Pictures : Olga Kuzmenko
Interview by: Alan Daly
Alan: Welcome back to Bloodstock. You were here in 2014…
Vogg: Thanks. Yeah, it’s been a long time. I thought we were here two years ago, but it’s been three.
Alan: We were here for that show and we really enjoyed your set, so we’re looking forward to seeing you again today. How would you compare Bloodstock to other European festivals?
Vogg: In general it’s similar to other festivals. It works kind of the same, but of course, it’s the UK and every country has their own differences. The weather here is not too hot. We played about a month ago in Barcelona and it was too hot. I love the UK, I’ve played so many shows here and I like to come back.
Alan: Have you played at any other UK festivals?
Vogg: No, not yet. We’re looking to play at the Download festival. Maybe next year, we have a new album, so it would be a good location to promote it.
Alan: That brings me to my questions about your new album, Anticult. This must be one of your first live shows since its release. Are you looking forward to playing the new material live?
Vogg: Definitely. The new songs sound the best live. We will play four new songs today mixed with four old songs, and I can’t wait to play them.
Alan: Do you find it difficult to choose a set list when you have a new album that you are enthusiastic about, but fans that want to hear older more familiar songs, and when you have a limited time to play?
Vogg: It’s always a fight with the band. We’re sitting together in the practice room and it takes hours to make the perfect setlist.
Alan: What was the number one song from Anticult that you absolutely had to play today?
Vogg: I think ‘Earth Scar’.
Alan: Tell us a bit about the album artwork. It’s very striking visually.
Vogg: The artist is ?ukasz Jaszak, a Polish artist. He did our artwork for the third time. He created the artwork for Carnival is Forever and Blood Mantra. So we’ve been working with him for a few years now. The artwork is really strong. ?ukasz is an old metal head. He knows the metal atmosphere and how to create a good metal cover. It’s probably the strongest cover for Decapitated ever.
Alan: But it’s simple at the same time.
Vogg: It’s simple, it’s symbolic, it’s brutal. Regarding the times we live in and everything that’s going on in the world, it kind of fits. We wanted to have a really strong cover for this album.
Alan: If you had to rank Anticult amongst the rest of Decapitated albums, from best to worst, where would it fall on the scale?
Vogg: It’s a really hard question. I don’t track our albums like that. I track them more like kids or a situation in life that reminds me of some time in my life. For sure, Anticult is one of the best. I like them all, but this album could be really important for us if we’re talking about our career. It could be a step for us.
Alan: You guys have had some serious misfortune over the years with travel accidents and so on. Is that something that makes you worry about traveling or touring.
Vogg: Not really. Actually, it makes me feel that after all this happened, I’m safe. I’ve used up all my lives. We’ve been in a plane crash for example. So how many times can you be in a plane crash? So flying with me is actually safe. I don’t feel any fear before going on tour, or on a plane or on a bus. I mean, if I feel that our driver is going crazy, or driving too fast, I would just talk to the guy, and ask him to slow down. It’s also about taking care before going on tour. To buy good airline tickets or rent a good van, and not save money on safety.
Alan: Are you still in contact with Covan?
Vogg: He’s still not in good condition. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen him in quite a long time. I need to visit him. Communication is still not really smooth. What I can say is we’re waiting for better times with him. His family and friends are taking care of him. I know I said the same stuff two or three years ago as well.
Alan: Another sad topic is the recent tragic untimely deaths of Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington, and the dark times that people go through. Have you ever had times where you felt life was getting too hard to handle?
Vogg: Well, these days I feel really good about life. I have my family, I have kids and my wife, and I have a really good time with the band. I don’t do drugs now. Maybe when I was younger, I felt some of those kinds of things. Maybe I did too much… things. I think all of us can have this kind of situation in life. But it’s all about not letting yourself get too deep in depression.
Alan: I’m sure there must be decapitated fans out there who maybe are going through tough times, and maybe don’t have friends or family to help. What advice would you offer to them?
Vogg: Try to just live healthily. Too much of anything is not good for you. Don’t do too much of things that make you sick. Don’t drink too much alcohol. Don’t do too much weed. If you’re a sensitive person, don’t touch drugs. That’s it. Drink lots of water and eat healthily, and everything will be ok.
Alan: I’m Irish, and I spotted quite a few photos of you online wearing Guinness T-shirts. Can you explain? Are you a fan of Guinness?
Vogg: I’m a fan of Guinness, but there’s no story behind that T-shirt. I just like it and maybe I was wearing it at a photo session, or someone took pictures of me wearing it at a festival.
Alan: Well, Do you know what the secret is to pour a pint of Guinness?
Vogg: There’s something. I don’t remember what it is. You have to tell me…
Alan: The trick is to hold the glass at 45 degrees, and fill the glass until the Guinness is level with the edge of the tilted glass. Then you let it stand for about two minutes until it settles. And then top it up. So the trick is that it’s a two stage process.
Vogg: Oh yeah. Actually, our sound engineer is the biggest fan of Guinness, and Irish Whiskey too.
Alan: We recently spoke to The Dillinger Escape Plan, and after 20 years, they have decided to call it a day. Decapitated have also been around for about 20 years. Could you ever see yourselves saying “enough is enough”? What do you think of them making a conscious decision to stop?
Vogg: Of course it’s good to finish in good shape, so people will remember you in good shape. I don’t know. We didn’t think about it yet. For us, it’s still just the beginning.
Alan: Finally, what’s next for Decapitated?
Vogg: In two weeks, we’re going to the US on tour with Thy Art is Murder, Fallujah and Ghost Bath. Then after that tour, in the middle of October, we will start a European tour, including the UK. Unfortunately, no Irish dates, but Scotland and UK in November. So that’s the plan for the rest of the year. For next year, probably more touring.
Alan: Well, please do try to make it over to Ireland!
Vogg: I do remember playing in Cork, Dublin, and Belfast, and they were great shows, so I think we have to come back.
Alan: Well, thank you very much for taking the time to chat. We look forward to your set today!
Vogg: Thank you!