1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
We actually completed tracking it over a year ago now, The mastering and art took us through to May. From there we were talking with unique leader about releasing through them, however they still owe us several thousand dollars and weren't going to work that out so we opted out. We has some other offers from a few other labels, but nothing we felt was going to produce a significantly different result than if we released it ourselves and retained control of the music. So the process of getting this all together and on track has pretty much been our focus from august onwards.
2.You have a new album coming out in the end of April, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
I think we all felt Relentless was a little too simple and stripped back for where we saw the future of the band. Tides is alot more involved and has a few elements I don't think we have brought through since our first album. I'm pretty happy that we have created something which is modern and precise but not super clean computerised sounding rubbish that tends to be a common feature in alot of modern death metal releases. We wanted something that didn't sound out of place in 2015 but at the same time had a slightly more old school edge, but most importantly of all had its own sound and was unique. I'm pretty happy we achieved that.
3.This is the first album to be released in 6 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time span?
Shortly after Relentless I had an offer to move into a covert area in the police force. By this stage I had decided I would be leaving in the next 3-4 years so I wanted to make the most of the opportunity while I was still able to. That took me through to mid 2012, and from there its just been a case of slowly getting this album and what Dawn of Azazel is in 2015 together.
4.In the beginning the band was more in a war metal direction then you went for more of a brutal death metal sound and the new album also shows a different musical style can you tell us a little bit about how your musical sound has evolved over the years?
In our demo days we were influenced by blasphemy, sarcofago, bestial warlust, conqueror, but also quite heavily by today is the day, dillinger escape plan and to a lesser extent gorguts. Not many people at the time really got what we were about or that mixing some of the more mathy, discordant chaotic stuff was as important as the raw chaotic sound. I think the change to a more death metal sound is largely due to Joe having more and more musical input, but I think our first European tour with Urgehal and Thunderbolt also made it pretty apparent to me that the mentality and scene politics of the more "necro" fans wasn't something that was well suited to our vision of where we wanted to take the band. Since sedition we've really aimed to do something quite different with every release and the thing that I'm probably most happy with in regards to our musical legacy is that we've managed to avoid being clumped in with any scene or movement for 16 years now.
5.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
The Tides of Damocles is primarily about persistence in the face of adversity, toil, suffering and in a sense the futility of existence. On all our albums I think The Will to Power has lyrically been the underlying narrative, and I've simply tried to reflect how that manifests in my life at the particular point in time I'm writing the lyrics.
Compared with the content of Relentless, at the time of writing this one I'd purposely sought out some pretty testing experiences professionally and personally. I wanted to cover the mentality behind that, the hardness, resolve, confidence and to a degree cynicism that comes from purposefully stepping into situations that are rather dangerous and outside your comfort zone. You could say it's a more mature and sober perspective than Relentless was, for a number of reasons haha.
6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Dawn of Azazel'?
I came up with that name when I was quite young, 16 from memory, reading about demons and the occult. I came across Azazel- known as both an angel that was cast out of heaven for sharing the art of war and beautification with mankind, and a demon that was ritually sent goats that bore the sins of the hebrew people as a form of atonement. I thought it was a perfect symbol for what I the band being about.
7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We try to avoid gimmicks and keep it focused on the music on stage, be in the moment and channel your anger and energy into the performance. Too many shows to list haha, Touring Europe with immolation, one of our biggest influences was a definite stand out though.
8.Do you have nay touring or show plans once the new album is released?
Beyond the New Zealand and Australian shows we have scheduled we're working on a few extra shows in Australia and the northern hemisphere right now. We most certainly want to get out of the confines of our tiny little island again as much as is possible to promote this one.
9.The new album is going to be self released, are the band members open to working with another record label again?
We'll have to see how this one pans out really, I am actually looking forward to seeing what the advantages to doing this one ourselves are. I don't really feel that any of our past labels have done that much for us apart from connections that have helped us tour in the northern hemisphere. I don't believe that a label is anything like the necessity that it was in 2009 when we last released our album, In fact I think good management is far more important at this stage of the game. We wouldn't rule it out, it would just have to be for more than simply organising PR, pressing and distribution, all of which we are pretty capable of organising ourselves.
10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to the newer music by fans of extreme metal?
We'll its still pretty early days, but the reviews we have received so far have been really, really good, despite the fact its alot harder these days to get people take 3 minutes out of their life to listen to your music.
11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We'll we are already well into the writing process for the next album. I think there will be a much stronger psychedelic influence on the next album, but not in the way that most people understand when that term is used in music. We touched on it a little on Tides, but we've got some great ideas already on how to draw that out in a pretty unique and creative way.
12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
A pretty wide range really. Personally I'm quite enjoying Promulgation of the Fall by Dead Congregation at the moment, and Lazerhawks Skull and Shark.
13.How would you describe your views on Satanism and Occultism?
The word "satanism" is loaded with so much misunderstanding, wankery and rubbish, particularly in the world of metal music. Despite thus I would describe it as my spiritual outlook, but not in the way that most people would understand it to mean. Furthermore I'd say it's a pretty strong undercurrent of all the lyrics and ideology that I have contributed to every release that we have done. I prefer subtle to overt and those that are going to get it will get it, the others won't. Doing otherwise is contrary to its underlying principals in my opinion.
14.What are some of your non musical interests?
Since I have left my previous career I'm focusing pretty heavily on working in adult education and moving in the direction of public speaking. I'm intensely interested in how conflict and disruption is a beneficial force in the world and in between turning that into a well paying career, music and the gym that's pretty much me.
15.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you for taking the time to compose this interview, I appreciate it. Fans of original, imaginative and intense metal, check us out at https://dawnofazazel.bandcamp.com/album/the-tides-of-damocles