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Interview conducted November 06 2010
Interview published November 09 2010

Slovenian thrashers Negligence have released one of the finest thrash albums of 2010 in "Coordinates Of Confusion". Duly impressed I wanted to find out more about the band, and got the chance to put some questions to singer Alex.

Martin: Slovenia is not very well known for its metalscene - can you tell me something about it from your perspective?

  • Alex: Well, Slovenia is a pretty small country with a population of 2 million inhabitants, so obviously our metal scene isn't exactly big on the global scale. However, considering we are small in numbers, I have to say we have a pretty healthy metal scene. There are lots of underground bands, concerts literally every single weekend and although thrash is the big thing at the moment, I wouldn't say any of the genres really stick out, it's pretty evenly balanced scene. Also, some find it interesting that the "metal population" is generally much younger compared to some of the other countries like Germany, Holland, Belgium or Italy for example, so there is naturally lots of enthusiasm present everywhere. All in all I'd say Slovenia has a small, but pretty vivid metal scene for its size.

Martin: Can you tell me how the band started?

  • Alex: Negligence started somewhere around 2000 by Jey and Dyz, two guitar players who both shared the passion for US Thrash metal. This was way before the whole thrash revival even began to form, and all of the stuff you can download on the internet now, was still very obscure. They jammed and wrote music for themselves at first, but gradually got more serious about it and started looking for other members to form a full band. In the next year or so, the original line-up got together and began writing music and playing around the clubs and venues. The only real problem they had back then was finding a proper singer, which is in general a really big pain in the ass in Slovenia. Anyways, they eventually asked an old friend called Lenz to help them out and they went on to record two demos with him before he decided to quit the band. Soon after, I think it was in around 2005, I was invited to join and the rest is pretty much history.

Martin: Listening to "Coordinates Of Confusion" I can clearly hear that the Bay Area-thrash scene has influenced you - can you tell me something about what bands have inspired you in particular?

  • Alex: Yeah, I think it's no secret that a big part of our influences lie in the Bay Area scene. I think we're all very fond of bands like Forbidden, Testament, Laaz Rockit, Exodus, Vio-Lence, Megadeth, Metallica and so on. There are, of course, other bands that don't really fall under the Bay Area tag that we really appreciate bands like Pantera, Agent Steel, Nevermore, Machine Head, Annihilator, etc… And even that's just the Thrash part of the things we find inspiration in. I think every one of us has a different set of bands he'd cite as influence, ranging from Van Halen to Monstrosity, so in the end, all of those bands probably impact our music in one way or another.

Martin: Can you tell me something of the writing process in the band? In my review of "Coordinates Of Confusion" I wrote that "Negligence does not fall into the trap of unconditional praise of the bands that developed the genre in the 1980s but has the talent to contribute something of their own." Is this something you've talked about in the band - just how far you want to go in terms of paying homage to the bands of old?

  • Alex: I think paying homage to certain bands is more of a subconscious thing than anything else. At least when I speak for our part. You are, of course, influenced by a certain sound so it's natural that you'll try to subconsciously copy it at first, but eventually you should strive and try finding your own. You're better off forming a tribute band if you're not prepared to do that, you know. We never really sat down and decided that we'll be playing Thrash metal, we just started writing music that wanted to come out of our system and I guess that Thrash was just the kind of thing we felt we can express ourselves best with. It's always been a priority for us to try and make music that would sound unique to us and not really care about how we would categorize it.

Martin: Productionwise I really like the sound you've achieved on "Coordinates Of Confusion". Nice, fat sound and I really like that you can actually hear the bass so well. What are your thoughts on this?

  • Alex: Well, thank you! You'd have to talk to Ruzz, our drummer about this, he was the mastermind behind the sound. We are fortunate enough to have two of our guys in the band that really know their way around the mixing table and our own studio, which is plainly called Negligence studio, where we can take our time with the music and record it and so on. We all always liked albums with modern fat production, so naturally that was the thing we were after on the "Coordinates…" album. We're pretty low tuned and some of the songs we made on the new album are much heavier than anything we did on the previous one, so it really made sense that we try and make the production correspond with the heaviness.

Martin: Seeing what a revival thrash metal is having around the globe, do you find it easier to get gigs?

  • Alex: Heh, not really. There are so many forms of life out there that identify themselves as Thrash at the moment, that it's not really that good being recognized as a Thrash metal band at the moment. I don't really see us as a part of the revival scene, to be honest, nor am I exactly very fond of it. I mean, don't get me wrong, it is great for an unknown band like us to finally get a bit more exposure because of it, but on the other hand I think that people have gotten a little bit sick of everything called Thrash recently and who can blame them. No disrespect to some of the quality stuff , but I myself, sometimes get the feel that some of the bands out there are more concerned with how they will call the music instead of how it will sound and that can't be a good thing. And all in all I really wouldn't say we have a lot in common with the so called "thrash meal revival" bands musically.

Martin: What do you think are the biggest differences between "Options Of A Trapped Mind" and the new record?

  • Alex: I think that many things differ on the new album compared to the first. Firstly it's our state of mind probably; I think we kind of grew a lot with the recording of the new album. We used the experience we gained throughout the recording of the "Options" and made use of it when we started recording the material for "Coordinates…". We focused much more on the song structures themselves, we tried to keep things more simple than we did on the "Options…" album, where we just let the songs run more freely, if you know what I mean. I took my time with the vocal ideas and lyrics and tried to focus listener's attention more on the vocals and lyrical integrity than just the music itself and so on. Like I think I said in some other interview, I think that Coordinates of Confusion is a much more controlled experiment, where we tried to prove ourselves we can also write less complex, heavy, flowing music compared to Options of a Trapped Mind that really was more youthfully and enthusiastically guitar oriented. Each of course holds their own charm.

Martin: Well, that's it - I very much hope to see you live in the future, especially after hearing "Coordinates…" which is just a feast for the ears for a thrash metal maniac as myself! Take care, and thanks for doing this interview!

  • Alex: Thanks man, I really appreciate this! Thanks for having me and I definitely hope to see you on one of the live gigs!

See also: review of the album Coordinates Of Confusion

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