Interviews Only Found Here at MetalCore!
Acheron is an incredible black metal band and here is an unholy interview with founding member Vincent Crowley:
MC: Now I recently saw you live and you were great and you have new album coming out on Listenable Records. How did you hook up with them and when can we expect this album to be out. How easy was it coming up with songs for this release?
VC- It was good to see you again. Glad you liked the show. Yes, we have a new album coming out in March 2014 called "KULT DES HASSES". Our drummer Kyle is also in INCANTATION and they were signed to LISTENABLE RECORDS. The owner Laurent was an old school fan of ACHERON and we just we at the right place at the right time. He was looking for bands and we needed a label. Not to mention he actually supports this band. It has been working out well. The song writing was very natural and some of the best stuff ACHERON has ever put out.
MC: Now it is time to take journey back in time. The band was formed back in 1988 by you. How long were you in Nocturnus before you branched off and formed the band? Back then did you have a vision of what the band was going to sound like musically as well as lyrically?
VC- I was only in NOCTURNUS for about a year or so. I was on their 1st demo. I did have my own concepts and ideas and left to fulfill my vision. But NOCTURNUS was a great time. I was young and learned a lot of things by playing with those guys.
MC: How did you discover the world of underground metal and what were some of the 1st bands that you heard?
VC- I remember getting a music magazine when I was in High School at it had a section on all these up and coming bands on Indy labels. Bands such as SLAYER, VENOM, MANOWAR, HELLHAMMER, ect. That sparked my interest to find out more. Then my friend turned me on to VENOM and there was no turning back! The underground was fucking magic!
MC: Now what were the early practices like and did you pretty much fuck around with cover tunes and stuff till the members got close with each other?
VC- In ACHERON, we used to cover CELTIC FROST, BATHORY and maybe even some old SLAYER. But it was mostly original stuff.
MC: How was the PA metal scene back then where you based out of and did you ever go to Edie’s Record store back then and if you did what was that like?
VC- I only lived in Pittsburgh for about 2 years, but there were some really great times. And that is actually the first place I put a line-up together. The Metalheads in Pittsburgh were and still are great people. We used to go to EIDE’S all the time. I remember guys from the metal core band EVICTION working there. The place was full of music, movies and comics. We actually just placed there a few weeks ago and went up to EIDE’S. It is still there and a cool place to check out. But the metal isn’t as promoted as it was in the past.
MC: Now in 1989 you released your 1st demo called "Messe Noir". How was it going into the studio for the 1st time? How many songs did you record and looking back what are your thoughts on your 1st demo and do you have an original copy of it still?
VC- We never went in the studio! (Ha, Ha) That was just a basement recording of a live practice. We recorded 5 songs on it. I think I still have the Master tape. (Ha, Ha)
MC: I assume you went the route of what every band did back then and that was send it out as many fanzines as possible and also hope that some tape traders would get hold of it and spread the word.
VC- Of course. That was the way of the land in those days. I wrote to people all over the globe. Made a lot of great friends and contacts. Some I still deal with today! That was a great era of Metal! The true underground! I miss the old hand made zines. (me too-chris).
MC: 2 years later, in 1991, you released "The Rites of the Black Mass. Did that help the band, what I mean is, did it help you start to enjoy a bigger following and this was the release that came out on JL America if I am correct?
VC- Well, when I moved back to Florida in 1991, I pretty much revamped the band. I had already taken over the vocal tasks and when I moved to Florida I also switched from playing guitar to playing bass. The release of the album increased our fan base a lot. We were still very underground, but now many people could get our music in their local metal stores. TURBO MUSIC signed us and JL AMERICA licensed the album in the USA.
MC: Did you get to play many live shows at all during this time and band getting along at this point? This release was re-released in 2006. Who ended up re-releasing it and is it still available and do you have any copies of the original release locked away somewhere?
VC- No, not really. We did some local stuff, but no serious touring. The record label fucked us over on tours several times. RITES OF THE BLACK MASS has been released several times and the only authorized version is the Brazilian one on DYING MUSIC and the vinyl version on FUNERAL INDUSTRIES. I don’t have any copies for sale. Maybe someone will re-release with some bonus tracks? Who knows?
MC: Actually do you have original copies of all your releases and if not, which ones are missing? Have you ever gone on Ebay and seen and of your stuff for sale and if so, what were some of the prices you saw?
VC- I think I have copies of all our releases for my own collection. I always see our stuff on EBAY. Prices vary. I’ve seen the original RITES OF THE BLACK MASS vinyl go for over $100.00.
MC: Now back to the band ha ha. In 1992 you released a 7" (demo) called "Alla Xul". What label did this come out on and was it because you wanted to have some material on vinyl?
VC- It was released on GUTTED RECORDS from Chicago, IL. We recorded some extra tracks so releasing some vinyl sounded great. That was our 2nd 7" record. We also released the first demo "MESS NOIR LIVE" on REAPER RECORDS.
MC: In 1992 you had Tony Blakk and Mike Browning (Nocturnus) in the band. How did you go about getting them in the band and during this time and into the late 90’s, I saw that band members came and went. What would you say the case was with that?
VC- I met Tony in Orlando, Florida when I was living there. Then we both moved to Tampa. Mike Browning had just left NOCTURNUS and was looking for a new band so things just fell into place. And when Mike joined the band I ended up digging up some old NOCTURNUS tunes I wrote to play in ACHERON. Keeping a line-up together is rough. I still have trouble. And there are a number of different reasons why, not just one simple one. That is the life of many underground bands.
MC: Now in 1993, the "Rites of the Black Mass’ was released on Turbo Records. What do you think of Turbo Records these days? Why was this released by them so soon after it released a year earlier?
VC- The TURBO MUSIC version was release first in early 1993. The label went under around late 1993 and ripped off tons of bands. I hated those fuckers!
MC: Now in 1993 you released "Hail Victory" on the now closed Metal Merchant Records. How did you hook up with him and what are your thoughts on this release these days? At this what was the popularity of the band and up until this point did you do any type of touring and if you did where did you play?
VC- We pretty much maintained an underground status. GUTTED RECORDS changed their name to METAL MERCHANT. They agreed to release HAIL VICTORY after we had problems with our 2nd label LETHAL RECORDS. ACHERON never played out of Florida in those days.
MC: Have you ever made it overseas in the time the band has been around? If not do you think there is a chance that you might make it there one day?
VC- Yes, we have played in both South America and Europe. We plan more travels in 2014 after the release of the new album.
MC: No the next year, 1994, you went back with Turbo Records with your release, "Satanic Victory" and also another release called "Lex Talionis". How was it you managed to release 2 albums in one year? Looking back how would you rate your relationship with Turbo Records and do you feel you were treated fairly by them?
VC- No, we signed to LETHAL RECORDS after putting out RITES OF THE BLACK MASS. And again, LETHAL RECORDS were a rip off label! They put out the "SATANIC VICTIRY" mini-cd and then flew us to Austria to record the LEX TALIONIS album. When we got back that ended communication with all their bands. Fucking scumbags! So LETHAL RECORDS and TURBO MUSIC can suck Christ’s cock!
MC: Now the "Lex Talionis" release was re-issued 3 years later by Blackened Records. Why the re-release in 1997 and how did you end up hooking up the deal with them and how were they to work with?
VC- It was released without our knowledge. LETHAL RECORDS sold the rights they didn’t own! Later BLACKENED RECORDS worked out a deal with us.
MC: I noticed you went through some line-up changes during these years. Why did you think this was due to and was there every of thought on disbanding the band and since members came and went, how easy was it to replace departing band members?
VC- There has been line-up changes since day one. Just a common thing to keep the flame burning.
MC: Have you ever in your career ever been asked to play/sing in let’s say a "well established" metal underground band, and if that is the case, did you ever come close?
VC- I was talked to a couple times but had no interest in quitting ACHERON.
MC: Now in 1996, you changed labels again and you went with Moribund Records. How did you hook up with Odin and how was he to work with?
VC- Odin was a great guy and he actually tried to promote ACHERON the best he could. But his label was smaller at that time, so he could only do so much. They put out our "ANTI-GOD, ANTI-CHRIST" album. Odin was a Satanist who supported what ACHERON was about.
MC: Now with all these releases up to date and others that followed, how hard was it to come up with music and how did a song come together? Out of all the albums you have done, what was the easiest to record and the hardest?
VC- ACHERON is just a part of my life. Everything I’ve ever done has just flowed well. There have been ups and downs. The best recording experience was the recording of "THE FINAL CONFLICT: Last Days of God". That album just came together perfectly and the recording experience was a pleasure. The hardest would have to be our latest release "KULT DES HASSES". There was a lot of traveling involved and it was the first album we didn’t record all together at the same time. But in the long run it ended up being my favorite one thus far.
MC: At what point do you think you came to be with the "Acheron" sound so to speak and do you feel you always an original style band?
VC- ACHERON has always had a certain style. We just evolve with every album we release.
MC: Now has the band always been based out of Pittsburgh, PA or have you moved to other places over the years?
VC- ACHERON was only in Pittsburgh for 2 years, then Orlando and Tampa, Florida. We have been based in Columbus, Ohio for the last 14 years.
MC: How would you rate yourself as a singer and what has been some of the most memorable shows that will never leave your brain over the years and around this time how much time was spend doing band related stuff?
VC- I don’t rate myself. I just do my job. If people like what I do, great, if not too bad. (Ha, Ha) A show I really remember was back in Tampa opening for OBITUARY in the early 90’s. We did the actually Black Mass live on stage in front of over 1000 people. A pretty crazy show indeed! And the other great shows were in South America and Mexico. I’ve been doing band related work on a constant basis for over 20 years. Even when I broke up the band I still dealt with band business. It is a part of my life.
MC: Now we hit the fast forward button to 1998 where you hooked up with Full Moon Productions for your "Those Who Have Risen" release. How did you hook up with him and how do you feel you were treated on your time there? Did you ever get to meet him?
VC – MORIBUND RECORDS were having some issues with money at the time so FULL MOON PRODUCTIONS bought the rights to the new album. They did a great job and promoted us the best at an underground level. Jon was a local Florida guy, so yes, I seen him many times. Nothing bad to say about that label.
MC; Now we bang the drum, don’t worry Vince we will get to 2013 soon enough ha ha. In 2001 Full Moon Productions released "Compendium Diablerie: The Demo Days". I will assume it is all you’re old demo stiff, but exactly is on this release?
VC- It featured all our past demos and various demoed songs up to the THOSE WHO HAVE RISEN album.
MC: Out of all your releases in your career, prior to the new one coming out, do you have a favorite release and least favorite and why and the same goes for songs?
VC- My favorite besides the new one is our last album "THE FINAL CONFLICT: Last Days of God". I think the songs were very catchy and well written and the recording experience was incredible. My least favorite is LEX TALIONIS and that is just because most of those songs were written when I was in High School.
MC: Now in 2003, you hooked with Black Lotus, for your "Rebirth: Metamorphosing Into Godhood". What are your thoughts on this release nowadays?
VC- I actually loved that release and BLACK LOTUS RECORDS put out a great product. Unfortunately, not a lot of people have had a chance to hear this album. We hope to re-release it at a future date.
MC: Now up until this point, had you managed to play live a lot and how would you rate yourself as a live band and I am sure there are live clips from various shows over the years and have you ever gone and checked them out?
VC- Like I said before, I can’t rate myself. I think this band gets better and better as time go on. I’ve seen many of our shows that where video. You have both shows you like and don’t like. It all depends.
MC; Also in 2003, Black Lotus released, "Tribute To The Devil’s Music. This was a cover’s song release. Whose idea was this and what made you pick the bands that you did and was there any bands or songs you didn’t record, that you now wish you did?
VC- We had been featured on a number of tribute albums throughout the years and we just decided to compile them all on one cd and make them accessible to the fans who didn’t want to buy every separate album. All the songs were recorded in the past.
MC: Now from 2003 till 2009, when your next release came out, what was the band doing with yourselves or what it like you needed to break as a band member? During this hiatus, any thoughts of dispanding the band?
VC- We just played a lot more shows and didn’t rush anything. We couldn’t find the right record label, so we waited. That is when we signed to DISPLEASED RECORDS and recorded "THE FINAL CONFLICT: Last Days of God" for them.
MC: How many letters do you think up until this point, had you wrote ha ha?
VC- Way too many! (Ha, Ha)
MC: Up until 2009, you had a couple of your releases re-issued. Did anybody during this time approach you about re-releasing your stuff and if they did, how come you didn’t?
VC- We did re-release some of the older stuff in South America. I had no interest in doing any other re-releases at that time.
MC: Now with all these labels, did you have any sort of handshakes deals with any of them or were all based on contracts and do you hate that part of the music scene?
VC- They were all written contracts. But we still got fucked over many times by labels. And yes, I really hate the industry! So far, LISTENABLE RECORDS have been treating us good. Let’s hope it stays that way! (Ha, Ha)
MC: Now the internet had sort of exploded, did you as a band embrace this new idea of communication?
VC – What other choice do we have? (Ha, Ha) You just have to change with the times.
MC: At some point you had been appointed a priest by the Church of Satan. How did this come about and why did you disassociated yourself from them and what do you think off the church burnings that went on and the whole Norwegian black metal scene as a whole?
VC- I worked with the CHURCH OF SATAN for over a decade. Anton LaVey made me a Priest/Magister within the organization. It was kind of a salute to all the work I had done for the Satanic movement. Things changed after LaVey died, so I went my own way. As for the church burnings I thought they were funny. Too bad the Christians just got money from insurance companies to build bigger and better ones.
MC: On 04/26/10 you announced the band was disbanding and on 12/27/10 you announced that the band had reunited? Why the short break?
VC- Some personal issues within the band and non-support from our then record label. But we ended up working things out.
MC: Your drummer, Kyle Severn, has been in the band since 2002. Do you guys have a great friendship and chemistry as far as band stuff goes?
VC- Yeah. I actually met Kyle in 2000 and did a project with him called WOLFEN SOCIETY. We became pretty good friends and he later joined ACHERON.
MC: Art Taylor played guitar for you from 2010 and still is. How did you find him and also your newest member, Jacob Shively. Was he the guitar player live when I saw you or no?
VC- Art actually left the band for a couple years and returned in 2013. Things have been working out great ever since. As for Jacob, he also plays in a band DISMEMBERMENT. We hire him as our live 2nd guitarist. And yes, he played that show you were at.
MC: So when can we see the box set of all your stuff?
VC- Who knows? (Ha, Ha) Maybe in the future?
MC: Do you have original copies of all your old stuff and what is out of print and will it ever come out again?
VC- Yeah, I have most of our stuff. There is no old stuff still being released, except for the special vinyl versions. I’m sure they will be re-issued in the future.
MC; Best and worst label you have worked with over the years?
VC- Not worth getting into. All I care about now is LISTENABLE RECORDS.
MC: Favorite memories over the years and worst parts of being in the band?
VC- Making the music is the best, dealing with the industry the worst!
MC; Are you still in touch with any former band members?
VC- Sure. I am in touch with many past members.
MC: With Facebook, have you found people that you have not spoken to in ages.
VC- Yes. But I still hate FACEBOOK. (Ha, Ha)
MC; How much longer do you see the band being around or is it we will see sort of thing?
VC- Until I die. (Ha, Ha) I can’t see not making music.
MC; How did you hook with Listenable Records and where did you record this album at?
VC- The owner was an old ACHERON fan. Things just fell into place. We recorded it in Cleveland, Ohio at BAD BACK STUDIOS with David Johnson. We sent the recording over to Sweden to be mixed and mastered by Dan Swano at UNISOUND.
MC: Ok I have killed you enough. Plug any and all websites and merchandise you have.
VC- The website isn’t up yet, but people can go on the LISTENABLE RECORDS site and get information on us and our merchandise. They can also look me up on FACEBOOK.
MC: Now after you kill me for this massive novel. Any last words?
VC- Thanks for your support. We hope everyone gets our upcoming album and helps to keep our Satanic war machine alive! Ad Maiorem Satanae Gloriam!