- Hello, Sid! Korpse was found in 1989, tell us, how did you meet each other? What did actually motivate you to start your own band? And what bands did influence you?
- Me and Taff both thought that being in a band was one of the coolest things you could do and had been jamming in bands since we were 13 and 14 y.o. mostly playing shambolic Iron Maiden and eventually Metallica covers. Fluff was in Taff’s class at school (I was in the year above) and we really dug Slayer, Kreator, Voivod, Celtic Frost and the emerging death metal stuff and the hardcore .you’d hear on John Peel. Plus oldies but goodies like Sabbath, Rush, Jethro Tull etc. Fluff was just going to do vocals in this band we wanted to start but we couldn’t get a bassist so he bought a bass and stepped up to the job! We would’ve been about 17 and had left school.
- What was the local metal underground like? Did you hang out with the bands like Cerement, Fester/Mindscar or Inextremis?
- We were pals with Inextremis. We’d gig together, share members and equipment, hang out, drink, smoke hash and go traipsing for magic mushrooms. I even worked at the same place with 3 of them. Cerement liked to keep a kind of ‘outsider’ stance. I liked their music but we weren’t really mates. Fester were a younger band that came along a little later. Bazz and Andy from Bonesaw were in them. The guitarist’s mother had a kind of amateur talent -production company and she asked around for young guys into metal so she could build a band for her son! She provided them with equipment and put on gigs and because her son liked Korpse we’d end up on the bill playing with her talent roster. Strange meeting of worlds.
- How did you usually discover the new bands? Did you have any local fan-zines? How often did you have any metal gigs in Aberdeen? Did it happen for you to go to see some bands in Glasgow or Edinburgh, or any other places?
- I don’t think there was a local zine but we’d read other zines and mags. Fluff was into tape trading so we’d listen to that stuff in his mini. There were occasional gigs with local and UK bands but most of the time you’d have to go to Edinburgh or Glasgow to see the touring bands. Aberdeen is pretty far north and not that big.
- What was your first rehearsal place like? How often were you able to practice and when for the first time did you think about your own record?
- We wrote Satanic Osculance, a trad metal pisstiche called Vroom and Dead Nun which was a kinda jazzy number with blasts. We practised at the community centre but got too much complaints. A girl Taff was seeing let us jam in her house for a while. Eventually Fluff’s old man let us use the canteen of the family owned engineering workshop which was in an industrial estate. There was an airport between there and the residential area of Dyce and the wind would sometimes carry the sound over. People would hear our noise wafting around from a couple of miles away. We were really lucky to have that because practise places were like hens teeth. We’d jam twice a week. More if there was a gig coming up. We tried to make a demo there on a 4 track portastudio but it didn’t work out.
- In 1991 you released your "Mauler" demo. Tell us a bit about it. Where did you record and how long did it take you? How many copies did you have and who was responsible for multiplying the tapes?
- Crathes Studio just outside Aberdeen on 16 track 1” tape by Niall Mathewson who is the guitarist of local prog legends Pallas. I think 2 days recording and mixing. 200 were professionally pressed. Our mate worked at a printing shop so he did the covers for free. He took the liberty of adding Kiss and Nelson to our thanks list. And instead of MAULER he put DEMONSTRATION TAPE on the spine. Melodic rock fans are funny that way.
- How did you distribute your demo? Who was in charge of tape-trading? Do you remember the first bands you exchanged the tapes with? What labels did you try to contact with this record?
- Fluff generally handled all that. I remember we got a rejection from Peaceville (they didn’t like our fast bits) and an offer from Tombstone based in Newcastle. It was a proper industry standard contract that could completely tie you up. We got a legal student to translate it for us and it was mental. Solar system clauses, the lot. The Tombstone guy was supposed to be putting on the Newcastle gig of the tour we were doing with Gorefest and Necrosanct and we were gonna discuss the deal. When we arrived at the venue we found out that he hadn’t booked the gig and was nowhere to be found. We found out later that he had done the same thing to a few bands. Thank fuck we didn’t just sign the contract when we got it and sent it away. That guy’s dead now. Literally found dead in a ditch. We slept in a field that night. All 3 bands. Fucking funny.
- In 1993 you released your 2-song single, on 7-inch vinyl. As I understand, once again it was done by the efforts of the band. Tell us about the recordings and about the vinyl production process. And why did you decide to update the logo?
- Same studio. 500 pressed. That was multi-tracked rather than live with overdubs.
We asked Taff’s brother, John to do a new logo. Maybe because the music was getting more serious and the K.Oram logo is a bit cartoony though we still like it and get him to do shirt designs. John had already designed the celtic knot and he based the text on how it would fit above it. You can see it mirrors some of the curves.
- Your debut full-length was released in 1994 through Candlelight Records. First of all, how did you get that offer? By that time, Candlelight was quite new and small label, but what was the attitude of its managers towards young bands? And what were you expectations lie?
- Candlelight was just Lee Barrett back then. He was still working for Plastic Head at the time and was contacting independent record shops I guess to see if there was stuff worth distributing. A guy at 1-UP records in Aberdeen sent him a 7” and Lee liked it so much he offered us a deal! He had Emperor, Enslaved, Opeth, Decomposed, offered a tidy recording budget and the contract was a 50/50 split once he made costs back. He ended up losing money on us but he liked it and would’ve put out more stuff had we not split.
- Tell us about "Pull the Flood"'s creation. Where did you record it and who produced this record? What do you remember regarding working hours spent in the studio?
- Both albums were recorded by Paul Johnson on 24 track 2” tape at Rhythm Studios which is in the countryside near Birmingham. 10 days for the first then 12 the next. He’s a mellow guy but will make you do takes again and again til you get it tight. He made me quadruple-track my rhythm guitars! He did a lot for our sound and worked us to get a solid performance but the material was all written and nailed down.
- By the way, the ending title, "From The Heart", has some dialogues in the end, for almost 5 minutes. Where was it taken from and why did you decide to include it?
- It was a short segment from a tape that Taff and his brother made using a turntable to manipulate harmonica instruction records and such. We listened to it every night when we were down there. ‘with a little practice, Oh Susana should sound like this….’. still cracks me up. I suppose ghost tracks on CD’s were all the rage back then.
- What can you say about the cover? Who was the artist? Why did you choose such psychedelic design?
- We had no clue about art direction or how to get a cover done and that’s why the album took a year to come out. A guy I knew that did electronic and industrial music offered to help us out and did that collage. It suits us to a degree. It was all we had so we just went with it.
- How was the CD accepted by the fans and world-wide? Did you meet your expectations with it?
- I was pretty chuffed with it. It got great reviews. I remember one that said “the lack of gore soaked imagery might put some people off”, hahaha. I thought we had something a bit different to bring to the table but harsh and evil was the order of the day. Alan from Primordial slagged off the band photos on the cd calling them holiday snaps because we took them at the beach. We didn’t really give a fuck about image.
- In 1996 you released "Revirgin" album. How could you describe this one? And compare to the "Pull the Flood"? Where do your rock'n'roll influences come from?
- It was just the next bunch of songs that we wrote. Bit more sophisticated maybe. Doesn’t have the same rip as the first one but you can smoke a joint and listen to it. I dunno where the rock n roll comes from. Motorhead? I like a lot of the 70’s guys for guitar licks.
- You credited Matt Webb for the "noise". So, what exactly did he do for your record?
- He created a suitably foetid atmosphere through the power of aroma. He also knew how to work a kettle.
- You worked with Paul Johnston, by this time known widely enough by his works with Cathedral, Vader, Sadist and others. What can you say about this cooperation and how did he contribute to the final version of the album?
- Ah, he’s a mellow guy and he knew how to record death metal. Professional geezer.
- And that album became the last one for you. What happened? Why did you decide to split-up?
- Taff left just after recording Revirgin. Me and Fluff weren’t ready to stop. We tried a few drummers out but it wasn’t happening. Fluff was in contact with Chris Reifert and he suggested we come over to California and maybe he could do it. What with Autopsy being our favourite death metal band we went for it. That was a lot of fun hanging out with Chris and Abscess but eventually after a few months he had to pull out. So we came home and tried again but we couldn’t get it back off the ground.
- In 2005, Aphelion Productions released the compilation CD, "Mirror Distance". How did it happen? Whose idea was it? Did you help or assist the whole process anyhow?
- I had a plan to a 100 CDR’s of the demo and 7” just for mates and stuff. I told Ross from Aphelion and he offered to press a 1000 on CD.
- Let's have a few words about your comeback in 2012. So, almost 16 years later you re-united once again to play some live shows. So who came up with this idea?
- We were always getting asked but couldn’t or didn’t want to. This guy Jonesey e-mailed me and told me that he’d spoken to Taff and Fluff and they were up for getting it together. He was lying but it worked.
- How many shows have you played since the reunion? How was it to be back on stage all together once again? Your set-list, how many songs did it consist of?
- We played 5 gigs all in Scotland. Generally for an hour. I can’t remember the set list. I’ve never been so nervous before a gig as I was for the local ones but they went down really well. ‘twas fucking magic to play with those guys again.
- You also mentioned some DVD being in the process, do you have any news?
- You’ll have to check with Taff on that one.
- So what are you plans so far? Have you discussed the possibility of a new record? Do you have any other scheduled shows for 2016?
- Aphelion Productions should be pressing the albums on vinyl. There’s a loose plan to work on some of the riffs that were taped for the aborted 3rd album. All in due course.
- Besides Korpse, you were also involved into another band, Bonesaw. Tell us a bit about it.
- Andy and Bazz (from Fester/Mindscar) wanted to raise a little death metal action and I jumped right on it. There was no ambition beyond jamming and playing locally but we ended up staying together for 14 years and did a bunch of releases and got to travel around a little. We called it a day in 2014
- Alright, thank you a lot for this interview, Sid. Would you like to add anything in the end?
- Cheers for the interest in the little known Aberdeen scene. Stay Metal!!!
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