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Pustilence Interview

Pustilence just released a pretty nice debut death metal EP and I got together with band member Taylor Burnett who plays guitar/vocals with the band:

Where were you born and where did you grow up?

TB: Brisbane, Australia. Mostly grew up in a suburb called Burpengary. Not an overly exciting place.

What sort of kid were you growing up?

TB: Man, I was a dorky kid (who wasn’t though). Real into my sci-fi/fantasy you know, still am but I’m not running around in capes with sticks hitting things anymore, ha. Now I just put those themes into my lyrics.

So when you headed toward your teenage years did you start to listen to rock and metal music? Not underground metal yet.

TB: Yeah, so when I was about 11/12 my brother’s girlfriend gave me this burnt CD with various “Popular” artists (Korn, Slipknot etc) so they were my gateway. I got Korn’s first album as a gift when I was 13 and had this Discman that’d I’d take to school and listen to that album on repeat till the CD was unplayable, ha

I feel sorry about you listening to Korn and Slipknot as I hate both ha ha. When did you start to discover real underground bands?

TB: Ha ha, well not long after getting into those bands I’d gotten Slayers “Seasons In The Abyss” album which sparked my love for dare I say extreme music. Around 15/16 I’d discovered this band Impaled, pure Carcass worship which then got me onto Carcass, Napalm Death etc but I’d found with those bands that I really loved their early albums but none of the new ones’s stuff which was when I discovered the “OSDM” genre. Monstrosity’s Imperial Doom or Malevolent Creation’s Retribution were those sorts of face pulverizing albums I was seeking. I started really collecting CDs around this point too and any avid collector of those type of bands knows how fucking expensive of a hobby it can be.

Now was there any stores that carried this underground metal or stuff

TB: There’s this store in Brisbane called Rocking Horse, they’d stock some gems every now and then and when I’d go down to Sydney Utopia Records, which specialize in metal. I’d go to various random markets which funnily enough I found Bolt Throwers Realm of Chaos with the original artwork for a whole $2 otherwise there wasn’t a lot, so I’d mostly have to find them online.

So what made you want to pick up a guitar and are you self-taught or did you take lessons?

TB: I’d actually started off as a self-taught bassist, played in some thrash bands etc, never been much of a local Death metal scene in my time. I’d tried to start a Death metal band when I was in my late teens and none of the guitarists I’d work with could write what I was trying to get done so eventually I just bought my own guitar a shitty BC Rich Warlock for $100 and just started teaching myself some early Sepultura and Bolt Thrower songs. Not long after that, I’d somehow ended up in this messy Grindcore band, so I was sort of learning some really bad guitar habits ha

What are some of your favourite guitar players?

TB: Luc Lemay, Steve Thibault, Mitch Harris, Rob Barrett, Paul Masvidal…. Too many men, ha. Can’t say that you’d notice any influences in my playing, I’ve got a very “Me” style, haha

So have you been in any bands prior to Pustilence?

TB: So my first sort of proper band was Wartooth, Thrash band from Brisbane. After that, I’d been in Scumbag which was that messy grindcore band I’d mentioned. Then after Sean (bass) and I had started Pustilence and were writing I’d joined Bone Marrow which is pretty much Finnish death metal worship, so I’m doing both those bands now which Sean ended up joint Bone Marrow this year too.

So your keeping busy. Do you also sing in these other bands and do you think you’re a good singer?

TB: So Bone Marrow I do vocals, I was originally on guitar. Being a vocalist is a very new thing to me, like last year new so I’m still getting my footing and working (making shit up) as I go, haha.

So tell me about Bone Marrow. Do you have anything released? This will be the only question for them.

TB: So we have a demo that was done in 2018 before I joined, sounds like a completely different band to be honest, that era was a-bit more of a crusty death vibe, after I joined we were featured on a Dark Days compilation album with our new sound and we’re also on the Transcending Obscurity ( Our Label ) compilation album with another new song, since those two new songs we had a pretty much complete lineup change with only Chrispy (guitar) and I left since then we’ve got a whole new line up, I’m just on vocals now and all the material has been rewritten, we’ll be releasing an album later this year.

Now how do you find the other 2 members of the band and what year was this?

TB: Sean and I have known each other for years, he was in a Thrash band called Kaustic Attack band had broken up and I had left Scumbag, Sean had moved in with me and we just started writing music sort of casually, after about a year (around 2018/19) we decided we’d actually had some decent stuff and I knew Earl From Hinterkaifeck, I showed him the midi tracks of what we’d written and he was keen to join us and within a few short months “The Birth Of The Beginning Before The Inception Of The End” was recorded.

Within seconds of hearing you guys, I loved what I was hearing. Crushing, old school death metal with an early death metal sound. Is that what you were aiming for with it?

TB: Pretty much man, Sean and I really worship that old school sound, at the time of writing we were listening to a lot of Morta Skuld, Monstrosity, early Cannibal Corpse, Demolition Hammer and stuff so we were writing shit really inspired by those bands.

We had drums written but neither of us is drummers so they were just kinda fillers once Earl got behind the kit he really completed the sound. Anthony from Bone Marrow is an absolute shredder so I asked him to write some solos to complement the songs and he absolutely nailed it, overall it was a group effort of like-minded musicians just going hard.

So did it end up you were going to be the singer and what are some of your favourite singers?

TB: Pretty much, so from the beginning I’d decided I was going to guitars and vocals I had this idea of just fantastical lyrics, I didn’t want to have to constantly explain to someone or control their creativity with what I envisioned.

As I said earlier, I’m still finding my legs with this whole vocal thing but some of my favourite vocalists would be Sylvain Houde, Luc Lemay, Lord Worm. Canadians are the masters of mind chewing death, haha

Now how fast did the coming of those 4 songs I heard?

TB: So the 3 main songs came together over about a year of casually (lazily) writing. The instrumental was literally written/recorded on the spot in recording. Earl had a keyboard and I thought it would be cool to have some sort of OG RPG fantasy vibe song so just before we recorded vocals we did that song.

Where did you record it at and how long did it take you to do it?

TB: So it was Recorded by Brendan Auld at Black Blood Audio over about 4 days. Brendan is a really great fella to work with and he really understood what we were trying to do. He really pushed us and gave some amazing input to the overall final product.

How did you come up with the name Pustilence? Were any other names considered?

TB: Ha ha, so I used to work night shifts at my job and blast music all night over the stereo, I was listening to fellow Aus band Sewercide and liked the play on the word and just randomly thought of Pustilence. It was the first and only name considered.

I assume the band hasn’t played live?

TB: Yeah, we’ve only had a line up about 6 months and technically don’t have a lead guitarist, so we’ve not really planned any shows yet, we’re looking at doing some later in the year

I was gonna ask that so you’re looking to add a 4th member.

TB: Yeah man, definitely, we’re just looking for the right member you know? Not the best member. We’ll see what happens this year I suppose.

So how has the response been to the release been so far?

TB: Really great, we’ve been super blown away by the support and reception of this demo, we got that many offers/deals, the community response was wild, we really weren’t expecting it to go so well, really chuffed.

So with Covid crap going on for almost a year now, what have you been doing with yourself?

TB: Brisbane got off pretty lightly with all the lockdowns/restrictions so truth be told (for me anyway) it’s been a pretty ordinary time

So for those who wonder what you sound like, give them a description here.

TB: Mind Warping Death Metal. That’s all we are.

Taylor, horns up for doing this interview. Hope to hear more crushing music from you guys in the future. Any last words to wrap this interview up?

TB: Thanks for your time and questions man. We’d just like to thank everyone for all their support, cheers!

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