Lucifer'S Right-Hand Man Speaks
An Interview with Glen Benton of Deicide
by: Alain M. Gaudrault
The show is over, the sweat-drenched, liquored-up crowd disperses, and I make my way to the band's dressing room to see if I can score an interview with any of the members of the evening's headliners, Deicide. After twiddling my thumbs for what seemed like forever, the road manager tells me the controversial singer/bassist/lyricist will do the interview after he's had time to shower. Lady luck is with me tonight as a damp-haired Glen Benton invites me in. The open window reveals minor chaos brewing outside The Embassy, the London, Ontario bar which served as venue for the show. We sit down, I press record, and the banter begins.

I begin with the usual barrage of questions pertaining to their latest opus _Once Upon the Cross_. He seems somewhat bored with my line of questioning, albeit consistently pleasant and friendly, much to my surprise. I begin by asking about the success of the album. "I think it's done just as good as any of the other records. It's a lot more flowing on this record than on the other two [_Deicide_ and _Legion_]. I think it's pulling more people towards it. It's flowing, man. When it's flowing like that, people are pretty much... very discreet, they're more likely to get it, not have a fuckin' opinion about what I'm talking about," referring to the overt satanic imagery pervasive throughout the band's lyrics, which he pens. Is he satisfied with the album? "So far. I mean it could have been better. You always want more, you know what I mean? Every record's different for whoever's writing the material, you know? On the last record, Steve [Asheim, drummer] wrote most of the material. He sits around the house a lot! He stays up 'till 6 o'clock in the morning every day." He laughs, "The guy don't sleep!"

A few fans have found their way to the dressing room by this time, wanting to greet Benton and hang out for awhile. He obliges, signing autographs, shaking hands, and answering questions. His demeanor is rather pleasant, albeit never overly talkative. I take this opportunity to ask him whether he would enjoy partaking in the sweet herbal delights I've so thoughtfully brought along. Naturally, he's game. The evil weed deed done, Benton politely asks the fans to move along so that we can talk.

The tour in question is rather low profile, so I ask him how extensive it is. "It's just two weeks, man. We're actually in the process of writing and shit, so those guys (Eric and Brian Hoffman on guitars, and Steve Asheim on drums) have been writing, working on their new stuff, what they've written so far. This tour got offered to us, and I kept telling [the promoters] no, I kept telling them no, but the money kept getting better, and the money kept getting better, and the money kept getting better, so I was like 'All right we'll do it.' It's just a couple of weeks, man. Make some quick cash." As for the coverage of the tour, he adds, "Just up the east coast, North Carolina, New York, Conneticut, Ohio, Detroit, Chicago, here." And the crowds? "Killer, killer shows." Unfortunately, the band is notorious for their lack of touring and short sets. I ask him if it's intentional. "Yeah, man, it's just marketing. I don't flood the market with myself, I don't spread myself too thin. It's like tonight. Our sets are usually that long so people will keep coming back for the next album's worth. People, they expect me to come out there, and for the kind of money we're making, they think we'll come out there and do fucking 3 albums worth of material, you know what I mean?" He adds, "If I did that, you'd never come back to see me again, you know what I mean?" We agree to disagree on this point, and I move on.

Deicide, of course, have become infamous for their religious beliefs and the prominence of said beliefs in the lyrical content of their music, and while I considered bucking the trend and keeping the subject out of the conversation, I thought again and asked him whether the band's families also hold the same convictions. "It depends how far back you go in the family. My family, for instance, my wife isn't a christian, she's an atheist. We don't teach any kind of fucking religion in our home at all. As far as the rest of the band goes, everybody in the band knows that christianity is nothing but a farce and fucking sham, and their families share the same fucking beliefs. But as far as to go out like myself, I don't think anybody outside the four of us would do that, because you know, we open ourselves up to take shots, man. We don't expect our families to take it, you know what I mean?"

Many have derided Benton, in particular, for his pseudo-satanic spewings of infernal allegiance, claiming it being done purely for the sake of publicity. In regards to textual basis for the set of beliefs he holds, he comments, "I've read so many different philosophies about satanism and atheism, and paganism. I read them all and I understand the majority of it, and what I have gotten from all that is where I put myself in this place. I don't want to follow any other person because that one particular person has certain things that I don't fucking agree with. Like [Anton] LaVey, I don't agree with a lot of things that [the Satanic Church says]. Acquino has a lot of things that he says that I find really right on the money. But then there's a couple of things that he kinda throws a bit of Hollywood-ism to the whole thing. I'm not into that." He stresses, "I'm more into eye for an eye, out for myself, and as far as christianity goes, I know for a fact that Christ did not die for my sins and I do not believe in any of the christian hype, the Bible or any of that. I don't believe in any of it." Does he believe in an entity called Satan? "I believe that... I'll try to explain it to you... I want to go where all my friends have gone, and people I know have gone. They're all sinners, so they're obviously not going to Heaven by what the fucking christians want you to believe, so I'm going wherever they're going. And if the christians say that's Hell, and that's Satan, so be it. All I know is that there are a lot of good-hearted people and a lot of good people that are going to Hell, so if that's the scenario, then I might as well go with them because I fit right in with them."

It's obvious at this point that the THC has taken effect, and that my interviewee is willing to share some insight, so I probe a bit further, asking him about the practice of ritual sacrifice. "Yeah, man, we've played around with things like that. I don't tell people what... I mean, we've researched on shit like that. Occult means secrecy. That doesn't mean going around blabbing about things like that." He goes on to say, "I don't deny it at all. I wouldn't deny killing animals, I wouldn't deny sacrificing things for certain purposes. I've killed many animals in the name of myself and others."

I look at my watch at this point and realize how late it's getting, so I close with one last question. The premise: You are given the opportunity to kill one person with your bare hands and be completely absolved of any legal repercussions. Do you accept the proposition, and if so, who do you choose? "If I could kill somebody with my bare fucking hands? Who would it be... Hmm. Well, I would have to say... whoever was the closest enemy to me at the time. I won't say any particular person, I'll just say whoever the closest enemy is." He quips, grinning, "It's easy that way."

(article submitted 17/7/1996)


CHATS
4/27/2008 J Smit Deicide: Death Walking Terror
8/12/2006 J Smit Deicide: Unholy Passion (Part 2)
8/7/2006 J Smit Deicide: Unholy Passion (Part 1)
ALBUMS
3/6/2011 J Carbon 7.5 Deicide - To Hell With God
5/25/2008 J Smit 9 Deicide - Till Death Do Us Part
8/12/2006 J Smit 9 Deicide - The Stench of Redemption
2/29/2004 J Smit 8.5 Deicide - Scars of the Crucifix
4/12/2002 M Noll 6 Deicide - In Torment, in Hell
11/20/2000 M Noll 2 Deicide - Insineratehymn
1/1/1998 P Schwarz 8 Deicide - Serpents of the Light
GIGS
6/3/2005 T DePalma Deicide / Immolation / Skinless / Despised Icon / With Passion Tear Through the City, Tear Through the Soul
12/31/2004 J Smit Deicide / Arkhon Infaustus / Ted Maul Glen - You Are Forgiven
12/26/2003 J Smit Deicide / Destruction / Nile / Akercocke / Dew-Scented / Graveworm / Misery Index Redemption at the Palace
8/12/2000 M Noll Deicide / Immortal / Cannibal Corpse / Marduk / Vader / Dark Funeral / Hate Eternal / Vomitory There's No Mercy in Satan's Oven
3/14/1999 P Schwarz Deicide / Rotting Christ / Aeternus / Ancient Rites / Behemoth Dead by Dawn
5/10/1996 V Singh Deicide / Fallen Christ / Immolation / Incantation The Wave of Death
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