What’s your working process like? Do you have a schedule you like to keep or do you only do work when you feel like it? What sort of atmosphere do you like to have in your studio?
I don’t have a method of working. I work always, from morning to night, all day without ever stopping, I don’t eat lunch to avoid stopping. I stop only when it’s time for my daily training. I go crazy without painting; I can’t seem to live. I close myself in my studio in the dark with two lights on the canvas. I only want to see it, because the rest doesn’t need to exist.
-Paolo Girardi, interview for Chips & Beer Mag#4
I just saw clips of Thunder and Mud. How did that thing come
Jesus, that was mortifying. That was when Nuclear Assault was on IRS Records, and they weren’t really sure what to do with a band of our style, so we ended up getting talked into some pretty stupid shit. However…that’s where we met Jessica Hahn!
But in general, socially-relevant Thrash Metal does not have much in common with female mud wrestling, methinks. - Dan Lilker
Interview from Chips & Beer Mag #3
How did you and your current wife meet?
My wife was studying in Michigan at the time. And she knew people at a magazine in Hungary. She got an assignment from them to do an interview with me. So we did the interview. I had just gone through a really tough time, because I had lost one of my cats, my cat called Ghost. And she had a hard time with the people she was staying with. We both had a crap life. We could talk a lot about it. We continued talking on the phone after that. But I had never seen her. She probably knew what I looked like with makeup. But there was a bond that developed. That was just the way it started. And then one day, without ever having met, I flew to Hungary and proposed. The first time I met her in the flesh was when she was there in the airport. And then came home to her parents and asked for her hand. Her dad doesn’t speak English but he spoke pretty good German, so I tried to prepare for both English and German. I had written down a bunch of stuff and then I lost my notes. But it worked. So that was it. Ten days later we flew back here and it’s been the best thing ever. It’s the kind of thing to say what a chance to take. But it just felt right the whole way. There were no doubts.
Did her parents care about the image of the bands?
I’m sure they did. They must have, you know? Like they see pictures, ‘Is this the guy?’ Ha ha.
Excerpt from interview in Chips & Beer Mag #2
Don’t trust anyone under 30. For most of the past decade Cleve-o’s Midnight have provided admirable counter point to the hordes of friend-collectors, trendhoppers, and self-promoters out there. Seems these days the most admirable thing a band can do is shut up about being a band. Playing/recording infrequently and with blatant disregard for “garnering a following,” they’ve released high quality tunes that stand up over time. Complete and Total Fucking Midnight still gets plays in the car five plus years after I bought it. More importantly however they’ve consistently, successfully walked one of Metal’s finest (in both senses) lines: providing humor without devolving totally into self parody. Hutch Bannister chats with America’s naughtiest band about the release of their long awaited debut album, Satanic Royalty.
Interview by Hutch Bannister
Up until now all Midnight recordings have been you on all the instruments correct? Did you record Satanic Royalty as a band?
Yeah i still did all the shit myself. This wasn’t made to be a band, it just turned into one. For me it’s much easier to just record the crap and get it over and done with. It also keeps the same sloppy feel to it if I play everything.
What can you tell us about the recording? Was it done live/ multi-tracked/quickly/slowly/all in one shot/over a period of time/wasted/sober? Not a bad thing at all, but it’s much cleaner than previous recordings. Did you guys produce it?
It was pretty much just done over a weekend at a friend of mines basement studio. I play the drum parts first then record everything else on top of that. The songs were written very quickly too, all the music in about a week and the words a couple of weeks after that. For me it’s harder to come up with lyrics than the music part. I was wasted mostly on coffee and Wendy’s, sometimes a little taco bell thrown in for good measure.
Midnight’s pretty selective about when they play live it seems and it doesn’t happen often which I think is a great and far too underused approach these days. What prompted the move from NWN to HellsHeadbangers and does this mean more live shows from Midnight are coming?
Probably the same amount of gigz will go on. Not too many but hopefully we can go overseas a bit more. I really don’t like playing the same places too often. It’s a little easier for me to deal with HHR than NWN mostly because they live about 30 minutes from my house. So if I have to go through artwork or listen to stuff we can actually meet up and talk face to face rather than over email or a shitty cell phone connection.
I wish it did, but I can’t imagine sluts and Satan pays the bills. What do you for a day job?
Sluts and Satan could pay the bills if I lived in a cardboard condo. I work at the same job I’ve had since I was 13 years old and I’m 37 now so you see how much I fear change!
Best Bulldozer album? Not what’s your favorite, which one do you think is the best?
I guess it’s not an album but the 1st single is my fave. It’s pure grossness!
What does Athenar listen to when it’s time to get way kinky?
If you really want to know you and your mother, sister, aunt, dog and other household pets should come over one night for a little party time!
You’re familiar with the game fuck/marry/kill? Here’s a few of those. Please explain your reasoning as to who meets which fate, as that’s often the most entertaining part of the game.
Shit yeah we play this game all the time at work. It gets pretty disgusting.
Vixen, Runaways, Girl’s School.
Right away I think I would kill vixen cuz they always change members and cannot be trusted. I would fuck the Runaways cuz maybe I would get a chance at doin Cherie’s sister too. And I would marry Girlschool cuz a) they’re my fave band out of the three and b) they’re pretty consistent and dependable.
Suzie Quatro, Nancy Wilson, The Great Kat (back then, not today).
I would kill poor Suzie, she just seems too dykish. I would fuck the Great Kat in the bunghole then put it in her mouth right away so she can still smell the doodoo. I would for sure marry Nancy Wilson maybe for the same reasons as the Runaways, I would get a chance to do her sister too!
Beast Master era Tanya Roberts, Jane Fonda circa Barbarella, Susan George in Straw Dogs.
Only really familiar with Jane in Barbarella on this one. Not much of a movie buff.
Lemmy, Bill Gates, a German shepherd.
Interesting one. I think I would kill Lemmy which is too bad cuz who wants to be married to a grumpy hardcore drug addict who doesn’t want to be married? I would marry Bill Gates for the obvious reason of being a fake bitch who just marries for the $. I would fuck the German Sheppard cuz i’m sure it would be a wild ride.
Interview from Chips & Beer #2
Have you ever been at a show and tried to hit on a short, crusty alt-girl at the bar with her back turned to you and then she turned around and it was Erik from Watain?
Hahaha! That is always a possible scenario. I try to not hit on crusty alt-girls at all to avoid the embarrassment. Actually it’s usually the other way around. I get a pinch in my butt and I turn around going, “What the fuck?”, and there stands a guy who’s now totally disappointed that I wasn’t a hot chick. Sometimes but not often, it’s Erik himself.
Interview with Robba Anderson from Morbus Chron, Chips & Beer Mag #2
Would you say Alice Cooper was a big influence?
Alice Cooper was an influence, most definitely. But my biggest
influence is, believe it or not, my favorite album in history is
I wouldn’t have guessed that.
Nobody does. Yeah, I mean hands down. Nothing even close.
Second, is the first two Blue Cheer albums. I can’t categorize
them separate, have to put ‘em together. But Raw Power is way
over anything else. Jim (Iggy) is a very good friend of mine,
I’ve known him like 41 years now. I met him in 1970. I met him
by cleaning peanut butter off him in a bathroom at a rec center
that held 400 people on the Funhouse tour.
Interview with Bobby Liebling, Chips & Beer Mag #1. Illustration by Adam Ganderson
This interview with NECROVATION was originally done for thelefthandpath.com around summer, 2009, but never actually published. Necrovation’s new, self-titled album is due June 26th, 2012 on Agonia Records. We’ll have a review in issue #4 of Chips & Beer if yous are interested.
Swedish death, southern blood.Kristianstad’s Necrovation have been rattling domes for six years with their relentless brand of Death Metal. Last year’s Breed Deadness Blood was praised widely for its ferocious steadfastness to Death Metal’s core principles. Necrovation guitarist and vocalist Sebastian took some time to discuss his native Sweden, Death Metal proper, and Glögg.
LHP: American Metalheads idealize Sweden as this place loaded with bands (which it is), jaw-dropping gigs going down every single night, and tons of record stores full of Metal vinyl and other shit. But every interview I’ve ever read with a Swedish band bemoans the “local scene” and how gigs are these listless events with people standing around indifferent. Of course, then there are the stereotypes, angelic women, minimalist architecture; quiet, reflective people… Is this the case? And if so, do you think Swedish Death Metal draws on this as inspiration – a reaction to its surroundings?
Seb: I feel very Swedish, and I can’t say that Swedish culture and architecture has – or babes for that matter – driven me towards musical interest and later on Death Metal. Something did, that’s for sure, but what I don’t know. I guess when I discovered Death Metal I was in need of something dark and extreme, a place to put my ideas and energy, what that need originates from I don’t know.
About complaints in interviews; your vision of Sweden and the scene over here seem as gathered from someone’s scrap-book from the early ‘90s, a utopia compared to today.
The Swedes go at their Death Metal at least twice as hard as their American counterparts. Sometimes, especially in Necrovation’s case, it becomes so visceral it sounds “unstable,” close to falling apart completely. What do you attribute this “method” to, and how does your approach differ from putting songs together to performing them live?
The instability you recognize in our music is rather intensity; it’s simply dedication towards what we’re doing. That feeling is more evident when we perform live or perhaps when I put down vocals for a song in the studio. When putting together our material it’s more of a puzzling business, hard work.
What the fuck is it like to feel “very Swedish?” Ha ha ha.
Somewhat withdrawn and polite. Compared to most Europeans I think we are quite silent; -silent in consensus, we like it this way, I do anyway.
Most Swedes talk shit about the Swedish Death Metal Scene and poke fun at (mostly Americans) for making it something it isn’t. What’s worse is most people have their ideas about what Swedish Death Metal should - or must - sound like. Do you find this to be limiting? It seems there are just a few bands really fucking going at it these days - Necrovation, Kaamos…. I’d include Karnarium, too… Do you consider this healthy competition?
Not really limiting, it’s perhaps annoying. I try to ignore what is expected from us. Yes competing is healthy, I don’t know of that is exactly what we’re doing; but at least I/we draw inspiration from current bands, such as Kaamos.
Much has been said of what real “Death Metal” consists in. People incessantly ascribe traits of perfection to imperfect ensembles, failing to realize Death Metal rots in ideal. Yet few can reconcile what this ideal - or ideals - must hold. In your opinion, what are “Death Metal” ideals? Are these tenets “things” that anyone - or anything - is capable or making “real?” How can this genre hope to flourish when so many continue to pull it down, diluting it, remaking it, in commercial body, and spirit?
I couldn’t care less about what people think is right or wrong in Death Metal. For me Death Metal is not about ideals or following the true and righteous way. Death Metal for me is about; creating dark art, the liking of what’s dark and weird, morbid and grotesque, to create music darker and more extreme than Heavy Metal. Death Metal is audio celebration of Deadness.
It would be very naive to think that anyone who “understands” Death Metal (or any art form) in theory could pull it off practically, there is a huge difference there. Far from (aeons) everyone possesses creative power to write and create (or think).
The future of “real” Death Metal, or the direction I want DM to be in is pretty safe; there will always be shit around that you need to pass through to get to the “good stuff,” and I think it has always been that way. IT has made it possible to check out music very easily, and avoid the worst crap. But I’m really not fond at all of IT and downloading culture; I think crap records/bands are necessary.
I’m more concerned/worried about the quality than what the “remaking” might bring. I think it’s about time we take it one step further, I think the top notch of bands are getting to close to one another ideologically and reference/musical inspiration wise.
One thing that bugs me about Necrovation: The demo is really fucking hungry. I mean, you guys are just KILLING it. That shit is real and listening to it you know the people making the music are so into it. It’s like their fucking being. But then FOUR YEARS went by before Breed Deadness Blood. The demo’s sound is so fucking URGENT and FINAL; it seems like you would absolutely have to put a full-length out before the band self-destructed or something…
We were hungrier before than now? That’s just not true, we have always had big thoughts and plans, but we are fucking slow when it comes to realizing them, but we will, and compared to when we recorded and released Ovations to Putrefaction our lives has taken a more adult turn, and we are more spread out than before. Before me and [drummer] Bünger lived like 300 meters from one another, and we could rehearse two to four times a week. That’s not the case now exactly. But I assure you, we are more dedicated to death and Metal than ever.
Ovations’ sound is fucking killer. Raw as hell and primitive. But your vocals actually sound more straightforward here than on the debut. Your delivery is certainly the same, but you often sound like you’re gargling blood or something. How and where do you “practice” your vocals and how did you come up with stuff like the “possessed sow scream” you use in “Recessed in Frailty?”
The production on Ovations to Putrefaction is very minimal; the vocals aren’t really mixed at all there and I was barely making it in my opinion. The only practice my vocals get is when rehearsing all together. Don’t know what scream or perhaps FX you are referring to exactly, there are so many.
You guys manage to straddle the technical/primitive line extraordinarily well. A song will often just degenerate in a thrashing mess, but it never sounds sloppy; the interplay is very disciplined and honed. I would think you get pretty fucking out of control rocking these songs, too. Is it difficult to keep the songs from slipping away into chaos?
By now I know our material very well, and we have no problem delivering the songs as long as we rehearse them. Perhaps they are played a bit faster live, but that’s it I think. We might be in a frenzy state of mind, chaotic sometimes; but I think we are pretty tight, at least nowadays.
Necrovation’s lyrics are horror-soaked imagistic madness. Some are actually narrative based – “Breed Deadness Blood,” for instance; others appear to be foul descriptions crammed onto a sheet of paper and then spat out over the course of a song… The song titles are just as fucked, with “Crush Imp Widower” winning the prize… Are you responsible for all of them, or is this something that has the input of the entire band? Are you a big horror film nerd? If not, where is the stench coming from?
A few years back I thirsted for any movie with rotten content really, now I am more interested in well-written horror. Horror is surely an inspiration, in any form. I am responsible for the bigger part of all lyrics we have released. My “necrovations” on the album are all except “Breed Deadness Blood,” “Divinity Obscure” & “Putrid Evocation,” they’re Büngers work.
Explain your opinions and or connections on the following:
Got nothing but respect for the man!
Perfect format for demos and rehearsal recordings.
Nirvana – Bleach; not as cool as “Negative Creep”.
I was surprised you Americans drank this; I thought this was a Swedish thing. The beverage in it self amuses me quite much, especially Whiskey and Cognac (New wave…) Glögg.
As essential to me as Morbid Angel, Entombed & Celtic Frost. To me this is the best band from Sweden since Entombed’s hay days. It’s to me not understandable how this band could just slip record labels with influence by. Rest in festering bajs.
“A song called “Morbid Shape In Black” [The Blueprints for Madness, 1995] deals with me walking the streets at 5 a.m. back in the mid 80s. It was pitch black out and I saw these floating cloaked people hovering over these roses in a rose garden. Soot was coming off them and turning the flowers to black. It was like a floating coven of death. That was one really freaky night! “
Holy shit. How hard were you partying that night!?
PCP night! Indeed a crazy one! But I indeed saw that. No hallucination!
- King Fowley, Deceased / October 31.
Interview from Chips & Beer #2 [sold out]
illustration by DePraymex
“I don’t think any of it was as romantic as people have made it out to be in subsequent years. It was just life. It was high school. Everyone knows what high school is like. It was no different for any of us growing up in Lodi high.” – Eerie Von, Samhain, Danzig.
Interview from Chips & Beer Mag #1
Illustration by Beaver.
“I really NEED to play this kind of music, maybe you can relate it, in form, to some kind of D.I.Y self-exorcism, there is something in there that must come out, and it might be fucking evil!” – Mattias Frisk, Vanhelgd.
Interview from Chips & Beer Mag #1.