"I care about this so much that I want to be involved in it. This stuff fills me with ideas and I want to express them as best I can." Matt Harvey, guitarist Exhumed
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ABOUT MATT HARVEY:
Born out of a love of comics and horror, Matt Harvey started the deathgrind band Exhumed in the 1990s to unleash his passion. Matt joins the podcast to talk about the recent split album with Gruesome, his inherent love of horror, and how much Exhumed means to him now.
Jeff: Thank you so much for joining me on the podcast today. I love getting the chance to talk to like-minded musicians. In fact, just before we started recording, we just started nerding out about our various comic book collections and things, which is great. I actually want to dive into that right from the get-go.
Matt Harvey: Let's do it.
Jeff: Have you always been a comic book fan?
Matt Harvey: Yeah, absolutely. I think... I'm 44, so probably for a lot of people my age, it's similar, but my first exposure was the old '60s Spider-Man cartoon; the re-runs. I can't remember a time when I didn't care about that. My earliest memories... I remember seeing the first Spider-Man movie 20 years ago, the Sam Raimi one, and I was crying and my girlfriend at the time was like, "What the fuck is wrong with you? It's a Spider-Man movie," and I was like, "I've cared about these people since... The only people I can think of that I've cared about longer are my parents and my grandparents. I haven't known anybody longer than Peter Parker and J. Jonah Jameson and stuff." Yeah, I thought I was going to be a comic book illustrator until seventh grade; then, I got into metal and then, here we are.
Jeff: Then here we are. That's awesome. I was going to ask but I feel like I know the answer; is your favorite character Spider-Man, then?
Matt Harvey: Well, you know, I think as I've gotten older, and also depending on what stuff they've done with the character, I've sort of gravitated more towards the other classic Marvel characters; Fantastic Four, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, so as you can imagine, the last 10 years have been like a box-office wet dream for me...
Matt Harvey: ... but Spidey is super close to my heart and I kind of underestimate, sometimes, how much I still care about the character even though maybe I'm not as obsessed as I was when I was a little kid, you know?
Jeff: Yeah. Do you ever cross the lane? Do you deal with any DC at all?
Matt Harvey: I do. Yeah, absolutely. In my little circle of nerds that I was tight with in high school, which includes Ross, our bass player in Exhumed, because I've known him that long. I was the DC guy because I actually read Teen Titans and Legion of Super-Heroes and some certain Justice League runs and stuff, so yes, I have the DC Unlimited app and I have the Marvel app to read all comics on my phone and shit, so I go both ways, yes.
Jeff: That's awesome. Well, I got to say a friend of the show is actually Greg Capullo who is...
Matt Harvey: Oh, shit.
Jeff: ... the current artist on Batman, doing Batman Metal, now Batman Death Metal, and when they did Bat... They haven't came out with Death Metal, yet. It's just hitting. Actually, it got delayed, obviously, because of the pandemic.
Matt Harvey: Right, right.
Jeff: But when they came out with Metal, DC released a Metal CD with awesome acts that coincided with the comics, which I thought was so smart. Now that they're doing Death Metal, I think Exhumed should be on that soundtrack if they do it.
Matt Harvey: We could write a song about a Batman villain, like... I'll get on it. I think Killer Croc would be a good death metal song material right there, you know?
Jeff: Ah, ah. I hope we just spawned something. I'm big proponent of putting something out into the universe and just making it happen, so who knows?
Matt Harvey: Absolutely.
Jeff: Who knows? Who knows? Speaking of Exhumed, I do want to talk kind of in the now. You guys are just about to release a brand-new EP. It's a split with your other project, Gruesome, called Twisted Horror. Can we talk a little bit about this?
Matt Harvey: Absolutely. What do you want to know?
Jeff: Okay, first of all, I know Exhumed... You guys are always all about the gore and horror but where does... I'm always curious about naming stuff. Where does Twisted Horror come into play, naming this EP?
Matt Harvey: Well, the concept started as a tour because Exhumed was looking for a band of a certain stature that would make sense to go out with us but that was hot and could get co-billing, you know what I mean?
Jeff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Matt Harvey: We were kind of looking around and I just realized that Gruesome fit that bill and it would be easier because, obviously, I'm in both bands and then that's one less person. We did a tour with Gatecreeper last year where we had a split, which was the bonus tracks from our last album and I thought it would be really cool to do that, again, because it makes the tour a little bit more exciting, it gives you extra promo, it's new for the kids to get, I knew, obviously, we both had extra songs that hadn't made it on a record yet, and the last Exhumed album was just called Horror and the last Gruesome album was Twisted Prayers and so I thought the tour would be called Twisted Horror and then, I was like, "Well..."
Matt Harvey: Anyway, so now obviously the tour is not going to happen. It was supposed to start in June. That's dead in the water but the split, we figured a lot of people are stuck, they're starving for something to listen to, something to watch, something to read, whatever, and who knows when and if we can reschedule this, so we wanted to get the record out because we all think it's really good shit and hopefully it gets people stoked.
Jeff: That's awesome. Hey, I've been saying that a lot lately as we're all dealing with the pandemic and dealing with that kind of stuff; one of the greatest solaces myself and a lot our listeners included, is music, is either going... I've been going back and just rediscovering music that I haven't listened to in years or that's been in my playlist that I always go through, or following a lot of my favorite bands like Exhumed and finding out that new music is right around the corner, and that's so awesome because it's new stuff to listen to and we all get connected that way, which is great.
Jeff: I'm always curious about other projects, too. For any of my listeners who might not know, Gruesome is your project, along with Gus from Malevolent Creation, and a slew of other great guys in that band. How does that start? I always preface this by saying as a musician myself, I always love playing with other bands, meeting other people, and that conversation always happens where you're like, "Man, you're awesome. We should do something together," and 99.9% of the time, that never happens because everybody's busy. How did this come to be?
Matt Harvey: Well, Gruesome is basically a Death tribute band, even though we write our own songs, and stuff, but when they started the Death to All tours... God, this was like seven, six years ago now, where the guys that had been in the band got together. I ended up getting called in at the last minute to fill in for the first 10 dates. They were going to have Steffen from Obscura do it and he couldn't get the visa approved, so anyway, I came over and I did the first run of shows and it was a lot of fun. Death was one of my favorite bands, obviously, and getting to hang out with everybody.
Matt Harvey: Then, the second tour they did, I had a schedule conflict with Exhumed and to me, I was like, "Well, Exhumed is my main thing. I don't want to jeopardize our schedule because I don't know what's going to happen with Death to All, going forward," and this and that. I was just like, "Hey, best of luck. Cool," and they got Max Phelps from Cynic, who did a great job. Long story short, Exhumed... We're a bunch of lowlifes and we all have DUIs, so we can't get into Canada, so while we're on tour, the headliner went into Canada and we played two pickup dates with Death to All. That's where I met Gus and obviously, we had tons of mutual acquaintances and we were just backstage.
Matt Harvey: Gus was teching for Sean Reinert and playing a couple of songs with the band; just backstage having a couple of beers and talking about how much we love Death and we're like, "Aw, I wish they would do this song. Aw, I wish they would do that song," and this and that. We were talking like there's guys that had played in Death that weren't involved with the tour and we thought it would be really fun to jam with them and maybe talk to the management like, "Hey, let's do an underground version of this where we bring out some older guys and play older songs," and I just laughed and I said, "Well, if that doesn't work, then we'll just make our own songs that sound like Death and start a band. Ha, ha, ha."
Matt Harvey: A few months later I was visiting my then-girlfriend, now-wife in England and she was at work and she had an old guitar around the house. I was just like, "Well, I've got a few hours to kill," and I just started dicking around and I thought, "Oh, maybe I'll write a Death song. That would be funny." Then, I came up with something that was actually not that bad. I sent it to Gus and he was like, "This is actually kind of good," and then he sent me back a proper demo with real drums and I was like, "Oh, shit. I think we might be onto something." Then, Gus talked to Dan, who also plays with Possessed, and Robin, who plays with Derketa and Castrator. They're all in Florida; I'm the only one in California. He's like, "Well, I got a band together," and I was like, "Well, shit. I got two songs," and then off we went.
Jeff: That's so rad. This new EP split that you guys are doing, you've already released, as we're recording this, two tracks; one from Exhumed, one from Gruesome. Rot Your Brain is my new favorite track from you guys. It's so fricking heavy and awesome and it just embodies Exhumed to a tee, but when you're writing for both of these projects, especially coming out with an EP with both bands on the same one, is it clear to you when you're coming up with ideas, like, "Oh, yeah. This is an Exhumed idea," or, "This is a Gruesome idea," or do you kind of kick those around a little bit?
Matt Harvey: Well, for this EP, it wasn't too hard because actually, Gus, our drummer, wrote the two Gruesome songs, so that was pretty easy. For the records and stuff we've released, I'm still kind of the primary songwriter but I'm glad that you and specifically you asked this question because the answer that I have, you will be able to relate to and maybe a lot of other people might not be. Actually, the way I look at it, it sort of goes back to something I learned from being a comic book collector. Obviously, I love the Fantastic Four, the Avengers and stuff. That was my shit but I also really liked Justice League and Teen Titans and Legion of Super-Heroes and stuff, and as a fan, you knew from being seven or eight, that those were published by different companies; therefore, they each existed in their own discreet universe with different rules and different barriers and structure.
Matt Harvey: That's how I think of playing in multiple bands because I have another band called Pounder that plays old-school, traditional heavy metal. It's like a mental sorting box that I have. I'm like, "Well, this goes over here and in this universe, we do this and that and we don't do this and that, and in this universe, we do that but we don't do the other thing," and then that way, I kind of... It's like a little compartmentalization thing and I really think that that's why I learned that skill was from being a sci-fi, fantasy comic book kid growing up, you know?
Jeff: That's awesome. That's a great explanation and analogy. I got it completely. That's amazing. Speaking... Going all the way back to you being a kid, what... Another question I love asking; what made you gravitate towards guitar? Was there a moment in your childhood or a band or a song where you were like, "I want to pick up this instrument," or did you kind of fall into the instrument?
Matt Harvey: I think... I grew up and my dad's mom, my grandma, was a... She was a very good pianist. She used to play for the mortuary and the church and she combined a kind of side gig, teaching kids in the neighborhood and stuff, at different times. My mom's brother was a very good guitar player and also a pretty good flautist and he was a jazz-fusion guy, so I think, from a young age, I wasn't really interested in music but I knew that it was a thing that you could do. It wasn't like seeing somebody really far away, like, "Look at so-and-so rock star. I want to be him."
Matt Harvey: It was just sort of there and then, when I heard Master of Puppets, which was... I guess... I'm trying... I always forget if it's '86 or '87 but I think I was still 11, so it must have been... Anyway, I heard that and I was going through a bunch of different stuff, like I ended up changing schools, my parents were getting divorced, and you're kind of on the edge of puberty and changing the way you think and getting pubic hair and shit, so I was very disoriented and kind of angry at the time, and then I heard this really angry record and I already liked Twisted Sister and Dio and Ozzy and stuff, and I had just heard Iron Maiden, which I liked a lot, but then I heard that and it was like, "Wait a fucking second," like, "Holy shit."
Matt Harvey: It was the speed aspect that really got me. I was like... It was so furious sounding and within about six months, I was like, "Well, I'm going to make my own band because this is what I need to do." It wasn't like, "Oh, that'll be fun." It was like, "I have to do this." In fact, I sold my comic book collection at the time to my grandfather, who was an antiques dealer, and I used that money to buy a guitar; to buy an electric guitar because my dad had an old acoustic and I would learn a couple riffs and I was like, "No, I'm serious about this," and then thankfully, a couple years later, I bought back the vast majority of that comic book collection once I got my first job but that was a turning point.
Jeff: Wow. I was going to ask, because you started the band when you were 15... I love the name Exhumed. It's just one of those names, like Metallica or Slayer, that just evoke something. I was going to ask but I'm guessing, because you had family members in mortuary, that's probably... Is that where you got that from, kind of?
Matt Harvey: You know, I don't really think it was that specific, really. I think, honestly, I was a sophomore in high school when I remember I had this really boring history class and so I would end up doing the work in 10 minutes and have 20 minutes just to sit there and I had a notebook and I was just writing down a list of gory names or names I thought were cool, and I literally was like, "Well, I like Entombed. What's the opposite of Entombed? Oh, Exhumed," and I'm like, "Oh, it's like that Carcass song, Exhume to Consume." I was like, "Cool. Double whammy."
Matt Harvey: I wrote it down and it was one of 30 names and I brought it back to my friends and we all looked at it. That was the only name I think no one had any objection to. At least one person thought the other names sucked and at the time, it was just a death metal name, whatever, but it took a long time for us to get signed and for the style of music that we were playing to come back around; especially when we first started out... when we first started doing records, I should say, in the late '90s. There wasn't really a lot of bands doing our kind of style of, I guess, more traditional death metal, and I thought that the name all of a sudden became more appropriate because it was like, "Hey, I know it's the late '90s and everybody's listening to atmospheric black metal or whatever, but we're going to dig up this sound from eight or nine years ago that totally rules, and try to resuscitate it as best we can," kind of thing, you know?
Jeff: Yeah. Can we speak a little bit about... not even before you guys were making records in the late '90s but starting this band and having such a clear vision of, you want to be the heaviest motherfucking thing that anybody's seeing playing out at that time, which is not the scene that you're in. You're in California, at the time, and like you said, thrash is everywhere. Metallica blew the doors open and now, everybody's playing that type of music and you decided you wanted to be heavier than that. Was that an uphill battle from the beginning?
Matt Harvey: It was, and part of it also, I think, had to do with the fact that we were so young and we were very naïve in terms of how we perceived the scene or the business side of it because to me, in the late '80s, when I first started going to shows, you just go to see Exodus and some local bands on a Thursday night and there's 1,800 people there. It's not a tour; it's just a gig and so my perception of what was a good gig was really skewed. I would go see Death and Pestilence and Carcass on a Thursday night and there's only 400 people there and I was like, "Wow, this show is tiny. Everybody needs to go." Totally different. You're just coming from a really different world. I didn't start at punk rock squats. I started seeing Metallica at a 10,000 seater, so in the Bay Area, there was a real distinct divide.
Matt Harvey: There was the serious metal musicians, who was like Forbidden and Heathen and Exodus and so on and so forth. Then, there was the underground, which was real scuzzy and looked down upon a little bit; especially because in the late '80s, thrash was about becoming more intelligent. It wasn't cool to sing about the devil; it was cool to sing about toxic waste and government corruption and whatever and so here's a bunch of bands singing about the devil and rotting corpses, or whatever, and it was seen as like, "Oh, these idiots." I think it appealed to me because it was something that felt less exclusive.
Matt Harvey: There was not as many... You didn't have to be successful or have a record deal or whatever; you could just be like, "Oh, I have this tape that we recorded in a garage," like, "Hey, we just got a gig. Cool." It also was about... Even back then, I thought the thrash guys were like, "Ah, this is a bunch of noise. It's a bunch of racket." I was like, "What the fuck do you think Judas Priest fans thought in 1984 when they heard Show No Mercy?" They're like, "It's a bunch of bullshit, man. It's fucking... It's not real music like fucking Ozzy, dude," and people were like, "This isn't real music like fucking Exodus and Forbidden," and I was like, "Okay, Dad. Come on, man." That was... It was kind of cool to find your own thing that was... It felt quite new, at the time.
Jeff: Yeah. Another factor that you guys always did and you still, to this day, and we've touched upon it a little bit, is the gore factor, the horror factor. What drew you to that, other than the fact that it obviously, it coincides with death metal? Even before that, were you always a horror fan? What made you gravitate towards the gore and the horror of everything?
Matt Harvey: I was definitely a horror fan before I was a metal fan, at all. I think there's a... You want to get into the darker side of human psyche, talk to a 12-year-old boy because it's like this tremendous hormonal rush meets the complete ignorance about the world, and that can spiral your imagination off into really weird realms, and I think one thing that... I don't know. It's a theory that I have but when I was growing up, my dad got in a very bad car accident when I was two. He had pretty severe brain damage. He has no smell to this day, and he had... I don't know what the technical term is but he basically had a personality breakdown and it took him about 10 years to not be a dick, is the easiest way to explain it, and so my mom just... They stayed together for a long time but I didn't really interact a lot with my dad when I was a kid, and when I did, it was pretty negative.
Matt Harvey: Now, we have a great relationship and I love him to pieces but I think when... and I've spoken to other people who are into metal and horror and I think when you have that negative male energy or reverse-role-model thing going on, you get angry as a kid because you don't understand why, and that anger needs to go somewhere and I think when the world seems sort of cruel or monstrous, one way of self-therapizing is to empathize with the monster. When you're in the horror movie or when you're watching a horror movie as a kid and you're watching these people cut people up and kill them and dismember them and stuff, in a way, you're rooting for the... Some people are like, "Oh, my God. It's scary," and some people are rooting for the bad guy, and I think that's where I was at, was he had the strength to lash out at people and to take this anger and these emotions you're confused about and expel them and to act them out.
Matt Harvey: I think there was that part of it and also, it's just fun. Horror movies are just fun. It's like R-rated Looney Tunes to a point where, once you watch a movie like Braindead, that's so gory, it is just like Bugs Bunny and shit. It's just fucking madness and that becomes its own mental thrill ride. Then, when I discovered death metal when I was 13 or 14, or whatever... In early '89, I became aware that death metal was a thing and I was like, "This is like the sonic version of these movies. This is like Hellraiser but a song. Fuck. This is perfect," you know?
Jeff: Yeah. I understand it from 15-year-old Matt being able to spew out all this gore and this horror and all that stuff, but now, when you're coming up with stuff, are you still... Is there just a well that you draw from inside, or do you look to horror for inspiration now?
Matt Harvey: I think a lot of it is really internalized, at this point. I don't watch a ton of horror movies anymore, which I sort of feel bad about but it's just... It's really... More than anything, it's a time factor because I'm in multiple bands, I'm married, I have a day job; not right now but I have a day job. I'm on tour all the time. I travel, and the other thing is that being a comic book person, I've waited my whole life to have this much content and all of my time for watching television is sucked up by comic book and TV movies. I'm out of time. I don't have anymore time to sit and passively watch something but that said, I'll still see stuff, like I saw Midsommar, I saw The Witch and stuff like that, both of which I thought were pretty good, but it is more of just...
Matt Harvey: It's been internalized because I've seen Re-Animator and Hellraiser and Evil Dead II and stuff like that so many times, and that's just become a part of the background noise of my mind. It's pretty easy to draw upon and, as far as negative emotions, I think... I hope I'm a lot more mature than I was back then but there's still... It's real easy to get pissed off. You can look around and be like, "Fuck." You can look at the world around you and just feel this disgust and this is a way to vent that without going on Facebook and being like, "Wake up, sheeple," because that doesn't help anybody.
Jeff: Yeah, totally, totally. What exactly is your writing process for Exhumed? Do you come up with the idea for the song, the thematic idea, first, or is it more just you're riffing on a guitar and that's what kicks off the song?
Matt Harvey: Usually it's the music first. I used to write lyrics and then write music and try to mix and match and then, I ended up with a lot of songs where the singing never stops and that bummed me out. After we recorded, I think, the third Exhumed album, I was like, "Fuck. We never shut up. Damn it. This was a mistake," but I was writing these lyrics like, "These are really good lyrics." I'm like, "I'll get them all in there," and so now, I just make it a rule to really not write anything until I have the music.
Matt Harvey: Then, as far as the lyrics, I think once I have a title, then the rest comes easily; especially writing about this gory stuff, you're like... It's another song about somebody getting disemboweled or they're zombies or whatever and you're like... I don't know. I don't feel the need to sit around just writing that stuff until I'm like, "Oh, wait. Hey, Ravenous Cadavers; that's a good song title," which a friend of mine actually came up with, but anyway, I was like, "Cool, great, now it's time to... Now, the rest of the song is easy because I already have the music which determines where the syllables go." It was like, "Bah, bah, bah, bah, bah. Bah, bah, bah, bah, bah. Bah." You're like, "Put the words in. Okay. Move on and go."
Jeff: That's awesome. That's awesome, and that brings me into the theme of this show. We're all fueled by death; death metal sometimes, but we're all fueled by that finish line. We want to leave this world a little different before we leave it for good. You've been doing that in spades, not only with Exhumed but all of your musical projects, throughout your career. What keeps you going? What fuels you to keep wanting to create, keep playing music, keep touring, keep doing all of it?
Matt Harvey: I'll say this: I took a break for five years in the mid-2000s and I discovered, for sure, that I would rather maybe eat shit sometimes and keep doing this than be comfortable and not do this, so I think, for me, it just feels natural. Ever since I was a little kid, I just sat around drawing pictures and humming and listening to my little fucking Spider-Man records and shit, and I just... I don't know. When I really care about something, I just want to do it.
Matt Harvey: I loved cartoons and comics, so I just... My whole grade school I just spent drawing comics or drawing little characters or making up characters for role-playing games and drawing that shit, and then, when I made the transition to metal, it only took a few months to be like, "No, I care about this so much that I want to be involved in it. This stuff pulls me with ideas and I want to express them as best I can," so it's not really... I don't know if it's a compulsion or what, but I just know that I can't really stop and I've decided to lean into it rather than spend my whole life apologizing for drumming on the table or humming riffs or whatever. I'm just like, "I should be doing this as fully as I possibly can because if I'm not doing it, I'm less happy, so fuck it," you know?
Jeff: Yeah. No, that's a great fricking answer. It's totally true. You mentioned you did take a few years off, there. When you came back to Exhumed and Exhumed started up again, did it feel like everything was the same or was it a lot different from the Exhumed before to the Exhumed we know now?
Matt Harvey: For me, I think it was a lot different; for everybody else, I don't think it was particularly different but when we came back, we really approached things a little bit differently because really, our original drummer, Col, and I... We'd known each other since we were 12 and we were high school buddies. Ross was also our high school buddy and so some of us were sort of career-oriented and some of us weren't and we just were just going with no real plan, no real thought to anything.
Matt Harvey: When we started the band again, thankfully, during the time we had gone away, our stock had gone up and all of a sudden, I was like, "Oh, now we're able to actually do this a little bit more professionally and at least consider that aspect to what we're doing," and so we've been able to... I don't want to sound cynical or whatever, but it's a lot easier to do this when you make money. It's way easier to do something that pays you than something that doesn't; especially the older you get. Once we started making money and started thinking of the band, yes, it's what we feel and we play the music that we love and we care about it and it's totally honest and sincere; at the same time, we also... in order to keep being honest and keep being sincere, we need to have this other aspect of it that doesn't really have to do with the music, and now that we've nudged the door open a little bit to where it's doable and worked on that end, it's really just made it a lot easier.
Matt Harvey: It's made me take it more seriously, honestly, which is kind of stupid. It's supposed to work the other way around; you're supposed to act like a professional and then start getting paid but then, I was always like, "Fuck that. That shit's for nerds, man. I don't give a shit," and at a certain point, I was like, "Well, other people seem to give a shit, so I probably should, too." We're not going to change our style or write riffs like, "Do we think this is going to get X number of streams?" or whatever but everything that we do now, we're like, "Hey, cool. How can we use this to make it so we can do more shit?" That takes some sort of business acumen, which is... we've been developing slowly but surely.
Jeff: Yeah. It is a learning process for any musician and it's so great that you've stuck with it and you've done what you can, coming back to the band. This current lineup that you guys had in the last few years is, I think, some of the strongest players but you've gotten to play with so many amazing people throughout the life of Exhumed, which is great too. I do want to shout out; one of my good friends actually, and actually a former guest on this show, drummed for you on two tours, John Longstreth of Origin.
Matt Harvey: Oh, Johnny.
Jeff: He actually says hello and...
Matt Harvey: I love Johnny. Tell him hi.
Jeff: ... yeah. He's a great dude and it's just, again, just a testament to the body of what Exhumed actually is. What it means to people and what it has become is just this wealth of awesome. It really is. I want to get your thoughts, at the end, here. What do you think the current state of death metal is? Do you think we're seeing this resurgence again or do you think we're on a plateau again? Where do you think death metal lives now?
Matt Harvey: I think that there's been a big interest in what the kids now called OSDM, bro, in the last few years and I think it's been mostly really good. The vast majority of the bands that I met that are doing it really are doing it for the right reasons and they believe in it. As much as everyone that's into metal thinks that they're this big non-conformists, or whatever, ultimately it's like any market in that it's susceptible to trends. 10 years ago, people were fascinated with '80s thrash; Toxic Holocaust, Municipal Waste, Havok, Vektor, you name it, and 20 other bands that probably weren't as good as those.
Matt Harvey: Everybody was all about wearing Overkill shirts or whatever, and now, as we've moved forward with nostalgia, everybody's wearing an Obituary or Bolt Thrower shirt and you have Gatecreeper, we have Necron, we have Skeletal Remains and so on and so forth; all of which are really good bands but it's going to be... Having been at least aware of metal, now, since the late '80s, you can see the cycle in things and the turn and to me, I feel like when there was a Cannibal/Morbid Angel/Blood Incantation/Necron tour, I think that's going to be the Clash of the Titans moment of this death metal resurgence; especially now that we're going to have a year of no shows, whatsoever.
Matt Harvey: I think you'd be kind of naïve to think that people won't gravitate towards something that feels new, whether that's... Now, everyone's going to listen to Emperor again, or what, I'm not exactly sure but you have to see these cycles. It's not just metal that's like this. In the '70s, everybody was watching fucking Happy Days; in the '80s, everybody watched the Wonder Years; in the '90s, they watched That '70s Show. It's not a coincidence. There's going to be that turn and the bands that have managed to poke their heads above water and are doing good shit will probably still be around in 10 years and then, a bunch of the other ones won't, but I already think that the newer bands that I hear in death metal now are more... They're geared away from the Morbid Angel-Immolation template that maybe Blood Incantation and Necron were in.
Matt Harvey: I'm hearing more stuff like Aseptic or... I don't even know how to say it... Diapedesis or whatever. The new Cartilage record is really good and Molder and those bands all have a more underground bent. They're not emulating bands that were on Roadrunner or Earache and stuff and so I think that's where it's heading right now, as we see Necron, Blood Incantation and stuff; they've kind of ascended into the Pantheon of professional touring acts and so now the next underground wave is a little bit grosser and a little bit weirder and maybe more idiosyncratic, which is cool. I like all of it and who knows? I'm just trying to hang around until people are nostalgic for the late '90s so I can just make that paper.
Jeff: Nice. Nice. Well, I got to say I'm excited that Exhumed is still around. I don't care what happens in the world; I need my death metal. I need my heavy music and for everybody who's listening to this show, Twisted Horror is obviously coming out June 5th of this year and I got to ask, though; because it was supposed to be a tour and you've turned it into an EP, are you already thinking about the next record, or is there already ideas percolating in that head of yours?
Matt Harvey: Yeah, a little bit. We've kind of been working sporadically on the next Gruesome for a while. I think we have three songs in the can and then every time I've picked up the guitar lately, it's been for a more specific reason but I keep hearing these riffs. I'm like, "Well, those are pretty good and that sounds like an Exhumed riff," so like, "Ah, make a note of that." It generally takes me a little while, after we do a record, to not be sick of my own style like, "Ah, fucking... I heard enough of this," but it's coming back around. I start feeling that itch in the right hand like, "Oh, nope. Do it like this," like, "Oh, shit. Okay," so I think... God, fuck it, if we're still in the same situation by fall, I can't see us not having records written by then.
Jeff: Well, that's the silver lining of all this craziness, then, you know?
Matt Harvey: Absolutely.
Jeff: We're going to keep getting new Exhumed, new Gruesome, and it's just going to be awesome. I can't wait.
Matt Harvey: The future will be sick.
Jeff: Yes. Yes, in more ways than one.
Matt Harvey: Yes.
Jeff: Oh, man. Oh, man. Matt, thank you so much for taking time and talking with me. This was so much fun getting to talk to you about metal and comics and everything in between.
Matt Harvey: Love it.
Jeff: Really, thanks for taking time to be on the show.