|Interview with SHAUNE KELLEY (RIPPING CORPSE)
So Shaune, how did you discover metal and how old were you at that time?
Well, I started hearing heavier more metal stuff first as a teen around 14 or 15 years old in the 80ies and really getting into it, but a lot of my relatives as I was growing up liked KISS, Hendrix, RAINBOW, BLACK SABBATH pretty much all the old classic stuff that started metal so. I was hearing the heaviest stuff of that time from a very early age.
What kind of materials were you into? Did you always consider yourself a thrash fan or did you like melodic stuffs as well, such as VAN HALEN, DOKKEN, DEF LEPPARD, JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN etc.?
At first I liked it all, so I would say no, I'm a metal fan. I loved PRIEST, Ozzy, MAIDEN, MERCYFUL FATE, Yngwie, DIO, SCORPIONS, RUSH as a teen so I started, out liking regular Hard Rock & heavy Metal. I still enjoy good melodic metal to this day. Thrash was the next phase for me really.
What did you find so exciting or amazing in this music?
Well, first off I like the power and energy of it just the raw heaviness. Going to a concert as a fan was fun. But as I learned guitar myself, I started really getting into the challenge of playing. Writing my own music was always like a dream in the beginning, so it was just exciting for me to be able to do it. It's really a good feeling to create something especially a killer metal riff.
When did you decide to become metal musician? What were your influences to become metal musician?
When I was around 14 or 15, I started really liking the guitar and the idea of playing in a band. I would say my main influences to become a guitarist were Randy Rhodes, Glen Tipton, Alex Lifeson and Angus Young. I thought these motherfuckers were bad ass and that was what I wanted just to be a kick ass player.
Why did your choice fall on the guitar? Were you self-taught or did you take some guitar lessons?
Well, my dad plays guitar even still today but growing up he was always jamming, so I took a liking to it as a boy. I think its in my blood I feel compelled to play that instrument so it must be. I took many lessons as a teen the most memorable being from a guy named Scott Angely he was taught by Paul Gilbert. He basically taught me a lot of techniques being taught at G.I T at that point it was an awesome learning experience. I still use many of the techniques now. But before him there was a few more teachers my dad included.
basement. We had a project as teens going called DARK AVENGER. We did covers and a few originals. I remember seeing a flyer in my local music store after taking a lesson with a skull with a sword going through it and said what's this? It said metal guitarist needed. Hence I met Brandon Thomas.
||RIPPING CORPSE was formed in 1987, how did you hook up with each other? Did you already know each other earlier? Whose idea was to form the band?
Well I knew Brandon since I was around 15 and Erik and Dave a little later, but I played in a band with Scott Ruth called THE BEAST in 1986, it was like speed punk type stuff. After THE BEAST exploded I wanted to stay with Scott and it was an idea of mine to form something heavier and sicker then what we were doing then. We all grew up around the same area so we saw each other alot.
Was RIPPING CORPSE your first experience or did you earlier play in some local acts?
As I said, I was in THE BEAST in 1986 with Scott but before that, I was jamming with Brandon Thomas at his house in his
Who came with the name of the band? Did you choose the name perhaps on the basis of the legendary KREATOR song taken from their "Pleasure To Kill" album?
Well, I did and yes I loved KREATOR's "Pleasure To Kill". When I heard that guitar sound it ripped my face off. I told Scott about them and I thought it had a sick ring to it plus me and Scott love gore and horror flicks so it was fitting. I actually met Mille from KREATOR when we played with them and asked for his permission to use the title and he said it was ok and was really cool.
Who created the logo?
A guy from our area Rob Leecock. He did most all of our art including the "Dreaming The Dead" cover.
You came from New Jersey and the scene of the town was amazing at that time, how do you remember about it? Could you speak more about this time? About the bands, which existed at that time, about the fanzines, clubs... in a word, about the whole underground scene of those times!
Well, it was sick. There was a lot of up and comers playing all the time and a lot more realness back then it seems. It was genuine. It seems like alot of people lost track of quality now a days in there music and stick to imitation. I just remember seeing alot of killer shows playing alot of killer shows and being happy I got to. I mean the bands were coming fast and alot of hardcore starting rising as well at that time and caught my ears. CBGB's had shows all the time and there seemed to be just more things happening then. I don't know, it was definetely a different feeling though.
It wasn't that hard to find the suitable members for a metal band, were all of you devoted to metal?
Oh yes, Scott Ruth being the oldest of us, has been into all the heavy stuff plus me and Brandon Thomas and Dave Bizzigotti as well. I would say, we were all die hard metal heads at heart without question. There are roots of punk and hardcore as well but metal rules!
Did you have a goal, when you formed the band? Did you take it seriously or was it meant only as a hobby?
No, at first it was after THE BEAST and we were playing out live so I wouldn't say a hobby it was to be serious. It ended up becoming much more than I could have thought. I'm still getting to do interviews today in 2006. It's cool. We always wanted to have a kick ass band that was the main goal.
Mentioning the NJ scene, was it an independent one from the New York scene or was it a part of the New York one? Were you common with the New York scene or were there similarities between the New York and New Jersey scene?
Well, yes there were similarities. It was kinda like the same really hardcore and metal starting like joining up the two sounds wove together in these two areas. Alot of NY bands played here in NJ and alot of us played there its was great. New York people are great they enjoy a nice loud rowdy show. Alot of hardcore bands stay true to there roots and don't play metal really, it's more of a punkish feel but the good ol' Marshall stack ended up in hardcore too and there is a blend.
figured "Hey just figure out how to do it right so they like it." But there will always be a difference it just melded together with time.
||Would you say, that at that time existed two scenes in New York: the thrash and the hardcore scene? Were you influenced by both scenes?
Oh yes, without question as I've been saying I grew up with both as a teen so they both are a big part of my style and all of ours really. The two styles must be incorperated really to me, it's just the sounds of where we're from.
Were there at that time differences between hardcore and thrash or would you say that D.R.I.'s "Crossover" demolished this border, this difference?
No, there is a noticable difference mostly in the drums and lyrics. Hardcore is a way of life as well so they stuck to alot of fundamental real life topics. Metal always had that fantasy side that alot of hardcore people don't like so much, but I
Did it mean, that you preferred thrash better than hardcore?
I love them both but would lean towards the ability of the players in metal. Nothing beats a good straight up hardcore song though either though. There both just two powerful styles that can't be denied.
Were you jamming on covers of likes such as METALLICA, EXODUS, SLAYER, NUCLEAR ASSAULT etc. or did you start writing own material right from the start?
Yes, me and Brandon before THE BEAST were doing alot of classic metal stuff METALLICA, SLAYER, ANTHRAX, MANOWAR, DIO, OZZY, MAIDEN and a few originals, but when I got in THE BEAST that was all original pretty much.
How often did you rehearse? How were your rehearsals?
It was always like three or four times a week for a few hours at a time. It was great we would hammer out the jams and have a good time. It was nice to have something to do during the week as well being how we all worked day jobs. It was a nice getaway from stress and regular life.
You recorded in 1987 a four track demo called "Death Warmed Over", featuring "The Unblessed", "Dreaming With The Dead", "The Corpse Attack" and "Slave To Blood" could you tell us more about this tape, which was probably your first studio experience?
Actually no it wasn't our first, but close to it. That demo was done in a home studio around us by a local couple in NJ Joe and Karla Crowley is about all I can remember there, but it was a decent little studio and they were very cool. It wasn't the greatest sound, but hey it was a start and a song actually got on the "Satan's Revenge" compilation. Scott was on Megaforce Records with THE BEAST ealier so he was in a very nice studio before this recoring. I also got to do a demo with THE BEAST in another place, so it wasn't the first but one of the first studio experiences.
Did you shop this tape to attract label interests?
Not really, at that point mostly to fans and fanzines. We would sell them at shows and Scott did alot of mail orders. I did however send New Renaissance Records a letter and they wrote me back saying they wanted to use a song. I was so fucking happy I was like 15 or 16, to get a response after writing a letter was awesome. They put "The Unblessed" on the "Satan's Revenge" compilation.
Do you still remember, how were the early RIPPING CORPSE songs born? Who wrote the music and the lyrics? Were there main songcomposers in the band or was it rather a team work?
Well, I wrote all the riffs, then Scott writes the lyrics, rest follow after. It's still like that now I always write the riffs then give the song to Scott. Drums and bass next. When Erik got in the band me and him started writing together as well. We would split up songs and sometimes just write our own. Definetly teamwork, but just in a different order. Same with the drums and bass they work from the riffs.
Musically, was RIPPING CORPSE a thrash metal band, a death metal one, or a combination of the two genres?
I would say we started out as speed metal went through the thrash zone and ended up at death metal with a touch of hardcore. We were with the first ones doing it. We were there from day one really, I remember when there wasn't a death metal, it was just heavy metal then speed and thrash metal growing into the heavier black and death metal.
never in it for popularity just the love of heavy music. As for the time in between recordings it was just how it feel we had little moneys and that was actually a very cheap live demo.
||At that time was thrash metal on the top of the underground, what's your view about it? Why was thrash metal so popular at that time? Two years later, in 1989, you recorded the six track demo "Splattered Remains", why did pass two years between the releasing of the two demos?
I really wasn't paying attetion at who was on top really. I just saw it changing as we went. Like I said it grew from metal into alot of heavier faster forms. Each of the styles had there high points and lows. As with every style I was
What about the recording sessions of this demo?
It was done on the fly we got in a studio set up our gear and ripped it... It was like a live performance really probably around 200 bucks to record it at that point. That even was pressed onto vinyl at one point that blew my mind, too.
Why did you put up the rehearsal version of "Sado-Masochists From The Grave" on the demo? This tape was re-issued in 1990 on C.C.G. Underground Records' Demo Series, what about this release? Would you say that "Splattered Remains" was an influental demo?
Well I suppose I don't really know, but if people were influenced by it, that's great. It's old I'll tell you that and we were youngsters. Some of the tracks went on to be on "Dreaming..." so I guess you could say yes they were. I think the rehersals we just liked the way it sounded and put it on there.
Did the demo call the fans' attention to the band? Did more fans start interesting in the band on the basis of this demo or release?
No, we were building our rep live in the area people used to go sick at the shows, but the demo helped, no doubt. We sold quite a few of them and Scott mailed a ton to the fanzines for review. It wasn't till we got a manager that things started forming better.
In 1990 you recorded your third demo "Demo#3", how do you view this tape?
This was when we had a manager and we went to a real 24 track studio. Believe it or not it was the studio Bon Jovi recorded in. A very nice facility. It was called The Challet. I would say this is when we wanted to really get a serious deal and shopped this to the most labels. I think that was a strong demo for the time.
You signed to a Canadian label called Maze Music, because their president Zoran Busik opened a US office in the New York area and called the subdivision Kraze America, how did you get in touch with them? Weren't bigger labels interested in the band, such as Combat, Roadrunner, Megaforce, Metal Blade etc.? A guy called John Morris from Brooklyn was chosen to operate A&R from their office on Long Island and he solicited two local bands - BIOHAZARD and REPULSION, did you know him personally? Was he the perfect person to lead the office? Did he understand metal?
Well, our manager at that point Gunter Ford World Managment got us shopped around and there was some good interests. Earache Records actually came and watched us practice at one point. The Kraze deal just worked out on paper the best so we took it. It was a decent deal it seemed until Kraze's quick demise. John Morris yes we knew him, he was just a regular guy he knew about underground music a bit. He was around the studio alot when we recorded "Dreaming..". He didn't really lead much at the Kraze office. I'm not to sure what the hell he did really I know he just liked hardcore and metal music.
Kraze signed BIOHAZARD and the label were certain of a successful career for BIOHAZARD and approached other unsigned bands like RIPPING CORPSE, SHEER TERROR (from Yonkers), FESTER (from Florida) and PRIME EVIL, were you familiar with these bands? Did you know them?
Oh yeah, we played with all of those bands and knew most of them a bit. PRIME EVIL were very cool guys and we met BIOHAZARD on a few occasions we played with them all though.
Why didn't the label sign PRIME EVIL at that time?
I couldn't tell you, I was impressed by them they were professional live and had some chops that is a question noone but Kraze knows I suppose.
Talking about the thrash scene of New York/New Jersey, it played an important role in the American thrash movement, a lot of bands came from NY/NJ, such as ANTHRAX, OVER KILL, TOXIK, REVENANT, WHIPLASH, NUCLEAR ASSAULT, but there were other thrash metal centers, such as Los Angeles, Texas, Bay Area, what were the differences and similarities between these thrash movements?
I don't think there was that much difference really between the areas. Everyone was trying to figure out this new style at that point. I didn't really notice to much of a difference though. Metal is Metal I mean riffs and beats vary across the world but that's all I notice is musical differences and there little usually.
record this tape? Did they want to have more songs from you?
||Would you say, that the NY/NJ based bands were more brutal, aggressive and intense, than the groups of the aforementioned scene?
Not really some of the hardcore bands were violent and stuff, but I think the feeling is worldwide. There's disgust and misery in every town. There are some intense bands here no question, but I always heard others from all over. I just personally didn't see much difference it was the same cause. I think everywhere got more brutal and heavy as time went on.
Back to "Demo#3"?, were you asked by the label to
No, that was how it must be for a bigger label to listen. They don't have time for long waits they need to be blown away quickly within three songs to take an interest. We went in for the kill quick and it worked.
You entered the studio in 1991 to record "Dreaming With The Dead", would you say that the band was completely prepared to enter the studio at that point or do you think you needed more rehearsals? Where, in which studio did you work? How long did the recording sessions take? Had you to hurry or could you work calmly?
We were ready to destroy. It felt great we were all excited and wanted to do it bad. We had a two week session with a great producer and studio. Quantum Sound Studio it was awesome. We were primed and ready to go, man.
What about still the recording sessions?
It was just an all out great time we got to record like a pro band something we never got to do yet at that point. The studio was beautiful, great engineers and we got treated good. I'll never forget recording the album it was my first and I'm proud of what we did. Even if it was only one album.
As far as the songs of the album, some old ones go up on the record, but there were newer tunes as well as "Beyond Humanity", "Feeling Pleasure Through Pain", "Through The Skin To The Soul", "Sickness Of Will" and "Chugging Pus". Did you write them during the recording sessions?
No, we had all the material ready from our daily rehersals, it was never a problem having tunes I think we wrote damn near 100 eventually in time. Just never got to record alot of them. All the tracks were written and ready to go.
Why didn't you put on the album songs, such as "The Unblessed", "The Corpse Attack", "Slave To Blood" or "Stone Garden"? What happened with them?
Well, it was personal preference at that point, we just chose what we felt were the songs that needed to be on there. Some of the tunes were better live tunes, no real reason they just didn't make the cut.
Didn't you like them that much compared to the new tracks? Would you say, that the new tunes showed a higher level of the developement of the band?
Yes and no, they were good tunes but we liked the newer ones better. I suppose it was really just a matter of choice we didn't want the record to be to long and to bore the listener either that is why we kept it short. In and out man you gotta hit fast and hard then get out.
All of the songs were written by you an Erik, except "Through The Skin To The Soul", which contributed Scott in, was it a conception from your part or were you dissatisfied with the ideas of the other members? Did they acquiesce in, that all of the songs were written by you?
Actually you have it wrong, I wrote everything except for a few parts on "Through The Skin..." that Erik wrote. These were all songs I had written when Erik wasn't in RIPPING CORPSE yet. We started sharing duties after "Dreaming...". Erik wrote the very last riff on "Through The Skin..." and that is all on that album. He wrote all his own leads, but those were my first songs. Nobody in RIPPING CORPSE ever dissatisfied me everyone contributed fully. I think they were all happy as well it was just a great experience to record "Dreaming With The Dead".
I read about the album: "part grind, part death, part hardcore, and part traditional metal. Short songs. Hard to categorize but highly influential." What would you say about it? The songs are very technical and complex in my opinion, I can compared them to EXHORDER, what do you think about it?
Well, I was just going for good precise heavy music that incorperated alot of styles. Even some jazzy grooves I think that's kinda acurate. I just wanted to write a nice variety of brutal styles and to keep it exciting. We played with EXHORDER and they were great live, they did play kind of similar to us and were really cool to us, I remember. It all goes back to just keeping an open mind and playing what is good to me. Hardcore, Metal whatever it makes no difference to me really I like alot of styles.
I would say, technic and complexity played a more important role, than brutality and aggression, right?
I don't know its a blend of tech and basic stuff. I think it was just the passion it was brutal, aggresive and tech we tried to make it all happen in there. Really we just wanted to make a monster of an album and have alot of different styles for people to enjoy heavy and brutal and tech of course that is the way it was done then. I think we had a flavor all our own due to the massive acid trips we used to take some of the tracks were written on acid, so you can add in some demented psycedelics to the mix for the end result. A sick twisted album of crazy shit.
teen years. And he eventually caught my eye enough to let him in RIPPING CORPSE. It was never a competiton we played together. So to say anyone is better than anyone is impossible. We just went for it together as one. It wasn't fully produced by the band we had the guy at the studio Bill Klatt producing it just felt good to get hands on with it for a change and to get what we wanted. The budget wasn't bad, but let's not forget it was a savage metal album not a top rock act. Moneys were tight and the time was short
||Would you say that the songs were so complex and technic, because Eric is/was an awesome guitar player and - without making smaller your merits - he was a more talented musician than you? The record was produced by the band, why couldn't you do it with a known producer? Didn't the label pay the studiocosts? Was the budget small for you?
Well, I taught Erik and showed him all the tunes, so no. I like to think I taught him well. When I first met Erik he didn't play much at all. I showed him alot of basics in our
Although the songs are excellent, the sound is poor, it isn't so aggressive and brutal, do you agree with me? Would you say, if you would have got more money, the sound would have been better and more aggressive?
Well, that's a mixed bag alot of people love the sound alot, so I don't personally feel it is decent and for what we had to work with it will suffice. Certainly we could have gotten better than it is. Buuuu has a character to it and it was our first effort. We were green in the studio at that point really.
How was the album reviewed by the metal magazines and fanzines?
Most of the reviews were great and I was very pleased to see that. Again most of the complaints came on the recording and not the material so it was to be expected really. "Dreaming..." is not known for it's production, it's known for the passion we put into it and the heart and feeling.
What kind of shows you played to support/promote the record? Could you tell us more about your live performances? One of your biggest fan was Patrick Mameli (PESTILENCE) who always wore a RIPPING CORPSE t-shirt on the PESTILENCE photos at that time. It was a good way to support RIPPING CORPSE, right?
Oh yeah, definetely alot of the boys were wearing CORPSE t-shirts Doug from SUFFOCATION also wore one on there first album. It was and still is a cool feeling to see that. And a nice advertisment, yes indeed.
"Dreaming..." came out in 1991 and at that time thrash wasn't that popular, like 4-5 years before, in your opinion, why went thrash out of fashion?
I'm not positive, but it started getting weak and corny to me. We were trying to get to the next level and thrash was getting really boring. I don't have a definate answer to that, but I think it was just time for something new and different. Something a bit more Heavy.
In 1992 you recorded a next demo, which was the last recording of RIPPING CORPSE and it featured three songs: "Morbid Fascination", "The Hate Eternal" and "The Last & Only Son", what about these tracks?
We were shopping for a new deal at this point and they were just newer tunes we wanted to record. At that point it was overdue for a studio recording plus we were in need of some new music to pass out to the fans and us. But it was really to shop around for a new deal.
It was sold at shows but was mainly used to land a new deal after your label Maze/Kraze went bust, what happened with the label? Did they go bankrupt?
Yes, Maze/Kraze went bankrupt and that just fizzled.
How much support did you get from them?
We didn't really get any support it was very short lived they went bankrupt before we had a chance to tour, so it was a very fast stint on Kraze.
As far as the new songs, were they written in the direction of "Dreaming..." or would you say that they developed compared to the record?
We went for a more deeper horror feel, I think less hardcore more death black metal style. But we always tried to evolve while staying cosistent to what we do and that was just playing sick but precise music that was very heavy. I personally think those songs were some of our best.
Did the song "The Hate Eternal" already refer to Erik's band, what he founded around '97?
Scott wrote that song and when Erik was looking for a name he asked Scott if he could use that. Scott said yes and HATE ETERNAL was formed.
Two of the songs were written by Erik and one was written by you...
No, one by me, one by Erik and we split the other down the middle. "Morbid Fascination" we split duties on he wrote "The Hate Eternal" I wrote "The Last & Only Son".
On this demo played already a new bassist Scott Hornick, what about his musical past? Did you know him earlier? Why and when did former bassplayer Dave Bizzigotti leave the band? Were there more musicians auditioned before Scott joined the band? Was he the perfect replacement for Dave?
Well, when we split-up here was alot of tension and Dave went his own way. I tried out a few different guys before Scott Hornick, but he was the one that stood out. He is the best bassist I have ever played with the guy is amazing. He now teaches Jazz bass and plays alot of live gigs doing jazz. I didn't know him at all he approached me at a show and told me he played bass and was available, I tried him out and he was great. He was in a band out of Trenton/NJ called FAUST. He was the perfect replacement no doubt.
I've been with since day one. But it was a combo of things and Erik loved MORBID ANGEL so it was expected pretty much after we were done.
||The next person who left the band was Erik Rutan to join MORBID ANGEL around '95, to record "Domination", would you say, that Erik couldn't throw away this chance?
That yes and couple that with we were all fighting alot on things it just was his best choice at that time. Noone blames him at all. They actually offered me a tryout with MORBID ANGEL as well, but I wanted to remain with Scott who
He was asked to replace former guitarist Richard Brunelle, didn't you know what happened with Richard? Why did he leave MORBID ANGEL at that time?
I really don't know this answer, man. I think he was having problems at home, but I don't really know the specifics. Apparently he was having difficulties playing the songs so they got Erik.
Did it mean, that Erik moved from NJ to Florida?
Yes, he moved down there and is still down there, now running his studio. He is now doing records and engineers as well as play with HATE ETERNAL, if you didn't know.
After Erik left the band, and while Scott Hornick was still in the band, you went into the studio and laid down the instrumental tracks for their 2nd studio album, were the songs written solely by you? Was it hard to write songs without the help of Erik, without having him in the band?
No, I've never had a hard time writing riffs, that's my job. He was going to play on there as well he just never got to record his tracks. He had many different parts that he was to overlay, but the band exploded before we could finish the recording. I wrote all these songs, but Erik added different parts as well but the root of the songs on there was me.
Unfortunately these tracks were never mixed and no vocals were ever recorded, why didn't/couldn't you finish these tunes? When did you want to release the second RIPPING CORPSE record originally?
We actually exploded as a band during this recording and just never got to finish it. There was never a label that was going to put it out we were recording it ourselves so there wasn't a release date. We were going to either shop it or do it ourselves just never got to. There was a huge fight and we just broke up
Later that same year, in 1995, Scott Hornick left the band as well to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, what happened with him?
He just wanted to better himself and take the chance to go to Berkely. It was something he always wanted to do and better himself as a musician. He's still in DIM MAK now and better than ever, the guy learned so much over the years.
The remaining members of RIPPING CORPSE, thus you, vocalist Scott Ruth and drummer Brandon Thomas split-up soon afterwards and would later form DIM MAK, how did bassist Ben Danberger get in the picture? What about his musical background?
Ben was my friend he played bass in a local band called DAMONACY. He seemed to know that we needed someone and wanted to play, so we tried him out and he wasn't half bad. He was more of a guitarist, but his fast pick hand landed him the gig. We used Ben for a while but it never worked out and we got Dennis who was a more professional player from another local band called TORTURE KRYPT. He went on to be our bassist on "Enter The Dragon".
The name DIM MAK comes from the Chinese "Death Touch" i.e pressure points in martial arts that are able to cause instant death, whose idea was to find out the name of the band? Needless to say the band is a huge fan of all martial arts, right?
Me again, I fell in love with MMA martial arts c pride plus various kung fu movies and of course Bruce Lee. I was buying alot of Martial arts magazines and red i up on it and the name just fit rather well with what I wanted to do which was a more battle driven type disciplined style. The death touch it's just killer and the perfect fit.
||Didn't you think about to follow the work rather under the name of RIPPING CORPSE?
No, I wanted to do something new there was so many bad memories in there that it was just time for a change. So we formed DIM MAK with a whole new approach more streamlined and precise. We just needed to change.
Because I didn't follow DIM MAK's career, would you speak us detailed about all of your releases?
Well, we have three albums now "Enter The Dragon" (1999) on Dies Irae Records "Intercepting Fist" (2002) on Mighty Music/Olympic Records and now "Knives Of Ice" on Willowtip Records in 2006.
Both musically and lyricswise are there differences compared to RIPPING CORPSE? Do you consider DIM MAK an old school metal band or are you influenced by present bands, such as NILE, ORIGIN etc.?
I'm influenced by alot of things some of todays stuff is awesome like IN BATTLE and AEON and I also still love the classic stuff of the past. The differences are big now we are away from the satanic horror type stuff and more into a warlike warrior style now, there's only a similarity in the playing. You can tell it's still me and Scott but it's different then RIPPING in many ways.
Did you make the most of the RIPPING CORPSE songs which you recorded for the second album or did you write brandnew ones for the DIM MAK records?
All the DIM MAK is original material I wrote from scratch. I thought why go back it's time to write something fresh and new. Plus the older songs didn't really fit what I wanted to do theres a more far eastern feel Im after now in the sound.
The producer of your "Intercepting Fist" record was Erik Rutan, would you say, that you parted ways on a friendly term with him? Is he still a good friend of you?
Oh yeah, we were still very tight with Erik we all had our bad days. We were able to mend old wounds and stay friends. He likes what we're doing and we like what hes up to. He's always gonna be our brother.
What do you think about Erik's band HATE ETERNAL and ALAS? Do you like them?
Absolutely, I love HATE ETERNAL and ALAS was an interesting recording. I prefer HATE ETERNAL, but I enjoyed the melodies he produced in ALAS. HATE ETERNAL is fuckin sick!
As far as the present line-up of the band, it consist of you, Scott Ruth, Scott Hornick and drummer John Longstreth, what happened with previous members, such as Brandon Thomas and Dennis Carroll? Why did they leave the band?
Well again, we kinda exploded. Brandon went through some rough times and basically opted out of the mix. Dennis followed after it was just another bad time and we split up.
Didn't you think about to reform RIPPING CORPSE with the classic line up? Would Eric take part in a RIPPING CORPSE reformation?
Sure, I think we all would, but it's just something that is very touchy and may or may never happen. There has been talks of this for a while but it's not any of our main concerns, we have our own new bands.
What about former RIPPING CORPSE members, Dave Bizzigotti and Brandon Thomas nowadays? Are they still into metal? Are they still in the music business?
Oh yeah, Brandon is all over he did the "Dying Light" album he was in SUB ZERO and Dennies is still playing as well Brandon is still kickin' ass on drums.
Would be they happy about a RIPPING CORPSE reunion?
It's really not on anyones to do list man. Its always there in our minds but again I'm in DIM MAK now and I feel my songs now are way better than my old CORPSE stuff. I think we would all do it, but it's not like we are after that really. Maybe we'll have to see what the future brings.
Is there a chance/hope to re-release "Dreaming With The Dead"? It would be a great idea.
Yes, there is talks of that now it appears Relapse Records may release it again with a new package and the three-song-demo, it's all speculation right now, but there is talks of a rerelease 20 years later. I personally would like to see this and have it remastered and redone. We never did get our real band logo on the front it would be nice to get a nice new package. Thats another we'll see type of thing, though I'll keep the fans posted it's in the works now.
You are for 20 years or more in the music business, in your opinion, how much did change, develope the scene compared to the middle 80ies? What do you think about the present scene?
I think it sucks now. Alot of bands are formulated garbage. Back then it seemed like more people cared about learning to play right than now. Now mommy buys them marshalls and they think they can be cool in a band. Not everyone should be allowed to play, but it seems like everyone is now in a band. It seems pretty dead in a way alot of the excitement left to me and got filtered by crappy overplayed college crap.
Are you proud of taking part in the scene of the middle/late 80ies?
Sure, I'm proud to have been a part of the whole thing I feel like I was on the ground floor up, but I'm not one to preach about the old school to much either I just wish people took it as serious as back then. We might have alot better of a scene now.
What do you think about the whole internet/computer things these days? Are you against or for the mp3 files?
Me, no I'm addicted too, I have a myspace page going for DIM MAK and see mp3s everywhere. I recently saw "Dreaming..." available at Itunes. It's just something I guess that you have to expect now. It sucks for the underground band that doesn't see a dime for his work, but I find it hard to be mad that someone wants my song, too. It's just how it goes. The internet can do some good things too as far as exposure, but the bootlegging is out of control and almost unstoppable.
Would you say that the mp3 files are a good way of promoting bands or do they rather kill the selling of the labels?
A little of both. It could hurt but it could help. If the song is good enough it may make them want the whole package. It's a tough one to say, because I have found myself downloading mp3s and being happy about it so who am I to complain about a kid downloading my tunes. It sucks for any sales yes, but we don't make any damn money doing death metal anyway. Download away for all I care.
I haven't seen any RIPPING CORPSE sites on the internet, will be done a RIPPING CORPSE site in the near future?
Probably not, I do have a RIPPING CORPSE page on myspace as well, that's about all. It got some demo songs and alot of fans that's probably about all you'll see unless a fan makes one. There's alot of links to sites that have bios and such on my pages at myspace.
My last question: you live in New Jersey, so I have to ask, are you the fan of Devils and Nets?
The only sports I like is wrestling and fighting so I don''t like neither. I was never much of a sports fan.
So Shaune, thanks a lot for your answers, it was a honour for me to do this feature, anything to add what I forgot to mention?
Well. thank you my friend and all I want to mention is that we're still alive and have a new record on Willowtip called "Knives Of Ice" and thanks to all for the 20 years of support. It's much appreciated and I promise to continue my tyrade of brutal music. If you want check out the DIM MAK and RIPPING CORPSE pages at myspace and give me a shout thanks alot!