Defeated Sanity

[Update, 7pm Eastern time on Sunday, March 8th, 2020: I've re-upped the episode to fix some audio issues that were present in the first version, so if you downloaded the file previously, please refresh it if you haven't yet listened! -HS]

For the first episode of Heavy Metal Bebop's second season, we have two guests, presented one after the other. They are Lille Gruber, drummer, co-founder and principal songwriter for the German death-metal band Defeated Sanity, and Jacob Schmidt, the band's bassist and co-songwriter since 2005. If you've listened to prior episodes of this show and/or read Heavy Metal Bebop interviews online, you've probably run across Defeated Sanity's name. That's because, like Meshuggah and Gorguts before them, during the past 15 years or so, Defeated Sanity have gradually evolved into an institution of forward-thinking metal, a band that open-minded musicians both inside and outside the genre look to as leaders in their field. Their work draws on the brutality of genre forefathers like Cannibal Corpse as well as the jazz savvy of bands like Cynic, creating a breathakingly diverse sound that wholly rejects the pristine veneer of modern extreme metal. In 2016, they released Disposal of the Dead / Dharmata, a "self-split" album that isolated the two different sides of their work.

Recently Lille and Jacob were in New York putting the finishing touches on their upcoming album at Menegroth, the Queens studio owned and operated by my friend Colin Marston. I dropped by and sat down with Lille and Jacob for sequential conversations touching on how Lille started the band with his fusion-loving father, Wolfgang Teske; why Lille considers the Mahavishnu Orchestra to be his Black Sabbath; why he'd like to combine Miles Davis' Tutu with death metal slams; Jacob's take on the difficulties of being a truly progressive band in an often conservative genre; and much more. If you're listening to this episode in March 2020, Defeated Sanity are about to head out on a big U.S. tour with Origin, so check their Facebook page for all the details.

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