Serpentscope was all about death metal so it was necessary to get Autopsy included. Because I had experience that mr. Chris Reifert is a bit tricky interviewee, I decided to skip the plan to do a “serious” interview but just throw questions around and see what happens. Well, you can read the result below – quite mind-blowing but not so informative, or?
When I made another interview with Reifert when Abscess’ Dawn of Inhumanity was released, the guy talked with a bit more sober tone. Here’s what he said about the assumed difficulties to make another death metal album after all these years and releases. And by the way, Christ Reifert is one of those people who always write CAPS LOCK ON. The whole interview was published in Imperiumi.net (in Finnish).
– As for inspiration, we don’t try to force it, it just happens when it happens which has always worked for us. And yeah, sometimes it does seem like everything has been done, but there is still an endless amount of ways to interpret death metal and make it your own creation. Just like rock and roll or punk or blues or whatever you like, there’s only so many things you can do before it isn’t what it’s supposed to be, however with some imagination you can still twist, turn, fold and mutate it into something unique and exciting.
There are some unwritten dogmas, rules and conventions in the world of metal magazines. For example, if you edit your articles, you are more sophisticated, but if you just cut and paste all the questions and answers (and maybe use some scissors and glue, add some pictures from the cheap black magic book and print this all on your work place’s copier), you are closer to the meaning of words like “true”, “old school” and “kvlt”. Well, if you’re doing an interview with a pioneer of true kvlt old school death metal, Chris Reifert of Autopsy/Abscess fame, what options do you have? Only one! So here you have it, the snarls, babblings and biting of the false teeth by the snow bong master himself. Enjoy!
Okay, maybe the easiest way to start this interview is to discuss your latest output, Horrific Obsession 7”. How was the feeling and atmosphere in the studio while recording – are you now older, more mature and better… eh?
– Well, older anyways, heh heh… we had a great time in the studio and the atmosphere was the same as usual: making brutal music and having a killer time doing it. Plus Danny brought the shriveled apple from the Mental Funeral sessions which took us into a world that few death metallers get to step into…
(Danny Coralles @ Hammer Open Air 2011)
I think Autopsy has always had an interesting line-up: one steady guitarist (Cutler), one insane guitarist (Coralles), looooots of bassists and you of course. My impressions here are only hunches but how would you describe these two fellowmen?
– Well, Eric is the smelly one and Danny is the confused one… or is it Danny that is the smelly one and Eric is the confused one… actually I am smelly and confused so maybe Eric is the quiet one and Danny is the drunk one… I’d better call those guys up and clear this conundrum up!
And who has been the best Autopsy bassist in your opinion?
– All the bassists did their job and walked over the hot coals that is playing in Autopsy, though Steve DiGiorgio can kill a fly from two hundred paces with his bass playing prowess….
Many have said that these two songs summarize quite well what Autopsy is all about musically. What is your opinion about these songs, and what would be that inner core of Autopsy which has kept its power from the start to this day?
– Many have said lots of things about lots of things but I personally love those songs like two-headed mutant children that constantly bite my ankles… The core is the bottomless pit of molten magma that springs from the ground any time Eric, Danny and I get together… Could have something to do with all the nachos with extra hot sauce though…
Of course it’s useless to start hoping that you will recreate Autopsy totally now, because you have done such a good job with Abscess for all these years. But what is that major difference between these two bands in your opinion? How did that change (the burial of Autopsy and the full concentration on Abscess) happen in the first place?
– It’s all metal under the bridge really… Autopsy has Eric Cutler and Abscess has Clint Bower and Joe Allen – all sick and nasty people. Abscess happened as a result of Autopsy making the choice of splitting up. Danny and I didn’t want to stop making brutal noise so we trudged onward and continue to do so, much to the dismay of the masses.
How about your other musical needs, have you thought about forming a band which would do something totally different?
– Well now that you mention it, we did do an album by the name of Mirror Snake, which is a psych-rock slab of brain warping fuzzness. Check it out through http://www.abscessfreaks.com as well as all our other indispensible records and such… you know you want to!
It’s obvious that Autopsy has a big meaning in the birth and evolution of death metal, and many bands and individuals hail you as a pioneer of death metal. How does it feel after so many years, that even legends like Matti Kärki and Uffe Cederlund wanted to do the Murder Squad thing with you for example?
– I am honored, humbled and getting a bit hungry for breakfast and another cup of coffee… I give the twirling thumbs up as I chew and sip!
At the same time it seems that death metal is getting bigger and bigger. Daniel Ekeroth wrote a noteworthy book about Swedish death metal, some death metal bands are getting their songs on soundtracks of pretty big films and people are selling some pseudo-dm to ignorant teenagers… Is this okay to you or do you think that death metal should be totally underground – or do you even care?
– As long as the music is good that’s the main issue. Personally I hope Abscess gets to do the soundtrack for the next Star Wars movie… Talk about a perfect fit!
Well, although you are a very influential person in the circles of death metal, even you haven’t come from nowhere. What bands/artists/genres have been the most important influences for you and why?
– Actually I did come from nowhere just like the Frank Zappa song… And you should go there for awhile… The people from nowhere always smile…
Well, one influence we can’t forget while talking about Autopsy… Drugs! At least it seems that “the snow bong” on the Dark Crusades DVD has become a small legend and there have also been clear and not so clear references to drugs in Autopsy’s music, lyrics and art work. Would Autopsy’s death metal have been so dirty and twisted without a little help from your friends, so to speak?
– Ah yes, the legendary snow bong speaks volumes, does it not… Gaze into its plastic opening and listen to what it says and it will grant you your sickest wishes… Wow, kinda sounds like an advertisement for a blow-up doll, huh? Yet another previously untapped market for death metal exploitation… And as for the last part of your question, we are what we is…
And now that I mentioned Dark Crusades… I think it was a trip down nostalgia lane to build up that behemoth, so what kind of memories/feelings/regrets did you live through while making this DVD?
– That fuckin’ thing was the biggest headache in the universe to put together… I never thought something so simple could present so many hassles, sheesh… But I’m glad it finally saw the light of day (or dark of night… this is a metal interview after all) though there was supposed to be so much more on there… The living room rehearsal seems to be an all around favorite and no, there aren’t any regrets except we never had a city street named after us… Let’s start a petition and make this crazy dream come true!
The certain, still unnamed dark perversion and sickness has always been one of those strong elements in Autopsy, but you’re not a young geezer anymore. How do the twisted views fit in the mind of a grown-up adult? Or could we say that the older you get, the sicker you are…?
– Boy would I whip some ass for that question if I could just find my prune juice, false teeth, cane, adult diaper, hearing aid, eyeglasses, loafers and checkerboard…