TM- Hi, this is Amelia and Elizabeth, and we are here with Kam Lee from Massacre. Thank you for having this interview with us today we appreciate it.
KL- No problem.
TM- So how has everything been going for you?
KL- It is going pretty good. I am excited cause it is two more days left before the album officially comes out on Friday. I am excited cause it is getting close, it’s that countdown so now you have that giddy excitement like a kid but I’m also kind of like oh man I hope people like it, you know. You are on both spectrums being pulled both ways. That is what is going on.
TW- I am sure people will love it. What was your writing and recording process?
KL- Really easy cause it is something I have been doing for the past 15 years. It is the technology of today and file sharing, all the guys that I work with have their digital workstations. How I have done things for the past fifteen years especially with Roger Johansson we just send stuff to each other. Roger would normally send me his guitar riffs and I would get the MP3 or WAV files of those; I would check them out and listen to them and then I make notes of what I like and do not like and what I think needs to go a certain number of measurements to be a verse or a chorus. We send that back and forth, we go fast doing that since I have been working with Roger for fifteen years. We kind of know already how smooth they can go in. I have worked with Johnny Paterson the other guitar player in our band for a couple of years now. Brian Jared the drummer, has worked with me on many of my projects, The Grotesquery, and the Black as my Soul project. Everybody I work with has this technique where we file share, so we use the technology of today to write songs and get everything together and do a back and forth with each other, so it is an easier process. It is a lot easier than it used to be back in the old days where you would have to go into a garage and get all nasty, gross, and sweaty and write stuff.
TM- This album, it is influenced by fictional myths, do you have any personal favourites?
KL- As far as Lovecraft goes my personal favourite is something I have not written a song about, yet which is Re-Animator. Herbert West’s Re-Animator, there is a movie about that, it is one of my favourites, also anything that is kind of like the Randolph Carter stuff that Lovecraft used to write. As far as Lovecraft all together, I just really enjoy his work because it is different. I like the fact that with most Lovecraft stories the narrator or the person who is the main character either dies or goes insane in the end, it is never a happy ending. It is nice, it is like a warning to mankind that we are not as great as we think we are and there are things out there in the universe and the darkness and in the shadows that are greater than we are.
TM- Who designed your album cover and is there any meaning behind it?
KL- Wes Benscoter is the artist on that, he has done stuff for Slayer, Crypta and Autopsy. I came across Wes’s work when he did the artwork for a horror movie, he does stuff outside of metal, and I saw his work on the re-release on the Blu-ray of this movie called The Church and I recognized the artist. I said to myself, hey I have seen this artist before, and then I remembered he has done some stuff for autopsy’s album cover and I liked him. I had the label reach out to him on the day we were talking about who would do the album cover and I reached out to Nuclear Blast, and they were like ‘Oh we know him' and I said, ‘Oh that's great' and the next thing you know I have an email form from him four hours later. He said what are you looking for and I said I am looking for something very Lovecraft and he wrote back and said yes, and I was like oh okay. He was excited about something in the HP Lovecraft vein because he always wanted to do something but never had the time to do it, so he got the chance to finally do some Lovecraft creatures and mythology.
TM- The Shadow over Innsmouth added your spin to the story, is there any other tracks on the album where you have added your twists?
KL- Yeah, generally all of them kind of. Eldritch Prophecy is sort of like I took the overall feeling of Lovecraft and I like applying that to the Eldritch Prophecy. Ruins of R'Lyeh is kind of my salute to a little of Shadow over Innsmouth but also call of Cthulhu because it’s kind of all goes together. There’s The Whisperer in Darkness which a lot of people said that when they read the lyrics and saw the video, I did not have any of these creatures called the Mi-Go and I was like, yeah and that is just a small part of that story. What I did was I took the darker meaning of the story, and I added my own spin on it. Even though in that story, it is weird, these aliens come down and they take this guy’s brain out and put it in this jar and then he is telepathically communicating. I just took the one part where this was happening to appease one of their dark gods Shub-Niggurath. I thought that was something unique and cool, so I took that and put my spin on that, the voices, the whispers being that of this god-thing creature that is kind of manipulating everything.
TM- What was the energy like when you guys wrote Whisper in the Darkness?
KL- That was the first song, so the energy was strong, it was the first song we wrote collectively, and we just knew right when we wrote that song that we nailed it. When we got done, we were like wow this is it, if the rest of the song material sounds as good as this then we know we are doing the right thing.
TM- Time for our signature question, if you could have any band play one of your songs which band would it be, what song would it be and would it be in your style or their style?
KL- Well there have been some bands already that’s played some older Massacre songs which I think is cool, even Cradle of Filth covered one of our songs originally. That was kind of unique hearing Cradle of Filth doing it. As far as death metal bands, I would like to hear someone like one of the classic Swedish bands like Dismembered or maybe Entombed, just one of the classic Swedish bands, Unleashed would be cool to hear a new Massacre song, unique to hear them do it. I love Swedish Death Metal so any Swedish Death Metal bands or the classics if they want to step up and do a Massacre cover that would be very cool.
TM- That would be cool. You have already released the music video for Whisper in Darkness so will you be releasing any other music videos?
KL- Actually yeah, that is a conversation I had today. We have another video we are kind of going through a little controversy about cause the video is so extreme with what is going on that YouTube banned it so it is that extreme. We are trying to find the best way to do that. I think Nuclear Blast is doing a censored version and then having the uncensored version on something like Vimeo on a platform where people that want to see the gore and the grossness of the video can go and see the uncensored version but it's so extreme, I mean it’s a song about necrophilia so I don’t want to ruin anything, but you can’t just do a PG-13 necrophilia song. You got to kind of go extreme so we went extreme, and I think they were like oh man we can’t air this, and I was like ‘What! You got to be kidding me’ and they were like ‘I don’t know we got to do a censored version’ and I was like ‘Okay, however version you do it just as long as it gets out there if it's censored that’s going to be cool cause that’s going to make people want to see the uncensored version more.’
TM- It will, it defiantly will. Have you started writing a new album?
KL- Yes, we have started writing, we have some surprises coming out. I'll go ahead, when is your show airing? We have a special thing, and I will tell you guys right now which I haven’t even told the label or anything we have a special song coming out on Halloween night on our Bandcamp page and it’s a Halloween song that we wrote. We planned this almost a year ago but because of the pandemic and everything things got pushed back and back and everything fell through in the right way. We are going to release this special on our Bandcamp page on Halloween night. October 31st, yeah so by the time I am sure your show airs it will either be close to October 31st or after October 31st so people will be like oh yeah, he's talking about that song that came out. So yeah, we have a special song coming out. We also have a special EP self-release coming out probably in December or January as it depends on things, but those songs are already done and will be coming out as a three-song EP that is special and means a lot to me. We got to cover three bands that to me are essentially the original originators of death metal and we got to do three different songs from three different bands that I feel is very important and we got to do their version, our Massacre-ised version of it so I’ll tell you that one of the bands is Necrophagist so I got to do a Necrophagist song and the other is Repulsion but I’ll keep the third band a secret, let that come out.
TM- So what is your favourite memory of watching someone else perform live. Can you tell us the story?
KL- Celtic Frost blew me away when I saw them, they were so heavy and when I saw them on the Monotheist tour which is the last album they did. My buddy Anders Odden was playing with them at the time, and it was so amazing, I mean I was sitting there like a kid, my mouth was open, and I was like ‘Oh my god they're so heavy,’ I couldn’t it was so intense. That is one band that defiantly blew my mind and if I go back older than that, the other band that originally had that impact on me was the first time I saw Slayer, on the Rain and Blood tour with Justin? Celtic Frost was on that one too but of course, they were doing Cold Lake at that time, so it was not that cool but when I saw Slayer that was just amazing. The first time I saw Slayer and the second time I saw Celtic Frost probably the two times. The other band I saw that was just outside metal or extreme metal is the first time I saw Type O Negative. I saw them in a little tiny bar that only fit 50 people and it was jammed packed and they were so loud and heavy back then and that was during the first album which was impressive.
TM- That is so cool. I love small shows. What was the first band you ever saw live?
KL- The first band I ever saw live. Okay let me think about this I grew up a long time ago, I am old so back in the eighties I started as a punk kid, and I remember the very first one of the first bands I saw, and it was this band called Battalion of Saints and I remember seeing them and like a lot of old hardcore punk and GBH and stuff like that back in the day. The first metal band that I saw was I believe, I am trying to think, I cannot remember to be honest with you. I cannot remember the first metal band. The metal band that I did see that impressed me the most, again because it was a tiny club was Nasty Savage from Tampa. When I used to go to their shows and see them play was just something about Nasty Savage, there were a lot of bands from the Tampa Florida area back in the 1980s those were bands that were just impressive cause we got to see them in a small club environment. Another band that blew me away when I first saw then was DRI because it was such a violent show, the crowd was so insanely violent, but it was like a fun violent kind of thing there was someone stage diving and some moshing going on and people were bleeding and coming out with broken arms like ‘Ahh that was so cool my arm is broken!’
TM- How times have changed. The festivals in Europe still have that atmosphere, the Wall of Death, it is just like they're running at each other it's just crazy
KL- Yeah, I am too old for that I won’t do that anymore I just stay at the back. I am one of those guys who just sit in the back and has a drink and just watches the band and enjoys themselves, meanwhile letting everyone else kill themselves
TM- Right. I am just in the photo pit watching it and I’ll turn around for a minute and be like good luck to them. The last question, is there anything else you would like to say to your fans?
KL- Well I would like to say that I hope the fans stick with us because we have a lot of surprises coming, I mean this is the resurgence the name means a lot more than just being the name of the album. It is the attitude, it’s the direction. I am trying to bring back that old school sounding Death Metal that it started as back in the early eighties or the late eighties early nineties. If people like that style, I’m trying to bring it back so we have a lot of plans coming up and I think it will be exciting not only to catch us live but we also have a lot of new music coming so I hope people stick with us and I hope we don’t disappoint cause I think that they will be impressed with what we have got coming.
TM- Awesome. Thank, you so much for this interview today and we cannot wait to hear your song on Halloween.