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EXHUMED, CATTLE DECAPITATION AND IMPALED MEMBERS BUILD A MURDER CONSTRUCT
“I actually started the band about a decade ago,” explains guitarist Leon Del Muerte of the origins of LA deathgrind brotherhood Murder Construct, “after parting ways with Impaled, around November ’01. I went through a goddamn literal ton of other members in the Bay Area, and though it was fun, was having a hard time finding people that were on the same page with what I was writing at the time, which was basic Terrorizer worship. I started talking to Danny [Walker, drums – ex-Intronaut/Phobia/Exhumed] online when he was still in Uphill Battle. Around that time I re-joined Exhumed and we recruited Danny to fill in for Col who had just left the band.
“After that tour, I was given the boot from a band I was playing in (Artificium Sanguis) and decided I didn’t have much reason to stay in the San Francisco bay area. I split to LA where we jammed out some of the early stuff, but soon found myself in Intronaut and Phobia.
“After having my fill of both of those bands,” he continues, “I decided to resurrect this thing. We knew Caleb [Schneider, bass] as ‘that ridiculously nice guy from Bad Acid Trip‘ that we’d see at shows. When the bassist before him bailed out, Danny recruited him. After that, Danny sent the MP3s of the recording (which had been in existence for like a year at this point) to Kevin [Bernier, guitar] who jammed me up at a festival in LA. He came and studied the songs for a few weeks before even picking up a guitar and formally joining.
“Lastly we sent Travis [Ryan, Cattle Decapitation vocalist] the same songs and he responded by sending us back versions with his take on the vocals. We got him into the studio to re-record the vocals and since then it’s been alternating laziness and busyness on our part that’s kept the EP from coming out already.”
It’s the inclusion of Travis Ryan that’s pretty surprising, he’s a busy man and Cattle Decapitation are constantly on the road, earning their bucks on various energy drink branded supertours.
“Yeah, a bit,” admits Leon. “It’s hard to coordinate practices and shows, but when it works out, it comes together well. We usually practice without Travis, unless we have something coming up, but that’s actually only happened once. We did our first, and so far only show, on March 27. It was awesome finally playing the stuff live and the response was great. I printed up a few shirts and we sold almost all of them immediately. I wasn’t expecting that so many people were going to be either a) into it or b) there. The fact that both happened was a pleasant enough surprise. I think at some point it shifted away from being a project band into being an actual band, and we’re trying to work that angle more now. We just have to wait for certain bands’ touring cycles to end,” he finishes with a laugh.
Now the EP’s on the verge of release, sounding absolutely unstoppable in its bile spitting, machinegun depiction of Napalm Death circa-‘From Enslavement To Obliteration’, with lashings of buffeting blackened evil closing it off, Leon is plenty stoked.
“Just got back the final master from [Agoraphobic Nosebleed/Pig Destroyer polymath Scott Hull]. Now it just needs some packaging and it should be out by year’s end, I’d hope.
“I can tell you that it was a rad collaboration of friends! We got John Haddad of Vale to record the drums (he did the first few Intronaut releases), Bennett Erickson of Hurt Model to track all the guitars, bass and original vocals and Sean Vahle of Eat The Living to mix the fucker. All these guys basically did it on their own time or for dirt cheap and the end product sounds amazing,” he enthuses. “Pretty much summed up by saying that we’re eternally indebted to these fine gentlemen.”
This business of dudes who just naturally spend time together collaborating on something awesome is what keeps it from being wankily described as a ‘supergroup’ – something that implies careerists locking lips to colon like a human centipede of bad ideas. That’s a theme that runs throughout.
“I’ve known Travis for probably a decade or so,” he confirms. “When I was in Impaled, we booked Cattle’s first show in the Bay Area, and everyone went apeshit for them. Kevin I’ve known for years, too. He’d show up to shows and give me re-interpretations of my own bands and others that he’d done at home,” he laughs.
“Danny I met around 2002 or so. We talked via IM for a while as he was into Impaled and Exhumed and I was into Uphill Battle. UB finally came up to the Bay Area for a show and we hung out in a photobooth at a bar taking stupid pictures along with Wes Caley.
“Caleb has known the rest of the guys for a lot longer, but I have only known him for a few years at this point. We’d see him at shows all the time and eventually became acquainted. The LA scene is pretty expansive, to say the least. Coming from the Bay Area scene, it’s kinda shockingly large. Up around San Francisco, things are not nearly so healthy.” Adding in conclusion, “It’s not a bad environment to start up yet another downtuned band with a buncha blastbeats.”