1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
Since recording “A Universal Emptiness” we have been working on our next release which we hope to have out within the next year. We are almost done recording our half of what we intend to be a split release. On top of that, we have started composing material for the next full length.
2.You have a new album coming out in November, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
I would say it falls somewhere between doom/post/sludge/black metal. I do really think we found "our" sound on “A Universal Emptiness”. With the addition of Patrick Spain on drums it really helped us define our sound. All 6 of us come from varied musical backgrounds and all draw inspiration from very different places. We were able to harness this more cohesively, as a team, to make something we all feel is beautiful. With the newest album, it's much more straightforward and easier to digest, as it consists of 4 songs in a more traditional album flow. That isn't to say it's any less grandiose or captivating; I feel that this is much more tormenting and brutal. We’ve all grown a lot as musicians and as people since we started and I feel like the growth is apparent between the last two records.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
To me the lyrical content in “A universal Emptiness” is very personal. It is dealing with the demons that hide in the back of your mind; casting doubt, regret, anger, or pain. If it feels like an emotional journey that is because, for me, it is. It is a way for me to convert the negative energy into positive. Music is my great catharsis and without it as an outlet, I’d probably never make it.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Catapult The Dead'?
It's the first noted form of biological warfare. The practice of using siege engines to throw corpses over enemy walls. The Mongols used the bodies of those who had died of plague this way in a siege in 1346, which some believe may have led to the plague epidemic that struck much of Europe in the following years. It’s a suitably horrifying, apocalyptic, and depressing image. Picture a decrepit, disease ridden cadaver flying through the air in slow motion, looming somewhat gracefully towards the enemy. Soft with rot, the impending plague and puss filled splatter of a landing never seems to come. Just the perpetual limp lifeless flight through the sky that goes on forever without end.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Playing in the Bay Area is an amazing thing. We’re lucky enough to have a constant flux of really great bands coming through the area. Some of my personal favorites would have to be Solstafir, Khemmis, North, Wovoka, Abstracter, Brume, and Chrch (just to name a few). The best venue we’ve been lucky enough to play, in my opinion, is either The Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco or The Metro in Oakland. For me personally both are venues I've dreamed of playing for a long time. Though I would say our favorite local watering hole is The Golden Bull, in Oakland.
I would say we have quite an interesting stage performance. There is little to no stage chatter and very dim lights. I’ve heard it described as terrifyingly intense. As a six piece, there is a lot happening at all times; Garrick switching from guitar to keys or Ben pounding a floor tom while simultaneously roaring at the crowd, Tom and Emad full body head banging and all the while Patrick is pulverizing the cymbals and drums. We have a lot of fun out there but it probably looks more like pain and agony.
6.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
We’d really like to get on the road again. We are planning an album release show sometime in December and are working on a couple short tours. Unfortunately doing any long tours is difficult with all of our jobs and schedules and it turns out that road money doesn’t go very far with 6 members.
7.The album is coming out on 'Doom Stew Records', are you happy with the support that they have given you so far?
Yes. It’s a very small label, but we’ve been quite happy so far. All we've ever wanted to do is share our music with the world, and Doom Stew Records has made this easier for us. For that we are eternally grateful. They seem like the perfect fit for what we need at this point. You can tell that Doom Stew is a passion project and that what makes it so incredibly special..
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of sludge, doom and post metal?
It's been pretty amazing. I was more than surprised by its reach, even if it didn’t make a huge splash in the metal world. We are constantly trying to expand our fan base and honestly we are beyond excited for people to hear A Universal Emptiness.
9.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
Emad recently came out of a 2 year hiatus of playing drums and is in the beginning stages of starting a post metal project. As of now they are a 3 piece with him on the drums, still looking to complete the line up and don't have a name as of yet, but will be playing shows by early next year. It's still quite new and top secret! Patrick is in 3 other bands at the moment. One is a doomgaze band called Dustern, Dan (the bassist in CTD) is in it as well. Patrick is also in Mountaineer, an atmospheric rock project featuring Clayton Bartholomew from Secrets of the Sky and Lycus. The third band is called None Shall Thrive, it's a 2 person acoustic black metal project spearheaded by Nick Sandy (who has also done album and t shirt artwork for Catapult in the past). Ben and Garrick have been working on some interesting, more industrial, studio only, tracks. Each band is in various stages of recording new material. It’s likely there will be a lot on the horizon in the near future.
10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
I’d say this will be our most straight forward, metal release. We plan on going back to writing longer, dynamic, and cinematic songs again. Probably not as long as the 37 minute, All is sorrow, but I can say the next thing we release will be a 20 minute long piece which I feel is the best piece of music the band has composed thus far. We’re continuing to do what comes naturally and constantly trying to get better at it. We have a good base for the Catapult the Dead sound now, we just need continue to hone in and elaborate on it.
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
We draw inspiration from a large variety of bands and styles. Some of the big ones would be Cult of Luna, Breach, Type O Negative, Russian Circles, SubRosa, Neurosis, and Bongripper.
12.What are some of your non musical interests?
That’s a tough one to generalize as a whole. Dan is a bit of a book worm. Patrick is a grease monkey always working in the garage. He spends a lot of time camping and off-roading. Garrick does a lot of video editing and screen printing. Tom works at a cannabis dispensary, playing with his dog in spare time. Emad has an affinity for cooking and visiting Tom at the dispensary. Ben is an avid angler, spending a lot of time kayaking on the water. I’d say the main tie that binds us, outside of our music, is our love for the woods and outdoors.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us. We are immensely appreciative of our friends and fans that have been supporting us along the way. We hope to share our music with all that are willing to listen and follow us on our sonic journey.