|Interview by Burt Wolf with Matt, bassist, beat programmer, song writer, lyricist, backing vocalist,
manager for ONE STEP BEYOND!
Interview done February 13th, 2008.
MATT, CAN YOU GIVE US A BRIEF HISTORY OF ONE STEP BEYOND UP TO THIS POINT? HAVE
ANY OF THE BAND MEMBERS BEEN IN OTHER BANDS BEFORE?
Sure, well we formed around December '97, released a demo in '99, released our first CD in 2002 & finally
released our second in 2007. Record label bullshit & a lack of funds were the main reasons it took so long. As far
been in a Death Metal group called HATRED SLAVE for 8 years or so, he also is a members of War Metal
group SLAUGHTER THOU. Our current guitarist also plays for Death Metal group OBSIDIAN ASPECT. All
these bands have products available from their myspace pages if people wanna look them up!
WHY WAS THE NAME ONE STEP BEYOND CHOSEN AS THE BANDS NAME?
Man it was a long search for the right name, like maybe a year before it was decided. Once it was established
that the band would try to take extreme Metal into uncharted waters it seemed an appropriate name. Ideally our
sound would be beyond the traditions & expectations of an extreme Metal band. For those wondering, yes I did
steal it from the MADNESS song & yes I am a MADNESS fan.
WHO OR WHAT HAS HELPED INFLUENCE YOU IN CREATING YOUR
MUSIC & LIFE IN GENERAL?
Well, on a personal level my father was crucial. He is the one who exposed me to
many styles of music through my childhood, from SLAYER to Miles Davis to
PUBLIC ENEMY he played it all & would explain to me what it was that he
thought was great about such artists. This gave me both an open & inquisitive
mind in my approach to music, cinema & literature. Outside of that I have been
influenced by so many creative people in so many ways that I could write a book
on them. Some crucial ones in particular have been the words & music of Vernon
Reid, NAPALM DEATH, PUBLIC ENEMY, FISHBONE, MIles Davis & Frank
Zappa. All these cats have had important things to say that have inspired my
approach to every day life & played music that continues to inspire my creative
CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE STYLE & SOUND OF ONE STEP BEYOND?
Hehehe, I have been waiting for years for someone to coin the perfect phrase to describe us, I still don't know. I
guess we are something like NAPALM DEATH colliding with PRIMUS. But I think there is more to it again...
"BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL" IS YOUR NEWEST RELEASE, WHICH HAS BEEN OUT FOR A
LITTLE WHILE NOW. HOW WELL HAS IT BEEN DOING IN THE UNDERGROUND SCENE?
The response in the press has been great, we are yet to get a negative review which is a real surprise given the
unpredictable nature of the music. I expect far more people to take offense, hehehe. Regarding sales, we are
trying to get it to as many distributors as possible in as many countries as possible, but this is a slow process for
a band like ours, so we have yet to cut a profit.
CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE COVER ART A BIT & IT'S MEANING? WHO DESIGNED IT?
The piece was done by the very fine Canadian artist Pierre Bourgealt who can be explored at www.noistar.com.
For me the meaning of the piece in the context of our album cover is open to individual interpretation. People are
encouraged to study it as they will or just enjoy the great image!
WHAT IS SOME OF THE LYRICAL CONTENT IN YOUR SONGS?
I try to keep lyrical content as varied & unique as I try to keep our music & often to have a humorous edge even
when dealing with potentially serious topics. A lot of our songs are about the personal struggle for happiness &
identity in the face of people who would take these away from you. Other topics include religion, I am all for
religion if people treat those who do not share their views with a fundamental respect, which unfortunately is all
too rare these days, so our songs take on a more anti religious tone. Also we have "sung" about the issues of file
sharing & the record industries attempts to control music distribution on the internet. We even have a song about
my dislike of jockeys, which must be a first in extreme Metal!!!
WHO WRITES THE LYRICS & MUSIC IN THE BAND OR IS IT
A WHOLE BAND COLLABORATION?
It is all me, I am a control freak regarding everything in this band. I
have very specific ideas of how it should sound & what it should say
& fortunately for me the other two members are happy enough to
perform these ideas. They are both creative individuals in other
bands so there is no fuss for them to play someone else's material in
ONE STEP BEYOND!
GRINDHEAD RECORDS WILL BE DOING A SECOND PRESSING OF THIS RELEASE. HOW DID
YOU GET HOOKED UP WITH THEM? HOW HAS IT BEEN WORKING WITH THEM?
We got hooked up through myspace initially I think, then we sent a promo pack along & after Australia post
finally got the package through to them they dug what they heard & we discussed a collaboration. Unfortunately
it has already seen delays in the initial plans we discussed but I am hoping they come through for us as we have
had only bad experiences with labels to date!
THEY WILL ALSO BE RE-RELEASING YOUR DEBUT "LIFE IMITATES ART". WHY THE DECISION
TO RE-RELEASE THIS ALBUM?
It has been out of print for years. I think it still sounds fresh & innovative to this day & it is now 6 years old. I
want more people to be able to hear it so as soon as anyone puts funds in place to press it, it will be done.
YOU DO BASS, VOCALS & THE BEAT PROGRAMMING IN THE BAND. WHY AFTER OVER 10
YEARS DID YOU DECIDE TO GO WITH A LIVE DRUMMER? ANY LUCK FINDING ONE YET?
We have always wanted a live drummer but unfortunately where we are from there are very few world class
extreme Metal drummers & fewer still who can master the other genres necessary to play in ONE STEP
BEYOND. So it has always been a case of having a drum machine programmed to perform the exact beats I feel
the songs need, or to have a real drummer perform what I feel is less than perfect. To me it's a no brainer that a
song must first sound the best it can, that is more of a priority than how the song is actually performed, but the
live presence & flexibility of a real drummer is very valuable also, so the ideal would be to have a drummer who
could & would perform our existing beats to within an 80-90% replication. We have had many drummers from
around the world express an interest in joining but none have been able to commit to learning our songs to the
HAVE YOU FOUND A SECOND GUITARIST YET AFTER
Yes, Matt Davis aka Rufus has been with us for a while now. He
actually joined as second guitarist some months before Jeremy
passed. We performed only one show with two guitarists in that
time. We have been quietly looking for a second guitarist for some
time but the right person has yet to be found.
DOES ONE STEP BEYOND PLAY OUT A LOT? WHERE
ARE SOME OF THE PLACES YOU'VE PLAYED? WHO ARE
SOME OF THE BANDS YOU'VE SHARED THE STAGE
We played several shows a year, only in Australia so far & only with underground Australian bands. We hope to
expand on this soon.
ARE THERE ANY COOL OR INTERESTING BAND STORIES YOU COULD SHARE WITH US?
Not by my standards of interesting. Hehehe.
YOU GUYS ARE INTO A WIDE VARIETY OF MUSIC STYLES. WHO ARE SOME OF THE BANDS
YOU HAVE CURRENTLY BEEN LISTENING TO?
The other guys listen mostly to extreme Metal, but currently I am listening to a lot of stuff, to name several I
would mention Lee "Scratch" Perry (early dub Reggae), MORRIS DAY & THE TIME (80's Funk),
UNDERGROUND RESISTANCE (Detroit Techno), PARADISE LOST (early), WAYD (Slovakian
Death/Thrash), DISASTER K.F.W. (German Death), PARIS (Militant Hip Hop), LOVE (60's Rock), AMBEHR
(Russian Death/Thrash), SPINAL TAP (first album), SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE (first four discs just
been re-issued) & early Miles Davis. There's a lot more but I would hate to endorse too many other artists when
I should be promoting my own band first, hehehe.
WHAT IS ONE THING YOU THINK PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO
FIND OUT ABOUT YOU?
Probably that I am also a Rap artists. Not "Hip Pop" & none some try hard
gangster shit, just real genuine & personal Rap music!
WHAT DO THE BAND MEMBERS DO WHEN NOT DOING ANY WORK
FOR THE BAND?
Our vocalist Justin manages a gardening store, drinks & plays old school
computer games. Rufus is a factory supervisor, alcohol & gaming enthusiast also.
As for myself I work on many music projects & work part time in a super
market. I spend a lot of my time with my son & am a serious film/music/prose
addict who likes a drink or ten! We all enjoy going to live bands also.
WHAT WAS THE FIRST ALBUM YOU REMEMBER BUYING? WHAT WAS THE FIRST CONCERT
YOU EVER WENT TO?
My first album was "RAISING HELL" by RUN D.M.C. way back in 86/87. I picked it out & my old man payed
for it. I loved it back then & enjoy it more than ever to this day. My first concert was Stevie Wonder when I
was about 11 or 12. I don't remember too much of it though but I still dig Stevie's music...
WHAT CAN WE LOOK FORWARD TO FROM ONE STEP BEYOND?
Well, hopefully we can get everything released & re-released without any further
bullshit, then get to recording some new material. I would like to be releasing a
product every 18 months or so, but without strong label support that is just not an
option for us right now.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE THIS INTERVIEW? WHAT WILL
YOU DO NOW THAT IT'S DONE?
Beforehand I was watching Ingmar Bergmans masterpiece PERSONA for the 5TH
or 6Th time. It's an amazing film that anyone who likes to be challenged &
confronted should consider watching. After this I will be writing some long
overdue lyrics, that is if the creative juices are flowing!
MATT, THANX FOR BEING SO PATIENT & FOR ANSWERING THIS INTERVIEW. I WISH YOU GUYS
THE BEST OF LUCK & MUCH SUCCESS. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ADD ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D
LIKE TO CLOSE OUT. THANX!
Thank you Burt, good questions! Anyone interested can check us out at our myspace pages. We have shirts &
CDs available from our page through paypal. Those without can contact us through email for alternative payment
options. Trades are also welcome. Cheers!