Interviews

How to snatch a body (an interview with Bodysnatch)

Bodysnatch is a brutal death/extreme slam band from…Switzerland and Russia! This two-man missile launcher is ready to blow the world up.
To me, it’s amazing music. It is something beyond me as a black metal rock-and-roller, this kind of metal… it is fascinating and mindblowing!
Their new album “Instigate the Lunatics” will be out in March on Morbid Generation and the single “Merciless Extirpation” can be found on Youtube here:

So now that you understand what you’re in for, I asked them some questions.

Bodysnatch started as a one-man project. What prompted Livio to put together a full line-up?

Livio: Well, my very first band was Secret Mutilation, NYDM inspired death metal. But due to lack of finding members the band were on hold several times, we didn‘t get ahead really. You know, growing up in a small village with no other Death Metal fans isn‘t helpful haha…I played drums and did the vocals.
Then I jumped in as drummer for a melodic death metal band named Corpus Domini before the band split up maybe 3 years later. My wish was always to have my own brutal death metal band….and since I can‘t play guitar or bass I started to get a line up together with friends of other local death metal bands. They weren‘t really into brutal death metal but were willing to help me out, so it remained a project.

The band is heavily influenced by the NYDM scene. Since back in my day, before internet, tape trading and sending out for demos – usually based on magazine advertisements in the seedy back sections of metal zines – was the normal way of getting into music from around the world, I’m curious… how did two guys from Switzerland and Russia begin getting into NYDM anyway?

Livio: We had a pretty cool CD shop in my later hometown with plenty of metal stuff. Me and a friend were there every week to buy another pile of CDs lol…
As kid, I started with bands like Iron Maiden, Motörhead, Slayer, Venom or Metallica to name a few. The usual „metal started pack“ that time so to speak haha. Somewhen I discovered Death Metal (also Black Metal) and immediately switched my focus on bands like Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, Obituary, Morbid Angel and so on.
We already knew Suffocation but one day that said friend found Internal Bleeding‘s „Voracious Contempt“ in the shop. We were both highly impressed by their style and tried to find records of any band that were mentioned in their thanks list, lots of NYDM of course.
Back in the days I was also very active writing letters to bands. Especially Eric (RIP) of Deeds Of Flesh was very helpful and sent me tapes or CDs together with a bunch of flyers in each letter. It was quite easy going from there to get records from bands like Repudilation, Dehumanized, Devourment, Disgorge or Disordered. Not only NYDM – but that scene‘s style was always my favourite till today.

Dmitry: Speaking of the beginning, I had a similar story, except there wasn’t a lot of options to get real tapes/CDs. I grew up during the “mp3 player era”, so when a friend showed me some ROCK MUSIC – that’s what he called it at the time – I fell in love right away. There were those “starter pack” bands that Livio mentioned above, some punk, mostly Russian bands, but there was also Pantera, which made a great impact on me I guess. Unfortunately, there were no more metalheads at a small town where I lived, so I was there learning how to play guitar and tried writing some basic primitive riffs. Got into deathcore, NYHC, beatdown, enjoying the groove of it. Tried starting a couple of bands to play this kind of music but it never worked out. After that the actual death metal discovery happened, and especially the slam got into my life. So, that’s why I love bands like Dying Fetus, Suffocation, Internal Bleeding, etc. They combine the brutality and the groove, so you can headbang away, you know, you feel the music flow.

What was the first band that made you think “I want to play this type of music?”

Livio: If you mean Slam/Brutal Death Metal basicly, it’s Internal Bleeding.

Dmitry: I had this moment when I heard Dying Fetus first. And speaking of choosing the 8 string guitar, that was The Acacia Strain.

Reading your bio, I see alot about recording, but nothing about live performances. Has there ever been a Bodysnatch gig? Any plans in the future?

Livio: That‘s true. We never played any gigs because it was a studio project from the beginning. I don‘t think Bodysnatch will ever play a live show. That‘s not part of the plan at all.

Dmitry joined Bodysnatch in 2019, while spending time in Excoriation (see the interview here). I was surprised to see he left Excoriation in 2021 as I’d been awaiting the new full-length album, so I have to ask: What prompted Dmitry to concentrate on Bodysnatch (and his other band Ethology) full time?

Dmitry: Oh well, the short answer is that the pandemic happened. To be more specific, I had a lot of personal stuff happening in 2020, that was a tough year financially and morally, lost a job. Then we stopped rehearsing for a while cause of the lockdown, and I simply didn’t want to do it again. The rehearsals renewed for a bit though, but now I think that it should’ve stopped at that time, earlier, cause the band lost more time. I thought that I didn’t want to rehearse because of the financial situation, but honestly I just didn’t feel it anymore, the band practice stopped making me happy. Honestly, I really don’t want to ruin the fun for everyone else in the band.
I told this whole thing to Cyril and Daniil and they understood. I still wish only the best for the Excoriation guys and will continue to support them!
Now, about the studio bands. I can write, record and practice at home. I don’t need to spend time and/or money on roadtrips, practice space, whatever there is. I can spend time with my family more. There you go, it’s a win-win. It might sound selfish to those who don’t know me, but try to get what I’m saying here: I just don’t feel like traveling for 2 hours one way to play music anymore, if I can do it behind my desk and have the same, if not better, emotions and results. No live shows, that’s the downside, but you never know what the future brings! For now I’ll concentrate on Bodysnatch and Ethology. And I’m always open for projects, I’m one message away on Facebook.

Livio is not just the vocalist for a few other bands (Awaken the Misogynist, Secret Mutilation, Slamentation) but also the drummer/drum programmer in these bands AND Bodysnatch. Do you prefer real drums or programmed drums (and why?)

Livio: In the end – Real drums for sure! I mean, as a drummer it was not my first intention to start programming drums. Well fact is, I was never a good drummer lol, also after the split up of Corpus Domini I lost my practice room but wanted to keep Bodysnatch going. Gion (the former bassist) told me about those drum software so I decided to try it….and stick to it till today.
Drum software became better and better over the years. Indeed, you can‘t replace or re-create the feeling which a real drummer gives into a record, period! BUT in the age where music gets kinda computerized with quantizations/replacements and use of so many different plug ins during the mixing process anyways, I don‘t care that much anymore. Let’s say – As long as the music is intense and have a good vibe, I enjoy it, programmed or real drums.

Dmitry: Real drums are more natural so better of course… Says a guy who’s studio projects have computerized drums, haha! There is always a compromise. Either find a good drummer, record his kit, pay for the studio, pay for the editing, the list goes on, or have samples. The drum libraries nowadays give you the handful of possibilities to tweak your sound as you want it to be. Then, imagine, for example, right before the mastering process you decide to change a part (not sure why would you, but shit happens). Good luck trying to place the mics and record the same way as you did some time ago, no perfectionist in the world can do it I think. Anyways, computerized drums, real drums… as long as the music makes you want to move or gives you goosebumps, does it really matter that much?

The new Bodysnatch album “Instigate the Lunatics” will be out in March on Morbid Generation. How long did it take to record this album? Who wrote the majority of the songs?

Livio: During the pandemic we had plenty of time. I think the whole recording process took us about 10 months. We wrote all songs together. I made the structures of each song with drum tracks including tempo changes etc as a basis. Then we went from there, changed or added things if needed, discussed some of the riffs.

Dmitry: Right, we exchanged ideas during the whole creative process, I recorded the riffs using the drum tracks made by Livio, we checked it out, did some tweaking and if both were happy we moved on to the next track.

How did you two meet and what’s the recording process like, with one man in Switzerland and one man in Russia? Were you fans of each other’s music before you collaborated?

Livio: See answer above – In general, the recording process is sending files to each other and work things out.
Yes, I was already fan of Excoriation actually. Dmitry seemed a very cool guy and I liked how he writes riffs. I was in search of a new guitar and bass player so I contacted him on Facebook. The rest is history and I‘m really happy that he joined. We‘re a very good team!

Dmitry: I simply just got a message from Livio, he told me the situation and that he needed a guitar player, so I agreed pretty much right away. I knew his projects and enjoyed the way he writes music so that was an easy decision to collaborate. So yeah, the technical part of the writing process is like any remote work nowadays, pretty similar, send a file, get a yes (or get a “wtf is this redo asap” haha) and that’s it. I like our creative process and Livio is a cool dude!
We haven’t met in real life yet, but I hope the virus goes away and let’s us meet at some festival already!

The artwork for the new album is completely hellish looking. Who came up with the idea for the album cover, and most importantly, who is the artist?

Livio: Glad you like it! Daemorph did the cover. Yeah it came out super sick and we‘re very happy with it. I came up with the concept after I played the video game named Outlast. That was the main influence behind it.

Dmitry: By the way, shout out to “Slamming Brutal Death Community” on VK and Facebook, there was somebody in the comments under the album cover who totally guessed that Outlast was the inspiration for it haha!

How has the band’s sound changed since Dmitry joined?

Livio: A lot haha…but it was also completely intended to be clear. After many years of having an experimental touch in Bodysnatch‘s music I wanted to keep it more raw. More blast beats, higher tempo all in all. Dmitry was perfect to bring this to shine.

Dmitry: I quite dig the previous material by Bodysnatch, but it was more of experimental death metal. The new release is as much slamming brutal death as it can be, and hope you all enjoy what you hear!

Sometimes I have asked metal bands this question and they balk (everyone seems to want to uphold an image) but sometimes people have interesting answers, so here goes…and I want you two to know that I’m asking this because I can hear old school and other influences in the music:
What bands, or artists, do you guys listen to OUTSIDE OF the realm of brutal death and slam?

Livio: Hahaha the forbidden question then huh?….well, I do listen to many different styles of music. In my younger years, especially as a teenager I was a die hard death metal fan. Other music than that was not allowed haha. But somewhen I discovered different genres. My apprenticeship as music and movie retailer helped a lot to dig deeper into the world of music. Besides Metal I really like Blues, Jazz, Punk, Punk, Funk etc…even Hip Hop and electronic music like Drum N Bass or Chillout. Plus I‘m a little nerd when it comes to Post-Black Metal with Shoegaze elements….
Even tho most of the time I wear my Metal merch because it’s what I like most…you can be a Metal maniac and still try out other genres, try it…it won‘t kill you…

Dmitry: I always have this kind of flows, sometimes I listen to different genres of metal, then post-punk, then it could be some retro wave, then maybe black metal, ambient or some lo-fi beats when I work. I also find the real dubstep to be pretty cool, not the radio-dancehall kind of dubstep, but the actual dark and slow music with lots of low frequencies. I’d say check out a genre if you never heard of it, might be impressed. Or hate it, at least you tried.
Oh, same thing for me with merch though, I think that’s what we can’t cure haha, but I’m trying to get more blank clothes instead nowadays. Trying. Doesn’t work yet.

Why did you choose Morbid Generation to release the new CD?

Livio: I already worked with him for all Slamentation releases so I knew how he works. Great label!

Dmitry: Totally agree, just wanna add that I really enjoyed the greeting process from the owners, that was super cool and friendly, they seem like they really enjoy their business and promoting heavy music! And they have dogs at their office, isn’t that great?

Frank Rini (of Internal Bleeding fame) and Clayton Meade (from Condemned!) both make appearances on the album. How did you get them to appear? Make a phone call? Write a letter? What was it like to have a chance to work with these two?

Livio: I wrote them via Facebook, pretty simple. I know both, Frank and Clayton, since years. Dmitry and me brain stormed what would be great guest vocalists. Dmitry immediately came up with Clayton and my wish was Frank. It‘s always cool to work with such outstanding musicians! They‘re both super professional and we couldn‘t be any happier how their vocals turned out.

Dmitry: Yes, it’s great that they both agreed and it worked out great! The recording process went really smooth and I really enjoy the results!

Livio, what’s next for your other bands? Any new material planned? Where can fans get any past music?

Livio: Our EP for Awaken The Misogynist was just released via Rotten Music a few days ago. We‘re working on the full length. Also there will be a split with Slamentation together with Devour The Unborn, Defleshed and Gutted and Inhuman Atrocities via Vicious Instinct Records somewhen this year.
Next to that an EP release is set to April for a new project named Swag Fight via Rotten Music. It‘s somewhat of a mix of slam, death metal and beatdown hardcore. We’re already working on our second EP.
Plus we planned to do new tunes for Secret Mutilation sooner or later….

You‘ll find most music on Youtube if you want to check us out before trying to get your hands on physicals. Some of these releases are on several common digital platforms as well.

The expected follow-up to the last question is obviously…Dmitry! Will you being doing new Ethology stuff?

Dmitry: We slowly started writing the new material. First there will be a single release sometime this year, doing it completely DIY, 2 versions, CDr, Russian and Indonesian. We want to do a new track and a cover. Will keep posted on our Facebook. Then the 2nd full length is planned, but not to ruin anybody’s expectations that probably won’t happen before 2022. I hope it’s earlier, but better be positively surprised than negatively! And don’t forget to check out our vocalist Riry’s other bands, he plays guitar in Venomed, for example.

Suppose you were being shipped to a deserted island prison, but were allowed to bring a portable CD player and 2 CDs to listen to. Which CDs would they be…and why?

Livio: Oh, this is a tough one! I guess I‘ll go with IB‘s Voracious Contempt and mmmh…maybe…fuck, I have no clue, way too many options…next question please….

Dmitry: Okay, where do I find more batteries? Dying Fetus – Reign Supreme, The Acacia Strain – Wormwood. But if I had to pick, I’d rather took a guitar instead of CDs…

Hehe, next question…there isn’t one! That’s all, folks. I can’t recommend the projects of these guys enough. If you like brutal metal you can not go wrong with any of the projects mentioned, especially Bodysnatch.

J.R. Preston

Active musician, the person responsible for - or involved with - cult projects as Tjolgtjar, Xexyz and many others, and the main person behind our wrestling coverage.

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