Night of the Deceased
CoC interviews King Fowley of Deceased
by: Drew Snow
Way back in January of this year I was lucky enough to receive from a friend an advance mix of the new Deceased album (thanks Jim!). The moment I heard the awesome opening riff, I couldn't wait for it to finally be released, and July finally brought that joyous occasion. Once the CD began spinning there was no turning back, it was ten times better than the tape, and confirmed that _Fearless Undead Machines_ was almost definitely going to be in my top five albums for 1997. I was quite lucky to have the opportunity to talk to vocalist/drummer King Fowley about all sorts of things, and among others, I found out that he's one of the funniest and coolest guys in metal I've ever talked to...

CoC: What's up?

KF: Man, sorry it took me so long, man, I was fuckin' dialing like... I don't know -what- I was doing. I dialed like my own number like six times man. It was insane. By the way, Jim says "waaaazzzzzupp!!" So what's up?

CoC: What brought about such a change in your sound? I mean, you guys used to be just like old school death metal, and now it's more melodic heavy metal influenced type of stuff.

KF: I don't personally see that big of a change. I think what it is, is the production, man. I think the production just makes it. I was telling this guy a little while ago I think _Blueprints for Madness_ had a lot of old school stuff on it, too. I don't think people heard it because it was just a thundering fuckin' wall of noise. <laughs> I guess it's a little more speed metal than just blasting death, you know. But I don't know, man, I guess it's just natural, it's just what we wrote.

CoC: What's your favorite element of the new album? The more deathy parts, or the melodic sections?

KF: I like the melodicness of it. I'm a big melody fan, and I like the harmonies, and I just like the pacing of the album. I think the fast parts are fast enough where it's not so fast where it sounds like Suffocation or something that I don't -want- to sound like. I think that the slow parts sound heavy, and slow, and, you know, good.

CoC: Were you influenced by bands like Dissection or Dark Tranquillity at all? It sounds pretty Swedish with the melodies at times, at least to me it does.

KF: Yeah, you know what, I guess so for a part, maybe with Mike [Smith]'s guitar playing. I know Mark [Adams] doesn't follow that at all. I know it, but I'm not that inspired by it. I think they're good bands for what they do. But I think those bands, a lot of their stuff is a little bit boring. It's like with Dark Tranquillity, after you hear one album they all kind of start sounding the same. [Well that's something I disagree with totally, but that's okay. - Drew] I think ours has a little more depth and a little more cleverness to it. I'm not knocking those bands because they definitely can play. But I guess so, probably definitely with Mike Smith's guitar playing.

CoC: Was the whole zombie thing something you always wanted to do?

KF: Oh yeah, it goes back to the second demo, _Birth by Radiation_, in '88, man. It's like we started doing it then, and we did it on the third demo. Then for _Luck of the Corpse_, it was like we didn't have enough room to put it all on there, the whole concept, so we abandoned it. We were like, now is the right time to get back to it, and I wanted to write all new songs for it and just do it now. Yeah I'm a big fuckin' horror freak.

CoC: Are you still happy to be on Relapse? It looks like they're kind of moving towards all that ambient/noise stuff.

KF: As long as they don't tell us what to do, and accept us for what we are, I have no problem. I get along with the guys great, they're cool, and I support them one-hundred percent. They've been behind us for the new record. I guess we'll be their 'metal band,' and they can put out all that gay fuckin' ambient shit. The guys are cool, but most of their roster, I just don't get it. One of the only bands I think I like anymore on that label I think is Morgion. I like Abscess. Mortician's fucking great. Brutal Truth is cool. Other than that, I don't know, who's on there anymore?

CoC: How about Amorphis? They changed a lot.

KF: I don't like them at all. I think they fucking blow. They're trying to be progressive. I mean, I grew up on progressive rock as much as metal, I used to listen to that shit all the time, and that shit (Amorphis) is -not- progressive.

CoC: What about the old Amorphis?

KF: Yeah, I love the first two albums. It's just all these keyboards. I mean, I don't mind keyboards at all, but they just don't play them right or something. Everybody says they sound like Deep Purple. They ain't sound like no fuckin' Deep Purple to me! Sounds like fuckin' Deep Shit! <laughs>

CoC: [after regaining composure from laughing so hard] So what's next for you guys, musically, after such a monumental album like _Fearless Undead Machines_?

KF: I have no idea. Actually, we were talking about that last night, me and Mark. We were sitting here after practice, because we've been having a lot of problems with the practice room, the amps have been sounding so bad. But we were talking about that, and how we want to be and how we have to live up to this album (_Fearless Undead Machines_) now, and make it not a fluke. But the next thing we're planning is an EP called _Spirits_. It's going to be really weird. I've already got the titles, it's got five songs. We've got "The Premonition", "The Hanging Soldier", "A Very Familiar Stranger", we've got one called "Mrs. Allerdice" which is based on the movie "Burnt Offerings", then the closing one is called "A Chilling Heartbeat", which is based on "The Telltale Heart", you know, Edgar Allen Poe. You know, it's going to be very morbid. I think it's still going to be very fast, very aggressive, very melodic, very intense. We're going to go from there just to try out some different production just to see how it goes. Then that'll carry us over to the next full-length. We're also planning on doing a live album, and an all-covers album called _Live for Metal_. It's going to be all 80s stuff. We're going to do, like, "Deathrider" from Anthrax, fuckin' crazy shit, Razor, Whiplash, Metal Church, Nasty Savage covers, uhh... I don't even know, Tyrants, who the hell knows.

CoC: Any Sodom in there?

KF: Nah, there won't be Sodom, but there will be thrash like Whiplash, Razor, etc... Agent Steele <laughs>, if you want to call them thrash, I guess they were speed metal. Yeah, as for Sodom and stuff, it's just so done, you know? Everybody's done Sodom covers, everybody's done Destruction, Slayer...

CoC: Yup, retro...

KF: Yeah, kind of cheesy, isn't it?

CoC: Yep, totally. It's like with Demoniac, they used to be black metal.

KF: Is that the band on Osmose?

CoC: Yeah. (Evil Omen is a division of Osmose)

KF: Are they still on Osmose?

CoC: Yep.

KF: Jesus. -Now- they're old school?

CoC: Yep. They used to be all corpse-painted. Now they're wearing sunglasses and bandannas... total change.

KF: Oh, Jesus. Sounds like Gehennah. But Gehennah seems real. They're definitely cool. Bewitched is okay, Inferno I don't mind, of the Osmose bands. But I don't know what's happening now. I'm turning around every day and someone's play thrash now, and Sodom, Marduk doing Piledriver covers, and I'm like "What the -fuck- happened, man? Play your cheesy shit out dude, just because your fucking day has come when no one likes you anymore, don't try and jump on the next bandwagon." Most people see right through that, at least the fuckin' smart people do. Not those who live in Robotic Village. <laughs>

CoC: For the lyrics to the album, was it -just- a story, or are you trying to convey some message with it?

KF: There's lots of little messages in there about telling the world how fucked up it is. I don't know if you seen that.

CoC: Yeah, I noticed the one about religion.

KF: Oh yeah, It's just the whole world is so damned full of shit, you know? And all we're doing is paving our fuckin' road to death. As far as the lyrics, I wanted it to be traditional horror to a point, but very tastefully done, and very disturbing, because there's no happiness in my lyrics, there never will be. Nothing has a good ending. There's always a fork in the road. In my horror movies, everybody dies. There's no hero that's going to climb out of the rocks going, "I survived!" In mine, he'd climb out of the rocks, and then another rock would just smash his head in. I just want to keep it real dreary, and I want to hear people's interpretations of the story just to see if what I wrote comes across to them as how I wanted it to. Because everybody can take it however they want to, you know?

CoC: What was the hardest thing about writing _Fearless Undead Machines_?

KF: The hardest thing for us was just getting a solid place where we could just jam all the time. We were jumping from rehearsal space to rehearsal space for _Blueprints..._, and finally we got settled into my house, my basement, to start rehearsing. There was no interference, we could sit there and talk about if we want to change things. It wasn't like, we were at someone's house and they were cooking dinner. We used to jam with Abominog, at their house, and we'd be there practicing and their drummer would come in and start tuning his drums, playing drum solos, that's kind of kooky, you know? But now we're all settled in and we finally got the chance to just the four of us go in this little room, and fuckin' jam and talk about it, and change things. That's all it really took, was just getting settled in. But it kind of came naturally; some songs came together easier, some were instantly written and done, some took a lot of changing, with new riffs, and rewriting. But you know, I'm happy as shit with the album, every song just came out how we wanted it to.

CoC: Yeah, well I must say, I think every song is excellent.

KF: I appreciate that, man. Any favorites?

CoC: Probably "The Psychic".

KF: Cool. If I can say this, honestly, that was actually written as the single. I guess we knew that there weren't going to be any real singles, so we just, like, jokingly said, like, well, you know how in the 80s, Iron Maiden would put out _The Trooper_ and have, like, the B-sides, you know? It's like, there's our 12-inch single, you know? We just laughed at it. It just had that vibe, it's very catchy. Relapse is digging "Fearless...", the song, and "Graphic Repulsion" has been getting a lot of good things. Which is kind of strange because when me and Mark wrote that, it was probably my least favorite, but when it came out in the studio, I was really happy with it. That one had a lot of problems. It was -really- fast. At first, it was probably the closest thing we had on the album to blast. I think the next album's going to be very fast. I think it'll be more fast - the next album will be very, very fast. But it'll be very melodic. But it won't be like Dark Tranquillity - fast and melodic, because I don't think speed and melody always work that good together. You have to just move your dynamics around and let it hit at certain times.

CoC: What do you think about the Korn and Machine Head-type bands?

KF: I don't know how to spell this, but "fuuuyiiillllck." [the best I could do - Drew] I hate that shit. I don't like the personality that comes with it, I don't like the people that listen to it, I don't like the macho fuckin' image it creates. I think it's fuckin' silly. It's just so overrated. I mean, anyone could take an open E, and just chug it, and just scream fuckin' vile shit over it. I don't know, it just doesn't do anything for me. I've never been a fan of that style. If I want to listen to some of that open E stuff, I'll listen to early Annihilator or something. You see, it's good when it sounds good... Van Halen was the master of that. It's just silly, man, too macho for me.

CoC: What do you guys have lined up for the rest of this year?

KF: Hopefully we'll go on tour. Who knows if that's going to happen. Write this new EP, try and do a live album, try and do this covers thing, all that within the rest of this year. We're just trying to get out and play, too, we really want to get out and play. We're looking for the right tour, but, I don't know, I don't honestly know what to tell you about that, it's just kind of up in the air.

CoC: Well, you'll be playing a show with Exodus in New York City on August 21st right?

KF: We'll definitely be there, we'll be there kickin' ass. I'm not looking forward to Exodus, though, man. I don't know... I don't like this reunion thing they're doing. They're like "Hey, look, we did one good album and then we sucked for all these years. Now we're back doing the good album again!" Am I supposed to applaud them for wimping out, you know? Oh, it's a big money thing.

CoC: Yeah, they're kind of just riding the thrash retro uprising.

KF: Exactly, you know what time it is.

CoC: Well, that's it King. Anything you want to say to the readers?

KF: Just look out for the Deceased album, man. We're as honest a band as we can be. We don't fuckin' bullshit nobody, we don't pull no punches, we just do our thing. And you know just remember, metal rules and it always has, and even when this retro thing is over, it still will.

(article submitted 14/9/1997)

9/2/2005 T DePalma Deceased: Weird Tales Vol. 1
8/12/2005 T DePalma 9.5 Deceased - As the Weird Travel On
5/25/2000 P Schwarz 9 Deceased - Supernatural Addiction
8/12/1997 D Schinzel 9 Deceased - Fearless Undead Machines
8/12/1997 D Schinzel Deceased / Black Army Jacket / DeathKids Better Late Than Never
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