INTERVIEW: Rob Rieff (LACERATION MANTRA)
If you prefer your metal on the death side, then step right up and come get a taste of beautiful brutality from Brisbane's very own Laceration Mantra. Inspired by some primordial death metal and carving up tunes so dark they'll make your favourite black jeans look like a pretty, pastel pink, Laceration Mantra have steadily found themselves stoic favourites in the Aussie metal world with their explosive, ferocious and heavy as all hell ways.
While it's been a few years now between new material, with 2016's Infested still rattling speakers to this day, the group have certainly not been sitting idly by, playing a heap of shows over the years and exploring their relentless tones along the way. And now with the insanely exciting news that the Laceration Mantra lads are working on new tunes, jumping up onstage at Brisbane's SHREDFEST tomorrow and also joining King Parrot for their 'Dark Angel' Brissie show next month - what better time to grab bassist and vocalist Rob Rieff to chat writing, guitar players going AWOL and desert island essentials. Interview below.
TIANA SPETER: Greetings and thank you for chatting today! Laceration Mantra have really been flying the flag for sincerely heavy music for a while now, and you’ve certainly established yourselves as a favourite in the Aussie metal scene. What was the mission statement (if any) back in the day when you guys first started the band?
ROB RIEFF: To create brutal vicious intense old school death metal. To follow in the footsteps of those who created the genre.
TIANA: Since your formation you have hurled out two full lengths with Prolonging the Pain and Infested, and there are rumblings you guys are now working on your third album. It’s been a fair few years now since Infested was released, but you guys certainly seemed to have been keeping yourselves busy…can you talk us through a bit what the band have been up to since your last new release?
ROB: The usual stuff, writing new material, playing both local and interstate shows.
TIANA: And speaking of new material, have you found yourselves deviating with your writing or technical stuff this time around, or is it a pretty well-oiled machine, process-wise?
ROB: The process is similar, maybe a little more variety on the next one We take a long time to write because once the riffs and drums are done we tend to pull things apart again and refine things.
TIANA: You guys are set to hop onstage for Brisbane’s annual SHREDFEST this Saturday alongside some stellar local acts. And you’ve certainly played your fair share of live shows over the years now, has there been one particular standout live moment for you along the way? Whether that moment may have been good, bad, hilarious or other…!
ROB: The worst moment was when a previous guitar player walked offstage and didn’t return 30 seconds into a set in front of a packed room. One of the best was supporting Entombed AD when they said “ don’t set your gear up in front just use our backline” That was a first. Normally international bands never let supports use their backline.
TIANA: On the topic of SHREDFEST, are there any particular bands you’re extremely keen to catch on the day?
ROB: Really keen to catch Hidden Intent and Inhuman Remnants. Haven’t seen either for a while.
TIANA: As mentioned earlier, you guys are pretty beloved in the Aussie metal scene, and definite favourites in your hometown. But what are your thoughts on the Brisbane heavy scene, do you feel that it is a supporting and engaging community? And how does it compare (if at all) to the wider Aussie metal scene?
ROB: Brisbane always supports us pretty well. Compared to other major Australian cities we’ve played i’d say its on par especially if you look at population base, although Adelaide was excellent last weekend. A real surprise.
TIANA: As one part of a band who wields brutally heavy tones on the regular, I’m keen to know what music you were into when you were younger…was it always of the heavier persuasion? Or was there perhaps one particular band that sparked this foray into crushing sonic waters?
ROB: I always tended to favour heavier stuff as a kid. AC/DC were the first band i got into that were considered heavier. I had a foray into punk for a while GBH, The Exploited, Discharge then continued down the highway to hell jumping into the fire that was death metal. My parents used to think it was a phase, how wrong they were.
TIANA: Your Facebook page lists Laceration Mantra’s interest as “metal, movies, beer”. If you were stranded on an island and could only have one metal album, one movie and one type of beer to take with you – which would you choose and why?
ROB: Deicide Legion, for me I consider that to be the most intense vicious death metal album ever made The Original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the cinematography and soundtrack to that film capture a feeling that no other horror film ever has for me. Tooheys New, 375ml cans ( not these rip off 330ml stubbies ), full alcohol content in a 30pk cube for around $50. Best value going. Can’t stand these fruity craft beers.
TIANA: And finally, aside from the exciting news that you’re currently working on your third release, is there anything else on the near horizon for Laceration Mantra that you’re able to reveal?
ROB: Maybe another trip to Melbourne before the end of the year but nothings locked in yet.
CATCH LACERATION MANTRA LACERATING FACES TOMORROW IN BRISBANE FOR SHREDFEST ALONGSIDE A HEAP OF OTHER LEGENDS. AND IF YOU'RE A LOCAL, YOU CAN ALSO CATCH THE GENTS ALONGSIDE HEAVY ICONS KING PARROT NEXT MONTH AS PART OF THE 'DARK ANGEL' TOUR.
FOR TICKET INFO AND MORE, HEAD HERE.
FOR MORE LACERATION MANTRA INFO, HEAD HERE.
BY TIANA SPETER