Originally published in ‘zine issue #19, 1997
Now it’s time for another Deceased interview. I haven’t done one in a long while. The band has a new album out on Relapse called Fearless Undead Machines, a concept record based loosely on the Night of the Living Dead movies and their imitators. It’s very, very good. The production is excellent, and the songs are epic in their delivery. It’s a very classic, old metal record, but contemporary at the same time. Here below, Mike, one of the guitar players, answers my questions.
D.U.: Your sound has changed by leaps and bounds over the years. How would you say your musical/lyrical direction has altered since recording The Blueprints For Madness, other than the obvious “less death, more 100 percent metal” approach?
Mike: Well, I believe we have progressed musically because time forces you to. The longer you are together, the better you become at writing songs and playing your instrument. I’m not sure I agree with your comment, “less death, more 100 percent metal,” as that has really always been us. We are a death metal band because of our concepts and lyrics, not by riffs, I think. That, to me, defines a band: Satanic lyrics = black metal; lyrics dealing with death = death metal. We will not distance ourselves from the term “death metal” just because of its association with awful bands like Broken Hope and their ilk. So we are 100 percent a death metal band.
Metal has become slightly more, shall we say acceptable, the last year or so. Many say it’s making a comeback in the mainstream. Your thoughts?
If metal is becoming more acceptable, I don’t see it. But I also isolate myself from the mainstream. When I worked at a record store, I was forced to be aware of what was going on in the world, but now I pay no attention. Any press I read is from Europe, so that’s where I get my news. What I define as metal will not make a strong comeback, and that’s just because it’s a younger generation and what they call metal is not what I call it. Mainstream metal in the U.S. is Marilyn Manson, not Iron Maiden. Those glory days are gone, and they ain’t coming back. It is true that “traditional” metal is enjoying a period of popularity right now, but if anyone thinks that the next big music trend is the return of metal, I’m sorry to say they’re very wrong.
When we last spoke, I prodded you for your thoughts on the state of the underground scene or lack thereof. Now it’s time for round two. Let’s hear it.
I’m afraid I’m not going to come out fighting for round two. I’m just not really interested in the underground. All my favorite bands hover above the underground status. I’m just not interested in listening to a band’s demo or rehearsal tape. It’s all fuckin’ boring to me. I want to listen to a proper release with good sound and packaging. I’m not down on music at all—I think the last couple of years have been amazing for new music—it’s just that my underground grew up and moved above ground a bit. I just pulled out the latest issue of S.O.D. and looked at the demo section. Why the fuck would I ever want to hear a band called “Shredded Corpse” or “Murder God”? It’s really silly. They should all go away!
Closing comments sparked by the previous questions?
It was nice to talk to you again, Rich. Thank you for your years of support. If you like metal, then buy our new album, Fearless Undead Machines. It’s Deceased with a great sound for the first time ever! ■