When The Grimoire of Exalted Deeds #9 was published, the front cover received so much admiration that teh art was re-printed in many more issues, eventually getting full-glossy pages to capture every stroke.
This design is finally available in a full color t-shirt (the shirt itself is black), Click HERE to order. (URL is https://bill-zebub-shirts.myshopify.com/products/jesus-the-easter-bunny-shirt)
The artist is Jim Walls, IN the history of the Grimorie of Exalted Deeds, Bill Zebub described his ideas to Jim Walls, and Jim Walls got to work. All previous art was done in pencil, but this design was in colored pencil. This is also the final design that Jim Walls drew for the magazine.
Wear the shirt with pride. Get it while supplies last. Sizes from SMALL to 4XL.
Interview with George Fisher conducted by Bill Zebub for issue #25
It’s a pleasure to see you, George.
Which shampoo do you use?
Which shampoo… shit! I don’t the exact make of it because my wife bought it. It’s some fuckin’ salon kind of bullshit. She does fuckin’ nails and facials and all that stuff, and she works in a salon where they do hair and shit. But it ain’t that Biolage. It’s pretty good. It smells good.
A lot of people want to emulate you, and I think a good start is a hair product.
I used to use some stuff that Alex uses, but I don’t remember what it was called. I used to use Biolage. How’s that? Use Biolage, and be brutal.
Do you blow-dry, or do you let it dry naturally?
Just let it dry.
Is that important?
No, because I ain’t sitting under a fuckin’ hair dryer for 20 minutes. I just rather blow-dry my ass hairs.
Have you ever cheated on your wife?
No. Honestly, no.
Are you sure?
You are the stud muffin of death metal.
I am? But I don’t get any.
Has your wife ever cheated on you?
Not to my knowledge? She better not, or I’ll fuck her with a knife! (this was spoken jokingly).
What would be better, if the guy she cheated on you was a friend, or a stranger?
Maybe a friend, because then I’d know at least probably what he has or what he doesn’t have.
Would that make you violent?
It depends. I don’t know what it depends on, but it would depend. I don’t know what to tell ya. If come home and see her shlorking down some big black dick, you know what I mean, I’m going to be pretty pissed off. But I don’t have any guns, so I’ll just have to hack someone with a big sword.
Do you have a sword?
Six of them.
Yes, I am true evil.
Does that compensate for something else?
No. (laughs) Actually I have seven swords. If you wanna know then. A short sword and six long swords. (pause) Average male American giant nine-incher.
Do women force themselves on you even though they know that you are married?
I wish! No, no they don’t force themselves on me. Come one! Look at me! I’m buff!
That must be why they call you “Buff George”.
Unless it was some fuckin’ big Bertha going (in a deep voice), “Come on! I want some now, Grinder!” I would be in trouble if that was the case.
Are you embarrassed to be on tour with such soft bands as The Haunted and Dimmu Borgir?
They’re not soft. That’s fuckin’ mean.
You’re so diplomatic! Come on!
No! I’m not!
You like the swirling keyboards, then?
Yeah, I listen to Emperor a lot. They got keyboards. There’s nothing wrong with that.
You knew I was coming!
No! You don’t like The Haunted? In all honesty, I just heard the new Dimmu Borgir last night. Jack bought it.
Was it in a gay bar?
Look, let me just give you one word of advice. Don’t fuck with the oyster. That would be fucking with the oyster if you would even insinuate that the oyster visited a gay bar. That could be grounds for instant death. If Jack, indeed, is the Oyster, or the Oyster is jack, he has powers beyond Satan, beyond god, beyond fuckin’ Bill Zebub too.
Speaking of god, have you ever heard that Jesus was black?
I’m sure I have. But who cares?
Was that why you were mad, thinking that a black man could be humping your wife when you’re on tour?
No, I was just saying that. It has nothing to do with fuckin’ black, white… if she’s shlorking down a dick, I’m pissed off, unless it’s mine, of course.
Have you noticed that black people usually distort a language? They just totally bastardize it, no matter what language it is, like French and Creole.
Oh, like death metal ebonics?
Ebonics in English, yes, that’s an example. Without sounding negative about it, let’s call it Black English. Can we agree on that?
Um. I don’t know. What was the question?
Where I’m going with this is, I think I can prove that Jesus was black, based on black behavior toward language.
Jesus was asked how to pray. Do you remember what he said? He said, get down with me brother… he said, “Our father who are in heaven.” That’s very improper English, and only a black person would talk like that.
Wasn’t it art?
Well, art is Olde English for” are”.
I don’t know Olde English. I barely know English English.
But wouldn’t you say that’s good evidence for Jesus being black?
I guess, that’s ok, if you’re doing an investigation. If I was a juror, I would take that into consideration.
Now that you are relaxed, do you think that it’s possible for you to sing “Mary had A Little Lamb”?
No. Why did I know that this was gonna come up? This is going to become this continuing saga. You’re always like, please! And I’m just not gonna do it.
I’m not going to argue with you about it. I’m just going to ask.
The reason I ask is, you’re like that cartoon frog… he only sings to his owner.
(singing) Hello my baby, hello my darlin’.
The first time you sang, my tape ran out. The second time, my battery died, and you sang it afterwards all night. But you’re determined not to do it on tape.
You just have to give me the top hat and throw me on the street.
I know that as soon as I leave the bus, you’re going to be singing.
I just saw the cartoon before we went on tour. I was like, I’d fucking kill this fuckin’ frog! Just kill it! You ain’t gonna make no fuckin’ money off of it! It’s a little punk!
Do you ever get asked to play requests when you perform?
People yell out songs.
Do people ever yell out, “Mary Had A Little Lamb?”
No, not yet. But I’ve talked to a few people around this area. They asked me about it. What’s with this Mary Had A Little Lamb?
Will you sing it tonight, when you perform?
No, most definitely not. The other guys don’t know it.
Well, just say it’s time for a vocal solo. Have you ever met up with Warrel Dane after he read all the bad stuff you said about him?
I didn’t say that much… I didn’t say… what did I say bad about him?
That you don’t want to sing like him.
Well that’s not bad. I can’t sing like him.
Alright, you’re backing down now.
No I’m not! No! You tell me exactly what I said.
I don’t remember what you said. I don’t want to get in the middle of your war with Nevermore.
I’m not in a war with Nevermore! I didn’t say anything bad about Warrel Dane!
Then why did you steal his guitar player?
He was already fuckin’ out of Nevermore! He had already done tours with Monstrosity, so there! (pause) We can take whoever we want.
Last time we talked, we were cut off as we discussed your parents escaping the concentration camp.
I’m not German. I’m fuckin’ Filipino. (pause) They were trying to escape, but, you know… it happens.
Do you work out?
(laughs) Can’t you tell? I work out 12-ounce curls every night.
After you got married, you let your body go?
I had already been letting it go anyway. Getting married didn’t change anything. Actually, just before I came on tour, I’ve been kicking in an exercise bike. No lie!
Do you wear spandex when you do that?
No… naked! And I put on King Diamond’sThem and just fuckin’ (makes guitar sounds)
Monstrosity doesn’t seem to be doing too well after you left. Do you pay them any sort of alimony?
No. I just saw them yesterday. They pulled up. Before they even got there, some kids were askin’ me that there was a big rumor that I was singin’ a song with ’em. And Lee was like, “Yeah, we’re gonna ask you to sing a song!” I didn’t even know they were playin’ and I was on the bus, and I come out and they’re playin’ Angel of Death, so I missed ’em. No, I’m not paying them alimony, and last night I missed them, and that sucked.
Have you ever asked Dimmu Borgir or The Haunted for any vocal tips. You try to vary your vocals, and I was wondering if you ever decided to incorporate unmanly high-pitched screaming, maybe they could give you some tips.
(George attempts to sing gay, and succeeds)
Is your latest album your best-selling one?
Is that going to make Metal Blade kick you off?
I hope not. No way! It’s doin’ alright, I guess. It’s just not the best-selling one. Maybe we wimped out or something.
Did someone tap you on the shoulder to tell you that that option maybe isn’t looking so good?
Maybe I need to be doing more (makes a high pitched gay sound). I think The Bleeding sold the most. Obviously the Ace Ventura movie had a lot to do with that.
Black metal bands have admitted to me that black metal is dead in Europe. Was there ever a danger that Cannibal Corpse would incorporate gay black metal elements?
No. We’re a death metal band. You know? I like a lot of black metal bands. I like Marduk, Dark Funeral… stuff like that. But we’re not gonna do anything like that. We’re death metal. Pat listens to a little bit. Maybe jack. But nobody else listens to it really that much. I’m the black metal guy in the band.
Do you remember the first Cannibal Corpse record you sang on? Did you get your hands on the underground tape of songs that Chris Barnes sang on?
I had heard it. There’s a tape that has more songs on it than what’s going around. Some people haven’t heard Defiled By Vermin, and that’s actually on one of the tapes.
Would anybody sue me if I put that out on CD?
I don’t care. You know the reason it came out? You know who let it get out?
Thank you. This isn’t a rip on him. But that’s how it got out. If you put it on CD, I wouldn’t care. I know people in Europe have already seen copies of it pressed on CD.
The reason I asked is because, the guy who used to run the Canadian magazine, The Sepulchral Voice, uh, someone gave him a tape to make into a CD before the album came out, but unfortunately his house burned down, and he never shared that tape with me, and I hate him.
Oh, you want to hear it?
Can I play it on my radio show?
We don’t care. We know there’s copies of it out already.
So why don’t you hook me up with an immaculate copy?
I don’t have one.
I think you know some people in the band who might have one.
You know them too.
Yeah, but they don’t like me the way you do. You’ve got that way of talking people into things. I don’t have that. I don’t have what you have. So just look into that. Let it simmer. You’ve got my address and everything.
Just give me a little on the side. Oh man, Metal Bade is kicking us off tomorrow, or whenever this comes out.
That’s ok. You need to be on a metal label anyway.
Hey! Come on! Metal Blade is total metal.
How gay is that guy, EJ?
Do you talk about his love of Motley Crue?
He loves Motley Crue? My wife loves Motley Crue.
Yeah, but your wife is a woman.
Thank you. (pause) He looks like Buddy Holly. You find that funny? It’s nothing bad.
So he looks the way he talks.
He looks sort of like Buddy Holly. Look, I don’t want to sit here and rip on him.
You can’t shut up about him. I just asked a question.
No! You’re just trying to distort everything.
Don’t be paranoid.
I’m not paranoid! What’s he gonna do? Beat me up?
Why are you so defensive? Are you saying he’s a gay wimp?
Listen, when I said that, I had assumed that you had met him. He’s going to be pissed at me when he reads this.
Who cares? What’s he going to do, have a hissy fit?
I know, I know.
You made him break a nail.
I thought that you had met him before.
No, I don’t hang out in gay bars.
Where does he hang out? Obviously not metal shows because he’d get queerbashed.
I don’t know. I’ve only met him a few times.
So he doesn’t go where rough men hang out?
What is he, a scout leader? Is that how he gets action?
Do you act catty when you’re in the same room with an attractive man?
What do you mean? Gay? No.
I don’t know these kind of words. You’re too technical for me, man. Just tell me piss, shit, and fart.
Do you get jealous and all of a sudden have to flex your arms, as if to say that you are more handsome?
No, because I am.
Yeah. I’m goddamn confident.
Have you ever come close to cheating on your wife?
Never. There have been girls, where I’m like, she’s fuckin’ hot! But nothing like when I was attempting to kiss or holding hands or sticking cock in, or anything like that. Not even close.
Did you ever tell your wife, “I wasn’t kissing her, she was kissing me!”
Did she ever say that to you?
What, that she wasn’t kissing her? I wish! But not him!
What are three things that will never appear on a Cannibal Corpse album.
Bill Zebub, poofy hair, and stick twirls. Of course, you couldn’t tell if that was on there. Picture-wise, poofy hair. Thanks-list-wise, Bill Zebub. That fuckin’ super lame cheap beat. Ever hear that?
What is that called? Thrash?
Just a cheap beat. (bass/snare) At practice, you should see Paul do it. He does it super animated. You won’t ever hear the lame dorky cheap beat.
For legal reasons, you could not advertise at the Limelight because you are playing at the Birch Hill tonight. I heard that after you play the rest of the shows on this tour, you’re coming back to the area to play the Limelight, on a Monday night. Have you ever played there? It used to be a church, and they converted it to a club.
I’m almost certain we had.
That means that you brought death metal back to New York.
What’s the big deal of that?
It used to be shut down. From what I heard, the attitude towards drugs was that they could not be stopped, so in order to prevent it, certain dealers were there who acted like caring bartenders.. like, if you had enough, they wouldn’t sell you any more. And they sold you good stuff, not adulterated stuff that could hurt you. (note- this is what I heard from a former employee. It is not presented here as fact). Supposedly they wore special necklaces that indicated they should not be busted, but other dealers were fair game for the police. There was really open drug use, and for some strange reason, the place was shut down.
Is that true, that they couldn’t advertise?
I was told that the Limelight show couldn’t be advertised because people wouldn’t go to the Birch Hill… they would wait for you to come back to the legendary Limelight.
Really? Well as far as I know, it’s on our web site.
I’m just glad. You’re the first death metal band to go through those doors since the big shutdown. And who better to open the doors of the Limelight? It was shut down by a Nazi, and your parents escaped the Nazi’s. I think it’s just beautiful the way you will overthrow the fourth reich of New York. What are some of your hobbies?
Playing video games, and fishing.
So you know about Metal Dave? He has a fishing column in the Grimoire.
You know who else is a big-time fishing person? Chris Bailey from Infernal Majesty.
Get out of town!
Yeah man! (starts reading the column) “I love my goldfish named “Leaky” It will have a birthday soon. If I sing Happy Birthday to it, will it hear me?” What’s that got to do with fishing?
So you’re a fisherman. You don’t keep fish. You’re not an aquarist.
Hey, I eat them motherfuckers.
So if you keep them in a tank, it’s only until they die in your frying pan.
I do have one of those fuckin’ beta fish. It’s fuckin’ cruel. Look, they have these little… it’s like a vase… and they got all this rocky shit… and then a plant would be in it. The roots grow, and then the fish will eat off the roots. They call them fighting fish. If you put two males together, they’ll go at it. You can get bigger cases for ’em. I got a small one. It was given to my wife. I was thinkin’, this is fuckin’ cruel. I haven’t got him a new tank yet, obviously, because I’m on tour. But that’s a different story besides fishing. When I’m fishing, I catch fish, and I eat them motherfuckers.
Isn’t it a little strange to keep fish in a vase? You can’t see them.
(Exasperated) OK. All right. Hardy har.
I’m trying to teach you to become a little more aware of what you’re communicating when you speak.
Yeah, because I’m talking like an idiot.
I’m trying to clear all the rumors for you, George. This is how rumors get started… saying things like, keeping fish in a vase, with plants. Here’s some roses and a goldfish. Here’s a flower, honey. Oh, I’ll put it in a vase with the fighting fish. We have a couple of questions from a girl who lives in Rhode island. Her name is Tammy. Has a man you never met before suddenly given you flowers? Oh no… that was my question. But go ‘head.
Has a man you never met before suddenly given you flowers?
No, or I’d fuckin’ put him in a stunner.
Have you been hit on by a man?
Um… no, I don’t think so.
Tammy would like to know how long is your thingy?
Um, rolled up or…
I’m just asking the questions. I’m not interpreting them.
About as big as a baseball bat.
How many times a day do you jerk off?
Depends on how far into the tour we are. Two to three, let’s say.
Is a tour bus sort of like prison, as far as jerking off is concerned? Like, when you first go into prison, you don’t know if you should, and then, depending on what your cell mate is doing, his jerk off behavior… like, do you wait for other people in the band to start rolling first? Is this a bus of denial, where you just keep doing it and nobody seems to react to everyone else doing it?
I don’t know. I just bought a Hustler, so…
So what do you do? Do you say, “Hey guys! It’s a nice day! Why don’t you go for a walk?”
I think, pretty much, everybody just keeps that to their bunk. Stay in your bunk and wack, if you want.
What if you’re used to moaning in private. You can’t do that on the tour bus.
You just got to do the old… (clamps hand over mouth)
Is there anything you’d like to clear up from past interviews?
Don’t jerk off in public. Wait! Anything I want to clear up from past interviews?
(I met up with Cannibal Corpse again after I had done the Nevermore interview, and I told Pat about what Warrel said, and he responded thusly)
(Pat) I got kicked out of Nevermore because I wasn’t queer.
Interview with Hellhammer conducted by Metal Monster for Issue #22
(Metal Monster): How do you like our beautiful city?
(Hellhammer): Oh well, it’s nicer than Brooklyn. I’ve been there before.
( Looking at Bill Zebub slouched against the alley wall) I think Bill Zebub is a little drunk.
(Looks Over at Bill) Oh yeah, he looks like it
Bill Zebub wanted me to interview you because apparently the two of you didn’t hit it off the last time he interviewed you. Do you remember that?
I remember that!
Bill wanted to do a more serious interview with you, and because I am such a big Mayhem fan, he asked me to do it. (pause) Have you ever tasted your own semen?
Do you prefer to be called Hellhammer or Jan?
It’s the same
Hey, didn’t you release a solo album?
You didn’t put out a solo album under the name Jan Hammer?
Yes, Jan Hammer?
Oh, Jan Hammer! No. (laughs)
Right, You know Jan Hammer right?
Yeah, I know Jan Hammer. Miami Vice. Among other things, He’s also a drummer and yeyboard player.
What happened with the new Mayhem album? A lot of Mayhem fans are very disappointed with it..
I heard that there were plans to change the name of the band because the new music was so different. I heard you were going to change the name of the band to “Gayhem”. Is that true?
Gayhem? Um, not likely, but in some parts we are labeled Gayhem.
Wasn’t the name of the new album going to be “Chainsawbuttsfuck?”
Chainsawbuttsfuck? Well that’s kind of for (Hellhammer says something undecipherable) and all that for Norway, so that’s all right. Did you ever have sex with a kleptomaniac chink slut named Kim?
(Bill Zebubis brought back to reality by my question and laughs in his booming trademark Viking laugh)
(laughs) Not as far as I can remember no.
That girl has sticky fingers, if you know what I mean?
Sticky fingers, yeah.
Do oriental girls have yellow vaginas?
Mmm, Yes they have.
They do. I understand you are Jewish..
(Laughs) No, that’s not true!
Well, Seth Putnam from the band Anal Cunt told me that you were a Jew.
That I’m Jewish?
That’s right, Jewboy.
No! That’s not true.
You made a very controversial statement that black metal was only for white people and that in Norway people didn’t like negroes. Do you still stand behind that statement?
Yeah, but they don’t!
I know it’s true. I agree with you..
Yeah, it’s true.
A few blocks from where we are now, there is a place called Harlem. I have a fun idea. Let’s go to Harlem and yell as loud as you can that you hate negroes. Just for fun. We could go down there and say “Hey blacks we don’t like you. You are not welcome in Norway!“
Yeah okay. You go first.
Speaking of negroes and black metal, here is some trivia for you; Can you name the only negro that was in a classic Black Metal band from Canada?
Yes, it was in fact, Um. (Racks his brain for answer)
Your guitarist has a very similar name
Come on… Blas-ph
The up side to being a negro in black metal is that they would probably save money on corpse paint because they would only need to buy the white paint.
Yeah, they can if they want. Absolutely!
What is your opinion of Fenriz?
Fenriz? A good friend of mine. An alcoholic of course, and a good drummer actually.
I understand he has some kind of strange smurf fetish?
You know what a smurf is?
Yeah, those little blue naughty bastards. I think he likes to put them up his ass.
Fenriz is a huge star over here in America. He is on the covers of all the teen magazines like Tiger Beat and Big Bopper. I think there was some talk of Fenriz replacing Pierce Bronsnan for the next James Bond Movie, but he turned down the role.
That’s because I got the role!
All right, enough with the chitchat. Are you a better drummer than Fenriz?
(Yes, I definitely am.
Are you a better drummer than Akhenaten from Judas Iscariot?
Is it true that he beat you in arm wrestling?
(Yes it is.
He did beat you?
Yes. Actually I don’t remember because I was so fucking drunk.
I heard that you also tried to hit on his girlfriend, is that true?
Yes, I’ve heard you are something of a womanizer..
You have a boyfriend?
You do have a boyfriend?
Oh no! A girlfriend!
You should pay attention.
I’m fucking tired.
Yeah, do you usually get homosexual when you are tired?
(Metal Monster): Am I keeping you awake?
I can see that. Why can’t black children play in sandboxes?
Cat’s use the sandboxes to shit in
Close, because the cats keep covering them up! You like that?
I’ve heard it before
Really, then why didn’t you answer correctly?
No, I said..
Where is IT?
Where is IT?
Where is it?
Yeah, where is IT?
Do you know where IT is?
Have you seen IT?
I was just wondering if you’ve seen IT?
But what is it?
No, where is IT?
IT, yeah, ha, ha, very funny, duh..
(Metal Monster): Since we are on the same page now, do you know where IT is?
(Hellhammer): Probably in Finland somewhere.
There is a large population of homosexuals here in New York City. Does that please you?
Of course it does! Ha, ha, ha, no, no!
You’re not going to hit me are you?
Good. Are you going to cry?
Besides your other band Kovenant, are there any other homosexuals in the Norwegian black metal scene?
A couple, yeah
Would you like to name any of them?
Hm.I better not, you know, because they can come out of the closet themselves.
Is it true that Euronymous was gay?
Um, I better not speak about this.
Grishnackh stated that he found a dildo with shit on the tip of it in Euronymous’ apartment..
Oh really, ha, ha, ha.
Did you ever see this alleged shit-tipped dildo?
Did you ever see Euronymous with girls?
With girls, yes.
I was a little disappointed that Maniac did not cut himself tonight. Why didn’t he?
Um, because his knife got stolen in Milwaukee.
interview with Harald conducted by Bill Zebub for Issue #23
I must make clear that my tone in these questions is respectful toward thee, even though it might seem that I am picking apart little details. Letus begin with a look at the vocals. They seem not to be as up front as before, and that might be caused by all the reverb. Or is that not the way that the final mix will sound?
I’ve never thought about the vocals place in the mix as any different from the other albums really, and actually we’ve never really been concerned as far as if the vocal should be up front or whatever. Of course the vocals are normally high up in the mix, but we’re more concerned about what sounds good as a whole. It might be a possibility that as the guitars are more powerful now, and also there’s “more” guitars when it comes to the actual riffing, so I guess that might take some from the vocals. The vocals still sound fuckin’ brutal in my ears and they sound great with the music. Also as you point out, it’s not the final mix you’re listening to, so there will be some changes and everything will come out a bit clearer.
I immediately noticed a more straightforward approach, and then I read about some artistic differences which resulted in the line-up change. Have the artists of the band left, being that there are no more experimental songs like “The Brighter the Light, the darker the Shadow?”
I don’t think you really can call it more straight forward as there’s not much that is more straight forward than “Onwards…” That one had about two different rhythms, ha ha! “Under The Reign of Terror” is much more varied when it comes to structures, tempo changes, and definitely when it comes to the riffs, which are the most complex stuff we’ve done for sure. The old songs were very streamlined, if I can use that word, and the riffs were simple and the arrangements also, with a few exceptions, one of which being “The Brighter…”. This song was a collaborative effort between Krell and Knarr, our old drummer, and I must admit that together they came up with some very weird stuff. There was too much problems with having Knarr in the band, though, and we had to let him go. No hard feelings because he’s a cool guy, but he didn’t have the time to make the commitment that was needed for touring and such, and also he was not interested in playing fast, which was one of the main reasons I think that our old stuff don’t have any really fast parts. He just didn’t have the stamina I guess… As for the other guys I can say that their departure has nothing but gained the band and our music.
The role of the keyboard has greatly diminished. Didst thou not consider that to be a trademark of thy sound?
No, actually not. The keyboards were never an important aspect of the band in our eyes, even if some might think that sounds strange considering they are very much present, especially on “Onwards…”. But in the original mix for that album the keyboards were much more in the background, however Season wanted to remix the album as they thought it sounded too messy, so we said “Ok, you contact studiomega and pay for it and get them to do it and it’s fine with us” because we hadn’t really got the sound we wanted anyway. We had at that time gone back to Norway and couldn’t be present at the remix, and so when the new one arrived the sound wasn’t much clearer at all. All that had changed was more bass and the keys were a lot higher! I guess Season told them to put up the keys as they probably thought it would sell more albums or something… I’m not sure, but all I know is that this wasn’t what we were after as far as the sound goes. Also, that album was as far as the music goes, too much compromising with people in the band who wanted to pull it in a softer direction, people who don’t know shit about extreme metal or metal at all, for that matter. Some of us wasn’t happy with that because we wanted Bloodthorn to go in a harder direction after the “In the Shadows…” and especially after “Onwards…” so they had to go. We also noticed that in a live situation the keys didn’t play such an important role ,and before we went on tour we actually simplified some of it which made it sound heavier.
Alas, the girl is gone. What has caused her departure?
We felt we didn’t need her and we saw the label (Season of Mist) and the press focusing on her and trying to make her like the front person, which was totally stupid as she didn’t write any music or lyrics and sang for about maximum five out of the fifty minutes on the album, so it was another attempt to commercialize the band, which we felt very uncomfortable with. We didn’t want the people to get the wrong impression and buy the album because of a female singer – which would’ve made them very disappointed since she’s barely on the album. Also, she didn’t show up on rehearsals, and live, she couldn’t do her job properly even if she only sang those little pieces, and therefore we didn’t see any reason for her to continue with the band, especially now that we’d got rid of the other elements that had hindered our progression, and the music turned harder.
I enjoyed the odd things in thy past material. But it seems to me that many unique elements have been eliminated. Of course, there will always be the telltale vocals. Yet I wonder, will the changes unmake thee?
I don’t know what you see as odd things, so it’s hard for me to say anything on that, but as far as we see it we’ve made our best album by far in every ways. We still feel that we have kept the things that for us made Bloodthorn in the past and that will make Bloodthorn in the future, and that’s what’s important for us. The band has progressed and we’ve done an album that we stand one hundred percent behind, and we don’t see how that can unmake us. The new album is just so much stronger, so much more interesting. It’s intense, heavy, aggressive, all the things that we wanted it to be, but I can’t predict if it’s gonna make us sell less records or more, ‘cause you will never know until it’s out there in the shops. The album is good, and with Red Stream backing us up I think it’s gonna go well. We got good feelings for this album.
Are any former bandmates bitter?
I don’t know and I don’t care. We talk to Knarr whenever he comes up of his basement and as said he’s totally cool, and Krell sees him quite often, but the rest I don’t care about. We know they talk shit behind our backs, but as long as we don’t have to see them, let them do whatever fuck they want. If people want to be assholes that’s their business and as long as we don’t have to mingle with them, let them be assholes. It only proves what miserable human beings they are.
Is Krell considered a national treasure? He is king of both black metal vocals and death metal vocals. I usually feel irritated by black metal vocals except in bands like Tristitia and Gloomy Grim. But I think that another reason why they are so tasty is that they do not ride atop music that is black metal. Bloodthorn does not adhere to a particular system. It seems that the best elements of many styles are selected in the crafting of thy songs.
He’s more likely a national disaster – and king of the forest – ha ha! No, he’s doing a great job. He’s definitely one of my favourite vocalists as far as black/death metal goes. He’s always equally powerful and not loosing any strength or brutality, and that’s very important. You’re right by not calling our music black metal, and we’re not doing so ourselves either. This was an issue we talked to Mica about, him labelling us black metal in the ads and shit, and for the second album we said ‘don’t write black metal’, but he did anyway – ‘atmospheric black metal’ or some crap like that. I mean, we definitely don’t see ourselves as a black metal band, not to say anything bad about the genre, but we’re just not doing that, and I think anyone with something between their ears will say the same. The first two albums actually had a lot of more doom metal oriented stuff in them as well, as the more aggressive parts, but for this one we’ve more or less forsaken the doomy parts and sped up a bit, but still keeping it heavy as fuck. I think it’s closest to what one would call death metal, and the lyrics and everything are really death metal, and the music is very heavy and aggressive and it got a bit of this and a bit of that so it’s hard to put a label on it. Some people said it reminds them of early death metal, others said it was like early ‘90’s black metal, so we hear at lot of different shit, and I think it’s up to each and everyone to put their own label on it. I guess it could be called something like “blackened death metal” or some shit like that. It’s not really important.
This atmospheric doom album features the powerful vocal delivery comparable to SHAPE OF DESPAIR – which is far more effective for this style than the black metal type of vocals that has snuck into some of the doom offerings. Indeed, it is better to hear a demon than any weaker spirit.
The four songs on this album have a long running time, so you are not buying an e.p. – in fact, two songs are over twenty minutes, and one of those is close to half an hour. This is perfect for the inner journey.
The music is plodding and morose, sweetened at times with nontraditional use of synthesizer, stamping a uniqueness to this style. Yes, the exquisite sorrows and pleasures of doom are contained in this work, but there is something new as well. The album does well to honor what is revered by lovers of doom.
The orchestral layers help the listener descend, but beware, a change in tempo hides in a song – perhaps I should not have revealed it, but it is worthy of mention because there is mastery in lulling the ear and then in frightening it.
If you love doom, you probably have decided to obtain this album within the first sentence of this review. It will be a worthy addition to your collection.
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.
Interview with Dani Filth conducted by Bill Zebub for Issue #8
Art thou hung over?
(laughs) I’m fuckin’ massacred. I’m taking these “Energy Now” tablets. I am riding on some coffee, myself.
I just can’t keep myself awake. I feel like shit. And you know what? it’s all your fault! Oh?
Yeah. Because you’re American. Anyway… Art thou ready, head-ache man?
Do you have to say it so loud? Dost thy drummer play with a light bulb in his mouth?
Are you insinuating that he looks like Uncle Fester? Yes.
Well, that’s cool because nowadays in Europe and what-have-you, the press actually regards him as Uncle Fester, and for some reason, being a very violent character – he’s warmed to it, rather than just storming into the publication office and start killing people, which is fuckin’ amazing. But I think the new maxim for him is “Uncle Pester.” In the photo with the blonde woman who is being bitten by everyone, he does look like Uncle Fester. But in another photo in the CD insert, he looks like the typical Brit with a misshapen head.
(laughs) And not threatening at all.
I wouldn’t carry on too much about him because you haven’t met him yet. (laughs) Perhaps we shall have a…
Fight. It can be commentated for the next issue. Is he more violent than the bass player of Solstice?
The English Solstice? Yes.
A bunch of pussies! They really are. I’m about half the size of that guy and I gave him ‘large’ when we last met. They were doing some weird thing with… uh, you know, the circle… Well, I wouldn’t say they were pussies because John was in Solstice – our new guitarist. But there was one point when they had like a “doom metal council” or something, for no reason at all. They would just gather telephone numbers and ring us up, giving us loads of shit. So we confronted them about it and they were like, “Ooh. I don’t think it was us” . Anyway, do carry on. Oh! Is he more violent than him? Yeah. Well, most certainly. But not as violent as Carl from Cancer, however.. who is incredibly violent.
Is he violent because he puts out mediocre albums?
(laughs) Probably, yeah. They split up, didn’t they? Because they just sucked. I don’t know what they did. They were a cancer to the scene.
Hmmm. Dost thou think that thou art being typically English by ripping off the Scandinavian music?
(laughs) Do you mean showing appreciation for the likes of At the Gates?
I believe the word was blatant ‘rip-off’ of the most trendy aspects of Scandinavian black metal.
No. I think you’ve ‘got the message completely wrong. Enlighten me.
I will do.
And stop chewing.
I’ve got a tootie bar or whatever they call them. Tootsie Roll… No. I don’t believe that at all. What you misunderstand is that Cradle of Filth write fuckin’ good riffs. And I’m in a ‘position to say that because I’m not a guitarist. So I m not bragging. I’m just saying Cradle of Filth write fuckin’ great guitar riffs. They’re not Swedish. I think they’re more typically British than Swedish. If anything, the Swedish would rip off the English scene.
This will be a great interview!
When you listen to Cradle of Filth… no, I’m afraid there’s no comparison whatsoever, and Nick is a much more skillful drummer than anything they’ve got to show apart from the drummer from Eucharist. Wouldst thou liken thy vocals to those of a stupid bitch who is screaming that someone is pinching her breasts?
Is that all I sound like? I’ve failed miserably then, haven’t I? It should be more like a red hot poker in a virgin’s entrance, like the rings of her anus.
When singing, art thou…
I haven’t finished yet! Oh! I’m sorry.
No. That’s just plain derogatory. Goodbye forever!
When singing, art thou inspired by memories of thy mommy burning herself on the stove?
Hey? Excuse me? What do you mean? I thought thou wouldst be more evil in thy response.
No. It’s just that I don’t understand what you mean by that.
Perhaps the meaning is lost between American English and English English.
It was just a meaningless question.
I mean, there was a motive behind it. Otherwise, you know? Hey! I am doing the interview, not thee!
No, no! But you’ asking me a question. I’ve got to know what it actually meant. Otherwise you could speak in hieroglyphics, couldn’t you?
Only if there were a caption that magically appeared above my head because hieroglyphics is a writing style, not a language. How dost thou feel that Seth Putnam considers thy band to bee extremely gay?
He’s probably just jealous because he can’t string a song together. Seth Putnam. That’s a fuckin’ awesome name. Awesome band name. Awesome thought – everyone should be killed. But unfortunately, his music is absolutely shite. And I think that he obviously realizes that, and that’s his way of compensating. I’m sure everybody’s going to listen to him. Just as a break, what was that word?
“Shite?” Is it spelled “s-h-i.-t?
OK. That’s the Ahhhnglish (I pronounce english in the most gay way possible) way to pronounce “shit.”
It has derived from the Newcastle way where they say “Shite, man!” and things like that. Wouldst thou consider thy manner of speaking to be “common.”
No. I think I’m a bit of a snob, actually. Thou speakth the queen’s English?
Fuckin’ better believe it! I’ll hear nothing against the Monarchy.
Wouldst thou say that thou art vampiric?
Well, skinny and white, yeah. No. I can’t answer it seriously anyway because the question’s aren’t serious. Thy teeth last night had fake fangs overlapping the canine variety.’ That would lead one to believe that thou art “gothic.” And is not the “gothic” scene merely a group of bisexuals who are trying to be horrific?
Quite possibly. Nothing wrong with being bisexual.
So wouldst thou suck a man for thy nocturnaL sustenance?
No. I certainly wouldn’t. But there’s nothing wrong with being it. You’re actually being narrow-minded, I think. I was on the Internet last night and you can tell that everybody on there was about 14. You can just see them pouring behind their computer. They probably didn’t have a girlfriend. They probably never went out, probably wondering what sex was like. All the questions seemed to do with men’s anuses and wanking and shitting on people and just being derogatory toward women. Are not thy fake fangs a sign of stupidity?
A sign of stupidity? I wouldn’t call myself a goth either. I just like wearing black. I’m very sorry if that offends anyone. But most goths are pretty smelly and pretentious and not willing to speak to anyone and huddled in the corner in nightclubs, looking scary. No. I don’t like wearing fangs. I have other things that occasionally I wear.
And thy contact lenses make thy eyes appear to be those of a cat?
Uh huh. And cats are the original vampires?
You’re going back to Egyptian mythology, aren’t you?
I didn’t know that there was any meaning to what I just said. I was just trying to be funny. Is Cradle of Filth the most gay and trendy of all black metal bands?
No. I think that we’re just the best and the most popular. People just get jealous, and they have to laboriously argue. It just gets up my nose because we’ve had like 90’/o of the reaction in America has been utterly cool, and the other 10% are a load of jealous wankers who masturbate over pictures of Count Grishnack, thinking, “God! if onIy I had the integrity to do that! But I’m too scared, because if I ever went into prison, men would touch my bottom.” Art thou secure in thy gender, wouldst thou say?
You mean, do I cross-dress? In human myth, angels have wings , but in birdy heaven, do angels have arms?
Birdy heaven… (laughs) If there was ever issue. I don’t know. Ask one.
Christopher Columbus was in search of a new route to India. When he discovered America, the savages that he saw were mistaken for Indians. What if someone in India were looking for a shortcut to Spain? If they discovered America, would they call the natives “Spaniards”? Instead of cowboys and Indians, would we have Cow-worshippers and Spaniards?
(long pause) is there a relevance to this? The one question that I ask that I want thee to explore is blown off.
What if Columbus re-discovered Atlanta? Atlanta?
Yeah. Whatever it is called. That question was a bit too taxing for me. No. You actually must be thinking of a point. When you come out with that questions it couldn’t be random. It does seem a little involved, doesn’t it?
No. There must be a point to it, like there must be a point to the one I argued about and said, “What does that mean?” Thou wilt detect the point when seeing it in print after thy hang-over is gone.
Why? Am I being overly grouchy? No. Not at all. Thou art just not seeing what should be seen… It is just a joke.
Ok. Well, do go into that one. I’m just interested in why you cam with that. I cannot give thee the keys to the kingdom.
We’re just talking about perspectives here, yeah? How things are viewed in somebody else’s perspective? And the point of it is? .What?
The album began with odd time signatures, which compelled me, but the buildup seemed to fizz instead of resolving. This was jarring, but not as much as when I heard the harbingers of faggotry. The riffing took on the massively gay style of dance-friendly metal, so much so that I predicted that, if there were to be death metal vocals, the delivery would be fake, either as a mainstream person’s attempt at real brutality, or as a weakling’s inability to deliver. Whatever the reason for the pseudo-death vocals, my dismay soon focused on the clean vocals that bordered on the gay realm of the poser. I tried my best to give this a chance, but each additional moment took me farther away from metal. This felt like a contrived and pretentious album specifically made for girls who rather dance than read, and for guys who like guys. The final test came when I was going to see what the band members looked like. I predicted, based on the songs, that the members would be distinctly non metal, and highly gay.. Isn’t it sad that this band is so predictable?
I have long been aware of demo songs from Sanctuary. I begged Warrel Dane for copies but he resisted. Alas, my wish was finally granted in this polished version.
Of course I had to select “Battle Angels” as the first song to experience. I was among the lucky ones in the past who received an e.p. of live songs, and “Battle Angels” was on there when Warrel Dane hit the tough notes.
The demo version of the song far exceeded my expectations, both in production value and in performance. Warrel Dane’s falsetto was strong and true. I remember that day long ago when I heard this song on the radio for the first time and I had to pull over. As soon as the disc jockey identified the band, I drove to a record store. Hearing the demo version was a similar experience. It was like renewing my vows.
The demo version differed slightly from the version that was on the “Refuge Denied album. This is especially enjoyable – not only do I hear a different performance – I also enjoy an alternate structure. This is quite the gift for a fan.
There is also material that is completely new to my ears. The song “Dream of the Incubus” features an astounding falsetto performance. it was an intense listening experience, so much so that i had to hear the song a few times before moving on. It was just too good to leave.
This is unquestionably a mandatory purchase. “Inception” is so good that I would dare say that it can be mind-blowing to a person who has never heard Sanctuary before. I strongly urge you to drop what you are doing and to get this album immediately.