It seems you guys have been undergoing lineup changes since you have been a band. How has that affected your sound and direction?

It’s actually improving, it’s kind of weird. I take it as improving musicianship. Like, I’m never really one to give up, if you don’t want to do something, there’s plenty of people out there who really want to do this. So I think it’s definitely affected us for the better. We had an EP in 2003, and we lost our first guitarist right after the EP, and then Chris [Anderson], our current guitarist, has been in the band ever since then. And our first drummer quit in the studio, and then our bassist quit on our first ever tour, so this [current] lineup is actually the real lineup. I kind of look at it as these guys are original members, because the other guys never really toured with us. I just look at this band as a real strong unit, and I think it definitely shows on the new record.

As huge Morbid Angel fans, how was working with Erik Rutan?

It was a dream come true, actually! (Laughs) It was really cool. He got the best performances out of all of us—he really worked us in the studio. We were there for a month and a half and we had a lot of time to work out some stuff. He produced the record, and we actually covered a Morbid Angel song as a bonus track for Europe.

‘Dominate,’ right?

Yeah, we were really stoked on that. It was really cool—he actually taught us the riffs ’cause it was a last minute thing that we had to do a cover, so it was perfect.

That’s awesome—he wrote them…

Yeah, exactly! It was really cool.

What’s the meaning behind the title Malice?

Pretty much the whole concept is dealing with a lot of atrocities and fucked up things in the world today. We wanted to write this record as something that people could actually relate to as opposed to our previous singer’s lyrics. He wrote a lot about serial killers, so we wanted to get out of that whole cliché of serial killer/death metal type stuff and just write something that people deal with in everyday life and could really relate to.

And in that respect, what’s the song that means the most to you on this record?

‘Failure In The Flesh’ is one of my favorites. It’s the single we have out now, and it’s the first song we wrote for the record. It was the first song this lineup of the band has written together. It shows the direction we’ve gone in and it really represents our sound, that’s why it’s my favorite.

You guys just toured Europe for the first time recently, how was it?

It was actually a nightmare. We flew over there right from the studio, so Nate had to learn the set in two days. We had a lot of issues with Nate’s passport, and having to expedite it, and then once we got it, after tons of hassle, then the airline lost all of our luggage and all of our gear. It took us a week to get all that stuff back. We started the tour late because of all of that, and I don’t know, it was crazy. We made it through, but financially it really hurt us, but it was worth it to go over there and get a taste of Europe. We’re definitely gonna go back and hopefully this time it will be a lot better.

Now that the record is out, what are your plans?

We have a tour with As I Lay Dying after this one, and we’re just gonna keep continuing to tour. We’re going back to Europe again and hopefully Japan and Australia and stuff like that. We’ll just keep doing what we do, and more hope for the better.

Malice is in stores now. For more info visit throughtheeyesofthedead.net.

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