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Tom Stevens

I have known Tom Stevens for a long, long time and when I recently reconnected with him on Facebook I sent him over an interview about all the bands he has been in and what he has been up to and here is what he said to my questions and this is a great interview and trip down memory lane:

MC: Tom it has been a long time since I spoke to you and we recently hooked back up on Facebook so what have you been up to the last few years?


TS: I've been happily married for 10 years and now have a 7 year old daughter. I live near Austin Texas and love it here, it's a great place to live a regular life and Austin happens to be the Music Capital of the World. I run a few small businesses online and have been in mail order since 1998.

Though I have not played live with any band for many years, I enjoy throwing the fact that I NEVER stopped attending metal shows in many faces since a lot of guys my age disappear and return to the scene when they benefit from it...I support metal 100% and my wife also loves the music so things are great.

My life seems balanced these days and I find time to be responsible for my family and also a completely immature maniac that still loves to let it rip with friends when we get together. I am also going to be contributing to Fangoria magazine reviewing music and hopefully some other things too. Since it takes me an eternity to be happy with my own music, I am always thinking about new songs and how I can get them recorded. It's not always easy for me to accomplish all I want to, but I should not complain, life is pretty damn good.

MC: I understand you run some kind of snake service. What exactly is that and where are you living these days?

TS: I have always kept snakes as pets since I was a kid. Many a metal head can tell you my houses over the years I always had reptiles everywhere. Around the time MP3s and IPods took over I found myself on the losing end of a business trying to make money selling music. This was also the time when I began my first attempts at breeding snakes in captivity, which is nothing like putting 2 horny dogs in a yard. I seemed to do quite well and while I was filing my income tax return, the person helping me said it seemed the snake business was going somewhere and the music business was looking grim. I chose to invest in the snakes and made a name for myself in a few years and have had international sales as well as a solid following at the largest Expo in the US.

I actually named the company Snakes By Nokturnel Tom. Once in while some potential buyer will flip and ask if I am the guy from the band haha! It's also funny to be called Nokturnel Tom by people who have no interest in metal, they know about my metal life as some competitors have actually tried to use this as some kind of negative against me.

None of that matters anymore, I have a solid reputation for quality animals and have produced some unique color and pattern mutations through selective breeding, for me this is where the money is. As I mentioned I am in Texas now, and the climate here is perfect for the animals I work with. I have a web site, www.tomssnakes.com. The site has plenty of pics and info and pages with pics of my available snakes for sale. I am extremely fortunate to have made a living revolving around the things I love, Metal and Reptiles.

MC: Do you miss the NY/NJ area at all and what are some memories you have of that area?

TS: NO! Not one bit! People from up north? Hell yeah there's tons of cool people. The problem is the only people I really liked were other metal heads and for the most part anywhere in the US there are just not enough of us. My memories are a mix of heavy partying, stuck up horrid women, ball busting police, boredom, lousy weather in the winter, and fucking pollution! Leaving New Jersey was the best thing I ever did. I despise even driving through that state. I do have some great memories of big shows like Maiden and Priest at the Arena in the Meadowlands and Madison Square Garden in NYC.

Pizza in Texas usually sucks so I miss that haha, and White Castles...Being close to NYC was a plus, but once I got out there and saw the rest of the US I realized how awful NJ was. I had been spending a lot of time visiting family in Florida and ended up living with Phil from Malevolent Creation for a year or two in Lauderdale which was an adventure in itself, but I became a new person when I got out of NJ. I tell people who are un happy with their lives , who still live there moving and having a fresh start somewhere new maybe what they need, but most donÕt listen. There are a lot more unpleasant memories for me thinking back, I am happy I left it all behind.

MC: What bands were you in and what was your favorite band and least favorite band of the ones that you were in?


TS: I had Savage Death in the mid 80s, then the first Nokturnel line up formed in 1989. When that fell apart I ended up in Morpheus Descends for a while. Around that same time I did some shows playing bass for Ripping Corpse, I believe I did 7 shows total.

After Morpheus I ended up in Incantation for a year or two. I had offers to play for some other bands, some very established ones but it's not worth mentioning the maybes, the what might have been.

After Incantation I was soured for a while, and since I refused to let myself get into another similar situation I decided I'd make another Nokturnel record. As far as a favorite band, Nokturnel by a mile. But honestly, regardless of all my ranting and complaining I cannot pick a least favorite. Incantation had the most drama, and I know I can be a real cock too, but I stand by my feelings that I could have taken the band to a new level without changing what the band was supposed to be...meaning I was not going to start throwing solos everywhere. Changing the vocals, etc. My career has really been a mess, in the sense of professionalism and I learned more about this from a music industry standpoint than I ever wanted too.

Since Nokturnel has always gone against trends and the reality that it was unlikely I would reach the level of success other bands had achieved was something I had come to take with understanding, without being bitter. I feel Nokturnel is something I can look back at with pride. My music seems to have reached the 4 corners of the world and I am happy to hear from diehard fans. I will add that some bands seem to have 10-20+ records now, yet they play 50 minute sets live. I will never understand this? If I had the finances I'd have recorded more music but I like the quality over quantity approach.

My music has also stood up against the test of time; it's great to see young people into Nothing But Hatred and even Savage Death. Some people still seem to think I'd prefer the label Tom from Incantation....NOOOOOOOOOOOO way.... I am Tom from Nokturnel

MC: Of all the bands you were in is any of the stuff on CD and available and are you selling any of it or will people have to search the internet for it?


TS; Sure but here's the funny thing. I have seen "Nothing But Hatred" for 2 bucks in used bins and on eBay for over 50 haha! One man's trash is another man's treasure! "Nothing But Hatred" pops up from time to time online, and the record I did in 2002 "Fury Unleashed" is also floating around out there and I do indeed have some copies of Fury available. I have not seen the Anti-Grunge 7" inch anywhere for years. The new one is a split with a killer band from Italy called Tyranizzer Order and will be called The Ultimate Legacy of Hate. It will be released by Diabolist Services [ironically from NJ] and they will also do my upcoming 7" inch with the 2 brand new songs.

I did write the lyrics for the Morpheus Descends MCD The Horror of the Truth which I sing and play the guitar solos on, and I am unsure if there are any of those out there anymore. Come to think of it I have a full length recording of killer Black Thrash that never was released, see how I am? I fucking forgot! Just another thing that could have been killer but collected dust instead.

I do not intend to carry the 7" inches myself. I'd prefer people to contact Diabolist Services directly, after all it's kind of fragile and why ship twice and risk damage. ALL old school metal heads HATE when the corners of their vinyl releases are damaged haha! I am making shirts soon which I will have as well as the remaining final copies of the first pressing of Fury Unleashed. You never know what may pop up if you Google Nokturnel.

MC: What are some of the great shows that you saw back in the day and did you like me go to Lamour's in Brooklyn a lot to see shows?


TS: I lived in Lamour's. I got served alcohol there since I was 17! Some of the waitresses there seemed to like me and would hook me up haha! I saw shows that get the "aw man!" response from young people.

I was at the Ultimate Revenge-Slayer Venom, Exodus, World War 3 and No Speed Limit weekend in Montreal. Venom at the Ritz. I saw Voi Vod 18 times before Angel Rat, Slayer 16 times before Reign in Blood. Metallica with Burton, Ozzy with Rhodes, Number of the Beast & Screaming For Vengeance tour, Dio Holy Diver and Last in Line. The Exodus show where they played with no singer since Baloff was a mess (i was there too-chris) , Possessed and Dark Angel shows (there as well-chris), Possessed when Slayer played 5 songs off Reign in Blood on their equipment (was there for that as well-chris). Napalm Deaths first US shows, Sepultura's first US shows, same for Frost and Destruction and Kreator.

I could go on and on. No joke, I have taken metal seriously, extremely seriously my entire adult life. I could talk for a week straight and not cover it all and I am SO glad I did! WAY too many people talk the talk from behind keyboards and don't get out of the house to see any shows. Guys like you and I know the difference between posers and die hards and I could have predicted who out of us all would still be supporting and even playing in underground metal bands. To these people, guys in bands like Mortician, Incantation, Immolation, Gorephobia, Master, Macabre, Sadistic Intent, Vital Remains etc, I raise the horns and salute them all. In the old days some wondered if metal would die...we proved them wrong, we are metal for life!

MC: Tell me a funny band story that you can recall?


TS: Picking just one is almost impossible. I've been interrogated at the Canadian border with people who insisted I was not me. I've seen a chick doing windmills puke and make a mess of herself and not even stop for a second. I've spoken with police when I was stoned off my ass and somehow managed to not get arrested. I saw Kyle from Incantation get his ass handed to him in 2 seconds flat. I've pissed off tour managers, hotel managers, record label employees, and so many others.

My very first show with Incantation went well but I was not half as prepared as I should have been. At rehearsal there was a riff where one guitar lead into the next part and John and I had both taken this job during rehearsal and never decided who would do it when we played. So we are off to a good start and we're thrashing and going nuts and the part is coming. John is looking at me in a panic and we're yelling at each other -- you do it! No, you! And of course we stop tight as nails and no one does anything! Silence! The crowd laughs and we do too so of course the remedy? THROW THE HORNS! Take into consideration I had the added pressure of Morbid Angel sitting at a table watching to see how I'd do! We went on to deliver a killer show but man we looked like Spinal Tap there for a second.

Another show with Incantation, John and I were not getting a long at all and he was making faces at me constantly with his disapproval since my guitar refused to feedback, I guess my sound was too good? We were playing somewhere where there had not been a metal show in years so the crowd was really into it. John looked at me one too many times and while we were playing and I was not singing I walked over furious and told him I was going to punch his fucking face in -- right then and there while we were still playing. I think that it's hilarious now, but the crowd was shocked, and many said it was the sickest thing they ever saw on stage. John of course was like "whatever" and we got over it, but I shit you not that tour almost ended right there. I was just blowing off steam, the band was going through a hard time but I don't know what was funnier -- the look on John's face or the reaction from the crowd.

Another event that is funny now...I literally got electrocuted during the entire set of a Nokturnel show. My amp was not grounded and smoke was coming off my sweaty hair when it touched the mic. I was insane with rage and we went nuts. The crowd loved it but in the middle of the set I freaked on the sound guy [a common occurrence] and I kicked the mic off the stage. My front teeth hurt, my hair was singed total electrocution during 30 minutes any time I got near the mic. Awesome haha!

MC: Tell me some of the bands that you managed to share the stage with in your years with some of the bands you were in?


TS: Savage Death got to play with Whiplash and Lethal Aggression, and between all the others I played with many killer bands like Morbid Angel, Krisiun, Cannibal Corpse, Death, Sinister, Vital Remains, Macabre, Exhumed, Nile, Vader, Deceased, Mortician, Revenant, Human Remains, Ripping Corpse, Malevolent Creation, Diabolic, Monstrosity, and so many more. Bands I have played for-Savage Death, Ripping Corpse, Morpheus Descends, Incantation and of course Nokturnel.

MC: Do you have a favorite song that you wrote or helped write back in the day?


TS: For Savage Death Spit on the Cross was heartfelt and really over the top for the time it came out. For Nokturnel, "Final Punishment" and "Revenge of the Corpse" were extremely important to me in the realms of technical metal.

or newer Nokturnel, Legend of the Wolven and I Remain Faithless were a lot of fun to compose and record, but every song on the record is a triumph as I composed every note and drum beat so I am really into that material.

It's a shame Morpheus Descends went down in flames, I have a knack for writing cool stories that fit the moods of that style of death metal, and the lyrics I wrote for Valley of Undead War and Begging for Possessioncame out really killer. Who knows how many people ever got to hear it.


MC: Do you miss the days of sending out tapes and then CD's to various fanzines back in the day including mine ha ha?


TS: Hell Yes, those were the days of the real underground. What does it mean to be underground now, probably that your computer sucks and you're slow to reply to email?

Remember the relief of meeting another metal head? Telling your friends "Dude! I just got a letter from some guy in Australia!" and then the reply 'NO WAY! Get the fuck outta here!" I tell author/editor Alan Moses of Glorious Times we used to talk about him like he was some guy in the middle of the Australian outback away from civilization, some lone guy in the middle of nowhere with a Morbid Angel cassette in a tape player haha !

I remember it well bro, there were guys like me who were trying so hard to support the underground while other metal heads chose the way of the hair bands, and we had nothing in common with those guys at all. It was war. Total FUCK OFF AND DIE war.

The bass player for Savage Death and I met up a few years back and he brought a stack of old zines. Remember zines with Xerox copies with pics so bad we were all silhouettes? No detail, no faces, just outlines so people could get an idea what our hair was like and how tall we were haha! And STILL we were like COOL! We took the text as gospel and wrote to all those bands to trade demos.

Jesus Chris, remember when there was only a few record labels? I try to explain to younger people I watched metal take its evil form and the true underground was born. Times have changed, and in my opinion a lot of people are clueless. They're caught up in the chaos of the mid 90's [and think its old school] and donÕt pay enough attention to the bands that paved the way for extreme metal. Fanzines were a hot commodity, they were all we had. Kerrang and other big mags only had so much underground shit, it was Xeroxed pages stapled together that gave the underground the push it needed to get going. Those were the days!

(yes they were my friend I could go on forever like you about those days-chris)


MC: What are some of your favorite bands that you still love?


TS: Kreator, Destruction, Pestilence, Autopsy, Bathory, Venom, Sacrifice, really the only bands that lost me were the killer hardcore and crossover bands that changed way too much. Like old Cro Mags, DRI, Agnostic Front etc. Their first records were amazing. Same with Maiden, I dislike a lot of material after Powerslave...some I hate...Priest held up a bit better but I am just not as forgiving as many of my friends on this subject. ÒSomewhere In TimeÓ made me want to slit my wrists...with Eddie as the Terminator and that god awful commercial piece of shit song "Wasted Years"! However old metal, in general, well it was before metal became so extreme...that music made me want to take it to the next level...and we did, and it just keeps getting heavier. I love old metal of the 80s.

MC: Do you still keep in contact with any of your former band members?


TS: Yes, just about all of them. I am too old to be wasting time hating people for shit that just doesn't bother me anymore and for the most part there was minimal drama and when we parted ways it was on good terms. I wish them all the best, it was an honor to play with every one of them.

MC: Do you know if there is any websites for any of your bands still active and up and running. I know you have a My Space page, what is the url to it and what is on it?

TS: The My Space has a nice long bio with a bunch of funny shit mixed into it. There are a few songs from each era: 2 Savage Death, one Nothing But Hatred track, 3 Fury Unleashed tracks and the latest song Demonic Supremacy.

There are also some videos of me messing around practicing solo techniques on guitar and a TON of cool pics, most are me goofing off with other guys in bands. The url is: www.myspace.com/nokturnelband I am on Facebook now Tom Stevens [Nokturnel Tom] and we are making Facebook pages for Nokturnel and my business Nokturnel Eclipse. Those will be up and running very soon. I've been making quality Spiked Leather stuff for metal heads since 1999 and we sell a lot of Satanic, sexy and horny stuff too! Very...adult.... haha! Nokturnel Eclipse is already on myspace: www.myspace.com/spikedleather please check it out!

MC: What advice would you give to any bands just starting out?

Savage Death baby!

TS: No joke, don't quit your day job and don't think you cannot balance something like a real job or school along with your music career. Don't jam with junkies, wife beaters or people on probation if you intend to travel. Take any offers from anyone willing to spend any money on you seriously, show your appreciation and keep in good standings with those people. Fight for a solid line up of friends, and stay fucking true to yourselves and don't backstab your friends! Carry yourself as professional and SHOWER whenever possible. Being a dirt bag is NOT metal, and just may discourage a band who is considering taking you on tour which for you IS a privilege...Keep your priorities in check and be prepared financially to get yourself out of trouble if you plan on traveling. Last but not least, tune your fucking guitars!

MC: Do you have any regrets or things you would have done differently if you could turn back the clock?


TS: Hard to answer this. All my answers are long but this...man, Savage Death was alive during the first wave of Black Metal, came so close to signing with Combat and touring with Possessed. We had a future, but 2 original members left the band. I never wanted to change the name, but was convinced too by the other guys who were not satanic when we formed Nokturnel. Can you imagine if I never quit, what kind of response I would have had when the Osmose Black Metal bands came charging onto the scene? Thinking about this really depresses me, I deserved to be on top of that scene and instead was back at square one starting over...possible regret there.

(anybody reading this should search out Savage Death, they were ahead of their time and are still one of my favorite bands ever, they simply kill-chris). Incantation gave me the opportunity to tour and meet a lot of great people. I met tons of Nokturnel fans who were disappointed I never played their areas. More than I was aware of we had a lot of fans. Still, I chose to make Incantation my band, meaning I erased my own music from my brain and replaced it with all JohnsÕ music. When I was fired and went to play my guitar early on during my down time I was a mess. I could not focus and realized playing "Nothing But Hatred" era material was not going to happen. My job of singing and playing was hard enough; imagine trying to teach new musicians that material? I will try for a song or two live, but the reality is the "Fury Unleashed" material is who I am now. It took me years to even recall a lot of the riffs I used on Fury. One regret I do hate to think about is the lyrical content of "Nothing But Hatred". I am proud of the fact the music and vocals were so over the top people felt the hatred, which is where the name came from, but the humorous twisted approach was not for everyone and many people were not into it. I just didnÕt want to do what everyone else was doing. On some days I look back and think it was a bold move and it was cool, other days I think to myself what the fuck was I thinking? I would write different lyrics if I could do it again.


MC: In your eyes what makes a great song?


TS: Honestly it's all about how memorable it is. Musicians like me get caught up in the thought that we have to be different, and do things people have not heard before. I was the worst. "Nothing But Hatred" probably has 1000 riffs on it and god knows how many crazy changes. I began writing songs in the simplest form in the 80s. Cheap riff, crank it out for a few...move up one string higher play same cheap riff, return to low string play it some more! Then another new part or two, and back to the beginning. Nokturnel was like riff after riff that never ended up being played twice and almost NO slow parts at all and NO mosh. Most other bands had more straight forward formulas and people didnÕt need to make an effort to feel it or to get into it. Nokturnel and Human Remains had people scratching their heads wondering what the fuck we were doing.

I have changed since "Nothing But Hatred". I took influence from the writing styles of Morpheus and Incantation as well as all my late 80s influence and applied it to my own style. The last song I recorded, "Demonic Supremacy" is the most basic song I have wrote in years. It was very well received but I wrote that and a song off of Fury to prove a point. I wanted to show people I can write music like that as well as technical chaos.

My new songs are a combination of technical and easy to get into riffs and I think people will see this and appreciate it. I take my fans very seriously, there's a million bands out there, I am not very active and still they support me and beg for more music. I intend to deliver two more devastating songs for them and have put a ridiculous amount of time into them.

I think too many people who attend shows these days go for the wrong reasons. Idiots who punch women in the face and karate students who practice on innocent bystanders. Full on mongoloids who are acting so retarded in the pit they probably have no idea what song is even being played. A great song is a song you can SING along too. THIS is the ultimate sign of respect and honor that someone loves your music so much they stare at you just hoping you will notice that THEY are singing right along with you with fists in the fucking air! To me, that is what makes a song great. When it is so good you have air guitar thrashers and people singing the words. Even when Carcass had the barely audible brutality of "Symphonies of Sickness" there were people at their shows singing all the words. Considering how incredibly brutal it was for the time, that is saying a lot about how great those songs were.

MC: Where do you see the underground scene headed?

TS: To hell in a handbasket. Look at it this way, in ten years, when it is likely many bands will retire, examples like Morbid Angel, Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, even Slayer. Who will take the reins and lead the underground? I shudder to think!

With these new kids who probably mean well, I'd like to think their heart is in the right place but anyway they make these heavy bands but have shitty haircuts, god awful fashion statements and the names? Finger Fuck Betty, or As I Died In the Lonely Fields of Eternity or Job For A Cowboy or what the fuck ever....jesus what happened? These kids insist they're death metal and kids their age believe it! OUCH!

This is why not all retro band should be shunned. We fucking NEED some bands to preserve extreme metal in its true forms. I have been watching a band that is young to me, Blasphemous Creation. When I heard them I thought thank the dark lord, these guys ARE heading in the right direction and I dont say that often! Aspiring bands: BE heavy, BE sick, look to add some originality but please don't shit on everything guys like me devoted our lives too.

It used to take some thought to make a guitar heavy, now every other guy has a down tuned 7 string. If you need to be a clone, the best example is the countless Suffocation clones. At least be good at it! I think "modern" death and black metal will be fine, but bands who took influence from Kreator and Destruction are far and few between. Sweden took over and these fucking melodic bands became popular. Hell I love At the Gates but knowing there's all these bands that copied and commercialized that sound makes me ill and finally STOP CALLING METAL ART! You'd have been punched in the face for saying that in the 80s! Metal is metal...it is rebellion! It is horror! It is music we made for ourselves! Nothing to be winning awards on some bullshit ceremony along with other genres of music! THIS IS WHY WE CALLED IT UNDERGROUND! Fucking A I need a drink now...

MC: Have you reconnected with many old school metalheads on your My Space and Facebook pages?

TS: Hell yes and it is fucking amazing! I was stubborn about it at first but I changed my mind quickly. I am not exactly a loner but when it comes to correspondence I was lazy. I still am. My friends know when they come to play in my town I will be there. We don't bitch each other out about how long itÕs been since we last spoke. We shake hands, do a bear hug, and order drinks, that's just the way I am. However since I got on My Space I caught up with countless people, and as I always say I have always appreciated any attention towards my music from all friends and fans and I have heard from people I lost contact with who I really gave a fuck about. So yeah, I love this shit!

MC: You told me your were basically done with music, but if you had a chance to join an established band and make some money would you or are you done with being in bands?

TS: I don't recall saying that, but maybe I didn't word what I meant properly.

Truthfully, yes I would take plenty of gigs that don't interest me if there was a serious paycheck. I know some would hate this but I feel many people would be happy for me. My music has always spoken for me and Nokturnel is about as non trendy and non commercial as a band could have been. I always went against the grain. It is my music and I wrote what I wanted to hear. I will NEVER change this but to play someone else's music for money is different.

I have tried and tried to get a lineup, the bass is no problem but every drummer I speak too is still in Suffocation clone mode or wanna be black metal. It's annoying as hell and I understand why they want to be like this , but I am fortunate to have a woman in my life that supports my dreams of returning to the stage with Nokturnel regardless of money. All I need is a drummer. I passed on what many metal heads would have considered the audition of a lifetime and still know deep down it was the thing to do. But if I had to choose from making a 6 figure income playing music I don't even like or not playing at all I'd take the cash!

It's not likely I will join any other established underground bands but I will tell you this. I may do something with 2 other guys from NJ that has great potential. WeÕre not talking yet, but when we do I think you Chris , will flip! And no it is not Savage Death haha! I am trying to get some new drummers interested in playing for Nokturnel and 2010 may be my year! Cross your fingers for me!

MC: I will do that for you Tom. In a nutshell, what led to the break up of each band?


TS: A very important guy in Savage Death was so disgusted when Combat Records passed on us he threw in the towel and joined the military. The drummer stayed with me to form Nokturnel. In the mid 90s grunge and the Black record for Metallica really hurt metal, but it was when a lot of bands and people I mentioned so far got very serious. The 2 original members of Nokturnel got fed up with weak turnouts and no label interest and just said fuck it all. They knew I'd carry on and I did.

Morpheus Descends went through a lot of strange times and though it was death metal we were carrying on with our doomy approach when the scene suddenly became a whirlwind of speed. We started disagreeing on what direction we needed to go too and a shitload of personal problems arose. The 5 piece band was down to me and one original member and we both ended up in Incantation.

The guys I used on Fury never got to do anything but the recording. The drummer chooses not to play live with anyone anymore and the bass player does his own thing in a local band. I guess I should mention that on Demonic Supremacy and on the upcoming songs I will be recording I do everything but the drums which are handled by Chad Walls in the studio he lives in Canada and cannot tour.


MC: Are there any goals you wished you had accomplished with the bands you were in?


TS: Sure, all of them. I have never had a proper recording budget and my touring was done in a van. No luxury for me: no tour bus and no label support. I have been so fucking dirty on tours from being broke that shampoo applied to my hair did absolutely nothing! Not one bubbles, no suds -- just filth!

Know this...I'd do it all again and then some to get Nokturnel out there , but it would be nice to have a decent budget to record and do a tour with roadies, a sound guy and bus driver. But my goal has always been to get my music out there and it is and it's being played by more people in more countries than I had ever imagined, and that is good enough for me.

MC: Did any of the bands you were in ever get to do any type of tour?


TS: Only Incantation. We did the Morbid Angel-Formulas tour, and had a killer time with Krisiun and Angelcorpse...though believe it or not turnouts were awful.

MC: Do you ever get any emails about Savage Death at all and any chance of that stuff coming out on CD cause they were and still are one of my favorite bands ever?


TS: Here's a funny annoying factoid. The sound of those demos as you hear it today is barely a semblance of what it truly is. I guess since it is Black Metal and it appeals to kids into Beherit, Blasphemy, and the harsher bands...whoever is putting it out there is cranking the bass and washing it in reverb.

Seeing I moved a dozen times, and donÕt take care of my shit. I do not even have original copies of my own music. I just got the SD demos and also the Nokturnel demos again. I hear someone got a decent dub and itÕs going to come out on CD I am all for it. I do not play music for money. I just want to see people react to it, and with Savage Death I can tell countless people I was playing Black Metal, REAL Black Metal before you were fucking born, which is always fun to do haha!


MC: Do you still have all your old fanzines and reviews and actual demos/CDs of the bands you were in?


TS: Nah, the bass player from Savage Death and probably the original bass player from Nokturnel have all that shit. When I see that stuff I get excited, depressed, elated, angry It's just too much really. I am the type of guy that cannot let go of the past. I stick to keeping up with everything online and look ahead which is less maddening.

The fact is most of what I have to say about those older times goes in one e ar and right out the others with modern metal heads. For a guy like you...one of US, I will talk till you beg me to shut up haha! The music is all in my head, when I hear it played I beam with pride. When I play it on guitar I think about those old times and itÕs very emotional for me. Until I get the lineup I need to get out there I can only have the music be so much a part of my life.


I would like to have a copy of everything I have done to save for my daughter who is only 7 now. I think she will get a real kick out of it all and so will I. This music came from my heart, not in some gay way, but I created it to put it out there for people who wanted something sick and crazy and fast and heavy that was just a bit different from all of their other records. I know it's a cliche, but I don't need to hear it anymore... I lived it.

MC: Tom horns up for the interview and the trip down memory lane. Any last words to wrap this up?


TS: I appreciate the chance to speak with you Chris. Talking with young metal people is something I enjoy and I think itÕs important to try and influence them to check out the bands we worshipped way back in the days of old. But itÕs always great to talk with people our age, who recall all the madness and great times and how we watched the underground take shape and turn into the massive worldwide scene it is today.

I encourage everyone to contact me on myspace and Facebook. Please check out all these links:


Nokturnel www.Myspace.com/nokturnelband

Tom - www.Facebook.com/TomStevens


NokturnelEclipse - www.Myspace.com/SpikedLeather

Nokturnel Eclipse on Facebook just do group search

Snakes By Nokturnel Tom

www.TomsSnakes.com

or www.TomsCleanAir.com

EMail: tomssnakes@gmail.com