: P: Bullshit. T: Dog shit. B: Necessary evil. J: Fucked. Jo: Hate (laughs).
Soccer: Jo: Hate. J: Eeeeh. B: Indifferent. T: Alright. P: Stressful.
Rick & Morty: P: Hilarious. T: Pickle-Rick. B: Shwifty. J: Awesome.

Thank you one last time. I would leave the last words to you.
B: Thank you!
P: I just wanna thank everybody that has ever come to our show and listened. Whether you liked it or not, actually gave it a real chance. You know, gave our music a real chance. And thank you to everybody that has made this tour possible: Avocado, Nuclear Blast, Venom Prison, Justice For The Damned, Vulvodynia. Like everybody that has done everything they could to help us and thank you for your time. We appreciate you.


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