Canadian Heavy Metal maniacs Cauldron have recently released their new album New Gods. Whilst making the album, the band were involved in a bus accident that set the band back but thankfully caused no casualties and the band continue to unleash their metal on the world. That experience inspires the new album and we caught up with bassist and vocalist Jason Decay to talk about New Gods and it’s creation, the crash and how it affected and inspired the band, touring plans and memories and heavy metal around the world and their Canadian homeland.
Your new album New Gods is out now. How did the recording of the album go?
Very good, we did it the same as all our previous records; live off the floor in the same room and then overdubbing the vocals and lead guitar. We did it at Union Sound in Toronto with producer Chris Stringer and I think our great! We are very proud of the outcome
Does the album’s title refer to anything in particular?
I think it is sort of a conclusion to the lyrics on the record which are a reflection of all the stuff we’ve been through since the In Ruin record came out. There was a lot of struggle and personal misfortune going on during the writing of New Gods and I think that title, at least to me, represents a fresh outlook or a new beginning
What has the reaction to the album like so far?
Good, I think. I don’t pay too much attention and I don’t know how much exposure it got but what I’ve seen has mainly been quite positive
The band had a horrendous bus accident in 2016, can you tell us about what happened on that fateful day?
We were driving from a gig on Dallas back to our motel room when we suddenly hit some debris from another accident on the highway that blew out our tires and caused us to roll several times. Most of us escaped with minor injuries but Ian broke his back in several places and had to spend some time in the hospital and go through the healing and rehabilitation process which took some time. It set us back quite a bit but we all survived.
Did that experience inspire the songs in the album?
Musically no but a bit it the lyrics, the struggle that comes with being in a band and working so hard towards something only to take two steps back.
Did you find that writing and recording the album acted as a cathartic experience?
I think it did for me personally, it was a dark couple of years but out of that came some very strong songs that left me with a sense of accomplishment
Do you like to follow a particular lyrical format or does it depend on what you are are writing about for that record?
Lyrics depend on what is going on in my life, what’s going on around me and what I observe. They’re about what I experience for the most part. When I feel I have nothing to write about I usually end up writing about something I’ve read or a movie but that didn’t happen on New Gods
Who did the artwork for the new album and what made you choose the image?
A friend of our Robin Ouellette did the painting over 20 years ago on a piece of wood from under his waterbed frame. Ian was going through Rob’s archive and that particular painting struck him; we all thought it was very cool painting that would gather some attention and raise some questions, and we really needed an album cover, so we went with it
New Gods is Cauldrons fifth album, what has changed in the bands sound and outlook since your debut album Chained To The Nite?
For me I don’t think our approach or the music had changed that much but I do think we have become much better musicians and much better producers of our initial sound.
Do you have fond memories of that debut album and being signed to Earache Records during that time?
Is was exciting times for sure and we have lot of great memories from that period with Earache. We initially recorded that record on our own budget for an independent release but then we signed with Earache and ended up spending way more time mixing it than we did recording it. So that record got pulled in a lot of different directions it seemed and sort of lost its original potency. But hey, they thought it would make for a charming debut full length!
How did your recent tour of Europe go?
It certainly wasn’t the best one in terms of the logistics and the financials but we still had a lot of fun!
What were the highlights of the tour?
Munster was pretty good, that Steel festival in Germany and Prague!
What are your touring plans for the rest of the year and into the next year?
We’re playing a festival in Texas in April, other than that we have no plans
Will you be playing any summer festivals next year at all?
Not that we have planned
What has been the best tour that Cauldron have ever done and what made it so memorable?
Probably that tour we did with Municipal Waste in 2009, the “tour bus years” haha. What made it so memorable is how little I actually remember from that tour… but I know it was good!
Who would you love to tour with in the future and why?
Ah it doesn’t really matter as long as we get along with them. There’s nothing worse then being stuck on a tour you don’t want to be on. It would be nice to tour with some friends of ours like Vandallus, Vojd or Tribulation. In the mean time I wouldn’t mind taking a nice tour of my own house though; shitter, bed, basement, garage!
How did you get into heavy metal in the first place?
My next door neighbour and older brother introduced me to the likes of AC/DC, Metallica and Def Leppard and it just stuck.
Can you remember what was the first metal album you ever bought was?
Yes, Def Leppard – On Through The Night.
What are your absolute favourite metal albums of all time and what is it about them that makes them still memorable for you today?
This is always a tough one but if you must know, I’ll try…
Dokken – Under Lock and Key – I don’t know why but I still listen to it as much today as I did when I first bought it over twenty years ago. It must have something to do with me being a very nostalgic person and whatever was going on in my life at the time when I first discovered this record. That is going to be the same answer for the following records as to what still makes them memorable for me today…
Metallica – Master of Puppets, Lee Aaron – Call of the Wild, Sentenced – Crimson, Rush – Signals and Judas Priest – Defenders of the Faith, excuse me if some of these aren’t “metal”!
What about Canadian metal, which bands do you love and who has influenced you the most?
Sacrifice for sure, especially that Forward To Termination record at one point was a big part of my life. Rush, obviously (if that counts as metal). Reckless – Heart of Steel has some very good songs. I’ve always liked Thor, especially the Only the Strong record. Exciter – Long Live the Loud. The early Razor records with Sheepdog, especially Executioners Song. Killer Dwarfs – Stand Tall has some excellent songs. Voivod – War & Pain and Phobos.
What was the first metal gig you ever attended and how was that experience?
Metallica at the Corel Centre in Ottawa in 1996, it was nice!
And what has been the best metal gig you have ever been to?
Armoured Saint at the Kathedral in Toronto in 2000
What music are you listening to at the moment and what newer bands could you recommend to us?
I’m currently listening to Rush – Farewell To Kings. Other records include: AC/DC – Let There Be Rock , Peter Cetera – Solitude/Solitaire, Nocturnal Rites – Sacred Talisman, Sodom – M16, GNR – Use Your Illusion 1 – Basically all the same records I listen to every year at this time +/- a handful. The newest record I got into was Vandallus – On The High Side, but that was a few years ago now.
What have been some of your favourite albums of the year?
I don’t think I have heard any records that came out this year besides New Gods. I tried to buy that new Satan record but it was out of stock.
And what are your favourite albums of all time?
Dokken – Under Lock and Key, Metallica – Master of Puppets, Lee Aaron – Call of the Wild, Sentenced – Crimson, Rush – Signals and Judas Priest – Defenders of the Faith.
Who is the biggest influence on you as a musician?
What does heavy metal mean to you in the year 2018?
It is my number one hobby and the term I use for most of the music I listen to. It is something I am very passionate about and there would be a big hole in my life without it. It has been the soundtrack to most of my life and means a lot to me because I am a very nostalgic person.