Newcomers to the scene, Malthusian are already getting a lot of media attention due to their highly acclaimed demo "Hallucinogen” which hasn’t been released yet. Obviously, Pest Webzine was curious enough to find out more details about this Irish outfit…
Is the name of the band in any way related to Malthusianism, whose primarily ideas derived from the political/economic thought of the Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus?
Yes, of course. We felt that the imagery presented through his philosophy worked well with the ideas we had formulating in our heads as well as with the barbaric nature of the music. Mother Earth punishing humanity for their greed through plague, famine, sickness and war is a powerful idea, and one befitting the dark feeling we hope to inspire with our music.
The band is quite recent but the word about your quality is spreading really fast… why are Malthusian so special? Do you believe it has anything to do with the fact that the band features members from known metal acts, namely Wreck of the Hesperus, Altar of Plagues, Mourning Beloveth and On Pain of Death?
We have all been active in various bands, including the ones mentioned above, for years so when we came together to form Malthusian we knew what to do. Being a bit older and more experienced we were less inclined to bombard the world with half-baked rehearsal recordings and we waited until we felt we had a strong enough set to impress people before taking to the stage. Add to that the fact that between us we have quite a breath of knowledge of death, black and doom metal and most importantly, a passion and drive to turn the dark noise in our heads into reality.
Considering that some members are involved in other projects, is Malthusian a priority or a side project?
Every band we are active in has its place and each will be given its rightful attention.
People seem to be expecting way too much from you… do you feel the pressure?!
No. We don’t feel any pressure. Our only concern is to create interesting, dark and weird music that satisfies our own needs. We know what does and doesn’t fit into the framework of the band’s sound ourselves and don’t need anyone else’s approval on that front. That approach seems to be paying off as most people appear to be impressed by ‘Hallucinogen’.
You are signed to Invictus Productions. How complicated /easy was it finding an interested label?
Darragh was interested in the band as soon as he heard we were working together. We all know him personally and share a love for a lot of the same bands as he does. Once he saw us live he was satisfied that we were right for Invictus and we are happy to work with him as his label is one of the strongest for this type of music in the underground.
MMXIII is available on tape through Invictus Productions. MMXIII is set for release on November 22nd, with a planned CD and vinyl release to follow. How has the demand/response been thus far?
The response so far has been overwhelmingly positive. As far as demand for the demo goes we will only know upon its release.
Why have you opted for the title "MMXIII”?
‘MMXIII’ simply means 2013. We felt that we didn’t need to put the word ‘demo’ on the cover as that was fairly self-evident.
Your debut demo was recorded in Sun Studios, Dublin with Ola Erjsfjord. Why have you chosen to work with Ola?
Ola contacted us and was interested in working with us as he was living in Dublin at the time and had recorded Dead Lord and Dread Sovereign in Sun Studios and was looking for some more metal bands to record. We met up with him a couple of times to discuss what we were after and he seemed like a cool guy who understood where we were coming from. We definitely made the right decision to work with him and hope to do so again in future.
The band’s guitarist AC has described Malthusian as "pernicious, hallucinogenic Black Death Doom”. What does he mean exactly with hallucinogenic Black death Doom? Do you play under the influence of substances that help you reach that mental state?
We don’t play under the influence of anything stronger than alcohol. We felt that the songs had a hallucinogenic quality to them with their warped, stretchy riffs. Some of the lyrics also deal with the dissolution of reality and slipping from one state of being to another. We like the idea of some outer horrific force having complete control over your body and mind such as hallucinogenic drugs, hypnotism/trance and ultimately DEATH. It opens the doors in terms of lyrical ideas and gives us more room to manoeuver.
"The whole Malthusian theory is pretty evocative and has fed into the lyrics so a sense of nature’s revenge, disease, famine and death is emblematic of the band’s mission.” Care to ellaborate further on Malthusian’s mission?
We want to capture the essence of death, trance and the crossing of boundaries and planes of existence/non-existence through our lyrics. The idea that the Earth holds us in the palm of her mighty hand and can crush us out of existence at will is intriguing. The fine line between being alive, filling your personal world with years of experience and being wiped off the face of the planet without warning can on one hand be mentally crippling but is also hugely inspiring. We choose to use it as a motivation to express ourselves rather than let it crush us under its portentous weight.
Malthusian demo launch show will be on November 23rd in Dublin. What are your expectations for it? Have you got any plans for touring inside and outside of Ireland?
Our one gig so far has included dim blue lighting, hoods, bones, lots of dry ice and grim projections. We intend to explore these elements further in future. We have no plans to play outside of Ireland yet but we hope that that will change once the demo is out.
In the past few months I’ve interviewed a few Irish bands and there’s one question I’ve asked them all: do you think living in an island is a big issue for a band who’s starting off?
Ireland is hugely influenced by trends in England/UK and of course America so in terms of how bands progress themselves there is no real difference, especially with the emergence of the internet. Being from an island is shit in terms of touring, though, with the costs of lugging equipment on planes and ferries being fairly high. The main problem we have here is that there is fuck all new blood filtering through to the underground, or at least to the areas of the underground that matter to us so there are very few bands who play this style of death metal in Ireland.
How’s your relationship with nature? And with humanity?
We worship nature. We get every sort of weather flung at us here, mostly rain and wind, so you either learn to appreciate it or move somewhere else. Humanity? Well, we all pick and choose who we associate wit.
Please share a final message with our readers! Cheers!
Thank you for the interview. Our demo will be released on the 12th of November on cassette and on CD around Christmas with vinyl to follow later.
Questions by Sónia Fonseca