Interview conducted May 14 2010
Interview published May 17 2010
Two years ago I received a copy
of "Apocalyptic Feasting", Brain Drill's debut album. The sonic
onslaught that was that album left me at first gasping for air. When rumors
surfaced that the tech metalmasters sophomore offering "Quantum Catastrophe"
was on its way out, I had become very much addicted to the superbly brutal
music of this band. And the band didn't disappoint. Metal Covenant got
the chance to interview bassist Ivan Munguia
about the latest album, the songwriting and what you must be prepared
to do if you want to play death metal.
Martin: "Apocalyptic Feasting"
still is one of the most challenging records I've listened to, and "Quantum
Catastrophe" continues your legacy of playing at an insane level.
Did you make a conscious effort in producing songs that are almost more
technically challenging or did the songs just evolve naturally?
Ivan: Eh....a little of both. Obviously with
the new line-up we wanted to prove that we could out do the last album.
I could see how it evolved from the last album though. Dylan is always
pushing himself to write gnarlier music, and pushing the boundaries
of extreme metal has become part of what Brain Drill is all about.
I think if we had taken a step back and written something more tame
then we would have disappointed a lot of people.
The production of "Quantum Catastrophe" is so much better than
"Apocalyptic Feasting" especially the drums sound way better
with less triggering. What's your take on this?
Ivan: I agree. The drums were recorded on a
real acoustic drum kit, whereas Apocalyptic was recorded on a V-Drum
kit I believe. The tone of the acoustic kit makes the recording much
more brutal and heavy. The overall sound is heavier as well. Zach
Ohren set out to make this recording warmer than our last, whatever
that means. It definitely sounds fuller though, and the guitars cut
through much more.
Martin: Can you describe the recording process?
Ivan: We recorded at Castle Ultimate Studios
with Zack Ohren, which is where we have always recorded. Zack does
an amazing job which is the reason we always come back. The album
was recorded in 6 days total. Everyone is stunned when I tell them
that. We went in and tracked drums nonstop for 2 1/2 days. Guitars
took about a day and a half. Bass 1/2 day. Vocals another day. Apocalyptic
was recorded in less time than that so we felt we could do it in 6
days. Even with power failures and rats and shit running around we
were still able to accomplish finishing this album in that short amount
of time. We basically go in there and just work our asses off. Minimal
time is spent stopping to eat, piss, etc.
Martin: The concept behind "Quantum
Catastrophe" seems to be that we're standing on the brink of mass
destruction. Can you explain why you chose this idea for the album?
Martin: It's always said that the second
album is more difficult than the first. How did you feel in regards to
going into the process of writing and recording the new record?
You joined Brain Drill a few years ago, and didn't have the opportunity
to write material for the first record. How much did you contribute to
the new record?
Martin: Playing this kind of music demands
exceptional skill - can you tell me something about your own personal
development as a bass player before joining Brain Drill?
Ivan: I started as a guitar player. I've been
playing since I was 12-13 years old. I just wanted to play metal since
I started and always pushed myself to better my technique. When the
bass spot for Odious Mortem opened up I knew I had the skills to play
their music and saw it as a great opportunity to better myself. That
was the first time I picked up a bass, and have been trying to get
better and better. All I can say is if you're hell bent on playing
death metal you better be prepared to spend lots of hours practicing.
Martin: What are the plans for Brain Drill
in the immediate future? Are you planning to come to Europe and play anytime
Ivan: Man, I wish. It seems like we have to
jump through hoops to get on any kind of tour. We're planning something
for the States for this summer, but as of yet have no plans to go
to Europe. Rest assured that as soon as the opportunity presents itself
we will be playing for our European metal brethren.
Martin: Thanks for taking the time to do
this interview, and thanks for staying brutal!
of the album Quantum Catastrophe