Interview with Demonic Resurrection

Being one of the pioneering black/death metal bands out of India (where Bollywood films and music are probably the main entertainment exports), Demonic Resurrection has beaten all odds to become one of the most recognised faces in the Indian extreme metal scene. They have been featured in acclaimed film producer Sam Dunn’s documentary, Global Metal, alongside other prominent bands such as Lamb of God and Sepultura. I had the extreme opportunity to conduct this email interview with Sahil “The Demonstealer”, vocalist and guitarist of the band.


HMT: Give us a brief introduction to the band.

DS: We are a 5 piece Metal band from India, we play what we like to call ‘Demonic Metal’ which is a mix of death/black and power metal. The bands current lineup is Mephisto (Keys), Husain (Bass), Daniel (Lead Guitars), Viru (Drums) and myself – Demonstealer(Vocals Guitars). The band has been around for a decade almost and in that time we’ve gone through a number of lineup changes. We released our debut album Demonstealer (2000) just 9months after forming. A Darkness Descends (2005) was our 2nd effort and saw a complete shift in the bands sound. We also did an EP called Beyond The Darkness (2007). And our most recent release with the new lineup was released on 15th Jan 2010 titled ‘The Return To Darkness’.

What is the metal scene in India like? (E.g. Your brothers of the extreme sub-genres of metal?)
The Indian metal and rock scene are both growing and in India the scene is still very united though with time the rock scene and metal scene will definitely exist as separate entities. However India has many great bands like Kryptos, Exhumation, MyndSnare etc to name a few. We have a good number of festivals like ‘The Great Indian Rock’, ‘Independence Rock’ and ‘Resurrection’. What we majorly lack is good networks and support for bands to tour and release albums on record labels. However things are slowly changing. We had no international metal bands playing here till a few years ago and in the last few years we had Iron Maiden come 3 times, Opeth, Porcupine Tree, Eluvitie, Maelifice, Hammerfall, Megadeth, Machine head among others. So the Indian scene is growing rapidly and I do believe it will be a force to reckon with in a decade.

How does it feel like being one of the most prominent metal bands out of India, with the name Demonic Resurrection coming to mind to most when Indian metal is mentioned?
It definitely feels great because we’ve really worked hard over the last decade to get where we are today. We’ve all made personal sacrifices to play the music we want to with Demonic Resurrection so this makes it all worth it.

India is known more for its Bollywood movies and music rather than its metal scene. What was it that turned the band mates to not only listen to metal, but also write metal music?

I think apart from Norway being famous for Black Metal due to the Church burnings I think most countries are known for things apart from metal except in the metal world 🙂 Having said that I think all of us in the band got exposed to English music through family and friends and eventually fell in love with metal music when we heard it. I guess all of us at some point felt inspired to learn the instrument we play and join a band and at some point everyone joined Demonic Resurrection. One of the things I love about metal music is it inspires you to want to learn guitar or drums or to sing in a band which is probably why we have so many young metal bands.
Let us now talk about your latest album, The Return to Darkness. The first thing that struck me was the shift in vocal styles – more throaty, and definitely more brutal and aggressive. Was it an intentional shift in the way you deliver your vocals or was it a natural progression?
I think that was just a natural progression because for me it’s all about variety and since the album carries forward a story I felt the need for many vocal variations and I knew that I wanted to do something vocally that sounded better and more aggressive than on our previous releases. If you listen to the clean vocals also they are not the same as what you hear on the older albums because that was mostly sung by ‘Pervez Quadir’ a sessions singer and this time I decided to do everything myself and make it good enough to be on the record.
Another thing that I noticed was the reduction of black metal trem-style riffing, but instead, death metal style riffing became more prominent in the new album. There was also definitely much more blast-beats. Was this the intended effect as well?
This is probably more because after the last record I’ve been getting more into death metal and I’m very inspired by bands like Anata, Arsis, Necrophagist, Nile, Behemoth etc and I think that’s showing in my guitar playing and song writing style. Also Viru our new drummer has definitely shaped the sound to a large extent because he was more into bands like Meshuggah, Sikth, Textures etc and some of that influence has definitely come into play even if it’s not in an obvious way. So it’s really this combination of a shift in musical influences and the new members that shaped the new album sound.

It was mentioned that with a new logo for the band, it represents the new direction of the band’s music. How so and what can fans expect from this new direction of Demonic Resurrection?

I think the new album ‘The Return To Darkness’ showcases the bands new sound so once the fans hear the album they’ll know what we are talking about. How this sound translates into the next album is yet to be seen, going by the past we’ve changed our sound with each record but yet keeping intact that distinct ‘Demonic’ sound. We will wait and see how it goes from here.

Demonic Resurrection managed to rope in renowned artist, Xaay, for the album art direction and the design of the new band logo. How did that come about?

We had actually selected a local designer who we were working with and on the sly Mephisto had contacted Xaay to do the artwork and when he replied saying he’ll do it we were pretty excited and it seemed like the most logical thing for us to do. His artwork is fantastic and we felt he would definitely do justice to our music and deliver something great, which he did. 🙂

The lyrical contents of Demonic Resurrection often deal with fantasy. Where do you draw inspiration for lyrics from?

Well thankfully I have a wild imagination, I can come up with a lot of wild stories and ideas which is where most of the albums theme and story has come from. This album basically tells a story and that’s exactly what the lyrics do but in between all this there are my personal experiences and emotions that make up a large part of it, however it’s all cleverly woven into the lyrics. However now that we are done with the darkness trilogy we’ll have to see what I can come up with.
Demonic Resurrection was one of the bands that were featured on Sam Dunn’s documentary on metal, Global Metal. How did it all happen, and how did it feel to be featured along global metal giants such as Sepultura and Lamb of God?
Well Sam’s company wrote to me saying they are shooting this documentary and that Sam wanted to interview me on the phone and that’s where it all started and I got around to organizing a concert for them to film when they came here and it was awesome to be part of the whole thing. I later received a mail saying they wanted to use our track ‘Apocalyptic Dawn’ on the global metal soundtrack and I was like ‘Hell Yeah!’ and then Universal Music Canada got in touch and finally we made it to the soundtrack. It felt great to be alongside such great bands.
Sahil, you are also the owner of Indian metal label, Demonstealer Records. What is it like to manage a record label in a country where the rock and metal scene is small?
It’s one of the hardest things to do and because of the fact that music wasn’t available easily here, downloading has become a trend and once people are used to free stuff it’s very hard to get that mindset to change. Thankfully at least for local bands people think it’s worth spending some money, even if it’s just a loyal few who make it possible to run this label. I released Behemoths ‘Evangelion’ last year and lost a lot of money because people just would rather download the album but I’m still going to keep going for as long as I can. Hopefully change is around the corner.
Any chances of catching Demonic Resurrection in Singapore?
We are constantly working towards booking gigs outside India and touring abroad, so we definitely hope to make it to Singapore sometime in the near future. We’ve already booked performances at Inferno Festival in Norway and Brutal Assault in Czech Republic.
One last question: any parting words for aspiring bands out there?
The only way to make it is by hard work and determination. Ofcourse you need good music to start with but persevere and it will pay off.

Cheers & Stay Demonic!

The Demonstealer
Thank you once again for taking the time off to reply to our questions 🙂 We wish you and Demonic Resurrection all the best for your upcoming endeavours

The Unrelenting Surge of Vengeance

View the pdf version on scribd.com here!

The Return to Darkness is now available. Contact the band on MySpace or Facebook for more information.

©2010 Heavy Metal Tribune | Hong Rui

3 comments

  1. Way To go DR !! http://www.Indianrocket.blogspot.com

  2. Nice Interview & A Cool Website

  3. Thank you for the kind words 🙂 We are glad that you enjoyed the read!

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