VM-UNDERGROUND

Extreme Metal Fanzine est. 2012

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Interview

Terror [USA]

Formed in 1986 in Cleveland – Ohio and having released about a dozen demo’s in the 80’s and 90’s, the story of Terror abrupt stopped. Without any full-length release they said goodbye to the scene and could write shows with Coroner, Kreator, Incantation, Massacre and many others into their book. But metal still was running through their veins so there was nothing that could stop the reunion of this American thrash band…so now, about 20 years (!) later a new 7” vinyl has been released titled ‘Legion of Gore’. VM Underground had the honor to talk with vocalist/guitarist Brian Sekula…and we found out his addiction: Belgian Duvel beer! (Fredde)

Greetings from Belgium! Hello guys, what’s up? Welcome back after such long absence!
Greetings to Belgium! Nothing but fond memories from Belgium, I was the sound engineer on the Incantation-Sinister Deadhead tour back in the 90s. I believe it was 1994 we played a place called Pavlov’s Dog across the street from a sheep farm, a great underground show where I was introduced to Duvel beer by a older man with a Cannibal Corpse shirt and he bought us a few to welcome us to his town! I overindulged and woke up on the bus hours later with a large cut on my eye, and we were on our way to France…I was told by the guys it was a wild night .

I’ve got to ask…what’s the reason you’ve been away for so long, and off course why did you reunite?
We formed early in the 80s and released our first rehearsal/ demo in 1986. Around the time metal was starting to break down barriers. We were managed by Steve O’Bannon of Seraphic Decay records, he was in charge of all our local and international correspondence, which at the time he was releasing some of the great underground bands — Incantation / Mortician /goraphobia and many others. We were slated to release a record with him but he was trying to shop our demo to labels for a full length and didn’t want to put it out himself . So we continued to play many shows with many bands such as Kreator/Sacrifice/Candlemass Corner/Death/ Massacre/Grave / Nasty Savage /DRI/ The Accused/ and many others but around that time, like many other bands, we started to experience line up changes – some for the better, some not so, rather then beat the band into the ground. I put it to rest and joined other bands and remained active in the music scene . But over the years I have always been asked if we would put another release out or play a show, so the idea has always been around but the reason for the recording was a tribute to the death of my brother, our original guitar player John Sekula, who also went on after leaving TERROR to form MUSHROOMHEAD, a Nu-Metal band that has reached some commercial success releasing close to 10 albums on a major label and now currently reside on Mega force Records. That’s the connection between the 2 bands and why the singer from Mushroomhead Jason (J-Man) Popson helps with the vocals on our 7′. He has been a fan of the band long before he was singing in any project. We have remained friends over the years.

A new single has been released titled ‘Legion of Gore’ and off course we all know that the two tracks on this disc are taken back from the old days…what’s the difference between the older versions and this one? And off course, why have you chosen those tracks out of all the others you’ve created in the past?
The difference between the tracks, beside the 20 plus years in recording them, is the songs always resonated well with the fans that supported us and one of our big supporters and close friend Jim Konya, from many bands best known from Nun-Slaughter /Schnauzer /Minch, would always request those as potentials for re-release. The 7″ was completed while Jim was still with us and I was looking forward to presenting him with mutable copy’s for his collection. But sadly he passed before its release so this is also a tribute to him as well, even though we could not make the cut off for the dedication on the release, but he was able to give us his blessing and approval after listening to it in the studio. Some of the tracks were finished in their guitar players studio where he was able to hear it / and the other difference is the players… the great Jim Roe is a monster on drums and it is always a pleasure to work write and record anything in his personal studio Neanderthal studios in New Jersey. My Son, now 24 and a great player, has filled his Uncle Johns shoes on lead guitar and plays the old songs like a pro! You can substitute old classic songs with young blood in the mix, it’s made for a great recording.

I must say, with this new release you’ve tickled my balls, so the next question won’t be a surprise hehe…how about new material in the near future? Or was it a brief reunion?
Thank you! It’s good to hear that the old material translates well today, and yes we have some new material as well as some more choice older songs that will be released as soon as possible in a full length.

Already twelve demo’s are in your discography…and this in a period of more than eight years. Was it that difficult to create a full-length studio album or were there other factors that made it impossible back in the days? Perhaps you guys are addicted to demo’s, that’s also a possibility haha
Well there were never that many official demos release, many were rehearsals that were fan released and live shows. A full-length was always the idea, but over time we kept releasing more new material as demos because, back when record labels were still relevant, we were always holding out for a deal. Meanwhile self releasing limited copy’s at shows for fans and tape traders. Addicted to demos ? Well maybe collecting and trading!! But that was never our intention to end up with that many in the catalog… makes good for a lot of still unheard material ….

On the back cover of ‘Legion of Gore’ I’ve noticed you were support bands with different kind of great bands (at least in my opinion) called Kreator, Incantation, Massacre, Grave and the Swiss band Coroner. Any great stories to tell about those shows, anecdotes about members of these bands, and do you still have close contact with one of those band members?
Yes we were fortunate to play with many great bands and as far as the Incantation connection… that’s a hole story in itself. I have been friends and have worked with them since there beginning with the seraphic decay connection and also being a sound engineer as well as a musician. I’ve helped record their albums in the early days, their 2nd album and third ep that were released on Repluse Records, as well as helping with live sound production over the years, so that’s how I’ve been able to remain friends with Jim Roe over the years as well as all the current and past members. As far as other bands I do still have relationships with the guys from Death/Massacre/Obituary, because in my time away from playing, I’ve met them all again along the way on the road touring the World with mutable bands. As well as being the 2nd touring guitar player in Mortician NY. for many years, there are stories that stretch the length of this planet. I could write a book about… maybe, down the road that will be my next adventure, I’ve worked as a journalist for a few magazines… interviewing and reviewing albums, shows, and have interviewed Morbid Angel , SOD and Agnostic Front at the Ritz in New York City for their famous reunion show. That was a blast!

Okay, I’ve mentioned Coroner before, and I must admit that I somehow hear influences from this band in your sound, more precisely the vocals have got some kind of comparison with them sometimes…do you approve the thoughts I’ve got about that or am I mistaken? Perhaps I’m the only one that makes that link and I’ve got to flush out my ears?
Not as much an influence, I’m a fan of the band and Ron’s vocals. That was a style in itself in those days… the fans liked to connect with the bands not only through music, but with the vocals and the pronunciation of the lyrics. Something that was lost over the years with extreme death metal. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of all vocal styles, but I’ve noticed that fans connecting with lyrics seems to help the bands form a bond with there fans, so we try to keep things audible. And flushing your ears is always a good thing haha, it’s like cleaning your pallet for new metal..

Do you follow the scene nowadays? What’s your vision about metal music these days? Any bands you think our readers definitely should check out…or bands you want to see burn in hell?
Yes I’ve been active and following the scene for many years, and it’s hard to say here in Cleveland Ohio the scene has falling to pieces as far as supporting local music. We are a tight nit group of people and those are the faces you see all the time at shows, although we have many killer bands… to many to mention. But for the sake of shameless plugs, I also play guitar and sing in a band called Funeral Pyre – not the California band – we were around long before they released there LP same as the other TERROR, but over time people acquire the names. We have releases available and a Facebook/Band camp page if people want to check out our stuff. Jim Roe is a mastermind behind a new project called “The Primitive”… check his Facebook/Soundcloud out where he not only writes and plays every instrument but the music is fucking bombastic. And I also like Disma from New Jersey! As far as bands that shall burn many of those I will not mention but I’m sure we all have a few ..

I haven’t talked about the current line-up yet…any changes in comparison with the old days? If yes, enlighten us with extra information about these dudes…Like for example what they like to do in their free times, other activities, past bands…you know, their history…or in the other case, please feel free to introduce the different band members.
Well I have already covered the deal with the current line up… the band is as follows: myself Brian Sekula on guitar and vocals, Jim Roe on drums, Alex Sekula on lead guitar and Craig Martini on bass. We all come from other bands around the country. Craig our bass player, originally from Cleveland Ohio, moved to Las Vegas to play with Paul Gilbert, and ended up on a few of his records and toured the world with him plus many others. Joe Satriani (and Colin Hey) from men at work – the dude is just a monster on bass guitar and get the big gigs because of his talent, that’s why for years we were out of touch, but now moved back to Cleveland so we hope to collaborate on new material together ..And Jim still lives in New Jersey, so we collaborate through internet and phone, we both have studios so it makes the distance smaller when you can share ideas and wave files through the computer. And Alex has been a fan of our music since he started to appreciate metal and has always asked to be a part of any reunion or release to honor his late uncle. And he has pure raw talent so it’s a no brainer.

If I hear the name Ohio – Cleveland, I must think about that very great museum called ‘The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’. I’m from Belgium, so visiting it won’t be for immediately (never say never)…but I’m sure you’ve been there many times. Worth checking out or just waste of time in your opinion? What would be the main reason to check this museum out?
Mostly a waste! It does have changing exhibits and once in a while something will come through that is worth checking out. nut the board that runs it is a fucking joke pff too many bands overlooked time and time again and the ones that get in, they never give them there true props in any of the exhibits. And the ceremonies are always in New York City, very few in Cleveland, so not many opportunities to see your heroes up close and most of the corporate sponsors give all the tickets away and leave the scraps for the public to buy at a ridiculous price .

The lyrics you’ve used are mostly in the line of death and religion. You also think the world would be a better place if there wasn’t any God involved at all? Or do you give shit about religion and take life as it comes? Cause honestly I don’t believe virgins are waiting after I would kill myself, or sickness and poverty will disappear when rubbing my hands in ‘holy’ water and beg on bended knee for a man who died at a cross. Are you still going to search the same theme’s for future songs or will you take another course?
Religion has never been a strong suit for this band although everyone has different beliefs. It’s mostly a financial scam to me… live your life how you want to, many people dying these days would have told you the same! I don’t think it would have made a bit of difference what religion you followed to how or where we end up. I think when we die, our dead vessels are disposed of, and we live on in memories just like great music. Can it end up in lyrical content ? who knows

Any places on the world you definitely would visit to promote your band or make people aware that the band Terror is back on track? Have you planned shows in the near future yet?
Yes, any opportunity that presents itself that is capable for us to do, we surly will. As far as shows we have one on the plate, but we will wait till it is announced by the label. I’ve traveled around the world and would surely like to do it again, but its has to make sense financially. Opportunity’s these days are just tailored toward promotion and that usually means losing money, that’s why most bands don’t play much .

Thrash metal is the style you’ve chosen to create music for…are there other genres that are an influence for the bands style? Any old school albums that opened you eyes to become a metal artist?
I was always a fan of the Florida metal bands such as Mantas/Death/ Nasty Savage and the Bay area bands such as Slayer and Dark Angel, but hearing and seeing Venom and Merciful Fate play with Exciter back in the day pretty much floored me! I was hooked and wanted to play the same music and style. As the years went by, the music just got heavier, faster and more aggressive, and we were always looking for changes in our music as well. Still I love all music…I’m still a fan of the classics but understand where a lot of new bands are coming from. I see the influences in their writing because I lived through the era that they are trying to capture, but the pure raw intensity is lacking in most of the stuff I hear. There are many great new bands that capture the sound and make it into something original out there… just not many in my opinion…

Are you fan of the revival of tapes? Or do you prefer vinyl? This single only has been released as a 7” vinyl, what’s the reason for that? Or is it also available in cd-format? And I’d like to know if there’s a limited press of that 7”?
Both the other band I play in Funeral Pyre just released a split cassette with a band called Sloth. I still have hundreds of cassettes, that’s why we’re all tape traders at heart! Just now doing it on different formats I’m still a fan of physical copy’s tangible things I like to see hold, and read records tapes whatever downloads? I get it, you have to make your music available for all to hear, but also support what you like. Buy something if you can, that’s what keeps the scene alive . Go to shows, buy merch, support the bands that are still willing to travel hundreds of miles to play for us, it’s the right thing to do if you call yourself a supporter of the underground ! As far as a cd version, it’s coming… I also get that not everyone has vinyl players so that’s also why there’s digital formats in the mean while. The release is limited to 500 Marbled vinyl with limited Artwork only through Hells Head bangers Records. If you follow our Facebook TERROR (cle) you will have all the latest updates as far as releases or shows and Merchandise.

Sometimes I do a ‘fast round’. I give you a word or sentence, and you answer with what comes to mind immediately…
Lemmy Kilmister: dead legend
Reign in Blood: under a half hour of pure metal
Iphones during shows: whatever, capture what y ou want but fucking stay connected to the show, why the fuck did you go? I’m a fan of audio bootleg – old school!
David Bowie: dead legend
2016: we’ll see, good health, good metal
Underground metal: lives on
Favorite band: to many to narrow
Favorite food: Mexican
Favorite one night stand: let to our new guitar player – just kidding, his mom rocked
Summer festivals: to corporate, keep it under 10 bands, quality over quantity!

Any chance you visit Belgium very soon? And can you put me on the guest list, then to drink some beer together hehe
We sure hope and yes sir, some Duvel will be in order in the future!

Well, I’m all out of question right now…anything you want to tell our readers, some last words?
Thanks for the opportunity to speak and promote the release! We plan on releasing a cd version soon, possible split cd. For any information regarding the band like mentioned, we have a Facebook Page its TERROR (cle) at facebook.com. We also have a bandcamp through hellsheadbangers for anyone to hear and order the record. There are 2 sided t-shirts to support the release as well. Stay heavy, stay metal!!!….
Thanks for the interview, and keep the metal spirit alive!