Scottish metal quintet Mendeed have recently unleashed a monster of a record in their second album ‘The Dead Live By Love‘ – an intoxicating blast of thunderous riffs, machine-gun drumming and powerful vocals that should find favour with any self-respecting metal fan.
Alex Gosman recently spoke to drummer Kevin Matthews, shortly before the record’s release.
How are you guys doing, and what have you been up to since you finished recording the new album?
Everything’s going great right now! We wrote some of the album at home, but most of it was done at a residential studio on a farm in Cornwall. We then recorded it at Rising Studios, and after it was mixed, we went straight out on a UK headline tour, which went really well.
We then went on a two-month European tour with Napalm Death, and got a much better response than we were expecting – considering we’re not as heavy as a grindcore band! It was great for the audience, because the other band on the tour were Born From Pain – a hardcore band – so it was a good, varied bill. So it’s all been relentless, with a lot of touring, but it’s been a great experience.
How long did ‘The Dead Live By Love‘ take to write and record?
The recording took roughly a month; but we’d been writing songs for it long before we went into the studio…we did a bit of writing between tours, then we’d come back and scrap songs that we weren’t happy with; but most of the ones we kept were the ones we did just before we started the recording, because we were really happy with them.
The album sounds to me like a mix of all the best elements of metal through the years; were there any particular bands that influenced you while you were writing it?
Well, everyone was listening to different stuff, so it wasn’t like we were all influenced by one particular band. I was listening to The Black Dahlia Murder and Miasma, and learning a lot of blast-beat techniques from those guys. We were all listening to a lot of power metal too – especially me and our guitarist Steven – and more traditional melodic metal, and we were trying to move away from the more metalcore sound of our last record, ‘This War Will Last Forever‘. Although that said, I’m not sure what ‘metalcore’ really is these days, because a lot of different-sounding bands seem to have been labelled that way!
So what would you say has been the high point of your career so far?
There’s a couple of high points that really stick out for me – first, receiving a gold record for our Metallica cover at the Kerrang! Awards [they covered ‘The Thing That Should Not Be‘ for the magazine’s ‘Master Of Puppets‘ tribute album]; and also playing Download festival, because we played to our biggest crowd yet, with a massive moshpit!
We’ve also really enjoyed the tours we’ve done supporting other bands – Trivium, Avenged Sevenfold, Cradle Of Filth – we had a great time and made several new friends on those tours.
And any particular low points?
No, not really…obviously it’s hard being away from home a lot; especially if stuff goes wrong at home whilst you’re out on the road, because there’s nothing you can do about it. But, you know, we enjoy touring; being out on the road with good friends, good music and getting drunk loads – then waking up the next morning and doing it all again!
You currently have nearly 13,000 friends on your Myspace page – has that been a big help to you?
Oh, definitely – Myspace seems to get slagged off a lot, but for us it’s a very easy and handy way of getting our music out there, If someone just has to type in a web address to be able to stream or download your songs, then that’s great, you know?
Especially as we’ve been able to put a couple of our new tracks online before the album’s released. So I think it’s great in that respect, and also because it’s useful for keeping in touch with fans and other bands we’ve toured with. Plus it’s free to use!
So what are your plans for the near future, after the album is released?
Well, we’re getting some more European dates sorted out – they should be finalised soon – and we’ll also be playing the Wacken [Germany] and Bloodstock [UK] festivals. We’re also doing shows in London and Stamford in late March, and we’ll probably do a full UK tour in tha autumn, to give the fans a bit of time to get into the new album!