Embalming Theatre (25.03.14)


I’m really glad to have this interview with you. Ok, let’s start with exchanging our national t-shirts and jokes about the horse in the bar))

Steve: Hi, thanks a lot for the chance for an interview 🙂 This is Steve, the bass player, answering your questions.
And sorry from my side if you had to wait a few days until I answered. We haven’t been very active during the past year – except putting out some releases, but the songs on them have been recorded earlier, of course.
So we didn’t any gigs or composed any songs during 2013. To be honest, the only time all five of us got together last year was at my birthday party…
We met again on Saturday evening, February 15th, to talk about our future plans. By now, it’s almost 15 years we started that thing with Embalming Theatre. And since we missed out on our 10th anniversary, we want to make something special for our fans.

As a fan, I wonder when will you finally contribute to the world chaos with your new album, ’cause it’s almost 4 years since Unamused Rancid Flesh’s release.
Steve: Hehe, right, that question fits nice.
The idea that came to our minds at our meeting was doing another album for our fifteenth anniversary, but not a common one. We will put much more effort in the songwriting this time, so hopefully every one of the 15 songs we want to get on it will be a fucking jawbreaker.
Lyrically, each songtext will be placed in one year of our existence. Most of our fans might know that Marco bases his lyrics on actual events. So the first song will handle some gory incident that occured in 1999, the second one from 2000, and so on.
But right now, these are mere plans. We’re just starting to write the songs, and Power It Up will bring out that album in October/November. 

Rarely you can meet the band that completely “former members” nowadays. For 15 years you’ve been pleasing us with your hits, how do you get along? What’s the secret?

Steve: Haha, I’m not sure if I really should tell you this… Rumours are, that the Embalming Theatre-members don’t see each other too often. When we write songs, we meet once or twice a week for a month or two (sometimes maybe three months), then every one plays them at home. We rehearse them a few times together, then off to the studio we go. The same goes with gigs (which we don’t have too often – we all have jobs and family, so we have to get all of that in line): a month or two before we get on stage, we rehearse the songs we decided to play, and that’s it.
So you see, the secret is that we don’t meet often enough to get on each other nerves 😉

Once I read your interview for Russian zine and found interesting information. You, Dave and Marco work as a teacher. What kind of knowledge do you give to children?)

Steve: Dave is still a teacher in a public primary school. What exactly he teaches, I don’t know. Marco quit the job. And our drummer is teaching drums at a part-time rate.

M: We do (or we did) our teaching the same way as other teachers. The only difference is and was a very strict separation of the private person and the professional person (now more than ever before). Our band was never mentioned during lessons or in front of the children. Nevertheless some information has been published in the WWW from different sides. Then all the trouble began. And that was no fun at all.

Knowing that your lyrics are based on a real stories, I guess your band’s name also has a real basis, right?)

Steve: That’s right. Embalming Theatre is the nickname English students gave to the autopsy room.

The number of your releases is countless (but still can’t compare with Agathocles:)). You must be really busy working in the studio. Do you have time to sleep at all?) When would we see next episode of your criminal chronicles?)

Steve: Yeah, we’re still trying to top the Agathocles list, but it’s completely hopeless, hehe. These guys are insane!
The next release, a Split-7″ with Necrocannibalistic Vomitorium (from Ukraine), will be our 50th release! Some other stuff is still planned but not released, like a Flexi-disc, the Split with Exulceration, a Split-7″ with Grind Crusher (from Norway) and one other 7″ with only Embalming Theatre on them. We also have a few songs left from the last recording session. And, of course, the planned 15th-anniversary-album.

Talking about splits, a lot of bands did their first or one of the first releases as a split with Agathocles. You, Nasum, Blood, and etc etc. Had any thoughts about re-releasing it? Joy your fans with this rarity)
Steve: We don’t plan to re-release it (or any other of our stuff that is sold out). But I guess if a label (or Agathocles) would be interested in doing a repress, we wouldn’t mind (as long as we’re informed about it). The songs from all our singles, by the way, are collected on the Jane Saw Me-CD, which should still be available.

Who’s in charge of this hiding-real-names-and-photos infection?)

Steve: That’s our vocalist, Marco. I really don’t know where he gets all that stuff. Some of it is quite weird, hehe.

M: I am prepared for the next 300 releases hehe. I found some bandpics you wouldn’t believe. And it’s one the funnier tasks finding stupid names that connect to hilarious pictures.

Looking at your artcovers, many of them you could guess it’s made by the same author, who is this Michelangelo?)

Steve: Again, that’s Marco. He’s not only writing our lyrics, but he also is a painter and does all the logos, covers etc. There are some really impressing pieces in his collection of work.

M: Besides some compilations I created all covers for ET. The rest of the band is very tolerant and therefor I can try out new ways and ideas.

Back to your lyrics. Why is there so much anger in people, why do they go insane and kill each other, what do you think about it?

Steve: Hell, that’s a difficult question. You just look at the different kinds of violent acts people can accomplish, and all the different reasons that lead to them. Maybe they’re desperate, maybe they’re just bored. Some might think they’re doing (some) god’s will, others might have a total lack of morals and ethics. You can’t just throw them all in one pot, and I guess that’s what makes some of this morbid stuff so fascinating. It’s hard to understand why anybody would stuff live lobsters in his trousers, or feed her recently killed husband to their children.
Maybe it’s the price we pay to be the most intelligent (or at least most innovative) species on the planet. All you can say with a hundred percent certainty is: there’s some real sick shit happening in this world.

Now you can say hi to Tom, ’cause I want to talk about label “Power It Up” a little. A lot of your material was released there. How Tom manages to keep you?) Are you satisfied with his job?

Steve: Tom did (and still does) a lot for us. He’s doing a very good job, and he releases a lot of stuff on vinyl – which, of course, pleases us quite well. And he’s always open-minded if we have some special ideas. So we stick to him and Power It Up.

Does gore style of the band messes with your official jobs? I heard your vocalist had some problems when his boss saw all this song titles (asshole’s got no sense of humor:))

Steve: I didn’t get any problems so far because of playing with Embalming Theatre. Though normally people can’t quite understand why I’m into that kind of wild raw music because I’m such a nice and calm guy, hehe.
I leave that question to Dave and Marco to answer properly.

M: Yes, you are right. He’s got absolutely no sense of humour and he wasn’t very pleased with some song titles. Trouble was so bad I needed help from a lawyer. As mentioned – no fun at all. It looks like our last album title was almost like a prophecy…. 😉

I tried really hard, but still I couldn’t remember if you ever performed in post-soviet countries. Is there anything that you might be interested in so you will visit us?)

Steve: The only gig in Eastern Europe we did so far was in 2004 at the Obscene Extreme in Czech Republic – and that’s the farthest we ever went in that direction.
If there’s anyone willing to organise a concert with us, don’t be shy and contact us. The most difficult part about us participating at gigs in foreign countries is finding a date that suits all of us, because we all have 100 percent jobs, and Marco also works on weekends sometimes.
But if we have good options to play a few gigs in an area, we will try to come.

As a simple Switzerland citizen can describe his country for those who hadn’t been there, can you describe what tourist should do first when he had set his foot on the land of your country?

Steve: Go visit a town situated at one of our bigger lakes (Lake of Thun or Lake Vierwaldstatter) or a village that is set in a beautiful mountain scenery (like Grindelwald). Get some chocolate (Cailler or Suchard), eat some Fondue (or Raclette), try some of our beers and check out the Swiss playing cards.

M: You forgot to mention the cows! No honestly, one sunny day in the mountains (every season is ok) and you know why so many people are coming to Switzerland.

I know that you’re fans of lying on a couch and watching horror movies, so am I, he he. What’s your top-5? What do you think about the situation of current movies? I think that good horror movies nowadays are as rare as two-headed cows))

Steve: My favourite fives I would take with me to an island: Rabid Grannies, Night of the living dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the dead, Phenomena. There are of course a lot more, but I guess those are the flicks I could watch over and over again, hehe.
Yeah, you’re right – most of new horror movies suffer of lack of originality, but there are still a few good ones among them, like the Hatchet trilogy, the Saw series, even some remakes like My bloody Valentine.

M: The last good and new horror movie was Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. Excellent entertainment! And I like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Thing, Hellraiser I + II, Evil Dead. For these series I prefer their first part: Wrong turn, Hostel and Saw. Only 5 movies is quite difficult… I didn’t even start with the zombies!

And it’s always good to have a beer with the movie. What’s the best beer in Switzerland?)

Steve: I seldom drink beer anymore, so it’s not easy to answer that question.

M: The big companies almost ruined innovation in our country when they bought small breweries or when smaller ones had to close. Nowadays we can say we’ve got a nice amount of small companies or even microbreweries. I tried a couple of them and I can say they make a hell of a good job. You can find a big variety of excellent light lager to strong dark ales. Practically all of them are better than the major labels. So make your choice and try out.

 And afterwards, your appeal to the army of fans))

Steve: Well, as always, thanks for all the support folks, go on in buying our records 🙂 – and keep grindin’ in a rotten world 🙂

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