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Interviews Intruder

Interview with John Pieroni (drums)

Interview conducted by Michel Renaud

Date online: September 22, 2002

INTRUDER is one of those first-class metal acts that released a few acclaimed albums in the late 80s and then disbanded for various reasons. The band recently got back together to play a few live shows, the first of which was at the Classic Metal Fest in Cleveland in July 2002 where they pretty much wrecked the place even though this was their first live performance in about 10 years... Not bad! :) Drummer John Pieroni answered a few questions about the past, the present and the possible future of the band...

You have re-united after about 10 years to play a few shows this year. What prompted this?

I ran into Arthur at a CARMAX dealership of all places. Hadn’t seen him in a couple of years. We started talking about old times and he mentioned that Jimmy was playing in a band with him. Then out of the blue we just said, hey, let’s jam and possibly do a show. It was as mundane as that!

What kind of reactions did you get concerning your re- unification, from the fans and the press?

All over the spectrum! Fans, of course, are excited about the opportunity to thrash once again with the mighty INTRUDER juggernaut. Most of the press has been cool, too. There HAVE been the certain few, who shall remain nameless (maybe!) that think we’re doing it to cash in, etc. Of course, these are the same people that hated the band to begin with so why should shit change?

Do you think a more permanent re-unification could result, with a new album maybe?

Probably not. Arthur has his own band (Dead Sun) that his devoting most of his time to. My job keeps me pretty busy, as does most everyone else’s. So just getting together to rehearse is a logistics nightmare! Plus my wife wouldn’t be too happy about that road! As for a new album, you never know. We’ll see what happens. We’re trying to get a spot next year at one of the European festivals.

What lead to Intruder breaking up in 1992?

In a nutshell: internal self destruction, ego’s, Metal Blade. Not all in that order!

Are you guys playing into any other bands?

As I mentioned before, Arthur has a band, Dead Sun (Website The rest of us guys just jam every now and then when the feeling hits us! It never really leaves your blood, you know.

Your three albums are downloadable from your web site (that's nice ;)). What's Metal Blade's problem? Why won't they re-issue them, or give you the rights back?

Well, we have a total of 4 albums but right now only 3 are available on the web site. (Those damn, high quality MP3’s just eat up server space…lol). As for reissue’s, well, we’ll never see that. And as for getting back our catalog so we can reissue them ourselves – we’ll never see that as well. Metal Blade won’t give up the masters. In a nutshell, here’s why. If we got them back, and released them and they sold real good, Metal Blade will look stupid for not releasing them themselves. Definitely sucks!

"Escape from Pain" isn't available for download. Any specific reason?

Well, I noticed this is the hardest CD to find and it’s one of the top Metal buys on E-bay so I figured I’d hold out and in a few years dump my whole stash on e-bay and retire....Actually, the boring truth is just that I haven’t gotten around to ripping it yet.

You played at the Classic Metal Fest and, despite a very low attendance, people seemed to enjoy your set. Have you played anywhere else? What are the upcoming shows you have booked?

Just in the basement! That was our first show in 10 years! We had a show scheduled here in Nashville, but the club closed. So we're keeping our options open.

On the subject of the CMF, did you enjoy it despite the low attendance? What are your thoughts? Any thoughts on the subsequent bashing by the "press"?

The show was a blast. Felt good to get back on stage again. The crowd may have been small but you wouldn’t know it from the noise they made. Just proves metal fans are the best there is! As for the "press", they haven’t got a clue. There’s a difference between constructive criticism and out right stupidity. Guess there wasn’t enough free booze, chicks, etc…

Would you play at a 3rd edition of the CMF?

Sure. If we can get everyone together again to hit the road.

What were your main musical influences? I seem to detect an early Anthrax sound in your stuff (or maybe YOU influenced them. :))

Definitely Anthrax. Slayer’s "Reign in Blood" had a huge influence on us. You can really hear that on "A Higher Form Of Killing" as opposed to "Live To Die". And Metallica’s "Ride The Lightning" was huge as well.

The album "A Higher Form Of Killing" opens up with newscasts reporting terrorist incidents at various places. Was that based on events back when the album was written?

Sure was. Took the news bits right out of the paper. There’s nothing new with terrorism. I wrote about terrorists attacking U.S. soil 12 or 13 years before it really happened. No one listened...

What song did you write for the movie Hellraiser? Is it pretty much in the same vein as your other stuff? Are you planning on making it available for download, or are there legal issues with releasing this one?

You know, that’s the lost INTRUDER song. We recorded and mixed the song in a day for the Hellraiser 3 movie. We were supposed to have a part in the movie as well. But again, Metal Blade reared there ugly little head and pulled it from under us and gave it to Armored Saint. I have been trying to track that song down but no one seems to have a copy! It was a little bit different than what we had been doing at the time. A little bit more groove oriented, but still heavy as hell.

Nashville is known worldwide for country music. How are things there for metal? Are you scaring people? :)

The Metal scene is pretty dead. We definitely freaked out some people back in the day! And we hope to shake this place up when we do our Nashville reunion show.

What's been on your playlist lately, say the 5 albums you've been listening to the most recently?

It’s all over the usual!

1. Spiritual Beggars – Ad Astra
2. Alice Cooper – Billion Dollar Babies
3. Shadows Fall – The Art Of Balance
4. Spock’s Beard – The Kindness Of Strangers
5. Beatallica – Garage Dayz Nite

We're getting close to the one year anniversary of the terrorist attacks in NYC and the Pentagon. Any thoughts on that and what has happened since then?

I was shocked as everyone else was. I knew it was a matter of time, though. When I wrote "The Martyr" 15 years ago, I saw it coming. Well, as for 1 year later, all the TV specials on 9-11 were ridiculous. We all know what happened. We won’t forget. Don’t really need to see it again and have a few concerts to commemorate it, etc. Sheesh..

Can you elaborate on "The Martyr"?

I thoroughly researched every song I wrote. I would spend at least a week or two per song at the library. There were rumblings about terrorism and attacks on our country even back in 1986 when I wrote the song. The song is written from the viewpoint of a non-American and how they would feel. Not that I'm un-American mind you, but I just tried to get into the head of one of these "martyrs" and see through their eyes. It was definitely a wake up call type of song. But so were a lot of the songs we did. "Genetic Genocide" was all about the manipulations of genes and there effects on humans. "A Higher Form Of Killing", gas and Biological warfare, etc. All fun stuff!! LOL...

Here a bonus question (i.e. I don't know what else to ask :)): What do you guys do for a living?

Arthur, plays on (Dead Sun). Jim has his own Auto Body paint company. Todd heads maintenance at a retirement center. Greg is a painter. And I’m a Network Administrator at SESAC, a performing rights organization.

That's it! Thanks for your time! Would you like to add anything else?

Just a big thanks to you, Michel! I said it before and I’ll say it again, you are the true metal fan!

Other information about Intruder on this site
Review: Live to Die… Relived
Review: A Higher Form Of Killing
Review: Psycho Savant

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