I’m a little bit delayed with the interview, because many of our readers took advantage of the opportunity, that they can ask anything from the legendary bassguitarist, Danny Lilker, whose career is really valued, not just because the numerous cult bands he played in. Thus i made that mistake, i only sent my questions, i forgot to attach the rest, however the answers arrived soon, but i felt very important for the left out part, so i get into touch with Hajnalka Szaniszló from Hammer, if she’s got an opportunity or not. We can be thankful to her for many things, she helped me out again as much as she could : She sent the questions to Relapse before she asked if it’s ok, and they sent back every answer i received earlier. Hajni got in touch with them again, because we haven’t received what we asked for, they only replied “OK”. We discussed it with Imi, and we agreed in waiting one whole week (my aim with going into this much details is only to give a little view behide the scenes), so after a few days Hajni sent the answers for the forgotten questions, and now you can read it all, which is minimally chatty, because there were some questions, which had been already added by the first round of answers… Let’s see it!
Hi Dan! First of all, thanks for the fair answers in advance, I am happy cause this interview is being realized, welcome from Hungary! Please talk about the reactiveted Brutal Truth! Though it was expected, since you released some splits and an EP lately, how it came to release a new full length? What we should know about it?
Greetings Zoli! We decided to write and release a new full length due to „popular demand”. Basically, when people realized that Brutal Truth was operational again we received a flood of requests about releasing a new album, so we said „OK!”.
Though this interview is connected to Brutal Truth primarily, I cant skip to ask you about your projects. You played in Holy Moses and in Anthrax, when did this happen and why did you leave them finally? Do you pay attention to recent releases of them and their lineup changes?
Well these were two very different situations concerning my involvement in these bands, with Holy Moses I was just a guest on a record back in 94-95, I was never an actual member, but with Anthrax, I formed the band with Scott. I was asked to leave Anthrax in early ’84 3 days before the release of „Fistful Of Metal” due to the original singer not liking me ’cos I was taller than him. I haven’t honestly paid much attention to either of these band’s recent releases, no.
I still hold on about the past, haha. S.O.D. was one the strongest musical influence in my childhood, but if I know this correctly, you treated it as a fun project. Why is it discontinued while M.O.D. released a new album recently and afaik S.O.D. is dead. Why did you stop S.O.D., I know Scot founded it, but maybe you can answer this one: why did you choose Stormtroppers of Death as name, and have you already heard the new M.O.D.?
S.O.D. was discontinued originally due to the fact that it was causing problems with the other Anthrax guys that were not in S.O.D., and ever since then it has only been something done once in a great while. M.O.D. is more of a real band and not as much of a project, so that is why M.O.D., is more active. Scott came up with the Stormtroppers of Death name to summon the image of something brutal and crushing, and no, I have not heard the new M.O.D..
Opinions… lets talk about your influences too, the best example is maybe Muicipal Waste from Virginia. I guess you know Land Phil works, whats your opinion about Cannabis Corpse, who cover Cannibal Corpse songs in a funny way… How would you react if someone started to parody Brutal Truth? Would you feel being respected or you would be annoyed? What do you think about Municipal Waste at all?
Cannabis Corpse is hilarious, the Muicipal Waste guys know their metal really well. I would not be annoyed by a Brutal Truth parody, I think there is a band called „Brutal Trout” (a trout is a kind of fish) and a band called „Brutal Kuk” from Sweden too. I have a sense of humour so there is no problem there. Municipal Waste is a great band who capture the spirit of 80s thrash metal and crossover extremely well, not everyone who tries to do this succeeds this much.
You are an active member of the thrash metal king Nuclear Assault and you also helped out John Connelly Theory in the kindof’ experimental Back to Basics, which is dead as well, while Nuclear Assault is still active. Please talk about these ones, what a newby reader should know about them who never heard these two names?
Actually I did not participate on John’s solo album, that was him and some of his friends. And unfortunately Nuclear Assault is pretty much done with again, John is a schoolteacher now, which occupies most of his time, and I need to focus on Brutal Truth now.
John Connelly Theory is more rock-based and might not appeal to thrash metal guys, and if you don’t know Nuclear Assault you should buy one of our old records and discover our thrashing power.
Still about S.O.D. (as I mentioned above it was a huge influence to me, haha), I think you were influenced by the crossover D.R.I. a lot, what do you think about that the new HC fans know Agnostic Front mostly, but they dont know anything about Cro-mags for example…
Hardcore has changed a lot since I went to shows at CBGB in the mid-to-late 80s, most of it sounds like metal now to me. People who are not familiar with bands beyond Agnostic Front and Sick Of It All should just look deeper, there were a lot of great bands just in NYC like Murphy’s Law, Crumbsuckers, Ludichrist and many more.
Exit-13 is disbanded too, though you played real heavy and straight grindcore, whats the reason for this one?
If I remember correctly the guitarist Steve lost interest in doing the band anymore, so that was it!
Who made and whose idea was this provocative CD cover?
Our vocalist Kevin was responsible for this. It simply describes how our country is in a state of chaos right now due to the shitty policies of George Bush. It is NOT to be misunderstood as a pro-American concept.
Because of the new album, I have to ask you more: what we should know about it, and why I feel the lack of your past? Some people -me too- expected your roots in the music, but you keep up to the date of latest age. What do you think, the most people will be surprised? Or just a few one? Haha.
People should know that we worked our asses off to write this record so I hope they fucking like it! Haha
You do not hear my roots in this album? There are riffs like the third riff of the title track that are very thrashy. We do not just play all blasts as you know, and some of the slower riffs are definitely old school in my opinion, with a lot of Celtic Frost-inspired parts. Listen again!
All right! From the view of Europe, everyone seems to be happy about Obama‘s election in your country. Do you feel any change since this? Will be better to live in the USA? (think about the answer seiously, because it depens on this whether we will emigrate :})
Change will not all be immediate, but at least now there is a positive direction, which is great. Now you can move here to Rochester, NY and have some drinks and smoke with us!
I’ve heard some rumour that you wrote original soundtracks for a porn movie, and one of you even acted in the movie. It might be bullshit, but as I have the opportunity for this interview, lets hear the brutal truth!
Ha! We never wrote any music for a porn movie, but we acted in one and the movie also shows the band onstage. The acting is NOT sexual, we are just hanging out backstage and in the movie, we tell these 2 guys who walk back there to fuck off.
Lets jump back to the base subject of this interview: Evolution Through Revolution is going to be released by Relapse Records, I think it was not really hard to get the contract signed by them after your 20 years of cultical history. 20 killer and sick songs are unleashed to this rotten world, as I take a look at song titles, lyrical concept hasnt changed anything, so I cant miss this question, what do you think about the economical and moral crisis of this world one can feel anywhere…
It sucks! And I’m sorry to say that most of the blame must fall on ex-President Bush and his reckless and idiotic fiscal policies. Sorry! It’s being fixed now…
How old are you, have you got a family, what do you work next to music, have you got any interesting hobbies?
44, no kids (by choice) only 2 cats. I had a job at a store doing stockwork until I was laid off in mid-January, this happened to a lot of people here, and it was not a reflection of a shitty job done by me or anything. Hobbies are just messing around on my Mac here with graphic and 3D programs.
Which Brutal Truth album is the best in your opinion, which song or album have you got the most personal experiences connected to?
Of course the new one is the best! But this time it really is, it has great production and it has stylistic elements of all our previous albums all mixed together. The most personal connection I have with a song must be Stench Of Profit from the first album, it’s the first song I ever wrote for Brutal Truth and we still play it today!
I think the new album will be supported by a tour, are you going to play in Europe?
Yes, but there is no tour booked yet, just a few festials and a minitour in late June. All shows should be on our myspace very soon. Hopefully we can do a proper tour later this year, I would love to finally come to Hungary!
Do you feel a challenge to play live in more exotic places, for example Iceland, East-Europe, or Asia?
I love playing exotic places, I have never been to Iceland, there are many East-Europe countries I would love to go to (Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, etc.) and it would also be cool to play in South-East Asia like Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. We will see which of these becomes a reality, hopefully all of them.
It’s great playing “normal” places like the UK or down in Texas too!
Your Drummer, Rick Hoak is a legendarily unpretendous guy. Which was the longest time, that he could bear without having a bath?
I think it was on the Euro-tour in ’94 with Pungent Stench (this name fits very well with your question) and Macabre when he didn’t take a bath for weeks. That’s how he got dreadlocks. He’s a very unique individual.
How did it come, that Kevin Sharp joined the japanese madness S.O.B. as guest vocalist, and did you cover any more S.O.B. songs as well?
Kevin was very good friends with those guys, so when Tottsuan tragically passed away, Kevin offered to do some shows with them that they had arranged already as a tribute to Tottsuan. We covered about 3 or 4 S.O.B. songs I believe.
You got a split with Converge, those days they played heavy and sick music in my opinion, while these days they are experimenting in other areas, what you think about the recent and the old Jacob Bannon works?
They are a very creative and interesting band, but I’m sorry I have not heard anything by them recently, but their old stuff is great.
Beer or wine, haha? Haha, or a good blunt?
Beer and a blunt! Red wine gives me a stomach-ache.
Last words? Have you got a message to the readers of Fémforgács?
Thanks so much to all Hungarian grindfreaks ( and anyone else reading this) for welcoming Brutal Truth back with such enthusiasm, we could not have done this without you, hope to finally play Budapest, and maybe my friend Attila from Mayhem will be there with lots of weed!
Since when do you know Csihar Attlia from the Mayhem and Tormentor? Is he the most famous hungarian metalhead, what do you think?
I met Attila in 2006 on a Norwegian/Swedish vacation with my wife. He was in Oslo at the time. We met and smoked a huge joint with Necrobutcher. He is probably the most famous Hungarian metalhead for sure, I do not know of any others personally.
Whats are the greatest musical influences of your childhood, please pick 3 favourite albums, and which are the bands what you liked back then and you still like – and they are still active, haha!
OK but remember I am OLD lol.
Black Sabbath – Paranoid
Rush – Hemispheres
Motörhead – Ace Of Spades
All these bands are still active! Also Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Scorpions etc.
We discussed, which three bands were your inspiration in your teenage, haha. Now, please mention some new bands, that you like, or see any oppurtunity in them!
Spoonful Of Vicodin
Nazxul (Australian black metal)
Thank you for the interview, I hope I can see your complex brutality on stage one day, take care!
Thanks dude, hope to see you sometime!