Hecatomb is a new death metal band and here is an interview I did with band member Maggressor who does the vocals, guitars, bass, and drums with Rick Warkill on guitars.
When did you discover underground metal and what were some of the first bands you heard? Are you still a fan of those bands today?
I think my first meeting with non-mainstream/underground metal was when I heard Aura Noir around the age of 14 or so. Up until then I had heard Slayer, Metallica and so on, but never anything as gritty and aggressive as Aura Noir. I remember checking it out because I had seen an older kid where I grew up wearing a Dreams Like Deserts sweater with "The ugliest band in the world" on the back, hehe.
Obliteration was another band that I remember pointing me in the right direction. They're from the same town as I but were a few years older, so we all looked up to those guys. I'm quite sure it was Obliteration that got me into proper Death Metal, and away from bands like Bloodbath and so on.
I still love Aura Noir and most of the bands I liked back then, but there sure are some shit music I was into as a kid, though I think we'll leave those out.
Where are you from and how long has the band been around?
"The band" is from Melbourne, Australia, as that was where we both lived at the time of conception, but I'm originally from Norway, and have since moved back here, while Rick remains in Melbourne.
Hecatomb started in early 2018, and we were mostly active during that year. A lot of 2019 went to trying to finish up the demo we started in September '18, and in early 2020 I moved back to Oslo. We are hoping to keep going and record whenever we meet though.
I know there are only 2 members in the band, yourself, and Rick Warkill, who plays the guitar only and you do everything else. How did you find him?
Rick and I met when he was visiting Oslo back in 2015, quite some time before I moved to Aus. I was DJing at a pub called Kniven when I met Rick, who had no place to stay for the night. I invited him and his gf to come stay at our house, and when I woke up the next day they were both gone. We hadn't exchanged numbers or anything, but I had given him a mix CD I had made, which was called something like "Brutality 101 by DJ Maggressor", haha, and that's how we got back in touch about a year later when I had moved to Australia.
Did you attempt to find other members for the band or were they just not working out?
We never had a need for more members. The more people, there more opinions, and the idea for what Hecatomb is supposed to be is quite primitive, and does not need too many points of view. I also prefer to play with people who haven't got heaps of other bands going, so that we can all focus on one band at the time.
You play drums, sing, play guitar and bass on your one and only release, “Horrid Invocations”, which was originally a demo and then Invictus Productions released it with an extra track. Now how did you end up working with them and how have things been so far?
As soon as the demo was out, we started sending out emails to labels we were interested in. Our main two were NWN and Invictus, and luckily for us Invictus was interested. They always release good stuff, and are real stand-up guys. I only have good things to say about Derragh, and we really couldn't hope for a more suitable label to release our stuff.
Did you know early on you were going to be the singer in the band? Are the drums real or are they machine drums on the release?
I really just wanted to try to do vocals, since I had never done it before, but I was prepared to find someone else to do it if it didn't turn out well. I did have a very clear idea of what I wanted the band to sound like though, which is also why I did the drums and bass. I am really a guitar player, but I wanted Hecatomb to sound very chaotic and to some extent "sloppy", something that might be difficult to convey to a drummer that actually knows what he's doing. The most important aspect was to play HARD and relentless on all instruments, but especially on the drums. I think both Rick and I suck just enough at our instruments to get the sound we're after, hehe.
The drums are real. You can't make a drum machine sound that fucked!
How did the songs for your release come together? Who does most of the writing and music or do both of you pretty much do it?
For the demo I wrote most of the material. I had planned this band for a few years, and so had quite a bit of material ready before we even started. The result was that I wrote all the music and lyrics for first four tracks; Metal Maleficium, Queen of Perversion, Horrid Invocations and Fields of Gorgoroth. The last song we wrote for the demo was Black Winged Pestilence, where we both contributed both riffs and lyrics.
How did you come up with the name and the logo for the band?
I think I read the word Hecatomb when looking up words related to "Sacrifice" or something. I had heard the word before, but didn't really know its meaning. We both liked the sound of it, so we didn't really care that there were a few older bands that had already used it.
Rick made the logo, and I have no idea what he was thinking when he drew it. It's pretty fucked. Haven't seen hands in a logo before have you?
Describe for me, what you would say is the style of the band’s music?
I guess it boils down to death metal, though real primitive death metal. We in no way tried to sound like war metal, but I've accepted that some hear it that way. It's probably cause of the production. We didn't plan on it sounding as filthy as it eventually did, but I am quite happy with how it turned out. Our primary influence was INRI, with some inspiration from other bands such as Vulcano, Sadism, Nifelheim, Sadistic Intent and so on.
Is the underground scene any good where the band is based out of?
The underground scene in Melbourne wasn't really for me. Too much focus on image and looks, more than the actual music. There obviously are some real die-hards over there, but a lot of them don't play in bands, which was kind of unusual for me. Due to the amount of shirt-rockers, a lot of the die hards didn't really go out it seemed, so there wasn't much of a "scene" for the real maniacs. Keep in mind that this is the view of someone that only lived there for three years.
Are you planning on adding more members at some point or are you going to stay with 2 members for the time being?
We'll stay a two piece for the duration of this band for sure. Especially now that we don't even live in the same country. We'll probably never play live, so no need for additional members.
How has the feedback been to your release overall and looking back are you pretty happy the way it turned out?
The feedback was pretty good, and the tapes sold out within about a month or so. We had a lot of issues recording the demo, and the raw recordings sounded awful. We used a really small drum kit, and we couldn't really get the guitar sound we wanted, so I was a bit worried about how it would eventually turn out. Luckily, Andreas did a great job making it sound raw and gritty, so the result was way better than expected. We weren't planning on it sounding that chaotic, but I reckon it suits the music quite well.
When are you planning on working on some new material?
It's a bit tricky now that we don't live in the same country any more, but the plan is to write material and then record it whenever we meet. It will probably take a while, but more will come. We recorded one last song before I moved back, but we hadn't played in about a year, so it sounded pretty shit. We'll probably re-record that track along with a few more to release an EP next.
Please plug any websites or social media sites you have.
We have a facebook page: facebook.com/hecatomb666
Interview by Chris Forbes
Answers by Maggressor