If you’re looking for any signs that Dying Fetus might be starting to compromise after over 25 years into their career, you’ll find that answer by looking at the title of their eighth album, Wrong One to Fuck With. Then you can look at their latest video, “Die With Integrity,” which is quite possibly one of the goriestand most disturbing metal videos of the year, if not of the decade. We caught up with the band’s newest member, 10-year veteran Trey Williams, to chat about the state of extreme metal in 2017, the Summer Slaughter tour, and how the band makes money.
Wrong One to Fuck With is out on Friday, June 23rd on Relapse Records and can be preordered here.
You guys released a video, let’s start off talking about that.
“Die With Intergrity, huh?” It’s definitely the most extreme thing we’ve put out.
How’d the planning go for that?
Relapse approached us with the idea of having Mitch Massie do a video for us. We were very familiar with his previous work with bands like Cattle Decapitation, Whitechapel, and Dillinger Escape Plan. So we were very confident in his ability to deliver us a stellar, intense product.
And then there’s your album title…
It is definitely one that either you’re liking it, or you’re not. We wanted to go for an intense, tough sounding motif for the album and Wrong One To Fuck With, we named it after one of the songs. We were having a little bit of trouble coming up with something that we all dug on and we all liked the name of the song, so we decided to stick with that for the album title.
Pretty excellent, you’re probably not going to be in Walmart and I am sure that is fine with you.
Yeah, it’s not a big deal.
Speaking of Walmart, does the way people consume music nowconcern you at all? Would you rather people buy music or do you just want people to listen one way or the other?
Well of course we’re out there to make some music and sell our music, but ultimately we really make our money off of the shows. When we write an album it is just to give us more ammunition to play shows. We’d rather people always be listening, of course we’d rather them buy it, but as long as they are a fan and they come to the show and support us live. We don’t really mind so much.
Have you ever been a band that’s made solid money by selling CDs, tapes, etc?
Not exclusively just from that revenue stream. You have to sell cotton – shirts, and other things people might want to buy. You’ve got to market yourself. We’re becoming more of a style company than a band in a way. That’s how most bands make their money, they sell a lifestyle.
In the beginning I’m sure it was just about the music and you weren’t thinking twice about, “hey we’re a band that really has to worry about our merch and the tours were on, and the bottom line.” Have you found yourselves getting more immersed into the business side in your time in the band?
The band has always kind of had a good business mindset from the outset. Everybody had their head in the right place to think that way. That doesn’t mean that we’re only in it for the money. If we were, we wouldn’t be playing death metal. These are just decisions we make that allow us to keep playing the music we love. We’re not trying for a big cash payout or big pay day, because those aren’t there. That’s just something that is not existent in our scene.
Summer Slaughter tour, what’s your take on that?
Oh we’ve never played that show, ever (laughing). We’ve played them four or five different times. We’ve played the Australian one, the Canadian one, and the several North American ones. We are alumni of the Summer Slaughter and we are excited to play this one again.
Have you noticed that tour change at all in terms of band make up and the audience that comes out to it?
Oh they always kind of switch off year to year. Last year was the real death metal year with Cannibal, Nile, and Suffocation. This year they go back and forth between a really death metal lineup and a more mixed lineup. This year is more of a mixed lineup, which is nice, you get to play for audiences that you might not have played for before because they would not come to ujst a death metal show maybe.
I guess you’re referring to deathcore. It seems like there is a little more deathcore this year. What is your take on that genre?
It’s an evolution of extreme music. Dying Fetus was frowned upon because we had grooves that weren’t just straight thrash grooves when we first came out. That was when I wasn’t in the band, but I remember hearing about it. If you are playing with a younger set of kids, a younger crowd, they might have a new approach to the same old, same old. We welcome it, it’s a good evolution for the music. Whether or not people like it or not, it’s going to happen regardless you can’t stop it.
Have you run into fans who are like, “I came to see Rings of Saturn, but you guys are the shit!”
Death metal is and always have been a pretty underground genre. Do you see yourselves in the same place you were when the band started out, in terms of acceptance of the genre?
I think the band has improved in status, at least since the time I have been in the band. I have only been in the band for 10 years now, so I can’t really speak to the past. I can speak to what I know. We’ve gotten more into the public eye and improved our standing within the scene. What comes along with that is a little bit of respect and you already have some credibility, instantly. You have to also then keep putting out good music to maintain that credibility.
That is a challenge. What about the genre as a whole?
It’s alive and well. Death metal and extreme metal is pumping and kicking. There are bands coming out all the time, that’s a good sign.