Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Scythe Interview

  Answer by: Rick Scythe
1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
RS: Right now we are planning a couple more shows for 2012 / early 2013. Some out of state shows and another Chicago gig. We are also writing new material and planning on recording some new tracks by the end of the year.
Besides that, we also parted ways with Tim, our drummer. No hard feelings, he's a great kid, but the guy was spreading himself a little thin. He's actually a guitarist first and foremost, and he has his own stuff he's working on that started sounding very similar to Scythe, which is sort of a conflict of interest with myself and Dan. We don't want to work on songs and concepts and then in turn have someone take the same basic ideas and re-use them again with his other project. Plus he's busy with his studio producing.
Bottom line is we need someone 100% dedicated to Scythe, who plays drums exclusively; where drums are his craft, not just another instrument someone dabbles with. So just to reiterate, we wish Tim the best, he's been a good friend and a great talent for Scythe, he is part of the Scythe family, but it was time to move on. I am pleased to announce, that we have a killer new drummer named Joey Contreras in the band now and we haven't lost a beat!
2. How would you describe the musical sound of the new album and what are some of the things you have accomplished with this recording that you where not able to do with the past bands?
RS: t is really a unique blend of thrash, speed, black and classic heavy metal with elements of hard rock, horror atmosphere, and rock n' roll attitude... way more original approach than some people in the press give us credit for... no one sounds like Scythe out there.  Every song is a head banging / fist banging metal anthem!

 I would say the difference between Scythe and Usurper is that Scythe is a bit more stripped down and over-the-top compared to the sleeker, more layered approach Usurper took.  It is very similar to Usurper in some ways due to the head-bangable riffs and old-school death grunts, but it is different too due to the more primitive, barbaric approach to delivering the molten metal!
Both bands are known for staying true to the real ways of Metal, both bands are known for rivet-headed, ironfisted riffing, but Usurper's attack had a bit more finesse, more like an Atomic Discombobulator and Scythe's attack is more like killing a fly with a sledgehammer!

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the album?
RS: Conspiratorial topics, end time prophecies, occult / paranormal topics, aliens / giants, occult science, and anthems about Heavy Metal!

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
RS: My name is Rick SCYTHE. I have been recording under the name Rick SCYTHE since 1993. I have used the Scythe name in the credits of every Usurper album and demo since 1994. I have been registered with BMI Music Publishing / Song Writer credits as SCYTHE for every Usurper album, and you will notice on all Usurper credits it always said "All songs written by SCYTHE".
So when it came time to do a new band, one that would have ties to Usurper, it felt only logical to call the band SCYTHE as an homage and link to my past with Usurper. It was a way for fans of Usurper to connect the name Scythe with Usurper and realize that they would be picking up an album by the guy responsible for creating the Usurper legacy.
I could have easily called this band Usurper since I own the name and wrote 95% of all Usurper material, but I decided not to. I know many bands do that type of thing where they have one original member and continue with the band anyway, but I really wanted to start over. I wanted to start over with something that was on one hand new and exciting, and on the other hand classic and consistent. Scythe was the ideal name. I was using the name Scythe to write, record and publish music since the early 90's and have had the name before any other bands who came later trying to use the name Scythe. I sometimes specify this band as Scythe (Chicago), just so people know they are getting the real thing!

5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
RS: Scythe has only played 2 shows so far. We are not looking for quantity, but rather quality.  Our first show was opening up for Desaster (Germany). That was June 2011. We didn't play again until April 2012. This time we did things bigger. We played the entire "Beware The Scythe" LP front to back. We had a more elaborate light show and fog and went a bit more over the top. Our next show will have an even more elaborate stage show with pyro and more lights and more fog. We are only concerned with doing things big! Look at Venom in their prime, they played less than 30 shows for all those classic albums. I want a Scythe show to remain special and not typical. Let other bands become the local "bitch band" and open for every show every other week, we're Scythe, we don't do things that way.

6. Do you have any touring plans for the new release/
RS: No touring plans. We will hopefully perform overseas next year. We will do shows in different cities in the USA when the opportunities arise. Other than that we will continue writing and recording new material.

7. The new album came out on Primitive Reaction, how did you get in contact with this label and how would you describe the support that they have given you so far?
RS: An artist who has painted a few Usurper covers named Juha Vorma is from Finland. He became a pretty good friend of mine over the years and he was pretty good friends with Tuomas from Primitive Reaction. Back in 2007 Usurper was coming to an end. I wanted to re-issue our Threshold of the Usurper CD, but I wanted to include a couple bonus tracks to make it a full length album. I also wanted new cover art and full liner notes. I didn't have a label in mind so Juha suggested Primitive Reaction. They did such a great job with the Usurper CD and vinyl that I wanted to work with them again for the Scythe album.
Once again Juha painted the CD cover and Primitive Reaction delivered the goods. They are an underground label from Finland, but a totally kick ass label.  R.I.P. Records released Beware The Scythe in the states on vinyl, so I am very pleased with these 2 labels. I own the rights to distribute it digitally through iTunes and sites like that. We also have a great PR guy named Curt Dewar helping us with interviews and spreading the Scythe name. This is true underground metal, no fancy corporate machine, just a handfull of guys working together; more a labor of love than a business. Scythe is true Underground Metal for die-hards.

8. What is going on with the other band projects these days?
RS: No other projects these days. Scythe is my 100% priority. Perhaps somewhere down the line I might consider doing a Usurper reunion show or shows, but it would have to be the right time and right situation.  Even if that were ever to happen, Scythe will remain my main band for the foreseeable future. I don't believe in side projects. It's Scythe or bust!

9. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
RS: I think things will become more refined as we progress with our career. We are really just establishing our sound with this first album. This is a classic debut album: it's underground, it is the first exposure to Scythe and it is something to be proud of. 
I see the next album as being where we really refine our sound and perfect the bombastic Scythian Speed Metal Attack! Like all the great bands, the second album will take our sound from our first album, but really build into a unique slab of metal... raise the bar so to speak.
I see our 3rd album as the one that will firmly establish our identity and become our all time masterpiece! All great bands seem to follow this progression. If we are fortunate enough to go beyond a 3rd album, I see the next sequence of albums further establishing our legacy. I don't see this band falling prey to the dreaded 4th, 5th, 6th album cliches of many bands where they start selling out and fucking with their sound. Scythe will remain consistent and reliable.

10. What are  some bands or musical styles that have influenced your newer material and also what are you listening to nowadays?
RS: I only am influenced by old metal and rock bands:
Venom, Mercyful Fate, Celtic Frost, Black Sabbath, Ted Nugent, Bathory, Sodom, Blue Oyster Cult, Slayer, Witchfinder General, Manowar, Sodom.
Lately I have been listening to: Stone Magnum, Annihilation, Slaughter Messiah, Sabbat, Misfits "Devil's Rain", Death Wolf / Devil's Whorehouse.

11. How would you describe your views on Occultism?
RS: It is everywhere. Most people think of occultism as "Satanism", but it really means "secret/hidden knowledge". It has plagued mankind since man has first used words. The true occultists are the diabolical elite who rule this planet.  The illuminati, globalist bankers, elite wealthy bloodlines all control everything from the television you watch, to the rules that govern society, to the banks you put your money in, to the medicine you take, to the health care you receive, down to some mundane aspects of your life... and they DON'T have your best interest in mind.
People don't realize this but look at how banks, media companies, hospitals all use occult imagery and symbolism in their corporate logos. This is not a coincidence. These establishments are all guided by ancient deities. Their goal is to manipulate and enslave the human race, eliminate the majority of the population and create an immortal utopia for themselves. Reptilian bloodlines, Annunaki bloodlines, decedents of fallen angels are all part of this planets' history. 

12. Outside of music what are some of your interests?
RS: I like to read a lot. I have a vast, growing collection of books. No novels, just true documented books ranging from cryptozoology, the paranormal, ancient civilizations, prophecies, conspiracies, and other occult topics.  I also like to go to the shooting range, I like to dabble in art, I listen to podcasts, I like to play pinball and shoot pool occasionally. I like to spend time alone and explore the night skies with my telescope. I don't go to many shows anymore and kind of distance myself from "the scene" unless Scythe is involved. I'm not always comfortable around a lot of people.

13. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
RS: Thanks for supporting Scythe! Buy the CD, t-shirts, vinyl or digital downloads/iTunes version of "Beware The Scythe" and be sure to check out Scythe on the web:

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