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2003.09.13 Project: Failing Flesh Interview

Submitted by on September 13, 2003 – 3:49 am

An Interview with Brothers Tim & Kevin Gutierrez and Eric Forest of Project Failing Flesh.
© 2003 Voivod.net All rights reserved.

After putting his own band together (E-Force), former Voivod vocalist / bassist Eric Forest surprised everyone by announcing he had collaborated on a project with two musicians from Virginia, USA.
After receiving a sample CD and being blown away by the quality of the sound and the music i decided to investigate further and do an interview with all parties involved in this Project.

Hi Guys,
Please give us a little history on Project Failing Flesh: when was it formed? who formed it?

KEVIN: We were born poor black children. Steve Martin is our father. Ha. But seriously, Me and Tim used to play in a metal band together like 15 years ago. Over the course of time, we have done our own things- put out our own records, some with bands, some not- some signed, some not. About 2 years ago, we decided we wanted to do a heavy record that was whatever we wanted it to be, so we started writing. This record will make us the millions of dollars we need so we can tear down our old shacks and build new ones.

ERIC:Basically the brothers emailed me and asked me if I was interested in singing on their songs.I said yes so the boys paid for my plane ticket and some$$$ and that was that.When I said yes I didnt know what to expect.,so they sent me the tracks and needless to saay I was very impressed.The rest is history.

Was the music completed before Eric was contacted?
KEVIN: Yes. We had all the tunes complete and had actually recorded some of them with a couple different vocalists.

How long did you guys spend writing and recording the CD?
KEVIN: It felt like forever. But in a good way… on and off, it took about 2 years to do this record.

Did you guys try other vocalists before Eric joined the project?
TIM: Yeah, we had a couple local guys but nothing was working out. It was getting very frustrating and at some point we had the idea to contact someone who’s vocals we already dug. We made up a wish list of guys we thought would fit well and Eric’s name was on there. He responded real positively so we went from there. We had no idea if a guy from our list was actually a realistic option or not but we loved what he’d done in VOIVOD so there was no doubt he’d be awesome on the disc, which he was.

Was Eric involved in writing any of the lyrics and vocal lines?
KEVIN: Yes. Although there were a couple songs that were totally complete and Eric just did the vocals, I’d say most of the tunes we tried to leave as much room as we could for new ideas. The best parts were all three of us in a room with sheets of lyrics, picking out cool phrases. That stuff flowed quite well because it was stuff Eric naturally leaned towards.

TIM: Eric had done a lot of vocal ideas and several “scat” versions of a bunch of tunes so there were plenty of good patterns on those that the 3 of us sat down and fit the lyrics to. Unfortunately we couldn’t coax him to do his spot on King Diamond impersonation on any parts.

LOL, Did Eric get to play any bass in the CD?
KEVIN: Hell no. Have you heard that guy’s playing in VoiVod or E-Force? He’s not that good. We had to keep him away from the bass or he would have wanted to lay down tracks! Ha. No, seriously, the bass tracks were cut before Eric was involved.

You guys run avery nice studio called Assembly Line. Was the CD recorded entirely there? It sounds awesome!
KEVIN: Thanks. The CD was recorded entirely here- this is what I do full time. The setup here is quite nice, a complete Pro Tools overhaul last year has made things quite comfy.

How long have you guys been running the music studio?
KEVIN: I have been engineering full time for about 10 years now- I have owned Assembly Line Studios for about 6 years.

In the booklet Tim and Kevin are listed with instruments credits. Let’s break it down: who is the guitarist? who programmed the drums?

TIM: The writing is totally collaborative. So much so that it would actually be hard to break it down, which is the main reason we listed it as “instruments.” I guess I may do slightly more guitars/riffs while Kevin handles the drums and did the keyboard programming. But we both are always changing or suggesting things about each others parts and the arrangements. On the disc it’s played by whoever can do it best or can wrestle the instrument away from the other guy first- ha. I guess whatever is best for the tune is how we split it up.

The information printed in the booklet about coma patients and organ transplantation and harvesting is pretty scary. I know you guys have interests in related matters. Is this a recurring theme through out the whole album?
TIM: That was a thing I had put together from a ton of articles about comas and harvesting. I had been reading alot about that stuff which was triggered mainly by the book COMA (Robin Cook) and another bunch of articles about boxing head injuries. To me, the only song on the disc that is related directly to the booklet is “Highwire Act” but some of the others definitely have stuff here and there.

Give us your 10 Essential discs:
TIM: Let’s see… in no order I guess I’d pick:
Swans (Children of God or Holy Money),
Venom (Black Metal),
Radiohead (Ok Computer),
Voivod (Dimension Hatross or Negatron),
Iggy Pop (Raw Power),
Slayer (Reign in Blood),
Arcturus (The Sham Mirrors),
Killing Joke (What’s this for?),
Cop Shoot Cop (Release),
and Emperor (IX Equilibrium).
If I could sneak in an 11th it’d be Black Sabbath (Master of Reality or Mob Rules)

KEVIN:
Whew— top 10 discs? That’s tough, they change around so often. This the top 10 I am listening to right now:
Cradle of Filth- Damnation and a Day
Messugah- Destroy Erase Improve
Bjork- SelmaSongs/Homogenic
SoilWork- Figure Number 5
Tatu- 200km/h in the wrong lane
Deepsky- In silico
Orgy- Vapor Transmission
Darkane- Rusted Angel
Sandra Collins- Tranceport 3
Death Angel- UltraViolence

ERIC:
Top 10?
1 Iron Maiden, Killers
2 Iron Maiden, Number of the beast,
3 Iron Maiden, Piece of mind
4 Black Sabbath, Born again,
5 Savatage
6 Warrior Soul, The cd with “wasteland” (Drugs, God & The New Republic)
7 Deep Purple, Machine head
8 Voivod, Negatron,
9 Voivod, Phobos,
10 Thin Lizzy, Wild one (The Best of)

What are the artists / Bands that have influenced you the most musically?
TIM: No way I can pick just one here! Michael
Gira/SWANS, King/Hanneman/SLAYER, and Piggy/VOIVOD.
The list could go on forever though.

Let’s talk about the music on the CD.
The blasting drums during and after the organ part in the first track, were they sampled and then resequenced or were the recorded live?

KEVIN: The live drums were handled by me. Of course, they were triggered to get that uniform sound. Some stuff on the record was cut up in Pro Tools pretty heavy, and some stuff was left alone as is.

Did you use a different amp on the guitar part after the into on track 2 (Planet Dead)?
TIM: No, I don’t think we did. It’s the same amp
combinations all the way thru on that one.

Was the Viola (!) solo at the end of track 3 (9m movie) improvised or written out?
TIM: Kevin came up with the live layered string part
under the vox and that was somewhat “written out” so
he could just tell Clayton (from Dysrhythmia) what we
wanted there. The viola solo was pretty much Clayton
improvising for a few takes and us kinda telling him a
vibe to go for and then just saying “yeah, that
killed” or “do more of that.” The solo was all his
evil doings.

What sampler / samples are the orchestra ending on track 6?

KEVIN: Main string and keyboard sounds come from combination of these. AKAI 5000 sampler which I still have a pretty extensive library on. And other sounds on the end of that track came from my Motif 6, Nord Lead, MC-505, as well as my old Korg M1.

Was the Venom cover part of the original album or was it Eric’s idea?
TIM: We had done it before we hooked up with
Eric. It kinda worked out strange that he had done the
“In League..” cover on the Voivod “Lives” disc
already. Cool that he was already a VENOM fan though!
Kevin and I are both old school metallers from waaayyy
back, demo trading days/beginning of thrash, and we
wanted to give pay our respects to the might VENOM
and metal that came before and influenced us. Plus
their tune just flat out kills!

What has been the reaction to the Project:Failing
Flesh CD so far? Did you guys submit it to Terrorizer, Metal Forces, etc?

TIM: The majority of feedback has been very positive
so far. Yeah, we sent it out to as many zines as we
could afford to out of pocket and are starting to see
reviews now. Most have been really good. Haven’t seen
any comment about it in alot of the “glossy” type of
mags yet. They seem to not really review too much that
is released independently these days. We’ve been
talking to labels so maybe when it is out under the
label the larger mags will give it a spin.

Do you guys plan on doing another album with Eric
on vocals?

TIM: Yeah, if he’s into it we’d love to work with him
again. His vocals kill and he’s a cool as hell guy.

Do you have any plans for playing the material
live, or is this strictly a studio project?

TIM: At this moment there is no plan to play live but
if stuff worked out where it looked like we could do
some cool shows and we all three were into it I think
the stuff would come across really heavy in a live
setting. We would possibly round out a live line-up
with a couple people though.

Any closing words for all Voivod fans out there?
TIM: Just want to say thanks to anyone who took the
time to check out this interview and hope they will
give the disc a listen. It should be out on a label
real soon but advance copies can be ordered directly
from us. Also, watch for the E-force disc really soon
too. And lastly, big thanks to voivod.net for
his support.

Please don’t forget to visit Project: Failing Flesh’s website to get more info, reviews and to listen to some sample songs.

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