Interview with bassist and vocalist Leatherface Perkele
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: December 23, 2020
Satan Worship is an international trio that consists of three devoted and experienced musicians who have earned their spurs in such bands as Sodomizer, Morgoth, Thy Rites, Destruction, etc. The band's founding member, Leatherface Perkele, moved from Rio de Janeiro to Berlin, Germany, in 2014. Their debut album, I'm the Devil, was released by Germany's Iron Shield Records in March 2017 and received a good amount of positive attention from metalheads worldwide. They played a bunch of cool shows, like Metal Magic Festival Vol. X in Fredericia, Denmark in July 2018). The band's follow-up album, Teufelssprache, was recorded with the current lineup and featured eight songs plus a cover of Sepultura's "Antichrist." This album was put out by another respected German underground label, Folter Records, and fed the band's fire. However, no record release party was arranged due to Covid-19.
The Metal Crypt was eager to check in with these guys about how this sad year of 2020 has been treating them and if they have made any plans for 2021.
The band's main evil soul and spirit, Mr. Leatherface Perkele, took the time to answer all of our curious questions, so read on...
So, how's life in corona-ridden Berlin these days?
Leatherface: These have been the craziest times for sure!! We need to be patient and wait until there are vaccines that will protect us humans against the virus. The thing is that all the diseases and plagues that have raged among humans have been solved by science and medicines that come as a result of it. I know everybody is tired of this worldwide lockdown and the virus, but Covid-19 still wants to hold us humans in its tight grip, unfortunately.
What made you move to Berlin from Rio de Janeiro back in 2014?
Leatherface: I was never connected with Brazil. Brazil's climate is a bit too warm for my taste. The country is corrupt and has stupid religious people so it was for me easy to leave all that shit behind and move to Berlin. I am doing very well here, and Germany is my new home country now.
How have you been enjoying your life in Berlin? Do you like the local underground scene there?
Leatherface: It's totally different and the local underground scene here in Berlin is much better. Shows, different events, festivals, art exhibitions, etc. are being arranged all the time. Berlin does not feel like a 100% German city. It's very cosmopolitan, like London. You have all the kitchens of the world over here, every district is different, and you really live and breathe culture. Of course, there's a lot of underground Metal culture here in Berlin, too. Rio de Janeiro is a dead city nowadays as far as underground Metal is concerned. Up until the middle of the '90s we had a strong Metal scene with lots of underground magazines, a lot of metal stores and good Metal venues, radio channels broadcasting Metal music, but all that has, unfortunately, changed now. This whole metal culture is really dead down there now.
Satan Worship is your new band with Marc "Speedy" Reign and Max "The Nekromancer." Can you enlighten us when you got the idea to form this band and how you originally teamed up with each other?
Leatherface: We need to go back to the year 2011 when I wrote some riffs for a song "The Girls of Manson Family", at my friend's house in Denmark (Azter, the guitar player of Denial of God). At that time, I was on tour with my other band Sodomizer (our first European tour). After that tour, I went back to Brazil and wrote a lot of new tracks and recorded a demo tape titled Poison and Blood in 2015. In 2017, we released our debut album, I'm the Devil. We did our first show here in Berlin, which happened at Club K-17 (which is now called Nuke Club). Marc Reign (Morgoth drummer, ex-Destruction) saw us playing there and told us if we needed a drummer, he would join us (we had played shows with a hired drummer). After a little while, we cemented our lineup with me on vocals and bass, Max "The Nekromancer" on guitar and Marc on the drums. With this lineup, we recorded our second album, Teufelssprache.
DESTROYING ALL THAT'S HOLY
Would you say that all of you were on the same page when it came down to what this band should be all about, both musically and image-wise?
Leatherface: People seem to get shocked by our band name and I don't know why. Either you take us too seriously, like real devil worshippers, or just enjoy a bloody satanik adventure with us. We play satanik Metal and our lyrics are based on evil and unholy topics. There are so many weak people around the world these days. People should be stronger and speak the truth. We want to hurt this new cunt generation of weak people, we are going to destroy all the bricks, one by one, from their hypocritical pussy and weak temples.
What bands could you cite as the biggest influences and/or inspirations for Satan Worship? I think I am not totally wrong if I mention such names as Venom, early Bathory, Motörhead, early Sodom, and early Sepultura?
Leatherface: Yes, those bands without a doubt and also Carnivore, Danzig, Black Sabbath, GG Allin, Murder Junkies, Genocide, NME, and Indestroy, too.
How important are the lyrics and the themes you are dealing with, from Satan to death to Rock 'n' Roll lifestyle?
Leatherface: I can tell you the lyrics are very important and mean a lot to me personally. One of the main reasons I formed this band was I wanted the lyrics to connect with the songs more strongly. With Sodomizer, we created a monster of its own kind, just talking about horror movies, porn, and depravity. It all came very naturally for us and I think it would not be cool if I changed the lyrical themes in Sodomizer after so many years. So, Satan Worship was born out of my need to speak about serial killers, satanism, necromancy, and whatever my twisted mind wanted to bring up lyrically. These lyrical themes were a strong reason for why I gave birth to my new beast—Satan Worship that is.
OF SERIAL KILLERS AND OTHER SICKOS
"Leatherface Perkele" is your artist name and, being the Finn that I am, it's very easy for me to relate to the latter name "Perkele", which means the Devil in Finnish. I am kind of curious to know how you adopted the name.
Leatherface: Nicknames are very normal in Metal and especially in this style of underground Metal music. I just adopted my name from my favorite horror movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. "Leatherface" is the badass redneck killer with the chainsaw who slaughtered the fucking hippies who invaded his house to steal fuel. I got "Perkele" from the Finnish language as it's no secret that I love the Finnish language and Finland for sure. My first show in Europe was at the Black Flames of Blasphemies II festival in Finland in 2011. Ever since I have been in love with Finland. By using the name "Perkele" I want to express my passion and love for this great land and its fucking badass bands, too.
You wrote a song about John Paul Knowles, known as "The Casanova Killer," among other names, who was an American serial killer that took the lives of at least 20 people in 1974. What's your personal fixation with Paul and why did you write a song about him, titled "The Last Days of John Paul Knowles"?
Leatherface: I knew his story because of the artist Joe Coleman. He is an American painter, and he makes a little comic book about the life of some crazy dudes and serial killers, too. I bought this comic book in Brazil and read about the Casanova murders and some crimes that he committed, and how he met his death (he was shot by police). He was like a wild animal without control and I think the song about him is full of energy and sounds fucking evil. It's just a perfect song for metal maniacs to bang their heads and act wild to at our shows for sure.
You have other songs about infamous characters in criminal history, such as Charles Manson and Zodiac Killer. How do you see these people in your eyes?
Leatherface: I do not agree with the Manson crimes, but he was a survivor, growing up in so many prisons. After he abandoned so-called "normal society," he became homeless and formed this Manson Family around him with white trash scum, giving them reason to live and to have some focus in their lives. This part of him was great. Unfortunately, the racial war paranoia made him jump into this void of crimes and he ended up living in prison.
Zodíac was a typical case of when smart people turn themselves to the dark side. As for Zodiac, the whole series of murders are still a mystery to this very day, and nobody knows who committed them (the killer's identity remains unknown). The important, million-dollar question is WHY? This murderer, Zodiac, achieved a lot of sick cult status and eventually inspired many bands, moviemakers, and TV series. For me, since I started Satan Worship, I kind of knew that I should write about him. Unfortunately, this guy was never caught and yes, his sick mind surely is exciting and worth investigating for criminology students, no doubt.
How did you end up signing with Iron Shield and how did your cooperation work out with the label that released your debut album, I'm the Devil?
Leatherface: Yes, we signed a deal with Iron Shield Records to release our album, I'm the Devil, and I have to say they did great work with both formats (CD and LP). I had known the label boss, Thomas "Duck" Dargel, from when I played my first show here in Berlin and it also was my first show in Germany. He is a good friend of mine, a true metalhead, and has always sold Sodomizer releases on his label, so our deal to work together came naturally.
As I understand, you are still a member of Sodomizer and Hellkommander, so my next question is related to your time management. How do you split your time between all of these bands?
Leatherface: First off, with Sodomizer we will have a show coming up at the Metal Magic Fest in Denmark next year. Also, we have plans to enter the studio to record our new album when we have dealt with some comings and goings that we have with Satan Worship. Hellkommander is kind of hibernating now, same with Sodomizer. We do have songs ready for the latter and we will record as soon as possible and will play some shows in Europe again. It's completely ok for me to share my time with all of these bands. It's just about organizing things carefully and making a master plan for every band.
Your second album is titled Teufelssprache. Why this German album title?
Leatherface: Good question. I guess living here in Germany has had an impact on why I chose that title, but actually the true inspiration came from a book by Clive Barker, The Scarlet Gospels. It's an infernal language of hell in the Cenobites' universe. I love horrors movies and authors like Clive Barker, Stephen King, Suehiro Maruo, and so on. So, in other words, it's kind of natural for me to be inspired by the horror movies and literature that all have had an influence on the lyrics of my songs.
PLACES TO GO IN BERLIN
Doing gigs is, of course, darn difficult these days due to the pandemic. However, I would like to know what the club scene is like in Berlin for underground Metal gigs? What are some of the Metal clubs that you could recommend for a casual metalhead tourist as places worth visiting?
Leatherface: We have many clubs over here, many to choose from for shows and festivals, many gig promoters, etc. Most bands that come to play over here are out from Berlin. The thing is if you arrange a gig together with some local bands, unfortunately, there's not much attendance to these shows over here, but whenever you make a show with a band that comes from outside of this city, every local band tries to open up a gig with them and the attendance is far better. But yes, the underground Metal scene here in Berlin is pretty strong and we have shows and events here almost every day. Some good venues that I recommend are Nuke Club, Koepi, Blackland, also many Metal pubs like Rockcafé Halford and Franken. And if you go around the city by walking, you can see gig posters on every corner advertising both future and past events. This city never sleeps, there's always something happening.
SHOWS IN 2021?
Have you been discussing gigs for the band in 2021 or do you want to see how this virus pandemic develops in the coming months?
Leatherface: When talking about 2021, with Sodomizer we have the Metal Magic Festival coming up as I mentioned earlier. With Satan Worship, we will have a gig here in Berlin next year with Nocturnal. After that, we will also do the Under the Black Sun festival here in Germany and then we have 13 dates with Fábio Jhasko, who is an ex-Sarcófago guitar player playing old stuff from the first four Sarcófago albums, in Europe in November. But then again, if this annoying Covid-19 is still raging around Europe next year, we may cancel or postpone some of these gigs that we have planned.
Have you been thinking of entering the studio to record the band's third full-length album? What about shooting a couple of videos for promotional purposes?
Leatherface: We are recording some demos for our next album for sure. We don't know 100% yet whether we will enter the studio to record our new album this year or the beginning of 2022. I guess it depends on whether this global virus pandemic will be under control by then and also our financial situation. What is certain is I am still composing new songs and writing lyrics and recording some demos. A clip from "Mass Murder" and lyric videos from "Satanik Werewolves", "Antichrist" and "La Catedral" have been made to promote the new album Teufelssprache. All of these videos can be found on our label's (Folter Records) channel, plus our official channel on YouTube (www.youtube.com/channel/UC_QPiikK4GCE1hDP7t0pdLA/videos), so if you maniacs want to watch our videos, live shows and listen to our songs, just come to our channel and subscribe it. We will start working on new videos when our new album is ready, that's for sure.
The lyric video for "Antichrist" that you did a while ago, looked really cool, in my opinion. Why did you choose to make a lyric video for this cover of that legendary Sepultura song instead of doing one of your own songs?
Leatherface: Thanks for your nice words! Yes, I agree the video came out very cool. It was made by a girl from Brazil. Her name is Gabby Vessoni. She is very talented and works hard and as fast as a shark. I chose to make this cover because I love Sepultura's first two releases, Bestial Devastation and Morbid Visions. I think people should respect both of these masterpieces more. I believe we did respect the original version and added our own personal touch of evil to it. I am very happy with the version we made and the response that we have been getting from metal maniacs all around the world. Jairo, the original guitar player from Sepultura, listened to it and liked it as well. Now I should bring it to the attention of Wagner Antichrist (Sarcófago fame) because he wrote the lyrics for this song. We also put out the lyric video for "La Catedral", we have a clip made for "Mass Murder" and another lyric video for "Satanik Werewolves." All of these songs are from our new album Teufelssprache and are also available on our channel.
Are you ever homesick? Do you miss anything from your hometown now that you have been living your life in Berlin for the last six years or so?
Leatherface: Well, the worst part is the business I lost there in Brazil and this means less money to live and invest in my projects. Also, many things have been postponed for the next year, unfortunately. At home I watch movies and YouTube channels, something that I like and follow, and I draw, play, read a lot, etc. We have amazing parks here with forests, so I can go to nature, go to the lakes, so it's not so bad. The worst part is the shows that cannot be done at the moment. No bands can play shows at the moment. I just got my money back from a Terrorizer show I had bought a ticket for, and I also have my ticket for a Nick Cave show that should happen in 2021. However, the worst part is no one knows if it's gonna happen or not. So, like you said, I have been living here in Berlin for the six past years. I really love Germany and it has become my new homeland and Berlin my new hometown. I have to admit that I really just miss my parents, friends, and food from Brazil.
I guess we have reached the end of this pleasant chat, so I sincerely want to thank you, Mr. Leatherface Perkele, for taking your time with my questions and wish you all the best with all of your future endeavors with the band. If you have anything else you'd like to mention for the fans of your bands and/or the readers of The Metal Crypt, then by all means be my guest...
Leatherface: Thanks a lot to you, Luxi, for the opportunity and your smart questions! You really know and love all the work you do for The Metal Crypt I see. We are just an underground band and it was my pleasure to answer your cool and intelligent questions.
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