Exclusive Interviews Only Found Here at MetalCore!
Deathrash was the very 1st band to ever send me a demo way back in 1986 and when I stumbled across their myspace page I got in touch with Pat and here is a interview with Pat and look for a re-union show soon as well as all their stuff on CD (can't wait for that).
MC: Pat, first off I just want to say your band was the very 1st band to send me a demo for review in Metal Core many moons ago. What made you decide to do a My Space page and how has the response to it and is it better than you thought?
Pat: Thanks for your ongoing interest in DEATHRASH- we really appreciate it. Initially, we wanted to convert the old demo cassette and taped live shows to digital recordings so that fans would not have to drop a lot of money on Ebay for a 20-year-old cassette. Then we thought it would be cool to put a few new tracks on it as well, so it has turned into a total band reunion! To let fans know about the reunion and the "Thrash Beyond Death" CD we are working on, we started a MySpace music page (www.myspace.com/deathrashmusic). The response on the page has been great and we've reconnected with old friends while making a lot of new ones. We have posted three tracks so far and will be adding more soon.
MC: I know you mentioned to me some reunion shows. Who is in the band now and how many are original members?
Pat: The band is all original members: John Scherer/vocals, Pat "Nemo" Nemeth/guitar, Tim Scherer/guitar, Marc Grossman/drums and me on bass. Marc played with DEATHRASH until just before the "Faces Of Death" demo and then left the band. That's when we asked Tony Scaglione to help us out until we got a new drummer. Tim joined right after "Faces of Death" and was with the band until the end. Some of us hadn't spoken in years but when we got together, all the pieces fell into place- I think we sound better now than we did in '86!
MC: Let's go back in time and tell me what you remember about the band forming way back when? Did you go through many members back in the good ole days before you found a solid line-up?
Pat: We went through a hell of a lot of drummers! In the beginning, Marc and I wanted to play heavy aggressive metal influenced by hardcore punk, which would eventually be known as "THRASH". We rehearsed in Marc's basement with just bass and drums, until we found the guitarist we were looking for in Nemo. Coincidentally, Nemo knew John, who had the perfect voice, and that completed the original lineup for DEATHRASH. John and Nemo had played with Tim before, so when we wanted a second guitarist he was the only one for the job.
MC: Did you play many shows and did you do all originals or did you throw in some covers? What were some of the places you played and bands you played with? Did you think you were a good live band?
Pat: At the time, it didn't seem like enough, but we managed to play quite a few shows. We played at CBGB's in NYC, The Grunge Club in Middletown NY, The Electric Banana in Pittsburgh PA, The Dry House in Morgantown WV as well as places like Club Hell in NJ, which was basically someone's house! We played with WHIPLASH a lot, and with NUCLEAR ASSAULT, HALLOWS EVE, SHEER TERROR, MASSACRE, CALIGULA, DOOMWATCH and MENTAL ABUSE, to name a few. For auditioning band members, we played a few covers, but once we became DEATHRASH, it was all originals. I think the live tracks on MySpace show that we were a fucking killer live band-fast and tight as hell!
MC: Tell me what you remember about your 1st demo? Was it easy for you in the studio or was it a pain in the ass? What was the name of the demo and how many did you sell/give away, etc?
Pat: Our first demo, "Faces Of Death," was recorded at The Sanctuary in NJ. It was our first time in a studio and things went really well. We recorded the tracks "Lockjaw," "Buried Alive" and "Blood For Blood" in one day and returned to mix a few days later. At the time, we sold about 5,000 cassettes and gave away another 500 to fanzines, etc. "Faces Of Death" went on to be the #6 "Demo Of The Year" in Metal Forces Magazine for 1986. We recently remixed and remastered the demo tracks for the "Thrash Beyond Death" CD and it sounds great. The track "Buried Alive" that appeared on the New Renaissance Records compilation, "Speed Metal Hell 2," is currently up on our MySpace page.
MC: Did you have a good local following and what was the response like from fanzines and stuff about the demo?
Pat: We had a great local following! We would have parties where we rehearsed and more people would be there than at other bands' shows. Seriously, the police would show up because of all the parked cars closing the road! We got excellent radio and fanzine coverage. We did a hell of a lot of interviews and were on many Top 10 lists. I remember being a little overwhelmed at the age of 20 that people from all over the world were interested in what we were doing.
MC: How would you describe your band's sound? Did you feel you were original and what do you think when you listen to the material now? How did you come up with your name?
Pat: One of the reasons I hadn't listened to DEATHRASH in a while was because I no longer had a cassette player! That's one of the reasons why I got in touch with the other guys: to convert the music from cassettes to CD! Now when I listen to the demo and live stuff, I am proud of what we accomplished. We totally thrashed while being original and musical. Our sound was originally influenced by the mixture of what we were hearing from the West Coast (Metallica/ Exodus/ Slayer) and the hardcore we were listening to from NYC (Agnostic Front/ Cro Mags) played at breakneck speed. The name came from the phrase, "THRASH TILL DEATH!" Combine 'death' and 'thrash' and there you have it: DEATHRASH! The name tells you our intent- it's a declaration.
MC: Did you send the demo out to any of the indie labels and if you did what was the reaction? Did you get any record label offers?
Pat: We sent the demo out to EVERY indie label!!! There was a lot of interest and we were sent a few contracts- but they were for the same shitty deals everyone was being offered back then. The label would get everything: publishing, merchandising, etc., and we'd be lucky to have seen a second album. We tried to negotiate with a few labels but things didn't work out. We still own all our rights and can put the demo and live recordings of the classic DEATHRASH tracks on the "Thrash Beyond Death" CD, because we didn't sign a bad album deal.
MC: I kinda lost track of what you did after the demo. Did you put another demo or did the band break up?
Pat: Things started to fall apart when we were about to go in the studio to record our second demo, and we broke up in late March 1987. The demo was going to be called "No One Is Innocent," and you can see the original artwork at our MySpace page.
MC: When the band broke up was it a bad break up or just a mutual break up? When you played your last show did you know it was your last show?
Pat: No one was happy about the breakup but everyone was still friends. Some of us had different points of view while other guys were just caught in the middle. Our last show was at a house party in NJ with the band MASSACRE from Florida. Our last show at a club was at The Electric Banana in Pittsburgh with DOOMWATCH. No, we didn't know they were our last shows- things unexpectedly came crashing to an end.
MC: Did you or any of the other band members join any other bands? Do you still listen to a lot of the classic thrash metal stuff and what do you think of today's underground metal scene?
Pat: I went on to form ZERO HOUR with Tony Scaglione (WHIPLASH/SLAYER), Robbie Goodwin (MASSACRE), Gordon Ancis (AGNOSTIC FRONT/NYC MAYHEM) and Joe Haggerty. John joined CALIGULA, and later John and Tim started a band called GRUESOME TASK. I still listen to classic thrash and hardcore everyday. Look through my CD case and you'll find SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, EXODUS, MISFITS, IRON MAIDEN, C.O.C., SLAYER, CRO MAGS, BLIND ILLUSION, BAD BRAINS, TESTAMENT, FEAR, METALLICA, etc. I'm excited to see metal/thrash metal making a resurgence- I think a lot of the fans never left!
MC: Tell me a bit about this release you have coming out. Who is putting it out? When will it be out and what songs and stuff will be on it?
Pat: We are in the process of recording "Thrash Beyond Death". It will have six new recordings on it : new songs "Thrash Beyond Death", "Warkeeper", "Red All Over", "Unfinished Business"; our classic "A Time To Slay" and a 2007 version of "Buried Alive" as well as the "Faces Of Death" demo and "Live at CBGB's" from our 8/10/86 show. We are putting it out ourselves and it will be available through our website: www.deathrash.net. We expect to release it Fall 2007.
MC: Do you have any video clips that you might post on the web one day?
Pat: We recently tracked down a partial video from our show at The Grunge Club in late '86. The video has about five songs on it, and lots of crowd footage. We are currently converting the VHS to DVD, and will post videos on MySpace and on our website. We are planning our first show in 20 years for this summer and will film that as well (It will be in NJ so I expect to see you there, Chris!!!). We were contacted last week about being part of a documentary on the Underground Thrash scene, so we'll see what happens with that, too.
MC: What do you think killed thrash metal?
Pat: It's hard to say, but I guess it's like anything else that becomes popular and commercialized. When it was small, groups of die hard kids started their own scenes themselves, and everything was awesome. Then record companies and money came into the picture and it was in the hands of people with their own agendas. Everything becomes a product that's aimed for mass consumption, but those same masses move on when the next fad comes along. Thrash metal was nowhere near as easy to market as 'grunge' and the entertainment industry is in business to make money- not bankroll musical manifestos.
MC: Do you think if a band such as yourselves had the technology that we have today that you might have been more popular?
Pat: We definitely would have gotten a lot more exposure! Back then, I would spend most of my time writing interviews, mailing press releases, etc., which were seen only by a fanzines' small fan base. Now I send one email to Blabbermouth.net where the story is picked up all over the world and seen by tens of thousands of people. It fucking rules! The immediate access to people interested in DEATHRASH via the internet makes the reunion worth doing.
MC: Do you miss the days of writing a person or fanzine a letter with your demo and flyers? Pat: Those were great days- that's how we met, Chris! If I was ever discouraged, I could just go to my mailbox and get letters from fans all over the world that were into what we were doing. Anyone who wants to can get in touch with us at : [email protected]. We will put you on our e-mail list and keep you updated on DEATHRASH news. If you want to do things old school, you can write to us at: PO Box 1086 Walpole NH 03608.
MC: Is it amazing to you after all this time people are going to your page and stuff and downloading your music after all these years?
Pat: We are really excited by the response we have gotten to both our website and the MySpace page. Lots of great feedback and support. You wouldn't believe how many old friends we have heard from in the last few months! We will be making downloads available soon, including the new song "Unfinished Business," which will be your first chance to hear the reunited DEATHRASH.
MC: If you could give advice to a young band what would you tell them?
Pat: Play it the way you hear it. If you have an idea of how you want things to sound- don't compromise. Be original and true to yourselves. That's really all that matters. If you're in it for the money and fame- go on a reality TV show instead and spare us all.
MC: Will there be any merchandise for sale?
Pat: We are in the process of getting all that together: t-shirts, hats, stickers, etc. Merchandise will be available soon and I'll keep everyone posted.
MC: Do you plan on recording any new songs and if so what will they sound like?
Pat: There are about 12 new songs written, four of which will be on the "Thrash Beyond Death" CD. We had some friends come to our rehearsal a few weeks ago and when they heard the new material, they stood there with their mouths open. The new stuff fucking kills!
MC: Pat any last words? Thanks for taking the trip back in time with me!
Pat: I want to thank you and everyone for your continued support of DEATHRASH. Hearing from people who are still into the band after all this time lets us know we are doing the right thing! When the "Thrash Beyond Death" CD comes out, you will not be disappointed. I want to end with a line from "Unfinished Business" that says it all: ONCE MORE INTO THE PITS, 'CAUSE WE HAVE UNFINISHED BUSINESS!!!