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Category Archives: Regional Band Interviews

Melanie chats with Moe, Sept. 2000

MR: What is your present line-up?

MS: Unhallowed is
Frank Bleakly – vocals
Bob Thompson – guitar
Jenn Corrao – bass
Moe Shahenkari – drums

MR: Can you give me a brief history of the band?

MS: Unhallowed was formed by Jenn C. and Bob T. in 1996, in North Jersey. In early 1997, Moe S. was added on drums. The band remained a 3 piece for a while.  A few demos were recorded with this line up, but noting we were happy enough with to release.  In ’98, Jay Lipitz of Insatanity joined, and we were a 4 piece.  In the same year, Punch Fucking Blasphemy, our 1st cd, was recorded.  Two years later, it was finally released.  It’s been taking off since them, moving to many distros across the US, and many overseas distros, as well as worldwide radio play.  Jay left the band for good in 2000, but Frank B. was added in mid 2000, again making us a 4 piece, and bringing his strong vocal style with him. We’re now writing new material with our new lineup, ready to kick the scene’s ass with Brutal Death Metal!!

MR: What are your musical and lyrical influences?

MS: Musically, we are influenced by the many brutal bands out there today, such as: Skinless, Baphomet (RIP), Scattered Remnants (RIP), Black Sabbath, Waco Jesus, Old Grave, Disinter, Nasum, +more. Of course, Lots of WEED.

MR: Lyrical Influences?

MS: As far as Lyrical influences, we’re just influenced by again, lots of weed smoking, and just getting up everyday and dealing with life.  Life is hectic enough not to have to invent shit to be pissed off about.

MR: What music styles and genres do you listen to, outside of the style you play with the band?  Do these creep into the music at all as influences?

MS: Well, we mostly listen to Brutal Death Metal bands, but we have been caught listening to: Down, Life of Agony (R.R.R. only), Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Faith No More, and me personally, some shit that I wouldn’t mention to anyone, anywhere because Frank, Bob and Jenn already made fun of me for it enough.

MS: As far as that shit creeping into our band, it doesn’t happen.  That shit I mentioned has it’s own style, and talent, but Death Metal is a lot different.  It wouldn’t work in Brutal Death Metal.

MR: Describe two of your favorite songs and their composition from your material …

MS: Our two favorite songs as a band, would have to be Encrusted or Present The Excrement, off of our cd Punch Fucking Blasphemy.  These two songs have all the elements in them that we feel makes a brutal death metal song.  Groove parts, Blast beats, Breaks, Tempo changes. They’re very active songs. Get people moving. All that sick shit makes a Death Metal song great. And all that shit is in these songs.

MR: What do you think of the underground metal scene? How do you think it’s changed during your involvement?

MS: The scene around here could be a little less “DEAD”. That would be great.  It’s not that there isn’t a lot of cool people, it’s just that I don’t see big turnouts all the time because the crowd is always different. There are a few regulars you always see. We need more regular to come out to the big headliner shows, and the local band shows too. Half the fun of a show is talking with your buds, over a few cold Buds, while smoking some buds. Know what I mean?

MS: As far as the scene changing, it’s become a lot more work for us now that we went from fans to band. No more showing up at door opening, hang out, and leave. It’s equipment load in 1-2 hours before shows, keep track of your shit, put on a Brutal show, take it all down, put it back at the practice place, and do it all again next show.  But it’s GREAT to do it all, and get that reaction from the fans!! And that’s what it’s all for.  I ain’t in it for the money, of I’d fuckin’ starve.  It’s all about Recognition of your Accomplishments, Reaction from the Crowd, And RESPECT.  Getting and giving it.  The 3 R’s.

MR: What’s the scene like in your hometown nowadays?

MS: Again, it could be better.  I think a problem is that there are a Million and a half bands, and not too many people who are just fans. So they’re busy with their band, and shows don’t go as well sometimes.  We also need more clubs to play Death Metal at. We have the Mighty CASTLE HEIGHTS in Queens, but some people in North Jersey don’t go into the city at all.  We have Hartleys in Kearney, NJ, but a lot of people wait for the bands who play there to come to NY, instead of coming in.  A club called Connections, that was great for local shows, stopped doing Death Metal after a bad night where some drama went down in the club.  It’s just started doing shows again now, after like 8-9 months off, and the booker isn’t sure if she’s even gonna continue shows after this one.  So there are some problems in this area that need to be addressed with the local scene.

MS: I have a question for the readers: Where are all those people who fill Cannibal Corpse and Deicide shows when BETTER bands like Internal Bleeding and Skinless and Fleshgrind and Lividity are headlining a local show?  Where do you think Deicide came from, they just appeared one day, maybe from the depths of Hell (NOT)? They got their start in those clubs. So come out and support.

MR: What are your current goals and aspirations for Unhallowed?

MS: Nothing short of Total Fucking Domination!  And Total Fucking Promotion!  We need to write more new material, which we’re currently in the process of doing.  We want to tour extensivly-US and Europe. Get all the material we can to our fans, and reach out to everyone who hasn’t heard us yet.  Get an Unhallowed T-shirt on the back of every Death Metal Fan. Basically, keep going in the direction we’re going, just throw some gas on the fire, is all.

MR: When can your next release be expected?

MS: Hopefully, Early next year, we’ll be in the studio.  We never rush the creative process.  So after recording, on this schedule, we hope to have a new cd out in fans hands by mid 2001.  That would rule.

MR: What do you think of the Internet?

MS: Well, in general, It SUCKS!  A great way to waste your life away.  I’ve only had it a short time, and am beginning to hate it.  All that porno spam shit is fucking stupid. And gossip is for old ladies. But as far as business for bands, it’s invaluable.  It’s the quickest and cheapest way to get in touch with fans, bands, zines (like Necrosis) and other folks.  And everyone and their friggin mother is online now.  So everyone is touched by it.

MR: What can fans look forward to seeing live?

MS: Brutal Music Delivered Well.  High Intensity on stage.  We always try our hardest to put on a good show.  For a huge crowd kickin the shit out of each other, of a 20 person crowd, who just got out of work. Because they’re all fans who paid to get in.  So they all matter.  I hate when bands start to bitch about no pits, or no people. Just do it.  The people there don’t want to hear you whine.

MR: Any Funny or Horror Show/Studio stories?

MS: YEAH, We were Partying with the guys from Burial, after we both played at the 2000 March Metal Meltdown, and were having a great time.  So a few of us wanted to chill in our room, instead of Burial’s room, so like 4 of us left, probably to blow a joint, or something, I don’t remember exactly.  What I’ll never forget is that this guy, Nate, who was in Burial’s room, asked to go with us to our room.  Since he was cool with Burial, ha was cool with us, so we said no problem.  So as we’re sitting there, chillin and drinking, this guy Nate starts to pass out.  We tell him, if you’re gonna fall asleep, leave, but he assures us he’s ok.  Needless to say, like 5 min. later, He’s snoring on one of our beds.  His gut hanging out, sweating like a pig.  As he’s snoring, we find out that he’s not even Burial’s fuckin friend.  He’s some guy they gave a ride back from the Meltdown to the hotel. So we wake him up, and find out he doesn’t even have a room in this hotel, and just got out of the hospital a few days before with pneumonia. So Bob picked his ass up, and threw him out in the hall, and threw the blanket he sweat and drooled all over after him. We never saw him again, but heard him knocking on people’s doors later that night.

MS: That’s probably the worst.  There was this drunk kid in Champaign, Ill., that got in our bands face, and Bob punched him twice in the lip.  That’s about as interesting as that story gets, but us and Insatanity will never forget it.  It was classic.  I can still see the dipshit fall over in slow motion in my brain.

MS: A great story is how well Mike and all of Disinter treated us when we played Smiler Coogans on August 19th, 2000.  He got us paid, let us use his bands equipment, and put us up in his house. Mike rules!!! And Disinter are definitely good people.  Actually, everybody in Chicago was pretty 1st class to us.

MR: Is song or lyric writing collaborative, or do certain members do certain things?

MS: We all do our part to make the music.  Bob will write a riff, and sometimes have a drum beat he wants behind it in mind, or sometimes we’ll all talk about a beat. Or we’ll talk about how we want to start out: fast or groovy or slow, etc.  Then Vocals go behind it.  We all give our opinion on the song writing process.

MR: You guys are pretty violent Death Metal! Where do you pull all this hate from?

MS: A lot of the hate just comes from life. A lot of it comes from listening to other Brutal shit.  At shows, seeing the crowd go nuts is a big inspiration for hate.  It just makes you want to go even more nuts too. Nothing like a Sick Pit.

MR: Where and how did you get your band name? Who came up with the idea?

MS: It was just a name no one had taken yet, and we thought it was cool. We all sat down with some ideas, read them off, and talked it over.  We don’t remember exactly who had Unhallowed on their list, but we all agreed it was the best one. Changing names sucks!

MR: Do you find it hard coming up with original material?

MS: YES.  We’re very picky.  We just don’t want stupid riffs strung together poorly.  We’ve thrown out whole demos of material, because after we heard it on tape, it wasn’t our best.  We threw out a couple of songs just this year.  It takes us a long time to write 1 song.  We all need to be satisfied with every aspect of the song.  We recently amended a couple of songs in minor ways off our own cd Punch Fucking Blasphemy.  But not change for the sake of change. Honest improvements.

MR: Is anyone in Unhallowed in any other bands or projects?

MS: All the members of Unhallowed are involved with only Unhallowed. We put all our time and energy into ONE project.  More power to people who can divided their energy, but I know personally, that another band, no matter how cool, would probably just be a distraction from making Brutal Death Metal in Unhallowed.

MR: What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen lately?

MS: The Simpsons, Family Guy, and The Kids In The Hall.  All Godly comedy!! RIP The State. Regis Philbin is pretty freaky on Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Johhy Bravo is King of the Cartoon Network. SNL reruns on Comedy Central. Our singer’s Yellow Finger of Death.  He loves those Butts.

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

MS: Metallica, Korn, Backstreet Boys, and Maria Carey… yeah right.  FUCK THEM!

MS: We would tour with Dying Fetus, Skinless, Cannibal Corpse, and Ozzy.  If you missed that show, you’d have to turn in your metal badge and gun. You’d be off the force. Especially with Unhallowed rounding out the show!!

MR: What do you feel Unhallowed brings to the scene?

MS: We think we bring fresh ideas to the scene.  Originality.  Both in music and attitude. We’re all really young still, so our best days are ahead of us.  We’re all 20-23 yrs old. So we got a lot of time left in the scene. Like a lot of other young bands in the scene.  We’re all just trying to keep the scene going.  And make Brutal Fucking Music!!!

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?

MS: COMEBACK!?!?!?!  It never went anywhere!!!!! It’s always been right there, for fans to get. So just got their attention distracted by music trends, but it’s always been strong.

MS: As far as Unhallowed’s direction, we plan to keep it as heavy as possible, as brutal as possible, and as original as possible. Keep the song structure tight and heavy, and crushing shit with our music is really important too.

MR: What are you guys looking for in a label? What do you feel you could gain from a label?

MS: The 3 P’s. Promotion, Promotion, Promotion.  With the wrong label, we’ll wallow in obscurity forever. But with a good label, like Relapse or United Guttural, we could be huge. We want a label we can work for and work with. Unhallowed is always on the lookout for a label to help us, and to help. Because we’ll continue to shamelessly self-promote ourselves even after a label is promoting us too. We’re a good investment. Because we write good music, and we are very involved with promoting our band. A quick example is: who even heard of us before 2000? Within 4-5 months, we did all this with our band. We worked like dogs to get Punch Fucking Blasphemy to as many people as we could. We handed out stacks of them too.  We need our own friggin forest for the amount of flyers we sent out worldwide to promote our shows, merchandise, and Punch Fucking Blasphemy cd.

MR: Any parting words of wisdom to the masses?

MS: Don’t eat any yellow snow. no, but really, get in touch with us about anything!! Write Jenn a letter if you want! Visit Buy a T-shirt. We have black logo Ts for 12$ ppd (14$ ppd world) that have the logo on the front in green, and FUCK THIS WORLD UP ITS WORTHLESS ASS on the back in bold white lettering. We have black and green Ts with toilets down the front, and REPRESENTING THE EXCREMENT around our logo on the back.  We have logo Hooded Sweat Shirts, just like I described the logo Ts, for 22$ ppd (24$ ppd World) And of course, our cd, Punch Fucking Blasphemy, is only 10$ ppd (12$ ppd world).

MS: I’d like to send a shot out to Disinter, Malignancy, Burial, Skinless, Anoxia, Teratism, Mortician, Engorge, Jill and Razorback Records, Bones Brigade in France, All our European Fans who I can’t name individually here because it would be huge, Blood Throne, Lividity, Waco Jesus, Disfigured (rip), Mortal Decay, Insatanity, Cadaverment (NJ style), Rich of United Guttural and the rest of Fleshgrind, Drogheda, Reprobation, Disciples of Mockery, Thestral (Evan smells like Heaven to me), Mad Ferret Studios, and all my other homies, who are all gonna feel dissed now. Stay Brutal!!