Interview with Peter Steele conducted by Bill Zebub for issue #10
There are people who have heard the radio hits like “My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend” who don’t even want to give the album a chance because of that. It seems that Type O Negative has bi-polar disease. You have songs like that, and then you have songs like “Bloody Kisses”.
I guess that makes us schizo-phonic. I mean, I can write really poppy stuff and I can write stuff from my heart… you know, really slow songs about self pity and death and all the good things in life. And I think that I would rather write songs about the latter, the things that come from my heart and from my balls -not things that will come from my bank account ultimately.
You have bowed out of music before. After Carnivore you had a good job for the city. And you’re hooked right back in with Type O. Do you think that after this dissolves, as you say, that you might be seduced back to the dark side yet again?
Anything is possible. But you know, I think this so-called rock music is the youth. And I believe that it should be played by youth… and at 36 years old, I mean, I don’t feel like an old man, but when I’m on stage and I see 16/17 year old kids up in the front row, I’m like, “Wow. those could be my kids”. When the day comes that I’m on stage and I say, “Those can be my grandkids” then that day’s never gonna come. So, with this album, if I don’t make my mark now, then I think I’m never gonna make it. I’ll just move onto something else. You now what I’d really like to do is really fuck the record company and just… even after this next album, just finance my own recordings and take out a PO Box and sell my CD’s really cheap, like $5 each, to kids that just want to listen to what else I’ve been doing. It wouldn’t be such a money-making thing. It would be misery loves company, and I’m great company. So send me five bucks and I’ll send you a horrible CD of my latest music.
Ah… the self-deprecating style.
No, it’s the truth. It is complete objectivity. I look in the mirror and I see nothing more than 240 pounds of really low-quality chemicals. And that’s about it.
I saw in your video that you’re quite the vitamin boy.
Yeah, I got a lot of stuff there. Most of it’s legal.
You’re not talking about that caffeine-like substance that gave a weightlifter a heart attack.
Oh, that was ephedrine. No. Toxicity is a matter of quantity. If you overdo anything you’re gonna die from it. So I don’t get freaked out when some kind of new substance comes out and somebody dies of a heart attack, because if you overdo it or if you have a problem that makes you susceptible to some of the side effects, then you’ve got to be careful. But otherwise, no balls, no glory.
The health thing… was that a sudden idea for you?
No, I’ve been working out for the past seven years consistently, sometimes more intensely than others. But I always try to maintain myself, somehow to, I guess, feign off old age. And part two is, no one likes to see a fat bastard up on stage trying to look sexy while there’s thirty pounds of fat hanging over the sides of his pants.
I didn’t know you were so conscious of such things.
Sure man. I think when you go to see a band it’s not just a sonic thing. It’s a visual thing as well. I think the people who are up on stage should have some kind of acknowledgement of self-image. It doesn’t mean that you have to be conceited. But if you’re not looking so good and you can change it, well change it. If not,well then get the fuck off the stage.
The first album “Slow, Deep, and Hard” had gruff vocals and it had traces of Carnivore in there.
That’s because probably at least half the songs were left-over Carnivore songs.
Then “Bloody Kisses” had a sudden turn… no warning at all. But in the Carnivore song “Male Supremacy” it showed that you can sing.
It shows that I at least try. Let’s put it that way. I think after “Slow, Deep, and Hard” I realized anybody can scream their head off. Anybody can do this. I think it takes not so much more talent, but at least more effort to attempt to sing on key and try to work out a melody that people might remember. I’ve had people come up to me and say, “You know, Pete, I think you’re a fuckin’ dick, but I just can’t get your songs out of my head.” And I’m like, I don’t know whether I should thank you or punch you.
And King Diamond… what do you think of his vocals?
I really can’t say anything bad about him. Just because I’m not a fan of his music doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate what he does. When I was into heavy metal I thought he was great. you know, like ten years ago. The mere fact that he stuck with it and that he can still reach those high notes.. I don’t know, maybe he’s got a C-clamp on his balls… I don’t know. But I think that’s worthy of a compliment. But I think that men should sound like men, which is not putting him down, but if I’m gonna hear somebody sing in soprano, this person should have a vagina.
The reason I asked you was, in the song “Love You To Death” you had a vocal style that I hadn’t heard before, and it had a bit more emotion to it… sort of like King Diamond.
You confess to that, then?
I confess that some of the vocal stylings that I use come from metal. I mean, I was always into bands like Sabbath and Priest and Deep Purple. But I’m not going to say that any of my techniques come from King Diamond.
There have been things that your record label has suggested to you that got you into trouble. Weren’t you told to be very outrageous in a series of interviews and you said “Rape is a beautiful thing?”
Well, it seems like the person that was interviewing me that time failed to realize that I was being sarcastic. This guy who actually interviewed me in my own house and was sitting on my furniture and after me making him coffee had the balls to go and turn this into something that made me look really unfavorable. Of course, having five sisters and five nieces, rape… the only punishment for rape is castration, which should be done by the woman who was raped. So it was sarcastic. I guess you can call it a joke in poor taste which I do regret. But I regret not having met this writer after he wrote this, because I am going to… let’s see, pick him up and break him over my knee like a piece of really cheap plywood.
But you wouldn’t rape him because then he’d have to castrate you.
Would I rape him? Maybe with my bass.
Would you say that your attitude toward women was reflected in albums?
My main problem with women is that I base my entire existence around them and I love them to death. That’s why I get so upset when they fuck me over or when they walk out on me. So it’s not that I think that women are any different than men because I think that men actually fuck over women more. It’s just that I hate people in general. I’m a specist. Human beings are the lowest forms of life. We are the only species that will shit where we eat.
“Shit” has a significance. You shit on your own picture.
Yes, that was actually real shit, by the way.
In some cultures that’s used as a sign of manliness. He who shits the biggest log…
Do you now how much talent it takes to actually be able to shit on cue? I went to catholic school for eight years to learn how to do that.
In interviews you often complain about the facilities on tour.
Yes, I am a person who is very comfortable being home. I’m a person who likes a routine. I don’t like the fact that when you’re on tour you can’t date when you want, you can’t even take a shit when you want, you can’t eat when you want, you can’t even do laundry when you want. So it’s like you have to seize every opportunity you can to do the thing you have to do at the time because you never know when it’s gonna come, and this is something that I really dislike about touring – which is the other reason that this album may be my last. I’ve been all over this world and I have seen nothing. There was so much touring and so many shows back-to-back.. you pull up, you play, and you leave. That’s it. I’ve seen every highway and I visited every single McDonalds. That’s it.
How did you learn to cope with a bathroom that was less than supreme?
By lining the toilet on the tour bus with a plastic bag that we can crap into. And then if a car cut us off we would make sure that we got ahead of it at some point and just open the window and let loose the bag.
What is your favorite filling for pierogies?
Perogies… they’re way too fattening. Is sour cream in there? Is that what’s, like, normal?
I don’t know. I heard that you were a Polak. So you should be the pierogi specialist.
I have, like, 1/16th Polish blood in me. So I never even tasted one.
What else comprises the Pete Steele make-up?
Icelandic, Russian, and Scottish.
I heard that after reading up on Chinese legends, possibly even being in China, rumor has it that you found out about the Chinese vampire and you wanted to bring in a Chinese woman to do keyboards for you… to bring that particular legend into the gothic scene.
That’s complete news to me. I never said anything like this. I have never even heard of a Chinese vampire.
Well supposedly the way we have heard of the European vampire changing into bats and wolves… the Chinese vampire changes into a snake and he doesn’t bite his victims. He constricts his victims. And you thought that this was more romantic.
I certainly don’t think so.
I created that rumor, by the way.
I don’t know what to say. You had me going there.
I’m sorry about that. Have you ever been mistaken for a woman?
I told you I was going to ask you dumb questions.
Have you ever met Pat, from Red Stream?
From Red Stream?
Yeah, it’s a label in Pennsylvania. (editor’s note – the label is now in Florida)
Possibly. I’m not sure. Is this a male or a female “Pat”?
Well, he has feminine tendencies.
It could just be that he’s affectionate.
Well I don’t know. I meet quite a few people, and if I did meet him I would probably recognize him by face and not by name.
I heard he offered you a deal for some alternate recordings and that you were at his house. He lives kind of on farmland.
And you were quite taken by his donkey “Pierre”. That’s what he calls it. I don’t know why, but you were trying to hand-feed the donkey and that it either accidentally or maliciously bit your favorite bass finger, and that you remember him since then.
Uh… either I was really drunk and I don’t recall any of this, or this guy is just out-and-out lying. I don’t think I ever touched a donkey in my entire life.
Have you ever played Dungeons and Dragons?
No, but Josh was really into that for a while. I like to live my life that way… rather than sit home and gain weight and eat a pint of Haagendaas and wash it down with Absolute Vodka I would rather be out there and doing the exact same things that these people are just fantasizing about with this little board game.
The reason I ask is because you either have a great awareness of various legends throughout the world or you played some sort of fantasy role-playing game.
I’m into my past… Celtic, Norse, Slavic. So I definitely read up on history, and of course, there’s a lot of culture and religion in there and stuff. So from time to time these subjects do come up. But I certainly don’t play any games. I think the last game I ever played was “Twister” and that was with two naked women… which I do not regret.
How much input did you have with the stuff between the videos?
Let’s just say this… it was actually me that came up with the idea that I wanted to put a video out and my main goal was to put out the 5 professionally done videos onto one tape so that the fans who could never find them anywhere could finally go out and buy them if they chose to do so. The second reason being that we were between albums and I thought it would be a good idea to let people know that Type O Negative had not been killed in a Pakistani train wreck and that we are still here and the honeymoon is not over yet. So this is like a bridge over the River Styx… two sides of agony. But to finally answer your question, it was I who came up with the concept, but it was Josh who scanned all the footage and chose all the embarrassing tidbits that took place between videos.
Adding to the self-deprecating style.
But that, you must admit, has been somewhat of a factor in your success.
Oh sure. I mean, i don’t think that I am better than any one of our fans that goes out and buys one of our CD’s. Or, I don’t think that I am better than the bacteria that is all over this fuckin’ phone right now that is probably gonna cause some kind of sickness three days down the line.
When you meet a woman, is she usually a woman who knows you through the band and has all these assumptions about you, or do you like to date outside of the Type O fame?
I like to be with women, whether I meet them through the band or food shopping or if I run over their foot with my car or something. I like them to like me for what’s inside first. Then I’m hoping that they like what’s on the outside too. I think there’s no shame in admitting that the first thing I notice about a woman is how she looks. Then I’m hoping that the inside matches the outside. But I’d rather date a not-so-good-looking woman who has a great sense of humor and is intelligent and confident than some really attractive one who just has a vacuum inside of her.
What is your attitude about death metal?
I think death metal is a great outlet for young people just because it’s heavy, it’s hard, it upsets parents, and pretty much sings or speaks about some of the things that fans of the music can actually go out and do themselves. So I think, just like anything else, death metal is simply a form of sublimation. It’s safe to buy the CD and maybe fantasize about some of the themes. But there’s really not that much worth going to jail for. Some of the subjects that I’ve heard, whether it’s black metal or death metal… I mean, I don’t try to draw the lines too much. For me, that’s like condemning someone to a death sentence ultimately when you put a label on them because once they try to change then the fans are gonna think that they sold out. When I like music I don’t care what you call it. Music, to me, is a pleasing and logical succession of rhythm and tones. That’s how I judge it. I don’t care if a guy has white face paint on or how he looks or how she looks. If I like it, I like it. If I don’t, I don’t.
This is an early interview from Grimoire of Exalted Deeds Issue #4. conducted by Bill Zebub
Do you wish to explain the line-up change?
With Erik, you mean?
Well, yeah… Richard left the band and we had to replace him. We had known Erik from Ripping Corpse as well as we’ve been friends with him for years. We asked him if he’d like to do some touring with us, and he accepted. After that, he worked out well. It was a natural choice.
There is a rumor that when Ripping Corpse was not yet signed…Earache Records was interested in them, and you told Earache that you did not want them on the label.
It was spread.
Well, people have nothing better to do, obviously. Why would I not want them to get signed? That’s, like, asinine.
You were jealous and afraid that they were going to blow you away.
I just like to address rumors.
You’ll find more rumors about our band than any other band because people have nothing better… if these people spent half as much time worrying about writing good music and, like, making something of themselves besides fools, everybody would be better off.
Lyrically, I heard that you are trying to be more open-minded and a nice guy.
What do you mean?
Some ‘zines are saying your lyrics are weaker. What was going on when you were writing words for this album?
I was angry. I was trying to show relationships between what’s truly oppressive and what truly needs to be squashed, on a tangible form, what you could actually put in your hand, as opposed to… you know, pie-in-the-sky relationships which, you know, people, without actually coming out and spelling it out… there’s some times when people are really clueless. “Do I live for Satan, or do I live for myself and draw power from where whatever power-names or power-thoughts need to be used for the specific purpose at hand?” Now the point is, is that anger and violence and brutality is all weapons of the dark side. Whether… if somebody picks that up, then they do. If they don’t, then they’re not very astute.
How do you feel about the whole black metal thing? Do you disdain those people?
Do I disdain who?
A bunch of poser Satanists calling LaVeyans the posers. How do you feel about that?
Well, we had a talk about laVey when I went up there, and I think that they saw what my reasons were for embracing LaVey, and even though that we don’t agree on LaVey, they felt like what I had to say about him was valid.
So out of all the Satanic philosophies, would you say that you agree most with LaVey?
No. I tell you I agree mostly with myself, and I probably could pick and choose, and maybe have some similarities with a whole number of different people.
Are there any forms of the occult that you do not condone or accept?
There’s probably a lot of different forms that I don’t… that I don’t practice myself.
You had bones on your tour bus many years ago, and you were busted for grave-robbing. Is this true?
Well, we weren’t busted for grave-robbing. We were busted for carrying illegal guns. They did confiscate the bones that we had, and they tries to run tests on them because they thought we might have killed these people. We got arrested. But it was right after that silly Geraldo Rivera Satanic special, and we knew that they were looking to make a sacrificial lamb out of somebody. They tried to expand on that. But they had to drop all the charges and everything. They were completely baseless.
So how did you get the bones?
That’s neither here nor there.
But the fact is, you did have them.
Well, we had a human skull.
Isn’t that illegal in the United States?
Um… I don’t know.
You did not get busted for having one? Do you still have it?
No. They kept it for testing.
I heard that you were interviewed live on the air over the phone by a female d.j. who asked you what your favorite cereal was, and you started chanting a spell. Is this true?
I did what?
Supposedly, this girl asked silly questions to see how uptight her guests are. She asked you what your favorite cereal was, and you started cursing her.
No, no, no. (pauses) Who knows?
Could that have possibly happened? Do you blow up on people?
I’ve done many interviews and, quite frankly, if somebody says something stupid, I usually say something more stupid just to illustrate the stupidity.
Lovecraft had a place in your lyrics.
Absolutely. He still does. Well, I mean, he’s the greatest Sci-Fi horror writer that ever lived. Of course, with that type of strength, it’s gonna have some kind of impact on somebody that walls a similar path.
Do you acknowledge, though, that the Necronomicon, as presented by Lovecraft, is a work of fiction?
Well, I’m not going to answer that question because I have to agree with a statement in order to answer it, and I don’t agree with that statement. The whole Sumerian religion – that’s the actual religion of ancient Babylon. There are actual temples built for Pazuzu and et cetera in the area that is now Iraq, and it’s a very real belief. Because Lovecraft based a lot of his shorts on various entities and sub-entities of this religion doesn’t do anything besides give power to it. It doesn’t take power away.
Ripping Corpse was thanked on the album as a stepping stone. Is that an insulting thank you?
What, from Erik?
I think Erik was real happy to… I mean, he’s a very hard worker. He’s a great guitar player. He’s a very strong being. He’s a very strong entity, and yes, Ripping Corpse… it was his first band. He put out a record. He wrote a lot of songs, and he went from that. It was a stepping stone, not like he’s walking on people, but as that was part of his structure – a building block in his development. I think he was very happy with what he was doing at the time.
Your vocals have changed. On “Altars of Madness” they were very throaty. Now they are from the pit.
You know what? It’s weird. I used to smoke. I smoked probably like two and a half packs of cigarettes a day when I did “Altars…”. I quit smoking because touring was just tearing me up. I mean, I was winded. I just didn’t have the power like I felt I needed. So yeah, it’s all about development.
So it wasn’t really an influence of any of the bands you were listening to. It was just a physical reason?
Well, just like, being addicted to anything, short of sex, is completely asinine. I just woke up one day and said, “Why am I smoking” and just quit. Because of that I made a lot of other changes in my life. I tried to ween myself away from things that I saw as potentially very destructive, not only to my professional career, but, you know, it’s my health. When you’re healthy, when you have more strength, when you have more power, in addition to working on technique, you tend to grow.
If your drummer ever screwed up at a show, afterwards, you would beat the crap out of him.
You’re kidding, right?
No. I am serious. You came off the stage once at the China Club in New Jersey, and you were in a hurry. Someone from Revenant said that you were going to slam the drummer because he fucked up.
What he did was he cut himself and he was, like, bleeding all over the place, and he lost so much blood that he passed out.
See how rumors get started?
Let’s talk about, like, the new record… why my band is better than any of those other fuckin’ bands. Let’s talk about what we’re going to be doing in the future and continuing to conquer and dominate this whole scene like nobody else could ever dream of doing. And why? Because we have the fortitude. We have the conviction. We have the strength. And we have the talent. And we continue to kill ourselves, push ourselves, and pressure ourselves into delivering stronger and stronger records, better songs, a brutal show – everything about it. Because we care and because we know our fans care. They’re not gonna accept some sort of second-rate band – somebody putting out the same record over and over and over again and not touring. Let’s talk about that.
You played in Pennsylvania, at the Trocadero. That club refused to book that scene’s sickest death metal band, “Insatanity”. How do you feel about that club putting weak, low-power bands in front of yours when the local death metal bands deserve those slots?
Well, I think, whatever the local promoters do at those shows… I personally don’t book shows, so the only thing that I care about is me personally, going out on stage and delivering the goods. So whoever else plays, that’s up to them to work to get themselves on the bill. I don’t know what the mitigating factors were, one person getting booked over another one. Obviously the promoter had whatever reasons for him to do it. But I’ll tell you, the only thing I know about a how is, when it’s time for me to go up on that stage, and whatever happens before or after that, I don’t really care.
Trey once said in an interview – and I wonder if you will back him up on this – was that the notes he chooses stir the air.
Well, it’s magic. It’s pulling something out of nothing and making it have an impact that goes beyond. It’s just a tone or a note of just a passing thing. The way he writes riffs just moves people and things.
So do you believe that gates are opened in the universe?
Do you think that good comes out of these gates, or are you channeling something dark?
Well, anything is good as long as it’s harnessed and as long as it’s used to its maximum potential, whether you’re a common man who wants to see it as being good or evil… I mean, one man’s good is another man’s evil, et cetera, et cetera. It all depends on the benefits from it. But the point is that, when we set about to do something, we’re gonna use whatever means necessary in order to achieve that goal, short of dishonor.
How do you feel about skinheads… their attitude of “unity is power”, the attack of many against one. Do you find it to be cowardice or power?
Well, not being a skinhead, I can’t really, you know… I mean, they have their thing going for them. And as long as it works for them, that’s great.
Would that philosophy work for you?
What, being a skinhead?
No. the many-on-one odds. Do you see that as cowardice?
Well, I mean, if you’re… ultimately, in any kind of war, it’s who’s got
the bigger army or who has more guns. If someone’s in battle mode, which, from what I see of skinheads are on an ongoing basis, then I think it would stand to reason that the most logical thing to do is to do what they do. Self-preservation, if nothing else.
Would self-preservation be more important than honor?
They’re one and the same. I mean, you have a duty to your honor, to preserve yourself so that you can procreate yourself.
Is it true that you do not answer to any name other than “David” -that you do not like to be called a nickname?
Well, I don’t. Usually… I answer to cuss words. (pauses) What are you talking about? That’s what my name is! David! Yeah!
So a shortened version of your name wouldn’t really be accepted by you?
Like “Dave” I or something like that?
Yes. Did anyone ever say to you, “Davey Davey stick your head in gravy”?
What? (pauses) That’s not even worth answering. That’s just really stupid.
I’m sorry. I was told by Vegi from Revenant that you don’t like to be called anything else.
Well it’s weird because my mother never calls me anything else. So that’s the way I kind of grew up, although now it’s like I don’t really care. But before… if someone calls me, like, on the telephone, and my wife answers and she says, “It’s a friend of yours… says ‘Is Dave there?'” Obviously it’s not a friend of mine, is it? You know what I mean? It’s to illustrate that if someone older is such good friends with Dave from Morbid Angel, they must not be great friends because nobody calls me “Dave”.
So you are not insanely militant?
It’s a meaningless thing. It has nothing to do with music. It’s just a quirk.
You did say years ago that you would be one of the bands that would still be around.
You have to agree that there are a lot of differences between each record. Blessed is a lot different from Altars. Covenant was a lot different from Blessed. Now Dominion is a lot different from Covenant, and the next record will be equally different. We really take the time and spend the time to really go in and try to deliver something that’s not just repeating ourselves – not just rehashing, not just getting into some kind of mode and doing whatever. We really try to deliver honesty and integrity.
You have grown without weakening.
Other bands can choose to do what they wish. But our band… the death is me.
Do you expect to incorporate clean vocals or female operatic vocals?
It’s not Morbid Angel. But I do little departures in vocals, you know. I like that as well. There’s just got to be the purity of emotion. It’s not to do it just to make it sound commercial or like a ballad or whatever. It’s done to invoke a certain type of mood,
Have you made enemies?
But they don’t really mean anything to you?
That’s negative. That’s not fuel for growth. I look at things as how it’s going to take me from one point to the next.
You actually talked to Norwegians about differences?
Well, what it was, was last time we played up there, there was a bunch of interviews that wanted to be done and I didn’t feel like being redundant and answering a whole bunch of questions twice. So I told them that I just wanted to have a press conference where I just stood in front of all of them and there was seven interviewers at once, and they were asking me questions and I would answer them. There was a couple of guys from the Black Metal Mafia that were there, and they were listening to my answers. They wanted to hear what I had to say about things. Afterwards they came up and we had a good chat.
So you didn’t really walk away with any negative feelings about them or visa versa?
No, on the contrary. I think that those people really have something going up there that’s really deep. The people who are truly into it and truly are a part of it – I think it’s wonderful.
You seem to be confident about yourself.
Well, I know what’s going on with me. I don’t have any questions about myself or what I’m doing. So I mean, a lot of your questions that you’re asking me are contingent upon being effective by what little rumors or little skirmishes or little things… various interpretations from a lot of people, most of whom I may or may not know. How can any of that really have anything to do with me? Those are lines and circles that don’t intersect with mine.
How involved are you in your local scene?
There is no scene. There is only Morbid Angel, period.
So if someone gave you a demo…
When someone gives me a tape, I listen to it.
So you are not totally shut off.
In terms of a scene, a scene… what that is, is that’s like a communist thing. That means that the strong and the weak are together because they’re all part of a scene. I don’t agree with that philosophy.
What elements do you think weaken the music?
Trendiness, lack of originality, lack of creativity, lack of talent, people being more concerned with what someone else is doing rather than concentrating and spending rigorous hours that it really takes to really do something yourself, people hanging onto something because it’s all a fashionable thing – all these things destroy it.
Are you in danger of weakening from the pressure of putting out quality material release after release?
No, no. I put more pressure on myself than anyone could put on me. I don’t get pressure from the outside. I get it from the inside. I pressure myself. That’s inherent to my nature, to strive to always be the best, and to stop at nothing.
As you can tell, most of my questions were really rumors that you had the opportunity to dispel.
Yeah, but, I mean, that’s what I’m saying. That kind of stuff happens. But it really doesn’t mean anything. The only thing that means anything at all is what is tangible, what you can hold in your hand, like a record that is just crushing, that people are just loving it everywhere and that is keeping this goddamn scene, if that’s what you want to call it.. the scene alive because other people are just walking away from it as fast as they can… all these bands that used to be death metal – they’re no longer death metal now. You know what I mean? We are death metal warriors and we always will be.
So I can quote you in the future if you will put out anything that is not death metal?
Well c’mon, man! I mean, we got two records on a major label! What’s not death metal about this band? That’s what we’re all about. If we were gonna do something, it would have already happened. But yes, you can quote me on that.
Extreme Metal Retardation is the second installment in the METAL RETARDATION series. It contains interviews with Dimmu Borgir, King Diamond, Enslaved, Voivod, Enthroned, Kreator, Tyr, Huntress, Alestorm, and Arkona.
This is the free version. The DVD is longer, due mostly to music clips, some of which are live performances exclusive to the DVD. Maybe you’d like to see the free version before buying te DVD, but don’t feel obliged.
The interviews in METAL RETARDATION are mixed together for maximum entertainment, so even if you don’t know a band you will still be amused. The point of this mixture is for you to get acquainted with bands that you don’t know while getting to see bands that you love (albeit in a much different situation that you are accustomed to, ha ha).
Interview with King Diamond conducted by Bill Zebub
(This interview was published in Issue #7)
I had brought to Kings attention that the song “Melissa’ did not have vocals over a certain part of the song when the album was released by Megaforce Records. But when Roadrunner Records released it, suddenly there were new vocals! Also, the Megaforce version had a very thick reverb on the voice, whereas the Roadrunner version had no such processing on the voice. I sent King Diamond the two different versions.
Did you receive the two versions of “Melissa?’
How do you think that happened?
I have absolutely no clue. It’s like I told you, it’s a physical impossibility. It makes absolutely zero sense.
Yes. If you handed in the master to Megaforce, how could they have erased vocals?
What I hear is that giant reverb that you talk about… You talked about that too, remember?
And that I hear big-time. Wow, man! I do NOT understand how that could’ve happened.
So which version do you prefer, the Roadrunner or the Megaforce?
Well, the Roadrunner is the original.. I know that. I really cannot explain how that can happen because it’s impossible.
That ‘Melissa’ song is like the Bermuda Triangle.
Did you hear the backwards message that I also provided, where you are saying, “What message is this?”
That I did not hear. No. Did you include that on the tape?
Yes I did. Perhaps I shall send another.
That is very interesting. Maybe there are even more powers to that song. That other stuff there is so strange because I remember the first time we talked about it I was like, “No fucking way! There’s no way in hell that that can happen.’ And I still would say that there is no way in hell that that could have happened. But I have now heard that it exists, which is mind-blowing to me. You just can’t add to vocals. We have the 24-track master. They could never have gotten a hold of that, first of all. They get a finished master. They would never get a 24-track tape. That remains in the studio. What they would get could be a 1/2” master, which is everything mixed down. It’s what they master the album from. So the only thing they could have done there, if somebody thought it was funny or whatever, go in and add some extra reverb or something. But then it would be through the entire thing. It would be guitars, bass, drums… everything, because you can’t divide up tracks on a 1/2.” It’s not possible.
Someone was interpreting your vision.
Yeah. But probably not humans because it’s physically impossible.
Indeed this is quite a mystery. It is so odd that, of all backwards messages that could appear on his album, the one that would result when the words “”Satan”s cross upon the wall” are played backwards is “What message is this?’ Let us delve further. Could the backwards message be asking “What are we telling you by wiping out vocals even though it is not physically possible?” Is this evidence of the supernatural?
I have been discovering gold mines of old material when Kim Ruzz was in the band, even video footage from Holland.
There Is one show from Holland that nobody has which is EXTREMELY good quality.
It is coming to me even as we speak.
Yeah, but it won’t be that one. Guaranteed. We have the only master tape of that show.
Maybe one day fans worldwide will be able to have that.
We even approached the record label about that. Why not compiling all our video’s that we have done so far? There is quite a few by now. We do have some live stuff that we took from people who were shooting it right there. So we have the only copies ever made. There is some interesting footage there.
Somehow, someday, the earlier albums must be transcribed into sheet music and tablature, not so much for the chords, but some of the guitar is just so bizarre at some points.
That’s true. That’s very true
It would be very interesting to find out what was in the composer’s mind.
Of course, sometimes guitarists play chords in a different way. Others would transcribe it in a traditional way. You wouldn’t get the right sound out of the chord, you know. But you’d be very close. But the difficulty, mainly, is more the memory. You need to have really good memory to play all the way through that song (Satan’s Fall), and to play all those riffs in the right sequence because it’s not logical at all. And that’s the problem with playing that song… very illogical build-up.
You have angered so many guitarist whom I’ve approached, begging , ‘Please, pick out the notes from these solos.’ They give up!
Yeah. You would not want to know the insults that were spoken against Hank Sherman and Michael Denner by the frustrated guitarists whom I have sought to employ.
The funny thing about most of Hank’s solos… they’re planned. He’s the guy who plans his solos. He does very little spontaneous solo-ing. Michael Denner is the opposite. He does most of his solos spontaneously and then he pretty much learns them afterwards.
That is so strange. There are a few very unusual time changes. But they’re more strange in that they are not noticeable unless they are looked for.
Are you responsible for that?
Well, very much, yeah. And also, Hank, definitely in the songs HE wrote. The thing is, the longer we play this style, the more naturally things come to us. It’s not like we sit and plan to do anything complicated at all. It doesn’t seem complicated. That’s not a thing that you pay attention to unless you sit there and try to play along with it. The time changes are not something that we sat down and said, “Let’s do a time change.” We just write straight from the heart like we’ve always done. That’s why it’s tough for other band members to get involved in the songwiiting. I’ve seen it before… several times, when Hal Patino was playing with King Diamond… Tim Hansen tried something with Mercyful Fate in the old days. Snowy Shaw, the drummer, is a pretty good guitarist actually, and he used to write a lot of songs when he was in the band Memento Mori. Even Sharlee tried to write something for Mercyful Fate. But it didn’t belong there at all. Hank and I didn’t want to say to them, “That stuff doesn’t cut it. It’s not Mercyful Fate music.” But we actually sent it off to Brian Slagel. He heard it and said that it’s got nothing to do with Mercyful Fate. There has to come a certain feel from the music. It’s not enough that you have skillful writers because they will force putting something complicated into the music just to please us. It doesn’t work if it doesn’t come in a natural way. That’s why it takes such a long time. Andy now is beginning to write more and more songs for King Diamond. There is a certain feel that needs to come from what’s been written. When there is complicated stuff, it’s nothing that we’ve been planning. It all seems natural for us.
Time changes usually attract attention, or they disturb the listening experience. But the time changes on the new album flow so well that it took a drummer to point out the changes to me.
That’s why it’s so difficult to write that way if you don’t feel that way naturally. If you just come in there and just write straight from your heart, most people would not put the time changes into the music where we do. We just feel a little different about these things.
The newer music seems to be more melodic. That seems to give it a more up-beat feeling, whereas in the old days it was more dark. Do you agree?
I think that both things are in there because there is some obscure shit that is in there. You know that we were very straightforward in the old days on a lot of songs. It might be the way that we arrange songs now. We always had melody. The song “A Dangerous Meeting” has a lot of breaks. But it has a lot of melody and choruses. “Nuns have No Fun” is a very straight forward song. We had a lot of those. “Evil” is very straightforward too, even vocal-wise. So THAT I don’t think has changed a whole lot. I know that on the new album there are a couple of tones that I haven’t used with my voice before. It just felt right for those types of songs. “Into the Unknown” really reminds me a lot of old stuff that could have been from “Don’t Break the Oath” very much because of the intricacy and how I sometimes sing there. Some of the stuff on that song you would have a very hard time hitting my timing if you were singing along. If you had to stand there and sing it on your own, with the band, you would have an extremely hard time getting that specific time feel. Sometimes you go in, not on the down beat, but a half beat later. If you go straight in on the down beat it’s much more aggressive. But it’s a matter of varying those things and finding what suits the riffs.
It is so strange that there are so many components to something that, to an ear that is casually listening, sound simple.
True. Yeah. There is a part in “Into the Unknown” where I’m singing “Sin … sin … sin” The timing of those extra words “sin”… if you try to hit it, it’s a feeling thing. It’s kind of like Robert Plant… he has this incredible ability and flair for timing. Very few people can mimic his timing… the way he pronounces words, how he drags them, how long he holds them, where he starts certain words. He’s very feeling-oriented and not so much technical oriented like “Get in on the down beat there.” It’s very much like coming a millisecond after.
Has there been an annoying producer involved on the new albums?
We are completely responsible these days for our stuff. We have Tim Kimsey, who is pretty much one of us, who was hired as an engineer instead of Roberto Falcao. But because of the killer job that he does, he deserves to be credited as co-producer. But he was originally hired as an engineer on the album “In the Shadows” because Roberto Falcao was unable to leave Denmark and come to the U.S.A. and record that album with us. When I talked to him he said, “All you need now is a good first engineer, because you can produce yourself.”
Currently Texas is your home. Does living there influence your outlook toward music?
Not a bit. Not one bit. No.
How involved art you in the Texan culture? Has it rubbed off on you in any way?
I don’t think so. You won’t hear me say “ya’ll”. I know what’s going on now in the United States. But I’m still 100% Danish. I’m aware now how things are done in the U.S.
The reason I ask is, your pronunciation and word usage in the past has been more like that of classical literature. But now, your pronunciation in phrases like “who’s GONNA die” seem to be directly from the Texan way of speaking.
You know, yeah… that’s a thing that has happened gradually. If you went back and took it album by album, you could gradually hear it. In ’88, when we moved to the United States… you get stronger in the language, and your vocabulary expands. You just know a whole lot more words. I don’t even think when I speak English. In the early days, when doing interviews, I literally had to sit and think. When someone asked me a question, I was thinking in Danish and then I had to translate my Danish thoughts into English. It was pretty tough explaining, because it was not easy subjects that we were dealing with. There was a lot of explaining to do. But these days, I even told my wife that I dream in English now. When I write little notes for myself – what I have to do – “remember this” and “call this guy” – it’s sometimes English, sometimes Danish… sometimes half and half. Plus it’s a benefit for me, writing in English feeling more comfortable in the language, not to think for five minutes before actually writing what I have to say.
There is a new kind of singing… the best way for me to describe is, your voice is strained almost to the voice of breaking… but not being lost. I know that many Southwestern vocalists employ such techniques.
Yeah. That’s some of the new stuff that I am completely aware of. You find a lot of old-fashioned Mercyful Fate in there. But there are some new ways that I use the tone of the voice. There are times in there when it would just be easier to do a low falsetto. Then usually you would have to multiply them by quite a few because we’re not singing Barry Manilow or something like that, where you could sing with this bawdry soft voice. If I did that it wouldn’t fit the music at all. It has to be full power. Singing in a very low falsetto – full power – that makes that low falsetto crack. But then you could get by and do something completely crazy. But then you might get away from the original idea you have. They are chosen there on some spots to go full blast, as high as you can get with a normal voice – I can get pretty high with a normal voice, even when I sing powerful. Most of the vocalists you hear on albums today – they sing no louder than I speak now. There you will see one hell of a difference between what I do. I am full blast in the studio. I am full blast live. That’s one thing that I’ve been told by our sound engineer. “God Damn man! Singing so much power into that mike!’ How can I have those emotions that I feel in me for certain things if I didn’t sing full blast and holding back just to be clean?
Did your father die recently?
No. That’s a long time ago. Eight years ago.
In the song, “Daddy” remembering your father’s death, did that…
Of course, you do think of your own dad. But it’s nothing like I saw him recently as a spirit or something like that. It’s a tool you use. You put that emotion into the vocals. A lot of people would get very emotional from listening to that song. I know for a fact, when we did record it, that song was one of the very few songs that has been done with no additional vocals. It’s one lead vocal. That’s all. Most of the times I double the lead vocal – sing twice exactly the same to create a certain sound of the voice. That’s extremely hard because of all the bent notes and crazy shit I do. That one song, ‘Daddy’ was one lead vocal all the way through. And it was done in only four takes. I had the lyrics done in twenty minutes. It’s the fastest song I’ve ever done in my life. The second engineer, while I was recording it – when I was halfway through, he walked out of the studio, crying. It was pretty heavy. And Tim Kimsey, he went out and called his dad in the middle of the night just to see if he was O.K.
I knew there was a special dynamic at work there. It had to have been an actual loss. That emotion cannot be faked.
No. Also, the second engineer, his father died two years ago, and it brought up some memories when I was singing that stuff, that he just broke out and left the studio.
I must admit that that song does work a potent spell. No pun intended. Thou art the Pied Piper.
You can say so. Yeah. If you look at other things that we talked about – putting full-blast emotion into the vocals – the ending of the song, “I Am” where I’m pretty much screaming at the top of my lungs, “Die!” – I picture this guy, McEnzie, the mayor in this story, who’s a child molester – I picture this fictitious guy who I know exactly what he looks like in my mind. But you have to be able to get so deep into the story that you pretty much become who you’re singing about. I saw this guy. It was all clear when I was recording the ending part of that, and just completely freaked out. So everybody was laughing in the control room afterwards.
To me, the operatic vocals of earlier albums were operatic in a “classical” sense. Does it have any meaning to you when I say that, these days the operatic vocals are operatic in a “metal” sense?
I don’t think of it in those ways. I don’t plan that they have to have a certain classical feel to it. It always comes down to what fits the music and the story and the lyrics.
Your critics say that new Mercyful Fate sounds no different from new King Diamond. They disagree that new Mercyful Fate has any relationship with old Mercyful Fate. The reason that I am telling you this is that it is a sentiment that some fans feel, and I think it would be good for you to address that.
O.K. I haven’t heard that. With regards to these two new albums, in over a hundred interviews in Europe, when Hank and I were over there. and everybody else that wee talked to that has heard it so far, has been able to hear probably the very clearest difference between the two bands ever. The sound of the two bands, the musicians that are involved, the whole concept, even my vocal style on the two – there’s a big difference. Of course, you should be able to recognize my voice because it’s so special that you would always be able to. But the musical style and all that stuff, the kind of feel that comes from one band compared to the other… I have experienced from people’s views, the extreme difference.
I just wanted to bring that up.
Oh yeah. But I have heard only the opposite with regards to these new albums. There’s a bigger difference between the two of them than has ever been. It’s like one album could be Deep Purple and the other could be Black Sabbath. That’s how different they actually sound, both production-wise and song-wise.
I did see something on the new Mercyful Fate that I didn’t think that I’d ever see. And that is the word, ‘Lucifer.’
But that was even on the last album.
But now there is an actual track called, ‘Lucifer.’
I thought that you were trying to shy away from that in order not to scare away the more narrow-minded fans.
No. I’ve never been shying away from anything. I’ve been using different words to describe things, to not be misunderstood. I don’t think that is the case anymore. I think that I have done so many interviews that people know what I think. There might be people out there that have never given us a chance to know what we stand for. They might feel a little awkward. Then they ARE narrow-minded. (laughs). If you have an open mind, that’s the only way you’re ever going to learn in this world. That is why you are here, in my opinion. If people don’t have an open mind, they probably won’t listen to us anyway.
That Is true. But I was very relieved when I saw that.
The word “Satan’ is even in there.
Tom Warrior, from Celtic Frost, was so angry toward your earlier lyrics because he thought that, by you not explaining anything in songs like “Black Masses” that you were subverting children. I had to laugh at him when he told me that. But he was an enemy of yours in that regard. He did not approve of such demonic words. I know that on that King Diamond album, there are a lot of nasty things going on lyrically. But there is a warning about the events not being glorified by the listener. Perhaps you would like to talk about that.
First of all, all King Diamond albums deal a lot with the human mind, and what’s going on in the present time. Even stories like “Abigail” that took place in the I8th century. This new story does take place in the present time. But there’s always been that part in there. There’s the story, for those that don’t want to get deeply involved in anything. That’s fine, because buying the album should be entertaining. But for those who do want to go in deeper, there is always a question being asked, trying to make people think… make up their own minds about certain things. That’s what I like to do – raise questions about subjects that people might not always be thinking about – not telling them what they should do or what’s right and wrong, because it’s all individual – but definitely raising questions. You’re never going to solve problems if you don’t talk about them. I know that there is beginning to be, for that very reason, some organizations speaking out a little bit more.
I know nothing about the Danish prison system. But I heard that in Sweden, murderers are given vacations from prison – maybe a weekend out of the month, to go home or something.
I don’t think murders are allowed to go home. But I know that they have some STRANGE rules. It’s because everything has to be so humanitarian. It goes for everything in this world. It’s always the bad guy that comes out on top. No matter what the hell they do, they have to be treated with kids gloves. They perform an action and they make a choice. They are aware of the consequences. Give them those consequences. But you’re right. You hear about these crazy things. ‘Open prison’ it’s called. They don’t put murderers in there. But there might be a wife beater or something like that, in jail for four or five years because he beat her into nothing. This guy will be allowed to go visit his family maybe once a month, followed by a prison guard or what do I know? They have TV’s, stereos… they have whatever it takes – “Well, they’re in there in that little room. They’ve got to have something.” They made the choice to end up in that room.
Wouldst you assume that every human being has a basic goodness?
I have always been reading that psychopathic people, or sociopaths, as they are called, are incurable. That is a real blow to the concept that everyone is good. But through studying the brains of criminals, it has been discovered that the front part Is not really as active in people who are impulsive killers. Do you think that punishing them in prison is the right thing to do?
I don’t think that people are innocent because of a momentary insanity. That can happen again. Should they just go free? “Oh, I didn’t know what I did. I’m so sorry. I wasn’t in control.” “Oh sure. We’ll let you go free because you didn’t know what you did. So there’s nothing bad in you. You’ll do it again. And then we’ll just talk to you again.” The problem is, there are certain types of humans that are not fit to live in a society.
This is true. My question was more about the treatment of these particular people in prison. The reason why I say that is, have you ever been so angry at a person that you would want to beat that person?
But something stops you. There is a censor. You are aware of the consequences, or perhaps it is just obvious that it would be the wrong thing to do.
It might be the right thing to do as well. If some guy was kicking in the door of my car. I think I know pretty much what I’d do to him.
But let us say it is just an argument. Let us say you are disagreeing over the new King Diamond album. What if some alien race, for one moment, took away your ability to censor impulsive thoughts, and you just went ahead and destroyed this other human being. Do you think that you are accountable, since you had no censor to use to stop yourself?
Of course I am. Who else would be accountable? The alien that you don’t have proof that exists? You have to go by rules and you have to go by known facts. That’s all you can go by. I do believe that there are other life in this universe. I think that it’s narrow-minded not to believe that there will be life somewhere out there in this thing that we live in that is so big that our brains can’t even comprehend it. But that doesn’t mean that people should not be held responsible for their actions, no matter what condition they’re under. If you kill somebody, whether you’re insane or not, there’s a good chance you’ll do it again, especially if people find out there is something wrong with you. Then you need to be kept away from society.
I agree with you about keeping the person away.
If you put them back out there, the same thing’s gonna happen again.
Why even keep a person alive, if the person is kept alive in humiliating conditions? Christians, who are most into the revenge against criminals… I mean, there is no other word for it… I do not see it as justice. I see it as revenge against the criminal. I just think it is hypocritical of people who pretend to live by the philosophy of “turn the other cheek” – when hit on one cheek, they want to instead of turning the other, they vengefully turn the person in. That might be one of the things that make people crazy – it is the radical theory of schizophrenia – that people just cannot accept the moral contradictions of reality and go into their own world.
But see, that’s a christian philosophy about ‘turn the other cheek.’ But again, a lot of the christian philosophy is not based at all on human instinct. And human instinct you just cannot take away, no matter which book you read or what movie you watch or whatever you do. Human instinct is something that is just there. It will make you react in a certain way to certain circumstances. Right? I know exactly what you’re saying, and this thing about some people believing in turning the other cheek – that’s fine. But if you really believe that strongly in it as you pretend, then live by it too. But they don’t live by it in many cases, right?
It is only when it is convenient – then you bring that thing up. But when it is a thing that suddenly affects you – it’s a different matter now.
I just want to make clear that I am not any kind of unrealistic humanitarian.
(laughs) Oh I know you’re not. I KNOW.
Do you think that a lot of people who are that way, and who defend criminals to no end – if they had a personal tragedy, if some person came into their house and mutilated the entire family, would they still have the same attitude?
You KNOW it’s gonna change ANYBOY’s viewpoint. You know it is. It doesn’t matter what god you believe in, as soon as those things come into the picture then things always get twisted out of proportion because people can’t teach a religion to themselves. They always have to judge others by their own religion, not realizing that hey, other people are different. That’s why we are called individuals. If you can’t respect that, then you don’t even have respect for yourself. I know that it’s so easy that when nothing bad has happened to you to put yourself on a pedestal. You’re up there and you’re like, “Oh no, you’re not doing this right.” I haven’t experienced any of these really bad things, Fortunately, knock on wood and all this stuff. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t get emotional when I talk about all these things, or when I see what’s going on around the world. That really affects me a lot. That’s because I have an extremely open mind. There’s a lot of people that don’t have that. And seeing that is like, “God damn!’ But that’s the way this world is.
Humanitarians need to temper their attitudes. They should just act, FEELING that they are good instead of needing to PROVE that they are good… it appears that we have strayed quite far from music.
This is interesting shit to talk about, for sure. But it’s also very difficult to get around in the right way. It has a lot to do, when you’re talking about these things, with your spiritual background – of how you see different things, of how you are ALLOWED to see different things. There are ways of killing too, right? You also kill in wars. You can, without being prosecuted. How do you tackle that subject?
Would kill if you were a soldier?
You can’t say until you know the circumstances. It completely depends on that. If I were in my dad’s shoes during the second world war, when he was a freedom fighter in Denmark and had to flee to Sweden because his group was discovered by the SS, or somebody squealed who the SS had gotten a hold of and talked under torture. I might have had to escape to Sweden at the bottom of a fishing boat. That was after he had been a freedom fighter for years. If I were in his situation, yes, sure. I would have killed to preserve my country. I’m sure that there were some Germans who felt like they were in the right to do what they did. That’s where we get into another crazy thing. What is right and what is wrong? They’re so individual. That Husein thinks he’s actually right because something tells him in an old book that this and this and this territory should belong to him. At least, that’s how he interprets an old book. He can’t believe anybody else can’t see it. But that’s this world. That’s human beings. There are no perfect solutions.
Isn’t that a spice of life?
Exactly. Without it, there wouldn’t be life. You can’t describe a good day if you’ve never had a bad day. All this stuff that we’re talking about has a lot to do with my personal spiritual beliefs. I don’t know where I’ve taken it from – I haven’t seen it in any book. But I have my own views. I do believe that it might take several lives for the power that we all have in us – it might take that power several lives in a human shell to have experienced all possible feelings that you can experience before you’re ready to move on to a completely different life form. That’s the only reason I’ve ever been able to give myself for why a two-year-old kid dies. But it does make sense if that power, having lived eight lives, by that time – two years old – that child has experienced what was needed to go on to a new life form. You don’t have to be on earth anymore. There’s no point for you to be here.
Or that child could have died so young to serve as a lesson for other people going through their journeys.
That Is true. If you had to experience all experiences that there are to experience, then there are a lot of things that make sense when you think about good and bad. It makes total sense to me that, if you imagine how many powers are in people here on earth, I believe some of them are first-timers, some of them may be fifth-timers. But a fifth-timer that is here gaining experience and knowledge has thoughts – four other lives – sometimes there are more of the powers here to experience bad stuff because they already have gone through some good experiences in other lives. Now it’s mainly bad stuff they need to experience. It’s hard to explain this. I could go on for hours. But those are a few of the points.
Because your beliefs and attitudes are so non-traditional, you must have had contact with judgmental people.
Yeah. If you don’t have an open mind, I can see it immediately. I don’t even want to associate with those people. You’ve got to have an open mind. Otherwise you can’t have a discussion. They will always feel that, no matter what, they’re always right. You’ve got to be willing to listen to another person. That’s the only way that you will learn. I’ve learned SO much stuff by having an open mind – things that I thought were like this or that – I found out “Hey! Wait a minute. That guy was right.’ I’m sure everybody has to experience all powers. I’m not saying every single human being on the earth right now has to experience the killing of another human being. But I think that I probably already have. Maybe I was even a witch hunter during the Inquisition. Maybe that’s why I’ve been writing some of the stuff I have now.
To atone for the past.
That is a possibility, yeah. I might have killed too. It might have been in a war. It might have been in self defense. It could be many ways because you can get the same feeling from many different actions. You have to go through every feeling – not every single action possible. It’s feelings we’re talking about. That’s my personal belief.
When I heard the first song i thought that the singer from WITHIN TEMPTATION had switched bands. I intentionally never read the press releases or album notes before I listen because I my impression needs to be based on what I hear. Getting back to the vocals, I really did think that there was a guest-vocal appearance which gave Draconian a new flavor. Afterward, i discovered that the band actually has a new vocalist. Despite singing in the same style as her WITHIN TEMPTATION counterpart, she beautifies the songs. If you haven’t heard DRACONIAN before, they combine several ideas, often melancholic, but not adhering to any on style, like doom or goth. It’s a hybrid that works very well. The contrast between angelic female vocals and gruff male vocals is not as stark as in early THEATRE OF TRAGEDY. You can discern every word, which brings the poetry to you for easier ingestion. I have enjoyed every DRACONIAN album and was pleasantly surprised by the change of vocals. The voice is quite beautiful. Each album has moments that stay in the imagination for a long time. If you enjoy being haunted by songs, then take a chance on this band.
The greatest, most visionary atmospheric doom band ever formed has created yet another masterpiece. Esoteric is so rich with sound that to hear their music is to attend the theater of the mind. If you’ve never heard them before, don’t just get this album, get everything they ever made! Then buy some expensive headphones and close your eyes. It is the farthest you will go without physically leaving. Every day there is a moment I reflect upon how lucky I am to have discovered this incredible sound. I shudder to think that there could actually be something better, for I do not think I could survive the ecstasy of the experience