Artist to Artist: Nicky H. (Laster) Interviews Dean Lamb (Archspire) + Archspire Euro Tour Info
So there might not be a big superficial connection between Canadian technical death metal blasters Archspire and the Netherlands' obscure dance music practitioners Laster, but as it turns out, Laster guitarist and vocalist Nicky H. is a massive Archspire fan. When Archspire guitarist and YouTuber extraordinaire Dean Lamb reached out regarding their upcoming European tour (more on that later), I knew I had to connect them. We don't do artist vs. artist interviews super often here like we used to, but Nicky and Dean ended up having a really interesting conversation, which you can read below.
While Archspire is preparing for a European headliner tour and a U.S. tour supporting WhiteChapel, Invisible Oranges asked me, of all people, to talk to the band’s guitarist Dean Lamb. It’s a weird proposal, honestly. On the one hand, I love Relentless Mutation and Bleed The Future. On the other, I’m the least knowledgeable person when it comes to technical death metal. Therefore, in this interview, I shall forcefully avoid any tech-death-related questions. The public ought not to know that I’ve only listened to Necrophagist twice.
Well hey, I appreciate you taking the time! I think starting with Necrophagist would be a great introduction to the genre, however they unfortunately set the standard so damned high!
And yes! We'll be through Europe March 2023, with some amazing support bands. Tickets are available now, but plenty of those markets will soon be selling out, so grab tickets quickly!
Let’s talk about the video for Drone Corpse Aviator! It appears to be jam-packed with (pop)cultural references. I'm counting 50 Cent’s In Da Club, The Matrix, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Gorillaz, A Clockwork Orange, Battle Royale, and Indiana Jones. Maybe even Braindead? Am I mistaken? How many references did you manage to cram in there? (Let’s also talk about the upcoming video)
Absolutely! Plenty of Cronenberg in there. Our director, Rob Zawistowsky, really wore his influences on his sleeve, which we love. I think with such a short amount of time to work with (the length of an Archspire track,) it's important to be obvious with your concepts. There's little time for subtlety; it's all or nothing.
Our upcoming video is being produced by mostly the same group of talented individuals. We decided that, instead of working within the same tight budget, let's make what is essentially a Hollywood style music video. We wanted to involve more practical effects, more digital effects, hire stunt actors, film on location, and essentially blow the last video out of the water. With the footage I've seen so far: I think we're going to do that.
The intro of A.U.M. always cracks me up. Is it an actually received voice message? And what would it mean to "bring back the fucking danger to the music"? Are we talking about Yamantaka Eye-like danger music here? Or would it concern elements like production, composition, and artwork to evoke a sense of danger in certain audiences?
That voice message was sent to our drummer Spencer, courtesy of an old friend who is notorious for his elitism. He showed us this insane voice message at a writing session one day, and we figured it'd be the perfect intro to the fastest, most aggressive track on the album.
In terms of what exactly he meant by "bring back the danger," I haven't the faintest idea. I think he might be referring to over-producing bands, and how it sucks the life out of the music, but really it's up for interpretation. We hope the listener feels that we brought back “the danger,” although we made sure to wear proper safety protection during the recording process, as all bands should. Hard hats and safety glasses.
In a previous Invisible Oranges interview, black metal band Doldrum talked about the importance of irony and self-awareness in art. Given the two questions above, there is plenty of space in Archspire for both. Are these elements that you craftily and carefully interweave into your works, or does it come out much more spontaneously?
It's really just part of our collective mentality. We take ourselves very seriously when it comes to writing music, and that portion of our creative output will always be that way. However, our on-stage personas, our music videos, song intros, and even press releases are filled with stuff that just makes us laugh. We want this band to be fun to experience; there's plenty of bands that demand you to take them seriously, but we're not interested in that. We want people to come to an Archspire show and have fun.
Besides humor and musical technicalities, sci-fi themes seem to fully center Archspire's oeuvre. Personally, I adore the imaginative, Cronenburgian lyrics that Oliver blasts forward. How does sci-fi - in its various forms - play a role in the band’s daily life? Are you vivid readers? Movie buffs? And how do you think the genre relates to the type of music you produce?
You'll find most of us stuck in the '80s and '90s when it comes to the media we consume, which is a result of our upbringing. We spent our childhoods renting VHS tapes and watching horror movies on a big CRT TV in our parents' basements, marveling at the practical effects, and fully recorded orchestral OSTs of our favorite films. I think most of us romanticize that era, although our music is essentially the antithesis of it. Where films of the past have rough edges and the occasional out-of-focus frame, our recorded music is razor sharp and perfected in the studio. We attempt to reach that sharpness live every night on tour; an impossible task but we do our best.
TECH TREK EUROPE 2023
03.03.23 Germany Essen @ Turock
04.03.23 Netherlands Nijmegen @ Doornroosje
05.03.23 Belgium Brussels @ Botanique
06.03.23 UK Bristol @ The Fleece
07.03.23 UK Glasgow @ Cathouse
08.03.23 UK Nottingham @ Rescue Rooms
09.03.23 Ireland Dublin @ Whelans
10.03.23 UK Manchester @ Rebellion
11.03.23 UK London @ The Dome
12.03.23 France Paris @ La Machine du Moulin Rouge
13.03.23 France Lyon @ CCO
15.03.23 Spain Madrid @ Nazca
16.03.23 Spain Barcelona @ Bóveda
17.03.23 France Montpellier @ Secret Place
18.03.23 Switzerland Aarau @ Kiff
19.03.23 Italy Milan @ Legend Club
20.03.23 Germany München @ Backstage
21.03.23 Austria Vienna @ Arena
22.03.23 Slovakia Kosice @ Collosseum
23.03.23 Hungary Budapest @ Analóg Music Hall
24.03.23 Czech Rep Prague @ Futurum
25.03.23 Poland Warsaw @ Hydrozagadka
26.03.23 Germany Berlin @ SO36
28.03.23 Sweden Gothenburg @ Brewhouse
29.03.23 Sweden Stockholm @ Slaktkyrkan
30.03.23 Denmark Fredericia @ Eksercerhuset
31.03.23 Germany Hannover @ Faust