Probably there were better times for ultrabrutal music, probably there are less metalheads today ready to smash their brains with the sonic massacre into molecular pieces, probably “symphonic” black metal is more in vogue nowadays… Well the three serial killers from Cleveland, Ohio, seem not to give a damn to all those “probables”. Almost for a decade John McEntee & Co. have been standing on their ground – they still play ultra cruel brutal death metal with no compromises!
I know that Nuclear Blast would make the distribution of your records here, in Europe. Rumour has it that Nuclear Blast used to be quite unsatisfied with the selling of your albums. Is it justified?
John: The bottom line is that Nuclear Blast never wanted to release our album in Europe and just did half ass because they were told to by Relapse. And that is not the right reason. It's pretty stupid to release a CD by a company that does not want to! I’m not happy about this but we were just stuck in the middle of a stupid problem, we were much happier with Repulse than with Nuclear Blast, but I think Nuclear Blast is good to the bands it likes!
You were happier with Repulse? In 1997 you would move labels, switching from Relapse to Repulse. Repulse even managed to release your album and sold some thousand copies. Why did you return to Relapse afterwards?
John: Well, first, we left Relapse because they did not want to work with us anymore! They did not believe in the band, so we worked together to try to get off them! We got a good contract from Visceral Production so we decided to go with them. But when we did the MCD "The Forsaken Mourning of Angelic Anguish" for Repulse, there was some misunderstanding between both Relapse, Repulse and us and then legally Relapse got the rights to the MCD and our next album! Then Visceral soon went out of business so we are not going to be able to work with them anymore! So as of now we don't know what's next. I don't really know why Visceral went out of business, but I think it had to do with losing money!
So, you are presently on Relapse, aren’t you? How do you manage to deal with the guys nowadays?
John: Basically we told them that if they like our music and want to work with us, they need to work with us on stuff, not against us like in the past. We just told them that if they are cool then we will be cool, if they are dicks then we will be dicks!
Judging by the titles of your albums, one might guess you are Satanists. But I know you are not...
Tom: The members of this band love blasphemy. We hate hypocritical religions that want non-thinking followers to just obey without any thought involved. We get along with hardcore Satanists fine, we will tolerate religion to an extent whet it comes to friends or family but it’s not something we waste our time debating over. We are true to ourselves and indulge in the carnal animal cravings of man and animal as the Church Of Satan does, so think whatever you want.
John: One thing for sure is that we all hail the Gaot!
So, you tolerate the Church of Satan?
Tom: Love it! It is more interesting than other organized religion.
Why do you dislikeChristianity then?
Tom: It’s hard to believe in the Bible. I am faithless. I don’t like being told what’s wrong or right and nothing about it appeals to me.
And what do you think about religions in general?
Tom: A waste of time.
Since when you realized that church and Christianity are the things you want to confront?
Tom: When I got old enough to think for myself.
Do your remember your first experience?
Tom: Sure. Being let down by the unmerciful God that people always were justifying, got sick of hearing about it by the age of thirteen.
So, you are sure that the Bible is nothing else but a guideline for the “non-thinking followers”?
Tom: The fairytale like miracle stories and resurrections and shit like that. Things that are hard to believe, that don’t happen in the real world…
John: The Bible is like a fantasy book! For trendy and weak minded.
Well, it would have been totally wrong if we accused the Bible of not having at least some reasonable ideas. What would you say on the Bible statement: respect your mother and father?
Tom: That’s OK. Not too unreasonable or unrealistic. Unless your parents are assholes.
And something like “don’t kill”? Does it sound too stupid for you?
Tom: Without a damn good reason? Too hard to explain! Depends on the situation, though I am not fond of murdering.
John: If you are going to kill anyone kill a trendy fag or poser!
John: Stealing is gay, earn money like you have to work for what you have!
“Don’t be a false witness”?
Tom: Who cares?
Or something like: “don’t wish your relative’s or neighbor’s wife or husband”?
Tom: Haha! Fuck it!
John: Metal rules!
Oh, it really does! “Don’t wish to get anything that belongs to your relative or neighbor”
Tom: Well, that’s like saying “do not be an asshole!” So, that’s OK.
Well, there are also some interesting “instructions” like: “you must have only one God”...
Tom: A lot of people need something to believe in, we do not.
“Don’t create idols…”
Tom: I’d rather do that and twist things in the way I see and feel them.
“Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain!”
Tom: Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain? Like saying “God fucking damn it?!” Jesus fucking Mary Joseph fucking Christ! Obviously I do not give a fuck!
And what about “don’t work on Sundays, give these days to God”?
Tom: Whatever… No one works. Not many people use this day to go to church. From where I see it, it’s bullshit.
Do you believe in life after death, guys?
Tom: I can’t make up my mind. I do not know, don’t think about it. The mystery is frustrating but I can’t wait to find out!
John: I think when you are dead that's it, no after life!
What is your greatest fear?
Tom: Waking up with no dick!
Could you comment on the seven mortal sins?
Tom: Well, I can say we probably like them all!
Are there any problems with censorship in the States?
Tom: It doesn’t really affects the underground too much.
American society is known to be very religious, isn’t it?
Tom: About 50/50.
Nowadays bands release tributes to another bands. You, as I can see, prefer to release tributes to the goat…
John: Well, the “Tribute to the Goat” is a live in the studio CD. That was recorded back in ’97, it’s not something that we are one hundred percent happy with but it is a cool underground release!
I know musicians like to take groupies with them on tours. Well, as soon as you differ a bit from the “mainstream” tastes…
Tom: Well, sure… we try!
John: We don't get groupies at the shows! Just true metal warriors.
I know you were once involved into two black metal projects: PROFANATICA and HAVOHEJ. How did it happen that you got involved into black metal? The albums of the bands were released through OSMOSE. Do you have anything to say about your cooperation with the French label?
John: I was never in PROFANATICA or HAVOHEJ but other member on INCANTATION has. I'm a fan of aggressive and Demonic black metal and not a fan of the happy and gay sounding black metal! Some of my faves are DRACONUS, MARDUK, IMMORTAL, ABSU, DARK MOON, SATHREAL. Stuff like that. I really don't know too much about Osmose Productions, just that they do a great job with the releases they release in Europe and quite well over here!
You have been already playing that sort of music for quite a lot.What do you think about the American metal scene now and then?
John: I think that the US death metal scene has always been a pretty killer. With bands like POSSESSED, NECROPHAGIA, AUTOPSY, MORBID ANGEL, SADISTIC INTENT you can’t go wrong, but as on now the scene is still good. I think in a way it's more true then in the early 90s because in the early 90s death metal was trendy to play, so there were a lot of trend fags playing death metal. Now there are only the true bands! I think some of the great new death metal bands are NILE, ANGEL CORPSE, DIABOLIC, BURNING INSIDE, CORPSE VOMIT, EXHUMED just to name a few.
How good should a young musician play his instrument to be able to form a band?
Tom: Whether you suck or rule, if you like being – you should be metal!
John: When I had my first band I had no idea how to play, so I can say shit!
Please name five metal albums that impressed you most?
“Reign In Blood”
ENTOMBED “Left Hand Path”
KREATOR “Pleasure To Kill”
NAPALM DEATH “From Enslavement To Obliteration”
CELTIC FROST “Emperor’s Return”
What would you like to say to all your fans in Europe?
Tom: Stay metal! Visit out website: www.incantation.com. Behemoth rules!
John: Hail the Goat! Hail to all our friends in Europe. Stay fucking metal! We look forward to play shows there soon!