How Many Serial Killers Does It Take To Screw In A Lightbulb? (Interview with Macabre)

22.04.2001  :: АрхивАрхив интервью Автор: Andrey Kugaevskiy

With the advent of the World Wide Web, we have all been witness to a certain «expansion» within the death metal and grind core genres. With the internet providing an additional avenue of approach for marketing and exposure, we now have access to more music than was previously conceivable. For some bands, the web has been a double-edged sword of sorts. On one hand, they are able to keep fans informed of their progress on a regular basis. This often means better sales, and a lesser possibility of being relegated to «Where Are They Now?» status. On the flipside, the more successful bands can find themselves a bit overwhelmed by the attention. Between zine interviews, label inquiries, and just plain fan mail, musicians may find themselves seriously strapped for time.

With this in mind, we present an interview with Corporate Death of the suburban-Chicago based murder-metal trio known as Macabre. To his credit, the man admits that he’s busy. He submits to several interviews on a daily basis, and I’m sure that answering the same questions time and time again can grate on one’s nerves. But what results is an interview that seems geared toward readers who might be suffering from severe Attention Deficit Disorder. No one was expecting Corporate Death to rattle off a series of highly symbolic parables, or alleghorical social statements. But his nearly monosyllabic answers almost rival the aborted interview that Jim from Lamentations of the Flame Princess attempted with In Flames bassist Peter Iwers. Just a fair warning, my friends…

— (AK) Macabre is a true underground legend well known among all true fans of extreme music, but the whole story behind the band is still a mystery to Russian fans due to severe lack of information. Would you please tell me the whole thing in details — who, where, when, how and why?

— (CD) We started in ’85, recorded our first release «Grim Reality» in ’86 and haven’t stopped since. We play murder metal exclusively now. Our music is diverse but all the lyrics are about different killers.

— (AK) Would you please give me the bios of the band members?

— (CD) I sing and play seven string guitar, they call me Corporate Death. Nefarious plays six string bass and does backing vocals. Dennis The Menace is our drummer. We have always had this same line up and have never broken up.

— (AK) Who invented the name of the band? Was this an unanimous decision of everybody or there were any objections or other variants?

— (CD) I did, I saw the word in the movie «Texas Chainsaw Massacre» and it stuck with me. Years later we decided to use it for our band name.

— (AK) What does the name «Macabre» mean for you? Does it influence the music and the lyrics and if so, how it does?

— (CD) It’s the French word for Death and all we sing about is death.

— (AK) What music have you listened to before Macabre existed?

— (CD) A little bit of everything. From classical, fusion to the most extreme metal and that’s what I still listen to today.

— (AK) Have you ever wondered about what the band would turn into later?

— (CD) The band will always try to progress musically.

— (AK) What was the goal of the band in the beginning and has it ever changed?

— (CD) The goal is to make music that people will enjoy.

— (AK) What were the first comments on the music you were playing?

— (CD) People told us it was the fastest stuff they ever heard.

— (AK) The «Shit List» demo/7″ is a real hard-to-find rarity among extreme music fans — can we ever hope it will be re-released on CD, say, as a bonus tracks?

— (CD) Maybe, you never know.

— (AK) The cover of «Shit List» 7″ is pretty straightforward — were you trying to convey some idea with it or you just used the picture because it was gory and macabre?

— (CD) Gore Records did the cover, it was a very limited release. [Er-r…?! —AK]

— (AK) What was the relationship between you, guys, and Gore Records, the label that issued «Shit List» 7″?

— (CD) He was a big fan of the band.

— (AK) As far as I know, Slatko, the owner of the Gore Records, was found dead soon after «Shit List» 7″ was issued — what was the story behind it and do you think that the sinister aura of Macabre played a part in this death?

— (CD) No, we had no part of that. [This was the first (but not the last) time I was amazed when reading the answers for this interview. —AK]

— (AK) Is there any difference between the demo and 7″ tracks?

— (CD) Nefarious made the tapes and some may have extra tracks.

— (AK) Could you tell me please about where have you issued your debut LP «Grim Reality»?

— (CD) We did it ourselves, 900 copies and Vinyl Solution put it out later on vinyl and CD.

— (AK) The cover of «Grim Reality» is quite interesting and it aroses many questions. First, why have you used the «radioactive» sign and what does this mean to you in general and specifically on this cover?

— (CD) The song «Hot Rods to Hell» is about the Nuclear Destruction of the Earth.

— (AK) There are four different scenes depicted on the cover — would you tell me who are the four murderers there and why it’s them not somebody else?

— (CD) Those are the guys we wrote about on the album, that’s not us. [I didn’t say that it were you guys! —AK]

— (AK) Do you know why the whole «serial killer hymns» thing was such a success?

— (CD) The melodies stick in people’s heads.

— (AK) Do you think that the amount of serial killers is increasing not as rapidly as does the amount of your songs dedicated to them? Is it possible for Macabre to be in the creative crisis someday because every known serial killer would be already having a song (or even an album) written about them?

— (CD) There are more killers than we will ever be able to write about.

— (AK) Is the song «Trampled To Death» a reference to some real-life concert or the lyrics are fiction?

— (CD) It’s about a The Who concert, it was general seating and people rushed to get good seats, thus trampling eleven people to death.

— (AK) There is an instrumental song called «Nostradamus». What do you think of him and his prophecies?

— (CD) He is very interesting. [And it’s such a pity that he wasn’t a serial killer, huh? —AK]

— (AK) The song «McMassacre» is a funny horror song — do you have a special relationship with McDonalds? (It would be fun to hear your music in their advertisements, bwa-ha-ha!)

— (CD) I used to manage the busiest McDonalds in the world. [Yeah, now I can really understand why you guys are obsessed with serial killers… —AK]

— (AK) Have you done any touring to support «Grim Reality»?

— (CD) No.

— (AK) Have you ever played the instrumental trilogy off «Gloom» live?

— (CD) Yes. [I’m slowly starting to realize that Corporate Death’s motto might be «Brevity is the sister of talent». —AK]

— (AK) When was the material for «Sinister Slaughter» created and recorded?

— (CD) After «Gloom». [Looks like I would’ve guessed that by myself, huh? —AK]

— (AK) The cover of «Sinister Slaughter» is among my all-time favorite covers. Whose idea it was to make a parody on The Beatles? Do you like this band?

— (CD) A friend of ours thought of it and The Beatles are great. [Smells like we’re gonna witness a grindcore cover of «Yesterday» anytime soon? —AK]

— (AK) Who are the three guys standing next to you?

— (CD) That’s our twins.

— (AK) The logo on this cover is simply breathtaking — whose idea it was and were any real human bones used in the process of making it?

— (CD) We had access to real skeletons so we used them to spell our name.

— (AK) Whose bust silently stands near the right bass drum?

— (CD) Albert Fish.

— (AK) Who made the intro to «Nightstalker» and who is speaking there?

— (CD) Our friend Scary Gary who also sings on «White Hen Decapitator».

— (AK) I’ve always wondered who’s doing that really really high «squeaking» vocals?

— (CD) I do.

— (AK) Could you please tell me about the whole Macabre Ministrels thing?

— (CD) It’s Macabre unplugged and we’ll release something in the future.

— (AK) The cover of «Nightstalker» 7″ is a pentagram with the picture of Richard Ramirez inside of it — what is the connection between Ramirez and the pentagram?

— (CD) He put it on his hand while in court.

— (AK) What’s the difference between «Sinister Slaughter» songs and their «Nightstalker» versions?

— (CD) «Nightstalker» versions were demos.

— (AK) Is there a chance that «Nightstalker» will be re-released on CD?

— (CD) No. [Er-r… why? —AK]

— (AK) «Behind The Walls Of Sleep» has a gory picture, not just drawing, in the first time during the history of Macabre. Why have you decided to use a photo and what is the whole conception behind the cover? Whose hand is it?

— (CD) Ask (Nuclear Blast) — they did it, we had no part of that.

— (AK) The cover of Black Sabbath song is really great and it fits between Macabre songs really well. Are you a fans of Black Sabbath?

— (CD) I’ve listened to Black Sabbath since they first came out.

— (AK) Is there a chance that we’ll see any other covers by Macabre?

— (CD) Yes.

— (AK) Why were you dropped by (Nuclear Blast)?

— (CD) We dropped them. [And the reason was…? —AK]

— (AK) Were there many labels interested in signing Macabre after you were done with (Nuclear Blast)?

— (CD) Of course.

— (AK) What was the band doing all these years after «Behind The Wall Of Sleep» and before «Unabomber»?

— (CD) «Dahmer». [All five years? Wow. —AK]

— (AK) I’ve read somewhere that you have your own label. Would you please describe the whole thing behind it?

— (CD) We call it Decomposed Records.

— (AK) Your last album «Dahmer» is out on (Olympic Recordings). Why have you changed the label?

— (CD) They licensed it from Decomposed Records, they have good bands and it’s a good up and coming label.

— (AK) What did the press and fans said when they heard «Dahmer»?

— (CD) They like it a lot.

— (AK) What touring have you made in support of «Dahmer»?

— (CD) Europe, US and Canadian tours.

— (AK) «Dahmer» is a completely conceptual album dedicated to one man and one man only. Are you planning any other conceptual albums like this?

— (CD) Yes.

— (AK) What changes are we going to hear in the music of Macabre?

— (CD) It will get more technical. [NB: good news! —AK]

— (AK) Are there any official Macabre videos?

— (CD) There will be. [NB: more good news! —AK]

— (AK) Is it hard for you to sing and play simultaneously?

— (CD) Not after all these years, it comes pretty natural.

— (AK) What do you think about the new wave of extreme music — the bands like Gorguts, Dillinger Escape Plan, Cryptopsy?

— (CD) I think they’re all great.

— (AK) What bands do you like most in the current extreme music scene?

— (CD) Spastic Ink.

— (AK) What are your favorite Macabre songs and what is your favorite Macabre album?

— (CD) Dahmer.

— (AK) Do you think that there is a strong tendency in modern music to mix different styles, create crossovers that weren’t even imaginable several years ago? Do you approve or disapprove it?

— (CD) Obviosly I approve, that’s what we do.

— (AK) 1993 seems to be the highest peak of extreme music popularity, after which there was a downfall. Now things seem to go upwards again, and from all we can see, there might be another downfall sooner or later — the history of extreme music looks like a giant spiral. Do you share the same point of view and do you think that this will happen?

— (CD) It’s coming back right now.

— (AK) What was the most shocking listening experience you’ve ever had?

— (CD) Listening to Black Sabbath for the first time and then Mahivishnu Orchestra on acid.

— (AK) I’ve also seen the picture of Corporate Death with John Wayne Gacy. Could you please tell me about how did you manage to get acquainted with him and how you got a picture with him?

— (CD) I wrote to him and started getting paintings through the mail from him, I interviewed him three times on death row and he would call me once a week on the phone.

— (AK) Who is your favorite serial killer(s)?

— (CD) Albert Fish.

— (AK) Why are you so fascinated with the serial killers?

— (CD) Everyone is fascinated with Serial Killers. [Even the serial killers themselves? —AK]

— (AK) Could you please tell our readers where it is possible to get Macabre CDs?

— (CD) Stores, distros and our www.murdermetal.com and www.mindmelt.com websites.

— (AK) What are your thoughts about narcotics? Drinks?

— (CD) I like them.

— (AK) Have the band ever played drunk? What was the result of such an orgy?

— (CD) We’ve played drunk but did not have an orgy. [It’s a real pity guys. You’d better have one someday. I’m sure you’ll like it. —AK]

— (AK) Do you care about politics?

— (CD) Yes, somewhat.

— (AK) Would you please tell me what you do not like in people? And what you -do- like?

— (CD) I hate stuck up people, and what I like in girls is me. [Great point! —AK]

— (AK) What are your thoughts about the Internet?

— (CD) It’s a great learning tool I wish I had it when I was a kid. [At least you have it now, right? —AK]

— (AK) Does the Internet help or hurt the bands?

— (CD) It absolutely helps, look at how much you learned from us from our sites. [Yeah, and look at how much Macabre pictures I’ve stol… er-r, downloaded from them! —AK]

— Tell me please your opinion on this whole mp3s and Napster thing?

— (CD) I prefer that people buy music and support musicians but I’m glad people are hearing our music. [Brilliant statement! —AK]

— (AK) Are you making the music or the lyrics first?

— (CD) Both, all songs are different, we don’t have one set way.

— (AK) Are the band members married or not? How does it influence the band’s activities?

— (CD) No, we’re not married.

— (AK) Is it possible for Macabre to earn their living by only playing the music?

— (CD) Yes, it’s possible.

— (AK) What do the band members do in their free time?

— (CD) I don’t have any free time. [Impressive. —AK]

— (AK) Is it your first Internet interview?

— (CD) You can’t be serious [You bet… —AK], I’ve done ten in a day.

— (AK) What do you think about the future of the extreme music?

— (CD) It’s going to be bigger than ever.

— (AK) Are you guys optimists or pessimists?

— (CD) I’m an optimist.

— (AK) If you were told that there are 24 hours left before the end of the world, how would you’ve spent these 24 hours?

— (CD) Having sex. [An orgy at last? —AK]

— (AK) Your dearest dream?

— (CD) Living in Amsterdam.

— (AK) What do you think about the future of the planet?

— (CD) World War 3. [Extremely optimistic, huh? —AK]

— (AK) What do you know about Russia?

— (CD) I know about Andrey Chicatillo, we’re doing a song about him.

— (AK) Do you know any Russian bands?

— (CD) No. [You’re really lucky then. —AK]

— (AK) What will be the future of Macabre?

— (CD) More recording and touring.

— (AK) How would you like the fans of Macabre to remember it?

— (CD) The band that sang about killers.

— (AK) Any final words for the readers?

— (CD) We will have a live album coming out latter this year and a fall tour so check it out. Hey Andrew, sorry but I didn’t have time to answer all your questions, I have a lot of interviews to do. Thanks for all the support over the years.

— (AK) Thank you too for doing this interview, on behalf of all Russian fans of Macabre I wish you the best — the army of Macabre fans may not be the largest fandom out there, but you can count on us, guys. Thank you again for everything you are and for everything you do, and special thanks to Jim Forst, publicist for Olympic Recordings, for his invaluable help with this interview.

Visit official Macabre page @ www.mindmelt.com/macabre/macabre.asp

Also visit great Macabre page @ www.murdermetal.com

E-mail Macabre @ macabre[AT]mindmelt.com

Intro by Chris Alfano

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