DEICIDE

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TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE

This e-mail interview with guitarist Brian Hoffman of Deicide was done by Tony Belcher in February 2004 with additional questions by Christian Andersson.

Deicide is one of the most controversial and longest running death metal bands from the early Florida scene. After several milestone albums they did a couple of rushed releases to get out of their contract with Roadrunner Records. Now they return with one of their strongest releases ever called "Scars Of The Crucifix" and a new record company in Earache Records. Deicide is back. [Vincent Eldefors, the editor]

First off, a personal question: when the hell did you get all those killer tattoos and what made you cut your hair? When I saw Deicide in Atlanta in 2003, I didn't recognize you at all. The last photo I saw of you guys was from the 1998 live album and you still had (long) hair and no ink. In fact, that night I thought you were a roadie or stand-in until I saw and heard you play. I apologize if this sounds too "fanboyish" of me, but I was curious about this.
I've always admired tattoo art, it just took me awhile to find the type of art that I wanted because it's permanent. I shaved my head in late 1999 because my hair was too long, it got in the way of my guitar playing.I was growing it back in 2001 but when I met my wife she said she liked me bald so I've been shaving it ever since.

What really happened with "In Torment In Hell"? That record is really unlike anything I've heard or expected from Deicide. Was that album done solely to get out of the contract with Roadrunner?
We were rushed to do the album so we slopped it together and put it out. Yes,we definitely wanted to get off of Roadrunner.

Are you excited to be done with Roadrunner and now on Earache? How have Digby and the crew been or have they largely been hands off [i.e., do they leave you guys alone]? I've read that this is only a one album deal with Earache, but what are your feelings about the new label?
Earache is the best label possible for Deicide. They are very motivated and positive about this new album. Yes, this is a one album contract.

One last question about Roadrunner, but what do you think about the "Greatest Hits" album that they put out and did you guys have any input on it?
I don't have a copy so I couldn't comment on it. That's how much input I had on it and that shows you how well they treat their bands.

What was recording "Scars of the Crucifix" like? I figure it had to feel really fresh for any number of reasons, not the least of which being that Glen Benton recorded and toured with Vital Remains as well as the band being on a new record label.
Recording "Scars of the Crucifix" musically was a challenge but we knew the parts so well and rehearsed so much when we got in the studio, it was a very easy process.

Further, what did the rest of the band think about Glen and Vital Remains? Was it a non-issue? Did you guys like the "Dechristianize" album? I thought it was killer.
It was basically a non-issue for us.

The Swedish black metal band Misericordia (http://www.misericordia.nu/) has accused Glen of stealing the album title "Dechristianize" from them, do you have any comments on this issue?
I've never even heard of that band but that's a question for Glen.

About "Scars..." what was it like working with Neil Kernon on the new record, 'cause he also did the last two Cannibal Corpse albums? Was it the 'same old feeling' being at Morrisound Studios again?
Neil is a very easygoing person. He understood the guitar sounds that we wanted and did a great job on the drums and vocals also. Yeah, Morrisound is like being at home. It's a very relaxing atmosphere so it's easy for us to work.

What do the fans have to look forward to with the DVD that will come with the new album and what was it like recording Deicide's first video?
It's basically like documentary type stuff so we were just being ourselves. It was completely different from doing our first video, which was like a set.

Also, who made the choice to release "Scars..." in so many different formats? I'd guess it was Earache since they've given similar treatment to other albums they've recently released. Why is it that the 'guitar pic' package is only available in Europe or is that out of your hands?
Yeah, Earache came up with the idea to do it in so many different formats and the packaging is the collaboration between Earache and Deicide. The special Deicide pic packaging is just a limited edition for our European fans.

Are bands that tour with Deicide representative of your likes? If not, who are some of your favorite bands now and do you claim any outside influences for the music of Deicide?
Yeah, we like the bands that we tour with but we don't get to pick which ones we go with. That's the promoter and the record companies that deal with that. Some of my favorite bands are "Destruction", "Sodom", "Venom" and "Slayer".

Here's a question that you may not be able to answer, but how did Steve Asheim's endorsement by Premier Percussion come about? Perhaps related to that, how has it been playing B.C. Rich axes all these years and what was it like designing "the Beast" guitar? That is one killer guitar. I think Incantation's bassist has one, but otherwise I've not seen it used much.
I don't know exactly how Steve got the endorsement by Premier. B.C Rich makes great guitars and guitar shapes. It took me 20 minutes to design "The Beast" and thanks for the compliment. If you like "The Beast", then you'll love my next 3 guitar designs that I built and patented myself. You'll be seeing them soon. They are the most evil guitars that will ever be!

Is it true that the band members don't get along very well? I assume that this is only a rumor as you have had a steady line-up for much longer than most bands even exist.
Of course we have our differences but we know how to work through it. We are all like brothers, not just Eric and I.

Well, I could probably ask more fanboy questions, but these will suffice. I want to thank you for your time to do this. I also wanted to thank you for all the years of killer music that have already passed. I look forward to many more. Hail Deicide!


Links of interest:

Deicide
Earache Records