Summon: How did the band get started?
Mark: Well, it all started when George and I were 15 and 16 (respectively). We were very interested in the more popular heavy metal bands like Metallica and Megadeth, and we started out doing guitar covers on youtube together and separately on a channel. Sadly, the channel is lost, but it acted as a catalyst for our future plans: a band. So initially it was just George and I, both of us on guitars and I was doing vocal duties. Eventually, I decided I didn’t want to play guitar *and* do vocals at the same time, so I just stuck to vocals, and that’s where Emile comes into the mix. You see, Emile was an acquaintance of mine that I knew through a friend at first (hey Andrew!), and so I invited him to come and jam with the band, which we had finally named Durvasag by then. The first few jams were with some scene kid drummer, and while he was very good at keeping time, all he ever wanted to play were shitty breakdowns, so we decided to just not continue with it. I posted an ad on Craigslist for a thrash metal bassist and drummer, and we found Sergio through that ad; ironically, Sergio attended George’s high school! Anyhow, we jammed once and had a pretty good time, so we decided to keep doing it over the course of a few more jams. We went without a drummer for some time, and then we decided to all fuck around with the drumset in the rehearsal room, and it turns out Emile was pretty okay for now playing drums, so he practiced on pillows at home, and played on Sergio’s drumset during rehearsal, and finally he is actually a beast on the drumset. And so, Durvasag was finally cemented in the first line-up. Actually, Durvasag was supposed to be a technical death metal band named Necropsy first, but neither I nor George knew anything about the genre, it just sounded cool at the time.
Summon: What kind of music do you play?
Sergio: Extreme metal, with influences in different genres of metal.
Mark: Well we started certainly as a weird Thrash/Black/Death thing? Now I think it’s more thrash than anything, but perhaps that’ll change soon! Sergio says Death Thrash, and perhaps so, but a lot of the vocals and lyrics are black and thrash influenced too, so it’s really at an odds.
Summon: How has the fan response been?
Mark: Fan response to the band in general? Well, a lot of people in the metal community here in Toronto seem to think we play good thrash, but we’re not terribly well known still by any means, unfortunately. I think that’s due to the pitiful scene here, but that’s a comment for another question. We are generally well-received. Actually, the only negative comment I’ve ever heard was from a friend who said they didn’t like the second demo (World Massacre) at all.
Summon: Where did the band name come from?
Mark: The band name came to me one day while trying to think of the goals I wanted the band to accomplish sonically. So I got to thinking of some descriptive terms for the sound, and I came up with: rough, dark, morbid. I searched Rough on google translate in Hungarian and liked it right away, so I used it initially, but still open for suggestion. However, now it’s obviously set in stone! It’s a good name and it’s short, and quite memorable too!
Summon: Introduce the band members and what they do in the band.
Mark: Well, Mark (I) is the propagator of alcoholic doctrines (vocals), war strikes, empty bottles, wolves, trees, and polaroids. George is the tamer of wild beasts (guitarist), woodcutter, descendant of Atilla the Hun, and conqueror of he Eastern realms. Sergio summons the deepest pits of brooding hell (bass), McGangBangs, dropped pockets, Salvation Army Honorary Order of the Knight. Emile wears a cowbell which he uses to entice nearby cows into following him into his deep, dark cave, where he can proceed to rape the bovine capture and smear it’s fluids on his chest while running into Walmart. Oh, he’s also responsible for warhammers (drums) and WoW playing.
Summon: Who writes the music? Lyrics?
Sergio: George and I (Sergio) write most of the songs, Mark wrote the majority of lyrics and wrote Apocalypse.
Summon: And where do the lyric ideas come from?
Mark: Lyrical ideas stem from Satan, Satan, hell, blood, the impending nuclear winter we will eventually have to face
Summon: What is your view in Satanism and Occultism?
Emile: I think theistic satanism is a joke, as it’s basically the same thing as Christianity, except it includes rectum violation rituals. However, if you view satanism as a philosophical guidance, I find that acceptable. I’m not sure, you know? Of course it’s cooler than Christianity as well. It makes for much better lyric and song writing. If we didn’t have Satan to talk about, well we wouldn’t have anything, as you can’t really sing about having priest piss (holy oil) smeared on your forehead.
Mark: Well, I agree with Emile. I think LaVeyan satanism is stupid and a lot of the followers are sheep/atheists who want the added shock value. LaVey was a showman and nothing else, and he speaks a lot about the sheep that follow Christianity, yet he knows his followers are just as bad and his response was always one of pleasure. Fuck him. As for occultism, I was interested at one point, but not anymore because there are too many misconceptions about different things and it costs money (that I don’t have). I actually have a copy of some essentials though, such as The Key of Solomon the King and Grimorium Verum.
Summon: How many albums/CD’s have you released?
Emile: We first released a demo in November 2011 entitled “Pure Fucking Thrash”. We then recorded a second demo in February 2012 using an i pod, which got nearly as much attention as a little African kid dying of diarrhea (no attention). And we are about to make physical copies of our latest EP “Element of Pain”, buy it!!
Summon: Tell me about some the songs on the latest CD?
Mark: Well, some of the more notable songs on the CD, to me at least, would be Sacrifice (I liked the original promo mix better though, it was more eerie), World Massacre, and Apocalypse NOT BECAUSE I WROTE IT, but rather because the mixing done on my vocals in the beginning was fantastic and it’s probably the closest thing to black metal we have. Demonic Entity was good, but the song was given a very different meaning from the original, and the second half was written by me too. Recording vocals for Redemption was fun though!
George: Well first… Sacrifice. My personal favorite, mainly because it’s THE most well written song we’ve got and because of the mixing (which turned out to be amazing). World Massacre Tour is also really good (Yes, because it is my song, and I love it) but the biggest flaw in that one is that Mark sang lyrics totally different then what was originally written down, which kind of screws me over because now that He’s out of the band I got to learn them. Next would be my other song Nuclear Winds, it has such amazing riffs and the vocals are really good as well. And last but not least, Apocalypse. My second favorite right after Sacrifice. For some reason the drums peaked during recording which is why it sounds a bit distorted at some times, and I’m not sure why we never rerecorded it, but it doesn’t matter now. It’s fine how it is. The riffs are amazing in Apocalypse, very well written, the long but progressive intro is also really good (especially the two toned vocals in the very beginning of the song), then 3 minutes into the song… BAM! “Lucifer is free, the dark lord reigns!!!!!!!!” Amazing stuff…
Summon: Do you have any side projects?
George: The entire band had one side project. It is called “Commander Dick Fungus and the Dirty Fags” and it is a grind-core band. We came up with all the material including the title in my rehearsal session of Durvasag. We just wanted to make fun of some people, and somethings that we hated or found extremely ridiculous. Since Mark left he wanted to take the band with him, so we all just agreed to it since it wasn’t anything major. It was more of just something that we all did for fun, and to get away from the serious and stressful environment of Durvasag. On top of that only Sergio, and Mark have their own side projects. Sergio has Crumbled Cities Stand, and Mark has his latest side project, Death Witch, which is a black/death war metal thing.
Summon: Who are some of your musical influences?
Sergio: As a bassist, I’m mainly influences by Cliff Burton (Metallica), Alex Webster (Cannibal Corpse), and Steve Harris (Iron Maiden). Musically, I would say in the beginning I was mostly inspired by Thrash Metal bands like Metallica and Slayer, but recently I wanted to write music that’s both death metal and progressive, with the element of speed and brutality. Death and Cannibal Corpse are bands that inspire me recently.
Summon: Which current bands?
Mark: Paul Ledney of Profanatica/Havohej and Peter Steele in early Type O Negative influences my vocals altogether
Summon: What is the band like when you play live?
Mark: Well, I try to keep as mobile and thrashing as possible when I performed with them, and sometimes I do cool things, like that one time we played at the Comfort Zone and I jumped into the pit during the solo of our cover of “Raining Blood”. Sergio likes to swing his hair back and forth while playing bass, and George is always really focused on guitar playing so he doesn’t move much and when he does, it still doesn’t do much for stage presence. Emile is a drummer, so…
Summon: Have you guys ever played in another country?
Mark: Unfortunately we have not! Though that is very likely to change very soon!
Summon: How big of crowd shows up at shows usually?
George: Of course, it varies from show to show, but an average of about 10 show up. We would of course like it if we got some bigger crowds but a lot of the time these gigs aren’t properly advertised due to lack of money and i suppose interest. People just expect 100 people to show up, and then THEY complain when they get paid nothing at the end. This crowd issue is also because of the horrible metal scene in Toronto, which is almost none, thus why were planning to tour other cities, and even the U.S.
Summon: How is the crowd response when you play?
Mark: Generally clapping, and about half the time we get mosh pits going near the end of our shows. Those are especially cool, and if we play “Black Metal” I pull an audience member aside and lend him the microphone. It’s the little things like that which make a cool show for some fans, like the time the vocalist from Into Oblivion (another local band) tackled me right into the pit during Chainsaw Gutsfuck. Since then, I’ve been eager to go to Into Oblivion shows in Toronto.
Summon: What do you think of the US Black Metal/Death Metal scene?
Mark: I think there is some great black metal in the US (Profanatica, Havohej, Grand Belial’s Key, Nyogthaeblisz, Leviathan). I used to hate USBM, but I was in a sort of Norwegian BM-only phase then. A lot of the USBM stuff could play some Norwegian bands right out of the water! As for death metal, well I don’t really pay attention to death metal scenes at all, really.
Sergio: I don’t know… haha.
Summon: What do you think of the Overseas scenes?
Mark: I’m not sure of the scenes overseas, but if I’m correct, right now retro doom is a big thing in Europe, and rightfully so! Hopefully it doesn’t blow out of proportion though. Occult rock is apparently rather big as well these days, but I don’t pay much attention to that either.
Sergio: I know the festivals in European countries are amazing for sure.
George: Probably way better than Canada
Sergio: Everywhere is better than Canada. Even India.
Summon: What are some of new favorite black metal/death metal bands?
Mark: Some new favorites: Nuclearhammer (shoutout to Axaazaroth and Doomhammer both, whom won’t be named against their will), Into Oblivion (with particularly positive regards to all the band members and good luck in the new year), Douchine get a shoutout as well cause they’re great dudes. Cromlech (though they aren’t black or death, they are superior to most bands in those two genres) are great as well, can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of their split.
Sergio: Necrodios, Exhumed, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Vomitory, Gojira… I don’t know, I’m not really into new death metal
George: Nordheim from Quebec, Voltax too I guess, but they’re heavy. Adversarial is amazing as well.
Summon: When do you guys plan on writing any new material?
George: Here is the fun part. We have close to 20 songs already written down. Yup, that right, almost 20. The problem is, only the ones that we have released have lyrics for them. So right now, for us, its more of writing lyrics than it is writing songs. But of course we will also write some new songs.
Summon: What does the future hold for the band??
Sergio: Playing in big festivals in Europe, United States, and Canada’s own Heavy MTL and Heavy TO.
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