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Project: Failing Flesh int w/ Harm Magazine. (answered by Tim Gutierrez, May ’05)

How and when did the three of you finally come together to form the band Project: Failing Flesh?

Tim) Well a few years ago Kevin and I had done up a bunch of songs and figured it was time to find a vocalist. We tried locally but no one was working out. We ended up wasting a lot of time and wondered if we’d find the right fit. After realizing chances were slim of finding someone here in our area we decided to see if any guys we already dug from our cd collections would be interested. Eric was one of the first guys we thought about as we thought his work in Voivod was killer. So we got in contact with him and things moved on from there. So here we are today.

Where does the band name come from and why was it chosen?

Tim) It sounded the coolest. But there is meaning behind it. It represents the failing of man or mankind- mentally, physically, or socially. So it acts as a good overview of most of the subject matter we deal with too.

What is your hometown and give us just a bit of insight as to what it was like growing up there.

Tim) Dale City, Virginia. Just outside of Washington DC. I guess growing up was typical US suburban life. Being pretty close to a major city was cool though as it allowed us to see tons of cool bands at various clubs. We’d also make the trek to Baltimore pretty often too as it is just over an hour away. In fact, most of the people in our original metal scene here in Northern Va. probably became aware of each other at those Maryland shows.

When did you decide in your life that you wanted to be a musician and how did you learn all of your skills?

Tim) Somewhere between NWOBHM and the formation of thrash. Getting into albums, demos, and zines and stuff and thinking “I MUST do stuff like that.” I took lessons for a year but quickly realized learning those gay songs and techniques were not what I wanted to play. So after I had the very basics down the rest was listening to albums and seeing how those same guys did it live.

What were your favorite bands to listen to ten years ago and what can we find you listening to when you're driving around today?

Tim) I’m terrible with time periods and dates. Let’s see, I guess ten years ago would put us at 1995. I have no idea what bands were out at that point. Was probably listening to anything that came out up to that point. Metal like Slayer, Destruction, Possessed, Hirax, Death, etc… the classics. Plus other heavy stuff though not metal like Swans, Foetus, Joy Division, Nick Cave, some industrial, Cranes, Helmet, Tar, etc. Plus interesting guitar shit like Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, the Too Pure bands, Curve, Slowdive, etc. and other random stuff like Sisters of Mercy, Fields of Nephilim, Executive Slacks, Godflesh. I don’t know… all those bands just mentioned are linked in my head anyway. It’s all just HEAVY music. You don’t have to have distorted guitars, fast metal drums, and screaming to be heavy. These days I listen to that same crap haha!! But I love a lot of new music too. Anaal Nathrakh, Arcturus, Soilwork, Enslaved, Ram Zet, Interpol, The Faint, Soulscar, Radiohead, My Dying Bride, The Donnas, The Haunted, Dimmu Borgir, tons more.

Tell me about how "A Beautiful Sickness" all came together. The writing, the music, the production etc.

Tim) We sort of come up with riffs and basic other ideas on our own then get together and see what is worth working up into actual songs. Most start with a few riffs and then drums will come next. That’s usually the core then we just build up the other instruments on top of that til it seems like a song is done. Once all that takes place we all mess with phrasing and lyric ideas and then vocals finish it up. I guess the production side is just getting sounds and knowing what you want studiowise overall. Luckily we’ve all been around studios for a long time and know how and what things can be done to help us reach these ideas.

How satisfied are you with the results?

Tim) Very.

The cd is awesome and crosses the boundaries of many different categories, such as death, speed, industrial, extreme metal. How do you categorize the sounds on 'A Beautiful Sickness"?

Tim) Thanks a lot! I think categorization wise you were on target. I guess with a few outside metal heavy influences added too.

Have you played any shows live?

Tim) It’s more of a studio thing right now. Who knows, we may do limited live stuff in the future though. The three of us have all played tons of shows with other bands we’ve been in so I know we could definitely pull it off. Adding a few other guys to round out the live line up of course.

How do you bring this sound to the audience and how is the audience reaction?

Tim) Don’t know how the live audience would react yet ha! Hopefully they won’t pelt us with rocks and garbage haha! No seriously, adapting it to play live would take a little preparation just cause there’s a fair amount going on in the songs and we’d have to find guys to play with us but they are basically guitar or rhythm based songs so they should transfer well to a live setting.

In my review, I compared the sound to Fear Factory as well as Ministry. How do you feel about these comparisons or comparisons in general?

Tim) Those are fair enough. We have elements in common with those bands. Usually comparisons are ok as long as they are somewhere near accurate. It gives people a ballpark idea of what bands are like.

How do you feel about the Metal scene in the U.S. these days?

Tim) Honestly it’s a bit overrun with way too many metalcore bands at the moment. That’s just not stuff I can get into. I guess people are starting to listen to heavier stuff again though. The shows that hit our area are noticeably more crowded. The US is so faddish with music though. Many just seem to follow what’s big at the moment and just outright ape it without adding or trying something different. Or, on the other side of things, they are so stuck in old school ways that there’s no progression there either. It’s always cool to have those bands you grew up with close to your heart but that doesn’t mean what comes after is not of the same worth.

Where do you think Project: Failing Flesh fits in?

Tim) No idea. Hopefully somewhere! What we are doing fits in with some of what’s out there under the extreme metal banner I think. We surely aren’t reinventing anything and are just a sum of our influences like all other bands.

Tell me about the new project called "The Conjoined"? The writing, the music etc.

Tim) Sure, it’s just about done now. We are just waiting for Loston, who helps us with keyboards to come and then it’s ready for Eric. We are in the process of getting him a plane ticket to come over right now (he lives in France). Looks like early September. We’re real pleased with it so far. Sonically maybe it’s a little heavier though a little less “cold” than A Beautiful Sickness. Songwise it’s a continuation. Heavy riff based stuff with some other stuff thrown in the stew. A few new twists maybe. Brutal songs with a few weirdo ones thrown in. We love the weirdos!

When can we expect a taste of it?

Tim) I’d say it will be all finished up and mixed and mastered before the end of the year. Then it’s just up to the label when it comes out. Hopefully as soon as possible after it’s finished. The first one sat for quite awhile and that was pretty frustrating.

I'd love to witness you guys from the pit. It would be a good sweat I bet!

Tim) Hehe! Cool! Hopefully someday soon you’ll get that chance.

Will we be seeing any live shows or tours in the near future?

Tim) Again, right now it’s set up more as a studio thing. It’s real hard with our distance obstacles and schedules and stuff. But maybe limited stuff at some point if there was ever a demand. Some festivals or one offs.

If so, who would you most like to go on tour with?

Tim) If we ever did do a tour it would be a dream to tour with like Sabbath, Priest, Maiden, or Slayer. That’s aiming unrealistically though. We’d just want to go out with a band we dig who maybe we have a little in common musically with like an Arcturus or Ram Zet or Entombed or Enslaved or Katatonia or Opeth or Jesu or about a couple hundred more I could reel off!

Is Project: Failing Flesh the main focus with all of you or are any of you still involved with old or other bands?

Tim) With Kev and I this is our main focus. Eric has E-Force of course. But all three of us do other music stuff with various friends for fun too.

That should do it. If there is anything else you would like to add, feel free. Take your time and enjoy. Can't wait to hear the new stuff. If you want it reviewed and can send me an advanced copy I'll be more than glad to do it! Thanks!  Tgod

Tim) Sure will. Thanks for the interview and all your support! Good luck with HARM! If anyone reading this is interested they can get more info at www.projectfailingflesh.com. A Beautiful Sickness is out now on Candlelight in the US and on Karmageddon in Europe. Take it easy!!

May 29, 2005

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