Conquest For Death
by Victoria P.
- Devon – Vocals
- Alex – Guitar
- Kiku – Drums
- Craigums – Guitar
- Robert – Bass
Genre: Hardcore/ Thrash/ Metal
WHO THE HELL IS CONQUEST FOR DEATH?
Who does CFD consist of?
Conquest for Death consists of myself, Devon, on vocals, our guitarists; Alex and Craigums, Robert on bass and our drummer Kiku.
What type of band are you? And mainly who is too sexy for their shirt?
I would say energetic and fun, with a strong desire to travel the world meet new people, see new sites, eat new foods, hear new bands and try to better understand and appreciate ourselves and the world around us. Craigums is probably the sexiest for his shirt, but would adamantly deny this or argue against it. He is also a former US Air Guitar Champion a.k.a. Hot Lixx Hulahan, who’s performances come across as more sleazy than sexy. I would say we’re more of a friendly band, than sexy, despite the fact that our onstage energy can sometimes come across as angry or aggressive.
Tell us a bit about CFD’s history.
Well, all of the members have been friends with each other for many years and most of us have played in prior bands together. Robert, Craig and I were all in a hardcore band called What Happens Next? that released several albums and toured North and South America, Europe and Japan. Alex is in a two-piece art metal band called Say Bok Gwai that sing in Cantonese. Kiku lives in Tokyo and plays for a band called Charm, but visits the US fairly regularly, so on one of his visits we decided he should have a band in the US as well as Japan and we started CFD. We decided that the band would try to accomplish all the goals that we had not achieved in our past bands and attempt to tour all the countries we had not had a chance to visit yet.
Interesting. Who would you say are CFDs influences (musical and non-musical)?
Wow, so much really. We all love heavy music, hard core, punk, thrash, death metal, grind core, etc. However, some members of the group also love Frank Zappa, Willie Nelson, ZZ Top, Tina Turner, ska, and Weird Al. We all tend to read a lot, particularly books with a historical context. I am also a big horror / sci-fi / fantasy fan so numerous books, comics and films interest me, and sometimes some of their influences slip in.
A vital question, Star Wars or Lord of the Rings?
Vital, indeed. I would have to say the entire group would say Star Wars for nostalgia reasons. I think we all enjoyed Lord of the Rings, but can probably quote more lines from Star Wars and hum the theme song much more coherently. However, Peter Jackson is one of my favourite filmmakers and I really enjoy his early work and think Heavenly Creatures is an absolutely brilliant film.
How would you describe your music to the Dubai scene and all scenes in general?
I would say we’re a hard core punk thrash band with some metallic influences. However, we don’t limit ourselves to playing with bands of the same genre and have a number of supporters who don’t typically listen to our style of music.
Clichéd question indeed, but nevertheless should be asked, what inspires you to do what you do?
Our answer will sound doubly cliché; for the love of it. Most of us have been playing in bands non-stop since high school. Writing, recording, touring, travelling is practically hardwired into our genomes now. Playing music has given us a vehicle to travel the world and meet all sorts of awesome people.
Why they do what they do and their advice to new and upcoming local bands.
Who writes the songs in CFD, what are they usually about?
I write the lyrics and two members of the band usually collaborate to write songs for each release. On our self-titled EP Alex and Kiku wrote the majority of tracks, on our first album, Front Row Tickets to Armaggedon, Robert and Kiku were the primary songwriters and for the 10 new songs on our most recent album, Beyond the Hidden Valley, Alex and Craigums wrote the brunt of it. I write all the lyrics and they range in topic matter from historical events to current events to family and work, the negative effects of war and violence, and often express trying to maintain a positive attitude in an often negative world.
What image do you intend on conveying through your music?
Despite our lyrical content, performing music and playing live is entertainment. So we want to express energy and emotion. Our lyrics may be angry at times, but live shows are still often a fun experience and we really feed off the energy of a show that has great band / crowd dynamic.
And your band artwork?
As far as band artwork, I am obsessed with war elephants and all our art includes one. Our friend Glenn Smith from Australia does most of our work and a friend Dave Higgins did the sculpture on our first album. We like our art to be colourful, imaginative dynamic and slightly spooky.
Vibrancy is definitely evident through all CFDs dexterously unique artwork, always noticed that certain recurring elephant. How do you promote your band and shows? (Other than MySpace, which evidently plays a huge part.)
For our local, regional shows we make fliers and posters. For our international shows we do some promotion and networking via message boards and MySpace. We also often license our albums for release in other countries like Poland, Peru, Macedonia, Philippines, Malaysia, etc., so those labels will promote us in their region.
What advice would you give to new and upcoming bands planning to enter into the local scene?
Don’t wait, just do it. Get moving, a lot of experience will be learned by trial and error. Keep your eyes and ears open. Meet people. Make contacts. Have fun.
What’s your opinion of Barack Obama? Egotistical creature or just downright sexy.
I think most politicians seem a bit egotistical and can’t recall any I would consider sexy. There was a small town in New Zealand that had a dog elected mayor, but it was just cute. It was a Scottie and it wore a little Scottish hat with a pom on the top to look more official.
What advice would you give to fellow bands that are planning to tour?
Do as much research as you can on the region you are going to. Try to network with solid bands and people in the region that will be able to help properly promote the shows. Bring a compact sleeping bag just in case you breakdown, sleep on someone’s floor or find yourself in freezing conditions. Go into it with the attitude that everything that can go wrong could go wrong, but that you intend to have the best time of your life under any circumstance.
What does CFD personally think is the chief impediment for bands today?
A passion and dedication to play music. To establish some goals to strive for. To get out there and do it instead of waiting for someone to come and do everything for you. You may never “make it”, but you can always make things happen.
Where do you mostly play your shows?
We have an unusual set up because our drummer lives in Japan and our bassist in Wisconsin. The rest of us are based in the San Francisco / Bay Area in California. So we meet up before a tour in the city the tour will start in and rehearse for several days and then start the tour. In the past two years we have done two US tours, one tour of Japan and a tour of Africa, which included gigs and festivals in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Mauritius. When we play in the Bay Area we play an all ages venue called 924Gilman. It’s famous for giving bands like Green Day and Operation Ivy some of their first shows.
Okay/ so what does an American band have to do with the scene in Dubai you say?
You were telling me about the mini-fest you were planning on having in Dubai later this year. Can you emphasize more on that and what exactly pushed you to make this commitment?
My interest in playing in the UAE started when friend moved there and told me about an annual metal festival. A short while later the UK heavy metal magazine Terrrorizer had an article documenting heavy metal throughout the middle east. I was inspired to visit someday and when our travel agent told us there was the possibility of a stop over in UAE on our next tour the idea gears started turning. Since it would be extremely difficult to play in Saudi Arabia and some other countries in the region that have awesome bands, why not see if we could all meet in the UAE for a mini festival?
Who do you intend on inviting to play with you?
Since time, distance and finance play a factor for all the bands, and a venue and time limit have not been organized, I’m not sure who will be able to commit and / or be accommodated. Ideally I would like to play with bands from the region like Bahrain (Motor Militia, Mushroom Massacre – there is the possibility we may be able to get a gig in Bahrain though, and we could perform with the bands in their home country), from the UAE, Nerve Cell and the recently relocated Through Sunken Eyes, possibly Asgard Legionaries from Qatar and it be awesome if some Saudi bands could come up, Creative Waste are brutal grind! I’m also a fan of Wasted Land, Breeze of the Dying and Grieving Age, who have a member that expressed interest in coming to the UAE to just see a gig.
Since Dubai hasn’t seen CFD live yet, what are we to expect?
An avalanche of short, fast, loud energetic songs with jumping, kicking, flipping, cartwheels, near collisions, unintentionally funny faces, sweat, anger, humour, intensity, some sing alongs, fun. It will be a thrash roller coaster.
Now now boys, be honest, how would you rate your own live performances? (On a scale of one to ten)
Hhhmm, I’m not sure Victoria, how about we let you do the rating when we get to UAE. We can set up a table on the side of the stage and have you and Peter and Hostile from Through Sunken eyes rate each of our songs on cards like ice skating judges with scores based on energy, proficiency and style. Then you can tally them up and let us know the results so we can answer this question honestly and officially the next time we’re asked.
Sounds fitting! Does CFD acquire a press kit / demo or any other promotional materials that can be delivered or bought in Dubai?
You may mail order CDs from us directly and are currently working on getting some copies distributed in the UAE via Ampulance.
We have copious armies of groupies available in Dubai prepared to slither against you and graffiti themselves with CFD lyrics etc. Would CFD be interested in acquiring such an accessory?
Dispelling the rock and roll band member stereotype, all the members of CFD are married or in committed relationships.
Much love to the band. Thanks for the interview. Any last words?
Thank you so much for your time and questions. We are genuinely stoked at the possibility of performing in UAE and the Middle East. We are impressed with the calibre, quantity and diversity of bands we’ve heard in the region be them death metal, thrash, indie or ska. If you live in the region please get in touch we’re on MySpace at www.myspace.com/conquestfordeathsf or you can reach us via www.conquestfordeath.com . Cheers for all! Devon & CFD