1. We have to start with the name. Hemoptysis (throwing up blood), where did it come from?
Masaki: We had a hard time naming ourselves. We’ve always wanted to have a cool name that was one word, but almost every word that sounds “Metal” was taken. Travis’ wife is a pharmacist that specializes in infectious diseases. We asked her if there’s any sick medical terms that would be a good band name and Hemoptysis (He-mop-ti-sis) sounded the best and it had a great meaning, “coughing up blood.”
2. Tell us about the process of writing and recording the masterpiece Misanthropic Slaughter?
Masaki: It was our first dream since we formed and it wasn’t easy to get it done mainly because of the cost. It took almost two years for us to get the money to record after we recorded the “Who Needs A Shepherd?” EP. The recording process was fun and Producer Ryan Greene did amazing job on production and all the advice he gave us. We are all happy what we got. We hope many people will listen to the album and like it.
3. Can you tell us about the stunning and frightening images on the art work of the cover?
Travis: The artwork is supposed to depict the title track of the album, “Misanthropic Slaughter.” We knew we wanted to continue using the beast we call “Vetis” on the artwork and we wanted Evil Dave of Incision Tattoo in Glendale, Arizona, to do the artwork. We dreamed up the idea of the beast for our EP, “Who Needs A Shepherd?” and Evil Dave did an amazing job with the artwork for that album so we couldn’t imagine using the beast idea for this album unless Evil Dave was the one creating it. We wanted Vetis to be in the sky as some anonymous person killed the last person on earth, while the bodies of the rest of humanity were piled up…
in the background. Evil Dave had a better idea where he would have the beast be the one doing the killing instead of some anonymous person. He drew people in various stages of dying and he made it his most detailed piece of art he has ever done!
4. I have been very impressed with the amount of professionalism the band shows in all settings. Is this something that is important to Hemoptysis as a whole?
Masaki: Absolutely. It is ridiculous how many people in the music industry are unprofessional. We feel it is very important to stay professional all the time. In any businesses, repetition is the most important thing and you have to be always objective and stay professional.
5. In your opinion: Why doesn’t Hemoptysis have a major label record deal?
Masaki: Nowadays, most labels want to take every penny from bands and give zero tour support and it is just not worth it. We didn’t work this hard and come this far just to have a label rip us off and take everything we own and give us nothing in return. Many labels are ripping bands off more than ever and we will not sign a label contract just for the sake of “being a signed band”. If it happens it happens and if it doesn’t we are just going to keep moving ahead.
6. Where did the “girl of the month” idea come from and are you surprised at how it’s caught on with the ladies willing to send their pictures in?
Masaki: We had a photo shoot where we hired hot chicks who are our fans and took photos with our sponsors’ products back in October 2009. We had good feedback from it. Who doesn’t want to see hot chicks, you know? Then it lead the idea of doing a contest and giving away prizes for the winners every month.
7. When you create your music is there a goal in mind of creating immediate emotional response from the listener? I personally found every song sparked some visual.
Masaki: We are meticulous about what we put out. We love what we do and we are passionate too. A lot of lyrics are coming from what we face in everyday life and I’m sure a lot of people can relate to that.
8. Is “desertcore” a real genre?
Masaki: Yes and no. Almost every band doesn’t want to be categorized into just one type of genre. Our sound is rooted in thrash metal but there are more elements to our music than that. Calling our music Desert Core was just us having fun with the idea of making our own genre. And hell why not, we live in Phoenix, Arizona.
9. You have very favorable reviews from most major media outlets including Metal Underground and Metal Sucks. It must be rewarding and frustrating at the same time as this has not translated in that “one big deal.”
Masaki: The amount of positive feedback we have received for Misanthropic Slaughter has been amazing. We knew we had something great to offer the world while we were writing and recording this album but at the end of the day it really boils down to whether or not the fans will embrace it and continue to support us. The funniest thing for us is that so many of the reviews are really putting the labels on the spot and calling them out but therein lies the frustration, it hasn’t translated into an offer worth taking.
10. What heavy metal influences do you rely on? Any non-metal influences?
Masaki: I think I have a big influence from Megadeth since they are the reason why I started playing Metal, but I listen to a lot of non-metal stuff, like acoustic instrument stuff with open tuning.
Travis: I am mainly influenced by death metal. Ryan Miller is a death metal guy but he listens to and plays just about everything, even country! Sunao listens to just about everything and he doesn’t listen to allot of metal.
11. Living or dead, past or present. Who would you like to share the stage with in your lifetime?
Masaki: Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Carcass, Exodus, Testament to name a few. I also wish Randy Rhoads were still around and I could get to see him play too.
Travis: …and Slayer!
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