KHEMMIS INTERVIEW

TM - This is Amelia and Elizabeth and we're here with Phil from Khemmis, thank you for having this interview with us today we appreciate it. 

PL -
Of course, thanks for having me.

TM - What's been happening with you, how's everything going?

PL -
It's going pretty well. I have been doing a lot of press for this album, which is always which is good to know that people are interested. It feels good to finally have the album out, Kind of to rip off that band-aid and get it into fans hands Around the world And it seems like it is doing well so I am happy with that.

TM - Congratulations on it doing well, so how are fans finding the songs have you got feedback?

PL -
I think as far as I can tell everybody is liking it. I don't have social media or anything so I don't look at that stuff It comes from what my bandmates have told me. I have to try not to read reviews for the record with a couple of exceptions, but the ones that I have seen have been positive. I have seen that it has been selling well Because we have been selling out of everything So that's always good. It seems like the response has been good and everyone that I have told to since the record came out has had nice things to say. I've had some really good deep conversations with people about it. It's good that it's having the intended Effect Because it was an album that was hard to make and it's personal to all of us It's good that it's getting it to connect with people in a personal way.

TM - What was your writing and recording process?

PL -
It was a little different from usual because we didn't start writing the record in a concerted wait till After the pandemic had shut everything down. The first 4 or 5 months of writing the recording, we weren't able to get together and play the songs or the ideas usually with a collaborative about how the song comes together. We will get together in a room and jam them out and figure out what feels like the best flow from the ideas then we have to modify things and work on transitions. For this we just had to find a different way, it was really about embracing technology. A little bit to share ideas over the internet and when we were able to get together we had so many full song ideas to work with that it made our job was a little bit easier.

We all got together, we just got to make sure that we knew things were going to work as real songs. When we play them we ensure that they are fun to play and they feel natural And that ended up changing quite a bit of the record. When we were in the studio we had more time than usual, which just gave us more of an opportunity to enjoy our time there make decisions that we might not have made. It made the record Feel like a More dynamic piece of music than what we have been able to capture before, So it's an album that couldn't have been made in a different time. It had to have been made Because the pandemic and the state of mind that we were all in influenced it's so much. It's not the record that I thought we were going to make in early 2020 But it's the record that we needed to make by the end of 2020.


TM - How did you come up with the album cover is there a meaning behind it and who designed it?

PL -
The cover is drawn by this guy that's local to us based out of Denver Colorado in the US. We have a friend locally his name is Sam Turner. He has done the album work for all of our albums so far. All of our full length releases at least from day one we have always wanted to have a cohesive art aesthetic to the album art and the same characters present across each of the albums and sort of having them telling a story But not have it be too obvious and part of that at least for the last couple of albums. I will come up with an idea and sketch out what I am visioning. The record will look like And it has to be related to the album lyrics and how the sound is. For it to make sense to me I will sort of draw that up and send it to him and then we will just have conversations about it every 3 days while he is working on it, and make sure we get everything just right

For this album, we knew the album was a darker record than we had made before Musically and lyrically And sort of lyrically it is about Fronting the voice in our mind that tells us to be we are not good enough, or that we are broken, or that our struggles with mental illness Addiction or our family history Or whatever it is that keeps us from fulfilling Everything. In the art, I wanted to reflect that So it's this character who's Confronting his own reflection In the water, But it's demonic and threatening To pull him under And he's living in this hellscape To me it's more of a purgatory. He is a character Who is reflecting the setting in which I feel like I experienced Depression where It's just this purgatorial Blog through The muck that we all Encounter in our lives So that's what the characters experience. On the cover as well It alliance with both the lyrical concept the musical feeling and the title “Deceiver” He is literally confronting the deceiver In the water So we try to integrate it into everything So it's all a very cohesive piece.

TM - I really like the album cover.

PL -
I think it also stands alone as a cool piece of art So anyone that thinks it's neat feel free to Buy the vinyl so you have a nice big 12 inch Version of the Arts to put up on the wall if you want.

TM - Yeah you can frame it. 

PL -
Yeah exactly.

TM - So I noticed you have a tour coming up that's pretty exciting!

PL -
It's just kind of a short thing to make sure we are getting to do something soon after the album came out. We are just doing some of the US And doing a couple of dates in New York City In a couple of weeks here actually in December. It would be good to be back on the road again and play some shows. It feels like kind of a strange thing to do But I am still excited anyway. As long as we try to be careful about it I don't want to put people at risk to see a rock and roll show. It will be fun to get to play music again for people.

TM - What can fans expect from your set?

PL -
I think we are going to focus on trying to highlight stuff From every record. It's looking like right now we will probably play 2 or so songs from each record that made that people want to hear songs from “Hunted” or “Desolation” Are going to Hear those as well as a couple of new songs from “ Deceiver”. There is always a couple of band favourite that we like to pull out. I think we are going to try and do a song that we haven't ever really toured with before to as a little treat to people It should be a cool Career spanning set On this tour.

TM - You could Livestream it to your page.

PL -
Yeah it's the kind of thing that we have talked about doing. I think this some type of logistical hurdles to it There's also a part of me that just likes that a live show happens at that moment only, the people that pay to be there are there get to enjoy it and then it's over and then it's just a memory of what happened. Rather than committing it to a recording and then it existing for everyone to see and revisit and sometimes your memory of something doesn't improve If you see it again in a different context so some of the magic of a live show gets lost From those sorts of things for me. I'm a little bit conflicted about It's not something I would say no to I'll put it that way.

TM - What's your favourite memory of watching someone else perform live?

PL -
One that immediately comes to mind is A few years ago the whole band went together to see Black Sabbath On their farewell tour, we paid quite a bit of money to have some pretty good spots for it so we were pretty close to the stage. Just the sheer badass Of them having interim music playing and all of a sudden the curtain just gets lifted up suddenly they are playing the first Rift from Black Sabbath The self-titled song from the first album. It was just such a bad arse way to open the show and it felt so powerful, That was cool to see. Afterwards, we were getting drinks and the guys from the band sleep v were at the bar we were at, we just thought that was so fitting. They are pretty much the new best version of Black Sabbath or a newer version of Black Sabbath. I thought that was pretty cool. I went and talked to them for a sec but out of non-metal shows too. 

I grew up indeed Seattle area and I got to go and see a lot of really cool shows in the 90s. I have a really fond memory of seeing Big band LCD Soundsystem Opening for Arcade Fire At a basketball auditorium Gymnasium at a school in Seattle and that totally blew my mind, too many to name but those are a couple I suppose.

PL - What about you two, I am curious.

TM - My favourite thing I go to every year is Hellfest, Have you been or do you know about it?

PL -
I know about it but I have never been. I have a pretty good friend that has gone before, That says it's just an amazing experience and I would love for us to play it sometime.

TM - Yeah so, that's my favourite thing.

PL -
Who is your favourite act that you have seen perform at Hellfest?

TM - Aerosmith was pretty good, Trollfest is funny on stage.

PL -
I don't really know that band.

TM - Oh you have to look them up they are hilarious. How about you Liz? Emperor, I really like them.

PL -
Yeah they played a festival in Montreal a couple of years ago, COD heavy Montreal. It's kind of similar in spirit to Hellfest. It's a big festival that they put on in Montreal is basically like France Except for it's in Canada Emperor blew me away they were amazing.

TM - Yeah they are amazing A really good not live I just like their music.

PL -
The live show was crazy though. Ihsahn It's such a good guitar player and vocalist at the same time. It's just completely blowing my mind and there was a cool thunderstorm that happened while they were playing. They played the album “ Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk” All the way through for the set so it was amazing to have the thunderstorm under the album. They were just so tight on it it was really good concert experience hey.

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?

PL -
I wouldn't want to hear any other band play it the way we do or what is the point. I've always felt that kind of way about covers. This would never ever happen but I would love to hear Judas Priest play the song Hunted Off of the album “Hunted” Of ours Because it's a long epic truck Which they are great at doing and it has several different movements and it has a riff kind of like a Judas Priest riff. I just want to hear what Rob Halford would do with the vocals That's never going to happen but I love the idea.

TM - You never know you could meet them someday and say hey, do a cover of my song and you never know they might actually do it.

PL -
That would be so amazing, I would return the favour and try and recover one of their songs as well For sure. I don't know what song I would do maybe “the sentinel” I love that song.

TM - What do you think of the Firepower album?

PL -
I loved it it was an amazing priest is like my all-time favourite metal band. I haven't necessarily always loved every single thing that they have done, Even if I can appreciate everything. My favourite stuff is the 70s stuff before they came to The Judas Priest that we really know today that are playing just capital heavy metal. 

I love when they were kind of weird and did lots of prog stuff, I really like “sad wings of destiny” “sin after sin” stained glass” and “Firepower”. I love the way more than you should coming from a band that's been around almost 50 years. It's such an amazing sounding Record the songs are great. It's a pretty dynamic album there's a ton of different stuff, it kind of feels like A little bit like one of those 70s albums in that way. I just loved it I feel like it's one of Rob Halfords Very best sounding vocals ever Which is crazy because he is almost 70 years old.

TM -Yeah I thought it was an amazing album and talking about live stuff I think they are always amazing live no matter when I've seen them, They always put on a fantastic show.

PL -
I know I love them similar to the Black Sabbath show I was talking about earlier. The whole band went and saw Judas Priest when they came through on the Firepower tour and they were just so on it and they were playing such an awesome setlist. They had so much good old stuff That I wasn't expecting them to play, it was amazing They are a great band.

TM - Is there anything else you want to say to your fans?

PL -
To the Australian fans talk to anyone that you know that promotes music at venues, that play metal shows and say that you want to see Khemmis. I would love to come over there and play. I've always wanted to visit but never been.  

To American fans, you guys have always been awesome to us and I just can't wait to come and get to play these songs for everybody and we are going to have a lot more tour dates coming at some point in 2022. hopefully, I will see everyone everywhere that has any interest in seeing us, Keep rocking on keep hanging in there.

To the European fans, I guess the same thing. It's been too long since we have been over there. I'm not sure when things will be looking good enough to be doing something in again anytime I can't wait to make it back over there. Hopefully, we will get to come over and do something with a cool. We have not been wanting to do it for a while So if you are hearing this Paradise Lost or OPETH or Enslaved We would love to do a tour review guide and play for everybody
.