MPM: Hello D, pleasure to have you on Metal Purgatory Media. How are you doing today and for those unaware of who you are could you introduce yourself and what you contribute to the band?
D: All is well here. I’m vocalist, guitarist and songwriter.
MPM: Your band was formed in 2003 from Melbourne, Victoria Australia and Australia has an amazing selection of mainstream and underground artists ranging from AC/DC, Gospel Of The Horns, Portal, Impetuous Ritual, Disentomb, Nocturnal Graves, Thy Art Is Murder and many more. What’s the scene like in Australia compared to other countries say Canada, United States, Central America and others?
D: Speaking of the underground, there are plenty well known Aussie bands going back to the 80s with classics like Hobbs Angel of Death, Slaughter Lord, Sadistik Exekution. I think the reputation of the scene here is quite strong overseas, whenever I have travelled abroad headbangers always want to talk about Australian bands. Generally speaking those bands of the past developed their own take on the classic thrash and death metal sounds, so at times you can hear an Australian band and they have a distinct feel and sound. These days I think there are more bands than there has ever been but the quality has surely diluted. It’s hard to say how it compares to other scenes, I guess there is good and bad.
MPM: Your latest studio offering of Forever Burning was released this past June and is the fourth record into the band’s career. Would you say this album is a new evolution into the band’s career and how the songwriting process all started?
D: It’s another chapter for sure, and with each record we try to give it its own character and sound rather than making the same album over and over again. I see no point in that. Forever Burning is probably the most old school record we have done. It has a stripped back, to the point and in your face approach.The writing process starts with an idea, usually on guitar, and then develops from there.
MPM: Agonia Records handled the release of Forever Burning. How’s the relationship been between the band and Agonia and how they find you guys?
D: Forever Burning is the first album we have released with Agonia. They were well aware of us prior to signing and so far things appear to be tracking along well.
MPM: Your lyrics reflects many different themes ranging from death, hate, barbarism and satanism. Would you say this is a conceptual album portraying a narrative or is this its own separate entity?
D: As I mentioned each album is a chapter in a greater body of work, but contains its own ideas and energy that are a reflection of where we were at during the time of its creation. Therefore there are consistent themes throughout the albums, a foundation that the band is built upon that will always be prevalent but each record is its own beast at the same time.
Forever Burning is about the inner spark that resides deep within the individual, a black flame that one can feed as it becomes a gateway to liberation – mentally, physically, spiritually. It reflects the path we take as individuals and the path of this band. It ties in with the band name with fire being a consistent theme in our music.
MPM: You also do guitars and do vocal work on all Denouncement Pyre albums. Who inspired you to become a musician and who would you say paved the way to get you exposed into hearing different subgenres of extreme metal?
D: Its hard to pin point a single influence who inspired me to become a musician but from an early age I was exposed to music regularly by my Father firstly who has always been heavily into music, including rock and heavy metal. I have older brothers also who picked up instruments from an early age so we were always surrounded by music. I started playing guitar around the age of 10 and haven’t stopped since. Creativity flows through my veins, there is simply no other option but to create.
MPM: Which tracks off on Forever Burning would you say is your favorite in terms of production, lyrical content and the message behind the songs?
D: The first single from the album ‘Hung Like Swine’ is the perfect introduction to what this record is about. ‘Burn This World And Start Again’ seems to summarise the album well also, as does the title track of course.
MPM: You worked with Mitchell Nolte to do the artwork for Forever Burning and he’s also done other bands from Aborted, Baest, The Bishop Of Bexhen and others to name a few. How did you guys get in contact with him?
D: We approached Mitchell as we were aware of his previous works, which are really killer. He was familiar with us also and was keen to collaborate. The end result well surpassed our expectations. I think it’s the best artwork we have had so far.
MPM: What’s your current stance on the underground music scene with bands wanting to recreate and find their way to become successful in the foreseeable future?
D: It depends what you consider to be successful. Success is measured in proportion to the goals that are set. The idea of success in the music industry on a greater scale means nothing to me. That we stay true to our ideas and in control of our music and art is what is important to me.
MPM: On the album Forever Burning I hear heavy influences from Watain, Necrophobic, and Lvcifyre which not only are amazing bands but I love how deep, dark and cataclysmic this album is. What would you say was your personal favorite Denouncement Pyre album not just from a musical standpoint but also your most proudest you’ve created?
D: I don’t have a favourite album, they all represent something different to me and reflect the times they were created in. Having been the main songwriter for all of our albums it’s hard to be objective because I am so involved in the process from inception to completion. I can appreciate something in all of them. There are also things that stick out that I would have done differently in hindsight, it’s hard to escape the flaws as well that are probably more noticeable to us than anyone else. I think each album has improved in terms of arrangements and songwriting. We try to stick with the principle of each album being catchy and memorable as a foundation, but also unpredictable in the sense that we are free to explore new ideas and approach things differently each time. You work out a formula and then you break that formula, or at least push its boundaries. That is what creativity is all about.
MPM: When not making music, what are some interests you like to do on your spare time when not being in the studio or perform live music that fans of you may not know about?
D: Outside of music I spend time hiking, strength training, hanging out with mates, watching combat sports. I read a lot and like to watch documentaries, usually based around ancient mysteries, esoteric teachings, crime.
MPM: Are there any 2022 albums you would recommend to anyone that wants to find something new to hear?
D: The new Negative Plane is worth a listen. I also liked the most recent Deathspell Omega and Funeral Mist albums. Both bands are still going strong and producing interesting ideas.
MPM: Before we wrap up this interview, I like to thank you for taking the time doing this and I hope bigger and brighter things come your way for Denouncement Pyre and other projects you’re associated with. Are there any last words you like to add terms of upcoming tours, promotion and other news for fans staying in the loop?
D: We’ve just announced our first show in Adelaide in 10 years, in April ‘23 as part of the New Dead Festival. We have some others in the works too, more will be revealed soon. Other than that, we are working on some new ideas that will eventually become the next album. Interview by Jake Butler