Interview with Don of the Dead of Nunslaughter
Since the 80's, Nunslaughter has been a death metal underground favorite for metalheads that like their death metal simple, raw, straight-to-the-point, headbang-worthy, outrageously blasphemous, and close to its punk and thrash roots. In this day and age of technical Suffocation-clone bands saturating the metal scene, it's like stumbling over an awe-inspiring dinosaur when you come across what Nunslaughter is doing. Read on...
-So, what was Nunslaughter busy with before this interview? Anything new in the works?
We are writing more songs and working on our releases planned for this year. There are many records planned for this year and the layouts and packaging are quite involved.
-You guys have made a good amount of songs over the years and they’re all faithful to the raw real death metal sound. Has it been an increasing challenge to write brand new material without going “progressive/technical/experimental/whatever” like a bunch of other ex-death metal bands do?
Yes it is increasingly difficult because we find ourselves occasionally repeating ourselves. A song I wrote 20 years ago is difficult to remember what is played. I don’t think I have it in me to make NunSlaughter something that it is not so I know we will avoid all the pitfalls that more reputable bands fall into.
-How do you guys go about writing songs by the way? Does it all start out with a riff or the lyrics?
Currently Jim writes the riffs and I help in the arrangement of the songs. The lyrics are sometimes dug up out of the vault or I just sit down and write them. Wish there was more to it but the process is streamlined so we can write quickly.
-A lot of people argue over whether Death or Possessed invented death metal. Seeing as how you guys are a part of death metal’s history what’s your take in this debate?
The term Death Metal was coined by a Florida journalist that was explaining to his readers that Death play their own kind of metal it is “Deaths Metal” so we owe the term to him but I think it was a global movement. Bathory ‘s demo was 1983 and so was Hellhammers first demo. Mantas was writing and recording in 1984 and so was Possessed so it is tough to say.
-Another thing people still debate about is the exact definition of “metal”. In your view, what makes something “metal”, is it the sound, the philosophy, the attitude, etc?
I am a nobody so what I think does not count.
-I always got this sense of a punk ethic in Nunslaughter, especially with how you guys have this “fuck technicality” mentality. What punk bands influenced you guys? What do you think of “metalheads” that look at punk as if it’s inferior music? I know a lot of “metalheads” that don’t want to believe punk had something to do with metal history, damn shame these kids are aren’t they?
Aggressive music in the late 70’s early 80’s is all about punk. That is the music that inspired many bands to do death metal. Sarcofago, Onslaught, Slaughter and many more. Long after the debate is over Punk will still be around. Interest in metal changes over the years but punks remain loyal.
-I know some religious people that listen to Nunslaughter. Do you guys respect them like you would with any other fan? Or is metal made solely to be a big middle finger to religion, thus it’s embarrassing to have them around? What about “Christian Metal” aka “White Metal”, oxymoron, disgrace, or both?
I think that if you are able to listen to the music without bias then that is a good thing. I have listened to white metal before and for the most part I get bored. I am interested in stories of Satan and the dead. I have no problems with people that have a religion and an open mind…unfortunately they are few and far between.
-It’s pretty hard to keep track of all your releases and a lot of them were produced in limited quantities. Do you think the Internet/Mp3 downloading comes in handy for fans to get a hold of your work? Or are you against the file-sharing thing? There’s also that new myspace thing, do you think it’s helping underground metal?
MP3 downloading is just a new way of tape trading. It is not what I do but I am a collector. Most people are not and they are quite happy with an MP3 of a song or LP. If people want to trade NunSlaughter music or post it on their website or burn it from CDR for their friend I have no problem with that. I have seen myspace but I am not currently a member. It seems like a good way to meet other people with similar interests.
-Speaking of all your releases, which one are you the most proud of? Is there one album you think represents Nunslaughter the best?
I am most proud of the BURN THE CROSS 7” and the split with THRONEUM because the covers are so fucking cool and they took a long time to design and assemble. The LP that best represents NunSlaughter is WAITING TO KILL CHRIST. The sound of the record is just about perfect. Raw and aggressive!
-There’s a lot of “extreme metal” that’s “extremely trendy” these days, are there any newer bands Nunslaughter admires? Do you think there ever will be some decent bands to come out in the future ever again? Can death metal become as respectable as it was back in the 80’s?
We listen to lots of new bands. It is more about the feeling and attitude than about when in time you created the art. I listen to Toxic Holocaust, Victimizer and Church Bizarre today. I am sure by tomorrow I will have a new batch of music arrive in my mail box. Death Metal is now a marketing term and music in general has become watered down. Bands and labels have become savvy to selling a product and the art suffers because of that awareness. Money, fame and fortune have infiltrated this music. Unfortunately there is no going back.
-Nunslaughter is great at making fun of Jesus. Speaking of Jesus, do you think he was an actual asshole that existed or was his entire existence as real as Hercules (the original half-man/half-god mythology)?
Sure why not. There were lots of assholes back then.
-Satanic themes play a big role in Nunslaughter but I think I read you guys were atheists. What do you think of Satanism as a religion though where people worship Satan as if he were literally real? There’s also that LaVey Satanism, have you guys paid much attention to that?
I am more or less and ignostic, meaning view that the question of whether or not deities exist is inherently meaningless. I write stories and that is about all.
-If you could re-write the Bible, what kind of awesome stuff would you put in it? What parts would you take out?
I would include more about Hell and the Devil. That is good stuff. Revelations is the most interesting section because it discusses evil.
-Picture this, for some unexplained reason, you get the opportunity to play in front of the pope and piss him off in front of millions of people in a televised event, would you do it? Or do you think it would make Nunslaughter too popular for its own good?
Playing in front of the pope would be an opportunity and I would take on the challenge of converting him. NunSlaughter cant become much less popular so it would definitely bring the spot light on NS. Since we have never had an popularity it is difficult to tell how it would affect us.
-The day 6/6/06 is near, anything special planned?
Some friends of ours are playing a show so I will most likely be there. Right now our guitarist is not around so we are not able to do ay shows.< p> -How many more years will the Nunslaughter legacy live on to keep the tradition of death metal alive? Hopefully forever?
That is difficult to say. I guess I will keep going as long as I am giving 100%. Forever is too long and as a creative person you need to be able to tell when your art is not long what it once was
-Well that wraps up the interview, feel free to say any random funny thing and/or mention who you’d kill and how if Satan would let you get away with murder.
METAL IS DEATH DEATH IS METAL NUNSLAUGHTER DEATH METAL
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