Interview: ILLUMINANDI

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Once in a while, I come across a band that grabs my attention immediately, simply because they decide to buck the recent metal trends and come up with something altogether different than what’s currently out there. Poland’s Illuminandi is a self-described dark gothic metal outfit, seamlessly blending elements of prog metal and classical with alternating clean and growling vocals, all melding together to bring an atmosphere that is unique to metal. After listening to the band’s two demos, I sent this interview via e-mail to the lead singer / guitarist, Jan Trebacz, who, despite a heavy personal schedule, graciously answered each question in detail. Read on. – Uncle NecRo
Interview_ ILLUMINANDI
For starters, could you give the readers a list of people who are currently in the band, and what instruments they play?

– Patrycja Pyzinska- violin, vocals; Antonia Kraszkiewicz- cello; Aleksander Kraszkiewicz- bass; Szymon Grych- drums and percussion; Aleksander Koziol- lead and rhythm guitar, additional vocals; Jan Trebacz- lead vocals and growling, guitar; Bogdan Czernia- raspy vocals.

What does the band’s name, Illuminandi, mean to you?

– This name is a Latin word which means ‘what is to be enlightened’. This is how people to be baptised were called in the early Church. I wanted our name to have something to do with the light (which is a powerful Christian symbol)- ‘lumen’ in Latin – but I knew of a band called LUMEN. When I found the name ‘Illuminandi’ I liked the sound of it and the meaning appealed to me as well; sometimes I feel my life is like wandering in the darkness but I am striving towards the light – even though sometimes it’s very small, it’s still there! I believe one day all darkness will end and we’ll find ourselves immersed in wondrous Eternal Light!

This is probably the first time I’ve heard of a metal band from Poland, Christian or secular (please excuse my American ignorance, I’m getting better). What is the metal scene in Poland like? Is there a wide range of metal styles? What other bands hail from the country?

– Whoops… I think you MUST have heard the name VADER… Although I don’t think they are Christians… Smile Another widely known (at least in Europe) bands are DECAPITATED and BEHEMOTH. All of them play non-melodic death metal and I don’t listen to any of them – VADER and BEHEMOTH have also been using satanic imagery and symbols etc., so I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone, but they are quite famous anyway…

Anyways, the ‘secular’ metal scene is HUGE here, we have some REALLY great metal bands but most of them never make it out of the underground – there are too little labels, too many bands! Most popular genres are black/death, we also have a few superb gothic/doom bands. I think power metal is the least popular kind style of metal here… Some Polish bands I really respect: MORDOR (excellent prog metal), CEMETARY OF SCREAM (doom/gothic), ACID DRINKERS (thrash/heavy/hardcore), SCEPTIC (technical death).

Christian metal scene is practically nonexistent here – we have quite a lot Christian NU metal or hardcore bands (2TM2,3; ARMIA; TOTUS TUUS; ANASTASIS; PNEUMA) but not really any ‘traditional’ metal bands.

We used to have UNDISH (excellent goth rock/metal) and CREATION OF DEATH (death) but they disbanded.

Illuminandi plays a very eclectic style of metal, with classical styles getting equal parts with the heavier elements of your music. Though I’m inclined to immediately think of Believer’s album Dimensions, what bands or artists influenced the band to play this style of metal?

– I think Believer’s “Dimensions” is an extraordinary piece of art (especially “the Trilogy of Knowledge”) and I think they could have influence me in a way, but when completing the line up I think I was more influenced by all the gothic/symphonic/doom metal stuff I used to (and still do, but not exclusively) listen to: HAGGARD, CELESTIAL SEASON, SIRRAH (a Polish band, now disbanded) and generally all stuff with keyboards or strings in it. To be honest, one of my inspirations to use the violin was also MY DYING Bride’s “The Angel and the Dark River” album, but now I have a very mixed feelings about this band – lyrics wise.

This is, however, what influenced me when I was founding the band- as life goes on my inspirations keep changing as I REALLY listen to LOADS OF music.

Other members had different inspirations, e.g. our guitarist Alek grew up listening more to punk and hardcore…

Besides the classical arrangements, I’ve noticed a wide variety of musical influence on the sound. For instance, on the song ‘Alleluja’, there’s a very Eastern-sounding guitar riff, and on ‘I O Tym Drugim’, I think that’s a very Russian Folk violin playing (I could be wrong). What other music styles influence the song crafting, and what other styles of music do you enjoy?

– Well, ‘Alleluja’ was ment to sound ‘eastern’ (ORPHANED LAND is one of my faves and AMORPHIS used to use eastern scales a lot, too Smile ) but I never thought “I o tym drugim” had anything to do with folk at all… Especially Russian.Smile Anyways, my musical taste is pretty diverse and I’m somehow influenced by everything I listen to. As for metal I used to be a real gothic/doom freak, now it’s more progressive metal (DREAM THEATER& c.o.) and technical/melodic death. I also like power metal and hardcore/metal. I don’t despise NU metal either. I like progressive rock, reggae, some Christian pop/rock, some jazzy stuff is nice too. But, next to metal, my real love is early music and Celtic music, I absolutely adore medieval and renaissance music (and SOME baroque pieces) and Iro-Scottish folk music.

The girls are studying music, so, willingly or not, they have to listen to classical music a lot.

I know a few bands our bassist Olek likes: SMASHING PUMPKINS, THE GATHERING, GUANO APES, SYSTEM OF A DOWN etc… He’s got a wide taste in music.

Szymon, our drummer, likes DREAM THEATER and SOULFLY… and some reggae, too. I must ask him some day.

How much do you play live? Do you do mostly Christian shows (shows with other Christian bands), or do you mix it up with secular bands as well?

– Because we study/work in different places outside our hometown, regular rehearsals and playing live have always been some sort of a miracle, but this year have been an improvement – we played more or less one gig a month. Which is not too impressive, but still it’s an improvement and, thanks to our friend Wojciech, who is helping us with the promotion, the future looks bright, too! Smile So far we mostly performed with other Christian rock/hardcore bands, but we would love to play with secular metal bands, too. It’s just up to the gig organisers.

What has the general response to Illuminandi been?

– Surprisingly, ‘DEMO 2’ has been received quite well in ‘secular’ metal zines and very well in most Christian zines. As for the gigs, people seem to like us because we are different – we don’t play NU metal, we use classical instruments. This is not common in the Polish Christian rock scene.

Ice cream- Good? Bad? Indifferent?

– There are few things in this world more delicious than mint ice cream. Or banana. or vanilla. Yum!!!

But chocolate ice cream is definitely bad!!!

The lyrics are very Bible-based, taken from many of the stories and the Gospel account of Jesus Christ. How do you go about writing the songs that go with the music? Does the music get written first, or the lyrics?

– It just depends. Sometimes it’s the music first and then we are looking for the lyrics to match it, sometimes it’s the opposite – a text inspires us to take the instruments and come up with something to reflect its mood.

Heavy metal is generally thought of as an aggressive style of music. Why did you decide to play this kind of music? Do you ever feel uneasy or ‘stressed out’, so to speak, by listening to such a musical style?

– Well, metal certainly CAN be an aggressive. It provokes extreme emotions such as anger. But anger does not always mean aggression. Aggressive behaviour is a morally evil thing as it hurts other people. Anger in itself is neither good nor evil – we just sometimes feel it and we cannot really help it. It’s a feeling that can motivate us to positively change something within us or in our world or to do evil. When I am angry, frustrated, afraid I can cry out to God – I don’t have to pretend that I think everything is cool, because I believe he loves me and understands me. I believe he wants us to have a relationship with him, and so to tell him about our feelings too – both ‘positive’ and ‘negative’. ‘Aggressive’ or, as I prefer to call it, ‘angry’ music expresses these ‘negative’ emotions. However, to me metal is not only about frustration and anger – it is also about the sadness of a failure, deep longing, power and majesty and the joy of victory, too!

Music combined with lyrics is a great force and so it can help us to pray, but it can also influence us in a bad way. I don’t listen to satanic or occult bands and those ‘promoting’ evil, but I respect somebody else’s views even if different fro my own. I listen quite a lot to non-Christian bands and some of them have pretty depressing or aggressive lyrics. When my relationship with people and God is good this doesn’t influence me; however, when I’m down or frustrated I try to avoid music with ‘negative’ lyrics, as usually it makes me concentrate on the negative. This is when Christian music really helps me to commit my emotions and problems to God.

I’ve been listening and collecting Christian metal for a little over ten years now, and the one claim that never seems to go away (in my opinion) is that ‘Christians only play metal for propaganda purposes, not because they like it.’ As a musician in that genre, what’s your opinion?

– I understand what you mean. Maybe this claim has its roots in the fact that some Christians could never accept metal as “God’s music” and so the only thing that could convince them that playing metal wasn’t evil was that metal is an excellent tool to spread God’s message to people who would not otherwise listen to it?

I am sure that God can use music – just as he can use everything else! If, as you call it, ‘propaganda’ was my goal, I would probably start preaching, or maybe writing or something else. But I play music because I tremendously enjoy it. But I want to play the music I like with the lyrics that help me, first of all. I want to address God in the lyrics because I believe it helps to grow my own relationship with Him. And if our songs help other people – that is just awesome- hallelujah!!!

Do you have a wish-list of bands or music festivals you’d like to play with?

– Well, personally I’d love to play with Extol and Virgin Black. It’d be really great to play on Bobfest one day – I would finally get the opportunity to see the bands I love…

What do the band members do outside of making music? Are there any hobbies you’d like to discuss?

– Antonina and I love Tolkien and Terry Pratchett’s ‘Discworld’ novels. And good fantasy in general. I am also generally interested in everything that has something to do with Scotland.
(Antonina due to her studies at the university is also deeply interested into Ukrainian history and culture – Windflower)

Aleksander has recently rediscovered his interest in gardening. He also works as a counsellor to people with alcohol problems. He and Szymon are real people of nature – know the names of so many plants and animals. Hmm, I don’t really know about Patrycja and the other Aleksander (bass). I think his main hobby is his girlfriend! Smile

Last couple of questions: First, what are your Top Five albums you can’t live without?
– In no particular order:

EXTOL “Undeceived”
WITHIN TEMPTATION “Enter”
AMORPHIS “Tales from the Thousand Lakes”
BLIND GUARDIAN “Nightfall in Middle-earth”
CLANNAD “Legend”

And lastly: Any final thoughts?
– Thanks for this interview and congratulations if you have really read all this. You are a patient person indeed!!! Smile
Good luck in the future, may God’s peace and love be with you!
Lets rock with God!!!

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[This part was the follow-up with them five years after the original interview was done, kind of a catch-up. Enjoy. – Uncle NecRo]

Interview_ ILLUMINANDI2
It’s been 5 years since the last interview. Update us on what’s been going on since then.

Well, a lot of things have happened since then. Bomboworks released our all demos on one CD entitled “The Beginning”. We played at a few festivals outside Poland, which we really enjoyed (I especially enjoyed the Elements of Rock fest in Switzerland where we shared the stage with Virgin Black and also our shows with Holy Blood in Ukraine). Most importantly, we recorded and released our first “proper” debut: the EP “Illumina Tenebras Meas”. Also, there have been some line-up changes. Of the original Illuminandi members only (?) four people are still in the band: Antonina (cello), Aleksander (guitar), Aleksander (bass) and me (Jan – clean vocals and guitar). We have a new drummer, violin player (a man this time!) and screamer/growler.

In 2005, Bombworks Records released The Beginning, which seems to collect your first two demos, and some live cuts. Tell us how that came about?

Trevor Ray of “The Buried Scrolls” webzine recommended us to the guys in Bombworks. They decided to take the risk and released “The Beginning”. We thought it would be good to have all our early material released on one CD and available for purchase, so that people who like us would be able to get all our songs. Of course, we realise that the sound quality of those songs is VERY far from perfect…

Now, tell us about the new EP, and what the responses have been since the release.

Well, we have been getting some really positive feedback. People seem to notice and appreciate the progress we made and that’s very cool. We have also started cooperating with Nokternal Hemizphear art services (http://www.nhmetal.com) who is the offcicial distributor of our EP and other merchandise (T-shirts etc.) in the US.

If there’s one artist / band that Illuminandi could either collaborate or tour with, who would it be?

A tough question. There are so many good bands that have nice people in them that it’s almost impossible to list just one name. I have been keeping in touch with Holy Blood from Ukraine and also (non-christian) folk-metal outfit SSOGE from the Czech Republic, so further collaboration with these bands would seem natural. Also I’d love to play with Virgin Black again. But you never know what the future brings.

What’s the band been working on or doing recently? Any plans for new material, or playing live?

2007 was quite a good year for us, we gave at least one show (sometimes 2 or 3) each month. So far, we have played only one show in 2008 (don’t know why, really) but we are not very worried.Our bassist became a father last month so at the moment he wouldn’t be able to travel too much anyway. We are working on new songs – we’d like to record a full-length next year. Also, we have recorded 2 new songs for my friend’s company commercials (to be released on http://www.youtube.com). So I guess we are quite busy anyway.

And finally, any words you’d like to leave us with?

Thanks for the interview! Take care and God bless!

::END TRANSMISSION::

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Interview: CLAMATORIOUS

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clamatoriusBlack metal is a style normally associated with the Scandinavian countries- Norway, Sweden, Denmark- and some European countries as well. The one country that doesn’t generally pop to mind when one speaks of black metal is Brazil. The metal scene is alive and kicking in the South American country however, and one of the bands representing the Christian black metal, or “holy metal” as they refer to it,scene is a band called Clamatorius. This is an e-mail interview I did with the band back in 2002 for the Dead E-Zine…

What is the current Clamatorius lineup?

Clamatorius is: Wulthus- vocals, Igniferus- guitars, Wulkan- bass, Arcanun- drums, and recently Abhorret- guitar and Haggadah- keyboards. So now we have two guitar players…

How did Clamatorius come to be?

In 1999 I started Clamatorius, and now I’m the one from the original line up. Now we are a more stable band (with this lineup.) To me it is very good to know I can count on musicians that are in the band today, we are a family and its what makes the difference in the band: the unity.

Consummatum Est. is a very intense black metal (or un-black metal) album. What has the response been to the CD?

I think we expressed through this CD a little bit of what we really are. We didn’t try to make, the same music other bands have made. We tried to be what we are. But God knows to guide and we won’t give up, never. We are a “holy metal” band. What we do goes beyond “black metal” just as our God goes beyond human comprehension. Our music also is not limited by actual parameters…

What is the black metal (and extreme music) scene like in Brazil?

It is very diversified and closed in some views. The Christian scene is large, we have some good bands like Clemency, Burial Sarkikos, Death Poems, Hazael, Zurisadai…I just think it could have more unity.

What’s the reception been like for the band in the non-Christian music scene?

I have received praises, but still is far to go to be accepted.

How often do you get to play live?

We play a lot of live shows. We love to play live shows, we play some festivals. This year we have played in festivals made by CMF (Christian Metal Force) from GO (our state) DF and Sao Paulo. To play live is a good opportunity to talk about Christ and His love.

Who is Jesus to you?

Jesus is the one who keeps us alive, He is our life and light. Means a lot to have him as Father and God. His grace restrict us. He is the reason of Clamatorius existence.

What’s Christianity like in Brazil?

The Christianity here is very large, but very divided. The Christian metal has support of some denominations, and opposition of others. Its lacking of respect and unity. But for sure, Brazil is a very blessed country.

What are some of the bands that have influenced Clamatorius’ sound?

We are influenced by some old black/death bands, and some new Christian bands like Antestor, Drottnar, Horde, and some dark/doom.

We try to put our own identity in our music.

How can the readers support your band?

Praying and divulging. We thanks for all support.

Any final comments?

Be Christians and don’t turn into hypocrites. Give value to faith and love, and never forget us from Brazil. God bless you all!!!

::END TRANSMISSION::

Interview: FROST LIKE ASHES

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Interview: FROST LIKE ASHES

Q + A with Sebat

Uncle NecRo here. Back in 2006, I was able to finagle an interview with Sebat from one of my favorite extreme metal bands, Frost Like Ashes. Cool guys, all of them, as I met and chatted with them when they played Omaha back on St. Pattie’s Day ’06. Anyhoo, here’s the interview that was origionally done, via e-mail…enjoy…

[my questions are in bold, ’cause that’s the way I roll, dawg]

First of all, mucho thanks to making shirts available in my size (3xl). Really shows you care…

Well we have a couple big men in this band, so we understand why they are so needed, and how rare big shirts really are.

Starting off, let’s go with a brief history of Frost Like Ashes, and how you got to this point…

Ok, Uh, Frost Like Ashes was an idea, then it became a reality, we have had a couple drummers and bassists, but the same vocalist and guitarist, we added a keyboard player and we became commercial giants… uh I mean we sounded better. We have one CDEP out called “Pure As the Blood Covered Snow” that is out of print and sold out, we have one full length entitled “Tophet” out, it is still in print but barely, were working on getting it re-released. We just put out a new DVD entitled “Live in Omaha” that is limited to 100 copies and almost sold out. We just got thru tracking a song for a Tribute to Johnny Cash/ the man in black entitled “when the man comes around” it sounds great and its going to be great to see peoples reactions to our version. We are currently recording 8 songs for an album entitled “Covered in Frost” we will be covering some Christian rock classics on this one, such as Petra and Saint, there are also a couple originals to be included on this one too. We are also currently writing a concept album dealing with the end times, I believe it is too be called “Gods of the Great Whore” and is going to be a crazy album, were definitely pushing our musical boundaries on this one.

Who are the current members, and what are their functions?

Adonijah – Drums and some keys, Azahel – Vocals, Qoheleth – Keys, Ruach – Bass, Sebat – Guitars

What bands / artists inspire the sound of Frost Like Ashes?

Kreator, Carcass, Extol, Cradle of Filth, and Dimmu Borgir to name a few.

With the predominant popular metal styles being more on the hybrid metal and metalcore veins, what led to Frost Like Ashes adopting more of a Euro-thrash and black metal sound?

We set out to play a certain style, being black metal, and ended up coming up with our sound. I cannot seem to get rid of the thrash influence, and honestly I enjoy that dynamic so much that its here to stay.

What’s the metal scene like in Kansas City and the surrounding areas?

Seems to be a core scene pretty much here in KC, well unless your Dimmu or Cannibal Corpse then there is a draw. Otherwise the only time we have people at our shows is all age gigs. I am married with a daughter and find myself out at clubs about once a year, so I honestly do not know how the local scene is.

Considering there were a few, let’s just say, roadbumps leading up to the release of both Pure As The Blood Covered Snow and Tophet, would you still be seeking labels for future releases, or will FLA remain an indie band for the foreseeable future?

Absolutely we would work with the right label, we may of upped the ante a bit on what its going to take for us to sign with someone, but honestly we want better exposure for the music and would work to see that happen properly. Though the money of being an indie band is wonderful, we make close to ten grand a release when we do it ourselves, well if all goes smooth that is. Dealing with distro’s is tough on a band though, and having someone who keeps track of stuff and gets people to pay their bills is well worth not making as much money some days.

That time you played the short but sweet set in Omaha on St. Pattie’s Day 2006, I thought it to be a very tight, very intense experience. Have you been able to play out a lot, and what has the general response been to FLA by metal fans?

Sadly live shows have not been a mainstay of the FLA lifestyle, but our current living situations for this line up make it tough, our singer resides in North Dakota at this time and our keyboardist lives in Omaha, so in order for us to play a one off show we need to make a minimum of 600 bucks or so to make it worthwhile, and since asking that type of money seems a crime for such a small band we don’t really do it much.

Talk about the DVD…

The DVD is that show in Omaha on St Patty’s day 2005, one handheld camcorder and a crazy fun night. We played pretty well that night, and the sound turned out nice, and the show looked pretty good.

Schrödinger’s cat- alive or dead?

Missing!

Not that I’m being biased or anything (*cough cough*), but Pure As The Blood Covered Snow was a fantastic ep. Then Tophet came out, and blew that one out of the water, with its intensity, atmosphere and top-notch production. Is it safe to assume that we can expect bigger and better things from the band?

The difference between Pure As and Tophet are simple, Pure as we paid an engineer, thus we watched the clock and let things slide, while with Tophet we owned our own studio and spent the time getting sounds right. Of course Tophet wasn’t perfect, but man I am sure happy with it for my first engineering project for FLA! Now we no longer have that studio set up and have upgraded to a Pro Tools set up, so we should get a better sound on this, I am still going to use an amp modeler and were using the same Roland for the drums, but we have changed some things and overall I am much happier with what were getting this time around.

What are your thoughts on the metal communities at large, both the so-called “Christian metal” and non-Christian metal tribes? And do you experience any kind of resistance from either sect?

Resistance? Absolutely from everyone, well not our fans, but seriously people just hate us sometimes and that’s the way it is! The whole “you wear paint so you must worship satan” thing just gets old. Both Satanists and Christians have spouted this filth, and it amazes me how they both think so absolutely the same, let me explain something, the day that Satan and God agree on anything is the day we have a problem. They do not agree, ever, it is impossible, so it strikes me weird that people are so superstitious about things.

Now about the scenes, the Christian scene is weird, small enough that it has become quirky and odd. I can honestly say I do not want to fit into it as it is; I want to see it grow, mature and spread in a Godly way. Of course I don’t really know what that will take to happen, so I just continue on and pray I am of some value at some time or another. Now the Secular scene, I fit in fine, some people hate me, but there have always been those kind of people and I really never have cared.

What are some of the best shows FLA has played? And the worst?

Our worst show was when we opened for a local band called Descension, absolutely no one came that night, and the drummer for the opening band got naked and honestly that’s the last thing I ever wanted to see. Now a couple good shows we have played, well we played a going away party for a girl who was joining YWAM and we had the entire place pray with her, it was a blessing to be a part of that. We played a coffee shop one night and after the show we prayed with a cat about his health, he seemed really blessed and it was a cool thing for me. That night in Omaha we spent some time talking with some Satanists after the show, so it was well worth the effort. When we opened for Crimson Moonlight it was awesome!!!!

Any final words of wisdom or shameless plugging you’d like to make?

Buy our DVD! Oh yeah, also SEEK The LORD, for seriously the time maybe short, and we need to be ready! Also I ask that anyone who would, please pray for me to grow as a believer!

[originally published in SATIC ‘ZINE in Summer 2006]

Interview: KLANK (Part Two)

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KlankHere it is, my wonderful freaks! Part Two of the Klank interview (the first part of which, in case you missed it, can be found here). In this instalment, Mr. Diolosa takes us through a VH1 Storytellers-type discussion, involving a handful of songs in the Klank repertoire. It’s kind of a rare instance that he does this, and I’m equal parts humbled and geeking out at this glimpse behind these songs. So saddle up and enjoy this second parter…

Music is the universal language in which ALL CAN RELATE in some way or another… I’ve found that for me , it’s easiest to write about what i know, what i see and what i feel… And I’m some cases how i feel to see others go through things. I like writing in the third person at times to you know. Like putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and really trying to see things from their point of view… Sometimes that can be a really hardcore door to open..

  • “How Could You”

One example of that in particularly is with the song “How Could You” off our “In Memory Of..” release. Basically while KLANK was on one of our first few tours, we were sitting in the van for countless hours driving… I was up talking to Ducci and he was telling me a story about how he was adopted at a really young age. He told me that as a little kid, he had written a note to his BIOLOGICAL parents. In that note, He basically took all his feelings on the situation and laid it out to them on paper in hopes that one day he would see them face to face and give it to them. He explained to me that a big part of it was “How could you do this to me?” You never even gave me a chance to be a part of your life.

I was so touched, moved and mentally beat up over his story that it struck a nerve in me waaaaaay deep down inside. I was literally balling my eyes out when he was done. I needed to hug him and tell him that i loved him. He had basically carried that note around for years by the way…. I ended up writing lyrics about this, as in the third person… Like i WAS Ducci.. Talking to his biological parents in the note. It is pretty self explanatory now that you know the background to it, but here’s the lyrics to what ended up being “How Could You”

I wrote it all
In a note without regret
Everything i said
Every word i meant

Twenty years have passed
Still i feel this strong
This gaping hole you’ve left
Couldn’t be more wrong

How could you do this to me?
Why did you give me up?
you didn’t have to give me up

How could you do this to me?
Did you think of yourself
Or did you think of me?

How could you do this to me?
Why did you give me up?
you didn’t have to give me up

How could you do this to me?
Could have been a part of your life
Instead you gave me away

You and I will meet
One day face to face
You wont wanna hear
What i have to say

That’s for everything
That you NEVER did
I guess you’ll never know
The love i have to give

How could you do this to me?
Why did you give me up?
you didn’t have to give me up

How could you do this to me?
Did you think of yourself
Or did you think of me?

How could you do this to me?
Why did you give me up?
you didn’t have to give me up

How could you do this to me?
Could have been a part of your life
Instead you gave me away

What I wish today
Is that you would learn
Where my mind has been
And what it is to burn

Everything I’ve felt
Driving me insane
Sometimes I feel guilt
Sometimes I feel pain

How could you do this to me?
Why did you give me up?
you didn’t have to give me up

How could you do this to me?
Did you think of yourself
Or did you think of me?

How could you do this to me?
Why did you give me up?
you didn’t have to give me up

How could you do this to me?
Could have been a part of your life
Instead you gave me away

The kicker is he has 2 great parents who adopted him and love him very much, but it doesn’t change the fact of what he felt as a child growing up and basically how it messed with his head. The lyrics express that specifically. “What I wish today Is that you would learn, Where my mind has been And what it is to burn, Everything I’ve felt Driving me insane, Sometimes I feel guilt Sometimes I feel pain” Growing up, you have no clue what the circumstances are and why people make the decisions they do, but that doesn’t mean it don’t mess with your head either. Like Ducci, you end up feeling guilty like it’s your fault when in all actuality it’s not.

  • “Leave”

Keeping with the subject of family and songs, another prime example of a page right out of my own journal is LEAVE. It’s all about my parents bitter divorce… But more so the day that my mom actually walked out and never came back. I was only like 7 yrs old, but I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was laying on the living room shag carpet doing my math homework. Scooby Doo cartoon was on in the background, and my mom walked up to me and my brother Jamie and said “Well that’s it guys….Mommy’s gotta go”. We were like what do you mean go? She said, “I’m leaving”. Naturally my response was, “When are you coming back?” She said, “I’m not coming back… Now be good boys and give mommy a kiss”. I remember crying and saying, “Don’t Go… Please… I’ll be good from now on… I PROMISE I will… I will”. She turned away, walked out, closed the door and left and it royally fucked me up big time for a very long time. I ended up seeing a shrink… It was freaking ugly bro… So let me break it down for you by verse… Pretty self explanatory though..

Reaching back into my mind
Memories I cannot find
About the one who went astray
Turned her back and walked away

Open wound
Closing door
She won’t live here any more

Reaching back into my min
Memories I cannot find

Why did you have to leave?
See what you did to me?

With tearful eyes at her I stare
A sorrow that’s too much to bear

My heart pulled out before my eyes
A touching way to say goodbye

While holding on to her last kiss
I bid fare well and wave my fist

All the years that I have cried
Since a part of me has died
Struggle hard to keep my nerve
And show the love that she deserves

Open wound, closing door
She won’t live here, any more

Why did you have to leave?
See what you did to me?

With tearful eyes at her I stare
A sorrow that’s too much to bear

My heart pulled out before my eyes
A touching way to say goodbye

While holding on to her last kiss
I bid fare well and wave my fist

The line “Open wound Closing door She won’t live here any more” was basically her leaving which opened the wound, The door closing and she is gone and her saying she wont come back. “With tearful eyes at her I stare, A sorrow that’s too much to bear, My heart pulled out before my eyes, A touching way to say goodbye, While holding on to her last kiss, I bid fare well and wave my fist”. Pretty obvious that I’m standing there balling my eyes out and its killing me as i kiss her goodbye. I love her and im upset, but at the same time I’m “Shaking my fist” like WTF?? You’re really leaving??` “All the years that I have cried, Since a part of me has died, Struggle hard to keep my nerve, And show the love that she deserves”. Years later, It still hurts and it cuts deep that she left, despite whatever the reasons were. But at the same time, she is still my mother and i love her to death and I still felt that she deserved my love. As i said to actually know the events behind the song make it really easy to understand it and it paints a pretty vivid but bleak picture.

  • “Downside”

If you take the song Downside, I wouldn’t describe it as political as some have in the past, but it does have to deal with world events and certain variables that are existent that we do kinda over look or even take for granted because we don’t really sit and think about it. it’s not stating our “Fate” as a country / world system, but some of it is basically documenting the fact that a lot of things that have to do with us and directly affects us, is basically up to someone else and their judgment or decision making for us or “on our behalf”. Lets break it down:

“Life’s Uncertainties, Two days are not the same, You can’t tell what the outcome will be”

It’s a well known fact that despite what we might say or think, none of us really know what tomorrow or the future holds. None of us!! We can believe we do or have faith that this or that would happen, but we don’t really know. And so many things happen, for me at least, during the course of one day that 2 days literally will not be the same and because of that we don’t know what the outcome of any day is or will end up being.

“Overwhelming peace, While racial tension breeds, Wealth and poverty both eyes to see”

Everywhere you turn, everywhere you look, Everyone is talking about peace. We all want it, vast majority of people breathe it, teach it and preach it all day every day,but at the same time there is tension. This racial tension building, bubbling and breeding and spreading all around, And it is here in our country, not just in some distant foreign countries but right here in the USA, and our neighborhoods. Social status doesn’t matter and holds no bearing when it comes to vision. As human beings we all need eyes to see. Don’t matter if you’re rich, poor or middle class… we all need eyes and we see through the same eyes.

“Cataclysmic minds, unite to procreate, Perverse offspring of our technology”

The most brilliant minds in the world unite to come up with such advances in technology and it is constantly evolving, advancing, moving forward in hopes of bettering ourselves like a natural progression… To better the world or even achieving peace by their contributions and we still end up with atomic
bombs and high end tools of war designed to destroy and even exterminate our adversary.

“Leaching Collaborate, Cut off your nose to spite your face, Weakening the system that buckles at the knees”

The military, government and any sort of “figures of power and influence” are all intertwined and it’s THEIR efforts that are essentially hurting us as a nation. We are feeling it and buckling from it and we will end up eventually falling or collapsing as a result.

“Nuclear holocaust, Is this our destiny? Destroy our future, Perpetual Wasteland, Leaders not exempt, To their mortality, And even still our lives, Are held in their hands”

Will the ever feared “Nuclear Holocaust” actually be the end to us all? Destroying us with all it’s toxic by products, forms of radiations and even pollutions? Fact is our leaders are just humans. They not perfect by any means. They too make mistakes just like everyone else and are not exempt to that
fact. Like i said earlier, our fate is kinda not our own. Our existence or fate or whatever you wanna call it is in the palm of someone else’s hands.. Not ours, but the decision makers.

  • “Blind”

We also have stuff that we feel is very positive lyrically…

“Blind” from our NUMB…Reborn release is what i call a “Self Help” song. We all go through some pretty crazy wacked out things in life but we can’t ever let it get the best of us. We all make mistakes, it’s who we are, but we need to kind of “Man Up” and do our best to learn from the mistakes and try to progress from it. But only if we all just really take a good look without the having our proverbial “blinders” on know what i mean man?. Gotta loose that Tunnel Vision and see the bigger picture. There a bridge part in the song and the lyrics go “We’re plastic all the time, You wear your mask and I’ll wear mine, How it’s to be, We all get hurt at times, You bear your cross and I’ll bear mine, it’s not what you see, It’s what you ought to be… Open your eyes…Open your eyes”. We are plastic, were breakable, vulnerable… some might even say fragile.. and yet we all wear masks of some type. We all have some sort or burden or cross to bear it seems, but that doesn’t have to own you or dictate who you are… Forget who you WERE and find out what you ARE…what you OUGHT to be!!

Blind…..
Open your eyes
Open your eyes

My eyes they see
The way it is
And the way it has to be for me
To survive in this world
Full of misery
Do you see the answers never come
Quite so easily
Be free
Forget who you were
Find out what you’ll be

Open your eyes
Open your eyes

I’d die to see
A world where we could
Exist in harmony
And peace
The choice is ours
And the answers up to
You and me
The time is now
So rid yourself
Of the slavery
Forget who you were
Find out what you’ll be

Open your eyes
Open your eyes

Don’t be so blind
You’ve been lied to your whole life
It’s time to stand up for what’s right

Will you ever learn in time?
I chose to take back my life
I chose to take back my life

Out of darkness into light
How can you expect to find
If you don’t open your eyes????

Down inside
My soul it bleeds
And cries out for the one’s just like you
With no relief I wish that I could just touch you and make you complete
The only way to get back up on your own
Two feet
Forget who you were
Find out what you’ll be

Open your eyes
Open your eyes

Don’t be so blind
You’ve been lied to your whole life
It’s time to stand up for what’s right

Will you ever learn in time
I chose to take back my life
I chose to take back my life

Out of darkness into light
How can you expect to find
If you don’t open your eyes???

We’re plastic all the time
You wear your mask and I’ll wear mine
How it’s to be
We all get hurt at times
You bear your cross and I’ll bear mine
it’s not what you see
It’s what you ought to be

Open your eyes
Open your eyes

Don’t be so blind
You’ve been lied to your whole life
It’s time to stand up for what’s right

Will you ever learn in time
I chose to take back my life
I chose to take back my life

Out of darkness into light
How can you expect to find
If you don’t open your eyes????

Don’t be so blind….

  • “Don’t Count Me Out”

Another song off NUMB…Reborn is “Don’t Count Me Out”. Thats pretty self explanatory as well. The chorus says it best.. I may be down, but Don’t Count Me Out!!!! I can take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’ just as good as the best of them. I know all about the daily grind and doing what you gotta do to put food on the table. Been there, done that… Still doing that. I always say no one hates there job as much as me because i could be doing so many other better things than putting money in someone else’s pockets instead of mine…. and my weekly check for putting money in their pockets is MINUSCULE compared to what they make. I bust my ass and they reap the reward. That SUCKS!! I’d rather hang with my band, my girl, my friends and write some kick ass tunes man. just being real about it, but i do what i gotta do to provide. It all depends on what you are comfortable with lifestyle wise. Some people don’t care. They don’t work, get food stamps and settle for living like a homeless person. Not that there is anything wrong with that if that’s what your into, i just like stuff, i like my little creature comforts and i like having an actual roof over my head… and a bed to sleep on. I know people that enjoy living like a pauper, but it’s not for me. But I’m not going down without a fight… I get behind in my bills, rent, the dog food starts to look real appealing… but it ain’t happening. ha ha ha …

Back forth
In out
Left right
Everyday Grind

Work yourself
to the bone
what have
we become

Got no life
So it seems
that I’m stuck
In a rut

where’s the light
that i seek
In this
tunnel vast

I may be down
Don’t count me out
I may be down
Don’t count me out
I may be down
Don’t count me out
I may be down
Don’t count me out

Made some mistakes
In my life
thats ok
Cause i learned
from the past
and i chose
Not to live the same

Beat me down
Day to day
Its my life
and i do

what i must
scratch and claw
as if
to survive

I may be down
Don’t count me out
I may be down
Don’t count me out
I may be down
Don’t count me out
I may be down
Don’t count me out

In a nutshell, I like to challenge people to think. Somethings that seem to have a very surface meaning are not the actual real meanings at all.. And sometimes yes it is.. I am a wise ass like that. Somethings you can say Oh that’s definitely a song about this or that a lot of times isn’t really what it appears to be at all. I am really big into the double entendre or multiple meanings thing…

Thank you Uncle Necro for this chance to delve a bit into the cobweb laden areas and take an opportunity to “dig a little deeper”. It is greatly appreciated and welcome anytime!!

Please hit us up on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/klank, and

http://www.reverbnation.com/klank and the official site at

http://www.klanknation.com

…and I should add, thank YOU, Klank, for allowing me this rare honor. So if you’ve never heard this guy’s stuff, what are you waiting for? Clicky-clicky on the links, there…Uncle NecRo commands you…

– Uncle NecRo

Interview: KLANK (Part One)

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Klank_InMemoryOfSince discovering the music of the artist / band Klank back in the mid-1990’s via the classic Still Suffering release, “ravenous fanboy” would probably be the best way to describe my personal love of the music produced. For those of you unfamiliar, Klank is the moniker for both the man Daren Diolosa, and for the band itself, and the music is heavy, infectious, passionate, and has a great beat and you can dance to it. Recently, through the miracle that is FaceBook, I was able to do something I have been wanting to do for years, but was always a bit timid to go about doing so – conduct an interview with the man behind the music. This is Part One, where I ask the questions that popped in my head that weren’t the ten minutes of “YOU’RE SO AWESOME!!!” that my brain insisted on repeating. Part Two will be up in a few days, and it’s gonna be a little somethin’-somethin’ special. So, without further adieu, here’s my interview with Daren “Klank” Diolosa…

[as always, my questions are in italics and emboldened]

Okay, so I guess I’ll start with the standard opening question, here: When did you start getting into music, and what lead up to playing this kind of music?
I was a really little kid. Like 4 or 5 yrs old. I had 5 older brothers… I had a wide of variety or influences early on and i KNOW that led to my vast pallet of musical tastes. Kansas, Electric Light Orchestra (E.L.O.), The Cars, Elton John, Billy Joel…. etc etc etc

You just released Numb…Reborn not too long ago; completely redone, with a few new tracks and a couple of remixes, which sounds completely awesome, btw. What lead to this, ten years after the original release?
We wanted to basically release it the way it was meant to be released originally. Cleaner, fuller and just bigger sounding. Pat has come a long way as an engineer, programmer and mixer and it definitely shows big time. Plus now we have a lot more gear and better gear…

One thing that has remained consistent, I think, is the stark honesty in the lyrics. There’s a lot of dark brooding, but also some hope, like in “Don’t Count Me Out”, “Burning” and “God?”. Especially with the later song, the phrase “sometimes I think you hate me” takes a lot of guts to say out loud. I guess the question here is, any thoughts on this writing process?
For us, writing music is a form of therapy that helps to release bottled up frustrations and emotions that otherwise may have no outlet… We write music that we feel comes from deep down inside and a lot of people can relate because it’s based on real life situations and emotions from everyday life… We write about life, how it affects us and those around us. From mood swings, bitterness, the longing for inner peace to elements of hope, happiness & even despair.

We all have to deal with these in our lives and this is our way to vent those issues. I have written about everything from my parents divorce, abuse, perseverance and never giving up, encouraging people to think for themselves to the closer than family bonds of friendship, discontent, a best friends betrayal and even questioning God and his existence. We’ve always referred to our lyrics as a page out of a journal or diary, but set to music. We like to consider it a form of “Sonic Therapy”.

When you released Still Suffering in 1996, the album was really unlike anything that was on the Tooth & Nail label, then or since. Looking back, do you think the label was a good fit for the album, or do you think it probably would have done better on a different label?
I have no regrets about being with Tooth and Nail. I mean there is no ideal “record deal”, it could always be better in some way. We surpassed their expectations in a major way. Brandon thought it was all gonna be like death metal-ish and when we sent him the Downside rough demo he nearly shit himself. He was like what.. Not what i was expecting.. but that’s NOT a bad thing at all… I love it… I wanna hear more asap!!! We sold like 5 or 6 times more than what the average hardcore release was selling… So yeah it was a good fit. T & N was still very young as a label and very aggressive so it worked out well for us. We just wanted different things when it came to the next record. We asked if we could walk away and we did.

Without going into detail, I discovered Still Suffering at a time when I really needed it. The songs were raw, honest, and not very pretty, and they still resonate with that rare passion, in my not-so-humble opinion. And in the Christian market…yeah, that was a much-needed anomaly. What was the reaction to the album? And was it embraced more in the mainstream market?
To be quite honest dude, over the years we have received quite an insane amount of mail, e mail and face to face feedback from people saying the same exact thing. It came out at what happened to be a really dark time for some, or a really rough, hard time in some peoples lives and it was just what they needed to get by and get through whatever they were going through at that time. For me , as a lyricist, that was / is the biggest compliment that ANYONE could ask for because it was a dark time for me as well. Remember me calling it “Sonic Therapy”?? Because it was therapy for me as well. Thats WHY it was written. My thoughts, my feelings, my freaking brain that never seems to stop and over analyzes everything… every detail…

I think that’s one thing that draws our fans and our listeners in is the realness and sincere relatablity in the words man. There are so many forms of preachy bands, and everyone has their own agenda whether religion, saving the planet, Krishna… Whatever.. We’ve just always wanted to jam and rock and have a good time in our own way….and along that way, if somebody gets something out of it, then that is AWESOME. I thought it would be cool if it reached at least ONE person in some way… But it reached like 40,000… and they all got something from it and that’s the best feeling ever.

One kid I remember came up to me and said, ‘Can I give you a hug?’ I was like, ‘Uh, what?’ This kid told me, ‘I have been freaking out and trying to find out who I am. I’ve thought about suicide and I am all alone. Nobody feels like I do and I can’t relate to anybody. And then I heard your CD, and it’s like you looked into my head and said everything I was thinking and feeling, and you said it for me.’ That was the biggest standing ovation compliment that you can get, but also trying to be level-headed, and as long as people get something out of it and it helps them out along the way, that’s the connection on stage and the lyrical connection that is one of the factors that has me still going. We have such a devout fan base that it doesn’t matter when we put something out; they know that when we do, they know it’s going to be real and it’s something that they can experience. It’s tangible, and it’s going to rock!

Okay, I’m only mentioning this because I’m somewhat amused when I read it describing your music: “The Christian White Zombie!” Thoughts?
Well you asked for it, so I’m gonna give it to ya…. I hate freaking LABELS? Were not Rob Zombie, similar style maybe, but not him. Were NOT a christian band. I hate that everything has to be a “Christian “this or that. Disgusted with all of that. We rolled through Memphis for a gig and the local paper said “The Cristian TRENT REZNOR”.. I was disgusted. Does your car salesman have to be a christian? Does your septic tank sucker guy have to be your “CHRISTIAN Septic tank sucker guy”?? Either way he’s cleaning shit… Does it really make a difference to label it?

I remember we were on tour, and we got a phone call from the label. ‘We ran into a bit of a SNAFU with returns. We got 500 CDs back from Christian bookstores.’ And we were like, ‘What? We are in Christian bookstores? Huh! OK, so what’s the problem? Well… you thanked Howard Stern in the liner notes. We said OK…. and the problem is what exactly? Well, you thanked Howard Stern. ‘And…what…is…the problem?! Well… He’s not a Christian, and he’s not a wholesome figure. My reply was Look, he was someone I spent a little time with, he shook my hand, said it was a pleasure to meet me, and wished me luck with my music and i wanted to say thank you to him. Well, he’s not Christian enough for you to be thanking… Need i say more??? Ludicrous i tell you!!!

You know, there would be times when kids would come up to me at shows and say, ‘Uh…my mom and dad tell me I can’t listen to your music anymore. I’d ask these kids what the problem is and they’d say, My mom and dad say you’re not Christian enough, you don’t thank God in your liner notes, and in your interviews, you say you’re not a Christian. That’s when I’d set them straight. I’d say, Really? Do they dress you in the morning too? Do they wipe you when you take a dump too??? It sucks, because you have to try to be respectful, and I know what it’s like, because I grew up in a Christian household. It was a very strict born again home, and that’s how I grew up; those were their rules, and I had to live by it. I’ve been there and it sucks, but u have to honor your parents rules when u live in their house and it IS rough. But it sucks to be “called out” by a 10 or 11 yr old who is misinformed. Sure, I had Black Sabbath albums hidden in the sleeves of the Petra albums and whatever i was “ALLOWED” to listen to at that time.

We want people to know that we’re not pushing anything on anybody. I have grown up in a church situation, but over the years, I’ve seen different things, and I’m not turning my back on anything. The term ‘Christian’ means to be Christ-like, so when people are going to church and say, ‘You’re going to burn in hell, that is not being very Christ-like. Christ would hang out with the drunks and the hookers, and he tried to guide them through example, and it’s rough to try to be true to who you are and to relate that to other people who are being led through some idea that’s pushed on them. You know, more people in history have been killed in the name of religion than anything… The way I see it, the best way to learn and the best way to do is to lead by example, be the coolest person you can be, whatever spiritual guideline you live by, I try to be the best person I can be. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We are who we are, we’re real people, and we’re trying to live our lives the best way that we can.

If you could go back and redo it, would you? And would it be better, or worse, do you think?
Still Suffering?? Nah.. no need to redoo. it was honest, innocent and genuine at its time, what try to mess with it!

How would you compare making music back in the mid-1990s, compared with doing it now, with the Internet and technology being far more advanced? Is this a good time to be an independent artist / band, compared to back then?
Making music is easier these days because every Joe Schmoe has a computer and thinks they are an engineer or remixer. So there is a mass influx of “Self recorded” things these days which is good… but a drawback at the same time.. lets face it, not everyone is great, and its easy to put stuff out and no one monitors the quality these days… Hell i HATE half the stuff i do.. i go back, re record, fix, tweek… We are mega perfectionists and its a blessing and a curse. So understand were not slagging everybody who does it themselves at all…

Yes this IS a good time to be an independent artist because there is a lot more avenues to reach people in this day and technological age.. the click of a mouse or push of a button….. BAM… know what i mean?

What does the future hold for Klank, both the band and the artist? Music? Touring? Random product endorsements?
We have been playing out a bunch, honing our craft and were trying to get out on the road for an extended tour of some type. We’ve been offered some festival dates next year and were gonna try and run with it. Playing wise we feel stronger than ever and were all happy doing what we do.

Numb…Reborn is out and available and we’re always recording and writing and working on new music. We’re hoping that by the beginning of the year, we’ll be ready to release the new one titled URBAN WARFARE. The sound on URBAN WARFARE will basically be a natural progression to the next level of what KLANK is to become. It will definitely be heavy, dancy, aggressive, melodic and moving because that’s what we are, but it will also continue to show our versatility and maturity as musicians as well. We never set out to be confined to one certain box or mold and that’s what I feel is one of the coolest aspects of KLANK. We can remain true to our core elements, but essentially the possibilities are limitless.

The song ‘Urban Warfare’ itself just has such a groove and a sway to it, and the album is going to have melody, but it’s just going to be a harsh track. It’s not even about the speed, but the groove and the feel. We’re really happy with how it’s been sounding, and we’re taking our time with it. Klank is like fine wine and should not be served before its time, so when it’s ready, it will be ready, and hopefully, our fans will be ready… Especially because if everything goes as planned, mr DOUG PINNICK from KINGS X will be helping us on it. We’ve been friends for years and we really respect him personally and as a musical icon and he’s way into working with us. We’ve actually been working on some remixes of his solo stuff for him….

Where can anyone pick up a copy of Numb…Reborn at?
iTunes.com, http://www.fixtstore.com/klank, cdbaby.com and all major online retailers… Its a digital download only as of now, but we will be pressing cd’s up in the near future.

Any chance of Still Suffering getting the re-release treatment, or is that out of your hands at the moment?
we wanna re release it, but gotta pay the label what it “Still owes” to recoup first… Needless to say we don’t have that kinda cash yet so…. for now its outta the question…

Any final parting thoughts?
The Jerry Springer moral message part of the show at the end??? Ha ha ha …. Basically we we wanna have fun, make cool tunes we dig and hopefully other will dig them too. Life is way to short so try to have fun and experience life at it’s fullest…….
To Be Continued…………..

Interview: BLOODGOOD

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bloodgood logo123_03_06_2007_6_19_58_bloodgood_2007pic

[originally published on 7/27/2002 on the late and lamented Dead ‘Zine – Uncle NecRo]

Bloodgood is, without a doubt, a much needed anomaly in the Christian demo tape, titled ‘Metal Missionaries’, this band brought their street-level metal stylings to a scene where pop metal icons Stryper were considered too soft. In effect, their heavier, grity debut album helped pave the way for future extreme metal acts Deliverance, Tourniquet and Vengeance Rising, and beginning the New Wave Of Christian Metal in the late 80s and early 90s. After several years of membership, record label and sound changes, Bloodgood called it quits in 1993. Now, in February of 2002, Michael Bloodgood announced the reunion of this band. I was fortunate enough to get an e-mail interview with Mr. Bloodgood. Read on to see what this pioneering metal band is up to now…

Okay, I’ll start with the obvious question that has to be running through everyone’s mind right now: why the reunion?
It always seemed like a closed door until recently. But then all of a sudden things began to fall into place. The website is a good example. The designer, Cale Burr, goes to the church I pastor and volunteered his time and talent to put the site together. Another old fan, Duane Pemberton, offered to host the site for us.

After a lot a prayer and discussion with Paul and Les, we all decided to “test the waters” to see what would happen. In many ways we are still doing that. One day at a time to see what the Lord would have us do again.

What is the line-up right now for the band? Who’s playing?
Of course I am on bass. Paul Jackson on guitar. and Les is tearing up the vocals.

What were the band members doing since the band stopped playing in 1993?
Les moved down to California where he owns and operates an art distribution company. Paul works for Sprint and I am the senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Redmond here in Washington state. Did I mention we all have children? We’re husbands and dads. That’s our main gig!

The new guy, Jeffrey McCormack, how’s he doing filling in on the drums?
Jeff is an awesome drummer! You can hear an audio interview with him on our website.

Is the band working on new material?
Yes. We are all working on new stuff and hope to have a new release in the future.

Any plans on shows or touring? Perhaps Cornerstone?
We are seeing what interest there is among the various promoters out there. We would love to come back and play Cornerstone if the opportunity presents itself.

Even though David Zaffiro won’t be joining the reunion, has he expressed interest in doing so somewhere maybe in the future when he’s not so busy?
Dave doesn’t have much interest in performing live at present, and any future involvement with the band is anyone’s guess at this point.

Why do you think we drive in a parkway and park in a driveway? Doesn’t that sound a bit weird?
Why do our noses run and our feet smell? How can there be a jumbo shrimp?

Now that we’ve got the general stuff out of the way, how’s everyone doing spiritually? Has your relationship with Christ Jesus strengthened since we last saw you in the Christian spotlight?
If my relationship with Christ hasn’t strengthened since ’93, then something is very wrong. I try to “press on,” as the Apostle Paul put it, and grow in my relationship with the Lord. A lot has happened in my life since the Bloodgood days, not the least of which is pastoring.

As to everyone else’s spiritual life, I’ll leave it to them to answer. Suffice to say that if I didn’t feel Les and Paul were not where they should be spiritually, there would not be any talk about a reunion.

Since the beginning, what I admired most about the band was that it definitely wasn’t ashamed about the message of the Gospel, as well as forged new roads in Christian metal. What was your fondest memory of the impact Bloodgood has made as a definite Metal Ministry?
The incredible amounts of mail we receive, and continue to receive, about how the music has changed someone’s life. To know the Lord some of this music in that way is beyond belief sometimes. Hopefully we inspired others to be bold with their faith.

And what were some of the learning experiences that the band faced?
That could be a book in itself! We had a taste of what the Apostle Paul said when he had learned to live with little and with much. We learned to be completely dependent on God’s grace on the road. Often we didn’t know how we’d get from one town to the next, but somehow we always did. The Lord definitely orchestrated the ministry of this band from beginning to end and, even now, as we pray about what He would have us do.

We treated each show as unique. We always prayed the Lord would guide us through each show. Sometimes we would do an alter call at the end of the show, sometimes not. More than once we’d stop a show to talk to one particular guy in the crowd. We’d talk to him; have the audience pray for him; and then get back to doing the gig. I loved that about the band. We’d spent so much time together that we totally trusted each other.

What are your thoughts on the metal scene today, both mainstream and Christian?
It’s pretty spotty right now, but there seems to be somewhat of a resurgence. Metal never goes away, but it does come in and out of the mainstream. Once a metal head, always a metal head, I guess. Some of what I hear on the radio sounds a lot like metal, but the imagery is different.

One thing is for sure, it’s not as much fun as it used to be. The costuming and stage shows are, for the most part, gone. Most of today’s musicians have short hair, and wear clothes they’d go the grocery store in. Heck, they don’t have to pay the dues the way their predecessors did. You can play in a band today and still keep your job at Bank of America! Where’s the challenge in that?

Also, there’s no great guitar players any more; no “guitar gods.” Ever since grunge hit, most guitarists fronting bands are basically rhythm guitar players that don’t really know their instrument all that well. Used to be you had to be one mean player to be in a metal band (though there was a lot of over-playing, too, I must admit).

I’ll be curious to see what, if any bands, come out of the nineties, and this decade, as real, prolific artists. Artists that can transcend fads, and make great music from decade to decade. Most are, as Bob Dylan said, “very disposable.” Too much cooperate influence, as is usual.

Any final thoughts you’d like to give to the Christian reading this article?
This is an exciting time to be a Christian! There is more and more opposition to real Christianity which means that there will be more and more opportunity to shine for Christ. The darker the room, the brighter the light will shine. It costs to be a true disciple of Jesus in these times, and I think that is the way it should be. We’ve been too lax of late, and I think we are entering times that will challenge and test all believers.

Any final thoughts you’d like to give to the non-Christian reading this article?
Don’t believe what you know, or think you know, about Jesus Christ. Find out the truth about Him. Find a Bible and read the Gospel of John. While you read, pray that God would reveal Himself to you as you read it. Either Jesus is who He says He is or He is a fraud. There is no middle ground with Christ. Jesus said, “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:18) If you are truly seeking the truth, it will bring you to the cross and to Jesus. There is no other name in which a man can be saved (Acts 4:12).

Thanks a bunch, and God bless all of you.

There you have it. To check this band out, or to go over the history of one of Christian metal’s legendary group, go to their site

– Uncle NecRo