INTERVIEWS: King Fowley
What do DECEASED, OCTOBER 31 and DOOMSTONE have in common? If you're not very familiar with them, you'd probably say "not too much", since the first plays death metal with old thrash and heavy influences, the second - pure heavy metal and the third - raw, occult black metal... There's however one thing that may come to your mind after listening to those three: all of them deliver metal with this special old vibe and none bows towards any trends that have been passing throughout all that time. Yet the connections don't end here. There is one man behind those three bands - the man behind the drum kit: KING FOWLEY. Having been a part of the scene since 1985, King seems to be one of the most dedicated musicians (and fans!) who keep the flame of the old metal burning. No wonder that I was honoured to have a chance to interview him. King speaks of DECEASED, OCTOBER 31 and a few other things, but consequently refuses to throw any light onto the obscure domain of DOOMSTONE...
(This e-mail interview was done a year ago - in November 2001. Some things may be dated, that is: some things that were to take place in 2002 never happened mostly due to King's severe health problems, but there's a lot of other stuff he talked about that is just "timeless". We've been keeping in touch since then though and lately I've asked King several questions about the last year and the current situation). January 2003.
Jowita Kaminska: There are not too many singing drummers around... Was your decision to take the both activities somewhat inspired by Exciter? If you were to give up one of those, what would it be?
King Fowley: I JUST GREW UP SEEING PEOPLE LIKE PETER CRISS, DAN BEEHLER, ETC. DOING IT! I STARTED OFF ON BASS AND VOCALS AND OUR ORIGINAL DRUMMER WAS NOT INTO FAST AND FURIOUS METAL LIKE US SO I WENT TO DRUMS AND HE MOVED ON! IF I HAD TO GIVE ONE UP, WHO KNOWS? I HAD CONSIDERED LEAVING THE VOCALS BEHIND, BUT THE SUPPORTERS SAID NOOOO! THEN I THOUGHT ABOUT LEAVING THE DRUMS BEHIND (AND ACTUALLY DID ONE SHOW IN GERMANY AT WACKEN!) BUT IN THE END IT'S PART OF THE BAND ON BOTH LEVELS!
JK: And I join all those who say "nooo!"!
I guess it's not easy to manage that live... I've read somewhere that you hired a vocalist for OCTOBER 31's tour. Who was the man? Are you going to sing in OCTOBER 31 in the future or have you found a right vocalist to fill in your shoes?
KF: WELL, OCTOBER 31 I WANTED TO JUST PLAY DRUMS! WE HAVE A STEADY LINE UP NOW! WE HAVE ADDED SINGER TONY TAYLOR OF TWISTED TOWER DIRE AND SCOTT WALDROP ON RHYTHM GUITAR AS WELL! IT IS NOW SET IN STONE!
LIVE FOR DECEASED IT ISN'T TOO HARD ANYMORE! IN THE EARLY DAYS IT WAS WEIRD! BUT NOW IT'S PART OF IT! A FEW SONGS LIKE 'ELLYS DEMENTIA' AND 'A VERY FAMILIAR STRANGER' ARE A BIT HARD TO PULL OFF AS THE MELODY PATTERN OF THE VOCALS ARE MUCH DIFFERENT! BUT IT'S ALL A GOOD CHALLENGE!
JK: But with DECEASED you don't hire anyone to do the vocals on the tour, do you?
KF: NO, NOT AT ALL! AS I MENTIONED WE DID ONE SHOW AT WACKEN GERMANY WITH A FILL IN DRUMMER! IT WAS TO GET ME UP FRONT ON SUCH A HUGE STAGE AND TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF IT!
JK: Every DECEASED fan knows your fascination with horror movies and stories... You've written an excellent concept ("Fearless Undead Machines") inspired by George A. Romero's trilogy, then you took some other classics to make them into your lyrics ("Supernatural Addiction"). I must say you've got this rare talent for writing lyrics the way they can send shivers down my spine (damn, I'm being too flattering!). I wonder whether you have ever left your light on for the night after watching some movie...
KF: THANKS MAN! I APPRECIATE THE KIND WORDS! I GO OUT OF MY WAY TO CREATE AND ADD TO TOPICS THAT ENTHRALL ME AND SOMETIMES GIVE ME 'FEAR'! I REALLY DO THINK THE LYRICS ARE A LOT MORE IMPORTANT IN MUSIC THAN MOST PEOPLE TOO! ESPECIALLY WHEN IT GOES HAND IN HAND WITH A MELODY OF A SONG! MOVIES THAT GAVE ME A CREEPY CHILL FOR WHATEVER REASONS HAVE INCLUDED 'THE EXORCIST' AND 'BURNT OFFERINGS', AND TO AN EXTENT 'THE BLAIR WITCH' AS IT LET MY IMAGINATION FREE TO ROAM! BRINGING BACK MY CHILDHOOD BOOGEYMAN! FEAR OF YOUR OWN MIND CAN BE QUITE HAUNTING!
JK: I've heard you made a video of "Elly's Dementia" (I must admit that if I were to go back home through the woods after seeing "The Blair Witch Project", I'd rather stay in the theatre 'til dawn...). Tell us please everything about the recording session of that clip and the final effect...
KD: WELL, A FEMALE DIRECTOR NAMED JOANNIE CHANG GOT IN TOUCH WITH MARK THROUGH OUR WEBSITE AND SAID HOW SHE WANTED TO FILM A VIDEO FOR US! NO COST AT ALL! WE WERE VERY HAPPY TO HEAR THIS! WE GOT A CONCEPT TO PLAY OFF THE BLAIR WITCH AND JUST ADD IN DOSES OF MORBID VISUALS AND METAL BLESSINGS! WE SHOT IN THE LOCAL SEWERS, WOODS, AND A SOUND STAGE IN MARYLAND! ALSO MARK GOT ACTUAL FOOTAGE OF THE BLAIR WITCH HOUSE IN MARYLAND WITH HIS OWN CAMERA! THAT WAS REALLY A GREAT 'ADDED' BONUS! I REALLY LIKE THE VIDEO, IT IS ON THE CD FOR 'BEHIND THE MOURNER'S VEIL' AS A CDROM! SEARCH IT OUT!!! WE JUST SHOT A VIDEO FOR 'IT'S ALIVE!' WITH HER AGAIN! MORE SIMPLE AND STRAIGHT FORWARD THRASH TILL DEATH STUFF!
JK: The real Blair Witch house in Maryland!? Wow, that's awsome! I will surely get my paws on that CD as soon as I can!
Do you believe in the supernatural, ghosts, the afterlife etc. or you're sceptical 'bout all that stuff?
KF: IT IS AN INTRIGUE! I HAVE SEEN AND FELT SOME VERY UNEXPLAINABLE VIBES IN MY TIME! THERE'S A TON OF PROVING FACTORS THAT HAVE CONVINCED ME SOMETHING 'WEIRD' IS OUT THERE! I THINK LIFE AND DEATH ARE TOO POWERFUL TO JUST START AND STOP!!!
JK: Yeah, well put!
What about "More Death Metal From The Grave"? Have you finally found someone to release this old stuff? Why don't you do it yourself?
KF: WELL I HAVE THOUGHT TO DO IT MYSELF, BUTTTTT NOW I FIND 'THRASH CORNER RECORDS' TO DO IT! AFTER THEY DID A GREAT JOB ON THE LIVE CD I FIND IT A WIN SITUATION! I DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO 'STILL DEAD' OUT OF POLAND! THEY REALLY LEFT US HIGH AND DRY! SOON IT WILL COME TO REALITY, FINALLYYYYY!
JK: "Still Dead" is still alive... in a way.
Can you tell us something about "Behind The Mourner's Veil" EP - the covers and your new material?
KF: WELL, THE WHOLE PURPOSE OF THIS E.P WAS TO KEEP THE NAME OUT THERE AND KEEP THE GOOD MOMENTUM OF 'SUPERNATURAL..' ALIVE! WE WANTED TO DO SOMETHING REALLY KIND OF SIMPLE AND LESSER SCALED PRODUCTION WISE! MORE OF A LIVE SOUND AND A BIT MORE IN YOUR FACE THRASH! WE DECIDED WE WOULD DO A FEW NEW SONGS AND A FEW COVERS AND ADD THE 'ELLY'S..' VIDEO ON AS WELL! WE WROTE THREE NEW TUNES IN JANUARY/MARCH (2001) AND RECORDED THEM ALONG WITH A COUPLE COVER SONGS WE LOVED AND CHERISHED! DRI WE HAD PLAYED WHEN WE STARTED IN 86! FAST AND FASTER! WE LOVED THEIR AGGRESSION! ANTHRAX TUNE ('DEATHRIDER') IS A CULT CLASSIC, THE BEST AND MOST POWERFUL ANTHRAX ERA FOR SURE FOR US! WARFARE JUST REEKED OF PURE FILTH AND VILENESS AND A FUCK THE P.C WORLD VIBE WAS PART OF US! WE HATE THE 'CLICK' OF THE INDUSTRY AND 'FAKE' WORLD! THE TANKARD WAS ANOTHER SONG WE HAD WANTED TO RIP UP FOR A FEW YEARS AS WELL! AS FOR THE ORIGINALS WE WANTED A COUPLE 4 MINUTE BANGERS IN 'IT'S ALIVE' AND 'THE MAUSOLEUM' AND A HAUNTING YET VICIOUS 'CLOSER' TO THE RECORD IN 'VICTIMS OF THE MASTERPLAN'! I THINK WE DID VERY WELL AND ACCOMPLISHED WHAT WE SET OUT TO DO! IT HAS GOT VERY GOOD WORDS AND PEOPLE WERE KINDA SHOCKED TO SEE FASTER/RAWER MATERIAL AFTER THE SPIT AND POLISH OF 'SUPERNATURAL A.'! WE WRITE WHATEVER WE WANT WHEN TIME COMES! WE WERE IN A 'SPEEDY' MOOD! HAHA
JK: I can't wait to hear it! DECEASED is one of the very few bands whose later releases I like much more than the oldest ones. Maybe it's because I'm not a big death metal fan and since "Fearless..." you can't be classified just as a death metal band. The guitars are more like classic metal, there are unforgettable harmony lines and everything is much more sophisticated, melodic. It's also because of your voice that has become much easier to understand, however more ghastly and haunting altogether (I can hear some Cronos here and there)...
KF: YEAH, AS WE HAVE GOTTEN OLDER WE HAVE FOUND A WAY TO PUT ALL OUR INFLUENCES (FROM MAIDEN TO QUEENSRYCHE TO SAXON TO SODOM TO OLD SLAYER, VOIVOD, OLD FATE, TO DEFLESHED ETC. ETC.) IN OUR MUSIC! WHEN WE WERE YOUNGER I THINK WE HAD TO PLAY OUT OUR AGGRESSIVE YOUTHFUL POWER WITHOUT MUCH SENSE OF SONG OR SKILL! IT'S ALL 'PART OF IT'! BUT I THINK WE REALLY 'GREW UP' ON 'FEARLESS..' AND WE REALIZED WHAT WE ARE GOOD AND NOT SO GOOD AT MUSICALLY! WE STILL LOVE TO PLAY VERY FAST AND WE STILL LOVE OVER THE TOP MUSIC! BUT WE ALSO LOVE GOOD MELODY, GUITAR SOLOS, MEMORABLE VOCAL LINES AND LYRICS ETC... IT ALL HAS BECOME COMMON PLACE WITH US THROUGH THE YEARS!!!
JK: Let's talk about DOOMSTONE now... It has already gained a cult status, its releases are really hard to get (I still can't get my paws on the demos! :-( ), but even dedicated fans know little about its history. Would you now take the shroud of gloom away?
KF: NOT REALLY! HAHA IT'S GOT TO REMAIN 'MYSTERIOUS' AND 'UNKNOWN' TO A DEGREE! THAT'S WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING AND 'ODD'!
JK: Grrrrrrrr... Damn you, hehe!
KF: WATCH FOR SOME NEW MATERIAL SOON!
JK: Sure I will! DOOMSTONE is very unique to me. I think it's one of the most occult bands I've heard - not even to compare with today's so called sympho black metal acts which try to be "evil", but well... they try, while DOOMSTONE breathes ancient Evil...
KF: IT'S THE 'OLDER' VIBE THAT THESE NEW 'KIDS' FORGET ABOUT! THE STUFF CALLED 'BLACK METAL' TODAY TO ME IS JUST NOISE! NO 'KHARMA', NO VIBE OF ATONEMENT! THAT IS DISSAPOINTING! I LOVE TO FEEL THE MUSIC AND DISEASE!
JK: Agree with you on the whole! And the story recurs: the new DOOMSTONE - "Satanavoid" - is way better than "Those..." (IMHO). On the other hand it sounds as if it had been recorded back in the '80s...
KF: WELL MAYBE IT WAS???! HAHAHA (Don't be taken in! It was recorded in 1997 and out in 2000 - at least that's what the booklet reads... - JK)
THE CURSE CONTINUES! I PREFER THE 'NEW' RECORD AS WELL! SOME OF THE OLDER MATERIAL SUPPORTERS HATE IT!!! IT'S HARD TO CATEGORIZE IT, THAT'S FOR SURE! WAIT TILL THE NEXT ONE! HEHEHEHEHEEHEHE
JK: Could you tell me your opinion on the following: satanism, Church Of Satan, paganism, the events that were taking place in Norway?
KF: SATANISM: TO EACH THEIR OWN! BUT SATAN IS TOO SLOW FOR ME! BORING!
CHURCH OF SATAN: I FIND IT KINDA SILLY AND CHILDISH!
PAGANISM: A WAY OF LIFE TO SOME! I DON'T NEED TO 'LABEL' MY LIFE!
NORWAY EVENTS: KIDS BEING STUPID AND SOME PAYING FOR IT! IGNORANCE REALLY!
JK: Have you ever had any problems with fanatic christians in your or other countries? Did they ever insist on cancellation of your shows or threaten you personally? What do you think of such a behaviour?
KF: ONLY ONCE, AND IT WAS A DECEASED SHOW! WELL ACTUALLY IT WAS A FESTIVAL IN MICHIGAN WITH US, SACRIFICE, NUCLEAR DEATH, MORBID ANGEL AND A FEW OTHERS! IT WAS DUMB PROPAGANDA CHRISTIANS TRYING TO FELEL THEY WERE SAVING THE WORLD FROM 'HELL'! IT WAS IGNORANT AND A BIGGGGGG LAUGH!
DOOMSTONE HAS NEVER FELT THE STUPIDITY! WE WOULD PISS UP NUN'S ASSHOLES ANYWAY!
JK: Let them burn in Hell, "holy" ignorants!
OK, let's get back to OCTOBER 31 now. At first it wasn't meant to be a "real" band - just a side project. It would have been an unforgivable mistake to only jam and not record 'cause having such classic songs like those on "Meet Thy Maker" you've proved that pure, straightforward and honest Metal hasn't died (...I should definitely get off my soapbox! ;-) )
KF: WELL, I AM HAPPY IT GOT RECOGNITION! IT MEANS ALOT TO ME! I LOVE THE 'FREE SPIRIT' OF THE BAND! WE LIVE FOR NOTHING BUT THE METAL SOUND OF OUR 'ERA'! WE HAVE FOUND FELLOW SISTERS AND BROTHERS ON THE ROAD WHO SHARE THIS 'LOST' ACTON! WE CHERISH IT TO DEATH!
THE BAND FORMED IN 95 AND MADE A DEMO! A LITTLE LABEL CALLED RIP RECORDS CAUGHT ON AND PUT OUT 2 RECORDS. METAL BLADE HEARD THEM AND SIGNED US UP! WE ARE NOW A STEADY LINE-UP AND READY FOR THE LONG HAUL! NEW RECORD NEXT YEAR!
JK: You were to record (release?) "No Survivors" last summer...
KF: IT WILL COME OUT JUNE 17TH ON METAL BLADE 2002!
JK: What does the process of writing songs in each of your bands look like? Are you responsible only for the lyrics and the drums or do you write most of the material?
KF: EVERYONE IN EVERY BAND HAS THEIR 'SAY'! I DO WRITE ALL THE LYRICS AND SONG TITLES FOR DECEASED! MUSICALLY WE ALL DO THE 'RIFFS' IN DECEASED! I AM PRETTY GOOD AT ARRANGING I BELIEVE SO I GET A LOT OF THAT! THOUGH THE WHOLE BAND HAS IDEAS WE BOUNCE OFF EACH OTHER. AND WHATEVER WORKS, WORKS!!!
OCTOBER 31 IS QUITE THE SAME! AND NOW WITH NEW 'BLOOD' IN THE BAND IT WILL BE EVEN A BIT MORE 'DIFFERENT'.
PERSONALITIES IN METAL ARE NEVER 'EXACT'! I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO IT!
DOOMSTONE! WHO KNOWS??? HAHAHA
JK: Are you trying my patience out!?
Now let's leave your bands for a while... Which band has drawn you to Heavy Metal? How old were you then?
KF: KISS! I WAS 8 OR SO! IT WAS SO OVER THE TOP AND 'WILD' FOR A KID! STUFF LIKE 'DR LOVE' AND 'DETROIT ROCK CITY' WERE SO HEAVY TO MY MIND. IT WENT ON TO VAN HALEN, SABBATH, MAIDEN, PRIEST, ETC. ETC. THEN I RELAIZED THERE WAS 'UNDERGROUND' BANDS LIKE MOTORHEAD AND SAXON ETC. WHICH LED TO MORE 'WILD' BANDS LIKE VENOM, FATE, SLAYER ETC..!
JK: It gave me one hell of a time to count the bands you had mentioned in your thanks list on DOOMSTONE's "Those Whom Satan Hath Joined". Well, there are 250 names (I've checked it four times!)... And now I'm gonna be mean...
Let's say you're sent to a desert island... and allowed to take just 9 albums... You would take...
KF: IT'S FUNNY AS SOME WERE NOT MY 'PICKUPS' BUT THE LABEL OWNER WHO TYPED IT UP GOT 'EXCITED' AND ADDED HIS OWN, LIKE OLD REO SPEEDWAGON ETC.. HAHA (Did he?!? Well, maybe he wanted to make them 250...? - JK)
9 METAL RECORDS HUH!
IRON MAIDEN 'PIECE OF MIND'
BLACK SABBATH 'MOB RULES'
JAG PANZER 'AMPLE DESTRUCTION'
SLAYER 'SHOW NO MERCY'
URIAH HEEP 'ABOMINOG'
WARLORD 'DELIVER US'
VOIVOD 'WAR AND PAIN'
Y&T 'MEAN STREAK'
ROCK GODDESS 'HELL HATH NO FURY'
JK: You must enjoy playing cover songs 'cause there have been numerous. Would you name all the covers you have ever put on a CD (of your bands as well as those recorded especially for tributes)?
KF: SHIT TONS!
MERCYFUL FATE 'DOOMED BY THE LIVING DEAD', 'NUNS HAVE NO FUN'
MOTORHEAD 'STAY CLEAN'
SAXON 'FIRE IN THE SKY'
VOIVOD 'BLOWER', 'VOIVOD'
SLAYER 'DIE BY THE SWORD', 'CHEMICAL WARFARE'
VENOM 'BLACK METAL', 'DIE HARD'
WARFARE 'NEW AGE OF TOTAL WARFARE'
IMPETIGO 'DIS ORGAN IZED'
TANKARD 'ZOMBIE ATTACK'
IRON MAIDEN 'WRATHCHILD', '2 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT'
EXCITER 'VIOLENCE AND FORCE'
HIRAX 'BOMBS OF DEATH'
THE DOORS 'NOT TO TOUCH THE EARTH'
SODOM 'WITCHING METAL'
SAXON 'POWER AND THE GLORY'
WARLORD 'CHILD OF THE DAMNED'
JAG PANZER 'HARDER THAN STEEL'
IRON MAIDEN 'PUBLIC ENEMA #1'
OZZY 'I DON'T KNOW'
LIZZY BORDEN 'GIVE EM THE AXE'
GRIM REAPER 'SEE YOU IN HELL'
CUTTY SARK 'DIE TONIGHT'
ACID 'THE PRINCE OF HELL AND FIRE'
JK: Holy shit! That's pretty much indeed, hehe!
You're known as a great, dedicated Metal fan. To save some rare jewels from oblivion you set up your own label - OLD METAL RECORDS... When did you come up with the idea and what have you re-released so far?
KF: TONS OF STUFF! SO MUCH TO MENTION! I JUST WANTED THE WORLD TO BE ABLE TO REMEMBER AND OBTAIN GREAT BANDS AND MUSIC FROM A 'LOST' ERA!!!!
JK: What about the legal matters when you re-release old albums?
KF: UH, NO COMMENT! HAHA IT CAN BE ROUGH!!!!! THE BANDS ARE COOL, THE LABELS ARE NOT!!! HAHAHA!
JK: Are you also interested in signing young bands that keep the old spirit alive?
KF: YES, BUT SADLY NONE HAVE 'FLOORED' ME YET! ONLY PREMONITION FROM FLORIDA HAVE WORKED WITH ME FOR 'NEW' BANDS! GREAT STUFF! 'WE ARE METAL' WAS THEIR RECORD FOR OLD METAL!
JK: Hell, yeah! I've got their "Fame Has A Price"! A kick-ass piece of Metal (though the cover "art" makes me wanna run away screaming!)
We've talked much about the past. But what about the presence? What's the status of all your bands at the moment? Which are active, which put aside?
KF: ALL 3 ARE ACTIVE IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER! NEW RECORDS BY ALL THREE IN 2002! COUNT ON IT! AS FOR THE NEW MATERIAL THE DECEASED STUFF WILL BE VERY DARK AND HAUNTING! IMAGINE THE EXORCIST 'VIBE' PUT INTO MUSIC! CREEPY! THE NEXT RECORD IS CALLED 'AS THE WEIRD TRAVEL ON'! WE ARE TAKING RIFFS NOW!
AS FOR OCTOBER 31 IT WILL BE HEAVY METAL IN YOUR FACE! WE HAVE A FEW SONGS LIKE 'POWERHOUSE', 'A HEROES WELCOME' AND 'BACK ALLEY MURDERS' FOR SONG TITLES!
JK: You're a workaholic, aren't you ? (that brings to my mind another "royal" musician for whom one band is not enough and whose inclination to "ghost stories" is well known). King, would you reveal your real name to us?
KF: SURE: KINGSLEY FOWLEY!!!! THAT'S INDEED THE REAL NAME! NO 'HIDING' FOR ME! I LOVE KEEPING BUSY, ESPECIALLY FOR THINGS I LOVE IN MUSIC!!!!
JK: You know, in spite of the big differences in the music of your 3 bands I'm not able to judge which one is my favourite before the others. Actually I find it a great advantage that they sound so different from each other. I wonder to which band you are committed most, what Metal genre is your favourite...
KF: DECEASED IS TOP PRIORITY, FOLLOWED BY OCTOBER 31, AND THEN DOOMSTONE!
EACH HAS A 'GREAT' THING ABOUT IT! DECEASED IS FOR THE GREAT FRIENDSHIP FOR EONS WITH MY BROTHERS. AND THE NOTORITY AND 'RESPECT' WE HAVE OBTAINED THROUGH YEARS OF DEDICATION TO OUR CRAFT. OCTOBER 31 I CAN SIT BACK AND JUST PLAY DRUMS, FINALLY! HAHA AND DOOMSTONE IS AT MY OWN PACE WITH NO 'RUSH' ON ANYTHING EVERRR!
JK: And what about the future? Any tours in plans? ...Poland (pleazzz)?!?!?
KF: IF POLAND MANAGEMENT CAN GET US THERE! FUCK YEAH! WHATEVER IT TAKES!
WE JUST WANT TO PLAY! HELP US!!!!! PASS ON THIS INFO TO PEOPLE FOR US! (You can be sure I will!!! - JK) STILL DEAD TOLD US THEY WOULD FOR DECEASED! HAHA NEVER HAPPENED! (Still Dead is dead - let them rot - JK) ONE DAY I WILL HOPE! OCTOBER 31 AND DECEASED WILL TOUR IN 2002! DOOMSTONE WILL PROBABLY JUST COMMIT MURDER ON VIRGINS AND BARTENDERS WHO SERVE HIGH PRICED DRINKS! HAHA
JK: Have fun, hehe!
Time has come now for your last words in this interview...
KF: FOREVER HERE FOR THE METAL MASSES AND FRIENDSHIP! THANK YOU FOR THE GREAT INTERVIEW! ALL THE LUCK AND GOOD TIMES FOR YOU AND ALL WHO CHASE THEIR DREAMS!
LONG LIVE THE LOUD!!!!
KING FOWLEY 11/2001
JK: Eternal thanxxxxxx to you, King!!!
And long live the DECEASED, heheh!!!!!
... And here's the January 2003 update...
JK: 2002 was a very bad year for you (to put it gently)... Would you tell us something about what you've been through?
KF: O.K WHERE TO START WITH THIS 'HEALTH MESS' I AM IN??? ALRIGHT, LET'S START HERE... FOR THE LAST YEAR OR SO I'VE BEEN VERY 'RUN DOWN' AND IN MY EYES RUNNING AT 'HALF-SPEED'! YEAH, MANY MIGHT NOT HAVE SEEN OR FELT THE DIFFERENCE (YEP! I'M A HYPER-CAT INDEED) BUT I COULD FEEL A LACK OF ENERGY AND 'DRIVE' THAT KEEPS ME RUMBLING FORWARD! ABOUT EARLY MAY OF 2002 I STARTED TO GET A SEVERE SWELLING IN MY RIGHT LEG. I PLAY ALOT OF SPORTS ON THE SIDE AND I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST A 'SPORTS INJURY' AND WOULD HEAL UP OVER TIME! WELL, IT GOT SO SEVERE THAT IT PUT ME IN TEARS OF PAIN AT NIGHT AND I WAS WELL ON MY WAY TO SEEING A DOCTOR ABOUT IT. SADLY I PUT THIS OFF WAY TOO LONG DUE TO MY MOTHER SUDDENLY TAKING ILL OVER A NORMAL WEEKEND AND EVENTUALLY PASSING AWAY. WITH THIS GOING ON MY 'PAIN IN MY LEG' MEANT NOTHING IN THE SCHEME OF THINGS THAT HAD GONE DOWN. AS TIME WENT ON AFTER MY MOM'S DEATH IN LATE MAY IT SEEMED THE LEG WAS GETTING BETTER. GONE WAS THE PAIN AND SWELLING AND I FELT A BIT 'BETTER' INSIDE AS WELL! AFTER PLAYING THE OHIO CLASSIC METAL FEST WITH OCTOBER 31 JULY 12TH AND 13TH I HEADED HOME FOR VIRGINIA AS MANY TIMES BEFORE ON LITTLE SLEEP AND ALOT OF 'HURRY UP' TO GET ON BACK TO 'HOME'! THE FOLLOWING FEW DAYS AFTER THIS I NOTICED I WAS BECOMING SEVERELY SHORT OF BREATH AND IT WASN'T GOING AWAY! IT SCARED ME TO THE POINT OF GOING TO THE LOCAL EMERGENCY ROOM. IT HAD BEEN LITERALY YEARS SINCE I'D LAST BEEN TO A DOC FOR ANYTHING AND NOW 'THIS' WAS BRINGING ME THERE! WELL, IT FREAKED ME OUT EVEN MORE THAT THEY FOUND NOTHINGGGGGGGGGG WRONG WTH ME IN THE LEAST! LUNG X RAYS FINE! BREATHING PASSAGES CLEAR, AND ALL BLOOD COUNTS PERFECT. NOW I WAS REALLY WEIRDED OUT. I THOUGHT FOR A BIT THAT MAYBE I'D PULLED MY STERNUM OR DIAPHRAGM FROM THE RECENT VOCAL SHOWS WITH OCT 31 AND THAT IT WAS JUST A 'CONSTRICTION' THAT WOULD HEAL IN TIME. WELL, NO LUCK! 3 DAYS LATER IT WAS GROWING WORSE. AGAIN I WENT TO ANOTHER EMERGENCY DOCTOR. I FIGURED MAYBE THEY MISSED SOMETHING AT THE FIRST HOSPITAL. AGAIN I WAS GIVEN THE X-RAYS AND BLOOD COUNTS AS WELL AS AN E.K.G TO LOOK AT MY HEART FUNCTIONS, AND AGAIN IT WAS ALL 'NORMAL'! THE DOC THOUGHT MAYBE I WAS MILDLY ASTHMATIC AND OFFERED A SAMPLE OF SOME MEDICINE FOR THAT. I KNEW I WASN'T AND IT DID NOTHING FOR ME AS EXPECTED! I AGAIN WAS FREAKING AT THE FACT THAT THE 'HEALTH PROS' COULD FIND NOTHING WRONG WITH ME. YET I FELT HORRIBLE! I WENT AND PLAYED A GIG WITH OCTOBER 31 THAT WEEKEND IN NORTH CAROLINA AND THOUGH I FELT HORRIBLE WE MADE IT THROUGH. BUT STILL NO LET UP WITH THE SHORTNESS OF BREATH. THE WEEK TO FOLLOW THAT WAS THE 'BIG ONE' AS FAR AS SHOWS, THE MILWAUKEE METAL FEST! BOTH BANDS (OCTOBER 31 AND DECEASED) WERE TO PERFORM AND WE WERE FLYING OUT TO DO THE GIGS! I FELT HORRIBLE, ON MY DEATHBED AND REALLY WORRIED ABOUT MYSELF. I GOT ON THE AIRPLANE OUT OF D.C AND WE DID THE GIGS. AND THOUGH I PERSONALLY FOUND MY SINGING, ENERGY, AND PLAYING PURE SHIT ALOT OF PEOPLE TOLD ME THEY COULDN'T SEE A 'PROBLEM'! I WAS A WRECK THE WHOLE WEEKEND IN MILWAUKEE. ON THE 'EDGE OF LIFE' IN MY MIND! WELL, THIS IS WHERE THE STORY TURNS TO PURE SHIT TO ME! AFTER RETURNING HOME A FEW DAYS LATER MY LEG INJURY WAS BACK AND WAS SWELLING UP AGAIN AND THE FEVER IN IT YOU COULD OF PROBABLY COOKED AN EGG ON! WITHOUT HESITATION OFF I WENT TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM AGAIN! WELL ALL I CAN SAY IS THANK MY MAKER FOR THIS LEG SWELLING! THE FIRST TWO TIMES THE LEG WASN'T EVEN MENTIONED AS IT HAD 'HEALED' I HAD THOUGHT. BUT NOW IT WAS THE 'SIGN' THE DOCS NEEDED TO REALIZE I HAD A BLOODCLOT IN MY LEG THAT OBVIOUSLY HAD GONE TO MY LUNG AND LAID DOWN PERMANENT DAMAGE IN MY OXYGEN INTAKE. I WAS IMMEDIATLY ADMINISTERED AND PUT IN THE STROKE WARD AND MONITORED FOR 5 DAYS, ALL THE WHILE RECEIVING SHOTS IN MY STOMACH OF EXPENSIVE BLOOD THINNERS AND OTHER CLOT SHRINKING DRUGS! IT TURNED OUT AFTER SEVERAL EPISODES OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE TESTING THAT I HAD WHAT IS CALLED A 'PULMINARY INFARCT', WHICH IS BASICALLY THE DEATH OF A MAJOR PART OF YOUR LUNG OR LUNGS. A 'LUNG HEART ATTACK'!!! FOR ME IT WAS MY RIGHT LUNG. IT HAD GONE WITHOUT OXYGEN FOR TOO LONG AND WAS NOW DEAD! YES, DEAD! AND IT'S NOT COMING BACK...EVER! IT DOESN'T 'REGENERATE' OR 'GROW BACK', THE ONLY POSITIVE OF IT IS IN TIME THE CELLS AND ARTERIES BEGIN TO LOOK FOR WAYS TO HELP THE BODY BREATH A BIT BETTER AND SEND OXYGEN PROPERLY THROUGHOUT MY ORGANS AND BONES, ETC WHICH AT THIS TIME OF WRITING ARE IN SEVERE PAIN AND ACHING FROM THIS 'LESS THEN PERFECT' OXYGEN FLOW MY BLOOD NOW PRODUCES. I HAVE BEEN THROUGH SO MANY TESTS TO SEE WHY I GOT THIS 'CLOT' IN THE FIRST PLACE! THEY TOLD ME IT COULD BE FROM ANYTHING AS SERIOUS AS CANCER, DIABETES, HEART PROBLEMS, TO JUST SITTING IN ONE SPOT TOO LONG ALA EXTENDED CAR RIDES TO GIGS, AIRPLANE FLIGHTS TO GERMANY, AND THE ILK. I WENT THROUGH MANY RADIATION TESTS AS WELL AS A FEW DOZEN DRUGS OF ALL KINDS 'LOOKING' FOR CLUES BUT TO DATE, NO ONE KNOWS WHY I'VE GOTTEN THIS THING AT THIS 'YOUNG' TIME IN MY LIFE! ADD ON TOP OF THIS ALL WITH MY OWN SEVERE BOUTS WITH ANXIETY, DEPRESSION BROUGHT ON FROM MISSING MY MUSIC AND MY 'AIR', AND ALL THE OTHER MENTALLY CHALLENGING THOUGHTS THAT GO THROUGH A PERSON'S HEAD WHEN HE/SHE IS DIAGNOSED WITH A 'LIFE-THREATENING' ISSUE AND I CAN ASSURE YOU 2002 WAS NOTTTTT MY YEAR! AS I TYPE THIS IT'S BEEN JUST OVER 5 MONTHS SINCE I WAS DIAGNOSED AND TREATED, AND THE RECOVERY IS VERY, VERY, VERYYYYYYYY SLOW! I HAVE HEARD DOCS TELL ME EVERYTHNIG FROM 5-6 MONTHS TO A YEAR AND A HALF TIL I'M 'UP AND RUNNING' CLOSE TO CORRECTLY!~ THOUGH THE YEAR PLUS 'OPINION' SEEMS THE MOST LIKELY AND GENUINE TO ME SADLY! I JUST CAN'T COME BACK AT THIS 'SPEED'! I CAN'T! I HAVE LITTLE TO NO ENERGY AND I TIRE VERY EASILY FROM THE OXYGEN DIFFICULTIES! I CAN TELL YOU THIS, SIMPLE TASKS LIKE WALKING AROUND THE BLOCK OR EVEN BODY STRETCHES MAKE ME WINDED AS HELL STILL. AND IT'S JUST A LIVING HELL TO 'DEAL WITH', THOUGH I'M DOING MY DAMNDEST TO KEEP IT ALL TOGETHER! WHAT I CAN'T TELL YOU IS JUST HOW MUCH LOVE I HAVE IN MY HEART FOR ALL MY FRIENDS, FAMILY, AND ANYONE, ANYWHERE WHO HAS WISHED ME WELL THROUGH THIS TRYING ORDEAL! 2002 WAS SUCH A GODAWFUL YEAR FOR ME. WITH MY MOTHER PASSING AWAY AND PRETTY MUCH 'JUMPING' INTO THIS 'HEALTH HELL'. IT'S BEEN REAL TOUGH. BUT THIS STORY ISN'T BEING TYPED TO FEEL PITY OR 'SADNESS' FOR ME. IT'S TO LET EVERYONE KNOW I'M FIGHTING MY ASS OFF TO OVERCOME THIS SETBACK IN MY LIFE. AND WITH THE JUST MENTIONED FRIENDS AND FAMILY BACKING ME, AS WELL AS MYSELF PUSHING TO GET MY SHIT BACK ON COURSE, IT'S ONLY A MATTER OF TIME 'TIL I GET MY STRENGTH AND AM BACK OUT THERE RIPPING AND TEARING THE METAL WORLD FULL OF MACHINE GUN FIRE EVEN BETTER THEN EVER BEFORE! YEAH, I AINT 'THERE' YET! AND IT MAY STILL BE A GOOD LENGTH OF TIME BEFORE I AM. BUT FOR NOW I'M JUST OUT TO BETTER MY HEALTH THROUGH PROPER DIET, EXERCISE (TO THE BEST MY LUNG WILL LET ME, WHICH RIGHT NOW AINT MUCH !), AND AS POSITIVE A MENTAL, METAL ATTITUDE AS I CAN MUSTER IN THIS SITUATION MY MAKER HAS PUT INTO MY LAP! I AM STILL WORKING ON A RECOVERY! IT IS ALOT OF RESTRENGTHENING OF LUNGS AND REBUILDING MY LIFE AND VOICE AND SUCH! I WILL DO IT THOUGH! SADLY, TIME IS THE KEY!
JK: Oh boy... I knew about your mom's death and that damn blood clot, but not all the details... You posted that official statement telling that you'd have to give up drumming in the both bands (I imagine singing will be very hard to manage for you as well) and you had decided to bring Dave Castillo into DECEASED ... Will he remain the drummer of OCTOBER 31 as well?
KF: INDEED HE WILL! HE IS AN AWESOME FRIEND AND DRUMMER AND I CAN'T SEE THE BAND WITHOUT HIM! HE'S SO DEDICATED AND HAS BROUGHT POWER, ENERGY, AND 'FUN' INTO THE BAND! AN A+ PERSON IN GENERAL!
JK: So both DECEASED and OCTOBER 31 albums are long overdue... Is it too early to give any approximate release dates for "As The Weird Travel On" and "No Survivors"? Which of those two can we expect to hear first?
KF: I'D SAY OCTOBER 31 WILL! WE HAVE ONE SONG FINISHED AND IDEAS FOR THE OTHERS ARE IN THE WORKS! THE DECEASED RECORD WILL BE VERY MUCH 'DETAILED' (AS OCT 31 IS MORE SIMPLE AND TRADITIONAL METAL AND WE TEND TO 'WRITE' MUCH QUICKER!). I'D SAY OCT 31 BY LATE SUMMER, FALL! AND DECEASED BY LATE WINTER 2003! WISH US LUCK! WE WILL BUST OUR ASSES TO MAKE THE 'WAIT' WORTHWHILE :)
JK: You know I always keep my fingers crossed for you! What makes me wonder is that I've heard about some tour plans though...
KF: ONLY TALK FROM THE 'INSIDE'! NOTHING AT ALL FOR TOURS IS PLANNED WE WON'T EVEN PROBABLY MAKE ANY GIGS AS DECEASED IN 2003, THOUGH OCT 31 MAY SEE A FEW 'OFF' SOMEWHAT LOCAL SHOWS LATER IN 2003!
JK: Yeah, that's what I supposed... Is there anything else you'd like to say to your fans in Poland?
KF: WE HAVE NO FANS! ONLY FRIENDS! LOVE TO JOWITA FOR THE AMAZING ARTWORK AND THE AMAZING FRIENDSHIP! IF ALL OF POLAND IS LIKE YOU, YOU HAVE A VERY FRIENDLY AND GOOD-NATURED COUNTRY OF METALHEADS! CHEERS TO ALL AND MAY YOU ALL HAVE SUPERB 2003'S! LOVE YA ALLLLLLLL
JK: You know you rule!? :) STAY HEALTHY, Bro! You gotta come here one day and see for yourself!
LONG LIVE THE KING OF METAL!
November 2001 and January 2003
Copyright by: Jowita Kaminska