- Hello, Stephan! Let's get back to the very beginning. What did bring you into the world of Metal Music? What were the first bands that hooked you up and influenced your desire to play drums?
- I was introduced to metal music listening to Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and other bands from that generation. But when I was about 12 or 13 years old, I quickly moved to such bands as Venom, Slayer and Celtic Frost. Then Voivod came to my life, with their first album "WAR AND PAIN", and that's what made me think of playing the music at the age of 14. From that time Voivod and their drummer became a big influence to my drumming style.
- When did you first discover bands playing Death Metal? What was the local response to the new whole genre? How did it influence your own play-style?
- Hellhammer and Celtic Frost took big place in my mind when I just started playing music. That kind of music was a blast among our group of friends.
- How could you describe your local metal underground at those days? Did you have a lot of metal concerts? And what about fanzines?
- I think the underground metal scene was really strong, maybe better back in those years. There were metal concerts all the time and a lot of people showed up every time. I was producing the shows in my town for many metal bands. Fanzines were not really popular here in Quebec, but I remember sending music tapes and flyers to fanzines all around the world. You had to go to the post office and pay for shipping, that was before the Internet. I fuckin liked it!!
- Before Gorguts, you played in a Thrash/Death band called Damaged, and you even recorded a demo, "Saviour of the Unknown". Looks like it was a very short period of time for you, so just tell us a few words about this band.
- That was the band where I started and learnt playing music with my friends. We were about 16 years old, and it gave us a good first experience on playing, recording and doing shows in bars.
- So, 1989 marks the birth of Gorguts. Tell us, who was the initiator. How did you meet each other? Who came up with that name and did you consider any other titles as well?
- When I quit my first band Damaged, Luc Lemay who I knew for some short time, came to me and it's how the band started. Then we found our 1st Bass player, Carlos, and the second guitar player, Garry. A good friend of mine, who played drums in a band called Blylock, gave us the name Gorguts, that he was keeping for a future band. We actually liked it right away, and no other name was considered.
- The same year you released one-song demo, with "Calamitous Mortification" on it. Was it your first ever track written together? Where did you record it?
To be honest, really honest, I don't remember it at all, ha ha ha!!! Those years were really strong on beer and other shit. I think my mind is affected from it!! ha ha !
- A year later, you recorded another demo, "...and then Comes Lividity". First of all, why did Carlo Gozzi leave the band and how did you find Eric Giguere? How did it improve your play-style overall?
- Carlos left because we couldn't agree on few things...actually on everything. He was a pain in the ass for me and Luc. Eric was on the same line with us.
- Where did you record that demo? How did you distribute it? Were you involved into tape-trading? Do you remember the first bands you exchanged the tapes with? Were there any bands from Europe?
- That demo was recorded in my parents basement, with the help of Pierre Remillard. The equipment was rent and the whole demo was recorded just within a weekend. Then I think we produced a 1000 copies of that demo, we gave a few copies to influential people. Demos were sold at shows and through tape trading, flyers advertised it for sale. But before even selling 100 of those in 2 or 3 weeks we had a contract with R/C record for the 1st album.
- How did you get the contract with RoadRunner Records? Did you receive any other offers?
- The day we released that last demo, we stopped at Obliveon's manager Nancy Charland to give her 10 or 20 copies for her friends and after talking for some time she said, I'm calling that guy from RoadRunner right now, telling him that she was going to ship a demo the next day. And that's exactly what she did. And then we got a phone call a week or 2 later, and the deal was on the table.
- In 1991 you released your classic debut album, "Considered Dead". And once again you had some line-up changes: Sylvain Marcoux replaced Garry Chouinard. When did it actually happened? So, how and where did you meet Sylvain? And how could you evaluate his impact on that early stage?
- We met Marcoux while sharing the stage with his band called...called...I was too drunk to remember the name. Those years were bad on beer. So we saw him doing the shows in bars. And as Garry was not going to work as hard as we did to get the band higher, he was out free.
- So, tell us a bit about the recording sessions. How did it go? How long did it take you to write down all the material? Did you have any specific difficulties?
- No specific difficulties. Except to cross US border with the instruments, we had to rent instruments in Florida, and for all of us recording with the new instruments was weird. I think we had something between 5 and 7 days to record and mix the album. I did my drums parts in 1 day.
- How did you like working with Scott Burns? Morrisound studios, was it your choice of was it suggested by R/C Records?
- That was the choice or R/C records and we all agreed, it was a blast for kids as we were. We took 10 days of vacation in Florida before getting in studio. Couldn't get drunk on US beer (too soft back in those years). Scott Burns was a real professional guy, we had a blast doing it.
- Tell us about the guest musicians on the album. Chris Barnes performed some backing vocals on a few tracks, and James Murphy played a solo. How did it happen? Was it a spontaneous decision?
- Luc was in contact with those guys weeks/months before getting in studio. I don't know much about it.
- Following the release, in 1992 you had "Blood, Guts and Gore" U.S. Tour. How did it go? Who did you play with?
- That tour was awesome. Touring with Cannibal Corpse and Atheist, 2 professional bands. We had fun and learnt a lot from touring with them. I was driving the entire tour, and didn't sleep much. But I will never forget those days.
- In 1993 you released your second full-length, "The Erosion of Sanity". While working on this material, what was your main goal? And how could you describe your regular rehearsals?
- We tried to be more professional while writing that second album. We wanted to show what we learned from the 1 st album and all the shows behind us. Rehearsals were 5 days a week, from Monday to Friday, for 5 or 6 hours a day. Back in those years rehearsals were in my apartment and neighbors were fucking sick from our music.
- Working in the studio, how different was that experience from the previous time? Why did you decided to work that time in a different studio, in Montreal? But if I'm not wrong, Scott Burns was still involved into the production of the album, wasn't he?
- We decided to recorded it in Montreal just because of less troubles. When it was just 1 hour from our home, it was much easier to get the soundman in Montreal, then the complete band in other country. Scott Burns was not involved in the recording. Steve Harris came from England (not that unknown guy playing bass in that small band called Maiden something). Harris recorded and mixed the album but R/C record didn't like the final sound so they got Scott Burns to remix it.
- By the way, who came up with the idea of using Evil Dead sample as intro for the "Condemned to Obscurity" song? Was it a spontaneous decision? Were there any other great ideas while the recordings?
- Luc got to the piano one day while recording and came up with this after some time. It was his idea and worked right away with that song. And it's my favorite song by the way.
- In support of the new album, you went off to a European Tour. Was it your first visit? How different where the local fans from those in America or Canada? Did you remember any gig in particular? Who did you travel with?
- I was not part of the European tour. I quit few months before that tour
- What do you think about other Gorguts albums? Have you already heard the most recent material? Are you still in contact with Luc and other guys? And what are you up to nowadays?
- I'm still in contact with Luc once in a while. I like what they have done, really technical stuff. Colored Sand is too much technical for my taste, not catchy enough, but the guys are doing what they like and that's what important. I don't play music much these day, working to build Harley choppers for 18 years www.sprcycle.com and rising Olde Bulldogges for more than 12 Years www.northlandbulldogges.com
- Thank you for this interview, Stephan. Would you like to add anything in the end?
- Thanks for getting back to those years. And KIDS, DON'T DRINK MUCH, THAT WILL MAKE YOU LOOSE SOME IMPORTANT THINGS
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