I talked a little to MESHIHA‘s drummer Brad Fincher (who togheter with guitarist Brian Wynn also are two of the original members of DEVOURMENT) about that they’ve done since “Molesting the Decapitated” and the upcoming release, and much more.
How are you?
I’m great thanks.
Why did you choose the name MESHIHA? Are you Christians, or is it just a name?
Brian came up with the name MESHIHA, Aramaic for “anointed one”, basically a form of the word “Messiah”. Brian is a devout Christian but Joe and I are not. We’re not a “Christian” band though it’s understandable that people could assume that from the name. I appreciate Biblical iconography and how it can be applied in various contexts. In the instance of this band I think it’s appropriate not for any religious connotation but that it basically refers to one chosen to a purpose and to excel at that purpose. I believe it calls back our legacy in DEVOURMENT in that we feel this is what we’re chosen to do musically. The signature Texas Death Metal Slam sound that we pioneered. We’ve evolved over the years as musicians but that style is what we do best.
It’s been 15 years since you and Brian “Brain” Wynn worked together, and at that time you were in DEVOURMENT and made what became “Molesting the Decapitated” (which, by the way, is one of my favorite records of all time). What have you been doing? Plotting your musical revenge? When, how and why did the band start?
Thank you for the support. Even after all this time Brian and I are just as grateful when someone tells us that they appreciated what we did with DEVOURMENT on “Molesting the Decapitated” as we were back then. That that music has endured so long and remained popular is beyond anything we could have predicted. It’s pretty amazing. I was just talking to Brian about this the other day but I mentioned that in nearly every interview I’ve seen with famous bands, regardless of genre, they always seem to say the same thing, that they wrote music that they wanted to hear. They did it for themselves and not for anyone else. The success came as a consequence of that. DEVOURMENT was the exact same scenario for us. We loved tons of bands but none were doing everything we wanted to hear. I liked how this band did this and how this band was good at this. We took all our favorite parts of our favorite bands and created a Frankenstein’s monster that we called DEVOURMENT. That so many people liked what we were doing as much as we did was and is the greatest feeling I think an artist can have. I’ve played in various projects since DEVOURMENT but no revenge was involved. MESHIHA started several years ago but was cut short by life commitments. We began again in early 2012 and have been going steady since.
We have the single, “Commence The Suffering” which is amazing. When do you think we will see another track, or maybe even a Full-length? What have you recorded so far?
Again thank you so much. “Commence” has been pretty well-received which has us all pretty stoked. We’re in the middle of writing the next track now. After the holidays we hope to pick up the pace and start cranking them out. I think a fairly conservative estimate would be that we will have enough songs for a full-length release by mid 2013. Another thing that has us excited is that we feel the first song we wrote in DEVOURMENT “Shroud of Encryption” was far from being the strongest track on the album and was us kind of finding our way to our ultimate sound. This is how we see “Commence.” It’s a teaser of even better things to come, we hope.
Even though you only have one song out, at the moment, the response on the internet have been massive. Any labels shown any interest yet?
Yeah, we were totally surprised by the amount of interest generated from the single. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and really has us excited to keep moving forward. A few labels and distros have approached us and we have some things that will be announced in the near future. Keep posted to our Facebook page for all updates.
You signed a merch deal with Swedish based Relics of Death. Is this the first shirt printing MESHIHA does?
We have a couple avenues we’re exploring with regard to shirts at the moment. I’m not sure where the first printing will come from but it’s very possible Relics of Death will be first.
Joseph Riojas is the vocalist now, and before him it was Kevin Clark. Why did he quit MESHIHA? Or was he fired?
Kevin is a great friend and a killer musician and vocalist. He was a crucial part of our original DEVOURMENT lineup. At a certain point it just seemed like Brian and I were on a different musical path than Kevin which meant we felt we had to part ways. Kevin is still making music and we wish him the best.
Joseph is doing a stellar job of not only bringing the vocal brutality we were looking for but a great ear for arrangement and smart lyrical content. He’s a very cool dude and we’re lucky we nabbed him. It’s pretty funny how we found him. In my years in bands after quitting DEVOURMENT I jammed with this guitarist that was in a metalcore band. In some of his band photos I saw the second guitarist in his other band wore a DEVOURMENT shirt frequently. Even more years later I wound up chatting up the second guitarist guy on Facebook as we began our search for a new singer. I invited him to audition and he shows up and kills it. I tell Joe the only reason I talked to him was because I saw him wearing a DEVOURMENT shirt in his previous band. Turns out he was in a death metal band back in the day called BATTERED SOUL, he came to one of our shows and Brian gave him that DEVOURMENT shirt.
Have you found a Bass player yet?
We’re talking to a person of interest at the moment.
Where does your inspiration come from? You’ve got a very unique style of playing.
Thank you. I realize my approach is a bit unorthodox. I played snare drum in high school so that’s where a lot of the hand speed comes from. I’ve always been big on groove over straight up technical playing and I think that’s one of the reasons I’m not super busy and favor slam in general.
Early influences were Pete Sandoval, and Sean Reinert. Pete was the blast and double bass monster and Sean showed how you could incorporate jazzy cymbals and dynamics into brutal death metal. In DEVOURMENT two guys completely dominated my approach to drums although it might not be evident right away. Flo Mounier and Dave Culross. Flo had that hypergrind that no one was doing at those speeds. Not to mention he’s just a great all-around player that comes up with amazing drums parts and fills. Still one of the most unique drummers in extreme metal. The first 30 seconds I heard of “Defenestration” off the “Blasphemy Made Flesh” album immediately raised the bar for what was possible. Culross is absolutely one of the most inventive and purely talented guys ever to touch a drumkit. His use of creative cymbal work and machine like precision on the MALEVOLENT CREATION “Eternal” album is unmatched. He’s the closest thing to a guy of the talent level of a Thomas Lang or Vinnie Colaiuta playing death metal. Knowing that he’s back in SUFFOCATION has me super stoked. Those two guys still inspire me. Nowadays there’s so many killer “Sickdrummers” it’s hard to keep track *laughter*. George Kollias and Tim Yeung slay. Brutal Dave Billia is a new guy that caught my ear. Insane speed.
What’s your view on the whole DEVOURMENT thing? I mean, that a band you’ve helped create, continues but with an entirely different sound. And that they have become so hugely succesful?
We still talk to those guys and we wish them nothing but the best. They’ve been tremendously successful and that’s awesome.
What’s your view on the metal scene today?
Honestly I’m not sure what the metal scene is today *laughter*. There’s so many different things that seem to be popular from the resurgence in death metal, to djent, to power metal, to techincal metal, to deathcore, to metalcore, to whatever Asking Alexandra is, to everything else. I see aspects of all of it that I like. All I know is I still love SUFFOCATION.
Do you have any last words to the readers?
Thank you to everyone that’s ever supported our work in DEVOURMENT and now MESHIHA. We hope we can pick up where we left off with “Molesting The Decapitated” and surpass expectations. This is just the beginning of the journey.
Thank you very much for you time, Brad.
Thank you sir!
Written by: Johan Kerrighen