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Inversion

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What's cooler than asking the band questions yourself rather than reading some reporter's ramblings? That's kind of the idea behind message-board interviews. They are opportunities to ask your favorite bands whatever you want to. Sort of an online meet & greets. One of the bands Art For The Ears welcomed on its Interview Message-Board was extreme metal band Inversion. All four members of the band joined discussions and below you can read some of the best moments.

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Discography: Tarsus Burning (1998), The Nature Of Depravity (2001). Available through: Inversion. Official website: Inversion. Interview by: mpomusic, Chris, Insane Murderer, Lord Rogoth, Daffie_K & Ramos. Article work-out: mpo. Date: June 29th - July 10th 2001.

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mpomusic: Can you first introduce the band Inversion? Tell us about its origins, the people in it and whatever you like to tell us as a first step to get to know you!

Jeff Wisdom: Inversion began in 1998 as a studio project. Nathan Hitchcock (acoustic guitar, vocals) and I were college roommates. At the time, Christian death/grind compilations were coming out pretty frequently, and unfortunately most of the bands featured weren't too good, and sometimes the production wasn't all that great either. Nate and I had a few songs that we thought worthy of a spot on a comp, and were looking for other members. We met up with Jairus on campus, and after about half a second of his vocals we definitely wanted to record. As it turned out, Jairus used to be in a death metal band back in Texas. We got in touch with his old drummer, Milton, and he agreed to do an EP with us. So, in August of 1998, Nathan and I flew back to Texas to meet up with Jairus and Milton. The result was Tarsus Burning. About a year later, I had written a couple of new songs and we began talking about a full-length album. Milton had since gotten married, but Jairus had met up with Dave at Cornerstone that year. Death List had broken up, and when Jairus asked Dave if he'd want to drum for us, he agreed. After the rest of us stopped hyperventilating from excitement, we made arrangements to record in January, 2000. The result was The Nature Of Depravity. Since then, we've done a little writing, but we're still more or less an ongoing studio project.

mpomusic: On the album there are three demo recordings besides the other album tracks. What are the reason for putting them on it too?

Jairus: We decided to put those demo songs on the new CD simply because we wanted people to hear our older stuff and so that we could give folks more music.

Chris: On the latest album you have a song on it twice. It's the first song that you repeat at the end but then with different lyrics. What's the idea behind that?

Jeff Wisdom: Before going into the studio, I sent Nate the music to what became Independence, If Not Emasculated, and Apocalyptic/Without Excuse as well as a few other songs that didn't make it on the album because we ran out of time. In the mean time, I ended up putting lyrics to Apocalyptic, and so did Nate. Once we realized this, we thought it would be cool to put them both on the album, especially because the lyrics are about totally different topics. And hey, why let good lyrics go to waste? : )

Insane Murderer: How come you didn't use the artwork that's on the website? You know, the 'souls' artwork? That would have made a way killer cover I think, And I would have bought two copies of the album.

Jeff Wisdom: We were originally planning to use the 'souls' artwork and have it as a theme for the full-production album. However, our art guy ended up not being able to complete the project and we had to go with a whole new company and a whole new set-up. So, the souls artwork was used for our pre-release, and we'll probably use it for a shirt some time as well.

Lord Rogoth: What bands are influential to your music?

Nathan Hitchcock: There are a number of bands that have influenced us: I know Jeff grew up on Mortification, Crimson Thorn, Cannibal Corpse, and the like. Jairus listens to everything, including a pathological quantity of country. I was influenced a lot by Paramaecium, Helmet, local emo/hardcore and the fact that too much death metal sounded the same, or really wasn't catchy at all. For me, the beauty is living in the postmodern age. We need to give up on the idea of creating something entirely new; one's chances of doing that are slim to none. Instead, finding the hybrids between musical styles is going to be the trick. Take one part Zao, one part Slipknot, and one part "I'm-pissed-because-my-girlfriend-dumped-me-I'm-going-to-write-a-song- to-bash-my-head-into-the-wall-with" and you come out with a beautiful new creation.

Lord Rogoth: I noticed that the drummer for your band comes from a different planet, or state within the US that is.... and plays in Inner Decay (formerly Sickened). So, how do you do that live? Do you have a different live drummer or don't you play concerts?

Nathan Hitchcock: Drummers, in my experience, are their own breed. They all have their odd quirks, interests, and lead abnormal lives. In this case, Dave has made the unfortunate decision of staying in Oklahoma. Of course, I can't talk either, as I'm currently in South Dakota. What this means for the band is no immediate live concerts. Were it feasible (and were we pulling in the kind of pay N'Sync does), we'd jump on the opportunity. As it is, we're only a recording band. In fact -- and this is a little known fact -- we wrote most of the songs on Nature Of Depravity via sending cassette tapes of guitar, drum, and vocal tracks to each other. Yes, we're backwards. And unrepentant.

Dave Campbell: Dave here and I wanted to say thanks to the guys from Inversion for allowing me to do the album with them..! We had a fun/stressful/learning time....this is how it went: They came out and stayed with my parents which was really cool of them especially since they live not but 5 miles from the recording studio.Well, basically I had no clue what the songs sounded like or anything. I had just started my new job working 330 pm to 12:30 at night and so between that and a slow start learning the songs, 4 days and I had the drums done for the album.  The funny thing is the fact that I hate black metal and they had to talk me into doing them. It was funny. I had a wonderful time doing the recording. About Inner Decay, the band is no more, I'm flying solo again and haven't jammed with anyone since March. It sucks right now, but oh well, been there done that kinda thing. I'm so happy now that I'm married and that helps out a lot.

Lord Rogoth: If you could do a live gig, who will be playing bass then? I noticed that the band has a drummer, a vocalist and two guitarists. No bassist....

Jeff Wisdom: If we were to play live, we'd probably either have Nate play when he's not on acoustic, or recruit one of our friends as a temporary thing until we could find someone permanent...

Insane Murderer: What are you tuned to? B on a six string? 'Cause those don't sound like seven strings.

Jeff Wisdom: Actually, on most songs we're tuned to A#. For the recording I used the heaviest strings I could find (Dean Markley Jazz....054"-.014"). On "Darkened by Hatred", we're tuned down to A, and on Independence everything's "standard A#" except for the E-string, which is tuned down to G#.

Daffie_K: I wonder, I read some of the lyrics of the songs from the two albums you produced. The lyrics are very confronting. Can you describe where you get the inspiration from and which subjects of life you mostly write about?

Nathan Hitchcock: I won't speak for Jairus, who writes extensively about social issues, Satanism, and abstract renderings. We both speak loudly and passionately, but I tend to focus more on the philosophical and theological argumentation. Songs like If Not Emasculated and Stillborn Piety look at how we (mis) perceive ourselves and God. Without Excuse is a presentation of one teleological argument for the existence of God. The things that get me wound up are ways the world has sacrificed their mind. The saddest thing is when those claiming to be intellectuals are using mere rhetoric to make their point. People can scream "God is Dead" or "Intolerance is wrong" all day, but if there's nothing behind it (and there usually isn't), then it seems the Devil has people exactly where he wants them: Smug in their ignorance. Grindcore has the ability to yell from the rooftops that there's deception among us.

Jeff Wisdom: As far as lyrics go, although I probably write the least of them (except for Dave, of course), inspiration will come from either issues that I'm thinking about going through, or sometimes in response to what other bands are saying in their lyrics. Case in point: Apocalyptic. I don't know how it is in every country, but in the US a band can say pretty much anything they want in their lyrics and get away with it. However, some forget (or choose to overlook the fact) that ideas have consequences, both in this life and in eternity.

Jairus: Well for the most part of writing lyrics I get my drive from the world around me. For example some of the newer stuff I've been writing is about my growing process from within my heart due to life and the curves it throws for me. Other lyrics come from simple philosophical thought. Issues such as sex, love, death, porn, Jesus, grace, are all thought about by the everyday listener, now they might not think on the same lines or have the same categories that we ( as a band ) have, but they still wonder about these things. Look at Morbid Angel, besides being one of my favorite bands they also have a great interest in the metaphysical and beings in the spiritual realm. Bands like this also inspire me to write.

mpomusic: I read in the credits on the album The Nature Of Depravity that two of you have a background of being on the Talbot School of Theology. Is that where your interest in certain issues come from?

Jeff Wisdom: Yeah, sometimes things we've learned or read about come into play in our lyric writing as well. Talbot School of Theology is one of Biola's graduate schools. Jairus is a senior undergraduate philosophy major at Biola and I just completed a master's degree in philosophy at Talbot. Part of our goal as a band is to write lyrics that make people think and not simply to churn out some good death metal.

Ramos: You guys play some brutal music. Besides that, are there things in life that you enjoy? Hobbies and other things?

Jeff Wisdom: Aside from music stuff, I also enjoy reading (usually something dealing with philosophy, theology, or science), weight lifting, swing dancing, and hanging out with my girlfriend and other friends. Right now I'm working on becoming a full-time philosopy professor, so either way that'll take up most of my time.

Dave Campbell: Well, I'm married now and I guess I'm becoming domesticated... I enjoy being with my wife and I also enjoy playing pc games such as dirt track racing and dirt track racing sprint cars. I also love to hang out with my Great Dane Toby....

Jairus: Well I love to write poetry ( which normally become Inversion lyrics ), read philosophy, listening to and reviewing tons of metal, spending time at the beach, looking for work, getting closer to God. . . .praying. Oh, and going to death metal shows.

Ramos: Where do you write reviews for?

Jairus: I write them for myself to become a better writer and reviewer of music. I have a few lined up for the summer, the new Slipknot, the new Six Feet Under, and some others.

Ramos: And what would you do when Inversion would cease to exist?

Jairus: When Inversion ceases to exists, well I'd love to continue in the extreme metal scene if not with a band, but more of an outreach for non-believers to see that Jesus meets them on all levels. I'd love to do that by working in the ministry.

Jeff Wisdom: When when we decide we're no longer going to do music together, I'd still love to write music and probably always will. And, if God allows, I would probably see about getting into or starting another band.

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