- Hello, Vincent! Let´s get back to the band´s origin: could you remember and tell us the story of Blessed Sickness creation? What was the original line-up? How did you meet each other?
- We all used to jam with each other throughout high school. It was probably more partying than jamming though. After i graduated, I took it upon myself to put the parts we had come up with during those years & add some more music to create the songs that helped us to get the band going.
The original members were Jay Morrow - guitar, Jef Morrow - drums, Jason Dawson - bass and myself. I met the brothers at a park we used to party at in our old neighborhood and I met Jason at a battle of the bands.
listening to everything from Overkill to Faith No More to Primus. The twins we leaning more toward Pantera style metal whereas I was becoming more influenced by death metal (with a slight obsession towards Morbid Angel, hence the name of the band). It was always an issue when it came writing new songs or the way I was wanting to sing & was probably the reason we split up.
- Let's talk a bit about your Demo tapes. Within one year you recorded your first demos, Graves: Demo#1 and Demo2. What is the difference between them? Where did you record the material?
- The first demo was recorded on a Tascam $-track recorder in the Morrow's basement where we practiced. I can't recall if there were 2 different versions of the recording or if it was just the tape sleeve. I only have one version of the tape. Its pretty terrible and a good example of the struggle between wanting to sing death metal or not.
- Next year you released a self-titled Demo. The set-list is a mix of some songs from your previous Demos and new tracks. What could you say about this record? Who helped you with the tape art and cover?
- We recorded the 1992 demo at Studioarts with this dude Peter Davis. We recorded it "live" . We had just miced everything up & played. There was no money to do a "pro" recording back then. I pulled the cover out of some witchcraft encyclopedia Jason had. I think the pic is called "the temptation of St. Francis" or something like that. Its funny because years later I saw it was used as a cover on a Black Oak Arkansas album cover as well as on the Tony Iommi "Seventh Star" album cover.
I felt it was a decent demo considering how it was recorded. And when we were pretty much heading in the direction of death metal.
- It was released by Sick Productions, on a cassette and was limited to 52 copies. Could you tell us a bit more about this label? Looks like it was its only release so far
- Ha-ha. There we made 52 with a red cover. There were plenty more with a white cover though. As for Sick Productions, that was just something stupid I had made up.
- In 1994 you released your single album "Massacre the Holy". It was recorded without Morrow bothers, how did it influence your usual way of composing songs? How did you find the replacement for them?
- The music was definitely geared more toward death metal at that time, but we had started picking up some more Psychedelic influence. Dave Phillips(16) was a roadie with the first line up and took over on bass, Tony Tyminski (18) was a friend who picked up on guitar and Mark Fleming ended up being our drummer.
- What could you say about this album? How could you describe it?
- LIke I stated before, "Massacre" was definitely more death metal but at the time we were listening to a lot of early Pink Floyd and early Alice Cooper while delving into a lot of acid and pot. Partying was as important if not more important than playing back then.
- How did you get the deal with Psychoslaughter Records? Did you have any other choice?
- I wouldn't say our relationship with PS was much of a deal. I met Sean Panek at a local deathfest and talked him into putting out a 7" for us during the first line-up. "Massacre" was yet another disappointment tho. On our end we rushed the recording and then it was supposed to be out on CD by the time we played Michigan Deathefest 3. Instead it came out later only on cassettes with over 20 mistakes on the liner notes. By that time the 2nd line up had disbanded.
- So far this is the only version of this album. Do you plan to re-release it on CD? Or maybe on vinyl? Did you receive any requests regarding this material?
- I'd like to see "Massacre the Holy" cleaned up & released on CD. I'm surprised to see how many people actually have it and still listen to it.
- When exactly was Blessed Sickness disbanded? And what was the reason for such a decision?
- The second line up dissolved when Dave left to join Embalmer & Tony lost interest. It was a tough time then for me personally as well. But from 95-99 there was a 3rd line up. It involved Joe Baker (Sodomized) on bass, Ed Archacki (God Forbid-Cleveland) and Don Teleha on drums. We never released anything but did a lot of cool shows around here and had a lot of fun from what i can remember.
- What did motivate you to reform the band in 2007? How did you find the new members?
- In 2007 Dave Phillips talked me into giving it another go with Sickness. We were fortunate enough to get Roy Stewart from Embalmer to play with us. We continued on as a 3-pc. We did "Live After Jonerstown" from a live show around here which i thought was cool. After we did Mi. Deathfest 10 Dave quit again. We picked up Jocko Jermann to take over on bass. We recorded a 5 song CD called "depraved" which Jocko recorded on an old reel-to-reel recorder at his house which i think came out pretty cool despite a little rushing on our part with the recording.
- What is the current band's status? Do you work on some new material? Do you think there is a possibility for a new album from Blessed Sickness?
- Blessed Sickness has pretty much ran its course for now. I am currently singing in a band called JJ Grim with Jocko and Roy as well as Rita Jermann on bass and John Porter on guitar. Definitely enjoying my time with these guys. I have been talking with the original Sickness line up about possibly doing a reunion show this fall. By then I may put some old stuff out on CD and maybe talking to Sean about possibly redoing Massacre onto CD. But anything new is highly unlikely.
- Thank you, Vincent! Would you like to add anything to this interview?
- Thanks for the interview. It really racked my brain thinking about all this old stuff. It's amusing to find that there is any interest outside of Ohio in Blessed Sickness still. Be sure to check out JJ Grim as well.