DAVE GORUSH OF INSANITY
Interview by David Leslie
Insanity was formed in 1985 in the San Francisco Bay Area and unleashed some of the most intensely brutal death metal of that time.
Insanity drummer, Bud Mills, was one of the first drummers to use the 1-1 drum beat that was faster than any thrash beat used at the time. The vocalist/guitarist Joe DeZuniga roared out some of the most powerful and brutal death metal vocals to be heard since. He was also one of the main songwriter’s and the artist that created the logo with the decapitated heads. The other guitarist/songwriter Dave Gorsuch seemed to push the style of guitar riffs to a more technical edge while mixing in stomping heavy parts with catchy tempo changes. With Joe’s style progressing in that direction as well, it proved to be a great partnership and the two would go on to collaborate on most of the early material. The last element to send the music over the edge was a ripping bass player and Keith Ellison played like a death metal version of Steve Harris.
The first show was played on Oct. 19th 1985 with Death and Sacrilege and the band maintained a frenzied pit the whole set, which was admittedly short because the band only had five songs at the time. Insanity then went on to play with many of the other great bands that played Ruthies Inn including the likes of Possessed.
Meanwhile a live rehearsal tape that was recorded with a stereo microphone was being circulated and an underground following was growing in countries around the world. About 1986 the underground scene was really growing and a number of fanzines were coming out with Insanity always getting one of the best reviews and urging readers to send for the 85 rehearsal demo as the first recording came to be known. After that everything seemed to be on the right track.
But this did not last long, after having problems with equipment and finding a rehearsal studio, Bud had to serve about 10 month’s of jail time. During this time the only productive thing the band could do was to write new material. So while we were preparing to record in a studio upon Bud’s release so we could finally get signed, Joe became ill with a heart disease. The band recorded one last rehearsal tape with Joe after a temporary release from the hospital but it was evident that some of his vocal power was gone due to the illness. Several months later after a long up and down battle Joe DeZuniga died on May 16th 1987.
After a long break the rest of us tried to keep the band going, but we couldn’t find a singer with Joe’s vocal strength and more problems we’re yet to come including a number of line up changes for a number of different reason’s that kept the band from doing anything significant for a while. Driven by the ´never-say-die´ attitude of the band and the support of the most devoted fans, the band was reformed in 1989. After a few years of struggling with a couple of line-up changes, Insanity signed a one-year deal with a German independent record label and released the debut DEATH AFTER DEATH. Unfortunately the band was not complete when labels such as Nuclear Blast offered to sign the band. Although there wasn’t that much difference between Nuclear Blast and M.B.R. at that time. It would have signicantly changed the band’s career if things happened differently.
Insanity played live numerous times in 1993-94 with the most notable show being at the Omni with the reformed Possessed (Mike Torrao has been a good friend of Insanity since 1985) & Machine Head. After the drummer Prakash Sharma’s back problems became a problem as well as the local scene sucking the band took a break in late ’94.
In 1997, the band reformed and Insanity began working on new material resulting in a 3-song CD SACREFIXION. Unfortunately differences in expectations strained relations between band members and this line up broke up in late 2001.
After setting up a professional recording system powerful enough of to finish the long awaited 2nd album, In 2004 Dave was contacted by Matt Harvey from Exhumed about releasing a compilation of old school Insanity recordings done from 1985 to 1994 on his new label Parasitic Twin Productions. Since distribution was being set up with Relapse along with the Exhumed CD of covers, the decision was made to delay the release of the 2nd full length to work on the compilation CD for Parasitic Twin. This was released in November of 2005 with the title FROM THE GRAVE. It features 3 remastered songs off the ’85 demo, the DEATH AFTER DEATH release, and new mixes of updated songs originally tracked on the bands 8-track in 1993-94.
From August 25th-28th 2005 Insanity completed a mini-tour of California with Exhumed, Abscess & Skarp re-sparking interest in the band in the Bay Area and Southern California. After playing more local shows and regenerating a local following, In 2007 the band welcomed original drummer Bud Mills back as Insanity played a ripping set at the Los Angeles Murderfest where the band shared the main stage with the likes of Repulsion, Atheist and Obituary.
In the summer of 2007 as the band was preparing to record and preparing for shows in Northern and Southern California, Bud was diagnosed with blood clots. After more tests cancer was discovered and it turned out to be Esophageal cancer stage 4. After receiving a few rounds of chemotherapy and fighting a very tough battle for months, we lost Bud on November 14th 2007. The pre-production tracks Bud recorded are being mixed and will be released in the near future on the VISIONS OF APOCALYPSE album. The band will also be putting out a DVD featuring Bud’s last show (the L.A. Murderfest @ the Knitting Factory in Hollywood, CA) among some bootleg live footage and a few videos including FIRE DEATH FATE ’85 featuring Joe DeZuniga.
As far as playing live, the band is just starting to play with drummers and guitarists and hopes to announce a new complete line up soon!