Death of Millions
CoC Interrogates Texans Death of Millions
by: Adrian Bromley
Lashing out with brutal intensity and a seductively powerful atmosphere throughout their music comes Texas' brutal music ensemble Death of Millions. The band's debut demo _Frozen_ is a fistful of metal of all facets: brutal death, atmospheric death, and just pure, vicious death metal styles. Some would say such a wide variety of styles hampers the direction of the band's music - but they are proven wrong, as the band's demo shines with brilliance and true grit. With numerous shows in and around Texas, DoM - singer Chuck Salvo, guitarists Brian Morrison and Lee Ribera, bassist Brendon Bigelow, and Mark Perry on drums - are starting to make a name for themselves. With a solid production (by Bat Lord at Agony Column Productions) and apparently a powerful live show, who knows - maybe this band will be the next indie band to get label interest? I'm hoping so.

CoC: Why was the name Death Of Millions chosen by the band? Is there a significance to the band's name and the topics the band deals with in the music? What topics does the band deal with? Why?

Mark Perry: Death of Millions was thought up by Chuck (vocals), although the thought process behind it is a mystery. We thought it sounded pretty cool. Later, while reading our song lyrics, I realized no one song of ours depicted any kind of mass destruction to the scope that the name implies. Our songs tend to deal with the up-close and personal nature of your average serial killer, depicting graphic accounts of sadistic murder and necrophilia, right down to the smell. Upon asking Chuck about the relationship between our name and our song content he replied, "It's the death of millions, one at a time." This reflects the bulk of our song topics, but there are a few songs dealing with very different things. We have one song about the destruction of the planet, one about rape, some anti-religious/Christian songs, and some about cannibalism. As for why we write about these things, we tend to look on our music like a really bad horror movie. Above all, we look for pure entertainment value in our songs. We don't have a message, we just want to deliver good, entertaining music.

CoC: Tell me about the metal/death metal scene in Texas. What bands are up and coming, and what bands from that scene inspired you guys to get this band rolling? What are your influences?

MP: Our experiences in Texas have all been great, except for some of the ones in our home town of Austin, Texas. Austin's being the "Live Music Capitol of the World" is great because of all the venues (literally hundreds), but it also tends to dilute the crowds a little. It becomes difficult to get people out for your show when there are 150 other bands playing that Tuesday night. When the larger acts come through, however, the fans come out in force. The scene isn't bad in Austin, but it could be a lot better. As for the rest of Texas, we usually do extremely well in some of the small towns around, because they are starving for live music. Houston does pretty well on the road shows, as well, but they tend to have the same problem as we do as far as the local bands are concerned. We keep hearing that Dallas has this killer metal scene up there, but we haven't played there yet. It is really hard to say who's up and coming, but there are metal bands like Agony Column and Force Fed, death metal bands like Demonio and Crucifixion, and black metal bands like Thornspawn and Absu. Local bands that have influenced us over the years are Dead Horse, Agony Column, Devastation, Rock Busters, and some others. The larger bands that are our influences include Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, Sinister, Brutality, Suffocation, Neurosis, Malevolent Creation, Slayer, Gwar, along with music like Rush, Pink Floyd, Mozart, and even Twisted Sister. We are, after all, going to burn in hell.

CoC: How hard is it for you to play out in Texas or surrounding states? Do you get good support from other local acts, or is there a lot of rivalry?

MP: It seems to be pretty easy to get a gig anywhere, just with no guarantee of money. We don't necessarily have a problem with low pay in this stage of our band, but getting the money together to drive that far sometimes poses a problem. Playing out of state seems to be no problem, except where funding is concerned. Among the metal scene here, there is no rivalry that I am aware of, because the scene's size is such that the clubs know that if they book metal shows on the same night, nobody will make any money. All of the bands try to avoid that by playing together.

CoC: Most young bands have a hard time getting their product out to the public or even to record labels in order to spark interest. Are you actively trying to push your material to a bigger label, or are your waiting for the right time for the band and its material to grow more?

MP: We are actively pushing our material to everybody we can get our hands on. Most everything we have done has been accomplished by networking with the right people. The more people you know, the larger the chance that someone you know knows someone who can help you out. Giving away most of your product at first doesn't hurt either. I think that if you make your fan base large enough by yourself, the record companies will come to you. Getting on the _Frozen Dawn II_ compilation has probably done the most for us. We are slowly becoming known across the whole continent. If you have a chance to get on a compilation, I highly recommend it. Also, getting to know your Relapse records mail order guy helps. We ordered some stuff from him and met him in Milwaukee and BOOM! We got Relapse to distribute us in their Resound catalog. This particular guy was very cool. It really is who you know and who knows you. Last, but not least, the Internet. As all of you who will receive this know, it can be a great source of information as well as a great source of exposure. E-zines like this one, websites, and the usenet (alt.rock-n-roll.metal.death in particular) are all great places to push your product.

CoC: How would you describe the music on _Frozen_? Do you think that the band captured the brutal direction and sound that you were aiming for with this recording?

MP: The music on _Frozen_ is a collection of songs we've written at various stages in our development. The music itself ranges from melodic to downright brutal. The first half of the album is a collection of murder for murder's sake type songs - just random violence and thoughtless massacres. The second half of the album, from "Salvational Rot" on, tends to look at the violence as some sort of a religion, as if it were necessary to maintain the subject's existence. This wasn't done on purpose; that's just how it turned out. I really don't think we could ever capture our brutal direction without having it be our last album. Our music will continue to reach for the impossible goal of perfect music-based brutality. This can never happen, or the genre would die - because then how could it get any better? As for the sound of the album, I think we captured a quite brutal sound, and for the price we paid for production we are very pleased.

CoC: Tell me about the recording process for the band. Is it a group effort in regards to songwriting and ideas, or is it just one individual in the band? How has the band grown since forming in 1993?

MP: Writing songs has always been a group effort, with the exception of the lyrics, which are written by Chuck. Lee is the most proficient at coming up with guitar riffs, so most of the music comes from him, but Brian has written quite a few things as well. All of the songs are manipulated and arranged by all of us together, so no individual credit is ever given for any song unless that person is no longer in the band. Speaking of that, we have only had two member changes in the band as of yet. Brian came in after our other guitar player left to start his own project, and Brendon came in after we parted with our old bass player. Recording the albums has always been easy, because we spend ridiculous amounts of time practicing to get tight for the studio. We never have much money, so we have to execute it right the first or second time. With this and with very good studio rates, we were able to produce _Frozen_ for a grand total of $600. I think we did pretty good.

CoC: Is there something different that you are trying to bring out in the music of DoM that no other bands are doing, or are you pretty much staying along the lines of the music your peers create? Are you influenced by outside music and ideas?

MP: One of the major things I listen for when we are writing is if it sounds like something I've heard before. I don't like it to even resemble anybody else's riffs, but at the same time, we want to be on top of what is going on in the scene. We try to do things that are different, but along the same lines of what is current. It's hard to be ground-breaking in a style that has been here for as long as it has, but we are trying our best. Most of us listen to a wide variety of music, all of which influence our writing styles. We all have pretty diverse tastes from which to draw upon.

CoC: What has been the most successful thing that DoM have seen and/or done in the last few years since your inception? Favorite gig played, etc.?

MP: Probably the best thing we've been involved with has been the aforementioned _Frozen Dawn II_ compilation. This CD has gotten us more exposure than we could have hoped for. We are still getting letters pretty regularly because of this thing, and it was released in the spring. The two Milwaukee Metal Festivals (X and XI) did a lot for exposure, as well as making contacts with many, many bands, fanzines, radio shows, etc. But our favorite gig was in this little piss-ant border town called Del Rio. We played for a couple hundred kids in this hall. Apparently, one of the kids got one tape from us when we played with Deicide in San Antonio, Texas. This tape spread like a fungus in Del Rio, because when we played there, they knew our stuff! The hall was tiny, but these kids were nuts! They were by far the craziest bunch we had come across.

CoC: What lies in the future for DoM? Tours? Recording? What?

MP: Everything we can get our bloody little hands on. We would definitely like to tour, because we need a fan base boost. Our main goal is a record contract with touring and worldwide distribution, but we will more than gladly do it ourselves if we have to. We will probably let _Frozen_ ride for a while before recording again, but we are currently writing more material for the next one.

Contact: DEATH OF MILLIONS, 808 Chrisholm Valley Dr., Round Rocks, Texas, USA, 78681 Bookings: (512) 441-6065 http://www.io.com/~someguy/

(article submitted 16/10/1997)


DEMOS
9/14/1997 A Bromley 4 Death of Millions - Frozen
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