Domination Campaign – Launching the Storm of Steel

Tuesday, 16th January 2024

A side project established by Psycroptic members Jason Peppiatt and Joe Haley, Domination Campaign explores older pure death metal influences through their style of tones, songwriting, plus war-inspired subject matter. Fresh off the debut album from 2021 Onward to Glory, the band released their sophomore outing A Storm of Steel, another pounding effort that has similarities to the feel and atmosphere of artists like Bolt Thrower, Sinister, and Deicide. We recently got the chance to catch up with Jason to discuss the major differences between the two albums to date, his war-themed lyrical content, his development as a musician through the work of Psycroptic and this outfit, his views on the current state of death metal, a pivotal moment in his musical development, plus future plans including some other black metal-oriented work to look forward to.

Dead Rhetoric: The second Domination Campaign album is A Storm of Steel. Tell us about the recording and songwriting process for this set of material – and where you see the greatest differences in terms of growth or evolution of the band from your debut album of 2021 Onward to Glory?

Jason Peppiatt: We started writing and recording this album directly after we completed our debut, so the process was very much the same. I just had huge piles of riffs written and Joe (Haley – drums) helped me arrange them into songs in the studio as we recorded it. I think the biggest difference with this album from the debut is that we added some more melody and lead guitar work to this album.

Dead Rhetoric: The lyrical content is war-inspired but doesn’t necessarily glorify the subject of war. Where do you want to come across with your stories that maybe differs from other artists in the genre? Are there specific influences that come about through books, movies, or personal experiences?

Peppiatt: I more took the approach with the lyrics to try and portray the pure horror that young men that went to war would feel rather than glorifying it. I watch a lot of documentaries on the subject, and I grew up with my father having a lot of interest in wars as well.

Dead Rhetoric: Considering both members play multiple roles in terms of the execution of this material on the instrumentation, songwriting, artwork, recording, mixing, and mastering sides, does this ensure the maximum amount of satisfaction in delivering the records that way that you best desire? How hard is it to wear multiple hats and also ensure an objective final perspective to satisfy yourselves as well as the listeners/followers of the group?

Peppiatt: I feel that keeping it to just the two of us really streamlines the process and means we can work quickly and there’s no arguments at all. Me and Joe have worked together with Psycroptic for almost 20 years now, so we have very similar ideas on things, and we work together well.

Dead Rhetoric: How do you feel you’ve developed as a musician from the start of your career to where you are now within Psycroptic and Domination Campaign? Where do you think you’ve changed the most (personally or professionally) when it comes to your approach or output from either act?

Peppiatt: I think professionally I’ve grown a lot in the way that I’ve got a lot of experience in the industry, so I know how to get shit done and I know how I want things to sound and I’m definitely more confident in my ability as a songwriter and performer.

Dead Rhetoric: What are your thoughts on Prosthetic Records and their staff globally? Do you think they have the proper staff and resources behind them to promote all your efforts in the best way possible – while also understanding what you want to achieve as a musician/artist?

Peppiatt: They’ve been great! I’ve been involved with 5 releases with them now and they’ve always been great to work with.

Dead Rhetoric: What are your thoughts on the state of death metal and its multiple subgenres over the years? Where do you see the greatest amount of support / hope, and what changes (if any) would you like to make on a global scale for the greater good of the movement?

Peppiatt: I think the scene is thriving right now! There’s a lot of really great young bands coming out at the moment that are playing death metal in the old style which is really awesome to see. I think the scene will always peak and drop with popularity and quality. All in all, though I wouldn’t change a thing!

Dead Rhetoric: Now that you are in your early 40’s, how has your life perspective evolved or changed from what was most important to you during your 20’s and 30’s? Would there be any aspects in retrospect that you wish you could change or spend more time/energy on that would be beneficial to your current self?

Peppiatt: I think as I’ve aged my passion for the extreme metal genre has gotten stronger. I’m so happy and grateful for the career I’ve had and continue to have. I know it sounds a little cheesy, but I wouldn’t change a fuckin thing, the decisions I’ve made and the things I’ve focused on and put my energy into have led me to have an amazing life within the music industry and in my personal life.

Dead Rhetoric: Do you have any concerns about AI and its evolutionary use in the performing arts – especially for the music industry? Does there have to be a delicate balance between human creativity and technology to achieve the best results?

Peppiatt: I absolutely fucking hate AI, especially within the arts. I feel that if we start handing over creative expression to computers then we are kind of fucked as a species. Art is something that has been such a massive part in human history that I feel if that’s lost then we lose a massive part of what makes us human.

Dead Rhetoric: What is a pivotal or critical moment that helped shape your musical career?

Peppiatt: Without a doubt joining Psycroptic was the biggest and most powerful thing in my musical career. Getting to write, record, perform and tour the world with three of my best friends who also happened to be amazingly talented and like-minded individuals shapes me into the person I am today.

Dead Rhetoric: What’s on the horizon for anything related to Domination Campaign, Psycroptic or other band/side activities over the next year or so?

Peppiatt: Hopefully we should be looking at doing some shows to follow up the release of A Storm of Steel and starting to write for the third album. We are also starting work this year on some new Psycroptic material and most likely more touring. I’ve got a black metal band that I play guitar in called Permafog that has an album completed that will hopefully be released this year and also a solo black metal EP underway for release this year also. So hopefully it should be a busy and productive year!

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