Earlier I was fortunate enough to sit down with Marlow and Lowell from Xul. The re-release of their critically acclaimed debut Malignance is right around the corner and on the tail of their EP Extinction Necromance released this year they will be releasing their second full length next year in 2016. Without further delay, I present the interview with Marlow Deiter and Lowell Winters.
Your debut in 2012 has gotten some pretty high praise and has been critically acclaimed. Did you ever think that you guys would make something that has had such high praises among the music/metal world?
No It’s kind of surprising. We started out just having fun making music that we all wanted to listen to. Now we’ve been doing it for 7 years and we just keep working at it because it’s all we really want to do and we’re starting to get some attention for it.
With your second full length coming out next year, was there ever any pressure to try to top the success of your debut, or out do yourselves this time around?
It’s hard to say. We don’t necessarily want to out do ourselves musically because the songs on Malignance will always be what they are and someone might like those songs more than anything else we release afterwards and that’s totally okay but we want to write songs that allow us to grow as a band and as individuals. We have all improved at our instruments since the recording of Malignance and with that, our ability to write songs that resonate with us.
There are a lot of different components and elements that you add into your music such as: black metal, death metal, you’re technical and you add some atmospheric bits as well. Who are some of your influences musically to create such a diverse sound?
Oh man there are just so many. Haha.
Obviously Behemoth and Dissection. Those ones are brought up all the time. But to elaborate a bit further, Emperor, Death (we’re listening to Scream Bloody Gore right now), Enslaved, Decapitated, Wintersun, Satyricon, Darkthrone, Abigail Williams, Ghoul, At the Gates, Obscura and more recently bands like Beyond Creation, Der Weg Einer Freiheit, Carach Angren…we could keep going but you get the idea that we have a fairly wide variety of bands that inspire us musically.
All very excellent bands! Can you tell me a little bit about the song writing and recording process?
Well its changed a bit over the years but typically Bill and Wallace will come up with a few riffs to throw together, they’ll show the rest of us and then we toss some ideas around. Then Bill and Wallace will make a rough recording of just the guitar tracks that the rest of us can write and practice to. Then the song will change a hundred times until it’s just right Haha. Actually we feel like were getting better at composing and that it’s become less tedious. We usually have the songs pretty much stage ready by the time we go to record. Very few changes are made during the recording process.
What would you say the biggest obstacles for you would be during the writing and recording process?
Having a day job Haha. Writing has never really been a problem for us, that’s the fun part.
As far as recording goes it has been difficult at times to get our vision across.
Having a day job certainly is a big draw back, I suffer from that as well haha.With all of the different elements that you guys do add into your music, is it difficult at times to strike a balance and find that perfect cohesive mix?
Yeah but sometimes you don’t realize that until afterwards and sometimes songs don’t make the cut. We’ve never been scared to step out of our comfort zone or even the comfort zone of our fans. We like to explore new pathways and sometimes the path isn’t pleasant but it’s another path that we’ve walked. Venomous Inquisition is a song that originally didn’t make the cut for Malignance but now its our most recent recording as a bonus track on the rerelease so you never know what to expect when you write a song.
You guys have been active for a while now-seven years as you mentioned-did you ever think that you would become somewhat of a household name in metal?
Not really but it wasn’t totally out of our scope of thinking. We’re in a band that wants to play live in front of crowds of people. We’re working towards touring the world playing metal music.
Do people ever stop you guys on the street and say “Hey it’s the guys from Xul” and ask for autographs or any of that fun business?
Ha no street autographs no. Maybe the odd one at a show. We live in a pretty small town so we pretty much know all the metalheads around.
I just have three standard questions left. The first being: Which of your band shirts is your most coveted?
People really like the Extinction Necromance T-shirts at the moment but there are probably just as many people walking around with our old shirts that had the leprous sorcerers on them. Both pieces were done by Remy C. of Headsplit Design as is the new Malignance artwork which we’ll have shirts for very soon.
While growing up which album(s) were your most coveted? Metal or otherwise.
For the sake of keeping it simple:
Lowell: Dark Medieval Times – Satyricon
Marlow: Individual Thought Patterns – Death
And the last question: If you were to work with anyone who was alive, deceased, or both who would they be?
That would produce some incredible music for sure. Well guys that is the end of my questioning. Thank you again for taking the time out of your night to do this interview!
Thanks so much for a having us Jared and for spreading the metal word! \m/
The re-release of Malignance will be out October 30th through Redfining Darkness.