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Band Interviews Interviews

An Interview with Justin Kelter of Euphoria

I don’t know if anyone else is noticing, but Detroit has been producing some kickass metal bands. Chief among them is cyber thrash upstarts Euphoria who recently self-released their second album Nanotech, amidst lineup changes no less. As Indy Metal Vault’s resident thrashtard and a big fan of first album Operation: Genesis, I was eagerly awaiting getting my hands on Nanotech and when I finally did, let’s just say it was a really fun weekend.

Euphoria - Nanotech - Indy Metal VaultThere’s a lot of reasons to enjoy Nanotech but the biggest take away from the album is that this is what thrash should sound like in 2019. Despite the fact that thrash is intrinsically nostalgic, that doesn’t mean that it can’t move forward and anyone that walks away from spinning Nanotech thinking that thrash is antiquated or is devoid of innovation needs a swift kick in the ass.

I recently got a chance to shoot the shit with Euphoria frontman Justin Kelter and in between chatting up our mutual interest in pro wrestling, Mortal Kombat, and of course thrash I was able to get an inside look at what Euphoria has been up to in their three-year existence.

Indy Metal Vault: Hey Justin, thanks for stopping by. Not gonna lie: Nanotech is definitely one of 2019’s standout releases and Euphoria has a really groundbreaking sound. What kind of influences did you guys utilize to come up with your sound?

Justin Kelter: Everyone in Euphoria has a wide variety of different influences but when Bubba and I came together we definitely wanted to add different little hints from bands like Power Trip, Obliveon (can), Demolition Hammer, Fear Factory (in some ways), and Testament.

IMV: The omega symbol features very prominently in Euphoria’s artwork and promotional material. Was this used as a way to get around copyright issues or used to give the band some mystique?

Justin Kelter: We added the omega symbol mainly because some DJ with 500 followers kicked us off Spotify for copyright, so yeah we had to add a little something to it without using another full word. I think it adds to the logo and the name though, so I’m happy with it.

IMV: The city of Detroit has produced some very kickass metal bands within the last few years. As a fan, what makes this really exciting is that each band that I have listened to from Detroit each has their own unique sound but also possesses a lot of legitimacy and menace. Would it be fair to say that Detroit played a role in shaping Euphoria’s identity?

Justin Kelter: Detroit has a lot of amazing talent and a lot of the ones that are coming up are all friends of ours. Most of us are all roughly around the same age and came into the scene around the same time so we have all kinda just sprouted up together and Euphoria’s has got nothing but love since day one.

IMV: Speaking of Detroit, what are some Detroit bands that metal fans would be foolish to pass up on? Outside of Euphoria of course.

Justin Kelter: Manic Outburst, Plague Years, Reducer, Snafu, Isenblast, Wanderer of the Waste, Nuke, Perversion, Demon Bitch, Centenary, Nethergate, Carnis Immortalis, Against the Grain, MRSA, the list goes on.

IMV: Nanotech has a lot of cool sound clips and samples on it. Were they created by the band or were outside artists contacted to create them?

Justin Kelter: All of the samples are taken from video games and chopped up. Our ex-bass player Georg Fjord created the first one. I did all the rest of them. The one of “Respawn” is from the anime Serial Experiments Lain, the opening to “Mechanical Carnivore” is from Omikron: The Nomad Soul and the first and last sample are both from System Shock 2.

IMV: Nanotech recently received a physical release, how has the response been since its release? Has it garnered any attention from far away places?

Justin Kelter: 90% of our sales are from overseas. Lots of orders from Germany, Finland, Japan, and Poland. We didn’t have a whole lot of time to promote our new record before we released it due to lineup changes and a bunch of unforeseen events that kept popping up, so I feel like people are just now finding out that Nanotech exists.

IMV: Once again, thanks for stopping by The Vault!!!! Now that Nanotech has been released is there any chance that metalheads will be able to catch Euphoria out on the road or will they need to come to Detroit to catch the cyber carnage?

Justin Kelter: Euphoria has plans to hit the road sometime this year. Nothing has been set in stone yet but we hope to do a Canadian and short U.S at some point later in the year.

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