Metal Contraband’s Chelsea spoke with Glen Benton, to discuss the new Deicide album, Banished By Sin, the songwriting approach, working with Jeramie Kling and Josh Wilbur, his preferred bass gear, and more. Check it out below:

Chelsea here on the phone with Glen Benton of Deicide, your new Deicide album, Banished by Sin, just came out last week on Reigning Phoenix Music, so congrats on that release. You’ve got a new label, slightly new lineup, so I’d just like to start with your approach of taking on this new album.

Well, I mean, Covid hit, had nothing else to do. Started working on stuff. We didn’t have a record label at the time, and just kind of did it like we did back in the old days where, let’s just write a really good record and see what we can do with it.

Awesome. Well, you’ve said that you had a sort of refreshed attitude and outlook on this project. I saw a quote that said you’re “back to being the guy who started Deicide”, essentially. So what do you think made you find your way to that again?

Well, my kids all moved out, and when you’re not “Dad” anymore, you’re kind of standing there with your pockets hanging out wondering what the hell happened, and a few years go by, all of a sudden, it’s kind of like finding yourself staring into space, and it’s like some switch went off, and I kind of just realized it’s just me again. So I was able to just, I don’t know, reconnect with myself again as far as my identity.

You’ve also said that you’re back to your Deicide’s kind of 1990s style, so musically, what do you think it is that brought you back to that particular sound?

I don’t know about that, it’s just our sound. It’s just how we all write, you know? We’ve got four different guys writing songs and it’s just that Deicide sound frame of mind. Me and Steve playing, I mean, that’s really just a reflection of all our years of groove writing, and riff writing, and hooks, and all that kind of stuff, so everybody has the same kind of a sound when they write songs now.

Definitely. Also, Taylor Nordberg, joined the lineup a couple years ago, but he did contribute quite a few songs on this album. So what do you think his songwriting brought to this album?

Well, everybody wrote three songs for the record. Taylor’s an amazing songwriter, Kevin’s an amazing songwriter, Steve’s an amazing songwriter. And so, when you have four different guys writing songs for the record, it creates a really, you know, you get a deeper experience than just one or two guys just writing everything.

You also worked with Jeramie Kling, and Josh Wilbur for the production for this album. Had you worked with either of them before?

Well, Jeramie’s a good friend of mine, he lives right up the street from me. Me and him rode bikes, and hang out. He’s a sound man and we did all the tracking at his place with Taylor assisting. It was a really chill environment, really no pressure. When you don’t have a record company breathing down your back, it makes for a special event. So it was more for fun. We did a record just having fun doing it, not with any preconceived notion or what we’re going to do with it, or where it’s going to go. We just had fun putting the record together, and that’s the result. Working with Jeramie, I was able to do a lot of what I’ve always wanted to do, and that’s have time at the mic stand to experiment and do things, and it was a great opportunity for me to display what I do. And Josh was able to capture through the mixing and mastering what we did in the rough tracking stage, because we really didn’t use much compression, and I didn’t want that to…Like, a lot of our previous records, there’s too much compression burying everything. So it’s a very low compressed record, and you can hear everything, and everybody sticks out, and everybody did an amazing job on this album.

So cool, that’s great to hear. That’s really interesting about the compression too, because there is something that a lot of modern metal has to it, that you can’t quite put your finger on it sometimes. That it doesn’t sound the same as classic Death Metal, classic Thrash Metal. There was a much more open kind of sound to the classic records, and you’re right, the compression is a big part of it that I think a lot of people don’t realize.

That, I think, and the overuse of Pro Tools and plugins these days has a lot to do with what you’re referring to. We approached everything differently, we used actual amplifiers and cabinets, and we didn’t use any plugins for the instruments, everything was microphones. Yeah, we did things the old school way, instead of relying on Pro Tools to capture every moment, we put in the time and effort to make everything, instead of taking and cutting and pasting vocals, I just actually did all the vocals, I didn’t cut and paste any of that stuff. I mean, I just really didn’t want to rely on getting that elevator music quality sound, I wanted something that sounded a lot more of a live album than I did a studio album. And I think that’s what we’re really good at.

Well, you got that sound for sure, it does sound very authentic, very live.

And the drums aren’t all sampled out either, we’re using mics on the drums too, so the drums aren’t all oversampled like previous records, and with other people who use the sampling for drums, we didn’t. Some of that stuff is triggers and that, but most of it’s live microphones.

So a lot of modern metal has been moving towards using five string basses, six string basses, downtuning even further. There’s this mentality that that’s what makes things heavier and heavier, but you have always made tremendously heavy music with four strings, sometimes even in standard tuning. So I just kind of want to get your take on all that, about heavy music and where the bass fits in there.

I’ve always thought, no more than 4. It’s always been my thing, man, I’m really not interested in having to make my job twice as hard.

True, fair enough. You do have a history with a few different bass brands too. You’ve been known for playing B.C. Rich and ESP, which are both such metal brands. Can you talk a bit about the gear side of things and what draws you to maybe certain styles of basses or amps over others?

Well, I’ve been with Mesa/Boogie forever, and then I dropped them for a bit to try something else, that really wasn’t working for me, so I went right back to Mesa/Boogie. I was with B.C. Rich, I was with Ibanez, ESP briefly, and now I’m with Fender. I started out playing Fender basses when I was a kid. And I just, you know what? They invented the bass guitar. So nothing sounds better, especially their Master Built custom made stuff. And it shows on this record, because I got an incredible bass sound on this record. And that is all, you know, Fender and Mesa/Boogie. I use a Subway Head, Mesa/Boogie, 2×12”s, cabs, and a SansAmp pedal, and a Masterbuilt Fender 51.

Very cool. I mean, that’s the thing, you have that amazing classic sound that has always come through, even as the music fits in the modern landscape, at the same time as being unmistakably Deicide, and I think a big part of that is also, you and Steve have been the two consistent members of Deicide since the very beginning. So what would you say about your partnership at this point?

God, we’ve known each other since we’re kids. We’ve always said the same thing, me and him have always been pointing in the same direction, so it’s easy for me and him to jive well. We’re both there to correct each other if one gets out of action, and we’re close friends, and we’ve been since he was in high school, that’s how long we go back.

Well, you guys are definitely doing something right and making some amazing music. Now, you’ve also done some guest vocals in the past, not recently, but you did have some bands like Belphegor, Napalm Death, Cannibal Corpse, would you consider collaborating with any other bands again?

I’ve kind of grown out of that. I get asked all the time to do this, but I just really don’t have time for it, and the logistical end of doing stuff like that is really disinteresting to me now.

And then that way you get to put all your time and energy into your own music, which is what people want to hear anyway, so that makes sense.

Yeah, I don’t really want to spread myself too thin anymore.

So keeping eyes on Deicide and what’s coming up for you guys, can you give us a look on the horizon of, now that the album’s out, your next steps and plans?

Milwaukee Metal Fest, a Kentucky show, and then we’re going to Europe in August for festivals, and come back and do a September run of the United States and Canada, then South America in November, a full Europe tour in April of ’25, and just keep on chuggin’.

Absolutely, got a packed schedule there, got everything planned to next year. Well, we are looking forward to hearing and seeing more from Deicide, so congrats on the new album release and thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

Awesome, thank you, have a good one.