We share some minutes talking to enthusiastic Matt Medeiros, a guy with a long experience, as well as his band KALOPSIA, that have released their third album this year, Angelplague, a death metal proposal full of elements that make it everything except simple. Matt is a good guide that introduced as into Kalopsia’s world.
Hello Matt and congratulations for your new album Angelplague. Kalopsia is a band with more than 15 years experience, what has been the hardest and sweetest moment in your career?
Matt: Well, as cliche as it sounds, the release of “Angelplague” is the high point of of our career, for sure. We’re really happy with every aspect of the record, from the production to the artwork, the performances and the songwriting.
The hardest moments were back several years ago where the engine kept stalling. We didn’t have a solid lineup and it made it very difficult to write, so there were huge delays between albums. It was a stressful time. Now music is back to being fun again, even when it’s a lot of work.
You have played along the years with several bands, how has that helped or influenced you in your path as Kalopsia?
Matt: Learning other people’s songs means learning how they think about music, which changes your thinking. That can be really powerful in terms of giving you more tools to work with. On just the practical side, all of us being in different bands allows us to appreciate what we have in Kalopsia, and we work well together to make the band what it is.
Angelplague is your third full-length, how do you feel about it compared with your previous albums?
Matt: Every band always says their new album is their best one, but in this case, I think that’s true. It’s our heaviest sounding record, the performances are top notch, and the songs are sick. We’ve got some bulldozer tracks like “Not Peace But Pestilence” and “Destined to Return”, as well as some more melodic stuff like “Scorched Earth and Blackened Skies”. We obviously learn more with each record we make, so I feel like we learned from all our previous releases and made the strongest album possible.
There are 5 years between Amongst the Ruins and Angelplague, a gap a little large for the usual current terms, any especial reason?
Matt: We released the “Sanguine Epitaph” EP in 2014, so the gap is actually a lot smaller. Otherwise it’s just the side-effects of being a DIY band. It takes time to get release schedules figured out, but we were sitting on final mixes for six months up until that point. The cool thing is, because we don’t have label deadlines, we will only release records when we have a great record. Making the record is the easy part, it’s all the logistics around it that are hard. Also, between Hammer Fight, Ruinous, Tombs and Deteriorot, we’ve all got multiple things going.
The wait has been worth and Angelplague has collected very good reviews. How long have you dedicated to its composition?
Matt: We never really stop writing. Because there’s a lag between finishing a record and that record coming out, we are usually already working on the next thing. So by the time “Sanguine Epitaph” was released, we had already recorded “Christened Upon the Slab”, “As the Serpent Devours” and “Bitter Sacraments”. And yes, we already have four songs finished for the next album.
Kalopsia is usually compared with big bands as Bolt Thrower, Aborted, Deicide, etc… something to feel proud about I suppose?
Matt: Bullseye! Haha. I mean, I’m not an innovator, I’m a craftsman. I like to create the kind of music I like to listen to. I love listening to the new record, and it does really reflect my love of the genre.
Your album Angelplague offers brutality, good death metal and variety too, a lethal combination, Matt
Matt: I think it’s important for a record to be more than a collection of songs. That goes back to when I started getting into bands like Metallica and Slayer. Often in death metal, bands just do one thing. Sometimes it’s cool, but it’s not as interesting for me as a performer and writer. I want to shred sometimes, I want to get melodic, and sometimes I just want to throw down and get ignorant. We do our best to make sure that all those elements are in each release. An album should be more than a random playlist.
Any song in your new album you think is gonna rise hell on stage more than any other?
Matt: “Christened Upon the Slab” is the one that gets people moving. “Scorched Earth and Blackened Skies” is the one that gets people playing air guitar.
Enjoy guaranteed. Your lyrics are gore oriented and that has its reflection in the artwork, I think even more clearly than previous releases
Matt: This album is about sickness, death and religion. I lost some people close to me in the past couple years, so those themes were very much stirring under the surface. “Destined to Return” is about accepting death. “Christened Upon the Slab” is about the people who deal with the practical aspects of death. “Scorched Earth and Blackened Skies” is about how we build things over the course of our lives in defiance of our mortality, but in the end it gets washed away by the sands of time. It’s not a concept album, but these themes are weaved throughout.
Angelplague was released at the end of March, any promo tour around since them?
Matt: Justin is currently on tour with Tombs, so we’ve been local so far, but we’re looking to do more live stuff.
Great. Any band you have shared stage along the years that has especially surprised or motivated you?
Matt: Playing a small club with Suffocation was mind-blowing. I just stood in front of Terrance Hobbs with my jaw on the floor. After I turned to Justin and said “wow, I’m really inspired to go straight to the studio… and throw my guitars in the trash”. I mean, there are some guitarists who are just from another planet. Playing with Internal Bleeding was another one, I mean, they were part of why Kalopsia exists, so hearing “Languish in Despair” live was transcendent.
Awesome! Talking about Death Metal, what scene is stronger right now, US or Europe?
Matt: The metal scene globally is strong as hell right now, which is awesome. Europe and the US are so different that it’s impossible to compare. European festival season is cool, and something we don’t have here in the States. In terms of bands, right now there are so many great bands doing work that it’d be impossible to list them all.
The new Cognitive is awesome there’s new stuff from Abnormality and Dysentery. Horrendous is great. Gorephilia. Artificial Brain. The new Immolation record is fantastic. I mean, the list goes on and on and keeps getting longer. Temple of Void, Heisenberg. Oh and Vomit Remnants is back! And the new Maggot Colony record is incredible. No need to take sides, it’s a great time to be a metal fan!
Have you released any promo video for your new album?
Matt: Not yet, but we have some cool ideas in the works.
What are your plans for the future?
Matt: We will be releasing a remixed and remastered version of “Amongst the Ruins” next year, followed by another full length in 2018. Four songs are already recorded for the album.
Thanks for the cool chat, Matt. Keep going!
Matt: We definitely will! Thanks to you and your readers. Our new album, “Angelplague” is available now from Horror Pain Gore Death Productions http://hpgd.bandcamp.com. Merch, show dates and social media info is on our website at www.kalopsia.org. Cheers!