Sunday, June 6, 2010

Interview with Craig Pillard (Incantation, Disciples of Mockery, Methadrone, Womb etc)


Interview with the Death Metal legend - Craig Pillard. An awe-inspiring personality who has been an highly influential personality to the entire DM underground since over two decades now. I was fortunate enough to have this interview with him, so scroll down to read what he has got to say about Death Metal and his various musical escapades. 

ID: Hello Craig! What have you been up to lately?
Craig: Busy with Disma and about to enter the studio to record a track for a split 7" with 'Winterwolf' on Doomentia records.. soon after we will be recording ore first full length CD for Profound Lore Records that we have just been signed to.... I am also busy at my day job, working for a sanitation company

ID: Your epochal musical journey embarked to a new horrendous endeavor when you joined arms with Disma in 2008 and the sheer thought of hearing the sonic devastations from the band fermented immense deliriousness within me and ‘‘The Vault of Membros’’ which was a lesson in true barbaric Ancient Death Metal dutifully consummated it. I was even more ecstatic with the fact that none other than you manned the guttural catastrophe and I got thoroughly enraptured by the sheer magnificence of the demo. How did you really get along with this band? Moreover, what do fans of Disma have in store for the coming future?

Craig: I have known the guys in Disma for years now and have been good friends of mine, they needed a singer so I volunteered my services on vocals...

ID: After creating tremors in the DM underground for over a year now, Disma finally irked a deal with Profound Lore Records - a label that has destructive bands like Portal, Hooded Menace, Impetuous Ritual etc on their roster. What is your opinion about this deal and how do you foresee Disma's future with them?

Craig: From what I've seen and heard they are a great prospect for Disma... I am happy and looking forward to working with Profound Lore....

ID: The majestic essence of true Death Metal can't be described without speaking of the role that Incantation played in solidifying the vile roots of this unfathomably enthralling horde such that it has defied all trends and plagiarizations over these years and still stands firm with pride. Its also quite apparent that the best years of Incantation were when you were spewing ghoulish conjurations out of the abysses of your throat and creating ominous scenarios with the pounding blasphemies and horrific rituals been executed on classics like ‘’Onward to Golgotha’’ and ‘’Mortal Throne of Nazarene’’. However, it was literally a heartbreak for die-hard when you parted ways with the band and went on to form Disciples of Mockery. What were the reasons responsible for your departure? In addition, is there any possibility of your comeback in the Incantation camp? 

Craig: The three of us (Ronnie, Jim and myself) had departed Incantation around the same time for obvious reasons, mostly due to lack of communication, which is probably the biggest factor why, bands split up. As far as re-joining is concerned, I don't see that happening ever... it would be like pedaling backwards... a reunion show here or there may be possible, but very rare, I can only speak for me of course....

ID: What is your opinion about the 2nd innings of Incantation, an era that was devoid of your services and vocalists like Daniel and Mike before John himself took up the driver’s seat? Which is your personal favorite album by Incantation during the time of Diabolical Conquest – Primordial Domination?

Craig: No comment.... I have no opinion on any of those releases

ID: Speaking about Disciples of Mockery, how did the horde come into existence? The band consisted of three former Incantation members namely you, Joe and Ronnie and apparently all three of you left the Incantation camp almost during the same year. I would like you to throw some light on this phenomenon for our readers and myself. The only full length by DOM entitled as ‘’Prelude to Apocalypse’’ was a relentless assault of sludgy Death/Doom with a certain Black Metal flavor. Most fans say that it would have been the third Incantation album because of its gut wrenching sound reminiscent of your era Incantation, though your vocal passages were a tad more decipherable than the highly cryptic gutturals you had on OtG and MToN. What is your take on this? After getting rave acknowledgement for Prelude, the band never really took on the musical journey further with the last release being a split including the repressed tracks of the Demo by Womb, which was actually a pre-Disciple of Mockery band if I am right. What were the reasons, which made you call it a day for DOM?

Craig: As I mentioned before Ronny, Jim and I had all left Incantation around the same time for the same reasons, and we all were still good friends and wanted to play, so we created D.O.M.... After we recorded 'Prelude To Apocalypse' and did some shows I felt it was time to end that chapter and move on with Methadrone...

ID: Two years after the dissolution of Disciples of Mockery, you came up with yet another project called Methadrone, which is a heavier and atmospheric musical escapade than your earlier ones. However, you are the sole entity handling all the departments right from vocals to drums. Why didn’t you opt for a fully-fledged crew instead of being the band’s sole torchbearer? Though Randi Stokes and a few other session musicians have been a part of Methadrone’s creation, the band is totally your brainchild. Its quite interesting to note that Methadrone’s music was basically bass-driven and gave it a completely surreal and monstrously droning sound. What was the basic idea behind such an experimental approach? What were the influences that made you initiate such an uncanny project?

Craig: As you mentioned before We had done all bass doom band Womb, and I felt I wanted to experiment more with Bass and other effects so I guess you could say Womb was a pre-cursor to Methadrone... I do all the writing/recording here in my home studio and I complete control over everything with Methadrone, so I find it easier to keep it a solo project because of this...

ID: I always wish that if a time machine is ever created, I would love to board it and embark onto a colossal voyage into the abysm of the ancient past when there were no wiggers and pretentious wankery didn’t really exist in whole underground Death Metal scene. However, since the creation of this fantasy-driven gadget does not seem too near, it would be fantastic to get an appropriate glimpse of the Golden era of Death Metal from none other than yourself since you have been a pivotal contributor in the glorification of the radiant past. So tell me as to how the whole journey from the late 80’s till today has been for you. How was it like to be a Death Metal fan in those days when the genre was in its infant stages and many bands were emerging all over the world playing brutal and uncompromising Death Metal? The whole NYDM movement was getting intense support from fans and it emerged as an insalubrious style of Death Metal, which was extremely brutal and relentless.  How was it like to be a part of this legion of death? What were your earliest beginnings into this music and what were the first projects, which you started with?

Craig: I had been into extreme music since I was a kid and always wanted to play so at 16 I picked up the guitar and started with my musical journey. Before Incantation,  I had played in a few bands like  Putrifact, Desecrator, Nocturnal Crypt briefly and released their demons which were horrible! But it fed my hunger to play at that time, and I just kept progressing into what I do now... back then I listed to all the Combat Records, New Renissance Records, Metal Blade releases....

ID: Which were the ‘scenes’ you were fond of during those days apart from the American one? Why did you think that the Death Metal movement lost its grip in the mid 90’s and many great bands had to dissolve after releasing a few demos and single full lengths?

Craig:  I enjoyed all the death doom metal from the 80's from various countries, Bathory, Sodom, Possessed, Death, Sacrifice, Slaughter etc.I think a lot of bands only did demo's and one-off albums because there is only so much you can do originally, then it becomes redundant and moot... so it is better to die fast than to fade as a weak sheep...

ID: What is your opinion about the unholy revival of Ancient Death Metal these days where many young as well as old and experienced musicians are trying their hand in re-creating the glory of the old days? Labels like Razorback have been putting up records by the Neo Old School Death Metal bands on a regular basis and supporting this movement dutifully. But many of those bands end up being rip-offs of the old Swedish, American or Finnish bands; most of them emerge as Incantation imitators though many of them still have certain level of originality and they put their best foot forward in furthering the cause of Death Metal. Which bands out of this new era fascinate you the most and what would be your words of wisdom for those?

Craig: I really couln't tell you because I dont listen to any new extreme metal bands... If I want my fix, I will dig through my old vinyl and get it that way... mostly nowadays I listen to other forms of extreme music, like militant, neo-folk, ambient, experimental.... and even some classic rock, Pink Floyd would be my favorite in that category.

ID: Did you visit this year’s Maryland Deathfest? It must be fantastic to watch some of the most legendary bands, which featured in the fest this year, including Asphyx, Gorguts and Autopsy, who re-united and gave the newer breed of Death Metal fanatics a great chance to witness their monumental essence.

Craig: I don't know, I did not go to the Maryland fest this year

ID: I expressed my fantasies and desires about rewinding the time and being in the 90’s to witness the whole gruesome Death Metal scenario and now its time to reveal some of your fantasies. Do not worry, I am not asking you to reveal any of your sexual fantasies but it would quite interesting to know if you desire to play with any specific bands. Which bands would you really like to stare stage with/tour?

Craig: Anyone that is cool, down to earth and not full of themselves...

ID: Thanks a ton for spending your precious time to answer this questionnaire Craig! You rule and I wish you all the very best for Disma! I hope that 2010 comes to be a great year for you and the band alike. This final space is all yours! Feel free to post your last words, praises etc and your opinion about this interview (and the interviewer too). Remember that I love being flattered ha-ha!

Craig: Thanks Ankit... I apreciate the interview, and wish you the best... and thanks to all that support Disma, and all my other endeavors... take it easy...

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