Interview with founder Ollie Jones
By Oliver M.
One year after the release of their critically acclaimed infamy “Cemetery Sickness“, UK brutal death metal masters Desecration have recently been touring in the UK to spread their gory art to the great satisfaction of their fans. Following a crazy tour in Thailand and Malaysia, their leader and founding member Ollie Jones has granted us an interview covering their last bloody offering and their whole career as well.
Hails Desecration! First of all, could you please tell us how was the global reception of your last album “Cemetery Sickness“, released in June last year? Did the reviews meet your expectations?
Yes and even better than we thought. There are so many albums coming out all the time, this one has been well received from everyone. The reviews have all been like 4/5, 9/10 and excellent throughout bar one! A magazine that have an idiot working for them obviously.
“Cemetery Sickness” is your second album released by the very good Slovakian extreme metal label Metal Age Productions. Are you satisfied with the work done by them so far? Do you think they’re the right record label for Desecration?
They do a great job and we can contact them very easily and always get a response which is to us very important. We are happy on Metal Age.
You have released your first video clip ever in 2014 for the song “Coffin Smasher” if I’m not wrong. Why haven’t you made any video clips in the past? How did you make this one?
We talked about making a video for years and this time we just pulled our fingers out and did it, we have always been a band who doesn’t have a big budget. Our friend is good at video and local to us (Adam Edgerley) so we approached him and he did it for us at mate’s rates! Would definitely use him again, it’s a really good video.
Yes of course, we are totally old-school though, that’s what we like ourselves so not being false. We aren’t in it for the money!
What are the “Cemetery Sickness“ lyrics about? Do they differ from the lyrics of your previous albums?
The idea was to have a great album title and then write songs that go into that frame. But after writing a few cemetery themed songs, we dried up a little so we just wrote some disgusting lyrics in the usual Desecration way.
What’s your opinion of the current UK death metal scene?
I’m not really up to date, but we are friends with quite a few bands in the UK. There are some great ones who are doing really well, we are proud to be a big part of the scene here.
Now, let’s talk in details about your long career. You did many concerts in most parts of the world throughout your career. Which country has been the most enthusiastic with Desecration in your opinion?
I couldn’t give a number but we’ve done hundreds of gigs all over the place. We really like Russia, Eastern Europe and Asia where we have done really well. I think it might be the alcohol that makes us perform better out there. I don’t like British alcohol.
Are there any countries where you’re more popular than in the UK?
Hmm… Hard to say. We have built a British fan base because we try and do shows here a lot. So I guess not any other particular country but they always ask for us to return.
Since your creation in 1992, you have released eight albums. Which one is your favourite?
The new one is my favourite. The other one that we all love is “process of decay”.
Desecration is a cult band, you’re one of the best UK death metal acts and you absolutely have nothing to prove since your early years. How do you explain that you have never signed with a big metal label so far?
I think timing. When we started, we were SHIT! We got better and better throughout the years but we have never pushed ourselves. We don’t approach labels, we are very busy people so we haven’t had the time to push it as far as we could have. People may have thought “Urgh, Desecration heard them before can’t be arsed” but we’ve grown into a monster now.
In 1995, you released the most controversial album in the history of death metal in my opinion: “Gore & Perversion”. 20 years after its release, what’s your opinion about it? Do you prefer the original 1995 version of the album or the one you have re-recorded “Gore and PerVersion 2” in 2003?
The original is grisly but the musicianship just wasn’t there. The version 2 is far better, far faster, etc, how it was meant to sound in the first place. If we had played that back in 1992, we would have been a bigger band back then obviously.
From my point of view, the cover artwork of the original version is the most shocking and nastiest ever made for a death metal band. The fact that it was made in black and white turns it even creepier. Who did this cult artwork?
The bass player at the time drew it. It was banned and has never been on anything but watch this space.
Are there any chances this album can be re-released in the future or am I dreaming?
I just have a clue.
Let’s talk about the censorship that you suffered from at that time. What happened to you has reminded me about the Video Nasties moral panic and banning that occurred in the UK in the 80s, with distributors being arrested by the police and prosecuted. The British Conservative Party has always fostered censorship and has always been ferociously opposed to any kind of violent, gore, pornographic and disturbing art. Do you still feel some hatred towards them?
Yes but they’re doing their job as well. I also got caught up in that video nasty rubbish, it was a pain in the arse. It’s all rubbish, I could go on about it but things are better nowadays since everything is on the Net.
Italian horror films have been very influential in the creation and development of the imagery/lyrics/concept of death metal bands since the beginning. Have any of those films influenced some of your lyrics?
Not really, to be honest though nothing really has influenced us apart from heavy metal. We write heavy metal and add blast beats, we write lyrics like that for the style of music. We write about violence and murder but not from movies or anything like zombies. All is stuff and things that happen or could happen, or maybe we do them.
What are your favourite horror films?
Cannibal Ferox, Braindead. I don’t only like gore. I like creepy films, ghost films like Amityville, etc. Halloween and slasher movies, etc.
Nowadays, the BBFC is still censoring, butchering and banning gore and disturbing films in the UK. Do you think they will change in the future or will it be always the same?
I don’t think they’ll ever stop but they’re getting better, you can see a lot more gore and nudity and even axe these days in movies here. Again, I think since the Internet has been around.
Due to some of your very explicit lyrics and graphic content regarding women, have you ever been accused of being misogynistic?
Nope, as we aren’t that way.
After more than 20 years of career as musicians, what is your best memory?
I think performing in front of certain crowds like Bloodstock Festival in the UK and Moscow show for example.
And your worst memory?
Being locked up for “Gore & Perversion”.
You guys play also in other cult bands such as Onslaught and Extreme Noise Terror. Is Desecration your priority? How do you manage it? How do you feel playing for two cult bands at the same time?
It’s an honour but personally I juggle things around and fit things in. Keeps me busy.
What are your future projects?
We have one more album for Metal Age to do at our convenience. We will keep trying to perform in places where we’ve never been and return to places who want us. Perhaps, another video or DVD even.
This interview is now finished. Thank you so much for your time and your great music/art. I wish you all the best. Do you have anything special to add?
Only what I have said earlier, people who remember us from the 90’s should check out what the band is doing nowadays, you’ll be pleasantly or unpleasantly surprised. Thanks for the interview!!!