Melbourne deathcore outfit Boris the Blade have quickly gone from upstarts to established in the scene. The band is preparing to release their debut album, ‘The Human Hive’ this May. Having gained a strong following since their inception, local and international touring in 2014 aims to show the world this attention is justified. We talked to guitarist Josh Lording about touring, the album and the state of deathcore.
Besides Australia and Europe, what plans do you have for 2014?
We’ve got a few things in the works. Nothing actually set and booked but talks of Europe again and then America by the end of the year. Nothing I can really confirm.
So let’s talk about The Human Hive. On the nitty-gritty side of things who did you work with to help smash the album out?
We went up to RDT Studios to work with Matt Shawter who we did the EP with. He’s a really chill dude and good to work with so we tracked it all him and produced along with us. He’s just a fun guy to work with I guess just from tracking it from eight in the morning to nine at night. He never really stresses out, despite actually being stressed and under pressure he has a level head. We wanted to go back to him and we’re glad we did.
How about the writing if the record. How do you craft your tracks?
The writing actually took a lot longer then expected as we toured as much as we could after the EP release and jumped in as many tours as we could find to get our name out there. We wrote pretty much on and off for pretty much a year and a half, just when we had free time and everything else. In that time we all toured as musicians and found what we wanted to bring to the band and the record. The writing process was long but worth it.
What equipment did you use to capture that heavy, powerful and mature sound you got?
I used a Schecter Hellraiser C-7, which is just a standard seven-string guitar. They’re pretty good and they are kind of standard in our genre. They do what needs to be done I guess. I tracked through a Kemper Profiler, which is like an axe-FX digital guitar head. I’d never used one before but it was great, the sound I got was really fucking good.
With your guitar parts, do you try and get as technical and as impressive as you can, or do you just want it to be as heavy and as crushing as you can?
I just try and challenge myself. I love technical, catchy riffs and I got that. With breakdowns I try and not have them repeat as it’s all just recycled shit nowadays. I keep it fresh from start to finish especially in the breakdowns. I know they’re overused but they’re just too good live to not have included. I just work on an idea, if it’s technical or not, I don’t write anything in particular. I just write to whatever mood I’m in and work on it until I have a song.
On the topic of "genre", what kind of genre do you see yourself as?
Well, nowadays if something has breakdowns in them, whether there’s lots or there’s less of them, people go back to the whole deathcore label. I think with the album there is the element of technical death metal guitar work as opposed to technical deathcore, which is more sweeps and tapping; that’s just not us. Ours is more technical riffs. There are quite a couple of influences on the album but I wouldn’t put it down to one label. It’s heavy but it’s metal at the same time so we’ll get chucked into the gap between death metal and deathcore.
While we’re still talking about genres, I’m starting to notice that a lot of the public are starting to recognise heavy music genres as actual genres and not just "Satan worship", and bands like Boris the Blade are actually becoming known to people who only listen to pop music. Would you agree with that?
Oh, definitely. There are a set of bands that have kind of pioneered this genre being publicly recognised. Bands like Whitechapel and Suicide Silence have massive followings and the word has gotten out a lot more about these bands and this genre. And like you said, it’s becoming less criticised as Satan worship and if people really wanted to get into this music, I’m sure there are things they could relate to like the topics. Whether it be about emotional problems or what not. I think it was regarded at the start as all that Satan shit and being evil when in actual fact it’s far from it 90% of the time. I personally play the style because I find it challenging not because I want to kill goats and fuck virgins. And the people who discriminate against it even do what I do in their daily lives. Whether it’s cooking dinner or working on cars, we all push ourselves and I push myself in the music. I play it because I love it not because it’s my lifestyle. I’m probably just as ordinary as everyone else out there. But there is definitely a lot more of an open mind about it and that’s a good thing.
A final wrap up question, how do you feel about the abundance of local bands out there?
There’s quite a lot and it seems they all have a similar style to each most of the time.
I love it! Whether it be younger kids just picking up an instrument and playing, who just fucking shred it. Like when we were younger and playing guitar, our influences were Slipknot and Pantera and Morbid Angel so the level of technicality these days has just stepped up massive. Kids pick up a guitar and in seven months, they’re shredding away crazily. Look at the guys in Rings of Saturn, those guys are crazy good. The talent these days is amazing. There are so many great bands popping up and so many who don’t get the recognition they deserve because these bands should be playing bigger shows and bigger crowds but because of the abundance they never get the exposure. There are some good and bad points to the amount of bands but I just wish the great ones would get the recognition they deserve.
‘The Human Hive’ is out May 9 via Faction/Sony.