Interview with Atrament D-beat Bay Area Black Metal

I first heard of these guys via the good people at Broken Limbs Records – I loved their sound and  wanted to know more about the band and what they were all about. Big thanks to Mattia and Chad for the interview.

* Does the band name have any meaning – who came up with the band name?
 Chad: Atrament is completely black, the blackest black, none more black. I think Mattia found the word and then we all decided it would be the best fit.
Mattia: yeah I can’t recall where I heard it but when I did it stuck. It was evil sounding in my head. I did some more research on its meaning and found out it also actually means ‘blackener’ – or anything that turns things black, like a die or black stain. The word ‘atrocity’ also comes from the word ‘atrament’. So, we all thought it stuck with the band’s reckless ‘mission’ pretty well.
* You guys do the perfect mix of dbeat and black metal – Were you guys crusty kids who got into metal or metal guys who discovered Discharge? 
 Chad: Crust to Metal
Mattia: Tough question, I’ve always liked punk and metal equally for as long as I can recall. I’ve known Iron Maiden longer than I have Discharge, so I guess metal to punk…
* What would you say are your biggest musical influences?
 Chad: Pete Sandoval during the early years of Morbid Angel. His drumming on Terrorizer’s World Downfall is untouchable. The Ramones, Discharge
Mattia: Filthy and heavy as fuck punk. The brutal stuff. Bands like Discharge, GISM, and Doom. The ‘metal’ sounds coming out of the music is just the inevitable consequence of just wanting to provoke widespread terror. That’s where stuff like Darkthrone, Beherit, Extreme Noise Terror, early Napalm Death and Dismember also play their precious role.
* There seems to be so many great bands coming out of the whole Bay Area these days – why do you think that is?
 Chad: Who knows…
Mattia: Perhaps a close knit community of musicians who share ideas and inspire and influence each other in positive ways….
* I know Chad used to drum for Vastum – anybody else have any bands outside of Atrament
 Chad: Necrot, Rude, Mortuous, Caffa, Disinihibition
Mattia: I’m aso in Abstracter. James, our guitarist, also plays bass in Abstracter. He used to be in Black September and Moral Void when he was still living in Chicago.
* How did the band come together?
 Chad: Mattia was responsible for getting everyone to jam. The first practice was pretty cool. The music naturally formed and we kept meeting up to practice.
Mattia: I wanted to play in a really angry and heavy punk band that played in the d-beat style, so I put an ad on Craigslist. James had just moved here to the Bay Area from Chicago and of course had to quit Moral Void to relocate, so was looking to also play hardcore in the darker vein as was Moral Void. He replied to my ad and sent me his recorded riffs. I thought he had some killer stuff going on.  We immediately realized we were on the same page, so we set out to find a rhythm section. Chad is a friend from great Bay Area bands like Necrot etc. and a sick drummer. I knew was also  into D-beat and crust punk, so it was a no brainer decision to try to ‘lure’ him into Atrament. I sent him James’ ideas and asked him if he’d be down to drum for the new project and he was down. Sam once jammed with my other band Abstracter, and although then he could not join full time I was very impressed with this skills, so when Atrament needed a bass player he was the number choice on my mind, so I invited him to play bass for us. Thankfully, this time around he had more free time on his plate. So here we are.
* I got my vinyl from the label Broken Limbs – how did that deal come about?
 Mattia: I liked Pete’s releases by Krieg, Cara Heir, Unsacred, Venowl, Lithotome, Human Bodies etc, so I sent him the record when it was done and asked if he’d be interested, and I guess he was! At the same time we asked Mike from Argento Records in the Netherlands if he’d like to handle a European version and he was down as well, so ‘Eternal Downfall’ turned out to be a co-release between Broken Limbs and Argento.
* You guys recorded the album at the infamous Earhammer studios – how was the whole recording process for you guys?
 Chad: The recording went well. Got the drums tracked in five hours. We were definitely ready to record. It was one of the quickest recording sessions I have done.
* What’s been the biggest gig you guys have played to date?
 Chad: I think it was our first show at the old Oakland Metro. Pale Chalice, False, and Gloam.
* Have you done much touring and if not was that intentional or are plans still in the works?
 Chad: We are all so busy in other bands and we work full time so it’s hard for our schedules to sync up. We definitely want to tour. Most likely when we finish writing the second record we will do a west coast tour.
* Have any of the band played NYC before? If so how does the scene compare to Oakland?
 Chad: I played NYC in May. I have a few friends out there (Trenchgrinder, Skullshitter). The night Necrot played it was Mother’s Day so only a handful of people showed up to The Acheron. Everyone in NYC i met during my stay was really cool! Cheers!
Mattia: I’ve toured Europe and the Southeastern United States with Abstracter, but never on the East Coast. One day hopefully!
* Any shout outs to friends? families? bands?
 Chad: Thank you to my friends and family for their continued support throughout the years. Slayer
Mattia: Our friends at Ghost Town Brewing for letting us rehearse at their warehouse for free!


Check out their latest album here: