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Interview conducted October 17 2008
Interview published November 05 2008

Beneath The Massacre have just released their latest soul piercing core, all- encompassing dirge - Dystopia. As I was selected to write an article for them for the forthcoming issue of BW&BK #113, I spoke with growl hound Elliot Desgagnés about the lyrical themes and band history. Enjoy our philosophizing and the mechanics of dysfunction, as evidence of inequity.

MettleAngel: Hey Brother, you are a difficult person to reach. We've been playing phone tag for over a week.

  • Elliot: Yeah, sorry about that. We have a new album out, and I've been swamped with interviews. There has been such miscommunication.

MettleAngel: No worries, as our time is short, let's proceed. Tell me about the conceptual themes with Dystopia.

  • Elliot: It is not a concept album, per se; but the lyrics I wrote do follow a common thread.

MettleAngel: Like the Clive Owen movie - "Children Of Men"?

  • Elliot: I've not seen that, but our guitarist Christopher Bradley, claims that it is awesome. I have read 1984 and Brave New World recently.

MettleAngel: So that which George Orwell and Aldous Huxley advocate, you now believe is a future reality?

  • Elliot: Definitely, "The lyrics, as found on Dystopia, follow a common thread; such that productivity, absolutism, idealism, and demoralization of a nation, all lead us into a modern day dystopia. I don't want to impose my personal views onto the listener, so I tend to ask succinct questions, but I never provide the answers. I'm always searching for meaning, and I read a great deal, so that I can remain aware of what is really going on in society. I just want to express my informed ideas, without becoming too preachy, or annoying. I am genuinely concerned for future generations, growing up in a world corrupt."

MettleAngel: You are referring to our consumerism on a mass scale. This spend, spend, spend, conspiscuous consumption mentality is why in America, there is a supposed economic crisis. The "Bigger, Better, More" false belief in superiority, and the illusion of need has led the world into utter disunity. Even with the current campaigning for our next president, it's all mudslingling. Why can't the Republicans tell us why McCain is worthy; instead of why Obama is not?

  • Elliot: Exactly, I've left the lyrics open ended to allow for a personal interpretation.

MettleAngel: You are giving the reader and listener avid food for thought, that he may open his eyes, and observe the world around him. That what we resists, persists. All life is based on functionality, adaptability, and sustainability. Our twisted beliefs, and codes of morality will be our undoing. We have polluted the system of justice, which should be about adjusting rights. Our belief in ownership is why America is so arrogant in world politics. We claim we are being attacked, but we are really only defending ourselves, and from whom? We have become our own worst enemies.

  • Elliot: This is the same all over, and we will reach dystopia if things don't drastically change.

MettleAngel: Like the movie "Soilent Green", where Charlton Heston realizes that we have all become cannibals!

  • Elliot: Yes, indeed! I want people to understand just how we have lost our values for society.

MettleAngel: Denying every value in life leads to anarchy and our own self-fulfilling prophecy of armageddon. When we use our beliefs to dictate our actions, we corrupt society. All this stems from morality and religious madness. I intend that we seek to discover another path, increase our spiritual motives, and ensure our freedom. It is high time to open our hearts to new ideas, and transcend our outdated beliefs. Alright, we are getting way too personal and heavy, let us change gears a bit. Tell me how you came up with the name Beneath The Massacre.

  • Elliot: We originally wanted to call ourselves Beneath The Surface, but that seemed too esoteric. We aimed for something more brutal and befitting our sound. Massacre was a definite suggestion, so we combined the two. Nowadays, there are several bands who make use of the Massacre name; it has become tedious, and ridiculous; especially, when a band dubs themselves something stupid like - Dance Party Massacre. We have become more tolerant, over the years, but everytime we hear about another act using Massacre, we lose more credibility.

I doubt that, as your fans know what to expect when they listen to your music. Afterall, you were on Summer Of Slaughter last year. I remember those '80s Slumber Party Massacre movies. I guess if they had a soundtrack it would be your band. I actually thought you took the name as a variation from Sepultura's Beneath The Remains.

  • Elliot: Not really, unless it was an unconscious decision; although, they are a major influence on our style.

MettleAngel: I noticed that Chris and Dennis are brothers, is the band like a family? You come across as a tight knit unit.

  • Elliot: The Bradley brothers, are brothers in every possible manner, besides the obvious. Everyone in this band has known each other for ages. I've been hanging out with Justin Rousselle since high school. We had another guitarist, who did not work out, when we initially formed; but once he left, we felt no need to replace him. We work so well, because we operate as a core unit. Ever since we were young, we have shared the same interests musically and politically. We formed this band based on our shared sorrows and triumphs. Honestly, I don't envision anyone else playing in this band. We all moderate from the same perspective. If one of us were to leave, Beneath The Massacre would be no more.

MettleAngel: This makes you a legitimate band of brothers from Montreal. Any plans to work on another video? You did 'Society's Disposable Son' from your debut release: Mechanics Of Dysfunction.

  • Elliot: We have to focus on the music as a priority. For now, budget concerns are an issue, and we will not just do another performance thing. We want the next video to be meaningful, and reflect the themes on Dystopia.

MettleAngel: Tell me a bit about your vocal techniques.

  • Elliot: I never took a lesson, I just grabbed the microphone, and began to growl and howl. I'm not into imitating, or trying to sound like anyone in particular. I effectively growl in my own manner. I don't even bother with the high pitched vocals, because I know I am just not capable of this.

Are you influenced by any death vocalists?

  • Elliot: We enjoy the Dutch and Swedish death style, and we are a Death metal band; but we really strive to create our own stylized form of brutality.

MettleAngel: Would you consider the overall style to be classified as Technical Death Metal?

  • Elliot: Definitely! We don't want to be linked with Metalcore acts. We really strive to create our own stylized form of brutality. We are grateful that our fans follow us, and that we have fans who discovered us because of their fascination with Deathcore and Grind; but we want to leave our own mark on the metal world.

MettleAngel: I think you have done that. I had to do my research for this article, as I was not familiar with you, but thank you for your time.

  • Elliot: We are coming to Ohio in early November, it would be cool to put a face with the voice. You really understand my passions and message.

MettleAngel: Thank You Elliot, it would be cool to sit and chat with you, when we have more time, as well. Stay in touch.

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