Originally conceived as a side project for Napalm Death’s Shane Embury (bass) and Jesse Pintado (guitar), LOCK UP was essentially conceived as a booze-fueled return to the raw brutality of mid-’80s proto-death metal. Named after a death metal drumming technique in which the arms are stiffened to produce lightning-fast blast beats, Lock Up was initially rounded out by long time friend and Cradle of Filth drummer Nick Barker (later of Dimmu Borgir) and Hypocrisy vocalist/production mastermind Peter Tägtgren. Lock Up’s 3rd studio Album, Necropolis Transparent, was released on July 1st, via Nuclear Blast. Lock Up are: Shane Embury – Bass, Nicholas Barker – Drums, Tomas Lindberg – Vocals, Anton Reisenegger.
Some days ago Anton Reisenegger, band’s guitarist, while talking about their new album, he told me this…
Before we talk about your new album, I just have to ask at least something about your past. Between your debut album “Pleasures Pave Sewers” (1999) and today, how has your soundchanged? And what were the main input that you formed the band in 1998?
I think the band’s sound hasn’t changed drastically. I brought a few more classic death/thrash influences in, but that’s what the other guys wanted to do anyway. But still the new songs fit in really well with the older material. Now the sound itself changed a bit, but more because of the production and Andy Sneap’s mix. It all sounds more crisp and clear, and it’s easier to tell what the individual instruments are doing.
Your new album, Necropolis Transparent came out on July 1st, via Nuclear Blast… It includes 16 high speed grindcore tracks. I’ve heard you saying that on this album we can find the trueidentity of Lock Up … what do you mean exactly with this?
Well, the other guys have always told me that, when they started the band, the idea was to pay tribute to the bands that influenced us all, like early Slayer, Dark Angel, early Morbid Angel, Repulsion, Possessed, Discharge, early Death etc., but the first two albums are a lot more grindcore than that. I think on the new album we’ve found a great balance between the old school death/thrash riffs and the brutality of grindcore.
Please tell me about the album’s songwriting process, and where you took the ideas for it?
Both Shane and myself came up with ideas for songs separately and then we got together with Nick in his rehearsal studio to arrange them. We would really dissect each song and play them over and over to make sure they were just perfect. Due to the fact that we live in different countries and also our commitments with other bands we couldn’t rehearse very often, so it ended up being a pretty long process. All in all it took as around two years to finish the material, but we were in no hurry. As I said, we wanted to make sure the songs were just perfect.
The album title 1.57 long “Necropolis Transparent” keeps the listener to hold his breath, a real blast! tell me about this song, and why you chose it to title the album?
It’s a killer song that Shane wrote. I think it has all the elements of Lock Up bundled into one track. It’s one of the songs from the new album that we’ve started playing live now. The album was originally going to be titled “The Embodiment of Paradox and Chaos”, but the guys wanted something shorter and more catchy as a title for the album.
btw, Is it possible to have a short track-to-track, or would you like to describe more generally the album?
Generally speaking, I would say the album is a mix of all the bands we love, our true influences if you will. The basis of it is grind/death, but there’s also some thrash, hardcore and even black metal in it.
Tell me about the studio sessions…
There was a fair amount of stress when we recorded, because we all felt that it was a really important step for the band, but it all worked out really well. We recorded at Dan Biggin’s (Criminal bassist) studio. We tracked the drums first to a guide guitar, no click tracks at all. Then I did all my guitars. Later Shane and Tomas came back to do the bass and vocals. And a month or so later Nick and Shane took it all to Andy Sneap’s studio where it was mixed.
Technically speaking, as said, this album is full of speed, blast and riffing… but how does it differs to your ealier studio album “Hate Breeds Suffering” (2002)?
I think the production is clearer but still totally brutal. It definitely has a better sound than “Hate Breeds”. And also there’s the old-school influences that I mentioned before, which weren’t that prominent on the previous albums.
As special guests, this album sees featuring Jeff Walker (Carcass) and Peter Tägtgren (original singer), why this choice?
Peter was an obvious choice because he was the original Lock Up singer. The guys are still good friends with him and it kinda made sense to invite him to sing on the new album. And Shane also wanted someone with a different vocal tone to do some backing vocals, so it made sense to get Jeff, because him and Shane have been friends for ages, and he’s obviously a fucking legend.
This album’s running time is 10 minutes longer than your last album… was it just because you had prepared too many good songs, or was it because the album’s concept?
I think we just had more songs. We decided to record all the songs we had written, and they all turned out great, so we said why leave anything off the album?
Is there something else you’d like to say about this album?
I’d just say that we are really proud of it. I think some reviewers don’t really get it, but all the people who are really into this kind of music and who know where we all come from will love it. Also because the old-school influences I mentioned before are quite prevalent, but it doesn’t sound like we’re copying anybody, we just integrated them into the band’s sound.
Let’s talk about the infernal cover art… an angel, a fallen angel and Jesus playing with a puppet…
The artwork is actually based on the original title “The Embodiment of Paradox and Chaos”, which was an idea Shane had after that big earthquake hit my home country, Chile. I said to him, what kind of god would allow something like that to happen, or actually make it happen? Shane picked up on it and wrote the lyrics to “Embodiment”. Then he gave the idea to this Mexican artist who produced this killer cover. I think it looks very old-school, which goes hand in hand with the music.
And now a tour I suppose… can you give me some dates and countries it will hit?
I don’t think we’ll be doing any extesive touring because of everybody’s commitments. We’ll just concentrate on weekend runs and festivals for now. There’s talk of us going to Japan and the USA soon as well, but nothing confirmed yet.
Now the word is yours… what are your greetings to your fans and to our readers?
Play fast or die!
Interview by Tarja Virmakari
LOCK UP – Necropolis Transparent – Album Trailer Part I