One of the older Death Metal bands Vital Remains shouldn't need any further introduction I guess. And since they are back with a new album "Dawn Of The Apocalypse" and a coming MCD I of course had to interview them! Joe Lewis was the one who answered my questions.

Interview by Whodan


According to Osmose your album was set for a release during spring etc, which later was cancelled etc. But now it finnaly seems as the album will be released in October. What have caused all these delays?
Its taken some time to complete the new CD, due to various reasons - there are not any good recording studios where we live! The closest studios around our area are in Boston or New York! Too far to travel without the proper recording budget, we do have regular jobs, therefore we can't really afford to travel or take our time off work! the studios here are also very expensive, they charge $65 per hour! (way too expensive). We also added a new vocalist, his name is Thorns, it some time to teach him how we work and write, we wanted him to be ready to record in the studio, so we had to practice for quite some time before we could enter the studio, but I assure you it will be worth the wait!

And since the material on ”Dawn Of The Apocalypse” should be rather old then in September you then should have some new material. If you have, you should propably wait to record another album so that people have time to buy ”Dawn...”. If you do, you’re in the same position as you’ve been many times before. The album you’ve just released contains pretty old material and maybe also feel a bit less presentative for you.


This album is gonna kick everyone's ass into oblivion! We waited until just the right time to release this album, and we actually have other new material we've been weriting, but nothing to talk about right now - we're just concerned about releasing "Dawn Of The Apocalypse"!

Can you tell us something about the coming album then? How would you say it differs from your latest album ”Forever Underground”?


The new album "Dawn Of The Apocalypse" is without doubt the best Vital Remains album so far... It's much more brutal that "Forever Underground". Thorns did a great job with the vocals. Every albums just keeps getting better!

The tour you were supposed to have done with Immortal was cancelled. Do you have any other tours scheduled? Will you perhaps this time play in Sweden or any other northern countries?
Yes it's very unfortunate for us that we didn't get to support the Immortal tour. we were very disapointed about the entire situation, I think it would have been a very good tour for Vital Remains. But now we must wait and see what develops after the release of the album on October 25th on osmose. There has been talk about some really good tours, but I can't comment on that right now.

It says in a newsletter from Osmose that you were currently looking for a session guitarist. Have you found one yet?
We will be touring with a guitarist from Buffalo New York, his name is Greg, he was in the same band as Steve Tucker of Morbid Angel, before Steve joined Morbid Angel, he's a very powerful guitarist and he will add a new dimension to our live performances!

Are you content with the cooperation with Osmose Productions?
Osmose has fullfilled their promises thus far, and I have no real complaints. I just wish we had larger recording budget and more involment in touring! Herve has been great with us, he's a very professional business man! He knows how to operate his company very well! I hope we will work together for years to come!

It seems like Osmose is just growing and growing and one said to me that they had even managed to sign Manowar (Don’t know if it’s true). You don’t see a risc that they’ll give a band like Manowar a much higher priority, ‘cause Manowar ought to sell much much more than what Vital Remains do?
Yes Osmose is growing into a very mature record label, getting stronger and stronger everyday. And no Osmose did not sign Manowar! We are not competing with any band, we simply write the best Death Metal music we can! And we know that our fans will always support us and buy our CD's and T-shirts, and come see us when we are on tour. It's our fans that make us want to keep putting out great albums!

What about this MCD ”Horrors Of Hell”?
"Horrors Of Hell" will be a collection of cover songs we've recorded throughout the years. It will propably be available in early 2000. It will have some really cool songs on it!

Then you will re-release the demo ”Reduced To Ashes” through Cryonics Records. As I’m not familiar with that label I take it that it’s a small label. Why not on your present label Osmose instead?
Cryonics is a small label out of Holland that is releasing a vlassic demo series on CD format of some classic bands. And we wanted to be a part of it. There are only 500 copies avaiable - it's a collectors item so get it now while you can!

I see a tendency that more and more Death/Black Metal bands include electronic/techno elements in their music. But what’s your opinion about this? Do you think electronic/techno elements would fit in Vital Remains?
No electronics here! Pure fucking Metal! We use keyboards to compliment certain guitar structures but I really don't care too much for much more than that! If bands want to use this style it's ok with me!

To continue about this topic. Some people say that extreme Metal has reached a wall and that bands can’t create anything new nor exciting and must therefore include new non-Metal elements in their music. Do you agree with such comments or do you think that Metal must only be Metal, end of discusion!?
Listen to the new CD by Vital Remains "Dawn Of The Apocalypse", END OF DISCUSSION!!

It’s been a while since Jeff Gruslin left the band. Judging by my old ‘zines he seemed to take care about the PR-bit back in those days. Have it been hard for you to take over the PR-bit, doing the interviews etc?
I do all the interview now! I enjoy it very much, although I must say, sometimes I get 10 interviews at once and it get very overwhelming. And it takes some time to complete all of them, especially when the interviews have more than 10 questions!

Despite having existed since late 80’ies you haven’t exactly released that many albums (compared to many others). Are you perhaps really picky about what material you are going to record or is there another reason?
Yes we are very concerned with what we release, we don't want to release trendy or bad music,(That's the spirit! I only wish that everyone would do the same! - ed) with each release we try and top the last release! We will only get better. Go and get your copy of "Dawn Of The Apocalypse" on osmose released on October 25th 1999 - You won't be disapointed!
Hail Victory!