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Neuraxis - Smoking with Ian Campbell
[b][i]Metalrage reporter Mat-Core found it necessary to engage a conversation with Ian Campbell from Neuraxis, a technical Death metal band from Canada. Arrangements were made and on a rainy Friday evening the interview was taken, talking about Canada, music, and of course, weed. We plundered the fridge of the Baroeg for a lot of water, and prepared some quality joints for during the interview and started.[/b][/i] [img]https://upload.metalrage.com/PIX_Ian_bio.jpg[/img] [b]M: Who are Neuraxis, and howíve you come together?[/b] I: To explain it pretty quick, we originated in 1994 but the only ones left from that time are the bass player and one of the guitar players. In 1997 they recorded the debut album Imagery, which was engineered by Jean-Francois Dagenais (Kataklysm, Mat-Core), I wasnít in the band yet because I joined the band in 1999. Anyways, this band was settled in Montreal, but Iím from really up north Quebec, so it was quite funny to hook up with these guys, but here we are. In 2001 we recorded a mini album called A Passage Into Forlorn and this year we recorded Truth Beyond, on Morbid Records ( actually this record was released in 2002 in Canada, and in 2003 in Europe and Asia, Mat-Core) We tour in Quebec, and a bit in the Western Provinces like Montreal and things like that, you know? We also toured in the U.S. with Cephalic Carnage in 2001. [b]M: Sorry I missed one thing, why did you join the band?[/b] I: I joined the band in 1999 because the vocalist was likeÖ.. (Coughs heavily after smoking) quitted the band 2 days before a show. I already knew the lyrics for the songs so I just got up on stage for one show, and after that show there was another show scheduled and then I decided to stay. [b]M: Next question then, could you tell us a little bit about the recordings youíve made, and why have you decided to make such music?[/b] I: Owh boyÖ I think that the reason for making this sort of Death metal is because all our band members are listening to all kinds of music, not just metal and certainly my English is giving me a headache now. Ehmm, okayÖ Well, weíre all metal fans for many years and thatís where weíve been living for. Well, in the province of Quebec all bands are kind of technical and progressive. Albums from bands like Gorguts for instance and Cryptopsy on the other side, they all created a place. If you want to impress people in the province of Quebec, you just have to take up that high standard. People like technical high powered bands, I think there are very progressive, extreme, fast and technical bands in Quebec. The songs we recorded are that fast, we recorded the songs, and then spend weeks and weeks and weeks for it doing it. It isnít just going up on stage and play. Youíll encounter a lot of problems, but everything can be worked out. And uhmmÖ Damn, gheghe. Letís go back to the recordings, I think you have me cornered (The joint was passed again, Mat-Core) The recordings for Truth Beyond were very separated, as we recorded the drums in March, the guitars in July and the vocals in September and finally the record was brought out in Canada in 2002 and now we are talking with our label about the U.S and the rest of the world. [b]M: A little question about the tour with Hellblazer and Birdflesh, how is that been going?[/b] I: When we were in Canada, we didnít know how this was going to pack out and thought that it would be a really small tour, we thought only 10 or 20 people would show up, because we are really unknown and Birdflesh is a really thriving underground band. We didnít expect anything but the worst of the best. But there were many people, it varied between 60 and 200 so that was quite cool, so for us it was likeÖ good crowds. And everybody in Hellblazer and Birdflesh are really cool and smart guys, nobody has like those aching problems or is hard to deal with, everybody smoking every time, making fun of all the others. You know, nothing is really serious on this tour. Yeah, except the Tourmanager, and the driver of course, but everyone else is in the party. Itís a partytour. [b]M: Okay, now for a couple of questions about the Truth Beyond record, well I havenít heard it[/b] I: Really, ghegheghe [b]M: I tried to pick up a copy, but it was impossible for the record shop to import it or something like that, Iíll try the web or something when I get back home. I have the Passage Into Forlorn record though[/b] I: You do?!, great gheghe [b]M: Uhhu, gheghe, anyways back to the questions. Could you tell us a little bit about the new record and explain the title?[/b] I: uchhh, ehrmm, Not an easy question. Truth Beyond was composed because in a same way as A Passage Into Forlorn, which was really toÖ. Owh I canít say that in EnglishÖ. To show people we are right this, and doing this kind of music so we need this kind of sound. It was to prepare for Truth Beyond [b]M: So you mean to say that A Passage Into Forlorn was a stepping stone to Truth Beyond?[/b] I: Yes, because Imagery was more different because it wasnít the same bandlike the same music, but in a more simplistic way. Itís still brutal and stuff, but you know.. But A Passage Into Forlorn was to prepare people for Truth Beyond and to prepare ourselves also. Truth Beyond isÖ well take A Passage Into Forlorn multiply it by 2 for everything. More melody, more brutality, more blast beats, more technical, more vocals, more everything, more soloís, more riffs bla bla bla bla. Everything is different. So, this is a natural improvement by us, because we are from Quebec and are doing our metal. The way we compose our metal is not imminent for anybody. [b]M: So itís just the natural development of a band right?[/b] I: Yeah, sort of thing. Kataklysm, Goreguts and Cryptopsy, we all listen to these bands, itís not because they are from our hometown but because they compose great metal. Look, we all know these guys, friends, because everything is really small over there, but there are still a lot of people coming to the shows, but there arenít a lot of bands to view. But itís also like that in Montreal. Hey uhmmÖ uhhh. Well do you know what I still have to tell you? [b]M: About the name of the record?[/b] I: Uhh yesÖ.. We forget, gheghe [b]M: Ehh he, yeah. Heheh[/b] I: So we discover usually, Truth BeyondÖ.. Okay, well you got the cd and youíll notice that the last song on Truth Beyond is called Truth Beyond Recognition, that it comes after the point you see. If you take the first song of the album youíll see that itís called Ö.Of Divinity. If you paste the first after the last, youíll see the sentence Truth beyond recognition of divinity. So you might say that, if you read the lyrics, that it speaks of a virtual quest, not taking religion or enlightment or whatever though, but the cycle of humanity, you know, all souls in human body react to the material world. In your material world, you stand. In the lyrics youíll find that you might want to discover your true nature and that you are not only human, but more spiritual than any higher being. Itís also for far in evolutionÖ [b]M: Itís hard to explain right?[/b] I: Yeah, because I read a lot of books also religion is in them and everything is coming from those books and youíll find them back in the lyrics. On the website you have a section with lyrics and an explaining of them. Itís a real clear explanation and there youíll want to look then if you want to know exactly were the lyrics stand forÖ. And this is Jorg from Hellblazer.. [i]Jorg: Hello I: Weíre going to hear your voice on the tape, say hello toÖ Uhmm, Matko? M: Yeah, I: Matko from Metalrage.com.. This is Jorg, from Hellblazer M: Hello, Jorg: Ello, I: Youíre not afraid of gay people I hope? LaughterÖ. Jorg: Well, I just come here for a beer![/i] I: Okay, well uhmm, letís continue. [b]M: Is this the first time you guys cross the ocean and if so, how do you like it?[/b] I: Yeah, first cross what?? [b]M: The ocean.[/b] I: Yeah, but well, every band that takes a plane to do a show in Europe will really enjoy it especially when itís the first time. I donít know if Cannibal Corpse enjoy every show theyíre doing in a year, because there are 200 shows in a year after 10 years about 2000 shows, itís much really! We are still a small band, and this is our greatest tour so far, we did one tour with Cephalic Carnage in the U.S. but because Cephalic Carnage was headlining, we expected a lot of people showing up. Not like some Deep Purple, who do 6 or 7 tours in a year, in the U.S., Thatís a lot! Living in a tourbus, itís hard living. But about this tour I like it because we are the headliner. Bands like Hellblazer and Birdflesh are also like that, however Hellblazer is from Germany, you know, touring here in Europe is really important to us. [b]M: Okay, who produced your album and howíve you come by the choice?[/b] I: Well, heís a friend of ours, his name is a French name, that name is Yannick St-Amand, but you probably have to look on the website to spell it correctly. He plays in a band, Despised Icon but is from the same area as we are, he is from really up north Quebec and his band, itís a primitive grindcore band this guy also records bands and things like that, for instance, he worked Gorguts and also with Kataklysmís new album. He recorded several bands in the Quebec province.. Ehmm, do you know Gorguts? [b]M: Yeah, from name and of the Considered Death album, through Roadrunner Records in 1991, but further not[/b] I: So in the end there were 2 guys who were skilled for the production, but we choose for Yannick because he gave us that powerful sound that we wanted to have, you know, he is that kind of guy that works until its good and doesnít take it easy. Everything must be perfect and in good order. [b]M: Okay[/b] I: Good. [b]M: A little talk about the future, are there plans for a following album, and what style can we expect?[/b] I: Well, we have nothing planned, maybe a couple of trips uhmm.. ( someone entered the room, Mat-Core) Ehmm, What was the question? Ghegheghe [b]M: About the futureÖ[/b] I: Owh yes hehe, sorry, Well, weíre going to do some trips, but we are still promoting for Truth Beyond and when we are busy with the rehearsals we have new riffs, that come to our heads. Well, with Neuraxis we donít have any big plans yet. We do have goals though, and hope to bring inspiration back to our homes after this tour. We will be going back to the rehearsal room, smoke a lot of weed and then the riffs will be coming. We are working on it though, but it is a bit difficult now because our real drummer is not with us, itís a session drummer now, because our real drummer is having a tendon injury, but he is with us on tour now. We cannot really do anything new because the session drummer is not with us in the band. So far I can say that we are now only working on Truth Beyond and on the songs from that record. [img]https://upload.metalrage.com/neuraxisSummer2003_002.jpg[/img] [b]M: My next question is about gigs. What do you prefer to play for? Huge crowds at mayor festivals or like this in the Baroeg, tiny room, little crowds?[/b] I: I can say I like both, but you know, we donít play that many big shows, except perhaps in Montreal, because the scene over there is quite big and when you have a show there, there are usually 5 bands. If we play, there are usually 2 similar bands like Neuraxis and 2 new bands or something like that. Okay, imagine this then. 5 bands from Montreal, 2300 people so thatís a lot of people, and that for a local bands show. So in Montreal itís always the big shows, but outside we are doing shows like this here you know. [b]M: Okay then, how do you like the joint?[/b] I: Coughs, Iím through man, the tobacco in it hurts my throat, we use no tobacco in a joint. [b]M: Okay, Iíll try that later then and I believe those guys from Hellblazer are getting ready to play[/b] I: Yeah shall we continue later then? Have you seen this band before? [b]M: Okay, let's continue this later then and no I haven't seen Hellblazer before, but I'm eager to.[/b] [i]After watching both the shows of Hellblazer and Neuraxis I continued the little chit chat.[/i] I: I really enjoyed playing in AmsterdamÖ. Owh Rotterdam sorry gheghe [b]M: About the metalscene there in Canada. Are you loners on that territory of death metal or not?[/b] I: Okay, I donít want to talk about this to my partners, but all of the scene is based in Montreal. About 80 people who are all friends and playing music and exchanging music. Bands like Kataklysm, Quo Vadis and a lot of local underground bands, they are all from Montreal. So the scene is basically concentrated in one spot, in Canada itís all in the western part, itís real underground, ehmm, what was the whole question again? [b]M: If you are loners on your territory?[/b] I: Owh, there are always a lot of people showing up at our shows [b]M: That was not the question, gheghe, it was about if you are the only ones making such music, but you already explained that it wasnít just you standing there.[/b] I: Owhhhh, well, almost every band in Quebec plays progressive kind of music so we are not alone indeed. Although itís rare to find bands that are completely the same. We all play metal, but itís funny to know that many people who play metal in Quebec, are actually not metal heads. They play metal, but do not listen to it in a daily base. [b]M: Have you encountered funny things or problems while doing shows?[/b] I: Yeah, well, every day man gheghe, but you know everybody on this tour drinks a lot, you know, rum and beer. So itís logical there will be funny things at shows gheghe. Those guys from Hellblazer are drinking, drinking, drinking and then finally just pass out with their heads on the table gheghe. So everybody was laughing, and we had a big sticker, a big ten, we had some fun with that, and recorded everything on film gheghe. Also the driver, he knows many things and stuff, and we make fun of him gheghe. He has a dog, a big bull-dog, who has itís own passport with photo and everything. But to tell you, itís more like inside jokes and stuff like that we have on this tour, nothing really big. We just laugh, because we have some nutty people with us on the tour gheghe. But you have to be on the tour to understand every joke but itís always stupid! [b]M: Final question I guess, are you guys planning to come back to The Netherlands some time?[/b] I: I donít know when, but Iím sure weíll be back because Morbid Records wants us to tour as much as possible, (CoughsÖ.) And to smoke much of this gheghe. So maybe one time a year, weíll be able to come to Europe and also to The Netherlands, especially Rotterdam to play in your little country, and sit in a coffee shop and enjoying this good time we are having here in fucking Holland you know. This is a real metal country, truly metalÖ and uhmm very good. [b]M: Thanks for the interview and the smoke man, and Iíll probably will see you again when you decide to come back to our little country![/b] I: Your welcome man, and thanks for the weed [b]M: No thanks[/b]