The aim of the open series of the blogzine´s Seven Gates of Hell interviews is to introduce the bands and their music that struck my metalhead´s heart and soul recently. In seven questions, the gates are open for those who make their music of true metal spirit, pure dedication and of what I understand as underground approach and aesthetics.
Thrash ´till death with the Canadian horde of MORTILLERY and don´t forget to come to their mosh with your hair ruffled! Because with this beast you are supposed to pray for thrash metal fury as well as unleashed punk havoc. The band with a charismatic lead singer Cara McCutchen was born almost ten years ago when the guitar player Alex Gutierrez and his bass mate Miranda Wolfe started jamming their first joint riffs in a cellar of Edmonton´s metal underground. Soon they grew up to the line-up of five and their music enthusiasm, kindled further with their fast advancing skills, came to full fruition in releasing the debut album "Murder Death Kill" (2011) and the successive "Origin of Extinction" (2013). I met MORTLLERY at their gig in Prague´s club Modra Vopice last October, where they stopped during the European tour to support their just released third full-length titled "Shapeshifter". Their show as well as the record really hit me! And as I cannot resist temptation to spin their "Shapeshifter" again and again, I couldn´t resist another to turn to the band´s guitarist Alex Gutierrez with a bunch of interview questions.
I. After the release of your debut "Murder Death Kill" and signing with Napalm Records you talked about the beginning of a great music career. Now, when you have had your excellent third album "Shapeshifter" out for quite a few months and you bashed up your recent European tour, do you consider MORTILLERY to be a well-established band in thrash metal underground already?
"We feel settled in, it´s hard since there's so many bands from all over the world. We just keep on moving forward and fill our spot in the scene."
II. Your very first release, shortly after the band´s formation, was an eponymous five-track EP. Some of its songs found their way on your full-lengths later on. Do do still stay fully behind your first record and may use its remaining non-album tracks for your future album releases?
"We do, yes, although we don't really play those songs anymore. Two of the five from the first EP were re-recorded and released under "Murder Death Kill" and "Origin of Extinction" the other three are bonus tracks for the Napalm release of "Murder Death Kill"."
III. Soon after your second album "Origin of Extinction" came out, you had to cope with a quite hectic period. There was a change of the band´s line-up with a new guitarist coming in and then a large European tour headlined by Sepultura early in 2014. Did these events hampered a smooth progress in composing for the next album, or did they rather give new, vital impulses for "Shapeshifter"?
"Both, we were so used to writting with our last guitarist and it can be hard sometimes to get used to the new guy coming in. Kent came in prepared and ready so he made the process really easy for us. His help was vital in order to finish "Shapeshifter"."
IV. Even though "Shapeshifter" is first and foremost a thrash metal album, it abounds with music skills and traits that brush against metallic surfaces of darkness and the dead beyond. It´s about technical virtuosity in thrashing quitar riffs and excellent solos, but also about discreet darkened moods. What kind of different spirits did you evoke into your last album?
"Haha, just our own inner demons. That´s more than enough spirits to deal with!"
V. Your mincing thrash metal is propelled by an obvious crust punk drive. Apart from that music style inclinations, do you also share and live up to the old values of punk attitude like do-it-yourself ethics and no-future stance? Do you think such attitude is still relevant?
"Glad you noticed! For a couple of us in the band punk is a huge influence, the life style and attitude of punk are ingrained deep in us. It will always be relevant if you're willing to look at what's around us."
VI. The title track "Shapeshifter" differs conspicuously from the rest of the album. It draws much on traditional heavy metal sounding with Cara singing in clean vocals. You put it at the album´s very end (if not counting the bonus tracks). Do these hints suggest, that the shape of the band´s music could be shifted from the rough thrash-punk past to more heavy metal future?
"Not really, we're proud to wear our influences on our sleeves and heavy metal is one of them. We feel this song turned out really good and we wanted to show a side of our music that we hadn't explored too much."
VII. It can surely be worth an effort for a great thrash metal band to distill their live performance kicking energy into a gig record and release it as a live album. You are a great band as well as obssessed with playing live. Have you ever thought about recording a live performance album?
"Never really thought about it but it's not too late!"
Thank you very much for the inteview! MORTILLERY can count on my dedicated support!!