Hello, guys! Allen, the first questions will go to you. Tell us a bit about your origins, what was your metal background?
- (Allen) I was raised a semi-rich white kid in the lush suburbs of Pasadena Texas pretty much, and was exposed growing up everything from disco to country and western by the time I was 10 or so, and in early 1981 was turned on to AC/DC and Rush by an older kid down the street, Trey Meador. Soon after that day I rode my bike over to Target and when through the entire record store collection to find that AC/DC or Rush album to no avail. What I did find was the Rolling Stones. When my older sister heard me listening to it she turned me on to Kiss, ELO, and later things like Elvis Costello and the B52's. I started playing the guitar at 12, and shortly after I met Robert Moore I switched to bass after my 13th Birthday and started our 1st band Stress. True Metal soon came to me via MTV and bands like Judas Priest and Black Sabbath and Ozzy. .
- What bands did influence you the most and motivated you to have your own band?
- (Allen) Besides the fact I was so into Rush and used music to escape the sadness in my life from the destruction of my family. The community I grew up in had a great metal seen. There was a large Teen Club named Corners on Spencer Highway and regional garage bands played every Friday and Saturday night. It was a wild seen for sure and soon I was playing with a band called Prowler, then in Axe Thrasher with Greg Martin, Robert Moore, Randy Haaga and Dave Mize. Later I had my own band named Medusa shortly before I joined Brain Dead, that eventually became Dead Horse by 1987-88. But as every 13 or 14 year old American Boy would say: it was Sex, Drugs and Rock'n Roll that motivated us!
- At those days, what was your local underground like? Did you have any metal brotherhood you hang out with?
- (Allen) Again the Pasadena Area had a cool scene growing up this is like 1984 on. At that time all the real punk and hardcore kids were going down town to the Island, Cardis and Cabaret Voltaire, I was still a bit young and was never able to go to any of them. For me it was around the age of 17 when I went to play at the Axiom that I was exposed to a real UNDERGROUND type of environment.
Greg and Robert were my best friends until times changed and Rob dropped out of the circle. Those 2 exposed me to the best music in the world pretty much, Greg forced me to listen to the shitty band Metallica until I converted over to a fan. Metallica, Moterhead, Megadeth and Slayer pretty much changed what I wanted my style to be. Tshirt, Jeans and hightops!
- How often did you have any live shows and do you remember any great shows that impressed you?
- (Allen) Once Deadhorse started rolling, we were doing shows about every 2-3 months in Houston only. Then when bigger crowds came it was more like every 4-6 months because we started playing out of town. The earliest impressive show was our 1st road show, we went to McAllen, Texas, to the Sun Palace and played with Devastation and Deceased (and more). That scene was wild! The Valley has always been a big shot in the arm for Deadhorse and always will. Soon after that, Corpus Christi with Ankor Wat, that show tripped us out in a good way.
- So, the band was formed in 1988. How did you meet each other? What was your first rehearsal place?
- (Allen) More like around 1987. But really, we had played with Greg from around 1985. I knew Mike from playing with Randy is brother who was a drummer and owned a PA and his parents let us jam at his house. Later when I left the group and formed my own band, Greg sent Rob to fetch me and they had already met Ronny via a close high school friend Diago.
1st rehearsal was weird, to say the least I was doing it behind my own bands back. Rob had asked me to try out for them with Greg and Ronny. I went by Rob's and he showed me Army Surplus, Piece of Veil and a few other songs. I was well rehearsed and pretty mush was told on the spot I had the gig. Mike came in to the picture next and we actually did a Demo out at Alvin Community College that sucked pretty bad. Only thing that sound worth a shit was Ronny's floor tom. This is the part from 1987 that bridged us until the death ride demo.
- The same year you released your "Death Rides a Dead Horse" demo. Where did you record it? How many copies did you have and how did you distribute your record?
- (Allen) Ahh yes the 1st REAL demo! So I can not remember how we found out about this place, it was actually in Pasadena, Texas, called Believers studio. It was Christian's owned and operated deal. We went in and set up, and got all ready, but the Tape machine mysteriously didn't work. I think they wanted out of the session to be honest. Because when we came back, there was another dude, and it went pretty well after that. God only knows how many copies of it were made, somewhere between 500-700.
- The following year you released your debut full-length, "Horsecore: An Unrelated Story That's Time Consuming". It was fully financed by the band, wasn't it? Tell us a bit about this situation. How did you arrange all the stuff related to publishing it on vinyl and cassette?
- (Allen) Yes, we were fortunate enough to make a deal with the devil. Originally we wanted to go up to Dallas to record at the place that Morbid Scream was recording, with Danny Brown. Every demo and recording from that place was amazing. But as always what we wanted and what happened was 2 separate agendas. I guess since the Haaga boys fronted the money they picked the place.
Well, the rest was a fiasco and I would rather just say we were mis-managed from this point on, and made some very bad choices and had people involved making decisions, because they had invested in the recording. Some times it is the Devil you know!
- Also, in 1992 you re-released it on CD. Once again, how did you do everything on your own? Did you have any requests from labels?
- (Allen) Actually the Horsecore LP and Cassette were in production the entire time, it was just formatted for a CD in 1992. We turned down a low ball deal from Metal Blade, which looking back is funny because we kind of ended up on the label via proxy Big Thief. Though we got more to record with got less in the long run because we never got payed 1$ for publishing.
- Tell us about the recording sessions. Where did you record this album and how long did it take you? Who did you work in the studio with?
- (Allen) We recorded Horsecore at Rampart Studio off Rampart Street in Houston, with Steve Aims. He had just finished recording a band called Kings X (WHOO). The sessions were like every dh: rushed with no time for over dubs. And we all played live and just punched the solos. Luckily Steve had a form of automation. I think we recorded it all in 1 day with Vocals on the 2nd and mixed down on the 3rd.
It would have been nice if someone was smart enough to get good amps for the band to use, like producers, but for some reason the only reason said producer was there was to make sure we didn't run over on time, that is a manager not a producer. Steve Aims was the best, he really had a way of keeping the clock rolling when the tape wasn't. Thus an unrelated story!
- As I understand, Death Ride was your own label? As well as a bit later Horsecore and Beermoment? Because you were always the single releases on those labels.
- (Allen) It just made it look better optically, was not a true label really.
- In 1991, Big Chief released your second album, "Peaceful Death and Pretty Flowers". First of all, how did you get the deal with them? Was it only one album contract? Did you receive any other proposals as well?
- (Allen) Big Thief was a label that came along via Agony Column from Austin and the Texas scene. I think Metal Blade sent them our way because Brian Slagel had been shot down because his typical $5000 1st LP of 6 LP offer.
No, the Big Thief owner, Brad, snorted the label up his nose and got us foolishly to sign a release. We should not have signed it till we had accounting and the money from metal blade for sales and publishing another good management choice .
We actually got offers from Interscope, Restless Records and a new group, called Justice, and a publishing offer from Warner Entertainment. But great management failed us again and we black balled ourselves for the most part. We have made some of the Best Worst decisions in Music!
- The music on this album sounds more mature and heavier. How could you comment on your play-style evolution? How different was your song-writing process from the previous album?
- (Allen) We wanted to play faster and more consistent structured songs. With all the new music out from GodFlesh to Faith No More, to Pantera and Sepultura, we had to raise the bar. While writing, we worked 5 days a week 3-4 hours per day. Luckily, we had a great place to rehearse, which was the room from the inside photo of the band on Pd & Pf.
It was a ruff process, I assure you, because with Horsecore every one had input. With Peaceful Death you had to fight to get your parts, rhythms and ideas for atmosphere across. There seemed to be a narrowing view of how a band really functions and it was creatively frustrating. As for me, I was not happy with some of the work on the LP because the ideas that were better, were not considered. But hell, those days are over.
- Where did you record this material? What do you remember about working in the studio on this album? Did you have any funny moments?
- (Allen) Again we all wanted to go to Florida and record with Scott Burns. Sepultura and Morbid Angel and every one that had great sounding albums went to him. But alas, that was not to be due to our wonderful management. We ended up in Dallas, at Good Nite Audio with Kerry Crafton. Not anything wrong with it except the choice was taken out of the artist hands and we made what I feel was the wrong location choice.
Once again we recorded live and punched the Solos, and were rushed and unable to do overdubs and fix all the errors, due to the manager, that thought he was a producer, being in the control room. He sucked the creativity right out of the room and if it were not for Kerry Crafton, it would have come to a fist fight for sure. At one point I took the band's van and left, but having 80ozs of Schlitz Malt Liquor in me was not a good decision and they found me a few blocks down the road. The fun moment was when all 4 of us got on the piano stool that Stevie Nicks had recorded her solo album on. We were all thinking our butt was where her butt was WHOO!! And me I always had fun to cover up the oppression that was going on. I don't think Greg or I were digging the agenda that was going on. But that is an assumption on his behalf. We had a lot of inner conflict with how that LP turned out.
- Tell us a bit about the cover. Who was the artist?
- (Allen) The cover was a picture, drawn by Mike Haaga, our original singer. The Label didn't like it and though we liked just about everything Mike had done it was redrawn by Pus Head to appease the Label. Puss heads picture was an insult to the picture Mike had drawn. Would be nice to have a copy of that picture.
- How helpful where the guys in Big Chief? Did you get the promotion and the exposure you've been expecting to get with this release? How often did you play live?
- (Allen) Being the only label we had an experience with they did right for the most part. The rest was up to us to get on the road and tour.
We played live quite a bit but should have taken more tours and by time we knew it Big Thief had folded and we were back to an obscure band from Texas.
- In 1994 you came up with your new release, "Feed Me" EP. Once again, your play-style was changed a bit. What can you say about this CD and the music itself?
- (Allen) AS a band, we were really struggling creatively. I would get together with Greg and Ronny, then with Mike and Ronny and every once in a while, maybe 2-3 times a month with the full band and that was just a 3 hour adlib improvisation session, no really work. That is why there are 2 songs by Mike and 2 Songs by Greg and Chiggers was something we had come up with one morning as an improve. To me that Recording sessions was great and not rushed to much. Studio C at Westlake Audio in Hollywood was a killer place. But I look at the Feed Me CD like I do every time I see footage of the Beatles playing atop the Apples Studios. 1 last attempt by the original 4 guys from South Houston but the magic was long gone.
- Why did Michael Haaga leave the band? And how did you find Scott to replace him? Did you have any auditions?
- (Allen) Mike wanted 100% creative control over the band's art and music. None of us were happy but there was no way that was going to happen. I told him we were willing to play his songs if he would be willing to play ours and that was not what he wanted. I think he had a lot of pressure on him from other people but that all happened over 20 years ago. We all wish him the best, there is no denying we all played a instrumental roll in the foundation of Deadhorse.
Scott's band Force Fed had played with us a few times. And he played loud enough for Ronny to hear him. He was the only person we auditioned. Once Greg said he was the man there was no looking back.
- Scott, before joining the Dead Horse, did you have any experience in playing in a band? When did you hear about DeadHorse for the first time? Joining them, what did it mean to you?
- (Scott) Yes of course. I had a local band from Austin Texas called Force Fed with my Brother Lance on vocals. We opened for Deadhorse at the Backroom in Austin, Greg and I immediately hit it off.
My best friend Brett Boillot, saw them open for Dark Angel, he told me, you gotta see these guys! They're crazy!!! I saw them for the first time at the Ritz in Austin, and was blown away.
Well, I'd told people the only two bands i'd leave Force Fed for was Prong or Deadhorse. When Greg called me i thought it was a joke. I thought joining Deadhorse would propel me to the "Big Time", that we'd be opening for Pantera and Slayer etc.... So it was pretty huge for me.
- Scott, how do you remember the rehearsals on "Boil(ing)"? What can you say about the recordings? What was the reaction of fans on you?
- (Scott) It was a long hard process. very taxing, not a lot of fun. playing riffs backwards, or this way and that way. a lot of pressure. It was really stoked to record with deadhorse. we recorded in Austin Texas, with Mark DuFour, and Tim Gerron. Both guys are drummers, so the drums sound great for a reason. I'd worked with Mark with Force Fed, so I knew he'd bring a huge guitar sound into the mix. He was the head engineer at the studio. So he got us a deal, but we had to record from like 10pm to 6am...
Some were great to me and some weren't. But what did I expect after replacing Haaga? Greg even started a rumor that I was an undercover cop...So that was great!
- After that, in 1997 the band called its quit. What was the reason for it?
- (Scott) I dunno, Allen and I weren't really getting along, I didn't like or trust our manager at the time... A lot of immaturity on my part really. just stupid stuff. I quit, then the rest of the guys kind of quit a month or so later. Funny thing is now, Allen and I are extremely good friends. I love him lik a brother. We've both "grown up".
- (Allen) And one thing that cannot be over looked was all the changes going on in our personal family lifes marrige, divorce, children it kinda all came to a head.
- And what you've been up to those years before the reunion?
- (Scott) It's actually been 15 years, the reunion was in 2011. I kept playing. Went back and started up Force Fed again, then was in a Stoner rock band called Crud, then a punk band called Gun Totin' Meateaters....Greg had a blues band, Ronny had a band called Nothing and Deth Kulture BBQ, Allen quit playing music for the most part. In 2007 I talked Greg into playing metal again, and with Ronny we formed PND.
- (Allen) Me myself I sold all my gear and stopped playing all together. I did sing on a praise and worship team for about 3 years but no playing.
- Guys, tell us a bit about the DVD you released in 2012. How did you come up with that idea? And once again, everything was done on your own, wasn't it? What was the line-up?
- (Allen) At the time of the Reunion show we had asked our recording engineer Tim Gerron to bring down a 24 track setup to get the event audio recorded and a close friend Garrett McCall was planning of doing a documentary of sorts on the reunion so he did all the video and mixing of the two for the DVD. I came up with the title and a concept to start it out which is the short cartoon at the beginning. Craig Holloway did all the cover and CD art and lay out and the guy that does all of our flyers John Deleon did the inner sleeve / mini poster.
And yes, since I have been managing the band's finances from the reunion on I came up with the plan and did a backwards production schedule and we made 1000 DVDs. All self produced. With a little help from the fans of course.
- (Scott) The line-up was: Greg Martin, Ronny Guyote, Allen Price, Scott Sevall and Michael Argo.
- Let's have a few words about your most recent release, "Loaded Gun" EP. Does this new material reflect the current state and mood of the band? Will it lead to a full-length one day?
- (Allen) The idea behind these songs was what does a 21st century deadhorse band sound like. What did we want to be in the beginning and what do we want to do now? Easy!! HAVE FUN AND MAKE FUN MUSIC! When you try to just have fun, that is when the nature of the music comes out.
We are hoping to get a full length recording out some day but the road is long and has many, many, pitfalls and mountains. Geographically speaking it takes time and money set aside. Fortunately the gas prices have come down.
- Scott, besides Deadhorse, you are involved into Pasadena Napalm Division band. Tell us a bit about it. And how did it happen that Kurt Brecht (DRI) has ended up being on the vocals?
- (Scott) Actually Ronny, Greg and Allen are in PND beside Kurt and I. Greg and I had a deal that when we both turned 40, if we weren't doing anything substantial, that we'd form a metal band to piss people off. I talked to Ronny and he was onboard as long as I could get Greg involved. We initially had another Bass player, none of us could sing very well... I had heard Kurt was living back in Houston and at the time D.R.I. was on hold because Spike had Colon Cancer. Anyway, I got a hold of Kurt, asked him to come check out our songs, he sang 100 Beers With a Zombie, and that was it. He was in, as simple as that. We've released the full length PND LP and still play. Not as often as we'd like cause DRI and deadhorse are usually pretty busy nowadays.
- Alright, guys, that's it. Would you like to add anything in the end?
- Deadhorse just want to thank you for the interview and our fans and families for their love and support for so many years. I want you all to know that all 5 of us deadhorse guys are having a great time and making great music that we hope to share with you very soon. Cheers. Alpo.