Interview with Erik Lindmark
Interview conducted by Barbara Williams (Crowley)
Date online: July 9, 2003
Deeds of Flesh had come on tour to El Paso, Texas and Erik was nice enough to give me some of time to do this interview with me. My thanks and gratitude go out to Erik and a big "Hailz" to Deeds of Flesh who gave a kick ass performance!
Hello and welcome to El Paso!
Jacoby, you and Joey formed Deeds of Flesh in '93. What had been your former bands you'd been in?
Well, the way we formed was that I was in another band called Charlie Christ at the time and Jacoby and Joey were in a band called THC, and I was being held back by my drummer because he wasn't playing fast enough, you know, blah, blah, blah. Jacoby and Joey were being held back in their band because they were a whole different style that they wanted to play, so we saw Joey's talent, how fast he was, and everything like that, and we decided to form Deeds of Flesh. "Like, screw these bands. Let's get together and do our own thing." And as soon as we decided that, the other bands are like, "We can't even screw with what you guys are doing." And we're so down to doing the other stuff, but they decided to fall apart and both bands put out CDs and stuff but a lot of them weren't as professionally into it as me and Jacoby and Joey were with Deeds of Flesh and the best of the two bands before we formed Deeds of Flesh.
Your success is remarkable. After but three months you released Gradually Melted under various labels and bypassed a demo altogether. To what do you contribute your success?
Basically, just sticking with it and when we first put out Gradually Melted, we gave away as many CDs as possible: radio stations, distributors, record labels and did as many interviews as we could do and that was it: just giving ourselves away for free, playing as many shows as we can, and from there it just kind of blossomed and we just stuck with it and that's basically it, though, just giving away the stuff for free, you know, to get the name out there.
That's pretty cool. Do you have a decent metal station where you're from?
Yeah. We have a good friend of ours, Steve Miller; he used to do Extremities Productions and he used to do Repulse Records USA, and he had a good station out where we are and then the L.A. stations promoted us and then the San Francisco ones, and, like I said, everywhere else where we had sent the CDs, they were playing the stuff and that was definitely what boosted Deeds, if anything.
Yeah. That helps a lot. We used to have a metal station here, too—nothing left!!! Unless you wanna go on Christian radio now, so…
No, we're just playing Deeds…
Many bands would kill to have gotten several offers to produce two of their next albums within two after their start. Do you feel privileged or do you feel it was due to your own ambitions?
Definitely our own ambitions. Like I said, we just stuck with it and six months after we recorded Gradually Melted, we did Trading Pieces and we try to put out an album like every year and a half or so, that's what we do. Sometimes it takes two years, but due to drummer changes and things like that. But, no, we just stuck with it and it was definitely our ambition to do it.
You had a bit of a line-up change in recent years. Is your band pretty stable now and how do you think it had affected Deeds?
The only major changes that we had were the drummers, but I wouldn't say it affected us changing our style or anything because the drummers we had were very extreme and we're really particular about being very tight and clean. But the line-up now that we have, me, Jacoby, and, Mike, is definitely solid because the drummers had always been our problem.
Deeds has quite a record in touring. What have been some of your most memorable experiences going on tour? Where would you love to return?
I would definitely say that Brazil was very good, San Paulo, I'd love to go back there. Canada is always huge for us, and Germany.
Germany is very good. Yeah, we do the "Fuck the Commerce Festival" out there.
Super. In what city is that held?
It was in Schwaben, the first one we did, and then we did the last one—I can't remember the name of the city, but it was really good.
I'd had the privilege to do an interview with Colin Davis of Vile who is a kick-ass band as well. Now Mike is with Deeds. Why did he decide to leave Vile?
Because kind of the same reason why me and Jacoby and Joey left our bands in the beginning. Because he felt he was being held back because they weren't really doing anything and he wanted to play more extreme and they told him to slow down. He knew we needed a drummer because Joey, when he came back and did The Path of the Weakening Hour, it was like a favor to us. And we'd always been friends with Joey even though he left. It was due to jobs; he couldn't tour. So we had to find someone else. But, no, it was just because of the band he felt that they weren't doing as much as he wanted to do. And he knew we're just always on it. So that's why he joined us.
You have also had Jim Tkacz from Vile play guitar for you. Did the Vile "style" influence Deeds of Flesh or has it always been easy to maintain a completely unique style?
I've always done all the writing for guitars and musical [arrangements] and all the vocals and stuff, so, no, we haven't been influenced by Vile at all because we don't tell Mike what to do but me, Jacoby and Mike we do the drum work when we put together the drum patterns and pieces and we all work together. "Try this; try this; don't do that; do that…" But, no, we definitely stuck with our own style.
I read on your website that you may be putting out a DVD this coming year. How sure is that at this time? What might we expect to see?
It's for sure. Five bands are done right now and we're gonna do all the bands on the label and Robby K. from Disavowed is the one who's doing it because that's what he does for a living over there in Holland and it came out really, really good, and by 2003 it'll be done. The editing, the video editing, takes so long. It's a long process, but we're just waiting for all the bands to get done and we're releasing it.
You did a killer show in El Paso with Cannibal Corpse and Malevolent Creation. After having toured all over the world, this is a pretty humble place. What made you accept the tour?
We had been here once before with the Bloodletting tour which we booked and this tour we didn't have any say about. But glad we did come here again because tonight was off the hinges. I mean, people were really into it and of course when people are into it we get more into it. And, I'm glad we came here, for sure.
How do you get the inspiration for writing your lyrics?
The lyrics are definitely the toughest. I mean, we try not to be corny and cheesy and to have good lyrics that a must to music. That's really tough because we don't ever want to be sounding corny or anything like that and we sing about different conditions for the human kind, you know, everything is real. There are no fake lyrics or anything like that. We hit all kinds of topics. We're not just a gore band or a suicide band or total fake "just cut up your Mom and eat your dog" kind of thing, but, no, the lyrics are definitely the hardest. Writing riffs and stuff like that—I've been into metal since Motorhead, Metallica, Exodus, Slayer, Kreator, Destruction, and it all just blossomed from there. A lot of that old school speed metal stuff—definitely is an influence on me but new stuff as well but I'm really into the more intricate writing like Gorguts, Suffocation, stuff like that and old Destruction's Release from Agony, but I love guitar—I think it's no problem for me. I just sit down and play and come up with all kinds stuff.
And you just answered my next question: Who would you say has musically been your greatest influence?
I have so many influences, though, it all goes back. I couldn't even name ten or twenty. I wouldn't wanna point out any specific.
How do you compare the death metal scene here in the States and in Europe?
The scene here for black metal is definitely slow and overseas it's a lot bigger except for bands like Immortal, Marduk, bands like that, that are from here that come over here that get a good response, but I think it's really hard for American black metal bands to get started because the whole European thing and it seems like black metal bands and the people in a band all have a different kind of different kind of attitude in a way of looking at their style of music than the death metal and extreme metal bands. It's more of a unity in Extreme metal and death metal where black metal—I sense more competition, you know. It's better for Cannibal, Malevolent, Macabre. Cephalic unfortunately didn't make it tonight because their van broke down. But, you know, we're all bros; we help each other out, when we play up on stage, "what do you need? What can I get you? Do you need help?" It's definitely better here, which is killer!
What things do you enjoy doing in your spare time--when you're not touring, you're not playing, or working? What do you like to do?
That's all I do, actually. When I'm not playing I'm doing band stuff like that all day. So that basically takes up most of my spare time. I play ice hockey when I can. And just playing my shit, drinking with my buddies… The usual stuff.
And I always ask that one, of most bands, anyway. Have you gotten any gifts from fans? Any that stand out?
Yes, I think the most killer thing that we got was a painting. It was a collage done by this girl from Japan that she painted with a stick and watercolors and she had collaged the Trading Pieces cover of us and Gradually Melted and Inbreeding. She mixed everything together. She just gave it to us and she started to do another and I had seen how long it takes and the technique and I was blown away by that. That's the coolest thing we'd gotten.
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?
Yeah. I totally agree. I mean, all these people like in this scene say, "Oh, I don't wanna be preached to about God, and this and that," and, you know, it's like "well, I don't wanna be preached to about Satan either because I don't care about really either one. I mean, I believe in a higher power, blah, blah, but I wouldn't wanna be preached to about anything, especially music, so I agree in that sense. I mean, the satanic thing—it's been done so many times and you know: who cares? Basically, I don't really understand the point of it; it's like "religion to yourself, what you believe", you know? That's the way I feel.
You picture your new guitar with pride, made by Ryan Regas Custom guitars. How do you pick your instruments? Do you have endorsements?
Yeah. I have a Jackson endorsement also. This is obviously another guitar company, but this is a custom guitar company that you see in the pictures that decided to pick us up and actually all of Unique Leader guitar players and yeah, I'm picking it up in three days, so I'm stubbed. Can't wait.
How do you see yourself as a role model or idol to many young people who listen to and who get into your music?
To me that's like super flattering because I mean we're really humble and if people were to tell that I'd really don't know how to react to that. For me, to be on tour with Cannibal Corpse right now is like—I still have to think about it because about nine years ago when I'm in the front row, head-banging to them and never would expect to on tour with them. And now to be on tour with them and to hang out, like I said, they're bros now, it's really cool, so…we're real humble about that.
Well, you know you that is some way you do influence people. Rock stars do. (smiles)
I don't wanna…no, I ain't no rock star.
People follow you.
Yeah, no, it's just super flattering; it's totally flattering when people tell me that.
Any good books you'd like to recommend?
You know what, I've only read but two books in my life. (LOL)
Ok, what are they? I wanna know. Black Beauty? (laughs)
No, no, no, no (more laughs) But one of them I can totally recommend. It's Thinner by Steven King.
Movies, eh, I'm just not into movies either.
Thank for so much for the interview and thanks for coming out to El Paso. Hope to see you here again.
Thank you for the support.
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