Requiem (Australia)

Liam: First up can you tell us a bit about your band. Where are you guys from and how long have you been playing?
Zacharie: We formed in the little Victorian town of Ararat in 2012. It was pretty much me and bunch of mates from high school that were the only metal guys at school. We just said “hey lets start a band”, and it’s pretty much just taken off from there really. We’ve all moved to Ballarat since and had members leave and had new guys come in so we’re from all around Victoria at the moment.

What are some of the bands influences?
That’s something that’s varied a lot as we’ve progressed as a band. When we started out there were a lot of bands like Trivium, The Black Dahlia Murder, Sylosis, Machine Head. As we’ve kept going there’s been a lot more black metal, death metal and extreme metal influences that have come into the band.

I’ve noticed that you guys have a distinct thrashy feel to your music but with some awesome slow tempo bits as well. How would you describe your music to a listener who hasn’t heard it before?
At the moment we are running with the extreme metal label, because it’s just so much thrown into the one melting pot. We try and write all of our songs so differently from each other to incorporate heaps of different elements.

What’s the writing process like? Do you come up with the riffs?
In the past the majority has been me writing everything and I would bring that to the band and the rest of the members would write their parts. When we were writing for this new album it was great because we had everyone putting in. Jye, our other guitarist brought a couple of half-finished songs to me and we worked on them together. I threw that Requiem kind of spin on it because it was his first time doing any writing in the band. Same with Aaryn, our drummer, he brought a lot of things in and we’ve just pieced it all together and made it work when we could.

Where did you guys get the name Requiem from?
Requiem means “Mass of the Dead” in Latin, and I just fell in love with it when I first heard it. It’s a really cool word and I’m really intrigued by the afterlife and those kinds of themes. There’s a lot of that in our music so I thought that was very fitting for the band.

What was it like forming a metal band in a rural setting?
I’d say we were very very lucky because when we first started all our members and had a solid line up for quite a few years. We were pretty much the very few metalheads in the town so if someone left the band we wouldn’t have had many options to get someone else. It was interesting, we used to play a lot of shows out of country pubs if we were travelling to Melbourne for shows. We would bust out Iron Maiden covers and there was always someone who would want to hear a bit of Slayer.

So you guys were sort of the kids at school wandering around the school in metal shirts on mufti days?
Yeah pretty much! Everyone loved it though. We were those token metalheads in high school.

You guys put on a crazy show in Sydney a few weeks ago with Flaming Wrekage but I noticed that the crowd was relatively small. You guys still put on a crazily energetic show despite the crowd size. Is this discouraging for you as a band?
Not at all, no. Because we’ve been playing for quite a while now we’ve got a standard that we’ve set for ourselves in regards to our live shows. We just aim to deliver that no matter where we play. So for example when we played in Ballarat on Friday the crowd was nowhere near the biggest crowd we’ve played to in Ballarat but the people there were really enjoying it and that makes us just wanna go hard. Go hard for the people that are there, to leave an impression.

Yeah it definitely did make an impression! Just how crazily energetic you guys were up in Sydney. It was just mental!
Ah good man! Glad we could make a good impression!

What’s been your best and worst gig and why?
We played in Melbourne earlier this year and that was crazy. We played at the Bendigo Hotel and the room was packed. That’s probably the first time we played Melbourne and there’s been so many people out just to see us, and that was great. Seeing people screaming the words. Its just like wow, people really do dig this. That was awesome.
The worst show we played was in Melbourne. We played at the Central Club, to a total of about 8 payers. We were the opening band and we played to one of the other bands. Everyone else left…. So that was interesting. That was a few years ago now and there hasn’t been one like that for a while which is nice!

You spoke about the undead and afterlife themes you explore previously. So those are themes you sang about in your albums ‘Mass of the Dead’ and ‘Damnation’?
Every song on ‘Mass of the Dead’ is about something different. There’s some typical metal tropes about nuclear holocaust and one of the songs is about the Nazguls out of Lord of The Rings. So pretty metal stuff. ‘Damnation’ is a concept about a bloke selling his soul to the devil and all the repercussions of that. I think after we wrote that as a concept we decided that everything we wanted to do from then on would be a concept as well.

Oh you’ve got an upcoming album?
Yeah! We were in the studio between June to mid August and it’s getting mastered at the moment.

What’s it called?
I’m gonna have to withhold from that one for now!

My favourite song of yours is “Evocation Ritual”. What is your favourite song of your albums?
Hmmm my favourites are definitely the ones we’ve done on this new album, because by doing a full album it opened up a lot of opportunities for us. So instead of doing 4 or 5 songs on an EP we are able to do a whole bunch of songs. So some of the songs go for like 9 minutes. That’s the kind of territory I’ve always wanted to be in. Writing these really progressive, structured songs. I think out of what we’ve got realized at the moment, ‘Of Atrophy and Desolation’ off ‘Damnation’ is probably my favourite because that song is just riff after riff after riff after riff. It’s a good one, so fun to play live.

I always like to find out what bands do when they are not playing gigs? What do you do for a living besides Requiem?I’m just at uni at the moment, and outside of that I do design work for bands here and there and run shows. I’m just a pretty normal guy!

What are you studying at uni?
Community and Human Services.

Who are some bands you would love to play a gig with in the future?
I’ve got a couple of Aussie bands still to tick off my bucketlist. We did a weekend with Psycroptic a month or two ago and that was an absolute blast. I think Earthrot from Perth, I’d really love to play with them. Overseas though… Oh man the list is so big. Demolition Hammer, Skeletal Remains. Bands like Trivium and The Black Dahlia Murder. Any of those bands would be amazing.

Lastly, do you get in the pit or are you a head banging bystander at gigs?
Depends on the show! I used to be a crazy little pit demon and now I’m just a little bit too old and jaded. I’ll always be banging my head though. But if the moods just right and I’ve had just enough to drink, I’ll jump in the pit and push around a bit!

You can listen to Requiem’s music on Bandcamp-

Interview Date: 2017-10-21

Interviewer: Liam Douglas

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