Deicide – A Trinity of Sin

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In all discussions concerning Florida’s Death Metal and generally this genre, one of top notch bands mentioned is DEICIDE, especially with its self-titled debut album. A band which, in 34 years of existence, expresses its “love” for Christianity through brutal music! Despite many line-up changes and countless difficult and weird situations, Glen Benton and Steve Asheim have managed to keep the band alive. During the recent years they have been on a steady course, with high quality releases. Now, six years after their last full-length release “Overtures of Blasphemy”, DEICIDE returned furiously with “Banished By Sin” new album! THEGALLERY.GR had the honor to talk via phone with the band’s founding member and drummer Steve Asheim, talking about DEICIDE’s new blasphemous and crushing creation. Enjoy!

– Hello Steve! Welcome to THEGALLERY Metal Web Magazine! First of all, congratulations for your new album “Banished By Sin”! I had the opportunity to listen to it many times in this month and it sounds great!

Steve Asheim: Well I appreciate you liked the album, thanks for that!

– When did you start composing songs for “Banished By Sin”?

You can read THEGALLERY.GR’s review concerning “Banished By Sin” album of DEICIDE by clicking on the image above or by clicking HERE.

Steve Asheim: The album has been in the works for a couple of years now. Imagine that I had some songs written for it since 2016-2018, so they are pretty “old” someone could say. They have not been heard yet by anyone and I hadn’t the opportunity to get them out any sooner than now. Except from them, I still have some songs left over for the next album. In this one, I picked my three favourite songs and the guys in the band liked them immediately, so my contribution for the “Banished By Sin” was done. We are taking equal responsibility, giving everyone a chance to write music and see if everyone can come up with three songs. I believe this brings a lot of diversity to the album, that’s why it’s not monotonous in any way. So, I did the drums over a year ago, I think it was Thanksgiving of 2022 that I recorded the drums and waited for the others to come together. There was not any rush because we wanted to sound good. This procedure takes some time so you have to be patient…at least I am (laughs). But regardless of all, in the end the result is always worth the wait. You can listen to it many years after and enjoy the quality. Then you forget how long it needed to be released and you’re happy with that!

– Besides the music, did you also contribute in the lyrical part?

Steve Asheim: Νο, no I am not a big lyric-writing guy, I choose to present my effort through music (laughs). I can write lyrics but there are more like silly and funny like punk lyrics. DEICIDE’s lyrics are more satanic, profound and sick. When I tried to write stuff like that, it came out silly, so I let the other guys who are better to do that. I stick more to what I know better, the music part.

– “Banished by Sin” is Taylor Nordberg’s debut. He is your new guitarist and has also contributed in some songs. How do you feel about this new addition to DEICIDE’s line-up? Did his composing ability fit in DEICIDE’s style or did you need to do some interventions?

Steve Asheim: It was a very good addition in the band! He is a great guy to hang out with. He is funny and a great player. He doesn’t have any personal issues like drugs, being an idiot, getting into trouble. He is a reliable person and a great artist. He writes great songs, he is a smart guy and a great artist. Imagine, he had some drums parts from DEICIDE’s live songs, so when he was doing demos for his songs, he just took the drum tracks from DEICIDE’s shows. layed down what he needed and work with it. So, it was cool that instead of a drum machine, he used my parts. He is an amazing lead guitarist, he nailed it every day we played with. So, for the new album we wanted a lead player that could write good songs and he has done the job properly!

– When your second single «Sever the Tongue» was released, I read somewhere that it was a Taylor’s composition, is that correct?

Steve Asheim: No, that is not correct. It was Kevin who made the music but we are having another video coming out soon for the song “From Unknown Heights You Shall Fall” and Taylor brought music for that one.

– The diversity you mentioned earlier is noticeable in “Banished by Sin”. One of the songs that made me an impression and is my favourite from this album is “Faithless”. It starts with this clean intro and then, when the riff comes, all hell breaks loose!

Steve Asheim: Yes! Thank you that is one I wrote (laughs)! I will tell everyone in the band you told that (laughs)!! I thought that this would be a great part. I had tons of heavy parts which I tried to put together and then asked the guys to write lyrics for. They did a great job with the title of the song and the lyrical part. I just couldn’t be happier how a great song turned out!

– Regarding the overall music of “Banished by Sin”, I would describe it as a blend of all your previous albums, as it contains influences from all of them. Someone can hear parts that remind DEICIDE’s first albums and other parts that bring in mind “The Stench of Redemption” or “In the Minds of Evil” albums. All these, in combination with new elements. Would you agree with that?

Steve Asheim: Yes, I think that is pretty accurate! I listen to the album and I’ m like “this section sounds like The Stench of Redemption era” and other parts that sound old school a bit like “Legion”. Of course, some parts remind me “In the Minds of Evil” era because that time is when Kevin Quirion (ps. the second guitarist of DEICIDE) joined the band. He is a great writer, having a big influence on our sound now. He has a big percentage in writing and the quality of his parts are incredible! So yes, I do believe that our new album is like a snapshot of our career and I this came up natural! This happened because we are carrying those items with us all the way. Especially Glen and I are here since the beginning so Kevin brought his style which messed with ours really well. As you said, Kevin came as a big fan of DEICIDE and was easy for him to write material in the vein of our band!

– I totally agree! Listening to your new album, it is impossible not to be attracted by the excellent guitar work that has been done in it!

Steve Asheim: Indeed! Our guitarists had good tones and they took time with the songs. They used real amps and you can hear that they spent many hours to find their sound. I was very impressed!

– Speaking of sound, I would say that the production and the mixing of the album gave as a devastating sound! Someone might say that in “Banished by Sin” you achieved the best production in your career! What do you think about that?

Steve Asheim: Thank you, I feel the same thing about it. I think that this could be the top production we ever had. Many people said that we here we have a monster-best album eve, including the early stuff which everyone seems to love nowadays. I think that, from the beginning, a lot of people loved the production we had on “Once Upon The Cross” like it was the best sounding album and I felt the same way. I think that the sound quality of that was the best we ever had and the production of “Banished by Sin” at least matches to that quality. The songs are great, you can hear everything clearly. The tones are balanced and the production brought the album to a next level, making the album really great to listen. A big thanks to Josh Wilbur for that. I never met him but he did a great job and I hope that we will work again in the future with him.

Ι could also say that this type of “modern” production fits perfectly in DEICIDE’s songs. I remember listening to some previous albums of DEICIDE like “In Torment In Hell” and “Insineratehymn” and the production sounds old school, but it was not so good. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of the band, but the outcome of those two albums was weak.

Steve Asheim: I know what you mean! In those albums we weren’t at a peak level of performance, the band wasn’t getting along well in a personal level and Death Metal was not popular at that time. So, our budget for the album “In Torment in Hell” was very small. I think that we had a total amount of 7.000 USD and we did the album in one week! We wanted to put more time and money, but the label was not interested, so we finished the album really fast. Obviously, if everybody had put more effort and attention, it would have been a better album. So, when the band is doing well on a personal level and things with the label are fine, you will see this in the final outcome!

– Let’s talk about the artwork of your new album. It was created with an AI program and many negative comments are said about it. Just a few days ago I read Glen Benton giving some clarifications about that, but I would like to hear your opinion…

Steve Asheim: I think that the artwork is pretty cool. When I saw it for the first time, I said that it looks like Glen with this demon head. The label wanted us to do something similar to our first album, like a medallion. So, we came up with this version of the medallion. But when it came out for the public and saw the comments, I said “what the fuck”? Ok, people want to criticize everyone and everything through the internet. When we started to read the comments Glen said that “people are trying to start a movement to ban the album, we’re gonna take them down!” (laughs). Hoverer, people in their comments were having fun so I told Glen not to take it so seriously. We made banners for the stage with this artwork and they look great! What really happened is that Glen worked together with an artist through a computer. The cover is not drawn with pencil and paper, is just computer art. However, they did not put it in an A.I. chatbot. On the other hand, I can understand people who are artists and work through it. Don’t forget though that nowadays we don’t record to a master tape anymore and we use Pro Tools and other digital programs. The world goes to a certain direction and you need to get onboard. So, we are living the present and use the tools that the world provides us.

– I’ll give you a point in that! Let\s go on with the questions. You have a new record deal with Reigning Phoenix Music. What were the reasons that made you collaborate with a new label in the market?

Steve Asheim: We have been to Century Media and we agreed to do three albums with them. As we did. Then, we thought “let’s see what offers we can get” and people from Reigning were the ones that wanted to sign us the most. They talked to us the most, got in touch the most, they told us what we wanted to hear, they were the ones most interested. It is genuine interest and we’re very happy with the work they have done so far. Let’s see how they will do when the time comes to pay us (laughs)!

– Regarding your tour plans after the release of the album, is there anything that can be announced?

Steve Asheim: We’re coming to Europe this summer to do some festivals and some other shows between them but this is for about a month, from July to August. Then, in the fall we doing a US/Canada tour, then Mexico and South America and then we are planning to go back to Europe, extensively. For about two months and 45 shows that will be in a year from now, March-April 2025. We are going everywhere with that tour, from Scandinavia to UK and Italy, Spain and Greece. It will be a massive tour!

– Talking about your influences now, are you listening to any new material or are you stuck in the music you liked in the past?

Steve Asheim: I am listening to a little bit of everything. I like to go to gigs and see my friends from other bands. They always have new bands as openers, so I meet new music and bands. When I am at home. I am listening to the classic stuff I grew up with. This is a pretty good mix that gives me inspiration and makes me do the work I do.

– What’s your opinion about Death Metal nowadays? The genre had some really tough years during the mid 90’s. However, many old bands are active again. For example, no one expected POSSESSED to be active now..!

Steve Asheim: Yes and they are doing very well also. I think like generation X, everyone is coming up having an appreciation for Metal now! The newest generations are joining the fun and this helps researching and getting everything back. When we announced the “Legion” tour we saw 50-60 years old grey hair old DEICIDE fans who were there for the first tour and they came up from their basement and garage to see us. But also young metalheads were there. So, it was a good mix of all the metal generations united for a cause. Hopefully, we’re going to see similar stuff in the coming years.

– The year 2025 marks the 30th anniversary of your iconic album “Once Upon The Cross”. Are you planning to do any special shows for that?

Steve Asheim: Yes, people seem to like a lot this album! I think we will put something together concerning “Once Upon The Cross”, like a special tour! We just did a show where they wanted us to do a set from the first three albums. So, we got back and learned some of the oldest stuff we hadn’t played for a while, especially from “Once Upon The Cross”. Playing this album in its entirety as a first part of our set and then a “best of” second half…I can definitely see it happening! I think people would love that!

– Any thoughts for re-releasing “Once Upon The Cross” in special edition etc? I am asking because it has not been officially reissued in vinyl or CD, and its an album that many people want to have in their collections. Also, I read that there is a problem with Roadrunner’s releases as this label is not willing to give permission for the reissuing of iconic old stuff like “Symbolic” from DEATH. Did you have any similar issues with your old label?

Steve Asheim: I am not sure about that. There are a lot of things running in music business with bands trying to reclaim their old albums legally from the company. However Roadrunner released a vinyl box set including all our albums in it and its already sold out! Also, there was and cassette box set. So, I believe that soon they will release it again. People love vinyl these days so give them access to all of it and bring it on back (laughs)!

– Looking back to your 34 years of career, which would you consider as the best and worst moment in it?

Steve Asheim: Well…we had a lot of troubles with tours and shows being cancelled, anything like that is definitely a low point and I’m done with that part of my life! We had a lot of trouble with that and the Hoffman brothers when they were in the band. Hopefully, when they left we were able to rehab our reputation. So, those were the lowest moments and back then I was not feeling so good being in the band. I don’t want that again. The proud moments are when we pull up a big show or a long tour successfully and we sound great. Also, finishing an album and comes up great, all these are big triumphs! Lastly, managing to go on and still get it done at this age, is really important for us!

– Earlier, you mentioned that you have some songs left in the vault. Are we going to wait another six years for your 14th album, or have you already planned your next step in discography?

Steve Asheim: Well, we hope to have another album within the next three years. It would be a good thing as we have a good line-up with material and I think that we can do it a lot quicker this time.

– We reached the end of this interview. I would like to thank you for your time! My last question is…what the future holds for DEICIDE?

Steve Asheim: Hopefully to keep this band ride and steady and we will see everyone on the road. Hope everyone enjoys our new album and maybe we’re going to get another album out soon. So, stay with us and thank you for your interest in the band and your kind words for our new album!

Interview: Nikos Manousis
Cover Artwork: Alexandros Soultatos 
Design & Editing: Alexandros Soultatos
Photos: Gene Smirnov
Date: April 17th, 2024
External Link: DEICIDE – Official Page
Copyright © 2024 by THEGALLERY.GR

This Post Has One Comment

  1. makrina

    Οι άνδρες του Glen επέστρεψαν!Deicide επιστρέφουν με το full-length τους με τον τυχερό αριθμό 13,με thrashy ενέργεια παντρεμένη με κτηνώδης grooves!Το ομώνυμο κομμάτι σίγουρα θα βάλει σε κίνηση το circle pit. Το “Bury The Cross…With Your Christ” και το silly βιντεοκλίπ του θα σοκάρει τους λίγους ανθρώπους που εξακολουθούν να προσβάλλονται από τέτοιου είδους πράγματα.!Το “Woke from God” εισάγει έναν πιο επικό ήχο στον κανόνα των Deicide, blackened and ugly αλλά πιο μεγαλειώδη και σαρωτικό!!Τα σόλο είναι τόσο μελωδικά μερικές φορές που μοιάζουν να έρχονται σε αντίθεση με την περιβάλλουσα μουσική, αλλά αυτό παρέχει μια ενδιαφέρουσα αντίστιξη και μια ανάπαυλα από το χτύπημα του κρανίου.Glen δήλωσε ότι θα παίξουν σε αρκετά festivals το καλοκαίρι που μας έρχεται ελπίζω να τούς δούμε !!

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