Long Island death metal began in the late eighties, and its spirit has survived many setbacks and shifting mainstream trends to emerge stronger than ever. How would you explain its longevity and Day Of Doom’s part in it?
First let me say for me and the band thank you so much for this interview. As for the longevity I think it all comes down to the music. We play what we play because we love it and I believe that's true for the other bands on the Island. We are friends with a lot of them and I think it's because we support each other and it's not competition. Sure we all try to outdo each other but it's all healthy and it manifests what could be some of the most evil, brutal bands on the planet and sickest music to be heard by ears. As for our part in the scene, it's been the same since we started Day Of Doom in 1999: to write, record and play relentless crushing death metal to melt your mind.
What were the first bands you started listening to and what do you look for in quality death metal? Does anyone in the band likewise like pre-death metal grindcore bands?
Well before death metal it was and always will be Kiss; they are the main reason why I play music and Peter Criss is the reason I play drums. As I grew and wanted more I got into Rush, Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, then it Metallica, Slayer, Exodus, Blood Feast and it got faster with Morbid Angel, Death, Suffocation, Gorguts, Ripping Corpse, Human Remains and so many more sick bands... I still listen to them all today. As for quality I prefer more musician’s music, more of a technical style, music in odd time and of course... sick as fuck. I must say that as for grindcore two huge bands for us is and always will be are Terrorizer and Assuck. For me as a drummer Pete Sandoval just lit it up on Terrorizer’s World Downfall. And if you want to hear heavy put on the song Salt Mine from Assuck’s Misery Index.
How long before starting the band have you and the band been part of the Long Island scene? How many changes have you witnessed in LI, Queens and NYC since?
We all have been part of the scene since 1990 going to Sundance, Sparks and other great places to see so many sick bands. As for changes, I have seen so many great venues open and close, and too many lineup changes in bands, but sometimes change is needed.
What shows do you most remember from Sundance and the other clubs you frequented around that time? How different was the scene back then?
There were so many but the standout show at Sundance was Slayer right before Seasons Of The Abyss came out. The whole place was destroyed. Another sick show was at Sparks: Suffocation and Gorguts. I can go on and on; there were many sick shows at the Roxy as well. The major difference between now and then is this pay to play ticket scam. Back then a promoter had a show, you made contact and it was a crazy night. Now it's all about ‘sell this or sell that’ and ‘we want this much from your merch’. It's sad because it can kill a local band.
How often do you see the pay to play scam being practiced? I heard a lot about it in the 90s but not as much these days.
It's all over the place now and a total joke in our eyes. And it's much worse than the 90's. Most places are doing it but we play Gramercy Theater and they have the right idea. They give you tickets to sell, what you sell you sell, and for us it has worked out every time we play Gramercy.
Have you seen any examples of how pay to play has affected local and underground bands?
At times it has turned bands off from playing a venue and put bands in a bad spot. For the most part record sales are shot as we all know. Then you have to pay out of pocket for the remaining tickets that are left. We did it but then you find the venue barely or not at all promoted the show. It's just a setback to all the bands on the bill. A few want a cut of merch. It just makes what should be a great time for all a bad taste in your mouth.
How many times has the band appeared at the Gramercy Theater to date? How does the club generally treat the band?
We have played Gramercy two times, once with Deicide and another time with Nile. As for how they treat a band, in my opinion all venues should take a lesson from them. They were totally professional and courteous to everyone. They run the smoothest show we have been involved in; the stage manager, sound person and rest of the staff were all on point.
During and after the 90s there were zines covering LI death metal extensively including Mortal Coil zine, Metal Mafia zine, Jen’s Metal Page and the regular column I wrote for Good Times magazine, The Dungeon. Did you ever read those?
Unfortunately I didn’t check any of those out. At that time we were wild and it was all about jamming but I was aware of a lot of the fanzines out at the time. One zine I remember from back then was Alter Girl fanzine and I know Kat is still crushing with Obscure Chaos zine. I also read Pit, Metal Maniacs and of course Modern Drummer a lot.
What information have you gotten from Pit, Metal Maniacs and Modern Drummer of late?
I haven’t read Pit or Metal Maniacs in a long time, but when I did it was great to check out all the interviews and art. I know Pit had some crazy art and always tons of death metal. As for Modern Drummer I still read it a lot. It's great to read about drummers I love and what they are up to, and to check out new drummers. Then I'll go on the net and check out what they are up to and the bands they play in.
Where on the internet do you go for news on bands and underground communities?
I will checkout band pages on Facebook and web pages. I also check out death metal pages on Facebook to see what's going on, Horns Up Rocks, Obscure Chaos Fanzine and from time to time Blabbermouth.
How would you describe the quality of writing in the publications you cited in your above answer? How well was extreme music covered by the staff and writers for those magazines?
I thought it was great and it is today. People like you and Kat keep the music scene alive and it will always be appreciated by me and the rest of the band. As for how well it's covered, at times it can lax and we can tell when people haven’t even listened to our album and just base a review off our name. It has happened a few times, not by the ones I spoke of. But because we have the word ‘doom’ in our name they say we're a doom band. If the time was taken to listen to our music it clearly shows we are a crushing, brutal death metal band. So that could be a down side but all in all it’s a small few and countless others do a great job covering the scene.
In the 90s there was also a rivalry between death and black metal. Do you see it today or has it died out since then?
It has died out a lot, back then it got around that a lot of the black metal bands wanted come to America and kill bands, and we were more than happy at the time for them to try. But since then both have been quite peaceful with each other. We have done shows with local and major black metal bands and it's been all good, in the 90's no way it would have been blasphemy.
I knew of rivalries between black metallers in Norway (Euronymous and Count Grishnackh) but didn’t hear much about black metal bands wanting to kill members of US based bands. What I remember hearing was if you were a death metal fan that meant you had to hate black metal, but when Cannibal Corpse toured with Dark Funeral in the late 90s it began to change. More people realized it’s all extreme music and the rivalry was pointless and a waste of time.
Back in the mid 90's word got around about some black metal band's wanting to come over but of course... all talk. I know what you mean by if you were a death metal fan that meant you had to hate black metal; for me I just never got into it was too sloppy and only one band should wear make up.... Kiss. But these day's it's all good and everyone seems to be one happy brutal family. As for who we have played with it was just two bands I can think of at the moment Dimentianon and Necronomicon.
For some time it seemed death metal was becoming generic but that changed for the better when Nile pushed the boundaries of what death metal bands could do. Name some of the most original death metal bands you’ve heard of late.
Hand's down it's been Gorguts. Luc Lemay has written some of the most creative music to date of course they had a long break but they have made up for it with Colored Sands and Plediades Dust. Two other band's that are pushing the creative limit are Ad Nauseam and Nero Di Marte.
What recordings do you have by Ad Nauseam and Nero Di Marte? How would you rate those bands in terms of originality?
Ad Nauseam are our label mates on Lavadom Productions. The last release they put out, Nihil Quam Vacuitas Ordinatum Est, is a mind crusher for sure. The albums Nero Di Marte and Derivae from Nero Di Marte are creative and beyond musical. As for how original they are, I would have to say they are both creatively pushing the limits, not just in speed but they bring another side to death metal that is needed to keep things from becoming stale.
How often did you perform with Dimentianon and Necronomicon? I remember Dimentianon when they were The Forgotten around 1996 or ’97. Are they still around today?
We only played with Dimentianon once at a local show and Necronomicon once with Deicide at Gramercy Theater. Both were killer and it was a great time with great guys. Dimentianon are still around. Mike and the guys are still crushing it and I'm sure we'll play more shows with them soon.
I remember one or more members of Dimentianon were running an independent label or distro. Is this still happening now?
Mike the singer has an independent label and distro called Paragon Records. He has some great stuff and has been rereleasing some great stuff on vinyl. Everyone should check them out for sure.
Do you know of any new releases Paragon Records has come out with? Has Dimentianon released anything recently?
I know they have put out some stuff from Artillery, Violence and a new Hadez album. People should check them out on Facebook. As for new music from Dimentianon. I really don't know at the moment.
How did Day Of Doom get started, and what was the inspiration for naming the band?
I started the band in 1999 after leaving Butchery. When I started the band I had one goal: to write and play some of the most crushing music ever. In my opinion we have done that. Shortly after I started the band, former Butchery guitar player Doug Randazzo joined and we recorded our first album Night Of Horror. It was recorded by former Suffocation guitar player Doug Cerrito who also played some sick leads on that album. Then we recorded our second album Slaves To Insanity and a little bit after we were joined by our other former Butchery member Sam Lara on bass and vocals. We recorded our third album The Gates Of Hell and were signed to Lavadome Productions. We will have our first two albums Night Of Horror and Slaves To Insanity rereleased this year on Lavadome on one CD because we wanted to hook the fans up. It will have all new art work. Slaves has an unreleased track. The name came about from the movie Conan The Barbarian when Thulsa Doom says "the day of doom is near". It just stuck in my head. People have thought that it came from a Superman comic but that's not the truth. People see the name and also think we're a doom band, but if they took the time to listen they would hear that's far from the truth. When people hear our new release (which I just tracked the drums for), Descent Of Humanity out next year there will be no doubt we are a sick, twisted, brutal death metal band.
What were the reasons you parted ways with Butchery? Can their material be found anywhere?
We were young and crazy and I was a bit unhappy with how things were going, so it was time to move on. Doug, Sam and I were friends and still are over twenty years later. We're more than friends, we are family. I think Butchery playing live is on Youtube but other than that nothing is available.
Are the Butchery videos on Youtube filmed by attendees of their shows? How would you rate the visual and sound quality?
The videos were filmed by fans at a few shows. I think one is from CBGB. That was a killer show to play; the video and audio is good for the early 90's.
Do you feel fortunate that you got to perform at CBGB before it was closed down? What do you remember of that show? What do you see as the biggest differences between playing Long Island and playing the city?
It was great to play such a legendary venue. Something I remember was how great the sound was. It was so sick sounding. Another thing I remember is a guy showing us the dressing room and saying I could sign my name in the room but not cover any names. I looked for a spot and signed my name next to Blondie. The difference would have to be the size of the venue. In the city we have played some bigger places and on the island it's more local shows for people we know who can't make it out to Gramercy. But as for the intensity people always bring it.
How many songs did Butchery compose while you were with them? Are there plans to release them in the future?
We wrote a bunch of songs but there are no plans to release any of them. The future is Day Of Doom and we'll leave the past to the past.
Do you prefer playing smaller bars with lower admissions that more people can attend, or larger places with higher admissions so there’s more revenue to go into the band?
Of course every band loves the big stage and huge turn outs, but it doesn’t matter to me or the guys as long as people are coming to see us and the others on the bill and have a great time.
Has Day Of Doom boasted a steady lineup since all its members joined? How well do you all work together?
We had a few other guitar players but in the end Doug, Sam and I have done all the writing. We have known and played together for over twenty years. We are a three-headed monster; it will be us till the end. We want to be the death metal Rush, haha. As for how well do we work together, we respect each other’s thoughts about everything concerning the band and life. We will improv before rehearsal for forty minutes; it just flows out of us like we all know what's next. I handle all the recording and mixing for the band and they make it easy when we track. We are all on the same page. It sounds odd these days, but we are solid and enjoy being around each other.
In what ways does Day Of Doom aspire to be likened to a death metal Rush? How often do songs come from your improv sessions?
Well one way we aspire to be like Rush is to continue to be great friends for many years. The way we aspire to be a death metal Rush would be to write great music, at times play in odd time. On our next release we will have a song over 15 minutes long in the vein of The Necromancer/2112. It's something we all love; after we heard the new Gorguts which was 30 minutes we knew people are ready for it. Get ready it's so twisted. Songs never come out of improvs; it will be mostly riffs or a large chunk of a part, then we will go back to jams, listen for fun and say "damn that was so sick... we gotta use that". It will just transform into a song.
How often do you and the band detect a part that stands out, and how do you usually develop it into a song?
It's happened a bunch of times. For the most part an improv part may make its way into something we're working on already because it fits. We will all have songs or ideas for songs and we add our own twist to them. We are very open and listen to each other, or when we have an idea to add something to a song someone's working on we'll just bring it up and try it.
So each band member has had a certain amount of input into your songs. Does this method help to make each song different from the others?
It can at times, but we have played together for so long we are all on the same wavelength. We all have a style to our writing. On the next album Descent Of Humanity the songs we wrote are so strong. Even if one of us writes a song the others will put their flavor into the parts they play which will add to the sickness.
How did you hook up with Doug Cerrito of Suffocation while recording Night Of Horror? On what songs does he appear?
Doug and I have been friends for years. His brother and I went to high school together and I hung a lot as his house. Later on Suffocation played at his house and I saw many jams. I'm good friends with all the guys past and present. When were ready to do Night Of Horror all I did was ask and he was down to help. He did sick solos on Tempest Of Revenge and Kill All The Humans.
Tell of how the band was signed to Lavadome Productions and indicate how well they have treated you.
After we finished the recording of The Gates Of Hell I got a message on Facebook from the owner of Lavadome, Jan. He wrote me a great message telling me how he loved the band from the Myspace days and wanted to sign us. I checked them out and it was a perfect fit. We have been treated well with no issues. Whatever we need or have ideas about, Jan’s always helpful and willing to listen to us. Since we have been on Lavadome the label has grown so much and we have such killer label mates. I think everyone should check them all out.
Who are some of the band’s Lavadome label mates? How many countries has the label reached since it got started?
Some of our label mates are Ad Nauseam, Beyond Mortal Dreams, Chaos Inception, Destroying Divinty, Perversity, Dominhate, Zealotry, Apparatus and Heaving Earth and everyone can go to http://lavadome.bandcamp.com/ to check them as well as Day of Doom out. Lavadome has distribution worldwide and Jan and Lavadome Productions is still growing. We know it's hard these days but we think he has done a great job. We know for a fact our CDs have been sold at some major fests so the Lavadome word is getting spread around the world.
At what metal festivals have your releases selling to extreme music fans?
I know that our shirts and CDs have been at Wacken and Maryland Death Fest. I also know members of bands have worn our merch at some huge shows in Europe and we appreciate that so much.
Have you attended a Wacken or Maryland Death Fest? Are there any major underground metal fests you have gotten to visit? At which fest would you most like Day Of Doom to perform?
I haven’t but I would love to at some point and from what friends have told me it's a ton of fun so maybe someday. We played the March Metal Meltdown in NJ many years ago and it was killer and we played with so many great bands like Divine Empire, Gorguts and so many other sick ones. As for what fest Day Of Doom would like to play? All of them. We would love to crush as many places as we can in the next few years.
How was your second full length Slaves To Insanity an improvement from Night Of Horror?
We don’t look at our albums as being an improvement; more of a continuation of evil. If anything has improved it's been the sound and that will continue on Descent of humanity. The drums came out so sick and the rest will follow suit.
Is there anything you want to say about the new album, The Gates Of Hell? What did you mean by “continuation of evil”?
We are very proud of The Gates Of Hell. It was a lot of fun to write and record it. Songs such as Embrace Your Demise and Through Horrible Despair will be a staple in our set for a long time and we will be adding the song Slaughter Of The Lamb into the set sometime soon. I also love the artwork by the mighty Raul Gonzalez; check his art out. If you look at the cover it has something to do with every song on The Gates Of Hell. It was our first release on Lavadome Productions and it was twisted to see our musical vision come to life. When I say a continuation of evil it's just how we describe our music, sound and visuals... evil, sick, twisted, vile.
What about Gonzalez’ art made you want to hire him for the third album? Where can we view his work online?
Raul was brought up to us by Lavadome and he was sick, we went back and forth on ideas and he was so on point and willing to work with what we had in mind and most of all he's a very talented artist and great guy. If anyone would like to check him out you can see his art on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/raul.gonzalezart.
Who is the main lyricist of the band? Are Day Of Doom’s lyrics inspired by bands they listen to, occult publications, true life events?
I write the bulk of the lyrics. It's not that the other guys can't but it's something I love to do. They just let me run with it and seem to like what I write a lot. The first three albums mainly focused on how religion is a complete farce and its followers are lost souls. As a species we are generally weak and fearful of the unknown. We do not understand how we got here nor our purpose in this world; therefore we create a fantasy world to fill in the blanks. On our next release Descent Of Humanity the lyrical themes are a realistic vision of the circumstances surrounding the dreadful trials and tribulations of today’s society.
Were there specific events or occurrences that you wrote about, or were they simply general observations on religion? How are your lyrics for the next album going to continue in this vein?
Just what my eyes see and my ears hear as for the lyrics on Descent of Humanity it will focus on the here, the now. Humanity has turned to shit and on this next release we touch on many things that have been and are leading up to our eventual demise.
What are the band’s favorite songs to play live from your three full lengths? Which are your personal favorites?
We love to play Embrace Your Demise, Through Horrible Despair, Slaves To Insanity, Perpetual Sorrow and Lust For Blood. It may sound corny but I love them all, none more than others. I truly think that each song has its own place. When we play them we play as if it’s the last time we will ever play it and crush it.
What do you want to disclose about your new recording, and how you intend to promote it once it’s released?
Descent Of Humanity will have eight new songs, some titles are Descent Of Humanity, Blood Soaked Vengeance, Final Judgment and Watching The World Burn. Descent Of Humanity will also have a three part twenty minute song that will destroy people, but that will be a sick surprise for all the freaks of doom. We are happy to say that all our promotion is now handled by Kasperia Management and they will be setting up interviews, reviews with magazines, fanzines and radio station's. We have no doubt that Kasperia Management will get our name and vision spread throughout the entire planet.
How did the band hook up with Kasperia Management, and how well have they treated you?
The founder of Kasperia Management Kat did an interview with us in the 90's when we were Butchery and she had Altar Girl Fanzine and we have been friends for years. Kat has been very supportive of Day Of Doom; we have done live interviews on Obscure Chaos Fanzines Facebook page and we played Kat's birthday party. When the time came to find a promotion company Kasperia was the only choice. Kat is one of the best at promoting not only in the states but worldwide. Kasperia Management has treated us great and is over 100% into promoting and taking Day Of Doom to new heights.
In what ways will Kasperia Management help to promote Descent Of Humanity when it comes out? Will physical CDs be available as well as internet streams?
As you know, promoting a band is extremely demanding and communication skills is a huge key when handling the social media throughout the internet and face to face. With the underground industry changing constantly our team (the band, our manager Bill Eckhoff, Lavadome Productions and Kasperia Management) we will be working closely to ensure the maximum productivity for Day of Doom to reach great height's and new ground's by opening the floodgate's throughout humanity. Kasperia Management has a great sense of direction with fanzines and radio stations worldwide and we are sure with the help of Kasperia Managements promotion skills we will achieve our goals on our next release The Second Coming, Descent of Humanity and any other musical endeavor will have in the future.
Physical copies will be available from us and Lavadome Productions. There will be an internet stream on Lavadome's Bandcamp page. We will have a video of the making of Descent of Humanity on our Facebook page and a new song will be posted before the release. We are well into the recording and it is going to destroy for sure; if you are a fan of death metal then I have no doubt that you will love Descent of Humanity. Let me say from myself and the rest of the Doom thank you Dave and all our freaks for the support and we hope to see you on the road in 2017. STAY EVIL.