It's instructive to look back at a collection of work over the course of a year. During 2014 we've endeavored to get you as many interviews we could on Mondays and Wednesdays in addition to streaming tracks, which are sort of a default necessity in music writing these days. If you take a look you'll see people from all walks of the extremely extreme universe: up-and-coming bands; veterans who say they'll never quit touring; politically active Satanists; punk legends and key players in one of the biggest dustups in the metal scene this year (accusations that Inquisition is a Nazi band). We're also pretty sure we conducted the only in-person interview with Pentagram legend Bobby Liebling this year, a chat in the band's van aided by several packs of Fig Newtons.
Without futher adieu, here are quips from some of the interviews we've presented and links to the full reads; here's to many more in the forthcoming year. On Wednesday, we'll share our favorite work from special Deciblog contributors in 2014.
Photo courtesy of Raymond Ahner.
Brian Werner (Vital Remains) on the campaign to put a Baphomet statue at the Oklahoma State Capitol as part of our At War With Sooners coverage.
I always hope for the best and plan for the worst. I like to set myself up for win-win situations. If this goes up, we win. If it doesn't, those Ten Commandments are coming down and we win. We are setting a precedent, and everyone is applying for monuments now. Even if they ignore us, the Hindu monument or the Islam monument are coming right behind us. It's like kindergarten; the whole class gets a cookie or no one gets a cookie.
Paul Masvidal (Cynic) on his other life writing music for pop stars and Hollywood:
I moved here in 1996. I was a student at Musician’s Institute. A faculty member knew Terri Nunn from Berlin, the pop band from the 80s. She played her some stuff I was doing and Terri loved it. That was my big welcome to LA moment. Suddenly, I was writing songs with Terri Nunn. The big leap into TV work was a neighbor who lived next to my brother’s apartment building. She was a junior agent at CAA and is now an agent. She worked with film and TV composers. I approached her and said I wanted to get my foot in the door. She hooked me up with one of her clients. At first I was getting coffee but after he learned I had chops and could play he brought me in as a musician. Pretty soon, I was immersed in session work for network TV.
Bobby Liebling in his sole 2014 interview on his life after the documentary Last Days Here and separation from his wife:
I watch movie after movie after movie and won’t run out in the lifetime I have left. I get up in whatever hotel or state I’m in and watch. I live the entire year in hotels and want to go home real bad. I’m hoping maybe when this tour finishes I can go home. I don’t remember why we separated. It was a big verbal argument or something like that. It happens. So it’s been very low and I have been depressed. I spent this anniversary alone in a hotel room, crying. Our anniversary is Thanksgiving. We got married on the same day, the 25th of November, four plus years ago. This year I was totally alone in a hotel for Thanksgiving, my birthday, Christmas, New Year’s sitting in a hotel. I don’t have friends and don’t give a damn. If you have three (friends) you can count on that’s a lot.
Shitfucker on their favorite Venom records, their hilarious video and high school:
I think at least two of us graduated. It was like the movie Rock And Roll High School but if Shitfucker was The Ramones and all of the other students had Down's Syndrome. That's the closest thing I can relate it to. Ripping it up on top of the desks in a special ed classroom.
Tesco Vee on the first Meatmen track in two decades, which we premiered on April Fool's Day:
"Dinosaur" was conceived and practiced with the 1996 line up and has been bouncing around in my cranium like a rabid parakeet for all those years until now. It's autobiographical in nature and full of male-oriented-aggressive rock bravado, and self aggrandizing sarcasm...and as much piss n’ vinegar as any Meat track should possess. I am from the Mesozoic era of punk rock after all and I'm still slingin’ the meat after 35 fucking years. The song says it best: "Still the King Of The Crass...Still up here teachin' the class...30 years of loogie slingin'… if ya still don’t dig my singin’ FACEPLANT! And ANALINGUS MY ASS!”
Reformed white supremacist Daniel Gallant on the Inquisition controversy:
First, I never went after Inquisition. I pushed on a lot of different bands, the majority in Canada, including black metal bands with non-white guys. The whole purpose isn’t specific to black metal. This isn’t about outing black metal. It’s about a larger problem: complicity is the main perpetrator in extremism. People that maintain and disseminate these ideas allow it to become acceptable
Dani Filth on his daughter's musical tastes, that infamous tee-shirt and haunted houses:
I think I’ve seen a few. I saw a woman on a bridge who disappeared. We used to live in the house I mentioned. The house was split into three properties and was pink. You might laugh — “Dani lived in a pink house” — but it’s Suffolk pink. It was made by mixing paint with pig’s blood. My wife would sleep in the front room. She swears to God that she woke up and it was absolutely freezing and she could see her breath. She was frightened and hid for an hour. The cats went crazy there. We had a cat called Lilith who would sit and look straight into a corner and hiss. We had friends who came over who saw shadow people walking around.
Jamie Myers on Sabbath Assembly, motherhood and her time working at a Whole Foods:
The job was 40-plus hours a week and I didn’t have a car like a lot of folks. I relied on public transportation and my bicycle. We practiced three times a week in the city. I’d get up at 5 a.m. and go to work and immediately go to practice after. There wasn’t a lot of down time. Looking back, it probably kept me out of trouble. A lot of people get into the bar scene and party hard but there wasn’t any time for that. I went out there for a purpose: to learn this incredible music. That band became my family and my social outlet. But it was hard because I was stretching to support myself, do well at work and live out there. For someone coming from Texas the cost of living was very challenging. But I like to think I rose to the occasion. I was able to maintain a somewhat comfortable life.
Lord Worm on teaching English, academic conferences and changes in his writing:
The switch from personal to global terror? It was the logical choice. When I was writing for Cryptopsy in the early days like one or two bands were doing the whole serial killer motif: Cannibal Corpse and maybe two others. I was one of the few and the proud. Then, everyone started doing it, even grindcore and black metal bands. Everyone was doing the serial killer thing. I needed a new shtick.
Nicholas Wolf (The Proselyte) on recording in a blizzard and 90s music:
There’s a stigma to that music so when the comparisons do come they can be a deterrent. But I’m 31 and grew up with that stuff and you can’t take away what you listened to. I learned to play guitar from Superunknown and it does affect how I write a guitar lead. I only worry that there is a stigma in that I don’t want people to think it sucks (laughs).
Paul Di'Anno on life long after Iron Maiden and border crossings:
When we crossed over from America into Canada there were bloody guns pulled at the border. One of the boys had a knife so he got kept for like an hour. I wanted to go to Canada to see some friends and the same thing happened. It’s just a pain. You need to keep your borders safe but, c’mon, I’m a bloody metal musician, not an Arab terrorist. It can get on your nerves a bit. A lot of European people go there and also think it’s a rigamarole and why bother. Once you get through it’s fantastic but in ways it’s like the Russians who look like they want to kill you every five minutes (laughs).
Athenar of Midnight on Cleveland, songwriting and Men At Work:
The first record isn’t bad. They have a song called “Overkill” on the Cargo album and if a band calls a song “Overkill” they can’t be that bad. There’s Motorhead’s “Overkill” and Men At Work. You pick which one you think is the best.
Boddicker on guns, drugs and band comparisons:
Well, nothing has driven us nuts because no one has said anything shitty. But it’s like some people don’t get it. Our first demo reviewed in Decibel got compared to Man Is The Bastard, Infest and Spazz. And it’s just like — those three bands don’t sound anything alike? I wouldn’t say that’s where we’re coming from but it’s all subjective.
Craig Setari of Sick Of It All on the evolution of moshing:
There were so many wild shows back in the 80s. When I played in Youth Of Today the shows were crazy. It’s hard for me to talk about specific things but I’ve seen lights getting ripped out of ceilings, ceilings caving in and collapsing, PAs getting knocked over. That sort of stuff used to happen all the time. Of course, sometimes people get hurt. There was a show in Savannah in the late 80s where a guy was shooting off a shotgun … shooting trees, shooting out car windows. At the bar, people were playing Russian Roulette! And then when the cops came, they knew the guy with the shotgun so they went and had a couple of shots of whiskey with them! All this shit went on over the years. I’ve also seen the horrible side of it – people breaking their necks or getting stabbed. I never want to see people get hurt at a show.