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Steffe Pettersson - Usurpress

Interview with Steffe Pettersson from Usurpress
by Chelsea Jennings at 30 January 2015, 2:24 PM

Swedish metalheads are no strange to Death Metal, and we are all well aware of the incredibly diverse and defiantly-underground Crust Punk scene… However, put the two together, and you have the "Deathcrust" quartet, USURPRESS who play self-explanatory "D-beat Death Metal". One of our writers, Chelsea Jennings, spoke with Steffe Pettersson about the strange genre, and their direction with the new album.

Usurpress’s latest album Ordained came out in September of 2014. How has the album been received by fans? Is it living up the band’s expectations?

Everybody I’ve talked to have said that they think this is our best album. We have also had quite a few really good and praising reviews so we are quite satisfied with the reactions. We feel it’s our strongest record so far.

Usurpress are clearly not fans of hardcore or punk music. How does that Ordained express Usurpress’s disdain for all things hardcore and punk?

Who have told you that? It’s not true at all, every member in Usurpress have a deep respect and understanding for true punk/hardcore. In fact, I think our sound has always been very influenced by dark and powerful crust punk bands such as Discharge, Anti-Cimex and so on. We do rely heavy on d-beat drums for instance.


What is it about both the hardcore and the punk scenes that Usurpress do not like? Why is it deeply hated as it is within the band? What makes you hate those scenes much personally?

As I stated before, we do not hate the punk scene at all. There are a lot of narrow minded idiots and a lot of stupid “scene rules” in the punk scene but it’s the same in the metal scene. I think both scenes could benefit from learning from each other.

What are Usurpress’s touring plans in 2015 to support their latest release Ordained?

Unfortunately, we cannot tour at all for the moment, it’s a shame but hopefully we will be able to do some roadwork later in 2015. Right now we are concentrating on writing material for the next album instead.

What inspires Usurpress to call their brand of heavy metal “deathcrust”? What genres of metal does “deathcrust” combine and when was this “deathcrust” music invented?

The term “death crust” was just something we thought sounded ok when we started the band, since we mainly write short songs without a lot of guitar solos, double bass drums and blast beats we thought we should call us that rather than death metal. But I do believe we are a death metal band first and foremost, although we throw in elements from crust punk, doom metal and progressive rock to make the music more exciting and powerful.

The single Storming the Mausoleum sounds like a very heavy and destructive piece. What exactly was Usurpress aiming for on singles like this one?

The Storming the Mausoleum 7” was initially meant to be released before Ordained as a taster of our new material but we, together with our label Doomentia, decided that one release was enough so we shelved the 7”. “Storming the Mausoleum” is one of the stronger songs on the album in my opinion, it has a little bit of everything really. I don’t really remember what we was aiming for when we wrote it, I had the chorus and the “Laid to rest”-part written and then we just added stuff around these parts. It was written really fast if I’m not mistaken.

Much of Usurpress’s sound is known to be dark and almost demonic. What drives the inspiration behind the band’s sound? What influences the band’s sound?

Thanks a lot, I agree with that description. We try to keep our songs as “pure” as possible and our motto is “No thrash, no rock, no grind, no groove”. We are mainly influenced by cold and dark bands, regardless of genre. Having said that, I think the influence from black metal is very sparse in our music.

When touring in 2015, what is a place you personally would love to tour that Usurpress has never toured before?

Usurpress have only played in a handful of European countries so virtually everything is virgin soil to us. However, we have played a lot of other places with our previous bands, I have done 4 US-tours and Daniel (bass) have played both Asia and Australia. One place none of us have played is Japan though, that would be fun. But I don’t care really, some more summer festivals in mainland Europe would be appreciated.

If Usurpress could play with any other bands on a tour who would you personally chose to play with and why?

Interesting question! I have no idea at all, maybe Interment?

Beyond touring to support Ordained what else is 2015 supposed to hold for Usurpress?

If everything keeps going so smoothly as it have so far, we hope to record a new album in the autumn. We have written 5 songs for it already and it’s by far our most ambitious work. Very complex, yet primitive and fluent music.

Where do you see Usurpress going in the next five or ten years?

We haven’t been around for 5 years yet so another 5 years seem like a long time. Hopefully the band still exists and keeps evolving.

What is one thing about the band Usurpress that the fans may not even be aware of that is unique and different?

I think our sound is quite unique; it’s not easy to name another band that we sound like. But, I mean, everybody can hear that, it’s hardly a big surprising secret. One quite strange thing about the band is perhaps that there is almost no band that all four of us really like, perhaps with the exception of Autopsy and Bo Hansson.



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