Entrevistas a músicos que ayudaron a forjar al metal extremo/Interviews with musicians that helped to build the extreme metal

domingo, 28 de diciembre de 2008

Interview with Kingsley "King" Fowley (DECEASED)

(Interviewer: Martín)

Martín: DECEASED has a lot of years on the scene, let’s talk about the present. What you did before the release of “As The Weird Travel On”.?

King: Well we always keep busy. We are always gigging or writing or just goofing off. Living anjd enjoying life!. We've done plenty of singles and a few splits with bands we are friends with. Mainly right now we are writing and worknig for our next record "Surreal Overdose"!

Martín: What is your vision about the current underground thrash/death scene in the United States?

King: I honestly can't keep up. Now retro thrash is in the 'in' thing. and bands are starting and stopping so quick changing styles overnight. It makes it easy to question their sincerity to it all, 15 minutes of fame syndrome. I love that music is getting writtena nd played, I just hope it's for the right reasons. Clubs are still doing gigs with metal bands so on the live front it's decent.

Martín: Are there any plans with DECEASED in 2009?

King: A new LP "Surreal Overdose" and hopefully alot of gigs with the current live line up. We have been busting our asses getting the live band in tune for gigs 'a plenty. We want to travel the states and bring the tombstones of terror to towns we've never been. Other then that probably some new shirts, merchandise and lots of fun and good times.

Martín: Let’s talk about the past. You are the founder of the group. Arlington isn’t the zone that someone expected for an act of death metal. Could you tell me how was the process of forming the group?. During those moments you sung and play bass.

King: To me anywhere is a good place to start a group, as long as you got the right people for it!. We started the band out of love for metal music. I've always wanted to have a band and to give my life for music to create, perform, and record it. That is one the most important things in my life. I love music!. I met a guy named Doug Souther in 1983. He wanted to also a form a band. We hung out alot and he bought a guitar and I bought a bass. I had a friend named Marcel Dossantos I went to school with. He played drums. We were a three piece with me singing. We met Mark Adams at a TWISTED SISTER show in Washington DC in 1983. We talked and became friends, we heard he could play guitar pretty good. We asked him to join. I had the name DECEASED in my mind and after a few fud du name starts (MAD BUTCHER and MACE) we became DECEASED. Marcel had a girlffriend and spent more time with her then his drum set so we asked him to leave the band. I switched to drums, we got on it and went without a bass player for a year or two. We just wrote tunes and went out and told people to "Be ready for DECEASED"!. Rob Sterzel joined on bass in 1986, he was a friend we knew. We saw him playing an acoustic guitar at a party (It was "Endless pain era" of KREATOR) and we got him aboard. From there, we wrote the tunes and showed him what we have this eventually leading to the first demo "The Evil Side Of Religion'!

Martín: What happened with Rob Sterzel in 1988?. It should be a hard situation to carry on. How did became the idea to you for sing and play drums?

King: Rob passed on in a hit and run accident. It would be terrible enough if we just lost him but we also lost Doug's brother Steve and our good friend Larry as well. Another friened shawn was crippled in the accident. It was a terrible time for everyone who knew them, we were all in shock but we decided over time to keep the band going as we felt Rob would of wanted us too. Singing and playing drums was something I took up after seeing Dan Beelher of EXCITER and Peter Criss from KISS. I was originally the singer/bassist so I went to drums and kept on. It took awhile to get it down but eventually it fell into place.

Martín: During 1988 and 1990 you have released various demos. Seeing them from an actual perspective, which things consider that you have learned in terms of recording, play, and manage a release by yourself?.

King: We learned a lot. The first demo was done for $20 and a case of beer. Very poorly. I dubbed in the vocals on my home stereo. For "Birth by radiation" in 1988 we went to a real studio, paid I believe about $600 and did it over a weekend. We learned about mixing, recording parts and overdubs. Little things. We were very young but we kept an eye out. When we went back in in 1989 for "Nuclear exorcist" demo (I beleive we spent about $800 on this one) we were musically better prepared but this time we had another producer on it. a guy name D Joey P!. He'd rather spend time drugging and goofing off then doing his job. He ruined the sound of the demo in my eyes. We learned then that a producer needs to be spot on and not just sitting in the chair in front of the mixing board.Putting the tapes out was fun. We'd get cassettes and go home and dub the shit out of copies'! We first demo we gave away for free. It was our anti-greed statement so many bands then had tapes for $8 etc and were 2 tunes etc, it was lame of them! so we gave ours out. We must of given out over 2000 tapes. The decond and third demo were each around 25 minutes and we sold em for $5 at gigs, parties, whereever we could. We made our own covers and had friends make art for us for them! .It was fun and a real learning experience.

Martín: Many people don’t know that you were the FIRST band that the now well known RELAPSE records signed. How did the label get interested in the group and approached it?. Any special memory of that moment that you would like to share?

King: Me and Matt Jacobson were penpals. He loved the band and made stickers and stuff for us. One letter he told me he was starting the label. He asked if we wanted to sign up, we talked it over and went with it. He was a good guy early on, he then moved east where we are from and we met up. He had hooked up with Bill and were now partners. We all got along good. Friendly and good natured with the music angle coming first. It was fun and good to be on a label and ready to record. Looking back it was a neat time in our lives. Sadly overtime RELAPSE became all about $$$ and nothing about the love of music.

Martín: DECEASED did a lot of albums with strong roots on death metal, but with the addition of interesting elements of more traditional heavy metal music. This is remarkable specially with “Fearless Undead Machines” and “Supernatural Adiction”. Was it a natural progress for the band or you decided to add more traditional ingredients of the genre to try something different? The results in my opinion were excellent.

King: It was all nautral. We never care what is in or out in popularity. We are older guys and grew up on metal of the late 70's and 80's. Melody is good. I love a good hook in a song. but I also love speed and vicious energy in music. So we all hybrid what we loved and out it came. We also were better song writers and music players over time so it worked more. If you go back to even the first demo and a song like "March Of The Cadavers" you'll hear melody in our riffs. Songs like "Nuclear Exorcist"or "Deformed Tomorrows" have plenty of melody. It took time to get it where we wanted it, but we worked at our craft and it got to where we wanted it to be.

Martín: I consider DECEASED a much better band that other acts that during the nineties got all the specialized press, publicity and recognition. For me this is not just, your music was much better. Did you bother about this lack of suport of some fans or press?.

King: We never cared. We aren't in music for popularity. We are in it because we love to write and perform it. We don't have to 'fit in' or be a certain way. So many bands of the times have come and gone or changed dramatically to stay 'viable', to us that's a joke in itself. We've always just kept on doing DECEASED music 110%. If nobody wants to hear it, don't! It changes nothing in the world of DECEASED and our music. If for a minute we are gaining some good press or folks are praising us, then that's an added bonus. We smile and are gracious but we just keep on keeping on our way.

Martín: I believe that death metal is alive and well. Do you see that yet there are fans that are demanding it not also in United States but all around the world?

King: Well to me death metal is so different anymore. It's all a blurrrrrrrrrr or grrrrrrrrrrrrrr sound now. It's noise anymore mainly. The aura and the doom-laden vibe of it is mostly lost and to me that's really sad because when death metal is done right it is so eerie and convincing. I hope bands will try to create more a vibe in the future and stop trying so hard to just tune down, made a logo you can't read, or be more extreme then whatever is extreme at the time.

Martín: What do you do apart from the band? I mean, another musical projects, work, etc....

King: I have my own record label called OLD METAL RECORDS and a distro. iI spend a lot of time with that and my family. Family time is very important to me. my wife, my kids, my family! I also love to play sports and listen to music and collect films. This keeps me more than busy 24-7.

Martín: What do you think about this huge tendency of “downloading” CDs, demos, etc?.

King: It's fine by me. Music is what it is. Before there was a music industry there was music, if someone can get our music for free on a site, get it. We sell our music to just pay off recording fees, manufacturing fees and money to go on the road and survive. Sadly money runs the world, we do our best to give bang for the buck with our releases, so no one feels shorted or let down. Dut downloading and all is fine with me. As long as music someone wants to hear is heard, right on!!!

Martín: King, your favorite ten albums of all times.

King: man it bounces alot from time to time around number seven... but right now

1) Uriah Heep 'abominog'
2) MSG 'michael schenker group'
3) Black Sabbath 'mob rules'
4) Y&T 'mean streak'
5) Voivod 'killing technology'
6) Warlord 'deliver us'
7) Vandenberg 'vandenberg'
8) Slayer 'show no mercy'
9) Jag Panzer 'ample destruction'
10) Rock Goddess 'hell hath no fury'

Martín: Would you like to say something to the readers of this interview?

King: Take care of yourselves. Keep it honest and sincere. Be yourself. No puppets/no strings. Have a great 2009 and beyond. Thanks for the interview Martin, up the tombstones!

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