|Interview done by Burt Wolf with drummer Dave of PSYCROPTIC.
Interview done April, 5th 2002.
COULD YOU START AT THE BEGINNING & TELL US A LITTLE BIT OF THE HISTORY OF
Well, PSYCROPTIC formed out of the remains of 3 Tasmanian Metal bands-DISSEMINATE, HEMLOCK &
MAGORIA. These 3 bands were splitting up at around the same time, so myself & Joe (who is my brother &
played in DISSEMINATE with me), wrote some new material & asked Matthew (HEMLOCK vocalist) & Cam
(guitarist for MAGORIA, who plays bass in PSYCROPTIC) whether they would like to have a jam on the new
material that Joe & I had written. They both did & liked the music so we started a band. After starting the band,
we wrote about 7 songs & played our first gig. The reaction was great, so we continued to write & after about
18 months of being together & played a fair amount of gigs, we decided we needed to record. We went into the
studios in October 2000 & from that recording session came "The Isle Of Disenchantment". This was released in
Jan. of 2001 & it has done fairly well for us. We've distributed about 1500 copies around the world & we've
played gigs around Australia, including a spot on the biggest Metalfest in Australia, Metal For The Brain.
WHY WAS THE NAME PSYCROPTIC THE CHOSEN NAME FOR THE BAND?
We couldn't think of a band name at all...we looked in all these books about mythology & demonology & all that
crap, we just couldn't find anything suitable. Matthew told a friend about our problem & he just said "oh, coming
up with a name for a Metal band is easy...ahh, PSYCROPTIC, there you go". Matthew came & told us about it,
we all liked it so we used it. The name doesn't mean anything, so I suppose people can make up their own
definition about it.
WHO OR WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR INFLUENCES IN HELPING CREATE YOUR AMAZINGLY
Thanks for the complement. I would say that basically our influences come from all styles of Metal. We listen to
all styles of Metal & just combine the shit we like into one. I wouldn't say any one band influenced us more than
another. We also listen to stuff outside Metal like PLANET X, Dave Weckl Band & various other progressive
styles of music.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BANDS THAT THE MEMBERS OF PSYCROPTIC WERE IN BEFORE?
Yeah, as I mentioned before, we have played in bands such as DISSEMINATE, HEMLOCK & MAGORIA.
These were all Tasmanian bands & are basically unheard of outside the state.
PSYCROPTIC HAS A DEFINITE MIXTURE OF METAL STYLES IN THE SOUND AREA. WHAT ARE
SOME OF THESE STYLES & HOW WOULD YOU BEST DESCRIBE YOUR MUSICAL STYLE?
Well, I would say that we play fairly dark & fast Death Metal, with some elements of Black & Melodic Metal. It's
brutal, but varied...I don't know...it's really up to the individuals who listen to our music to decide. I've heard
people call us Death/Grind, Black Metal & even old school Death! We just play what we love.
YOU GUYS ARE A FAIRLY YOUNG BAND. DO YOU FEEL A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T TAKE YOU
SERIOUSLY CAUSE THE AVERAGE AGE OF THE BAND IS SO YOUNG?
No people have been taking us quite seriously, because we try to be as professional as we can be. Most people
hear our music first, so they don't know our average age is 20...but we're getting on a bit now...haha. I've just
turned 22! It hasn't been a problem for us, even when we first started, because we've all been playing in bands
for years & we're not new to the scene.
YOU GUYS SOUND LIKE VERY EXPERIENCED & HIGHLY TALENTED MUSICIANS AT SUCH A
YOUNG AGE. HOW LONG HAVE YOU GUYS BEEN PLAYING MUSIC IN GENERAL? ARE ANY OF
YOU PROFESSIONALLY TRAINED?
We've all had formal lessons at one point or another, but to varying degrees. Joe (guitars) still gets lessons & is
applying to go to the conservatorium of music in our city. I had lessons for several years on drums, Cam had
guitar lessons for a little while, as did Matthew. We've all been playing for at least 7 or 8 years...some of us up to
YOUR SELF FINANCED DEBUT CD "THE ISLE OF DISENCHANTMENT" HAS BEEN OUT FOR A
LITTLE WHILE NOW. HOW WAS THE UNDERGROUNDS RESPONSE TO THIS GREAT CD
The reaction to this release has been great. We've distributed about 1500 around the world, which has been really
good for us & we've gotten some great reviews. We've done a lot of interviews too, which is great for
promotion. We're working on a new CD at the moment, so I think "Isle..." has help get our name out a bit.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO ONLY RELEASE 9 TRACKS ON THE CD OF THE 10 TRACKS YOU
ACTUALLY RECORDED FOR THE CD?
Because the 10th song we recorded came out badly. It was the last song that I was recording on drums & I just
played it very badly...I only had two sessions of 3 to 4 hours to get all the songs done, so I didn't have time to go
back & fix it. So, that's why it was left off. Hopefully, it will be on our new disc.
THE ARTWORK FOR YOUR CD IS VERY WELL DONE. COULD YOU EXPLAIN SOME OF IT & WHO
WAS THE ARTIST?
The artist is a friend of the band. His name is Bill Dean. He does some really great stuff. Matthew just told him
about the lyrics for "The Isle..."& the front cover is what Bill came up with. It was just a draft of it, but it came
out well so we decided to use it.
IF YOU HAD TO PICK ONE PSYCROPTIC SONG THAT BEST REPRESENTS THE BAND, WHICH
WOULD YOU PICK & WHY?
I would say the song off the CD which would be the best representation would be "Of Dull Eyes Borne". This
song is probably the most similar to the new material we've written. Other than that, I would say that each new
song we write would best represent us the best, because that is how we sound at that particular point in time. I
know this is probably a cliche', but I think every new song we do is a progression on the song before.
HAS ANY LABELS APPROACHED PSYCROPTIC ABOUT A POSSIBLE RECORD DEAL? IF SO,
WHICH LABELS? IF NOT, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?
A lot of labels have heard us & said they really like us, but they are all waiting to hear our new material. They
probably didn't want to take a risk on signing an unknown band, due to the money involved in signing bands.
That's the problem-a lot of labels these days aren't willing to take any risks with new bands or styles because the
cash return is unknown. This is fair enough from a business point of view, but in musical terms it is bad because
the scene gets flooded with clone bands. Look at labels like ROADRUNNER & shit like that, these labels just
pump out what ever is popular no matter what they sound like. It's terrible. Anyway, hopefully for the next disc
we'll get signed.
HAS THERE BEEN ANY OTHER RELEASES SINCE "...DISENCHANTMENT", OR ONE IN THE
No, there hasn't been any other releases since the "Isle...", but we are hard at work writing the new CD. There
will be a new CD out hopefully before the year is out. We've written most of the songs so far, & we just have to
practice them up for recording.
HAVE YOU GUYS PLAYED MANY SHOWS? WHERE & WITH WHO?
We've played quite a number of shows & festivals around Australia. Some of the bands we've played with on the
same bill have been ALARUM, ALCHEMIST, BLOOD DUSTER, FRANKENBOK, DREADNAUHT,
OMNIUM GATHERUM, INTENSE HAMMER RAGE, EARTH & quite a few others. These bands are fairly
well known in Australia, but might not be so known outside Australia. We've played in our state of Tasmania,
Victoria & the ACT.
ANY SHOWS STAND OUT FOR SOME BIZARRE OR MEMORABLE REASON?
The show that stands out the most is playing Metal For The Brain 2001, which is the biggest Metalfest in
Australia. We played in front of almost 1000 people & when we finished, they started to chant our name. It was
an awesome experience. Hopefully we'll get to play this festival again.
ARE YOU INTO ANY OTHER STYLES OF MUSIC BESIDES WHAT YOU PLAY? WHO ARE SOME
OF THE BANDS YOUR CURRENTLY INTO?
I'm into some other styles of music, but my main love is Metal. About 90% of my collection is Metal. Some of
the other stuff I get into is stuff like DREAM THEATER, PLANET X, THE DAVE WECKL BAND, Ben
Harper, some different Jazz stuff & a little bit of DEAD CAN DANCE. In regards to Metal that I'm listening to
at the moment, the new MORTAL DECAY, AGEIL, IMMORTAL, DECAPITATED, DISAVOWED, DEEDS
OF FLESH, plus the old stuff by EMPEROR, NILE, TESTAMENT, BURZUM, SATYRICON,
METALLICA & a whole heap of other stuff.
HOW WOULD YOU COMPARE THE MUSIC COMING OUT OF AUSTRALIA TO THE MUSIC
COMING FROM HERE IN THE STATES?
Music from Australia is probably a cross between the European & US styles, but it usually has an emphasis on
aggression. Aussie Metal is generally very aggressive. A lot of the bands coming out these days are of a very high
quality & match anything that is coming out of Europe & the US. The only problem with some of the Australian
bands is that they can be very narrow minded in terms of their audience. There are some Aussie bands that are
pretty big here, but don't bother to promote themselves overseas, so they are unknown to the rest of the world.
WHAT DO THE MEMBERS OF PSYCROPTIC DO OUTSIDE OF WORK FOR THE BAND?
I'm studying a marketing degree, as well as working about 20 hours a week in a retail store. Joe at the moment is
practicing guitar in preparation to get into the conservatorium of music down here in Tasmania. Cam is an
apprentice electrician & Matthew some voluntary work. Other than the band, we don't have much time for
anything else, as we're all so busy.
DO YOU REMEMBER WHERE YOU WERE & WHAT YOU WERE DOING WHEN YOU FIRST HEARD
ABOUT THE TERRORIST ATTACKS IN NEW YORK ON 9-11-01. ANY THOUGHTS ON THIS
Yeah, I was in bed watching a documentary on Mohamed Ali. Then halfway through, it just flicked over to the
US news report with what had happened. It was pretty shocking seeing all this stuff happening live on TV. It is a
tragedy, as a lot of people died who were basically innocent people. The act itself is pretty cowardly-it's trying to
use force to negotiate with a country. If groups or governments have a problem with a country they should use
the appropriate channels to try & sort out problems, not use force to get people to negotiate.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE MOVIES & TV SHOWS?
Seinfield is my all time favorite show. I have about 100 episodes on tape & watch them all the time. I also really
like Malcolm In The Middle. Apart from these shows, I don't watch too much TV. There is a lot of Aussie
movies that I really like-Chopper, Two Hands & heaps of others. Lord Of The Rings was awesome, they pretty
much got all the elements spot on.
WHAT WOULD YOU RATHER BE DOING IF YOU WEREN'T PLAYING IN PSYCROPTIC?
Haha, playing in a different band that sounded like PSYCROPTIC is what I'd rather be doing if I wasn't p;playing
in PSYCROPTIC. If I wasn't playing Metal at all, I'd probably be trying to start a label or something.
WHAT IS NEXT ON THE AGENDA FOR PSYCROPTIC IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
We're just finishing off the writing for the next CD, which should be out late 2002. We're not sure when exactly,
we're practicing for the recording at the moment. We want to eventually go overseas & do some gigs or a tour of
some kind. This would be just killer if we could do it.
WE'VE FINALLY REACHED THE END OF MY QUESTIONS. THANX A LOT FOR DOING THIS
INTERVIEW. ANY STUFF I FORGOT OR YOU FEEL IS WORTH MENTIONING?
Thanks very much Burt for the interview...your support is greatly appreciated!! If anyone wants to check out
PSYCROPTIC they can visit our website or email us. If anyone wants to buy a copy of "The Isle Of
Disenchantment", they can send $10 US to our address. Stay Metal!!!