Canada’s “filthy fucking metal of death” band Begrime Exemious have quickly become one of my favourites since I first heard them. Combining death, black metal and even crust into their sound, Begrime is a great up and coming band with a lethal sound. Read on to find out more about the band from guitarist/vocalist Derek Orthner.
Curt: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview! Although the band has been around for a while now, could you briefly go over the band’s history for those readers unfamiliar with you?
Derek: Begrime Exemious formed in 2005 in Edmonton, Canada. We put out a demo and EP before signing to Dark Descent Records at the end of 2009. We’ve since released two full length albums, a split, and a couple more EPs. In addition to this, we’ve been touring constantly around west Canada and have managed to get ourselves into the west coast of the United States to spread our filth as well. Despite a few major line up changes over the years, there are at least three original members of the band who play on each release. As of 2012, we’ve solidified a line up that has resulted in the most productive era of the band thus far.
Curt: The past year and a half has seen a flood of activity from you guys – Visions of the Scourge was released plus a tour tape, a 7″, a lot of shows and another upcoming mLP. How have you been able to get so much done in such a short time?
Derek: It all comes down to planning ahead and splitting the year up into a cycle. We’ll spend the winter months writing and recording, and the summer months playing shows. In regards to our tours, we’ve made it a goal to visit new places every year, and to do this, I will literally start planning almost a year in advance. It’s a lot of work but it pays off in the end.
Curt: You guys recently released a tape with re-recordings of past songs for your summer tour and also released Visions of the Scourge on that format (in addition to CD). Seeing as many believe that tape is a dead format, what led you to put your music on cassette?
Derek: All of us are into buying tapes, so it was only natural for us to release our music on that format ever since our first demo was released. Tapes are cheap to produce and end up being a popular merch item on the road. A lot of bands we’ve seen live or played with often have tapes as well so it’s evident that the cassette format is doing well within the underground scene. Not to mention, paying $5 for a tape is rather affordable.
Curt: For yourselves, do you feel that your music is best suited to a particular format or do you think it doesn’t matter if someone listens to Begrime on cassette or CD as long as they hear it?
Derek: There is certainly an appeal to the analog format for music, but when it gets down to it, we’re just happy when people take an interest in our music and want to listen to it.
Curt: How do you feel about illegal downloading? Pro or con and why? Do you think that music services such as Rdio or Deezer are the answer to the problem?
Derek: I download music all the time, and because I do, I have discovered countless bands all across Canada and around the world. I really don’t think it’s a huge problem, I think it just shows that people are interested in music. There is so much music out there that sometimes it gets hard to keep up on everything you want to hear. Downloading music can help you realize what you like, and thus if you’re giving something frequent listens, go out and buy it. We offer all of our released music for free download on our bandcamp page, so if someone’s downloading it off a torrent site instead, it doesn’t matter to us. If people know our music, they are more likely to come check out a show, buy some merch, or just tell their friends about us.
Curt: Your website stated that the Primeval Satellite LP would be out in the summer, but as of now has not been released. Do you have an estimated date as to when this will start shipping?
Derek: I can’t say with 100% certainty, but Dark Descent should have the mLP out by the end of the year. The layout took a lot longer than anticipated, but the wait will be worth it. It’s definitely some of our most crushing material to date, as well as our best produced work. The tour tape we put out this year was recorded in the same session so that can give you an idea of the sound we were able to create.
Curt: What are the band’s plans for 2014? More releases and tours? If so, will there be a full length released?
Derek: We’re about to hide ourselves back in our studio and start writing, rehearsing, and recording some new material for various splits. We’re also hoping to start some writing for the third Begrime full length, but we’re going to take our time with that. As for touring, we are looking to play shows throughout the east US/Canada come summer, and of course play some shows out in BC. As I stated earlier, our goal is to play places we haven’t before, and this is a rather ambitious tour we want to do, but definitely within our grasp.
Curt: Does the band have any plans to play outside of Canada or the US in the near future?
Derek: Personally, the only country I’ve been to outside of Canada is the US, so the desire to play some other countries exists strongly. It’s just a matter of making the right connections and planning for it. I really can’t say when this will happen, but I think Mexico could be a likely target for us, and of course Europe at some point.
Curt: Your Facebook pages and home page both contain a TON of links to music by other bands. What are some other bands you would recommend that you haven’t already posted about?
Derek: We try to let people know about killer bands that we’re friends with via our facebook/website as much as we can. Right now I’ve been digging a lot of bands from Winnipeg: Putrescence (death/grind), Flash Out (crust/thrash), and Archagathus (grind/mince) come to mind right away. There’s also some great shit coming out of Saskatchewan right now, including Autaric (black/death), Druidus (black/death), and Chronobot (stoner doom). Of course, pretty much any band who we’re label mates with on Dark Descent is worth checking out. Keep your eyes peeled for Dire Omen‘s (Edmonton black/death) debut album, and of course we love Weregoat, Ritual Necromancy, Mitochondrion, Paroxsihzem, Adversarial, Anhedonist, etc. I could probably go on forever, there are a lot of great bands that we’ve played with this year. Some highlights from tour this year were Scolex, Powercup, Ahna, Old Skin, Gloam, Bio Crisis, Azathoth, Hand of the Horsewitch, Osk, Bridgeburner… I’ll stop before this gets ridiculous.
Curt: Anything else you would like to say?
Derek: Since Begrime has been around, we’ve played a lot of gigs and seen a lot of bands, and the verdict is in: metal is alive and well everywhere we’ve been. We’ve seen some scenes really flourish in some Canadian cities, and we’ve been warmly welcomed in cities where there is already a larger following for metal/punk. If you’re involved in a band or just like to go to shows, keep it up – book bands you like, invite your friends out to gigs, spread the word about music that kicks your ass. We never want to stop doing what we do. We’re going to continue to make music that’s heavy and furious, and we want to play anywhere and everywhere we can. Anyone that wants to book us or just talk metal is welcome to contact us, just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay filthy!
Begrime Exemious are:
B. Leland – Vocals
D. Orthner – Guitars
F. Thibaudeau – Guitars
T. McClelland – Bass
L. Norland – Drums