8/20/15

A RACE OF A MAN-SIZED ANTHROPOLOGICAL RAT-CREATURES:

Yes, that's what Warhammers character Skaven is, but to another point of view;  Skaven as a band was formed back in 1995. It was an early blackened doom/death crust metal band from Oakland, California. It was a very short-lived project and the band only existed for two years and disbanded in 1997. So why do I choose to tear up the roots of a band that hasn’t released anything new in 18 years? Because I think that Skaven are so understated that they deserve to continue to live on as a band to remember. There are very few bands today that live up to their nasty and dirty sound. It took me a hell of a time to get in touch with the band's lead singer Zebediah and I'm glad that he wanted to set up on this interview. He will describe for us what Skaven was and he will also explain the whole picture about what made them to split up so quickly.
INTERVIEW WRITTEN BY: GREIGH JOHANSON.

Hello Zebediah, It’s an great honour to have you here.
You're the earlier leadsinger in Skaven, am I right?


Zebediah Gammack: -Yes I was the only singer in Skaven. There are a couple of other bands trying to go by that make, but their either techno or new metal. The Skaven discography is coming out on Skuld records in a month or so.

I really fell for the melodic crust part in Flower of Flesh and Blood. Tell me, where you inspired by the japanese Guinea Pig episode when you wrote that song?

ZG: - I was, that is where I took the name. Back when I wrote the song in 1996 I had a VHS of Guinea Pig and the US translation was Flowers of Flesh and Blood. I wrote the lyrics with a different theme than the fake snuff but I really liked that title. The song was more about the creation of life in a very esoteric way. I'm glad you made the connection. I put loads of little references in our songs and imagery and I'm glad when anyone gets them! The melodic part was performed by two basses and guitars tuned to E. Cheers!


How did it come that you broke up so quickly then? You didn't release that many records and its kind of sad, because you where very uniqe! 

ZG: - Thanks! We were young and just a band for two years, a little less. It had a lot of potential. All our recordings were done by Noah Landis of Neurosis fame. We just had some stupid in fighting and egos and when you're 20 years old that shit happens. We could have done so much more...

Have you played in other bands since then?

ZG: - Yes, all of you can check out my band DemonSteed on Myspace. I was living in Montana for about a decade after Skaven broke up. DemonSteed was a bluesy, rock/metal band kinda Motorhead and other influences. We recorded an EP and an album named 'Nitro Ground Shaker' but never had an official release. I'm working on getting that out after the Skaven Discography. Im just trying to find a label that can do it how we want it. 


And if you have some time left, can you discribe a short biography about Skaven. How it took place, which inspiration you used to have, how many performance you did and so on?

ZG: - Of course I can. Skaven was started by Matusio and I in early 1994 when we stole a car and went to Tijuana. We decided to call our new band SKAVEN after a race of horned rats that lived below the earth waiting for the fall of man. When we got back to Oakland we started a band, but this was our Satanic thrash metal-band called "Black Maggot" as it wasn't quite what we wanted Skaven to be yet. We played for a few months then added Ross on drums and Rockin' Geoff Evans on guitar. With the addition of a second Bass played by Shaner we evolved a slower, heavier, and more complex sound. I wrote darker, more serious and lengthy lyrics and we deci-ded to change the name and SKAVEN was officially born! Within four months we went into Polymorph Studio with Nosh Landis (from Neurosis) as engineer.

We recorded five songs and those came out as "Blessed are the Worms" our side of a split LP with Dystopia on Life Is Abuse Records. We followed that release immediately with a winter-tour of the USA with Dystopia and had a crazy whirlwind of a time! When we returned to Oakland, Mauz and Dino from Dystopia moved up from Long beach and we all shared a legendary punk-complex called the Compound. We continued to gig and write getting material together for a full-length album we were writing. We were writing longer songs that utilized the dual basses more efficiently. We went back to Polymorph studios and recorded "Flowers of Flesh and blood" with "Severed" as the B-side of a 7" released on Misanthropic Records. We also wrote and recorded "The Swarm" during this session. Unfortunately shortly after the release of the 7" Skaven broke up over petty arguments and stupid problems. We really just needed a break as we were going full throttle for more than a year. Unfortunately the band stated split-up as members went separate ways to form other bands. That was early 1997. The song "Swarm" was finally released in 2004 as a split 7" with Oakland crust metal band Stormcrow. All 8 songs are coming out as a discography on Skuld records out of Germany in June 2014. Check it out. Thanks alot and take care!




Skaven was:
Zebediah Gammack - Vocals
Mike Matusio - 4 string bass and backing vocals
Rockin' Geoff Evans - Guitars
Ross - Drums
Shaner - 5 string bass

Check’em out: Https://www.facebook.com/skavencrust

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