Who was the band that you first heard that made you realize 'metal is law'?
Thinking way back I got the wrong present for Christmas when I was a tad little kid. It was AC/DC's "Let there be Rock". I was hooked. It was down or up hill from then. I just looked for anything and everything. Black Sabbath, Iron Madien, Slayer then that nasty little thing called crossover Cryptic Slaughter and so on. Napalm Death, Carcass it has never stopped. This shit is in us it is our outlet. This dark ass music does not kill us or make us kill. It keeps us alive.
At what point did you realize you wanted to start/join a band and cover the mic with phlegm?
I have no clue it was an accident. I have never been shy to say the least. I like to write words first of all. I suffer from very bad depression. I do not see the light. I like to express this. Me and Ryan Rollins ( RIP Brother )was hanging one day jamming to Discharge and said lets do this. We did.
Explain what the metal/punk scene was like in Indianapolis during the 80's.
I loved it. There where five bands. Zero Boys (Legends) Drop Dead good friends early death metal, The mighty Hardcore Transgression (everyband tried to sound like them coming up) and Bluck pure angry punk. We started up in 87 with this grinding raw crusty sound like none of the others. The scene was good, the scene was drunk and loved fast heavy music. After 89 we spent more time on the road then Indy only played there a couple times a year. My last show in Indy was with Repulsion, Radiation Sickness and Impetigo. People still talk about it 20 years later.
What were the circumstances that led to the formation of 'Radiation Sickness' and what were some of the collective influences of the band at the time?
Four kids with nothing going for them and no future that did not fit in anywhere is what led to Radiation Sickness.
Addiction, Depression, broke, pissed off. It was an outlet a way to tell our story. Of the three guys I started the band with one killed himself in 1989 the other I dont even want to talk about. We had influences from The Acussed, Fear, Slayer, Onslaught, Impluse Manslaughter. GBH, Discharge, Deviated Instinct, Venom, Motorhead, Black Flag and just a life around us.
Tell me a little about the recording and release of the band's first two demos, 'We are all the victims' and 'Elvis aint Dead'.
We are all the victims was fun as hell, but the sound was crap to say the least. A stupid four track in a garage. We did not have a drummer so Matt Price played drumms. People loved it minus the hissing sound of air. Elvis aint dead we did that on a 8 track. Mike Herald was now our drummer and still is to this day. This was more grindy you could see the english crust coming out. people took to this well, we was on the scene in Indy. We played all over the state many times for 10 people but we played man we fucking played. We sold a shit load off them.
In those early days, what were the long term goals of the band? Where and how far did you expect to take things?
We never had goals. We wanted to get drunk play music, meet cools people and hot goth girls. We wanted to put a record out play bigger shows but no goals.
Tell me a little about the 'Bound of Reality' EP and your experience with 'Putrefaction records.
I got a letter from Andre one day asking me about a seven inch. I said hell yes. He was a very nice guy easy to deal with. We went into a real studio and recorded. Took our time sent him the master. He sent us a bunch of 7 inches and people our way for promotions. I would like to find him agian.
How did the performance at the infamous 'Day of death' fest in Buffalo come about?
We had been playing with our pals from Flint Repulsion a lot and doing the east coast thing with Phlegm (Jim Fleet get in touch with me). Busting our ass on the road all the time having fun. I was trading tapes with all the guys from all the bands out there. The guy from Baphomt called said he is doing a fest you wanna do it. I said uuuhhhhhhhh yes. It was one of the best days of my life. Just hanging and watching all the bands I loved and friends everywhere. That is one thing about Radiation Sickness we can play a metal fest, Punk fest, Crust fest or Grind. We have or own sound. Kids today here ask about because it is that in the Cannibal Corpse video or see the flyer in books and ask me about that show.
Were there any bands that you guys played alongside that knocked your socks off?
Repulsion, Impetigo, Phlegm. Everyband at the day of Death. Rednecks in Pain, Skeletal Earth. Dead Horse, Hellnation, AC (RIP Seth).
Since we have been back. The Dockers
Johnny Vommit, The mighty Demiricous and The Daisy Cutters (sick shit). I have played with so many bands over the years and I have made friends with someone in every band.
Did you guys realize at the time the historical signifigance of that event?
No I did not. trust me I do know. I get asked questions about it all the time. Our drummer still has two of the shirts with all the bands logos on the back.
Around the same time as the 'Day of death' fest you guys recorded the 'The Other Me - A Journey Into Insanity' EP. Can you give me a little background on that time?
It is a classic but not many made it into the states. I love the record my best work on lyrics, our most crust metal stuff ever. It was released as a full length LP. I left the band to further my life with school not long after the release. I did not push it. It was fun to record I loved it, great reviews but when I left the drive was gone. The good news The other me will be re-released with our new CD on Abyss records coming out around Fall 2012. Hell Yezzzz.
Shortly after or during that same time, you guys did two split 7"s, one, a four way with 'Shud', 'Nomicon' and 'Nocturn' and the other with 'Wartburgs für Walter', 'Lost' and 'Horse Laugh'. How did these come about and were you pleased with the way things turned out?
I think these are bootlegs. None of the guys in the band know about them. If one is on Panx records we gave Panx the ok to do it. I love split sevens we have a couple in the works now. I would like to get my hands on the ones above just for my collection. If anybody wants to put out a Radiation Sickness split seven get in touch with me. We will just want like 25 coppies. If you have the of the above stuff please let me know, email@example.com.
What were the events that led to the initial demise of the band?
I had to move on with my life. I got mad about something (not any of the guys). Got burnt out, needed a plan for my life. They went on after me for a short period. I did not talk to anyone in the band for 16 years after I left. So what they did I do not know.
I understand R.S. released a demo with a different vocalist during the mid 90's. Do you have any thoughts on that period of the band?
It was Mike and Ricky doing vocals. I did not hear until we planned on doing the one time re-union gig a tad over a year ago. I have no idea what the band did when I was out. I think they just played the bar scene.
In 2005 you guys released the 'Circle of Sickness (1988-1990)' spanning just about the entire career of the band. How did the idea to do this come about and were you pleased with the end result?
Agian I had no idea about this. This was done my Byron Holton the Bass player and my best chum and Docker's singer Mike Rippy. It is DIY for sure. It was cool as fuck Byron made 50 copies at the back from the dead show and sold them all . I am looking for someone to re-release "Elvis aint dead and The Bounds of Reality on a lp. Two songs will have to be cut off the Elvis aint Dead. I aint naming names no more. I have something to be sued for!! Haha
What led to the resurrection of the band in 2010 and what does the future hold for Radiation Sickness?
A one time show "Back from the dead show". I started hanging with my chums agian after 16 years. All of us are back but one Ricky Callaway on Guitar. We now have Tom Ball on guitar and this is much better for the band he is as driven as I am and has been a friend since day one. Mike Herald is still on drums and the Legend Byron Holton on Bass. One show got it back in my blood. We just finished recording our first studio record in 20 years (all songs but one written 91-92. It will be called
"Reflections of a Psychotic Past" The 1990 LP "The other me a journey into insanity" will also be released on it. It will be put out on Abyss Records.
http://www.officialabyssrecords.com/. We will Play Indy three times a year. We are on three Metal fests in 2012, plus doing some big one off shows. It is in my blood. I love it and if we are not on stage I am up agianst the stage watching the other bands.
Alright Doug, thanks a million for your time and timely answers, any last words of wisdom?
Stay sick and stay true to your black heart. Life is too short. I am 42 now and having the time of my life. If you want to reach me for shows or radio promo kits you can at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have also attached our FB link. https://www.facebook.com/#!/RadiationDoug Lets have A day of Death two! Thank you my life time brother.