This interview with Craig Pillard of Disciples of Mockery features questions by Y. Arkadin.
1. I'll start with the first question that comes to mind when I think of the band, namely: What was the deciding factor that led three-quarters of the old Incantation line-up to reunite and play again? And how did you come in touch with Mike Boyce from Rotting Corpse?
What led Me, Jimmy and Ronny together is the fact that we are very good friends, and we collaborate very well together as a unit!!! We realized that back then, and that has a lot to do with why we are still together! As for Mike, before we started D.O.M., Ronny and Mike were playing together for awhile. Mike used to play in a local death metal demo band called Rotting Corpse from Jersey, not the one from Texas!
2. Roy Fox of Necroharmonic Productions helped distribute the three-song promo through his own label and continues to do so as far as I know (this is where I bought my own copy). I understand he's going to re-release that same promo along with the Womb demo, which also features members of early Incantation, pretty soon on a split release...how did that alliance come about? And how has the response been to the promo thus far?
Yes, Roy Fox is going to release a split cd with the D.O.M. 3 song promo, and the 4 song WOMB demo that was never released in '96. We are actually going in on the deal. Roy and us are splitting the dubbing costs 50/50 so its easier on both of us. As for the response, it has been very positive!!! We had only pressed 500 of the D.O.M. promo cds and they went quick! They were given out for the most part. And as for the WOMB, Relapse records had released the first song "Bound Fucked Humiliated" on a compilation cd entitled "UHF/VHF" and we had very good response from that!! So we figured it would be cool to release the WOMB demo as a split with the 3 song D.O.M. promo that is now sold out, since it is a piece of our history that should be recognized!!!
3. After releasing that promotional CD, you reportedly worked with Paul Crook from Anthrax to produce the first full-length album, "Prelude To Apocalypse." Was this his first time working with a Death Metal band? How did that go?
Paul Crook is a good friend of ours, and has been for awhile. He worked with us since the 3-song promo, and we felt he would be great for our first full length "Prelude to Apocalypse"!! And we were right!! He's the best producer we've worked with!! I wish we knew him back in the Incantation days! He really knows how to bring out our sound!! As far as this being his first time working with a death metal band, I believe it is! He really knows his shit!!!
4. You still haven't been signed to any label and continue to release your music independently. Is this intentional, or just coincidental? Were you given any offers yet? Is there any label you'd prefer to be signed to would the moment come around?
We have had some offers already but none worth it!! Relapse is working on a contract with us, but I'll tell ya, it's gonna take a lot better contract than the last one we had with Incantation for us to sign! Otherwise we don't care if we are signed. We are fine with doing things our way!! In fact I like doing a lot of the business myself. I learned a lot through the years, especially about getting fucked in the music business! It's a shitty business! And we'd rather do it ourselves, so if we get a good offer we might sign, or we might not!!
5. How has the reception been live? I know you plan to be involved in more shows in the future. Are there any places where you'd especially like to play? Any particular bands you'd like to be featured with?
Live its been great - though we've only played a couple of places locally and we haven't played out of state yet. We don't play out too often. We all have very good jobs, so it is hard for us to play. Don't get me wrong, we take our music seriously, but we also take the roofs over our heads seriously too!! Right now shows aren't a priority for us. We bust our asses every day for what we have, and we don't want to regress into homeless, hungry, metal musicians!!!
6. Simply judging from the art and song titles, it would probably be safe to say that Disciples of Mockery subscribes to a strong individualistic and controversial ideology. The emblem and t-shirt design depicting the hammer against a red background is a particularly interesting and unique touch. Can you elaborate on some of these things and what feelings or thoughts you'd like to transmit to the listener through them?
We like the fact that our imagery is kind of blunt, and abstract rather than the typical upside down crosses or pentagrams. You can also say our imagery is a little ideological in the sense of a socialistic dominating regime!!! An army of totalitarian view, of utter domination!!!
7. Craig, you and the rest of the band have obviously been involved in this music for quite some time now. Looking back, how would you judge the growth of the scene? What's your view of the contemporary state of the underground, the increased complexity, the blending of styles and ceaseless variations since the early days of Possessed, Slayer, etc.?
I hate the fact that the majority of music nowadays is influenced by hip hop, rap shit!!! It disgusts me!!! There are very few good bands out there now!! The scene has definatly suffocated itself into senseless shit!!! I have a lot more respect for '80s bands than the present ones. But I'm not stuck in the '80s. There are few metal bands that I like today. I listen to a lot of extreme industrial and ambient bands lately. Metal will prevail as long as its not suffocated by lesser styles that infest their way into extreme music today!!!
8. There seems to be quite a lot of antipathy in the U.S. Underground towards Black Metal and Folk-related music, especially of the atmospheric and symphonic variety. Is this justified in your view? Are Europeans ahead of our Chicken McNugget culture in this sense? Do you ever see Disciples of Mockery turn to any symphonic or atmospheric direction in the future, in the sense of choirs, diverse instrumentation, etc.? Or will it always be harsh and straightforward as long as the name is utilized?
Our music in D.O.M. will always be as brutal as it was when we started!!! If I decide to play with a different instrumentation, it will definitely be brutal and a different project. I'm always up for experimentation of utter brutal proportions!!! As for this particular band we intend on keeping it as brutal as possible with the same instrumentation as we started with!!!
The Disciples of Mockery
9. I notice that you include some links to several industrial and gothic bands in your web site, implying that you appreciate some of that music. When I interviewed John McEntee some time ago he told me clearly that he fucking hates almost every kind of music with the exception of metal. This is unrelated to Disciples of Mockery, but I can't help asking you how it was working with him for several years? I can picture him taking your industrial CDs and smashing them one by one against his forehead in a fit of metal-bravado-inspired-violenceŠ
Working with John was good in the sense of collaborative writing. We always clicked together as a unit! It's the lack of communication and trust that separated us as a unit. He was very quiet about the business part of the band. It seemed like he llways had something to hide - like where the band funds went!!! As for personal music tastes, that wasn't a part of the break-up of the band. We all had a lot of the same influences and also different ones. We all were into '80s death metal!! If John said to you he detests every kind of music but metal, then that just shows how much of a small brain he has!!!
10. Since I'm already on that topic, and I was always a huge fan of Incantation - especially in the early days - I'm curious of how you feel about the present incarnation of Incantation; how it differs from the earlier material - better or worse? Please tell me I'm not the only one that thinks McEntee should have his pen-and-paper privileges suspended. I've always that ever since you left the band the brains of Incantation have left too. The music isn't bad, it's just that the conceptual side of it has gotten quite weak, to say the least. What do you think?
Yes of course the conceptual side of Incantation is now weakened, I wrote all titles and lyrics. Then when I left he had to take over the writing of all the lyrics and titles and it's pretty obvious where he got those ideas from!! As for the music you can obviously see the difference with the 3 of us gone!! I must give him some credit for keeping it going, it's just amazing how many members he goes through, it really is a one man band now if you think about it! Its John McEntee's Incantation!
11. After some disagreements, I know you started playing in a band called Cattlepress. And then you were involved briefly with Ceremonium. Can you speak a bit about that? Is there still any collaboration going on with either of these bands?
After I left Incantation in '94 I was living in New York city at the time and I started to jam with Cattle Press (long time friends) and also Ceremonium briefly but then I moved back to Jersey in '96 and stopped playing with Cattle Press and Ceremonium to start playing with Jimmy and Ronny again as WOMB. I'm still good friends with Cattle Press and Ceremonium. I just don't play with them anymore. Cattle Press just released a full length cd on Hydrahead records entitled "Hordes to Abolish the Divine" and its one of the best releases out there today!!! It totally crushes!!!!! I listen to it all the time! As for Ceremonium they were supposed to release a 2nd full length cd very soon. But I think they are having label trouble right now.
12. Alright, enough about you and John McEntee! What's the next step with Disciples of Mockery? What lies ahead in the future?
Right now we are working on new material for another release!! But I'm also focusing on releasing the D.O.M./WOMB split cd with Roy, which should be out eventually - so keep an eye out for that!! The WOMB features me and Ronny playing bass guitars only!!! of course with Jimmy on drums and Me on voice!! total doom sludge!!! very heavy!!
13. That's all I have for now, Craig. My regards to Jim Roe, Ronnie Deo and Mike Boyce, the rest of the depraved madmen in this Death Metal battering ram. Allow the last section to be space for any kind of remaining thoughts you have. Thanks for the interview and best of luck!
people reading this, if you don't have our debut 9-song cd entitled
"Prelude to Apocalypse" you can get it by sending $13 u.s. $15 world,
cash or money order made out to:
Disciples of Mockery
153 Oaktree Av.
South Plainfield, N.J.
We also have limited T-shirts available for $12 u.s. $14 world. also look out for our D.O.M./WOMB split cd out soon!!! thru us or Necroharmonic productions at WWW.NECROHARMONIC.COM .