The following is a short interview with North Bay-area California-based death/thrash metal band LACERATION‘s guitarist/vocalist Luke Cazares conducted in April/May of 2022, originally intended for a print-only zine project (which has since been cancelled.) These guys were a major inspiration for me last year when they’d released one of the best extreme metal records of 2021 with ‘Demise‘ and I wanted to make sure I touched bases with the folks whom put out what I consider a damned near perfect death metal record. Thanks goes out to the band for the interview opportunity. As always do your best to support the elite death metal underground coming out of the United States today and grab a physical copy from Rotted Life‘s Bandcamp, shop or their many distribution partners worldwide.
G.B. — You all have a long history with this band in terms working towards your current style, what I’d consider the right amount of time to “test” endurance and build character as a crew. I don’t know if a record as good as ‘Demise’ is possible without some kind of life experience behind it. When did it start to feel like you’d really gotten the ball rolling? Or, what prompted the original formation?
L.C. — The right amount of time yeah you can say that! It really felt like it was do able and organic to start to execute the process towards a full length in the beginning of 2018 when Corey and I (Luke) decided to reform the band. Previous lineups and releases all worked out as they were supposed to so to say, we never really thought about doing a full length we just wanted to play as many shows as possible and continue to shape our ever-evolving sound prior to 2018.
How far back would you go in introducing LACERATION’s best self so far? As in the line-up and/or songwriting mode where things seemed to click and you’d been ready for ‘Demise’ to happen.
I would go back to 2009-2010 when we wrote Realms Of The Unconscious, that was a pivotal era for the direction we were heading like we were still into thrash but death metal was becoming a lot more influential to us all, so that seed was planted but lineup changes would impact momentum.
I’d figured you were going for a ‘brutal’ late 80’s thrash more than a pure death metal sound on those first couple of releases. Are you all heavily invested in the legacy of classic thrash, old demo tapes, death/thrash and all that? Had you all intended a death/thrash metal sound to start, or, what’d taken LACERATION’s style into a more pure death metal realm over time?
Yeah of course and we still are heavily into classic thrash but back then we all came up on it so our roots were of that nature when it came to the first iterations of the band, we didn’t know what the fuck we were doing haha, just trying to get better as song writers and musicians while figuring ourselves out so the natural progression of wanting more was visceral. Heavier and faster!
When I’d talked to Rapture about their transformation from album one up to their latest it’d been, partially, an aim for the higher tier of technical brutality found on earlier Suffocation and thereabouts. I’m oversimplifying but… Do you all have a similar shared muse when it comes to the right standard to hit in terms of riffs, brutality, and the right attack for LACERATION?
You could say there’s somewhat of a standard that’s fair, a foundation in which we write from, we try our best to use our influences yet write in our own style/way not ripping anything off or sounding like a song or band we all love.
What were the major hardships leading up to ‘Demise’? Had you guys officially split in 2018? What’d been the catalyst for reformation and making your debut happen? Was I in the right ballpark thinking it was a matter of you all finding the right drummer?
We split in 2012 and reformed in 2018. Yes, finding a drummer was next to impossible. We didn’t have a pool up here in the Northern Bay Area of sick drummers playing the kind of death metal we were after. Long story short, we found someone in 2018 we wrote the album recorded it with him in 2020, he quit out of the blue, album was scraped. Found Faustino that same month got him up to speed, re-recorded the whole thing late 2020 and it ended up being 10 times sicker sounding!
Death metal is meant to be played live and it is inarguably the missing dimension (atmosphere, enthusiasm, performance) for a lot of listeners whom skim through digital music like a bad meal these days, so, I’m glad you guys are out there touring and playing shows after a long interruption. How important is it to the band to play shows and get out there in that sense? Was forming a band always more about performing your songs live or, is it just a way of showing you are serious about your work, and can pull it off professionally?
Playing live was always half of the main goal for us, first and foremost create sick music and crush it live.
How important is it to LACERATION that your record and live sets line up in terms of experience? I haven’t caught you all yet but you’re always fully on and sounding sharp on live clips/recordings.
Extraordinary important, we wanted to be sure that our record sounded organic and as raw as possible while maintaining an overall brutal sound. Playing live should sound similar. Nothing worse than bands that overproduce and fix every little human error on a record then shit the bed live.
I believe you’d posted at least one clip of a new song this year. What is next for LACERATION? More shows? Any new songs or recordings coming together?
Yes, more shows! We decided to showcase a new one at the beginning of 2022 for the Noxious Ruin Magazine Vol.5 while we are currently writing the next record…
What is the best way that fans can support LACERATION? Do you have future tours/festivals for the record planned this year? Where can folks pick up merch and all that?
No tours but we’ve got some sick shows lined up.
Bandcamp: @ Lacerationbayarea.bandcamp.com
Email: @ Laceration09@gmail.com
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