Monday, February 15, 2016

Interview with Chris Pervelis from Internal Bleeding, the slamfather!

Formed in 1991, Internal Bleeding are pioneers of the style of death metal called "slam." Their sound has paved the way for a whole generation of death metal and death-core bands who put heavy, groove laden riffs in the forefront of their music.

Many metal historians will credit different bands with the creation of the 'slam' genre in death metal. The simple truth is that Internal Bleeding coined the term in 1992 and began defining their music as "Total Fucking Slam" long before any other band even contemplated using the term—that is the plain fucking truth. Ask anyone who was involved in the Long Island Scene back then and they'll tell you — Internal Bleeding was using the word slam long before anyone else. They truly are the Godfathers of Slam.


Thank you Chris for your time, let's start.
Fans around the world would like to know what are you guys doing at the moment: playing gigs, writing new material?
btw: how was your first show from 2016 (January 22)?


Right now, we are busy preparing for our trips to Moscow and Indonesia. We're also writing some new material for the next album. We're really trying to keep moving things forward and we're very excited about this new material.

The show yesterday, considering the huge snowstorm we had, was pretty friggin' good. A great pit, lots of violence, headbanging and fun! Sadly, I have to work today, and I am exhausted.


Cool, it's about Coyote Brutal Fest (Russia) and Hammersonic (Indonesia), am I right? These will be your first appearances, if I'm not wrong. What are your expectations?

Yes, you are correct. We cannot wait. Our expectations for both shows are really high, because we have never been to Russia or Indonesia before. We know that we have really big fan bases in both countries and we cannot wait to just get to both places and tear the living shit out of them with our patented Total Fucking Slam style of deathmetal. It's going to be epic!

Yes, for sure, nothing could be better than watching founders of the slam, the fathers. hehe) Let's speak about the beginning, you and Bill Tolley formed the band, how it was, do you remember that? how did you came to this ''concept'' of death metal.

That's a great question.
To give fair credit, it was me, Bill Tolley and Anthony Miola who I consider the founders and developers of the band and the style. We all loved deathmetal at the time, but what we thought it was lacking was:


1) Catchy hooks that you could remember. 

2) Riffs that made you want to move. 


Other bands did have those two elements here and there, but no one really made it the primary focus of their music – we did.
We stripped away all the needless (in our view) grinds, soloing, blast beats and time wasting and went straight for the heart by designing songs that built up tension in the listener, then exploded with grooves that you would remember and could not sit still to.


We developed the term "slam" for our music one night at a restaurant in 1992, when we decided we were sick of using the term "mosh". We always associated "mosh" with Anthrax and we all though Anthrax wasn't even remotely heavy, so why associate it.

Bill finally said "We're fucking slam" and both me and Anthony agreed. I added the "total fucking" and a sub genre of deathmetal was born, hehehe.

1.One dollar demo ('91)   2.Invocation of Evil ('92)
                1. One dollar demo ('91)                                                                                  2. Invocation Of Evil ('92)                                      
Your first two demos ''One Dollar '91'' and ''Invocation of Evil'' from '92 came out independently.. where did you record them?
On the second one (demo), I want to mention your vocalist, Wallace Milton, I saw also several live appearances with him, his vox sounds so huge..
 

The 91 demo was recorded on a cheap four track in our rehearsal studio in Mineola, NY. I think we recorded it in the space of about 45 minutes. It's so terrible, so rough and poor, but I think it gives you a good idea of what we were doing at the time.

The 92 demo, "Invocation of Evil" was recorded at Legend Studios on Long Island, which at the time was becoming the "Morrisound of Long Island" -- everyone started going there. Wallace was great on vocals at the time, it's a shame that his performance, concentration , creativity and professionalism degraded over time.


Perpetual Degradation Demo ('94)
On your third demo ''Perpetual Degradation'' from '94, line-up was the same, except Wallace, who was replaced by Frank Rini, the man which over the time turned into a legend for IB listeners.. How did you meet him?
That demo really shows ''the essence / the pulse'' for which you have worked in those years, and is one of the best demos I have heard in my life! Thank you for that!


On "Perpetual Degradation" Bill Tolley, our drummer does the signing on that. We had fired Wallace right after he laid down his vocal tracks, because they were just absolutely awful, so Bill stepped in and really did a hell of a job.

As for Frank, we got him about two weeks after we released "Perpetual Degradation". We all knew him from the scene, because he was very involved with deathmetal. He saw that we had hung an advertisement in a record store (remember them!? hahah) seeking a vocalist, so he came down to try out.

Needless to say, he completely blew us away with his attitude and vocals. We were amazed. Frank will always be considered a member of the band because of the loyalty and love he had for IB. I am always in touch with him, and share with him everything that's going on with IB.

I think you are right, "Perpetual" defined everything completely for us. It solidified our sound, and really opened a lot of doors for us. Songs such as "Anointed in Servitude" and "Inhuman Suffering" have been crowd favorites since they were released, and we still play them.




These ideas were formed three strong albums that came fast one after another like bullets came out from the gun. (Voracious Contempt '95 / The Extinction of Benevolence '97 / Driven To Conquer '99)
But.. between 1999 - 2004, the band had a tumultuous period, some members quit, a few demos came out, compilations and one album ''Oneward To Mecca'' (2004).. and since 2004 until 2011 the band ceased to exist.. It was a difficult times?

Yes, they were truly a dark period for the band. I' rather not remember them!

Things really fell into disarray in that period, and, quite frankly I think most of it is my fault. I left the band in 2004, because I was exhausted, depressed and just plain sick of all the abuse and disrespect we had gotten over the span of our career. I needed to get away. Sadly, when I did, I think there was no one there to really "steer the ship" and keep on top of things.

The band managed two tours for Onward to Mecca, but it really wasn't the same Internal Bleeding. Too much had changed, the attitude had changed, and the band's personality had changed. Things just eventually fell apart.

When 2011 came around, it just seemed like the right time to start anew. Wipe the slate clean and get back down to being what Internal Bleeding should be.


After your comeback in 2011, 3 years later, your new album came out. 
'Imperium'' is your most complex album, your new vocalist Keith DeVito fits perfect, he sounds so oldschool with IB tone, that bass is so clear, it was placed in the same row with all instruments, it's not just for a background. Good job Sir, it's catchy, memorable and it's ''alive'', not just an wall with noise (many bands love to do so nowadays). It looks you were hungry for the music..:)

Thank you very much for those words. 

We worked really hard on writing IMPERIUM and we wanted to make an album that would re-define the whole slam genre and expand on it as far as what possibilities are available in that genre. We tried really hard to stretch ourselves musically, push our own envelopes and even do things that we were uncomfortable doing. I think all the experimentation really paid off.

Keith's vocals on the album are just perfect. They really hit the emotional intensity we were looking to hit with IMPERIUM. He has a great range and depth to his delivery.


Who was the guy who was playing with you in that gig from Even Flow Bar & Grill? New vocalist?

yeah man, he rules. His name is Joe Marchese. He also plays in a real crazy grind band called Motherbrain. That show he only has 2 weeks of practice and he killed it. We're working on him to adjust the vocal style just a little bit.


Could you tell me what guitars and equipment do you use?

Guitars: Roeller Custom Chris Pervelis Signature Model
Amp: Ampeg VH140C or Peavy 6505+.


How you starded to play guitar Sir, do you remember?

Well, I started playing around with the guitar probably in 1982 but I didn't really take it seriously. By the time I got into college, around 1986 I started putting a lot more time into really becoming a decent guitar player. I wish I had started really playing a lot earlier so I could be so much better than I am today, but it's hard to concentrate on one thing when you are young!

What recent releases you liked?


Dysentery: Fragments 
Dehumanized: (new album, got to listen to and advance the other day -- wow!) 
Tommorow's Victim: Autophagy.

Is death metal developing in the right way? and what are your opinion about these new bands with dismemberd females on it's covers and 4-5 riffs on the whole album, played by the majority.. and what's most shameful - in many cases they claim to be slam. It seems like they do not know who's the father in the house:))

hahaha. Yes, interesting question. Sadly, there is a lot of so-called slam bands out there that have become incredibly boring and lack any type of real riff writing. You see, the thing is with slam is that since you are generally playing mid-tempo, you need solid riffs and hooks to capture the listener's attention. If you don't have that, you really don't have anything.
Many of the things we did on IMPERIUM was kind of like a revolution against what was going on in Slam. We added a lot of ingredients that weren't in there before and really tried to push things forward and show people that a lot can be done within the format.

What kind of advices would you give to the new bands?

Play what you love, don't compromise and dedicated yourself fully to your band and your bandmates.


What are your hobbies beside music? I know you are a Oakland Raiders fan;) respect Sir! When I was a kid, my first hat was with Raiders:)

I have been an Oakland Raiders fan since 1976, when I watched them in the Super Bowl against the Vikings. Back then, they were such a mean and dirty team. Now they don't quite have that image, or the players, but I still really love the team.

Beside being a Raider fan, my other hobbies include: restoring, racing and maintaining my 1968 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S, Smoking cigars, sipping bourbon and hanging out with friends and family.



I saw some pictures with your blue babe Cuda, what a beauty:) From the outside it appears to be in stock, but it's not so, am I right? You have an Mopar on it? ;)

I restored the body and the interior to 100% original condition. So the way it looks is the way it came out of the factory. 
The engine is another story though. I didn't do a lot of work to it, but it has a better camshaft, some valve work, headers, manifold and better carb. She definitely moves out -- fast. It's not very good on a twisty, curvy road, but in a straight line, the cuda is a fucking terror!



You are also passioned by history, especially World War II, am I right? You had family members who fought then?

Yes, I am a big history and politics hobbyist. World War II is one of my favorite areas of study, but I also love WWI, The Vietnam War, Korea, as well as the Cold War and geopolitics from 1945- present day.

I had no family members who fought in WWII, but I did have many who fought in WWI, 3 of them died, two survived.


In your opinion, which of famous historical persons would be as an example for our contemporary society?

Well, for one, Winston Churchill. He is probably my favorite of the past. But also, I would like to see General Patton or Montgomery and see how they would handle world conflict today.

If you had to describe Internal Bleeding's music in three words, they would be...?

Sonic Mass Murder or (of course) Total Fucking Slam!

And the last question, name the TOP 10 albums that are the most revealing for you.

Black Sabbath: Volume 4 
Iron Maiden: Killers 
Slayer: Reign in Blood 
Rollins Band: Weight 
Morbid Angel: Blessed are the Sick 
Black Sabbath: Sabbath Bloody Sabbath 
Entombed: Left Hand Path 
Black Flag: Slip it In 
Grave: Into the Grave 
John McGlaughlin, Al Dimeola & Paco Delucia: Passion, Grace and Fire.



Thank you for the interview sir, waiting for the news from your side! The last message for the readers of Brutal Basarabia and all metal maniacs from around the world?

Hail to all our friends, fans and family from around the world! We truly hope we get the chance to meet and hang out with each and every one of you! Thank you for the years of unending support. Make sure to check us out on:


hello to our readers ;)

@interview done by Misarubka (february 15, 2016)

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Rini <3




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