Drawn and Quartered was formed in 1993 after bands like Butchery, Infester and Disbelief disbanded. Do you remember when those bands were formed, what was it that inspired you all to join bands in the first place, was it the late 80s? Were those three bands death metal?(guitarist) Kelly Shane Kuciemba answered. DRAWN AND QUARTERED was one of several names the band was considering along with a few others such as MASOLEUM, ABORTUARY and SUFFOCATED CORPSE in 1995. The consensus within the band was our current bass player Jeff Smith needed to go, and we weren't going to be called PLAGUE BEARER going forward. Jeff was my friend. He was a skilled musician. But his personality rubbed some people the wrong way. PLAGUE BEARER was my vision. Jeff and I had been working on some projects in 1991-1992. On of them we stepped into became SEPTICEMIA. Although he wasn't asked back, I ended up helping shape some song ideas into what is kind of a legendary 7-song 4-track demo we called 'Eternal Suffering'. Legendary, in that it is so hilariously bad. The music is a bit under rehearsed, and the vocal performance/style has been subject to some scrutiny. I managed to creatively mix it and with a few effects, it is a good representation of our set. The band dissolved, mixes probably got tape-traded a little, but the demo was never released. In late summer of 1992 I began developing music and lyrics for a new band I named PLAGUE BEARER. I had a background in music, choir, theory, guitar, bass, piano, recording. I had grown up in the late 70s and early 80s. I loved rock music from the BEATLES, HENDRIX and CREAM. Later DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH. The NWoBHM inspired speed metal and thrash from the East Coast, Bay Area. MOTORHEAD must be mentioned. VENOM spawned from that, BATHORY took things to a new level with 'Under the Sign of the Black Mark'. What inspired me was what early POSSESSED, SLAYER and DEATH were doing. The doom of SABBATH. BOLT THROWER 'War Master' was big for me. The un-holy trinity for me was and still is; MORBID ANGEL 'Altars of madness', INCANTATION 'Onward to Golgotha', and IMMOLATION 'Dawn of Posession. The evolution of metal. I lived it. I saw it. For 10 years I lived for going to every show I could. Now, in 1992 I finally had the vision for my band. Inspired by all that came before, armed with years of music education, experience and devotion PLAGUE BEARER was born! Dave Procoppio and I became pretty good friends for a couple of years in the early 90s. Dave was dabbling with playing drums in various bands and I first met him at the Jam Box where we had rehearsed for a few months and recorded as SEPTICEMIA. We were hanging out listening to some PLAGUE BEARER rehearsals when his phone rang. Dave asks me if he should book PLAGUE BEARER for a show he was playing with his band DISBELIEF. INFESTER was also on the bill. I said yes. PLAGUE BEARER had been rehearsing for about two months before our first show. It's January 31st 1993. Superbowl Sunday. The show is at the Lake Union Pub tonight. The band decided to rehearse and then load out before the show. I also decided to swing by my friends Superbowl party. Free beer and food! Our rehearsal went pretty well. But after loading out of our rehearsal shed, loading in at the Pub, the day was starting to take a toll on me. By the time we went on I was a nervous wreck. This was my first full gig as a guitar player! I'd been in singer in high school in 1984 singing Priest, Zeppelin, Maiden and Sabbath. But I was shaking like leaf as Jeff is setting up a video camera on a tri-pod to record our performance. January 31st 1993. Superbowl Sunday. The very first performance of my new band, my vision. PLAGUE BEARER! We were abysmal. My knees were knocking together I was so nervous. I lost 5 gallons of sweat. My mom is there and can be heard cheering us on in the crowd, she has yet to see another of my performances live. Our drummer, Eric Brewer seems to have completely forgotten how the songs go. Of course, there is no stage, let alone monitors. The P.A. system was probably meant for community center bingo. Shalom is the vocalist. I'm not sure he ever had grasp of how the lyrics were intended to be phrased. Jeff seemed to be having fun. I remember DISBELIEF and INFESTER being really good. Odin from Moribund offered to distribute our demo tape. We recorded a demo, played 1 show, but my line-up dissolved a couple weeks later.
The metal scene for me went from huge shows at the Domes and Arenas in Washington, as a teenager to smaller more underground shows gradually, to the current level of pretty packed clubs is the best most bands in the underground are doing. As thrash and speed metal pushed aside power metal in the mid to late 80s local bands began to get a bit grittier, like METAL CHURCH. I lived south of Seattle, and was having to work by this time. And try to catch shows. I didn't have a band, really. I jammed a lot, and recorded, went to school, but I never saw grunge or death metal coming. In fact, grunge never REALLY existed. I guess a few crappy bands played in some scuzzy bars who were turned off by hearing power ballads by POISON and WHITESNAKE. Eventually a few them could cobble enough songs, and work long enough and hard enough to get something acceptable together and persevere long enough to become appreciated for getting better at what they were doing, and a lot of people were sick of power ballads, and spandex, and unattainable champagne and sports car rock MTV video era. People watched Friends, Frasier and Seinfeld, and sipped Lattes, pretty soon grunge is being referenced on Friends, and sold at the Bon! One video created an industry, and the rest got lumped in as grunge. Metal was non-existent in Seattle. Everyone was aware of it, influenced by it. But real metal was in the bars and finally small clubs, most with no stage or proper sound reinforcement. By the time I figured out what kind of music I wanted to play, I'd missed the boat. The thrash movement was fading. It was pretty small, anyway. Forced Entry. Nothing was happening. The situation was bleak. We'd go to the few shows that were starting to come through, but it was quite a few years until any of the original death metal bands got to Seattle. We were aware of it, we were writing, recording and performing it. No one really wanted to hear it. Odin [from Moribund Records] did his best, and made a lot of great releases, and some sold good. For me, the early 90s was a Golden Age of Death Metal. It is the time when I combined what I loved about underground music into my own vision, and have been inspired to create and continue for over 20 years. Of course, 20 years later, it is a reference point for underground music. But it is up to someone to preserve, improve upon and continue to evolve a pure version of this art form.
At the time it didn't seem like there were way too many bands doing this already. There seemed to be so many distinct ways of going about it. Nobody sounded the same, for long. Death metal was cool for about 3 years, but if you were cool around here in the mid to late nineties, you were into Black Metal. There were a few good Death Metal bands by 1996 when DRAWN AND QUARTERED began performing regularly. We were never quite with the trend of the moment. We just worked really hard for a long time on what were trying to do. I have some amazing rehearsal tapes. We made the DRAWN AND QUARTERED demo, that we put out from 1996-1997. We had a buddy record it, and only ended up with two rough mixes. The sound is horrible, but we never got to mix it properly before the guy disappeared. We started doing shows at every little dive bar in town. On our 3rd show ever we weaseled our way onto the bill featuring NAPALM DEATH and AT THE GATES in Seattle in 1996! We played an amazing set! The sound was great, we played brilliantly! Soon after we got the Obituary gig. And we opened for lots of shows that came to town in the mid to late 90s.
Going back even further in time. What kind of metal did you grow up with, as youth? Were you at all interested in the Seattle bands, like Metal Church and Queensryche? Were your parents into metal music? What kind of music were your friends into? I listened to the BEATLES, PINK FLOYD, JIMI HENDRIX, CLAPTON, LED ZEPPELIN, THE WHO, BLACK SABBATH and DEEP PURPLE. So That would have been my parents’ era, my dad had many of those records, also THE ROLLING STONES and many others, but they both had other musical tastes for the music of the times. A few years later when I'm into PRIEST and MAIDEN, and heavier stuff I did listen to and have seen METAL CHURCH. I love the first two records, for sure. I also like the first EP from QUEENSRYCHE. I was a singer in cover bands around then. My friends and listened to the SCORPIONS, DIO, JUDAS PRIEST, KROKUS, BLACK SABBATH, IRON MAIDEN, early DEF LEPPARD, ACCEPT, SAXON, DEEP PURPLE, OZZY OSBOURNE, ACDC, LED ZEPPELIN and RUSH. Later in high school came MOTORHEAD, METALLICA, RAVEN, ANTHRAX, SLAYER, MERCYFUL FATE/KING DIAMOND. I saw all those bands. POSSESSED and DEATH as well. VENOM, EXCITER, then DESTRUCTION, BATHORY, SODOM, and KREATOR. My friends were from a different era, they weren't keeping up, so I found new friends.
www.facebook.com/drawnandquartered In 2006 and 2007, you had another two albums in rapid succession "Hail Infernal Darkness" and "Merciless Hammer of Lucifer.” The lineup seems to be same, so the band seems like it was stable at this time, you were still on Moribund. You must have been coming up with songs day and night at this time. How would you describe the period of 2003-2007 for your band? Were those albums financed by Moribund Records; Did that help you guys to concentrate on the music, with some stability? Or, did you guys get into a lot of debt to Moribund Records during this time? 'Hail Infernal Darkness' came out in 2005. [Metal Archives says it was released January 3rd, 2006. –Ed.] This is one of our finest moments. I absolutely loved that record, and wanted to take a slightly different approach with the next record. I was able to secure budgets for our records, and we did some videos for 'Hail Infernal Darkness' and ‘Merciless Hammer of Lucifer.' The whole band was contributing ideas and sometimes even a song for these records. It was a lot of work to do the records and videos. We couldn't have done it without the line-up staying intact. The fact that we had these stabilizing factors helped me push to make another record. I have amazing rough mixes for 'Merciless Hammer....", the final mix wasn't quite how we intended. The record can be played very loud, and with some EQ it sounds pretty good. But by this time people are listening to music on computer speakers, not home or car audio as much. We never went into debt. We just don't get any royalties until remunerable costs are covered. That includes recording costs, part of the advertising, video budgets and merchandise and monies advanced for tour support. These years 2003-2007 were very important for DRAWN AND QUARETERED. We put out 4 records in the space of 5 years, as well as the videos, bonus tracks, and recording and shows for PLAGUE BEARER and WINDS OF PESTILENCE. It took most of free time and energy to keep up with the projects and various shows, festivals and touring. At one point we did a small tour as WINDS OF PESTILENCE. Dario was not really willing or able to tour. This became an issue, as Greg Reeves, our bass player from 1997-2008 very much wanted to tour. He was getting fed up with the lack of financial return, and was really hoping to be making part of our living with DRAWN AND QUARTERED. That just wasn't happening. We generated money, but not the kind I'd want to try to live on. As far as writing music for the records, that was the easy part. We all had plenty of ideas and riffs for the songs. We started writing a lot of things in the rehearsal room, it was very organic at times. Did things kind of slow down in terms of activity for you after 2007? Your next recording came out in 2011 and it was the EP "Conquerors of Sodom" on Nuclear Winter Records. But then you followed that up with "Feeding Hell's Furnace" in 2012, again on Nuclear Winter Records. For those that do not live in this area and who associate you with Moribund Records, what have you guys been up in recent years, in terms of record labels? www.facebook.com/drawnandquartered Drawn And Quartered - Stabwound Invocation THE END.