Recently Metal Army caught up with Chris Gamble of GOREAPHOBIA who recently released their new opus Apocalyptic Necromancy. Chris spoke candidly with us about a great many topics. What follows is an excerpt of our chat.
MAA: Take us through the making of Apocalyptic Necromancy.
CG: Well, making the album was a natural process. We were running really good on a lot of high focused energy. Mortal Repulsion became a second lifeline for the band. Alex (Bouks) and I reformed the band and when we started playing GOREAOPHOBIA out again, it was 2004. When your band gets to about the twenty year mark, you start to see things. You see through the crap, all the trial and error things and stuff like that. The things that you learn along the way start to help you, you hope those things you learned, the experience you’ve got sticks with you for the better. Alex and I, in our minds we like to do our music. Our music has never changed, our music never went anywhere. For so many years we just had so many wrong people with us. Members that didn’t really belong, into their own personal gain and own personal demons really. All selfish people, people dealing with their own demons and on the business side we never had any help, it was all us. From 1988 to 1992 it was just chaos. Nothing was focused or set in stone and every thing was for the now, every man for himself. We learned a lot from those years and when we put out Mortal Repulsion, we got that out and we got back out there. When we toured the states with MASTER we got a lot of great feedback from old fans, and made new fans. A lot of old fans came out from the days when you had to write letters to bands, before email. It showed us a lot doing those tours and Mortal Repulsion really showed that when we had all this new focus and energy. It felt like 1988 again. And we added our new guitar player VJS and I just started writing songs like crazy. We started jamming, putting things together and writing a new album. Drummer Jim Roe has all the recording gear in his own studio so as we wrote, we recorded the songs. Everything with this album has been relaxed and now we have four song writers in the band. Alex has been predominantly the songwriter. Eighty-Five percent of Mortal Repulsion was songs Alex had for years on the shelf. But now all of us have been coming in with songs. Jim and VJS had a lot of ideas. So after the last album we had a much sharper and more refined focus on it this time.
MAA: Where do you draw inspiration from musically and lyrically?
CG: Lyrically for me, between these two albums I’m not really a social butterfly on the internet. I am a social butterfly face to face. I’m an in person guy. I like to be in the present. So what I did was go on a bit of a hiatus. And I went back into doing things I normally do which is going back into a retrograde, back into the occult sciences. Everything I learned the last twenty years, looking through my personal life and going through a whole new process again. Breaking myself down and building myself up again. Reevaluating my feelings, thoughts and emotions. All of those aspects and theories helped me write the lyrics, which is how you do it really. And the overview of it was really a benefit because the songs really came together really quickly, one after another. I hope people get the album and with me, everything is important. The songs, the lyrics, song titles and the artwork. Everything comes into play and compliments everything else. I am a fan too and I always liked albums by bands like VOIVOD and CELTIC FROST. There is something you can remember from all of those albums. The artwork and the lyrics, certain parts people just gravitate to. Everybody is wired different and something initially pulls someones interest. When you put that attention to everything equally you give people more to get in to. I love THE WHO’s Quadrophenia and Tommy. I love RUSH and MOTORHEAD albums the same way. The details always stick out to me and what I learned, I try to apply it and give something back to the fans.
MAA: What has new guitarist VJS brought to the band?
CG: Personally I’ve known him for a little while. I knew him before Jim and Alex did I still do BLOODSTORM, but its on the shelf right now. In 2005 we did a tour when he was out on tour with KULT UV AZAZEL. We had some mutual friends like Tom King, the drummer of BLOODSTORM and they had the same friends and and I know the same people it’s like people say “Hey! I know a guy, a pretty good guy”. The thing I like about having VJS in the band is he is an occultist too. I feed off of that because he is darker natured and occult orientated like me. VJS wrote “Rust Worms” and it’s one of my favorite tracks off the album. Actually it is a very rare occasion when I write lyrics to someone else’s music. Normally I just write lyrics and try to match it to music later. But when he wrote “Rust Worms” and I heard it, I immediately wrote the lyrics based on that song and I’ve only done that a few times in my existence making metal music. And he has good live energy. I don’t like to stand in one spot, you gotta move! Like the VENOM video for “Witching Hour”. I saw that as a kid and thought that’s great and you gotta do that! VJS came into the band and he has more of that and that’s what I like. It works.
MAA: How has death metal changed from when you started to now. Is the genre better or worse today?
CG: My opinion has never changed as far as my standard goes. I still see things they way that I saw them in 1988. But the world changes and so people changed too. Sometimes you have to change with it. That’s life. I try to adapt to and somethings I refuse to adapt to. Everything these days is about time, time, time. It’s parasitic and it takes away. Everyone is so focused on getting their album out on time and keep to a schedule, tour and do this and that all. It’s all about business and I’m not a business guy. I’ll probably be damned for saying this but I’m more likely to give away our fucking merchandise than sell it. It’s the sharing of it that is more important to me. To pass those things on. Only a few few people can make enough money from their band to live off of it. For the bands that used to sell records and think they were going to make a nice living off of that, that boat sailed off the island about fifteen years ago. And the last survivors from that boat left in 1995 when the internet started to take off. The last year I went to a Milwaukee Metalfest was 2000, when people still had cool records to sell. Now everybody is in a pissing contest. Out of every four people you meet, five have a band. And of those four, one might come out to a show. But I need to roll with what I know. I’m not saying they’re wrong, but those things aren’t for me. I’m not an internet guy, but if not for the internet there might be a lot less bands or no metal. It seems like a lot of people are trying to swim to a ship that has sailed. It’s not everybody but when you go to shows a lot of people are standing there with their arms crossed, looking like their too cool for the music. It’s not everybody, but I see it.
MAA: What are the immediate touring plans for the band?
CG: The soonest thing we have is a festival out in California with AUTOPSY. Whatever happens after that, we’ll see. I’m looking forward to another release and hoping that this albums’ energy compliments what went on with Mortal Repulsion and before that. I hope it opens up peoples interest and that leads to a third album.
MAA: Thanks for your time Chris!
CG: Thank you for the interview! Take care.
(Special thanks to Chris Gamble and Earsplit PR)
by Keith (Keefy) Chachkes