Interviews

Interview with Lord of Depression

In 1999, I bought a cd at my local record shop which was called “A Tribute To Hell” released by Full Moon Productions. FMP was a label name that carried some weight in the USBM scene so I picked it up, despite being unfamiliar with 50% of the bands on it.

One song stood out among the rest. It was called “Blade of the Mighty Ones.”Powerful, riff heavy, rock-n-roll solo, different from the European shit I had been into for so long. The song was by an elusive band called Lord of Depression.

We were still making mixtapes back then, and “Blade…” was a song I put on every mixtape. This song was a staple of drinking sessions and other assorted partying. Degenerate stuff!

One friend in particular dug the song as much as I did. When we would smoke out in the car, jamming to all our various tapes, that song would always be the high point of the night – literally.

Trying to find material by this fucking “Lord of Depression” band was a nightmare. There was nothing out there! You had to use the internet. I didn’t wanna fucking use that shit.

What’s the point here?

I was a 20 year old loser with a nowhere job in a shitty city and the only thing I had was my car and my car’s tape player. I even scared some co-workers with this particular song, which was fun, as I hadn’t scared anyone with Satanism since high school.

It felt good to frighten these fucking morons.

Fast forward many years and some guy emails me about playing guitar in his band, and I think “Yeah, whatever, fuck off.”

So I tell him pretty much that: Whatever, fuck off.

He claimed to be THE Lord of Depression. I didn’t believe him. There was no way THAT GUY was going to ask THE LOSER FROM BLOOD CULT to play in his band! I agreed to trade cds with him, trying to call this obviously insane troll’s bluff.

The CDs actually arrived. They were Lord of Depression CDs.

I agreed to join. We became friends… but we never had any real in-depth conversations about LOD.

Let me add that once I joined the band and told my friend (who had spent so many nights with me listening to this band) about it… he didn’t give one fuck and never came to any shows.

What a fucking dumbass. He sure missed out on some epic shows.

Lord of Depression’s live line-up was one of the top, best, hardest, tightest bands I’ve played in. Lord wrote everything, and it was good shit. The man is a genius, and I don’t throw that word around lightly. I mean it when I say it.

We were better than every single band we played with at every single show we played.

On Halloween in 2016, we played our final show.

You’re never gonna see that shit again. We did it and I’m happy I was a part of it but hey, ENOUGH ABOUT ME ALREADY.

Here is the conversation I always wanted to have with Lord of Depression, presented here, to you, dear readers of this fine webzine.

I want to know about the absolute beginning of L.O.D. You started very early in comparison to other American Black Metal bands of the 1990s. How did you get into Black Metal in the first place?

Live image of the Lord of Depression
Lord of Depression live

The very beginning started in Illinois, but I got an offer to move to Florida at 17… so off I went. The shit we were doing in Illinois was rubbish as not many even knew of Metallica let alone Bathory and Possessed. I was in a noise rock 2 man band in Ft. Myers for a while called Fulltilt, inspired by the great sounds of Big Black, Melvins, Throbbing Gristle, Scratch Acid and a lot of other music I was and still am into. I was still writing material for some of what ended up as L.O.D. and others I’ve kept back for my newest creation, Plague Ritual, total DEATH!

Anyway, we were lucky enough to have a record shop that carried obscure metal in this cornfield of a town. I spent the 80’S trying to find the hardest, fastest, most evil sounding stuff I could find. Slayer, Hellhammer, Destruction, Priest, and so on. Anyway, I hung with an older crowd and a friend changed my life. He just got the brand new first Bathory album. I knew that was my calling in music. Three groups sum it up for me as far as influences on my music, Bathory, Sodom, and Possessed. But my musical path started in the 70’S with Kiss, Maiden, Priest, Sabbath, Rainbow, Rush, lots of Jazz and R&B, and my favorite musician of all time….Frank Zappa (no surprise there, ha).

You were there for the early days of Black Metal in the US and part of the earliest scene with labels like Full Moon. How did you get to know FMP and what work did you do with or for them?

Well, let’s start first with Ace’s Records in Tampa. I hung out there every day. I got to become good friends with Trevor of Obituary, James Murphy (every band, ha), and most importantly, Alan Moses. He has been a great friend over the years and introduced me to some killer music. I think his contribution to the Heavy Metal scene is sorely understated. He is a musical library and a total Aussie cunt. Since i hung out at Ace’s almost daily, the owner Frank (R.I.P.) offered me a job due to touring duties with both Trevor and James. He said i was always there and always helping customers that i might as well get paid for it. Frank did a ton for the Tampa scene and working for him was a gift as i met so many great people there that to this day are great friends. Ok, about FMP, I went to shows pretty much every week, sometimes multiple shows. I was at a show with a Bathory shirt on in a room full of Death Metal shirts (nothing wrong with that by the way, i love Death Metal), anyway Jon from FMP came up to me and that began a friendship that has lasted to this day.

Basically, I hung out at both FMP compounds while we both lived in Florida, meaning we listened to new demos/releases, I helped out with whatever but really it was a very important and unique time in my life and am glad to have been a part of it not to mention we collaborated on the Nastrond 7″ and Ildjarn mcd and him believing in L.O.D. enough to include me on the Tribute to Hell comp… and the chance to record with a legend, Greg Marchek at a legendary studio, Audio Lab. A little piece of history not known to but a few, Jon helped write Victory on the 2nd demo. Crazy times all the time from Mysticum calling me to have me ship them drugs they couldn’t get in Norway, playing with some of the best in the scene back then, lots of church desecration and most important, bands with unique identities unlike most of todays rubbish.

In short, FMP was crucial for many bands and the scene and will forever be missed. Very few are as dedicated these days.

Lord of Depression live with J. R. Preston
Lord of Depression live

What are your biggest pet peeves about Black Metal today?

You’d be better off asking what are not my pet peeves. 98% of Black Metal is a joke and are basically 10th rate Anal Cunt cover bands with no riffs. Anyone remember Bathory? Remember the fucking riffs? Another thing, learn to play, seriously. No talent means shit music, plain and simple. Truth be told, that 98% of shit bands could commit suicide tonight and I would never miss them. If anything, I might actually like the “scene”, haha. Another thing that irks me is the words trve and kvlt. Those words are spoken by faggots and hanger-ons. Oh, you can’t forget the “rock star” attitudes we witnessed first hand by 10th rate “black metal warriors”, haha. Fucking idiots living in a dream world.

Another live image of Lord of Depression
Another show of Lord of Depression

We indeed witnessed the rock stars firsthand. The entire reason I never wanted to play a Black Metal show… the less said, the better, fuck ’em. Moving on. Your discography is quite small in comparison to how many years you have been in Black Metal. Was this a conscious decision or did you not feel the need to record a lot of music? I feel too many people churn out too much music, music that isn’t quality – especially in extreme metal. Was it about quality over quantity?

This question has many answers. I’ll sum it up as saying I felt no need to release anything after 1998 when I thought most BM musicians finally came out of the closet with their techno and utter shit music. Again, good music was out there, just harder and harder to find. For 10 years, I wrote music, mostly Black and Death Metal and also played in a D-Beat band called System Rejects with L.O.D. bassist Recreational Church Desecrator. I also attribute some of it to alcohol and drugs to a lesser degree. Mostly, like today, BM is mostly shit.

Decorated stage of Lord of Depression live gig.

It’s been shit for a long time and it keeps dragging itself through the shitpile. I’m of the opinion that people like you, people like me, and the rest of us who were active in metal in the ’90s are here to teach these fuckin’ idiots what Black Metal was, and what it should still be. In the early days of what is known as the second wave, did you ever think that BM would become the trendy garbage it is today? I sure as hell didn’t, and it’s surprising as well as disheartening to me personally.

No, I would never imagine it would become a haven for degenerates that can’t even play their instruments let alone try and be unique and not a clone of 1000 clones. It’s a disgrace and these people need taken out back to the barn and put down. No one writes actual songs/musick anymore, just non-talented fret wank and drums that a 4 year old could play and the worst…..having a bassist and you can’t hear a bass on recordings. I guess that kind of refers to question 4 as it is a pet peeve.

Another LOD show
Another LOD show

You started playing live shows with a full backing band in 2013 or 2014, I can’t recall, but you handpicked some particular persons to be your band. Who did you choose and why did you pick them?

This here is a very good question and am glad to be able to share the stories. First off, back in the 2000s we had a killer Death Metal band here in the area in Illinois called Leproso that were one of the best up and coming bands, especially in Illinois. Local killers for sure. I got to know them quite well and the drummer Josh (Dim Mak) really dug the 2010 demo i gave him and he always said L.O.D. needs to play live some day and if i did, he wanted in. That stuck with me. One day back in 2014, i was approached by Myrmydon of Infernal Sacrament and promoter of Chicago’s Cathedral of the Black Goat fest about playing the fest. I told him I have no band but will try and get something together for this one show. Dim Mak, of corpse, was a no brainer to contact about drums as was Recreational Church Desecrator since we had played together already and i really wanted his talent as well as we both agree, no reason for a bassist if you cant hear the bass and his sound is ripping. Having never played guitar and done vocals together ever, I was in search of 2 guitarists. I had known Brison since he was 13. I was in my 30’s when we met. He was a local guitar prodigy that was getting into Black Metal. We traded music for years but never really played together much.

Regardless, i asked him and he had moved to Ohio. He was moving back so he was in as session live guitarist as he never recorded with us. He did however engineer the recording. Now I needed one more guitarist. Being knee deep in the local Illinois scene, I knew of a couple bands called Blood Cult/Tjolgtjar who had, in my opinion, the best guitarist in the Illinois Black Metal scene with a very unique style I thought would fit perfectly. Obviously, that would be you, Rev. JR Preston. I do remember you thought I was bullshitting you at first about being the Lord of Depression until I sent you some musick. After that, we rehearsed as much as possible considering some of us lived hours apart. We attacked the COBG FEST with the utmost hate and intensity, so much so, we decided to write and record the 3 way split with Infernal Sacrament and Tetragrammacide. Then we decided to play a handful of shows over the course of 2 years. For our final performance, we were asked back to COBG FEST again and that was it for shows. We recorded drums/guitar for a full length almost 3 years ago and I am now slowly finishing it. After that… L.O.D. is dead forever.

You’re known for using dead rats as necklaces and pulling their guts out during shows. Did you ever experience any blowback from this?

The only time I had anyone confront me about it, I was a bit taken back and shocked, especially considering the guy who had the problem is in a band I had respect for (Black Witchery) and who writes a lot about the destruction of everything, except rats and mice I guess. Everyone is all hard and hateful until it’s time to be hard and hateful. Enough of that, they get enough promo. R.I.P. Steve “Tregenda”, who I knew in Florida and was someone I will always respect. Plain and simple, if dead animals offend you, join PETA or any of the 1000’s of hippie movements.

The same decoration on the set
The same decoration on the set

Remember that I told you so, about the response you would get for the dead rats. Called it before it happened because BM attracts and is comprised of posers of the lowest degree. Like I said before, the entire reason I did not want to do Black Metal live. As for me – I loved it but it smelled terrible on stage. The pig blood was revolting and it would be so hot on the stages, all you could smell was sweat and blood. The “dead mouse necklace” is something of legend. Very fond memories. Do you have any plans to release anything in the near future besides the aformentioned full-length?

Yes, a very limited 4 tape box set with all 4 demos that include the original covers I still have. I have, since the late 80’s, written lots of music that will eventually come out as my newest musical monstrosity……Plague Ritual…..total fucking Death Metal!

If I don’t get that box set, I’m going to be pissed. What would you tell an up and coming musician today about the Black Metal scene? Would you tell them to stay the fuck out of it?

Learn to play before you put out any music. Fuck your image and politics. The fucking musick and message comes first. Too bad most bands don’t do this and now what used to be a real scene is but a shit stain these days, with actual albums out, that sound like 4-year-olds fucking off on their dad’s bar rock bands equipment. Honestly though, yes, I would say just stay the fuck out and FUCK OFF!

LOD in action
LOD in action

Yeah. I’d say the same. Stay out! Leave us alone. Thanks man, for answering my questions. Say something to the readers of Rubber Axe Zine, anything, I don’t give a fuck.

Thanks for the interview first off. Secondly, thanks to anyone who is reading this… and especially to the fans/labels/promoters and bands who never back down from the weak, crusty, motherfuckers who decided to do some “black metal cosplay”. Real Metal Never Bends!!!! FUCK OFF AND DIE!!!!!

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J.R. Preston

Active musician, the person responsible for - or involved with - cult projects as Tjolgtjar, Xexyz and many others, and the main person behind our wrestling coverage.

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