Interview with Glenn Dyson from Pathogen
Interview by Bird
HailMetal.Com: Pathogen has been through a few line-up changes is the past, could you give us a bit of a bio? How did the Pathogen as it is now come together?
Dysie: If I was to explain it, it would end up being a mini series. The band started in 1996 & has had more members come & go in it than a gang bang movie. I joined the band in 2001, with long time member Aidan on guitars & Dave on bass & in that time we`ve gone through a couple of vocalists & now we have a very stable member in Michael, who does an outstanding job as a frontman. Our last drummer Louis left the band in late 2005 to pursuit his interest in wearing make & leather pants up in The Furor. So currently we are looking for a full time drummer.
HailMetal.Com: The debut full length `Bloodline` (2005) consists of tracks spanning the career of the band including tracks off the earlier ep`s `Tyranny of Hatred` (1996), `Nightfall` (1998), the single `Shallow` (2000?) and newer material. How does the process of writing and recording a song for Pathogen come about these days?
Dysie: It`s a bit different at the moment as we are trying some different options. Aidan & myself have written a number of riffs & we`ve got together in Aidan`s Sovereign Studios & recorded these. Then we have pieced together a few things with a drum machine & got a few ideas happening. From there we`ve gone into the rehearsal studio, shown the other guys & jammed them out to see how they feel. So far so good & we`ve started to showcase some of this new material here in Perth at local shows.
HailMetal.Com: I picked up a copy of `Bloodline` last year, and one of the first things that struck me was the quality of the production. I gather this is much of Aidan`s doing?
Dysie: It is all of Aidan`s doings. He has his own professional recording studio called `Sovereign Studios". He recorded absolutely everything, mixed the entire thing & I`m 99% sure he mastered it as well. He`s recorded a lot of Perth metal including Vespers Descent, Voyager, The Furor, Malignant Monster & has also worked with many national acts such as The Berzerker & I Killed The Prom Queen. He has a great reputation & can`t recommend him enough to anyone. A great live engineer as well.
HailMetal.Com: I understand the album is now into it`s second pressing?
Dysie: This is true, we ran out of the first pressing of a thousand pretty quick & we are now well into our second pressing.
HailMetal.Com: Is there any new material in the works?
Dysie: Yes there is a bundle of new ideas being thrown around & its all starting to come together now. Our aim now is to write a new album`s worth of material for the remainder of the year & enter the studio to record the second album in Jan 2007. So far the material is sounding killer & I`m very excited of what is being pumped out at the moment. Its very melodic, its very Pathogen & its all very good.
HailMetal.Com: Are any of the earlier recordings available?
Dysie: Not any original versions no. But we have been known to burn copies of the original demos & send them to people if the interest is there.
HailMetal.Com: I`ve heard you compared to some of the better Swedish death metal to have come out through the 90`s, but I know your tastes are all far more diverse than that. What sort of influences do you consider to have made an impact on Pathogen`s music?
Dysie: All the music that you hear on Bloodline was written before I joined the band, so the vast majority of it was written by Aidan (guitars) & Dave (bass). I know for a fact bands like In Flames, Opeth, At The Gates & Dark Tranquillity are big influences. To a lesser extent bands like Naglfar, Emperor, Carcass & even Pantera have helped shape the sound of Pathogen.
HailMetal.Com: How did the departure of Louis last year affect Pathogen at the time, and what is the situation with your new drummer?
Dysie: It was actually no surprise to me. Louis` main passion is The Furor & with both bands profiles & popularity rising, Louis didn`t have the time nor finances to be in both & it was pretty obvious which direction he was going to choose. He did give us plenty of notice of his departure & helped us out on many occasions with shows until a replacement was found, so there is certainly no bad blood between us & him & I wish him all the best with The Furor. I don`t think it really affected us too much. He certainly is a great player & was a pleasure to play along side with, but it didn`t gut us too much.
At the time being we have Mark Boeijen from Vespers Descent filling in for us & helping out with shows & the songwriting process. The offer is out there for him to join permanently but the jury is still out on that one. I really admire Marks drumming capabilities & especially his songwriting abilities (he has a major part in the songwriting process of Vespers) so it would be an immense pleasure & benefit to have him in Pathogen.
HailMetal.Com: I`ve seen you play a couple of times now, the first being last year. The live performance is really powerful, especially Michael`s vocals. Do you or the other guys have a particularly favourite song to play live?
Dysie: My faves are definitely Shallow & Identity Theft. The build up at the early part of the Shallow is killer & the songwriting on both is the best band has done in my opinion. I also like Fallen Kind a lot as it`s just a great fun song to bang you head & swill beer to.
HailMetal.Com: Over the years, Pathogen has scored some fantastic supports, including Mayem, Opeth, Impaled Nazerene, Children of Bodom and Dismember. Who has been the best/most memorable/why?
Dysie: Easily Children Of Bodom on every level. It was our first national tour & the response we received was overwhelming & really helped cement our profile on a national level. We sold way more cds & merchandise than we expected & so many people had so many great things to say about us. All shows were sold out & it was just an amazing buzz to play in front of 800 people every night.
Opeth was also a memorable support as it was also a huge show, but we are all massive fans of the band & it was great to be able to share a stage with them.
HailMetal.Com: If you could embark on a tour with any band, or play to any audience, who would it be?
Dysie: For my mind Opeth. We have a similar vibe to them & to play in front of their crowds (which are growing all the time) would be of so much value to us. Preferably I`d like to tour in Europe & expose our brand of melodic music to the masses over there.
On another angle Id love to tour with someone like Black Dahlia Murder or some other `metalcore` act as we seem to go down well with that type of crowd too.
HailMetal.Com: Does Pathogen have an audience overseas that you know of (is this a market you would be interested in breaking into)?
Dysie: I would have to say if we do, it is very minimal. We`ve sent a bunch of promos out for review & they are starting to filter through now. All have been very positive.
It is definitely a market Id like to see the band break into, particularly in Europe, where I think we would go down very well. I am trying very hard to find distribution in that region & hopefully hook up a good tour there in 2007.
HailMetal.Com: Soundworks and Prime Cuts has been really active in promoting and bringing some brilliant international acts to our shores and in doing so have given some great WA acts valuable exposure, but can we expect to see Pathogen headlining their own tour on the east coast?
Dysie: Totally. That is something that is very important for us to do. At this stage I can see us windmilling around the country in early 2007 hopefully in support of our new album.
HailMetal.Com: Western Australian heavy metal as been really taking eastern Australia by storm over the last couple of years. How active is the `scene` right now, especially in Perth?
Dysie: So it should as at the moment the Perth scene is killer & without a doubt has some of the best talent in the country. There are so many good bands here & lately there has been a huge number of new bands pop up. There has pretty much been a metal gig in Perth every weekend since the start of the year, which I have never seen before in my 15 years of supporting the Perth scene. People are turning up to the majority of shows in good numbers & as a result Perth has seen a lot more international acts come through.
HailMetal.Com: You all play, or have played in other projects, what other bands besides Pathogen should we keep a lookout for?
Dysie: Maligant Monster definitely. They are easily the best thrash outfit to emerge out of Perth since Allegiance did in the nineties. These guys are fast becoming the most popular band in Perth & receiving huge responses everywhere.
There are of course Vespers Descent & The Furor, Voyager who a doing great things overseas. There is a new `metalcore` act at the moment who have stormed the scene in Perth very quickly in Dyscord. That`s a name you`ll definitely be hearing more of. And lastly keep an ear & eye out for an act called Cuntscrape. A new groove, grindcore, pornparty act featuring members from many of Perths biggest metal acts. You could almost call it a supergroup, though more likely a poopergroup. Look out Bloodduster, these guys are gonna be huge I tell ya.
HailMetal.Com: Where and how can people get hold of `Bloodline`?
Dysie: Bloodline is distributed through MGM so it can be ordered through any reputable record store across the country. Or alternatively you can go to the Prime Cuts Music website at www.primecuts.com.au & order it through there. Or just email me now at firstname.lastname@example.org & I`ll sort you out.
HailMetal.Com: Do you have anything you would like to add?
Just a big thanks to anyone who has seen us & bought any of our products. Other than that, bang you head until it falls off & then bang your neck. Metal up your japs eye!