Exclusive Interview: Phobetor talk writing and recording “Through Deepest Fears And Darkest Minds”!
Our final exclusive interview of 2021 is the second of two with Phobetor drummer Marc Dyos about the bands sophomore album “Through Deepest Fears And Darkest Minds“, a Blackened Groove Death Metal monster from a quartet hungry for the taste of blood. If it’s one that you missed then know if you choose to add this one to your playlist then you’re going to get flavours of Morbid Angel, Belphegor and God Dethroned in this densely packed behemoth that adheres to no rules as it drags you kicking and screaming to hell…
You had line up changes between albums so how important was it to retain the core sound of Phobetor with the new record? How much did the previous record steer the direction of this one due to those changes? “We didn’t need to give it too much thought really. The line-up changes were already in progress by the time we got to mixing ‘When Life Falls Silent’, so Debora and myself were album to make that album sound more in keeping with the direction we wanted to take the band. When we brought Ross in, we knew his writing would take the band in the more extreme musical direction we wanted, but we also knew that his riffs would still have that element of groove, the odd crazy time signature and a few clean guitars parts, so I think it does sound like a natural progression”
Those reinforcements brought a wealth of from bands like Pythia, Descent, Meat Train and Lunatic Hooker. How did that make the recording experience a different one compared to the ones for “When Life Falls Silent”? “In short, very easy! I’ve been writing music with Ross for longer than I care to mention in both Pythia and Descent, and Debora already knew how Ross and I work when it comes to song-writing. Similarly, we’ve known Dredgewood (bass) from the metal scene for a number of years and we knew she’d fit perfectly into the band in terms of style of bass playing but also personality-wise – which is VERY important in a band. As you say, lots of experience, with the grey hairs and battle scars to prove it, but it meant we were able to hit the ground running with the song-writing process and the album took shape very quickly and smoothly”
How does the writing process of a new Phobetor track start? Melody, riff or rhythm first? “Melody? Whats that!?! Haha. Ross will send through riffs in a song structure for me to write the drum parts to, then we’ll see how the track feels and flows before Debora will write the vocals and Dredgewood adds the bass parts”
For “Through Deepest Fears And Darkest Minds” you Neil Hudson (Krysthla, From Eden to Exile) to handle mixing and mastering. What was behind the choice and how important was it to get that right? “We used Neil for the mix master of ‘When Life Falls Silent’ and we knew we wanted to work with him again. We’ve all known Neil for a long time from the live circuit and his knowledge and understanding of metal music is immense. He is very much in tune with what we are trying to achieve sonically with the band – the songs need to sound heavy and weighty but not over-polished”
For us gear nerds out there, can you tell us what you’re using gear wise (pedals, strings, drums etc) to get your sound? “Ross uses Jackson Juggernaut HT7 Pro guitar (with a Bareknuckle Nailbomb bridge) Rotosound 7 String Red set strings, EVH 5150 amp (50 watt), Marshall 1960av cab, and a Boss HM-2 pedal obviously. Dredgewood uses an LTD F series 5-string bass. 205? 405? 666? Something like that! I use Yamaha 9000 drums, Zildjian cymbals, DW pedals, Remo heads”
What difference would it make to you as a band if you could land an endorsement from a gear manufacturer? “Ross is endorsed by Jackson guitars and EVH amps, which hold up well to the barrage of riffs!”