2009. március 11., szerda

Jim Nickles

Jim Nickles was one of the original founder member of Malevolent Creation, but at one point he was involved in Hellwitch too. Nowadays he is playing in Vile Vindiction.

Jim you started Malevolent Creation with Phil Fasciana and Brett Hoffmann in 1986, do you still remember how did you get together? What were your musical faves, interests and influences?
Phil, Brett, and I grew up together,and attended North Tonawanda High School together. At the time,I was into all the old Judas Priest,Iron Maiden type of stuff. I remember the first time I heard old Metallica, it was "Creeping Death" while we were at a friend of ours Dan Nadoe.We were skipping school at the time and frequently went there to party.The song frightened me and I didn't understnd the concept of music like this at first..But of course later that was all we listened to..Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax,S.O.D.,Mercyful Fate,etc.. It wasn't til later that I explored even heavier stuff..
Did you share the same musical interest or all of you had different faves?
I have to admit,our interests were similar, but Phil and Brett both explored the really underground stuff alot more.and they were always turning me on to new stuff..
By the way, what were the previous acts that you've played with before you being involved in Malevolent Creation?
Phil Brett, and I played a talent show at Payne Junior High School,along with our friends Kevin Peace on Bass and Dennis Kubas on Drums under the name "Resthaven" which Brett got from a local graveyard.That band started before I was in and went on momentarily after I left. I left because I joined "Leviathan" and was in that band with Chris Barnes(now Six Feet Under and formerly Cannibal Corpse),Angelo Lacocco,Jeff Jeskewicz(i don't think that's spelled right),and Greg St.John on Bass for a year or more.Incidently I wrote the guitar riffs for the title track "Leviathan"(except I think Jeff may have written one riff) which appeared on a compilation later after I left but I didn't play on the demo.. I've never received credit but that's the TRUTH..I would love to see all those guy's again.. I left "Leviathan" to form Malevolent Creation with Phil and Brett. We all practiced at the same rehearsal warehouse "Ultimate Storage".(So did Cannibal Corpse and Tirant Sin and the Goo Goo Dolls which were a punk band then)
Who came up with the name of the band?
Brett Hoffmann.
You practiced at your house for like a year without drums or bass, does it mean, that it was hard to find the suitable members for a death metal band?
Yes. Because most people still didn't tolerate this form of music.. So Phil,Brett and I practiced for like ten months without a drummer..We just tried to get tight together as guitarists while Brett worked on the lyrics and titles...The mic chord which Brett tied to the ceiling so he wouldn't have to hook it up every day is still hanging from the ceiling in the exact same spot in which is now the drum room in my studio.Nobody is allowed to disturb it.. haha.. it's a keepsake.
How much did you rehearse a week? What about your rehearsals at all?
Seriously? More than I even wanted too.Phil would be at my house every morning at 10:00a.m. like clockwork beating on the door to wake me up.. I'd open the door finally and he'd be like.. "Come on.. we gotta jam"
Did you start writing originals right from the start or were you jamming mostly on covers?
After the Resthaven thing we weren't interested in playing covers.. We just wanted to make our own stuff.. We always did do Raining Blood by Slayer in our set though..Out of pure respect..
Then your mom lent a drummer you knew the cash to buy a set, because he was good but had no drums, how did that happen? Who was this drummer exactly?
The same guy who did that talent show with us.. Dennis Kubas.. I actually offered Dennis the oppurtunity to record the Vile Vindiction E.P. with us before I had found Evan. He agreed ,but later backed out...I figured if we could just get the initial recording done,then we'd be able to find a permanent drummer.
Does it mean, that your mum supported your musical goals, interests and ambitions?
Yes.. She is a Saint.. and Still alive.. bless her. Incidently, Dennis Kubas NEVER PAID HER BACK.
Later you went and picked up Jason Blachowitz from Buffalo, what about his musical background?
I don't know if Jason was in a band before Malevolent?? I can't remember.. But he was full of ambition and he could really use all those fingers on his right hand!! Plus his hair was super long!! haha.. believe it or not,that shit mattered to us back then...haha
How about the Buffalo underground scene? How much were you involved in the underground? Were you familiar with acts, such as Leviathan, Tirant Sin, Beyond Death etc., that started their career at the same time as you?
Haha.. That's funny.. You're asking me if I heard of Leviathan?? I wrote it!! Don't get me wrong.. I'm not mad at those guy's or nothing.. I just think everybody should always be given the credit they are due....But all those other Leviathan songs were already written by Jeff when I joined..Such as "Lamentation of Death" and "Destructive Agressor"..
After Jason joined you were finally a whole band, you played numerous shows, was it easy getting shows in the Buffalo area at this point? Have your name been quite known yet?
Yes. Now we had a drummer and bassist so we did play numerous shows around the area..One was with The Goos at The Metal Shop..Haha.. Like I said,they were a punk band back then...
In '87 you recorded the very first Malevolent Creation demo ever, how was it recorded? Which songs were on it?
It was recorded at Select Sound Studios in Buffalo, N.Y... It was recorded on a 2 inch 24 track reel to reel.I own that master reel,and am soon having it transferred to digital to be remixed and digitally mastered.Phil and I are going to release it this year..It contains two mastered tracks,"Sacrificial Annihilation" and "The Traitor Must Pay and The Price Is Death". It also contains a scratch live recording from the studio while we were warming up of "Confirmed Kill".
How did it sound like? Did this demo represent, what you wanted to achieve with Malevolent Creation?
As far as the riffs,drumming and vox go.. yes.. but the producer didn't have a clue how to record metal.. Which is why I'm going to remix and tweak it without comprimising the integrity of the music..
Why has the demo never been released? Were you dissatisfied with it or…?
Mostly because of the bad mix,and lack of capitol to have it remixed and printed..
It mean, that you didn't do any promotion for it, you didn't shop it around, you didn't send it to fanzines and stuff, correct?
Nope.. Never.. The first M.C. demo to get shopped was the next one they did without me..with Injected Sufferage on it etc..
Shortly after you moved to Florida minus your drummer, what made you to move to Florida? Were you aware of the big and influential death metal scene, that existed in Florida back in the day?
Yes. But honestly Phil talked us into it mostly because his parents moved there... Our drummer was afraid to go..
Did you want to be closer to the scene?
That was the plan...
Cannibal Corpse moved also to Florida…
Yes.. Later on they did.. Rob Barrett was a very early fan of M.C. when he was just learning guitar.He used to come and watch us practice very often and just stand in the corner by my amp and stare at my fingers...I taught him everything I could at the time about soloing "in the box".. Buy my knowledge of theory at the time was very limited.. Rob and I were great friends and still are..of course I don't get to see him much..As I am in Buffalo again now.. He did visit me last year though, just before Vile Vindiction was formed.
Malevolent Creation released still two demos, „Demo I." in 1989 and „Demo 1990" in 1990, did you still play on these materials? Can you give us details regarding on these demos?
No I did not..But Phil ,Brett and I had a total of like 8 tracks I think..I'm not sure of all they've used since then..
Would you say, that it succeeded for Malevolent Creation to make a name for them with these materials? Did they draw a lof fans attention to them?
Oh yes..Obviously the material I co-wrote in the band didn't get them signed,because it never got sent out.. But they did use some of those songs on "Ten Commandments". Such as the tracks "Malevolent Creation" and "Sacrificial Annihilation".
You wrote most of the riffs on two songs that appeared on the debut record titled „The ten commandments", those tracks being „Malevolent Creation" and „Sacrificial Annihilation", although you never received credit because you left the band before the album got recorded, what were the resons of it?
I was badly on the Cocaine and I think Phil and the Guy's were embarrassed by my actions, and a little bitter for awhile. We thought we'd be a band forever..
What do you think about „The ten commandments"? Do you consider it as a classic death metal stuff?
My answer may sound biased. but,"The Ten Commandments Rules" !!!!
How do you view Malevolent Creation's career as a whole? What do you think about their developement?
I'm very proud of the band,and the whole entity it has become..
Are their records on the same level or did they do some weak ones during the years?
They are all good.. But yes, some tracks are better than others.. It's hard to write so many songs,and keep the next one as brutal and in your face as the last..
Did you never think about to rejoin them? Why did they have often line up changes?
The truth is, over the years,I was so far out of the scene, that I wouldn't even have considered it.. Only now do I feel that my ability as a guitar player is once again polished enough to play this form of music..-I don't know why they've had so many line-up changes.. You'll have to ask Phil that question..
If they wouldn't have moved to Florida -and Cannibal Corpse as well- wouldn't they have been as great as they became? Do you consider them an influential act by the way?
Yes I believe they would have gotten just as big,it just would have taken a little longer......As far as influence?? We just write what comes to mind.. The main influence for us musically, is Slayer..
You joined Hellwitch in 1990, but you formed your own group Vile Vindiction inbetween, correct?
No...Vile Vindiction was first started in 1990 by the current member George Grant along with a mutual high school friend of mine named Mitch McMurray who was on drums and Rick Nigro on guitar. The band played a couple shows, the best one being at The Skyroom Country Club in Buffalo, formerly known as the Rooftops Skyroom. It was one of the premier clubs in Buffalo in that day. That show took place on Friday, Feb 15th 1991. Later, the band recorded one track on a local compilation called "Frozen Metal Thunder". But the band didn't have a vocalist so Mich McMurray took on the duties... That was it for Vile Vindiction at that time. Later in '94 when I was up from Fla. for a stretch, George, Mitch and I got together at my house (where Malevolent Creation was born and rehearsed) and jammed for quite a few months on and off but never got the remaining members needed. So the band never got off the ground then either. So I went back to Fla. Although it was during that time that, we wrote two tracks that appear on our debut. "Your Honour" and "Death Wrapped In Plastic"
Do you still remember how did you end up joining Hellwitch? Were you meant to be a session member or a full time one?
Phil hooked me up with Pat. I learned their debut L.P. (SYZYGIAL MISCREANCY, released on Wild Rags Records in 1990) in three weeks and went on tour. I was still messing with drugs on and off and later decided I wanted to do the family thing. That's why I left..
Hellwitch were on tour in support of their debut record „Syzygial miscreancy", to which extent were you familiar with their stuffs?
Before I joined, I had never even heard their music..
Do you agree with, that „Syzygial Miscreancy" delivers a barrage of constantly changing riffs and intricate structures? Does this album sound like a cross between Gorguts and Atheist's „Piece of Time" or „Unquestionable Presence", especially when they tremolo pick those odd, weaving, melodic phrases?
Yes, that what Hellwitch is...The next riff is never what you "expect".. Pat likes to think differently.. He's a Shredder!!
Is Patrick Ranieri, vocally similar to Kelly Schaefer in your opinion?
Pat sounds similar to alot of guys.. There's even more singers like that nowadays..
The album is technical death-thrash of the highest order, and there is no denying the incredible musicianship, what do you think about it?
That album rules..When I first agreed to go on tour, I was like.."There's no way I can get this shit down in three weeks!!".. But ,ultimately, I pulled it off.
Fans of technical death or thrash will find much to rejoice about here: dizzying guitars, blasting drums, intricate songwriting, right?
Well, if your a person that wants to hear something different.. Hellwitch is the band for you..!
The instruments have a thick sound, a benefit of Morrisound production, especially the guitars are thick, the rhythms having a strong, sharp punch to them and the tremolo lines having a clear, spacey quality to them when they are highlighted by production, how do you explain it?
To be frank...This type of sound comes mainly from the players ability, not the production.Tremolo picking is an art..
So, with the addition of you the band completed successful tours of the East Coast, culminating in an appearance at the 1990 Milwaukee Metal Fest, can you tell us more about it? How did the whole tour go?
It was a hell of alot of fun...I still remember the night we stayed at Chris from Goreaphobia's house in Philly, instead of the hotel,and we laughed and laughed as we were tormented by "The Fan From Hell'.. It's actually depicted in the Hellwitch comics..
Did the tour help Hellwitch getting new fans?
I think so.. definitely...
In February of 1991, Jesse Trevino returned to the band and a very successful 4-date tour of Texas shortly followed, why did Tommy Mouser leave the band?
Oh you mean Tommy Buckley?? (Mouser) That is his real name.. haha.....I think he went back to school.. I'm not sure..I can't remember..
Any memories of that tour?
Pat did the four shows in Texas on his own..I had just left the band prior to that..
Have you ever penned any tracks for Hellwitch? Did you start writing the material for the follow up of „Syzygial miscreancy" or…?
Pat and I collaborated on Terrasymatry and Dawn of Apostacy..But only a couple of my riffs actually remained when he recorded those tracks..
Would you say, that Hellwitch never quite received the attention they deserved?
The most under-rated band of all time...
In late 1991 Hellwitch replaced you with Craig Shattuck, why did you decide to leave them? Did you want to concentrate only on Vile Vindiction?
I wish I didn't have to keep admitting to it.. But the truth is I was all messed up on cocaine....That's the main reason why I never remained in either band. But that part of my life is long over, and not even an issue anymore..
The band never got off the ground due to a failure to find members to complete the lineup, however, one track was recorded in '91 on a compilation called „Frozen Metal Thunder" released by Siberia Sound Productions in Buffalo, N.Y., would you tell us more about the early footsteps of the band and why was it hard to find the perfect members?
I just don't think everybody was serious like George was.
In 2007 George Grant and you were determined to get this project going, so you searched for members, and in April of 2008 teamed up with vocalist Kris Poole, drummer Evan Leuer, and bassist Chad Cogar (the trio are formerly of new school metal bands Forgotten Theory and Buffalo's Body Born Still) are they permanent members? Is it a stable line up?
Oh yes...Kris's lyric writing is impeccable.. These three guy's are young and have fresh ideas.. Plus they like all this new metal that I can't stand..So that's the only way our music even has a chance to take on any "new school flavor"...
What have you done in the last 17-18 years? I mean, until 2007?
I was living in Fla. until 2005.. That's when I decided it was time to turn my life around and do what I was meant to do... Make music..I didn't even own a guitar for like 12 years.. What a mistake...But we all live and learn don't we??
How did you view the developement of death metal? Did you always keep an eye on what's going on in the death metal scene?
Yes I pay attention as much as I can.... But as I stated before,the majority of new metal is crap in my opinion.. It's so full of breakdowns and chaos that the structure and melody are gone.. And who the fuck wants to hear sweeps over and over.. ?? "Hey buddy!! we get it!! You can do a sweep!! now enough already!!"
12/13 2001 is a sad day in the death metal history…
Yes it was.... Chuck was a legend....I'll Never forget playing with them and Carcass in '91..
Do you agree with, that with this young talent you found a fresh sound that is reminiscent of old school, with strong, focused riffing and brutal drumming combined with modern vocal styling? What about the influences of the others by the way?
They like alot of different bands...Like Cradle Of Filth, All Shall Perish, Dimmu Borgir, Acacia Strain etc.. and anything full of breakdowns..
When did you start writing the material for the EP? Were you the main songcomposer or did everybody have a big hand into the songwriting process?
No.. It has been mostly George and I on the E.P... Now everybody has input,and George wrote "Goodbye Morbid World" recently on his own.. what a kick ass tune.. It appears on the full length being released on April 4th,2009
What about the recording sessions of the material?
The first nine tracks on the L.P. were recorded at Watchmen Studios in Lockport, N.Y. and the last is now being recorded here at my studio.Shredly Studios in North Tonawanda, N.Y.
The EP has proved to be brutal and yet filled with structure and melody, right?
We'd like to think so.. It has meaningful lyrics, Brutal blast and bomb beats.. Double bass, fast open picking,harmonies,trem picking, and rippin solos..!!
How do you view, that Vile Vindiction strives to deliver the sick and twisted truth of today's reality in the lyrics and energy delivered, without compromising a single note?
We just aren't willing to compromise and conform to the trends.. We play what sounds good to us..And there's so much fucked up shit goin on in this world past and present,that it gives you plenty to write about.. and Lifes experiences... like with Phantom.. which basically is inspired by my lifes experiences..
What are yor future plans for Vile Vindiction?
Just that Vile Vindiction and Malevolent Creation plan to tour the U.S. together in the summer and Our Album will be avail. April 4th.. But I think I mentioned the release date alreay..Then we will put the next one together.. My plan is to make at least 8 full lengths with Vile Vindiction
Anything to add what I forgot to mention?
Thanks and please send me links to where-ever it is posted online.. !! Have A Great week..anything else you need, just let me know.. - Jim Nickles

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