Could you tell me a little about the formation of Clean Flesh? What and who were the band's collective influences during that time?
I think it was in 95... I met Rick tryin' out for another band and wasn't into it and kinda told Rick about death metal... you know... let him hear some shit... and we started lookin' for members... got Dave and Steve close to the same time... couldn't find a drummer so we used the drum machine... influences? fuck... I was really into Broken Hope, Suffocation, as the rest go... they listened to pretty much the same shit I was into. We loved Deeds..., Disgorge, Fleshgrind... ect...
You've always been known for your unique and ultra-sick vocal style. Who were some of your influences and who were some of your favorite bands/musicians growing up?
I'd say Joe from Broken Hope and Matti from Disgorge... I was into all kinds of shit, from Alice in Chains to Death... hardcore bands like Snapcase, Mourning Again....and I love Deftones, Man! I still am into all kinds of shit. I fuckin' hate country music though, you know what I'm sayin'?
What brought about the name change to Erotic Incisions and why did that band eventually break up?
Clean Flesh was still together and I wrote a song called Erotic Incisions and that title just stuck with me. There was somethin' about it. They weren't down... but personal issues were going on with Rick... and a choice I didn't wanna make but he was let go... then we picked Harold up... he knew a drummer... and then... WHAM! Erotic Incisions was born. I knew it wasn't gonna be anything like Clean Flesh so we went with that name and months after we were doing good.. Shit just got real bad. Drugs and shit got in the way, personal conflicts were erupting, line up changes all the time. I just lost interest. Shit got too thick. I told everybody that I was done.
Are there any plans to re-release the rehearsal demo?
Maaaan... that shit's in the past, like I just wanna stay away from all that. Its cool people like it, you know. I just wanna move on. Put my energy into my future.
How did the idea to form Heinous Killings come about and how in the fuck did you come up with the notorious "predator" vocals?
Well, when I almost died from my 1st lung surgery and then 6 months later my other lung collapsed also and I had to have surgery... like... I can't even explain to you what it was like to have a doctor tell you that you have 2 hours to live and a minister gives you your last rites while you're still alive. While pulling through all that shit some really bad shit was going on in my marriage. I was working on my 2nd hardcore project and I just had all this hate... couldn't explain it and its still with me now. From all that... my past and shit that's in my life now... I mean it has always been there and just decided to go back to death metal and get the predator vocals out and i thought Heinous Killings was a good name. It was in the Erotic days I came up with that vocal style. I was just fuckin' around on vocals one day at my house, just tryin' to come up with somethin' different and I had this concept in my head on how to try and inhale a different way and fuck, I couldn't believe what came out. I worked on it for a week or so and went to practice and told 'em "man, I didn't tell you guys, but I got this really fucked up vocal style and it might be a little too much "and I let them hear it and (lol) like after I get done I look up and all of their jaws were dropped! I thought they didn't like it at first. Well, let's just say I was wrong!
At some point you were involved in both Necrotic Disgorgement and Regurgitation. Could you tell me a little about your experiences with both bands?
i wasnt really involved with them. I mean I tried out for both bands but it just wasn't my thing. Don't get me wrong. They're both great bands and I used to be really close to them guys... still am with one of'em... it was a cool experience. Played a show in Regurgitation and it was fun. We opened up for Deicide, Man. When we played though that pit was nuts. I remember some guy, shit... let's just say his eye looked like there was a golf ball in it... he comes up to me and says "I did that because of you". It was crazy...lol!
How would you rate the metal scene down in Colombus as opposed to Cleveland?
Simple... I don't know how they are. I'm just comin' back, feelin' my way through all over again.
A lot has changed in the metal scene since the days of Clean Flesh. How do you feel about the role that social media sites such as Facebook have played throughout the last few years?
I guess a big role. Shit spreads really fast now.
I know you're a pretty musically diverse dude... who are some of the "non-metal" musicians that you've been digging lately?
Hardcore bands such as BURY YOUR DEAD, EMMURE, MISERY SIGNALS, MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD and my favorite band FOR THE FALLEN DREAMS and bands like that. I also been listening to ALICE IN CHAINS and DEFTONES.
Alright, so after a lengthy hiatus, you're about to make your return with 'Sick Hymns'. I'm sure a few people out there are wondering why not just continue with Heinous Killings or even resurrect Clean Flesh. What are your thoughts on this and what is in store for the future?
Yeah..i was goin' through really bad times. My life was in chaos, being homeless and shit. It was a really fucked up personal situation and I just wanted to wipe the slate clean, like a new beginning. I want to put all my hate that has been and still is in me, put my life experiences into the lyrics and into my music... you know... be about what people can relate to musically and lyrically. I fuckin' love 'beatdown' and stomp riffs, to me those represent my hate and my life and the grind parts to me represent the chaos that has been and still is in my life...you know what i'm sayin'? I want to take SICK HYMNS all the way!
Any plans to tour for the new band?
Hell yeah! I wanna get a full line up and go do my thing. I miss the stage.
Name three albums that you would take with you into the afterlife:
Oh fuck... I cant answer that.! Too many that I love the same...lol!
Alright Joe, many thanks for the opportunity! Any last words?
Yeah... thanks for the chance to do this interview! And to all the SICK HYMNS fans and to all the people that never forgot me... thanks with all that I have...
Check out Sick Hymns here
Check out Sick Hymns here