Metal Mofos’ Isaac Sauers recently corresponded with Genocide Pact drummer Connor Donegan for details on the band’s new album Order of Torment out February 2nd on Relapse Records. Read the interview in full below.
Metal Mofos: What first got you into death metal? What artists are your biggest influences?
Connor: I got into Death Metal when I was around 12 or 13 years old. I had gotten obsessed with bands like Black Sabbath, Metallica, Slayer, etc and wanted to dig deeper into the wonderful world of Metal. I remember buying Leprosy by Death at a CD store in my town and being blown away immediately. From there I tried to learn everything I could about Death Metal and ended up discovering other essential bands like Carcass, Morbid Angel, Obituary, etc. Sam Dunn’s movie “Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey” was another big factor in my discovering of various Extreme Metal bands.
Regarding our biggest influences… I’d say Carcass, Morbid Angel, Obituary, Autopsy, and Incantation are some of the most important in terms of how we shaped our sound.
MM: When did Genocide Pact form? How did the three of you meet?
Connor: I moved to DC from Raleigh, North Carolina in June 2013 and Genocide Pact formed that same month. Tim and Nolan have been friends for a long time and have been playing together in a Grindcore band called DOC since 2009 or 2010. I met Tim through mutual friends and we eventually hit it off cause we were both wearing Morbid Angel shirts at some show. We talked about how great Covenant is and found out we had a really similar musical upbringing then later that day talked about jamming. Nolan came into the mix pretty soon after that and boom… Genocide Pact was formed!
MM: Tell me about the new album Order of Torment. When and where did you record it? Did you approach songwriting differently from your previous album?
Connor: We recorded Order Of Torment in March 2017 at Developing Nations studio in Baltimore. We recorded our first record Forged Through Domination there as well. Kevin is a close friend of ours and always does a great job so it was a no brainer going back to him.
Songwriting wise, I think we had a much better idea of what we wanted when going into the writing process this time around. Our first album was written as a part of the process of learning how to be a Death Metal band. Order Of Torment was written by individuals who knew exactly what we wanted, and I think that shows.
MM: What’s it like to have music out on a well known label like Relapse Records?
Connor: Honestly man, it’s kind of a dream come true in a lot of ways. I grew up following all the Relapse stuff and looking up to a lot of the bands on the label. Nile, Suffocation, Necrophagist, Dying Fetus, etc were bands that helped me get into the genre in the mid/late 2000’s and it’s an honor to be included in their ranks. Not to mention the fact that we’re lucky enough to be labelmates with a lot of the best bands around, from legends like Incantation and The Obsessed to current favorites of ours like Mammoth Grinder and Sumerlands. To summarize… Being on Relapse is pretty fuckin’ tight.
MM: Do you have a favorite song on Order of Torment and why?
Connor: I like “Structural Dissolution” the best because I do a cool thing on the ride cymbal in one of the parts.
MM: What type of gear do you use? Guitars, drums, etc.
Connor: I use an 80’s Tama Imperialstar kit with Remo heads and Paiste Rude/2002 cymbals. Iron Cobra double pedal is crucial too. Tim uses a bunch of different guitar equipment but his main rig is a Gibson SG running through a Marshall JCM800. I’m pretty sure Nolan uses an Ampeg V4 but I’m positive he uses a bass with a cool headstock. Not sure what it is though. Haha.
MM: Washington DC doesn’t seem to be a very “Metal” city. Typically all the metal bands play shows in Baltimore or Richmond. How has that effected your music career so far? Although those cities are nearby would more of a scene in DC have been beneficial?
Connor: DC is actually far more of a “Metal” city than most people give it credit for… Pentagram, The Obsessed, Iron Man, Deceased, Dying Fetus, Pig Destroyer, etc are all very notable bands that come from the DC area. I’ll stack those names up against any Metal bands in most cities any day! Lately Metal shows have been great here too. I went to a sold out Iron Reagan/Despise You show recently that kicked ass. Coming up soon DC’s got The Skull, the Primitive Man/Spectral Voice tour, and Mammoth Grinder all stopping through, so I’d say we’re doing just fine. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
MM: What would be the ultimate Death Metal Tour lineup you would want to be a part of?
Connor: My Dying Bride, Autopsy, Carcass, Obituary, and us. We’d headline, obviously.
MM: What is your favorite DC tourist attraction? What is one that is a must see or one that is off the beaten path for all DC visitors?
Connor: DC has a lot of cool stuff to see. One of my favorite places in the city is Hains Point. It’s a nice little spot that overlooks the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. Real chill vibe. Probably a nice place to eat a sandwich. Haven’t tried that yet but I probably will when it’s warmer out.