Interviews Only Found Here at MetalCore!
I about shit my pants when I head the new Dead Conspiracy material and this band was around back in the putting out some killer death metal music and now they are back in 2014 putting out some more and check this interview with Eric:
MC: So take me through what the led to the band reforming and how many original members are in the band at this time and were any of the original members asked to re-join, but declined?
ERIC: Basically the timing was just right to play music together again. It almost happened about 8 years ago. I wrote 9 songs with our original drummer Eric Detablan but his wife decided she would rather live in Texas before I could get the other guys involved so that attempt faded. Not long after departing Poison Idea, Chris Carey came out to see me playing in my band at the time, Deathsaw and we started talking. The singer in that band was Brian Chainey who sang for Axiom awhile back. I've always been a fan of his style as it is stylistically similar to Mark Murphy from Dead Conspiracy. Deadly as hell with a strong punk influence.
When Chris and I made the decision to reform DC, it was not made in haste. We talked with Mark (original singer) but he has made a name in L.A. as a rock singer (the teenage frames, Crazy Squeeze) and Eric Detablan is still in Texas. We are huge fans of those guys and honor everything they have done for this band over the years.
We knew Brian was the man for the vocal spot so he was in immediately. We recruited an insanely talented musician in Nathan Richardson on drums and we rounded out the lineup with one of our original guitarists from back in 1990, Jeff Taylor. Ready to destroy!!
MC: Now take me through a few of the first times the new line-up got back together and how did it feel to be making Dead Conspiracy music again? How easy was it to get these new tunes together for this new ep that is out?
ERIC: This rebirth has been so fucking fun it is mind blowing!! Playing with Chris Carey again is amazing! They songs are just flowing right now and we are all loving the creative process.
MC: Tell me what is this early rough demo that is on the release as a sort of bonus tracks feature? How easy was it coming up with new songs and did it feel natural for you in the studio recording these new tunes?
ERIC: Well, the new release, Abomination Underground is a 12" vinyl consisting of 3 tracks we recorded a few months ago (available separately as a promo CD EP) and another track we recorded in January on side A. Side B is the 1987 Demo in its entirety, remastered from the original recording that has been lost for over 20 years!!
Being in the studio together has been a breeze. We are eating this shit up!!
MC: I know your releasing the cd/vinyl on your own. Do you hope to sign with a label in the near future and have them put it out?
ERIC: There are a few labels we would really like to work with in the future but for this release, doing it ourselves was just the right thing to do. It combines past and present in one slab of badass vinyl and we are proud as hell of it!!??
It is a limited release of 500 copies. After that we will look to labels to plan for the next full length.??
MC: Now we are gonna go way back to the early days of the band. Tell me how the band formed way back in the 80's and did you have to go through many line-up changes before you came up with a solid line-up? Was there any kind of metal scene at all back in Oregean back in the 80's? How did you manage to get your fill of metal back then fulfilled?
ERIC: In the eighties, the metal scene was young and hungry!! People came out to see shows just because there was a show. People didn't see a band, check em off the list, and never go to see them again. Very common around here these days. Metal bands pretty much all played together as well. There weren't so many sub genres so you would see speed, thrash, death, classic metal bands as well as punk on the same bill. I went to local shows all the time. Portland bands like Wild Dogs, Glacier, Final Warning, Poison Idea, Mayhem (pdx) were who got us to pick up instruments in the first place
Dead Conspiracy formed in 86 as a punk band and then quickly morphed into a metal band. The lineup was very consistent with the exception of second guitarists who changed with each demo.??Support at shows was sick!! Our second show was at the same venue Slayer played at back then. We had around 500 people show up!!!! For a local band with only a demo cassette out? That shit just does not happen today but fuck it... there are plenty of crazy ass metal fans worldwide and we play what we want because we want to!
MC: What were some of the bands that you got into back then that helped influenced the bands sound?
ERIC: Our sound...well the underground was just getting going so it was whatever the local record store had in. We bought it all, Slayer, Venom, Bathory, Onslaught, Artillery, Exodus, Death, Hellhammer, Destruction, VoiVod, Agnostic Front, Discharge, etc.
We were 15 - 17 year old kids who just loved heavy music and we just let that shit flow and what ever came out... well, there you go.
MC: How long was the band together before you released your 1st demo back in 1987. Looking back what are your thoughts on it and how was it for you going into the studio for the 1st time.
ERIC: We finished The immortal Strife at our first rehearsal and it was only a few months before we scraped together a couple hundred bucks and headed into an 8 track studio and recorded the Demo you will find on the vinyl release this April.
MC: Did you send this demo out to fanzines and stuff cause back then I got a few of your demos to review and we even did an interview when Metal Core was a print zine. If you did send the demo out what was the response like and around how many do you think you pressed and got rid of?
ERIC: We shipped demos all over the world, bought every fanzine we could get a hold of, made pen pals in the fan section of Metal Forces mag and traded with bands from everywhere. I remember when Trey (Morbid Angel) sent us a copy of the Thy Kingdom Come demo. We listened to it... after shitting our pants we put it away and said, Fuck we have work to do!! Hahaha... those were inspiring times for us! Bands like Sadus, Necrovore, Dr. Shrinker, Righteous Pigs, blew our minds and we couldn't get enough!
We received mail and demo orders, interviews and such from all over. Guys like you, Scott Helig, Juan Carlos Mutilador and tons of others were putting out sick fanzines worldwide. In fact, I had one called The Necromantic Press back then.
MC: In 1988, you released your 2nd demo. What did you do differently that time as opposed to the 1st time you went into the studio? Was the response to this demo better than the 1st one and what are your thoughts on this demo nowadays? Did this demo help you get more live shows and develop a bigger following at all?
ERIC: The second demo was simply a rerecording of the first demo along with a new song i wrote called Carnage. It was largely meant for local sales at shows.
MC: Were you playing many live shows and what were some bands you shared the stage with back then and do you think you were a good live band? Were any of your old shows taped at all and are any on say You Tube and places like that?
ERIC: I think we were a very good live band!! We loved to be on stage, to see the sick ass circle pits of the day, to play with bands that we were into!! There are a bunch of live clips from back then on youtube. Several are linked through our Facebook page. Check em out!
For our first show, we brought Sadus up from the bay area in support of their DTP demo! Great fucking show!!
We have been fortunate enough to share the stage with a shit ton of great bands!! Dark Angel, Carcass, Death, Pestilence, Defiance, Annihilator, Sadus etc.
MC: Did you try and send this demo out at all to record companies and stuff and if you did, what was the response to your band? By this time were you getting more of a following and stuff and did you sell more copies of this demo than the 1st demo?
ERIC: We sold a few hundred copies of those demos. As for labels... they said were too extreme!!!!!!!! What the fuck!!!! By the time we broke up, they were all signing bands like us.
MC: Now in the same year another demo came out. Did this have different songs on it? Was this meant as a like a promo of sorts for record companies or was it for sale? Please details.
ERIC: I've read this before, also about a Vomit Gore demo but those don't exist. We did the 87 then the 88 with Carnage. We did do a one song recording called Vanish Into Enslavement which a good song, horrible recording and very limited release.
We did use the name Vomit Gore Productions for many of our shows and I think somehow this got transposed to a demo somewhere.
MC: In 1989 another release, this called "In The Insane" came out. Was this demo for sale or was this like a record company type of demo? By now what was the morale of the band like and how about the line-up? Was the line-up pretty much the same so far?
ERIC: That demo was for sale and did pretty well. It marked a change for the band. Our second guitarist at the time was very into the blues and at that point we all started experimenting with different styles. It was a different world back then. The idea of a side project hadn't really come about so other influences just crept into the music. We were still very into what we were doing at this point.
MC: How big was your following at this time and how about shows? Tell me some of your favorite shows that you personally saw over the years?
ERIC: Our following was huge at this point! My only regret was that we didn't tour except a few shows in California and Seattle. My favorite shows I have seen? Holy fuck!! That is a long list man. Slayer with Possessed in 85, Exciter with Exodus and Megadeth opening! Dark Angel on the show we played, Metallica on Ride the Lightening with Armored Saint, Twisted Sister at the very beginning of the Stay Hungry tour at a small club, also, Iggy Pop, Stray Cats and a lot of non metal stuff. Celtic Frost with Voi Vod, Destruction... fuck... on and on. many great shows! My favorite live bands right now are Gravehill, Ghoul and Nunslaughter!! I would love to see Midnight!!
MC: Also in 1989 another demo came out called, "The Wall Within". Tell me about this demo and how easy was it for you to being going into tbhe studio so often? How did the writing of a song come together? Are there any songs you look back and say to yourself, 'what the fuck was I thinking" when it comes to a song?
ERIC: 89 and 90 are odd for us. When I look back, in many ways I think of those 2 years and say "what the fuck?!?!" Yet we've had people from Chuck Shuldiner to Mike Patton tell us these were some of their favorite demos. After all, it is art and once it is done it’s done. From their, beauty is in the eye... and all that.
MC: How did you come up with the name of the band and were any other names considered?
ERIC: This was the name from day one! We had the logo and knew what we wanted to do.
MC: Tell me about this single called 'What Would You Have Them Do". Did this come out on a 7" or was it a cassette single of sorts? What was the response to this like?
ERIC: That was a promo for New Renaissance records and was never released. It was an experimental tune and should have been published under a different name.
MC: Now how long after this did the band end up breaking up and what led to the band breaking up? What did you end up doing after the band broke up? Did you still stay in touch with other band members at all?
ERIC: At this point we could have split into two bands. Most of us wanted to keep playing metal but we were also torn in different musical directions. It was really a product of the time. The experience with New Renaissance along with being courted by major labels like Restless and Atlantic really doomed us. We were just to young and immature to deal with these people. they wanted us to get a horn section and move to L.A. The attention was great but we were losing scope so we called it quits before it could get worse.
MC: Did you miss the band much when it broke up or was it something that just had to happen and you just moved on?
ERIC: After the band broke up a few of us played together in other bands. Over the years though we all moved on. Different states and lives. Chris and i both went through big periods of depression where we couldn't even play metal because DC was so important to us in the past. When he returned to metal he formed a band called Skull Splitter. I heard their song "rivers full of blood" on Myspace and I was like... fuck I miss playing with Chris. After he came out to see me playing in Deathsaw we both knew the time was near.
MC: Now 15 years later Hells Headbangers releases all your demos onto cd. How did this come about and did any other labels contact you or the band about doing this and how cool was it seeing your music on cd some 15 years later. Did the band do any kind of promotion or re-union show at all with this release? How were the sales and response to it and how happy were you with the finished product?
ERIC: The HHR release was the idea of Don from the legendary Nunslaughter! He wrote to me about the idea and then talked to Chase at HHR about it. We really didn't have much of a hand in the layout or anything other than sending pics and flyers and such. I can't thank HHR enough for releasing that collection. In hindsight I think a vinyl release of the first demo would have been better but hey... we are doing that now. We did not do any reunions for that. I would have liked to but it just wasn't gonna happen at the time.
MC: To someone who has never heard the band or its music, how would you describe it and do you think you were/are an original band and how did lyric writing come about?
ERIC: I feel we are original in the sense that we are artists who approach our music from a true sense of who we are and not who we want to be like. We call ourselves a punk band that plays metal and keep that in mind when we write. We prefer down picking intensity and rhythmic value to technicality. Lyrically we run the gamut from war to incantation.
MC: Do you still have a bunch of your old flyers/reviews/actual demo tapes, etc stored away somewhere?
ERIC: I have boxes of them... In fact the insert for the vinyl release (lyrics, pics and such) will be printed on the back of original 11 x 17 concert flyers!!
MC: Do you think if sites like My Space, Twitter, Facebook, etc were around back in the day, do you think such are yourselves would have become bigger and what do you think of such sites?
ERIC: Things certainly would have been different... not sure about better but maybe. I remember Sepultura getting a lot of shit for "not shipping demos" that people had paid for. For fucks sake!!!! We were sending cash in the mail to foreign countries and then being surprised when the bands never even received the dough. Things are so instant now. Not much room for anticipation and excitement. Hit enter... listen to the first few seconds, skip, listen, escape. Whatever. Fuck, I suffered through some awful demos back in the day looking for that diamond in the rough!
MC: While on that subject, plug any websites and merchandise you have for sale.
ERIC: No prob! Like our Facebook page and check it for updates on the band. Order our recordings, shirts, patches etc. at our Bandcamp page or ask your local record store to order it. Cdbaby will have both the cd ep and and the new vinyl as well as itunes, amazon and such.
MC: Has any band every covered one of your songs that you know of and have you ever seen any of your stuff up on sale on Ebay and I mean your old demos and stuff? Have you ever web searched the name just to see what would pop up?
ERIC: Not that I know of. Headhunter Death Cult from Brazil has talked about covering Cessations but that is all I know of. I have seen copies of the 87 demo for sale online from $18 - $250!!!!??
MC: Do you think the band being from Portland, OR hurt you as far as possibly not getting signed?
ERIC: Yes, around 1990 being from Florida would have helped but it's all about timing and what the labels "flavor of the week" is.
MC: When I say the word "poser" what goes through your head ha ha?
ERIC: Hmmmm. that is tricky. To me, if you wear a band shirt... you should like the band that is on it. That's about as far as I go with the concept of posers. Aside from that, who am I to judge whether someone is "true" in their musical leanings?
MC: What are some of your favorite memories as far as the band goes and some of the worst?
ERIC: some were both!! Playing with Sadus was fucking fun as hell and they were amazing!! But damn if those guys didn't sit around my house all day long smoking dope and listening to my Black Sabbath records instead of helping us and the guys in Savior set up the club we rented for the night. Pretty funny in retrospect but at the time... damn... we were pissed!! hahaha
When we played with Death and Carcass, it was the same week as the heavily publicized murder trial of a white supremacist so the show was fucking filled with nazi skinheads. like a hundred!! The club had to hire the local college football team for extra security. We dedicated a song to Malcolm X and they started spitting at us. It was funny as hell!! We pretty much hung out back stage with Chuck after that.
MC: What are your thoughts on the metal scene these days?
ERIC: The metal scene seems very genre divided these days but for as crappy as I think most of the extreme metal and post...blah blah blah genres are, at least there is a metal scene!! It appears to be growing as well with the younger audience and that rules!!
MC: Have you ever read any interviews where a band sites your band as an influence?
ERIC: Yes, off hand... Nunslaughter, Impiety, The Chasm, Headhunter Death Cult. Other bands have told us that we influenced them but I won't name them because I don't have it in writing.
MC: Back in the day were you into any of the crossover stuff?
ERIC: I think we were the crossover stuff. Maybe not as intentionally as other Portland bands like Wehrmacht but as I said... a punk band playing metal. That was and is our approach. If yo think about it bands like Slayer were original crossover. They mixed Judas Priest with DRI and "presto"... amazing shit happened!!
MC: Do you guys as a band have any goals for yourselves?
ERIC: We want to play festivals!! We want to get in front of as many sick ass metal fans as possible. We want to go to Mexico, Brazil, Japan and everywhere else there is a thriving scene and destroy fucking stages Chris!! (seeing you play in MD at the annual deathfest woud rule-chris)
MC: Back in the day, around how many letters do you think you wrote ha ha?
ERIC: Shit tons! In fact I still have a bunch that never got mailed.. one to Bill Steer! hahaha
MC: Do you think the scene can ever recapture the way it was back in the 80's and into the early 90's?
ERIC: Holy crap! The naivete of the day has come and gone. We didn't know what we were doing and didn't care. But, you never know. My grandfather always said, "never base your career on the current job market" and I feel that holds true here. Maybe we will all be surprised by a massive surge fans who are tired of seeing live music through the internet, who want to get sweaty in a circle pit. Just look at the growth in vinyl sales!! People want something honest and original. There may be hope yet man. (well said my man-chris).
MC: When do you think you found the Dead Conspiracy sound so to speak?
ERIC: 1987 for sure.
MC: Where are some places people can buy your stuff and is the demos on cd release still available?
ERIC: The HHR release is sold out. The vinyl hits the streets April 1st and it can be preordered through bandcamp!!
MC: What are some of the bands that you listen to nowadays and when you listen to a song what catches your ears so to speak?
ERIC: For me, music has to sound honest. I've been around long enough to tell when someone is copying someone else or is just phoning it in. Ghoul haven't been releasing a lot but they play some honest fucking thrash! Gravehill have a new album hitting the same day as ours and it is sick as hell... seriously. I have a demo cut of one tune "At Hells Command" and have played it literally hundreds of times! Midnight is another band I really enjoy listening to. You can tell exactly where they are coming from and you have to love it! I've also been listening to tracks from Exmortus, Skeleton Witch, Witchhaven, Headhunter DC etc.
MC: Your new singer. Where did you find him and how have things been working with him so far?
ERIC: Well, as I mentioned earlier, I have been playing music with Chainey for about 7 years now. He is the right dude with the right attitude and a depth of vocal skills that I think most fuckers can't fathom!! Mark Murphy signed off on him being the new front man a long time ago, since his (Marks) vocal style has changed so much over the years, and there you have it! Listen to him sing on Rites of The Ululatus and prepare to shit yourself!!!!
MC; Any last words, mega horns up for the interview?
ERIC: Chris, thank you so much for this opportunity!! You have been a huge diehard supporter of the scene forever and that is massively appreciated. Thanks to Kim Kelly for getting us in touch. I really hope your audience digs this new record! it's gonna melt some turntables for sure! Horns up, crosses down!!!!