I’d like to offer my thanks to death grinders Kill Division for taking the time out to speak with me. First of all you named your new album “Destructive Force”… not a name that requires a lot of explanation but one that we here at Destructive Music thoroughly endorse! How do you feel now the album is complete and ready to go?
Susan: We are very proud of this CD and hope that others are going to like it as much as we do. So if you’re into fast, brutal music with a melodic touch every now and then listen to our album!
Female vocalists are becoming more and more frequent in metal I am happy to say but in the more extreme forms it is a lot rarer. At what age did you realise you can sing like that and what kind of strain does it put on your throat?
Susan: When the singer in one of my previous bands unexpectedly left in ’95 we had to come up with a solution on a very short term basis and that’s when I decided to give singing a try and it somehow worked and sounded good. When you know how to use your breath and vocal chords properly extreme singing doesn’t have to be particularly strenuous. However, singing for a longer period of time is tough on your voice and I really need to warm up my voice first. Growling like that without warming up is like taking a sprint without having warmed up your muscles first. The good thing is that I had speech therapy for my profession (I also work as a teacher), so I know pretty well how to use my breath and voice. A few years ago I also took some extreme vocal coaching classes in which you’re also shown certain breathing and warm up techniques.
Tell me a little about each member of the band. How did you all meet? What bands did you grow up listening too and what age did you all get into Metal?
Susan: We’ve all known each other for ages. Richard and Roel played together in Inhume and Roel and I played together in God Dethroned. With my first band (Catafalque) we had gigs together with Inhume on a very regular basis, so back then I played indirectly with Roel and Richard. We always talked to each other at gigs. So we’ve all known each other for many years, always played this style of music and we share the same musical tastes. Richard and Roel really like Slayer, Morbid Angel, Terrorizer, because of the great riffage and drums. I’m a huge Carcass fan and love all these good death metal bands from the late 80s/early 90s. We were all very young when we got into metal, all around the age of 10 or 11.
Which of the bands you grew up with would you say now influence the Kill Division sound?
Susan: The aforementioned bands. To me Carcass, and Bill Steer in particular, have had a huge impact on what I’ve been doing for the past twenty years. In the summer of 1993 I started playing the guitar and in that same year Carcass’s Heartwork album was released, so that was a huge incentive for me to keep practicing, because I wanted to be able to play like that too.
Now that “Destructive Force” is finished and ready, can you advise how you found the whole creative/writing and recording process? Are you a band that enjoys studio time or do you prefer to be on the road?
Susan: We enjoy both. We really love working on new songs and seeing/hearing a new CD come to live and hear what the songs really sound like. It’s always a special experience when you hear your own music played back to you through the studio speakers and you can hear the final version of a song you’ve created as a band. But we also enjoy playing live a lot! The energy you get from the crowd. That’s completely different and more dynamic.
Speaking of being on the road, are there plans to come and tour the UK?
Susan: We haven’t booked any tours yet.
I struggled to find information on the band if I’m honest but I did notice that you are from Holland. Some great bands have and do come from Holland and one I’d recommend is Funeral Whore, but what bands would you suggest from your local scene?
Susan: All the information is on our website: www.killdivision.net and Facebook page :-) But it’s still pretty concise since we’re a new band. Hail of Bullets and Legion of the Damned are among the bands I’d recommend from our country.
How did the deal with Metal Blade come about? I imagine that you are pretty thrilled to be on such a great roster?
Susan: We are! Roel and I had already worked with them before and knew that they are very committed and work hard for their bands, so we sent them our music and it didn’t take long for us to sign the deal. We are very happy and proud to be working with Metal Blade Records again.
Finally, can you tell me what you think the future will hold for Kill Division?
Susan: I’m not a clairvoyant, so I wouldn’t know, haha! We’re just going to wait for the CD release and we’ll take it from there.
Thanks for your time.
Susan: Thanks for this interview.