How exactly did your deal with BLACKMETAL.COM
happen? Can you remember precisely what Elden and Debbie said or thought
when they both got to hear DEKAPITATOR for the very first time?
Well, the whole DEKAPITATOR thing kind of just happened
accidentally, step by step. We were just kind of fucking around and then
got the offer for the 7" and then, we played a couple of shows. We
then got the offer for the album. I've known Elden and Debbie for a
while now and it was really casual dealing. We have like a one page
contract and total freedom to do whatever we want, so it's really
comfortable. I was really surprised that people have reacted the way
they have to this band. A lot of my longtime friends tell me that
DEKAPITATOR is way better than EXHUMED. We've gotten a lot of really
killer compliments from people like Kevin from BLOOD FEAST, Moyses of
KRISIUM, Kam Lee (the fucking man!!), Armando, ex-DORSAL ATLANTICA, Tony
from WHIPLASH and a lot of other really fucking awesome people! So it's
been pretty fucking cool!
That's quite intense, like you recently said that
some guys from the bands which you considered as your influences, have
really been into your stuff, too. I bet that all this utterly positive
response is what keeps you going on, very motivated and devoted to the
whole concept around DEKAPITATOR and Speed/Thrash Metal as a fine piece
of (underground?) music. Seems like things couldn't look more promising
and brighter for the DEKAPITATOR camp at the very moment, could they
Well, we could use a record deal, as we are totally
independent right now. But yeah, we're pretty happy right now. Touring
is also something we're looking forward to doing after the next album,
hopefully. The response that we have gotten has really blown us away! It
means a lot to us that people we have so much respect for have given us
that kind of encouragement! The main thing that has always kept us going
has been the simple fact that we are just fans of the music. That's the
only reason why we do it! Everything else just ads fuel to the fire!
Did you receive some interest from other labels as
well? What were the main reasons that made you end up choosing
BLACKMETAL.COM's offer instead of some other offer that you may have
well received at that time? What couldn't other labels offer you that
We didn't really have any label prospects at the time,
as we weren't even looking for a record deal! It was just very friendly
and informal, the way it should be! The best thing about it is that
everything is very simple and up-front, with no long term agreement,
total freedom for us, lots of trust and respect on both sides and we can
go hang out at their house and drink their beer and booze!
I bet the response for your debut has been
immensely positive and surprising - Probably even more than you were
expecting to achieve in the very first place... What has surprised you
the most as far as all this utterly positive response is concerned? The
fact goes that there are so many maniacs out there who swear in the name
of ol' fashioned Speed/Thrash Metal style, hailing bands like POSSESSED,
KREATOR, ONSLAUGHT, RAZOR and other since they started and forever...
Well, we've gotten slagged as just another rip-off band
that steals riffs and lyrics, which is bullshit! Again I think it's
because people expect us to be another shitty band like INFERNÖ or
whatever, because that have made any kind of Thrash that's out now look
like a fucking joke. But aside from those people who didn't bother to
even listen to the record, the response has been really cool. As I said
in the last question, we've got a lot of really fucking cool support,
even from some of our influences! That makes me think we're doing
Actually, I could say there's at least two ways of
doing Speed/Thrash shit; Doing it like you do, seriously and very
professionally from all its possible aspects. That's just one way to do
it. Another way to do it, as I see it, is more or less in the
"tongue-in-cheek" vein, kind of playing with the concept of it
by adding a humor aspect into it and yet having this very determined,
serious attitude towards the actual creative process, composing music
thing but at the same time, joking around a little bit and just making
fun out of it, you know what I mean?! I guess a healthy dose of
self-irony shouldn't harm or cause any serious mental damage for anyone
and that's what bands like INFERNÖ and DESEKRATOR are trying to bring
forth: The irony and fun for the world of Speed/Thrash Metal!! But I bet
you obviously pretty much disagree...?!
Well, I think that Thrash definitely has a 'tongue in
cheek' aspect to it; just read an old VENOM interview, you'll laugh your
ass off! Thrash bands definitely didn't take themselves too seriously;
you never saw them trying to take this 'Evil' stance that has become so
popular lately, or even worse the 'We are art' bullshit that assholes
like EMPEROR claim. Metal is fucking Metal! That's it! It's fucking
music... No one can live the lyrics, kill babies, etc. No one should try
to 'elevate' Metal to 'Art'; it's all about adrenaline, headbanging and
raw fucking energy, not opera and synthesizers!?! How about CRANIUM;
even though they have a totally zany sense of humor, their music is
totally intense. My main problem is that these bands don't really have
any direction of their own or plans to continue on because THEY DON'T
GIVE A FUCK! You should keep going for your own satisfaction, not
because of a trend, or because you already ripped off all the riffs on
the three thrash albums you own! We don't really care what the trends
are or what anyone else thinks... We Thrash because that's we love and
Now about the song writing process for DEKAPITATOR:
What kind of an event is it actually? What's that "driving
force" of yours, which keeps you writing new material constantly?
What keeps you focused during that process in question?
Just drinking and Metal, really... I play guitar pretty
much every day for at least an hour, so there's always something going
on. For the next album, we're going to have more of a concept and idea
that the whole band is going to revolve around, so that's a definite
source of inspiration. The album will be more focused on a
post-apocalyptic world and the violence and freedom of that kind of
environment... Not too far removed from the ideas in 'A Boy And His
Dog', 'Mad Max', etc. Aside from that, it's just being a Metal fan and
that's really the thing that drives my whole life...
As for source of inspirations, besides boozing and
listening/doing Metal, you mentioned that you're going to have a bit
more focused, more of a concept album next time, inspired by such
cult(!) films as Mad Max, A Boy and his Dog, etc. So, that makes me ask
if you consider yourself as some sort of a film freak, too? Which films
have impressed you mostly and why?
Well, those are two of my personal faves, but of course
there are a lot of great movies like 2001:A Space Odyssey, Farenheit
451, Metropolis, The Beyond, Gates of Hell, Zombie, Suspiria, Once Upon
a Time in the West, For a Few Dollars More, Tenebrae, Phenomenon, The
Good The Bad and the Ugly, Nosferatu and also books like Dune, 1984,
Brave New World, Slaughterhouse 5, etc. Any tales of futures god mad, or
sane men in an insane world, are an important inspiration for the band.
How important actually is a well-planned,
well-thought out song writing process for you? I mean, do you find it
important and essential to get songs together during a relatively short
period of time in order to keep them kinda up-dated and fresh for a
forth-coming release? For many bands though, the problem seems to be
that some of their material may be two or three years old, some other
just a week or two old when the songs finally end up finding their way
on an album. Within this time, there may occur some drastic changes as
far as the bands' musical orientations are concerned...
We write over a long period of time, but we feel
comfortable in our style and so, I don't think it has a big effect. Some
of the songs on 'We Will...' were written in '95/'96, like 'Attack With
Mayhem' (a song with just one riff in it!), 'Faceripper', etc. But the
later songs like 'Posessed By Damnation', 'One Shot, One Kill' and
'Release The Dogs' still fit in really well, I think. We will write a
lot faster for the next one, which we hope to record in late summer. I
think that the songs for the first album took a long time because we
weren't very serious as a band, which is changing a bit nowadays. The
new stuff that we have is more militaristic and futuristic lyrically and
has a bit more variation than the first one... But not a drastic change.
We write songs quickly, about one a night when we are working on shit in
earnest. Right now, we're really kind of locked in on the new EXHUMED
album, so DEKAPITATOR hasn't really done too much in a while. We're kind
of riding the publicity of this album and playing a few one-off shows
looking for a new contract for right this second.
Would you tell us a bit something more specific
about new stuff you've done since your debut album? Who has done what;
In the other words, how have you shared both lyric and song writing for
the new material this time around? And do you believe your new songs are
the most satisfying shit you've managed to come up so far? What's
exactly your own personal fave tune out of all the DEKAPITATOR stuff and
for what reason(-s)?
My favorite DEKAPITATOR track is 'Haunted By Evil' on
our split with NUNSLAUGHTER. The recording and playing on that day just
came together in a way that cannot be duplicated. Aside from that, I
really like 'Possessed By Damnation'. 'Release The Dogs' is usually the
song that goes over best Live, though. The new stuff, I think, has a bit
more dark and heavy edge to it. There are a couple of pounding slower
sections and I think the sound so far is going in a 'Hell
Awaits'/'Darkness Descends' direction. It's a little too early to tell
what will happen on the next album for sure though, but we will be
incorporating some faster sections in the MERCILESS/INSANITY vein.
"Bay Area Thrash/Speed Metal
Renaissance..." That's how your label is describing
your stuff in several adds. Did they come up with that description or
was it more or less your invention? And is there a bunch of new
talented, young bands coming up from the area of San Francisco that kind
of want to re-invent or re-find that once lost, golden recipe for
"the Bay Area Sound" once again?
Unfortunately, the Bay Area scene is really pretty bad,
but the Crust/Hardcore scene is really strong, a lot better than the
Metal scene, that's for sure. We just want to bring the words 'Bay Area'
back to the minds of real metalheads and not just MACHINE HEAD poseurs!
We are trying, along with EXHUMED, to bring the Bay Area back to the
forefront of the Metal scene, where it belongs! They wrote the ad copy
but we insisted that the Bay Area reference be put in there!
MACHINE HEAD is a disease... DEKAPITATOR is a
cure... (?/!). When people start to think of the whole Bay Area thing
all over again, I'm positive you'd like to achieve kind of a status that
whenever a concept "the Bay Area" comes into the light, the
first thing that people would think of could be DEKAPITATOR and NOT
MACHINE HEAD, correct?! Could this be one of those things you'll be
striving for in the future; To remind people that DEKAPITATOR is one of
the reasons closest to the real concept idea of the Bay Area for what
you should be remembered for in the future and not bands like MACHINE
HEAD, that has nothing in common with the true ideology of the Bay Area
Yeah, that 'gangsta' bullshit is from L.A. and has
nothing to do with Metal, anyway! The Bay Area could be a great Metal
scene but instead, it's half-ass, with no all-ages venue and no
direction in the scene. DEKAPITATOR is more in the spirit of what
started the whole Bay Area Metal scene. So hopefully we will try and
start it up again in the right direction! Fuck that 'cali-Metal' trend!
We wear denim, leather and bullets, not fucking jogging suits!!
What, in your opinion, made that "Bay Area
Sound" so special for many of us back in the 1982/88 period? And if
you compare all this Bay area thing to the German Speed/Thrash Metal
invasion (= "teutonic invasion?!") at that time, which of them
was more influential for you personally, both from a musical and lyrical
It was a special thing that encompassed a lot of styles,
from METALLICA to POSSESSED, with great acts like LEGACY/TESTAMENT,
EXODUS, VIOLENCE, DEATH ANGEL (the first album), HEXX, EPIDEMIC,
DESECRATION, BETRAYEL, and more filling in the middle nicely. There was
a massive fan base here and tons of smaller (usually very bad) bands.
But there was a sense of pride in leading the Metal scene forward.
Really if you get down to it, the whole 'German' gallop picking pattern
is based off of METALLICA's fast stuff. The Germans took things to
another level of intensity in Thrash. The first time I heard KREATOR (in
1987), I thought it was the fastest thing ever. Way crazier than 'Reign
In Blood' because of the underground production and bloodthirsty vokillz!
From then on, it was KREATOR and SODOM logos written on my jean jackets
(I couldn't afford patches on my allowance!), backpacks and school
books! I think that DEKAPITATOR is a total hybrid of both of those
influences, because we grew up here, with all of the VIOLENCE style
backing vocals and crunchy mosh riffs (see the mid-sections of
'Possessed By Damnation' and 'One Shot.. One Kill', which should incite
a circle pit!) but always listened to harsher stuff, like SODOM,
DESTRUCTION, ASSASSIN, etc. I think the vocals fall between Jeff
Beccerra and Ventor, so again you see the crossover between Oakland and
You put it up so nicely: "The whole
'German(!)' gallop picking pattern is based off of METALLICA's fast
stuff...". I think it's kind of true if you look back into the very
first movement of Speed/Thrash thing in the States, which was raised
into the tabloids by the "Big Four", namely SLAYER, METALLICA,
MEGADETH and ANTHRAX. METALLICA's "Kill 'Em All", for
example, was such a cornerstone for any forth-coming fast and furious
shit that was coming up from the European continent at that time. As we
all know by now, it raised a storm which nobody could predict in the big
Heavy Metal family on how it could effect the essence of heavier music,
both in Europe and the States from that day on. Now we all know what
happened and where we're standing nowadays. I must admit it truly was
METALLICA that brought Heavy Metal music to another level in its
heaviness and brutality. Nobody though did talk, or knew a damn thing
about "the Bay Area" back in '82 but relatively soon, the name
was spread successfully around by tape traders throughout the
underground Metal scene. The European Speed/Thrash Metal scene also
truly started to burst into bloom by the mid'80s with all those fine
bands in the first line of which you've been mentioning about during the
interview. What do you think of KREATOR, SODOM, DESTRUCTION, etc.
nowadays, as they still... Well, some of them try to keep that ol' flame
hot'n'alive and win all the sympathies they can get from metalheads to
their side? Some dinosaurs are still struggling there as we know...
There is no band in existence that I have more respect
for than SODOM! Over fifteen years of Thrash Metal, no wimpy bullshit!!
KREATOR has lost their way after 'Cause For Conflict' and DESTRUCTION
has tried to re-kindle the flame. We'll see what their new album brings.
SARCOFAGO and VOIVOD are two other long-running bands that I can
honestly say that I like all of their albums (to varying degrees of
course). I think that some of the best bands have broken up at their
prime (TERRORIZER, AT THE GATES, REPULSION, etc.). Even worse than the
'dinosaurs' are the bands that get back together for no reason:
DESTRUCTOR or RAZOR, for example. RAZOR totally let me down with their
Watchful, sharp eyes can also spot something
familiar in your logo... Something from DESTRUCTION's "Infernal
Overkill" album and something that reminds us a little bit of DARK
ANGEL... Who came up with that impressive logo anyway?
The DESTRUCTION skull is my one complaint about the
whole album! That was NOT put there by us and none of us wanted it
there... It was a last minute addition by the label, not sanctioned by
us! It looks cool but again, it makes us seem like another fucking
rip-off band like INFERNÖ or some shit! Andy, our drummer, did the logo
(and the cover of the split 7"). He's a really good artist and
thanks for enjoying the logo! I hope you like the cover and our mascot,
the 'Axecutioner', as well!
Where did the idea for "Axecutioner"
come from, by the way? I have to say that your album cover does remind
me of any Thrash Metal album that was released in the 80's; Just think
of any album cover from bands like RAZOR, KREATOR, SODOM, HALLOW'S EVE,
etc. and you can see some similarities. In fact, was that your 'secret
masterplan' too, to use something for the cover which brings eyes of its
owner right into the golden memories of the 80's Speed/Thrash Metal
music, filling us up with some warm recollections from this particular
artwork era as well?
Well, the mascot was something we wanted from the start.
What is more Metal than a monster mascot!? The Axecutioner is indeed a
cross between SODOM's 'Knarrenheinz' and the guy from the 'Tales Of
Terror' album. We wanted something to identify with the band instantly.
The guy who painted the cover is a great artist who can do any kind of
art but we gave him a few classic album covers for inspiration. We just
wanted to let people know what kind of band we were from the cover, to
the pictures, to the titles, etc. The cover says 'We're a fucking Thrash
band Poseurs beware!!'" "We Will Destroy..." has
been recorded, produced and mastered at Sound Temple Studios, in
Oakland, under supervising eyes of James 'guess-who' Murphy. Would you
tell us how your recording was like there and what kind of a person
James was to work with? "James is a nut! He is really funny and
pretty cool to work with. His schedule can be a little intrusive, but
aside from that, it was definitely fun! I think it's good to use someone
who's into Metal, that way you don't have to explain everything to them
like an idiot. He also pushed me a lot for the solos on the record, just
because he's a great guitarist that I've been a fan of for years! So I
really didn't want to embarrass myself in front of him. I'm pretty proud
of how the leads turned out on this one and some of my friends have even
accused me of having James play some parts. That was a really cool
Give us five good, well-grounded reasons why
Thrash maniacs with a sense of pride and self-respect, should purchase a
copy from "We will..." rather than waste their money on
MACHINE HEAD's latest effort, "The Burning Red"?
1. We drink more beer than those wimps!
2. No fucking athletic gear in the DEKAPITATOR band photo!
3. No bleached spiky hair on the heads of any DEKAPITATOR members!
4. No one in DEKAPITATOR 'pogos' on stage!
5. We will destroy MACHINE HEAD will OBEY!!!
"What doesn't kill us, makes us
stronger..."; How does this slogan fit into the uncompromising
world of DEKAPITATOR, in your opinion?
The world of DEKAPITATOR is a stark future where
weakness is not an option. The law of the road, the law of steel and the
Nuclear ultimatum is the only law in our existence. The weak shall
inherit the earth after the strong are done with it...
Do you personally feel comfortable of how things
have been turning out for DEKAPITATOR so far? Do you consider your band
as a bunch of very lucky bastards indeed?
Yeah, it's been cool because everything has come really
naturally. No pressure, working with friends only and great times. We
will do our best to continue working in this way for as long as we can.
We have been really lucky to get 'We Will...' on vinyl and do a killer
split with NUNSLAUGHTER, a great band! Things should only improve from
here, we think. We will continue to press on until we conquer the
fucking Metal scene!
What's been the most challenging thing you've done
with the band during your relatively short history in the band and are
you also that kind of a person who's always after some sort of
challenges, whatever may come up into your mind between Heaven and
"Well, we always want to take it to the next level.
We really want to tour a lot for the next album. We are always looking
for a challenge; DEKAPITATOR is about confrontation! So of course we'll
continue our charge. The most challenging thing has been to do shows
with intense hangovers!
About dreams and hopes... Is there anything out
there you'd still like to achieve with DEKAPITATOR? And I don't accept
any "becoming-a-rockstar" bullshit...
We just want to continue to make ripping Thrash Metal
and tour the planet! Really, that's all! We will do our best to create a
crushing sophomore effort and get it out on a bigger label so we can get
on the road and bang the heads of metallers across the globe!
If DEKAPITATOR was a torture chamber, how would it
It would be like shoving a nuclear warhead up someone's
Just shit loads of thanxx for this opportunity to
interview you Matt, as the spokesman of DEKAPITATOR. I really hope it
was all worth it. Any closing comments you may have... Feel free to use
the rest of the space for that purpose, sir!
Great fucking interview! It was like a discussion of the
true nature of Thrash... Excellent! I hope to do it again soon! Thanks
for your interest and love for Metal! All Speed, Thrash and Death Metal
fans: We will destroy!!! Poseurs, wimps, 'artists': FUCK OFF You
©2001 Metal Rules!!