Deceased interview

After Nick Teta Jr. and I prepared some questions at the last minute (as usual), we sat down with Mark Adams and Mike Smith, both lead guitarists for Deceased. Before the band went on in Sterling, Virginia, in June, the three of them did an interview next to some police cars in front of the Sterling Annex.

D.U.: First question: what ever happened to the East Coast tour with Razor and Sacrifice?

Mark: Oh [pause] the big problem with that was immigration. I mean, we had to get immigration visas and shit like that, you know? And it takes months for anybody to do it, but it’s harder if you’re not an established promoter. And when I tried to do that, I wasn’t.

Mike: It’s not as easy to get a visa that way, because you have to get a working visa, ‘cause you’re actually making money. Like when I travel around the world and shit to visit my parents when they’re in a different country, it’s easier for me ‘cause I just get a visit visa, but if you’re actually gonna work and make money, it takes longer. It’s hard to do.

Mark: I mean, established promoters can do that, because they got more money and whatnot, you know. And if the record label’s willing to pay for an immigration attorney, then that makes it a lot quicker. Other than that, it’s a three-month wait. We coulda snuck them over, you know, through the border and let them play on our equipment, but I dunno. It just never materialized. What we’re waiting for is Razor to get their album out, but so far it’s only released in Canada.

When’s the new [Deceased] album coming out?

Mark: Hopefully next month. [laugh]

Mike: It’s close now, though. It’s close.

Mark: We’re waiting for the record label’s lawyers to finish drafting [the contract].

Mike: Supposedly it’s done. I talked to Matt from Relapse two days ago, and it’s done. We should have it this week. But we have to go over it with, I guess she’s our manager, Ann up in Philly, make sure that we’re not getting screwed.

Mark: Make sure it’s the best thing for both parties, you know?

Mike: Seeing as how Relapse is making money now. Lots of money. You don’t wanna get bogged down being on Relapse when they’re not, like, taking care of you. Maybe they’re putting records out, but they’re not doing anything else, you know.

Are you planning on doing anything else for Relapse Records after the album?

Mark: Well, that’s the type of thing where we gotta take it as it goes. I mean, if they’re doing a lot, and it’s really worthwhile, then, yeah, definitely.

Mike: Matt wanted to do a three-album contract, and when King [Fowley, drums/vocals] talked to him the other day, he said, “Well, maybe a two-album deal would be better, you know, just for now, ‘cause if it’s still cool, we can sign them again.” It was just gonna be an album and EP, but this EP may turn into an album.

Mark: The shaky thing about it is, Relapse is still a relatively new label, you know, so as far as them staying financially up and not going broke and whatnot, it’s a hard thing to see.

What brands of instruments do you play?

Mark: Well, since we play metal, we obviously have to play Charvels through Marshalls and Mesa Boogies. We can’t answer for Les [Snyder, bass] because he doesn’t have equipment. And King plays Tama drums and fucked-up cymbals, you know, whatever it is.

Mike: The stickers give it the sound.

Do you think that D.C. has its own sound, like as in the Florida sound or the Bay Area sound?

Mike: Well, yeah, but a lot that has to do with studios. The Florida sound is because of Morrisound, and, you know, it’s super trendy for every band to go record at Morrisound. They all want it to sound like the Death Leprosy album. That’s why, y’know? When you have that many bands from an area, they all rub off on each other. You can have similar, like, riffs and stuff, but if you all record at the same place, it’s gonna sound that much more alike.

Mark: I think that it’s got its own sound, pretty much. I mean, there’s not a whole lot of bands around, but I think it’s identifiable.

How far is too far to play a show?

Mike: It all depends, you know? Like, we had a fight about this last night after practice. We might try to get on that Milwaukee festival bill, and King was dead set against it for reasons like, well, drive all that way for 22 bands; he didn’t like the bands, so he didn’t feel like we should be playing with these bands. And our argument was, well, fuck that, who cares about the other bands, they could be dicks and all, but it’s promotion. But he had a point that it’s 22 bands, each band’s only gonna get 20 minutes, there’s a chance you might not even get to play, well, that’s too far to go for a show. Eighteen hours not to play, that’s a hella drive.

Mark: Plus, you just gotta weigh the plusses and the minuses.

Mike: If we had known beforehand that Chicago woulda been no promotion, low turnout, and no money, we mighta said, “Fuck it, we’re not gonna do Chicago.” But we actually did it. It was great, just because we were playing with the gods Repulsion, and it was like a practice. We were hanging out. The people that mattered were the guys from Sindrome, the important people, they just came to hang out. The people that were there were, like, totally into it. They knew the words to the songs, so it made it worth it, you know? But if we’d looked at it beforehand, it’d been like, “We’re not gonna get any money. Why go all the way out to Chicago?”

If a venue offered you to open for a popular band you hate musically and/or personally, would you do it anyway?

Mike: I’d do it. I’m not gonna lie.

Mark: We’ve done it before.

Mike: If you ask King Fowley that question, he’d say no. [laugh] But, you know, I don’t care who the band is. I can hate Sepultura because they’re assholes, and I can not like their music, but I’ll play with them, just because who cares, you know? You’re playing for a lotta people who’ll want to see you, and it’s exposure.

Mark: Yeah, I mean, if you’re gonna be picky about, “Well, personally I don’t like these guys’ music,” or anything like that, you nitpick for reasons why you don’t like them, you’re short-changing yourself. It all depends on, like, the type of music and whatnot, you know? We wouldn’t play with, you know, Scatterbrain or something like that.

Mike: I’m not talking about a show like, you know, Fraidy Cat, because that’s no purpose in that. That’s playing to a crowd that’s not into your type of music. I’m talking about death metal.

Songs such as “Industrial Tumor,” why did you drop these songs from the live set?

Mark: That one, I dunno, we just felt that it was a weak song, you know? And we just had better ones to come up with. We got “A Tolerance for Horror,” that’s a new one. Uh, “Robotic Village.” We’re working on a new one called “Blueprints for Madness.” What we wanna do is, like, play a lot more old songs that we haven’t played in a long time eventually, like “Worship the Coffin” and stuff like that.

Do you have anything to say to the kids when the interview comes out?

Mike: Yeah. Death metal’s getting really trendy now, and suddenly it’s like the in thing again. Mark and I have gone through scenes and scenes and scenes, y’know?

Mark: Back when it was just, like, heavy metal. It was just hard rock taken a step above, you know?

Mike: Don’t get caught up in, like, “Death metal’s the only thing.”

Mark: Like it because you like it. I mean, don’t be afraid to tell someone that you like a band that everyone else hates.

Mike: I’m sorry we still love Iron Maiden and all those bands, but we started out with that stuff.

Mark: Yeah, if you like it, then say so, but don’t just limit yourself. ‘Cause other types of music got a lot to offer. And [pause] thanks for the interview. It was very cool. ■


Originally published in ‘zine issue #1, 1991


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