In The Mind of Defeated Sanity: Q’s with Lille Gruber
Defeated Sanity is a name you can’t miss when delving into, what most would perceive as, some of the most important Brutal Death Metal bands active and alive today. Following the release of the band’s newest full length album: The Sanguinary Impetus, came a solid wave of positive critical acclaim unlike that of previous releases. And rightly so! The sheer brutality exhibited through such intuitive and methodical technicality can leave even the snobbiest of Jazz drummers impressed.
The drumming on this album far exceeded my already high-expectations and my curiosity became unfathomable; I had to pick Lille’s brain. Even through his busy schedule, Lille was kind enough to answer a few questions for ITPA and its viewers, shedding light on newer drum techniques and other factors that played a part in breeding the masterfully crafted monster that is The Sanguinary Impetus.
How has the reception been for Defeated’s new album?
The reception has been pretty overwhelming. Even Die hard fans of Psalms or other past classix have said this might surpass it. Let’s give it some more time to settle….I certainly am confident that it holds the standard and adds another colour to our discography.
Compared to previous albums, was the process easier, harder, or just another day in the band’s realm when writing for The Sanguinary Impetus?
I’d say it was harder, cus we didn’t get to jam this one a lot. We jammed the first few songs of it when preparing for tours where we got together, we added weeks to the the tours to work on music and stuff. But when the tours ended everybody was separate, meaning that I actually wrote out 95 % of the parts myself and Jacob learned and contributed to them. Josh and I wrote the lyrics and vocal patterns in weekly 2 hour sessions via Facebook chat haha that was great! But yeah, the distance, and not even having a guitarist to jam with in the end was rather exhausting and frustrating even…but the blood sweat and tears paid off, can’t wait to finally jam these compositions when Corona is finally over.
What are some new drum techniques you have incorporated in the composition of what could very well be the most out of pocket and most brutal DS album to date?
In the past 10 years I really started getting into rudiments and developed some new fills and groove that way. I also started tons of blast beat variations that get legit introduced on this album, never done before stuff. The beginning of the album starts with a reversed one foot blast with the snare on the down beat, kick on the off and on top I add a binary swing type rhythm with open closed hi-hats on top that are actually also kind of counterpointing the riff underneath it. I would say there are up to 10 blast beats on this album that u can only hear from me at this point. I have the feeling a lot of other drummers might start straying away from always playing the same version of the blast beat at this point.
What are your least favorite and most favorite tracks of the album?
Hard to say….since this album really is a whole unit. The way another song ends is often very much connected to how the next one starts. Especially regarding tonality. The album basically gets more down-tuned as the playtime progresses. Look out for that the next time you listen. I gotta say, Conceived Through Savagery was very hard to write and there are certain modulations that I feel are almost too subtle and sometimes I listen to them and they don’t work, the next time I listen they do work…. I guess that leaves a slight doubt in my mind and makes me like it the least on this album, still very important in the album to hold it together. My favorite song….. Its hard to say really as well….. I might go for Dislimbing though because I really love how a bunch of motives from allover the album return on this track and it ends with the leading motive of the album… It reminds me of classical composition
What is your opinion on the increase in glossy production in metal and rock in this era?
It definitely keeps me from enjoying the music. There has been times where I’ve seen Deathcore bands live and was shocked how much better they sounded when they didn’t have the chance to put the snare trigger on there (for whatever reason that always like that lol). Overall I do really listen to a lot of old stuff, just because I believe in the sound aesthetics more. Don’t forget there is glossy production, but there is also cavernous production on full on trend, and as always we don’t do anything that’s cool and sit nicely in between those extremes.
What, in your opinion, is most important when keeping a band together after so long?
Love for the music, nothing else. Music should be more important than travelling, chicks, drugs, alcohol, or whatever… When doing this stuff. I can also truly say that I sincerely enjoy the company of the 2 remaining guys in the band and hope we can find a perfect guitarist that fits in nicely with our little group.
The snare is arguably the one of the most important pieces in a Brutal mix. In all your years of drumming, what is the cleanest, tightest, best snare you’ve ever used?
I have always just used my Ludwig Black Beauty for each DS release…. But she’s an old fucking lady and surely falling apart…. Might be looking for a replacement soon!
Be sure to check out Defeated Sanity’s newest album, The Sanguinary Impetus live on all music platforms, as well as Lille’s newest jazz/metal fusion project, Intercepting Patterns, out now on Bandcamp!