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Metal/Prog Metal Interviews

Engorged

Interviewed by Mike Korn
Interview With Engorged's Ryan Engorged from 2002
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2002 Year Book Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.


Engorged is a new name on the death metal scene. How long have you guys been around and how did you get together?
The band came together in 1996. We've had a couple of line-up changes, but right now we are pretty stable. We're just five guys who share an interest in horror movies, comics, heavy metal and all the cool stuff!
MSJ: I understand some of you play in other bands.
Actually, we all do, we've all got some other projects going on, but there's no doubt that Engorged is the main band and the main focus for all of us.
MSJ: What I found impressive about your debut is that it was an hour-long death metal CD where every song was different and distinct. These days, death bands seem to be obsessed with speed and being "technical" but have forgotten about catchy hooks. Your stuff is quite memorable.
Cool! That's what we're aiming for, man! We want to write stuff that's catchy but heavy as hell. So many bands just blast away and that can be really awesome, but you can't really remember the individual songs. Everything sounds the same. We can play as fast as anyone, but we don't need to prove it. We've got a lot of influence from 80's thrash bands like Exodus, Tankard, Anthrax, Kreator. They all put out albums that you heard once and you remembered every song. That's kind of missing from today's scene.
MSJ: You've got a lot of those clean shouted choruses like Anthrax had. Now death metal "purists" might say that if the vocals aren't always guttural, it's not death metal. Have you encountered that attitude?
Not really, but I'm sure there are people that will feel that way. It doesn't affect us one way or the other. We're trying to mix things up again, to avoid that feeling of sameness.
MSJ: Everybody in the band can sing lead. How do you determine who is going to do what?
Well, we all write the material and generally whoever writes a certain part will sing lead on that part. Our lead vocalist Dave Tentacle does a lot more of the singing live, though. I think the multiple vocals keep things interesting
MSJ: You mentioned Tankard before. I loved that band, I never thought they got the recognition they deserved.
I know! Tankard is the s@#$, they were awesome! "Chemical Invasion" is one of the best German thrash albums ever, right up there with Kreator, Destruction, you name it!
MSJ: I think it's great you pay tribute to some more obscure horror flicks like "Slithis"...
Yeah! Great flick! A lot of people don't even know that movie exists!
MSJ: Another movie you do a song about is "Shockwaves", about those underwater Nazi zombies. That scared the hell out of me as a kid, it has a creepy vibe to it.
That's one of my favorite movies and also my favorite song on the album. You know, it's not that gory but it's creepy all the way through. It's got Peter Cushing and you can't go wrong there...
MSJ: Peter Cushing is God!
Damn straight!
MSJ: Have got any more horror movie songs in the works?
Oh man, almost every movie we watch we want to write a song about! Right now we're working on a song called "The Thing" which is about the John Carpenter movie, and we will be doing another one called "Horror Express" which also has Cushing.
MSJ: It's got Telly Savalas in it, too!
Yeah, he was awesome in that film. "Horror Express" is another movie that should be better known. I hope people will hear our music and seek out some of these movies.
MSJ: What do you think of the state of horror today?
I think it's pretty weak and watered down. There's no more of the real heavy-duty gore like there was in the 70's and 80's, everything is real sanitized. The make-up effects are so advanced that if they do real gory stuff, they slap an NC-17 on it and nobody will release it.
MSJ: In a way, Hollywood is a victim of its own success...
Yeah! And also, these computerized special effects don't seem as real, everything looks phonier than it did before.
MSJ: I'll take the guy in the "Slithis" suit over some CGI creature any day!
Yeah, look at "Star Wars"! The original movies had great creature effects but now it's all this computerized crap and I feel like I'm watching Playstation instead of a movie!
MSJ: What's the fascination you guys have with the Cobra organization from the old "GI Joe" cartoons?
(laughs) Hahaha, we just write about the stuff we like. We all watched that show when we were kids and we all dug Cobra!
MSJ: I remember those old cartoons. Eight million bullets were fired in every episode but nobody ever got hit.
Yeah and GI Joe always foiled Cobra through some absolute fluke of luck, but Cobra would never repeat the same plan twice. It always had to be different, and they'd fail every time!
MSJ: What live plans do you guys have?
Well, we've only played the West Coast so far, we haven't been anywhere else. Around October we'll probably do a tour with Impaled and Gorgasm and go as far as Denver. We really want to get out there, though! We wanted to play Milwaukee Metalfest but the scheduling just wouldn't allow it.
MSJ: What was the last CD you got just for yourself?
Well, my old cassettes are starting to fall apart so I bought some old s@#$ like Overkill and Suicidal Tendencies...
MSJ: And the last show you went to see?
Manowar.
MSJ: How were they?
They kicked ass. I'm really into those guys.
MSJ: People say they're cheesy but you won't find four better musicians.
Hell yeah! Their drummer is awesome and the guitar player shreds, too!
MSJ: What was your biggest Spinal Tap moment?
Oh, we've had a lot of weird stuff happen, but I remember some friends of our convinced us to play this small town out in the sticks. We usually don't do that because we don't draw in places like that but we went, and it was a hick bar with nobody there. There was a couple playing pool when we got there. Our friends showed up and watched us while they were sitting on couches. We had a bunch of hillbillies standing there slack-jawed watching us. They couldn't believe there was music like ours!
 
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