Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Deathamphetamine detours

Deathamphetamine is so deep into the grind and grime that Queen is the last band you’d ever think to draw in comparison.

But that’s who Deathamphetamine front man Scott Beckett singled out during a recent interview, talking about how the band now works a decade into its career in the progressive metal underground.
“It sounds like I’m nerding out on Queen, but all those guys had their own songs that they brought into the band. It fit into something bigger, but each guy had the whole idea for a song,” says Beckett. And that’s how he and bassist Marcus Frattura work it now in Deathamphetamine, each writing all of the parts for the other members, and banking on drummer Cristian Gazmuri to re-imagine whatever is handed to him as something even better.
Deathamphetamine plays Thursday, July 12, at O’Brien’s, 3 Harvard Ave. Allston. Presented by Born of Fire, the show also features Fresh Kill in the headlining slot and Jack Burton vs. David Lo Pan opening. Show time is 8 p.m.  
In March, Deathamphetamine released “The Lost Album,” a bunch of angry tirades about dehumanizing drudgery and the drag of realizing that much of what you see around you is total bullshit.
The tunes are relentless, progressive-minded collisions of thrash and hardcore, each overstuffed with lyrics that range from politics to sci-fi. 
To shake up things a bit, Beckett, Gazmuri, Frattura and bassist John Booly recently cooked up Dick Move, a scabby hardcore outfit that frees up Beckett to just sing and jump around while Frattura moves to the guitar spot.
“We played a bunch of Poison Idea covers one Halloween and it seemed cool to go off and just play music like that,” Beckett says.

Dick Move wrote and recorded a 12-song album in less than three month (you can't see it, but there's a link above this paragraph to the tunes). It proved to be a kick in the ass for Beckett who is back to drawing up a new Deathamphetamine record. Three years passed between “The Lost Album” and its predecessor, and he hopes that kind of span doesn’t occur again.
Deathamphetamine is also fired up to bring in a second guitar player and stretch out a bit, like The Crown, one of Deathamphetamine’s influences when it first got together in Amherst.
“When we started, we wanted to merge genres, and bands like Dillinger Escape Plan were starting to come up.  It was cool how they would break into this weird jazz part in the middle of a metal song, but that’s not exactly what we wanted to do,” Beckett says.
Through trial and error and lineup changes, Deathamphetamine honed its sound, especially after moving to Boston in 2007 and sharpening its grind, punk, and death elements into an aggressive, knotty thrall of its own.
Beckett admits that Deathamphetamine’s experimental nature has made it hard for a fan base to wrap around the group’s ever-changing work. During a stint with Frattura playing in the doom metal band Blessed Offal, Beckett saw how people tended to react better when given a clear stylistic direction.
But that isn’t stopping him from jamming on some older songs that didn’t make the cut for “The Lost Album” and re-routing Deathamphetamine again.
Hey, even Queen could go from “Bohemian Rhapsody” to “Another One Bites the Dust,” right?

In other news, The Shock Wave Tour is canceled, meaning no Fear Factory and company at The Palladium on July 25. Get ticket refunds at point of purchase.
Fires of Old, Excrecor, Draekon, and Autolatry play Thursday, July 12 at Ralph’s Diner, 148 Grove St., Worcester.
Break Thru Music is staging Headbang for the Highway Saturday, July 14 at The Palladium. Bands are competing for a shot to perform at the Mayhem Festival alongside Slipknot, Slayer,  Motorthead and others, Aug. 3 at the Comcast Center in Mansfield. Duking it out will be Mercy Told, Hanging by a Thread, Last Velour, Post-Existence, Dead Death, We Stand in Awe, Still Silent, Patient 0, Nemecide, The Flooding, Epik Center, Drama Queen for 600, Kerrigan, Junt, Kyridion, and End of Elan. Battling begins at 2 p.m.
Dream Theater is at Bank of America Pavilion in Boston on July 16.
Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Saturday for the Manowar “Lords of Steel” tour stop at The Palladium in Worcester on Nov. 23. Tickets available online via tickets.com or by calling (800) 477-6849.

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