Australia's Heavy magazine recently conducted an interview with guitarist Trevor Peres of Florida death metal veterans OBITUARY. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the continued relevance of OBITUARY's 1990 sophomore album, "Cause Of Death":
Trevor: "It's crazy. Just for us to actually be performing live and still creating albums this long, this many years later, it's crazy in general. Then, like you said, for that album still having relevance, is pretty cool. For that album to still be going strong and people enjoy it still, it's pretty mind-boggling. It's funny because, for us, we always play a couple of songs from that album. Forever we've always played songs from 'Cause Of Death', but we had to re-learn the whole album from front to back for this tour. It's a pretty aggressive album. It's like, 'Damn, I forgot about how fun this album is to play. I guess I can understand why people still like it.' It's actually a killer album."
On whether it's difficult to reproduce "Cause Of Death" live:
Trevor: "It's cool. We've got all the sound effects in between each song. We have all of that on recordings. We have our front-of-house guy, he's going to play those from the front-of-house. We do all that between the tunes so it gives it that effect and ambiance. It's cool. For Kenny [Andrews, guitar] to play the leads, he's always nervous about it. [Laughs] He's got big shoes to fill when it comes to playing the leads, but he's got them down pretty good. It sounds great."
On his memories of recording "Cause Of Death":
Trevor: "To sum it up real quick, basically, this album was the first album that we downtuned to B. The whole guitar being tuned down one whole step during the writing process, it was still tuned and written in E. When we were recording the album, all the scratch guitars were standard E 442 tuning. I went back in to do final guitar takes, [producer] Scott Burns, he asked me, 'Hey, you ever thought about downtuning to B? Like a whole step down, the whole guitar?' I was, like, 'No. Never thought about it. Never crossed my mind. I don't know. I never thought about it yet.' He goes, 'Why don't you try it? It might be even heavier.' I said, 'Okay.' I put on fresh strings and we intonated my guitar for B and I played it once through one song. He's, like, 'How does it feel?' 'It's cool, I guess.' Playing it didn't feel any different, sound any different until you recorded it. 'Okay, cool.' Ever since then, we've been tuned to B. Scott Burns gave me the suggestion to do that during the principle recording of 'Cause Of Death'. It's pretty funny."
On OBITUARY's early days when they were known as XECUTIONER:
Trevor: "We were children in 1984. I was 14 or 15 years old, barely could even play guitar. Donald [Tardy, drums] was just learning how to play drums at the same time. We didn't even know any direction of where we were going. We knew we were metal to start out with. The influences were all over the board at that point because musically, at first, we were kind of more thrash metal, I guess you could say. Definitely more thrash style, which I still think we have those elements, even our first couple of albums, you hear thrash all over it. It's just heavier because of the tunes and the vocal style. It was definitely darker than your typical thrash metal. That was a big influence. It took us a while, really, I think. It was '84 when we started. We were looking for a couple of years. The song 'I'm In Pain' was written back then, it was '85-ish. I remember thinking 'Man, this is heavy as shit.' We took all of the songs before that and threw them in the garbage can. Now we can continue from here and get heavier."
On SLAYER's recent "retirement":
Trevor: "It's pretty sad. It hadn't really sunk in for me. Obviously, we did the tour with them last November in Europe, part of their farewell tour. And I remember watching every night, watching them, saying 'Well, if they're really done, I'm going to soak in every moment I can of this tour of SLAYER on stage.' It's crazy because that band, even today, is so relevant and so heavy, so aggressive and [one] of the most influential bands on the planet, I think, for me. It's sad to see them go. Hopefully one day they'll come back. I doubt it; I don't know. [Laughs] In fact, Sunday evening, Saturday was the last show, I wrote [guitarist] Gary Holt: 'That's it?' He's like 'Yep. That's it…apparently.' [Laughs] Think about it, for extreme metal, too, there's not a band that big is as heavy as them. They were the biggest of the heaviest bands. There's nobody that's that aggressive that's as huge as they were as far as playing the show live and having five, ten thousand people show up. Some people are like, some media people are, like, 'Who's going to take their place?' There's no guarantee that someone is going to do that. That's part of the world, how the stars align and how the earth turns and how people accept things. They were around for a long time. For a band to be that aggressive and heavy and to be that popular, that's just some luck or chance. [Laughs]"
On whether SLAYER's retirement makes him think of when OBITUARY will hang it up:
Trevor: "About us retiring? Nah. I love to play. I'm not tired of it all. There's no bone inside of me that's like, 'Oh god, I'm ready to hang this…' Sometimes you're like 'We got to play another show tomorrow…' because you're ten, 15 shows into a tour and you're tired that day because you stayed up until four a.m. drinking and partying. There's never been that 'Okay, when are we going to end this?' Not a thought in my mind, at least. Definitely not. I love to play. I'll play till the day I die, if I can, physically."
OBITUARY recently announced a rescheduled North American tour in support of BLACK LABEL SOCIETY. The tour kicks off February 26 in Tucson, Arizona, and wraps March 28 in Hartford, Connecticut.
OBITUARY's latest, self-titled studio album was released in 2017 via Relapse.