Interview with Jasun Tipton (Thrak) from Death Machine (November 28, 2003)

Hi Jasun (Thrak) - some might know you, your brother and Mike Guy from your other band Zero Hour, but why have you desided to make this side-project? And would you think it's an advantage or disadvantage that people already know you from Zero Hour?
Thrak: I really can't say at the moment. On the good note Death Machine has been getting really good reviews so far with and we are really happy about that. Time will tell if the Zero Hour name will be in our favor or not.

Zero Hour is very technically progressive metal, where as this much more dark and aggressive metal - what do you consider to be the biggest difference between your 2 bands? And how would you describe your music?
Thrak: The singer Kirk wanted us to do a project with him for a couple years but due to Zero Hour, we didn't have the time. When Zero Hour had some down time, we got together to write some really heavy music. The whole plan was just to be a live act in our local area. The members love playing out live and we just wanted to go out and have some fun. The costumes came up because we didn't want to be noticed as the guys from Zero Hour doing a project. All of the sudden we started getting a couple hundred people or more at every show we played. We were getting calls from Bookers, clubs and local mags because Death Machine built a buzz. So then we decided to make a 5 song demo and soon after that, Death Machine was number 2 on the biggest radio station here in the Bay Area (92.3 FM KSJO) for they're Home Grown show. We started getting into Zero Mag, Powerslave, we were amazed by the response. The band decided to add 7 more tunes to complete the CD and here we are.

What have influenced you to make this album?
Thrak: The bands we enjoy are Meshuggah, Lamb of God, Nevemore, Dream Theater, Killswitch Engage, Tool, Porcupine Tree, the list could go on and on. We dig a ton of bands and the list could go forever. The biggest difference between Death Machine and Zero Hour is Death Machine goes all out heavy with technical patterns that keeps the music in your face. Zero Hour doesn't have any set patterns throughout the songs. The music it put together more towards a film score direction. Death Machine is a Technical (I'm not great on picking genres) Death Metal act. Zero Hour is Progressive Metal act.

Is Death Machine here to stay or is it a one album project?
Thrak: Death Machine is here to stay. It doesn't take us away from Zero Hour and we are having a great time doing it. We have already written the next disc

Which band is the main focus for you?
Thrak: Zero Hour get's the priority but we get alot of downtime due to our singer in ZH. (ZH fans don't need to worry) We have been done with our tracks for De-Evolution since March. We are starting December next week and our singer is still working on the vocals. We just love playing music and it's tough to just sit there and wait. Mike, Dev and myself have to keep our chops up and we really enjoy doing Death Machine

I really like the production of the bass and the drums, but isn't that pleased with the the more raw and unpolished production of the guitars and vocals - was this done intentionally? And are you pleased with the end result - I mean some of the tracks were only meant to be a demo?
Thrak: Well this is the first time I've heard anything against the guitar production. Dino does an amazing job of recording, mixing and Co-Producing. HE does all the work for Zero Hour and Death Machine and will continue to do so. Yeah the tone is raw but unpolished is not correct at all. It's your opinion and you have the right to speak out about it man, not offended. All honesty in technical terms, those guitars are very polished. The production on the disc doesn't sound like a demo at all. This day and age, any new band trying to get a deal in these markets, the labels are looking for a finished product. The prodution is great on the CD and we are really happy with it. DINO ALDEN RULES!!!!!!

Being in 2 underground bands, you must know how hard it is to get recognition - the internet is a very important source for many fans - how do you use the internet and how important is it for you and other new bands?
Thrak: It's very important to the bands. We appreciate all the help you are giving us and we need the help. It's a tough market we've picked but we love the music we do

The pictures in the booklet are very nu-metal like - why?
Thrak: Question three kinda answers that. We went out to have fun with this band and then people were taking us seriously. We said maybe we should not do the outfits anymore but everyone said no, you have to keep the outfits

What topics do you deal with in your lyrics and why?
Thrak: Feeling out of place, pain. For the most part, that's what the lyrics are about. Alot of anger in the music and lyrics, good times.

To finish things off - could you pls. make a all-time Top 5 or  sort of the 5 most important albums in your opinion? 
Thrak: Wow thats a tough one!!!

  • Meshuggah - Destroy Erase Improve

  • Pat Methen - Still Life Talking

  • Killswitch Engage - Alive And Breathing

  • Dream Theater - Images And Words

Man I don't know, I need a top 30 list lol. Too many great CD's.

I would like to thank Jasun for the excellent interview and suggest you to check out this CD, because it deserves the recognition. Also a big thank you to Claus (Intromental) for setting up the interview.

Death Machine - Death Machine

Album out on Sensory Records

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