Monday, March 30, 2015

Drawn and Quartered: death metal from the state of Washington

Drawn and Quartered
In the state of Washington, death metal band Drawn and Quartered has been making music for a long time, going back to the early 1990s. The band is an important piece of the puzzle of underground metal in Washington. Metal Bulletin Zine’s interview with the band has a tremendous amount of history and information about the band and metal in this region. There will be several parts of the interview. This is part 1 for now. There’s more coming!
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 on 3/28/15.
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.
(This is from the demo days.)
I went and saw BUTCHERY at the Lake Union Pub. It's spring 1993. Herb Burke is the vocalist, he's got the perfect sound and presence for my new PLAGUE BEARER demo. Danny Hodge is the bass player and...WTF! Eric Brewer on drums! After PLAGUE BEARER fell apart he'd joined BUTCHERY! And they were pretty good. It was their first and only show. After writing some new songs I ask Herb and Danny to help with my new demo 'Bubonic Death'. I wrote the music and lyrics, except 'Winds of Pestilence', that was still just a title. Dave Procoppio had been rehearsing the songs with me for a few weeks. Herb and and Danny rehearsed a few times and we recorded in the summer of 1993. That demo was distributed by Moribund Records. We did few more shows, but ultimately didn't do much until 1994 and Matt Cason was referred to us by Beau Galloway from DISBELIEF. During this time I'd also met Greg Reeves who played bass with us from 1997-2008 and Dario Derna (INFESTER) who played drums with us from 2002-2012.
NOTE: The above is Kelly's introduction to the history of Drawn and Quartered, to set up the context for the readers. Again, there is much more of this interview coming!
(Here's an old song from the demo days that the band also recorded on the debut "To Kill Is Human" [1999])
Mangled Beyond Recognition

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