Talkin ‘Bout Flex: With the Dead

Photo by Ester Segarra
Photo by Ester Segarra

Since Issue #75, Decibel has brought you left-of-center b-sides, rarities, live recordings and new songs from top-tier metal bands via the outstanding Flexi Series.  Want to hear the stories behind these recordings?  Read on.

We know… You’re all like, “Lee Dorian who?” and, “Tim Bagshaw what?”  It’s hard to maintain attention for green-as-fuck dudes whose shallow-ass extreme metal experience only amounts to stints in never-beens Cathedral, Napalm Death, Electric Wizard, Serpentine Path, The Oath and Bolt Thrower, but leave it to Decibel to unearth the most obscurely obscure acts and throw all our weight behind the latest fads.  With the Dead have only been around since 2014… Do they even know how to hold their instruments yet?

From the sounds of their new song “Vessel of Solitude,” which we hope you found in your copy of Issue #152 (June 2017, Soundgarden cover), they sure know which end is up.  Or down, as the case may be.  We asked doom-mentor Dorrian about how their contribution came about.  Here’s what he said.

When were you approached to contribute to the Flexi Series?

Albert had suggested the idea to me, so I sent him a couple of tracks from the forthcoming With The Dead album, which were miserable sounding enough to convince him.  I told him that he could have “Vessel of Solitude” as an exclusive, so he went for it.

How did you decide to contribute “Vessel of Solitude” to the Decibel Flexi Series?

It was one of the earliest tracks we wrote from the second album sessions and it is different to the rest of the tracks, which is a lot slower and longer! “Vessel” is probably the shortest “song” we will ever record. But never say never, of course.

When and where did you record the song?  How much time and work did it take?  Did it differ at all from your regular recording schedule?

We recorded the song in early 2016 at Orgone Studios in London. We actually got together for five days to jam with new drummer, Alex Thomas, for some upcoming shows. The set was ready after one day, so we spent the remaining days piecing together some riffs [guitarist] Tim [Bagshaw] had and had five or so songs together by the end of the week. We recorded them the following week in just a few days. “Vessel” was written and recorded very quickly in one take all round.

Your Flexi is red with gold lettering.  Any thoughts about the color choice?

I’m not generally a fan of gold.  I prefer silver, though I do appreciate its regal aspects. It looks rather garish but I like it. Purple and black are the top colours for doom but have been exhausted by over use.

Have you listened to other songs in the Flexi Series?  What is your favorite Flexi so far?

 I love Slaughter, so it was interesting to hear Godflesh cover “Fuck of Death”!

Check out all of the Decibel flexi discs here.