Interview answered by Ivan (drummer).
Hail ERUPTION! Welcome to Sick And Destroy. Before we start the interview, I would like you to introduce yourself to our readers. To begin with where are you from and a brief history about your band?
Hey, man – wassup? Before I start answering, I’d like to say that Sick And Destroy is one of the best names for a webzine! It’s … em, sick, haha! OK, here goes. I’m Ivan Cepanec and I play drums for the Slovene metal maniacs known as Eruption. We come from Slovenia. The band is a five-piece: Klemen Kalin (vocals), Andrej Čuk and Gregor Kamenšek (guitars), Nika Krmelj (bass) and yours truly on drums. Klemen is the only original member. He and his friends formed Eruption in 2004. Since then Eruption has recorded and released three albums, one live EP and two demos, played numerous shows and had some member changes.
How would you describe your music? And what bands have influenced you the most?
A mix of thrash and power metal. Considering all the influences we have and all we incorporate into our music, we could just call it metal, but there’s so many facets of metal music, so the best description is the one given in the first sentence. Our musical DNA consists of American and German thrash, NWOBHM and American power metal. Like most musicians, we have tons of influences and within Eruption, each member has their own musical tastes and preferences.
I believe we can say that the biggest influences are powerful and technical bands such as Forbidden, Testament, Megadeth, aggressive ones like Kreator and Slayer mixed with the songwriting craftsmanship of Judas Priest and Helloween rounded up by the darkness which emanates from Sanctuary and Nevermore and infused with the sound of Helstar, Winters Bane and Pharaoh with some unexpected twists and turns. For influences of each and every separate member, it’d take several pages.
How many and which albums/demos has ERUPTION released so far?
Demo (2007, self-released)
Lifeless Paradise (2009, On Parole) – re-released in 2013 by Xtreem Music (with a different cover and some bonus material)
Selfcaged (demo, 2011, self-released)
Tenses Collide (2013, Xtreem Music)
Live Transmissions (EP, 2014, self-released)
Cloaks Of Oblivion (May 2nd 2017, Xtreem Music)
All available through our label Xtreem Music or our Bandcamp profile.
Which ones happens to be your favourite songs? Of ERUPTION and personal.
Eruption? From the debut album – The Auditors, from Tenses Collide – Empty Shells, The Forlorn and Last Transmission. From the upcoming album, Cloaks Of Oblivion – each and every one. Personal choices – OK, I’ll try to sum it up: Kreator – Coma of Souls, Metallica – Disposable Heroes, Sodom – Nuclear Winter, Immolation – Put my Hand in the Fire, Darkthrone – I am the Working Class, Helloween – Victim Of Fate, Bad Religion – Sorrow, Machine Head – A Farewell to Arms and… Hell, I can’t sum it up. There’s just too many songs.
Do you feel that ERUPTION’s music has changed over the years and how?
Yes, I do. I must emphasize that I joined Eruption in 2011, so at that time I was a big fan of their debut album. What I see, hear and feel about the debut album is a young and naive but daring and ferocious presentation that shows mostly the influences of West Coast thrash (not just Bay Area, but the West Coast in general).
After I claimed the drum throne and especially after Andrej Čuk joined a couple of months later (summer 2011), the band opened itself more to melody but didn’t become mellow through the process. Imagine late-era Death Angel or Testament around the Practice What You Preach-era more so than Bonded By Blood or Forbidden Evil. With Andrej and myself both coming from an extreme music background, the melody was accompanied by much more powerful, intricate and aggressive riffing and drumming. Like comparing Exodus’ Bonded By Blood with, let’s say, something that Machine Head did on The Blackening. Then with the arrival of Grega Kamenšek with his guitar playing abilities, we really got lucky because he is one crazy guitarist. He can play anything – melodic, technical, death, thrash, power! And we also didn’t want to repeat the second album so we started exploring slower and heavier and darker musical aspects to counter our speed, power and technicality. And Nika’s bass playing, wide musical taste and her musical education really just put the icing on the cake. Throughout the years we all developed as musicians, even Klemen finally started to show what he can really do with his vocals.
I believe that the music has evolved naturally and in small but decisive steps. It is a natural progression but most importantly, it’s not fueled by any trends or expectations from the outside – it comes from our hearts, so it is still sincere. I don’t know where it will go from here but I feel confident that it will just keep getting better and better.
How much time does it take for ERUPTION to record an album?
Recording, not so long. Usually five to six months, I guess. I usually record my drum tracks in less than five days. Guitars of course take longer, a couple of weeks. It’s the same with the bass. Klemen takes his time with the vocals but it still doesn’t take too long. It then takes a couple weeks to apply the finishing touches, and voíla. The recording process is relatively short – well, taking into account our private lives we end up with a couple of months, but that is because you record one day for let’s say 5-8 hours, then it’s a couple of days to focus on our jobs and then back to the studio again. But if you’d take all the studio hours and put them together, I’d say it takes about a month or a month and a half.
Tell us something more about the latest album ‘Cloaks of Oblivion’.
It is the face of Eruption in 2017, although the traces of it started to present themselves in the second part of 2013, I think. We had tons of shows after Tenses Collide was released. That summer we started working on the skeleton of what would then become the title track, Cloaks of Oblivion. Afterwards Tim Tajič, the guitarist, left the band. Then Grega joined but we had to teach him the old songs, play live and create new material, which fell upon the shoulders of Andrej Čuk. Than in December 2014 we recorded a pre-production demo for ourselves, made up of Cloaks Of Oblivion, Sanity Ascend and a song from our former bassist, Andrej Škof, which we didn’t end up using ‘cause we saw later that it didn’t fit in with the rest of the material. After September 2015 when Škof quit the band, me and Andrej sat down and made a timetable for the new album. Andrej at that time had some more songs and then began the long and tiresome but gratifying process of creating the material. We went to the studio in July 2016 to record the drums.
So, almost all of the songs were written by Andrej Čuk, who really stepped up to the plate. I always liked how he mixes melody and aggression, staying true to the metal gods of old but not denying that we live in the 21st Century, haha. He really presented some crazy songs, especially the likes of The Yearning or what was to become The Prophet, which actually got me more into exploring the likes of Nevermore, Lamb of God etc. Grega Kamenšek wrote a couple of songs but we used only one because it fit the most. It’s an incredibly passionate and dynamic song known as This Barren Existence. One of my personal favorites, if I may add. Nika’s bass is also amazing – crazy, unpredictable, yet powerful and complements my drumming in all aspects. My personal opinion is that it’s the greatest possible album to present our vocalist’s abilities. Klemen Kalin really shows what one can do with his vocals in a genre that is nowadays mostly stale, predictable and boring as far as vocals go.
I believe that Cloaks Of Oblivion is our time to shine, our greatest release so far. It shows you that we dare to mix speed and technicality, with a slower, yet massive and dynamic punch. Add some heartbreaking and powerful melodies (that aren’t metalcore!) and some diverse drumming, and you’ll see what the Cloaks are hiding, haha. We have groovy songs, we have really fast and crazy shit, we have beauty and melody, some darkness and sadness as well.
Whats next? Working on any new album? If so, some details please.
Playing as many shows as possible, presenting the album wherever and whenever we can. New album? Well, we won’t take 4 years to release the new one, that I promise, and we’re already discussing directions and also writing some riffs. But the future is still far away, my friend.
Any tours, gigs for promotion of latest album?
Yes! Tons of them – we are booking shows in Slovenia, have a festival slot confirmed in Croatia, planning to visit Serbia and many more countries, especially Austria and Germany where people are really thrilled about our music. And then – only the sky is the limit!
Any future plans for playing in Europe or USA?
I already answered this partly in the previous question, but the USA would be awesome. People there know their metal and are passionate and true. Hell, Eruption probably wouldn’t even exist if it wasn’t for US power metal or thrash. We’d love to visit the US of A. But as of now there still aren’t any plans, only the EU in the near future. But if anyone wants to book a tour there for us, contact us, please!
Has ERUPTION done any opening acts for other major heavy weight bands? If yes, then when and where?
Yes. My first gig with them was opening for D.R.I. which was sick! I think they played with Vendetta and Warbringer before I joined, later on we shared the stage with Nuclear Assault (2015), M. O. D. (2014) and Toxic Holocaust (2015). Those were mostly club shows in Ljubljana and at the Metaldays festival in Tolmin.
What do you feel about the Metal Scene there in your country?
It’s awesome. We have tons of local shows, there are many big club shows from all metal genres, we have a couple of webzines (Paranoid, Rockline, Profanity etc.), two or three metal radio shows (mine is called Metal Detektor), one metal label and distro (On Parole Productions), a bunch of crazy metalized fuckers around, haha. And of course we have tons of bands, most of them great, you should check them out – in thrash there’s our amazing brothers in Panikk, youngsters like Moshead and Black Reaper, the crazy fuckers in Lintver and sci-fi maniacs Teleport. We also have a diabolical old school trio, Hellsword. There are newer sounding bands like deathcore, slam or brutal death masters like Within Destruction, Dethrone The Corrupted, Carnifliate, Mephistophelian, old school death metal fuckers Dickless Tracy, grinders Extreme Smoke 57, gore grind brutalizers Vulvathrone, traditional metal bands like Metalsteel and Underground, post metal bands like The Canyon Observer etc. We have some local festivals like Vratolom, Breka Fest, Hole Of Metal, Metal Mania, Krastival, tons of clubs like Mostovna, Gromka, Orto Bar, Gala Hala, MKNŽ, LokalPatriot, Trainstation Subart, youth centres which organize metal gigs and many more, too many to mention or remember. And we have the best metal festival around, Metaldays, which is 7 days long and takes place by the river, it is held every last week of July.
Any messages for the readers?
Check out our latest album, Cloaks of Oblivion, out on May 2nd 2017 via Xtreem Music. And buy our merch and CDs, come see us at our shows, support your local scene, do something creative and stay true to yourselves. Sick And Destroy, thank you for the opportunity! You rule!