- Hey Paul! Let's start with the origins, when the band was still known as Mortuary. How old were you when you decided to play in a band? And how did you meet the other members?
- I was 14 years old and had been playing guitar for just over a year. I had a friend named Renzo and he was also 14 and an excellent lead guitar player. He introduced me to more extreme metal like Sodom, Kreator, Celtic Frost, Sepultura, Possessed, Destruction. We met Kevin and Rob Nichols at WillowBrook Mall in Wayne, NJ. We met at the Arcade where a lot of young local metal heads would hangout. Renzo wasn't interested at first. He wanted to form his own band. So Rob, Kevin and myself formed Mortuary. Shortly after we released a rehearsal demo, we played a few local gigs and then Renzo liked what he heard and joined the band. Both Renzo and I were 14 and Rob and Kevin were 17.
- At that time, what was your local underground like? Which bands were on the top? And how often did you have concerts? Could you remember one of the coolest shows while you were still a teenager?
- The underground was exciting. We had some really great bands in NJ and from NY. Revenant was having some great shows in the late 80's and early 90's and were getting a big following. Ripping Corpse, Human Remains, Damonacy, Rigor Mortis/Immolation, Goreaphobia, Crucifier.
- Tell us a bit about your first rehearsal place, where was it? Did you share it with any other bands?
- Our first space was in Kevin and Rob's Garage. Then after being together over a year we had some disagreement over something I don't even remember. I then met Jon Brody (drums) from an advertisement I placed in a local music magazine. I posted I was looking for a drummer for a Death Metal band. It was in 1990 and we had some great chemistry. He learned all of the Mortuary songs and shortly afterwards he introduced me to Jim Hoffman (bass) and we rehearsed in Jim's basement.
- Where did you record your first demo? How many copies did you have and how did you distribute it?
- It was recorded at a studio in Bergen County, NJ. I don't even remember the name of it.
- By the time of your second demo, "Infernal Torment" in 1990, the line-up was completely renewed. Why did it happen and how did you find your new band-mates?
- Renzo was my friend I met at Catholic Church. Our parents made us attend and I was 13 years old. I was wearing and Iron Maiden shirt and he was wearing a Possessed Seven Churches shirt so it was natural that we had to meet and have a conversation when we saw each other. He invited me over to his house and played so amazing on guitar. He joined Mortuary after he heard our demo and played some shows with us. Rob and Kevin had split from Renzo and I and we met John Busch on Drums from a local ad. He was a great drummer but wasn't a big fan of Death Metal. He was more into classic Thrash and he was such a nice guy too. It just wasn't too much of an interest to him. I am grateful for the help he provided in the band.
- At the same time you've got an offer from Thrash Records for a full-length, but it didn't happen. How did it happen? And how did you eventually decided on creating a new band, Deteriorot?
- Thrash Records received our demo from tape trades and contacted us with a recording contract in the mail. I was 15 years old at the time. I signed the deal but shortly afterwards Renzo was no longer interested in playing metal. He started a Gothic band called KATHEDRAL and I needed a drummer that was more into Death Metal. I met Jon Brody (Drums) and Jim Hoffman (bass) and we still Mortuary for a few months but then our new songs were downtuned and the direction of the band became heavier and new influences of Bolt Thrower, Autopsy, and Entombed, made a big change for us and we decided we were not going to be Mortuary any longer and would reinvent ourselves as a new and completely different band.
- By the way, how did you come up with that name? And did you have any other names on the list?
- We kept coming up with names we were excited about and then discovered they were taken already. I had the idea of coming up with a new invented word so it wouldn't be taken already. I thought of the name DETERIOROT and it sounded interesting to all of us and it was original in the sense that it was a new word so no chance of it being another band with the same name. One of the names we decided on was DECOMPOSED and then we found another band with that name. We liked it so much and were disappointed we couldn't use it so we wanted to stay with a band name that started with the letter "D".
- Yet, after another line-up changes and a couple of demos, you recorded the "Manifested Apparitions of Unholy Spirits", your first official 7 EP. How did you get in contact with Drowned Productions? Did you try to contact any labels as well?
- We were supposed to release an EP with Afterworld Records but after they released the band Putrifact's EP they contacted us and said they are not releasing any more. They lost a lot of money and not enough fans buy Death Metal. Dave from Drowned Productions had heard our demo 92 from the guys of Demigod and I sent him a better sounding copy. He sent me a recording contact and signed us to an EP and a 3 album deal. We had some other labels including Osmose Productions contact us. We had already signed with Drowned by that point.
- And after the band was on a hiatus status. What happened? Why there was such a long break?
- Lots of things got in the way. Drowned also had financial issues and never was able to send us the money to record our full length album in the studio. They said it was going to be a few more months. Then 2 years had passed and we are still waiting to record our album. By this time it was now the end of 1994 and we received the terrible news that Drowned Productions is no more. So our album is not going to be produced and all of our hearts were broken. I fell into such a deep depression and I didn't call the other members and they never reached me either. I think they were feeling the same emotions I was. It was just so disappointing. I felt no more passion to continue. It was around 1999 that Jon and I had started to get in touch with each other. He was playing in a Black Sabbath cover band and we talked about the album that never was "In Ancient Beliefs" and talked about what if we tried to record it now and get a label to release it. I contacted Dave Rotten and he sent us a contract.
- In 2001 you came back your full-length, "In Ancient Beliefs". First of all, how was it like after so many years to finally release your debut album? That was a very long path
- It felt like a dream come true to finally have it. It had a lot of obstacles! First it was supposed to be on Drowned Productions in 1994, then was supposed to be in 2000 on Repulse, then it finally came out in 2001 on WWIII Records
- Tell us a bit about the recording sessions. How long did it take you to record everything? Did you feel any pressure while working on that material? After all, it was your first album on the table
- The recordings were wonderful. Such great memories doing it. No pressure. We were confident in the material and felt the music was timeless and heavy.
- By the way, Richard Kirk who recorded and mixed this album, looks like it was his single job, or am I wrong? Tell us a bit about him
- He is an eccentric fellow. Moody artsy person. Very talented on this record and gave us such great ideas. He is a very passionate person and very opinionated and we needed that type of person working with us because he wanted this record to sound the best it could as did we.
- Looks like the choice of Dave and his Repulse Records was pretty obvious for you. But was it your really first idea of a label? Or did you consider any other deals too?
- He is the only person I considered.
- After the release, what happened next? Did you meet your expectations? Were you able to play shows more frequently? And why was there another big gap, 9 years till next album?
- We had some great support with WWIII and had some frequent shows. We were able to play some festivals and get paid too. We traveled for some great shows. We started to record the next album but sometime in 2003 we had some disagreements over a festival we were scheduled to headline in North Carolina and our drummer Jon said he was not going to be able to play that show and he gave his blessing to have us play with a fill in. It was short notice. I found a fill in but then the rest of the band felt funny about it. The whole thing seemed like a big communication problem and I really wished we were able to talk and work it out. I ended up doing the show to follow through with my commitment to the organizers of the fest and to the fans. I played the show with a last minutes fill in lineup. We were teaching the bass player the songs in the car ride. So many years passed because I was done with music. I felt no more passion or interest from my previous disappointment. I started a business in 2005, got married in 2006, moved from NJ to NC in 2008, and became a father in 2008 too, so my life was quite busy. In 2009, Dave Rotten told me about his new label Xtreem Music, said he wants to release another DETERIOROT album. It was the last thing on my mind. Sent me a new contract and 2 weeks later I'm in the studio finishing up on The Faithless. I had tried to contact Jon Brody but I had an old phone number and I just really wished he was there in the studio for the new guitar tracks I recorded, vocals, and mix. I know he would have enjoyed it. His drum tracks were recorded in 2002/2003 and I know he was extremely proud of the new music we created.
- In 2010 you released your second album, "The Faithless". How did it happen that it was only 2 of you recording it, you and Jon Brody? What can you say about such experience?
- Originally in 2002 it was Jon, O.D. Lallo(bass) and myself. The bass tracks were rough then and it was only 4 songs that had bass tracks. Jon recorded all the drums then. In 2009 I had the tracks to finish up. I recorded all the bass tracks, all new guitars, and vocals. The experience was really rough. I'm grateful Richard Kirk was there to help me complete it but the conditions were horrible. His studio was a cluttered unfinished basement with junk and garbage everywhere. It was in the middle of summer with 95 to 100 ℉ temperature and hotter in that basement. No air at all down there. He was very moody and wasted a lot of time. It was a very different experience from before and not a pleasant one.
- So far, now things looks really promising. Recently you've got re-released all of your rarities, "Echoes from The Past". Whose idea was it? Was it Razorback's? And how long did it take you to collect everything and prepare for the release?
- It was the idea of Ricky Lockett with Burning Dogma Records. It was several years since we did the agreement. He had some medical and some personal issues. He is such a great guy! He told me he was in touch with Billy of Razorback Records and it was still another 2 years until it came out and it looks really good! Billy is an awesome guy too and we're proud to work with him.
- What are you up to now? Do you already have any plans for the future? Maybe? a new album?
- Many plans. Working on 2 new EP's one with 2 new songs on Lord of The Flies Records. It will be called "Return From War". Next will be a split EP with one of Dave Rotten's band. I forget which one it is I'm sorry. Then we are working on a new album and Xtreem Music will most likely be the label to release it. We have a lot of history together and would look forward to it.
- Thank you for this interview, Paul. Would you like to say anything in the end?
- Thank you for the interview and for your patience on my delay. Thanks to all of the fans that support underground music!
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