Very few bands can bear the moniker “pioneer of a music genre”. For Floridian death metal group Obituary, they continue to be the standard-bearer of their class.
The Tampa based five-piece set just concluded a two month North American tour. The recent expedition, according to drummer Don Tardy, was special for them because of their stops at unfamiliar venues.
“We’ve had a lot of fun on this run doing Memphis, Tennessee, Louisville, Kentucky and some other small joints like Pensacola, Florida,” Tardy said. “Last night [May 19th] was probably the smallest club we’ve ever played in our career in Long Island at the Amityville Music Hall.”
This extensive touring came alongside the band’s promotion of their newly released self-titled album, which is the 10th installment in their 30 plus year history. Tardy felt it was the right time to dub this album as self-titled.
“I think it was the lack of discussion,” Tardy said. When the album was done and we saw the artwork we went ‘this is f****** epic.’ There was no hesitation in the band making that decision. Every band is entitled to have one self-titled album.”
This album is also the second album that features bassist Terry Butler and lead guitarist Kenny Andrews. This time around, Butler and Andrews had the freedom to toss in their creative thinking in the songwriting.
“Ken actually wrote two of the songs with me on this album” Tardy added. “Trevor [Peres], I, and my brother [vocalist John Tardy] are the main song writers and always have been… but with this one, as a band, we really took our time and allowed them to bring riffs when they had them.”
Peres and the Tardy brothers are the longest active members of Obituary and its founding members. Despite lapses in activity and multiple lineup changes within the band’s multi-decade history, the current relationships between all bandmembers are stronger than ever.
“Like with any long-term relationship, there’s always ups and downs. You’re living with personalities, but I am very proud to say that this band is as solid as we’ve ever been. We are really good friends and we actually enjoy each other’s company… we’re super lucky to be the band that we are right now.”
Obituary shows no signs of stopping either. According to Tardy, they are having more fun now than ever before. Although taking their art and business seriously, they always try to smile and laugh during their performances. A tough endeavor, given the stresses and hardships of touring, but Tardy explains that it is all a part of the territory.
“We signed up to be in a band. A lot of it is not being on stage. It’s being on airplanes, vans, and hotels and buses and living out of backpacks. It comes with the job.”
But what of new material? Is anything brewing in the pot soon?
“Hell no!” Tardy replied.
Do not worry Obituary fans, that doesn’t mean no more new albums. According to Tardy, they want to spend as much time promoting their latest masterpiece.
“We are enjoying this album. We put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into it. After 30 years together, we have 140 songs in our repertoire. You lay everything out because you want the biggest, baddest album you can do. We are just soaking this [new album] in.”
Obituary will continue their touring in Europe starting at Hellfest on June 16th in France. Their latest self-titled album is out now and available on all major online retailers.
Interview by Alex Lindsay | View photos of Obituary at Hartford Deathfest here.