Jason Peppiatt from Domination Campaign: An Interview

Domination Campaign is a band from Hobart, Australia.

Had the opportunity to chat with Jason Peppiatt about his new project, why old school is the new thing, and what's special about death metal lyrics.

Weirding: So you started this up as a solo project, and then Joe came in not just to provide drums but to engineer the project. Can you talk to me about what the recording process was like and how important it was to have someone else responsible for the tracking?

Jason: Well, me and Joe have worked a lot together in the past — musically and in the studio with Psycroptic — so it was a fairly solid choice to get him recording and producing the album. Joe’s always had a way of drawing my best performances out of me as he knows I won’t take offense if he tells me a take was shit and I need to do it again. And I have full trust in him that he makes the right calls with that stuff. It was really fun getting him in to play drums as well because we had really similar ideas on how the album should be drummed and his execution of that was perfect. 

Weirding: Totally agree on the execution. Both drums and production. ‘Death Before Dishonour’ kicks in with a riff so heavy it’s nearly suffocating.

Jason: That’s what I was going for with that song, so I’m glad it had the intended effect.

Weirding: Can you tell me a bit about how you are getting your sound? We’re gear heads, so definitely interested in guitars, amps, effects as well as your approach to the mix.

Jason: I used one of Joe's Ormsby guitars tuned to drop C and it was just a DI straight into ProTools and run through amp sims there. We laid down two guitar tracks. With the guitar sound, I basically said to Joe that I wanted it to be a modern take on an old school death metal sound and make it big heavy and over the top. 

I’m not sure what amp sims and effects he ended up using, but he sent me through a few different things until he found that perfect sound.

Weirding: And worked quick. I’d read that the entire album was recorded, mixed, and mastered within a month.

Jason: That's not one-hundred percent accurate. It was tracked over a couple weeks earlier in the year and then the mixing and mastering was done over a couple weeks in July. The process was still fast but we had to take a break between tracking and mixing to work on some Psycroptic stuff that we had to get done. 

Weirding: Did you go into it with the idea of giving yourself just a set and limited amount of time?

Jason: I think that the reason we did get it done so quickly was due to not being able to tour with Psycroptic, due to the coronavirus stuff. And we just had to keep ourselves stimulated creatively and musically. 

Weirding: You’ve mentioned a few classic death metal bands that influenced your sound on this project, including Bolt Thrower. That sort of bludgeoning sound and the approach to the themes of the lyrics is certainly present in the new material. There has been a real resurgence (or reemergence) of the old school death metal sound over the last few years and I’m interested as a musician in why you see that happening. From a musician’s perspective, what’s compelling about that sound?

Jason: Death metal has progressed so far from where it began that I think a lot of people are starting to get interested again in the roots of the genre. I mean all those classic old school bands are fucking awesome so it’s hard not to like that sort of sound. I also think that a lot of musicians just get to an age and can’t be fucked keeping up with all the new and young bands that are coming out, so they just go back to listening to the stuff they started out with. 

Weirding: So, do you see this project as completed with the release of this album? Or are there plans to record more and perhaps even flesh out a band to play the material live?

Jason: We are definitely going to do more albums, the writing process has already started. 

Weirding: That’s fantastic.

Jason: We had so much fun doing the first album and people seem to be liking it, so we think it’d be silly not to follow it up with at least one more album and then see where it goes from there. We haven’t thought a lot about the live thing to be honest, it could be a possibility though. Would be fun to play those songs in front of a crowd to see how wild the mosh pits could get.

Weirding: Last question: The line “Supplies are running out” somehow strikes me as the most terrifying lyric in ‘Death Before Dishonour’. The sense of dread in knowing that at some finite point in the near future you run out of what is sustaining you — that’s something that transcends themes of war or battle and gets really to the heart of the human condition. I’m interested in your thoughts as to how lyrics in death metal often use extreme points of view (whether armies meeting on a field of battle or someone chasing someone around a dungeon with a knife, et cetera) take on big ideas and existential problems. So, from a lyrical point of view: Who do you consider either the best lyricist in death metal or what song best exemplifies the ability for death metal lyrics to transcend?

Jason: I was actually speaking with a friend about the extreme nature of lyrics in metal a few weeks ago. I think a lot of it is just the fact that the music is so extreme that it has to be followed up with extreme points of view. And part of me also thinks it stems from when metal as a genre started out — the genre always had that shock factor to it and that’s what grabbed people's attention. So I think some of it kind of almost stems from tradition. 

Weirding: That’s an interesting idea. Metal certainly has its traditions and rituals. And it makes perfect sense that that would not just be reflected in the lyrics, but that the lyrics themselves would be part of the tradition.

Jason: As for who I think is the best lyricist, that’s a really hard one. I’ve always loved Peter Tagtgren’s work in Hypocrisy. He’s very diverse in his lyrical concepts and it’s not all about aliens… haha. I’ve always loved lyrics where you can tell that someone’s put a lot of thought into getting their idea across rather than just senseless gore type lyrics.


About

DOMINATION CAMPAIGN is an offshoot from Tasmanian death metal titans Psycroptic - and they’ve just inked a deal with Prosthetic Records. Formed by Psycroptic vocalist Jason Peppiatt, DOMINATION CAMPAIGN started out as a solo project, but soon evolved to include bandmate Joe Haley on drums, as well as handling engineering duties.  

https://dominationcampaign.bandcamp.com 


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