Ahead of the release of their brand-new album ‘Ex Rosa Ceremonia’, Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life had the pleasure of chatting with Jarrett Pritchard (Guitars) and Clayton Gore (Drums) of blackened death/doom band, Pulchra Morte. What follows is a transcript of some of the talking points from the interview. The full thing can be heard on YouTube, Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
Hello gents. How is your day been so far?
(Jarrett) It’s pretty good. We are in the studio here. I’ve got some friends that are from a really well-known metal band killing some vocals in the other room, and my business partner is handling that while I’m doing interviews. Our air conditioning unit for the studio tried to freeze up and we fixed it with a can of WD 40 and a good solid kick so the day’s not going to bad, to be honest.
(Clayton) Yeah, you know, my day has been kind of pretty much the same and sort of a blur the last, you know what, six or eight months now. So, nothing too unusual, but happy to be speaking with you.
Well, you brought up the elephant in the room. How have you both been holding up this year?
(Jarrett) Well, it’s strange because I’m not touring so my life and schedule slowed down a lot, but overall, I mean, it’s I kind of do the same thing I do most times. I work in the studio, I practice my guitar and I print shirts in my garage. And other than just, you know, the weird uncertainty of what’s coming next or when we’re going to be able to get back to work, it’s not been super different when it comes with some anxiety, but for the most part, we’re doing all right.
(Clayton) Yeah, I’ve actually spent the entirety of this laid off, so my job has been looking for a job. So other then, you know, playing drums and writing songs. That’s the bulk of my day.
So November 6th 2020, your second album ‘Ex Rosa Ceremonia’ is released. Looking back over the year and the planning and working on it, are you happy with what you’ve accomplished here?
(Clayton) Yeah, it’s been sort of a long journey. I mean, I recorded drums for this thing last September. So, you know, we’ve been writing this for a good two years and kind of putting everything together, all the pieces. And, you know, Jarrett, even during mixing, was adding some little tweaks here and there, some sort of, you know, icing on the cake with some of the cello and female backing vocal arrangements. And having the extra time with everybody sort of in lockdown and being able to contribute, including, you know, backing vocals from people literally all over the world has been sort of fun to kind of piece together.
(Jarrett) I’m just in that space where you come out of it. It’s sort of like coming up for air. You know, you start all the way back to the demo phase and we get these demos and we start going back and forth between the three kind of core writing part of the band, which includes Jeff, whose contribution can’t be understated.
Then normally what happens is that we go through a process where we sort of bounce back and forth, Clay and I, with arrangement and maybe some harmony changes, some speed changes like tempos and things like that.
The guys would come here after we were done and then we would do whatever. And so now when you’ve done all this work and your head’s really in it and you’re playing 70 takes of a solo because you’re OCD and it has to be how you want it to be, when you get done with it and you look over the thing, it’s like, OK, wow, here we have an album.
It’s like a big breath of air. Like you finally see your accomplishment. There’s a sense of relief, but then there’s a sense of pride when you listen to what you’ve created and you actually really personally like it.
Do you feel as though this album is the progression, clear advancement of what you did on the first record?
(Clayton) You know, we’ve talked about that quite a bit, and it’s interesting, especially when we first started recording this, we were like this group of songs feels different from the first album. It wasn’t that we set out to do that by intention. We just write what is coming to mind and what comes naturally. And in that sense, it feels like a natural progression to us.
I think with the first album we really wanted to kind of come out and make a statement with what we were trying to do and kind of where our heads were. And I feel like we did that very aggressively and sort of, you know, on the nose. And I think this album really just kind of elaborates on that and brings people into kind of what we’re about a little deeper.
(Jarrett) Yeah, I would I would agree with that in it, it does feel like a progression because when I got involved on the first record, it was essentially written for the most part. I mean, I contributed a lot as a producer, but the foundation of it was done. With this record it was a lot more as a result of the three of us going back and forth with ideas and stuff.
So what you’re hearing now really is a collaborative effort between Jeff and Clay and myself. Musically speaking, of course, Adam as well, because he sang and wrote the vocals, but it is absolutely a progression. And I feel like you can hear individually on this record who’s playing on it.
What about the concept then? The part that kind of jumped out for me is ‘seeking to encourage a mental and spiritual renaissance’. Can you kind of elaborate on what that actually means to you?
(Jarrett) In the past, there have been points in history, at least things I’ve read about. where it seems like even in secret, behind closed doors, human understanding of our universe or what’s possible or the other has taken a leap. I feel like we’re at this really strange point now where we’ve introduced some technological things into our society that are useful, but they have changed the way that we do things quite a bit.
Underlying in there, in my opinion, is an artificial intelligence that’s doing whatever it’s want, that is having an effect on our psyche. And I feel like it’s important that we as creatures watch how closely we rely on that little blue light box. If you’re sitting in front of a screen all day, every day, and that’s how you see your life. Your life is not what you see, your life is what you’re being shown.
That’s dangerous, go outside, look at your world for what’s in front of you, not what someone tells you it is, that’s what that means.
So you guys are quite active on social media, the band, is that an aspect you enjoy or is it a necessary evil?
(Clayton) The real trick, since there’s so many bands and so much music out there, you know, given that the technology has advanced to a point where somebody sitting in their basement can write an entire album that sounds great. So the real trick is just getting people to click on it. Just give it a shot.
Just take a listen. Just that first listen. If you don’t like it, that’s fine and good. I don’t care. But just getting people to actually click the thing and listen to it is the biggest trick. And that’s where, you know, it feels like social media is certainly a good way to do that. And sort of, as you said, a necessary evil in that way because just trying to get your band noticed in the sea of noise that’s out there is no small feat.
(Jarrett) Yeah, I would say that I have mixed feelings about social media. When I posted the thing about favourite guitar leads of all time, I had two hundred and fifty people, which is completely outlandish for me. I don’t have that sort of traction. Two hundred and fifty people commented and talked about their favourite guitar spot. Not one person was shitty to anyone else. No one said anything to another person about what you liking sucking or so on.
I was like, wow. I had a level of renewed faith in people in general. When I look at it, I am not super thrilled with how people treat each other in the honest. Since I have the platform, I’m going to say two sentences real quick. People just need to be nice to each other. There was a time when if you talk shit to each other the way people do on the Internet, you got punched in the mouth. People should think about that because it’s not cool to be such shitheads to each other.