After the fourth - by all means successful - album “Loathing”, Chicago’s “broken hope” suddenly terminated the contract with Metal Blade, thus having totally destroyed the just-launched album’s promo campaign. Moreover, the band disappeared from our sight for the long two years and didn’t stir a finger to let us know at least anything about the course of things in the camp of a really good brutal band. So, when we heard the first, still unjustified rumours about the BROKEN HOPE new album, we immediately contacted the leader of the band Jeremy Wagner to tell you about the latest and the hottest news before the “Grotesque Blessing” release and not after it as it usually happens
It was really a surprise to learn that you terminated the contract with Metal Blade right after the release of your latest album. What made you take such a step?
Actually, after our last album “Loathing”, it wasn't us who terminated our contract with Metal Blade, it was their decision. Metal Blade dropped us.
One could hardly find any information about BROKEN HOPE during last two years. What have you been doing all this time?
We have been busy writing a new album and we have had some line-up changes as well. Ryan Stanek - drums - and Shaun Glass - bass- have both been removed from BROKEN HOPE. We are currently recording our new album which is titled “Grotesque Blessings” and it should be out in June of 1999 on Martyr Music Records. The album will be our hardest, fastest and heaviest release to date! BROKEN HOPE are back with a new album that will annhilate everything that we have done before!
Oh, really? Sounds great! Nowadays death metal bands tend to “surprise” metalheads with all possible experiments, that sometimes sound like a pure-pop-annihilating-metal!
I can honestly say that the music is a bit more complex technically, but not in the sense that it loses any direction. The songs are all very powerful and brutal as all fuck!
You have been playing for ten years already, what makes you still stay that brutal? Is it difficult to stay innovative?
It's definitely work to keep your ideas fresh and to keep away from re-hashing yourselves. We like to come up with new riffs and techniques while still retaining the sheer heaviness that has made us what we are, but we have had two years to write a good album. I think that anyone who likes us and anyone who likes brutal, quality death-metal, will surely love “Grotesque Blessings”.
What do you feel being a ten-year-old band? Are you satisfied with what you have done? By the way, our congratulations!
Thanks for the congratulations! Yeah, it's kind of trippy seeing yourself as a band who has been around for ten years. I have certainly seen many, many wild and crazy things since forming this band and I look forward to seeing a lot more of the world with BROKEN HOPE.
Death metal is known for its blood-violence-death lyrics. I assume that BROKEN HOPE is not an exception in this respect. Why are you particularly interested in all that zombie and gore stuff? Some death metal bands are more into politics and social things. Do these things not bother you?
Well, I love all kinds of horror, weird and macabre things. I am not really much of a political person. Granted, there are political matters that just piss me off and I have no tolerance for any of it! However, in BROKEN HOPE, I just write about other subjects that I think of. I am not one to get on a soapbox and start preaching about too many social and political things. I'll leave that to RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE.
Jeremy, you are also known as a writer. People know your short stories, and you are about to finish your novel...
Well, I have written a small amount of short-stories and yes, I have written my first full-length novel. The novel is currently being edited right now. It took me a couple of years to write. I can't really elaborate on it at this time but I can tell you that the book is kind of like Michael Critchton meets Stephen King in nature. I love writing and I plan on starting a new book soon.
How could you comment on your own words: “We are determined not to become the AC/DC of death metal”? Especially after the words of Metal Blade: “...move the BROKEN HOPE up and out of the underground and into the mainstream”?
That's my statement of saying that we don't want to put out any albums that sound like music we have done before. Nothing against AC/DC but they have songs that always sound the same and I would never want to keep writing the same songs over and over again. We want to deliver fresh, quality, BROKEN HOPE-style death-metal.....
You started out in Chicago, what kind of metal scene do you have this city?
There are a lot of metal bands in the Chicago area of all styles. This area has always had great metal bands and still does. There are new bands popping up all the time.
I suppose you might know Paul Speckman from MASTER?
Well, I have met him once but I really don't know him at all.
There are rather familiar-to-us-sounding second names of your band members: Ptacek and Stanek. I think they mast have some roots in Eastern Europe...
Yes, that is true! Our singer, Joe Ptacek, has direct relatives who are from Czechloslavakia and that is where his ancestors are from. My family tree has roots in Germany, Holland, Russia and Ireland.
Extreme music musicians are known for their struggle with the dogmas of Christianity and positive attitude towards Satanism. What is your point?
My view is this: I am agnostic, therefore I have no set beliefs in religion. I personally do not care if you're Christian, Satanist, Jewish, Buddhist, Athiest, etc. I have no problem with anyone who has their own beliefs. What I do have a problem with is those people who try and push their beliefs on me! I hate that! I don't want to be converted or hear what you believe in, just do your thing and leave me alone!
What sort of metal underground do you have in your country nowadays? I heard America has turned into an ultimate pop mayhem.
There is a great metal underground all over the United States. There are fans from coast to coast. As far as turn-outs for shows, it just depends on where you are and who the bands are that are playing.
How would you like to comment on the recent SUFFOCATION split?
As far as SUFFOCATION, I am saddened by their break-up because they were a great band and they also are friends of mine. I wish them all the best.
What would you like to say to all your fans in Europe?
I just want to say hello and thanks to all of our fans from Europe and everywhere else! I hope that BROKEN HOPE can come over to your countries and cities and have an oppurtunity to perform for you and meet you all! Watch for our new album “Grotesque Blessings” on Martyr Music Records this summer! For more information on BROKEN HOPE write to: Mrtyrmusic@aol.com and check out our official BROKEN HOPE website at: http://members.aol.com/sucktone/BH ...
Well, if your website is as brutal as your music, Jeremy, my browser will be definitely destroyed!