The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
DJ Temple Without Mercy - Interview
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Without Mercy

Without Mercy are a Canadian metal act that first formed over 10 years ago and have now released an EP titled 'Mouichido' which is a re-recording of their 2014 EP 'Reborn'. With a change in the lineup and a guest spot from Chimaira vocalist Mark Hunter, 2016 is looking pretty good for the band. We get a few words from guitarist DJ Temple on the new release as well as some info on the band.



In 2014, Without Mercy unleashed their third studio release, 'Reborn'. Another massive evolution for the band, Without Mercy sought to bring back the organic metal sound and combine it with a high production standard. Fast forward to 2016, their latest EP 'Mouichido' is a rebirth for the band as it's a re-release of re-recorded material from their 2014 EP 'Reborn'. 'Mouichido', the Japanese word for 'Repeat' or 'to do one more time' is perfectly titled for the EP to signify its re-release of previously recorded versions that now feature new vocalist Alex Friis and bass tracks recorded by Tristan Martin plus live performance being done by Ryan Loewen along with a guest appearance by vocalist Mark Hunter of Chimaira on track 'In Waves'.

Guitarist DJ Temple explains why the band decided to re-record and re-release 2014's "Reborn" EP: "DJ: We had parted ways with our previous vocalist due to legal reasons, and our lawyers advised us to re-release the record. When we hired our new vocalist, we recorded his vocals on the album and tweaked the mixes a bit. It literally made a new record for us in more ways than one so we saw fit to release it that way."

Having been on the road since the songs originally came out, the band were able to update and tweak the songs to fit the way the band are today. "Any time you get to perform the songs as much as we have, you get to notice a few things or make mental notes on some of the aspects of each tune", says DJ. "It made them amazingly tight and provided us with a deeper well of understanding and skill level during the re-recording."

Mark Hunter of Chimaira fame makes a guest appearance on the track 'In Waves' where he lends his trademark vocal style to a song that seems to fit very well for the band. It's been a couple of years since Chimaira disbanded so it was great to hear his voice again on record. "Mark and I had been speaking about various things for a while and when the opportunity came up to ask him, he was pretty on board from the beginning", says DJ on getting Mark to do a guest spot on the track. "It was just a matter of organizing schedules at that point because Mark is such a busy guy!"

Without Mercy released their first EP 'All Else Fails' in 2007 completely independently but were around for a few years before that. "The original idea for the band first formed in 2004 but we weren't active until 2006", says DJ when asked how the band first formed. Since then the band have been consistent with a lot of touring and recording. In 2009, Without Mercy went on to record their self-titled full length album using the same team that worked on records by Devin Townsend, Mudvayne, and Marilyn Manson. Without Mercy rode the attention wave of their self-titled debut, using the escalation to begin a relentless performance schedule that would lead them far from their hometown and include over 200 live performances.

During that time with more and more experiences and releases under their belt, the band began to develop their own sound and eventually evolved into how they are today. "I think our sound has evolved as our musicianship evolved", explains DJ. "All of us are players at heart and spend time at home just learning more about our craft. Because we each have such diverse tastes in what excites us, we get to introduce each other to new things on a weekly basis. That has stemmed to really evolve our sound and make us more aware of our composition and performance skills."

No stranger to tenacity, in only a few short years Without Mercy have achieved being the only indie metal band in Western Canada to have two tracks available on Rock Band 3, being featured in Tattoo Savage Magazine, and pioneering the phrases, 'You Smell Like A Bitch' and 'Fuck Pussy Metal' - which have now become synonymous with the band. DJ explains where those phrases came from: "Fuck Pussy Metal was a phrase that we came up with since the early days and it just became synonymous with us so quickly that we stuck with it. Now, we throw it onto t shirts and merchandise and its become a staple of who were are. You Smell Like A Bitch is a phrase that I came up with while I was writing a song about a few people that had attempted to choke the life out of the band. Exterior forces that were manipulators and liars that just wanted to see other people fail. The phrase ended up becoming a very popular notion and you can read about those people in the lyrics of our song, 'Worthless'.

The guitarist continues when asked what bands keeps him excited in terms of pushing the envelope on Without Mercy's sound. "Band wise I feed off the excitement of others that are super into what they're doing. I try my best not to judge the talent level or live performance and just enjoy the energy level they're using. That being said, there are a few bands that I love watching and I'm fortunate enough to get to hang with that just ignite my fire and make me feel like I'm 15 years old. Act of Defiance is fantastic and so is Exit Strategy from Calgary Alberta. Last night I met the guys in a band called These Colours Don't Run and they were super cool dudes as well.

Being a regular on the touring circuit these days which is pretty much the bread and butter of any band, we ask what the best and worst aspects are in touring. "The best part of touring is meeting all of the new people and getting the chance to perform your material in a different city every night." He continues: "This time, we're trying out quite a few new songs as well to gauge how they translate to the live show." And the worst part? "Easily the worst part is being away from our families for such an extended period of time."

DJ also explains some of his own pre-show rituals before he hits the stage which reveals a little of his background in martial arts. "Aside from the standard stretches and warm ups, I like to get zoned in mentally using some of the meditation and state changing techniques I've learned from the martial arts training."

Without Mercy have been compared to such legendary acts like Pantera who helped pioneer the groove based metal which the band have built into their own sound. It wasn't that surprising then to hear that Pantera were a big influence on his guitar playing. "Pantera made me love heavy music and that's a fact", says DJ. "I met Dimebag in one of the years he played Vancouver and told him he was the reason I played guitar and I wanted to start a band. He looked me right in the face and said, "Do it." So I started to form Without Mercy."

We take the interview into a different direction and throw in a couple of questions regarding his latest music purchases and all time favorites.

What was the last album you bought or downloaded?

DJ: I've bought quite a few in the last little bit so it's tough to remember when...but here it goes:
Deftones - Gore
Cattle Decapitation
Act of Defiance
Exit Strategy

The list goes on...

If you could take ONLY 3 albums to a desert island for the rest of time, what would they be and why?

DJ: Pantera - Far Beyond Driven. It's Pantera and this was my favorite record by them! 'Nuff said.
Exit Strategy - The Atrocity Machine. This was the first album by a local band that really blew me away. The fact that they did it all by themselves as well just added a sweet candy to the concept. These guys have been the coolest dudes to us and I’ve remained very close friends with them. One of the best metal bands Canada has to offer and my personal favorite band out right now.
Strapping Young Lad - Alien. This album changed my life. I was already a massive SYL fan, but this record sent me over the top. The songs are constructed in a way that makes them indescribable except that they're Strapping Young Lad. I almost feel as though this band and this album defined a genre and definitely changed who I was as a musician and a music lover.

Without Mercy will be hitting the road for a cross Canada tour in support of 'Mouichido' (see dates below) but the band are looking into doing a tour in Australia at some point. "We are actually in talks with a management company right now that wants to bring us down there", says DJ. "They seemed very excited and really loved our new record. Fingers crossed and knocking on wood...

May 27 - Rickshaw Theatre - Vancouver, BC - info (CD Release Show)
June 3 - Red Deer, AB - The Vat
June 4 - Calgary, AB - Distortion
June 6 - Grand Prairie, AB - Better Than Fred’s
June 7 - Edmonton, AB - The Mercury Room
June 8 - Lethbridge, AB - Attainable Records
June 10 - Winnipeg, MB - The Windsor
June 11 - Brandon, MB - North Hill Inn
June 16 - Thunder Bay, ON - Black Pirate's Pub
June 17 - Sudbury, ON - The Asylum
June 18 - Oshawa, ON - The Diezel Room
June 19 - Woodstock, ON - Illusions Night Club
June 20 - Toronto, ON - Coalition T.O.
June 21 - Montreal, QC - Piranha Bar
June 22 - Sherbrooke, QC - Le Murdoch
June 25 - Timmins, ON - TBA
June 28 - Portage la Prairie, MB - Masonic Hall
June 29 - Regina, SK - TBA
June 30 - Medicine Hat, AB - TBA
July 1 - Penticton, BC - TBA
Jul 23 - SBC Restaurant - Vancouver, BC

Interview by Steve Monaghan on June 5th 2016