Interview with vocalist and bassist Eddesecrator
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: April 11, 2013
Who doesn't love motorcycles, beer and straight, honest Metal? I know I do and so do the four young, reckless thrashers in Scrapmetal, a new generation Thrash Metal band from Los Angeles, CA. Scrapmetal have adopted a vicious, filthy and ugly sound, true to the traditions of old school Thrash, that will ensure your dear mother-in-law hate will hate your guts. Then again, as long as your shit is welcomed by your fellow thrashers, things should be fine, right?
I contacted Scrapmetal through an old friend of mine, Juan Garcia (ex-Masters of Metal), asking politely for an email contact. I had just discovered Scrapmetal's video for the song "Highway Thrasher," from their debut album Hellbound. Juan forwarded me Scrapmetal's email in no time (thanks buddy!) and, after a few days of waiting, I was in touch with vocalist/bassist Eddesecrator.
Eddesecrator revealed a bit about his band, about living in Los Angeles, CA with all the cool places a tourist might want to go to, about the local Metal scene and took a glance at what's ahead for Scrapmetal.
Read on, as we talk about a pretty darn entertaining and promising Thrash Metal outfit here ;o)
Luxi: First off, could you give us a short history lesson of who Scrapmetal is?
Eddesecrator: Scrapmetal consists of Erick Gonzalez on guitars and back-up vocals, Ariel Alvarado on drums and back-up vocals, Jorge Ochoa on guitars and yours truly on bass and vocals. Scrapmetal took form in 1999 in Los Angeles and Ariel, Erick and I are original members.
Luxi: Why the name Scrapmetal? Don't you think the name has a bit of a "not-so-serious" tone for a Metal band? Are you worried people might not take you as seriously, thinking Scrapmetal could be some sort of a fun band?
Eddesecrator: Indeed it is a "fun band" otherwise we would not be doing it for 14 years now. The ideology of the name came to be in the form of its definition of literally being fragments of Metal left behind from its original form only to be re-animated onto something productive. It made sense to us as we enjoy all genres of Metal music and it shows in our creations. Hence, the name befits the cause of our war cries.
Luxi: Scrapmetal's first official demo, Make 'em Scream, was recorded in 2005, which is actually 6 years after the band was formed. Why did it take so long time to get your debut demo recorded? Were there other "unofficial" demos recorded before Make 'em Scream that you didn't want to release officially because they did not sound kick-ass enough to your ears?
Eddesecrator: Our first demo, Rising from the Grave, was released in 2000. When we released Make 'em Scream it was intended for all to enjoy our music and also with the intention of having a label become interested, the same as it was with Rising from The Grave. Not until Brain from Morbid Reality Records approached us with intention to release Hellbound did we finally get a label's interest. It worked out since we had just finished recording the album with Gary Miranda from Injected Senses in San Diego. Great timing indeed!
Luxi: Since you started Scrapmetal, how much support have you gotten from other local bands in spreading the word and getting Scrapmetal booked for gigs with them?
Eddesecrator: The L.A. Metal Horde was very welcoming once they heard of us and saw us play live. Robert Cardenas, from Masters of Metal/Possessed, has been there for us since the beginning, along with Infamy, Rick and Bay from Sadistic Intent, Engrave, Coffin Texts, fucking Hell..!! They are true Metal warriors with their battle scars proudly-worn and they guided us with advice and friendship which we value and appreciate to this day. Now Juan and Masters of Metal are too helping us out so it never ends with L.A. Metal elders giving us a hand. It is always appreciated and respected.
Luxi: You have shared stages with quite a lot of bands already; Masters of Metal, Witch Haven, Speedwolf, Exmortus, Dreams of Damnation, Advent, Desecration, etc. Are all these gigs basically just fun and something you are doing for yourselves or is there a more serious focus that keeps the band active and creative?
Eddesecrator: Indeed, it is always fun raising hell with all the blasphemers. There truly is also a serious focus within the band as this is our lifestyle and it demands the best of us. We keep challenging each other as musicians and so it keeps the activity and creativeness going. It is the band's lifeblood, for without it, we would not have made it this far and there is more to come.
Luxi: When talking about being creative, I assume the songwriting process takes a lot of energy, time, creativity, etc.. I was wondering how critical you are toward your own material whenever you put one of your songs on the table and start analyzing it with a giant magnifying glass. Are you the kind of perfectionist that never thinks a song is 100% perfect?
Eddesecrator: Indeed, it's never-ending for there are always many options and avenues one can take when being creative in any art form, I believe. We never release a song until all four members approve of its form from all angles.
Luxi: Would you say your biggest enemy is yourself when it comes to your creativity in the band?
Eddesecrator: I wouldn't say enemy... more like devil upon your shoulder encouraging ever more hellish forms of musical mischief. hehe!
Luxi: How does a perfect song sound to your ears? What should it contain, in order to get your approval?
Eddesecrator: If the song sounds just right and as crisp as your ice-cold drink, then it's perfect!
Luxi: What about the rest of the guys in the band; who else contributes to the songwriting? Do you have certain roles inside Scrapmetal; one of you does lyrics, one of you is responsible for coming up with the "spine" of a song and others attach the flesh, veins, blood, etc.? How is it organized as far as making Scrapmetal songs?
Eddesecrator: Indeed, we've all subconsciously assumed certain roles within the creative process for our music throughout the years. Erick and Ariel are the ones who come up with riffs and drum patterns, I mainly focus upon lyrics and raunchy bass lines, and George is a multi-tasker as he is all over the place, hehe! Yet we all have the authority to say "yea" or "nay" to any aspect of the creation of our music, including lyrics and vocal patterns. There will be no rock star lead singer vouchers here, hehe! That's a good thing because it keeps everything in perspective. We all are leaders of this band.
Luxi: Your guitarist Erick and especially your drummer Ariel, have both had some experience in other bands. How much do you believe their experience in Wrecking Havoc, Draconis, Coffin Texts, etc. has helped Scrapmetal? Undoubtedly you don't have to tell them what it takes to keep a band like Scrapmetal productive enough to achieve success, do you?
Eddesecrator: Nay, not at all. I support my brothers in everything they do. Scrapmetal will always be there for us, it demands nothing but your will. I am a fan of their other bands as well. Draconis has always captured my interest, even before Ariel joined, and Coffin Texts as well. Erick and Ariel are Scrapmetal; I need not say more. hehe!
Luxi: Hellbound, which is the band's debut full-length studio album, was released on Morbid Reality Records in 2011. How did you end up releasing Hellbound on this local LA-based label? Is the owner friend of yours (Lord Brain, also in Terrorism)?
Eddesecrator: Yes, Brain is an old friend of ours. He was managing a killer bar/night club in Boyle Heights, California named "The Blvd" where we played many, many times, to the point where he heard us enough to sign us to his label. He's a cool fucking guy and reckless to the bone, hehe!
Luxi: Were there any other label alternatives you had to choose from who wanted to put out Scrapmetal's debut?
Eddesecrator: Nay, there was none. We were about to release it ourselves and just go by word of mouth with friends in The States and also our brethren Nocturnal Breed from Norway.
Luxi: Gary Miranda co-produced this record with the band. Was it clear from the beginning that he would a perfect candidate to produce Hellbound, or did you have a list of other choices?
Eddesecrator: Gary was and is ideal for recording Scrapmetal. He is a talented recording engineer, metalhead to the bone and a great friend of ours! He is our official wizard of the black arts! He is also the bassist for Draconis, and the relationship between both bands makes it that much easier to call someone out when they are slacking off at the recording studio without them being insulted, haha! Injected Senses Productions fits us perfectly.
Luxi: To me, there's this nice early Slayer, early Kreator and early Destruction feel to Scrapmetal's songs on Hellbound. Were those aforementioned acts inspirations for Scrapmetal? Are there other bands that you would consider strong inspirations for Scrapmetal and how the band's sound has evolved?
Eddesecrator: Indeed! Old Slayer and Kreator have been an influence on us since the early years of Scrapmetal, along with Possessed, Destruction, Venom, Celtic Frost, Bewitched, Immortal, Mayhem, Nocturnal Breed, Draconis, Johnny Cash, Kiss, Wasp... fucking-hell!!! The list is just never-ending and exceeds all genres of Rock & Roll! It is difficult to name just a few influences because we have sooo many, as individuals. It shows up from our respective positions within the band.
Luxi: Los Angeles, California is well- known for its vivid and varied Rock and Metal scenes, among other things, of course. How do you like living in LA, among millions of other people? Would you change your location if you ever got a chance, or do you like it there better?
Eddesecrator: In the last 3 weeks, I've been punched in the face by some schizophrenic nutcase in a full-face motorcycle helmet as I was napping on the train and I've been kicked on the face by a one-legged senior citizen in a wheelchair as I was on a bus on way home from rehearsal. L.A. keeps me tough!! No matter where I go in this world, I shall always return to my home; the nice, respectful and cosmopolitan town known as Los Angeles!! Cheers to that, haha!!!
Luxi: I know that you have some pretty famous venues for both Rock and Metal in the LA area. If someone came to visit LA as a tourist and wanted to see some cool places that are favorable for both Rock and Metal, which venues would say are mandatory?
Eddesecrator: I would say The Rainbow Bar & Grill in Hollywood, CA would be a must! No matter if you favor Rock, Metal, or Punk. You may see Lemmy there holding up the patio bar, hehe!! Other than that, it is hard to pinpoint where to go as it all depends upon the day and schedule. Either way you win! Because there is always something to do in Los Angeles no matter what day it is!
Luxi: Dark Realm Records is located in Downey, LA. How homey is this place, which is run by the Cortez bros of Sadistic Intent? Are there other, specialized underground Metal record shops in LA or is Dark Realm a completely alone in the whole LA area, flying the flag for true underground Black, Death and Thrash Metal?
Eddesecrator: Dark Realm is always a pleasure to visit, Rick or Bay are always there manning the fort! Sometimes both, hehe! You get to put your clammy hands on some great product and have a great chat with the guys, as well. They are truly welcoming! There is also another place in Montebello, CA by the name of Lock & Shock, in which I get the same hospitality. Pollo is the man running that fort and he, too, is an awesome guy and ever-welcoming and, of course, a metalhead to the bone! There are many places in Los Angeles to shop for Metal-goods, but I would say Dark Realm and Lock & Shock are quite pleasing to visit.
Luxi: How do you see Scrapmetal's position among other local Metal bands there? I mean, being just one band amongst hundreds or even thousands of other Metal bands, must make it pretty darn hard to get your band heard. How do you get the band promoted? Through the Internet, doing lots of gigs, etc.?
Eddesecrator: It all depends on your state of mind. We are not a band of "competitive thinking" and we do what we must when the time and chance is at hand. Indeed, there are tons of bands here in this labyrinth of music and art. When we see other bands get attention or shows, we do not feel threatened or jealous in anyway. It would be weak-minded for us to do so. We are confident and secure in ourselves. We wish all bands the best! No need to compare ourselves to others for we know who we are and what we stand for.
Luxi: You also have a semi-professional video being shot for one of the songs off of the Hellbound record. The song is called "Highway Thrasher." What made you choose this particular song? Your love for big motorcycles, perhaps?
Eddesecrator: Haha... indeed! Motorcycles and Scrapmetal go hand-in-hand. The video was produced by our guitarist George some years ago. It was recorded when he and our drummer Ariel went riding in the mountains. He got a hold of some live footage of the band and proceeded to hack and smack the riding and live footage together and, hence, we have "Highway Thrasher" video. Well done I must say!
Luxi: I wouldn't think you guys have rested on your laurels since Hellbound was released, but have continued writing new stuff. Would you mind by telling us about any new songs people can expect to hear from you guys in the coming months? I don't suppose people have to worry about hearing any ballad type of shit from you guys, do they?
Eddesecrator: Hahaha!!! I must say that all of our songs are antonyms to ballads in lyrical form. We are preparing to record our next album with Gary from Injected Senses, of course. I must say that the next album shall be quite pleasing to thy sinful ear if one likes dirty, reckless and lawless Speed Metal!! Beware our next album!
Luxi: What's the next logical step that Scrapmetal will take when it's time to record your follow-up record, or EP or whatever? Do you believe you may start shopping the band's next demo to some bigger labels?
Eddesecrator: We are going to focus on recording the album itself; that is the primary task at the moment. Once it is done, it would be grand to have a label pick it up. If not, there is always more than one way to get to HELL!
Luxi: How has 2013 started for you guys anyway? So far, so good, or it could be even better?
Eddesecrator: So far hell good! We had the honor to play alongside Masters of Metal, raped and pillaged San Diego, then onward to The Awakening festival in San Francisco playing alongside Broken Hope, Exhumed, Phobia, Draconis, Internal Corrosion and others!! Europe is next upon our hit list!! Thanx to you and Juan it may just come to be...
Luxi: The final question is at hand; would you give us three well-grounded, concrete reasons why people should check out Scrapmetal if they haven't the band yet?
Eddesecrator: Do you like to fuck, drink and listen to some hellacious tunes while doing so?? We just may be the proper soundtrack for such animalistic acts of life!!
Luxi: Thank you so much for doing this interview with me, Eddesecrator, and let's hope there will be many successful Thrash, motorcycle and beer-filled years ahead of you. Last words, comments, swear words, etc., are all yours, so make us bleed, cry, whatever you feel like... ;o)
Eddesecrator: On behalf of my brothers, I thank you for the interest and time you have taken for exposing our hellish brew of Hellspeedthrash!!! Cheers to you!!! We also thank all who have taken the time to read this interview!! Check out our album Hellbound! Enjoy much drink and fuck to it! There is more to come!! Ride hard! Bang 'em harder!! Hoooooowl!!!
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