You guys have been doing this a long time, 1985 to be exact and have yet to have a lineup change, which is extremely rare in the rock world. How have you managed this and what keeps Macabre going?
Well we have been together for like 30 years since high school with a front man, a high screamer. In 1985 we kicked him out and I started singing. But I always did vocals since I was a young boy. And now I love Karaoke and I can do about 100 different songs’ everything from Beatles to Johnny Cash I love to sing different styles of vocals. So back to the story, we’ve had plenty of bad fights were we have all said that’s it and I quit but we come to our senses the next day and say sorry and Macabre goes on. It also helps having three guys’ in the band instead of five or six. But don’t get me wrong it’s been a bit of a struggle.
Based on Wikipedia, you have met with some of the subjects you write about, including infamous people like John Wayne Gacy. If this is the case, who else have you met with/interviewed and what experiences have you gathered from these meetings?
The only one I met is John W.GACY although I went to Dahmer’s trial with my mom and she met Gacy too. She doesn’t like what I write she had a chance to meet the most infamous living killer from our area and she thought it would be interesting. I was getting Gacy paintings through the mail. Then I asked to meet him and he said yes, after that I got one phone call a week from J.W.GACY and he considered me as his friend. It was quite a learning experience for me but I’m not looking to meet anymore killers but you never know.
Although you have managed to create your own sub-genre (murder metal), you stick to the sounds of grind core, hardcore, and death metal. Who are Macabre’s influences and your own personal influences?
Yes I do use those styles but I try to write using many different styles. I would get bored doing the same music and vocal styles all the time I love variety with Macabre you will see even more variety in the future. The other guy’s like old school metal mostly. I write all the music and lyrics and my influences are all the music I have heard through my life. Starting with children’s music as a young boy that’s where happy melodies come from. Then came top 40 radio, as a kid plus The Beatles my Mom would buy records and I absorbed it like a sponge! The Monkeys TV show started my musical ventures into guitar and I never looked back but I loved to sing way before that along with records and radio to me these things were pure bliss. Then came Black Sabbath one of my favorites. More modern band’s Sleepy Time Gorilla Museum is amazing, Estratisphere is great and I like some extreme bands but there not such an influence for me. I love classical music and to conclude Bach and Beatles are my favorite in that order, but I was influenced by Punk Rock and Hard core at some point.
Grim Scary Tales, just released, explores the history of murder from early until the current times. Do you consider this album a concept and what was the writing process like for it?
Yes the concept is the history of murder in chronological order. There will be a part 2 to this album starting sometime before WW1 advancing to our time’s. It was too many song’s for one record. The writing process was me at a Mexican restaurant near my house I call it my office! With my books notepad and pen in hand plus Margarita’s and tequila for inspiration. It’s mostly lyric’s first but sometimes music first and sometimes both at once. I get musical ideas in my head and figure it out later on guitar. I also carry a small recorder now and hum music into it or I might forget it after some Margarita’s and shots of Tequila. I have no set way of writing and now just recently I have internet after all these year’s which will be very helpful for the next album but I still use books, pen and paper.
Does this album include the same tongue in cheek, historically accurate lyrics as previous albums?
Yes but it’s more telling the story third person than first person as I have done in the past. Like reading a book or newspaper where you get the facts. Minstrals traveled hundreds of years ago and for a place to stay for a night and some food they would sing about killers and do poetry about killers. That’s how the grim news was spread by word of mouth before books and mass media. I’m just bringing back that old lost art form in modern times and I called it Macabre.
How has Macabre changed since Murder Metal, your last full length? Why now, after 7 years have you come out of the woodwork to release a new full length?
Well after Murder Metal I took a break from reading and writing about the most gruesome people who ever lived; mostly for my own sanity but also to be fresh with my writing and perspective on this issue. We never stopped doing show’s and never broke up as a band or did other music (but I might try some side project’s in the future) but I’m too busy for right now.
Was the response to 2010’s EP well received?
It was a demo to find a place to do the album 1000 records that Kirby of Obscene Extreme fest in Czech Republic wanted to put out it sold right away plus shirt’s that were sold through Europe that’s why we have these song’s on the new album but better version’s. We used Jeff Montgomery from Fort Wayne, Indiana, we work well together and I suggest other bands should check him out. I’m very happy with our new C.D. done in twelve day’s but we work as fast as we can and we will use him in the future!
Even though it’s a month in, how has the response been for Grim Scary Tales?
It’s been very good after a long break from recording a new album but after the Napalm death tour we did recently people seemed to like it, even people who never heard us before. So I’m happy that more people like it than hate it, and there are some that hate it. If nobody liked it I’d hang up my hat and try something different.
Macabre have always had cult status, but have never taken to the masses of metal fans. Do you attribute that mostly to your lyrical content, or your style of music?
I don’t know maybe it’s both were kind of all over the place with the music and the vocals, then we have the lyrical content it seems like people love it or hate it and that’s fine with me. But fortunately for us more people like it than dislike it. But the future writing of Macabre will evolve with the thoughts inside my crazy mind and I hope people like it!
You will be touring Europe in April/May, what do you have planned for the fans, musically and presentation wise?
Well this year we will have the farmer’s garb plus some different killers making there appearances live. We will play a lot of the GRIM SCARY TALES live and I will try to be more animated with my story telling between song’s and while I’m playing getting more crazy when I play. I feed off the crowd if they like it I get much crazier and that’s just the way it is. In the future after G.S.T’s part 2 we want to and video footage and interviews of killers.
Will you be heading to the US at all to support Grim Scary Tales? Yes in July, US and Canada show’s with Exumed and Cephalic Carnage check out murdemetal.comfor more info.
Are there any plans for another Macabre Minstrels album?
I want to do an album about Albert Fish called FISH TALES mixing acoustic and electric together; a lot of children sounding music about Fish eating kids. But I might do some other Minstral stuff; it’s pretty easy for me to record that style of music.
Anything else you would like to add?
Thanks’ to our fans and thank you for the interview.