FLESHWOLF's Marty Robinson: "The difficulty is that I am literally the only person creating, working on and promoting the music. There are only so many hours in the day, and I have normal life commitments just like everyone else. "

Today, Metal TempleWriter Aurora Kuczekhas the pleasure of talking with FLESHWOLF, a Swedish-styled death metal […]
April 4, 2020

Today, Metal TempleWriter Aurora Kuczekhas the pleasure of talking with FLESHWOLF, a Swedish-styled death metal project from Belfast, Ireland. FLESHWOLF is a one-man project by Marty Robinson, who records, promotes and creates all of the music for the project. FLESHWOLF has released three singles in 2019 called "Deathstare," "The Rot," and "Trench," but has been working on their music since 2018. Their self-entitled album will be coming out on May 1st of this year, and it consists of a total of eight tracks. FLESHWOLF has strong critiques on human societies and political makeup, which are visible throughout the pieces. FLESHWOLF, Marty, thank you for being here today.

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Tell us a bit about how FLESHWOLF originated? What were your earliest influences when creating a project of your own?

I've always written and played metal, in various live bands and small solo projects, but I had taken a bit of a break when my kids were born. A few years ago, I got a bit of motivation after attending a Bumblefoot guitar camp with a bunch of really great and inspiring guys. I then worked through my riff library, wrote the song that became Transcend, and just kept writing. Eight songs later I had an album with a strong old-school death metal vibe.

Your project is reminiscent of Swedish Death Metal. What about the sound or language of this genre drew you towards constructing a project that reverted to an old-school style? As a genre particular to the area where it sprung about, can you tell us if your project incorporates elements of your home country of Ireland?

The sound of the Boss HM heavy metal which is such a major part of that early Swedish scene is just so brutal and iconic. I've always loved the nasty "chainsaw" buzz and with the riffs I was writing it just worked so well with that particular vibe. As for the old-school style, it's just what I grew up listening to. It's not a nostalgia thing for me, it's just how I hear death metal. Musically I'm not sure if there's anything Irish about FLESHWOLF; there's certainly no Celtic influences, as that's never been part of my musical life. I think the biggest Irish influence is the island culture of "just make it happen:" roll up the sleeves and just go do it, no excuses, just make it happen.

FLESHWOLF's releases of "Deathstare," "The Rot," and "Trench," resemble "Left Hand Path," written in traditional Swedish script, but also of Severed Survival. These singles were put out in 2019, gearing up for their release later this spring. Can you tell us about the writing processes for these three releases, as well as your new album, and how, or if, these previous tracks helped in the fashioning of the upcoming, self-entitled, album?

All the tracks were written together, and they were completely recorded prior to releasing the first track "Trench". Due to life commitments and trouble getting artwork finished, the album release just got pushed back. I write riffs all the time, so I have a lot of ideas recorded, all at various degrees of completeness. Pulling them together into good tunes was a matter of finding a common feeling and working on that until a great tune was written. I would get the song structure basically finished then record rough vocals to get the feel of where the song was going. This allowed me to change the structure if needed, again just trying to make the song flow the best and be as good as it could be. The lyrics usually followed that, then a rough solo, both of which were worked on until the final product.

Marty, you are a one-man project, and this deserves much respect. Can you explain the difficulties, as well as joys, of being the sole creator and producer of your own work? How did you come to learn all the instrumentation, and the process of recording?

Thank-you for that compliment. The difficulty is that I am literally the only person creating, working on and promoting the music. There are only so many hours in the day, and I have normal life commitments just like everyone else. I guess it can also be a risk of not being objective about the project, but I tend to be hyper critical, so I do try to do the best possible and keep the quality high and the correspondence professional. I also do enjoy working with other musicians and getting their feedback and ideas, and sometimes wonder if the project would have been better with this input.
The joy is that it was ALL me. The fact that I single handed created this "thing" and that I, at the very least, like it, can be deeply satisfying.

I've played guitar for about 30 years so the guitar comes naturally. The bass on the recording was fairly basic, and I came to appreciate good bass players much more now; it's really not just as simple as a 4 string version of a guitar! Vocals, I've done in previous death bands, so again that came back fairly quickly. Drums are midi drum clips which I arranged and edited to suit. They were originally played by Joe Babiak who is a great drummer, recently known for ALTITUDES & ATTITUDE (featuring bassists David Ellefson (Megadeth) and Frank Bello (ANTHRAX). Those drums were then fed into EZDrummer2 software with sounds recorded by CARCASS producer Colin Richardson.

I ran a home studio for a few years and have always recorded music, so the actual tracking was fairly easy. I take advantage of modern technology with amp sims and production software, and although I am no expert, I can make it sound OK.

You come to a dead end in your writing where music ceases to flow. How do you leap over the barrier and continue writing?

To be honest, I never really get that way. I enjoy good music in general, so if I'm working on a Death Metal project and get stuck, I go and listen to or play some BOB MARLEY or PINK FLOYD or early MEGADETH or whatever, get recalibrated and come back refreshed. Also the fact that I don't only listen to Death Metal means that I don't burn out on it. So my method is either take a break, or just keep writing; it's OK to write rubbish, because sooner or later, a good riff or song will come. It certainly won't happen if you don't write at all.

From your previous works, it seems that you focus a lot on politics and war, analyzing the issues with the human society. Can you tell us a little bit about this, and if you incorporated this in your new release?

There are no real death metal clichés on the album; some of the songs are more personal, some dwell on the esoteric and some on global and humanitarian issues. For instance, the "Rot" is about the hell of modern workplaces and the managerial tactics and business tropes which are so bad for people's well being. This is something I've lived for the last 30 years, and I feel you have to write about what you know or how you are feeling.
"Trench" is a horrors-of-war theme, a critique of the ruling class and governments, using the working class for their gain and games. Luckily, I've not had to live through a war, but history shows that the common man (and woman of course) are more often than not, just used as pawns for the "elite". I get angry about such things. "Born Of Anger" and "Dark Corners" are dealing with personal demons, which may resonate with many of the listeners.

What are you most excited for individuals to hear in your debut album?

I'm just happy to have completed the album and finally get it released. I think there's plenty of energy in it and the right amount of aggression and melody and as a personal achievement and artistic endeavor I am very proud of it, and if anyone else gets pleasure from it, even better.

FLESHWOLF, thank you for performing this interview today for Metal Temple!

Thank-you so much for your time.


Metal Temple
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