Exclusive Interviews Only Found Here at MetalCore!
I have known Buddy Mitchell for a long time and got to meet him a few times in person at those now infamous Milwaukee Metalfests and also we were label mates of sorts when I was managing Symphony of Grief and they were on Wild Rags and Drogheda also released some stuff on the same label as well. I recently reconnected with Buddy on Facebook and was pleasantly surprised to see Drogheda still around so I emailed him some questions to fill out and here is what he said to them.
MC: Buddy my friend what have you been up to the past few years. How has the band been doing and what is the current line-up nowadays?
BM: Well, a lot has happened since we last talked. people in and out of the band, but the band was basically dormant for almost 5 years, believe it or not. but we got it rolling again at the end of '09. as of now, we found a couple of young guys that wanna rock and roll. Actually, Dan Haynes (longtime bassist/vocalist) just retired after 17 years in the band, so that was quite a shock, but we have finally found a replacement. The lineup is me on vocals/guitar, Derek Eastham on guitar, Evan Thomas on drums and brand new member Josh Wilson on bass. Our new cd 'thug anarchitect' came out in July on Goatgrind records, so things are moving along.
MC: With the band being around so long like my zine ha ha, how do you still find the enthusiasm to still do the band?
BM: Ha ha...well, it’s obviously tougher now than it was in the old days when all you had to worry about was playing music and getting loaded. I’m a musician and I love playing music. I guess at the end of the day that’s why I keep going. plus my bandmates are half my age...haha! hanging around with those assholes keeps me young! haha!!!!!
MC: Now for those who don't know, please tell me how Drogheda formed and did you think in a million years the band would still be around today?
BM: Drogheda formed in late '92. I and our first singer Dennis Fuldauer started the band. We actually started with our original drummer John Roddy but he soon backed out (only to return later after Dennis was ousted). Then came the whole "drum machine, android death/grind" first era of the band. I never really thought how far it would go, but I have to be honest, it is amazing that it’s still going! It’s still fun, so why stop?
MC: What were the early days of the band like? Was it easy getting all together and writing songs and stuff? Do you remember your 1st show at all and were you nervous getting up there to play and do you at all still get nervous nowadays?
BM: Lots of mail!!!!!!! haha!!!!! Nowadays promoting is fairly easy. These kids didn’t get the experience of cutting and pasting ads together and going to kinkos! haha...plus visiting the mailbox everyday not knowing what cool shit was going to show up. As for writing, yeah we practiced a lot and we were always writing. I absolutely remember our first show. It was in Cleveland with Decrepit, Blood Coven and Ad Nauseum in '94. it was part of our tour leading up to the Milwaukee Metalfest. I was a little nervous, as you can expect. Nowadays, I get more anxious than anything.
MC: How important are lyrics for you and how does a song come together lyric wise and also music wise?
BM: To us, the titles are more important than the actual lyrics. Hell, some don’t even have lyrics! We use the old john tardy style! haha! If you have cool titles, it sets an image. A good example is you could call a song "time bomb"...pretty boring and used a million times. Well, we would call it "nano thermite annihilator"(which is a song off of our new album)....just stuff like that. It just makes it more interesting.
MC: Do you think if a band such as yourselves and other bands from back in the 80's and early 90's has places like You Tube, My Space, Twitter, Facebook, etc that bands such as yourselves could have gotten a bigger following?
BM: Well, it would have sped things up, that’s for sure! And we are certainly are putting all that to use now. It’s so much better now….and although the old days were great, you can’t beat the technology of today. We can write a song, record it, mix it and have everyone hear it in minutes.
MC: What do you like to do when you’re not doing band related stuff? What sort of stuff are you listening to nowadays and what sort of music to you fuckin hate?
BM: I’m usually working when I’m not doing band stuff. Unfortunately, grind doesn’t pay the bills….haha! I usually just listen to the old classics now…Motorhead, Aerosmith, AC/DC, ect….as for what I hate, it’s the mainstream pop crap. I saw an ad for the American music awards….I didn’t know a single person on there…haha!!!!!! I’m just a jaded old man now. haha
MC: What is your opinion of sites like My Space, Facebook, Twitter, Reverbnation and You Tube?
BM: Love ‘em!! As I said before, it just makes things easier. You can just do so much more now. For bands and musicians, it’s the best.
MC: Do you still have any fans that were there from way back when and was it the underground metal scene like in Ohio these days? Were there many places to play back in the day and how about now?
BM: Oh yeah, there are a lot of people who remember us from the old days. Facebook has allowed the band to reconnect with these people. The Ohio scene was great back in the early to mid ‘90’s. Lots of cool bands. As for venues, it’s about the same. It’s always been hit and miss. We still play quite a bit out of state, but there is a decent scene here.
MC: When you look back at what the band has done over the years, what are some of the things you are proud of and what are some things you might have done differently? Do you have a favorite song of the band?
BM: Well, putting out vinyl was really cool…..the first Milwaukee Metalfest we played in ‘94 was with Slayer, Motorhead, ect that was definitely a highlight. But I guess overall it’s the perseverance that I’m most proud of. Just sticking with it and doing it our way, whether it was popular or not. As for things I’d have done differently, I guess the whole drum machine era I would change. Not necessarily musically, but just using the drum machine at all. The band went through a couple of eras before we settled on just pure grind. Although we always had a lot of blast beats, we had some weirdness in there in the early days. Looking back….im not so sure that was the best idea.
MC: What was it like going into the studio for the 1st time to record a demo? What was it like having a finished cassette ha ha in your hand?
BM: We always did our recordings ourselves. 4 and 8 track multitrack cassette recorders for the win!! Haha! Then we got into the digital age a bit and upgraded from there. Now we have a imac with all the bells and whistles and our own studio, excruciating sound. I remember getting our first cassette, first vinyl and first cd. It’s the best feeling in the world! You get to see your picture on there and hear your music in that format for the first time….it’s awesome.
MC: Now at the time did you have a good local following? Was there a decent underground scene in Ohio? Did you know about fanzines and tape trading and all that?
BM: Well, we had a decent underground following. The locals knew who we were….some were fans, some weren’t. We were definitely known on a more global scale because of all the tape trading. If you are asking if we were “hometown heroes”…not really!!! Haha. All that didn’t come until later. The Ohio scene was great, though. We still play with bands from that era and are still friends with most of the guys from those bands. I technically got into the underground in ’91 and tape trading and fanzines were the lifeblood of it all.
MC: Was that a crazy time for the band with mailing out tapes and hand writing letters and mailing out flyers and stuff? Do you miss those days at all and do you have a bunch of old flyers and stuff hidden away somewhere?
BM: I spent a lot of time on mail back then. Yeah, it was certainly crazy back then, with all the actual labor you had to put into everything. Hand making flyers, hand writing letters…hell, even laying out the design for the demos/cds/vinyl was a pain in the ass. Now, everything can be done from home on a computer. I used to have a boatload of old flyers, ect, but when I moved in ’04, I ditched a lot of it and just kept the stuff that meant something. I actually still have a stack of Metalcore #19 in perfect shape…haha!!! I certainly kept all the old Drogheda ads, reviews and whatever else band related. It’s cool to go through it all once in a while and relive all that stuff.
MC: How did you come up with your name and where any other names considered? What does the band name mean, if it means anything? Who designed the logo?
BM: Our old singer Dennis Fuldauer came to us with the name. I still have the actual paper with a list of names on it somewhere in the archives. It was a cool word….and better than ‘bloated corpse’ or ‘satanic necrobutcher’ or something like that. It left a lot open musically and lyrically. As for the meaning…there are lots, actually. It’s a city in Ireland, for one, a planet in a star wars comic…..and on and on. The original logo was drawn by some guy Dennis knew. Total cheese….haha!!!!!! but I guess it kinda fit what we were doing at the time. We quickly got a new logo, which was a ransom note style logo I designed. We had that for years, and just got a new one last year, designed by Neil Hutchinson.
MC: I know at one point you got signed by Wild Rags? How did that come about and how many releases did you do with him. Obviously you heard all the crazy stories about him, did the band ever have any problem with him? Did you ever meet him?
BM: I sent him our first demo and he loved it. He signed us to a licensing deal to start just for our demo. Then we actually signed to the label. We put out 3 cds with them. We never had a problem with Richard. He always treated us right and it was a great learning experience and definitely got the bands’ name out there. I met him at our first Milwaukee Metalfest in ’94. He actually got us on the show. He seemed like a good dude. (I have never had a problem with him neither-chris)
MC: Back in the day did you go to or play any of the Milwaukee Metalfests?
BM: Oh yeah…we played ’94,’95 and ’98. I think we went for fun in ’96…..great times!!!! It’s a shame that it went into the shitter like it did.(damn right-chris)
MC: What was the biggest show the band ever played and what is your favorite or best live band that you have ever seen?
BM: Well, as far as ‘name wise’ it was with cannibal corpse, immolation and brutal truth in ’96 on Thanksgiving Day at the sub galley in Dayton, Ohio. Place was packed and obviously it was a killer line up. As far as best live band….napalm death is always great, as well as slayer. I’ve seen both bands around 8 or 9 times. But there are a lot of great bands I’ve seen through the years. I got to see the mighty Assuck in ’98 at a punk squat in Cleveland. It was awesome!!!
MC: Any bands over the years disappoint you and why did they do that? Anything that is out of print that you would like to see come back in print? What is your opinion on bootlegs?
BM: To be honest, any band I went to see put on at least a decent show. I can’t remember thinking, “wow, that was bad!” and if I did, it was a band I wasn’t there to see anyway.. I would love to see some of the old speed/thrash stuff come back. Bloodfeast, Wehrmacht, Cryptic Slaughter, Sadus, ect. Bootlegs are great sometimes….as long as they aren’t of my band….haha!!!!!!
MC: How many releases do you have out and are any of them out of print? If any are out of print, is there any plans on re-releasing them and is there any old stuff that might come out and see the light of day and when will any new stuff be coming out and when was the last time you released something?
BM: Well, here is a list of the stuff we’ve put out.
1994-S/T CD (WILD RAGS)
1995-'KILL EXTREMIST' CASSETTE (EXTREMIST)
1995-'POGROMIST' CASSETTE (EXTREMIST)
1996-'POGROMIST' CD (WILD RAGS)
1996-'UNABOMBER' SPLIT 7" W/MORTICITE (EXTREMIST)
1997-'A CELEBRATION OF VIOLENCE' CASSETTE (EXTREMIST)
1997-S/T SPLIT CASSETTE W/DISMEMBERED FETUS (EXTREMIST)
1998-'CELEBRATING FIVE YEARS OF VIOLENCE' CD (WILD RAGS)
1998-'BLACKLISTED' SPLIT 7" W/FATE OF ICARUS(EXTREMIST)
1998-FROZEN DAWN RECORDS COMP. FEAT. 5 NEW SONGS
1999-'AGENTS OF PRIMORDIAL CREATION AND ULTIMATE DESTRUCTION' CD (EXTREMIST)
1999-SPLIT CD W/MORTICITE (EXTREMIST)
2000-SPLIT CD W/DYSMORFIC (EXTREMIST)
2000-SPLIT CD W/INTENSE HAMMER RAGE (EXTREMIST)
2000-SPLIT CD W/BRUTAL INSANITY (EXTREMIST)
2001-SPLIT CASSETTE W/ FLATLINE CONSTRUCT (EVIL BIKER)
2004-SPLIT CD W/ RIPHEAD (E.M.E.)
2011-'THUG ANARCHITECT' (GOATGRIND)
As far as out of print, all of it is, except the new cd ‘thug anarchitect’. I don’t know if I would want to re-release the old stuff, unless it was rerecorded. We are working on 6 new songs that will hopefully come out on vinyl. We just released our latest cd in July on GoatGrind Records.
MC: I am sure back in the day you spent more time doing band related stuff that you do nowadays. How much time back in the day did you spend doing band stuff and how much mail was coming in every day and how much mail was going out?
BM: I spent a good 2-4 hours a day doing band stuff in the early heyday. It was fun going to the mailbox to see what had showed up. As far as how much was coming and going, it depended on the day. I’d say 4 to 5 pieces, at least, daily.
MC: What were some bands that you shared the stage with back in the day? Do you have any special or favorite shows that stick out in your mind and do you think you are a good live band? Is there any videos from past or present floating around on You Tube and other sites?
BM: Oh man…well, we played 3 Milwaukee metalfests, so you know how many bands were on those! Haha! As I said before, my fave was with cannibal corpse, immolation and brutal truth in ’96 on Thanksgiving Day at the sub galley in Dayton, Ohio. It was such a good time. I think we are a better live band nowadays by far. As for videos, yeah we made a real vid with our friend Dave Maynard. That’s been getting a lot of play since it was released last year. It came out great. There are a lot of live vids out there as well.
MC: If you could pick 5 cover tunes to play what would they be and why? Do you have a personal favorite band and what was the farthest you ever got to play away from Ohio?
BM: Hmmmm…good question…excluding the ones we’ve done before, I’d go with napalm death-social sterility, Aerosmith-toys in the attic, motorhead-motorhead, Kiss-I Love It Loud and AC/DC-sin city, which we used to cover live but never recorded. Maybe soon…
MC: How much longer do you see the band being around? Where do you see the music scene headed in say 5 years? Do you think thing eventually everything will just be on the internet?
BM: Hopefully for a while. I certainly don’t feel like quitting and we have guys that are totally into it, so hopefully for another couple of years at least. I think the underground will always be there. While things have changed, they also have stayed the same in many ways. There are still some hardcore, old school people out there. I do believe everything will be on the internet. Hell, it already almost is anyway! but in turn, everything always makes a revival, like vinyl for example. It all turns over eventually.
MC: Way back when did you do any sort of tape trading and how did you go about discovering new bands and what were some zines you liked to read way back when?
BM: Oh yeah, I did a lot of tape trading. In the old days, you just walked into a record store, looked for what you thought might be cool, and took a chance. Fanzines were definitely a part of that process. That’s pretty much all gone now. Even the most obscure band in the world is on the internet for all to see and hear as fast as you can click a mouse.
MC: Is there any Drogheda merchandise for sale?
BM: Right now all we have is our new cd ‘thug anarchitect’. We will have shirts soon! Promise! We have been talking about it forever but something always backs us up.
MC: Plug any websites that the band has.
BM: Well, I’m gonna plug our links and some folks that have helped us along the way, so other people can check them out.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aI7wgUJGs7o (our video)
http://facebook.com/davidmaynardbmtc (guy who did our video)
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Drogheda-70s-Arena-Grind-Superstars/193642323555?ref=ts (facebook page)
www.reverbnation.com/drogheda (band news, songs)
http://goryboy.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=24#/d2rcpdl (guy who did our logo)
http://www.goatgrind.tk/ (label…put out our latest cd)
MC: Buddy any last words, horns up for doing this interview and hope we stay in touch.
BM: Chris, it’s been a great pleasure and honor, man. Congrats on still doing this!!!!! Hopefully we can do this again down the road and maybe we can hopefully meet up again. You are a true rock and roll warrior and friend! Horns up!!!!!!!! \m/ DIE HARD!!!!!!!!!!