Forbidden interview with Paul Bostaph and Matt Camacho: From the Vault

Below is a cleaned-up interview that originally appeared in archive ‘zine issue #1 way back in 1991. Enjoy!

I hooked up with Paul Bostaph, the drummer of Forbidden, and Matt Camacho, the bassist, in August of 1990 in Washington, D.C., when the band was touring Twisted Into Form. We sat on a curb outside of the WUST Hall to talk about the band’s history, among other things. For instance, not many people may be aware that Robb Flynn, one of the guitarists for Vio-Lence, used to be in Forbidden before the band signed with Combat Records, back when it was called Forbidden Evil.

Bostaph: “We did a demo tape before our demonstration tape in 1987 with ‘March Into Fire’ on it and everything. We did a tape that had ‘As Good As Dead,’ a song called ‘Next To Die’ on it, which we don’t play anymore. Actually, one of the riffs is on Vio-Lence’s new album. I think it’s on ‘I Profit.’ It’s from ‘Next To Die.’

“Robb pretty much quit the band because we had a little talk, before he quit, right after we did the demo, about what direction the band wanted to take. And we said that we’d like to do something more like what Judas Priest and Iron Maiden have done. I mean, we wanted to have that kind of longevity. We don’t wanna be just a thrash band. And Robb wanted to do things such as Slayer, Exodus, and that’s fine, y’know, but it’s not the direction we wanted to take, because we have a singer we want to use. But he really quit just ‘cause he wanted to do something different.”

Craig Locicero, one of the guitarists of Forbidden, doesn’t like to use the thrash tag when describing his band.

Bostaph: “We don’t consider ourselves a thrash band, but we’re lumped in that category. We’re a heavy metal band; that’s what we consider ourselves. I guess it’s just really left up to the interpretation, because there’s so many sub-categories of categories, and categories of the sub-categories, that it’s getting ridiculous. So I’d just rather not paint ourselves into any given corner.”

Bostaph also wants to avoid being heaped in with the Bay Area thrash bands, such as Exodus.

Bostaph: “They’re the ones that started it. They get excluded from that at times. They were around when Metallica was around. As a matter of fact, Kirk Hammett used to be in Exodus, so, I mean, that tells you something right there. It’s always ‘Metallica did this.’ Well, Exodus did too. They influenced everything. So did Slayer, for that matter. But I don’t want this band to have to live off that label of being a thrash band. We’re trying to depart from that.”

Camacho: “Sometimes the thrash tag isn’t too cool, ‘cause it sounds like trash or something. We’re still heavy and aggressive and, y’know, in that same category pretty much as, like, Testament and Slayer and stuff like that.”

Glen Alvelais replaced Flynn on guitar and has since been replaced by Tim Calvert. Locicero used to slag on Alvelais and his playing ability.

Bostaph: “I think [Locicero’s was] a bleak view of Glen’s talent, which isn’t true. Glen is a really good musician, and he is a good songwriter in his own respect, but, um, he wasn’t in the same musical direction as we were. I have a lot of respect for him as a musician. He’s a great guitar player.”

A lot of people, like me, were shocked by the new record, Twisted Into Form, when it came out, because it was more melodic, or on a different level.

Bostaph: “It’s a progressive step. I know a lot of people, when they first got the album, said, ‘It’s alright. I like the first one [Forbidden Evil] better.’ We have a singer and we’re not afraid to use him. He can sing like anybody he wants to. We can do whatever we want to, really, but we choose to be a more melodic band because, let’s face it, I’m not knocking death metal at all, because there’s a lot of good death metal out there. But how many death metal singers have you heard that sound the same? I mean, every band has their own different quality, but when you get to a certain level, there’s no diversity at times.” ■

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