Dying Fetus are arguably one of the heavy weights in the modern death metal scene. Before the band take to laying waste to Manchester’s Sound Control I spoke to drummer Trey Williams to chat about the band’s upcoming studio record, touring in general and their performance at this year’s Download Festival.
Okay I’m with Trey from Dying Fetus, it’s James from One Media Group, how are you doing?
Trey: Good, so far so good!
You’re a fair few dates into this headlining tour now, is everything going well?
Trey: The shows have been great, we’ve been dodging a sickness within the tour, Malevolence’s drummer has got it now, hopefully it is out of our bus!
Has the sickness affected the tour at all?
Trey: No shows have been stopped but it definitely affects people’s ability to play.
Has there been any particular highlights so far on this tour?
Trey: Nothing yet, just hanging out with my friends really. My friends are all in these bands yknow, and I’m making new friends and stuff like that and that’s pretty much what’s been going on so far.
You’re on tour with Malevolence, a rising British band, have they been alright on the road as well?
Trey: Oh they’re great, great dudes! They are super nice guys and they play great music. Actually there was a cool moment, our tour and Cannibal Corpse’s tour merged for one day in Prague and that was fun to see our friends in Cannibal and play a sick show there.
You’ve played the UK several times in the past few years. Do you find that the UK crowd is a bit better than say compared to back home?
Trey: Ummmmm, a little bit more vocal at times, it really depends on what city you are in. Like last night we played Cardiff and there were some pretty vocal guys like in between songs shouting like “LOUDER, FASTER” yknow stuff like that? I find typically most shows are fans are basically all the same. I mean roughly, you get three crowds. You get war-zones where it’s just a madhouse, you get people that just like head banging and then you get the third one which is more prevalent in Germany, the very polite watchers. Sometimes if like you’re the first band of the tour package you might get the polite watchers as everyone is just waiting to get a little drunk before they get rowdy.
Yeah, this tour is still in support of ‘Reign Supreme’, is the album cycle drawing to a close?
Trey: Yeah. We’re already starting some production on our newest album that we are going to record sometime hopefully in the spring.
That really leads into my next question, are there any plans in the works for a new record?
Trey: Yep, we’re building like a little recording set up down in our rehearsal room and we’re going to start doing the pre-production ourselves as opposed to what we’ve done in the past where we have had friends that know pro tools and stuff that helped us out with it.
The band has really had it’s fair share of members since you guys really started. Do you find that with all the different members that it’s difficult to build a concise sound?
Trey: Nope. I think that Dying Fetus has really come down to what influence John puts on the band. I think that of course our sound has evolved a little bit over time, I think that Dying Fetus when they started were more of a grind band and very influenced by Napalm Death. And now has become more of a death metal band over the years but always maintaining the elements of grind and hardcore and stuff like that. That’s what we do.
Of course this year you played Download Festival that happened with all the hashtag stuff. How was playing that festival?
Trey: That was killer! It was really cool and a real honour, I’m very thrilled that we were able to do that and it was very surprising. We didn’t know it was happening until it was already set and done, like our management just goes “Hey, uh you’re playing Download and you’re mainstage” and it’s like okay.
So did the Download guys come to you first or go all through management?
Trey: They approached our management and booking agents. And when they started to see that “wow people want Dying Fetus, okay lets get them!”
I was working that festival and it was an incredible set. Since performing at that festival, do you think the band has gained a lot of new fans?
Trey: I don’t know about that, I mean we played pretty early in the morning and everybody’s still waking up. I think our fans made sure they were there and maybe a couple of the early morning stragglers. Whether we made new fans off that I don’t know, I would like to hope so!
And really as the whole thing started through social media, how important is social media to you guys?
Trey: Well yknow we have Twitter and all of the ones you have to have in order to be relevant these days and we always use Facebook to promote the shows and stuff like that. We were in Dublin the other night and me and John and our tech Steve took a walk to the Phil Lynott statue, bass player and singer of Thin Lizzy, and got our pictures there. And then I sent that over to Facebook to make a post to tell everybody in Dublin to come out, we’re here, Phil’s rocking, we’re rocking. So yeah, we take advantage of it a bit.
As a three piece band, the sound is incredibly heavy. How do you achieve that with three members in the band?
Trey: You have good gear, you have good players, you have good guys playing yknow? I’m not speaking for myself but I’m more speaking for John and Sean. Those guys are always really really keen on their tones and stuff like that. John is always trying to improve on his sound and Sean has just found an amazing bass tone on his own. I think that helps being tight, if you’ve rehearsed and you’re good out there then everybody hits the note at the same time it’s going to sound heavy.
And really my final question, what’s next for Dying Fetus after you finish this headlining tour?
Trey: Writing the new album!
Do you have any festival plans as well?
Trey: We do, we’re playing Hellfest and there is another one we just announced which I can’t recall it, I think Slipknot is the headliner on that one. In the summer we will be back hopefully in the UK but we will be in Europe doing some shows and stuff like that!