An Interview with Devon Ferrera of Marasmus
There’s no way I could run MetalSucks for a day without showing some love for the local scene. There are several great metal bands in the Kansas City area, but my personal favorite is the death metal powerhouse, Marasmus. Formed in 2007, the band has released a 2009 EP, “Diseased”, and a 2012 full length, “Mountains of Dead”, both on the Kansas City label, Disgorge Media. In March of this year they self-released the EP, “MMXV”. I caught up with vocalist, Devon Ferrera, to find out what’s next for this killer band.
Derek: Hi Devon! Thank you for taking the time to talk to me about Marasmus! You just released a new EP, “Mmxv”, on March 16th. It sounds amazing! All three tracks are absolutely killer! Where did you record the EP? Was it difficult picking which songs to do?
Devon: Thanks a lot man! We have been working our asses off on this one. We recorded at our rehearsal space and studio of one the guitar players Andy Nagorski. He runs a little recording Op out of his basement called AndyJproductions. It was written, produced, mixed, mastered and everything by us. Andy is an excellent engineer along with being an accomplished musician. As far as picking the songs that was easy, we just put the first three we wrote on it. Sometimes for us if we over think things we end up cutting off own dick. We just let it rip and let the chips fall where they may.
Derek: After hearing your album, “Mountains of Dead”, I didn’t think Marasmus could get any heavier. But I think you actually did just that with “Mmxv”! How do you think your sound has evolved since that 2012 release?
Devon: The band has evolved in a few ways. Until recently, we have been operating as a three piece or (a two piece with a vocalist). That really made us evaluate how to keep the sound full and thick. We achieve that with guitar tone and our approach to writing. We are very proud of the fact that we are able to hang with bands that have that traditional full lineup.
Derek: You’ve had some line-up changes over the past couple years. Has had that any effect on the Marasmus sound? How would you describe the current line-up?
Devon: Our way of thinking about it is the past is the past. In the music biz you are forced to make some tuff decisions and ultimately the same could be said for people that want to join a band. You can’t play in a band from the couch in your living room. You have to be able to put it out there and it is a misconception that being in a band is just plugging in your guitar or mic. It has affected our sound in a few ways but the reality is that as long as Trynt is playing drums and I am doing vocals, it will always sound like Marasmus. Mainly because of our unique styles. But also in the sense that we will never quit and we will never let up. I think our tenacity has shaped our sound more than people deciding they can’t handle being in our band. That is our constant frame of mind. The truth is we have been very lucky to have jammed with everyone that we have. It was a kick in the nuts every time we have had lineup changes. But we feel we have found the right combination in our current roster.
Derek: Marasmus has opened for several big name artists such as Morbid Angel, The Black Dahlia Murder and Six Feet Under. What’s your all-time favorite show?
Devon: I think I have given this show in past interviews. The Black Dahlia Murder! Those guys were really good to talk to. Not to mention, All Shall Perish ended up really digging our band and we pretty much partied all night with those guys. But in all seriousness I have always liked the small shows in small venues where people can see your face and tell that you’re not fucking around. So I guess I will always be partial to those smaller more intimate gatherings. But they all have been killer for sure. We also had a really good time opening for Overkill. It was great because we were the first band and there was a pretty good turnout. As soon as we started our first song you could see people kinda look at each other and go “what the fuck is this”. After about the third song people started to get into it.
Derek: The Kansas City death metal scene is home to some amazing bands and really talented musicians and I’ve been really impressed with the frequency of metal shows and tours coming through the area. Being down in the trenches, what are your thoughts on the KC scene?
Devon: This is my home! I have literally grown up in this scene or group of friends I call it. It has never been stronger than right now, as far as the caliber of musicians. As far as the caliber of venues, there is always improvement that can be done when it comes to crowd participation and turn out. But if you catch the right weekend show, at the Riot Room for example, I hope you have nothing to do the next day! It really is a great time with nice people and good fucking music. Even when it’s not metal, it just has a charisma about it that is what I have come to understand as a real fucking art scene. I am very proud of KC!
Derek: Do you have any big plans for 2015? Can we look forward another full-length release in the near future?
Devon: 2015 is a big year for us. We just signed a contract with Metal Music Austria. The next full length, which we are very diligently working on right now, is called “Conjuring Enormity”. This album will also be done at Andyjproductions. It will feature new recordings of the EP songs with several new tracks. We are also going to be at The Foothills Gutfest in Colorado Springs, CO on June 20th. There is also KC BlackDeath Fest at the Riot Room on April 17th and May 8th at Aftershock with A Plague In Faith for their cd release. Nailed Shut will also be playing that show. So yeah, it’s shaping up to be a good year.
Derek: Now it’s time for The Marvelous Three Round of Questions! What’s your favorite breakfast cereal? Most metalheads have large concert t-shirt collections. What’s your favorite band t-shirt? And last but not least, are you a cat person or a dog person?
Devon: Favorite breakfast cereal is now discontinued; it’s called “Blueberry Morning”. There are people selling it to the highest bidder on Ebay. I shit you not! Favorite concert shirt is without a doubt my prized Aborted shirt. Dogs all the fucking way!
Derek: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me! I’m looking forward to being pummeled in the pit at the next Marasmus show!
Devon: Thank you Derek! See you at the next rager! Cheers!
Check Out “Gutting the Orb” from “MMXV”