Minnesota is home to so many different styles of metal. No matter what you are looking for, you are bound to find it in at least the Twin Cities area, if not all over the state. The Twin Cities Metal Scene is also quite known for its musicians getting together and creating new groups to showcase their other styles; which is what happened here with Coffin Rites. With the brand new sophomore album Human Erase is coming out on September 10th through FTWNU2 Records; the former Coffinrot have really dialed in their senses of Death Metal, Thrash Metal and Grindcore to create a melodic and devistating album that suckers you in and will not let up till the very in. I recently had the opportunity to ask vocalist Drew Blood (also of the bands Witchden and Brain Bleed) a few questions about their new album, returning to the stage and what is coming up next. Following the interview I will also be linking their bandcamp page so go make sure to check them out after reading up on this killer MN metal band. ENJOY!
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. For those that are not familiar, how did Coffin Rites come together?
Oddly enough, I actually found myself in the Coffin Rites orbit somewhat unexpectedly after responding to a Facebook ad on a whim about an unknown new group seeking a vocalist. At that time I really didn't even know Will... but my own band Exophage was in the process of dissolving and his reputation spoke for itself, so I made the decision to reach out. It could have actually been a nonstarter because at that time they were working with the talented Eric Keyes of Aetheric. Luckily for me though after a while Eric ended up deciding the project just wasn't the right fit and everything lined up perfectly for me to try out. After that and a few jams, they hired me on and the rest was history.
The New Album, Human Erase is coming out on September 10th through FTWNU2 Records. How does it feel getting the new album out in just a few weeks?
I'd have to say we're all probably feeling a profound sense of relief right now. We've had an inordinant amount of time to work on these songs and it shows in the compositions... that being said, it's been A LOT of build up. Getting all our ducks in a row for release, working everything out with our new Label partner FTWNU2, training our new guitarist Taylor Haagenson and attempting to plan dates this year under the current uncertainty has not been without difficulty. That being said we absolutely cannot wait to bring you these new songs and I know we're more than ready to see everyone at Mortimer's for the record release.
How did the writing process begin for Human Erase?
The very first song we wrote for Human Erase is the first one featured on the album- Buried in Blood. Erik Zidek (our former lead guitarist) set a much higher creative standard with that one and it really pushed us all. Moving forward after that I think we all just kind of took it as a challenge to try and write the most difficult music we could to push the envelope on what we can do as musicians.
One thing that immediately stuck out to me is that the production has a great mix between raw and clean, making all the songs stand out. Was this production the intended style or did that come in time?
As Will has gotten better and better all the time at engineering for 14:59, our sound has gotten bigger and better... especially for the new album. At the same time I also wanted to bring some new fans to the table who skew more towards that raw old school approach in recording. In order to achieve this Will and I decided it would be wise to bring Adam Tucker into the fold to record vocals. The thick chunky natural sound at Signature tone worked perfectly to balance the crisper guitar tones and drums and I think it works as a counterpoint.
I’ve also noticed that Human Erase has a lot more dynamics and versatility than the band’s previous album; adding a few more elements of acoustic guitar interludes, punk beats, and changing tempos. Was this also something that came naturally over time?
Really I believe this is the album we've always wanted to write in terms of dynamic ebb and flow... it just took some time to find our groove. We all come from radically different musical backrounds so it's been a lot of give and take to ensure everyone's voice is heard. That also is the thing that gives us such a wide and varied bag of tricks to draw from, so in that way I think it's ultimately turned out to be an asset.
The artwork for Human Erase is stellar. How did the concept for the cover come together?
That was all Justin. He's continually coming up with killer art at Gnarwhal Designs so we really didn't need to do much in terms of input on the concept. Will just saw something he had for sale online and we had to have it!
Along with the new album, you released a blistering covera of Dead Kennedys, Sepultura, and Kreator over the past year and change. Where did the ideas come from to cover these songs?
We try and make a statement with any cover we do beyond just promotion for the band. It's been a series of tumultuous events and no one has been unaffected, so with that in mind we've wanted to try and choose songs that to our thinking accurately reflect the times we're living in.
How does it feel playing shows again?
Totally indescribable! I know that myself and others I've spoken to from the community had wondered if our abilities might atrophy in all this downtime... I'm happy to say though that things felt more natural than ever. It's been a long year and a half polishing and I'm excited to share it with you all.
With shows starting to pop up again, where do you see the Twin Cities Metal scene going when we are finally post-pandemic?
I hope to a more ethical and united place. With the revelations over the last year about various misconduct and predatory behavior within the scene Coffin Rites is more committed than ever toward pushing for a safer more equitable community for all.
What should fans be looking forward to after the release of Human Rites?
Next thing coming down the pipeline will be some Taylor songs! Near the end of the album our former guitarist Erik Zidek moved to pursue new job opportunities out of state. The left us with the new to find a new player who ended up being Taylor. He does play some of the solos and instrumentals on the album because we wanted to get him in on it but we're looking forward to writing our first song together. You can look forward to that once things start to cool off a little, maybe we'll even post a sneak peek.
Once again thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview. I and many others reading this interview will be looking forward to the release of Human Erase on September 10th. Before we are done is there anything else you would like to mention that I haven’t brought up yet?
Stay tuned for a big show announcement soon! Thanks Josh!
COFFIN RITES BANDCAMP: coffinrites.bandcamp.com/album/human-erase