This interview with Jeremy Wagner was printed in issue #9. It occured when I was at the Milwaukee Metalfest in 1997. He kept humping my leg for an interview, and I finally consented when I was drunkenly walking around outside to take a break from the fun indoors. I laughed at the notion that this was a ghetto part of town, because it was tame compared to NJ shit-holes like Paterson, Newark, Irvington, and Asbury Park. Ironically, Jack Koshik held the “Marshallow Meltdowns” in Asbury Park and Irvington a couple of years later. It angered me that he gave no warning about the high crime areas. I hoped that girls who went to the show did so in big groups of male friends. Unfortunately, metal events may have to occur in such places.
I liked listening to Broken Hope, but I did not like seeing them live because of the gayness of the band members. The bass player wore hockey jerseys on stage and smiled and waved. I forgave that because he was in Sindrome. You can imagine how excited I was when “Into the Halls of Extermination” finally was remastered for CD.
I did not like the things that I had heard about Jeremy, which later on turned out to be true (and I will omit from this article), but my Spidey senses told me that he was not to be trusted.
Jeremy was familiar with the magazine, and he said some things to ingratiate himself to the readers, specifically about Metal Blade, te label that he was signed to.
The publicist, Ralph, was one of the rare cool and knowledgeable reps at that label. I had a history of insulting Metal Blades idiotic publicists, and as a result, I was boycotted for a few issues before a new idiot publicist was hired, or the label people realized that they were foolish to be omitted from a magazine that printed 40,000 copies, for free, that also was in big music stores all over the world, as well as recording studios.
Ralph called me to tell me that I was again boycotted because I printed lies about the record label. I thought that he was referring to a joke I might have told, but Ralph told me that when a label head read the Broken Hope interview, he called Jeremy to discipline him. Jeremy told the bigwig that I had made all that up – that he had never said such things.
I told Ralph that I won’t say anything in defense, but I will send a package that will explain everything. Ralph laughed.
The package was a cassette that contained the audio of that interview. The people at Metal Blade heard, word-for-word, that I printed exactly what Jeremy said – no embellishments, nothing made up.
Regardless of the fakery of Jeremy, when I listen to music, I never picture actual band members. I experience a theater of the mind. Music is escapism for me, and in this case, an escape for a gaylord.
What happened with King Fowley from Deceased?
What I’m about to tell you, Bill… I have never talked about with any other magazine. Press people have always asked me about this. So if you can bear with me, I’m going to say how it all started. Michigan Deathfest III, back around 1994, out second album, Bowels of Repugnance has just come out. It was us and Gorguts that were headlining the fest, and Deceased were on the bill. As most people know, we’re from Illinois, the same state that Macabre are from. At one time, Macabre used to have a t-shirt company. They used to make a bunch of t-shirts for Relapse Records. On the day of our show I got a call from Mat or Bill at Relapse, and they said, “Hey Jerr, could you do us a favor? Macabre has a shitload of Deceased shirts that they have for us, and they’re still making them. They’re not coming to the Deathfest now. Could you please pick them up?” Being the nice guy that I am, I said, “Sure I will.” They live in Downers Grove, which is an hour and a half out of my way. So I went an hour and a half out of my way. At the time, I had a little shitbox car. I filled it to the hilt with Deceased shirts. Then I had to drive five hours through a blizzard. This is January. I mean, you’re talking semi’s going off the road and stuff. I get to the venue. Deceased are copping an attitude. Everybody’s pissed at me because I showed up late with the shirts. I’m like, “You know what? I just went an hour and a half out of my way to get stuff for you, and I had to drive through a blizzard. What the fuck?” So ever since then, Broken Hope are a bunch of rock stars. It’s just thankless. And I never had a problem with Deceased at all. They had done shows with us. One show, in particular, in Chicago, that I helped promote – we opened up for Deceased and Repulsion back in 1989 – and I’m an asshole all of a sudden. Since that happened, every fuckin’ zine that Deceased ever did an interview with said “Broken Hope are assholes. Jeremy Wagner’s a poser.” I was always like, “Jesus Christ! Where are these assholes coming from?” I just started saying shit. People would ask, “What bands do you hate?” I’m like, “I’ll tell you who I hate. Deceased. They’re a bunch of thankless shit-talking assholes who fuckin’ obviously don’t have a clue, and I don’t know what their problem is.” Anyway, that’s been going on for about three years. We fuckin’ did our last date of the Extremities tour, which was in Virginia or something like that. When we got to the show, we heard all day “King Fowley is coming here to start shit with you guys” and I told the promoter of the show “If King Fowley shows up, don’t let that fucker in. He’s just gonna cause trouble.” Well, King Fowley shows up. Him and Shaun, our bass player… I see them going back and forth at it, so I go up to King. As most people know, I’m the metal midget.
The death metal leprechaun.
I’m about 5’4”. King is, like, twice the size of me. I’m like, “Man, what are you doing here? You fuckin’ hate our band. You fuckin’ don’t like our music. You’re obviously here to start shit. You fuckin’ don’t like Vader either because they already told me that when they toured with Suffocation.” King called them Polaks. I’m like, “You’re not wanted here. You talk shit about us all the time.” So King starts in, “No man, I don’t say anything about you guys. You’re always talking shit about us.” And I said, “Fuck you, motherfucker! You’re full of shit!” And out of the blue, a bright flash of light. That fucker just cold-cocked me. Dude, my nose went kablam! Blood just fuckin’ ripped out. Hey King, if you’re reading this, what can I say? Boy, you blasted me real good in the fuckin’ face. When I opened my eyes, the singer of Monstrosity and the bass player had smashed beer bottles over King’s head. I was bleeding all over, and that little Deceased bass player fuckin’ jumped on me and was punching me in the back of the head. And then security guards got involved. It was total chaos. So my nose wouldn’t stop bleeding. We couldn’t do the show. After I got blasted, King wanted to talk some shit. He said, “I didn’t come here for any problems.” But it was totally unprovoked. Hey, there’s two sides to every story. I’m not a violent guy. But if someone really wants to cut our band and literally go out of their way just to talk shit… I mean, King Fowley puts out a fuckin’ zine and votes me #1 poser, #1 worst album… stupid shit. You know, someone who just fills their time with negativity… they’ve got a problem or something. It’s total bullshit. So I’m just giving you my side of the story from day one til now. What can I say? My nose wasn’t broken. (laughs)
The name of your band won’t be Broken Nose?
It won’t be Broken Nose. But my nose is pretty fucked up. I hope he’s happy with that. And you’ve got the inside scoop. I haven’t talked to anybody about that.
Was your favorite person, at Metal Blade, Rhonda?
Oh! You and I talked about her at the Z Bar. Well, you know Paula Hogan pretty well. Paula’s got the same problem with Rhonda. She says, “Hey Rhonda, you’re not servicing these people at these zines.” And Rhonda’s response – “I’m looking at the big picture.” Click. Hangs up on Paula. Thinks zines are shit. Let me tell you about Rhonda. Loathing comes out. I get a call from Metal Blade. I don’t know who I talked to. Mike Faley or someone. “Rhonda will be doing publicity.” Well guess what? I’m the one who got us the Metal Maniacs feature, the PIT feature… every other thing we’ve done in America. All the Metal Edge shit. Most people know of that as a poser zine. Yeah, I did all that. I told Metal Blade, “Hey, I want you to know that Rhonda hasn’t done anything.” Rhonda can go blow somebody, like Paradise Lost. That’s off the record. Maria Abril, who Brain Slagel hates, steps in and says, “I want to manage you guys.” Four months into the tour, Metal Blade’s like, “Jeremy, we want you to know that we’re not going to pick up the option for your next album.” Why is that, Mike? I’ve got friends at Metal Blade who talk to Slagel, and we pretty much got dropped because Maria’s our manager.
I heard that Rhonda got the job because of a favor she did for someone. What do you think that can be?
(laughs) I know this for a fact, when Rhonda got that job, certain people voiced their opinions to Brian Slagel. “Hey, what about her track record?” I hate to say this, because I’m not a shit-talker.
Drink your beer and talk.
If you run any kind of business, you should be business-minded, not thinking with your dick. (He looks at my magazine.) Can I see this real quick? (I hand it to him). I’m looking at the Grimoire Girl. My god, dude! She’s awesome! I’m serious as a heart attack. I just want to give you a salute. Have you ever encountered a Grimoire Girl you’ve gotten to know pretty well? The Grimoire Girls fuckin’ rule! You can quote me on that. Dude, I love them!