Decadence sixth album ‘Six Tape’ will be released November 1, 2019.
‘Six Tape’ song names and tracklist:
1. Six Tape
2. Latex Rituals
3. Red Façade Hotel
5. Lo Badland
6. Something More
8. In Natura
Like Decadence on Facebook to follow an upcoming series of meanings behind each song. So questions like: “Who is Lo?”, “What happens at the hotel?” and “What is exposed?”, will be answered!
On Episode #887 of the podcast ‘The Rogan Experience’, frontman James Hetfield of Metallica is invited to discuss the music industry. I would like to share some reflections on this podcast. The purpose is to give you some insight on how this topic affects an Independent Underground band, in comparison to a commercialized huge machinery that Metallica has become.
For the band that I am fronting and managing since 2003, Decadence, the shift in the music industry made me make tough but important decisions that are necessary to make early on in the music career. These decisions are necessary to be able to independently lead the band forward through the massive fuzz of the music industry, while keeping the band and creativity alive and thriving. The result from these decisions is what Decadence still is representing today while moving on into the future since the comeback in 2016.
“Something was clear for me from the start of my musical career;– Metallic Kitty
ownership of own creations belong to the artist.”
Something was clear for me from the start of my musical career; ownership of own creations belong to the artist. In our case, the songs are written by lead guitarist Kenneth Lantz and/or me. The ownership of the songs would not be negotiable ever. During the years and countless negotiations with record companies, they and other collaborative and potential partners, where frustrated by our way of work. Those landing partnership deals with Decadence had to go through long negotiations, but then again, so did we as a counterpart. This was endured to land best possible deals that would allow the band to keep ownership rights while being able to spread the music around the world in ways we could not do alone.
Besides creating music, Decadence does what large record companies and distributors do, on a smaller scale but independently; recordings, pressing, marketing, selling, distributing and managing. This is a reality when you work independently, a sacrifice you must make to keep ownership of your creations, plain and simple.
As Metallica and Hetfield has had big and important impact on Kenneth and I as musicians, it was interesting to hear Hetfield’s own words and comparing it to the alternative path that we took. Early on in the podcast, Hetfield says: “Back then you would somewhat sell a little bit of your soul to get a bigger something.” Decadence hit the public eye two decades after Metallica, both starting out as Underground Thrash Metal bands. The music industry had begun shifting, but had not yet come to the point where record companies where not needed anymore. For us, it was never the case to sell any part of our soul. Instead, the part of my soul that I gave up, was given away as a conscious decision to carve a way for Decadence to move forward as rebels against the way things where ‘supposed to be done’. That bit of my soul was invested in those countless negotiation and preparation hours for each album and show, to keep ownership in our hands while keep doing what we love to do, music.
Hetfield explains that Metallica’s ownership of their own master recordings/right to their catalog was not returned until several years later. In fact, that happened once Metallica got big enough to get them back. “Basically the record company was a bank and a marketing tool to get you where you wanted to be.” Hetfield says. Decadence chose the alternative path by choice. Our philosophy was to give everything we have got and go where it would lead us, even if it meant remaining as a non-commercialized Underground band. You simply have to set your goals from the start to know where you are heading. Our passion is in creating our own music and everything around it. If you have that same passion, it does not matter if you become world-famous or not. I often hear that Decadence is ‘the most underrated band in Metal’. When I hear that my thought on it is; we decided not to go big, as a consequence we remained Underground. But, we stayed true to our ideology and that for us is what success is.
Hetfield further tells us about Metallica owning their own press and that they can do whatever they want using it. That feeling of total creative freedom is precisely why Decadence’ first two full-length albums where done like that too, all in our own press. These two albums are still sold in this DIY manner. It is also why they lack barcodes and any mentioning of a company behind it. They are actually pressed by us and will remain like that.
Rogan tells Hetfield: “You can do anything.” and Hetfield denies it because it depends. “There is no way we can deal with the distribution in each different country. /…/ “We’ve cut really good deals with other record companies.” For Decadence, this is the case too. There is only so much you can do by yourself to get your music ‘out there’. That is why I decided to start my own music company, Heavy Dose, to do what I could do to push Decadence through. Simply because we had to, to be able to continue creating music.
When our third album reached the public – as our first barcoded, company backed album – our career was peaking. Even more bits of soul had to be invested to make it work, but it was worth every single thing it took. Through partnering up this way, Decadence got worldwide distribution through license deals. The third album was for instance released through three different labels on three different territories during the following three years.
Then came the shift in the music industry around 2007. The anticipated downfall of record companies had arrived, but there was a new player in town – streaming services, like the tycoons Spotify. Also, big music networks such as Myspace were getting replaced by Facebook. As an Independent band, Decadence took a hard hit. In 2009, I thought Decadence had created the last album and by 2012, the last show. It took until 2016 to lick our wounds and heal ourselves enough to get back in the game.
Rogan starts off the podcast by saying: “People are just taking things and putting them online.” and Hetfield rounds off their talk by explaining: “There was a system that worked. And I’m up for bucking the system and making it better. But it didn’t.” Rogan is blaming streaming and Hetfield misses the way the system worked with record companies in the past in comparison to streaming services. My opinion on this is that they are both wrong here, looking at it from an Independent perspective at least. Streaming is not the problem and traditional record companies are not the saviors. Streaming can be done in good enough quality, there are headphones and speakers that can give you a great musical experience without having to be too expensive.
The problem in my opinion, lies in the music models. Hetfield actually ends the talk by saying that too, “It hasn’t been figured out yet how to make a music model work.” That’s exactly right, but what that actually means seems different in the eyes of an Independent band.
I think Hetfield actually answers that in something he says a bit before that: “I’m all for convenience in the technology moving forward. Getting music out to people is the important part. Just make sure that the artist gets what they deserve for it. Because without that it’s going to become a hobby.” For an Independent band like Decadence, that’s exactly what it is, a professional hobby. For us, there is nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t necessarily have to mean that you work with it halfheartedly. On the contrary, it is all that work you put into it while earning money somewhere else and saving the passion for what you love to do with your hobby. There is a charm in that mindset that I love.
Hetfield explains that the way artists get money is by touring and merchandising and that’s how record companies these days are structuring their deals and the only way they can survive now. Rogan’s reply to that is “They shouldn’t be around then.” For Decadence as an Independent band, that is precisely it. What Hetfield is saying about touring and merchandising definitely applies to Independent bands too. The money in the music industry today lies there. However, the purpose of ‘a hobby’ isn’t necessarily to drive sales. The purpose of it is to do what you love to do and share it with people who love it too.
This is my take on this topic and I hope you could find some insights or even inspiration to keep doing what you’re doing, pushing for your cause, regardless of which of these two paths you have decided to take.
Decadence is soon to release our 6th full-length album, created, released, pressed, distributed, marketed, sold as well as streamed for free – independently.
‘METALLIC’ KITTY SARIC
The background to the Art of Decadence is that our main message is DIY and Underground. We stand for that anything is possible with the right mindset and that there is pride in creating something from scratch, be rebels and dare to do things your own way. It is this attitude that is the core of the Decadence Sweden® brand. That is how Decadence creates music and related art to inspire people to do the same.
Here are words from the artists themselves with comments by Metallic Kitty.
CHARGEPOINT – Inside booklet art by Yumi Nishikata
Yumi Nishikata, Japanese pencil drawing artist. She was born in May 1983. Worked on the inside booklet images of “Chargepoint” as illustrator. The album was released in 2009.
“That was a very valuable experience for me. I tried to paint some clear images that Kitty had in mind. Sometimes, it was a little difficult for me, but we completed it together. “Chargepoint” is my first artwork with a Death Metal band. And the only work with a Growl Voice Queen!” – Yumi Nishikata
“As I started off sketching the front cover for “Chargepoint”, right after Decadence had the breakthrough in Japan with “3rd Stage of Decay”, I stumbled upon Yumi’s art online. As we started talking and got to know each other better, I realized that this girl had to be the one to draw the inside booklet art. The result is stunning, every track has its own dedicated art. Yumi illustrated my thoughts and I put my touch on it in relation to the lyrics and it became a great combination of Eastern and Western styles. I consider this booklet to be the best one we’ve had to this date.” – Metallic Kitty
UNDERGROUNDER – Front cover by Therese Hagström
Therese Hagström, born in March 1984. Raised in Salem outside of Stockholm, Sweden. Working as a graphical designer. Started working with the front cover “Undergrounder” together with a photographer and an illustrator. The front cover was done in 2012 and the album was released in 2017.
“When I started working with the front cover for “Undergrounder” my first thought was blue. Together with Kitty we created an image of how we wanted it to look with the Decadence skull “Raggan” in focus. It was a fun experience. “Undergrounder” is my first and only front cover for an album that I have designed.” – Therese Hagström
“When we started this project I knew that I wanted this art to be more real, not drawn, and it would be the first front cover I handed over to someone else to do. That’s when I found the talented Therese. Decadence faced a new era and the art was to be a symbol of the return of Decadence. The skull is buried in sand, a symbolism of the Underground, but is kind of peeking out of it and actually has eyes looking back at you, more alive this time. I wanted “Undergrounder” to represent of who we consider Decadence to be. And who we consider our fans to be. It’s a statement that we are Undergrounders. Therese and her team made all this possible like I would have never been able to on my own.” – Metallic Kitty
SIX TAPE – Front cover by Ruso Tsig
Rusudan Tsignadze, known as Ruso Tsig, is a Georgian artist. She was born in May, 1997.
“Working with Metal band musicians is my job. I always try to improve my skills in art. It was a great experience working on the “Six Tape” album cover art for Decadence, because it has a lot of details. It’s the biggest project in my portfolio. I worked with the band’s vocalist. Why is she my fav? First of all we rarely meet female vocalists in Metal… and… She is one of them. Second, it was really nice to talk with her… I just want to say it was really great experience with excellent people…” – Ruso Tsig
“It was so easy working with Ruso, I had a crystal clear image in my head of what I wanted the front cover of “Six Tape” to be, and not only did Ruso listen, but it was like she looked into my mind and drew every detail as I wanted it to be. When I first plotted this image back in 2013 the idea behind it was to kill off my character Metallic Kitty (yes indeed…) so I put all my stuff on the ground and took a shot of it. Today, many years later, Ruso helped me do the exact opposite, in the form of an amazing artwork. All my stuff are there in the image, as a statement that Decadence is ready to hit the stage again while honoring the genre influences in music that we’ve had through the years through the color and design.” – Metallic Kitty
OTHER – Cartoon fan art by Koregore
Karen Nava, known as Koregore, is a Mexican artist. She was born in June, 1987.
“I still remember it as if it was yesterday (actually it was like 10 years ago), the first time I heard Decadence with its Corrosion! (And with that my ears and my heart corroded). When I started listening to the instrumentation it injected a huge and incredible strength in me, and I felt uncertain about what I was going to hear and suddenly: “Chained to a rusty illusion…” Woooow! Powerful voice! Wait… it’s a woman! I felt inspired and my hands began to draw. Since then Metallic Kitty has inspired me with her strong voice, her hard work and perseverance. Thanks to all the musicians who have been part of Decadence, they have done an incredible and powerful job!” – Koregore
“It was the MySpace era and I stumbled upon Koregore. She had shared various cartoon versions of Decadence’ members, all over, that were so awesome that I got in touch. Koregore really has a touch for details and she always captures the small things that make our characters so much on spot and has been an important part of the art around Decadence for a long time!” – Metallic Kitty
After delivering the long-awaited reunion on 2017’s “Undergrounder”, Death Thrashers Decadence are now getting ready to drop their follow-up for 2019. Decadence’s upcoming album “Six Tape” will mark their sixth full-length in their 15 years. Characterized by extreme female vocals, full DIY management and a distinct sound, Decadence is something both old schoolers and new wavers will enjoy.
Decadence presents: SIX TAPE (release fall 2019)
Standing strong with Underground music ideals, Decadence confirms all tracks will be available for free share, as well as a physical album for the die-hard fans. On their Facebook page, Decadence shares a teaser image, which features an old school cassette tape. The band explains that “Six Tape” is a word mash up of mixtape, number six in their discography and erotica in playful double-meanings that is twisted into the lyrics that are praising independence.
“We’ve listened, and we’ve heard. The persistent wishes from our fans to get us back up on stage has not gone unnoticed. Therefore, we now announce that we are available for booking and will hit the stage with this new album!”
Behind the drums once again is the talented Lawrence Dinamarca (Nightrage /Loch Vostok /Carnal Forge) whom Decadence is honored to have on board for the second time since the previous album “Undergrounder”. The album announcement comes together with news that Lawrence is entering the drum studio this upcoming week to record nine tracks.
Decadence is ‘Metallic’ Kitty Saric and Kenneth Lantz. The promotion is done by fans for fans through street teams, fan clubs and Metalheads from all over the world. The band’s message is to be independent and do what you believe in without relying on anyone or anything. There is pride in creating something from scratch, to be rebellious and dare to do things your own way because you believe in them. “Six Tape” is celebration of that standpoint.
For more info:
Press contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Label: Heavy Dose
Facebook: Kitty Saric /Artist Page: Metallic Kitty
Decadence confirm collaboration with Brazilian label/agency IMPERATIVE MUSIC and will be featured on the worldwide album Imperative Music Compilation Vol.XV alongside major acts Death, Destruction, Cradle of Filth and Hammerfall. The album also features powerful Underground bands which is why Decadence is proud to support this initiative by contributing with a track off ‘Undergrounder’! The release is set to April 2018. Stay tuned!
BAM! Japan delivers THE FULL DECADENCE CATALOG now for sale at DISK UNION. Including the long since sold out ‘Chargepoint’ as well as ‘3rd Stage of Decay’ in the Japanese special editions. Never before has anyone had this opportunity. THIS is how work is done. Great support from Japan-Tokyo, we love ya!
Secure your copies here: