Exclusive Interviews Only Found Here at MetalCore!
I have been friends with King Fowley for pretty much as long as I have been doing Metal Core and I recently got King on the phone for a long overdue interview and here is what was said between both of us:
MC: King I haven't talked to you in some time and I heard you recently got married and all that and what has Deceased been up to the past few years?
KF: Well back in 2006 Mike Smith decided he didn't want to play live anymore we all knew he never really wanted to play live as he's more a studio guy, so I knew this day was gonna eventually come. So we got in this guy Shane Fuegal we've known forever to come in on second guitar live, and he came in and he kicked ass, Mike was gonna still play on the records and stuff and everything was going great. We got Dave on the drums and I was singing and we got to play live and we were all happy and the band was really in great force. and then Mark up and left, and to this day I have no idea why and I wish I could tell you why, but I don't know the whole story, none of us do. He just went and did a total 180 one day and said he was done and didn't want to be in the band anymore and had grown up and out of it. It was odd as hell as he just pretty much vanished from even hanging with any of us, we moved on and we ended up getting another guitar player to play live, another friend of mine named Matt Altieria from Massachusetts. Shane moved over to be in the band in the studio as well as live and again we were all set. Then in the final move Dave had to take a break from the band as he had a baby with a girl and he needed to work more so we got in a good friend Eric Mayes to play live with us. From there it has been fantastic since!
MC: I know earlier you told me we can expect some new material from the band. When can we expect that to be released?
KF: We've got 6 songs done and we are writing 2 more and the album is going to be called "Surreal Overdose" and it we be out on our own label Shrieks From the Hearse, and we hope to record around Halloween and we are not sure if it will be released in 2009, but if not it will be out in early 2010. We are ready to roll with it and hopefully do a full US tour with the line-up we have, which is me singing, Shane Fuegel on guitar, Matt Altieria on guitar, Les Snyder on bass, and as mentioned Eric Mayes on drums as Dave has stepped down and he is not doing it at all anymore. And the album will be me on drums and signing on it, Mike Smith will be playing guitar, Shane Fuegal on guitar and Les Snyder on bass.
MC: I know you have a ton of stuff you have recorded and released throughout the years. Is everything you recorded and put out available if somebody wanted it or are some things out of print?
KF: Even with places like Amazon, Ebay and other places like that it is still hard to find a lot of stuff. The 1st album, "Luck of the Corpse" on it's own is getting really hard to find. "The 13 Frightened Souls" is even harder to find, "Blueprints For Madness" finding the original mix is hard but we remixed it and re-issued it a few years back and 'Fearless" just got re-issued as a double CD with tons of extras on it, our last album you can get through me and Khaosmaster Records put out a 2 on 1 of the first 2 records and some of the demos are out of print and this Chinese label is going to release a huge box set with shirts, keychains, posters and all this crazy shit with all the demos and an unreleased 'Luck of the Corpse" demo that we never released to anybody, so that's kinda neat.
MC: I know you are still doing Old Metal Records. What is going on with that label?
KF: Old Metal is doing good and we are putting out some new stuff, I recently put out Witch from California and Backwater from Germany I just released something from a band called Vermefug from NY and they are a great crazy thrash band and I put out Rat Attack from Hawaii and I've got much more on the table as well. Also maybe some rare October 31 stuff too this year.
MC: Did any bands give you any shit about re-releasing some of their stuff cause I know not all your releases were official releases so to speak?
KF: Some of the early stuff was totally un-official and I had a couple problems looking for bands and a couple bands got in contact with me and we worked it out. I always go looking for the bands and it is a weird thing with Old Metal, it really was a headache for a while. I would talk to somebody in the band and they would say "oh nobody gives a shit about that" and I would tell them that I care about it and I would like to put it out on CD, would you mind if I put it out on CD and I will send you some copies or a little bit of money and that we can work something out? and they would say "oh for shits and giggles let's do it" and then they will see it is selling pretty good or see it on Ebay and something like that and then they would come back at me with, "oh that wasn't a great deal i didn't know people cared', "I am now gonna put it out myself", or the wacky..."stop selling your copies"! or you have one band member that wants to do it and another doesn't want it being re-issued and then you have to work out a deal with all the band members and then you have some bands that say go ahead and do it and then when it is released they go and get scared that they should have not went ahead and let old metal or any label do it, as they don't know who actually owns rights to stuff from the past. and then you have people that are super easy to work with and it works out easy and I had a couple bands early on like for example Q5, I never got permission from them and it was a self made battle early on I put myself into and I am just like I love these bands let's put it out on CD til someone does it right and then they ask what the fuck is your problem or something like that. Some bands pull a 180 on ya and they are gonna get back together and they suddenly don't want the product out there and they want to put it out themselves and make all this money they think they've suddenly missed out on, when 10 minutes ago you talked to them and they didn't give aÊfuck about it. It is what it is! I love the music and I do my best to make it all right!
MC: What advice would you give somebody if they were thinking about starting up their own label?
KF: If somebody wants to start up a label I would tell them to go for it. There is a lot of labels coming out and re-releasing old stuff. There is Stormspell in California, there is Heaven and Hell out of North Carolina. Everybody does it the same way, you contact the bands and hope for the best. You try to get all the rare pictures and the bands story and find out who has the best copy of everything musically and you just proceed from there. I worked with the band Witch from CA and I wanted to work them for so long, but I wanted to do it right and all of a sudden the roadie from Witch surfaced and he got me in touch with the band and we went with it and it is one my favorite releases, the quality of it, they only had an EP and a 2 song 12" and we went and found enough unreleased tracks to make like a 80 minute CD. just be dedicated, it can be a pain in the ass as much as rewarding!
MC: In your wildest dreams did you ever think when you first started Deceased that the band would still be around day here in 2009? Does that ever sort of blow your mind that here we are in 2009 and the band is still going strong and still putting out music?
KF: To me I always knew I was going forever. I got enough in me to go forever. It is now 25 years later and to go and look back at all the memories looking at videos, interviews and pictures and tapes and all that. I mean honestly and truly I do believe the band will go on forever and ever. I do look at it as wow we have been together 25 years now. I look back at some videos from 1987 and we were just kids, I am coming off dope and I am just a little bag of bones at 143 pounds and a young teen angst kid and here it is 2009 and I got proper car insurance and I'm married and I got kids and all that stuff that life brings to you. If your heart is there it is easy! And my heart never strayed, I love doing it, I love creating music, I love performing music and if anybody else likes it that is just a plus, but to me I am doing it for fun. I am doing it because I love it. It was really odd when Mark just stepped down because I thought he loved it to, he used to tell me how it was his life and nothing else was even close to important, but something must have just changed him, maybe he had a mid-life crisis I don't know, but Mike and Les and the new guys in the band are great friends of mine and they are great players and bust their ass and they are up to par always and live for the band. I salute the hell out of them for their endless dedication and all that comes with being in a band going into our 25th year. I am proud as hell at all we have overcome! Our original bass player Rob hit n run accident/death. Doug leaving the band in 1990. Kids, work, families, drugs, health issues, etc. And the new live band is fuckin hot, we are tight as shit and we are on the money and we got a lot of youthful energy in it and it is just great to be this viable and vicious and doing great 25 years in.
MC: Is there any place or places that you have not played with Deceased or October 31 that you would like to play at one day?
KF: A full European tour would be fun, to play in Greece and all of Germany and go to England to play. I would like to play everywhere in the US, all the big places as well as all the small places. Anybody that would have us, I just wanna play. I'd play every night, I'm a 7 day a week gigging kinda guy, I don't need a day off when I am on the road. I just want to go and go and go!!!
MC: Have you ever seen any bootleg Deceased CDs or T-shirts and what is your opinion on that?
KF: I have seen all kind of crazy shit I have seen people at shows with homemade T-shirts and them selling stuff like live CDS, buttons, patches, shirts, and videos at gigs/ebay. I couldn't care less and they can put out whatever they want. I love collecting bootlegs of bands I like and if somebody cares enough about the band to put something out like that, that is neat to me. I don't care. We are not making any money with this legit, why should I care if we are not making any money unlegit. (we both laugh). Who cares...you know Relapse is 'legit', fuck!!!, c'mon Relapse ripped us off at least fuck $10-20,000 dollars. Sadly money runs so much greed in this world! We just wanna thrash!
MC: I know you have been pretty outspoken over the years. Has anybody ever actually gotten physical or tried to get physical with you over the years?
KF: No not at all. Some people, we disagree, and that's fine, we will talk and discuss our differences. I mean me and Broken Hope we had that fight a few years ago because we had a difference and that was just high school stupid. I ended up getting pissed and they ended up getting pissed and it escalated to me punching Jeremy. Other than that it's really never happened. Some people don't like ya, they don't like ya. I will always have a reason for saying what I do. If I am gonna say something I am gonna say and I'll explain why I don't like something or why I do. I am totally legit across the board like that. I don't like to instigate shit and that to me is a shit talker. I'm a nice as hell guy! If I feel something is not up to par or I am getting taken advantage of or a friend is getting taken advantage of or it is just an ignorant situation I am gonna say so. I've had verbal confrontations with Morbid Angel and Nile. Me and Karl from Nile almost got into a fight one time, but we
both sat down and talked about it and we both understood each others side and that was the end of it. Some folks in the underground have even come back and told me "I used to think you just talked shit about this and that, but now I see what you were talking about and I have to say I agree". They apologize to me for thinking a certain way of me. We all are who we are. I call it as I see it. I don't back down from anyone/nothing, and never will! I have a real passion for sincerity and no nonsense from people, especially in music, which I love with all my heart.
MC: After all this time is it easy for the band to go into a room and you get in that zone or mood and you can easily write a new song and lyrics and all that?
KF: Mike can pull brilliant riffs right out of his anus Chris. This guy has so many great riffs like a Tony Iomni (Black Sabbath), and I personally love them. We get together and he has some riffs and I have some ideas and all the arrangements and we work as a team. The other guys just fill in their things here and there and it all works out for all of us. It's great to create and some songs come easier then others. But it's what we love!!! One of my favorite things is creating Deceased music.
MC: I know before we started this interview you told me that recently you went down to Atlantic City and stood in line for 8 hours to see the band No Doubt. What it is about them that you like them so much you would stand in line for 8 hours?
KF: Great, great songs, amazing live band, creative as hell, so unique in all the sounds they bring in to their tunes, by all accounts super cool people and no fuckin egos. Gwen Stefani is a millionaire ten times over, and an ultimate 'rock star' 10 times over and she still is down to earth, looks out for the fans, and doesn't turn her nose up and play the 'diva' role. I love the band and their songs and to me they are the Blondie of the last 2 decades and they brought fun back to music and when I see them live it is so much energy and so much talent. I mean they write their own tunes and the tunes are so thought out and arranged/delivered amazing, and just kick ass. A lot of people don't realize what the band is really about and it is not really worth getting into details with certain people about it cause they will look at them, since they are very popular as 'crap' or something, they don't know em and it isn't worth the time to bother convincing them otherwise The shit they can play a lot of folks don't even know. It is what it is and I am a freak over that band and I think they are one of the greatest bands on this earth. I love great music and have always been into female fronted rock/pop and always will! Long live music!!!!!!
MC: We were also talking about the band Anvil and the DVD that came out of the band and now they are starting to see a bit of success with it and all. Would you ever want a DVD to come out sort of like that about Deceased one day?
KF: Sort of like the Anvil movie?
MC: Yeah that would be one hell of a DVD!
KF: We could do it for fun. We could have one hell of a laugh. Do it if you want, we are gonna do what we do and I am right there with Lips, I don't give a fuck and I am not gonna change to make money. If it happens, it happens and if it don't, it don't. I am not gonna change the way I write or look and I am not gonna back down or kiss ass. We are gonna do our own DVD and live history soon, but if somebody wants to come in and do a spoof, I mean the Anvil thing was so touching and so genuine, I mean they are such a great band and my wife was in tears and I was so touched severely by it cause I am a die hard fan and it is funny cause Lips and Rob Reiner have that bald spot
that I got and it is like "yeah that's the bald spot" that is the 'we're not gonna make it, but were gonna have fun trying' bald spot. Don't let the bald spot fool yeah even though I still got plenty of hair up there hahaha.
MC: Do you think if we had the technology of today that bands such as yourselves would have been more popular back in the day?
KF: Probably in some way, but it wouldn't have had the sincerity and the dedication and the things you learn from it. It's just impossible! Nowadays you can do anything. I mean back in the day it took 6 months or a year to grow your hair and now you can just got buy a wig or be short haired cause that is in or got get tattoos or go to Hot Topic and all that and you can do whatever you got to do. So then you have 'the look', which was never important to me! Back in the day we all busted ass, it was a great underground, great unity and we were all loyal to each other and that is missing today cause everybody is out for themselves, which I am sure some were back in the day, but it still took dedication and time a lot more then now. You did it to I'm sure! Look how much time and energy it took to burn tapes and mail stuff to people, return letters and stuff. Now you just drop somebody an email and push a button. If somebody writes me a pen to paper letter (which happens a lot actually) I will write them back the same way. You don't know how many emails and things I've got from people into music saying how many metal bands blow them off or refuse to be bothered! Thanking me for taking time out to chat/talk with them. Man, long live those old, way more sincere times of the underground metal scene!!!
MC: What is one of the craziest things you ever saw happen at one of your shows?
KF: I have seen some weird shit. We played a show in this guy's basement named Ricky and it was this redneck party and it was so fuckin hot in there and I kept saying to people "is there a fan in here cause I am sweating to death." I don't mind the heat but this was ferocious! I felt like I was gonna pass out I was so hot and this is like 1988 or 89. All of the sudden I started hallucinating and saw a school of fish jumping out of the floor it looked like the floor was a pond and saw a school of fish. That was one of the weirdest things that happened to me while playing. One time I had to pee so bad while playing that in the middle of the set I got off the drums and went to the bathroom and then finished the set haha. That was the only time that ever happened! ~. I have seen people fucking on the side of the stage at Phantasmagoria Club, at Wacken while watching Tankard I saw some guys running around touching each others dicks playing a game called "dong tag". (we both laugh) That was pretty creepy. (I agree-chris). I don't know what is weird anymore, but that was not to my liking haha.
MC: King if a band sends you a CD to try to get signed to your label, what do you look for in a band? In your eyes what makes a good or great band?
KF: For me it is always the opening song. The opening song on anybody's album should grab you, every song should grab you, but the opening song should pull you in and be the welcome to our show kinda thing. Then let me hear the vocals and the performance of the band and let me just take it all in. I then like to look at the CD package. I like to see the artwork and where the band is coming at and the layout of the CD and all that. If it all clicks and I move onto the next song and if the band clicks with me I will continue to listen. Most bands will have a dud song by song 4, but if the 1st 3 kicked ass the band will rise up again and by the time your done you kinda just evaluate the whole thing. It then grows on you more on repeated listens and there you have a good record.
MC: Have you ever had any famous bands approach you about playing drums for them at all?
KF: Morbid Angel in 1989. That is about it for 'famous' bands, Morbid Angel, we talked about it and they want to audition me in 89, they thought Deceased was pretty cool and I told them I was kinda sticking with Deceased and wasn't planning on going anywhere else. I have been set my whole life to either make it or break it with Deceased. I think they took offense to me turning them down. Hallow's Eve asked me about maybe having me sing a little bit. Jimmy Durkin talked about doing something, I wasn't sure if it had to do with Dark Angel, but that is what it seemed like he was talking about and me singing on it. That's really it! I want and love playing in Deceased and I'm super happy how it all has unfolded!
MC: Plug any websites you have.
KF: We have www.myspace.com/undeadmachines and we are trying to get www.upthetombstones.com back. When Mark left the band he took it and left us for dead, and we are having a hell of a problem with that. Hopefully we will get that back soon as we have a company looking at that. You can email me at [email protected] right now until I get some Deceased stuff up. You can email me for shirts, CDs, etc.
MC: I am out of questions and I am about out of tape so any last words you
want to say? Horns up for the interview!
KF: Chris it was good to talk to you again and glad to see your still doing the mag and I see your still lifting weights and I have to come out there and work with you one day. The married life has put on happy fat and I don't get in as much hoops as I once did! (anytime you want king-chris wishing you well bro! Thanks a million!