One of the mainstays of the infamous genre that is Death Metal, Obituary lay dormant for the most of the beginning of this decade. Awakening from their cryosleep the band released their brand new album Inked In Blood last year. Deciding to go it alone without a record label, the band decided to begin writing new material. Now as much as the double edged sword of modern technology can be swift to cut you down it can also be an incredibly useful tool. Deciding that the band would be going the way of crowd funding the band raised the $60,000 needed to make the album in just one day. However it then set in the reality of just how much work was about to be put into the band’s return to form…
Recently performing on the London date of their absolutely brilliant Deathcrusher tour, we were able to speak to drummer and Obituary main man Donald Tardy about the brand new album, how it came to be, what the entire process behind the record was like, what it’s like being upheld as one of the most influential bands in the Death Metal genre along with the extensive touring schedule. Understanding just how much of a commitment to fill 925 orders of their brand new album and just how much work it can entail when going the full DIY route.
Listen to the full unedited interview in our Soundcloud link below this excerpt of our chat.
Could you tell us a little bit about the writing process of Inked In Blood?
Well Inked in Blood was a long process, we took our time, we were in no hurry, we were part of no record label, we didn’t care. We knew we weren’t in a hurry with the writing process and we really just enjoyed it. We own the studio now so we get to write on our own time whenever we want. It could be ten in the morning, it could be midnight and we just go there and have fun, enjoy ourselves and write. The thing we did with this new album is even though a song might have only taken only one day to write, we never called it finished until we were happy with it. Meaning we would record it and we would just sit on it , put it away for a little while and then a couple of days later or a couple of weeks later listen to it. Immediately you realise, you know what it could use something in the middle here or it doesn’t necessarily need four measures here.
It was the first time we really dissected the song, or take away from it, trimmed the fat if we needed to. I think it showed, I think there’s no filler song on this record. I’m very proud of every song that made it on the album and it was just cool doing the album 100% by ourselves. We wrote the album without any thoughts, we recorded the album without any help from record labels and we recorded it ourselves, we produced it ourselves and we mixed it ourselves without asking for any help so that’s pretty damn self sufficient haha!
As DIY as it goes!
It really is you know! Obituary has been around for a long time we’ve always had our hands in and our say so in the studio even though usually it’s engineers doing the albums with us and this time we took the controls ourselves.
You also crowd funded the album I believe?
We did! Once the album was already finished we realised man you know what, we have it right here at our fingertips let’s see if we can if we can ask the fans if they want to preorder the album. That was basically it, of course we added all kinds of bonuses. If you wanted the special disc, if you wanted a hat, if you wanted a sticker , if you want to buy the drum stick, if you want to buy my snare drum, Trevor’s guitar… We did everything we possibly could to make it a cool experience and it was fun but it was a pain in the ass!
Because it was fun watching the process of the campaign and we were like oh my god! This is so much but then the reality that we had 925 orders to fill. This guy gets the drumstick, the poster and the shirt, not just the shirt the medium sized shirt. Make sure that ones tucked away in here and then the album and the signed vinyl and to do that over nine hundred times on our own with no help.
Completely on your own?
We did it in the studio on our hands and knees, packing every package. It was a pain in the ass.
But it was worth it?
It was fun man, to say it was worth it that’s a tough word because it was definitely worth it for the fans but for the band I don’t know if we would ever do it again because it was work. It was month after month of trying to get the shit finished, trying to get the orders packed but also trying to finish mixing the record AND preparing for the world tour, because the Carcass United States tour was coming up on us. So much juggling along with packing everyones shipments. I don’t know if you have ever shipped a shirt to a friend, to do nine hundred of them and make sure that every label was printed right not to mention the minute they were going overseas or especially when they were going to Ukraine or some of the places we were shipping to it was unbelievably expensive for us to ship all the stuff. Way more expensive than what we thought was going to happen but again we decided to do it and we made sure that we just worked our asses off to get everybody what they wanted…
Listen to the rest of the interview with Donald Tardy below picking up where we left off at 7:00 minutes.