2009. augusztus 17., hétfő
So Rich, HellHound’s career began in 1981, when at the age of twelve, novice drummer Steve Pelletier began playing music with some friends in his parent's garage. How did this passion into metal develop, and how did you discover that music style?
I'm pretty sure I got Steve into metal, at least the more extreme forms. I think he and his friends were already listening to UFO, Scorpions, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath. My best friend in high school was Brian Lew (Whiplash Magazine, among other things), and he got into tape trading. He got ahold of the very first Metallica and Mercyful Fate demos, and that really changed things for me. Before that, we were already experimenting with Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Saxon, Venom, Angel Witch and the like, which was pretty radical in our area because no one knew who these bands were. We'd read about them, and buy the records without knowing what they sounded like. Luckily, it was the greatest thing we'd ever heard in our lives.
What were the stuffs that you were into? I mean, did you prefer underground acts or rather known, established ones?
Well, because I lived in the US, even the mainstream stuff I listened to like Judas Priest seemed underground compared to what my peers were into. The US was, and still is to a large degree, very trend-oriented. There doesn't seem to be a lot of independent thinking when it comes to art, and musical taste in particular. People tend to like whatever MTV and the radio DJs tell them is good. It has begun to change in the last decade or so, but you still have to make an effort to find something you really like for yourself, instead of relying on society or the media.
What were your influences to form a band respectively to become musicians? Were all of you self taught or…?
My brother Steve and I loved metal so much that we simply had to learn to play it. For me, I wanted to be it. I love listening to metal, but there's no comparison to actually playing it. We started out with some formal lessons (Steve, piano and drums; me, guitar), but for bass I'm entirely self-taught (and I'm sure some will tell you it shows, haha).
The band was called Black Death, and were soon joined by you, who came up with the name of the band. Weren’t you aware of the existence of a Cleveland based band that was also called Black Death?
When I joined up with Steve and his friends, they were called Black Death. We had never heard of another band by that name, but this was before the Internet.
Together you began practicing incessantly, attempting AC/DC, UFO and Judas Priest songs in typical „garage band” fashion.
What do you recall of your rehearsals? Was it unambiguous for you to start playing covers instead of writing originals?
When we first started playing together, we could barely play. It sounded horrible. Playing covers wasn't so much a choice as a necessity, as we lacked the skills to write anything ourselves. Still, we had one or two originals we'd mess around with, but I think they sounded very much like another band's songs.
You wrote a song called „Hellhound”, and the band changed it’s name soon after. What was the reason of it?
According to my brother, I didn't like the name Black Death. I think the real reason is that I wanted to be like Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden, with a song named after the band.
Players came and went, leaving Steve and you the only original members and finally, in October of 1982, Robert Kolowitz joined as rhythm guitarist, and soon proved to be an integral and permanent part of Hellhound. What about his musical background?
His story was pretty much the same as ours. He was taking formal guitar lessons, and was into the usual Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, etc. Steve and I turned him onto Metallica, Mercyful Fate, Venom and the rest.
You were one of the first Bay Area bands, were you familiar with other acts, such as Sinister Savage (later became Griffin), Exodus, Blind Illusion, Anvil Chorus, Metal Church etc.? Did the Bay Area scene start with these bands? I mean, they were the pioneers at the Bay Area surrounding…
Yes, we were aware of these bands. We all had the same influences, and were sort of doing the same thing at the same time. HellHound was based about 50 miles from San Francisco, though, so we had little contact with them at first.
Do you agree with, that Along with Tampa, Florida, the Bay Area scene was widely attributed as a starting point of American thrash metal and death metal?
In my opinion (and I'm sure some will disagree), thrash and speed metal were born in Southern California (the greater Los Angeles area) with Metallica and Slayer. It quickly moved to San Francisco, though. I'm not sure there was ever a thrash metal "scene" in LA. If there were, Metallica wouldn't have moved to Northern California. My interest in death metal didn't really begin until the Scandinavians got ahold of it during the 90's, but my understanding is that Possessed (from the SF Bay Area) were the first death metal band.
What were the clubs that started opening their doors for metal? Was there a strong and healthy club scene at this point?
There were a few clubs that embraced metal, mainly the Keystone Family (one club in SF, one in Berkeley and one in Palo Alto, which was our area) and of course Ruthie's Inn in Berkeley. There were a few other places that would have metal shows as well, but these were the main ones. I would say the scene was pretty healthy; on any given weekend you could see Exodus, Legacy, Death Angel, Heathen, etc., and every so often big guns like Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax would come through.
In your opinion, did Ron Quintana’s and Ian Kallen’s Metal Mania fanzine and KUSF radio help to develop/evolve the Bay Area scene? Were they a kind of catalyst for the Bay Area scene?
Absolutely. Metallica in particular owes a lot to those guys, along with my friend Brian Lew, who helped build the scene.
In November of 1983, after a steady stream of part time bassists and singers, you decided to switch from guitar to bass, because you felt locating another guitarist would be easier than finding a permanent bass player. Robert had begun displaying considerable potential as a lead guitarist himself, you advertised for a singer and new guitarist, and began to write original material. Does this mean it was hard to find the suitable members for a metal band? Was it hard to find members that were sharing the same musical path, interest, direction etc., as you?
It was very hard. We wanted to play a style of music that was so new barely anyone had heard of it. Thrash or speed metal is also unique in that it really has to be inside you. It's not a style like blues or country that any decent musician can pull off convincingly even when they're not serious. There's a technical skill aspect that requires a genuine passion to learn and execute. It was hard enough finding people who liked the music, let alone those who could play it. Vocals are another matter. If thrash, speed or death metal vocals aren't done just right, they can suck pretty bad. Most people don't even like them when they're done well. Yeah, building HellHound took a lot of time and hard work, and looking back I feel pretty fortunate it turned out the way it did.
How do you view, that although Metallica had initially formed in Los Angeles, it wasn’t until their relocation to the East Bay area in 1983 that Cliff Burton and Kirk Hammett joined as bassist and lead guitarist, sealing the band’s first, formative line-up? Did Metallica have an important effect on the other Bay Area bands?
I think moving to Northern California was the smartest thing they could do, and that it was Cliff who made them into a real band. I was at one of the very first rehearsals Cliff had with Metallica, when Mustaine was still in the band. He was an incredible bassist, and he brought them to a new level. There are guys you play with that make you better, and he was one of them. The very first time I saw him play was with his old band Trauma in Palo Alto, CA. He blew me away, and I feel fortunate to have seen him perform so many times. Metallica had a huge influence on all the Bay Area bands, including HellHound. They weren't the most original band in the world when they first started (if you listen to "Kill 'Em All" you can hear Diamond Head and Blitzkrieg in nearly every song), but they added the speed element to their NWOBHM influences, and created something new and improved. Anyone who doesn't acknowledge Metallica's contribution to metal, thrash and speed in particular, doesn't know what they're talking about.
Was their musical direction the most brutal and the heaviest at this point?
They were on the cutting edge, but I always thought Slayer to be the more brutal. It's funny when you think about what used to be considered "extreme". I'll play an old Judas Priest song for my son, and say, "This was as heavy as it got at that time."
Burton and Hammett’s friendship with other local acts, notably Oakland’s Exodus and Testament, and San Francisco’s Death Angel - among others - strongly vitalized the scene, leading to intensive touring and tape-trading that would cross borders and seas, and eventually graduate to record signings, what do you think about that?
I wish that we had been based closer to San Francisco, so that maybe we could have benefited from some of that. We of course talked to all of these people and knew many on a first name basis, but these guys had the advantage of growing up together, of living in the same neighborhoods and going to the same schools. There was an "inner-circle", I guess you could say, that we unfortunately were never a part of. We also weren't the most social of people, myself and Robert especially being rather quiet and low-key.
Inspired by the NWoBHM and then largely unknown bands such as Metallica and Slayer, Robert wrote music while you provided the lyrics, coupled with Steve’s blossoming technical expertise, the result was a fast, furious and very heavy style, which turned away the Van Halen and Ozzy Osbourne fans who were coming to audition. Can you tell us more about it?
Well, we basically had people answering our ads who were barely into metal. Maybe they knew Iron Maiden, most only Priest and Sabbath. Metallica and Slayer sounded like noise to them. We also needed people who looked the part, which for us and the other bands doing our style was modeled after a British metal fan. Back in the early 80's where we lived (and probably most places in the US) it was hard to be a male with long hair. No one wanted to hire you, a lot of girls didn't want to date you, and your parents gave you a lot of shit (though luckily mine didn't). Being a thrash metal musician was an underground lifestyle unto itself.
Finally, in May of 1984, the new members were settled upon; they were Bob Edwards (guitar) and Rich MacCulloch (vocals). Would you say, that a long way led to the band’s permanent line up? What can you tell us about Bob’s and Rich’s musical past?
It seemed like a long time, but I think it was less than a year of searching. When you're 19 years old, a year is a long time. I don't remember much about Bob and Rich's previous experience, but I don't think either had ever been in a serious band prior to HellHound. Bob came in with an original song (which became "Suffer the Innocent") that fit right into our style. He was a huge Iron Maiden fan, and kinda looked like Dave Murray, so he was a no-brainer. Rich wasn't exactly what we were looking for vocally, but he was a nice guy, dedicated and willing to work hard. We were happy to have found them.
Hellhound, now a complete band with its own material, rehearsed through the summer with renewed vigor, the band made its club debut in San Fransisco that October, and soon followed a series of uneventful gigs during which the band perfected its performance skills. How did the early gigs go? Did the shows help the band getting new fans?
Our early shows, except for the one with Slayer, were mostly uneventful. They served to give us experience playing live, and interacting with club owners and promoters. We built our fanbase primarily through the demos. It did help once we started playing regularly at Ruthie's Inn, and later doing gigs with Forbidden Evil and Death Angel.
Then, in December of ’84, the band was offered a dream come true - the opening slot for Slayer on New Year's Eve…Is it true, that Slayer’s gear had been left in New York due to an airline mix-up, so Steve offered Dave Lombardo the use of his drum kit and as a result, Hellhound was moved up to the support slot, playing right before Slayer, and performed to a packed house?
That's exactly the way it happened. We got to the club pretty early, but Slayer were already there. They were hanging out at the bar, looking depressed. We introduced ourselves and started up a conversation, and learned of the airline mishap. Of course, we offered to lend our gear. I think they ended up using various pieces of equipment from all the bands that played that night, but because Dave Lombardo used Steve's drums, we were moved up to direct support. I believe Sentinel Beast originally had the slot.
In 1984 you released a seven tracks rehearsal demo, how did the recording sessions go? How many time did the recording sessions take at all?
That actually wasn't an official release. I see it listed all the time on various websites, but it was just a rehearsal we had recorded that somehow made it into the hands of the tape traders.
Did the demo contain brandnew material or were the songs written earlier?
I honestly have no memory of it. I imagine it had "Ice Age", "Flee the Bomb", "Killing Spree", "Hellhound", and some cover tunes we used to play (possibly "Creeping Death").
Can you give us details regarding the demo?
Since it was just a live rehearsal recording, there's not much to tell. I used to pull my tape deck out of my home stereo system (it was a component system), and we'd plug a couple of cheap mics into it.
How much support did you make for the demo? Through which channels was it spread? I mean, through the tapetrading scene, in record stores, did you sell it at your shows etc.?
Though we weren't aware of it, I suppose it helped to get our name and our music out to the underground metal scene. I'm guessing one of my friends asked me for a copy, and he started sending it to people he knew. Like I said, it was never an official release, so we never packaged it for sale.
Would you say, that the material showed a very promising thrash outfit?
I think by the summer of '84 we were starting to show promise. I think we were more of a thrash band at that point than we were a year later, when the first demo was recorded. Since we still had our first singer, there was a lot less melody in the vocals as well.
In August of 1985, shortly before the recording of Hellhound’s „Submit or Die” demo, Mike Walish took over as vocalist, learning the material in only one week’s time, how did he get in the picture exactly? In which bands did he sing prior to Hellhound?
We'd been working with our old singer for some time, trying to move him in a direction we'd all be happy with. By Spring of '85 (I think it was), we decided it was never going to happen, and we started looking for a new singer. I think Mike answered an ad we'd put out, but I do know we'd played a show with one of his bands in the past. I think his previous bands were called Omega and Militia.
Why was Rich McCulloch fired? What did he do after you parted ways with him? Did you remain in touch with each other?
We were getting negative feedback from our live performances. The consensus seemed to be "You guys kick ass, but your singer sucks". We came to believe that he was holding us back. He formed a band called Baphomet almost immediately after leaving HellHound, and I had limited contact with him for a while. I eventually lost touch completely, but just saw him for the first time in about 15 years at a Forbidden show.
In 1985 you released your second demo „Submit Or Die”, were you more prepared then with the previous?
Well, being as how "Submit Or Die" was the first official demo, we were very prepared. We rehearsed like madmen, so that when we went in to do our tracks we wouldn't waste a lot of time (meaning money).
This material contained the majority of the „Rehearsal demo 1984” and a new track called „Repression Of Life”, why didn’t make up more originals on the demo? Did you re-recorded the old songs, because the sound quality wasn’t so good on the first tape?
When that rehearsal tape was recorded, most of the songs were very new. I'm not sure if they are the exact same versions as were eventually recorded in the studio in '85. "HellHound" and "Flee the Bomb" had already been around for a couple of years by '84, so they are probably the same versions. By August of '85 all of these songs might have seemed old to us, but to the rest of the world they were brand new. This "rehearsal demo" from '84 probably didn't make wide distribution until long after our 2 official demo releases.
The material was recorded on 16 tracks at Astral Sounds Recording San Jose, CA, correct?
That's right. My brother and I had been friends of the family that owned the studio for a while; I think I was in Kindergarten with the guy who recorded us. We were able to get a discount of sorts on the project, and were pretty lucky to do our first recording in a studio of that quality (for the time).
Were the sound quality and performances excellent in your opinion? How much did you develope compared to the first demo?
We were pretty happy with the way it turned out. The guy had never recorded a metal band before, so we had some problems initially with the guitar tones and my brother's double bass drum kit. It's not perfect, but a good representation of the band at that point in our history. To compare HellHound in '04 to the level we were at when we recorded "Submit", I'd say we were more polished and better musicians. We'd matured past just wanting to play as fast as we possibly could, and were concentrating more on perfecting our performance.
The tape got rave reviews in many prominent metal fanzines, including Metal Forces from England and Metal Hammer from Germany and as a result, many copies were sold. Hellhound received airplay on radio stations in Europe and the U.S., often ranking high on audience request lists. Does this mean that the tape helped the band to expand its popularity in the underground? Did this demo draw more fans attention to the band?
Exactly. Once the reviews started printing, we started getting a lot of orders for the demo. After that, the fan mail started coming in. Most of the attention seemed to be coming from Germany, though we got letters from all over Europe. I used to spend a lot of time answering fan mail and filling demo orders. It finally got to the point where I had to set aside some time one day a week, after band practice, so the rest of the guys could help me.
Around the mid-80's the sound of the Bay Area scene changed considerably; virtuosic musicianship (particularly lead guitars) had become a defining characteristic of the scene; the second wave of bands coming out of the scene, led by Testament, Death Angel, Forbidden and Heathen, played a style of thrash considerably different from their predecessors, what do you think about it? Was it a natural progression of the Bay Area scene?
Yes, I think we all went through the same process. When we first started out we were mostly concerned with how fast and heavy we could play. After hearing guys like Yngwie Malmsteen, I think the guitarists started to change their style a bit. Overall, I think we all became interested in being more technical instead of just "thrashy".
Do you agree with, that this new brand of thrash featured longer and more harmonically and rhythmically complex songs, with often neo-classical styled dual lead guitar playing highlighting the album and the songs also borrowed more from NWOBHM vocals and melodies?
The NWOBHM influence was there from the beginning. Thrash can be seen as a hybrid of the NWOBHM sound and stuff being played by the (then) hardcore punk bands like G.B.H., Discharge, The Exploited, etc. The changes you mention came from a natural progression, I think. The bands were getting better with time, and starting to experiment with more complex songs.
A progressive rock influence became apparent for the first time in the genre and the punk influence that was once crucial to the genre was now almost completely absent and this sound, highlighted by albums like Testament's „The Legacy” and Death Angel’s „The Ultra-Violence”, both released in 1987, was the style that many would associate with the classic Bay Area sound, how do you explain this?
I think Megadeth had a lot to do with it, along with Metallica and Anthrax. For HellHound, at least, "Killing Is My Business....", "Peace Sells....", "Ride the Lightning", "Master Of Puppets", and "Among the Living" were very influencial. I can imagine they had an effect on other up and coming bands as well, though I'm just guessing. Testament and Death Angel may have been influenced by something else entirely.
Meanwhile, Hellhound had perfected its live performance into an intense, brutal assault, complete with choreographed stage moves and non-stop head banging. Unfortunately, the band lacked management or a booking agent, and most shows were dismal failures played in near-empty clubs. Did this hinder the career of the band? Why couldn’t you find any agency or management that would have attended to the band?
Well, it obviously hindered our career, and was a contributing factor to our eventual demise. Basically we were young and stupid, and made some bad choices. Unfortunately, we weren't connected with anyone who could have helped us properly. I was the de facto leader of the band, but when it came to business matters I wasn't very good at it. I tried to work with a couple of different people that I knew, but they weren't professionals, either.
In the summer of ’86, it was decided to record a second demo, the band opted for a studio run by one of Mike’s friends who became ill shortly after recording began, what happened exactly?
He hurt his back, I think. I'm not sure why he didn't cancel the project. For some reason he kept telling us to come back, but we'd make the drive out and find he was unable to work. It was very frustrating.
Is it correct, that the project dragged on for months in an „on-again/off-again” fashion, during which time the band did not perform in public at all and eventually the work was scrapped entirely, but by then many thought Hellhound had broken-up?
Yes, we wasted an entire summer, basically. This was another nail in our coffin.
In December the band returned to the studio where the first tape was recorded, and produced „From The Ruins Of Yesterday”, what about the recording sessions?
I think the tracking went well, but it was during mix-down that we ran into problems. This time around, the brother of the guy who did the first one was doing the engineering. He wasn't as authoratative, and we were able to have more say while recording than we should (it would have been okay had we been more experienced, but this was only our second professional studio project). I think we made some technical decisions during recording that lead to problems when we got to mix-down, and the guy had to call his brother back in to fix things. I don't really like the sound of "Ruins", though I think the performances are better. We were definitely tighter by that point.
How do you view that the demo was more polished than its predecessor, the performances proving HellHound’s growing mastery of technical and progressive Speed Metal?
I think it’s more polished than the first demo, but sounds over-produced in some aspects. I think some of the effects were over-used, but some of us were into that. The first three songs on „Ruins” are more technical than our older material, and Robert was trying to be more progressive with his writing. „Progressive Metal” means something else entirely now, so the term really doesn’t apply any more.
As for HellHound’s music as a whole, do you agree that it varies from early Exodus to Attacker and even Helstar, as well as some other heroes from the 80s?
I think you can hear our influences somewhat, which were Iron Maiden, Slayer and Metallica, mostly. We tried to be as original as possible and made an effort not to sound too much like anyone else. Any resemblence to the other bands you mention would probably be due to the fact we had similar influences.
Is the music pretty catchy, the riffs quite good (especially the technical ones), and one can hear some entertaining drumming too; fast but varied and the bass is clearly audible, and it is also pretty good.?
I’ve always been a fan of Robert’s songwriting, and my brother’s drumming. I was as big a fan of HellHound as anyone. As for the bass playing, I’m my own worse critic. I always feel it can be better, but now that I’m revisiting these songs after 25 years in the new HellHound, I find I’m not changing much.
This demo was also well-received, and the band's fanbase was growing, especially in Germany, where HellHound had achieved an almost cult status. Did you get a lot of mail from Germany? Does it mean that you were more popular and known in Germany than in the States?
Yes, most of our fan mail came from Germany, and it did seem we were more popular there than in our own country. Metal has never been as popular in the U.S. as in Europe, though.
How about other European countries considering fans interests, demo orders and stuff?
I remember getting fan mail and demo orders from Italy, France, Belgium, Poland, Switzerland, and a few from the U.K. I expected more to come from England since metal was born there, but we didn’t get much for whatever reason.
1987 saw the band playing bigger and better shows, supporting such acts as Forbidden Evil and Death Angel, do you think that the Bay Area scene reached its peak at this point or would you say, that the scene started becoming oversaturated?
I think it was either the peak or close to it. Many of the bands had been signed by this point, so they weren’t playing the Bay Area constantly like they used to. Also Metallica had got pretty big by ’87, and many in the scene had already labeled them sellouts (because they were signed to a major record label, I guess). There were a lot of new bands on the scene, so I guess you could say it had become oversaturated. People were still going to the shows, though.
Two of HellHound's most notable performances were with Anthrax and Megadeth (both on seperate occasions), after which they received compliments from these bands as well as excellent audience response, what do you recall of these shows? Did you musically fit to that bill?
I wish I can remember more detail about individual shows, but they all seem to blur together for me. I do recall the crowds were great for both those shows, and we were very excited to do them. We certainly didn’t have any trouble selling tickets for those two shows, and that was probably the most money we made for performing. As far as fitting on those bills, we definitely did.
HellHound sought professional backing, and during meetings with Forbidden Evil's and Death Angel's management were surprised to learn you had attracted the attention of record labels who were waiting to hear more from the band. Who were these labels? Did they show a serious interest in the band?
I can’t remember any specific label being mentioned by name, though I did hear at one point that Metal Blade was interested. Unfortunately, by this point we were already falling apart.
It's sadly ironic that the time HellHound was perhaps closer than ever to it's goal of being signed to a record label, it was crumbling from the inside; Steve, you and Robert, long the solid core of the band, had begun growing apart, what kind of reasons did lead to it? Were there any personal or musical differences or…?
Steve had been unhappy for a while; I think he wanted to try something different. Robert’s songwriting style was changing, too, and I remember not being very happy with that.
While you remained committed to the speed metal style, Robert was progressing as a musician and writing slower, more melodic material. Steve, on the other hand, had grown weary of the long struggle for success and was doubting the band's commercial potential. What do you think about it? Were they dissatisfied both with the band’s status and musical direction?
Robert’s change was natural, I think. He was listening to all the Mike Varney/Shrapnel Records guitar shredders, and it seemed to me that he wanted to progress as a musician along those lines. I don’t recall him ever losing faith in the band. Steve was definitely dissatisfied with the band’s status, and figured that if we hadn’t been signed by then it was never going to happen. He was almost completely out of thrash and speed metal by this point, so I don’t think he was into any of our music any longer.
In early 1988, Steve and Bob accepted an offer to join another band; you, Robert and Mike attempted to replace them, but after a few months of unsuccessful auditions you broke up the band. In stark contrast to it's thunderous music, HellHound died not with a bang, but with a wimper. Your comments?
Well, we definitely didn’t go out in a blaze of glory. I’d felt the band was dying for some time, but I guess I was tired, too. I just kind of let it happen. We did try to replace Steve and Bob, but I don’t think we tried very hard. It was clear (to me, at least) it would never be as good as it was, so I decided to call it quits rather than do something that didn’t live up to what we’ve done in the past.
A couple of Bay Area bands besides HellHound, such as Militia, Desecration, Assassin weren’t signed by any labels, although they had the potential becoming great outfits. What are your views on it?
Well, not every band can get signed. Though I can’t remember any names, I think there were bands from that scene who were signed but went nowhere. They either signed bad deals and got ripped-off, or didn’t sell enough records and were dropped.
Can you tell us more about your musical involvements that you did after HellHound’s demise? I think of RapidFire (you and Steve), Doom Society (Mike) and Blackstorm (Robert)…
After HellHound broke up, I actually quit playing for a while. My son was born shortly after, and I had to get a full time job and such. Eventually I started jamming with people again, and made another attempt to put HellHound back together with Mike. We tried some different drummers and guitarists, but nothing came of it. I really didn’t have as much time to devote as in the past, though, as I had a new family as my main focus. Still, I was hired to do some studio work by a guy I met while I was recruiting for HellHound. Robert was in Blackstorm during all of this, and Steve had moved to Southern California with the guys from Rellik to join up with another band (can’t remember the name). Bob was with them, too. All of this took place during 1988 to about 1990, I think. In 1991, Steve was back in Northern California, along with the singer and guitarist from Rellik. Bob stayed in Southern California, but I think he had stopped playing guitar by that point. Rellik reformed but needed a bass player, so I came out of retirement and joined up, wanting to play with my brother again, more than anything. I was in the band for about a week, then one of the guitarists quit. The singer, Steve, second guitar player and I went on to form a band called Ground Zero. We later recruited Robert, who was then out of Blackstorm. We changed our name to Disciple for some reason (I think there was another band called Ground Zero), recorded a demo I never play for anyone and did one show that no one came to. Disciple broke up, but Steve, Robert and I went on to form RapidFire, which lasted until late ’93. After that, I didn’t play seriously again until Robert asked me to jam with his band Terminus in ’97. It was an industrial metal thing that didn’t work very well. We played several shows and recorded a demo (again, which I don’t play for anyone), but it was pretty obvious the band was never going anywhere. We broke up in ’98, I think. As for Doom Society, I don’t think Mike formed that band until 2003 or 2004.
What about these acts compared to Hellhound? What can you tell us about the materials, that you –and the other guys- recorded with those acts?
For me, the only band that could be compared to HellHound is RapidFire. The only things I’ve done that I’m proud of in any way are HellHound and RapidFire. Like I said, I don’t listen to anything else I’ve recorded, and don’t play it for other people. I’m sure I was into it at the time for whatever reason, but not everything you do in your life can be gold. I don’t necessarily regret doing those other things, but looking back they just don’t hold up. I’m sure the other people involved wouldn’t be very happy to hear me say that, but I’m just being honest.
How did you view the metal movement during the ’90s and nowadays? How much did it change compared to ’80s? Do you agree with, that the ’90s weren’t favourable for metal, because it was almost killed and annihilated by the crap grunge and pop/punk bands, that started popping up at this point?
When I was doing RapidFire in the early 90’s, metal was pretty dead in the U.S. People were still into Metallica, but they had just done the Black Album, which to me isn’t really a Metallica album („And Justice...” is the last thing they did that I really liked). Real metal went back underground, so in a way it was like the early 80’s all over again. Unfortunately, it didn’t pick up again until around ’04 or ’05, but there were some cool things coming out of Europe during the mid to late 90’s, if you were open minded enough to accept them. Luckily for me, I was able to get into bands like At the Gates, Cradle Of Filth, Arch Enemy, Dimmu Borgir and In Flames. Metal didn’t die, it just evolved. A lot of my friends were stuck in the 80’s, though, so for them metal died when grunge took over. Well, grunge didn’t last very long, and metal is still here. Presently, we have the classics like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest still going strong, and of course bands like Slayer, Exodus, Forbidden, Death Angel, Testament and others are still out there plugging away. Metallica are even trying to be Metallica again for the first time in 20 years. I think this is a great time for metal.
That the memory of Hellhound remains alive to this day is a testament to the loyalty and perseverance of Heavy Metal fans around the world, so you would like to dedicate the CD „Ice Age” to all the people who supported the band and helped make those years spent playing in Hellhound some of the best of our lives, how deeply were you involved into the making of that record? Can you tell us more about it?
Thanks for quoting so much of the bio I wrote. That’s one of my favorite parts! For the „Ice Age” CD, I was involved pretty heavily. I wrote the bio and all the liner notes, assembled the photos and transcribed all the lyrics. I always wanted to call our first album „Ice Age”, so it seemed the perfect title. We didn’t have anything to do with the cover, though; we didn’t provide High Vaultage with anything, so they took care of it. I’m not sure where they got that painting. It was a lot fun doing that CD, signing an actual record contract and getting an advance from the company. It would have been better if we had put the band back together at that point, but I guess the timing was wrong.
Did you have some materials written back in the day, that never saw the light on Hellhound releases? Did you put all of your songs on your stuffs?
There is only one song that isn’t on either of the CDs.
Stormspell Records released „Anthology” last year (including a DVD), but it was the „Ice Age” material from 1998, wasn’t it?
Yes, the first and second demos. That’s everything we ever recorded in a studio.
Do you agree with, that Hellhound was a promising band from America which unfortunately never achieved the success it deserved and you sure had the potential to become a big name in the thrash metal underground?
I can’t say if we ever would have been a „big name”. I’d like to think we would have been, but that’s up to other people to decide. I actually consider the two CD releases, which are ten years apart, to be a sign of success. The fact I’m doing this interview 20 years after the band broke up shows success, too, in a way. If the band simply died in 1988 and no one ever showed any interest whatsoever after that, then I’d agree we never achieved the success we deserved.
What were the best and the worst memories with the band? What would you change on the band’s career? How would you sum up the band’s career at all?
My best memories are of writing the songs, of hearing them go through the creative process until completion. It’s very satisfying. The recording sessions were also great experiences, as was the T.V. appearance we did. My worst memory is of the band breaking up, the moment I realized it was gone for good. As for summing up our career, I like to tell people we were „almost famous”.
How would you see the band to be remembered?
I’m pretty happy with the way HellHound has been remembered so far. The current CD release on Stormspell Records is selling well, and I don’t think I could ask for anything more. I’d ultimately like us to be remembered as the band that just wouldn’t die.
Rich, thanks a lot for the answers, anything to add what I forgot to mention?
Well, you probably didn’t know this, but the band is now officially back together and writing new material. It’s great to be playing all the old songs again, and we hope people will like the new ones, too. We’re also working on doing some shows in Europe next summer, so people who never got a chance to see us back in the 80’s will finally get a chance. Thanks for having me, and thanks to everyone who has supported HellHound over the years. It’s great to be back!
Bejegyezte: Leslie David dátum: 8:33
So Mike, ARMOROS was formed in 1985 shortly after you & Terry Groom met in Vancouver, BC at a Metallica concert on the „Ride the Lightning” tour with Armored Saint (Terry moved back to his hometown of Victoria where you resided) and you soon recruited Todd Verch on bass, Jed Simon as 2nd guitarist and Kevin Wright on vocals, can you tell us more about the band’s formation? How did you get together exactly?
Jed was leaving a local Hard Rock band he played in called Northern Thunder and I got his contact info from their other guitarist. He and I met and went to our jam spot, rocked out and totally clicked. By autumn Terry had moved back to Victoria, and we began jamming under tentative band name Chrysknife, posting flyers in local music shops seeking "real headbangers...original material ". School mate Todd Verch soon joined on bass/vocal duties and we continued on as a trio playing covers. In search for other like minded musicians, ex-Northern Thunder member Jed Simon was recruited as second guitarist, and after placing an ad looking for other metal musicians Kevin Wright of embryonic metal act Tantrum completed the line-up as lead vocalist.
What about the musical influences and experiences of all of you? I mean, was ARMOROS your very first outfit or did you play in some underground ones prior to ARMOROS?
Jed had quite a bit more band experience, prior to NT he played in a band called the Intruders.
How about the Victoria and British Columbia (including Vancouver) scene as a whole? Were you familiar with bands, such as ANNIHILATOR, ASSAULT, BLASPHEMY, NEMESIS, KICK AXE etc.?
I would say all these bands were coming out of the woodwork during the mid 80’s. Victoria had a good bar/live band scene in the early 80’s but they were mostly cover bands. Metal was only just arising.
Was it a good soil being metaller? I mean, did the hard rock/heavy metal music have a strong background in British Columbia?
Metal was a new genre and I think alot of people misunderstood it, even feared it. We conributed in bringing it to the forefront in our city.
In Canada, bands such as RUSH, APRIL WINE, BTO, HAYWIRE, HEADPINS, LOVERBOY and TRIUMPH have been classified at one time or another as heavy metal, although in some cases the description might be more accurately applied to a particular period of their career (eg, RUSH in the 1970s) or perhaps even just a single album or song, what do you think about it?
There were plenty of Canadian outfits that rocked and had some influencial musicians and songs. Many acts like those you mentioned and also Max Webster, Prism, Helix...
Early Canadian bands in the power rock, hard rock or heavy metal style included RUSH, THUNDERMUG (London, Ont), MAHOGANY RUSH (Montreal) in the early 1970s, followed by ANVIL, GODDO, KRAKEN and MOXY in Toronto late in the decade, would you say, that they opened the doors for the next generations and put Canada on the map of the heavy metal scene?
There were many great Heavy Metal acts from Canada: such as Anvil, Sacrifice, Exciter, Piledriver. The scene became saturated with this genre worldwide but at this time it was mostly underground.
Especially in Toronto was a big underground bauzz back in those days, correct?
Toronto always had a big music scene and soon introduced their version of MTV called Much Music. They acknolwedged and supported their local acts and the metal genre with a weekly metal videos show.
How do you view, that ANVIL’s LPs 1981-3 for Attic, „Hard 'n' Heavy”, „Metal on Metal”, and „Forged in Fire”, were among the first from a Canadian band to use metal terminology and Anvil has found its greatest popularity outside of Canada, as have several of the heavy metal bands that followed in the 1980s, among them SWORD, KILLER DWARS, VOIVOD, and ANNIHILATOR, all of which toured in Europe and/or the USA, both on their own and as opening acts for the leading international bands of the day?
We all enjoyed these acts and what they added to the genre, and are pleased they were acknowleged & appreciated.
So, what do you recall of your rehearsals? Did you start writing originals or were you mostly jamming on covers?
As any band starts, we played covers. AC/DC, Scorpions, Maiden, & Metallica, but we had plenty of orginal ideas for composing. I wrote our first originals: Winds of Bacata - a fantasy lyric of a fable city, followed by Forbidden Zone in a similar theme… and finally with the help of Kevin, the classic song Sacrifice. I found band name Armoros in a book of fallen angels, resulting in Jed's first musical contribution, the track Armor Us.
Would you say, that you started as a pure heavy metal act and you became heavier and more brutal during the years?
Absolutely, we evolved and were influenced by the many great thrash acts that came to rise.
As the band progressed you became more inspired by bands such as SLAYER, EXODUS and DARK ANGEL and geared towards the Speed Metal vein, how did you discover these bands? What were the materials that you started listening to with?
We had connections with underground tape traders who introduced us to the many metal bands & styles coming about. We recieved a great deal of advanced releases, many months before they actually came out in record stores.
This eventually brought about a reformation as you were recording your first demo titled „Debut Assault”, what do you recall of the recording sessions? Can you give us details regarding the tape?
It was an exciting time and fair experiencefor none of us had ever been invloved with the recording process. It was all new to us. We had poor equipment, little time and only fours tracks to work with. Unfortunately Jed was away at this time, working the oil rigs in Alberta.
Todd Verch was replaced by Rick Lee for bass, and eventually he also took over vocals as well, why did both Todd and Kevin Wright leave the band? Didn’t perhaps Kevin’s voice fit to the music?
As the group began to focus, Todd's bass playing was found inadequate, resulting in Rick Lee replacing him only about a week before recording. Rick had been jamming with John Hircock (drums), a friend of Lorne Wright who was in an Applied Communications program at a local college; Lorne offered to record the group for free as part of his class studies. Jed would however be away due to work in Alberta, leaving me to play all but one solo. Our music style was evolving to thrash and it was not a style Kevin was comfortable with. We realized we needed a higher caliber of bass player, so asked Rick to join, and with very few vocalists familiar with this music style, Rick decided to give it a shot. Advance tapes of Master of Puppets, Reign In Blood, and Darkness Descends were heard on Overkill radio and given to Armoros, that influenced me greatly, and I began writing towards this genre. My band mates were reluctant at first, and Terry even threatened to quit, but slowly they started to appreciate the power and we began to write music in this style. Unfortunately this was not the direction Kevin wanted to take, so we decided to part ways.
Were there any personal struggles among you or did you part ways with them on a friendly term at the end? What have they done after their departure from ARMOROS?
We all remained friends, sure there would be resentment at that time, but all still pursused and stayed involved in music and bands still to this day.
How did the demo sound like? Did it really represent your goals and ambitions, that you wanted to achieve ARMOROS with?
I think we were all somewhat disappointed at the quality of the demo. It sounded weak and did not at all represent the band as we came to be. It was simply a starting point.
Did the demo have a cover? How did it look like?
We used the picture Satan Falls by artist Gustave Dore, however we drew on the earth our symbol. http://www.artsycraftsy.com/dore/dore_satan_falls.html
Was it distributed through the tapetrading/fanzine network? Did you try to make a name for the band with this effort?
It made it out in the local scene, but we pretty much put it on the shelf for we were evolviong ARMOROS as a whole. 30 to 40 copies of the Debut Assault demo were distributed locally. Armoros received local coverage through Thrashdance Fanzine by Jamie Fulton, and on FM radio show Overkill Radio hosted by Hircock and Lorne Wright.
Known for their local party-crashing and wild live shows, Tantrum and Armoros crews were inseparable and gigged together regularly. Violent fights and excessive vandalism at early shows reached heights that Victoria venues and concertgoers had never experienced before. Vocalist Kevin Wright recalls the early Armoros shows, "We were the band that really kicked everything into gear. We were the first heavy metal band in Victoria - the heaviest. Back then you were either an 80's cover band or a punk band. As we rehearsed and got heavier they wanted me to sing like Araya, I didn't want to do that." Kevin first quit, but later returned just in time for the completion of epic song Headsmen; however this reunion did not last long and Wright was soon out for good.
"We were one of the first bands of our kind in this area." - Rick Lee.
This final formation of four would then go on to record their next recording „Ressurecdead”, were you more prepared then with the previous stuff? Did you have enough material written for a second demo?
Absolutely; riffs, songs & lyrics never wer an obstacle for us. We were a close knit group who practiced and worked on new material on a frequent basis.
Can you tell us detailed about this second demo? Were you more satisfied with it, then with the previous?
We were very satisfied with Resurrecdead. Our music style evolved tenfold and considering a budget of only $400 it came out sounding great and capturing our new agressive sound. Especially in a time when most producers were not familiar with the metal style of music. The demo featured three new songs with Rick on vocals, a re-worked version of Headsmen titled Dementia with Jed on vocals, as well as an instrumental. In retrospect, it would be our collective favorite. The cover bore my artwork, which would become an integral part of future releases. Controversial lyrics on aids, drugs, abortion, and serial killers mirrored the level of sonic aggression that was evident in the newly resurrected Armoros.
By the way, did you continually write new songs?
Always, I had an endless surplus of riffs and ideas.
Did the demo better represent your thrash metal style?
It did for sure, I don’t think we were a true thrash band until this time in our formation.
In ’87, you gained a growing local fan base and decided to send your demo to the top underground Metal magazines at that time, Metal Forces, & Kerrang, does it mean, that you didn’t do any promotion for the first tape?
Correct we did not feel Debut Assault represented our style or the final formation of just us four members.
Did this tape help to expand the band’s popularity in the underground?
Absolutely it was quite well received!! -\m/. Overseas the demo received excellent reviews in both Metal Forces and Kerrang magazine, while locally we made friendships through gigs with Northwest groups such as Karrion, Witches Hammer, and Forced Entry. 50 to 75 copies were sold of the demo, and then the tape trading mania began. Suddenly a significant impact on the international metal underground scene had been made, and fans wanted more.
Did you also shop the demo around to attract labels interests? Were there any labels that started showing interest in the band on the base of the second demo?
I don’t recall so, we we focused on getting Resurrecdead to as many ears as possible around the world. We now rising in the local music scene, plaing many shows and continually writing new material.
Resurrecdead received positive reviews by both and soon requests for the demo came from all over the world, it means, that it succeeded in drawing a lot of fans attention to the band, correct?
On July 11th 1987 you recorded a nine tracker, was it the very first ARMOROS show? What do you recall of that gig?
This seems to be a misconception, this recording was never intended to be released on our part. I suspect a local fan was responsible for this. I recall all our early shows were well attended extremely violent, and the venues trashed. This agressive music seemed to bring out the bad in some people...lol
What about the early ARMOROS shows as a whole? Were you mainly opening act for bigger names or did you do some headliner shows too?
We did both. We began headlining larger local shows, doing more out of town gigs, and writing new material.
What type of audience did you have? Were they rather speed/thrash metal fans, heavy metal/hard rock ones or perhaps both of them?
It was all varieties, the whole music genre brought curious people by reputation. Predominately it was your typical male teenager with angst.
By 1988, they recorded their next demo thrasher, „Remember Michelle”, what about the recording sessions?
We actually attempting recording this with another studio before going to Downtown Sound, The producer withdrew from the project for he was too unfamiliar with the metal genre and did not feel he could capture us properly. We were hungry and ready to record it but Jed & I wished we had put a bit more into our solos. It did not quite have the same quality and sound as our Resurrecdead recording.
As for the demo, did you continue the musical path of the first two demos or did this stuff become heavier compared to the previous ones?
We got heavy & faster as we matured as players & friends. The demo showcased lyrical content focusing on reanimation, ghosts, Satanism, and death. The title-track was a song which Terry wrote after reading "Michelle Remembers", an autobiographical book about a local Victoria woman whom under hypnosis recalled having been the centerpiece of a number of Satanic cult rituals at Victoria's Ross Bay Cemetery in 1954-55, when she was only five years old.
Again you received international underground praise, was this demo better sold than „Resurrecdead”? Have you ever counted on any underground success or did it come as a surprise to you?
I think the same fans who found Resurrecdead ordered Remember Michelle. We were humbled and greatful for the recognition and appreciation from fans around the globe.
Would you say, that all of the demos have every thrasher’s demands satisfied?
I would think so, yes!
This brought about many opportunities to open for such metal legends as: Vancouvers’ WITCHES HAMMER & KARRION, Seattle’s FORCED ENTRY & THE ACCUSED, and metal greats KICK AXE, ANVIL, SACRIFICE, and DARK ANGEL, did these shows help getting new fans for the bands? How do you remember these shows? Do you think, if the demos wouldn’t have been so successful, wouldn’t have you had the possibility to open for bigger bands?
I think we made new fans everytime we played live. It was an honor to open up for some of our favourite bands. And we developed very close friendships and played many shows with Karrion & Forced Entry. The shows & turn out got bigger and better over the years. It was the birth of a scene.
After placing 2nd place in a battle of the bands in Vancouver, you were awarded some recording time at Profile studios, can you tell us more about it? What kind of competition was it at all?
It was simply a battle of the bands at a Vancouver amusement park. The win for Armoros meant a grant from Canada's SOCAN music publisher to recording time in Vancouver's reputable Profile Studios. Karrion took 1st place.
It was there that you recorded your full length album, „Pieces”, how did the recording sessions go? Did you have a decent budget to record the material?
The recording of Pieces was a challenging experience. We got additonal grant funding and some $$$ from a few investors. Had to find temporary accomodation and luckily one fo Karrions’ guitarists arranged to have us stay at his parent’s house. Recording was stressful for there was lots of late nite/early morning sessions, so our performances were sleep deprived.
The album featured the last two demos and two new songs „Forever CMDK” and „Earache”, does it mean, that you didn’t have newer material written or did you have lack of time to write some new tunes? Did you simply re-record the old songs or…?
That was pretty much our song library at the time and we wanted to capture our previous material with more professional production.
By the way, how did the songwriting process go? I mean, who was responsible for the music and the lyrics? Did you work as a really group or everybody came up with their ideas?
I wrote about 90% of the music and Rick handled most of the lyrics. We all were involved in the arrangements.
Would you change something on the record or were all of you satisfied with the result after the recording sessions?
My biggest beef was the bass guitar, it was gated too heaviliy so kinda pops in places. And still wish Jed & I had some better solos in some of the songs.
Who designed the cover of the album? How did it look like? Was it the cover, that can be seen on the „Piece By Piece” 3 CD Box Set collection?
The album cover was to be simply black and we were hoping to have our Logo embossed and in gold. Pieces text would have been red. The rest of the record layout was much to that of Metallica’s Kill’Em All.
The album was supposed to be released by Seattle, Washington’s EverRat Records but it never happened, why? Did you a sign a deal with them? Did they plan to release other materials too besides „Pieces”?
We signed a contract with Everat but under stand they went through financial troubles.
Didn’t you start finding a new label? Weren’t other labels interests in the band? Was the material shelved or…? Did EverRat own the rights and stuff? Didn’t have you the opportunity to buy the rights and to release as a self-financed material?
We had hoped to be picked up by another label, but it took awhile for our material to be returned and a series of unfortuante events contirbuted to the eventual disbandment.
Although the Album was never actually released, but it did make it’s way around the underground through tape trading, how did it happen exactly?
We shared copies to close friends/fans and am sure that they shared, and so on, and so on. I’ve even seen someone put their own CD package of Pieces up for sale on eBay just several years ago.
Have you done some shows after the material was recorded?
For sure, we were also writing & performaing some kick ass new material. Fans can even hear one of them, Crown of Thorns on Jed’s Tenet Cd,. I am happy to have recorded the first guitar solo on it.
Did you remain in touch with each other by the way? Were all of you disappointed because of the career of the band?
WE were and will always be brothers, but it was a time in our lives were we need to focus our our attention on our own individual lives. Some of us had the priorities of parenthood and finding work. We moved to Vancouver with the intention of finding further opportunites for the band but in the end it ruined us.
You reformed in 1992, and recorded another demo that never got completed nor ever ended up being released, what kind of material did it contain compared to „Pieces”? Was it the traditional „ in the vain of classic ARMOROS” written material?
We had all evolved as musicians and had new influences. We wanted to experiment with a more progressive style.
Why was the reformation so short lived? Lack of motivation, personal and musical differences or…?
It was a little bit of everything. I had also decided to move a bit out of the city and I think the others interpretted that I was no longer interested in the band.
By 1994 members went their separate ways & sought other opportunities, how did you view the metal scene at this point? Would you say, that traditional heavy metal seemed to be dead and being killed by grunge and pop/punk bands?
Yes grunge was over shadowing everything at that time, but metal stayed underground.
We were all at a point in our personal lives where we needed to focus on our own personal growths. It was just not the right time for us to continue as a band.
A lot of bands changed also their music and hasn’t anything to do wit their original approach, correct?
Well I suppose bands that were seeking success and notarity following the Grunge wave and adjusted or experimented with their style. I feel metal never died and was adopted for soundtracks to many sports shows and commercials. It also redefined music studio production and the use of frequencies ranges, and Guitar amplification performance.
Do you agree with, that Armoros is/was one of the best Canadian Thrash Metal bands ever? Did you have the potential to do a breakingthrough?
Well thats a tough question for everyone has their own perception of best, and it’s not like ARMOROS reinvented anything but I think we definitely had the right ingredients to please the speed/thrash fan.
In your opinion, were the Canadian bands always underrated and overlooked? Why did fail them making a name for themselves with the exception ANVIL or VOIVOD? Did the Canadian thrash bands, such as VOIVOD, D. B. C., SACRIFICE, INFENAL MAJESTY, RAZOR etc. play an important role in the evolution of thrash metal? Were they known on underground level? Did they have a big amount of followers?
I would say that all these bands were influenced by the greats that brought about this genre: Metallica/Megadeth/Slayer/Exodus/Anthrax. In 1985 – 90+, metal was still underground, but were exposed in many of the metal magazines and tape trading scene. I have no idea how many followed them thou.
I always state, that the Canadian thrash bands were more brutal than the American ones, some of them had more talent, energy, power than the American ones, what are your views on it? What was wrong with the Canadian music industry as far as Metal is concerned?
I don’t believe a certain country or place contributes a better style or player. It is simply the combination of players and the style they devise. Canada has a smaller population than America, and fewer people were aware and supported metal at this time. 25 years later it is quite different everywhere.
Last year Brazilian Marquee Records released a 3 CD Box Set with all of your materials you had back in the day , who came up with this idea and how deeply were you involved into the making of the stuff?
We were fully involved with this package, but would not have included some of the live stuff.
Did you immediately agree considering the release? In your opinion, did Marquee do a cool job? Is it a good way or chance to make aquainted the band’s name with the fans? I mean, young ones, that never heard of you…
We are honoured to be remembered and that Armando believed that our material should be shared officially. Would never have expected for this to come about! And it would be great to bang some young new heads!
Didn’t you think about to reform again and to hit the stages? What do the former ARMOROS members do these days? Are they still involved in the music business?
When Marquee first released this I would have told you there was no possibility of a reformation, but this release has brought us together again and we are considering possibly writing some new material. I have had the pleasure to jam with Rick & Terry recently. Our main obstacle is that Jed is out of the country.
What do you think about that SACRIFICE reformed and released a new album? Have you already listened to it?
Yes I have been lucky enough to hear it and I think it’s absolutley awesome. Perhaps their best material! I love Rob’s voice and its true thrash!.
A lof of ’80s bands regrouped around 2000 and after and released records, such as AGENT STEEL, NASTY SAVAGE, DEATH ANGEL, ONSLAUGHT or HEATHEN and ARTILLERY these days, do you still follow what’s going on in the underground scene? Do you have time to listen to new stuffs or are you too busy with your musical involvements? What kind of materials do you listen to? Do you prefer the old, classic stuffs that you were growing up on or are you opened into new ones too? Do you have some faves as for the present scene?
I personallly have never stopped listening and following metal. I live for it and seldom listen to anything else. I think there is plenty of new talent such as Gojira, Cavelera Conspiracy, The Haunted, The Destro, Black Dahlia Murder, Goatwhore.... and the latest efforts from the Grandfather’s such as Exodus Slayer & even the new Metallica.
How would you sum up the career of ARMOROS? The best and the worst memories?
Well it was all our first real band expereince and taught us so many things. We evolved as players and friends and got to share our passions with people around the world and be appreciated for our efforts. We got play with and meet some of our influences! It is too bad that we did not venture further, get signed to a major label and tour the world. We grew and changed as individuals. I will never forget the experiences. Armoros is still remembered and recognized
Mike, thanks a lot for your answers, anything to add what I forgot to cover or to mention?
Please check out my band SONIC DOOM, we hope to have CD out soon and to shop it to some labels. And be sure to pick up TENET!
Bejegyezte: Leslie David dátum: 4:41
On the peak of the death metal movement -late '80s/early '90s- appeared a group from England called Cancer. Their first two records To The Gory End and Death Shall Rise belong to the classics of the genre, but with their third record Sins Of The Mankind they turned into a more complex, thrashier direction. Unfortunately they left the death metal behind them and the last record Black Faith became the swansong of the group. Guitarist/vocalist John Walker tells the story.
So John, do you still remember how did Cancer get together? Was the line up you on guitar/vocals, Ian Buchanan on bass and Carl Stokes on drums or did you go thru some line up changes?
Cancer started when me, Ian and Carl had a jam in Ironbridge roughly around 1988. We didn’t have a name as such but we all had the intention of making a big sound after we decided to form Cancer.
Who came up with the name of the band?
The name came from a friend known as “Decker”, on a drinking binge.
Was Cancer the very first band for all of you or did you already play in some outfits prior to Cancer?
Cancer was the first metal band which me and Ian played in. Carl on the other hand had already played in groups so he had experience in live situations and the rock&roll lifestyle.
How about the English scene at this point? Were you familiar with known acts such as Napalm Death, Carcass, Bolt Thrower, Onslaught, Sabbat etc.?
Back in this time we knew Napalm Death and Bolthrower because occasionally we’d seen them in the pub and have a drink. The scene had some incredibly interesting bands at this time with the likes of Carcass, Godflesh and Hellbastard, just to name three.
What do you recall of your rehearsals? Did you start writing originals right from the start or were you mostly jamming on covers?
We started rehearsing covers and originals at the same time, fuelled with alcohol and an appreciation for Death Metal and Grindcore. We also liked the metal from Germany and Sweden.
Your first demo titled “No fuckin' cover” -produced by Big Mick Hughes (Metallica's live sound engineer) and Steve Young (cousin of AC/DC's Angus Young) recorded at the Pits, Birmingham- was released in 1988 and the tape consisted of “The growth has begun” and “Burning casket (My testimony)”, do you still remember how was it recorded? Was it your first studio experience by the way?
Again, for me and Ian, the “No Fuckin’ Cover” demo was our first experience in a recording studio. As for Big Mick and Steve Young, I felt a kind of awe for them, the demo was basically recorded in a day.
Can you give us details regarding this demo?
All I can remember of the recording was we drank a lot of beer and arranged the songs a day before we recorded them.
Backing vocals were done by Frazier, who was he?
Frazier came into the studio after drinking in the pub all day, and did the backing vocals on “Burning Casket” for a laugh. Little did he know, it got signed.
How much promotion did you do for the demo? I mean, did you send it to fanzines, was it shopped around to attract label interests and stuff?
The demo had no promotion at all, it got sent to the record companies and it was distributed on the tape trading scene. I don’t remember it being sent to any fanzines. The idea with the demo was to try to get record company interest and to find our direction.
Your very first show was in Birmingham opening for Bomb Disneyland, what do you recall of this particular gig? Was it still before the release of the demo or…?
By the time we did our first gig, opening for Bomb Disneyland, we were already in negotiations with Vinyl Solution Records. All I can remember about that gig was that I felt extremely nervous.
Is it true, that a second demo sessions in 1989 led in turn to an unofficial live album titled “Bloodbath in the acid” featuring “Your fate”, “Into the acid”, “Die Die”, “Revenged”, “To the gory end” and “C.F.C.” and recorded at Wrexham Memorial Hall?
The second demo was basically our ideas that would progress into debut album “To the Gory End”. “Blood Bath in the Acid” was just a live bootleg album recorded after the debut album had been released on the market.
How did you get in touch with Vinyl Solution Records? Were there still other labels interests in the band besides them?
Vinyl Solution Records called us after they got the demo. We did have interest from other labels but Vinyl Solutions gave us the most realistic deal, so to speak.
In winter 1989 you entered the LOCO Studios to cut your debut album “To the Gory End”, was all of the material written when you started recording the album or did you still write some tunes in the studio?
When we started recording our debut album, all the material was written. It had to be because it was recorded in four days.
How did the recording sessions go with the album?
The recoding sessions went OK considering! (4 days). The weather was very cold during the recording and I felt sorry for Scott Burns who had flown over from sunny Florida to the UK.
Would you say, that the songs are finished and perfect the way they are? Sometimes catchy, sometimes fast but mostly very brutal and all memorable…
I would say the songs are simple and a little naïve but “to the point”. We were a trio during this time so we played with as much brutality as possible to fill the sound.
In your opinion, is the album as a whole a nice trip and specific highlights would be the best two songs “Cancer Fucking Cancer” and “Into The Acid” with opener “Bloodbath”, “Die Die” and “To The Gory End” following closely?
To be honest I haven’t heard the album for years. I lent the CD copy I had to someone and never had it back. But when Cancer toured the “Corporations” and “Spirit In Flames” cd’s, “CFC” and “Into The Acid” were on the set list and still sounded surprisingly good.
How did John Tardy end up performing backing vocals on “Die Die”?
When we finished our four days recording in South Wales, Scott Burns and Carl took the masters to be mixed in Florida at Morrisound Studios, because Scott preferred to mix it in his studio. While he was mixing it, John Tardy turned up and was probably persuaded to do the backing vocals.
How do you view, that Cancer's sound on the debut is really crushing, and highly distinct?
I think the debut has a distinct sound and for the time it was released it was relevant and fashionable. In the spirit of low budget gore films “To the Gory End” is what it is, a cult nostalgia, one day may even comeback with a remastered packaging.
Are Cancer a great example of what PURE 100% Death Metal is all about?
For me “To the Gory End” and Death Shall Rise” were both Death Metal. We had no religious message or political stand point. The lyrics were gory and our musical ideas were strong. 100% Death Metal” I don’t know. 100% raw Death Metal perhaps.
Is this album up there with Entombed's “Left Hand Path”, Obituary's “Slowly we Rot”, and other early late '80s/early90's death metal debuts?
“To the Gory End” was a low budget album. I don’t know or care if it’s considered “up there” with Entombed or Obituary, but for Cancer it’s a small part of the journey compared to what the band achieved four or five years later.
A forgotten early death metal classic…
A forgotten early Death Metal Classic…? Perhaps!! But it did a good job in gaining the band’s interest throughout the UK, some parts of Europe and little to the band’s knowledge, the USA . Personally for me it remains a lost Death Metal Classic.
The cover of the record was done by drummer Carl Stokes, but it was censored in some countries, with only the bands name and album title left on a black background, why?
Carl painted the sleeve, he used an image from George Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead”, machete and head. Apparently it got censored in Germany, I think somebody liked the band and decided to censor the cover to raise the band’s profile. This was great for us, because during the late 80’s and early 90’s censorship was big news. Today this has changed.
The album was mixed at the Morrisound Studios, how long did it take? Does it mean, that you weren't satisfied with the first version or…?
I don’t know how long it took to mix. Scott decided he wanted to mix the album in his studio. There weren’t any previous mix’s.
What were the shows in support of the record? Did you start supporting heavily the record?
We played shows supporting our American friends Deicide and Obituary. We also played with fellow English bands like Napalm Death at festivals. All within the UK.
In your opinion, did „To the gory end" satisfied all of the death metal fan's needs back in the day? Did it succeed in drawing a lot of fans attention to the band?
In my opinion, the needs of Death Metal fans were already satisfied with albums by Death, Autopsy and Obituary. What Cancer did was to shine our own different light from the UK. As for drawing fans this would be more prominent after the release of “Death Shall Rise”.
As for the recording sessions of the second album, why did your choice fall on the Morrisound? What about the recording sessions as a whole?
When we started to write our follow up album “Death Shall Rise”, we didn’t know we were going to record it in Morrisound, but I think it was Scott that swung it. He wanted to record the album at the studio where he works. We recorded the album sharing the studio with Morbid Angel during the 1st Gulf War.
Were you more prepared than for the previous one?
I think Scott Burns was more prepared with the recording of the second album, he organized equipment, hotel, food, transport etc…
Did you have a decent budget to record the album?
The budget was two weeks studio time, three air tickets to Florida, hotels and Scott’s fee. So yeah, decent.
Do you agree with, that “Death Shall Rise” was a great follow up to the debut?
“Death Shall Rise” was a natural follow up to the debut. From the release date of “To the Gory End” to the recording of “Death Shall Rise”, the band was busy playing concerts and writing new tunes.
How do you view, that the band continues on the same path that started with “To the Gory End” and the addition of James Murphy on lead guitar is/was definitely a plus?
The progression was highlighted by James Murphy who left Obituary one day and joined us the following. He came to the studio to play a couple of leads as a guest, and shortly after he was asked to play the rest of the leads as we liked what he was doing.
Is this album particularly immense as it features James Murphy on lead guitars so it features a fair bit of “Spiritual Healing” styled melodic technical guitar solos which fits right in over the Bolt Thrower-esque thrashy death riffage this album is so ridden with? Did he (James Murphy) also have a big hand into the songwriting or was the material completely written when he joined the band?
All the music was written by the time we had got into the studio. James joined us after I had recorded all the riffs so he played his leads last. We didn’t know he was going to be playing on the album when we wrote it.
Scott Burns obviously made this record what it is and successfully took Cancer from an unsigned-sounding act to one of the most respected death metal bands of that year, right?
Scott Burns and James Murphy both were instrumental in transforming Cancer’s sound from a raw 3-piece to a more professional Death Metal band. I guess it was the American influence. This helped the band a lot and credit where credits due we couldn’t have done it without them.
Did Cancer as a band overall have a tremendous amount of talent considering writing music and tunes?
Cancer’s music after the release of “Death Shall Rise”, I think displayed more writing ability. We had become more experienced musicians and our lives had changed also.
Do you feel, that you have written an outstanding, classic material?
“Death Shall Rise”, was received well by both our fans and press, I don’t feel that the material was outstanding but many people did or do now. I suppose the Death Metal fans were happy with it and we were fortunate to be a part of it.
Do you agree with, that “Death Shall Rise” was making Cancer exceedingly popular at the time of its release and James obviously added a touch of class to the material?
I agree that Cancer’s popularity increased during this time, this was because the press were friendly to us and PR was being conducted by someone called Rob Tennants; with James adding his leads to the material we had a good team and a good profile.
Was this Death Metal the way it is meant to be?
I don’t know if this was “the way Death Metal was meant to be”. Perhaps. The Cancer fans could shed more light on this question. It was a result of certain situations leading to interesting consequences.
Is it a fantastic Death Metal album that is really solid from start to finish, without any low points? Did Cancer develop a lot compared to the first album?
As I said, “Death Shall Rise” was a natural follow-up. A good album for the time it was released. The band was still finding its feet in the music business, any comparisons between TTGE and DSR are purely down to Scott and James, but although the songs were arranged a little differently, the sentiment and subject matter remained the same.
Did this second release from Cancer have an excellent sound and is it a very high production on the entire recording? Is the sound quality absolutely crystal clear and not the least bit muddled?
The sound quality and production was Scott’s decision and he must take the credit for this. Working with Scott was such good fun and he worked well with the band because he had similar ideas to us. An original master of Death Metal productions.
How did Glen Benton end up performing backing vocals on opener “Hang, drawn and quarter”?
Glen of Deicide did the backing vocals on HDG because cancer had played some gigs with Deicide when they first appeared in the UK. He came over to the studio one morning during the sessions, to hang out and smoke, again perhaps he was persuaded to do it, but we had a laugh.
Amusingly, the album caused a great deal of controversy upon release in Europe, when it was banned in Germany by the State body for censorship of works dangerous to the youth, on grounds that the album cover would incite youngsters to inflict violence upon each other, what do you think about it?
Controversy was Cancer’s constant companion during early 90’s. Like many other artists, we were the scapegoats in which government led groups saw reason to control what their societies were buying. Now the EXPLICIT LYRIC stamp is enough. It was never the band’s intention to stir up controversy but I’m not surprised it did.
After the release of the record, UK gigs saw a headline run throughout in May supported by Unleashed and Desecrator, did the tour go well as a whole? Did you get on well with the other bands?
We got on well with all the bands we played with during those years. As well as Unleashed and Desecrator, we played with Pestilence, Malevolent Creation and Scorn including many others.
Then you had US dates, you performed at the Milwaukee Metal Fest 1991 and also supporting Deicide and Obituary, did the US death metal fans really like/love Cancer? Did the shows help the band getting new fans?
Cancer were fortunate to play the Milwaukee Metalfest three times. Other acts on the bill were Deicide, Obituary and Sepultura.
Did it succeed you in expanding your popularity in the US?
Playing this festival expanded Cancer’s popularity in the US very quickly. A North American tour with Deicide was also instrumental in reaching more people.
As for your performance at the Milwaukee Metalfest, it was released later on in 1994 along with Suffocation, Exhorder and Malevolent Creation, what do you think about this record?
The “Live Death” live at the Milwaukee Metalfest was and still is the only official sample of the band playing live during the group’s busiest period. It captures the band in its so called classic years, when our live sound was a little more harsh.
Why and when did James leave the band? Was it easy to get on well with him?
James left the band after completing the second European tour promoting Death Shall Rise. He left because it was impossible to continue for logistical reasons. I think his intention was to do his own group anyway. Personal differences aside, James helped the group to reach more people and he played some superb leads.
Instead of him, Barry Savage joined the band, was he the first choice of the band or did you audition other guitarists as well?
Barry Savage replaced James shortly after he left. I remember rehearsing with Barry for about a week and then we played a couple of shows in Israel. He was the only guitarist we auditioned and by pure luck, he fitted.
At which point did you start approaching the songwriting? Did the label ask you to hear new material or to do some pre-production tapes?
We were starting to write music again after James went back to America. The label didn’t ask to hear any new material. They didn’t have any pre-production tapes because we didn’t record any.
How do you view, that compared to the first two albums “The sins of mankind” seems to have more riffs and the vocals seem to have better rhythm?
“The Sins Of Mankind” was produced by Simon Efemey (Paradise Lost, Napalm Death), who had different ideas to Scott. The group also had been writing more technical material and more complex arrangements.
The Death Metal qualities let one knows just who you really are, but Cancer took it to a whole new level, do you agree with it?
I think “The Sins Of Mankind” is a curious album in regards to Cancer’s discography. We wanted to do something more Heavy Metal that Straightforward Death Metal. But what we got was a Cancer album which paved the way in terms of progression towards the 4th album.
The greatest factor in this album is the constant speed to it...there are not many breaks in this album with long and drawn out riffs, correct?
The speed of the album is constant and doesn’t vary much until the last few tracks. We started experimenting with acoustic guitar and the lyrics were more mature, more focused and more thought out.
Was it a kind of concept album? To what did the title refer?
The title of the album is the concept. The title refers to humanity or the lack of it. Any connections made between the song titles and the album title is for the listeners conscience alone…
Then you went on European tour with Cerebral Fix, any memories about it?
A week before we went on tour to promote “The Sins Of Mankind” Carl suffered a motorbike accident. The tour was publicly confirmed with Cerebral Fix supporting and with Carl’s injuries the tour looked doubtful. In the 11th hour, the tour went ahead with Nick Barker (Cradle Of Filth, Dimmu Borgir) playing drums. It was our live debut in Spain with good attendances in both Barcelona and Madrid.
A setback occured when drummer Carl Stokes was involved in an accident, his motorbike hitting a British Teelcom van and he suffered multiple injuries necessitating the entlistment of Monolith’s Nick Barker on a temporary basis, how did it happen exactly? Did you recruit Carl, because you didn’t want to cancel the shows?
We knew Nick as a friend from the days when we used to play gigs promoting “To The Gory End”. We had also played gigs with his group Monolith. Nick learnt the complete Cancer set including material from “The Sins Of Mankind” in two rehearsals, and from the first gig we played, to the last gig we played on that tour, his drumming was exceptional. I actually met up with Nick a few months ago, here in Madrid. He was drumming for Exodus, whilst Tom was on holiday.
Before your last album happened a lot of changes, both musical and labelwise, what made you to sign a major label East/West and why did you leave Vinyl Solution? How much support, promotion did you get from Vinyl Solution at all?
After the European Tour, Cancer went back to America and did a tour with James Murphy’s band Disincarnate. Then a gig at the London Astoria with Poison Idea and various concerts across the UK. We were writing material for the fourth Cancer Album when Rob Tennants left Vinyl Solution. This meant we didn’t have the same team anymore. Anyway after writing four songs we recorded them with Simon Efemey and started to get interest from East/West. They boasted better budgets and we signed at the same time we went into the studio to record “Black Faith”.
Why did you turn back on death metal?
I don’t think we turned our backs on “Death Metal”. We had progressed musically and we felt good about our direction. Yes “Black faith” wasn’t a straight-forward Death Metal album, but there still were elements of the Death Metal sound within it…Obviously it wasn’t for the few Death Metal purists out there.
How did you view the metal scene as a whole at this point? Was the scene killed by grunge and pop/punk and a lot of bands either broke up or changed their sound to somewhat that hadn’t to do with their original approach?
The metal scene during these years I think was very interesting. Metal was more popular than ever with TV programs like Headbangers ball. Grunge and pop/punk I think perhaps helped the Metal scene in general, how could we ever forget Tool and Alice In Chains, Machine Head and Sepultura? What’s so bad about bringing all the different styles of music into the homes of everyone lucky enough to have a TV?. The question is, when Metal becomes super fashionable, how does a Metal purist deal or manage the choice of either supporting or criticizing this incredibly amusing situation?
How do you view „Black faith” these days? Was it a natural progression, a conscious step after „The sins of mankind” record or did you work hard on it?
Now if asked, “Black Faith” is my favourite Cancer album and still is the only one I listen to. I don’t know if it’s a conscious step after “The Sins Of Mankind”. A natural progression, yes, but also with so much more in terms of production, mixing and writing. When the group entered the recording studio, everybody worked incredibly hard until it was finished and the same went for the mix also, Sank worked all the hours he could.
Did you cause a great disappointment for the Cancer fans?
It’s funny, I’ve had musicians and fans tell me they were so obsessed with “Black faith” that it ruined their lives for years and I’ve had other fans tell me they didn’t see any value in it whatsoever. This shows I think what an interesting album it is.
Who came up with the Deep Purple cover?
I can’t remember whose idea it was to do Deep Purple’s “Space Trucking”, probably Simon’s.
Following the release of the album you toured in Britain with support act Meshuggah, what do you recall of this tour?
Following the release of the album, the only gigs Cancer did was a Headline show in Candem (London) and a tour of Germany, Holland and Austria with pagan metallers Skyclad.
Is it true that Barry Savage sessioned for Cradle Of Filth in 1996?
I think Barry did session for Cradle Of Filth. I don’t remember if it was 1996 or not! I know Nick Barker was playing in Cradle Of Filth during this period.
At which point did the band break up? What kind of reasons did lead to the band’s demise?
The group broke up shortly after the London show. During the time that “Black Faith” was released, the band changed its management and then changed it again after the London show. It was a sad end but also it had a sense of relief. For seven years we’d worked, through many different experiences, and it felt necessary to stop.
Cancer’s early materials was pure death metal, then you progressed to a thrashier sound on „The Sins Of Mankind” and finally an attempt at going mainstream on „Black Faith”. Due to unconcern of fans you split-up, how do you explain this?
It’s very easy for the people to see the band splitting up because of the idea “black Faith” was some sort of major label failure but there were other reasons involved that were instrumental in the group’s demise. Some of those reasons were out of the band’s control but influenced the group all the same in a negative way.
Did you remain in touch with each other after Cancer’s break by the way?
After the group split up. Barry moved to Switzerland and I didn’t see Ian or Carl as often as I had during the band’s life.
After the band’s split Carl Stokes was involved in Nothing But Contempt with Barney and Danny Herrera from Napalm Death and Rob Engvikson from Sacrifical Altar, Asatru, were you known of the existence of this short lived act? Have they ever recorded some materials?
During this activity, I was actually travelling through India, I don’t recall them recording anything.
In 2000 Carl also filled in for Telford Hardcore mongers Assert, and he busied himself with a new project titled Remission with you, can you tell us more about it?
Remission was a very short lived Stoner Rock band that never happened. A demo was recorded which contained the song Solar Prophecy which ended up on the “Spirit In Flames” CD.
What about Ian Buchanan at this point? Was he also involved in several acts or…?
Ian was doing electronic music during these years, working mostly on his own.
Cancer made a return during 2003 with you, Carl Stokes, Rob Engvikson and Adders, how did that happen exactly? Whose idea was to reform the band at all?
Cancer basically reformed to play live and with a few new ideas we recorded the “Corporations” EP. It was Carl’s idea to reform the band. We both knew Rob and Carl knew Adders from his time with Assert.
You released an EP called „Corporations” and a full length titled „Spirit in flames” (both of them by Copro Records), can you give us details about these materials since I never listened to them? Was it distributed worldwide or…?
Both “Corporations” and “Spirit In Flames” were released by Copro Records. I don’t remember what the distribution was, I know that it was released in the UK but that’s all, I have no other details.
Were these materials written in the early Cancer vein? How did they sound like?
The “Corporations” EP was diverse and the song “Oil” was relevant to the time of release as the 2nd Gulf War had started. The EP also included a cover of Celtic Frost’s “Dethroned Emperor” (for Saddam Hussein) and a revamped version of “Witchunt”, with an “Oil Remix” contributed by Ian Buchanan. “Spirit In Flames” had material which was perhaps similar to some of the earlier recordings. It featured the lead guitarist David Leach who was from the band Pulverized.
Cancer broke up again, according to you Cancer is no more, but Carl Stokes revealed plans for a new band billed Hail Of Fire featuring Dave Leitch and Barry Savage on guitars, Ian Buchanan on bass and Rob Lucas on vocals, they released a demo in 2006, have you ever listened to their material? Are they still active?
Yes, Cancer broke up again, but it wasn’t my decision to end it, just like it wasn’t my decision to end it in 1996. I never quoted “Cancer is no more”. Perhaps my move to Spain might have influenced whoever it was, to make the decision to end the band. As for Hail Of Fire, I didn’t listen to their demo so I can’t comment about it. I don’t think they’ve managed to stay active.
You are involving these days in Liquid Graveyard and Absolute Power, what can you tell us about these bands?
I recorded some guitars for Absolute Power before Cancer reformed in 2003. It’s basically Simon Efemey and Shane Embury’s Power Metal project, including a few other special guests such as Ripper Owen. Liquid Graveyard is my new band and for me this is the correct musical direction and as I’m not doing the lead vocals, I’m able to concentrate my energies on the guitar. My wife encouraged me to keep playing metal after Cancer’s split and since I’ve moved to Madrid, the metal fraternity here have received me with open arms. On bass we have Adrian de Buitléar from Mourning Beloveth, on drums we have Acaymo D. and my wife Raquel Walker handles the vocal duties. The concept of the band is principally songwriting using the metal sound. So far we’ve played some gigs here in Spain and recorded a demo which led to us getting signed by Italian Record Label “My Kingdom Music”.
Did you always keep an eye on what’s going on in the underground? Are you the dude that rather prefer the old school stuffs or do you consider yourself an open minded musician?
Back in 1988-1994 I did keep an interest in what was happening on the underground Metal Scene. As a musician I’ve explored a few avenues but now I mostly write music without caring or noticing what’s happening with other groups or with scenes. My main influence now is life itself and with Liquid Graveyard I have the vehicle and freedom to write in this way.
Any plans with Liquid Graveyard and Absolute Power?
I don’t know about any future plans with Absolute Power, but Liquid Graveyard has recorded a full length CD titled “On Evil Days” and this is due out on the 16th of October. You can check out a sample of it on the Liquid Graveyard myspace site. After the release of the CD, our intention is to promote it by playing some shows across Europe.
Would you say, that Cancer left its mark on the scene and the band’s name is still big and in people’s minds?
Some people from the scene probably remember, but I don’t know if the band’s name is still big in some people’s minds. Still without re-releases, or re-issues, there are people who haven’t forgotten.
Are there any plans to re-release „To the gory end” and „Death shall rise”?
I don’t think there are any plans at the moment to re-release “To the Gory End” or “Death Shall Rise”. I’ve had some interest from record companies so maybe in the future those plans could change.
How would you sum up Cancer’s career? The best and the worst memories? Would you something change on it?
Cancer’s career I think is best summed up as a Death Metal band that progressed beyond its original sentiment and intention. Rather than sticking with the same formula, Cancer were brave enough to diversify and take risks. The best memories? Recording the CD’s and playing interesting places like Mexico, Portugal and Spain. The worst memories, too many to mention, but probably for me the last Cancer gig.
John, thanks a lot for the chat, anything to add what I forgot to cover?
Ok. Thanks for the interview, I hope the information has been of some use to you. Don’t forget to check out Liquid Graveyard’s myspace site for future information regarding my musical activities. Hasta luego.
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