Interview with Mike DiSalvo of Coma Cluster Void: We have 4 new songs for the upcoming album!

20/03/2023 Video Interviews Share

Minions! We were honored to interview the legendary Mike DiSalvo of Coma Cluster Void (Akurion, ex-Cryptopsy). Mike is, by far, one of the best growlers in the scene. He is best known for being the singer on Cryptopsy’s groundbreaking record – Whisper Supremacy and criminally the underrated And Then You’ll Beg. Mike is right now the frontman of Coma Cluster Void. The band has 2 releases – full length Mind Cemeteries album and Thoughts from a Stone EP. In this 1-hour-45-minute-interview, we talked with Mike DiSalvo about the upcoming Coma Cluster Void album, Cryptopsy, Gorguts, his favorite H.P. Lovecraft novels, and more!

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He revealed some info about the upcoming Coma Cluster Void album:

“We are working on the 3rd album right now. It’s been a slow process I would say right now. For whatever reason. I just think everyone was being busy and, you know, that’s how it goes sometimes. But it’s definitely...we’re focused and we’re putting the album together. We got 2 songs done, a 3rd one that’s being worked on and I think a 4th one actually being worked on as well”. The previously released single, “Plague Devourer” is one of the 4 new songs from the new album.

He also revealed the album title: Right now we’re running with  Absurd Romanticism. He further explained that the album title comes from the first Coma Cluster Void album – Mind Cemeteries.

After that, our discussion switched to Akurion. Our loyal patron Petar Jonović asked what the meaning behind the band’s name is. We won’t get in the details in order not to spoil all the awesomeness, so go and look out in the video! Unfortunately, Akurion is on hold. We then talked about Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder (RIP) and Jim Durkin of Dark Angel (RIP).

Mike DiSalvo then discussed his love for H.P. Lovecraft. He stated: The song on the Akurion record “Yet Ye See them Notis based on the Dunwich Horror.

We talked about the Coma Cluster Void’s name and right after, he shared a story about him joining Coma Cluster Void.  Jeanne Comateuse and Sylvia Hinz reached out via Linkedin, of all places.

He mentioned that he wrote about 75% of the lyrics on Mind Cemeteries album while he wrote all the lyrics for “Thoughts from A Stone“ EP. Regarding the current lineup.

Mike DiSalvo stated that the spoken word parts on the previous Coma Cluster Void releases were done by his wife, Genevieve DiSalvo (RIP) and their kids: There are some spoken words parts that my wife Genevieve had...She had spoken word parts on both records and done some heavy vocals. She did the heavy stuff, heavy vocals on Thoughts from a Stone. And my kids did, on that poetic part that I think you are talking about in the middle of the song, the chanting part...My kids did vocals for that too. So Sylvia did some melodies where she is singing, before we go into the actual chanting part. And she (Sylvia) done some melodies there. Beautiful melodies. She has a great voice so I hope that we can incorporate her into additional stuff. I am sure it will happen.

Mike also said that Genevieve DiSalvo was a part of Akurion’s album – Come Forth To Me: She did. I had her do “Pedals from a Rose Eventually Wither to Black“. And I had her do some vocals in that. She does some heavy vocals on that. My wife has passed. She passed. That song was actually the last one that we have recorded. We recorded it right in my basement. We were drinking sagi, getting loaded  and just recording it. It was a beautiful moment, actually. (REST IN PEACE GENEVIEVE!)

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Then, we talked about the Mind Cemeteries lyrics. He also explained the concept and the character “Iron Empress“ that can be seen on the artwork of the album. Right after, we proceeded with Thoughts from a Stone EP: That was quite a challenge to put that 24 minute long song together. So this was something that she had planend from the go.  It was gonna be a long EP. It was gonna be long, one song. And we were gonna release it as exploring the character, Iron Empress, and what is going on in her world. He further explained her: She is a very, very strong character. The character was designed to be a very strong, prominent, female character, that sort of carries war with her when she comes into play. We talk a lot about the Plague Devourer and few other characters and that were gonna be there. Part of this world was gonna be something that these creatures were kinda send through dimensions, through whatever this land was. And the Iron Empress was the one that was gonna fend off against these types of creatures, or control them. Whichever way you kinda pull from it. When we had written that song, I think that they have given me the title, and I sort of went from there, it was just massive, force, this massive presence that was sort of obliterating everything in her way. And we then we just sort of evolved from there, and from that character we started to create another world within this world….Genne had created a couple of characters…Actually on the single, you’ll see one of the characters…what her impression of that character was. When you look at the single of it, there is piece of artwork that she had created for it. In her mind, she had created a several of these. She is an artist, she is a great artist. So she has a great vision when it comes to that. She had put together series of these characters….

Right after, he revealed his biggest vocal influences – John Tard of Obituary, David Vincent and Max Cavalera. Mike mentioned that while he was still in Infestation, John Tardy “kicked my a*s” in a 21 basketball match.  We then talked about the late Chuck Schuldiner. He recalls being invited to play a benefit gig for Chuck Schuldiner with Cryptopsy in Florida. Mike touched on the medical situation in the country. There’s nothing to be said about walking into a country (Canada) with no citizenship, or no landed migrancy and still having medical the moment you step into a country. My wife was…we had medical bills that were hundreds of thousands of dollars. It would have sunk us…And it covered it. Say what you will about the Canadian (healthcare). It is by far not perfect, and in it a lot of ways it sucks, but it is nowhere near the sh*tpile that the medical situation here is in the states. If you don’t have medical, you are f*cked! When asked whether the US health care is 100% to blame for the death of Chuck Schuldiner, Mike DiSalvo stated:

You know what? I can’t say it’s 100% that, I am not sure. I don’t know the intricacies of how that was. But that was something that was told to me by several sources. So, I’m just going on with what people have told me. And also, being American, and knowing that it can be disastrous…

The 2nd part of the interview is all about Cryptopsy. We started with Mike DiSalvo joining the band. He shared a story about his first time hearing Blasphemy Made Flesh. Then, (you’ve guessed it!) he talked about stepping in the shoes of Lord Worm and joining Cryptopsy, as well as hearing None So Vile for the first time in Flo Mounier’s car before the album was released:

I was with Flo. With Flo, and my wife. Back in the day, he had a la car. So he had this car with booming system in the car. It cranked. He said, you wanna hear the new (Cryptopsy)? It’s not yet released, obviously and this is the final mix of it. You want to hear it? Of course I want to hear it. So we were driving around. The first thing that I said to him was like: Jesus, man! These f*cking drums are like cannons! And yeah, that the production on None So Vile versus Blasphemy Made Flesh is just leagues different.

He also explained what Whisper Supremacy album title is: I think it had a little bit of tongue-in-cheek in the sense of, maybe we can quietly…you know, we can whisper that we are moving up the ranks. It was certainly tongue-in-cheek approach. The band had a lot of tongue-in-cheek sh*it like that. A lots of it. We wanted to do something that wasn’t as so blatant as like: hey! We’re ready for the next level…And I think with that album we…We were incredibly confident about that record. And when we had came out of the studio, we were like...I remember it distinctively, that we were like: this could be a f*cking huge album right now. Whisper Supremacy sort of came out of the conversations like: what can we say to fit that mold but it isn’t such a d*ck kind of comment. I said, well something supremacy... And then I think Flo said: well, maybe whisper! And we were like: oh?! Sh*t! Whisper Supremacy! So it was like one of those kinda moments of: we’ll join these two words! And that’s really what it was. Although we felt that we’ll certainly gonna do well with that record…It wasn’t something that we were trying to be facetious about it or, like a jerk about it…It was more or less…we feel it, and we’ll quietly suggest it! (laughs)

Mike DiSalvo also went in details to explain the artwork of Whisper Supremacy, that was inspired by one of the photos from National Geographic magazine, showing the layers of ice on earth.  The demon on the artwork was also inspired by a Choose Your Own Adventure book. He mentioned that at the time, Cryptopsy toured with Nile, Gorguts, Oppressor, Divine Empire, and other bands.

Mike also talked about working with Pierre Remillard and then moved on to talk about Gorguts and the late Big Steeve Hurdle (RIP LEGEND!). He said that he heard the groundbreaking Obscura album before it was out. We then moved on to talk about the greatness of the Montreal, Quebec metal scene.

Mike DiSalvo also mentioned that he, Lord Worm and Luc Lemay of Gorguts were interviewed for the upcoming The Growl documentary at his house.

DiSalvo also discussed the And Then You’ll Beg album (criminally underrated if you ask me). Also, he talked about leaving Cryptopsy. In the last part, he mentioned five of his favorite albums: Pink Floyd’s Animals, Mark Lanegan’s Field Songs, Sepultura’s Roots, Neurosis’s A Sun That Never Sets, and Portishead’s Portishead.


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00:00 Start

00:00:26 New Coma Cluster Void album – Absurd Romanticism

00:02:56 Akurion name

00:04:26 New Akurion album?

00:06:23 Jim Durkin (RIP)

00:09:59 Favorite Lovecraft novel

00:13:59 The meaning of Coma Cluster Void; Joining the band

00:18:37 Coma Cluster Void’s genre of music

00:21:13 Gennevieve DiSalvo (RIP)

00:23:51 Mind Cemeteries

00:27:06 Writing lyrics

00:29:11 Thoughts from a Stone EP

00:32:04 Iron Empress character

00:36:03 Biggest musical genius in Coma Cluster Void?

00:40:22 Lindsay O’Connor’s Doom: Eternal parts

00:42:19 Vocal influences

00:44:51 First death metal album?

00:45:33 Chuck Schuldiner

00:51:57 Joining Cryptopsy

00:54:44 Blasphemy Made Flesh

00:59:17 Stepping in the shoes of Lord Worm

01:02:30 The idea behind Whisper Supremacy

01:08:13 The reception of Whisper Supremacy album

01:10:29 1998 & Whisper Supremacy tour

01:12:15 Whisper Supremacy Artwork

01:15:17 Working with Pierre Remillard

01:17:00 Hearing Gorguts’ Obscura album for the first time

01:19:37 Big Steeve Hurdle & Negativa

01:23:19 Montreal heavy metal scene; The Growl documentary

01:28:14 And Then You'll Beg

01:36:14 Leaving Cryptopsy

01:39:29 Favorite albums?


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