Playing death metal sets takes it toll on seasoned veteran

Death metal, wine and triathlons. It might sound like an odd mix, but to listen to Hate Eternal’s Erik Rutan the band will fit right in when it touches down this month in Kelowna during its Canadian tour.

Hate Eternal band members wind down from hectic shows with stretches and perhaps a glass of wine.

Hate Eternal band members wind down from hectic shows with stretches and perhaps a glass of wine.

Death metal, wine and triathlons.

It might sound like an odd mix, but to listen to Hate Eternal’s Erik Rutan the band will fit right in when it touches down this month in Kelowna during its Canadian tour.

With sets that reached one hour and 25 minutes on the European tour the trio has just finished, Rutan says the party mood continues with a glass of wine after the show to relax. The show itself he likens to the Okanagan’s famed sport of triathlon, at least for drummer Jade Simonetto.

“Playing these kind of drums, it’s like a triathlon or something he’s playing so fast for so long,” said Rutan.

Simonetto has an icepack on his ankle in a clip on their web site, as  their latest recording session took so much out of him—a scene that’s not all that unique on the road either.

In all honesty, surviving the gruelling pace a death metal band has to meet on tours does get harder as one gets older, according to Rutan.

Now 20 years into his career, the musician says he intersperses touring with producing music to give them all a break, and does the obvious to keep up with the emotional output—he stretches at the end of a set, eats a lot and tries not to drink, unless of course it’s Europe and the wine is flowing or, presumably, Kelowna.

“I started playing music because it was kind of like a way to express things I dealt with in my life, the personal things I didn’t have a positive outlet for,” said Rutan.

And its done him well. Named one of Decibel’s Top 20 Death Metal Guitarists of All Time in 1997, the teen angst may have ended, but the music hasn’t, and drawing out all of that negative emotion is still what keeps his music honest.

“I guess that’s why we love it so much,” said the Hate Eternal founder. “There’s just nothing fake about it. There’s nothing forced. It’s just a natural progression of music.”

Initially, Rutan says his goal was to be a producer. He took audio engineering in New York and intended to throw his energies into building his own studio—but the music took off.

Rutan made his mark with Ripping Corpse and Morbid Angel, but has done well with Hate Eternal, making plenty of time to produce albums for bands like Goatwhore, Through the Eyes of the Dead, and Six Feet Under, to name just a few.

Now with five albums under their belt, Rutan says Hate Eternal does have difficulty balancing the new with the old to meet the fans’ expectations when they play a set—hence the exhausting schedule. Their latest release, Phoenix Amongst The Ashes, was recorded in Rutan’s studio, Mana Recording Studio, in Florida.

Hate Eternal plays Sapphire Nightclub in Kelowna on June 26, with Vital Remains, Origin and Abysmal Dawn, at 6 p.m. Tickets are available at Primal Instinct, 1546 Pandosy St.

 

Kelowna Capital News