Thrash metal holds a special place for me as it was the first metal genre I progressed to outside of KISS and Iron Maiden. Hearing a band today capturing the thrash I started off to always keeps my interest. Eugenic Death’s latest release, “Crimes Against Humanity“, did just that for me. I decided to track down these east coasters and pallaver about all things Eugenic Death.
Tell us a little about yourselves and how Eugenic Death came to be?
The band originated in Greensboro NC in 2010. Some of us used to be in another band together in 2005 and even though that didn’t work out, we always knew we wanted to play music together. So in the beginning there was the word “Eugenic Death” and the members thought it was good. Then the guitarist said “Let there be metal,” and so started the band.
Why old school thrash?
Thrash is the style of metal most of us in the band grew up listening to. Yes, I know it seems odd since thrash was at its peak just when we were being born, but that didn’t stop us from seeking it out and devouring it. Naturally, we’re in a thrash band because it’s what we enjoy. We’re not trying to bring thrash metal back; we’re not trying to come up with a new sound. We’re just playing what we love and putting our own spin on it.
Is it hard to be faithful to the old style?
According to our reviews, we’ve done quite well in this area. It’s not something we have to try to achieve, nor is it something we’re consciously trying to achieve.
Are you happy with the end product of Crimes?
Overall, we’re pretty happy with the final product. Of course looking back, there may be some things we might have done differently. We weren’t trying to make an industry standard product. We were trying to replicate those retro recordings from the 80’s. I think we confused some people by doing that. People are now accustomed to digital technology producing overly polished products. We just didn’t want it to sound that way.
How did you record Crimes Against Humanity to get that old school vibe?
It was recorded by a good friend of ours at Rott3n R3cordings. During the mastering, we were pretty specific with what we wanted and he tried matching the sound quality from other obscure 80’s thrash bands.
The lyrics and message seem to have a social message; did I miss the boat on this one?
No, you’re right on that. We didn’t want to be your typical party thrash band. We wanted something that would stand out and even upset some people. That was the primary reason for writing “The Devil Waits”. The idea was also conceived after reading books about Richard Ramirez- “The Night Stalker” from California who would draw inverted pentagrams on the walls of victims’ homes after slaying them. On another interesting note, the lyrics unintentionally seem to match up with the murder of a Californian girl Elyse Pahler who was slain by a group of teenagers during a macabre satanic sacrifice. It’s important to us to write about actual events which took place, especially if it’s something people want to shove under the rug in an effort to pretend it never took place. We feel as though that was achieved in the other songs as well.
Who did the artwork for the release, provocative yet fitting to the theme?
Shawn Conn from Rochester, New York. No, it’s not Repka work, but it does accurately convey the rawness of the album as well as the content. It’s everything we wanted it to be.
Who inspires you to remain old school?
Bay Area and German Thrash. It’s the music we thrashed to growing up, nothing else really compares.
How have your live audiences been receiving Crimes Against Humanity?
Pretty well actually. Of course you get those who don’t understand why we’re still playing this style of music. Who cares if this music was at its peak twenty years ago? Music that is “old” and “outdated” shouldn’t deter people from listening to it, or cause them to walk out of a show because it’s not trendy enough for them to want to stay. If it’s loud and aggressive, you’ve got metal; it shouldn’t be more complicated than that.
Any tours plans for the US and abroad?
Not at this time. There is a conflict in schedules at this point.
Who are the top 5 bands you are listening to now?
Well right now I’ve been listening to a lot of “Rail, Holy Terror, Risk, Angel Dust, and Infernal Majesty;” all really great bands from the 80’s. I know “Rail” being thrown in there seems tad bit odd but how can you go wrong with songs like “Sirens” and “Make Me” from their album “Arrival”
Who would be on your dream tour?
I think I can say for all of us it would be amazing to tour with the likes of “Vio-lence, Demolition Hammer, Megadeth and Morbid Saint, Overkill, Exodus, Testament, Death Angel” For one that would just be a killer tour, has that even happened?? Secondly we were greatly influenced by those bands.