Nuno Ribeiro. Hailing from Montreal, Derelict mixes the brutal and technical elements of the Quebec metal scene with melodic structures, resulting in an unforgiving yet accessible package.
For those who have some musical culture, this sounds (referring to Perpetuation) only possible to achieve with hard work, but the talent has to be present in every musician to be able to create this technical sound.
Aiming to get to know the band, what is the Derelict lineup, and what's your secret strength?
Eric Burnet - Vocals, Jordan Perry - Drums, Max Lussier - Guitar/Backing Vocals, Xavier Sperdouklis - Bass, Simon Cléroux – Guitar.
Eric Burnet: I guess our collective strength is that we all write music, we listen to each other, and we share a crazy sense of humor that helps us stay sane in the face of dealing with the music industry and all the stress it brings.
N. R. Throughout "Carry the Flame" EP, 2008, "Unspoken Words," 2009 and "Perpetuation," 2012, the last two were mixed and mastered by Christian Donaldson (CRYPTOPSY). There been a natural evolution of the band's sound but a musical concept that remained consistent. Do you attribute this to working with a winning team?
Eric: Donaldson is definitely our key guy right now for achieving the sound we want. The goal in Derelict was always to combine aspects from different metal genres into a unified sound, and I think that over the course of our albums we came closer and closer to achieving that. There is more experimentation on Carry the Flame and Unspoken Words than Perpetuation, because by that point we knew what we wanted to do, so we cut out some of the extra fluff and went for a hard-hitting streamlined album.
N. R. With constant touring within Canada, and support for international acts such as Decapitated, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Decrepit Birth, Job For A Cowboy, Whitechapel, The Agonist, Blackguard, Revocation and Threat Signal, Derelict is now a recognized band, with a fanbase on Facebook which already exceeds 11,500.
Who goes to see a Derelict live show, what can they be assured they will find?
Eric: We try to reproduce our songs as well as possible for those who are fans of the recordings, but we really aim to bring live energy and passion to our performances. Live shows are community events with an exchange of energy between band and crowd. The best shows are when that just all blends together and it's one big celebration.
N. R. How is sharing the stage with these bands?
Eric: It has always been great to open for big bands. We get to learn about how they put on a show, as well as meet them and make new contacts. Always cool.
N. R. At the end do you guys watch the headliners?
Eric: Of course! It's very important to support each other in this scene. Also, on a show like Decapitated for example, I would have been there anyway as a fan. Just a great pleasure to be able to also play!
Pedro Ribeiro. Starting from the beginning and taking a leap back in time Eric when and how did your love for music emerge and how did your ideals influence the creation of Derelict?
Eric: I started playing music because it allowed me to get out some of the emotions and energy that were built up within me, and also gave me a platform from which to express some of my views and ideas. Whether I was playing in a punk band at my high school twelve years ago or at a big metal club in Montreal now, it all comes back to that. I still remain fascinated by music, there's always something new to learn and to try.
P. R. Are you a forsaken loner that acts alone in this world against oppression? Are you a "derelict" fighting against unjust power?
Eric: No, haha, I think we're just regular people expressing our opinions. I strongly believe that the human race is unified, we all suffer the same way and we all bleed if we are cut. The people who oppress others simply haven't yet tuned into this truth, and I think that by keeping up the fight and never allowing ourselves to be silenced, we slowly march towards a better world for everyone. That's my hope, anyway. We get to sing about this stuff because we're a band, but everyone has the power to do something with their time to get their voice heard and enact some change.
P. R. This is your fourth album released; tell us a little bit of the intellectual and technical growth of the band. What has been your evolution as a musical group since your formation?
Eric: When we started out, we were trying a lot of different things and mashing genres together. I think we've become better at combining our influences into a single unified sound over several albums, to the point where Perpetuation is more of a singular statement than an experiment. I'm fond of all our releases, but I'm the happiest with this new one, since nothing feels forced and in my opinion all the songs flow through well. Lyrically, we've always been political, not much change there, but these days I try to be more general even when I'm approaching a specific subject, so that people can interpret the songs in their own way.
P. R. Death metal is seen by a grand majority of people (those who are unaware or those who lack intelligence) as the cult of death, war, sacrifice, demons, etc. What they don’t know is that death metal is all about rebellion against the system. Are there any “Unspoken Words” left to say for those who speak without knowledge?
Eric: One the one hand, I think it's too bad that many people judge music negatively because they don't understand it. I personally used to hate hip hop, but now I really like some of it, because I gave it a chance. On the other hand, sometimes death metal bands are sort of asking to be demonized... I mean, take the band name 'Dying Fetus' as an example. Fantastic band, I love them, but if you don't know about the death metal subculture, will you really be interested in exploring something called 'Dying Fetus', haha? Underground metal has lots to offer, but sometimes it shuts itself off from the world almost on purpose. That's why in our band, we have absolutely zero compromise in our music, but for our lyrics and visuals, I try to promote positivity, political issues, free thinking, etc, so that people have something to explore and be interested in beyond the brutality. With respect, I think a lot of death and black metal bands need to get over this 'evil' and 'scary' image. They're regular people. They eat toast in the morning and wear pyjamas to bed. They're not demons, and if our music is presented as just another form of art made by regular human beings, more people will be open to checking it out.
P. R. Do you intend to immortalize your messages in the album “Perpetuation” since this matter is always actual and present in life?
Eric: The concept behind the Perpetuation album title is that things always continue, but we have a choice as to how they will do so. We can perpetuate the status quo, or we can make things better by changing our way of life. I hope people read into that when they check out our album, but it's true regardless.
P. R. Eric you said that “Perpetuation” has been long in the making and put the band under intense challenges, can you give us a glimpse into those challenges?
Eric: First major challenge was lineup changes. We had some people leave and we had trouble for a while finding dedicated replacements. Second major challenge is time and money. Death metal does not make us any money to live on, so we all work, and that makes touring complicated, etc. It's nothing that other bands don't also face, but we were just hit with a lot of it right around when this album was being created. It just made it more intense!
P. R. Do you consider yourself a person constantly concerned and involved in the current problems affecting our greed-driven and corrupt society? Is music a loudspeaker to wake the sleeping people?
Eric: I think everyone living within a society is affected by its problems, but not everyone is paying attention. I actually have major problems with that: I have a lot of trouble shutting off and ignoring what's going on. Sometimes you have to... there are no super heroes. We all do what we can and get involved, but we have to live and relax sometimes too. I'm really lucky to have this band and be able to speak my mind publicly. It makes me feel a little bit better. If any of my lyrics make other people aware and involved in what's going on around them, then I am very happy indeed!
P. R. Formerly knowledge was considered too dangerous and silence a virtue but even now many are those who seek to imprison freedom. Is wisdom the most powerful weapon to be used in search of truth?
Eric: I think truth should be the utmost goal in all things. Conveniently, humans have invented a process called Science by which we can measure truth. People often see science as a mirror to religion, as something you believe in or not. That's just stupid. Science is a method of testing what is real and what is not, and how things work. Easiest example ever: if someone says "I do not believe that electricity exists," they can then conduct a simple experiment, like flicking on and off a light switch. That is science. The results are clear. As far as knowledge being dangerous: there are indeed a lot of stupid and incompetent people out there, but if we don't trust humanity to sort itself out, we'll always be slaves to someone who thinks they understand the world better than we do.
P. R. Do you think that humans are able to achieve a balance that will lead them to stop being greedy? How can you have hope in change if the will to conquer and always have more is in human nature?
Eric: That is a very interesting topic. I suggest watching the film Zeitgeist III: Moving Forward. It's free online, on Youtube I think. It analyzes the concept of "human nature" as we know it. Basically, what they're saying, and I tend to agree, is that we don't have a set "human nature", but rather we react to our situation. In a situation of scarcity and competition, we are encouraged and obligated to act out of self-interest. Even for the rich, if they cease to compete and think about themselves first, they will lose what they have. I think that if we entered into a system of shared ressources and equality, we would see an end to this cycle, because people would grow up not fearing for their own well-being, and be able to put their energies towards self-betterment and societal betterment.
P. R. Just like a product in a supermarket labeled with an expiration date, will humans too reach the end of their shelf life due to our ego?
Eric: Very hard to say. We have definitely created powerful weapons and looming crisises (nuclear weapons, global warming, etc) that could easily end our society as we know it. However, many people are also waking up to reality due to access to information, so maybe we'll find our way forward. Stephen Hawking did say however that we need to colonize other planets as quickly as possible so we become less vulnerable in the face of catastrophe. Maybe we should do that?
P. R. Can you speak more about the “technocracy” present in the music “Ergogenic”? Do we leave in a technocratic society assuming our roles as mass consumers?
Eric: The lyrics for that song were written a few years ago when I was working a horrible data-entry job in an accounting department. I was manually entering invoices into a computer all day. My fingers would start to hurt from hitting the same keys over and over in repetitive movement, so I would splint them with sticks and tape, like a broken limb. The only thing that got me through those shifts was coffee, and listening to music. I reflected at the time about how caffeine was the drug of the middle class, used to get us through "jobs that we hate so we can buy shit we don't need" (Tyler Durden). I do believe that capitalism has created a system in which, if you do not question and change your role, you become just a cog in the wheel. Work, consume, repeat for 50 years, and then die. You can free yourself from that though. I learned my lesson, and I'm seeking career paths outside that structure. I want to feel like what I'm doing is important, and then do things that matter to me with the money I make, and not just buy whatever standard products are made for my income level. Freedom, my friends!
P. R. Eric, do you like sports? What’s your favorite sport? Don´t you feel exploited and sometimes sad when you see beautiful sports that are part of our history since our birth being corrupted to make profits? Is sport about entertainment or is sport a way to entertain us while we are fooled and robbed?
Eric: I'm more a fan of exercising than of watching any particular sports. I think that institutions like the NFL turn viable human beings into pieces of meat that are used up over a few short years and then discarded. I think the Olympics are a great way for rich developers to make more money by turning cities upside down every few years. At the same time, some really positive things can come from all that. Look at Usain Bolt, the runner from Jamaica who won all those gold medals. That dude has done a lot of amazing things for his community, really used his fame for a good purpose. I can't hate on that! For myself, I stick to simple running, cycling, yoga and swimming. I find sports impressive to watch sometimes but I get bored by them quickly. I'd rather be moving myself.
P. R. There is the “emergence” to “find the strength to overcome the abyss” this is the important message in Derelict's “Perpetuation”, overcome the abyss that we humans have created ourselves. Eric any last words you want to say for our readers and your fans and for metal community in general?
Eric: Find peace. Find your own path. I spent too much of my life angry and upset about things I couldn't control. I still am, really, but at least I see it now. The only way to move forward as humans is to remain open-minded, to learn as much as possible, and to foster community and understanding between people. Hatred and anger lead to the dark side, Luke. Also, thank you very much for helping us promote our music and expose it to new people! Cheers to you!
02.Spoils Of War
09.Yours To Surpass
10.Shackles Of Indoctrination
11.The Iridium Layer