- Hello, Scotty! Let's get back to the very early days. What exactly did motivate you to start playing drums? How old were you when you got your first drum set?
- Well I started playing drums back when I was 12 because I heard John Bonham and I was a music fan as well. But once I heard Bonham, I knew I really wanted to be a drummer. I was lucky that a neighbor down the street was a drummer, so he would show me the basics and would let me jam on his kit. It wasn't until I was 14 and when CS got together that I got my first kit and then, I really started taken playing drums seriously.
- Cryptic Slaughter was formed in 1984, how did you meet each other and who initiated the band's formation? Do you remember who came up with that name? Did you consider any other versions as well?
- When CS first started it was Les, myself and a guitar player name Adam. We all met through playing soccer and then Adam introduced us to Bill (they were both on the same soccer team) and we formed CS. Adam only played in the band for about a month until his mom made him quit. LOL!! So we decided to continue on as a 3 piece with Bill playing bass and singing. Les came up with the name Cryptic Death and we used that name for about two months till we realized that there were too many bands with the name death in them. So, we decided to change the band name to Cryptic Slaughter.
- In 1986 you released your debut album, "Convicted". Could you recall any details about the recording process? How long did it take you to completely finalize the whole album?
- Recording "Convicted" was a blast. We got to work with Bill Metoyer who produced pretty much all the albums that we loved and we were all just so stoked to be recording an album! We all were young and never had been in a studio like that, so it was a learning experience. Bill made sure to keep us in line because we were always fucking around in between songs and he would have to tell us "OK, get back to your instruments and let's finish recording this album!" LOL!!! I don't really remember how long it took to record it, I want to say a month. We knew those songs inside and out, so we shot through them pretty quick.
- What were your thoughts and feelings when you get the copy of your first album? Personally, how did you like the result? What was the local underground's reaction on it?
- We all were stoked when we got our first copies of "Convicted", who wouldn't be?!?! I was happy with the record, but I personally felt I could of played better. But it was my first time recording, so I didn't beat myself up too much over it. The response for the album was really good and it really helped us get better shows and really helped us gain a larger following.
- By the way, how did you get the contract with Metal Blade Records? At those days already they managed to release some groovy bands such as Slayer, Celtic Frost, D.R.I., Destruction etc. What it was like for you to join this huge roster?
- We were friends with Katon of Hirax who loved us and the band. So he told Brian Slagel about us. Katon introduced us to Brian outside a Slayer show at a place called the Country Club in Reseda. He told us so send him a demo (which Les did) and then about a month later a contract for Metal Massacre 7 and a contract for a 4 record deal.
For us to join that roster was HUGE! I mean, fuck Slayer was on there DRI, Celtic Frost, COC and so many other killer bands and then now us! We were stoked!!
- Do you remember when you actually decided that music is exactly what you want to do in life? That moment when you agreed on recording new albums, touring etc. Was it a tough decision for you?
- To be honest I never really made a decision like that. We just formed CS and we thought OK we'll play some local shows, parties and we'll have some fun. None of us thought that we would get sign, record records and tour. Remember when we got signed Rob, Bill and myself were only 16 and Les was 19. So we still had to go to school during the week just like everybody else. We only got to tour during summer break, holidays and once in a while we would play out of state and locally on the weekends.
- In 1987 you released another classic album, "Money Talks". How could you compare this album the the debut one?
- Money Talks had (in my opinion) better songs, better lyrics, we all played better on this album and the production was way better. Convicted was more raw, unpolished and not as tight as Money Talks was. But we became better players, songwriters so as a band, each record should get better and I think we did that.
- Who was mainly in charge of the lyrics? What did determine the focus of your songs on the politics and everything related to it? What was the main message of your songs?
- All four of us wrote lyrics, so there wasn't just one main person. Bill and Les were more into politics than Rob and I were. Rob and I wrote more about being yourself and about people judging you. All our songs had a message, whether it was politics, religion, PMRC, people judging you, etc all you have to do is read our lyrics and you know right away what the song is about.
- How supportive were Metal Blade? Having already 2 full-lengths, did you tour a lot? What was the biggest concert for you so far?
- Metal Blade could of been way more supportive to us then they were, especially when we would tour. To be honest, that did cause a riff between us and them and why we decided to record "Stream Of Consciousness" on our own. We played a lot of big shows with DRI, Possessed, Dark Angel, The Decendents, Discharge, Excel, Wehrmacht, The Accused, Attitude Adjustment. I could go on. We were very lucky with what shows we got to play and the band we played the shows with.
- In 1988 you released "Stream of Consciousness" album. What can you say about this release? What do you think about it now?
- This album we produced ourselves and that's why the productions (in my opinion) sucks. I think this album has some of the best CS songs we ever wrote, but you can't tell because the production sucks. Looking back at this album now, we really should of had Bill Metoyer produce it and I think it would of done way better. But we didn't and I know that some CS fans love this album because of the bad production and some CS fans don't. In the end, I love this album as much as I love Convicted and Money Talks. I think all 3 of our albums rule!
- Where did you record it? How long did you spend in the studio? How can you comment the sound of this album?
- We recorded Stream in the old Pabst Blue Ribbon brewery in downtown LA. We were there for about a month total. The sound was because we thought we could produce it by ourselves and we were wrong. LOL!! We should of had Bill Metoyer produce it. I don't like the production of that album and I know some fans that don't either. But with that being said there are fans that love the way Stream sounds.
- Why did this album become the last one for you? What did you do after you left the band?
- It was the last one because the band broke up while on tour. Looking back we should of just took a month off and away from one another, but we were teenagers and didn't think about stuff like that. LOL!!!
After CS I played in a small a couple of punk bands Black Monday and So Abused. We recorded a record and did some small tours, but nothing major. I know you can find the albums on Spotify and ITunes.
- "Speak Your Peace" was released in 1990, and already without your attendance. How could you comment on this album? What is your opinion regarding a bit changed sound and slowed down riffs?
- That would be a question for Les since he was the only original CS member in the band when it was recorded. I personally think it's a really good album, but in no way is it a CS album.
- How did it happen that Relapse got the rights for your albums and with the following re-releases?
- They contacted Les who in return contacted the rest of us and told us that they wanted to reissue the first two records. At first, we were like why?!? But then they told us how much of a die hard following we still had and how much love they had for these albums we couldn't say no. Relapse did such an amazing job on those reissues and we couldn't be happier. Because of those reissues it help keep the CS name alive and turned CS on to a whole new audience.
- Tell us a bit about the attempt to resurrect the band in 2002 and about the EP with several covers.
- That was only Les and Brian (Wehrmacht) who did that with some other friends of theirs. Rob, Bill and myself didn't play on that.
The EP of covers was a limited edition release that Relapse did. Basically if you bought both of the reissues, you would get that EP as well.
- What are you up to now? Do you think there will another try for Cryptic Slaughter?
- Right now I just live a normal life. I work, I travel, I have a family and that's about it. Nothing too exciting, but I am happy. So that's all that matters.
As for a CS reunion, sorry to say, that's not going to happen. Bill has made it very clear to us that he has no desire to be on stage or to be part of any reunion. So if it can't be all four of the OG members, there's no point. We all respect Bill's choice and all four of us are behind any CS decision that is made. Whether it's merch, reissues, etc all four of us have a say in the matter. In the end, we're all still friends, we all still talk and for me, that's all that matters.
- Thank you for this interview, Scotty! Would you like to add anything in the end?
- Thanks for interviewing me and thank you to all the die hard CS fans world wide for your continuing love and support for us. With out you the CS name would die!!