The upgrade of Malevolent Creation

Connor asked drummer Gus Rios of Malevolent Creation some questions regarding their latest album "Invidious Dominion".

Gus, firstly on behalf of, thanks for taking the time to do this interview, I know your very busy right now since the new Malevolent Creation has been released. Firstly how do you feel about the new record?
Firstly, thank YOU! We all feel very pleased and proud of this album. We started the entire process with pre-conceived intentions and ideas for how we wanted this album to sound and the vibe we wanted to create...and it turned out exactly like we planned! That doesn't happen very often unfortunately, but it did this time and we are grateful for that.

I have to confess I lost quite abit of faith in Malevolent Creation in the last 3 releases however this record here I have to say is about as true to the phrase "return to form" as your going to get. Was this the overall goal with this record? Is there a direct correlation between the "The Ten Commandments" demon and the one on "Invidious Dominion"? To perhaps rekindle that old school feeling?
You got it! We made a conscious effort to put out and album that captured everything that band was about from 91-97.. that old school thrash/grind sound that these guys in my opinion invented. MC to me was never a traditional death metal band... their sound, especially Bret's vocals were closer to thrash and when they started getting much faster on Eternal, that's when it went to another level. We knew that this album needed to reinvigorate our fans, and we worked hard to achieve that. We upgraded everything on this release... the studio, the producer, the album cover, the cd packaging, etc.. it all went to another level. We needed that! And yes, the demon is basically the 10C demon, but from the front perspective... Par Olofsson did a great job on his interpretation!

I have to trully commend your drum work on this album, its simply jaw dropping!! I know that Dave Culross was your teacher for a little while however I kind of feel, certainly for Malevolent Creation that you have surprised him on a creativity level. What was your influences for your drum work on this album?
Thank you very much, I appreciate that! I also studied with Sean Reinert of Cynic and the most important part, which was the main thing that I learned from him, to learn different styles of music. I'm a full time musician and play frequently in alot of varied situations such as jazz, funk, blues, and rock. All of those ideas and influences make up my style. For MC, I just wanted to give the music and the fans (me being an old school fan!) what they wanted. The songs kind of write themselves and I just tried to keep the ideas as fresh as I could considering the genre.

This is your first record with Malevolent Creation since your brief stint on "Envemoned", my favourite record of MC since. The band that doesn't really need any introductions. How has that been for you returning to the battery and how does it feel back jamming with your old friends again? Was it an influence to be playing with Phil and Kyle Symons again?
Phil and I have written all the albums together since "the fine art.." I've done a few tours with them over the years as well, so being full time isn't much different other than I am now getting the credit for the drum parts. It definitely sucked over the years when we would write the albums, and Dave would track the drums and get all of the glory. Of course no disrespect to Dave, he was and STILL is a good friend and a hell of a drummer, but it is good to finally be heard!

I followed your blogs and studio updates in the build up to completion of "Invidious Dominion", I kind of knew then that the record was going to be something special. Was there alot of demo work done for this album?
Yes. Our process has remained unchanged since 1997! Phil and I get together and write and demo out the songs. The only difference this time is that the process now also included Gio and I also wrote a couple of songs.

Who did the writing for the album?
Phil, Gio, and myself. After years of playing with MC, I have a pretty good understanding of the MC sound and Gio's been a fan for years as well. The songs all fit together pretty well.

Where can the readers check you guys out in support for this record?
We are in the process of booking A LOT of tours next year! US, Europe, South/Central America, Asia and Australia to name a few! We're touring until someone dies! ha!

How has touring been for the record? Any Highlights so far? Any shows your looking forward to?
So far the only tour was with Exodus and it was amazing! It's not every day that you get to tour with one of the bands that influenced you at an early age! We also just did a show in Puerto Rico that was sick too! Latin American fans are some of the most excited and supportive in the world for sure!!

A drums question for the drummers out there! Whats your live rig? Are you a fan of triggers? If so what module do you use? What are your endorsements? Have they been good to you on the road?
Live I play a Tama Superstar Custom kit (8,10,12,16,20x2, and 14sd), Sabian Cymbals, Vic Firth sticks, and Evans heads, and I endorse all of those companies. I use triggers live, but ONLY on the kicks. I am NOT a fan of using them on the rest of the drums! I take great pride in playing consistently enough not to NEED them. That's something that I was fortunate enough to learn from my good friend Derek Roddy. He lives near me and has been another big influence. Derek always got on my case about being consistent, and it's helped me out. That's why our album has no drum samples, other than kicks. I want people to hear what I'm really playing without relying on technology. Live I use an Alesis DM5 module with Roland kick triggers. I've been using the same pair of triggers since 2005! They're great!

Any pre-gig rituals before you play? Does anyone else in the band have any?
I always warm up on a practice pad, do some stretching, and drink plenty of water. I also NEVER drink alcohol before I play. The other guys will usually have a few drinks to loosen up and then warm up for a bit as well. We don't have any slow or warm up songs so I have to be firing on all cylinders from the first note! ha! I take playing live very serious and always want to give the best performance that I can. The band has been around for over 20yrs and the fans really know the songs and paid good money to hear them live played well.

Who are the party animals in Malevolent Creation? Who likes to have a beer or 10? Any Crazy stories from the Road?
Ah man, those are better left on the road! ha! MC has always been known as a bit of party band though! I'll leave it at that!

Gus, you have a considerable amount of side projects, would you like to shout out to them so the readers can check em out?!
Thanks! The main one is a band called Upon Infliction. Kyle Symons who sang on The Will to Kill and Warkult, as well as Hateplow is on vocals. I actually really love what we are doing. It's the exact style of metal that I like. Part "Death" style tech and also the brutality of say Vader. We just released a new album called "Inhuman...In Human" on Arctic Music Group. Please check it out! Other than that, I did our guitars players other band, The Evil Amidst, Resurrection from Tampa, and a ton of local working bands, cover gigs, etc. I try to stay as busy as I can! I also just opened a teaching studio and am in the process of setting up a clinic tour with Sean Reinert, George Kollias, and myself called "Titans of The Throne". I'm very excited about that!!

Gus thanks very much once again for taking the time to do this for, really appreciated man. Once again, "Invidious Dominion" slays amigo! I do hope you liked the review and it trully is a return to form!!
Thanks very much! Glad to have won you back!!

Any last rites before you go?!
I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has stuck by the band and supported! Thank you all and see you on tour!!
Interviewer: Connor
Oct 23, 2010

Share this: