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Matt Harvey (EXHUMED): if you don't like MERCYFUL FATE, you can't be in our band!

Matt Harvey (EXHUMED): if you don't like MERCYFUL FATE, you can't be in our band!
BANDS : Exhumed

Exhumed will perform for the first time in Romania on 13 July 2013. We took advantage of this opportunity and I chatted with Matt Harvey, leader of the group. Matt has proven to be more friendly as I would have expected and told us in detail how the things are going with Exhumed. He also revealed us the secret to get to play in Exhumed: "If you do not like Mercyful Fate, you can't be in our band." More details in the lines below:


 
Metalfan: Hi Matt and welcome to Metalfan.ro!

Matt Harvey: Cheers, thanks for the interview dude!

Metalfan: This is your first interview for us, and even if Exhumed exist since 1990, some of our younger readers might not know too much about you. Can you tell us what are the most important things in Exhumed's existence so far?
Matt Harvey: Well, to give you the super-condensed version, we started out as kids in high school, releasing our first demo and 7” EP in 1992, started to get “serious” as a band in around 1994 with our Horrific Expulsion of Gore demo, and then finally signed with Relapse in the beginning of 1998, releasing our debut album Gore Metal the same year. In between were loads of split EP's, demos, and line-up changes. We have four albums out on Relapse as of now, and we have a new one, Necrocracy coming out in August.

Metalfan: This year Exhumed on July 13, Exhumed will play for the first time in Romania.What do you know about Romania? Have you ever been here before?

Matt Harvey: Honestly, I don't know too much about Romania, but I've heard that the chicks there are fucking beautiful, so that's enough for me! I'm always psyched to play someplace we haven't been before. We play a lot and after a while, even places like Paris or New York can get a bit boring. For me it's all about the new horizon and getting out in front of people that haven't had a chance to see the band yet.

Metalfan: Exhumed have been around on and off for almost 23 years. Even so, you haven't released a VHS or DVD yet. How important do you think that is an material like this for a band?
Matt Harvey: Well, with the advent of Youtube, it's definitely less important than it used to be, but we did start working on one back in '05 before the band split up. We are going to try and sort out what to do with all that footage after the new album comes out.

Metalfan: In 2011 you have released the album titled All Guts, No Glory. How do you see this record after almost two years from the release?
Matt Harvey: I'm still very proud of it. I think it was a good “statement” kind of record, especially after coming off a 5+ year hiatus. I feel like we came back with all guns blazing and made the best Exhumed record up to that point.

Metalfan: Could you tell us more about the writing process? Which was the hardest song to finish writing?
Matt Harvey: The writing process is a bit weird. For All Guts... our old guitarist Wes and I would just e-mail rough demos back and forth, since I was living in Hawaii for most of the writing and the other guys were living in California. We never even set foot in the same room until all the songs were pretty much finished. With the new album, we now have a proper line-up from touring so much for All Guts... and we wrote in fits and starts between tours. As far as difficult songs to finish... I had several tracks in progress while I was working on the material for All Guts... that due to time and logistical constraints, we just couldn't finish. The best of those finally got whipped into shape and will be on the new record.


 
Metalfan: Do you have in mind to release a new album with Exhumed any time soon?
Matt Harvey: See above! Necrocracy is scheduled for release on August 5th in Europe as far as I know. It's definitely coming out August 6th in the US.

Metalfan: Some great musicians have died in the last time: Jeff Hanneman, Chi Cheng (Deftones), John Lord (Deep Purple), Mitch Lucker (Suicide Silence), and many more. What did you feel when you heard this news?
Matt Harvey: It's always a bummer to see someone go too soon. I have a hard time getting too choked up about people that I've never met, but John Lord and Jeff Hanneman definitely bummed me out. We were doing a bit of Seek and Destroy in our set, but since Jeff's death, we've subbed it out for Black Magic (spoiler alert). It's interesting to see the genre have been in existence for a long enough time that the people that were blazing trails 20 or 30 years ago are starting to die. It's depressing, but it's also a testament to the longevity and significance of heavy metal that it has survived long enough for these events to touch so many people, tragic though they may be.

Metalfan: If you would have to make a top of the albums Exhumed have released so far, how would it be? Which is the album you want to be remembered for?
Matt Harvey: I think All Guts... is the strongest record we've done, but that's not including the new one. I always think that the “next” album will be our best. If you can't keep making better and better records, what's the point? If you've already peaked or said all there is to say with your band, what's the point of continuing? You've got to keep pushing forward for the best record of your career every time.

Metalfan: How are things going with Dekapitator? The Storm Before the Calm (2007) was a great album! Do you have in mind to release a new album any time soon?
Matt Harvey: I'm not sure at this point. I'm really busy with Exhumed, and our drummer is very busy in Repulsion, Cretin and his new band, Mortuous. Plus, he's married and has a career, so it's difficult to get together and work on new material. That said, we do have about half of a new album sketched out, and hopefully this fall / winter we can carve out some time to work on new stuff.

Metalfan: Are there any demo / unreleased songs that you haven't released with Dekapitator? If so, do you have in mind to release them any time soon?
Matt Harvey: The only song we've never released was something we wrote around '01 called Dead To Rights, and to be honest, it wasn't that great of a song, so I doubt it'll see the light of day any time soon, haha!

Metalfan: Carcass, one  of  your favorite bands, will release this year a new album. What do you feel about them being back together and releasing new music?
Matt Harvey: I'm just excited to hear it! A couple of my friends that I trust have heard it and they both really liked it, so I'm stoked! I just saw them live a few days ago in Holland and they were great, the new guys were brilliant and really good dudes as well, so it was a good time all the way around.

Metalfan: If you would have to make a top five of your favorite non-death metal albums (metal / hard rock) how would it look like? Could you tell us a few words about each of them and how that have influenced you as a musician?
Matt Harvey: You know, most of my favorite albums aren't death metal, haha! I listen to all sorts of music, most of which isn't metal at all... But here's a top 5 metal / hard rock list...
1. MetallicaMaster of Puppets (1986) – we steal so much stuff from this record and this era of Metallica, it's ridiculous. Everything about this album is perfect.
2. Judas PriestUnleashed in the East (1979) – all the best early Priest songs, louder and heavier than on the first few albums – what more could you ask for? Exhumed is all about the twin guitar attack, and this album exemplifies that in spades.
3. UFOStrangers in the Night (1979) – again, all the best UFO songs together in one place, louder and heavier than on the early records. Michael Schenker blows everybody away on this album. Fucking incredible.
4. Thin LizzyJailbreak (1976) – I know it's the most cliched album to cite, but damn if it isn't their strongest all around. Again, dual guitars, great melodies, honest, resonant lyrics, catchy as fuck riffs, this is everything that rock / metal should strive to be.
5. Deep PurplePerfect Strangers (1984) – as much as I'm addicted to classics like Burn (1974), Fireball (1971), Macine Head (1972), and In Rock (1970), there's something so smooth and effortless about this record that makes it undisputably the best “comeback” record in hard rock history. That and the riff in Knocking On Your Back Door is one of the best riffs ever written.
6. ScorpionsTaken By Force (1977) – I know you only asked for five, but how could I not mention this masterpiece of early metal? Sails of Charon is one of the heaviest songs in the universe, that coupled with the aggression of Steamrock Fever and He's a Woman (She's a Man) make this the ultimate Scorps album. Plus Uli John Roth is one of the most tasteful, underrated guitar players of all time.
7. Mercyful Fate - The Beginning (1987) - or the self-titled EP, whatever you want to call it, it's fucking genius. Non-stop riff mastery plus King Diamond at his rawest = a total classic. We have a rule in Exhumed: if you don't like Mercyful Fate, you can't be in our band.
8. Iron MaidenSomewhere In Time (1986) – I love all the early Maiden stuff, but this record stands out to me as my favorite, probably because it's the first one I heard, but mostly for it's very “Adrian Smith-ness”, which is my favorite quality in a Maiden song / record. Some of the best guitar melodies of the bands career and Bruce's pipes make it easy to ignore some of the bone-headed lyrics on the album. Plus, cyborg Eddie in space? Unfuckwithable.
9. MotorheadOrgasmatron (1986) – I never get tired of this record. Something about Bill Laswell's clangy production and the copious amounts of faster Motortracks make this the perfect soundtrack to an all-weekend cocaine bender.
10. Blue Oyster CultFire of Unknown Origin (1981) – Again, I know Secret Treaties (1974) is the cool one to cite, but this album has such a killer atmosphere, it just grabs you and takes you somewhere else. Buck Dharma is another one of my favorite guitar players as well.

Metalfan: Are there any musicians that you would like to have as a guest on a record of yours? If so, who they are and what could you tell us about why do you would like to make music with them?
Matt Harvey: I'm not too into the idea of guest appearances, since you can't replicate them live, and I like the idea that all the songs are on the table as far as performing them live. The only guests we use are on the backing vocal parts – a group of like 6 or 8 dudes growling in unison, which is a cool way to get your buddies down to the studio to party with you.


 
Metalfan: Could you tell us three songs that you will play with Exhumed at the show from  Bucharest from July 13?
Matt Harvey: Sure - As Hammer To Anvil, Limb From Limb, and The Matter of Splatter - that should be spoiler-proof! We have loads of stuff lined up for the show and we always hit every record, even the really old and obscure stuff, so it should be a good time for everyone, except people with good taste in music, haha!

Metalfan: Thank you for your time Matt! It was a honor! In the end would you like to add somethingor to send few words to your fans and to our readers?
Matt Harvey: Thanks for the interview and the support. We're pumped to get out to Romania for the first time and soak you all with blood and bile! Cheers!

Autor: H.
   May 18, 2013  | 0 Comments  | 8381 Views « BACK

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