Interview: Noisem Overcome Internal Issues to Complete New Album

Photo: Andrew Hartl

When Baltimore death/thrash/grind trio Noisem emerged in 2013, they commanded plenty of hype in the death metal underground. They released two killer albums, Agony Defined and Blossoming Decay, plus a split, EP, live album and Decibel flexi, and played on the Decibel Tour with Carcass, The Black Dahlia Murder and Gorguts. Their progress on new music following Blossoming Decay seemed to come to a grinding halt due to internal issues, but earlier this month, the band emerged with “Sin Rash,” their first new song since 2015.

Decibel caught up with guitarist Sebastian Philips and bassist vocalist Ben Aft, who served as the vocalist in pre-Noisem outfit Necropsy, to get the lowdown on what the future holds for the rising trio.

Noisem just dropped “Sin Rash,” your first new song in a few years. What’s new with the band? What does the lineup look like?
SP: We’ve been slowly going through the process of putting our soon-to-be-released record out. It’s been taking a while because we went through a lineup change and a few label changes and we didn’t want to come to the next label with a half-finished product. We are now a three piece with our friend and original vocalist Ben Anft on bass and vocals.

Is the sound of “Sin Rash” in the ballpark of what we can expect from the band when new music drops?
SP: “Sin Rash” is a little more manic all the way through than the songs on the album are; there’s kind of a pulse and a pace to the new record but there are still plenty of those super-fast rippers.

BA: Playing “Sin Rash” is like running a marathon. There’s plenty of shit like that on the new LP, but it ebbs and flows a bit more. It’s pretty fuckin’ fast throughout, regardless.

You mentioned via a Facebook post that the last few years for Noisem have been “rough and turbulent.” Was the future of the band in jeopardy? Have those issues been resolved now?
SP: The past few years have been difficult, to say the least. There was a time with the old lineup where things were going so terrible and I felt like I didn’t even want to play music anymore. I quickly realized it wasn’t music that was the problem, it was the people I was doing it with. Ultimately, my brother Harley and I have always been the driving force behind the band since we formed. We sat down and had a conversation about whether or not we wanted to keep going and what needed to change if we continued.

BA: The past few years have definitely been very uncertain, but that’s all been absolutely necessary. As Sebastian said, him and his brother have been the ones spearheading this band since day one. Every riff, every beat comes from those two little schmucks. Doing what we needed to do to continue as Noisem has been rough on us all, but I don’t think we’d have it any other way.

You also confirmed that you’ll have an album coming in the first quarter of 2019. Any details on that you can spill?
SP: It will be called Cease to Exist, it was recorded with Kevin Bernsten (Integrity, Full of Hell) who did our first two records, mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege and artwork was done by Ethan McCarthy from Primitive Man. We’ve been playing a lot of the material live and it’s been going over well, so I’m curious to see how the album is received.

Noisem are on the road with Blame God and World Peace for a relatively short west coast run. Can we expect some more intensive touring now that Noisem are fully functioning and releasing a new album?
SP: Hopefully so! We’ve been trying to get back into the pace of steady touring but with Harley being in LA, we really have to be on top of the planning so we don’t get to do as many one-off shows here and there or even hop on a tour last minute. We should be hitting Europe next year for the first time and hopefully making it back down to Guatemala, definitely planning some stateside stuff as well.

BA: We’ve got some pretty sick international stuff in the works for next year, once the ball really gets working things should be pretty consistent on our end. Maybe even MORE new music, who knows…

Noisem w/ Blame God, World Peace

11.13 // San Francisco, CA // Honey Hive

11.14 // Reno, NV // The Holland Project

11.15 // Arcata, CA // Ramp Art Skatepark

11.16 // Tacoma, WA // The Plaid Pig

11.17 // Vancouver, BC // CBDB’s

11.18 // Seattle, WA // Highline Bar

11.19 // Portland, OR // Tonic Lounge

11.20 // Sacramento, CA // Blue Lamp

11.21 // Los Angeles, CA // Rec Center