Exclusive Interviews Only Found Here at MetalCore!
Glorious Times Death Metal Book
Alan Moses is one half of the 2 men (the other half being Brian Pattison) behind
the Glorious Times book that should be out be the time you are reading this.
Anybody that was around the scene in the early 90's needs to check the book
and if you weren't, you should, as it is an amazing project these 2 undertook
and you can read and see what the scene was like many moons ago. I emailed Alan
some questions and here is what he said to them:
MC: Alan what sort of kid were you growing up and were you into music at a young age and did you come from a large family?
ALAN: I became damaged goods fairly early on I think. I didn't fit with the other kids for the most part, and began killing defenseless animals. No I am joking here hehe. In all seriousness though I never fit in and retreated to books and music reasonably early on I guess. I have never felt too comfortable in Australia anyway's, being unable to relate to so many things, at this age I could not express it and likely was not fully aware that this was the case.
I could read and comprehend so that sort of alienates a person when most of their peers are illiterate. I would hear only what was played by my parents, and they were not hippies so I never heard all the so-called classic rock or other stuff pumped over from the USA. It was easy listening I guess you might call it. I never played musical instruments, and my immediate family is small. My extended family is somewhat large I guess, both parents coming from sets of 7 children themselves. We are not close, and I do not have a clue what they are in to musically, commercial music I would gather. Whatever the style. Music was almost never heard in any family home on my mom's side, my dad's side was usually had some sort of music playing, from what I can remember., and likely similar stuff to what I heard in my family home.
My peers followed the trends of ACDC/Kiss and whatever else was considered 'tough' or 'hard' and marched off to get their Icee's and collect the tabs to get their tickets to see the Kiss Movie. None of that was for me. I would rather stare at a brick than listen to that stuff. Early on I became interested in music videos, and at the time there were only 2 programs in the entire country, so I became interested in 'songs' rather than an artist at first, then slowly started buying the albums, and progressed from being song based to artist based.
MC: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
ALAN: Hell, I don't think I ever wanted to be anything in particular. Sure, every boy says an Astronaut or whatever, but seriously I have never aspired to these things and have never viewed myself through whatever job I am doing at the time. It's funny, even adults use their current employment as the corner stone of 'who they are'. I've found that fascinating and sad at the same time. That's the mentality of the economic slave and I will have no part of it actively. As a teenager I read something Paul DiAnno wrote about 'who knows, stick to your guns, maybe you'll work for Maiden some day' - something like that, and what do you know, I did work for a band for a while and even met the guy to tell him how his words were a bit uncanny. He thought so too. I was glad to share that with him. I've done MANY things in my time, and none of them have I ever thought I might like to do, at any time in my life, they were all merely a means to the end, and that end was avoiding starvation.
MC: How did you discover the underground metal scene? What were some of the first bands that you liked?
ALAN: Funny - I was introduced to more music outside the norm from a 40 year old high school English teacher in the next state. I'd was a member of the Iron maiden FC and was getting the magazines sent over from the UK in an erratic fashion at best. There was a penpal section listing names and addresses of other fans and I wrote to several of them, this lady was one of them. She would send me tapes and so on, and she broadened my horizons. We had a falling out some years later, but the truth is the truth and she was responsible for cracking the doors open. Some of the first bands were Exodus, Slayer, Metallica, Tormentor, Destruction etc, you know the drill. Once I heard the Cryptic Slaughter demo though, that fractured me, and set me on a path towards the HC scene that's stuck with me for 25 years or something now. I like HC punk, whatever you want to call it more than 'metal'. CS is responsible for that. I still love metal bands and so on but tit for tat, the sheer number of HC bands I like outweighs metal by a long shot.
MC: What was the first metal concert that you saw and what were some early metal concerts that you saw that still stick out in your mind?
ALAN: Nobody toured in Australia. Roy Orbinson or The Beatles doesn't count hahaha. I think this country opened up several years AFTER I had left it. It was Iron Maiden, in the 80's, which was my first international gig (albeit here in Adelaide with not many people there). It was cool, but I saw a lot of posturing in the fans and found that a bit weird. I hadn't been exposed to the posing side of things and was unaware of how it infected music at that time. That was it for international bands in metal. Nobody came here to Australia. I think DK came early on - late 70's maybe?, from the HC or punk genres, but shit I wasn't into anything then. I traveled a long ways to see DRI in 87 which was the best gig I've been to in what was at the time a desolate wasteland for music. For a band like DRI to come here was just unheard of back then. I believe Metallica came in 1989 (?) but by then I had already sold my records of their's to a used record store and was no longer a fan of the band, beyond a selection of songs from 3 records that could make for 1 good record all the way through. The vast majority was local bands - Where's The Pope? Massappeal, Slaughter Lord, Arm The Insane, Perdition, GASH, Almost Human, and lots of others in the local realm from metal to punk to proto-thrash and then thrash 'metal'. I mush preferred the HC gigs, and the metal gigs like Almost Human were truly horrible, especially early on when it was NWOBHM pretty much. By 1990 they had a small thrash metal scene here but the HC scene was still going strong. I can't comment after that since I would then be gone for the next 2 decades pretty much.
MC: I know you are going this Glorious Times thing. I know you have a partner in this doing it with you. Tell me a little bit about him.
ALAN: Brian I've known from the old zine days, he was doing his zine Chainsaw Abortions up in Kenmore NY and we did the penpal thing, then I met him on the road with Morbid Angel (I think?). Then again when I relocated to the USA for good at the Day Of Death gig he helped organize which was THE biggest gig of it's kind to date and has really never been equaled in all this time. Brian's a die hard and puts 110% into what he does, so when this idea came up, it was natural to be doing it with him. It's safe to say Brian is more musically adventurous than I am, and has a good ear for music. He is technical and has a good grounding in the mechanics of sound, whereas I am just a fan, I know what I like and can't articulate it as well as he can technically speaking. I learn much from Brian and it's been a great journey thus far.
MC: Who's idea was it to do this and how did you 2 hook up with each other and is it just you 2 doing it?
ALAN: It was all HIM, it's HIS fault hahaha. We hooked up through Facebook, he was doing something like a family reunion or something and stumbled across my name somehow if I recall correctly. We bullshitted back and forth a lot and the subject of converting old tapes came up, then I started asking him about photos too. I had been toying around with some of my unseen photos and posting them on my personal MySpace page around that time, and Brian came back to me having discovered a bunch of shots he'd taken and had forgotten about. I saw those photos and was really impressed, so we traded photos and then I told him something about having an old style photo album still. It's a big thick photo album like we all grew up having at least one of in all our family homes back then - but this one is full of rehearsal and live photos, candid shots etc of my time with all these bands across the USA when I visited for the first time in Feb 1990. Brian went away and mulled over that email I sent him, and came back to me suggesting we do a book that showcases some of these rare images. In our comments to some of our cronies around the world, we mentioned the idea in passing, and before we knew it various people were telling us what a good idea it was, donating memories and photos from their own collections, hunting stuff down for us, and urging us to get something like that old photo album published. So we took all that in, and developed the idea a little more. It's just the 2 of us compiling the book, but we do things the old zine world way, and we draw on our friends the world over for help in various areas. This includes investors. We garnered a number of investors for this new edition, all of them are old schoolers from various vantage points in this scene, and it was a matter of necessity, since the considered world of music book publishing will have nothing to do with us, or want to change GT into something so far removed from what it is, that there'd be no point bothering. If it was not for our investors this new edition simply would not be happening.
MC: For those who don't know, tell me readers exactly what this book/project is all about?
ALAN: It's brutally simple. Imagine sitting around a table, looking at someone's old photo album. You flip the pages and see images you've never seen before, ever, in your life. Some of them might even have YOU in them and you had no idea they existed. Some of them you may have seen years ago and forgot all about them in the past 20 years. Taking all this in, it spawns particular memories or incidents from those old times, the reactions and thoughts are as varied as the photos. It's so personal that each person handed the photo album has personally different input about it and gets something quite individual from it, compared to the person who looked before and after him/her. Take that concept, which is pertinent to looking at an old photo album: make it about OUR scene when it was developing (1984-1991), all the images are rare or unseen by most people (even in many cases the bands themselves) - and get the sentiments and anecdotes from people and make that the glue that binds the photos together, and you have Glorious Times. That's the book, simple stuff. Our blog and all other works is to keep the Glorious Times as a living document - with it we are reasonably free to pursue any direction we choose, from a GT perspective of course.
MC: About how many people have you contacted for this book/project so far and how has the response been to it so far?
ALAN: That's hard to say, easily thousands of people have been contacted in some capacity about it. The numbers are in the few hundred I'd think, as far as contacting to take actual part in the book by being represented in it's pages. The more people we extended the invitation to, the better odds we had of having enough material beyond what was in our personal collections combined. The response had been really good over all, most people have been really enthusiastic. I think the people that are so in to this are the ones that really understand what we are doing and grasp the concept and appreciate it as being important for posterity. They don't want the memories and images to be destroyed by time, forgotten, then replaced by something else less 'biological'.
MC: Have you had many people turn you down in not wanting to be part of what your doing?
ALAN: Yes we sure have had our share of people either flatly saying no, or just not getting back to us. Most of the rejections are people not getting back to us on whatever level though. I think only 2 people told us no. Some of those people either didn't follow through with their pledges of support, some turned in their material too late, others were on tour and allowed that to get in the way. Others took too long to respond to us, and by the time we were done, they would contact us back having missed the boat. Some folks have had a year and a half and consistently said they wanted in but never could buckle down to just doing what really comes naturally - talking about what it was in those old days they still think was cool for whatever reason. As simple as that concept is, many band members seem to have been conditioned into an interview format mentality and cannot articulate anything without being prompted on whatever thing it is. That makes personal recollection difficult to capture from our stand point since it wasn't our experience to be this or that person, playing in this or that band. And we are not about trying to figure it out either, GT is not the kind of book that purports to trying to make sense of or draw conclusions about whatever.
MC: Have any of you written for any fanzines in the past?
ALAN: Yeah, Brian had his own called Chainsaw Abortions. I had mine called Buttface, I did that with a friend of mine called Stuart Maitland in Australia. My last issue was in 1989 and Brian's was 1990 (I think). Just prior to that we were gathering material for Magnus Furelius' Raging Metal in Sweden, but not long after starting to help Magnus we branched out and began our own thing with Buttface.
MC: So far has this project been more time consuming that you thought it was gonna be?
ALAN: You bet. We've been at this pretty much consonantly for the last year and a half and put in easily as much time as a regular day job, which has been ultra hard on Brian since he has a day job that is more hours than a regular day job. I'd say it's been difficult from my perspective because I have a family and they do not always understand why I have to spend so much time on things - they lack the understanding of the mechanics of a project like this anyway's, so I am fortunate to get done what I do manage to get done.
MC: What goals do you have in regards to this project/book?
ALAN: Right now it's just to get the thing out again, that's been the biggest challenge considering we don't have a company doing everything for us, we can't sit back and let someone handle whatever aspects it is that need handling, it's all DIY. We've been garnering support from enthusiastic individuals whose activities with the first edition led us to believe they would make good sales reps - so we have a growing army of regional reps who can help those people in their areas who don't use online commerce tools, or don't have credit cards or for whatever reason refrain from buying things on line. We feel that is a forgotten sector of the community that would be interested in GT. We have reps in the UK, Malaysia, Toronto, Philly, NYC, Texas, South Florida and soon we'll be approaching some folks whose activities we've been taking note of in France, Germany and Italy to try to cover some of the people in the European market. It's all about moving as many books as we can to get the photos and stories seen by as many people as we can, so the era doesn't get forgotten completely. Plus of course we do have investors to pay off, and ideally we have other projects we'd like to pursue after this one. It also appears that many of our distributions goals will be met.
MC: In your opinion what makes a great song?
ALAN: For me it's feeling and biology. Simply put. That's a bit esoteric maybe but it's how I feel. To some people a great song is plastic and predictable and sounds like someone else, and to others it's a totally different ball game. I have my own ideas about 'good' but everyone does. It clicks with me or doesn't.
MC: I know you have a Facebook and My Space pages. How has the response been to the 2 sites so far?
ALAN: The myspace page was doing very very well initially - but we've seen not just a slump in our myspace activity, but what seems to be a slump in usage over all, I mean with the entire site aka myspace.com. It seems to me to be making some sort of transition to being something else other than strictly social networking, something more along the lines of just a means to preview material (movies and music) and make orders of products, make your products known, advertising. That's all I see myspace as being useful for now, and even then, there seems to have been a massive shift in people's online behavior, and they've switched to making facebook their preferred social networking site. Facebook is rapidly becoming primarily just an advertising means as well though. Personally I preferred myspace over facebook, and preferred GT's myspace over it's facebook presence, but now I simply see them as tools to use, and don't log in to chat or catch up with people for the most part. I use email for that primarily. Brian turned me in to a myspace and facebook whore though, so start to point your fingers at him about that haha.
Regardless, both avenues are really useful to us, and we'll continue to use them for as long as we see that they are useful. We chose to begin a blog simply to get outside of the social networking box, so many people deliberately don't get in to the whole facebook/myspace thing that we felt it was needed to be able to reach those people too. The bloggers out there do an amazing job most of them and we thank everyone for stopping by to see what we are doing on it, it means a lot that people drop in and spend some of their time on us.
MC: What is your favorite band and why are they your favorite band?
ALAN: That's a hard one. Obviously back in the day it was Morbid Angel. I left a lucrative career and a country to join up with them and it made changes to my life forever. I simply don't have an all time favorite though, I like many for many reasons. Right now my top bands are Punch from California, Geriatric Unit from the UK, and Green Beret from Boston. I collect the recordings of those bands so I guess that they are my favorite. I like too many bands though hahaha. I cannot narrow it down to a single act.
MC: What are some things you liked to do that are not music related?
ALAN: I used to like to practice Tae Kwon Do as a teenager - that went out the door for study though. In the USA I loved shooting but the Australian citizenry allowed themselves to be disarmed in this country since I was gone, and they want to keep tabs on gun owners here, so I am not involved. To be honest though, I have never made enough money in life to pursue any interests I might like to entertain, I have always had hungry mouths to feed, or others dependant on me to whatever degree, so personal things beyond music have never been given much of a chance to grow. For a long time even music was impossible to stay with since family circumstances were tumultuous to say the least.
MC: Tell me something about yourself that might shock people?
ALAN: hahahaha - no thanks Chris. I got enough enemies in the real world hehehe. How about something light and entertaining in it's place? I feel more like an American than an Australian, how's that? I've lived about half my life, the really important years, in the USA and am experiencing extreme culture shock being back. I don't think I will ever feel at ease in the country of my birth.
MC: Do you listen to any other styles of music besides metal?
ALAN: Besides metal? Hmmm, well I don't care for 'heavy metal' or this whole retro-thrash metal thing, or nu-metal or whatever the young kids call what they do these days, and find most modern black metal a parody of it's former glory. Not my thing. I love hardcore punk in many styles and listen actually mainly to that, even beyond the metal bands I do like. Brian hooks me up with some interesting stuff sometimes, as do my friends Lars, Joel and Brad. But really I don't venture out of that realm too often. I really am enjoying what's being offered by Jason and his Goatcraft project which is based in Texas, watching him develop and experiment and taking the whole idea he's doing in, great stuff. I hear a shit ton of kid's music hahahaha (I have a 4 year old girl) and my wife consumes the cookie cutter music from the pop world - so I am exposed to the denizens of that seedy world every single day hehehehe. And at reasonably loud volume. My son plays a lot of shit too that I gotta stop and see who he's playing - some of it I like, some I don't, but he doesn't venture too much out of the metal sphere it seems at the moment really either. I'm not gonna bullshit and say "oh I listen to classical music' or whatever because whilst I don't mind it at all, I am no enthusiast and don't play it often. It's more like I wouldn't turn it off if it was on hahaha. I also like military marches and so on, but haven't played that stuff for some years. I actually have a fair amount of that sort of music. As a general rule though, it's a staple diet of hardcore with metal based side dishes.
MC: Where do you see the metal scene headed?
ALAN: I think I may have witnessed it go down the toilet, so I don't know where it can go. I dread to think what is in store when the last of the old timers stop and the reigns are truly taken over by the youth. I don't see those bands as being very extreme as they appear cogs in a sales machine really, not every dam band out there but as a collective group, generalizing things. Just my opinion, and it ain't gonna affect anything anyways. What we HOPE to affect is the legacy of this music's beginnings. We are actively working towards producing a document, and if we can, further documents - giving testament to the era. An era before this sort of music was common place and accepted. We are doing it without injecting our take on things as well, who cares what we think; we want to give as many of the notables a voice to posterity, that's it. What becomes of the scene won't matter probably, because the trend appears that not many of the young give a rats ass beyond glossy production and presentation - and seem to think they invented grind or SE or whatever else. C'mon, there's people out there who don't know who Massacre or Master even are - yet they are 'fans'. They have no idea who Heresy or Ripcord are yet they are 'fans'. Beyond me. I just hope there's enough good quality musicians to come out of the woodwork to stand out, and the sheer weight of numbers of bands out there these days threatens to overpower the voice of talent with the screams of mediocrity, even if their impact is whispered - add a billion whispers together and it's going to drown out the few stronger voices. I see some kick ass young hardcore bands out there, and they have kicked my ass good- so I figure if there's musicians out there like that, then there's hope that maybe the more metal side of things might be salvageable too. Only time will tell I guess.
MC: Do you feel there are too many bands out now and not enough great or specials bands out there?
ALAN: Definitely. This music is so accepted now that bands are common place and even shitty ones are heralded as 'gods' - or poor clones, not even good musicians cloning a band's style, are the next huge thing. It's the whole weight of numbers thing again. I don't foresee any bands having as much impact as a Cryptic Slaughter, Morbid Angel or whomever from our time as today's. I know there's every kind of 'big' name band in their style today but on the whole I wonder what legacy they can leave anyways. I am not of the opinion that even the basic fervor over the bands from the fans is the same as it was in our time, I get gig reports a lot from friends and they never see anything at all, EVER, at any shows, that remotely resembles our day. They seem subdued and a band feeds off its audience, so if you got a crowd of people looking like they'd rather be sleeping, then the band has nothing to feed off either. I really do agree though, there's just something lacking with too many bands, and not enough creativity to produce truly genre expanding pioneers.
MC: When would you like to have this project finished?
ALAN: It's finished now actually. We got done around about the 3rd week in October and had some time tweaking and proofing (and re-proofing, and re-re-proofing hahaha) and the book is actually with the new printer we have now. I don't know when you'll be publishing this interview, so who knows if this will coincide with the book's availability or not. We expect the books around mid-November 2010. We have other projects though in various stages of planning, and hope to be able to pursue those if GT proves to be enough of a spring board.
MC: Plug any websites you have.
ALAN: Thanks Chris, people can see what we're about and keep up with anything we are up to by visiting:
and also: http://www.pioneeringglorioustimes.blogspot.com
W e can be contacted through any of these pages, and if folks want to reach us the fastest they can email [email protected]. That email address is also the address that people can order copies of the new book through, using their PayPal account. At the time I write this we are offering pre-order only to USA customers, so anyone else outside the USA needs to contact us at the above email for further updates.
MC: Alan, horns up for the interview and any last words, the floor is yours.
ALAN: Chris, it's really good to be in touch again. It's been too long, and I've often wondered how you've been doing all this time. I am really happy to know you've survived the years that have passed. They've been intense to say the least. Congratulations on the birth of the twins too, it's going to be the biggest adventure of your life pal, I guarantee that! It's a great pleasure to chat with you about the things Brian and I have been up to and catch up a bit - we hope you enjoy the book too, and that your readers will want to discover the rarities that lay within it as well. We've busted our asses for this and so have our contributors, they've shared stuff nobody knows, so it's a treat for everyone involved. I also want to state how kick ass it is that you've stayed active this entire time - I've held you and your work with Metal Core in high esteem since I first saw the zine in the 80's and finally met you in 1990. I think you'll find yourself thinking back to particular events once you see GT, since you know most of the bands anyways, and frequented many of the venues that some of the photos are from and some of the stories take place in. When that happens, then the concept of GT becomes a tangeable thing. Thanks for allowing us to possibly share this with others through your readership. Best regards and especially now that the boys are here!! Proud of you man!