Interview Conducted By Nick Jones
1. Who approached you to do your first split?
One Slice: I guess it was Sean from Bovine. I wasn't really a full time member of Deadbodies at the time as I was playing more with Agents of Satan and occasionally jamming with Deadbodies...I can't really remember because it was so long ago, but I think that Sean approached Noothgrush and they recommended having us share the split as we were always playing shows together back then. That split has terrible production, yet we still throw 'Sidetrack' into the live set every now and then because it bulldozes live.
Grip: When we finished our first recording, The mix-master Smoking Bomb Tom sent a copy of our '96 demo to Sean from Bovine. He was already in cahoots with Noothgrush and needed a band to complete the split. I think the two songs he picked complement the Noothgrush side. It turned into a steady dose of Self-Hate Core with a little twisted hard core sludge from our end.
2. When was your biggest show... was it your favorite?
One Slice: I'd say the November To Dismember Festival in LA last November was the biggest. There were like 300+ people watching us which was really strange to us because we're used to playing in front of small club crowds that usually only max out at 100 or so.
I think our favorite show to this day and probably forever will be the Bishop's Castle gig on our Summer '98 tour with No Less. It was at this insane castle out in the mountains near the Colorado / New Mexico border. The castle was built by this dude all by himself.
It still isn't finished (he's been at it for over 25 years!). The dude, 'Bishop', is totally anti-establishment and every punks full attention around this burly bonfire that he lit as he talked about how fucked things are and how the townsfolk are always fucking with him (they shut the power off on him that night we played and he almost blew himself up starting his generator). We played with Laughing Dog, Logical Nonsense, Jeno, and the Fanatics. There were people wasted on shrooms and shit climbing all over the structure and narrow stairwells. It was totally out of a punk movie that will never be made, you know? Every once in awhile, the Discovery Channel airs this piece that they did on the Castle for their 'strange places' show, or whatever.
Grip: I totally agree with both of these. November to Dismember was good for the fact that we got to play in front of a shit load of people who've probably never heard of us. I don't believe in the cram-as-many-bands-as-possible-onto-three-different-stages-and-then-charge-50-bucks-for-one-day-and we'll-call-it-even-philosophy of booking shows, but it did have it's high points.
As for Bishops Castle, this is the stuff that makes me warm inside. Describing this place doesn't do it justice. You have to see it to believe how insane it is that one man built the entire thing by hand over twenty five years. The dude even lost his son in the process. Crazy shit. Go there there at night and ask him to fire-up the dragon.
I have to also mention the show we opened for Eyehategod back in September of 2000. For an EHG show the crowd was beyond sedate. That was kind of weird, though. Just to see our band name on a flyer with a band that we've all listened to every record they've made at least a million times was sick.
3. Did you sign yourself to DeathVomit?
One Slice: We are not signed to anybody. Here's the history of DeathVomit: I was working for Necropolis as a sales rep with Matt Harvey (Exhumed) back in fall '99 or so. The labels that put out the Deadbodieseverywhere LP (625 / Satan's Pimp) were lagging on releasing the CD version due to tight finances or whatever. Deadbodies felt that we absolutely needed a CD version out ASAP as we knew that we were alienating our band from those hardcore fans that don't own turntables. (The LP had sold out of all 1000 copies in like 3 weeks!). We tried Relapse first because back then Necropolis was 90% Witchery and 10% really 'cult' Black Metal, no sign of grind at all. So I began talking to Pellet and he dug our LP alot and thought that there might be a chance for Relapse to do the CD version. I set a time limit on how long I'd let Relapse give me the run around. I became desperate. Paul Thind was aware of my dilemma and being the all-too-nice guy that he is, offered to help out. Then another dilemma emerged. How the hell would the 'true' Necropolis Horde fans react to their cherished kult BM label releasing a grind record with hardcore breakdowns? The answer was to start an imprint through Necropolis. Back then, Paul thought that his company could grow bigger by 'branching off' into different genres, so he and then, label manager, Jon Khirman started the Fueled Up! imprint by signing Sweden's The Deadbeats, and Santa Cruz's, Herbert. Paul gave Matt and I the green light to come up with a label name for an imprint that would cater to underground grind and death (because Matt and I have strong ties to other bands in the underground through our own bands). I bet we fought over the name for at least a month. I still don't like the name. We decided upon the name because at the time we were always listening to Massacre, and Kam Lee's 'death vomit' vocals. Once the name was set in stone the Deadbodies CD went to the plants and 4 weeks later the underground metal scene finally became aware of the underground grind scene that had been lurking beneath them for years. DeathVomit needed more acts. Matt absolutely hated Ross Sewage(Impaled) at the time. I loved Impaled. They were clearly the sickest, most fucked up yet bubbling-over-with-talent-unsigned-metal-band in the Bay Area at the time. I saw a few of their gigs and told Paul that I wanted to sign Impaled. He liked the idea because he digs controversy. So I went to watch them at a Lucifer's Hammer gig with Joker and we approached the guys and they were instantly excited. A week later they were signed. Impaled has definitely become the champion band of DeathVomit since and has really helped to get the label name out there as well. I have since signed Rotten Sound from Finland, Circle of Dead Children from PA, and Vulgar Pigeons from the Bay Area. Matt, Paul, and I collaborated on bringing SoCal's Phobia aboard. Matt has also brought in Portlands Engorged and Mental Horror from Brazil. The one band that I'm really fired up on right now is Aeon from Sweden. These guys are ex-Defaced Creation, featuring members of Diabolicum. They sent me a demo last year and I dropped it in and was floored. I listened to it over and over and dropped them a line to tell them how blown away I was. Matt and Paul were a bit apprehensive about it and thought that Aeon needed to develop their sound more. I told Aeon that I was going to leave a door open for them but that it might be awhile before we had a spot in the release schedule to assign them. Thankfully, they were patient and we were able to convince them to let us release their demo and sign on to the label. 'The Dark Order' MCD is killing everything right now because it is the perfect blend of every brutal US style death metal ('89-'91 Florida mixed with mid '90s NYDM) but done with a very un-Swedish, Swedish angle (no fucking happy melodies!). Since we signed Aeon, Earache picked up their own un-Swedish SWDM band (a 2nd rate Aeon) that I won't mention because I don't work for Earache and I'm not interested in pushing other labels 2nd rate crap. I'm flattered. I got the one-time champion death grind label chasing my label's tail now.
Grip: Exactly what One Slice just said to the word.
4. Who are your favorite bands to play with live?
One Slice: Around the Bay Area, we always dig playing with the Redwood City bands: Plutocracy, Bullshit Excuse, No Less, Kalmex and the Riffmerchants, because that's our family.
Grip: I love the shows we've played with Benumb, Vulgar Pigeons, Exhumed, Impaled and also Eyehategod.
6. Have you guys ever had a different band name or was DBE it?
One Slice: We hate being called DBE by those outside of our family. The name Deadbodieseverywhere was written as one word to avoid the whole dumb acronym thing. We don't want to lumped into that shit. The name was actually on the 'B' list of names that Juicy came up with and we were all fucked up when he said it and busted out laughing, then regained our composure and agreed that the name fit us well.
Grip: Coming up with a band name was the hardest thing we've ever done. It's agonizing to think we almost called ourselves: Crisis (before we found out that there was already one), Lost Cause, or RIA (Rectums in Anguish).
7. Do you enjoy being underground or would you rather be at the status of a band like Neurosis who has even played Ozzfest?
One Slice: If we played the Ozzfest, here's what would happen: I would take the stage strapped to the gills with artillery and literally make 'deadbodieseverywhere'. I'm not into corporate metal festivals ran by pimply faced 15 year old sons of a once well respected metal icon. Ozzy is really letting his kid do serious damage to his integrity. Think about it. Black Sabbath was an insane group to the initiated when they first started. Why the fuck can't the OzzFest reflect that early spirit of originality that Sabb built itself upon? Does billing cookie-cutter mall-core metal bands really help the integrity of the metal scene? No. All it does is bring out the mindless 12-17 year old music fans (the ones with enough of mommy's allowance to spend on CD's and concert tix) and sells it out. That fest is wack yet I can understand why Neurosis played it. They were the most real band to have ever played it. Too bad Neurosis spends more time writing really good original dark metal than buying boiler suits, dying their hair, and jumping around like whiney crack babies. Unless Neurosis sells out like the other asses on the OzzFest bill they will remain a cult underground act, a very large well-known cult underground act though. By the way, Neurosis jams in the studio next to ours in Oakland and they are so loud that we can't hear ourselves once they fire up their guns. We have to end our jams when they start in...hahahahaha
Grip: The underground is where my heart is, you know? I started off buying the records of bands that were never meant to go main stream. Bands like Man Is the Bastard, No Comment, and Capitalist Casualties is where its at. These bands fully understand the meaning of DIY. They know the meaning of cramming into a van and hitting the road to make a name the band. Fuck what you hear on corporate radio. The OzzFest is just a cash cow looking to be milked by Ozzy and his wife. At least last year's OzzFest had Slayer on the bill. Well, they only got 20 minutes to play but that's another thing.
8. Did you guys come up with the concept for the album cover?
One Slice: Pressure. The day before we were to turn in the artwork to the labels, we were up in this office building in Frisco that Grip was working at and we had a few things together for the insert of the LP, like the photo college, lyrics, and credits, but no cover design. So being the web nerds that we are, we began surfing for an image to rip off for the cover and back. We were searching for something vintage looking to differentiate our album from the slew of other HC/Grind albums that had the typical war atrocity photo or splattery autopsy photo as cover art. We came across this killer artist from the 17th century.
The paintings were excellent, especially this really disturbing one of a mother that had gone mad and cut the leg of her baby off and had it cooking in her cauldron. It was perfect. I have always had troubles with the puritan values of American people. I feel that it shelters American society too much, strangles it. Especially after having gone through the manufacturing mayhem with the plants over the covers for 'Choice Cuts' and the Carcass trib, I feel having that vintage painting on the cover of the first DeathVomit release really expresses what DVR is all about. Nothing should be shocking to society today. Nothing has changed. Humanity is and has always been infected with sick minds that are not afraid to express their visions. That painting is testament to that theory. Someday I hope that the rest of the metal community understands that DVR is not just about shocking cover art, it's about quality underground music and the covers are just the icing on the cake.
Grip: That cover was a pain in the ass. Everyone in the band had a vision for what the cover should be but we couldn't quite complete it as a whole to all of our liking. I remember when Slice found the picture, we said 'holy shit... that's it." We then emailed it over to rest of the fuckfaces and had them take a look at it because time was running out. To our amazement they gave it the thumbs up, which was good because I was sick of being at work on a weekend.
9. Why does One Slice wear that bag or whatever it is at the beginning of shows?
One Slice: When I was in Agents of Satan I used to wear this devil mask and everyone would always say how they thought it added to the effect of our live show. My original idea to begin doing this with Deadbodies was to wear a hangman's mask and have a noose around my neck. I only wear the bag for a bit because it doesn't fit properly and is a pain in the ass to have to keep adjusting it every 2 seconds so I can see what I'm thrashing into. (I have lost that 'bag' on our recent tour of the west and am in need of a new one so if any of you fans out there find a cool looking hangman's hood, let me know!).
10. How did you guys come up with your nicknames One Slice, Juicy, Grippy, Nooks?
One Slice: My name was given to me by Thomas (Kalmex) of Plutocracy / No Less. He has a knack for giving people fitting and wacked-out nicknames. He also gave Nooks his name, I think after a night of drunken fighting because Nooks uses this weird fighting fist that Thomas called 'The Nook'. Juicy got his name from all of his 'buddies' that he used to hang out with when he lived in San Jose. Grippy got his name from the brothers, Nooks and Juicy, because he would always hog the bowl and lighter and has a knack for mindlessly snaking pocketable items lying around.
Grip: I got my name the day I purchased one of those hand-strengthening devices for a guitar called the "Grip Master." I guess you could say it fit perfect because I was always being caught with one hand on my dick and the other one on my nuts pleasuring myself. Our friend Big Balls coined the term and it has stuck ever since.
*Extra Note: I would like to thank One Slice and Grip for letting me interview them. I would also like to apologize to Slice for the whole dbe thing (which I will never use again) and calling the hangman mask a "bag".