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April 7, 2000
If Deceased is not yet notorious, they damn well should be. True veterans of the metal scene, King Fowley and Co., have been fighting the battle and the war for over a decade. And while some may accuse Deceased of cultivating a somewhat "retro" vibe, as an interview subject, King Fowley is far from just another old-school metalhead. After making a huge sonic splash at the March Metal Meltdown, King Fowley was thrown out of the festival, leading to much speculation about what happened. The Metal Update was able to get the full scoop on the scandal, as well as a chance to survey Fowley on his often controversial but always informed opinions on the Internet, the scene, and the state of heavy metal.
Metal Update: Lets start by talking a bit about the Internet. I've been told that you personally have strong feelings on the topic.
King Fowley: (laughs) A lot of people I know just all of a sudden are caught up in this damn computer world. And I just don't understand why everybody's so, like, all of a sudden got their head up a computer's ass. (laughs) I'm like, "Yeah, let's go out tonight, let's go drink some beer, let's party, or let's go get together and just, you know, listen to some music." And everyone else is like, "Oh, man, I'm just on this chatroom..." and blah, blah, blah, "and I'm talking with, you know, Cyberman or, you know, Gladiator" and I'm just like, "What?!"
All of sudden, I feel like these people are turning into these, like, Dungeons and Dragons-type weirdos. So, far as that goes, I'm just like . . . It seems like turning people . . . not antisocial, but almost like, away from normal active life, you know. Kind of like, making them lazy in some way.
But of course, there is some knowledge and good that comes from computers. You know, like, obviously you can do a lot of e-mailing people for free and it's not all like this phone-bill-at-the-end-the-month and stuff. But, to me, it's just like. . . I'd rather talk to you here on the phone than I would, like, rather type something in the thing. Because you don't . . . You really get no personality, or no emotion. You can't really get anything. It' s like it's always the same stiff feeling, you know. Of course you can type in "wow" with big exclamation points after it and stuff. But, it's just, I dunno, for me it's odd. I'm just very, you know, I like to be around people. I'm very sporadic with live human beings. (laughs)
Some people are always like, "Aw, King's afraid of computers." Like Mike and Mark from Deceased are always on the Internet and they talk to people and they're on these Metal Maniacs boards and Lapland and, I don't know, Copland (laughs), whatever the hell it's called! (laughs) I don't know. And I'm just like, that's cool, you meet people and that keeps you busy. But for me, I get bored quick. It's boring enough for me when I try to type my record collection into my little word processor, you know. Then to actually go on there to meet chicks or, you know, whatever goes on on the damn things. I don't know. And another thing that really pisses me off is, all these people who just start talking a bunch of crap, you know. And you're You know, Dr. Death or something? Oh, well, that's cool, thanks. Thanks for being honest with me, you know. (laughs)
MU: That's so true. A lot of people aren't at all who they claim to be.
KF: Definitely. You know, it's good and bad. That's why I don't wanna . . . I guess I'm extreme in both ways. Like, for all the good stuff, I mean, obviously, you have your stuff, like Ebay and stuff. Which is cool if you're trying to find things or if you need to track something down, like a friend that's lost or something. Oh look, this guy, my long lost buddy from when I was 10 is now, like, a transvestite living in Transylvania. Or whatever, you know. It's just weird shit on there! And I like it for what it is, but at the same time I hate it for the same reasons. (laughs) If that makes sense.
MU: Sure. So how do you feel the Internet has affected the metal scene?
KF: I think it's brought people closer together. As well as, I think . . . Here we go again, you're probably like, what is this guy talking about? I'm catch-22-ing everything. (laughter) I think in some ways, you know, it's brought people closer together and in some ways it's drawing us apart more. I think live gigs have suffered. I think information has definitely gone more positive. And at the same time, I think there's like, you know, you can obviously find out about gigs quicker. If you're interested in a band, you can hopefully click up their web site. Like with Deceased, Mark does all that. I've never even seen our web site, so . . .
MU: I was actually going to ask you about that . . .
KF: Well, I have heard it's pretty good and I know he's doing something almost like a book-like linked history of the band. I don't think he's even gotten to 1990 yet, I think he said. (laughs) He's really making it interesting, cause it's something he wants to do. And that's cool. That keeps him out of trouble, at least. It's brought the metal community together, and in some ways it's pulled us apart. Because then you have people on there bitching each other out - "wait 'til I see you, you're a fucking dead man" - and they talk a lot of shit. But, I always like to say, they talk shit with their fingers pretty good, you know? I'm still for it because at the same time, the bottom line is, as long as people are communicating in some way, and metal's getting some kind of outlet, then that's cool.
MU: Right, like kids who live in remote places, such as the Midwestern portion of the U. S., who don't have access to music outside of the mainstream without the Internet. It's very difficult to obtain and learn about music like metal in a world that scorns anything beyond the norm.
KF: Yeah, I can see that, seeing that I'm not a deprived child. Now with me, being in Virginia - back in the early eighties, when I was 12 years old - for me, it was hard to find stuff too. But my whole thing, and one thing that I still stick to, was that I was so dedicated and insane for metal, that I'd go take the bus 20 miles to find a record store that would carry something that I probably never even heard of. I would go in there, go in the corner where the dust was, and find all these crazy records of bands that nobody knew then. Like Savatage and Raven and Venom. I mean, bands that nobody knew.
MU: That's awesome.
KF: And that's what I used to do. I know that I take this a lot more extreme than most people. To me, you know, when you talk bad about the underground, or metal, or music in general, it's almost like you're trying to kill my mother. I'm out for blood, and that's why I'm so animated with my words sometimes with people. But it's just cause I really really care about it. Some people think it's like I have some kind of metal problem about it. But I just can't help it, it's just my life. It's got me through everything. It' s basically my drug.
MU: At the March Metal Meltdown in New Jersey, you actually mentioned some of the internet folks during your set. What prompted that?
KF: Mark and Mike. (laughs) They said, hey these guys are coming out, the Blizzard Beast and all these weird people. They basically will tell me about stuff and when we get together to jam, they'll be like, "ah, today I talked to this guy, and he's flying all the way from Seattle just to see Deceased play at the March Metal Meltdown." I'm like, wow. That's pretty fucking cool. That's a lot further than a twenty mile bus ride. I respect that. They tell me, "they all really look up to you and the band. Can you put one out to them to really make their trip?" And I'm like, of course. That's not a problem at all.
It was for anyone who came for Deceased or anyone who came for the spirit of metal and the good time. And dealt with all the. . . I mean, I've got the all-access pass, so I'm running all into and out of the place. But I could easily see that the people who paid $55 for the weekend pass and can't leave, have to eat the food there, have to drink the $33,000 beers, they have to hold all their crap all day, they have to wait through those bands they might not care about to see ones they do, and you know, I respect that. That's the underground to me.
MU: So how do you think the March Metal Meltdown measured up to other festivals?
KF: The pros: everyone got to meet together, got to hang out, got to be with tons of friends from all different states all together in the same place at the same time. And it was just like a big party for metal. It was great to see some of the bands. Some of the bands were worthy. Other bands were not. But who am I say? In my opinion, there were a lot of bands that aren't even to the cassette or demo tape scale yet, but yet they have $1,500 so they've made a CD. And, you know, it's so easy to put out a CD now - which is another thing that just bends me up. It just shows that you think that you' re beyond where you are. A lot of these bands have to grow. You have to get your wings, go through trial and error and your hits and misses. And a lot of these bands - if you have the $1,000, Jack Koshick will put you on the stage. It's a real . . . with him, it's a little clic. Which I don't agree with. 'Cause I got into the underground to get away from the clic, and with me the underground's becoming a clic. I want to go, where's the next? Where do I go? Under-underground? I don't know. I don't know where to go from here. But these bands play.
And, of course, when we played, we played in the same room as another band, with a curtain between us. That's greed - which runs everything. And that's just ignorance. He's taking these people's money and he's allowing them to sit through half-assed performances by bands. And bands suffer, fans suffer, everyone suffers. In the long run it's gonna backfire on him.
It's cool to see the merchandisers. But it comes back to the computers. I know my buddy goes there and pays $1,000 for a couple tables. And now he has to break a grand, just to be on the plus side. We make the best of it, but there are so many things that could be improved upon. Very easily.
MU: Hopefully Milwaukee 2000 will get us back on track.
KF: Did you hear about my fiasco in New Jersey?
MU: I was actually going to ask you about that . . .
KF: All I know is this: We played, we went over killer. Relapse is jumping up and down, screaming how "oh my god, the place was going nuts, you guys had the big crowd." And I was like, OK, cool. You're happy, I'm happy, take these pictures you need -- 'cause we had all four guys in the same room. We never take professional pictures. 'Cause we don't give a shit about pictures, we just want to play music, have fun, and go to the beer garden. I sit in there, I've got a bunch of friends, I'm talking to some girls, some buddies, you know, girls and guys drinkin' havin' a good time. And suddenly I have to go to the bathroom. So I go to take a piss, and the cop running the ID part of the thing is telling me to give him a minute, he's got a line of people trying to get in and it is really crazy and to come back in five minutes. He caught a couple of people in the beer garden who were underage. So he wanted to be cool. I'm like, OK, cool.
So I come back in a couple minutes - here I am about to piss my pants - and he's like give me a minute. I just basically told him "dude, what is the deal? You're not my elementary school teacher, you can't keep me here when I have to go to the bathroom." And he just looked at me like "Fuck you, do something."
So I went underneath one of the poles to the beer garden. And when I did I (laughs) knocked it over, 'cause I was a little tipsy. And I went into the bathroom, and I didn't think anything of it. I came back and I was gonna pick the pole back up. I was gonna be like, "ha ha ha. I had to piss." And that would be the end of it. But he grabs me by my neck, pulls my hair, rips my shirt completely off me. . . He takes me into the hallway where he starts yanking me down, and gets another cop on me - they're both holding me. Then something hit me in the back of the neck. He forces me through the door, puts me on the ground, scuffs up my knee, starts kicking me in the balls, starts pulling my hair, telling me I'm going to jail for physically and verbally assaulting an officer . . . I'm just like, what the hell is he talking about?
Meanwhile, a lot of my friends had come out and were telling them that I didn't do anything. I'm holding my hands up, totally being a gentleman. And, I mean, if it was a man-to-man fight, that's one thing, but I know the law - when you're dealing with the cops, you know to shut the fuck up and not act like a jackass.
So I have my hands up and tell him to just go ahead and arrest me if he's gonna arrest me, I don't know what else to say. So he tells me to just leave. And I'm like, just leave? I didn't even do anything wrong! You're throwing me out? I've got like twenty people waiting for me inside. All these people who paid to come in and see us play and hang out and have a good time. My ride, my drum pieces, my money. And he's like, I don't give a fuck. Leave. I have no shirt. I'm sitting in shorts. I have no money. It's starting to rain.
And then some guy, the owner comes up. Not Koshick, but like, the owner of the building. He's like, what happened buddy? And I told him the story. And he's like, c'mon back inside, we're gonna straighten this out. So I'm standing in the hallway, and people were saying it was just a police brutality thing and I didn't do anything wrong. Suddenly, here comes the cop again, with two other cops, and they just start pushing us out the door, pushing girls, pushing my friends. They get me in cuffs, and yeah, I started mouthing off to them at that point. I was saying stuff like "you can't hurt me, you can't hurt the beast, I'm here - you can't fuckin' hurt me." (laughs) The guy got to the point where he was going to haul off and punch me. And the other cop told him not to do it - that people were watching. So he took the cuffs off me and told me to go, to get off the property. And everybody said, "just leave, there's no sense in arguing about this." So I got in the van with some friends and just drove back to the hotel. That's the whole story.
MU: That's one hell of a story.
KF: Yeah, and when I got back to the hotel people were like, oh King Fowley, you always like to start trouble. What did you do? And it was the old cry wolf story, maybe I was getting paid back for all of those times when I really did do something. I've learned to live with it. It doesn't make him any better or me any worse. But at the same time, it's cheesy. 'Cause I missed Doro. I'm a big fan of women in metal - it's my life. I collect it with a passion. I have many many many crazy bands that I just collect. Doro I love from years ago. We talked for a while. I was dying to see her set. I missed Doro, I missed Anvil, missed Whiplash, missed all the bands I love. Holocaust. And I'm sitting back at the hotel. Everybody's like, "you're one of the bands, they can't do that to you!" And I'm like, shit - they don't give a shit about me . . .
MU: They were probably just all freaked out about having to deal with all the metalhead kids . . .
KF: I think it was the same cop who maced Will from Mortician. Yeah, his face was all eaten up with mace, had red all over it, it was all sore. I tried to call him and ask about it, but he didn't want to talk about it. And of course Monday at Relapse everybody was like, "what did you do?" I was like -- nothing! I really couldn't think of anything except that I knocked that pole over. But that wasn't that big of a deal.
MU: Wow. Well let's shift gears and talk metal. What does it mean to wear the badge of metal in the year 2000?
KF: Never letting up on the sound that is my life - the power and the aggression of the heavy metal lifestyle. The wine, the women, the beer, the song. You know, you're just going against the odds. Not necessarily taking everything to the extreme, but everything that needs to be taken to the extreme, I take it there.
MU: What are you listening to these days? Who are some of your favorite bands?
KF: Well, I always have to give the classics first. The basics are like Ozzy, Maiden, Priest, Sabbath, Scorpions, Accept, Kiss, Van Halen, Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, and all the stuff that got me going when I was a little boy. And the underground stuff like, the eighties stuff for me is, like, Warlord, Clovenhoof, Living Death, Iron Angel, Dark Angel, Kreator, Sodom, back down to fucking Fates Warning, over to Queensryche -- I'm all over the place. Heavy metal's a lot of different styles, there's thrash, there's death, there's speed. I don't include black metal in the metal genre.
KF: I don't like it. I think it's the cancer of metal.
MU: What band do you like which comes closest to what you would call black metal?
KF: (laughs) Venom.
MU: Do you think your vocal style comes from Venom?
KF: Everybody thinks that. I guess that's where my vocal extremity's taken from. 'Cause Venom was the most extreme thing out there when I was a kid and I was taking notes. It's about as far as you can physical challenge your voice without becoming a Cookie Monster.
MU: Is it hard to sing and play drums at the same time?
KF: No, not at all anymore. I've been doin' it since 1985, so I 've got it . . . I don't want to say I've mastered it, 'cause I always want to get better at anything I do. But I think I've got an energy factor there. I definitely give it my all.
MU: You and Phil Collins.
KF: Yeah, Phil Collins is my god!
MU: Who else sings and plays drums?
KF: Peter Criss from Kiss, Barry Stern from Zoetrope, Dan Beeler from Exciter, Don Henley from the Eagles . . . I don't know his name, but the drummer for Night Ranger? Who else am I missing? Chris Reifert from Autopsy.
MU: You don't like Emperor or Satyricon?
KF: Nope. Can't stand 'em. I think they're shit. Can't understand what everybody sees in 'em. I think their albums are weak, their music is powerless, and they just suck.
MU: What about death metal?
KF: Death metal . . . I like it when it is done right. It hasn't been done right in a long time. I don't even know what that means anymore. I think Deceased is death metal. People say no, you don't sound like Cannibal Corpse. But to me, we play metal and our songs are about death . . .
MU: Morbid Angel.
KF: Good players, bad songwriters for me. I guess a little bit above the norm. They took a lot of good press in the early nineties. Earache kinda built them a foundation, they'll always be sliding down. For me the masters of death metal are like the early Slayer and stuff from Germany like Sodom, Kreator, Iron Angel . . .
MU: I hear a lot of old Slayer in Deceased.
KF: Of course. That's where our speed factor comes from. Dave Lombardo school of in the pocket thrash metal.
MU: Who else do you hear in Deceased?
KF: Mercyful Fate for the awkward arrangements. Voivod for the odd chord timings. Basically, the weird tones. Fate more for the rhythms, Voivod more for the guitar tones. A band I'm really into now for brutality is Defleshed. I think they're kick-ass. I loved 'Under the Blade.' I think that was the best album of 1999, if that's when it came out. I think it might have been late '98. I thought it was a perfect record, minus the Destruction cover "Curse the Gods", which I could have done without.
MU: You don't like Destruction?
KF: I'm not the biggest fan of them. It's weird. A lot of big bands from the eighties that people call legends now, don't do nothing for me. I'm not into Frost at all. I'm not into Destruction at all. I'm not into Possessed at all. 'Morbid Tales' has a cool drum sound, but for me the rest was too artsy-fartsy. It's cool if you want to throw in the kitchen sink, but do it right. To me, horns on death metal albums just doesn't sound right.
KF: Everything. Maybe except for 'Virtual XI'. I think it is a little half and half. I expect better from Maiden. I support the 'X Factor' from the bottom of my heart. I think it is one of the best Iron Maiden albums. 'Fear of the Dark' I love too, I think there is a couple of wishy-washy tunes, "Weekend Warriors" and "Wasted Love" I could do without. I'm a huge fan of 'No Prayer for the Dying'.
MU: What do you expect from them with their new album?
KF: Metal will get a nice kick in the ass. Hopefully, people will remember how to write songs, play music, be musicians again, and come into it with a good attitude. I think Maiden leads the charge. Steve Harris is my idol. He is one of the greatest people if not the greatest person in the history of metal. He's always stuck to his guns. Everybody gets a little sidetracked 'cause life isn't perfect, but he's one of the few that stayed true to his roots from day one -- him and Dave Murray.
MU: Judas Priest without Halford.
KF: Don't like it at all. Hated that 'Jugulator' album. I did a magazine, and I had a Priest versus Maiden thing and Priest died an untimely death for me in 1983. I love half of 'Defenders' -- I love the songs on that album but I hated the sound they were going toward, that weird, computerized world that especially came into them when they did 'Turbo' and 'Ram it Down'. I mean, they were trying to go glam, 'cause that was in, arena rock was in. Then they tried to go thrash with 'Painkiller' and everybody's like "oh, that's their best album." No it isn't. That's not a Priest album. For me, 'Stained Class' is their best album. I'm a big fan of 'Screaming for Vengeance' - that's one of their best commercial albums and I also like their early hard rock stuff like 'Rocka Rolla' and 'Sad Wings of Destiny'.
MU: Scorpions. Early Seventies stuff?
KF: I love that too, but my favorite Scorpions album is actually 'Blackout'. I love that album, it's a great melodic heavy metal record. It has power where it needs it, it has melody where it needs it and it just kicks ass.
MU: What kinda sound defines "heavy metal," used as a sub genre of metal apart from "black," "death" or "thrash"?
KF: Guitars, drums, vocals, bass, with a tinge of keyboards sprinkled in now and then to give it a little bit of vibe.
MU: What do you think of W.A.S.P.?
KF: Their first album was cool, they've never surpassed that.
KF: I'm a big 'Restless and Wild' fan -- one of the top ten of all time. One of the most classic albums and "Fast as a Shark" is one of the best speed metal songs.
KF: Love 'em. We actually just did a Krokus cover of "Headhunter" for the Deceased live album. Big fan of them. My favorite album of theirs is 'Hardware', which is a forgotten one. They lost their way in the eighties the way Priest did and went all glam, arena rock.
KF: Great singer, terrible songwriter. Loved 'Holy Diver' - 'The Last in Line' on let me down. 'Strange Highways' brought me back a tiny bit 'cause it was hard times for the scene and it was kinda like sifting through beans and getting something halfway there. Hate the new record. Bores me to tears.
KF: Whew. I think he died in about '83. Ever since 'Bark at the Moon' he's been dead.
MU: Would you go to the Ozzfest?
KF: I went twice to pick up chicks and to drink beer and to tell everyone they were faggots for being there. (laughs) Had an awful time both years. Luckily one time I went, I got in for free. And the other time I went, somebody paid my ticket for me. I wouldn't pay. That's what's wrong with the scene to me. That's totally corporate -- Sharon Osbourne's a cunt. . .
MU: How did Slayer get in there last year?
KF: Again, that's how it works. Slayer, the big-wigs. "Let's get something for the brutal kids, let's get the brutal factor." This year they're bringing the Pantera boys.
MU: How did Slayer keep up that high level of popularity?
KF: Their music sold out. They're not what they used to be. I mean, they may still play old songs, you may still get to hear "Antichrist" from time to time, but to me, they're just not what they used to be. For me, they just went against what they were all about.
MU: When did they sell out?
KF: I think it happened on 'Reign in Blood'.
MU: You're not a 'Reign in Blood' fan?
KF: Not really. I like half the record. I think it was written in about ten minutes.
MU: Controversial shit, King Fowley.
KF: I know, but it sounds weak. After 'Hell Awaits' and the intricacy and the time and effort they put into that, they laid back and they have been riding on ghost pedal ever since.
KF: Never liked 'em.
MU: Not 'Rust in Peace' or 'Peace Sells'?
KF: Don't like any of it. Hate Dave Mustaine. Hate his guitar playing. Hate his sound. I think his voice is enough to - I'd rather hear cats fuck. He's a piss poor excuse for Ted Nugent.
KF: Hate 'em. Hate everything they've done. From their glam days, to the Judas Priest days, to their wanna-be, yo-boy redneck days.
MU: You don't think their success is good for metal?
KF: No. It took all the power and aggression and violence of metal that I like and filtered it into the wrong arena. Now you've got them on the Ozzfest right bumpin' heads with Korn and all this other shit. It's just crap. Those guys just sit there and shovel the shit in, they shovel it out. They're like, "we're the return of metal!" You ain't metal, man. "Yesterday don't mean shit!" That has nothing to do with metal.
MU: Who's the most popular band that still remains true?
MU: So they're the ones waving the flag?
KF: They're the ones waving the flag.
MU: Do you think it's a good thing when a band like that sells records? Does it help the scene, or don't you care?
KF: Well, it's good that they sell records. I mean, they do things on a higher caliber than most metal bands ever could. I mean, they've toured the world, everything about it. Basically, they were where Metallica is now, back in the eighties. And they kind of set the standards for touring the world and breaking ground. They played Poland, they played Russia, they played everywhere. I think they basically have now played every part of the world.
MU: What about Metallica?
KF: Oh, they're crap. They've been crap since 'Ride the Lightning'.
MU: You didn't like 'Master of Puppets'?
KF: I hate it. Can't stand that record. I like 'And Justice for All...' a lot better than that. Except that album needs to be scaled down. I wish I could go on a computer and slice it into a couple of five minute songs. My favorite track by Metallica is actually "One", which I though was an incredible video.
MU: It was, it was.
KF: It was a great video. It's a dark, haunting thing. They didn't build off that. They fucking came back in - and this is weird, but I've actually learned to appreciate and kind of like in some ways - the Black Album. But it's not really a full-blown metal album. It's kinda like a hard rock / metal album.
MU: Maybe the Black album is a lot of what you just said - 'And Justice...', slicing down the riffs and just keeping one or two riffs.
KF: Yeah, exactly. Kind of building off that, and that's cool. Some of it I like, some of it I don't. As far as, from then on . . . When they came out with 'Load' and they all cut their hair on the same day, and started smoking cigars and dicks, and putting on eyeliner, and saying it was cool to have cum and blood on your cover and boas around your neck - there's nothin' fucking metal about that.
MU: That was what I was going to ask you next. What's the connection between Deceased and the scene you live in and the lives the guys in Metallica are leading?
MU: It's not even the same genre of music?
KF: It's been obvious to me since day one with those guys. Lars Ulrich is a fucking rock star. Newsted, man, he used to write me when he was in Flotsam and Jetsam and he had balls. He actually even sent me - after Metallica broke on the Black album, when he went and did that IR8 band - he actually took the time and remembered me from Flotsam. I guess I was still on a mailing list somewhere and he sent it to me, which I thought was really cool. But when I see him on TV and on those "Behind the Scenes", "yeah, we sell out every night" and all this shit. That's just gay. Don't play for the cameras. 'Cause, I know deep down Jason Newsted don't want to play that shit.
MU: You think he's a metalhead?
KF: Ah, I think he's a nice guy. I wouldn't say he's a full-blown metalhead. He's probably, you know . . . He likes music.
MU: You don't throw that title around lightly.
KF: Nah. I don't know too many full-blown metalheads in this world.
MU: Tell me why black metal is off the chart.
KF: It's basically, these people care more about image and fucking egos than they do about music. That's the bottom line. Before you even get to metal, I gotta have people that are dedicated to music.
MU: Where do they lose it? Is it the makeup, is it the keyboards?
KF: Come on, let's be honest. Somebody said this earlier to me and I totally agree. They basically fucking care about fashion as much as Madonna does. It's the glam of the fucking - of this time. It's basically get up there and create something that most these people don't want anything to do with and it's a fucking act. It's the old, Johnny fucking Bravo fucking suit from the Brady Bunch.
MU: And what do you think about the music?
KF: I think for the most part it's very primitive. I think it's very bland. It's boring. 90% of the time the drummers have no creativity. If they have any stamina on record, it never shows live. I've seen most of the name bands live. I've seen Emperor, I've seen Dimmu Borgir, I've seen Immortal, seen Satyricon - none of them do shit for me. They come off as even worse live. Their sound's pathetic, their ideas are shit, their vocals are just non-aggressive, non-powerful, and their attitudes stink.
MU: And what about the whole Satan thing.
KF: I don't care. If they want to sing about that, that's fine. I mean, find your lyrical content, that's cool. You know, know your subject at least. King Diamond may swear up and down he's a Satanist, and I don't really think he is, but at least he's knowledgeable in the fucking subject. He takes the time to try to learn it. Don't try to pull the wool over people's eyes, because I'm not stupid. I'm not 14 and naive anymore. That's what I was tellin' someone so . . .
MU: Deceased is singing about horror movies . . .
KF: I'm into it. You come to my house, you see my roof coming in, filled with 9,000 fucking videos fucking pouring through the second floor of my house.
MU: So are you into gore?
KF: Well, gore's cool, for what it is. I'm more into serious, intense horror. I'm into fucking everything from the real tragedies of the world, whether it be child murders or fucking the way people take things and, you know, mass murders, killing sprees, fucking just psychological, weird people.
MU: What is your perspective on that? Is it that you think it's neat, or do you think it's fucked up?
KF: I think it's both. I think it's basically human nature to wonder. It's a curious factor, you know? It draws me in because of the way that people could actually be so fucking twisted. The way we're given things and the way our chemistry is, you would think it would be next to impossible to be that brutally violent or that brutally insane. But yet, everybody's DNA and chemistry's so different that some people just snap.
MU: On New Year's Eve, I was just waiting for someone to snap. I think it's fucked up that nobody did.
KF: Yeah, I expected someone to want their Andy Warhol fifteen minutes of fame. Nobody did it. I know, I was the same way. I was like, somebody somewhere's going to just do it, because, just to do it.
MU: And like the Columbine High thing. When that thing came out, and everybody's like, how could this happen in our school? I know what it's like to be an angst-ridden teenager, and I think - I can't believe these are the first motherfuckers to actually pull this shit off.
KF: I know. I was telling people sometime earlier, that's fucked up. I said, hey, I've been there man. I've been in school and all these fucking jock-boys running around with the hot little snatch. And you're fucking sitting in the corner doing your own thing. And, "oh, look at the fucking metalhead." They're cool to you when you're in groups, but when you're by yourself, all of a sudden you're shittin' on your grave. I always stood up to them, I didn't give a fuck. If ten of them wanted to give me an ass-beating, then so be it, try it. None of them ever did. But, fucking obviously, I'm a big boy and fucking things like that. Of course, I don't think you should kill them, but shit, I might beat the fucking shit out of them.
MU: I'm not saying what they did was right at all, but what I'm saying is I'm not surprised that it did happen.
KF: I'm not saying it's totally wrong, what they did. You put cats and dogs in a room long enough, they're either going to fight or fuck. They're either going to breed and become together or they're going to fucking pull further apart. That's the situation. These people want to fucking watch these people and . . . In almost all the schools, the educational value has gone to shit. It's like, you need teachers to teach these teachers in these schools now. You need principals to teach these principals principles. If that makes sense. (laughter)
MU: (laughter) Back to the gore thing. This is something that's been on my mind. You talk about black metal being all image and stuff. But controversial cover art and gore also are used to attract attention. To me then, it becomes, let's put a disgusting picture on the album cover and that will sell more records. That's just as much an image thing as anything else.
KF: Exactly. Shock value's cool for what it is, but I think people can be shocking in their real honest-to-god movements and procedures than in fucking trying to create shock. It's quite obvious that a lot of these fucking shock-gore-meisters of now. Marilyn Manson and stuff ain't nothin'. Actually, they genuinely are probably decent guys. I watch a lot of Stern for the crazy odd-balls he has on there and I see Marilyn Manson on there. He sits back and seems pretty cool. At the same time, you can tell he's got the little ego side and he's got the normal side. Same with people like Kid Rock, "I'm some street cowboy into brothers and sisters and yo, I'm from the slave of the metal and the rap and the hardcore" and all that. And you realize, this guy's just some fucking nerd.
MU: Bottom line, it's about the music for Deceased.
KF: It's all about the music. We're the ones sitting in that fucking basement, sweating our asses off, and writing these tunes year in year out. Not getting any of the proper fucking blessings. And that's fine, because it feeds the furnace. I've been telling everybody, it puts the coal in the furnace and it keeps us moving forward. It ain't disheartening to us, and it ain't about anything.
MU: What's the goal?
KF: There is no goal. There really is no goal. We do what we do.
MU: Are you happy with Relapse?
KF: For the most part, yeah. They've been really good with the fucking recording budgets and the ads and getting us interviews with people like yourself, but they're fucking promotion, as far as tours, is pathetic. The people that run that department just don't know what they're doing, I don't think. They're friends of mine, I hate to talk bad. I'm not really talking bad, I'm just commenting on things that need to be improved upon. But here's the new album, and we're sitting comfortably on the cover of the new fucking Metal Maniacs.
MU: That's huge, I just got that yesterday.
KF: Yeah, a big fucking deal to me. I'm not saying, "oh, we're on Metal Maniacs, we're gods." If you wanna look at the logistics of the thing.
MU: In the limited world that Deceased plays in right now, that's a neat thing. You're allowed to be proud of that.
KF: Oh yeah. You know what I'm saying. To tell you the truth, Jeff's a friend of ours, so it helped to know him and stuff to get on there. I like to think we did it on our own merit. I think we did because we've come a long way in the last couple years, but, bottom line is, we're still not on tour, we still don't have any fucking tour support from the label. We don't have any income from the band. Which is fine, because I don't expect to live off the band. You'd be an ignorant asshole if you thought you would. And what the good things are.
MU: What if you could open up for Iron Maiden?
KF: That would be my goal. That would make me happy because that's my childhood heroes and my fucking manhood heroes. (laughs)
MU: So you're going to soldier on for as long as it takes.
KF: I'm 31 years old and I'm ready to kick ass for another 20 fucking years.
MU: Back to the Internet for a second, on the Metal Maniacs bulletin board and some other boards, there's like a Deceased-worship thing going on.
KF: I've heard about that. Whatever. . . these people like it. Whether they scream into my ear or they type it in a fucking keyboard, we appreciate the support. If they're just saying it because Mike and Mark from Deceased are on it, and now they're kissing ass, then fuck them just the same. But I believe they're honest. I've met some of the people, they seem like genuine, nice people that don't get taken for shit in their schools or in their fucking jobs. They appreciate Deceased for what we're giving them: a little bit of different music of the metal genre. I appreciate that, but at the same time, these people could be getting off the Internet and coming to shows. Coming to my parties, you know? Bringing some beer over, some sluts, and going from there. I'm all about it. I'm the metal lifestyle. I ain't about no Beavis and Butthead jokes, I take it seriously.
MU: It's funny you say Beavis and Butthead, do you think that's a funny show?
KF: I don't watch it at all. I think, actually, it's ignorant. It makes metalheads look fucking retarded.
MU: When I first saw that show, I was pissed off because they put it on right after Headbanger's Ball, and you're right, they're making fun of metalheads.
KF: I'll beat your ass in if you've got a fucking problem. I'm man enough to smack you around if you don't like me, but yet, I'm man enough to hold the door for a woman. I'm also man enough to help an old lady cross the street. I hate stereotypes. I'm all about the brutality factor and having a kick-ass good time in a positive way. I'm not about the negative at all. And this shit, lighting your farts on TV, and, "dude, headbanging, dude, AC/DC" whatever, and the devil sign and shit like that, that's goofy cartoon shit. If they want to do it, do it, but that ain't me.
MU: Now, MTV is obviously not metal. But did Deceased ever do a video?
KF: I've made about 15 home-grown videos in my two VCR decks where I basically take some horror movies, or whatever, some live footage, intertwine it, and dub in the sound. Do it for fun. We watch them here over at my house once in awhile. I haven't done one in a long time. Never done a full-blown video.
MU: You know, VH1 is showing some metal.
KF: The Rock Show, or something?
MU: Yeah, they publish the playlists in advance and tonight there's Testament and a couple of other heavy bands.
KF: Still fucking mainstream stuff though. I guess not as mainstream as it was, but . . .
MU: You're not down with Testament's latest?
KF: Nah, they're gay. (laughs) I didn't really like Testament in the day. I thought the first album was OK, for what it was. I didn't think they deserved all the hype. They had a good guitar player, the Bay area was in, they rode that for awhile. You'll be the first to admit, I'm sure, as soon as thrash metal was a no-no, the speed was gone, all of sudden, just like Exodus, they were underneath some oak tree with an acoustic guitar trying to be Raging Slab. Fucking sitting in a corner, all the distortion was gone. But then, all of a sudden, people are like, "oh, they're back now, they're totally brutal again." Yeah, right. When death metal came in, they did 'Demonic', now they've got this new one.
MU: Lombardo playing drums helped a little.
KF: Well, of course. Lombardo could probably make Megadeth sound good. (laughs) But, you know, these bands - there's a lot of them - they can kiss my dick on the head, man. Them, Anthrax, fucking all that shit.
MU: One other thing on Megadeth, there's a huge billboard in the middle of Times Square of Megadeth. Crazy, huh. I think they're sponsoring JVC equipment.
KF: Shit, I thought maybe someone was trying to help sell that new record that's half disco. Change the name, go away, and fucking Dave, I hope you fucking die on one of your gay skydiving extravaganzas.
MU: What about Overkill?
KF: I don't know what their problem is. Bobby Blitz is so fucking nice. Every time I see him, he's the same guy he was when I met him 15 years ago on 'Feel the Fire'. But, goddamn, why are they so into the new sound? They're doing all this fucking little scratching, and White Zombie fucking groove. Why don't they go back and play fucking 'Taking Over' shit again? He's one of the best frontmen. They're one of the best live bands. I mean, goddamn, everybody wants to hear the old stuff and they still don't play it - besides like, "Rotten to the Core" fifteen times every year. Fucking, it's the same fucking three songs, "Fuck You", "Rotten to the Core", and once in awhile what is the other one they might give you, I don't even know, "Fatal if Swallowed" or something? And that's it. Come on, "Wrecking Crew," "Powersurge", I mean let's do it, let's get it back. Goddamn, I mean, you'd think they'd be the ones to know.
MU: So, how's 'Supernatural Addiction' doing?
KF: It's doing well, I believe.
MU: Selling lots of copies?
KF: I don't know. I couldn't tell you how many we've sold, but I know people have been, "hey, I love the record, I bought it." People that usually don't buy it and people I've never seen before buying it.
MU: Do you feel like there's any change to the sound at all? Some people have said they hear a new, modern euro-death influence.
KF: If they want to think that. To me, the modern euro-death is basically the same as us. They're trying to go back to the roots and put Maiden in it. Maiden's the band for everybody because Maiden's the one we grew up with.
MU: So you don't think At the Gates or Carcass's 'Heartwork' or any of that stuff . . .
KF: Well, I've always said this and I'll be the one to still say this, I think At the Gates came after Deceased. When we did our stuff I think At the Gates started doing our sound. Carcass' 'Heartwork', obviously a little bit, you can hear it because there's melody in there. Anything with death metal melody you're going to hit the same albums, you know. At the Gates, Carcass 'Heartwork', some people say In Flames but I don't see that at all because to me, In Flames is nothing but a happy, fucking, gay-like sound.
MU: So taking melody into death metal, you come to an overlap with some of those bands.
KF: It's just too obvious. Basically, we're using the same format of playing. We're all using basically two guitars, bass and drums with an occasional keyboard and once in awhile some singing that's basically in key, you know? That's about it. These bands that are out now, I ain't into them either. I could care less for In Flames, I could care less for Opeth, I could care less for fucking Dark Tranquility, any of them.
MU: So last thing, King, what do you suggest metalheads check out, or who do you want to give props to?
KF: It's mostly eighties bands. I mean, for me, people are like, "what are you listening to?" And I'm still listening to the bands from the eighties. I'm still listening to Maiden, I'm still listening to Saxon, I'm still listening to the old Priest, I'm still listening to the 'Mob Rules' Sabbath, I'm still listening to the 'Cross Purposes' Tony Martin Sabbath. AC/DC 'High Voltage', I'm listening to Rainbow, 'Difficult to Cure'.
MU: Any new stuff?
KF: For the new stuff I'll just name names, not necessarily albums. For the new stuff I'm listening to Defleshed, Ritual Carnage or Terror Squad, the last two are both Japanese bands. Good brutal death metal that still has the convictions - that still has songs that keep me from asking how many times they're gonna play this song over and over. Other bands . . . Dirty Deeds is a good English hard rock / heavy metal band I'm liking a lot, other stuff I'm listening to . . . Probably not in the metal genre, to be honest.
MU: Really? Like what?
KF: The album I'm waiting for with my heart and soul is the new No Doubt. I'm a big fan of pop. I saw them Wednesday here in DC and it was incredible. The guitar player, Tom Dumant used to be in a Maiden type band with a girl singer. Pellet up at Relapse - a friend of his went to school with him in California, and he said he used to have an Yngwie Malmsteen 'Marching Out' patch on the back of his jean jacket. But anyway, I went to see them, and that is one of the few bands I've heard that I know can play. I love that. I'm also a big fan of old Blondie, Go-Go's, all the old new wave pop. I love the girl bands.
MU: Put a hot blonde chick behind a mic and you're all over it, right King?
KF: Well, it's not even that. She could be ugly. As long as it's good. Of course, it helps to look good. I'm a male, you know? It's like, I don't know how males could be into Type O Negative. I mean to me, a heterosexual male listening to Type O Negative is a faggot. (laughs) But that's who I am. I'm looking at the posters around my room. Plasmatics. Cirith Ungol. Vandenberg. Pat Benetar, rock godess. I'd love to put a shout out to Anvil and Saxon and Raven, bands that have been playing metal all along. Iron Maiden, obviously, without doubt. Hard times, good times, bad times, sub par albums, still trying their best to survive in this piss poor excuse we call the music industry.
-- LINKS --
review of Deceased's 'Supernatural Addiction'
-- CREDITS --
Interview: Laura German [ email@example.com ], Eric German [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Editor: Brant Wintersteen [email@example.com]
Live Photos: Brant Wintersteen, Cynthia Pelzner [ firstname.lastname@example.org ]
Band Photo: Flo Homer
Webmaster: WAR [email@example.com]
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