Ahead of their show in Liverpool with Omnium Gatherum (the review of which can be read here), we sat down with Craig and Shoi of De Profundis for a chat.
Thanks for the interview – can you introduce yourself and tell me a bit about the band?
Craig: Hi, I’m Craig, the vocalist of De Profundis.
Shoi: And I’m Shoi, the guitarist.
Craig: We started in 2005 and last year we recorded our fourth album and we’re currently looking for a label. We’ve had a few lineup changes – but I won’t go through that because there’s too many! – and we’ve done a few European tours and what-have-you. Normal kind of stuff!
So you’re currently on a UK tour with Omnium Gatherum, with the first show in Glasgow last night. How did that show go?
Shoi: Pretty good, actually! There was a great turn-out for a mid-week show, in fact we didn’t expect that good of a turn-out to be honest – it was on a Wednesday night and that’s not usually a good day for gigs.
Craig: Omnium haven’t been to the UK for a while so people are all quite excited. We played the same venue in Glasgow about six months ago with Malevolent Creation and the turn-out was better last night than for that one! But then again, Malevolent was in the middle of the summer, so…
Tonight sees the tour arrive in Liverpool. What can fans expect from tonight’s show?
Craig: Well, from us they can expect a brand new song from the forthcoming fourth album – we only played it for the first time yesterday.
How did it go?
Craig: I think it went pretty well, but we go from that one into another song so it’s hard to judge the reaction.
Shoi: We’re changing one song tonight from last night, just because we felt one of the other songs might fit better with the crowd of Omnium. The other song is slightly too bludgeoning!
Craig: Yeah, we’re making it a bit more melodic. Basically we’re playing a new song from the fourth album and most of the songs from our EP that came out last year, and also a couple of songs from the previous album – and even one from the album before that! So it’s almost something from every album, but the doom stuff doesn’t really fit any more.
Shame! On the subject of the new album, you recorded it at the same time as your recent EP Frequencies. How did you choose which songs should go on each release?
Craig: Basically we recorded all the songs and decided afterwards.
Shoi: For the EP, we wanted to go for something a bit more direct and accessible, and put the stuff with the more proggy elements on the album, which I think works better. That’s basically how we chose…it wasn’t a very difficult decision, was it?
Craig: No, and because it was a free download we thought that more people would check it out if they didn’t have to pay any money for it, so we picked songs we thought would hit a wider audience. The album has our usual bass solos and proggy stuff but the EP is more straightforward.
Any interesting stories from recording the tracks?
Craig: Well, our engineer went AWOL when we were needing them to be mixed. We still haven’t actually heard from him…we just couldn’t get hold of the guy. He’s worked with us on previous albums and he’s come on tour with us…we regard him as a fifth member, almost, and he really screwed us over. It ended up being done by someone who wasn’t familiar with the album and did the best he could with it. It turned out much better, but it would have been good to have the guy who did it originally to sort it out. But as for funny stories…well, I don’t think we have any.
Shoi: Recording is a pretty serious business. You’re always just trying to get stuff done and it’s quite a repetitive process. I don’t think recording is that fun…of course, it’s fun once it’s done but whilst you’re doing it you’re very focused. We actually do everything in my house – I have a studio at home.
Craig: We kind of do it in isolation too. There’s maybe like one or two people from the band there at any time so there isn’t much hanging out or drinking or any of that stuff…we just sort of work!
If you could replace the soundtrack to a movie with De Profundis’ music, what would you choose?
Craig: That’s a good one…
Shoi: I don’t know. You’re the movie buff!
Craig: Preferably a massive movie that everybody feels like they have to see!
Shoi: Maybe the next Star Wars?
Craig: Yeah, that’d be cool!
Shoi: We’ve got a lot of atmospheric moments. Some kind of Lord Of The Rings thing would work well.
Craig: Actually it’s funny you should ask this question. Years ago, I was in music school and we’d just done our first album. The guy who used to do our music business class…he was a music guru and he’d heard our first album back then. And he said “I could really imagine your album as a soundtrack!”
Shoi: We’d have to remove Craig’s vocals though!
If you could choose an animal to represent the band, what would it be?
Craig: I dunno…something heavy!
Shoi: An elephant? But they’re a bit slow! (laughs)
Craig: Maybe a big cat. Fast, aggressive, a bit scary…sometimes!
Do you love or hate Marmite?
Shoi: I love Marmite.
Craig: I’m more of a Bovril man, myself! (laughs)
Shoi: Bovril’s quite good, actually. It’s better than Marmite.
And if there was a movie released about De Profundis, what actors would you want to play yourselves?
Craig: Well, not Jack Black.
Shoi: Not for you? Or any of us? Why? (laughs)
Craig: Because he gets enough metal kudos already! I don’t know…let’s see. Who’s handsome?
Shoi: So that would be an improvement for you then? For me it’s an easy choice, I just need someone who’s brown! There aren’t many brown actors out there, so…
Craig: Samuel L Jackson!!
Shoi: For me?!
Craig: Well, he’s brown. (laughs)
Shoi: No, not him!
Craig: I dunno…maybe Brandon Lee, as he is today! The reanimated corpse of Brandon Lee could play me.
Shoi: That’s a good one, yeah. But for me, I don’t know. I have no idea. Some cheesy actor from an Indian film! There you go!