Psycroptic – Alpha Breeding
By: David E. Gehlke
Blistering.com: Alan Douches [Mastodon, The Dillinger Escape Plan] mastered the album. How did you land someone of his stature?
Haley: We just asked him...and he said no problem. We booked him in, and it wasn't an issue. Mastering usually only takes a day or so, so someone such as Alan could manage a lot of releases each year. We're stoked we used him as he is a total pro and the results speak for themselves.
Blistering.com: Judging by the cover and title, The Inherited Repression has a socio-political stance to it. Can you elaborate?
Haley: It doesn't have a message or agenda to it. We all have our own opinions about politics and society in general – some of it the same and some conflicting – so we aren't a 'message' band. I write my lyrics and they are about certain topics and Jason [Peppiat, vocals] writes his and they are about topics he wants to write about. The title is just a general statement about repression that is handed down from generation to generation. This is a fact not an opinion. But as far as preaching a message to listeners – no, we won’t do that. I'll discuss my opinions with anyone who wants to talk about it, but we won’t force it on people.
Blistering.com: Your brother has a home studio in which the album was recorded. What was the working atmosphere like?
Haley: Very relaxed...too relaxed even ha-ha. Sometimes we would just hang out and not get too much done. But it was good not watching the clock and freaking out about how much money it was all costing us. It was also a big deal for Joe, as the album essentially serves as an advertisement for his recording and mixing skills. He is getting really good at it, and hopefully this album will help him pick up some more work in that area.
Blistering.com: It feels like you're still willing to push the technical envelope on the new album, but at the same time, a lot of the songs are compact and to-the-point. Is this the result of a more honed songwriting approach?
Haley: Yes. We wanted to make a very catchy and groovy album...and it just seemed like the best way to achieve this was to be a little more focused with the song writing. The technicality and brutality is all still there, but it’s much more refined and the songs themselves stand out a lot more as songs rather than just a heap of riffs. We continually try to get better as song writers and players. It's a never ending battle.
Blistering.com: After the release of (Ob)Servant, you were able to land some quality tour slots. What were some of the main takeaways from the Carcass, Decapitated, etc.?
Haley: We've been lucky enough to tour with a lot of cool bands over the years. Each time we see a band we learn more and take things away that improves our playing and performance. I wouldn't say any one band has influenced us more than another, but we have made some really cool friends over the years. We all feel pretty fortunate to be able to tour and do this.
Blistering.com: Are there any plans to make it back to North America?
Haley: We will eventually make it back, but I'm not too sure when. Touring the US always results in a loss for us financially due to the high travel and flight costs as well as missing a lot of time off work. So for us to do it, the tour has to be a really good offer and package. I hope we can make it back sooner rather than later...we'll see how it goes.
Blistering.com: Finally, what's on the agenda for 2012?
Haley: We head out on a European tour tomorrow, and after that we have some Asian and Australian dates...and we'll start working on more material.