Memoriam is back in just under a year with their Sophomore album, The Silent Vigil, coming out March 23rd through Nuclear Blast. With the debut album being filled with loving nods to Bolt Thrower, The Silent Vigil is filled with anger, heartache, and a realistic look at the state of the world. I had the opportunity to ask bassist, Frank Healy a few questions about everything going on with Memoriam in 2018. I hope you enjoy it!
Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview! The sophomore album from Memoriam, The Silent Vigil, is coming out March 23rd through Nuclear Blast. How does it feel to have this album come out, almost a year to the day after the debut album, For The Fallen?
Well it's what we set out to do and what's happened! We come from an era when our favourite bands used to knock out an album a year in the 80's, early 90's and we decided we would do the same. Instead of working and reworking a song over and over again which I think can sometimes dilute a song we just write one and move on leaving it in its raw state so what you hear now is more or less as we wrote it. It's great that we've done what we set out to do in this respect because we already have a backlog of songs for the next album so need to get on with it.
How did the songwriting process begin for The Silent Vigil?
As always our guitarist Scott comes up with the main bones of a track and puts it in Dropbox for us to listen to and say yes or no. Then we just jam and pool in our ideas,tempo changes,middle sections etc and that's it,Karl usually gets a feel for the song and then by the following week usually has the lyrics done and off we go onto the next track !. We have always worked fast and it suits us to just stumble on keep banging tracks out fast and furious.
How did you approach your playing for The Silent Vigil?
Well once we have the track in a semi ﬁnished state I tend to harmonize Scott's riffs/notes to fill a song out a bit more,sometimes I just go off on a mad one and play a completely different undercurrent riff to keep it interesting. As a four piece with only one guitar you need to ﬁll out songs more and give them more flesh in a live situation.
I’ve noticed that the emotions changed almost drastically between For The Fallen and The Last Vigil. Where the former was more focus on loss and sadness, the latter features a lot more anger both musically and lyrically. Was this intentional or did that happen naturally?
Yes it was intentional in the end,the ﬁrst song we wrote after the "For The Fallen" album was "Nothing Remains" which again was taken from a personal angle by Karl whose mother is in the advanced stages of Dementia. The frustration,helplessness and anger manifested itself in his lyrics to that track and that in turn has spilled over onto most of the other tracks on The Silent Vigil". As for the music? It's just a development from album one in my eyes, we've worked together for a while now and are a lot more comfortable trying out new approaches and styles to our songs. Being in the middle of it all I'm not really able to be objective about it. Maybe when the album has been out for a while I can look back on it and see the changes in our music.its a bit too fresh at the moment though to be able to do that.
Bleed The Same was chosen as the first single to promote the new album. How was it decided that this would be the first song to represent the album?
Bleed The Same was chosen mainly because of its message in the lyrics. I'm sure the lyrics are clear enough for you to hear and understand why we chose it !. Secondly, we like to release a slow song first, ease the listener in so to speak before the riffing onslaught of the rest of the album. We did the same with "Reduced To Zero" from "For The Fallen" when that was released. Give everyone's ears a chance before pummeling them !
The video for Bleed The Same is something I truly appreciate being represented visually. Though there has been a lot of praise and backlash for said video. How do you personally feel about the reactions to the video?
As long as it generates a response then lyrically the song is doing its job. I am personally happy that it has caused debate from left and right. Anything that can provoke a reaction good or bad is a good thing to me. Things like this should be talked,debated and argued over, if it's getting people to think about it and discuss more then our work is done.
With that said, how do you feel about the state of the world in 2018? Is there any way you can see things becoming more civil in the future?
I personally feel that certain countries are being led by clueless fucking lunatics at the moment. In the U.K we have Theresa May backtracking and changing everything her government promised with Brexit and making a complete clusterfuck of the whole situation without even trying too hard, then you have Donald Duck the American president tweeting like a child who has had his lollipop knocked out of his hand. That man has his ﬁnger on the red button and he really cannot deal with the reality of his position. Something has to give soon,we cannot leave people with the mental capacity of a boiled egg in control of millions of sane people can we ?. Saying that , I am optimistic about sense eventually coming through, just not yet though!
Coming up this month, there will be some UK shows in promotion of the new album. How does it feel to be able to play some shows in promotion of the new album?
We don't really think about it too be honest, some of the songs on the new album we have been playing in our live shows for over 6 months. It will be good to try a few more out in a live situation though as we tend to get bored quite quickly as a band so need to be playing something new all the time. It's good to have two albums worth of songs now so we don't have to rely on cover songs to ﬁll our live set up!
What should people expect from a Memoriam live show?
Don't expect anything then you cannot be disappointed!. It's just going to be more of the same. I suppose the noticeable thing about one of our shows is the audience can see that we are genuinely enjoying ourselves on stage together, that rubs off on the audience which in turn we feed off. Everybody's happy with that situation!. We are just going to plod around various countries like we usually do, getting into trouble, getting drunk and playing metal!
Was there any albums you enjoyed that came out in 2017?
G.B.H "momentum" album. Class people,class band,class album
Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to me about everything going on in the world of Memoriam. As a huge fan of the band, it was awesome to be able to get more insight into the band and be able to help promote The Silent Vigil coming out March 23rd through Nuclear Blast. Before we are done is there anything else you would like to mention that I hadn’t brought up yet?
Cheers,see you all at a show hopefully.
Memoriam- The Silent Vigil available March 23rd through Nuclear Blast