Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Scourge of Sanity: An interview with Jeremy Kibort of Desolate

Can you tell me a little bit about the history of the band, musical influences, etc?

Desolate started in late 91 with Eric Roy , Chris Dutton , Ron Miles , and I'm not sure who else . Our influences were the big d.m. bands of the day ... Death , Pestilence , Obituary , Napalm Death, etc...

The history of death metal in the New England area seems to have been largely forgotten if not wholly unnoticed save for very few bands such as Vital Remains. Could you describe what the scene was like up that way during the existence of Desolate? What were the shows like? Other bands?

In our area there were only a handful of bands .. Delusion , Infestation and Lachrymator that we would play with . Shows were usually cool for just that reason .. there wasnt much else going on ..

I've always considered Desolate's sound to be extremely similar to the band's Scandinavian counterparts. Was this a conscious decision and who was responsible for Desolate's monstrous guitar sound?

I've gotta be honest, when I first heard Entombed I was instantly addicted .. after their tour with Morbid Angel and Unleashed, I discovered that Uffe's guitar sound was a Boss Heavy Metal pedal turned all the way up , a pedal I already owned, so naturally I experimented a little to make it somewhat different . But yeah the whole tuning down to b and the writing style was because of my interest in the Swedish bands.

I have to commend you for having the most horrific and ear piercing shriek this side of Tom Araya. Was there any particular influence on your vocal style and if so who were the culprits?

Brett Hoffman / Malevolent Creation . The way he screamed just blew me away and it was a nice break from the droning of death metal vocals . I just tried to make something that wasnt what everyone already heard , some say it sucked haha , but thanx 4 the compliment

What brought about the band's signing to the infamous 'Wild Rags' and how did the experience affect the band in the long run? Were you pleased with Richard C's handling of the affairs pertaining to Desolate?

Yes the Wild Rags thing . That was more of a licensing agreement . He (Richard) basically just dupes 1000 tapes and gives us 100 as a 10 percent royalty . It was cool that it was getting distributed everywhere , and Richard was clear in explaining that that was really the point of a band still in the"'demo days".

How far out of the immediate area did the band get to play? Any memorable gigs? Who were some of the bands you guys got to share the stage with?

We tried to play all the big tours that would come through our area . The furthest out we played was up in Oldtown, Maine at this little club with only a woodstove for heat . Thought it was going to be lame , but then hundreds of local kids showed up and destroyed the place . I think most memorable was one of our last shows at Coney Island High in Manhattan. We played with Mortician , Crucifier , and some others I cant quite recall , but it was my favorite show. My first time in NYC we played with Grave and Incantation , that was an awesome show and a good chance to meet and hang out with bands that I was a big fan of .Vital Remains , Autopsy , Suffocation , Broken Hope , Only Living Witness and Malevolent Creation  are also some of the bands we shared a stage with .

I understand that Desolate has had connections to Rancid Christ, Scattered Remnants and the mighty Warhorse. Could you tell me a little bit about this?

Yeah , Rancid Christ was a band from Providence that were totally heavy . Our drummer Eric met Todd , one of their guitar players and after they broke up we got Todd as our second guitar player . Scattered Remnants was a band made up of some friends of ours and we rehearsed in the same building as each other . Eric played drums for them at first , and they went on to have many other members and they did pretty well playing huge festivals and such. When Desolate broke up, Jerry and Todd kind of wanted to do something fresh , away from death metal so they started Warhorse in a Sabbathy / doom vein . They did real well and toured America and England as well. 

What's been in the tape deck as of late in the Kibort house and what's your thoughts, if any, on the current old school death metal "revival"?

For me its a lot of Meshuggah . I just love their style and complicated song structure . Also Acacia Strain , Deftones , local band Acaro , and Only Living Witness - Prone Mortal Form album . I think its awesome that death metal is still going strong , and new generations of kids are embracing the roots of this great scene as well as modern equipment and technology with Youtube and all the free recording programs there are out there.. 

Any chance of Desolate getting back together?

Yeah, weve talked about a reunion and / or recording of some stuff , but its tough with everyone being settled down with kids and everything .. 

Alright Jeremy. thanks a bunch for your time and for bringing to light a bit of the mystery that has surrounded the ungodly Desolate! Any last words for the damned?

Yeah, thanks Josh for being a metal Brother and giving me some time to rehash the good ol' days . Thanks to anyone who has ever taken an interest in Desolate and also I wanted to draw attention to a great death metal band, Acaro . They are from Worcester, Mass. and completely destroy ... thanks.

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