Twinmusix got to speak to Kataklysm about their upcoming album and more.
TM - What can fans expect from your new album Unconquered?
KM - A ton of heaviness, some killer riffs and some crazy hooks. A lot of passion, fire, extreme metal and music. A musical punch to your face. I think we are really happy with what we just achieved as a band and we can't wait to release it. We finished recording it in September and are still waiting on a release date. We can't wait to have it released and get feedback from our fans and supporters.
TM - What was your writing and recording process for your new album Unconquered?
KM - I guess me and the singer Maurizio wrote most of the songs together and the reason why we went back to the way we use to do things, is because its the way we use to do things when we started this band 30 years ago. He was the bass player, now he's the singer and we went back to that way of writing. I think this album is a testament to the chemistry and magic we share whenever we write together and that's how we did things. We brought some new elements this time. I played the whole new album on a 7 string guitar and before we used 6 strings, so that brought a lot of heaviness new textures. This album has new sounding attributes that never would have happened before in the band. There is a lot of old sounds and new sounds mixed in together and it brings the heavy sound we are looking for in every album. We pushed this album to a new level and I think the fans or appreciate it.
TM - You played a 7 string guitar what was it like?
KM - It is the same tuning that we used to have on the six strings, but the seventh string is 7 notes lower than the other strings. It is a new scale that we didn't have before. The first time I played on my 7 string guitar I had a twinkle in my eye and I looked at the other guys and said holy s*** that's heavy. I was looking forward to writing songs for this new album and we did write new songs for this new album just for the simple fact the heaviness and brought to the band.
TM - Maybe you could write play an eighth ring guitar on your next album.
KM - Yes, I'm talking about it and I'm semi-serious. I can't see myself ever going back to a six, because of the possibility I have on this 7 so an 8 will be welcome as well.
TM - Or a double-neck bass.
KM - I would go all crazy on the tuning.
TM - Who Designed your Album cover for Unconquered and what was the meaning behind it?
KM - The guy who created album cover was Blake Armstrong. He created most of the In Flames album covers. The creature on the cover art called the Arts piece was our mascot in the era of our band, it was successful. When started pitching ideas for the new album some people came up with the idea that you should use this mascot again because it was really important for the band.
I'm the one in the band that didn't like that idea and I voted against it because I prefer to look at the future then repeating things. Blake designed the creature on this one and it blew us away when I first saw the artwork. I rang the guys and said, yeah that's the artwork, it looks amazing. The fact that the Beast is bad looking is killer on this album. The music combined with the song title "Unconquered" means a lot for us. We have been in Kataklysm for 30 + years and it has a meaning for us. We are still here and still relevant and life wasn't able to take us down. We are still alive as a band and all of these things together make a very special release for me.
TM - If you could have any band play one of your songs what band would it be, what song would it be and would it be in your style or their style?
KM - I am so open-minded when it comes to music. I would like to write with someone completely out of the box. A mix of Kataklysm meets Radiohead and come up with something trippy. I would love something like that. Or something completely different folk or Blues like old school. The 40s or 50s types of Blues and mix some of my music with that, I think I would love to make that as well.
TM - That would be cool to listen to, let us know if you do it.
KM - For sure.
TM - What is your favourite memory of watching someone else perform live can you tell us a story?
KM - I love doing what we do because we get to perform with many different artists and go to a lot of festivals. Sometimes your band does not make sense on the bill. We ended up on this bill where there are so many different bands playing. I got to watch this band from the UK called The Prodigy on a super all-out techno stage of lights everywhere and I just got buzzed. I watched the whole thing and I was like oh my god this is super cool. The show was somewhere in Serbia in a forest, there was a lot of people and the ambience was just surreal and I liked it.
TM - That's cool, that would have been fun.
KM - Yeah absolutely, I think that's one thing we get as musicians. To share this stage with a lot of different people in a lot of different settings. Whenever it's an outdoor show in the woods or close to a mountain or somewhere special or Outdoors next to a lake I'm always like well I'm always blown away that I get to play music in a setting like that or watching other people in those settings is awesome.
TM - What's your favourite festival you have played and why?
KM - I like all types of festivals but there was one that we were meant to play next month in Switzerland that just got cancelled because the government said it wasn't that safe to have that many people at a concert with this pandemic going on. It is called Meh Suff https://www.mehsuff-metalfestival.ch/ it's in the woods close to a mountain. It is a very intimate festival and it is about 3000 or 4000 people capacity. The ambience and the way the stage is set up is amazing to play. We have played there 3 or 4 times before. We were meant to play again this year, but unfortunately, it got postponed to next year, I hope to pay it again.
TM - Fingers crossed for next year, I hope it happens.
KM - We have everything scheduled to start in the early summer of next year and it's going to carry into 2022, so knock on wood everything happens.
TM - I agree. I can't wait to see live music again. How did you come up with your video for Killshot?
KM - Killshot is about revenge and sometimes the only option you have in life is take justice into your own hands and make your justice. This is something we had in mind when we wrote the lyrics and put the song together. The content of the video came when the video director had some ideas. They came to us with the backstory of the priest and the little girls and we thought wow what a cool way to get the subject across, that's the exactly the idea that we had when we wrote the song. It is not a religious song, none of us are into religion or anything like that. It has nothing to do with Catholicism or any of those things. It's taking Justice on within your own ends and that's what those little girls do at the end of the video and that was the intent when we wrote it.
TM - You brought out a hot sauce, have you tried it and what do you think?
KM - Our hot sauce is awesome. I am a hot sauce fan and love it. I'm Canadian but 10 years ago I moved to Dallas Texas and I got used to the ways in the south. Hot sauce is big where we are at. All of us in the band are fans and thought why not bring out our own hot sauce. we did it the right way, through this company in South Carolina that does some killer stuff. We tried them before we mass-produced them. We have three different flavours, we have one that is super super hot like a million, it's so hot it's going to burn your mouth so if you are a fan of that we have got that. We have one that's a garlic Bernero pepper it's a bit more tasteful and a lot less burn your arsehole and it's pretty good. The last one is my favourite one, it is the one I use on my toast and eggs in the morning or on my chicken. I put in on whatever I cook, it's fantastic. That's the one thing our supporters are telling us when they start ordering these things they keep and ordering it because it doesn't last that long and they get addicted to it and keep on the ordering it.
TM - You have to put it on chicken wings nothing beats chicken wings and hot sauce.
KM - Exactly.
TM - Is there anything else you want to say to your fans?
KM - A big thank you to our fans in Australia. We got a chance to play your beautiful country last year or two years ago, we had such a great time. We played with your friend in hypocrisy and it was cool to see the love that we got from the fans.
We also love being in Australia and we also loved the show because it's a culture similar to ours, but it's on the other side of the world. It is always awesome to see Australia and be there, so hopefully, we can be there with this record and bring the 7 string guitar and play the songs live. I want to end on a big thank you for all your support over the years and we hope you enjoy the new album, we did a good job on this one.
TM - Thank You for the interview today, we cannot wait to see you back in Australia.