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In Words: Decadence

- Metallic Kitty - Jan. 2010 - Mike Thompson -
- Metallic Kitty - Mar. 2010 - Ricardo Salvador -

Decadence - Metallic Kitty
© Michael Johansson

Metallic Kitty - March 8th 2010 (by email)

Hello Kitty, how are you? I'm Ricardo Salvador from Maracaibo Alterno I'm very thankful that you've agreed for this interview. So I shall start.

Hello Ricardo, I'm doing good thanks and very much looking forwards to our first visit to Venezuela and the Invasión Thrash shows with Hirax! Thank you for helping us out with spreading the word and for introducing Decadence to Venezuela.

Some people may get confused about the origin of Decadence, some people say the band was originally called Dekapiteria, but that was another project right? Tell us a little bit about that band; did you ever release anything under that name?

Exactly, Dekapitera was another band that never got started, it was a plan and an idea but it didn't go further than that (no releases or recordings). I didn't want to wait until the other member decided what to do with it so I joined another band instead. That band is what I later named Decadence and this is what we are now. Actually, the song Heavy Dose in its initial stages was written for Dekapitera but I took it with me to Decadence instead. The original version can be heard on our first demo Land Of Despair and the final version is on our first full-length album Decadence.

The first demo Land Of Despair was released in 2004 and a year later two full length albums were released. Obviously 2005 was a great year full of inspiration for you but, was it hard releasing two full lengths in one year?

The whole year of 2005 is something that will stick in my head for a long time ahead. It was a chaotic year, but as you say, a very inspirational one as well. When the demo was released in 2004, it was a relaxed and calm period. We had no clear goals with Decadence and it was only a garage project that could basically go in any direction. That changed in 2005 however, first with a line-up change, a new album Decadence, a big self financed concert, problems within the band, health issues from my part and all that finally lead to a point where I had tell the others to go. Kenneth Lantz (lead guitar) and I sorted out things and I faced the decision to fight once again or to leave Decadence behind. As you know, the choice I made was to keep going and that's when the new line-up with Erik Röjås (drums) and Joakim Antman (bass) was formed. The product of this 'afterwork of violence' that many reviewers refer to is our second album The Creature which was released only a couple of months after the storm. So you ask me if it was hard to create two full-length albums in one year. Well, many things were hard that year but writing and releasing these two albums was not.

Maybe in 2010 we'll have two more Decadence albums?

I would have nothing against that actually! But, things have changed a little since that time of working independently without any labels. The good thing then was that we were free to release things whenever we wanted and however we wanted but the good thing now with having a distribution is that you guys can actually hear what we're doing as well! *Laughs*. Decadence is not however owned by any label, I personally work at the label HTI Records which in turn licenses our music to various other labels such as for example Spiritual Beast / Universal and Massacre Records. So it is never a question of giving our work away, it's just that we have a different schedule now than before.

Your dream when you were 12 was to become a guitar player, instead of that you became a singer. Tell me, when you decided to left behind the guitar and grab the mic? Or would you like to play and sing at the same time sometime?

Becoming a singer was a total impulse and coincidence. I never thought much of my vocals and I still don't think it's near as fun as playing guitar. Actually, I can listen to instrumental songs and not miss the vocals at all. I started singing when I joined Decadence. Actually, I had never even stood in front of a microphone prior to that. Starting playing guitar again crosses my mind every now and then, but Decadence simply takes up too much of my time to get the full and total motivation to start shredding again. I do play when I write songs but it has been a while now since I stood on stage with the axe, my black and white Gibson Explorer. I also have Jacksons here, but the Explorer is my first choice. It's not impossibility though, it is on the contrary very tempting but I have no plans for it as of yet.

One of your major inspirations is Metallica; what would you do if James Hetfield calls you right now and proposes you to support Metallica on tour?

Indeed, Metallica is my major inspiration with James Hetfield as a guitarist, composer and lyricist. I'm not the kind of person that would start screaming and running around from joy but I would be extremely happy and honored so what I'd do, as most people who know me would probably agree on, is to calmly nod my head and say: "e;Thank you James, we will be there."e; *Laughs*

Besides Metallica, do you have any other influences?

Well of course, the whole 80's Bay Area Thrash is my influence! Certainly there are also more bands from for example the German Thrash scene as well as some Death Metal stuff as well! To mention a bunch of bands that I listen to in general (besides Metallica) I can say: Death, Testament, Megadeth, Kreator, Vader, Cannibal Corpse, Behemoth, Annihilator, Pantera, Xentrix, early Iced Earth, Volbeat, The Exploited, Sodom, Slayer, Exodus and many more.

You will share stage soon in Venezuela with another thrash metal legend, Mr. Katon de Pena from the band Hirax; how do you feel about that?

As both I and Kenneth Lantz (lead guitar) who are the main song writers in Decadence, have been listening to Hirax since way back and appreciate their music a lot it makes it an honor for us to share the stage with them in Venezuela. Looking forward to it very much!

The Thrash Metal is a world 'ruled' by men basically, do you feel intimidated for being a female singer in a Thrash Metal band?

We're all metalheads so for me it doesn't make a difference. I don't spend time thinking about if things are harder or not because I'm a woman fronting and managing a band. If things are hard, they're hard and the reason for that is of less importance. The important thing is to stand up for what you're doing. For me it's about the music – Metal – and I'm working and doing what I want from that perspective.

Triton Enigma, is the other band where you do the vocals right? How that project was born?

A common misunderstanding is that Triton Enigma is my band which is not true. I am not even a member of them, only the guest vocalist so all I did was to enter the studio and sing all vocals for them. The project was born as Ronnie Bergerståhl (Grave, and many more bands!) and Thomas Nilsson (Julie Laughs No More) had ideas left from their old band Julie Laughs No More that they couldn't/hadn't used. Triton Enigma was their way to bring those ideas to life. Thomas Nilsson produced the whole album and he and Ronnie Bergerståhl played all instruments. I and Ronnie B have had good contact ever since the chaotic year of 2005 and the big self financed show (that I talked about earlier). Ronnie B was the drummer of Centinex (now split up and formed Demonical) who I had invited to play on that show. We have always appreciated each other's work and so he asked me to sing for Triton Enigma. At the time I thought that it was a demo project with only a couple of songs but as it turned out, it was a full-length album which also got a release.

Any plans for the future with Triton Enigma?

Triton Enigma does not do live shows or anything like that and I'm not sure what their plans are for the future. For my own sake, this is nothing that deprives time from Decadence. I just like doing guest appearances every now and then and play with my vocals in new ways! During that time I also sang for the band Netherbird on two tracks (Blood Orchid and Love Under Will (O.R.E Cover)).

I've read in your MySpace page that you own HTI Records; so you're a business woman too; tell me, when you decided to create HTI Records? You only work on Decadence with that label or are you willing to work with other bands?

After having independently released our demo Land f Despair (2004) and our first two albums Decadence (2005) and The Creature (2005) I realized that to be able to reach out more we needed some kind of heavier support without ever selling out. So, just before 3rd Stage Of Decay was released for the first time in 2006 then I started the work with HTI Records. Due to that, 3rd Stage Of Decay could be released and classified as a real album and it (and the band itself) also gained the exposure it needed to reach out to other partner labels and more people. 3rd Stage Of Decay was then released two more times, first by Spiritual Beast/Universal in Asia (2007) and then by Massacre Records (2008). Also, the track Corrosion also ended up on Earache Records new school Thrash compilation album Thrashing Like A Maniac (2007). HTI Records licenses Decadence' music to other labels and is our support in everything. HTI Records, or it's full name Human Technological Institute, is a subsidiary company to a mother company which is also from where I learnt all about business, economics etc. Currently, HTI Records only works with Decadence and this is only because of the time on my hands. As you have probably already calculated, my schedule is quite tight! *Laughs*. But, I would like to see HTI Records grow so we'll see what the future will bring. HTI Records is not the usual type of record label. I'd call it a modern music company.

Your shows in Venezuela are getting closer and personally I'm wondering if you guys will bring some official Decadence merchandise?

Of course we will, all from our personally produced stock!

I hope this interview isn't getting too long for you hehe...

You know, if it's about Decadence we can go on and on...

I'm getting a little bit personal now with some typical questions, but we're about to finish…

Okay, shoot!

For you which is the best Decadence album so far?

As I whole it is Chargepoint (2009) I do however have my favorite tracks on the other albums. I like Chargepoint because it is like a package in the sense that all compositions, production, artwork, lyrics and everything stick inside a tight box somehow. Maybe we lacked a stand-out song this time around which could be a criticism, but by this album we did get the most complete album we've ever had.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Thrash Metal – The Bay Area sound.

How is the life of Kitty Saric when she's not on stage or in studio? Is she a family woman?

A normal day in my life is busy, as you might have already guessed! I'm always working on something, if it's not with the band then it's with my University work (I'm getting a Master degree in a couple of months), or my other non-band related work or something else! I'm not a workaholic by choice though I'm just a person with many responsibilities. Like I usually joke about, a kitty has nine lives! I'm a lone wolf, even though I appreciate the closeness of family and friends, I'm the one standing alone.

You are the soul of Decadence; tell me will we see more of Decadence in the future? What will come after Chargepoint?

That's a very nice way to say it, thank you very much. We are already working on a new album and we know what has to be done after Chargepoint. We are satisfied with the album but nothing is perfect so we are now working on adding those parts on the new album and of course working on the next level of our music! Nothing should be static, although the spirit of our Thrash and Melodic Death Metal hybrid is what will remain. We are also working on new cooperation and meeting new working partners as far as it concerns HTI Records and of course, planning new concert dates!

Last but not least, as we are very close to your shows here in Venezuela could you salute all your fans here in the country?

Most certainly! Guys, you know that Decadence goes where promoters, organizers or even you, as our fans, ask us to come. Now we have been asked to come by Venezuela – the first country in South America who has invited us. We are very proud and honored for that and for the help of Mattey Magazine (the organizer of these shows) for showing their faith in us. This is very special for us and we will come to you and we will give you everything we've got.

Thank you very much for your time Kitty, I hope we can catch up in one of the shows here in Venezuela. THRASH TILL DEATH METALLIC KITTY!
Ricardo Salvador.

I surely hope so! If there's a will, there's a way, remember that!
– Metallic Kitty of Decadence.

Ricardo Salvador
(editor Maracaibo Alterno


Metallic Kitty (AKA Kitty Saric)
© Decadence

Metallic Kitty - January 23rd 2010 (by email)

Swedish melodic thrash band Decadence released their fourth album, Chargepoint, in late 2009. It was a real pleasure for me to be able to review the album for Ice Vajal and then to be able to ask some questions to Metallic Kitty (AKA Kitty Saric), the lovely and talented Decadence singer and in my opinion one of the better extreme vocalists around.

Hi Kitty, first of all thanks for answering these questions for Ice Vajal!

Hi to you at Ice Vajal and to the readers, a pleasure to be introduced to you!

First of all congratulations on the great new album. How pleased are you with the general response to Chargepoint?

Thank you very much! The songs on our previous albums show the two sides of Decadence – Thrash Metal and Death Metal. These two sides are apparent on Chargepoint as well but on the next level. This fusion is what we refer to Melodic Thrash Metal but the difference is that this time we tried to reach above the name and into the music and what we really want to stand for. The new elements on Chargepoint are the faster tempos, more razor sharp harmonies combined with violent vocals that are more scream than growl oriented and the heavy guitar wall strengthened by this production. I also believe that some more old school touches were brought out by this album. Now that Chargepoint has finally been unleashed upon the world and gotten overwhelming reactions then I feel I can lean back and look at it from a distance and feel satisfied. We feel the album to be 'a package' this time in the sense that all compositions, production, artwork, lyrics and everything stick inside a tight box somehow. Maybe we lacked a stand-out song this time around which could be a criticism to ourselves, but we did however get the most complete album we've ever had.

You pen all the lyrics for Decadence so where do you get your inspiration?

Yes, that's correct. There is a general theme in all Decadence' songs and it is about symbolism. The lyrics reflect this through different kinds of analogies and metaphors. In other words, the subjects are talked about in different symbolic forms. For example on Chargepoint the meaning of the song Out Of Ashes is symbolized by the phoenix bird, Point Of No Return by a gamble, Be Home When I'm Gone by a train etc. There are signs of these connections everywhere in the lines. The words are inspired by various happenings, thoughts, experiences and even dreams and nightmares. Sometimes the lyrics can even be inspired by quotes from writers. My wish is that the lyrics and general theme could work as a guide and as a way to view the world, oneself and various situations through different perspectives. More about my views on this can be read in the 'Music'-section on our website: if you're into lyrics!

Do you have a favourite song from the new album?

This time, I don't think I can pick a favorite song. As I mentioned before, I feel the album to be like a package and I see it as a whole, not as separate favorites.

Chargepoint was released through Spiritual Beast instead of your own HTI. Why did you take the decision to sign with another label and was it hard to surrender complete control of Decadence?

Well, first of all some clarifications! HTI Records licenses Decadence' music to other labels. Currently we are licensed to three labels, Spiritual Beast, Massacre Records and iMusician Digital. Our cooperation with Spiritual Beast/Universal begun in 2007 and now we also cooperate with them with Chargepoint, 2009. The work with Spiritual Beast in 2007 was for the second edition of 3rd Stage Of Decay (with a bonus track guest appearance by Chris Astley of Xentrix). Earache Records heard the rumors and soon after that we were on the 2007 new school Thrash compilation Thrashing Like A Maniac. The next year 2008 followed with Massacre Records hearing about us and so the final and third edition of 3rd Stage Of Decay was released worldwide. During these years, we've had a tight underground audience that has been following us ever since the start and that feels really amazing. We've always worked this way so there is never a question of surrendering Decadence.

The video for Silent Weapon (For a Quiet War) is pretty cool. Why did you choose this song and who came up with the concept for the video?

I'm glad you like it! It was a long road finding the right people to help us out, the right song, the right plot, the right everything to finally put it into action and record our first video. We didn't want to record something rushed just to have a video because in that case our live clips up on YouTube are much more representative and good to watch to see (not only hear) the band behind the music. The whole recording process behind this video was great though and we had lots of fun while recording it as well! The concept of the video was set from the start by all of us including the producers. We have actually heard so many times on our concerts that I resemble the two Swedish mythological beings Skogsrået and Tuvstarr (from John Bauer's fairytales) so we decided that even though in reality it's impossible to see me wearing white, (let alone a dress!) I would put it on for this video, flashing my hollowed out tree-trunk on my back and be those characters. The full story behind the video can be read here: The song Silent Weapon (For A Quiet War) itself plays with the symbolism of poisoning, distraction, confusion and disorientation and that's why we especially saw it appropriate for this video.

Any plans for a tour or to play any festivals in 2010?

Decadence works without a booking agency so simply put, we go where promoters/organizers or even fans ask us to come and I arrange our gigs after that. So, I don't work in the way of planning deep strategies on a more 'structured' tour – we just play wherever and whenever. In any case, no worries, I'm on that already and there will be dates up on for 2010.

Being from England I'd love for you to play the UK, but where would you most like to play live?

And I really think it's a shame that we haven't been in the UK yet! It is sure one of the countries on the must-list. But, I really can't say that we have a favorite place where we would like to play. I mean, a concert is a concert and it's the feeling of the particular show and crowd that matters, not in which country it is.

On the flip side where is the best place you've played so far? Which gig holds the best memories?

Every show is different somehow and when some of them stand out, it is in different ways with different feelings. Many of our concerts can be seen as our highlights in their own way. But, for me personally, it was on our first big show in Stockholm, Sweden. We shared the stage with the Norwegian Black Metal band Ragnarok and the Swedish cult Death horde Centinex and that was our first breakthrough which will forever remain in my memory. Also all behind the scene work for me that was put into making that show possible along with all the problems we faced on the way. Still today I believe that show was a founding stone in the direction where Decadence would go and where I would go.

Can you remember what the first song or album was that got you into metal?

The band was Metallica and the song was Master Of Puppets, both still being my inspirations today.

Do you and the rest of Decadence live the 'thrash lifestyle', revolving around beer, beer and more beer? Hehe.

As for the guys, they definitely like beer but it's not only about that. As for me, the 'Thrash lifestyle' is not a drink. It's the music I listen to and create, the appearance I have, the opinions I express, the decisions I make, the band I have, the way my life is shaped, the dreams I have, the goals that I want to reach and the person I am!

Obviously you're a big thrash fan, but do you like other genres too? Black and power metal for example?

I must say that I have not been able to relate to Black and Power Metal and obviously I am very faithful to Thrash, maybe even too much! [laughs]. So the closest thing that gets me out of the genre is Death Metal.

I read that started off playing guitar before switching to vocals. Do you ever get the urge to play the axe on your albums?

Indeed, guitar is actually a bigger passion than vocals for me. I often think of picking up the instrument again and play more than only when I'm writing songs. I don't know what the band mates would think of this, hopefully they wouldn't feel that I'm abandoning them or something [laughs] but I don't have any certain plans for this so far, Decadence is always my priority.

Are you gaining more popularity in the underground in Sweden? From past interviews I know you've said its quite firmly rooted in the melodeath scene, has this changed at all?

No it hasn't, unfortunately or not. Decadence is actually gaining more underground popularity cross borders from Sweden.

Whilst on the melodeath subject, I'm sure as a female growler you get a lot of people comparing you to Angela Gossow. Does this ever get on your nerves or are you happy for people to make the comparison as long as they appreciate your music?

I wouldn't really define myself as a female growler, I'm simply an extreme vocalist. Well, you didn't compare me to Angela Gossow though, maybe things are changing! Indeed, it's all about the music itself and not about comparisons so I simply focus on Metal and my passion in working with it. People's opinions are theirs to have and I don't mind them at all.

When not tearing up stages and recording Decadence songs, what sort of things do you like to do?

But those things are the best! Other than that I'm always being busy, running the band, screaming at rehearsals, responsible for the label, working on the next album, other work finishing off University, this and that, and on it goes. I escape for some weeks during summers though and I'm practically unreachable then, that's nice but it's always chaos when I return!

Thanks again for answering these questions! Is there anything else you'd like to add?

You are most welcome and I appreciate you introducing Decadence through this interview. It was a great one and I have nothing more to add here! Maybe only the quote that I always bring up so there it is now, at the end of this interview!

All the best for the future, Kitty and we wish you and Decadence every success!

Thank you, Decadence appreciates all your support and we hope to see you soon!
If there's a will, there's a way – Metallic Kitty of Decadence

Mike Thompson


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