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Drawn And Quartered Interview With Kelly Kuciemba

Drawn and Quartered might be a name some of you old school death metal freaks might remember as they released several albums Moribund Records and several other labels. With the band having a brand new release out called "Congregation Pestilence" I got in touch with guitar player Kelly Kuciemba for this interview!

So how are you these days? Did you imagine when you started as Plague Bearer, you would still be doing underground music in 2021?

KSK- Hails! I’m honoured to be associated with this legendary zine! I did think I would still doing the music, I didn’t think it would still be underground. In many ways, it is way more accepted than when I started, but yeah my music is still very underground. And how I am these days is amazing, actually. We’ve got this new DRAWN AND QUARTERED record coming out, it’s always interesting to find out what the consensus on the music is. A third single has been released, but there are still some amazing songs no one has heard yet.

So now where did you grow up and where did you grow up?

KSK-I live in West Seattle and grew up around here mostly in Federal Way Washington, U.S.A about 20 minutes from where I live now. I’ve been all over the country and several others as well. This is a good area to live in, I don’t want to move, I like being able to rehearse with my bands regularly.

Did you have a love for music early on or did that come later?

KSK-Early on, it was part of my childhood with my family playing the piano on my Grandmother’s customized ‘baby’ Steinway. I took lessons on piano and guitar, really basic stuff, I didn’t advance very far really. I loved to sing and was in choirs and singing groups. As a teenaged person, I discovered rock and metal and definitely gravitated towards the guitar. When I first actually picked up an out of tune guitar missing a couple of strings and completely out of any sense of tuning, I immediately found that I simply loved the interplay of touching the strings and the sweet sound it made, like a real like RUSH 2112 moment, and pursued the guitar from there. This wasn’t easy, I was able to convince my mom to purchase a guitar and some lessons. I took lessons and classes in guitar and went to college for music and later, guitar repair. I rode a bicycle carrying that guitar. I took that guitar all over Seattle jamming over the years and still have it. I got an electric guitar as a gift from my Grandmother, and later graduated to the legendary Peavey Bandit, man I sure wish I had kept that! I must have had a job or something later on and bought myself another guitar a few years later. I hunted down any book, magazine or video about guitar playing that I could. I went to rock and metal shows and watched the players, listened and tried to copy the guitar parts. I was in some bands as a singer, my playing and gear weren’t quite loud enough to perform in the band as a guitar player. It was a long process of figuring out exactly what kind of music I wanted to play, I dabbled in different styles. I ended up choosing a heavy metal and the genres that I play in now.

How did you discover metal music in general and then how did you discover underground music?

KSK-I grew up in an amazing era for fans of heavy metal. I’ve lived through and witnessed the evolution of metal and the development of the many genres we see now. The music I write and help create for my bands is rooted in an early 80’s-mid 90’s influence, I contribute and record with some other bands, where I get to approach things a bit differently. My exposure to rock and metal came from the kids I grew up around. My parents had some 60’s and 70’s rock records I would listen to, I would play them when they weren’t around, apparently, kids were too dumb to be able to operate a record player by ourselves, but you typically wouldn’t mess with your parents stereo. Eventually, I would buy some records, and I had some basic turntables and cassette tape players. In school, there were some kids who like to party and they had girlfriends, so that was definitely something I was drawn to. I figured if I wanted to be cool and meet girls I would need to know more about this music they were blaring, and pretty quickly it grew on me. This is as BLACK SABBATH and JUDAS PRIEST were being inspired by the new wave of British Heavy Metal, and all hell broke loose. In no time, there was a brief moment. There was this brief transitory time between Rock and Heavy Metal. Then Heavy Metal and Thrash. This was Speed Metal. VENOM played a big part in the development of Thrash and Black Metal. Some other nerds at my school would give me some tapes of DESTRUCTION, TROUBLE, OZ, and I had friends that had the METALLICA record, then the SLAYER RECORD and I would go to their house for hours to listen to it. I liked DEATH and POSSESSED, the next thing you know there’s NAPALM DEATH, CARCASS, MORBID ANGEL, IMMOLATION, INCANTATION, DISMEMBER, ENTOMBED, GRAVE among the many bands that shape the sound of what I do now.

What made you pick up the guitar and what are some of your favourite guitar players?

KSK-My friends and I would sit around listening to records and play air guitar or drums to the songs. I thought I would be cool and girls might like me if I played the guitar, it didn’t really help at all honestly. My favourites are Tony Iommi, Eddie Van Halen, Yngwie Malmsteen, Ritchie Blackmore and hundreds more. I would have to mention Jimi Hendrix. I notice a lot of Jimi’s influence in my playing. I realize I’m not that talented on the instrument, but I love it and work non-stop to improve. I think I can help craft some pretty good songs. I think, good, interesting and catchy songs are more important than my ability to shred. I can’t shred. I can express myself through and have enough colours to paint the kind of musical picture I’m interested in presenting. I can tap, dive bomb, bend, tremolo pick, slide and play and improvise diminished and minor scales to achieve the feeling and atmosphere I’m attempting. I have written my solos sections in the past, and I’ll try to recreate what I record if I can. Mainly I like to improvise, which can be hit and miss. So I’ll practice some things in able to perform or record them. But practising is tedious, I get better results playing with other musicians, then fine-tuning certain parts as needed. I try to play at least an hour a day on average.

Now how did your project Plague Bearer start? I see you released a bunch of demos and even some compilations under that name. Is there a big difference musicwise between them and Drawn and Quartered?

KSK-In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s I was finding my way as a musician, writing songs, recording, collaborating and rehearsing with other people. Each project leading closer to some resemblance of what I wanted to do. I was making some progress with a group and threw together a really funny demo. It wasn’t the worst demo I had done, and we had some fun trying to play some grindcore, death metal and thrash metal. It folded pretty quickly, and I was left with nothing I put together some songs and found some people to collaborate and put together the band PLAGUE BEARER. It really comes down to people. A lot of people were involved with the evolution of PLAGUE BEARER. People showing up to rehearse, to share expenses and resources. Getting along with people, and finding a few you can trust and open up to, share a part of yourself with is essential if you want to do this long-term. I found a few guys willing to be part of PLAGUE BEARER. That was a success in itself. We recorded some of our songs, we rehearsed and performed a show. One of the band members I was counting on, had some serious legal issues that caught up to him and I heard from him once more to let me know what happened. Amazingly we were able to re-connect on social media. That line-up disbanded. It was a gut-check moment. I went back to the drawing board, and this is really when PLAGUE BEARER was born. Looking back now, I see that each situation brought me closer and closer to this moment to be able to take the next steps and get a band off the ground. The PLAGUE BEARER that the world is able to see now began after I went to see VADER, DISMEMBER and SUFFOCATION in Portland, Oregon, a couple of hours from Seattle. Still developing my songcraft I pieced together the most grindy, blackened, doomy, death metal ideas I could conceive of at the time. As I worked on this music I listened to my favourite bands, I can hear where I tried playing a DISMEMBER type part followed by something DECIDE would do. I might launch into an INCANTATION influenced part, followed by an attempt at a MORBID ANGEL groove. I was very much a student, each song getting better and better. I had written some lyrics and song titles previously, collaborating with others. I wanted to do a concept with my 4 songs. I went to the library and studied about plagues, and named the demo BUBONIC DEATH. I was able to recruit people to learn the music and record the demo in 1993. I was able to rehearse and do more shows and more songs were written. I put everything I had into it, but it was difficult. It was a long slow journey. There was less than a handful of drummers, there were quite a few line-up attempts and situations. We worked really hard for a few years writing music and stabilizing a group, during that time I met Matt who played with us for 8 years. He wanted to start something new, so we scrapped the PLAGUE BEARER name and the demo. We rehearsed a lot back then, almost every day. We didn’t have anything better to do. A lot of our time was spent hanging out as friends, so we didn’t get that much work done for the first couple of years. Sometimes a band member wouldn’t communicate in a timely fashion and some of us would be in the rehearsal room. We would write songs and experiment with playing black metal or something, I would make notes of the riffs sometimes, When I would jam with somebody I would work on these ideas. If it was good enough we might record. I would then write lyrics and recruit DRAWN AND QUARTERED members to record the demos. Some were released some weren’t but a few years ago I did coordinate two releases on CD, one on tape releasing or re-releasing these collections that I’m very proud of. One of the CD’s is more DEATH METAL than the other BLACK METAL. I tried different tunings on different recordings. At one point we did a band called WINDS OF PESTILENCE that was into old THRASH and BLACK METAL. The DEFILED BY SODOMY demo by PLAGUE BEARER is more along that style, so those recordings were compiled as PLAGUE BEARER-WINDS OF PESTILENCE. After all these years the bands have crossed paths in the styles of music. PLAGUE BEAER is kind of more ‘over the top’. The music is all over the place in style, but not that much different from DRAWN AND QUARTERED

Now at what point did you decide to change the name to Drawn and Quartered? Were the rest of the guys in the band cool with you still releasing music under the Plague Bearer name?

KSK-We changed the name around 1995. Since the other guys in the band are the members of WINDS OF PESTILENCE or helped produce the recordings they are very supportive. We have had other musicians as well, some returning more recently. Our work in PLAGUE BEARER is because we want more rehearsals and opportunities to work on music than one band can provide, other band members usually have other bands and projects as well. The more you do something, the better you get at it.

Now the band is based out of Seattle, WA. That lovely state and city that had that huge influence on the grunge scene back in 1994 with the signings of bands like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, etc. Now on one hand it was cool because that pretty much got rid of the whole glam scene so to speak, but on the other hand, metal became like a bad word back then. I was around back then and it was not the easiest time to be in a metal band. Now, what was it like for you guys being in a band and playing brutal death metal back then?

KSK-This Seattle music scene you refer to was a media construct. They started putting out records in 1988, but NIRVANA hit in 1991 with the rest to pick up steam soon after. It was the NIRVANA song that kicked off. The right thing at the right time. People were tired of guys in make-up getting laid and partying in spandex and poofy hair. I never saw those bands before. I saw ALICE ‘N CHAINS on the CLASH OF THE TITANS tour. A friend took me to SOUNDGARDEN in 1993. I saw the final NIRVANA performance in SEATTLE, and some PEARL JAM members jammed too. But I never saw these bands in clubs. I didn’t really go to clubs much then, not for sad boring shit like that. I like SOUNDGARDEN and some ALICE ‘N CHAINS. Yeah, my plan for being cool and in a band not really working trying to play DEATH METAL. People around here were fanatical for BLACK METAL at the time, or PUNK.

So you released an 8 song debut demo back in 1996. How was the response to it back then? Was there many places back then for a band like yours to play live? Did you send the demo out to many fanzines or radio stations back then? If so what was the response like?

KSK-We did a really poor sounding demo with a picture of Curt’s brains splattered supposedly. Pretty appropriate for the time actually. Some copies were sent out, most of the time the response was positive because most DEATH METAL fans were happy to welcome new bands, there weren’t 1.5 million of them back then. I sent the demo out to as many as I could, but not nearly enough.

Now in 1998, you did a promo 4 song tape. Was this just for labels or did you sell it too? Was the grunge scene still huge out there still as major labels were snapping up every grunge band under the sun at least until Kurt Cobain killed himself and then Soundgarden broke up?

KSK-We self-financed a full-length recording, and released a promo tape for labels and for shows. I don’t remember if we sold them or just traded them.

Now the next year, in 1999, you released a full-length album on Moribund Records (hi Odin-cf), which was a natural fit as they were also based out of Seattle as well. Is that who you were targeting with that 2nd promo tape, that label?

KSK-We released our own version in 1998, MORIBUND licensed that and re-released it in 1999. We previously had tapes distributed on MORIBUND. We were in contact and had mutual friends. It was a great partnership.

Looking back, what are your thoughts on your debut release, “To Kill is Human”? How long were you in the studio for and were all the songs ready to go?

KSK-It was a learning experience. We didn’t know much about making records. No one involved had made an actual DEATH METAL record before. I have rehearsals where we play the songs a lot faster and more intense. It was hard to make the record. We overplayed those songs, we rehearsed so much. Still, the performances aren’t perfect, we had time for one take, maybe 2 if you hurry. There’s no editing. We didn’t know anything about click tracks. It’s more like a live set than a record. There’s a little overdubbing but a lot of it is just very basic. We had the songs ready to go, but a couple were pretty new, lyrics and leads written for the studio. The songs were ones that we played for many years, so I don’t miss hearing them. I think it is an important part of establishing this band but the real style I had envisioned since PLAGUE BEARER began on the next record, in my mind. We were in the studio Friday for a few hours to set up the mics and sounds, recorded all day Saturday, probably 8 to 10 hours. Then we mixed it the next day. I was there for the Mastering at another facility, but there wasn’t much we could do with it by then.

Did you get to play any out of state shows at all and do a bunch of live shows, etc for this release? How were the sales if you got any sales figures?

KSK-We did a bunch of tours around the country, and all over the North West. A couple thousand we’re pressed. It took a few years to sell them. It’s been repressed a few times now.

Now it took 3 years, 2002, you were back with a new EP “Crusaders of Blasphemy”. Thoughts on this EP these days?

KSK-I don’t listen to it, but it was a leap forward. We were able to work quite productively when Dario stepped in on drums. We threw it together quickly as a rehearsal demo and helped establish our next record contract. It was written very quickly with a couple of weeks and recorded soon after. It’s pretty underground.

In 2003, you got busy again as a new full length came out called “Extermination Revelry” also on Moribund Records. Is the song “Show No Mercy” a Slayer cover?

KSK-We did a song called ‘Show no Mercy’, but it was not a cover of the SLAYER song. It was a bonus track that we were encouraged to include.

How cool was it that if you had to go see Odin, he was right in town so to speak ha ha?

KSK-He did live relatively close back in the demo tape days but had moved to PORT TOWNSHEND when were started making full-length records. Now he lives in PORT ORCHARD, quite far away from both places. I worked for MORIBUND records for a few months and worked on promoting some of our records. Pretty sure a sack of weed exchanged hands many times.

In 2004, you are right back to work with another new full length called “Return of the Black Death”. Opinions on this record these days? Were sales getting better with each release?

KSK- We are all very proud of ‘Return..” It’s also a tip of the hat to our PLAGUE BEARER days and proclamation about us coming out with a new record. It has some of our faster material, with a few almost technical parts. It has some of my favourite songs, like ‘As Idols Fall’. Record sales were enough that I got to keep going and doing what I love.

Now with so much new material coming out every year, did you ever feel the need to just take a break or you just wanted to go full steam ahead so to speak?

KSK-I never want to take a break, breaks happen. If they do, it’s not because of me. I need to maintain as much momentum as possible. There have been months even years between shows or much music production. I didn’t have any sidebands going, and I wasn’t sure I would again. We kept DRAWN AND QUARTERED going, some years we did maybe 4 shows. After “Feeding Hell’s Furnace’ was released in 2012. We have gradually worked our way back to get this band out there. Now I do a lot of other bands and projects. I have good momentum right now. I might take part of the summer off from any major recording project, I’m just finishing 4 different releases now.

In 2006, a new release came out called “Hail Infernal Darkness” also on Moribund. How were the sales for this release and by now did you ever get to do any type of tour across the US or even overseas?

KSK-I don’t know the sales for “Hail Infernal Darkness’ We could really use a re-press of that album on CD, we did have a limited edition LP made of that about 3 years ago, we love that record. It was the result of non-stop work and I was in 3 or more projects at that time. We did some US tours but didn’t get overseas until 2018.

Now in 2007, a double CD came out called “Merciless Hammer of Lucifer”. What exactly is on this?

KSK- I believe the first 3000 copies came with a bonus disc containing an EP and some unused recordings from various sessions, all from 2002-2004. Our full length ‘Merciless Hammer of Lucifer” title paying tribute to the COVERED WAGON SALOON where we stopped on a tour once, we even have a bootleg live show a fan made for us with only a handful of copies from 1999 if I recall correctly. This record was fun to make, very collaborative. The mix is a little odd but adds to the character. We did a tour of the US to support that in 2008 called ‘ASSAULT of Evil’. A DVD was made from two of the shows.

Video releases were becoming a big thing and you released a 34 song DVD in 2009! Now from how many shows was this taken from and were any of the shows pro-shot or was it more just handheld stuff from different shows?

KSK-There is a pro-shot video of a performance from that tour, 3 music videos, and the rest was bootleg material from 1996-2003.

Now all your Moribund Releases up to this point are they still for sale in one form or another? If they are not, would you want to see them re-released maybe with bonus tracks etc?

KSK-We are out of 2 of the records. We definitely want to re-press them, they will be in the original form. The others are still available. I’d like to do a remix of ‘To Kill is Human’ and have bonus tracks. I’d like a vinyl LP release of that and a couple more that weren’t released on that format yet. There was a ‘To Kill is Human Tape’ made, with NAMELESS GRAVE RECORDS.

So 2 years after the DVD, in 2011, you did a 4 song 7″ on Nuclear Winter Records called “Conquerors of Sodom”. What happened with Moribund Records? Did they sort of go out of business at this point and you had to move on? How did you hook up with Nuclear Winter Records?

KSK-We wanted to own our masters, our recording budgets were such that we could afford to invest our own money to make our next record. We financed the music and art and worked with NUCLEAR WINTER RECORDS to release the EP. We had a couple of songs that didn’t fit the flow of the record. I liked those songs, so it was a dream come true to use them for the very first 7” record.

In 2012, your right back at it again as you don’t mess around long and did your first full length for Nuclear Winter called “Feeding Hell’s Furnace”. Thoughts on this release these days.

KSK-After our bass player of 11 years quit the band, we took some time to write a new record as a 3 piece. In 2010 we completed recording ‘Feeding Hells’ Furnace’ It took some time to get the artwork together and a release date set, typical. We love this record and the artwork. We still do several songs from the record frequently. There are always things you’d like to improve on, but I’m very proud of that record.

Now through all these releases, did you go to record at different studios or did you like using the same ones? How about producers or did you pretty much do everything on your own?

KSK: We did the first one in a studio in Seattle on analogue tape, like our 1993 PLAGUE BEARER demo. Then we met Jesse O’Donnell and recorded 5 full-length records there and a PLAGUE BEARER EP. Since then we’ve done it ourselves. I’ve been having the drums outsourced, and the mixing and mastering. Most people are tracking the guitars, bass and vocals themselves these days.

Now you finally lol took a break from 2012 till 2016. Was the band finally taking a break or did you work on other things?

KSK-we weren’t that active from 2008-2012. After our drummer of 10 years left, we ramped it back up. We started working with our friend Beau Galloway on drums, later guitar when Simon joined soon after. We worked on music, started playing shows and I released a tape called ‘Proliferation of Disease’ in 2015, later expanded to 10 songs and re-mastered for a CD release. No breaks really, but we had no actual label at the time, and we weren’t planning on going back to recording studios. I recorded and released the tape, coordinated a CD and T-shirt and worked with VAULT OF DRIED BONES, END OF MUSIC, KRUCYATOR, VOMIT RECORDS, NAMELESS GRAVE RECORDS and IRON BONEHEAD RECORDS to release various projects. Soon after that I wrote some music and salvaged some old unused songs and made another full length, ‘The One Who Lurks’ around this time, it took a while to get art and release date.

Up until this point you had seen all the flows of the death metal scene with good bands, some great bands, and lots of generic bands. What are some of your thoughts up until 2016 about the death metal scene?

KSK-I was focusing on other hobbies for a few years,. Not paying much attention to the scene. Eventually, I met some new people in local bands and did some shows with some touring bands and began seeing the resurgence of underground DEATH Style in the type we play. All the new bands inspired us to work hard and create more music and do some travelling to play our show abroad.

Now in 2016, you released a promo tape. Does that mean you were looking for a new label to work with and are the 2 releases on Nuclear Winter still for sale to your knowledge?

KSK-Around that time I did self-release a tape. NUCLEAR WINTER RECORDS wasn’t very active at the time, certainly, we wanted new labels to work with on our terms of owning our masters, music and artwork. NUCLEAR WINTER RECORDS has repressed the ‘Feeding CD’ and is re-pressing the LP very soon. The EP we did is out of print. We did a tape release and included the 2 bonus tracks, I love that.

Now in 2017 a compilation came out limited to 200 copies called “Plague Bearer” on End of Music. Why only 200 copies and did you hook up with this label? I assume copies of this release are long gone?

KSK: The label wanted to work with us, so I compiled our more DEATH METAL sounding recordings as PLAGUE BEARER to be put out as DRAWN AND QUARTERED-PLAGUE BEARER. We released the more BLACK METAL sounding recordings of PLAGUE BEARE as PLAGUE BEARER-WINDS OF PESTILENCE compiling 2 unreleased recordings as PLAGUE BEARER and WINDS OF PESTILENCE. END OF MUSIC was a small label just getting started and contacted me. They released that limited run tape, now out of print. We made a live CD with EL CRANEO NEGRO records, END OF MUSIC was going to release that as a tape, and the I was going to coordinate a DRAWN AND QUARTERED compilation CD. Due to COVID and health concerns, I don’t know that they will be releasing those things. That tape was re-released as a compilation called PLAGUE BEARER-RISE OF THE BUBONIC DEATH, combining the titles of both recordings on VOMIT RECORDS, both versions are out of print.

Now in 2018, you hooked up with your present label, Krucyator Productions, to release your 7th full length called “The One Who Lurks”. How hard is it to come up with new material after so many years? Does it ever feel like a grind to you? How did you hook up with this new label? How was the response to this new release?

KSK- I had mixed a version of the record myself. I got in contact with KRUCYATOR after I ordered a cassette tape. I was going to have him master the record for me. We ended adding some more tracks and making it a full-length record. Originally we had two different sets of songs for a split and EP. Now we had a more consistent sound after some more production and it was released as full length. We think the response was pretty fantastic, despite it being such an odd record. It has some really doomy and mid-tempo stuff, speeds up then on side B is a mini concept about ‘The One Who Lurks’. It’s not hard to come up with material. I can write songs all the time. I stopped in 2017 because I had written an album and a half. We used the half first and re-did some of the demo songs for ‘CONGREGATION PESTILENCE’ out July 2nd 2021 on KRUCYQTOR PRODUCTIONS. We’re doing a special collaboration/split CD now, then finally getting to the full length I wrote in 2017. We are very excited about that material and are starting to re-learn the material.

A year later (2019) the label “Cráneo Negro Records” released a live album called “Mutilated Offerings: Live at Asakusa Deathfest”. Where was this show? How do you think this release turned out looking back and is it still for sale?

KSK-There was a recording made at our performance at ASAKUSA Death Fest in Japan. I’m happy we go to make that. It was recorded in Japan. I coordinated having the record made in MEXICO and picked them up when we played there, along with some T-shirts I had made by VOMIT RECORDS with exclusive artwork. It turned out good, I had to do some work with it. Looking back the cover art probably wasn’t the best choice. It was presented at the time, and I liked the idea of having a different look for this release, I still like it. Maybe I should have gotten something more eye-catching, but it’s pretty cool.

You mentioned going overseas and touring. What countries did you manage to play and how big were the grounds and who set this tour up? What was it like for you to go over and play these shows looking back?

KSK-In October 2018 we were part of a tour of Japan with our brothers and sister in PETRIFICATION from Portland, Oregon USA. Chris and Tuesday from DEPARTED OFFERINGS BOOKING coordinated the Tour, Air B&B’s, Trains, Busses. They did an incredible job providing every bit of information you’d need to navigate the country. Everyone was incredible, we played a few underground shows in clubs like normal, then some nicer bigger venues, that were packed. They were smaller venues but had amazing stages and crew. There were some amazing recording engineers and photographers. We ended up with a live recording we put out on CD we already discussed. I made a lot of friends, had very efficient accommodations, and had a great time. We had legendary laughs because one morning Simon came to the breakfast table and proclaimed ‘I really like toast’. For some reason, we found this declaration incredibly funny. We had fun exploring the food, and I absolutely loved being able to buy coffee hot or cold from a can on every street corner from a vending machine. The final show and the venue the recording was made was the ASAKUSA DEATH FEST. In JAPAN they have a series of FESTS like these frequently. This was a sold-out venue packed with people going crazy, it was amazing!

In March of 2019, we flew to Mexico City, to be a part of TOTAL DEATH OVER MEXICO. It was fantastic to meet and make friends with bands from all over the world. One of the greatest experiences during that trip was meeting all the friends and fans that have followed the band for many years and came from far and near to see us. I was able to coordinate a T-shirt made by VOMIT RECORDS, and the Live CD by EL CRANEO NEGRO Records. We were able to pick them up and sell them at the Fest. At the end of the night they would race the two busses back to the hotel through the streets of MEXICO CITY it was the funniest thing I have ever experienced in my life. We were yelling and making insults to the other bus full of our friends. It’s a miracle we weren’t killed. At first, you’re terrified, then you realize just how absurd it all was and can’t stop laughing! We also had some great experiences, including visiting the Pyramids and expansive structures of Teotihuacan, about an hour North of MEXICO CITY. I did so much I forgot how to play my guitar. You have to remember you’re there to play a show and practice a little. We had so many activities I thought I was on vacation! Every time is an amazing experience. And it’s usually nothing like you thought it would be. In Japan, you definitely stick out. But in MEXICO it is very diverse. I could be wrong, but I felt like I blended in well in the area we stayed the most. In a group, sure it’s obvious you probably aren’t from there. I really enjoy travelling to do these things. Not the travelling, but the doing the shows and all the great people that make these things happen.

In September of 2019, we were flown out for the NRW FEST in Germany. This is the northern area of Germany. We saw a castle and was very interesting, it was all very fascinating. We had a great time wandering around the villages near the venue and our Hotel. We had an amazing Hotel, the breakfast spread was epic. The venue is the legendary NRW building, which is a community established venue for this very purpose. Another amazing experience seeing many friends and bands from around the world. We enjoyed the whole fest, eating brats and swilling super caffeinated colas. We had some special shirts made for the fest, there was some footage for a documentary about that event. Everyone was fantastic, the friends and associates prepared an abundance of food for the performers. We’ve played all over the USA and CANADA. These were our first shows off the North American Continent after all these years. We had a break in 2020, and aren’t doing much in 2021. PLAGUE BEARER is performing at KVLT MEAD in Tacoma Washington USA on July 31st 2022. Here’s is a business that is similar to the international friends, just doing an amazing job operating a business and providing a venue for Metal Music. That will most likely be it. I have been recording records consecutively with DRAGHKAR, PLAGUE BEARER, SERPENT RIDER and DRAWN AND QUARTERED. We are finishing a collaboration/split right now, then we will be starting immediately to work on the music for our next full length DRAWN AND QUARTERED recording.

What would you say was the low point for the band?

KSK-Any time there’s a line-up change of long time members. Matt Cason left in 2002, Greg Reeves left in 2008 during a tour, that was a low point. We finished without him though. Dario leaving in 2012. Disbanding for a few days and not finishing our recording started in 2015 with Beau Galloway.

Who have you shared the stage with over the years and what has been some memorable shows you have been part of?

KSK-Very many bands, including tons of local and international underground bands. Some amazing shows I remember were with NAPALM DEATH and AT THE GATES, OBITUARY, INCANTATION, IMMOLATION, MORBID ANGEL and NILE, HATE ETERNAL, ANGEL CORPSE. We were doing a tour with VILE and CEPHALIC CARNAGE in 1999. We went and saw a tour date we weren’t on that included IMMOLATION with John from INCANTATION filling on rhythm guitar. We started our tour the next day or so. IMMOLATION had a free night and ended up headlining a show in Portland, Oregon we played on that was pretty special. We played with ORIGIN on that tour. We also played a show with MONSTROSITY in ARKANSAS if I recall correctly.

Now we come to 2021 and you have released a band new album called “Congregation Pestilence” on the label I mentioned a few questions back. How did the coming of this record come together? How easy is it now to write the music and the lyrics to songs?

KSK-It’s easy for me to write lyrics and music, I’m working on things constantly. The hard part is getting the music to a state where you can record it. The production part is the hard part, working with various people to get art, layout, mix, master. This record was originally an EP I had written in DROP A tuning, like the concept part of ‘The One Who Lurks’. It took so long to get to recording it, I decided late in the process we would re-do some of the ‘Proliferation of Disease’ demo songs to make it a full length. If I think I might be writing some lyrics, I will take notes of various things and pull them out when I put the music together. I’m not writing lyrics regularly, usually for some concept or really specific idea I might have.

How did you come up with the name Drawn and Quartered and the band’s logo?

KSK-We sort of re-booted the band aroun1994 and became DRAWN AND QUARTERED after kicking around some ideas in 1995. Herb came up with the idea and drew the first logo we used. We commissioned some more logos years later and started using one on ‘Feeding Hell’s Furnace’ and the ‘Conquerors of Sodom’ EP

Now how are things out in Seattle, WA music-wise these days? Do you finally hope to be able to play some live shows soon? How hard is it to put together a setlist?

KSK-Seattle and the Pacific Northwest have a lot of bands and opportunities to play live. We do a few D&Q shows, I’ve using PLAGUE BEARER to play locally more often after we revived the band in 2017.

So now when are we seeing the 12 discs boxed set of all your material ha ha?

KSK-Odin and MORIBUND were going to do a CD boxset. There was an issue with some files, so I don’t know if that will happen. At some point, it’s quite possible.

So far how has the response been to this release?

KSK-It’s getting good reviews. We are excited for more people to hear the full thing.

Now the underground has totally come full circle. Gone are the tape trading days, printed fanzines, radio stations (for the most part) and now we have webzines, Facebook, Bandcamp, Dropbox, etc. How do you as a band use these tools these days?

KSK-We uses all those platforms, they are very helpful. I’m able to do 4 or 5 bands now, using these communication platforms and the old method of showing up, rehearsing and recording with people.

How much longer do you see the band being around?

KSK-There are no plans to stop. As long as Herb and/or I want to continue we will do it as long as is humanly possible. I’m not sure I’d continue without our current line-up but very likely I might.

Kelly I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane and congrats on a totally crushing new album, which I hope everyone will check out. Plug any social media sites you have and where can people pick up your new album?

KSK-Hails it was great to hear from you, thanks! KRUCYATOR is the record available worldwide and is the best way to find the IRON BONEHEAD will be distributing the LP.

Horns up for doing this chat, any last words, the floor is yours.

KSK-Hails and thank you to anyone that took the time to read this or found the information interesting or useful. HAIL INFERNAL DARKNESS!!!

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