ALL SHALL PERISH’S BEN ORUM ON THE BAND’S NEW LINEUP, NEW ALBUM, AND SUMMER SLAUGHTERAll Shall Perish have seen, in the words of guitarist Ben Orum, some “dark” times as of late: multiple lineup changes, creative challenges, touring drama, and, about a week and a half after we interviewed Orum, a van accident that threatened to derail their current stint on the MetalSucks co-sponsored Summer Slaughter Tour (the band has since re-joined the trek).

And like any good metal band, they’ve persevered despite all the bullshit. When we spoke to Orum just hours before Summer Slaughter’s recent stop in NYC kicked off, he seemed to be in high spirits. He says that this latest incarnation of the band is the best yet, and will return to the studio next year to make a record more in line with2006’s heavy-as-fuck The Price of Existence than 2008’s more melodious and noodlily Awaken the Dreamers. And when we saw the band play later that night, well… they killed it, and the crowd ate them up. A lot of the time you hear bands say “Well, this is our strongest line-up ever,” and it’s just hype; but Orum speaks the truth. This is All Shall Perish, and they’re better than ever.

Read the full transcript of our chat with Orum after the jump.


The tour is phenomenal. First of all, it’s amazing to play with Vital Remains and Decapitated.  They were two huge influences for me personally.  The whole package, in general, is off the hook.The shows have been consistent and just bad ass.

So it weird going on after Vital Remains, considering you grew up with their music?

Yeah, I went up to them the first day and pretty much told them, “You guys should not be opening this.” I just gave them props right off the bat and let them know that I really respected them.  It’s all good, though.

This is your second tour with this new lineup… You did a brief run with Danzig, right?

Yeah, we did four shows with Danzig, which was a really good test run for the new guys. It was just an interesting experience in general for us.

Any good Danzig stories?

I didn’t get to meet him until the very last second. It was, “Hey, it was awesome touring with you. Gotta go!” [laughs]

Does he just live in his own world?

He came out for sound check and was gone.  He materialized onstage for the set and was gone again.  I think he was on his bus doing press stuff all day.  The shows were cool.  It’s like a totally different crowd for us.  You got the old school Misfits crowd.  They’re like a breed of their own.

Were they into you guys, or were they like, “What the fuck is this?”

No, we won them over after a few songs.  L.A. was rough.  They chanted “DAN-ZIG!” during our set.  So we just said “fuck it” and chanted “DAN-ZIG” with them and laughed it off.

That’s really the only way to handle a situation like that.

Yeah, you got to have a sense of humor.  We could have gotten upset, but that would have just been lame.

Right, and wouldn’t have solved anything really.

No, not at all.  It would have made it worse.  Way worse.

It’s working out with your new lineup we take it?

This lineup is the most easy going lineup we’ve ever had. There’s no drama.  There aren’t any issues.  We all like each other’s material.  It’s unfortunate that this late in our career we found the perfect lineup.

Yeah.  But look at it as fortunate, because now you have that lineup.

Yeah, it is fortunate.  It is fortunate.  There was a lot of bullshit that we had to go through to get here, but we’re here.  [laughs]

So is Francesco [Artusato, new guitarist] just a touring member?  They’ve been saying that.

No, he’s in.

He’s in?

He’s the man.

He’s Italian, right?

He is Italian.


What’s it like having an Italian dude in a band from Oakland?

It’s kind of like an episode of the Super Mario Show. [laughs]  No, he’s just a really genuine guy.  I can’t explain it.  He stayed at my house for a couple of weeks before the tour,  to warm up.  Every time he wanted to use the bathroom or the shower, he’d go up to me or my wife and go, “Can I please use your bathroom?  Is that alright?  I don’t want to make too much noise.”  It was like, “Dude, you are awesome.” [laughs] “I love you.”  The other guitarist [Jason Richardson] was like, “Can I use your fucking pisser?” and pisses all over the seat.  “Take me to get food!”  It’s like, “Damn you eighteen year old.” [laughs]

Jason was only 18?

Jason was 18.

Fuck, man.

Yeah, that was rough.

So he’s much better off in Born of Osiris, with other young guys.

Exactly.  It worked out for everybody, because it was his favorite band, they’re all eighteen and like to do drugs.

Do you find there’s a difference in the dynamic between the way that you and Francesco work together?

What’s really cool about Francesco is that he plays all different styles of music. He graduated from Berkley so he’s doing world music.  It’s not just metal.  He can hear the riff and the stuff that I’m coming up with and he can hear things that I could never conceive of.  He can layer on top of it.  It’s just been great.  It’s difficult to write this style of music sometimes with certain people and personalities, but Francesco is just the man.

So you guys have started writing?

Yeah, we have.

How’s that going?

It’s good.  It’s cool because we all bring a different dynamic to the writing.  I write most of the melodic riffs and slam riffs — old school, death metal slam riffs.  Mike [Tiner, bassist] writes a lot of Suffocation-type stuff.  Francesco is going to bring this whole… I don’t want to say “prog,” but he can play anything.  You can imagine the stuff he’s going to put on top of it.

Do you feel pressure following up Awaken the Dreamers after it was endorsed by Kirk Hammett?

[laughs] Not really.  No, I think we can do better.

Is there a direction that this album is already taking, or is it still too soon to talk about?

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 it. With Chris Storey in the band, we went into this oddball shred direction that not all of us were really into.  We loved the songs, don’t get me wrong, but we’d like to take it back to a heavier place.

Because Dreamers was obviously a way different album from Price of Existence.

Yeah, it’s the album that we needed to put out. That’s what we were feeling at the time.  I look back at that record, and I remember a very interesting time. [laughs] A lot of frustration in the writing room with that one.

But the album still came out really well.

Thank you.

ALL SHALL PERISH’S BEN ORUM ON THE BAND’S NEW LINEUP, NEW ALBUM, AND SUMMER SLAUGHTERAny fun touring stories?  Are the bands all getting along?  Is everybody partying every night?

The bands are all getting along.  It’s like a big traveling fucking circus.  It’s great.  Malevolent Creation played a show…

Oh, they did?

Yesterday.  I had a kind of shitty experience with them.

[sarcastic] No kidding.

Fucking A, man.

Phil Fasciana didn’t try to shoot you in the face or anything, did he?

[sighs] I really shouldn’t talk about it.  You know the history.  It’s still present day.

Unfortunately, we’re not surprised to hear you say that.


But otherwise it sounds like everything has been going well.

Yeah, everyone is great.  Animals as Leaders are really nice guys.  Veil of Maya.  Decapitated are the funniest fucking dudes ever.


Oh my god, yeah.  They’re fucking hilarious.

We were going to ask about them specifically.  Have you watched them play at all?



I think he’s the best drummer I have ever seen live ever.


Yeah, the technique on his feet just blows me away every night.

So you wholeheartedly endorse the new Decapitated?

Oh yeah.  They are just killing it, man. I never saw the old Decapitated, so for me this is who they are.

Are there any bands that you just discovered on this tour?

I had never heard Veil of Maya, so I was pretty impressed with them live.

Right on. What’s coming up next for you guys?  More tours?  Getting back to the studio?

Going to Europe after this with Terror, The Acacia Strain, and Every Time I Die for the Hell on Earth Tour.  That’s always fun. And possibly some Mexico dates, Australia, and then we’re going to write the record.  The fans want the record, it’s time to write the record.

So it’ll be 2011 before you guys get into the studio.

Exactly.  With the lineup changes, we had to drop that Machine Head tour.  So much shit happened that really brought the band to a dark place. Now we’re finally bouncing back, and it feels good.

-AR & VN

Summer Slaughter continues until August 23. Get dates here.

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