Exclusive Interviews Only Found Here at MetalCore!
Necrotic Records is run by an old time friend of mine name PJ. Scoggins who also used to do a fanzine back in the golden oldie days and I thought it would be fun to do an interview with him and here is this awesome interview:
MC: Now before we delve into your past work, what are your current things you have going on with yourself as far as music related things go?
PJ: Really just the Necrotic records thing.
MC: When I was writing you back in the stone age ha ha, you were living in IL. Did you grow up there as a kid and if so what was it like living there and did you come from a big or small family?
PJ: Pretty small family, I've always lived in small towns of IL. within 20 mile radius. Not much to do as a kid, that’s why I start the projects I do I guess and gobbled up all the Metal I could find.
MC: What sort of kid were you growing up? Did you have many friends or were you more of a loner type? Did you come from a big or small family and what did you want to be when you were growing up?
PJ: I was an ass hole! I didn't like many people in my town. I look back on it and realize it was just a rebellion all kids go through. I had some good friends we grew up together. Listening to Metal and braking shit and causing trouble were what we did for fun. It was mainly Me and Todd Wedding R.I.P. (co-editor for Metacyesis) Nick Bozovich (vocalist / bassist for Warghoul) we was loners together I guess.
MC: What were some of the things you liked to do when you were growing up and when you think of things like your childhood and into your teenage years, what are some things that come to mind?
PJ: Horror movies and Metal music! People tell me I was and still am a very destructive person LOL
MC: Now at what point did music enter your life and were you a big music lover when you were young and what were some of the first bands that you heard and got into?
PJ: I listened to music early on, I had 2 older brothers who listened to Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Dio, Ozzy so I naturally just picked up on that stuff then later evolved heavier and heavier. I was about 7 0r 8 when I thought Kiss was cool, and then Sabbath.
MC: What led to you discovering heavy metal music and then leading into underground music? What did you think of underground music the first couple times you heard it? What it something that it took you a couple listens to get into and then you were hooked?
PJ: I would listen to a radio show called Monday night Metal and I watched Headbangers ball every week on MTV I guess those are the 2 things that lead me on a heavier path. Then I found another metal show called Psychedelic Boneyard on a local collage radio station and they played Z'kazan and had them in the studio one time, so I called in and talked to them and they gave me tickets to a show they had coming up at club 367 in St. Louis. I went to the show seen a band few local metal bands that night. Crucible and vacant Grave was the other bands and I bought everyone’s demo that night talked to the guys in all the bands and that was pretty cool to me. These guy playing in bands and taking the time to bull shit with a 14 year old kid. I was hooked! I soon went to every show I could at that place almost every weekend, discovered many underground band like Public Assassin, Time Ghoul, Psychopath, Animated Dead, Morbid Death etc.
MC: Was listening to that music like a drug that you just wanted more and more of and that you could not get enough of? What were some the first bands that you got into and became a fan of?
PJ: Yeah but it wasn't until I got into the early death metal in the '90s that sparked the obsession.
MC: Was there many people where you living at into underground music at the time? Were there any local stores that stocked metal at all?
PJ: No really it was just the 3 of us Todd, Nick and I, we had a couple other friends who were into thrash and hard core, but it was really the 3 of us seeking out underground bands. No stores in our town other than Walmart would get a Slayer or Testament every once in a while we actually went to another town to a record store I'd try to catch a ride every week or 2 so I could get as many tapes as I could. At that time I would buy anything on Roadrunner, R/C, or Earache Records.
MC: Now when did you discover the world of fanzines and what were some of the first fanzines or even metal mags that you read and got into?
PJ: Well the first underground show I went to I found a weird 1/2 size photo copied fanzine on the ground it was called Paradise of steaming cadavers # 1 I thought it was awesome because it gave mailing addresses to underground band I never heard of before so I just order everything that was advertised in it. come to find out they guy who made the 'zine was a friend of my friend Nick and this guy was in the band Gutted Pulp we all became friend eventually, and a bunch of use would hang out at a guitar show in town and started a couple bands together. Looking back on that we did some pretty cool stuff and it was a lot of fun.
MC: Now take me through the steps of what led you to start doing your own fanzine? Did you do any prior writing for any other publications before you started your own and did you seek out any advice on how to start one?
PJ: I just started it because I like the other zines I was getting and wanted to support the scene like those guys did. I was a piss poor speller failed most of my English classes but I just did it anyway!
MC: How did you come up with the name for your fanzine and looking back are you happy with the name and also looking back was doing a fanzine harder than you ever thought it was going to be and did you do it all by yourself or did other people help you out with it?
PJ: he first 'zine I did was Metacyesis I don't really remember why or how I came up with the name, but I blame the band Carcass because I got the name from a medical book.
MC: Now how long did it take for your 1st issue to come out from the time you decided to start up one? How satisfying was it to have the actual issue in your hand? What did you parents think of all this?
PJ: I think it was about a year in the making, my parents didn't really care , they did think it was weird that all these bands started sending me so much stuff.
MC: How many copies did you print up of the 1st issue and who was featured in it? Did you manage to sell many of them? How was the overall response to it?
PJ: I don't really remember we copied pages at shop 'n save copy machine at first so whatever change I could come up with each day I would get copies made.
MC: Do you feel with each issue that putting it out got easier or harder and why was that? Did there ever come a point where you were getting too much stuff for review ha ha and did you review everything sent to you?
PJ: I think it got easier the more I figured out what to do but then other aspects got harder like dead lines selling ad space and mailing out all the copies was a trick!
MC: Now with your fanzine, did you lose money doing it, pretty much break even or did you even manage to make a little money? Throughout the zine's existence, what was the circulation like and did you ever put any out on newsprint and if you didn't was there any thought of it?
PJ: Yes I always lost money, I didn't care it wasn't ever about making money from it, although I wish I wouldn't lose as much as I didn't because I would still be doing it. I killed Metacyesis in about '93 or ‘94 because I was having my first kid and didn't know if I could keep losing money on that and buy diapers and food. But I soon after start the Gore Worm Comics and then Corruptor of Morality 'zine in about 99 or 2000 that was news print 1000 copies each issue.
MC: How many issues did you end up putting out and did you know at the time when you put your last issue out that it was going to be your last issue and what led to you folding your fanzine?
PJ: I did know, it was really based on fear of what the future held in store for me and the family with money. And time was a factor for sure too.
PJ: I did 4 full issues and 4 half issues of Metacyesis, 4 issues of Gore Worm and only 2 issues of Corruptor of Mortality
MC: After your zine folded, did you do any further writing for any other zines or that was it?
PJ: I don't think I did any writing I never liked the writing part anyway I sucked at writing I did contribute artwork to many 'zines though. That’s really the funnier part anyway for me.
MC: Out of all your interviews you did, do you have a favorite and were there any bands that you would have loved to have interviewed, but didn't? How about worst interview you did?
PJ: I interviewed most of the bands I was into at the time I don't have any regrets for missing anyone really. Worst interview I did was with James Murphy he was an ass hole about it so I just didn't print it. At the time I really looked up to his so it was a big letdown. I also fucked up an interview with Internal Bleeding but it was my fault not them. I wrote the questions while I was sick I don't even remember sending them to them but it wasn't good so I didn't print that ether.
MC: Do you feel you were pretty fair in all your reviews and did you get any nasty letters from bands or any threats from any due to a bad review?
No if I like the band or thought they did a good effort they got a good review if I didn't like them I bashed them! I pissed some people of but I'm alright with it. I remember one band called me at home pissed about just a line or 2 in the review that was mainly a good review I still have the demo and think its awesome demo the guy was just being a baby!
MC: Did you back in the day go to any of the Milwaukee Metalfests and if so, how many did you go to and what are some of your memories of them?
PJ: I never was able to go I was always broke from doing the 'zine so I couldn't afford it.
MC: Did you ever do any tape trading at all and do you miss the days or throwing in a bunch of ads with each letter you mailed out ha ha?
PJ: I did do some trading and still have all the old tapes I loved trading but it took a lot of time, I'd still do it if I could.
MC: Have you ever done a Google search on your fanzine or ever seen it up for sale on Ebay and do you have personal copies of ever issue that you did?
PJ: I have done searches but didn't come up with much. I have seen some people trying to sell some Gore Worm issues on Ebay, and someone had the first Necrotic records release on ebay for $500. I think somewhere I should still have copies of each issue as I started this interview I looked around a found 2 copies of the first issue, I have to look it over pretty good I think it was a cool issue!
MC: What were some of your favorite fanzines back in the day and the same goes for bands and in your ears and eyes, what makes a great song?
PJ: not kissing ass but I always liked Metal Core, Paradise of steaming Cadavers, Metal Curse, Coroners Report, Pathological Scum, Drawing Blood, 1/2 creeper, hell I can't remember most of them. Underground bands from back in the day Dying Fetus, Internal Bleeding Lividity, Hellwitch, Timeghoul, Animated Dead, Vermin, and way too many to go through.
MC: Were you very sad to fold the zine or was it just a case it was time to fold the zine? What was your favorite part of doing one and least favorite part?
PJ: I was sad to have to Kill Metacyesis, I guess that’s why I started Gore Worm comics almost right away, and I knew I had to be doing something. My favorite thing was finding new bands and making a product to support the scene. Least favorite was dealing with some of the politics.
MC: Tell me all about this Gore Worm Comic thing you are doing and how long have you been doing it and exactly what is it about and of course plug the url for it.
PJ: really I just started it out of the need to be doing something underground, I talked to some fellow underground artist about the idea and they started sending me short stories, so I had to scramble to get a story done fast because it was just an idea I hadn't done any work on it until these guys sent me artwork and stories. I did 3 anthology type comics and had 1000 copies each made in newsprint. then I did a special issue that was just for Russell W. Evans I guess I just stopped doing it in about '96 even though I always thought I'd come back to it. I did just resurrect Gore Worm recently I plan on doing a couple different types of books, and the Anthology. I will be more up to date with technology and do some web comics too.
MC: You also have your own record label called "Necrotic Records". How long has the label been around and what made you to decide to do your own label?
PJ: I started in 2001 with the release of Drohm demo, diy (do it yourself) style cdr!, I always thought about doing a small label, I watched some other labels start from nothing and grow big fast. I had a 10 year plan to turn Necrotic into a good label that played by different rules, The main thing was to make the bands partners in each release, that way if the cd sold well, they would make more money from it, the harder they worked at selling and promoting it would benefit them directly . Unlike other labels who would make bands sign and twist and change them, sell 1000's of copies and make back all the money the label spent on the release before even considering giving the band a dime.
MC: Now with starting the label, please take me through the steps of starting this up and what was the most surprising thing to you in doing a label?
PJ: As with everything I start, I just do it without over thinking the reasons not to do it. If I think of the reasons not to do something and the stuff that could go wrong I wouldn't have ever started any of the projects I do. One of the most surprising things about doing the label is how the bands stick with me even though They have no contracts and are free to sign to other labels at any time. the other surprising thing is how people are so reluctant to buy cds from unknown underground bands, we put more songs and more stuff into our releases to give a better value to the fans, but if they don't see it in the store people don't think it can be as good.
MC: How did you come up with the name and when you first started I imagine you had to work many long hours to get it off the ground so to speak? What was the first band that you signed?
PJ: I don't know for sure why I settled on Necrotic Records but I bet it had to do with Carcass again. but I thought it could symbolize both Black Metal and Death metal because I didn't just want one style I did and still do want the best black metal, death metal, grindcore, thrash metal and doom. All the bands on Necrotic are personal favorites in the field they are in. I put a lot of time into the label , it takes a lot of small things to keep it going things you don't always think about but it needs done so you got to do it ! first band was Drohm.
MC: How many people work at the label and it your full time job or do you have a "regular" job? What has been the most difficult thing about doing a label?
PJ: Hard to say how many people, I always did everything in the past but I understand I can't do it all and I know other people are better at somethings so I started asking for help from a few trusted people just this past year, I got a guy who will start setting up shows for me in the future, I just got a guy to take over my website duties, I plan on having a couple more people doing stuff like merchandise. Yeah I have a full time job outside of the label otherwise my family and I would have starved to death years ago. Hardest thing is convincing people to buy our shit.
MC: A double advice question. For someone who wants to start up their own webzine, what advice would you give them and also if somebody wants to start up their own record label, what would you tell them?
PJ: Not to sound like a Nike slogan but just do it and let it be what it is, it'll take a life of its own like it or not try to persuade it the direction you want it to go but don't fight it.
MC: What had been the hardest and easiest thing about doing a label and also the most frustrating?
PJ: Hardest is the money and keeping up with everything, easiest is, well nothing is easy lol! Frustrating dealing with people who can't see what something has the potential to become.
MC: Now the underground has changed big time over the years. What has been some of the most surprising things that stick out in your mind and what are some things that you just shake your head at that has happened over the years?
PJ: The whole internet! it both help move somethings along better but at the cost of real personal contact, downloading stuff still surprises me because I just like the physical forms, hell I still prefer cassette personally !
MC: Do you feel that there are too many bands and labels nowadays that water down the product of underground metal and make it just that much tougher for the good to great bands to get noticed out of the pack?
PJ: No I think it's about the same but everyone can hear about all the bands and labels easier with the internet , the good bands and labels will stand stronger and the ones who suck will fall the way side.
MC: Where do you see the sales of cds headed and do you print stuff up on vinyl at all or it is all cds and downloads these days?
PJ: All I do is cds and downloads, I'm helping a tape only label form right now and they are going to re-release some of our releases in limited tape form , first up is going to be Animated Dead - Tombs of Carnage. I think cd sale will go up I think some of the kids who did all the downloads are starting to see that physical form is better not all but more every day.
MC: Where do you see the underground scene say in 2020 and do you think the record label will still be around and have you ever got offered a job to work at a big indie label and if not and you did, would you consider it?
PJ: I hope all the large numbers of inventory cd I have in storage will be classic albums and people will start wanting to collect them then. I have the market cornered for future classic cds. I've actually applied to some major labels, not that I really expect to get anywhere but it just take 1 of them to be fooled! I would have to still be able to do my own stuff or else I couldn't work for another label.
MC: Have you ever been overseas at all for a show(s) and if you did what was that like and if you haven't, do you think you will ever get that opportunity?
PJ: I think in Feb. and March Krotchripper is going on a Europe tour with Waco Jesus I did think I would like to join them, just to see it and experience it one time before I die, but no I've only done U.S. shows. My wife and I talked about doing the waken open air on a vacation trip so maybe one of these days.
MC; Is there many underground metal record stores that you deal with in the US these days or is that pretty much a dried up market?
PJ: Not really I try to work with a few but politics and fear keep most from wanting anything to do with my releases.
MC: What are some of the current bands on the label at the moment and are you looking to sign any bands at the moment and if you are, how many a band contact you and are you into doing re-issues at all or are you pretty much just into releasing new stuff from bands?
PJ: Current bands are Animated Dead, Krotchripper, Hemorrhaging Elysium, Asylium, Warghoul, Abyss of Black, Withered Icon, Necroviolate, What Thou Will. I've got a back log of bands I am trying to get stuff released by but I can only do so many and still promo them. If the right bands came along I would fit them in somehow! I have a lot of bands contact me some I tell them the way Necrotic works the 50/50 partnership and they are scared away or don't like the idea because they are responsible for making it a success or not and they just want the label to deal with everything and that’s just not the way we work, I think bands should have some skin in the game. I would do re-issues but all of them that have been offered the parties involved want way too much and it normally involves record label lawyers ect.
MC: Have pretty much all the bands you worked with, have things been pretty smooth with them? When you listen to something that gets sent to you for a possible signing, what do you listen for mostly?
PJ: Yeah, I had some issues with the Morgue Supplier cd, I thought it would be a good idea to use a cheaper company to make the covers, the company fucked 1000 covers up and they were overseas they got fixed but it cost me a bunch of extra money and time to make it right. but this was in no way Morgue Suppliers fault and they was cool with the end product but the extra money I had to spend took away from what I was able to do as far as promoting that release.
I think all the bands on Necrotic I was a fan before we talked about releasing anything, I was a fan of Animated Dead 20 years before we got together for the release. I look for something just better than the normal stuff or something they do to stand out from the others in their field and they have to be hard working, not just musically but self-promoters too.
MC: Your thoughts on the following:
One of my personal favorite styles I don't see a lot of new good bands in this field anymore though.
Only fan of a couple bands in this field.
Very few styles can put me in a better mood faster
Seattle Scene from the 90’s;
Got to be done in the right way or I hate it, but when done right I love it! Warghoul Abyss of Black are 2 bands that fit with my taste
As much as I hated it growing up with it, I now find myself really liking some of it, I still hate Poison and Bon Jovi but I do like Skid Row, Cinderella, Dangerous Toys and Tesla... weird
MC: What are some things you like to do when you’re not doing label or music related things?
PJ: Anything with the Family, wood working, carving, building shit. I have got a new hobby of taking care of Chickens, I don't know why but I think Chickens are awesome and a lot of fun. I currently have 14 of them and going to hatch many more sillkie chicks to sell, if I don't get too attached to them.
MC: I am going to guess and assume you saw some shows in Chicago, IL. If not skip the Chicago part of this question ha ha. What were some shows you saw back in the day and what clubs did you get to go to a lot over the years and do you get to see many shows these days and what are some shows you have gotten to see over say the last 2 years?
PJ: I've been to a few Chicago Shows but it's hard to get up there without a lot of planning and money it's about 4 or 5 hour away. St. Louis is closer for me I feel that is my scene! Club 367 was by far the best, but Firebird just Bill's and Fubar is the places to go now. Grind crusher tour was an early show I got to go to really all the big death metal tours I managed to go to when I was younger the scene die for a while but came back pretty strong over the past 5 years just as my oldest Daughter started getting into some of the local metal bands she got sick with Leukemia (AML) so the only shows we I would go to was the ones she felt good enough to attend and get away from the hospital for a while. She died about 1 year and 9 months ago so I still have a hard time making myself go to a show. The first couple shows was really hard for me, it felt like she should be there with me.
MC: When you were younger did you go into the "mosh pits" or do any "stage diving" in your day?
PJ: Yes when I was young I loved to get hurt and break my nose in the pits, now not at all. It hurts to stand up by the stage for 30 mins at a time lol!
MC: Did is amaze you in some ways that bands like Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megedeth are still around these days and does it amaze you how popular those bands are and what are your thoughts on those bands these days?
PJ: Yes back in the old days people made fun of us for listening to those bands, now I make fun of them for it! I still listen to them all Metallica just needs to stop it already though!
MC: What do you think of bootlegs at all and have you brought many over the years and what is the most you ever paid for something music wise?
PJ: Thankfully I'm a pack rat that still has most of my old tapes so I don't have to buy them now for $500, but bootlegs don't bother me I have many of them. I won’t pay a lot for them.
MC: Besides metal, what are some other forms of music/bands that you like these days?
PJ: I do like classical music, classic rock, '50 '60 Motown stuff some really old county but I wouldn't spend a lot of time on any of it.
MC: Who is your favorite band and why are they your favorite band and have you ever gotten a chance to meet them?
PJ: Hard question! Black Sabbath has always been there so I almost would have to say them. I have never met them, but then again Carcass is a big part of me I have met them. King Diamond is the shit too haven't met him yet though Faith No More is on the top somewhere in my head too I guess it just depends on which band I'm listening to at the time.
MC; Do you think the underground music scene will ever get back to the way it used to be as to me now every band just wants you to "like" their Facebook page and stuff and kids want to just download stuff for free?
PJ: I say it will never be like it was again. The well has been poisoned with the likes of Facebook and downloads not to say it can't be cool or something but it will never be like it was.
MC: Do you think if we had the technology back then like we have now that more bands might have had better careers? What was your favorite indie labels back in the day?
PJ: No I don't think it would have meant as much to us if it was as easy to obtain it would have been a fad that faded away faster. R/C maybe the one I liked best or Earache.
MC: What are your thoughts on music sites like My Space, Reverbnation? Do you think in some ways they help, but also hurt the bands as sites like You Tube may make some kids not want to go to see a show as they can just see a band live on there?
PJ: I think it helps really, these kids would never hear about the band if it wasn't on these types of sites so they would never even think about going to a show or buying an album.
MC: Were connected on Facebook. Have you re-connected with many people from the past on there? Who has been the most surprising?
PJ: Yeah I found a lot of old timers on Facebook, I still look for some of the ones I don't have contact with other wise; most surprising was Chris Leamy from Pathological Scum 'zine maybe.
MC: Please plug your website for your label and what people will find when they log on there, which I hope they will? Do you have any goals you still want to achieve with the label?
PJ: Facebook is a good start; download a bunch of stuff from https://necroticrecords.bandcamp.com lots of free stuff too. Check out our full updated distro list at http://necroticrecords.blogspot.com/ we have about 30 t-shirt designs on http://necroticrecords.spreadshirt.com
MC: Now when you release a cd, how do you go about promoting it? As far as most of your prior signing go, have you found most of the bands or have most of your signings been of bands that sent stuff to you?
PJ: I have some websites I promote on I still make flyers and send them in snail mail, I really need a good P.R. team that don't charge me too much so I can just let them do it... one day! Most of the bands had sent something to me and I wait for the right time to offer them some deal.
MC: I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane with the zine and label anything you want to say that I have not covered and please plug anything else you want and best of luck going forward with the label and everything else my friend.
PJ: Thanks Chris, I do enjoy letting people know what it was like back in the old days, most people don't get it but some do so I hope I didn't boar anyone to bad. If anyone out there has some skills that they think could help necrotic records out send me a Facebook message or e-mail me at [email protected] and tell me what you can do and how you can help us grow or be better I can't pay but free cds can be arranged.