ONE STEP BEYOND (for Variety Of Death Zine)

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Interview was prepared by OccultBlackMetal (Variety Of Death Zine)

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?
Greetings. In this time we’ve been recording another album. It’s taken a long time between finishing The Music of Chance and having it released. It was a drawn out and frustrating process with very little opportunity to feel that the band was progressing, so to create some momentum I wrote another album. I’m very excited by it and feel it’s our most accomplished work yet.

2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also hoe does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
The axis of our musical style is extreme metal. Death, black, thrash, grind and doom all feature heavily. But crucially, if we feel a song benefits from a passage drawn from a non-metal genre, then we’ll incorporate that too. As with all our albums it’s also important that no two songs are alike. Most extreme metal albums can be casually heard as 10-12 versions of what’s essentially the same song, which is fine. Many of my favourite albums do this, but it’s not my intention for this to happen on a One step beyond album. Ideally all our songs sound distinctly different to each other, but retain a coherent identity.
I think this album differs from our previous in that it’s a little more driven by the guitars. It’s certainly more layered with guitars. Previously most songs were written bass first, this time it was guitar first. The bass is still an integral bridge between the drums, guitars and vocals, but it doesn’t lead things as much as before. Also this is our first album with a live drummer.

3.The band has been around since 1997 but so far there are only 3 full lengths, an ep and a demo, can you tell us a little bit more about the gap between releases?
Both The Music of Chance and Beyond Good and Evil suffered long delays between completion and release. For Beyond Good and Evil it was initially a financial issue, but then our founding guitarist Jeremy Lammas passed away in a car accident. We lost a great friend and band mate, which seriously halted our momentum for some time. The Music of Chance had a long recording process. I used it as an opportunity to learn how to record and mix an album. This meant it was a much slower process than just booking into a studio for a couple of weeks. There was a lot of re-recording, mixing and re-mixing. Trial and error basically. This was followed by a long wait for artwork. Fortunately I think the wait was well worth it!

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Lyrically we try to keep things eclectic and unique. If we’re singing about common themes, we hopefully do so from an uncommon perspective. For The Music of Chance the lyrics
 share the themes of chance and co-incidence and how they can impact the average persons average day. Contexts we use for this include addiction, gambling, relationships, upbringings and more. It’s often very much every day, everyman, relatable stuff, but hopefully written with a particular insight that you wont find elsewhere.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'One Step Beyond"?
Well I’m a huge fan of the band Madness. When I was trying to name the band I read the track listings of all of the hundreds of cds in my collection at the time, documenting any title that might translate into a decent band name. The Madness song One Step Beyond was the last name standing. As for the meaning, I prefer for that to be a subjective decision for the listener. Whatever it means for the listener is what it means.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
It’s been a while since we’ve been on stage. Our last show was good. We supported Nile and Hate eternal. The crowd were kind.
On stage we are very honest. No posing. No make-up. No masks. It’s just us, as we are, playing our music and displaying whatever energy it naturally provokes in us. We aim to play tight and with precision, but to move around a bit too.

one step beyond band7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
Nope. Nothing currently. We are auditioning guitarists with an eye to some more shows in the near future, but writing and recording is the priority.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of eath metal?
Mostly positive beyond our hopes. Of course when you like to mash a funk passage into a death metal song some people will take offense. But many kind things have been written.

9.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
For me it’s been almost exclusively One Step Beyond for a few years now, though currently I am recording bass for the death metal band Intellect devourer, which also features members of Stargazer and Mournful congregation.
Justin is playing in a few other bands currently. He does a porn grind band named Bukkake, their demo has just been released. A death/thrash band named Brutaliate and a long running war metal band named Slaughter thou, who have a few releases out.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
It’s tough to say. I don’t want to contrive a particular direction. We will always be predominantly an extreme metal band and we will always draw inspiration from an eclectic variety of bands and styles.
At some point, with the right players on board, I would like to include some more improvisational passages, especially live. I think this can be the most honest form of musical expression and for me that’s a desirable trait.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Countless bands have influenced our music. The bands that intitially made me want to play extreme metal include Napalm death, Death, Suffocation, Bloodduster, Carcass and more. The bands that made me want to write unique and varied material include Fishbone, Frank Zappa, The Clash, Living colour and Infectious grooves. All those bands would release albums where every song had its own independent identity. More so than the average band.
As for current listening, the list is long and always evolving. Just this week my ears have been indulged by Godflesh, Gridlink, The Melvins, Vakula, Lykathea aflame, CV313, Smith and mighty, Augustus Pablo, Napalm death, Dying fetus, Suffocation, Cormega, Jedi mind tricks, The beta band, Canibus, Grave, Decapitated, Aril Brikha, Repulsion, Sigh, Dawnbringer, Insomnium, Warning, Black twang, Cult of fire, Model 500 and much more.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
I’ve been formally and informally studying brewing for a couple of years now and I love craft beer, the modern American and traditional Belgian styles in particular. I’m very passionate about cinema. I watch films from any country, any era, popular or obscure. It’s an incredible art form. A real melting pot of so many other forms. I read. Literature, educational, magazines, what have you. I’m a sports junky, mostly cricket and EPL. I’m awake at 3AM to watch Liverpool play. In between albums I also like to indulge in some gaming. PC mostly.
Outside of music Justin loves gaming too. He also practices MMA and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He’s been at it for a few years and holds a blue belt with 2 stripes. He’s currently a silver medallist in state level competition.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thanks for the interview mate and thanks to those who read it. Cheers.


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