Eerder dit jaar kwam de uit Noorwegen afkomstige band Beaten To Death met de langspeler Agronomicon. Die langspeler plus het predikaat ‘het beste sinds Nasum’ gaf een mooie reden om met de band te spreken. White Room Reviews sprak met de man van de lage tonen in Beaten To Death, Martin Martinussen. Speciaal voor deze grindcore band in een speciale kleur.
WRR: ‘Earlier this year you have released Agronomicon. An awesome record. What is different for this record and the earlier records of Beaten To Death?’
MM: ‘Thanks! Well, I wouldn’t say it’s very different from our previous record (Unplugged), but to my ears it sounds much better than our second album (Dødsfest!), and also much less “metal” than Xes And Strokes. On that first album, we didn’t really know where to go sonically, especially regarding the guitar sound, and so it’s maybe not the most adventurous sounding album (but it’s still my personal favorite of the bunch, hehe).
Dødsfest! is pretty harsh sounding, but a lot more fun and “out there” than the previous one, and then I think we nailed it on Unplugged. It’s fair to say that Agronomicon is a natural continuation of what we sound like on Unplugged, but the songs were written in a much more spontaneous and collective manner – for better or for worse, in my opinion. When it comes to the lyrics, Anders and Tommy put much more time and effort into it this time. Which doesn’t necessarily say a lot, hehe. ‘
WRR: ‘It’s only twenty-two minutes, but what a blast. What was the inspiration for this furious record?‘
MM: ‘Well, the song “Livet tar, og livet tar” (Life taketh, and life taketh) kind of says it all. Of course, being Norwegians living in Oslo, we don’t really have a whole lot to complain about, but even though we are grindcore superheroes, we’re still human. Thinking about the sorry state the world is in, politically and environmentally, is inspirational for sure, but as with previous records, most of the creative juice comes from very small and pathetic “problems” in our own, privileged lives.’
WRR: ‘How is it to be a grindcore band from Norway?‘
MM: ‘I can’t really compare to how it is being a grindcore band from other countries, but I guess you could say we happen to live in a country where there are very few grindcore bands – at least compared to all the trve black metal bands Norway is known for. Really, I can think of maybe only 4 or 5 other bands within the genre. And so, we rarely play for an audience of seasoned grindcore connoisseurs.
When we play live, is seems that those in the crowd who don’t usually listen to metal take a huge liking in what we do, but they may not listen to us at home. In the norwegian metal community, I think we are something of an unwanted child for some, which is totally fine, while others appreciate our slightly bastardized take on grind. Anyway, we’re happy to be able to play for any number of fans, friends, well-wishers and haters at home and abroad. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that being a member of Beaten To Death is one of the few things in life that give me pleasure.‘
WRR: ‘You didn’t use any studio tricks after the recordings. Was it hard to record like that? And do you recommend other bands this way?’
MM: ‘That’s right, no tricks were involved. We record all instruments at the same time, with no overdubs or editing of any kind. Agronomicon was recorded in 7 hours over the course of 3 days, and then Anders and Tommy recorded all the vocals later, and finally Tommy mixed the album. And that’s how all our albums are done. As long as we come prepared (and make sure drummer Christian has enough bananas to keep him energized) it’s pretty smooth sailing. I love how all of our albums sound like what they are; recordings of 4 guys in a room together, having a blast playing songs from start to finish, warts and all. And yes, I would recommend other bands doing it that way, to the extent that is is possible. We’ll absolutely do it on the next album as well.’
WRR: ‘What can we expect from Beaten To Death in the upcoming months?’
MM: ‘I think we’re all eager not to let a lot of time pass between albums in the future. We’ve written somewhere between 12 and 15 songs for the next album, which I hope we’ll find time to record by the end of the year. We’ll see. Life taketh, you know. We also plan on playing shows abroad in 2020, so hit us up if you’re booking a festival or something, we’ll be there!’