Photo courtesy of Damian John
New UK death meta force DeathCollector are dropping their debut album, Death’s Toll, June 23 via Prosthetic Records. The band, featuring former Bolt Thrower and Memoriam drummer Andrew Whale and Ashen Crown frontman Kieran Scott have graced us with the track “Death’s Toll” from that album for your listening pleasure.
We chatted with Whale and Scott about how this track, and the forthcoming record, came together.
How did the band initially form, and how does past work with hugely influential bands like Bolt Thrower impact this band?
Andrew Whale: Towards the end of the pandemic, Mick (Carey, guitar) and myself worked together on a series of covers with various friends, people we knew. After the third cover song (an Entombed track!), we both had the thought of working on our own material, and that’s how it all started.
Kieran (Scott, vocals) and Jason joined fairly soon after; due to the distance, Jason decided to step back, and Lee (Cummings, bss) came in at the last minute and did a grand job on bass duties on the Time’s Up EP.
Well, being in Bolt Thrower was a great part of my life, which I’m always thankful I got to do, but I always try to build up any band I’m in on its own merits… and not rely on my old success.
I suppose I’ve been really lucky (with) Bolt Thrower, Memoriam, Darkened, and now DeathCollector, all great bands for their own reasons.
What was the writing and recording process like for this record, and what are some of the big themes?
AW: The songwriting was quite simple; basically Mick/Lee sent me any ideas. I’ll work on a basic idea for the drums and load them into a drive folder. Then we sort of ping pong it back a forth until we are happy with it. Then Lee and Kieran do their bits.
Studio-wise, Mick did guide/click tracks. I went into a studio near where I live and recorded the drums in three days. Mick then recorded guitars over in Limerick. Lee and Kieran recorded at home.
All tracks went over to Gord Olson (Darkened), who did a splendid job of mixing and mastering the album. We learnt a lot about how we can improve the process for the next album.
Kieran Scott: Andy covered most of the recording side, but it’s been a blessing having the internet and recording studios nearby and home studios with professional gear, which made the process far quicker and streamlined. In regards to theme, Death’s Toll covers all aspects of life’s toll on us until death finally claims us, be it substance abuse, violence, mental health, disease, or our actions in life. The being in the artwork represents the gatekeeper to the underworld who acts as a mirror and embodies all above as a final reflection for a moment of acceptance or judgement before moving on.
Can we look forward to touring in support of this album?
AW: Well, gigs, festivals yes, I’d be very happy to get back on the stage. Tours… well, never say never, but with family and work commitments… also the older I get, the more reclusive I’m becoming.
KS: As Andy said, we have to be more exclusive with our gigs due to our lives and commitments and the fact our guitarists are in Ireland.
What are your plans after this record; anything big coming up for the future?
AW: Myself, personally, I try not to plan anything, I just trust the fact that we’ve made a good album… Gigs, another album, and an odd weekend rehearsing with the lads, plus a beer or two.
KS: See what comes to us, next album, secure some big shows, and push the name out, is the plan as it stands.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
AW: Thanks to everyone who’s supported us up to this point; I’ll hopefully get to see and have a chat with a few of you in the future. The team over at Prosthetic for having the faith in this band.
KS: Echo what Andy said; no exaggeration, the support we have gained from the underground has been insane! You will not find a more engaged and supportive group of people, we owe them all so much.