Interview with drummer Steve Asheim
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: October 25, 2013
Some of Satan's favorite disciples, Deicide, have been spending a lot of time at AudioHammer Studios in Sanford, Florida with producer Jason Suecof (Trivium, The Black Dahlia Murder, Whitechapel, etc.) where the band's 11th album, In The MInds of Evil, was recorded. The album is set for release on November 25th via Century Media Records.
In the Minds of Evil introduces Kevin Quirion (from Order of Ennead) as second axe man replacing Ralph Santolla, who seemed to enjoy holding a bottle in his hand more than taking Deicide seriously, at least according to the Main Devil himself, Glen Benton.
I managed to catch up with drummer Steve Asheim while the band was on their "No Salvation" US tour, and he was willing to do an interview via email. Steve let us know how he feels about the new Deicide album and how he managed to get his drum parts recorded despite pain from a dislocated shoulder. Read on...
Luxi: How's it going Steve? Hope you aren't too exhausted from answering the same interview questions over and over again.
Steve: No, I'm good man, thanks for asking.
Luxi: In the Minds of Evil, Deicide's new album, will be released on November 25th, 2013 and it's the 11th studio opus of the band's 24 years in existence (beginning as Amon). What are some of your feelings about the album? Do you believe it follows the same musical direction that Deicide took when Ralph Santolla and Jack Owen stepped in back in 2004-2005, when you recorded The Stench of Redemption?
Steve: I think it's a departure from our recent stuff and has more of an old school vibe. Not quite as melodic and very catchy riffs.
Luxi: Ralph's place in Deicide has been taken by Kevin Quirion now, and Kevin is not new guy to Deicide. You also play in Order of Ennead with him, so you undoubtedly knew what bringing him in might offer as far as his musical abilities are concerned, right?
Steve: Yes, I knew he was the right guy for the job. He's super cool, a very hard worker and is very creative. He's a great fit for the band. We have never been this non-dysfunctional.
Luxi: How well have Kevin's ideas meshed with Jack's regarding the way Jack wanted the guitars to sound on In the Minds of Evil?
Steve: I think they worked together well on the new stuff; the sounds, the playing, the vision. Those guys work great together, especially live.
Luxi: What specific things did Kevin bring to this new Deicide record?
Steve: I think he just has good, solid, catchy and heavy riffs; it's as simple as that. Plus, he's a great player. He makes everything sound tight as hell.
Luxi: You are known as one of the most outstanding, technical drummers in Metal these days. How hard or easy was it for you to do your drums parts for this new Deicide record? Did you face any moments with any of the songs on In the Minds of Evil when you weren't sure which direction you'd take out of concern for changing the song structure (or structures) too drastically?
Steve: No, I always know what I'm doing and what I'm trying to achieve, drum wise. The one challenge I did have though was tracking with a blown out shoulder. It hurt like hell. It kept dislocating, it was popping and cracking. I just dealt with the pain and got the job done though. It's weird because it sounds trickier than it really is. It's actually pretty simple. But when you run it all together and try to individualize the material, it gives it an expansive vibe and makes it seem bigger. But it is tight as hell.
Luxi: Having heard In the Minds of Evil a couple of dozen times, I am amazed by how tight, brutal and tricky the playing is. In fact, I don't think I am wrong by stating that In the Minds of Evil is perhaps the trickiest and most technical album that Deicide have penned since the classic Legion album. Do you agree?
Steve: Well, what I basically said in my previous answer.
Luxi: Can you name one or two songs from the new album that gives you a lot of satisfaction as far as your drumming is concerned?
Steve: Yeah, I dig them all. They all came out pretty cool; lots of tasty beats and crazy fills. I dig listening to it. I forgot all the stuff I did because it was mostly improvised so when I listen back it's all kind of a surprise.
Luxi: Producer Jason Suecof was behind the board on this recording. You used Mark Lewis to produce your previous album, To Hell with God. What made you choose Jason to produce In the Minds of Evil? Was it because of his previous successes with Death Angel, All That Remains, Devildriver and such?
Steve: He's just a cool guy with a great ear and I wanted to work with him and it paid off. He did a really great job. I think it's our best sounding album.
Luxi: Jason Suecof has said, in an interview with Ultimate-guitar.com, that drums are the most important thing on a Metal album. Do you agree with his point of view, and would you add anything to his statement?
Steve: Not only are they the most important, they're also the coolest, and so are drummers!!
Luxi: What's your opinion of using Pro Tools on a Metal album? Would you say that using Pro Tools doesn't really matter as long as the result is something that makes an album sound great?
Steve: I don't worry about production details, that stuff bores the hell out if me. I'll let the producers and engineers worry about it. I just enjoy tracking the drums.
Luxi: Deicide is headlining the "No Salvation" US tour along with Broken Hope, Necronomicon and Disgorge (at the time of this interview.) What do you think of your touring mates?
Steve: Yeah, it's been a great tour so far; great gigs, full venues and everyone sounds great.
Luxi: What's next for Deicide, touring-wise? Have you made any additional touring plans to support In the Minds of Evil, or will you take a break before unleashing the beast, better known as Deicide, again?
Steve: I think we're trying to line-up something for Europe in March. But once the record comes out we'll probably get very busy, so I'm looking toward to that.
Luxi: What about 2014 and your personal expectations for the forthcoming year? Do you believe your other band, Order of Ennead, might get something done in terms of new music? Or will 2014 be the year of Deicide?
Steve: Well, we can sure try but we'll see what happens. We like to work on the stuff, I like the guys and it's fun and heavy. We'll see what we can come up with.
Luxi: You have been in Deicide ever since the Amon days, living through the ups and downs of this American Death Metal powerhouse. Could you name one or two highlights from your career with Deicide? Would it be Deicide's debut album back in 1990 or your first headlining tour ever or even In the Minds of Evil? What do you think?
Steve: Really, every time we finish writing and recording an album, I just can't believe we actually did it. It's a giant relief when it's done because it is a lot of work.
Luxi: Just out of curiosity, now that the name Amon name has slipped out of my mouth, have you heard the Hoffman brothers' debut album, Liar in Wait, that they self-released last year, and what you think of it?
Steve: No I didn't hear it. I would have watched the video but they wanted $2 to see it so I passed.
Luxi: That's all for now Steve, so I want to thank you for your time with my questions, and wish I you all the best with all of your future endeavors with Deicide and beyond. Thanks again, Steve.
Steve: Thank you and thanks for your support.
|Other information about Deicide on this site|
|Review: Till Death Do Us Part|
|Review: Scars Of The Crucifix|
|Review: When London Burns|
|Review: The Stench of Redemption|
|Review: Doomsday In L.A.|
|Review: When Satan Lives|
|Review: Once Upon the Cross|
|Review: Serpents of the Light|
|Review: To Hell with God|
|Review: Overtures of Blasphemy|
|Review: When Satan Lives|
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