Spirit Of The Dragon
Hi Shaune, what is currently happening with DIM MAK, there is somewhat long silence around you. Are you playing live at all, or write some new material?
The new Dim Mak record will be recorded this spring 2010 for our label Willowtip records. I was down in Florida for the past three years playing with Hate Eternal so my time was focused there for a bit. Now I have returned back home to NJ and have regrouped with Dim Mak. We are talking about some live gigs for sure. It has been a while between our records but thatís just how it fell. We generally do it at our own pace when we want not on any particular schedule.
How will be your new album compared to your older works?
Well the new material has a lot of dynamics and is very intense for sure. It will be along the same lines as Knives of Ice but with more mid paces and grooves. Extremely heavy the way it should be. To me it will surpass all of our older materials.
Composition, playing technique, feeling and atmosphere is very good processed in DIM MAK music, of course, everything connected with enormous amounts of energy, aggression and brutality. As for writing music, what do you lay greatest stress on?
I would say quality arrangements and longevity of the songs is our main focus. Extreme skill and determination in crushing material and lyrical concepts. Itís a combination of these major elements to me.
Do you think the energy of music in general can have a major impact on the listener's psyche and may alter mood to some extent?
Absolutely. We try hard to assault the listener with force and precision. To create a violent mood is our goal. Not so much evil but we do touch on that aspect as well. But itís not your typical black metal/Death metal vibe. It's more of a real human rage type of atmosphere we try to create.
What fascinates you so much in the martial arts? It's pretty unusual topic for a Death Metal band. In addition, you also addict to mythology, how is it all connected together?
Well we chose martial arts mainly Bruce Leeís jeet kune do as our new direction due to the combative side of course. But we are fans of Bruce's theories as well and I have read just about all of his writings. Just incredible conclusions this man came to in life and art and was brilliant. Me and Scott have always been into boxing than the UFC came about. We are big fans of most combat sports. It just seemed original and natural to work Bruce Lee's theories into our music and to me greatly enhanced my thoughts and writing. The way of the Intercepting fist is just genius and to me fits into metal nicely. All the other bands do the horror/Evil stuff anymore so we just wanted to break away from that.
What is the ďIncident At The Temple of LengĒ song lyric about?
Temple at Leng is an original tale Scott Ruth wrote inspired by HP Lovecrafts works. About the Blackened Stone Temple At Leng created by servants of the Ancients hidden deep in the landscape of Asia. An expedition into the unknown worlds of Cthulhu and his treacherous creatures that inhabit and spew through portals. Itís pretty much Scotts version of some of HP's stories as heís an avid fan of his books.
Sound of all your albums is always a little special, was it your intention? Arenít you afraid this might deter somebody?
Yes we try to have an original sound for sure. Against the grain of your typical polished pro tools death metal sounds. A more raw almost live feel is what we shoot for. The moneys we get arenít very large amounts so we concentrate on good performance first. Yes it does deter some but we donít care about being popular due to the production and or studio magic. Just raw good sounds that are our own.
Your name is sometimes associated with Hard Core style, which many Death Metal maniacs donít like much. So which is your relationship to Hard Core?
I grew up in NJ near NY where there was a lot of hardcore music and I love it. There's just a genuine reality about it and itís full of real anger and pain. Whatís not to like about it. It wasnít a form of music that professed its musical skill level. Just real raw emotion. I steer towards metal when I write but there's definitely some hardcore elements involved. Scott Ruth has been singing hardcore/punk/metal since 1982 and is a huge fan of those styles again leaning more in the metal zone. His vocals always had a hint of these styles however by design. Not just a growler who you can barely understand. The words are enunciated and clear. Its just part of who we are.
Why arenít you playing with HATE ETERNAL now? Was their music style suitable for you? However this is different kind of music.
Hate Eternal was an awesome experience for sure. I give thanks to those guys for the opportunity for sure. I just reached a point where I had to leave. Thatís about all I can say so I just did.
Are you about to have some work with HATE ETERNAL sometimes? Maybe to record another album with them?
No, Hate Eternal will go on without me as a three piece. I wish them good luck with there future releases and Iím still into the band very much.
Your name will already be forever associated with the legend RIPPING CORPSE, I think you did big turmoil on Death Metal scene at that time and still you are a cult band. What is your current view of the time when you was playing in this crazy band?
Well certainly Ripping Corpse was a huge part of my life as me and Scott Ruth created this entity. To remain still noticed for it makes me proud of what we did. To inspire a lot of bands to stretch there creativity also pleases me. To this day people seem to still enjoy what we did some 2 decades ago, so yes itís a great feeling inside. Just the fact that the songs withstood all this time is also a great feeling. A big thanks goes to all who noticed Corpse and remain fans still. I am grateful for that. Time has went on now and I play with Dim Mak but itís essentially the same members of Corpse so I hope that the same people are still with us all these years later.
I have read an interview with you where you have resolutely refused RIPPING CORPSE reunion; do you take this chapter as already closed? How can you see DIM MAK from this perspective? Is it continuation of RIPPING CORPSE in other level or itís totally different story?
It is a closed chapter to me for sure. Not to say it was all bad but those times are over and we have moved on. To me Dim Mak is the next chapter, not a continuation of Corpse really but like I said before it's still us playing. Me, Scott Ruth and Scott Hornick with the addition of master skinsman John Longstreth. We have basically changed a lot of the lyrical concepts to a more combative type of style steering away from the gore and horror. But technically this was what we wanted as Hollywood ruined most of the classic horror we wrote about. Really we wanted something new and different. We do still touch on horror now and then however. It is not forgotten but we are more focused on real human elements now. Anger, Violence and Combative subjects such as martial arts. Some positive and some negative.
Yeah, your debut album "Dreaming With The Dead" is one of the most amazing jewels of Death Metal history, itís always well placed in various top Death Metal albums charts of all times ... What is your current look at this material? Where can you see the biggest difference between the RC and DM??
Itís mainly the lyrical concepts to me that makes DM different and possibly the vocals at times but to me the riffing is still very similar and if anything itís more intense than before. Itís hard to say but I donít think there that far removed from one another??
New reprint T-shirts, general interest of fans in RIPPING CORPSE suggests that "Dreaming With The Dead" album became a cult. When can we wait to see re-release of this album itself? If you will do it, will you put some rare stuff on it?
Well there were plans of Relapse records re-releasing it but Kraze records the original label stepped in and beat them to it. So it has been re-released already. Unfortunately as is with no bonuses. Just as it was way back when. Itís available on the Relapse site along with the new t-shirts and hoodies.
RIPPING CORPSE is associated with the American writer H. P. Lovecraft, how much have you been influenced by his creation?
Lovecraftís stories were always a big part of Corpse for sure. His stories of unspeakable horrors and dimensions are just works of genius. Scott is a huge horror fan and reader/writer, so it just was possibly his main influence. Even to this day. Very much an influence to say the least on me as well. I was even engulfed in the role playing game Call of cthulhu as a teen and also love his writing even if some is a tough read. Incredible imagination was at work for sure.
As we mentioned Lovecraft, we can say something about the Necronomicon book often referred by him. Various stories are still floating about this book, from those most skeptic to cults seriously working with Necronomiconom. What is your personal view of Simon and other Necronomicons?
Well really the Necronomicon to me the book of the dead was insights about Djinn or the Howling demons, The Ancients or Old Ones. A race of beings before humans with astronomical powers. But it was hard to decipher much from it as it spanned a lot of pages in Latin. I never tried to find a translated version to study so this is a tough question. I do enjoy its mystery however and dark secrets it holds. I liked how it was used in Lovecraftís tales and some movies to evoke the old ones from the darkened void as well. There seems to be a lot of speculation on it however and various opinions but just a very tough one to answer as it was almost unreadable for me.
How do you perceive the whole cult of Cthulhu? Many magicians argue the magic system can work with this myth or religion, opening gates to other space-time, etc. How much is your faith strong in this regard?
Well my faith is in myself but I do find string theory and these topics rather interesting. Crossing into different dimensions and using portals and intersecting Super gravity and Quantum physics but Iím not a scientist to know enough to spout off;) Definitely intense thought evoking stuff though.
Today's Death Metal scene has changed considerably over the past, certainly there are more trends, but on the other hand, many cool bands. Do you still check underground scene, and what you think about it?
Well yes I do still listen to a lot of todayís music and although a lot of time has passed since its inception I believe some of the newer bands know what there doing. Few and far between but there are some. I donít find much time to listen to a lot myself and by design just to stay original. But yes I support the underground and always have. It's my home. Some of the bands I really enjoy these days are still the ones I have enjoyed the entire time though.
Ok, that would be all from me. If we forget something, you have the last word. Many thanx for the interview and finally try to write your current top 5 albums.
Well as parting words Iíd like to thank you for the interview and Thank the fans over the past two decades. You are why we do this and have a little more in store. Keep your eyes peeled this year for the New Dim Mak record, itís going to be quite violent. As for a top 5 list this is tough but Iíll give it a go.
1.Aeon - Bleeding The False
2.In Battle - The Rage Of The Northman
3.Origin - Antithesis
4.Necrophagist - Epitaph
5.Macabre - Gloom
Thanks man Stay Sick!!!!!
Shaune 2. 2. 2010 Mortuary & Storm