Heart of Steel: Interviews

Interview With King Fowley
Intro and interview by Luxi Lahtinen

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When generally talking about some of the most devoted, honest and dedicated guys in the whole metal scene who have always had something going on for metal music, there´s one name that kind of always pops in my mind nearly indelibly. And that´s King Fowley, the mastermind behind such bands as Deceased, Doomstone, and October 31. All are different bands musically. King is such a guy who literally lives whole-heartedly for metal; he knows what metal is and means for him and may be or mean for others, but believe me he doesn´t care a slightest as he certainly knows where he is coming from. And I could even say that I have got a pretty good picture from him during all these years we have been in touch to each other, since 1988 up to this very day. 16 long years...

A little while ago I got this idea to suggest to King whether he would like to open up for Metal-Rules.com a little bit and tell what has been going on his life during these last 6 months or so, kind of like trying to cover his current activities with his bands at least, talk about his label activities especially with Old Metal Records and a ´rotten´ business side of music industry which has, more or less, always been involved in this business in one way or the other.

And as King is known as a guy who always speaks up his mind loud and clear, bringing out his strong but absolutely honest opinions about certain things, this time didn´t make an exception either... ;)

The ´King of Metal´ is amongst us again, full of new energy and ready to unleash one hell of a beast from himself once again... uglier, louder and more twisted than ever before, whatever ´signal´ that may send to you, ha-hah!! But shall King be unleashed now...

 

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Hello there my old metal brother! How are you doing these days? Life´s keeping you somewhat busy lately or what, eh?

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS INDEED!!! Busy doing new albums by Deceased, October 31, preparing new Doomstone music, playing in my basketball league, getting out and playing tons with October 31 lately!! A lot going on...!! Trying to take care of myself and my health as well. It´s a looong day, but a rewarding one! Cheeers...!!

 

 

Deceased started out as a ´deathrashing´ band, but from album to album you have been sucking more the NWOBHM -influences into your sound. Would you say that has been quite inevitable since all of you in the band are more of less big fans of such NWOBHM bands as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon, Black Sabbath and so on? So getting some these influences out of the NWOBHM -thing into the sound of Deceased was about to happen eventually...?

I think we´ve grown as a band like any other band would after almost 20 years together. We´ve always had ´hints´ of old-school from day one. Listen to “March of the Cadavers” or parts of “Mentally Ill” from our first demo in 1986. Pieces of our songs had tons of old-school ideas. We grew up on that stuff as much as the more vicious Slayer, Kreator, Voivod, Speed Metal stuff... We have just correctly learnt to write and play it through the years. The ´hardest´ and best part of it to me is keeping it ´vicious´ and ´Deceased´ yet allowing the traces of melody and guitar solos to work within our ´sound´. And for us... it does!! The new material is staying within our realm, but it´s really got an edge to it! I´m very pleased with this band´s sound and style. We don´t ´cater´ to anyone´s needs, but our own. We formed this band to play music we wanna play.

 

 

You have always been known as a really hard-working and determined guy in the metal scene who is always having some ´projects´ going on. This month will see a release a Deceased CD titled LEGIONS OF ARRGGGHHHH on Columbian Trauma Records which is strictly limited to 500 copies only. The CD itself features demo songs from the FEARLESS UNDEAD MACHINES and SUPERNATIONAL ADDICTION albums, added with some live tracks. According to its very limited edition, this is mainly done for the most hardcore Deceased -fans, I assume?

Indeed...!! I´m shocked and happy at how many people email and ask me constantly if there´s 'lost' demo tracks or unreleased material ´floating´ around in our vaults. And there of course is!! From time to time we make it available on CD for all to hear. I know being a huge freak for certain bands myself I love to hear/collect ´lost relics´ or different recordings/versions of songs by a band I enjoy listening to.

 

 

Do you have demo versions available for the THE BLUEPRINT FOR MADNESS album available somewhere and do you have any intentions to release them as a separate CD sometimes in the future, too?

There´s some non-vocal demos somewhere!! It really is a ´lost´ demo for me; I´ll ask the other guys! We recorded it in a guy´s basement studio just for fun. Warhead Studios it was called... I would love to release them in time. As a matter of fact soon on Thrash Corner Records will surface a new remastered/remixed version of the LP. I'm supposed to go in in April and do this studio work for it. It should be interesting. A song called “A Dose of Reality” has never seen the light of day. It´s an instrumental Thrash piece; I love it!! There´s also a pre-LUCK OF THE CORPSE 8-track demo we did, featuring 5 songs on it. ”Feasting on Skulls”, “Psychedelic Warriors”, “Industrial Tumor”, “Fading Survival” and “Terrifying Spectres”. A horrid quality, but still ´interesting´ I´d say... That will surface soon, too!! Also finally THE EVIL SIDE OF RELIGION demo on CD with a live show as well from the 80´s. Looked for this on Curse Records; the label who brought you THE RADIATION YEARS demo on CD.

 

 

Malt Soda Records from the States just released kind of Deceased´s own tribute CD to the Punk Rock scene, ROTTEN TO THE CORE, containing 18 cover songs out of some classic Punk/Hardcore songs from Ramones to Plasmatics to Dead Kennedys, etc.. Who actually got you convinced that it would be a great if you guys recorded a bunch of some of your favorite songs from that genre which eventually would be put out on one CD? What do you overall think of the final result as it´s out now? How have other people´s response been toward it?

Man, for me this was a BLASTTTTTTTTT!!! I just love old Punk/Hardcore from the 80´s!! And we grew up playing and listening to that as well!! It´s the speed factor that ´grabbed´ us! The fuck off to 'P.C.' society stance of Punk Rock!! We used to cover Suicidal Tendencies, Ramones, and D.R.I. songs in the 80's at gigs. What happened was we were asked to be on a D.R.I. tribute CD. Of course we did this!! We recorded “Madman”. Scooter at Malt Soda liked our sound and ideas and asked me if we´d do a single of a few Punk songs. Well, I couldn´t narrow it down to 3-4 songs only, so we made it a CD. In 2003 the band learnt the songs and on a shoe-string budget we went and recorded them at Oblivion Studios. It´s raw and powerful... fast and intense!! We´re pleased as hell!! The 'response' has been great so far!! Seed is speed and a lot of the material is 'Thrash -based' anyway. It works well in our psyche. Damn pleased for doing for the entire album; vocals in 1 hour and 12 minutes flat!! Time/money budget wasn´t gonna hold us back in the slightest!! Turn the amps on and LET'S ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

Also the same label is supposed to put out a Deceased DVD in March 2004. What will it contain precisely?

Tons of live footage, fun footage, studio goofiness, your usual ´zany´ antics of a bunch of crazed metalheads over the years!! There´s gonna be commentary tracks as well... J Scooter RULES!!!

 

 

AS THE WEIRD TRAVELS ON, your 5th full-length album and your debut on your new label, Thrash Corner Records (out of Puerto Rico), should see the light of day in the fall of 2004. How many songs have you managed to finish for it already and how many songs you have an intention to record for it all in all? Will Thrash Corner Records release it as a vinyl format as well and do you have any plans to put something extra for the vinyl version?

We have only 3 songs ´complete´, but it will all fall into place over the next few months, I believe. Things are going really well now... we are ´in motion´! Having only 2 hours a week to get together and write/rehearse is a bummer, but we are ´grounded´ and working hard now. It will be a ripper I assure you!! Some new tunes are “Missing a Pulse”, “Witness to Suspiria”, “Fright” and “The Funeral Parlors´ Secret”. As for vinyl it´s planned to come out on Metal War out of Philly. We will probably do something special for the vinyl release. Of course it´s too early to say yet... And speaking of vinyl, soon out FEARLESS UNDEAD MACHINES 2-LP gatefold on Hell´s Headbangers label!! This will be the best vinyl release of Deceased to date!! Just an amazing packaging!! Give it about 2 months and it´ll be out in May!!

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What made you signing a deal with Thrash Corner Records in the first place? What did Ray, the owner of the label, offer you in that particular record contract that other labels´ contacts lacked as I assume you did get quite a few offers from some labels anyway...?

Friendship, honesty and a sincere working arrangement. I have known Ray for some time and he´s the genuine deal. He has been a supportive friend for many years and has never strayed or steered anyone in Deceased or mutual friends ´wrong´!! It´s people like him that makes it a pleasure to do business with.

 

 

Could you even say that you have been progressing musically toward even more the NWOBHM -sound than ever before - and those Death Metal parts in the Deceased -sound will take a slightly smaller role than, let´s say on your previous album SUPERNATURAL ADDICTION?

Well, what´s a ´Death Metal part´?! To me if it´s metal and hints or points to ´deathlike´ story lines and has the ´aura´ to go with it, then it´s Death Metal!! I´m not this ´GRRRRRRRR vocals´ and ´down tuned guitars´ is the only kinda Death Metal guy. I find more darkness and ´dread´ in a Cirith Ungol LP like KING OF THE DEAD than any Obituary or Cannibal Corpse record ever offered me. Those bands are just guttural and do it differently. For Deceased we like to give the song/style a sound, storyline and just attack and go with it!! ´Haunting´ vibe is always good...!! Morbid and downright ´deathlike´ music is what Deceased try and portray most of the time. Sometimes it´s just ´heads down Thrash, too! That´s another ´angle´ we love.

 

 

Did you leave Relapse Records in good terms with the label´s staff members even if you didn´t want to make a new contact with them?

Pretty much so... There´s a few ´quirks´ I´m not happy about, tho. But that was the reason we left. They play a different tone too often. You just have no idea how much hypocrisy and ´broken promises´ we´ve been handed... Yeah, Relapse believed when others didn´t and we thank them for that. But ´shady´ promises and poor contact with us was the eventual loss of interest by us and 100% honest reason we ´upped and left´.

 

 

What do you honestly think of Relapse´s policy nowadays to sign all these so-called ´metalcore´ (Mastadon, Unsane, Disfear, etc.) bands nowadays that all have more or less a very modern sound and in fact have less to do with the classic Relapse -stuff that they had in their back catalogue with bands like Incantation, Amorphis, Repulsion, Morgion, Human Remains, etc.)?

Either their tastes totally ´changed´ overnight or their bank account leads their decision making nowadays. Couldn´t tell ya´! I know their roster has gotten trendier and trendier over time. I can remember Matt hating Dying Fetus´ music 110%, ha-hah!! Sell a few records and that takes no care anymore, I guess. But that´s their label - and not mine. Relapse does what they wanna do.

 

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Do you find it harder and harder to top yourself as a song writer, being that kind of a person who has this inborn yet enormous strive for some sort of perfection all the time?

Yes...!! I´m a total perfectionist with the Deceased music personally. We all ´create´ the songs and I´m proud to see everyone involved. But I do ´arrange´ the song structures and kinda ´lead´ the band as a ring leader of sorts. Someone just has to, ha-ha!! I´m usually the one who yells and screams and fights for songs to ´evolve´ more and more. I can be the one whose ´hated´ by the band one minute for just speaking out loudly and often, ha-ha!! To me Deceased are one of the most top-notch music bands around when we can get together and ´craft´ it out. It´s not ´bragging´; it´s something we have worked for over our almost two decade existence. And I´m proud to hear new Deceased albums/songs, too!! We´ve got a lot to offer, just gotta keep striving to ´better´ our attack. It can never be ´the best it can be´, y´know. We´re family first and foremost!!

 

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Which is that Deceased album for you of which you are most proud of and why indeed? If I guessed, I would bet SUPERNATURAL ADDICTION is the one for you due to its most clear and strong NWOBHM -influence on it. Just correct me if I´m wrong, sir Fowley?

Yep... that album ´sumps it up´ to me!! It´s got the best of all eras of Deceased!! It´s melodic yet ripping!! Heavy, but ´sound´!! The production is much better for a band always fighting for a decent recording budget. It was a great experience working with simon Effimey, too!! He really pushed us and I loved that. Hope to work with him again. I actually love all the songs/records for different reasons. And I hate things about them, too!! That´s normal, I´d say.

 

 

What´s the least favorite Deceased album for you personally then and what are some of those particular elements on it that make you dislike the album when comparing it to some other Deceased albums?

It´s 13 FRIGHTENED SOULS for me. I don´t like my drumming on it one bit!! And I don´t care for the ´mix´. It´s too ´plastic´ like sounding. It was rushed and quickly spit out when Mike Smith joined the band. The songs are wayyyy better than what we laid down!! I also whole-heartedly blame Relapse for their shit mastering skills on it. We´ve just re-released the first 2 on 1 CD and I included ´pre-mastering´ versions of a few songs. The guitars crunch much harder and the sound is way more ´us´. But people seem to dig the hell out of this EP, so what do I know? It´s my personal opinion and nothing more. I also am into more ´detailed´ records; more ´epic´ releases. Like FEARLESS UNDEAD MACHINES and SUPERNATURAL... I love ´BIGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG' sounding albums!!

 

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You played with Deceased at the Wacken festival in 2002 and I honestly have to say you put through a hell of a show and your crowd seemed to enjoy your energetic set at least as much as I did. How did you overall like your show at Wacken back then and what kind of memories you may still have out of that ´ultimate German Heavy Metal experience´?

It was crazy to get up and thrash at 10 A.M.; I felt like my ´part years´ as a kid still being awake the next morning, ha-hah-hah”!! The crowd took to us and really made it eventful!! To see that many people up at the crack of dawn for ´eggs, sausage and Deceased breakfast´ was intense. I´m proud and happy for the other guys who also had to ´dream´ of playing in a big fest in Germany as a kid and reading Kerrang! And Metal Hammer and hoping and wishing one day to be a part of it. Next time we tour the entire countries over there. And get some ´Euro sluts´ going big time, ha-ha-ha…!! The fest of Wacken was greatly organized and everyone on every level was genuinely ´nice´ to us. We appreciate that!! Just amazing memories out of that…

 

 

Do you have any live footage from that particular show that you even might put available via www.deceasedmetal.com which is kind of an unofficial Deceased site and run by a close friend of yours?

Yes. We have the entire show shot from the side of stage. Some will surface on DVD for sure!! And we hope in time to make ´TONSSSSS of Deceased shows´ from amny eras available on limited DVD runs. Keep an eye out!! ;)

 

 

You live, breath, breed, eat, spit, shit, etc. metal 24 hours in a day, so I guess it´s easy to say that you also consider yourself as a full-time metalhead. Can still you remember what the first metal bands were for you musically that grabbed your attention somewhat indelibly right from the beginning and made you what you are nowadays: A metalhead and a highly appreciated member in one of the most original metal bands on earth, Deceased?

Well, cheers for the kind words!! It started with The Beatles as an infant. My aunt said I took to their ´hooks´ and songs instantly. Kiss was my first love. The intensity og Gene Simmons and the outrageous costumes… It was easy to get ´hooked´ as a kid really!! Kiss had the songs, too!! Then it over time became Motörhead, Priest, Maiden, etc. - not forgetting more ´Punk´ like bands like Plasmatics, Dead Kennedys, Sex Pistols and Ramones. It all turned into a ´ball of fire´ and I just rolled with the ´lifestyle´ back then. Drugs, beer, chicks… all of it, night after night after night after night… It´s a fun ride!! You just gotta pace yourself and be ´wise´ for the long run, y´know.

 

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How would you like Deceased to be remembered amongst metalheads when there´s no more Deceased? What exactly could be the heritage you would like to leave for new generations of Heavy Metal -fans?

Personality-wise… honesty! Spoke our minds and never backed down from the ´corporate world´ out there who always wants to ´lead´ everyone into submission. As musicians... we just did the best we could with the heart and soul of real music supporters, always trying to move forward and yet stay ´grounded´ and sincerely a part of the whole metal ride. Heritage to me and ´words to live by´ from us… ´No gods, no masters… just music for life!!

 

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You also had you Doomstone -project some years ago that was musically inspired by such bands as Venom, Mercyful Fate and Black Sabbath. The debut Doomstone full-length album titled THOSE WHOM SATAN HATH JOINED was released on Italian Nosferatu Records in 1993 and the 2nd Doomstone album, SATANAVOID, was released on entire different label called Tirade Records four years later, in 1997. Was this project kind of your answer to the whole Black Metal genre how “evil”, “sinister” and “ugly” metal can be made without having all that corpse paint and other ´gimmick thing bullshit´ being covered all over you?

I was personally sick to death of all the bullshit rock star trips, overpriced Black - and White ´evil´ CDs and bands that we´re pouring out in the early 90´s. No substance, lack of respect for others, and just a stupid demeanor in general. So we put it together for fun and to personally ´mock´ these shitheads who ruin and clutter up the scene even to this day. It´s a band with no real ´image´ except to play what we want, when we want, and to be outrageous in interviews and just turn it all into a ´piss take´ in response to these artsy-fartsy ´look at me´ types who put themselves above others and wanted to be praised as geniuses. Pffffffttt… New record in 2005!! SATAN'S HORNS!! Think about that… ;)

 

 

Root of All Evil Records also re-issued both of these two albums for some time ago for one CD with some bonus tracks. How can they sell it out for such a cheap price; 10 bucks and postages? And how do you like the packaging on it, by the way?

I love it!! The packaging is great!! The chick in it is an old girlfriend, all dolled up in white and all so ´virginal´, -ha-hah!! That was another attempt to ´mock´ the sexy girls in Black Metal adds and all that comes out. The guys in Root Of All Evil Records are good down-to-earth guys and we keep it cheap ´coz a CD should be!! They cost less than $2 to make and another $1-3 to mail out anywhere in the world. So let´s all move the music and not ´horde´ it for big dollars. It´s Doomstone for christsake…!! Nothing more, nothing less… let´s rock!!

 

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Were you also aware of the fact there exists a German band with the very same, Doomstone? Have you ever heard of this other Doomstone by a chance?

Yes!! Saw them around at Wacken record shop, ha-hah!! Not much was said, tho. Do they speak English?! I find it funny they use the same name. It´s kida cool and more ´ mockery´ of it all.

 

 

What´s your opinion of the whole Black Metal genre in general nowadays? Do you think it´s more based on certain type of images than a true musicianship after all?

What do you think? There´s some good ideas from time to time. But the sound usually leaves me bored or almost laughing at it and those making it! It´s one thing to be immature as a band or musician. God knows I´ve been there growing up over the years!! But these bands are almost always full of themselves. It´s just like a wrestling figure or something… I don´t know! Give me old Venom, Mercyful Fate and that ´style´ of Black Metal!! It´s dark, eerie and Heavy Metal!! That´s for me…

 

 

Are there any Black Metal bands out there these days that you could honestly say that has a good thing going on musically that have even gained your respect ´in your unholy books of a recommended Black Metal exclusively by King Fowley´?

Ha-ha-hah…!! If so I ain´t heard them yet! Last Black Metal band I really ´adored´ was the Masters Hammer stuff!! RITUAL is awesome!! And that was at least 10 years ago…!! The stuff now is so ´kitchen sink´, trying to ´outdo´ and ´out-evil´ each other. It´s a truly lost fashion I say... Too busy wondering where to take band pics then to write good evil music to release.

 

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Have you ever had any plans to continue the Doomstone -saga and record yet another Doomstone album? Or does this more or less belong to ´you-just-never-know´ category...?

Yep, we´ll be back!! Maybe do a single called IMMORTAL SUCKS!!! …soon!! …BE READYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!! Got a new singer, too. ´Southern Evil…´ a demonic lunatic if ever there was one! Gonna be strange music I assure you. Way off, of course!! Gotta keep them ´guessing´, ha-hell-hah!!

 

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October 31 is without doubts one of those bands that should make you proud of yourself what you are as a Heavy Metal fan, being a part of a true sounding metal band that has dragged its sound back to the very roots of early Heavy Metal sound. I assume that for you being as a part of October 31 has pleased you at least as much as being a part of your main band Deceased, knowing how much you love the old-school Heavy Metal sound?

Indeed…!! And it´s less pressure! Easy song arrangements and styles… It happened by luck and I´m sooo happy it did!! First band I´ve ever gotten to get out and just ´sing´ for. My original plan as a kid was to ´just sing´. Now I am… ;)

 

 

What are in your opinion some of the best totally underrated true Heavy Metal bands that could have deserved to be recognized a bit more than they ever did and even made it big some day just because they whole-heartedly would have deserved it?

Griffin, Black Death, Ostrogoth, Cutty Sark, Acid, Warlord, Tyrant (US), Bitch, Brocas Helm, Bloodlust (U.S), Batallion (from Germany), Sound Barrier, Witchcross, Wild Dogs are a few… Lots of great only 1 album ´bands´ that sadly couldn´t stay afloat amongst a raging sea of bands and all!! But these mentioned had great songs to me and that means a lot!! 20+ years alter and I´m still cranking them all and singing along.

 

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You once emailed me a link to a new October 31 song called “Powerhouse”. Obviously that song will be included for the next October 31 release titled NO SURVIVORS that you will released on your own label Battlezone Records... just correct me again if I´m wrong?

Thrash Corner will release the new LP, bro! And yep, it´s the lead off track on the new record. Fast and ripping opener!! “Fast as a Shark” type thing... A few other new song titles are “Misfortune”, “Back Alley Murders” and “What Waits Beyond?”. Look for it later this year!! Metal Blade is not the same label it once was. I was proud to have been courted by for October 31. They asked us to sign and that´s always a good thing, ha-hah!! It was fun to say: “We did an album for Metal Blade...”. I personally grew up on that stuff. Demon Flight, Lizzy Borden, Trouble, Warlord, Thrust, Slayer, Fates Warning, Metal Massacre -series, etc. ... It felt right to do it at the time. Then over time it didn´t feel right anymore. We can sell more records actually from them. I wish them well... Andreas and Mike Trengart were good to us.

 

 

What can your fans expect from the 3rd October 31 album and what are your own expectations from it?

No ´sassy´, Heavy Metal ´lite´ that seems to own metal nowadays...!! We put the heavy back in metal!! It´s got the songs I believe and it´s got a good heavyyy vive to it!! We try to and give ´edge´ to metal!! Rough it up some... The songs we´ve written are damn good and I´m very proud of the band.

 

 

Are there any drastic changes song-wise between your previous album and this forth-coming album, NO SURVIVORS? If there were some, what would be the most drastic ones then? Or is the recipe pretty much same for you as it has always been on October 31 releases; pure and straight Heavy Metal from start to finish - no more or no less?

Just trying more than ever to get better songs and even catchier choruses without losing the ´edge´. Maybe something along the lines of the mighty Jag Panzer AMPLE DESTRUCTION era sound...! Melodic yet heavy... Loud, but memorable!! Catchy yet intense!! Maybe if anything it´s gonna be better recorded and more aggressive than ever before!! We shall see...

 

 

King´s Labels: With Your Teeth Records

 

On this label you released f.ex. the highly successful MIDNIGHT OFFERINGS compilation CDs; part I in 1992 and part II two years later, in 1994), both CDs containing underground Death Metal acts from the States only. You basically wanted to release those CDs to give some new US (Death) Metal bands a “first shot” as like you put it by yourself, every band has to start from somewhere?

Yep...!! I was trying to ´better´ the scene with some then up´n´comers. I noticed over time some of these bands weren´t cool and bullshitters in disguise and some were really off to bigger and better things down the road. Typical compilation trappings...!! And early record label ideas that worked out in a ´naïve´ sorta way. There´s also a MIDNIGHT OFFERINGS #3, bro! It was fun and a learning experience. There was also AND THE SCENE GOES ON - VOLUMES 1. and 2. which was a few else bands with a few more songs each.

 

 

What was your idea to release ...AND THE SCENE GOES ON... compilation CDs (Part 1. & Part 2.) back then? Were they possibly some sort of continuations to MIDNIGHT OFFERINGS comp. CD in one way or the other?

Just to get to hear more than one song by a certain band! Give you a few ´tastes´ of their style and not get ´trapped´ by hearing one song that may or may not be their better ´cut´ and to your ´liking´.

 

 

If I remember correctly, weren´t you planning to release Finland deathsters Demigod´s UNHOLY DOMAIN demo as a 7” E.P. via this particular label as well?

Yep...!! I had a lot of dreams!! I wish I had a lot of money to go with it, ha-ha!! Finances sucked a lot of dreams into the void!! L Ha-ha-hah...!!

 

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What other releases did you plan to release on With Your Teeth back in the day? Some Immolation and Dr. Shrinker demos…?

Don´t remember that dream... ha-ha-hah!! But anyway, stuff like live Napalm Death singles, pain Eater from Florida, Nokturnal from N.J., Human Remains LP, etc. - just all kinds of stuff!! I dreamt a lot, ha-ha!!

 

 

What killed this label then? Did you become more and more involved with the activities with Deceased at that time, so the label simply had to go?

Lack of money really! It was sadly all about not having coin to move on. So I put the label to rest. I have thought of possibly releasing Corpus Rottus and Abominog LPs on CD 2 on 1. WITH YOUR TEETH REMEMBERED again, there I go dreaming, ha-hah!! I was gonna put out ´outakes´from bands and call it ´cavities´, ha-ha-ha-ha…!!!

 

 

Old Metal Records

 

I personally think this particular label was a really great underground label in which you concentrated on kind of “re-releasing” some of the rare and long out-of-the-print albums as a CD-format, adding even some bonus tracks into some of them. Can you recall when you actually decided to start Old Metal Records and what was your 1st release and last released on the label? Also how many releases did you put out on that label and what kind of editions you had for each release? As far as I can remember many of the releases on Old Metal Records were limited to 500-600 copies only and therefore they were sold out quite quickly?

It started with a Cirith Ungol live single. I wanted for so long to put it out, so I did! It wasn´t ´legit´ and I was lucky the band contacted me and was super cool and happy about it!! I just wanted it out!! I began ´experimenting´ with bands and the label to try and repress old ´forgotten Heavy Metal classics´ to me in a time where the world was sucking up to shit bands like Alice in Chains and Nirvana. Metal was ´dead´ to a lot of weak fucks!! Not me! I decided: “Let´s put out Blessed Death CDs…let´s do a Rat Attack record!!” I don´t care what year it is! We may lose $$$, we may not! Let´s goooo with it!! It caught on quick. Became a great ´distro´ to a lot of cool metal fuckers the world over. It seemed to bring the heart beat back to a lot of them. Most importantly, I felt good to be doing it!! The ´business´ side wasn´t exactly ´great´ all the time. I had to call bands and ask them if I put their records out on CD and pay them back in not money, but copies of the CDs. Most were cool. A few changed tune over time and fucked me over royally. Normal human nature again! I met some real cool cats in Matt from Wild Dogs, Spacey T. from Sound Barrier, Victor from Laaz Rockit, Thomas from Griffin, Mike from Sentinel Beast, the Iron Angel and Witchcross guys. Also Sal from Cities. So it worked out!! Most are ´official´ through the bands and a few aren´t. I´ll let you guess which aren´t at this point, ha-hah!! It got me to be a headache at times ´coz the ´business´ was crazy and I met some truly complete hypocrites and liars. And GREEEEEEEEEEEDY FUCKERS, too!! That made it slow down. But… now Old Metal Records is BACK!! In 2004 we ruturn with Blessed Death DESTINED FOR EXTINCTION complete CD, Satan´s Host METAL FROM HELL through the band and much more to come! So hang tight!! The Old Metal releases varied and the most ever printed were 1,000 copies of stuff like Dr. Mastermind and Laaz Rockit. Most were 500 runs by a few headbangers using mom´s credit cards and photo shop computer gear, ha-hah!! Just nothing more, nothing less…

 

 

Do you still have some of those Old Metal Records -releases left in your house - even small quantities?

Very few left of any title! They were very limited, bro. I have 2 Sorcery, a few Liege Lord´s FREEDOM RISE CDs, maybe a few Dr. Mastermind CDs as well. Dave´s Metal on eBay has some quantity of a few ´out-of-print´ titles.

 

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You obviously also had permissions to release all these “old metal releases” (Laaz Rockit, Blessed Death, Sentinel Steel, Premonition, Griffin, Wild Dogs, etc.) from each band via Old Metal Records as you were old friends with most of these bands. Didn´t you have any trouble with any of the labels that originally put out all this stuff a long time ago and most probably still had the legal rights to some of this stuff that you, however, eventually to re-released on your own label Old Metal Records?

Mike Varney got pissssed…!! He was so upset!! He had ´heard´ I´d have had released 10,000 press of Wild Dogs CDs, ha-ha-ha!! The total amount was 500, man!! We talked and I pulled the title after this ´cuz he got all ´legal´ with me. It was all very stupid!! The bands were fine with it most of the time. Sadly their lives and records were often signed away to corporate record companies who had ripped them off the first time around and were trying to rip them off and ´kill them´ a second time, too. This SUCKS!!!!!!!!!! If the bands were cool with it, then I was, too. I put my address, name and # right on the releases. I wasn´t ´hiding´ nothing!! You´d laugh if told you some of the words the bands had for their ´business´ dealings with some of these record ´labels´, ha-ha-haa...!!

 

 

So what killed Old Metal Records eventually? A lack of worth releasing, good “old metal” albums that were worth of your own attention, heh!

Jealous dickheads elsewhere who wanted to knock me anytime they coud! Calling me a ´bootlegger´ and some money hungry dude, ha-hah!! You try making ´BIGGGGGG´ money on Xcursion or Griffin or Sound Barrier or most of my releases!! A few did quite well (Laaz Rockit, Blessed Death, etc.), but most sat and sat and sat and I ended up trading for other titles or selling them for like $5 postage paid. It was for the love of music!! Some see/saw that, others still don´t see that. Funny how a few ´headaches´ and people who ´called me out´ back in the day are now totally ´under the radar´ doing countless bootleg-CDs by all the ´cult´ metal bands everyone wants on disc these days. And ´hiding their names from it all!! So hypocrisy reigns on and on… Oh well, Old Metal´s back!!

 

Battlezone Records

 

 

Your first release on this new label of yours was the legendary thrashers Prime Evil´s CD, carrying the title UNEARTHED that basically contained the whole catalogue of the band´s past recordings from 1987 up to 1991. Where did you get the idea to release all their classic stuff on one CD? How has the selling been for it thus far, by the way?

Sold pretty good actually!! Biggest booklet I´ve ever been involved with!! Mary from the band is a long time friend of mine. She had it ready for another label who left het ´sitting´. So I was asked by her and we did it!! It RULES!! Battlezone was my more ´newer´ bands label I formed. Deceased played many a show with them in the heyday of U.S. Thrash/Death Metal. I wish them all well…

 

 

Then your next release on Battlezone Records followed relatively soon; Vyndykator´s HEAVEN SENT FROM HELL that´s a pure Heavy Metal, led by Bob Mitchell (also in Attacker). How did you discover this band in the first place? How has this album doing so far?

Actually this was to be the ´next´. I had to let it go due to my health and financial troubles. It came out through a Greek label called Unisound. Great record!! By all means pick it up!! My next release was Biovore´s SCIENTIFIC PROOF. Great Voivod/Bad Brains/Accused -styled mayhem!! Just an amazing record…!! Super killer stuff!!! BUYY THIS...!!! They licensed it to me off their own label. This made it ´cheap´ for me to put out and within my ´price range´ of then. Then came the mini-CD by As We Destroy. A great Thrash type band from Maryland! Think Bloodfeast and you´ve got it!! Even cover a song by them. Ha-hah!!

 

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Up next will be October 31´s new album waiting for its release. How does the release schedule look like for that album at the moment; when it will be out on Battlezone Records?

Thrash Corner will release it!! Later this year... I´d predict in October. Great month for it, ha-ha!!

 

 

What other releases are you planning to release through Battlezone in the future?

Not sure, bro. It´s wayyyyyyyy off thought!! Concentrating more again on Old Metal Records. But... you never know what will surface and where and when! Just keep an eye out!!

 

 

Much for my surprise at least, you haven´t updated the site for Battlezone Records for a damn long time. I just recently discovered that the latest news on this site is from the May 2002?! So that makes me ask from you sincerely what´s the problem to keep the site updated?

I have never even seen it!! A friend of mine did it for fun eons ago!! What´s the link? Ha-ha...!!

 

 

About some ´values´ of Heavy Metal…

 

What are some of the most underrated bands metal bands in the metal scene in your opinion right now?

Premonition, Soulless, King´s Evil, Black Widow, Frexon Zo, Blatant Dissaray, etc., to name a few. Search their names on line! And check ´em out!!

 

 

What about the most overrated metal bands then that you think are just hyped too much these days?

God too many!!! Hype owns the ´scene´!! Nevermore, Cradle of Filth, Arch Enemy, Stratovarius, Dying Fetus, The Darkness (LAMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!), etc. These ´name´ bands have little substance and not a lot for my ´taste´ in metal music.

 

 

What´s your favorite Heavy Metal -related quote that you have notice using quite a lot when emailing to your friends, for example? “Long Live for Metal...!!!” probably, eh?

Simply ´Cheers...´, ha-hah!! I´ve been using that since 1985, bro, ha!

 

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You are also a very known guy in every possible corner of the world for having one of the largest private Heavy Metal collections that should make a great bunch of people jealous. At what age did you buy your first albums for your collection and what bands were they from? How many albums do you exactly have in your collection these days and can you name some of your most previous gems out of it as well?

First LP ever bought was Kiss ALIVE 2 in 1977. First real ´metal´ LP was probably Judas Priest´s POINT OF ENTRY in ´80. I have over 9,000 vinyls in my collection!! I´ve scaled down some ´cuz a lot of it hasn´t ´aged´ well. Some gems are everything from the Rods ROCK HARD to original Maiden SOUNDHOUSE TAPES single to stuff I personally love like a Japanese pressing of Warlord´s DELIVER US with MRS VICTORIA on the wax as bonus track. I worship that record!! I don´t care how ´rare´ stuff is, just how ´good´ it is...

 

 

Are there some specific (and very recommended as well!) local record stores around there (or on the whole globe) that kind of consider you as one of their best customers as you have brought a good fortune of money into their stores during all these past years? At least I happen to know you have indeed been (or used to be) a very damn good customer to German Hellion Records, he!

Ha-ha-ha... Hellion is shit to me anymore!! Jurgen is a scam artist and a piece of human shit!! I hope he never sells or puts in his store another band I´m involved with. I´d rather sell zero copies of product than deal with that human excrement!! He really shit on me and a few friends big time a few years back at the store before Wacken!! He´s a money guy, NOT a metal friend!! I hope his store burns down!! Hmmm...? Now there´s a thought, hah!! Yeah, I know a lot of stores nationwide and I´m known as ´The King of Metal´ to them only ´cuz my name is King and I collect a lot of metal, not ´cuz I really am, ha-hah!!

 

 

What will happen you’re your enormous collection when you have left this world for good? Could you possibly draw up a will in favor of me if I left this world after you, he-heh!

My son gets it all!! He is the future of metal!! He´s off to a flying start...!! He´s just 14 and really knows his metal!! He just brought Crying Steel and Black Hawk records this past weekend actually. Andy from Iron Glory Records in Germany was in the States and was amazed at my son´s knowledge of metal music for 14 years old!!  I LOVE my son!!! Great kid and headed in the right direction of life!! 

 

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Ok, now let´s change roles for one moment: Ask me two Heavy Metal -related questions and I´ll try to give you my best shot for both of them, so go ahead Kingy... ;)

King: Ok then, three hottest chicks ever in Heavy Metal are...?

king fowley

 

Luxi: Uuuh... a tough one, but kind of out of the hat and in an alphabetical disorder they ´might´ well be for me: Cristina Scabbia from Lacuna Coil (she´s HOT... she really is!!!), all the four chicks in Drain and Heidi Franks from Derketa who only was a short while as a part of their line-up. So let´s see... that makes 6 all in all, he!

 

King: Who to you is the most important record in the history of Heavy Metal?

Luxi: Well, it was Priest´s “Killing Machine” that actually brought me totally into the Heavy Metal music in 1978, so in that sense that record is very important for me personally. But to answer to your question, I guess the most influential record in the entire history of Heavy Metal, however, must be Black Sabbath´s self-titled debut album that came out on Friday, February 13th, 1970. That album represents everything what Heavy Metal is all about or at least that´s how I see it anyway.

 

King: Bonus command... You must send me the hottest pic of the best Finnish chick into metal!! Shall this be your mission... ;)

Luxi: Already did... (see King´s comments from her: “Ha-ha... I know her she´s good! I was hoping for a 'lost gem', tho. Ha-ha!! Oh well...)

 

I guess it´s time to stop here and make the end for this massive interview with you. First off, I wanna thank you King whole-heartedly for taking the time with my (at least partly) insane questions and I hope you found this interview worth of your time. Thanks again my old friend and may the last concluding words be your now...

Love ya bro!! You be well and hope to see you again sometime soon!! Maybe you can make a U.S. trip in the near future!? (Luxi: Wish I could... L ) To all readings stay wild and on top of it all... NEVER back down and NEVER end the fight for honest and sincere music!! Look after your friends/families and always stay sincere to your heart!!

 


Band Website: www.deceasedmetal.com