- Hello, Phil! Recently, Malevolent Creation released the long awaited 12th album, "Dead Man's Path". So far, what kind of reviews did you receive? Is the public perception of the album any different from your own?
- After the recording of the new album and then hearing the mixing and mastering job that Dan Swano had done for us we were all blown away. We had another person(who will remain nameless because he fucked up so much shit for us and the releases date of our album by 5 months) because I will never mention that idiot's name again or give him any credibility within the music industry as a self proclaimed producer/musician. Because I still have plans for him!!!!! Fucked with the wrong band and person!!!!!! But the reaction has been great and we are very proud of what we put together for our 12th album.
- It's been 5 years since your previous album, "Invidious Dominion". If you would be asked to compare these 2 albums, what would be the main difference?
- Heavier songs,songs are a bit more well written and the most important part is the stellar drumming of Justin DiPinto. We really needed to have Justin back in the band to keep us all happy musically and mentally!!! Also, have to mention the production by Dan Swano which sounds just killer.
Working on the new tracks, how do you challenge yourself? Do you set up any goals like "the new album should be faster", or "the new album must be heavier"? Or is it just the natural result of the hard teamwork?
- With each new album we always want to have better songs and heavier songs (You have to think like that or there is no purpose on playing death metal in my opinion). It always starts with me setting the pace with some new songs and then everyone contributing and writing music together and completing the end result. Musically it was myself, Gio Geraca (guitars) and Justin DiPinto (drums) finishing the writing and the recording for this new album. Bret Hoffmann is always responsible for his own lyrics and has free reign to arrange his lyrics to the music once the music is completed and we never really need to tell him what to do. It's always been like that with Bret so we don't mess with the formula very much.
- Did you have any particular songs that took you more time to write than usually? What would be your top 3 of the new tracks from the album and why?
- Well i wrote and demo'd 5 songs with our former drummer gus Rios that took forever because we were just not seeing eye to eye and I wasn't going to let him weaken our songs or waste any more of my time. We really needed to get back on track with the extreme drumming that he was not into or capable of playing correctly and that is when Justin DiPinto was asked to finish up the writing of the album and rejoin the band. 3 songs that are special to me are "Corporate Weaponry", Imperiun (Kill Force Rising) and Soul Razer which each took a bit of arranging and re-arranging until we were all happy with them. But I am honestly happy with all the songs.
- This time you worked with Dan Swano. How did it go? Why did you decide to choose him to be the producer of the album? What can you say about your cooperation?
- Thankfully Dan Swano found the time to mix and master our album after many failed attempts by a different producer/engineer who had recorded the vocals for the mew album and was supposed to do the mix and master as well and it turned into a disaster. He was fucking clueless and delayed the release of this album for nearly. Century Media had suggested Dan Swano for the job in the beginning and we wanted to give a friend we knew a chance to make a name for himself but it was a complete fucking fail!!! Thank god Dan Swano found the time to talk with me and discuss the mix with me and was familiar with Malevolent Creation's sound and really pulled through for us and saved our asses at the last minute. I really owe that guy a few drinks next time I run into him while I am touring Europe.
- Let's talk a bit about the title, where does it come from? What is the meaning behind it? How tight does it go with all the lyrics on the CD?
- The title of the album was the name of a place that me and vocalist Bret used to go and party as teenagers and drink and listen to metal with our friends. It was called Dead Man's Path because a man we did not know had committed suicide by hanging himself in the woods where we used to party. It was a bit of a creepy story that went along with this path leading into the woods where we used to party and it always stuck in our heads. So really only people that grew up with me and Bret truly know the true meaning of the title "Dead Man's Path". All Bret's lyrics deal with death but i am not sure any of the songs except the title track have anything to do with the album lyrically.
- The new killer cover was created by German Latorres, quite a new artist. How did you find him? How close did you work with him on the concept?
- He is a good friend of our from Brazil who is actually an amazing tattoo artist who also happens to be a great artist as well. We gave him song titles and the album title and let him run free. He is responsible for all the artwork in the CD booklet as well as the vinyl versions. Great buy to have working with us.
- Recently you came back from your European Tour together with Grave, both performing full headliner shows. How did it go? Did you meet your expectations? What shows could you highlight?
- Yes,the tour was great and just like every tour we had a problem with a certain promoter from Bulgaria who fucked us over and still owes us 8,000 euros. The guys in Grave were great as usual and we had a great time. I would have to say Greece and playing Istanbul, Turkey for the first time were the tour highlights!!!! But all the shows and people involved were great!!!!
- Having so many albums in your discography, it's probably a tough decision to pick up the right songs for the set-list, isn't it? Usually, what is your choice based on? What are the tracks that are always asked by public?
- It is very hard to put together set lists and we are always changing them but we always seem to have to play a few songs from our first 2 albums to make sure people are truly happy. Always changing the setlist though!!!! We have almost 150 songs!
- Let's get back in time and talk a bit about the early days of Malevolent Creation. First of all, do you remember who came up with that name? Did you discuss any other versions as well?
- Bret had written a song titled Malevolent Creation when we first started the band in 1986-1987 and when we first started to play live and open for punk bands and hard core bands in Buffalo, NY we needed a band name and I suggested the song title Malevolent Creation and it just stuck. Bret got the title from a Transformers cartoon episode back in 1986. That is no lie!!!!
- The band was formed in 1987. Tell us, how did you meet each other? What was your first rehearsal place like? Do you remember any of your first shows?
- Me and Bret have been playing music together since we were 13-14 years old in a previous band called RESTHAVEN. We then started writing original music and started looking for musicians that wanted to play the fastest thrash metal possible. I found Jason Blachowicz through some mutual friends and we had a 2nd guitarist that didn't last to long and a drummer as well. We were able to record a 3 song demo with that line-up in 1987 and then moved to Ft.Lauderdale, Florida where i had some family and found a new guitarist and drummer and me, Bret and Jay are still rolling!!!
- Being a young metal band in the late 80s, how could you describe your local underground? How did you discover the new bands? And how involved into tape-trading were you?
- II was heavily into tape trading in Buffalo right before moving to Florida and then became obsesses with tape trading and spreading the MC demo tapes around the world to be reviewed by fanzines and magazines all over the world. It was a different time and was very exciting for underground music back then and i wish it could still be like that.I miss it big time.
- And I have the last question. Recently, I did the interview with Tim Scott (Revenant) and we discussed a little bit his participation in Hateplow. So what is the current band's status? Do you guys work on any new material? What should people expect from HatePlow?
- I am going to record a new HatePlow album with original singer Kyle Symons and my drummer for Malevolent Creation Justin DiPinto this year. I have been hoarding material forever and as soon as we have the time this year we are going to finally record it.
- That's it, thank you for the interview. Would you like to add anything in the end?
- Thank you so much for the interview and sorry for the long delay.Look for upcoming tour dates and news at our Facebook Page