Glen Benton of Deicide talks Lyrical Inspiration and Artistic Expression
with Jay Rollins
The band’s overt mission statement cannot be overlooked within their designation: Deicide /ˈdēəˌsīd/ n. the killer of a god, the killing of a god. Blasphemes and grotesque tales accompanied by auditory extremes. American soldiers have praised Deicide as motivation during grueling missions and have even literally used Deicide’s music as a weapon. They insight radical reactions of both extremes. Although the hell spawned troupe formed a few years prior to 1990, under the title Amon, Deicide is regularly cited as a foundational band in the 90’s golden age of death metal. Speculated to be one of the top selling death metal bands of the Soundscan era and unarguably pioneers in bringing death metal to a wider audience.
With the impending release of Overtures of Blasphemy their legions will once again be reminded of what dwells in the minds of evil. Originators Glen Benton and Steve Asheim have taken their time with this ensemble, recruiting Jason Suecof to ensure musical sensibility.
Glen thank you for speaking with Metalheads Forever.
Since 2013’s In the Minds of Evil Deicide has seen the departure of Jack Owen, with Mark English now providing his guitar skills, and you’ve taken 3 years to curate Overtures of Blasphemy as you please. What was the writing process for Overtures of Blasphemy like compared to your previous releases?
Pretty much the same way, Steve, Kevin, and myself wrote songs and Mark came in after the album had already been recorded.
Oh okay so you guys had everything laid out the way you wanted.
Yeah we tend to visually write our songs before we bring them to practise and then we put them together and tweak them.
Jason Suecof assisted in shaping the Overtures of Blasphemy final mix into a sonically brutal, yet palatable, product. Jason also worked on In the Minds of Evil, what is like working with Jason and do you foresee him continuing to work alongside Deicide?
Absolutely man, I mean Jay is a friend of ours and an old-school Deicide fan. He’s brought a new element to our sound and our thing, so, Jay’s fun man.
In the Minds of Evil seems to have a crispness or clarity that’s hard to achieve when you’re dealing with such extreme instruments and tones, I can see how he fits well within the Deicide camp.
Thus far in the band’s battle with ideology you’ve primarily combated the spread of Christianity but now with Overtures of Blasphemy Deicide desecrates other religions. Besides Christianity, are there any other religions you take issue with or is it just ideology and blind faith in general?
It’s just me, my impression man, I lay it on paper and through vocals. It’s just part of me man, who I am and that but um, yeah nothing’s sacred.
Everything has some sort of flaw in it and we kind of need to explore that.
Ha ha ha yeah it’s there for everybody, it’s there for the consumer to explore.
Do you feel that over the band’s 3 decades your view of religion has evolved or been strengthened in any way?
Ah nah it’s still the same. It’s a pretty shitty outlook, yeah.
With songs like “Mephistopheles” looking to traditional texts other than the bible for subject matter it made me curious, what stories or figures do you find motivation from to create Deicide’s music?
You know what, it’s just personal agonies that everybody goes through. The personal trauma and everything that life provides us. I just write from my inner self, so I really don’t know where it comes from.
It really is just an introspection that comes out.
Yeah it’s just me man, it’s just like an artist paints a painting. It’s just how I do it, I don’t know, it just comes naturally. If I have to try to create it, it doesn’t happen. I just gotta let it come out.
Excommunicated (Lyric Video): https://youtu.be/csWfZCX_i2s
We have certainly heard you veer from the defamation of God to detail other dark topics in songs such as “Lunatic of God’s Creation” and “Forever Hate You.” Are their any songs on the latest record that stray away from religious context?
Yeah, we got “Consumed by Hatred” and “Compliments of Christ” to name a couple there. Well all of the songs have some kind of a personal reflection for myself, some kind of a personal attachment you know. Lyrically there’ll be a jab here and there.
Yeah so consumer wise like you say, on the outside it may seem that it’s blasphemous or overt in that sense but really it could be about something deeper that you’ve just used that mode to express.
I just use their lingo to describe things and put things.
What song on the new album is a personal highlight?
I mean I like the whole record, I can’t really pick one. It’s one of those kinda records where every day you have a different favourite song. I have people that are constantly calling me up telling me day to day that their favourite song has changed.
Yeah I could see that.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with Metalheads Forever before I let you go? I greatly appreciate your time in answering a few of our questions.
No problem man we appreciate everybody and we look forward to going out on tour and pumpin’ this record. We look forward to a video being released here soon and thanks man, appreciate it.
No worries, could I ask quick about what video you’re going to be releasing?
Yeah, we are releasing it for “Defying the Sacred.”
Perfect brother, I really appreciate your time.
No problem man, take care.
Once again Glen thank you on behalf of Metalheads Forever.
MHF Magazine/Jay Rollins