Interviews

ALL SHALL PERISH’S BEN ORUM VS. METALSUCKS: ROUND TWO!

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We first interviewed All Shall Perish guitarist Ben Orum just about a year ago, at the 2010 edition of Summer Slaughter; at the time, ASP were only just starting to write their new album, This is Where it Ends. Orum turned out to be one of those rare dudes who’s not only really talented, but is also genuinely super-nice — and now that we’ve finally gotten to hear Ends, we’re happy to report that it’s totally excellent. In other words, this seemed like a good time to pester Orum again.

Luckily, he was happy to oblige us with some silly, and not-so-silly, e-mail questions. The two interviews make interesting pre- and post- album companion pieces, I think, so if you haven’t done so already, go back and read our initial conversation with Orum; then, after the jump, get his thoughts on how Ends actually turned out, the songwriting process for various songs on the album, what fans can expect from ASP’s set at this summer’s Mayhem Festival, the futility of giving death metal fans condoms, and more.

And, oh yeah, we’ll have a special “Rigged” column penned by Orum’s co-guitarist in All Shall Perish, Francesco Artusato, sometime soon, so definitely keep your eyes peeled for that.

And now… the interview!

Let’s get the silly question out of the way first. Some fans are interpreting the title of the new album to mean that it’s ASP’s swan song. Care to confirm or deny such nutty internet rumors?

Don’t worry ,we are not going to pull a Carcass on you guys and drop a random rock record on your lap and cut out… ASP is here to stay. The band is more focused than ever, and we have actually already started writing the next record.

When we spoke to you last summer, when you were still writing the album that would become This is Where it Ends,  you said that “I think we’ve all come to an agreement that we want to have it more in the vein of The Price of Existence – but an updated version of” that album. Now that the album is done, do you feel like the final product matches that statement?

We definitely followed through with that statement! I’m glad I don’t have to eat my words on that. The new record actually captures the spirit of all three of our previous records, and then some. I feel like we wrote twelve of our best songs on this disc, and I can’t wait to see how our fans react.

How did Francesco Artusato fit into the writing process for the new album? How is working with him similar or different from working with previous ASP co-guitarists?

Francesco fit into the band like he was with us since the beginning. He is very easy to bounce ideas off of, and has an uncanny ability to drop some of the most epic lead guitar I have ever heard when needed. Unlike previous ASP guitarists, Francesco has absolutely zero ego. He is very down to earth, and one of the most calm people I have ever encountered. I am beyond thrilled that we found him, and that it is working out so well.

Musically, this actually a more diverse-sounding album than you’ve made in the past: “Divine Illusion,” “A Pure Evil,” and “Spineless” all almost sound like they could be by different bands, for example. Was this is a conscious goal on the part of the band, or did it just come about naturally during the writing process?

The best part about being in this band are that there are no boundaries. We always sit down and write whatever we fell at the moment. We don’t try to write to fit into any particular sound or style. If I sit down and my hands start playing an evil black metal riff, that will end up being the type of song I work on all day. Everything about our writing process is very natural, and un-forced, but extremely focused.

Holy shit, “Royalty into Exile” is a catchy fucking song… and pretty epic, too! Please tell me as much as you possibly can about its creation.

Thanks man, that’s one of the tracks that I wrote! This song all rooted from a shooting pain in my sciatic nerve, which made it impossible for me to sleep during our European tour with Terror and The Acacia Strain. Since I couldn’t sleep, I sat up on the bus all night writing riffs for this song. I remember some fun sessions with Eddie [Hermida, vocalist] and our roadie, Pierre, bouncing some rhythm ideas off of each other during all hours of the night. When we got home from the tour, I set out to finish the song with our drummer, Adam [Pierce]. Once we had all the pieces of the puzzle aligned, Francesco added that sweet lead at the end, and we called it a day. I am beyond thrilled with how it came out.

Regarding the song “My Retaliation” — How soon can we expect ASP shirts that say “I HOPE TO SEE YOU FUCKING DIE” on them? And when Eddie brought in that lyrics, were there just, like, high fives all around?

Another song I wrote, you guys have good taste. I’m sure the shirt will surface now that you have called it out! When Eddie brought these lyrics to the table, I believe my initial e-mail to him was something along the lines of “FUCK YES!!!!!!!!”

Speaking of Eddie: Sorry to digress for a moment, but why do you guys call him Eddie when his real name is Hernan?

His middle name is Eddie, he has always gone by it.

Can you tell us a little bit about the creation of “In this Life of Pain?” How did the decision to begin the song with two-and-a-half minutes of piano come about? Were you at all concerned about the reaction your fans would have to said piano?

The piano portion of the song was originally an idea of our bassist Mike [Tiner] — he set out to write something very dark and depressing. Francesco ended up taking Mike’s piece to the next level, with his piano playing skills. After I heard the piece for the first time, I immediately gave Francesco the nick name “Rocket Fran” after the great Elton John, because I had absolutely no idea he could play piano so well.

We honestly were never concerned with the fans reaction; ASP has never been shy to show our softer melodic side. I like to think that most of our fans can appreciate something like this!

What’s your Mayhem Fest set going to be like? How much old material vs. new material will you be playing?

It’s going to be about 50/50. We have some ASP classics that we feel that all the Mayhem crowd will really enjoy. Off of the new record we will be playing “In This Life of Pain,” “There is Nothing Left “and “Procession of Ashes.”

Finally: I know one of the pre-order packages for the album includes ASP condoms. What do you expect your fans to do with those, given that most of death metal kids never get laid, ever?

To quote Metallica, “SAD BUT TRUE.” Maybe they fling them across the room at their new Morbid Angel and The Haunted drink coasters?

-AR

All Shall Perish’s new album, This is Where it Ends, comes out July 26 on Nuclear Blast. The band will be on Mayhem Fest all summer, along with Megadeth, Machine Head, In Flames, Trivium, Unearth, Suicide Silence, Kingdom of Sorrow, and Red Fang. get dates here.

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