Well, Depravis and I have known each other since jr. high and had a band as kids called Bloodshed. Nothing serious, just us bashing out our first tunes and terrorizing our parents and neighbors. A few years later I moved away and we lost touch for some time. Ran into each other in the late 90s and started hanging out again, and in 2005, I bought a house with my wife and got a drumkit and the two of us immediately started jamming together and the birth of Spectral Manifest arose with the songs “Fate of the Disgraced” and “In Shadows Unseen.”
The bands sound is hard to classify running the gamut of metal styles. Tell us about your Wraith-Metal style.
We were fortunate to be born in the 70s and experience that as kids and then go on to live through some of the most exciting moments in metal history during the 80s and 90s. Each decade, something new was happening, whether it was the discovery of metal in general, to the emergence of speed and thrash metal in the mid 80s to the death metal explosion in the late 80s and the black metal scene of the early 90s… it was all fresh and new… So, a lot of our sound I think comes from that experience. We don’t want to be pigeonholed into one “scene” or sub-genre, so we just try to do something that is new for us that we can call ours.
You guys are working on a full length right now. Tell us about the process. When can we expect to see the album hit.
We holed up in our rehearsal room for a bit this summer and hammered out the flesh of what will be the full length. We further tested the newer material live with a few shows to make sure the material stood up live and to be able to capture that feel when we went into the studio to record it. We chose to go to Feral Noise Studios to record, as that is where the Brimwylf and Mhinotahn material was done and I really liked what they had done there. Plus the guys are buds of ours and wanted to record us, which was very important. The person behind the board has to want to be there, otherwise, what’s the point? So, we went in with an old school Black Sabbath approach and knocked out a large part of the recording in one session. We have a few more sessions being scheduled there and then we are going to have Dobber Beverly mix it. Then we hand it off to our man Brian Ferrell and Ossuary Industries, prepare the master and then by late winter we shall see the fruits of our labor.
The band started out as a two piece, and you guys finally added a bass player last year. Tell us about that long process of adding a third member.
Finding a bassist was a tough time, from 2005 to 2011… Rather than be sidelined, we decided to just keep going as a two piece, even playing live and releasing live eps and dvds. One of the reasons we do a Darkthrone cover is as a tribute to the two man band, ha! Midway through 2011, we invited Ulfr out to a show as he had just recently left his previous band. He watched us, expressed an interest in jamming with us and we had seen him play before, knew he could probably do it, so all that remained to be seen was can we get along as a unit. Depravis and I have been doing this for a long time and while we wanted a bassist… it had to be the right bassist, both in playing ability and in personality. We hung out for awhile before making any decisions and it was pretty apparent that it was gonna work. We made the announcement and he played his first show with us at the very first Building Temples From Death fest in Sept. of 2011.
Spectral Manifest have been playing a lot of shows recently. How do you pick what shows to play?
Sometimes they pick us… otherwise, it’s a matter of what shows make sense. If it’s a band we really like, that always comes into play… What we don’t want to do is overbook ourselves.. Too many bands feel like they have to play every single night, I’d much rather make it an occasion, an event, not an everyday occurrence. Often times I have seen bands shoot themselves in the foot this way.
Tell us about your history as a drummer. What made you start playing? Tell us about your current drumset.
I have been seriously playing since I was 13, before that it was pots and pans, spoons and whatnot.. Believe it or not, it was seeing Mick Fleetwood on an HBO concert of Fleetwood Mac back as a kid. He did this insane drum solo that included playing beats on his chest and everywhere else, and I thought to myself, I want to do that. Follow that with discovering Neil Peart, then as a teen in the mid to late 80s, it was Lars Ulrich and Dave Lombardo for sure. My current kit I play on is a Tama Rockstar Custom, I use a 13in Tama Metalworks Snare with Remo Pinstripe heads. For pedals I use DW9000s and my cymbals are an assortment from Sabian, Paiste, Meinl and Zildjian.
Lord Of The Rings or Star Wars?
Star Wars of course, that is just fact. I will never forget seeing those movies in the movie theater as a kid. Lol. Both are great, however, and my youngest daughter is actually named after an obscure river in LOTR.
What bands do you really geek out about?
Hmm, that covers a lot of area… Electric Light Orchestra, Rush, Iron Maiden, Sabbath, Fates Warning, Asphyx, I could go on for days in multiple genres, lol.
Besides metal, what do you geek out about?
I love to cook. Anyone connected with me online or who has been over to the Lair, can attest to this.. I like B films, been reading a lot of Brian Lumley fiction, enjoy keeping up on politics (it’s my sport, so to speak), but I’ve been getting a little burnt on that as of late.. enjoy spending time with the kids and the wife, we hung out at waterparks a lot this summer, lol.
Besides Spectral Manifest, you also run the Dread Lair. Give us the history.
I started The Dread Lair in late ’08, and really got it going in 2009. It started by just reaching out to bands all over the planet and whoever got back to me, if I liked their music, we would press up 50 copies of their demos. We basically built a mini-infrastructure for demo distribution. It has grown a lot since then, we have a lot of bands now from our Texas homeland, but still plenty overseas as well. This past year, I announced Njord of Humut Tabal as the VP for The Dread Lair as I started to need help due to the rapid growth and he has become a killer partner from a younger generation, so he sometimes sees things from another angle that I might perhaps miss or overlook. We book shows, put out physical releases, no pay for downloads .. there’s a real DIY ethic involved.
What releases are coming out through the Dread Lair soon?
We have a lot of Texas metal on the horizon. Grieved from San Antonio, features members from VBT (Vaginal Bear Trap), it has a real Agalloch type feel to it. Also, Of Forsaken Divinity from South Texas, Falgar from Puerto Rico, and the final release of 2012 will be Dom II End. They are from Spain, total funeral doom and a fitting release to wind it all down. Next year will see new releases from Mhinotahn, Brimwylf, The Monk, Nosferion and more.
What kind of bands do you look for when releasing?
Ultimately, music that I enjoy, but also a band that works for themselves. I hate when bands get some sort of deal, no matter the size, and then think that entity is going to do all of the work for them. No, that is not the way it works. We are here to help you help yourself.
Thank you for the support from everyone, our family, friends, Ossuary Industries, 2013 is going to be a fun year for everyone that I am close to. Thanks to MSRCast, proud of being a part of it and pleased to see it carry on. Want some good music from us? Visit our online shop, http://thedreadlair.bigcartel.com