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Monthly Archives: April 1999

Oppressor
Melanie updates with Tim King, April 1999

Greetings Oppressor! It’s been a LONG time since I last spoke to you guys.  Tons of stuff has transpired in the interim.

MR: For starters, I know you have released at least two (newer) offerings to a raving public. What went into the recording process with those, which is different from previous releases? Was it easier (to record) this time around?

TK: The Lost Disciple comp. was done by a very good friend of mine. It was supposed to be a live version of ‘Valley of Thorns’ but a production mistake was made and it ended up being the pre-production version of that song for the ‘Agony’ record. As for ‘European Oppression Live’, that is an older release that was out in 1995. I think you were referring to our new album ‘Elements of Corrosion’. That just came out last September. It is our new studio album. We recorded once again with Brian Griffin, and it is our fastest and I think most brutal album to date. We are very happy with the way it turned out.

MR: How was the (most recent) tour? I’ve heard good points and bad points about it, but that’s all been thirdhand ‘reviews’. I heard you were sick for part of it (that sucks! Hope you’re better now!) … So, what’s your “take” on the tour? How were the other supporting acts?

TK: The ‘Death Across America’ tour went really well. As with any tour, it had some great shows and some not so great shows. The overall response was amazing. I had a bad cold for about 5 days, so I was sleeping a lot. The other acts were great. We all became good friends. I think it was an overall good tour. 32 shows in 33 days!!!!

MR: How has Olympic Recordings been treating you of late? When did you ink that deal? This is totally old news, but I know you were on Red Light Records until they folded, and for a bit you were on MIA..? Could you tell me a story about that chain of events?

TK: We have only really been on two labels. Red Light and Olympic. We signed to Red Light in 1993 and released ‘Solstice of Oppression’. They folded and this label called Megalithic bought the ‘Solstice…’ masters from Red Light and rereleased the record in 1995. They asked us for new material and we sold them the ‘European Oppression Live + As Blood Flows’ release. That also came out in 1995. Then we signed to Olympic Recordings for the ‘Agony’ record. They merged with MIA Records for a brief time and released the ‘Agony’ album. Then Olympic split from MIA and went to Slipdisc/Mercury and we released the ‘Elements of Corrosion’ album. Lots of bouncing around, but really only 2 labels.

MR: How’s your hometown scene been lately? I know Chicago rules, so… any new (or old) bands you’d care to recommend? What have you been listening to  lately?

TK: The bands that definitely deserve recognition from around here are Fleshgrind, Broken Hope, Macabre, Jungle Rot, and Cianide. Lately I’ve been listening to the new Sinister, Arch Enemy, and old Morbid Angel as far as death metal goes.

MR: Who’s responsible for those “the band broke up” rumors, so I can beat them for panicking me about every six months? Do you think that’s just Internet gossip and media hype floating around? What do you think of the Internet in relation to band-matters?

TK: Fuck America Online. I hate that fucking shit. (the editor wholeheartedly agrees, fuck aohell! – ed.) It’s just a rumor mill that anyone can start shit and spread rumors on without any consequences. It allows any nutcase to say whatever they want in a chat room or newsgroup. I don’t mean to be negative about it, but there are some people out there that cause more harm than good and ruin it for everyone else. When and if we decide to break up, we will let everyone know. Don’t believe it until then. We are still doing interviews, mail, etc.

MR: If you could tour with with any 4 other bands, who would they be?

TK: Bon Jovi, Backstreet Boys, Kid Rock, & Lionel Richie. Just kidding. I don’t know, the only band that I would really really want to tour with would be Slayer. That would be a great honor.

MR: What do you feel your band brings to the scene?

TK: Musicianship. We’ve always tried to maintain a certain degree of musical Intergrity. We know that cd’s cost over $15 now, so we want to make sure our fans get their money’s worth.

MR: What do you think of the underground metal scene?

TK: I miss the good old days when everything was done by mail. Like I said, I’m not a big fan of the internet. I still prefer doing mail and sending out ads. It is more personal and ‘underground’ in my opinion. As for the scene, I see alot of backstabbing going on. Everyone trying to claw their way to the top of a shrinking scene. I miss the good old days, like I said. Everyone stuck together and playing death metal was like being part of a special and elite club. It doesn’t feel like that anymore to me.

MR: What are your goals and aspirations for the band?

TK: We’ve pretty much accomplished everything we set out to do and more.  We put out 3 studio albums and proved that we could withstand the test of time. We’ve toured all over the world, and met tons of great people and friends  along the way. I always wanted to be on the cover of Metal Maniacs, and we finally got that. I’m totally happy with all we’ve done. And we owe it all to our fans. I know I always say that, but it’s true. Most bands take their fans for granted. We consider them part of the oppressor family, and I want them all to know that their support is well noted by us.

MR: I totally forgot to ask you guys this last time – where did you get the band name? Who came up with it?

TK: We were going to call the band Silent Oppressor, but we dropped the ‘silent’ and just kept Oppressor. I believe Adam came up with it.

MR: Do you find it hard coming up with original material, seeing how the scene seems to be flooded with a lot of bands just ripping each other off and just regurgitating the same material?

TK: No. Writing always come naturally to us, especially to our guitarist Jim. He has a style all his own. He is a madman on guitar. The riffs he comes up with make my head spin at times. Between him and Adam, our weird playing style was created.

MR: Which show was your favorite show? Now you get to pick through your last bunch… and come up with one. Also, any new funny or horror tour stories to relate?

TK: If I had to pick a show on our last us tour, I would have to say Phoenix, AZ. That whole night had a great vibe. We had some friends of ours open up called Excessive Bleeding. They are a great new band. Technical and talented. The crowd was killer. That show and St. Louis, MO were my two favorites on the last US tour. As for funny/horror stories, touring is like being on one big circus attraction, so everyday is a bit of both.

MR: Describe two of your favorite songs and their composition; key elements fans should listen for, etc…

TK: Eclipse Into Eternity (Solstice of Oppression)- I’m really happy with the way the lyrics turned out and the music is some of my favorite riffs we’ve ever come up with. I really like the way we incorporated the sweeps in the song. Corrosion (Elements of Corrosion)- the opening riff is probably one of the sickest we have ever written. Once again, one of my favorites lyrically. It has a lot of power to it.

MR: How well, do you find, the band has matured and evolved since the beginning?

TK: We’ve come along way since the early days. We’ve become more mature as musicians as well as people. We’ve been through a lot together and all became very close friends.

MR: Do you feel that the bands have a relatively large fanbase, so that there is pressure on you to impress and keep it interesting?

TK: We have come a long way and picked up a lot of fans along the way. I guess there is some degree of pressure on us, but we just do what we feel comfortable with. It has worked fine so far.

MR: What do you enjoy most about the band – playing live, studio recording, or other activities?

TK: Touring and playing live are my favorite things. I hate being in the studio. It is always stressful and a pain in the ass to get everything perfect.

MR: What kind of musical direction can we expect from you guys in the future, now that extreme metal is trying to make a comeback?

TK: We will always stay fast, brutal and technical. It will always be in the Oppressor style.

MR: Any closing words of wisdom? Thanks so much for doing the update! I really appreciate it!

TK: Thank you for all the support. Pick up the new record – you won’t be disappointed. Long live metal!!

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