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Interview with Cardiac Arrest


Old school death inspired act, Cardiac Arrest chose the perfect tag for their music, “heart-stopping death metal.” Not only does it sound cool, as the band relates in the following interview, it can serve as a good description of the band’s style. One could think of a heart drowning in cholesterol and eventually losing its power to beat. From fast-paced grind parts that are akin to a heart beating out of control to the ewwey-gooey sludge and doom movements, if a heart took on the beats of Cardiac Arrest, it will simply cease.

After slugging it out in one of America’s hot beds for death metal, Chicago, Illinois, and releasing albums through various respected underground outlets, Cardiac Arrest seemingly has found a home on John McEntee’s Ibex Moon Records. The Incantation member boasts a solid roster of veteran acts that includes his own band, Asphyx, Goreaphobia and Acheron. Containing a classic death metal identity, Cardiac Arrest’s "Haven for the Insane" is a great fit with the rest of the bands on said label.

In order to promote this new album, Cardiac Arrest recently took to the road with label mates Hod and Gravehill. Members Jim Deabenderfer (drums), bassist Dave "Amsterdam" Holland and guitarist/vocalist Adam Scott spoke to Metal Ship on various topics concerning this death metal band of “heart-stopping” power. Read onward to learn more about this increasingly popular death metal band.



Metalship : How is the tour going?

Jim Deabenderfer: It’s has gone well. I think it depends on whom you ask that question to. Shows, in general, have been good. Some things could have been better, a lot of things could have been worse. There have been some good surprises and bad surprises. Portland [Oregon] went a lot better than we expected to do on many levels, but there were a lot of other things that went wrong.

Dave "Amsterdam" Holland: Our performance in Portland was terrible. It was the first night of the tour and we had strange equipment. The guitars were out of tune, and keeping them in tune was a problem. Tom was drunk. He was way too drunk to be on stage. You know what, though, he turned it around the next night in San Francisco [California]. He totally killed it. It was a great show. There were a lot of people who had never seen us before who were fans. That is kind of a first thing for us.

Adam Scott: I thought L.A. [California] was a good show. Obviously, it could have been a lot better. It was a good time, all over. It was definitely a good comeback as it was our first show in Los Angeles in over two years.


Metalship : So Cardiac Arrest has toured before?

Jim Deabenderfer: We’ve done a lot of one-offs, festivals and weekends. We did a three-day weekend tour with Acheron, and a four-day weekend tour a couple of months prior.

Adam Scott: And Incantation, in case you were wondering. We did one with Jungle Rot a few years back, as well.

Jim Deabenderfer: We did L.A. Murderfest 4.0 with Phobia, Napalm Death and a bunch of other bands. That was a one-off thing, again. Great show! We knew we were establishing ground, so we were excited to get back there. We were supposed to go out to Portland years ago. That didn’t happen, so we were really looking forward to that gig, and it went well. To finish off the question: We did Prescott [Arizona] a couple of nights ago. We had no expectations because we didn’t know anything about it. We walked in…nobody was there. The owner was cool. The stage was barely a drum riser. We ended up working the show for a portion of the bar. Even though we mostly had just regulars in there, we still did pretty well. A lot of shows you have, you stay busy. The fans don’t always get to watch each other. We got to watch each other. It was great!

Adam Scott: We got to play for each other, a few locals and a few crickets because it was outside. We still got some money.
Dave "Amsterdam" Holland: (Sarcastically states) We’re playing death metal, so we are all in this for the pussy and money.


Metalship : Is this your first time playing Texas?

Adam Scott: Nope, this is our first time anywhere in Texas. We heard a lot of good things about certain markets, Austin in particular. Hopefully, we won’t be let down.


Metalship : How were you signed to Ibex Moon?

Jim Deabenderfer: Tom [Knizner—guitar] and I have known John [McEntee] for a long time. He has always been forward about the fact that he likes us as a live act. We would always say that was the way we wanted to get on but we weren’t ready yet. We shopped the record around for a while. We had a couple of offers on the table, but we wanted to see what was out there. Between a conversation Tom had with John at CIM (Central Illinois Metalfest) last year and then we did the Incantation tour, saw him more and he seemed interested. We went back and forth a couple of times and then it happened.

Adam Scott: The rest of it is pretty much history. The ball continues to roll. The album has been out now for a little over a month and a half.

Jim Deabenderfer: The response has been good. Press in general has been ridiculous in how good of a response we’ve gotten. We’re at another level that we’ve never had before, and we can see it. We can tangibly see the results, so we are pleased.



Metalship : How do you feel about being part of a roster of such great death metal artists as Asphyx, Goreaphobia and Incantation?

Jim Deabenderfer: Not to say anything bad about any other label we’ve been on, but it’s nice to be on a label where all the other bands are similar without being too close to each other. We all get along with all of those bands. We know a lot of them, and we’re in good company. It’s nice to see a family of bands that have the same mentality and really have a goal, not just for their bands, but for the whole label. It’s great to see them get bigger.


Metalship : So you’ve been on other labels before?

Adam Scott: Will Rahmer of Mortician put out our first record "Morgue Mutilations" on his label Redrum Records. Epitomite Productions, which is Von [Young] from Lividity and Deaden, put out our last album "Cadaverous Presence."

Jim Deabenderfer: Epitomite had a lot of goregrind/stomp death metal bands, and we were the sore thumb in that crowd. Of course, he put us out and then put out a live Impetigo album, so he was shifting his focus. We don’t have a bad word to say about him, but we just knew that this record being what it was, we wanted to get a little more exposure. It wasn’t for a lack of trying on his part; he always treated us well, but we wanted to push ourselves a little more. With Ibex Moon, we are going where we want to go.


Metalship : You tag your music as “Heart Stopping death metal” on your Myspace page.

Adam Scott: Yes, that’s a little something we used to coin our style of music. It’s just something we’re having fun with. It’s something that makes us stick out in a way, sort of a marketing thing. Plus, that’s the name of the first demo/mini CD that we put out in 2004.

Jim Deabenderfer: Coming in from the outside I thought it was really catchy. We’ve pushed that as much as possible for the five years I’ve been in the band. I think it’s awesome.


Metalship : I described your music as a mix of Grave and early Carcass. Do you agree with that description?

Jim Deabenderfer: If that is what people take from it, than they are paying attention.
Adam Scott: As long as people think what we do is good, than hey, we have done our job.

Dave "Amsterdam" Holland: Anytime anyone talks about our sound, they usually mention any one of your big death metal bands from the late ‘80s to early ‘90s, and that is totally fine with us. Other than old school death metal, the Cannibal Corpse references do not exist. They are not there. If you say we sound like Cannibal Corpse than you are not listening. You don’t know death metal. Shut the fuck up!

Adam Scott: It’s not in any way intentional if people think that.

Dave "Amsterdam" Holland: It makes more sense to reference Grave because they are a big influence. Carcass is huge…


Metalship : I hear it in your drums (I motion to Jim).

Jim Deabenderfer: Thanks, I’ll never be Ken Owens but I try.
Adam Scott: As far as classic Swedish death metal albums go, You’ll Never See…from Grave is one of my favorites. It is so bottom-heavy and Jorgen’s [Sandstrom] vocals are—AH FUCK—are definitely an influence on me when I try to do a low vocal part. His vocals are low but intelligible. You know what the fuck he is saying.


Metalship : It’s interesting that you bring up Cannibal Corpse as not being a good influence. It’s just not in there. A lot of bands in America either draw from Cannibal or Suffocation. Yet, you guys draw more from the Swedes. Do you think this influence helps separate you from the bloody piles?

Jim Deabenderfer: I think so. It’s not for a lack of interest in Suffocation and Cannibal Corpse. I like some albums better than others, I would say I like most of it. However, I think it was very clear from the start about us knowing what we wanted. Adam had a very clear mission to complete with that demo. When I came into the band, I looked at what they were doing and said we should make it faster and more manic. We slowly brought the grindcore in there. I’m Grindhead Jim…Jesus Christ! Duh! David has a big grind influence in his background, too. For Tom, it’s like Autopsy, Terrorizer and other grind bands.

Adam Scott: I kind of look at his vocal style as a mix of Chris Reifert [Autopsy] and Scott Carlson [Repulsion].

Dave "Amsterdam" Holland: At the end of the day we are an old school death metal band with some grind, thrash and doom elements.

Jim Deabenderfer: If we were still doing the Swedish stuff and nothing but we would have burned out a long time ago. I think we all recognized that early on. We had a shift after record number four where everybody is writing all kinds of riffs and I can’t even tell who is writing what. It’s great because Adam’s interpretation of a grind riff will be different than when Tom writes something that sounds Swedish. That has happened. That happened two or three years ago, but now everybody is integrating all our writing together. There is more of a core sound to our stuff than ever before!


Metalship : Will the new album be more diverse than "Haven for the Insane"?

Jim Deabenderfer: I wouldn’t say that. I think the next record will be more to the point. When there is a grindcore influence in a song, it will be more obvious. The grind songs are grind songs. The death metal songs are straight death metal. You will know the Swedish death metal songs. We’ve mixed things up and we have always done that, just so you hear a mixture of influences. This one it will be much more direct. If a song has a certain direction, than we will keep it there.

Adam Scott: We’ve written some of the most angry, vicious shit of our career!


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added by Darren Cowan, on July 24, 2010 for Metalship

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Cardiac Arrest

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Creation : 1997
Genre : Death Metal
Origin : United States




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