As loyal readers know, I’ve been dedicatedly looking for bands and labels who have decided to release their albums on cassette to feature on Metalrecusants. In my hunt I came across an album called Lost in the Warp by American band Terra Caput Mundi. Lost in the Warp is the band’s second full-length and contains almost 40 minutes worth of awesome metal. After hearing the album I decided to contact band founder Jared Brewer to discuss the band, the album and the cassette itself.
Curt: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview with me! First of all can you go over a bit on Terra Caput Mundi’s background for those unfamiliar with you guys?
Jared Brewer: Thanks to you as well; your interest is appreciated. I started TCM in 2006 to combine two very dear loves of mine: science fiction and heavy metal. It initially began as a home recording project and was expanded to a full band in 2007 when I recruited Sarah Caput Mundi on drums and Thrash Attack Zack on guitar. This lineup released the debut album Warp Speed Warriors in 2008 and a live CDr Alive In The Hive in 2010. Later in 2010 Thrash Attack Zack was replaced by Destructsean, and with this lineup we finished composing and recorded Lost In The Warp in 2012. Besides that, we’ve played a ton of killer shows and drank about a zillion beers…not much else to tell!
Curt: My copy of “Lost in the Warp” didn’t come with lyrics but my understanding is that the band’s lyrics are primarily focused on Sci-Fi themes, correct? If so can you go over a bit about some of the themes that are covered? Also are there any specific films or books that you get lyrical inspiration from?
Jared: Allow me to apologize to anyone who purchased the cassette hoping to get lyrics in the liner notes; we were limited on space on the j-card so they had to be omitted. TCM’s lyrics are inspired by the grim darkness of the far future of the Warhammer 40000 universe. Like Bolt Thrower before us, we could not resist the chaotic, militaristic and oppressive themes that are ever present in the fiction associated with the franchise.
Curt: What does the band’s name mean and how was it conceived initially?
Jared: The name is a play on the ancient Roman phrase “Roma Caput Mundi” and was conceived to imply that even in the far future, amidst dozens of alien civilizations (some of which are FAR more advanced), humans will always think that they are the center of the universe
Curt: Musically the band seems more thrash/speed metal based then anything else, however vocally I can hear King Diamond a lot of the times as well. Who are the band’s influences musically and vocally?
Jared: You’re correct in assuming that our prime influences are the old titans of thrash, speed and heavy metal. I won’t bother your readers with a mile-long list, as I think we wear our influences on our sleeves pretty well. However I will say that we’re quite fond of the “power trio” paradigm, best reflected in bands like Sodom, Destruction, Motorhead, Tank, Venom and so on. As far as King Diamond goes, he’s certainly an influence on my vocals (not to speak of both his and Mercyful Fate‘s music, which we also revere heavily), but I tend to think I lean a little more towards the crude style pioneered by Schmier of Destruction. Maybe the readers can let us know what they think?
Curt: So far the album has been released on both cassette and CD with a *possible* vinyl release. Seeing as the cassette came with a Koozie and dog tag as bonuses, do you feel that version is the preferred one to listen to?
Jared: I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s the preferred version. Both versions currently available have been selling pretty well. Monetarily speaking, it was more sound to bundle the koozie and dog tag with the cassette as tapes are cheaper to produce than CDs.
Curt: Are there any differences in the cassette and CD versions of the album other than the above bonuses?
Jared: As stated above, the cassette doesn’t come with the lyrics. That is the only difference.
Curt: Do you feel that there is still a strong enough demand for physical albums or do you think that digital releases will soon take over physical product? Why do you think that the majority of people would prefer digital albums nowadays?
Jared: If digital albums were to ever completely dominate the marketplace, I think it would be a VERY long time away. Heavy metal is a collector’s genre; fans want to buy a physical product because it has a more inherent “realness” to them than a collection of zeroes and ones. It’s also a lot more fun to flip through racks of albums for hours than to type in “xyz band download” in a search engine and have a dozen links pop up instantly. You also don’t get the feeling of excited anticipation you get when you mail order an album and wait for it to show up on your doorstep with bated breath when all you do is click a link and obtain some MP3s. Of course, you can look on my MP3 player and see that I don’t totally discount the feasibility or convenience of the digital music culture…
Curt: Are there any upcoming tour plans for the band or will you just be playing local shows?
Jared: No tour plans at the moment, but nothing’s out of the question. We’ll gladly play pretty much anywhere given enough notice. There’s one local show coming up in October with Swedish thrashers Antichrist and a few other ripping local acts.
Curt: What’s next for the band? Do you think your next release will take as long to put out?
Jared: We’re grinding away on the follow-up to Lost In The Warp as we speak (which will definitely not take as long to release), and also working out details for a vinyl release of Lost In The Warp. Aside from that, just the occasional live show.
Curt: Anything else you would like to say?
Jared: Thanks Curtis for the interview, thanks to the fans for reading, and look us up online to get “Lost In The Warp”!
Terra Caput Mundi are:
Sarah Y: Drums
Jared Brewer: Vocals, Guitars, Bass