INTERVIEW WITH IMMOLATION
Questions answered by: Bob Vigna
Interview took place in Ljubljana on 15/05/2001
First of all, I'd like to apologize to anyone for all the delay with this interview
that was made already on May 15th 2001. Reasons are many, but now it is finished
at last. The interview is quite long, but if you take time and read it, I guess
you won't be disappointed, because it is really in-depth and we talked about whole
bunch of shit. The concert was really great (both Immolation aswell as Deranged-
Destroyer 666 were cancelled), one of the best this year. But unfortunately I
didn't get to see Eminence from Brazil and Krabathor with Speckman cos the interview
took so long- but it was worth it. I would like to thank Bob for his time and
once again my apologies for the delay.
For the start, how are you feeling today before the show?
Yeah, good. You know, we had..., the whole tour has been going pretty good. All the shows have been great, the bands have been cool. We had... Decapitated from Poland was on the tour, but they had to... in Poland they had to stay there. They were gonna be at the show tonight but eh...
Ohh, so they are cancelled for tonight?
Yeah, for the rest of the tour because, two of the guys in the band..., their
father had like a heart attack, so he's in a hospital, so basically... That happened
a couple of days before Poland, so once we got to Poland they had to stay there,
you know. But all those guys: Decapitated, Deranged, Destroyer 666, you know the
Soul Demise is even on the tour. You know everyone..., cool guys fucking wanting
to have a good time you know, it's been a really...
Cool tour man!
It's been doing good. You know, we are happy, ha ha. I mean, everything has been going really nice and I think we will be probably back in October. You know, if everything... if all goes well, so... Yeah, no complaints here!
And if you compare this tour with the last one in 1999?
Oh yeah, definitely better this time around because we have like... some real support.
The last time we had that band Pik with us, which... Totally cool guys and everything
and they, you know, what they do is just a little different than what this crowd
wants to see, you know, so they kinda were just... Really just us drawing anybody,
you know what I mean. So I think people are coming up at shows..., it was just like
one band for them to see. It still did really well, I mean, it was a great great
tour but this one's even... For us, this is like the real deal, 3 really strong
bands with us, you know, and it's like... full force you know and we are loving
it so it's really good.
I would really like to say that this album, you know "Close To A World Below", it's really like your top...
Oh, no doubt about that.
I mean everything, the lyrics, song structures, riffs and production wise. And I guess that you've heard the same thing from other people?
Yeah! I mean, we would... making all the great reactions, the press has been great.
I mean..., we've always had tough times convincing the critics, you know..., showing
people that obviously we are here to stay and..., we are very much ahhh..., you know,
ready to rock! (some fans interfered here and shacked hands with Bob, blah
blah - Poli)
Ok, now about your producer Paul Orofino. Will you use him also on the next album? Because he is...
Yeah, I think so. Cos he's just starting to get used to our style and he's... Obviously from "Failures For Gods" next to a "...World Below", you know he's obviously... The production is in hand, from here to here you know, it's got a 100% so... Cos he has gotten a feel for what the band is doing and I think..., you know, we are just clicking that much better now. When you are going to the studio and knowing what to expect, that's good because it leaves room for more..., you know spending more time on the production and everything, rather than trying to figure out exactly what's going on you know. Like the first time went really smooth, but the second time we knew the studio, we knew him, we knew aaa..., you know how everything works and you know it was much quicker, it was much stronger so...
And he got your vibe now, right?
He got into the vibe.
Yeah, without a doubt. You know..., so it's good.
And I would like to say this, from all the bands that are on the scene for like 10 plus years, I would say that you are the only one doing something really fresh and still aggressive..., like full force you know, something new.
Yeah, I mean that's what we are trying to do. We are trying to do something..., exactly, something fresh, something unique, you know... something...
And you are getting better with your every album.
Yeah, without a doubt. I mean, that's what we are trying to do with each album, with each song you know, we wanna make things interesting, make things... You know, we don't wanna just do the same shit over and over again, too many people do that. We just wanna create this new... new...aaa...You know, take this music further that it's been before you know. Right now it's here, we wanna take it.... You know, we know there's a lot more that can be done with it, so it's a matter of doing it and I think with new album especially, just got that much more emotion into it, that much more feeling, that much more power, that much more intensity, much heavier you know. Just taking it to a next level and that's what we would always do with each album, is taking it to a next level.
So that's also the goal for the next album.
To be even faster, even more brutal...
It's not exactly faster, it's just... the more... emmm. Taking it further you know. I mean, you could speed things up all you want but, that doesn't mean too much. It's a matter of making it more ominous, larger, more interesting you know. And that's what we gain for, making more interesting music, more stronger music, something that's just different, you know something that people haven't heard before and that's what we're trying to do all the time.
So would you say that bands..., I don't know, Deicide, Morbid Angel are not strong enough? I mean, not as strong as they used to be?
Ahh, I mean they are doing their thing and that's what they do. I mean, they have obviously..., they're doing well cos they are still here and really strong. I mean Morbid Angel is doing tours with like Pantera now...
I know, I know...
... and doing... It's a great thing for the scene so... I mean those bands pretty much are..., you know keeping everything going strong so...
But I mean album wise, you know...
Yeah, they are doing their thing you know, I'm not gonna say who's doing what or... I'll talk about us right, ha ha.
Yeah, I wouldn't say that they wimped out but...
No, definitely not.
... but I would say that, I dunno, you are doing something better. And...
We appreciate that opinion ha ha (and we both start to laugh).
Now to your riffs, your music. Like Christ's Cage or The Devil I Know or maybe Close To A World Below... Where do you get these ideas you know? I've heard like, things that happened to your life...?
It's just a... Musically it's getting inspired by a lot of different things, we are listening to a lot of different kinds of music, so... You know, it's just a matter of trying to be as creative as possible, trying to create a lot of feelings in the music you know, and that's how it comes out. I mean, there's no explain other than that, we just... Always looking for something different you know. What we're trying is just create something special and I think that's what comes out.
And you've said that you have some kind of crisis for the past few years. Have you taken something from these crisis into the music?
Oh without a doubt. I mean yeah, I got personal things going on, that makes me miserable all the time so... ha ha...
Is it like ok now?
Yeah, but I mean, the music obviously when you are in a down mood, the music comes out that much darker, it's like... he he, you know, a lot of depression and misery in your life adds for some really great music, ha ha, cos it's, you know...You have a lot of dark feelings inside, a lot of down feelings... Just all sort of feelings and that comes out in the music, so yeah, that does help, ha ha.
Like that last riffing in The Devil I Know? You were like sad and...
Right. Yeah, yeah.
Now about the lyrics. Emmm, Tom..., he's like what? He's got most ideas right? And...
Tom does a lot of the concepts and song titles and ideas and then Ross does a lot of the lyrical structures. With those ideas and then we all add our own lives and little things here and there, you know so it's good, cos everybody works together. Everyone's got their strong points and then we take all that stuff and kinda find tune in here and there and get the final product you know.
But with the music... does Tom helps you? With making new riffs and stuff?
Oh, I've been doing a lot of music most myself you know. But I mean, everyone has a ... their ideas.
Yeah and the end is?
It will be like this and then we will make a couple of changes here and there to make it, you know, kinda like... right. So this is... It's a matter of being able to take something from a scratch and build up on that and then once it's build, then everybody work like..., ends the final touches.
And what's with Tom, I mean he won't be able to be on any tour anymore right? Because of his work?
Yeah, not anytime soon. I mean you know..., we are not making freaking thousands and thousands of dollars doing this you know, heh, than ehhh.... You know, it's tough cos he's got his own business in home and he makes good money. He's got a family you know, he's got these pals...
And he's married now.
Yeah, he's got a son you know...
... so he's got a lot of things going on, so it's very tough to just pick up and leave you know. We can't just leave for like a month and a month and a half and not make any money, you know what I mean so... And the company suffers when he's gone so we can't just let that happen.
But you guys are also working, so?
Yeah, we work with him, so I mean... I help him with the company and everything but... Basically he started the company, it's his company. He started with a partner, his partner passed away so, he's pretty much... Got that what he started and that's his thing. Basically we work with him, but when it comes to the band, we gotta do what we gotta do and he stays there cos that's, you know..., that's his thing.
What about Ross and Alex?
Same thing. Ross works with Tom too. And Alex, he works in a music store so... When he has to leave, than I will have a problem with it, ha ha. And then he comes back, so...
And what business is this?
Aha... So on this tour you have Bill Taylor right? Will he be also on the next tour?
Yeah also. He's pretty much the permanent live guy you know. Yeah, he will be there for a while.
What about John McEntee? That was really great that you had him on the last tour.
I know. Well, he just... We asked him originally, to kinda like you know, "take that spot", but he just couldn't do it cos he's got Incantation going on, too many...
New album maybe? Is he making a new album?
He's working on one, that's what I know. He's supposed to have a new one come out at the end of the year I think. So, he's busy with Incantation so he couldn't do it. So that's why Bill... You know Angelcorpse broke up and that was it, so Bill was available and we got in touch with them...
But I heard that they're like getting back together. Is that true? (around that time there was some rumors about it - Poli)
No! (he said this very promptly - Poli)
That's just a rumor right?
Ya, ha ha ha (both laugh here). Definitely not gonna happen. So yeah, that's why we add him. And he's happy..., so ha ha, you know.
And for how long are you friends with John McEntee?
Oh years. We know him since the beginning, since we first started to play, show with Immolation, "AAA" you know...
Was that around Rigor Mortis time?
Emmm, I think we might even know him during that time, but definitely Immolation was... I mean we played our first show with his old band Revenant.
Emmm... and Ripping Corpse, you know, we did like a show in a small bar and that was like our first show with them and ever since then we've known those bands, for a long time. And John, we've just know over the years, since we started to be a metal ha ha ha. So it was all kinda like the same local scene, you know New Jersey, New York scene... That's why it was great having him with us you know. But he's got his own thing going on and I guess that's it. Bill fits right in too. He learned all the songs really quick and he's totally into it. And we have a good time.
Emmm, what about Will Rahmer from Mortician- you and him..., you're both from Yonkers right?
So... how long..., do you have any gigs together?
Eeee, no. Ha ha.
No... You never even played together?
I think we had in the past... maybe. I don't know. We don't really do much... them.
And when was your last show in Yonkers?
No, we never played in Yonkers.
No, Yonkers no. Played in New York. Last show we did in New York was in January, like on our release show.
Oh yeah, I heard about that.
We played like... over almost 2 hours set. You know we did like 18 songs, ha ha. Certainly a bunch of shit.
That would be so great to hear tonight, yeah!
Yeah, and only we have...
I know, I know... ha ha ha (both laugh again). Emmm... and if we go back to the lyrics. Like from what I've heard you guys were at catholic schools, right?
Ross went to the catholic school, I went to the catholic school after school you know, so... yeah, we've all have our...
Was that just elementary school or also high school?
No, me was elementary. Ross I think into high school. Tom's parents are all like born again Christians. His mother was born again Christian anyway. So yeah, I mean, we've all been brought up that religion and mad things. So basically..., you know we see things around religion and it's not just the Christianity thing, it's everything. That's what we are familiar with, but cos if you really look at the lyrics, they can relate to all different kinds of religion and they can also relate to... not even religion some of the lyrics, you know. You can look at the song and it could really... If you look through it, through the words that really could just be using Christ as an icon, for maybe a person or somebody you know, you know what I mean. It's a lot of different ways you could look at the lyrics. So it's all for the individual. Put a lot of thought into it so you know, different people can get different things out of it. But mainly the underlining things in a lot of our songs are basically believe in yourself, don't look upwards towards other things for help, you know what I mean. Really, if anyone is gonna make a difference in your life, it's you. And it's really a main message to... to that..., I mean betray you know. We show the darker sides of a lot of different areas of religion. For instance, Father You're Not A Father looks at the priest and how they, you know... abductive, they were more... abuse children over the years. How this is supposed to be such holy man of God and they do such things that none of us would even think of you know (my words exactly! I couldn't agree more - Poli). It's stuff like that... Song like a Lost Passion looks at someone who devoted their whole life to religion and God, Christ... only to be left out and disappointed in the end, kinda like seeing things that are different than as they thought it was and that can relate to a relationship you've had with someone, someone you look up to, a friend. Friend kinda like turns on you in the end or becomes something that... you know. You kind of devote yourself to someone for use and than... turns around right there, not what you've thought that they were so that's kinda what that song is about. You could look at the religion way of it and you could look just... the kinda like everyday life-way of it you know. It all depends on how you look at the songs.
That's what we're trying to do. More and more... We try and create things that are more open, so you can kind of look at them in that many different ways.
But when you were kids, you were supposed to go to the catholic school because of your parents right?
Yeah, we were brought up that way. You do believe it cos you were brought up to think that way.
So the question would be, did you have any troubles with that? I mean, later when you..., I dunno, begin to start with your band.
No, it's just, you just realize that, ok...
I mean, they were supportive to you right, your parents?
Oh yeah, yeah. They... They're obviously you know, they think ok, they believe in what they believe but... they don't hold on to what we do against us. To them it's just like, how we look at it really. It's a band, we do music, we enjoy music, you know we tour the world, we fucking aaa.... You know we make albums and that's how we look at it. I mean, it's for entertainment, it's for enjoyment. You know, we listen all different kinds of music. This is obviously what's close to us (he hits on his chest here - Poli), this is close to our hearts, what we do. You know, we use... We don't believe in God, we don't believe in religion, we don't believe in the Devil, we don't believe in any of that.
In any god or just Christian one?
No, we believe in us (he hits on his chest with both hands - Poli). We believe that you are in reality here and that's about it. You know afterwards..., who knows, you khmm ok (I asked him about reincarnation here, but unfortunately he didn't hear me - Poli), you hope you're not gonna sit in the ground forever, but... you don't know! It's just like , we'll find out one day ha ha... one day. But I mean, we use God and the Devil as kind of personifications of good and evil, which really exists on the planet, here... you know in life in general. So that's really what we are looking at you know..
So yeah, they nothing but support for what we do. They see that we are doing something... you know, obviously doing something that's both creative than even if they might not agree with what we are saying, but they see...
Did they ever read your lyrics?
Yeah! You know... and I think if anyone really reads on them, they were kind of... thought out. So it's not that we're just like fuck you, fuck you, fuck you.... ha ha.
Yeah, I know, I know...
So... I'm really appreciating that factor over...
That's what I like about your lyrics. They are actually telling something.
Oh yeah. I mean, you wanna have something, some meaning, some feeling to it you know. It's important.
I've read in this interview that was done not so long ago, that even some Christians said that they have read the lyrics, they don't necessarily agree with it, but they understand you.
Yeah! People were e-mailing saying yeah, you know, I am Christian, I am Catholic whatever the fuck they are and you know, "I kinda see things differently now" or you know, "I kinda disagree, but I kinda see where you are coming from", you know "you don't just bash us", ha ha. I mean, so it's like yeah, they can even kind of look into what we are doing. So ok you know, it's another point of view.
But how old were you when you..., I dunno, let's say start thinking with your heads?
Ohhh..., I don't remember.
Yeah... I don't remember... Somewhere between 10 and like 13, something like that. I don't even remember. But you kinda realize it... just to came you know. We were in obviously heavy music and darker stuff. So when we have related to it and then when we started doing a band, that's what we did.
But we like all different kinds of stuff, everything from groups Metallica and Maiden and you know... Slayer and fucking... aaa...? You know, Venom and Exodus, Destruction, Kreator, Voivod, you know all that stuff. There's so many different things you know... Dio, Sabbath, Zeppelin, you know like all that, it's kinda like our starting ground, Possessed and then from there you know, we started listening to all different kinds of stuff. You know, when Sepultura first came out it was like really unholy and dark (I put a smile on my face here - Poli) and fucking... like Morbid Visions was out and all that shit. And then we just you know, were doing our own thing and this is what we have developed into it.
But we listen to all different kinds of music, non metal stuff, all different kinds.
I've heard you listen to Byork right?
Oh, fuck yeah! She's awesome. Byork, Hooverphonic, fucking aaa....?
Maybe some drum'n'bass also?
"Drum and bass", I mean...
Ohhh... (he sighs as if he just remembered - Poli), I've heard of that. Actually, Alex played me a tape of that, yeah. I'm new to that scene. He's like, yeah, this is drum'n'bass stuff and I'm like, oh yeah?, what is that all about? Well, it's drum'n'bass... so I'm like ohhhh, ha ha (both laugh). He played me a tape, it's cool. Yeah, that kinda style... emmmm...
All different kinds of shit. Sarah Brightman, Tori Amos... Just a lot of different music. But I tend to like listening a lot more that kinda stuff these days, cos you know, between playing this kinda music so often you know and writing this music so often and then my life being like that so often ha ha ha, it's just like...
Like a break.
Yeah, I like to listen to softer stuff you know. But it's cool because with listening to that kinda stuff you develop a lot of different... You know, it's very emotional music, very..., a lot of feeling in that music which I think turns into what we do. You know, cos it shall have a new album you know... It's that much more emotion, that much more feeling and it's... It's from different things you listen to, you kinda let... get ideas... or indirectly you get kinda like... you know, the emotion or feel from other music and you put it into your stuff indirectly. Yeah and it's great!
I think that's what sets us apart from other bands. We really have open mind to all different kinds of music. And in turn from really listening and absorbing a lot of different things... in our music that comes out. You know, in it's own way. Which is cool.
Yeah, I would say that your music is like..., I dunno, emotions translated into music..., your riffs. And that's what sets you apart from other bands. I mean, that's my opinion about it and with your every album is like that.
Yeah, I mean... I think we cover both, the heavy brutal, powerful side aswell as a very emotional and a lot of dark feelings and atmosphere side, so it's kinda like two of these together you know.
And you definitely have a specific sound and that's really good.
Yeah... That's the thing to achieve, ha ha.
So what would you say to the kids you know, that are trying to have a band? Like, what to do to have a specific sound? Practice all day long?
Go your own path man heh, you know. It's very easy to just take what someone else did...
You know, it's one thing to take influences, I mean everybody got influenced by something we did, everybody does you know. But you gotta grow, you gotta take those influences and you gotta create your own thing. I mean... I don't know how to describe it, it's just you know, it's have to... create stuff from inside. You can't just be a band that sounds like this band or be something that sounds like that. You know, you gotta do try and do as much of your own stuff as you can, be as unique as possible. That's all I can say.
Yeah, some bands...
And don't expect to make any money either, ha ha ha (we both laugh).
That's for sure.
Ain't kidding... so...
Well, some bands even say they don't even listen to other music so that they wouldn't get any influences from it, so they would...
I mean, I know people yeah, they just listen to death metal or they just listen to black metal... I can't listen to any kind of music only you know, it's like... I can't just listen to death metal, I can't just listen to black metal, I can't just listen to... Bjork you know, ha ha. I mean, I like all different kinds of stuff but I... You know, obviously you need to listen to all different things you know.
And that's a good thing, to not being narrow minded about music you know.
Ooo exactly. I mean, I'm still getting inspired by stuff as Metallica and Maiden. If I hear an old album or even some of their new stuff, you know like Metallica is doing... A lot of people don't like it, but you know, couple songs might click in me kinda like... I'm like wow, that's something different you know. Allright, a lot of people don't like this, but they're doing something that's a little bit different. You know, it's like..., to me, that hasn't been done before. On a couple of their tracks you know... and it's inspiring. It makes you wanna try and check something that's... that's obviously something new and fresh sounding. So you know, I can still get inspiration from bands like that aswell as... you know, non metal stuff or very heavy stuff. It all depends.
Did you maybe saw the movie that Byork...
I wanted to go...
I didn't get a piece of fucking sit.
Dancer In The Dark.
Dancer In The Dark yeah. I was gonna to the theater and see it, but...
It's really sad movie.
I, I, I... I wanna see it bad. I got to meet her at the Cannibal Corpse show in New York, ha ha.
Ohh... (both laugh).
She was at New York, I heard recording stuff. And I guess a friend of her likes that kinda music, so she was at the show and... ha ha . I was just like a little kid. I was like "How you doing, nice to meet you" (he says this very shy - Poli), ha ha ha. It was cool though. Yes, she's amazing... amazing.
Do you also like Sade maybe?
Oh fuck yeah! We were listening to her new album the whole tour in the United States. (finally someone that knows a good, quality music :), ha ha - Poli)
Cranking that out. New album is GREAT! Awesome! Yeah, she's... she's pretty amazing.
Because in the metal business let's say, especially in death metal, there are still a lot of people that you know "Oh man, you can't listen to this! Baaah, fuck that! There's so many music in the metal so why listening to something else." I mean, still too much narrow minded people.
I mean, you know, people be like that... so be it. They are only missing out as far as I'm concerned you know.
I mean, you are like living proof that even if you're listening to other stuff, you still get... something like Immolation...
... unholy dark metal man (we both starts to laugh here). That's right. (he takes a small brake here- Poli)
Yeah, I mean, what we do is what we do you know. What we listen to doesn't mean we're gonna sound like... (exactly - Poli) fucking out Sade tracks, fucking on the next out you know... That's what people think I guess. To us... it only helps us I think. Ups us be more creative you know. Which is really what's all about.
Emmm... to go back to the songs again. You already mentioned before Father You're Not A Father, the song. I wanted to ask you this... This is probably not a real event right? It's just something in general. You weren't describing some real rape or something, but in general?
Not from our personal lives, no, but stuff that really happened. I mean, we see it in a paper and the news... recently I mean. It always comes up here and there you know, you heard from a priest from Brooklyn or whatever... (we have a lot of this shit here in Europe, I guess we all remember this big affairs few years ago in Belgium... fuck Catholics! - Poli)
It's been whatever you know. Abusing children for the past 20 years you know and just found out now. He's 90 years old now and he's gonna die but it's... ha ha, so what's the purpose? This happens a lot you know, so it's just something that's been there for awhile and you know, decided to write about it. It's a strong song, it's basically a song against child abuse you know. It's basically pointing the finger at people that are supposed to be... You know, you're supposed to have a feel to trust in, to be a good people and they do something totally like inhuman you know. And that's basically what that song is about.
I would say that that's the biggest mistake of Christianity. I mean, they are definitely not doing what they preach. I mean, they are not practicing what they preach.
I mean the hypocrisy thing, yeah.
Exactly. (here comes a long break now - Poli)
Well, I don't know. Just for the record, I'm not a Christian, I wasn't even baptized but... it's not, I mean, I am not against religion but against Church (Church as an institution and what they really are as opposed to what they should be).
It's good for some people, it's not bad for some people. I think some people just get carried away with it. I think the people that kinda control a lot of it. Some of them are not even into it, but they just like the power of it you know and kinda take advantage of the people. That's really... people were eminent. Those type of people to people that feel that they're better or higher than everybody else, you know what I mean. So it's not everybody, but it's basically the institution. (couldn't agree more - Poli) They're taking advantage of other people, you know what I mean. There's a lot of that out there...
I mean personally, when we... you know, daily lives you know. I don't go up to Christians and ha ha, I don't go to Church and freaking... fight fire the things. I can care less. I don't even think about it. But it's...when you see it, you see it around you know and it's just like...(he pauses for a moment here - Poli) We put it in the music you know. I mean, basically it's there for people to interprete in whatever the way they want and it's in the music. We don't go up to people's door, knocking on their doors and saying here, this is what we're believing in, cos that's what we get from Christians, we get that from... fucking Hare Krishna people and fucking... We get these people coming to our door, knocking on our door, open the door and... they're throwing their shit in your face you know and that's the worst fuckin' thing.
Us, we make our music, we put it out there and anyone that wants to listen to it can, if they don't... than they don't have to.
So, what would you say that is happening with Christianity now, is it decreasing or something?
Yeah, I think... Well, in the States it's still a lot of it going on, still a lot of crap. I see on the TV get those preacher types of dudes...
Aha, I know.
They are the worst. Oh my god, it's so fucking pathetic.
Thank god we don't have that, ha ha.
Thousands and thousands of people, just like fucking... just like stupid or something. And you can tell they're sucha fake people you know. Preachers are so fake and fucking... and so much bullshit you know. That's the shit that really pisses us off ha ha.
Yeah, but I would say that kids are not so much into it as they were used to be.
I mean, I know in Europe a lot of that has gone downhill you know. But it's still out there. I mean, it still deals with the politics that controls the society, whether you are personally into it or not it plays a big part in everything.
I don't know, maybe we will live up to see this downfall of Christianity.
We'll see. There's too much money involved in it. So... too much people are making a lot of money at it.
Yeah, but still, I mean when you don't have the masses you know, when you don't have enough sheeps...
You don't have the power.
There's a lot of fucking... too much people out there, ha ha.
Ha ha, I know.
It's a bomb. A lot of people just don't think, they will not, they are brought up that way so... they can't cross that line. They just think like, no, this is the way it is you know...(I know the type, heh he -Poli) and it's just not, it's just... You know, if you tell a child from the minute they're born that this is the way this is and that is the way that is and you keep drawing that into the head and they don't get anything outside, that's the way they're gonna think. No matter who you are, wherever you are broad up you know. So I think a lot of people... just that believe in that stuff in this day and age, just kills me you know... it's...
It's crazy. But that's the way it is.
Why would you say that all this hate against Christianity is mostly in metal music and not so much in other styles?
With us is not really so much "hate thing", it's more like kinda looking at things and just questioning them and kinda like throwing the stuff that they throw at us back in their face you know. That's what it is.
I don't know, you get people like... Like look at Tori Amos. She says a lot of stuff about you know... She says weird things about Christianity and put down a lot of that stuff. There's stuff out there , it's just that metal obviously is the main root of that (I smile - Poli), but you know, it's the main vocal point, but there is other stuff out there. Like I said, we use that as a tool. It's something that draws a lot of attention. You see things certain way, draws a lot of attention, but then when you really look at what it's saying, it's kinda like saying something else, you know what I mean. Like something outside the religious things. It's kinda ugly way to gain that kinda interest. And you know, people are ohhh, what the hell is that about. Kinda like being able to get your point across.
Well, you already answered my questions about other musical styles so, ha ha...
That's ok... Well, Ross is not here so I can't ask him these questions I prepared...
Heh... Oh, to go now to Craig Smilowski. What was the reason for his departure back then?
Oh, he just...
I mean, was it him or you?
Oh, it was him and you know... we told him to leave, ha ha ha (we both laugh). He just didn't wanna work hard.
He wasn't so dedicated or something?
Not really, he's just...(here it was the end of the tape, so some parts got lost- Poli)... sending like everybody else, so... Just get to that point where he just wasn't working and that was it. And Alex was the first person we asked so...
How did you get to know him?
Through Fallen Christ or...?
You know, we saw him in Fallen Christ and Tom and Ross thought it was a good idea and you know, we knew that he was a powerful player...
Yeah, but his playing back then is totally different...
I know, I know... But he was very straight forward yet the stamina was powerful...
... "booomch!"...khhh... So he had a potential, we knew he had a potential and that was it. I mean, we asked him... Soon as we asked him he was like ok, ha ha ha. If you don't know how people are in their bands, I mean we know how we are, we are pretty close in a unit you know. We figured, we assumed that they were, but obviously not because within their band things weren't as tight as we thought they were. And once we asked him, he was very much into it, he liked our music to begin with.
So you know, once we got him going... I mean, it took a little while, took a couple of years to really have sink into him, but once he got the style down...
Oh I know, I was there on this tour Here In After in '96 and he was ok. I dunno... he was doing ok. Well, it was his first tour with you guys right? He was...
Yeah, yeah... The first tour he did was in the States. So we had 6 songs, we only played 6 songs a night. That's all we had back then. But then, we had him some time to work shit out before Europe. And he did pretty good that tour, but things were still a little rough. But yeah, a lot of people didn't even noticed, they thought it was Craig playing. And then after that, once we started to really going over shit and... Took a lot of hard work man, believe me. Took a lot of hours... me sitting there with him, going over shit, fucking you know...
But he is dedicated right?
Yeah, I mean we all are, so you know, he's pushing it now, he's got kinda like both of styles together. You know, he's got the very strict forward on a side and then he's got all the feeling and emotional stuff and different weird time stuff that we do, and he puts up together and took us up to the next level, you know so it's good.
Also about this thing I noticed like on the last 3 albums you always had 8 songs. I mean... so how come? Just a coincidence or...?
That's just what happens, ha ha ha (we both laugh here). I mean, we usually write... Our songs are not exactly short so...
Yeah, they are not short.
You know, we set time for the studio, we write stuff and basically we just get to that point where we feel we have enough and just happened to be 8 songs three times in a row, ha ha ha...
I mean, I think we never have filler songs you know, so all the songs are very strong, all the songs are unique...
Every song that we ever made you know. There's a lot of bands out there that put like 18 songs in an album, 14 songs and it's like you know, little intros or this and that or filler stuff or songs that are just kinda like ok... You know, some songs are good, some songs aren't. And when we do songs it's... (he hits his palm with his fist few times - Poli) every song is fucking 100 % you know.
That's what I like about you, because you don't have like "oh, these 3 songs are in, this is ok and those are like..."
I mean, you play every song right? You've changed the sets for every tour I guess...?
Yeah, yeah... Well, we changed like for instance... We play all the new stuff now. Some nights we leave out couple songs here or couple songs there... And we'll change, interchange stuff from old albums... flip-flop and stuff like that.
We played in a Czech Republic last night. We happened to do the whole new album...
The whole album?
... aswell as other stuff you know.
So we end up playing all the songs of the new album so... It depends on the crowd, depends on the place you know, it all depends. We have enough material to work with so... Yeah, all the stuff is strong enough to play live you know, all of it. So we just, kinda mix and match and joggle things around so at least the show is different you know.
And what I like about your music is that it kinda grows in you. The more you listen to it the more... you get into it. It's kinda like "wow, the first bomb", I mean... like I said, the more you listen to it the more it grows in you.
Yeah, yeah, no doubt about that.
So I guess that means that that's strong material.
Yeah. I mean, I think... (he stopped here - Poli)
it's not like something, I dunno, like Deicide and that "ohh, that's it", but...
It's really well structured. That's how I feel about it.
Well, that's what I said. We try and do things you know, certain way so it last you know. If you listen to the stuff years later and it still got... you know, some...
Oh yeah! I still get the chills when I listen to Here In After.
That's great album... for me. But I heard that you guys didn't like the production of drums, right?
I mean, there's always production issues, you know what I mean. When you only get so many dollars to do an album and short amount of time, there's gonna be stuff that you're not happy with. (but I like that production, it's great - Poli) That's cos you're your own critic. I mean you know, anybody that does their own album, unless you are like you know, like Metallica, you're probably never happy with, ha ha (both laugh) ...the end results, you know what I mean. Unless you got millions of dollars to do an album. So there's always gonna be those little things and when I look back and everything you know, even the last album "Failures For Gods" sounds pretty cool to me. The rhythm sounds good you know, it's like these certain things you obviously wish could be better. But you know, that's life, ha ha.
Then when I heard the "Failures..." I said "ohhh, so that's what they wanted with the drums." I mean completely different.
But now with the new one, it's again... different.
Yeah, I know. We're... silly, ha ha ha.
But they are great on each album.
Yeah, we try and make things interesting.
Oh, I heard about these handpainted shirts from Mexico.
Oh yes, those were probably bootlegs.
Bootlegs yeah, but were looking great.
Yeah, I forget those... Yeah, I think we all got one of us.
I think that Ross got one later.
Maybe... Yeah, I remember that. Those were pretty cool.
Also here, painted on the sleeves, everything hand painted.
Yes, pretty cool. They do a lot of weird shit down there.
I mean what, they are so much into you or... they have so much time ha ha. I dunno...
They just wanna make money for them.
Yeah, but they are all handpainted.
Yeah, I know. Those... that was a particular thing, I know. I think we all needed to get one. I think. Well, maybe Ross has got one, I dunno. It's freaking... something was really cool. Yeah, I remember that vaguely. Yeah, maybe it might just been worn and I don't even remember.
Emmm... I guess you played in Mexico right?
So, how are the shows there?
Pretty crazy. We played in the Mexico City before and we played... around. Like Durango and... eh shit, fucking... wheeew. And 2 different places.
Was any of these shows with Disgorge maybe?
No, we played... We did a tour with Incantation and Acid Bath. We did about 5 or 6 shows and then we played in a Mexico City with Suffocation one time. And then we played Juarez (at least I think he said Juarez - Poli) on the last tour I think, 2 years ago. So it's pretty crazy... gets pretty wild.
Did you guys played in Brazil?
No, we've never been... We've been to Lima, Peru and that was it. In '94 we were there.
Was that with Mortem?
Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah... We saw him in Cal..., either in Arizona or California. I think Arizona. One of those guys, ehhh... what the hell is his name... maybe... or (he thinks and whispers some names here - Poli) ...anyway. This one guy comes up to the shows, cos he's going to the school there and... (that's Fernan, I checked later - Poli)
Oh I see...
We get to meet them and you know, hang out and shit. Those guys are totally... totally cool!
I kinda noticed now that the last 3 albums, you recorded in July or June... so how come you are recording your albums in summertime all the time?
Just happened to. Like this one will probably... we're shooting it for like November, for the new one.
So, do you have any...
Ha ha, no.
Yeah, I heard that you work with the schedule better, right? Ha ha...
Yeah, ha ha (we both starts to laugh here). While we get in there and then...
And then in one moment, boom, ha ha... everything.
Yeah, I mean... It's good because really what happens is that you sit down and you just... You know, there is so many different things going on in our lives that once we set that date, we set the time for a month and just sit down and concentrate on that. Even though we are working and everything, we do it. You know, if that's your main goal, you just keep... you know, during the night, at the work, in the morning, you just constantly pushing to get that shit done and it's good, because you kinda like just, that should your main goal at the time. So you know, that's the way it works out best. If you're trying and to do shit here and shit there it gets like... You know, it gets drown out. We are getting to a friend of mine, it's good cos it's just like "boom boom boom boom boom boom" and then you get your out.
So basically, you don't get any ideas on the road?
No, it's impossible dude. (we talked one over another here, so... - Poli)
I tried the first 2 days of the US tour and brought up all the stuff out (I starts to laugh - Poli), my 4 track, everything, like I'm gonna fuckin' write this album (and he hits his palm with the fist - Poli) in the next 2 months you know. After the third day we came back around New York again, to go to another show. I was just like, I dropped that shit off. I was like "fuck this!", ha ha. It ain't gonna happen you know. There's too much shit. I mean, in the US we drive, so we're driving all night long.
Oh yeah, long distances.
You know, so you're driving to the next show or you sleep for couple of hours, you get out, maybe take a nap, then you get up. Than you fuckin' play the show, than right after the show... ends up like 2 in the morning. Then you're driving 15 hours to the next show. It's just like... No way in hell you're gonna write anything. You know, it's impossible. If you had a tour bus and you would be the only band on the tour bus and maybe you would have a back lounge... and you can go back there during the day you know. It would be a different situation, but we are not at that level right now.
Like Morbid Angel, Trey playing his Quake on the bus, ha ha...
Yeah. I mean, you know, sure they got a lot of time... even solo, I'm sure it's still hard, cos you know, you don't always have the privacy to work and shit you know.
So at home is my best place, when I'm alone in my room, there's nobody in the house, ha ha. It's the best way you know.
But do you have any riff in your head maybe? Or something?
Once we get home, "boom boom" and we'll get this...
Ha ha... ok. Is there any band in particular that impressed you in the last time? Any new band, youngsters? (we got interrupted by a fuckin' siren here - Poli)
Cephalic Carnage is pretty cool. They pretty got their own thing going on.
Who? (I thought he said Satanic Carnage, ha ha - Poli)
They're different. They're like... they're kinda like a...
Aren't they more grind?
Yeah, like grind, like a lot of weird stuff, but they're really cool and they're like really... They do their own thing, they got their own thing going. They're really like fast freaking shit. So they're kinda like the most different thing I've seen.
Emmmm... I'm trying to think who else... I mean, other than bands that you know, we've heard before. I can't think of anything new that I've seen now. A lot of bands that I see these days just... you know, very similar to other things.
But I dunno, in the last couple of years, maybe 2-3 years, the death metal is coming back again. Also the new crowd and everything...
Yeah, I guess... I mean, we've been here...
Yeah, I know.
It's always been there so. Oh yeah, the attention of it, they get shifted you know, so...
It's like on a wheel. Sometimes you're up and than your down again (I mean the entire genre here).
Right. To us it's not like a hype thing or...
I know, you were always death metal.
That's what we do you know. So, if it's gonna swing back in all directions again than so be it. People are getting to this music and after they hear any death metal... you know, we're gonna be the band they wanna hear, ha ha.
It's kinda funny you know, to listen to the kids who are now like, I dunno...into Morbid Angel and they know just their last album or the previous one...
... but not the first one.
Well, we are around for that long like... you know, it's like... you really get to the point where you gotta realize... khh khh... you're only as good as your last album and you have to just keep putting shit out and really keep getting new people you know, to really try and make it successful. Don't matter how many albums you have out you know, you're not just gonna be like... You know, you want every new album to be something special and than yeah, you are always gonna get someone new like... There's plenty of people on this tour that have seen us for the first time, that even like this packet today. All they saw us for the first time, just heard of us, just getting into us you know. That's the way it is. That's the way always was. You always gain new fans, everyday. It's a matter of getting out there and spreading the music out.
So what's your opinion about bands like Diabolic, Krisiun, Hate Eternal...?
Yeah, I mean they got their own thing going. Krisiun was supposed to be doing some... They're gonna be touring with us in August.
Oh, I see.
So that should be really cool. So... that's good. Good package. Might do something in Japan with them maybe too, should be cool.
And which bands would you most like to play with?
Ah, we're gonna play with anybody man, ha ha.
But what would be in your eyes, like the best show, the most killer one? Immolation/Incantation, ...?
Oh yeah, I mean obviously playing with friends is always really cool and...
Yeah. (well, some drunk came by and started babbling so Bob "babble" back - Poli)
And is there any question that no one asked you, but you would like to say something about it or is there something that still need to be said about Immolation? Probably not I guess, he he (both laugh here), but still...
We are real big South Park fans, ha ha ha ha...
Me too, ha ha...
I dunno. Yeah, I dunno man... fucking metal. We just do what we gotta do and we are fans and we just like to have fucking good time and do the best we can you know.
People think you're like fuckin', you know... We are just like everybody else. We just like the music, we are fans of music, we enjoy what we do... you know, this is what we love to do. We are just happy to be able... to sit here in Slovenia and be able to play a show. I don't care if it's fucking in front of a 10 people, it don't matter you know. The fact that we are here and be able to do this is like something special to us you know. So it's always cool, it's always fucking great. And you know, hey, we are just enjoying it as much as we can and we like the fact that we are able to... People are able to relate to our music and enjoy it so much. You know, to us that's a good feeling, cos you created something and so many people like it and can relate back to it. So it's priceless man, it's priceless. (I totally understand you - Poli)
Do you get annoyed by some questions? I dunno, maybe about your private life or something?
Not that I can remember. I mean, if there's something we don't wanna answer, we just won't answer, ha ha.
Ok, that's cool. So, I dunno, if I would ask you some weird question like... emmm, what's the best sexual position for you? Ha ha...
Emmmm, anything that involves a female, ha ha ha ha (we both starts to laugh here). Then I am all for it.
Well, I dunno, we're done here, I ran out of questions so... I hope I didn't bore you too much with all these long questions...
... and everything.
It was good.
So, I wish you all the best and... (we shake hands here - Poli)
Excuse me, I'm a little ill (and we starts to laugh again)
I know why. I got you talk too much so now you have soar throat. Thank god you don't have to sing.
Yeah, it's a good thing. I would be like "eeeeeee" (he says this like a woman, ha ha - Poli).
Ha ha ha...
I'm not quite the singer.
Ok. So all the best and if there's anything that you would like to say at the end... probably not.
Thanks. Thanks for the interview.
Well, thank you.
And hail everybody in Slovenia. And Czech Republic and of course Croatia.
And you are appreciated to come back soon...
You definitely have fans here.
Yeah man. Hopefully in October we will be back with a... I dunno who, but he he, we'll see. We'll pick someone along (well, at the end this "October European tour" never happened - Poli).
Oh, what do you think of Danzig, do you like him?
That's not metal, but still.
I like some of that stuff, yeah, of course.
Or maybe Misfits?
I never really been into The Misfits. Ross likes that, latest album that they put out, he likes that. Hey, they've been doing a... (some people interrupted us... again - Poli).
One more question, about your website. Who..., I mean, are you personally involved with it, maybe any of the band members?
Oh yeah, me and my brother. I do it with my brother.
So, if I would send you an e-mail, you would be the one who would answer?
Oh yeah, I answer all e-mails, yeah.
And also, there's like an e-mail for interviews.
Yeah, you could e-mail Chris or just e-mail us directly, which ever you know.
What do you think about this in general (internet and webzines I mean). There's not so much 'zines now out, but there are more webzines.
Yeah, whatever man, whatever we are keep looking at. Obviously the computers are the new thing. So, that's the way a lot of it it's gonna be done now. Which is fine. Communications, the news always growing...
If you want information, you just log on...
Yeah, that's right. It's a beautiful thing man, can't deny that.
So what will be the new thing on your website now? Maybe the lyrics (since they are sucha important factor in your music) or something?
I dunno... We try and expand you know, it's tough, we are out on the road a lot. We'll be adding to it.
So, if I would send you some pictures from a show...
Oh yeah, I would try and get them on there.
Ok, That's everything.