Text & Photos: Teddie Taylor
Genocide Pact are suffocating in the highest, complimentary form of the word. From the birthplace of hardcore, they are crafting death metal that harkens to the greats while pushing forward to something even greater. The trio’s 2015 record, Forged Through Domination, was a looming reminder of the lives death metal has yet to live; with vocals to rival Glen Benton, predatory underlying bass lines and a drummer spawned straight from the yet-to-be-founded Ginger Baker School of Death Metal, Genocide Pact are surreal. Prior to their set at The Lost Well during the insanity of Austin Terror Fest, they took a merch table break to talk about their projects, their old school sound and their future plans.
What was the first album or song that turned you onto what you play now?
Connor: Leprosy by Death.
Tim: Arise by Sepultura.
You all play in other bands, right? What sets this one apart from those?
Tim: For me and Nolan, our other band’s really fast and I guess this one’s slower than that.
Nolan: There’s a little more thought that goes into the process.
Connor: The songs are more technical and a lot longer than all of my other bands. And obviously I mostly play in hardcore bands and this is a metal band, so that’s the main difference.
Tim: A little groovier. A little more rock oriented. [Laughs]
Connor: I play a double bass pedal in this one, so…
Label: A389 Recordings
The “old school death metal” label comes up around you guys. What is your approach to that sound, or do you even try to go for that sound?
Connor: Speaking from our songwriting approach, the stuff that we’re influenced by is the stuff that we got into as middle school kids who were hearing death metal for the first time – like a lot of the Earache stuff, the Florida stuff… So, I think that our approach is sort of natural because it’s stuff that we’ve been listening to for years and years – over half our lives. You know what I mean? I don’t really think we think about it that much when we write. It’s just like, we’ve been listening to the same Carcass and Obituary and Autopsy records for forever, so this is what we do. It’s kind of natural.
Tim: Me and Connor met originally through playing in hardcore and grindcore bands and stuff.
Connor: We were both, I think, wearing Morbid Angel shirts.
Tim: We just started talking about old school death metal. Right around the time when we would’ve been 13 or 14 or so, Roadrunner was starting to reissue all the classic Deicide and stuff.
Connor: Two from the Vault.
Tim: Yeah, the Two from the Vault series. I have The Best of Deicide, which was a later release. We just had the same reference points for when we started getting into extreme metal.
Connor: Definitely a similar way of getting into the stuff that we play now. It just worked out.
Being based in D.C., do you think hardcore and punk finds its way into this band? If so, how?
Connor: No, I mean, I don’t think so. Other people have said that we have a little bit of that in there, but when we write we definitely aren’t taking influence from any hardcore bands or punk bands or anything like that.
Connor: Right. But we love that kind of stuff.
Tim: That’s how we all met.
Connor: That’s what we all play in a lot of our other bands. It’s going to be there a little bit.
A lot of your lyrics are about society and they’re dark without trying to be overtly dark. Has the past year inspired your songwriting – even if it’s negative?
Tim: Yeah… [Laughs] My whole lyrical approach has always been inspired by bands like Sepultura and Terrorizer. There are bands that sing about Satan and bands that sing about zombies and shit like that, but I’ve always been of the understanding that there’s enough evil shit that happens on Planet Earth every day to write about for a death metal band. We’re writing another album right now and I haven’t finished the lyrics, so there’s been plenty of shit in the last several months, unfortunately, to inspire some new lyrics.
Over the years, what has been the best career advice/lesson that you’ve learned from touring?
Connor: If you like it, keep doing it. Even if it sucks sometimes–because it will.
Tim: Uh, I don’t know.
Nolan: Different things work for different people. You have to figure out what works for you.
Connor: You only live once.
How did you end up with A389?
Connor: I think out of proximity.
Tim: Dom’s only like 45 minutes up the road from us and he heard the demo and wanted to work with us.
Nolan: He worked with a lot of our friends and there’s been a lot of positive feedback. Dom’s a great guy. Obviously we have a lot of gratitude toward what he did for us.
You said you are working on another record, but what are your plans for the rest of the year?
Tim: Pretty much just finish the record.
Connor: Finish the record.
Tim: Finish the record and record it.
Nolan: Be sure it’s up to our standards.
Tim: That’s pretty much it.
Connor: We’re playing Maryland Deathfest. That’s definitely a big thing that we’re looking forward to.
Tim: We’re playing a show with Angelcorpse.
Connor: Yeah, we’re playing some cool stuff. Recording the record–that’s pretty much what we have going on.
What are some bands people might not know of that they should?
Connor: Mortuous from San Jose.
Nolan: Caveman Cult. ILSA.