One of the best things about being the Head Nutcase here at A&GS is that I am constantly finding new bands from all different genres of metal. Some of them come from promos and pressers, but sometimes it’s a friend (in this case a friend from Italy…thanks, Tito!) who pulls you aside and says, “Check these guys out, I think you’re gonna love them!” Such is the case with Florida’s MASTICATOR. These guys are truly a great find, and all it took was hearing one song before I tracked down vocalist/guitarist and founding member Mike Dickson to get an interview. Come check it out:
Amps: How long has MASTICATOR been together, and have there been any lineup changes?
Mike: MASTICATOR started in 2006 as a garage band, literally a band that practiced in my parents garage. We had a few songs together and recorded the lowest of low quality demo a few months after we started jamming. Looking back it was the worst shit my ears have ever heard. As we started to break into ourselves as a band, the songs and musicianship got better and better. As for the lineup, we are no stranger to new faces, and I myself am the only remaining original member. Recently I got one of my old drummers Dan Simpson back behind the kit (who I always thought was the best drummer we have ever had ). So I am glad to welcome him back to the MASTICATOR camp. Also with Dan’s return came our newest member Andrew (Guia, guitar/live bass), who has been the strongest addition to this band to date. I can honestly say that our current lineup is the strongest I have ever seen, and we are extremely lucky to have such an amazing group of players.
Amps: Describe the band’s music and sound to the uninitiated.
Mike: MASTICATOR is Florida Death Metal, plain and simple. Our lyrical subjects are that of classic death metal…Guts and Gore. Our music has evolved over the years to what it is today, but none the less it is straight up Swampy Florida Death Metal.
Amps: As far as writing the songs go, what’s the dynamic? Is it collaborative or do certain people come in with demos?
Mike: Up until this newest lineup I have been the sole provider of songs. Since I have reconstructed the lineup, these guys have been on fire with new material. The way we work things is pretty simple. Say I have a song, I will write the guitars, and at the same time program drum patterns. I track the song as it is being written, so that by the end of the day I know exactly what the song will sound like. Of course when it comes to the final tracking, things will change but for the most part everything is written at the same time, it just seems more efficient. We have never been a band who comes up with material during a jam.
Mike: As far as metal I’ve been jamming ARKAIK, AEON, and BLOOD RED THRONE. There are so many killer bands out there these days, it’s hard to keep up. Aside from metal I’ve got my steady kicks on the likes of THIN LIZZY, STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN and all of that sort. Gotta love the classics!
Amps: What do you hope people take away from The Basement Murders when the last track is finished playing?
Mike: Well I hope that they love it enough to listen to it again and again until the next CD is ready. We really put our all into this record, and it’s the best stuff we have ever done. It’s stuff we all would listen to if it wasn’t our music. We are all extremely proud of how these songs turned out and I know that people will dig what we are doing!
Amps: What are some of your favorite albums, Death Metal or otherwise?
Some of my top picks right now are ARKAIK’S Metamorphignition, AEON’S Bleeding the False, and HIDEOUS DIVINITY’S Cobra Verde. Some top notch Death Metal, the bar is set so high these days.
Amps: Do you have any hobbies away from the band, or is the music all-consuming?
Mike: When I am not playing, I am a father and husband. There really isn’t time for anything else, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Amps: Now that you’re getting closer to releasing the album, how are you feeling?
Mike: The entire band are stoked to be sitting on this batch of songs, and are anxious to release them to you all! I have been forcing myself not to post anymore previews because I want it to blow people away when it is released. I’m extremely proud of this one.
Amps: What’s a MASTICATOR live show like?
Mike: I’d like to think people enjoy our live set (laughs).. We don’t do any crazy stage shows or anything like that. We get up on stage, play some Death Metal and that’s that. I don’t really even say too much between songs, if anything at all…nobody is coming out to hear me talk, they want the metal. Those of you reading can catch us at Full Terror Assault Open Air this September.
Amps: If you weren’t playing metal what do you think you’d be doing?
Mike: I’d love to sell my soul to the devil and play the blues…goddamn I love the blues.
Amps: Tell me something about you that people might be shocked to find out.
Mike: I’m a sucker for old school rap! In fact I have a pretty open mind when it comes to music…well for the most part.
Amps: What would you like to say to all the MASTICATOR fans out there?
Mike: Thanks for all of the support over the years. I’ve stirred my share of shit in the local scene but at the end of the day I am glad to have people digging what we do. I especially would like to thank the guys at Blakhart guitars for taking care of us, if you aren’t familiar with them do yourself a favor and look em up! We will continue to give you guys our brand of Death Metal for as long as we can, and thank you for taking your time to pick my brain, man!
With a new album The Basement Murders coming this summer and a slot on Full Terror Assault in September, things are certainly happening for MASTICATOR. You can check out new song “The Collector” HERE. When the record is out, I highly suggest you sink your teeth into it before it bites you first!