Orchestra Of Doom – Leaderboard
Teramaze – Leaderboard
Fox Ache – Leaderboard

Akercocke Talk ‘Renaissance In Extremis’

Listen to the interview below or on Spotify and iTunes Podcast:

London’s Akercocke burst onto the music scene in the late 1990’s, quickly earning themselves the title of masters of dark and twisted extreme metal.

Their uncompromising style and preoccupation with all things dark and Satanic, combined with their imaginative debut album, Rape of the Bastard Nazarene in 1999 and their innovative blend of death, black and progressive metal saw Akercocke’s popularity and marketability swell quickly. This set them on a one-way path to the bowels of Hell that came to an abrupt end after their fifth album Antichrist in 2007.

Now, a decade later, Akercocke make a triumphant return with Renaissance In Extremis, picking up where they left off as if no time had lapsed between recordings.

Being their first album in ten years, vocalist Jason Mendonca argues that there was no point or statement behind the release, more desire for a group of mates to get the ball rolling again.

“There wasn’t a statement in mind,” he revealed. “We are not that clever or premeditated in our approach. We are just a handful of pommy bogans who (scarily) still enjoy each others company after so many years. We simply set out to make a bunch of songs that stimulated us as writers/players/performers. It’s the same modus operandi that we have always employed. It’s like anything: if you don’t enjoy it, why bother? Akercocke has always been about a tight group of friends making music that we enjoy and sharing it with whoever may or may not enjoy our output too.”

The biggest fear when retreating from the public eye for a prolonged period is that fans will struggle to keep up with your musical vision or will just plain shun the band, meaning you have to virtually start again, but Mendonca says the band were surprised and flattered by the reception of the album.

“Honestly? It’s been humbling,” he said almost sheepishly. “Humbling and astonishing. We are immensely lucky with our fantastic, international fan base. Akercocke fans tend to be, as far as I can tell, a pretty open-minded bunch. Not the kind of folk who dig a band who make the same album over and over again. Don’t get me wrong. Some of my fave heavy metal bands have essentially recreated their work repetitively. There’s nothing wrong with that if it turns the listener on. Akercocke just aren’t wired that way. Maybe we have short attention spans owing to a misspent youth in West London engaged in serious bogan activity. We get together and laugh at the same shit that we have done since we were teenagers, put the amps on and make a racket. Before the neighbours complain (we still rehearse in the same location that we have for more than twenty years) the goal is to make some noise that turns us on. It’s tough maintaining a songwriting schedule based entirely on evading the wrath of the neighbours and the local constabulary.”

To celebrate, Akercocke recently released the first video from the album, “One Chapter Ends For Another to Begin”, a powerful song full of dark messages that Mendonca agrees will be difficult for some people to digest.

David (Gray, drums) – Davo in your language – chose the song because he likes the vocals for reasons known only to himself,” he offered. “He’s not a bad bloke. He smells a bit, but he has a heart of gold. The song is pretty heavy with its lyrical content. It’s not the sort of subject matter a bloke should talk to a sheila about on a first date. You feel me, fellow bogans? It’s about going to the brink of oblivion. Going to the edge of an ultimate, irreparable decision yet finding the reasons and strength to return. Suicide. It’s not sexy. The message? If there is one, it’s that if you are in a desperate, seemingly hopeless position, you can come back. Everything can be fixed even if you cannot see it at the time. If she buys you another stubby after an explanation like that, you’re on to a good thing fellas. She’s probably a keeper. (*We acknowledge that some metal fans are female. The use of the male preposition is merely based on the fact that most Akercoke gigs are sausage fests.)”After ten years cementing their reputation amongst the most hardcore of fans, Akercocke released their last album in 2007, leaving many fans wondering why and much more ruining their seeming demise. Mendonca turns on the charm when explaining what happened a decade ago, and more importantly what changed to make them come back.

After ten years cementing their reputation amongst the most hardcore of fans, Akercocke released their last album in 2007, leaving many fans wondering why and much more ruining their seeming demise. Mendonca turns on the charm when explaining what happened a decade ago, and more importantly what changed to make them come back.”Davo took a job that was deeply rooted in Hegelian philosophy,” he said. ”

“Davo took a job that was deeply rooted in Hegelian philosophy,” he said. “Paul (Scanlan, guitars) taught logical positivism, and I was in charge of the sheep dip. After a few VB’s we thought to fuck it, let’s make some more of that pom, metal. Davo needed a new Metallica shirt as he’d been wearing his Kill ‘Em All Shirt since ’83. It was looking pretty threadbare, and we got collectively embarrassed for the poor blighter. His Mum begged us to turn out a few numbers so she could send him to the shops without feeling ashamed. 2007 spawned The Antichrist Imperium driven by chief bogan Matt “Only Judas Priest are real” Wilcock at the helm. Some of the same fuckos went on to form another equally superb metal band called Voices.Paul and I were under house arrest following an incident that involved a Holden ute, an industrial-sized tin of Swarfega and a Welsh corgi called Roy. Once the cops took the tags off, we were free to roam our spiritual home Bedfont. Bedfont is a small suburban town in West London that is mostly populated by bitches, thieves, and dope-heads. Apart from our rehearsal room, its only redeeming feature is a Chinese takeout called Wing Wah. The people who run it have no idea that they have been fuelling UK Death Metal for fucking years. Chow mein for £2.55 – Bonza! In the end, Paul and Dave’s philosophical work didn’t amount to much. Sheep shearing wasn’t working for me in Bedfont. This was mostly but not entirely down to the entire absence of sheep. Davo said ‘you up for being one of the architects of a new paradigm in post-modern, sensitive yet Christ-raping Heavy Metal?’ After several pints and much introspective yet dualistic, existential contemplation, I agreed. We found Paul living in a bin in Camden Town covered in a curious mixture of his vomit and a string cleaning agent called Fast Fret. He was game for a laugh. We found a couple of other blokes down the dole office and hey presto! We were back in business.”

“Paul and I were under house arrest following an incident that involved a Holden ute, an industrial-sized tin of Swarfega and a Welsh corgi called Roy. Once the cops took the tags off, we were free to roam our spiritual home Bedfont. Bedfont is a small suburban town in West London that is mostly populated by bitches, thieves, and dope-heads. Apart from our rehearsal room, its only redeeming feature is a Chinese takeout called Wing Wah. The people who run it have no idea that they have been fuelling UK Death Metal for fucking years. Chow mein for £2.55 – Bonza! In the end, Paul and Dave’s philosophical work didn’t amount to much. Sheep shearing wasn’t working for me in Bedfont. This was mostly but not entirely down to the entire absence of sheep. Davo said ‘you up for being one of the architects of a new paradigm in post-modern, sensitive yet Christ-raping Heavy Metal?’ After several pints and much introspective yet dualistic, existential contemplation, I agreed. We found Paul living in a bin in Camden Town covered in a curious mixture of his vomit and a string cleaning agent called Fast Fret. He was game for a laugh. We found a couple of other blokes down the dole office and hey presto! We were back in business.”In the period Akercocke has been away, it is not only music that has changed. There have been revolutions in not just the music world that the band have had to catch up to and embrace, and Mendonca agrees that the band has had to alter their mindset to re-enter the scene, but also stresses that Akercocke still literally play to the beat of their drum.

In the period Akercocke has been away, it is not only music that has changed. There have been revolutions in not just the music world that the band have had to catch up to and embrace, and Mendonca agrees that the band has had to alter their mindset to re-enter the scene, but also stresses that Akercocke still literally play to the beat of their drum.”Yeah, things have changed loads,” he nodded. “There’s all

“Yeah things have changed loads,” he nodded. “There’s all this internet bollocks to deal with. I don’t think it’ll amount to much, but the littluns seem to like it. At the end of the day sport, it’s about heavy metal. Heavy metal is timeless. You can be in a heavy metal band if you want. You can write songs about dragons/devils/suicide/goats/sheep and utility vehicles if you want. We don’t give a shit about business. We will continue our pursuit of intense, face-melting guitar work and heavy metal clichés forever. Well, at least until our Mums call us in for tea.”

Aside from the changes in the music community, Mendonca admits the band have changed musically and personally during their downtime.

“I can’t speak for the other cunts,” he laughed. “I am still as boring as I have always been. I love nothing more after an evening of heavy metal indulgence than a cup of Horlicks and the complete works of Enya. We’ve changed quite a bit but who doesn’t over a decade? In essence, we are the same band we have always been. The key difference is that we have the strongest line-up to date. We’ve got this new bloke on bass called Michal Huk. He’s a wizard. When he’s not busy with wizard shit, he plucks them bass strings like a proper, good cunt. Paul continues to shred like no other. Davo bangs his tubs like two jackrabbits fucking. Sam tickles the ivories with great aplomb. I suppose the key difference is that whereas in days of yore we would conclude each practice with a blood-soaked necro ritual to some obscure deity, these days we discuss dole-bludging techniques, narcotic acquisition, and general social malaise. We’re quite political in that way. Perhaps we’re more poetical-political – I’m not sure.”

While the response of fans and the music world as a whole have been overwhelmingly positive since Renaissance In Extremis was released, Mendonca says the reasons behind the bands sustained success is simple.

“The key to success is to never think about success,” he mused. “Just think about Iron Maiden, Motorhead, and Metallica. If you can drink as much as they can, you’re probably on the right track. Perhaps on the right track. Perhaps on track to somewhere. Don’t ever pursue tracks up your arm. That’s a shithouse thing to do kids. If anyone has an actual key to success, can we borrow it? In all seriousness, Don’t think about fuck all else apart from making the music that you and your mates dig. If you like it great! You’ve scored. If other bogans like it, great! You’ve scored again. Keep at it. Don’t listen to anything other than what’s in your (pumped full of molten metal) heart. Everything else is a diversion, digression, di…..died……death.”

Renaissance In Extremis is OUT NOW!

https://www.nervegas.com.au/akercocke

Akercocke - Renaissance In Extremis album cover

:
:

Get HEAVY Magazine In-boxed.

100% HEAVY Music. 0% Spam.

HEAVY – Photos 2


Soundworks/Direct Touring – Leaderboard

Kris Peters

Kris has been writing freelance for about 20 years. Kris always found his taste in music a little too eclectic for the mainstream market but has found his niche writing for HEAVY. Based in Brisbane, Kris also runs a promotions company, KSP Productions.
Tags
Back to top button
Close