Interview with Alex (vocals) - Negligence, October 2010

Negligence, not a name that does ring a bell by many of you readers, but I think that will change. This Slovenian band certainly wants to change that and with Metal Blade Records behind them, they certainly make a chance to gain popularity. They just released their new record 'Coordinates of Confusion' it is a nice and good album full of Bay Area influenced thrash. They sound better and more original than bands like Gama Bomb and Municipal Waste if you ask me, so time to ask a lot more about this band and their new album.

Could you please introduce the band to our readers?

Alex: Negligence is a Slovenian Metal band, formed in 2000 by our two guitarists Jey, and now an ex-member Dyz. The band has in it's history released three demos, which all featured a different singer named Lenz, in 2007 a self-released debut record called 'Options of a Trapped Mind' and just lately, our latest achievement 'Coordinates of Confusion', which got out under Metal Blade Records.

We've shared the stage with numerous well known Metal acts such as Forbidden, Exodus, Municipal Waste, Heathen, Sadus and others while playing home and abroad so, yeah, I think by now you get the idea of how incredibly cool we are, ha-ha.

How is the writing process for a Negligence song?

Alex: Negligence writing process is a long one; however it is by no means negligent. When someone writes a bit of material, that would usually be Jey, he brings the riffs to our studio place, where we slowly but surely turn it into a full song. It usually takes time for us to do so, 'cause we believe that it's better to wait as long as it takes for that moment of inspiration and not rush things just for the sake of finishing them.

Metal Blade is one of the bigger labels in the metal scene, how did Negligence get a deal with this label?

Alex: A deal with a label of Metal Blade's stature was, to be honest, something that was not really at all expected. We were, of course, hoping to catch a bit of attention from any of the bigger labels, but we've never imagined that we would get signed by Metal Blade itself. We had a broad list of labels to which we sent our pre-mixed recordings and they were actually not on the list at all, 'cause even though we firmly believe in our music, we didn't realistically think that we would stand a chance, you know. So one of the main reasons that we actually even sent our music to MB was the encouragement of our friend Franko of Rock It Up Records, on whose advice we did actually get in touch with MB office and, yeah, things basically went on from there. It's a really incredible story from our point of view.

Do you have a contract for more albums with Metal Blade?

Alex: It all pretty much depends on how much will you guys be buying our album ha, ha. We've signed a contract for one album with the possibility of an extension of the contract, so there's nothing set in stone for now. But of course we wish to remain with MB.

You hail from Slovenia, is there a very active metal scene in your country?

Alex: You could say that Slovenia's metal scene is, albeit being small, pretty vivid I guess. It is certainly not as active as it is in Germany or in any other bigger markets but like I said, considering our small population of 2 million inhabitants, there are quite a few things going on. We have bands like Noctiferia, Metalsteel, Prospect and now ourselves that are increasingly getting more and more exposure in the foreign media, and then maybe Scaffold, Dawn Patrol, Eruption, Requiem and Keller to name just a random few, that are on a good way of also getting there, so I'd say that there is a pretty active scene, with something for everyone I suppose.

The title of your new album is 'Coordinates of Confusion', is there a certain message behind it?

Alex: The title 'Coordinates Of Confusion' actually talks about how both you and me are today subjected to the manipulation of the mass-media machine, without us really being aware of it. We both think that we are 'in control' of our life and things going around us, which, of course, is true to a certain extent, but we are over and over again falling prey to the subconscious messages and ideas that are put everywhere around us in order to deliberately guide, and at the same time confuse and divide us and thus giving us hard time finding a certain balance in life.

This goes on in the politics, in the media advertising and the health and pharmaceutical business among others and once you become aware of it and think about it, you see how big of a problem it is. You see how easily you are actually manipulated to unknowingly obey and contribute your share to the certain activities, may it be consumption or politics or just simply believing certain groundless media stories you that were meant to believe. That's the basic idea behind the Coordinates of Confusion title.

Your music has very similarities with the Bay Area bands out of the eighties. Why this style and what bands is you influenced by most?

Alex: Well we all grew up listening to these bands and our love for similar music is why we got together in the first place. However, no one really decided that Thrash is the kind of music that we are supposed to play, you know, we just simply wrote music that we felt was right and didn't really care if it was labelled as Thrash or I don't know...happy hardcore and that's how it still is today. Our influences are pretty broad, from Ruzz being a fan of Florida's Death Metal bands such as Suffocation, Deicide, Morbid Angel etc. and Lipnik being more into the funky Faith no More, Suicidal Tendencies and Prong stuff, to myself being a fan of King Diamond, Death, Nevermore and Stevie Wonder for instance, so I think you get the picture if I say that there are many bands that we find influential.

A nice album-cover, what does the band want to express with it?

Alex: Thank you very much! We basically wanted it to fit well with the title of the record and I think we got pretty close. Michal 'Xaay' Loranc from Poland, who designed the artwork, also helped us a lot with the whole concept of how the cover should look like so he definitely earns major the credit for it.

What is the most important difference between your new record and your first one 'Options Of A Trapped Mind'?

Alex: Both albums speak themselves for what they are, but I think that the main difference between the albums is actually how we undertook the process of writing and arranging the music itself. We spent so much more time arranging the music arrangements and song structures on CoC than we did on the first album, I spent much more time focusing on my vocal lines and lyrics and so on. And although we, of course, did also focus on all of these things on our first album, we really didn't have any experience with it, so you could say that CoC is a much more mature album, more coordinated than OaTM, which we kind of let run more freely.

You also use some clean vocals, is that something we can expect even more on the next albums?

Alex: Define clean ha, ha? Considering most of the Thrash and Screamo singers today I wouldn't label my type of singing any different than clean. I have no intention of changing the way I sing. Its my natural style; it gives me most freedom in expressing and writing, so I see no point in changing it.

By what singers are you influenced by?

Alex: Just like with the music I have a broad list of singers that I admire and try to learn from, but on the top 3 spots I'd probably put Carl Albert (Vicious Rumors), Russ Anderson (Forbidden) and Warrel Dane (Nevermore) with the mighty King Diamond, Phil Anselmo (Pantera), Bruce Hall (Agent Steel), Sammy Hagar (Van Halen) and Chris Cornell (Soundgarden) coming very close and I still probably forgot a few. These were the singers that Ive tried to copy the most as I was learning to sing so I think their style had definitely had an impact on the way I sing today.

Do you all have regular jobs besides playing in Negligence? Isn't going on tour difficult or do you have enough free days for that?

Alex: Yes we're unfortunately we're all hard working people, apart from me, I'm trying to study a bit, so if there was as ever a belief that bands like us lead a rock'n-roll lifestyle, then we're a good example of proving it wrong ha, ha. Unfortunately most of the band has to get a job vacation for the tour dates, which immensely pleases the job managers as you can imagine, so of course, it is all a big pain in the ass. We simply cannot afford to quit our jobs and just go out and tour all year, you know, we'd love to make a living of it one day, but I think you know how this story goes.

Talking about touring, are there any plans?

Alex: Yes, most definitely. Weve been talking with our booking agents for the past few weeks and there are some options ahead, but most of the tours will be happening in the beginning of the next year, so we'' re still waiting for the right chance before we put out any dates or venues. I think it's a matter of time before we can put out more info regarding the matter.

Anything else you want to share with our readers?

Alex: Make sure you check out our newest album and turn it up real loud at exactly 3.00 AM. (as this is very important!) and make sure to come and check us out one of our shows when we're playing anywhere near your town. I promise you it will be worth it!


Interviewed by Reinier de Vries

Negligence - Coordinates of Confusion

Album available on Metal Blade Records