Interview with Marc Hood of Cadaver Soirée
By Sheri Bicheno
Hello all, It’s Sheri!
I return from the other side of 2020 (Happy New Year) and boy oh boy, I’ve had a few insightful chats leading up to Christmas… Here I sat down with Marc Hood (vocalist) of one of Leeds’ dark gems, Cadaver Soirée.
Formed in 2016, Cadaver Soirée play a mixture of Death, Black and Doom Metal. Taking influence from various sources and placing emphasis on heaviness and memorable riffing, the guys aim has always been to provide a brutal and diverse listening experience.
Give them a listen!
Sheri: What got you into making music and where you are now?
Marc: I’ve been into being a musician, that sort of thing for about 15 years, I’ve done everything really, in terms of being in a band. I’ve been a guitarist, I’ve pretended to be a bassist haha, I’ve played synth in a band as well. I’ve done near enough everything. I’ve even drummed many years ago. I was in a band with Andy from Cadaver, I was the bassist, it was called Hammer X – I’d pretty much left Hammer X at that point because it was a different style to what I’m doing now so Andy had heard my vocals and had suggested I try out. So, I joined on a whim and it turned out to be one of the best things that has ever happened to me, musically.
Sheri: I love that! You mention you’ve done different things before – have you been in a similar type of band or has it always been different?
Marc: To be honest, I’ve done near enough everything. The band I drummed in was a sort of Amon Amarth/Viking type so that was fun! I was in a groove metal band; I was lead guitar in that. I played bass in a Classic Rock band – I did full spectrum on the bass. The band I play Synth for is a Black Metal band, obviously Cadaver is death metal.
Sheri: Wow, that’s cool! Education wise, did you pick up all of this through education?
Marc: No, I’m entirely self-taught, I wanted to do music in high school, but the teacher didn’t think metal was a viable sort of music, so… (we could do an article on how narrow minded a point of view, by some, so-called teachers this is!! – Rick)
Sheri: Yeah, tell me about it! Haha.
Marc: Haha, so I just thought I’d go my own way, so I’ve had no formal education and everything I’ve done I’ve done myself or by form of imitation.
Sheri: Understood. There’s a lot of musician’s like yourself that are self-taught but to have such a range is awesome. Your debut album “To Betray The Creator”was brought out in 2017…
Marc: The original “Cordyceps” demo was recorded in 2017 with the previous line up and then songs from that were taken for “To Betray The Creator” and that was in 2019.
Sheri: And it was on Morning Star Heathens (MSH Records) – a big shout out to Shane (label boss Shane Giess), I’ve got a lot of time for that guy!
Marc: Absolutely! The original single, ‘Limbless’, that was with Morning Star – the actual album itself was self-released. The original single ‘Cordyceps’, the actual tape was with Morning Star as well.
Sheri: I think that’s probably where I first heard it. This album shows elements of Doom and Black Metal blended into your Death Metal vibe. Is this something that naturally came with making the album? How did you find your fitting?
Marc: It’s kind of a mix of our influences, particularly Andy, our guitarist. He’s big into Extreme metal and all its forms, he loves Black metal, big fan of Grindcore, that sort of thing. So, for the most part of the songs that he’s written – he writes the majority of our music and then me and Neil sort of add our flavour to it and more recently our new drummer he adds as well but the sort of bare bones of the songs are pretty much Andy. It’s more of a reflection of his influence, especially that first album. Some of the songs he’d written many years ago and he’d never really had an outlet to release them and play them live because the other band he was in was nowhere near that heavy.
Sheri: Understood. So basically, it was down to influences for all of you, especially Andy – so my next question is do you put your music together collectively or do you have a certain method that you make work together in your songwriting?
Marc: It used to be entirely that Andy would send us a riff idea, send us a song idea where he would do everything on it except the vocals, he would program the drums and suggest bass lines and then me, Neil and Nate (our previous vocalist) would just add vocals and bass because Neil isn’t like most bassists, he plays something completely different and it just works, he comes up with a lot of very, very interesting things. There’s only two or three times on the entire album he’s actually following the guitar. We all make small suggestions, so on the new album for example, there’s a couple of riffs that have come in and I’ve suggested “that bit needs a blast beat” or “that’s fine” – you know, we’re very diplomatic as a band, almost too nice, I think.
Sheri: Haha, I think as other Artists have said though, you do have to get on as a band.
Marc: Yeah, it helps haha! More recently the dynamics changed a little bit where me being in the band and able to play instruments, I’ve been contributing riffs as well so that takes the form of either me showing Andy a riff in the practise room and then he makes something of it there and then, which he can do…or he records it and sorta takes it away and works on it for the week or we just jam things out as well.
Sheri: So, he has a bit of a play around with it. Cool. Can you tell our readers what inspires your songwriting?
Marc: Well in terms of my part as the vocalist, I come up with the themes of the songs obviously. I have a bit of a broad spectrum of influences, I’m quite a political person as well as historically political. We have a new song written called ‘Napalm Light’ which is about the more horrible side of the Vietnam War. As well as a more satirical song that we’ve got in the works – we’ve got the classic Death Metal splatters and Gore and that sort of thing and then I tend to write about people that I don’t like!
Sheri: Cool! Haha. What better way than to get that out of your system, really? Very resourceful way. Haha. On “To Betray The Creator”vocally, you have some different ranges that reach the listener – For example, on ‘Cordyceps’ and ‘Entombed In Dirt’we see what I would perceive as a more Black Metal range and then on later tracks such as ‘Aeons Of Lies’and ‘Augmented’, more Death growls are present. What are your thoughts on that perception?
Marc: To be honest, that’s a good perception, it’s not one that I’ve heard someone say to me before as well, which is nice. It depends on the song really and certainly on ‘Cordyceps’ it’s certainly rawer. It’s much higher in the mix, not sort of as deep and grunty, again that’s more of a reflection on the song, I kind of listen to the song and see what’s needed and adjust my performance. In the particular case of ‘Cordyceps’, that was written by Nate, the previous vocalist, I’ve just changed it up a bit to suit my vocal style a little bit more and my sort of phrasing, but it really depends on the song. It’s good to hear that there is that noticeable difference because I do think it’s nice to have that kind of range when you’re doing vocals. To me there’s nothing worse than a monotonous sounding vocalist so…if someone’s a one trick pony it’s kind of like “Okay, what else can you do?”
Sheri: Some vocalists, that work on the Black Metal range, have to put work into it but it seems to come naturally to you.
Marc: It very much does yeah because in the previous band I was in, I had to sing clean vocals and I’m not very good at that. I can sing but I prefer not to and when I came to Cadaver, in the first rehearsal, it was really the first time I’d ever done proper Extreme Metal vocals. So, I kinda went in with the view on seeing what happens and it turns out I was quite good at it. Then I sort of developed that over time and became more proficient in techniques and that. To be honest with me, it’s more to do with the raw emotion that’s in it, there’s very little technique involved. People have asked me in the past “How do you make that sound” and it’s like…how do you explain talking? Haha. It’s exactly the same for me, I can’t explain it.
Sheri: As you’ve been hinting, you’re writing new material at the moment! Ease my anticipation – what’s been happening behind the scenes for Cadaver Soiree through the last year?
Marc: Well, we have been affected a lot by what’s been going on, as everyone is. We got a message mid-way through the year from Wiktor, our new drummer. We sorta played together previously when he was in his previous band, so he asked if we wanted to try him out.
Of course, if you’re offered a drummer, you try and snatch him…because there are no drummers anywhere haha. He’s a relay good fit, a really nice guy, great drummer, he picked up our material really quickly. We had been writing some stuff anyway, so it’s been more of a case of teaching him the songs and we’ve been writing new stuff at the same time.
He puts his own flavour to it and it’s great. Really, really natural feel to his drumming so…We are planning on recording some of the songs we’ve got and writing new material as well and we’re gonna be recording that probably early this year. Releasing the same way that we released “To Betray The Creator” – looking at CD and Digital. Potentially a tape release if there’s a call for it, as I know there is a kind of underground tape collecting scene for it as well. If it’s wanted, we’ll do it! We’re gonna look to release it Springtime and tour when gigs can come back.
Sheri: So, your next plans will be promoting the new material and getting back to gigging when you can?
Marc: That’s right! One or two of the new songs we have already played live actually, with the gigs we had in early 2020 and things like that because it’s quite easy just to chop it out if you’re using a drum machine so you can copy and paste it and whatnot – now that we’ve got Victor, it’s great, it’s gonna improve the live show as well because now I’ve come along a lot more with that kind of energy so let’s hope it will pick up and we can get out there a lot more.
Sheri: Yeah, I’m looking forward to it! As your debut album was out in 2017 and you have new material coming to us soon, what do you feel is different or evolved in your songwriting now?
Marc: In terms of the overall sound, it’s gone a lot more aggressive – a LOT more. That’s partially down to me because the way I like to deliver the vocals is a really bludgeoning, belligerent kind of way. The same with the guitar as well, it’s a much more technical direction as well and a lot faster. It’s heading for almost Tech Death in some places whilst keeping it as catchy as we can keep it and again with the live drums as well, that’s making a lot of difference. What we have been doing with the original album as well, we have been doing a lot of synth and orchestral sounds in there, certainly in songs like ‘Evil Breeds Evil’ and ‘Entombed’. There were a lot of sort of orchestral sounds in there and piano and things like that. We are gonna be stripping that back because, first of all, it’s difficult to do that live if you haven’t got a keys player and we don’t really have the intention of doing that. With the addition of the live drums as well, it sort of adds what the synths added. A lot of energy and oomph to the sound so…we’re gonna be heading more towards a traditional Death Metal direction and kinda moving away from the Swedish Death Metal – but keeping elements of it because that’s what we are…but sort of adding the more American style of Death Metal…Cannibal Corpse, that kind of thing. Really heavy and just…like being punched in the face haha.
Sheri: That’s what we’re looking for! Hahaha. In regard to what is happening right now, what are your thoughts on supporting the music scene at the moment?
Marc: It’s absolutely crucial. There are not words enough to say how crucial it is to support the music industry at the moment – because the government are sure as hell ain’t doing it. Whilst I am in favour of supporting musicians at the moment I am also a little bit wary about putting gigs on and the dangers involved, I know of a few promoters at the moment that are doing it, so long as it’s kept safe and distanced as possible – but in terms of local bands, we’re not out there, we’re not playing gigs and we haven’t got the opportunity to come and see people like we would do. Bandcamp are really helpful at the moment where on Friday’s they take away their cut of what they take so it’s really helpful for bands. Social media has really stepped up too – it’s a big platform for bands to engage with people and we like to do that as much as possible, so if someone comments on one of our videos or posts, we make sure to engage with that because really, it’s the only engagement at the moment that we can get. We don’t get to share it with people anymore.
Sheri: I think that it’s important for Artists to engage with their fans anyway because the better it will be for them, ultimately. How do you see things adapting once the worst of the Pandemic is over? Or what would you like to see in way of change?
Marc: In the way of change, there’s always the preference on mobile attended gigs, I mean, we know as much as anyone what it’s like to play to two people and things. So hopefully that will be a thing – that gigs will be more well attended because you see a lot of people out there that just want gigs back. So hopefully that means that interest will still be there in live music. So, I’d like to see sort of more appreciation for Artists. Not to sound too big headed or anything but it’s vital to my own Mental Health – if it wasn’t for music, I think I’d go loco.
Sheri: Absolutely, I agree with you. I think it’s really important, especially in times like this when you’re limited, music is everyone’s outlet isn’t it?
Marc: It’s an escape. I always feel like I’ve had a massage after a gig, sometimes I just drop to my knees and enjoy it for a moment. It’s brilliant. I’ve been more on edge about the lack of gigs than the actual virus in some ways.
Sheri: It’s part of your life so it’s frustrating at having to put your life on hold. But hopefully it’s not going to be too much longer until the world can be safe and get back to normal. What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen happen whilst you’ve been in music?
Marc: Hmmm…I was referred to once as an accident waiting to happen because I move around a lot. I was given a wireless unit to stop the wires knocking things over – so there’s been a few times where I’ve just gone and sat down with people in places that we’ve played – it turned into a bit of a ritual actually – the strangest thing was actually when I think about it, there was a lady who came in part way through, sat down and started sobbing…and I mean tears streaming down her face. She was absolutely intoxicated beyond all belief and then she asked me to sign her chest. I said no because I’m a happily taken man – but I did sign her arm and I signed it “Rob Dukes” (Exodus vocalist). Hahaha.
Sheri: Did you!? Hahaha. Is there a story behind that?
Marc: It’s literally the first name that came to mind haha – I didn’t want to sign mine haha!
Sheri: Any advice for other bands at the moment?
Marc: Don’t give up. I know how difficult it is at the moment and how it was to begin with, sort of reaching your audience, finding yourself musically, getting the right line-up together…everything about it is a challenge but it is really the best reward I can think of. That moment when you are looking back at a crowd and they get it – AH, I genuinely can’t describe it, it is pure euphoria.
Sheri: It’s part of you, part of your life and what makes you up isn’t it? It’s sad to see that a few bands have had to throw the towel in at the moment and are not able to do anything – but equally there are a lot of bands trying to push forward and making new material. The music scene does also club together and support people as much as possible.
Marc: There’s a really, really good scene at the moment in the Death Metal community – we have good friends across the country like Pemphigoid, great guys – they’re really nice people, you wouldn’t think listening to the music, but Death Metal musicians are always lovely. Ashen Crown are absolutely wonderful.
Sheri: Ah, we love both those guys at Ever Metal haha.
Marc: The whole scene – I haven’t come across anyone I don’t like yet, which is unusual for me as I’m a cantankerous sod…
Sheri: Hahaha. There’s always gonna be one though somewhere but not naming names, I’ll stay professional or something along those lines haha. Is there anything you’d like to add?
Marc: Hahaha I know! Just a huge, huge thank you to everyone that supports us and listens to our music, that puts us on at gigs and buys our merchandise and things like that – it’s so unbelievably humbling – I sound like a dick, I know but we thank you. That’s all I can say really.
Sheri: Thank you for your time!
Marc: Thank you, have a good one!
Cadaver Soirée Are:
Marc Hood – Vocalist
Neil Hannaford – Bass
Andy Firth – Guitars
Wiktor Wrona – Drums
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Sheri Bicheno and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.