Interview with The Evil One (drums, vocals)
Interview conducted by Barbara Williams (Crowley)
Date online: January 19, 2003
Why Black Mass? Who came up with the name?
The name BLACK MASS actually came from the Destruction song of the same title. We think it fits.
How would you describe Black Mass to someone who's never heard your music before?
Probably as a Black Metal/Death Metal mixture, utilizing only the most evil and extreme aspects of both genres. No true fan of either will be disappointed by our music. It's fast, heavy and evil!!! The way Metal should be!
How do you write your music? Is there a set guideline or do you write what you feel as you go along?
We usually start with one or two riffs that fit together, and go with whatever we feel from there. A lot of times the songs go through three or four versions before we decide which will be the finished product, and quite often we change them even after that.
How do you get the inspiration for writing your lyrics?
Some of the songs are fictional, some are not and some are an abstract expression of my views on the planet, society,or even certain individuals. I keep most of the underlying subject matter to myself because I believe it's not anyone elseís business.
Do you write together or separately?
I write 99% of the lyrics myself, and about half the music. We always arrange the riffs together, although a lot of times one or the other of us has a few riffs ready to work on that we've written on our own.
How would you describe (or categorize) your style of vocals? Who have been your role models?
I would say "guttural", because this is how a lot of reviews have described my voice, and I believe thatís the best adjective for it. Vocally, some of my biggest influences are Cronos, Tom G. Warrior, Ventor, and Quorthon. If one were to mix all those styles together, they would probably end up sounding like me.
Which bands are on your list of favorites? If I were to look through your CD collection, what would I find?
Hmmm...hard question. My #1 favorite band is Venom, without a doubt, but I love all the old Death/Thrash Metal of the 80's and early 90's, like Kreator, Darkthrone, Destruction, Slayer, Profanatica, Celtic Frost, Bathory and Mercyful Fate. I also like a lot of the newer stuff, most notably Satyricon, Octinomos, Forest Of Impaled, Fog, and Black Witchery. If you were to look in my CD collection you would find nothing but Metal and Heavy Rock. I have everything from the sickest and fastest Death Metal to the most obscure and grim Black Metal, to the most Bizarre Glam bands in my collection, and I still don't have nearly enough. I only like the heavy stuff.
What bands would you liken yourselves to?
Uggg!!! another hard question! haha...Probably Unleashed, Celtic Frost, Old Incantation, Beherit, Belphegor, and a little old Immolation, at least this is how we have been described and I can see the similarities to these bands.
Which cities have you played?
New York, Washington, DC, Baltimore and their respective surrounding areas. We've also played a few Fests in different places. We've acquired some rabid fans everywhere we've played, and even a few enemies...hahaha.
Any plans to go on tour? If so, where and when and with whom?
Actually, over the last year, we've had to turn down 2 tours due to line-up problems and our recording schedule, but now that we're finished with the recording of 'Voices Of Fate' we are most definitely trying to do one. Look for us in spring or summer 2003 doing a U.S. tour series to support our last 2 releases.
How do you compare the Death and Black metal scene here in the States and in Europe?
The Europeans seem a little more laid back about a lot of aspects, and more hard-line on others. The main visible difference is the amount of shit-talking and band-bashing that goes on over here. If the U.S. fans and bands would dedicate more of their energy to focusing on our common enemies rather than which bands suck, and don't suck, I think we'd all be a lot better off.
When did you start playing and how old were you when you became interested in metal?
I started playing guitar when I was eight or nine, and later switched to bass, and then to drums. My first LP I owned was Alice Coopers Greatest Hits, and I got that when I was seven or eight, so pretty much I've been into either playing or listening hard rock and metal for as long as I can remember.
What made you guys decide to play in a band? Had it always been a dream? Who or what inspired you?
100% of our influences played in bands, so it was only logical that we do the same thing in order to achieve the same ends. It's not like listening to Black Sabbath made us want to be Paper Boys...hahaha.
Have your parents and friends always been supportive?
For the most part, yes! I'm sure my parents might have been more pleased if I had wanted to be the President or something, but on the whole they've been really cool about it even helped with equipment and studio money when I needed it.
Besides Metal, what other types of music do you listen to?
Hard Rock! Outside of playing Metal, what kinds of things do you enjoy doing? Watching horror movies, going to strip-clubs, and of course going to shows.
How do you feel about mainstream bands, especially those who at one point started out as Underground?
We believe that it's entirely up to the individual whether or not they choose to be a POSER!!! You would think that honor would keep a band from turning gay, but apparently they don't have a problem with it.
Do you feel that Death and Black Metal bands have it more difficult to gain recognition compared to those who play other types of metal? Heavy, Industrial, etc.)
Not necessarily! I think the bands from all these genres, including Black and Death Metal, get a comparable amount of recognition in their own respective scene; it's just that some of it has been polluted by commercialism and dollar amounts, so, of course the big record companies try to reach a bigger audience. But then again I guess that's all part of it.
What do you think about the Internet and the way bands can promote themselves these days?
I think that bands, especially in the underground, should use all means available to promote themselves. The more a band does for itself the more respect they deserve, which is a big part of the underground scene.
You have a couple of songs on Mp3. Will you be offering any more to attract new fans?
We'll be putting up a few songs from the new CD soon. Mp3.com is a great forum for checking out new stuff. We'll be putting up at least two new tracks shortly to give people a good idea of what's on the new record.
Do you think you're attracting new fans or are you pretty much catering for the ones who have been with you from the beginning?
Both Really. Every show we play somebody comes up and says "Man, you guys kill!!!", and they're fans for life, and all the people who have been into us for years are never disappointed with each successive release.
Have you gotten any gifts from fans? Which would you say would be the coolest or weirdest?
Not really! I've gotten a few pieces of jewelry, T-shirts, a shitload of CD's, but nothing really of substance.
When you guys began writing for the new CD what did you hope to achieve? Do you believe you've accomplished that?
We wanted to continue in true BLACK MASS style. 'Voices Of Fate' reflects where BLACK MASS is at 100 percent. None of our fans will be disappointed; in fact, no fan of blistering, evil Metal will be disappointed by this release. It's our most intense to date.
Are you pleased with the current record sales or will there be more promoting?
There will always be more promoting. We want every Metalhead to hear our stuff; we're very proud of our work. The sales have been good as well as the response to all our releases. We're currently entertaining the idea of re-releasing both our previous CD's as well as some demo material. We also plan to do a split CD with Pessimist sometime in the near future.
What is your take on people burning CDs?
We don't really have a problem with that. When I was a kid I taped a lot of stuff off my friends, and that's how I was even exposed to a lot of music. If someone has the money to buy a CD by a band he likes, then by all means buy it to support the band and their future releases, but if you're broke, fuck it! Copy it from one of your friends. Support the scene any way you can.
Who designs your CD artwork and who has the final word on what actually goes on the album cover? Does it have any special meaning?
The artwork for the new album was done by Dusty Vorhauer and the layout was done by Roger J. Beaujard of Mortician. We have the final word on every aspect of any release. If the label doesn't like something, we find something we can all agree will be the best, but we never do anything we don't at least accept.
Have you thought about getting on a Compilation CD such as WWIII, the Identity series, or even by playing a tribute to one of your favorite bands?
We'd be into anything like that. Although we've been on some compilations overseas, we haven't had any offers to be on any of the tributes yet. But as I said, we would be into anything to help get our music heard.
Noticeably, your lyrics are very strong and straightforward in content. I have just recently read an article (on anus.com) about boycotting Christian metal. What are your feelings about that? What does "Metal" actually mean to you?
I don't really care what people are into; I'm way too selfish to worry about that. The thing that I think is funny is that x-tian-rock is pretty much only for x-tians, so who exactly will be the ones to boycott it? haha...it would definitely be funny though.
I have just recently heard some heavy criticism from a metal fan who finds that Black metal is no longer acceptable because the satanic content most albums have. As an atheist he sees this as a form of religion. What's your take on this?
It amazes me how terrified some people are of the Devil. I personally think that fear of Satan is absolutely ridiculous. God is the only one I've ever heard about destroying the world. If you want to be afraid, fear the x-tian zealots and their human-hating deity.
How is the music and being The Evil One connected with the person you are? Is your band image a reflection of you or completely separate?
I've been The Evil One of BLACK MASS for close to 16 years now, and I definitely believe that it's an unshakable part of my life, which suits me just fine. I don't actually go out and fuck nuns in the ass, but it's fun to think about sometimes.
What are the future plans of your band?
More Unholy Goat Metal!!! By all means!!!
How is your latest album different compared to your previous ones?
There is definitely a progression. We're influenced all the time by different stuff we hear. Also, we've gotten better on our respective instruments, but the feel is still the same as it has always been. The Metal is cold and vengeful, and forged in the fires of Hell. The only difference is that it's new.
When will we see a new CD? What label will you be using? What are you hoping to achieve?
We're hoping to have 'Voices Of Fate' released in January 2003. We're currently negotiating with Elegy Records for this release, but we still remain open to other offers. Elegy released our last CD, 'To Fly With Demons' and we were really pleased with the recognition that CD brought us, as well as the promotion we got from Elegy. But, as I say, we are always open to offers.
Could you tell us a little about the lyrical concept for your latest album?
Satan, Evil, Demons, Sex, Magick...etc. Your parents definitely won't like it; neither will God.
Black metal is still a rather limited genre that generally doesn't attract large crowds. Do you think this is the fate of extreme music for all future?
It comes and goes. I can remember Morbid Angel on Headbangers ball...hahaha. Sepultura as guests on MTV...& before that, Judas Priest playing arena shows. Metal hasn't gone away in over 35 years, so I'm sure it will get "big" again, but that will also bring a fuckload of posers with it. We'll have to see.
What kind of books do you read? Any good books you would like to mention?
The Satanic Bible of course. I'm a big fan of Anton LaVey. I read a lot of science fiction and horror novels, too. We're mostly into movies though, especially if the gore scenes are good and some bimbo gets naked just in time to get hacked up in front of Satan.
How do you see yourself as a role model (or idol) to many young people who listen to and who get into your music?
HaHaHa...that's funny!!! I don't really think about it. I would suppose that's it would be better to idolize BLACK MASS than some baggy-pants-hop-hop horseshit nu-metal faggots though. I suppose one could gain some inspiration from the history of this band, in that we've never strayed from our roots and after all these years the dedication is starting to pay off. My best advice to a kid who wants to succeed in music is to NEVER STOP DOING IT!!! If you quit you'll never have a chance.
How is the metal scene where you guys are at? Is it pretty active or acontinuous struggle?
Sucks!!! Pay-to-Play bullshit; a lot of clubs have closed. So much shit-talking between bands...no unity. Hopefully it gets better, but for now it sucks. There have a been a few killer shows of late though, and it seems that a lot of the false metal has been weeded out, but it always goes in cycles. We'll see.
Any last words to fans?
Look for 'Voices Of Fate' soon!!! Check us out on the web at www.usblackmass.com. No fan of Searing Satanic Metal will be disappointed!!!
Don't give in to the x-tian LIE!!! Remember... HAIL SATAN... HAIL THYSELF!!! "The God you save may be yourself".
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