Gammacide Interview With Rick Perry

Rick Perry is the guitar player of a classic thrash metal band from Texas called Gammacide who put a fantastic album on Wild Rags called “Victims of Science” in 1990. I reached out to him about his time in that Texas thrash band and what is up to these days and what followed is a fantastic interview: 

Gammacide Interview

Where were you born and where did you grow up? What sort of kid were you growing up?

RP: I was born in Fort Worth, Texas and I’ve lived here all my life. I loved comic books, monster movies, dinosaurs, and sharks. I was very creative, I used to draw my comics and stuff. I was pretty imaginative, but pretty shy and quiet socially. For a while there, I was an amateur magician, doing little magic shows for family and friends.

Were you into music a lot at a young age?

RP: No, not really. My parents tried to get me to take piano lessons when I was 10 or 12, but I had no interest. No one in my family had a musical background, although my parents sometimes played records, but not much. I did play trumpet in junior high school band but I was unaware of rock and roll. I remember one time in band class they handed out sheet music for “Stairway to Heaven” and the guy next to me said, “Cool!” I asked him if that was a good song. He looked at me like I was crazy, I had no clue! Then I saw KISS on TV (this was in 1976) and I freaked out. I got totally into it, my room was plastered with KISS posters. I didn’t even pay attention to any other bands for a couple of years, it was just KISS. Then KISS went disco, and I suddenly decided they weren’t that cool anymore, i started looking for something else. I moved on to Ted Nugent, Van Halen, and AC/DC.

When did you discover heavy metal and what were some of the 1st bands you heard? Are you still a fan of these bands?

RP: I went to see Van Halen in concert, they were opening for some band called Black Sabbath I didn’t know who they were but I had heard of them. After the concert, I bought “We Sold Our Soul for Rock N Roll” because that was like a compilation of their best tracks. I loved the morbid mood of the Sabbath. It was like a connection to my early love for horror movies, I think this is why I always liked the darker sounds of rock ‘n roll, like Alice Cooper. Then I got into Judas Priest and they have been my favorite band ever since. But I still like all the stuff I grew up on, Kiss, AC DC, all of it.

Now when did you discover the metal underground? What were some of the 1st bands you heard? Did you like it right away or did it take a few spins to get into it?

RP: Around 1981 there was a record store that had an import section and also sold Kerrang Magazines and Brian Slagels mag New Heavy Metal Revue. I would read these mags and try to find clues of even heavier, darker music to search out. I bought the first Metal Massacre album when it came out, also Bitch, Raven, Venom, Saxon, and whatever else I could find. There was no internet so you sometimes had no idea what a band sounded like before you bought it. You just looked at the cover art and the song titles and made your decisions based on that. It was cool because when you discovered something no one else had heard of yet you felt like you had made a big discovery. The production of the old Venom records was so noisy but it made the music scarier, it made it seem like it was coming from Hell. Gradually I started to appreciate the rawness of these independent labels and it made you dislike a band if their sound was too polished.

What were some early concerts that you saw and this goes from arenas and clubs?

RP: I saw KISS in 77, followed by Foghat, Foreigner, Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper, Triumph, Nazareth, and Thin Lizzy…back then going to concerts was a big deal and sometimes I would go to two or three a month. The first bands I saw in clubs were Lita Ford, Accept, Girlschool, and stuff like that.

Now what event or events made you want to pick up a guitar? Self-taught or did you take lessons? Who are some of your favorite guitar players?

RP: Well going back to KISS, they got me hooked on the idea of being in a rock band, playing loud and blowing stuff up. I asked my mom for an electric guitar and they bought me a cheap copy of a Fender Strat for my 16th birthday. I took a few lessons, not many but enough to learn a few basics.
From then on I learned by playing with guys who were better than me, or by trying to copy records. once again there was no YouTube, you had to figure shit out yourself. My favorite players are still the first ones I got into: Ace Frehley, Tipton and Downing, Angus Young, and Ted Nugent…I also like Michael Schenker and Ritchie Blackmore. Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman were also a big influence a little later on.

Tell me a little bit about Texas Warlock the first band you were in. I see you were called Warlock and then changed the name when I assume you found out about the other Warlock with Doro in it. You recorded 2 demos with the band. What style of music was it and how long were you in the band?

RP: Warlock was already in existence before I joined. The original lineup was Jerry Warden on vocals, David Warden on guitars, and future Rigor Mortis members Casey Orr on bass and Hardin Harrison on drums. This was back in 82 or 83 I think. I joined them in 1984 because they were one of the very few heavy metal bands in Dallas/Fort Worth at that time, and that’s what I was into. We started off playing cover songs by Motorhead, Venom, Saxon, Maiden, Holocaust, Priest, Kiss, Def Leppard, and stuff like that. Shortly after I joined Casey and Hardin got in a fight with the Warden brothers and left, so we recruited new members and carried on. Eventually, it settled on the lineup of Jerry on vocals, myself on guitars, Eric Roy on bass, and Les Choate on drums. We started writing original material that was similar to Priest or Armored Saint or something like that. We recorded two demos. The first was in 1985 and was straightforward heavy metal as was typical of 1985. The second demo was in 1986 and was more thrash and speed metal… Some of those early Warlock songs like “Gutter Rats” and “Walking Plague” formed the direction that I would continue later on with Gammacide. I was with Warlock from about 1984 to 1986. It was only two years, but we did a during that time — we played tons of shows including opening for Celtic Frost and Voivod, Metal Church, Watchtower, The Mentors, and others.

What caused the break up of the band? I read the band got back together (2011-2015 and then got back together a 3rd time (2021-present) but no new music has been released. Did they ever ask you to rejoin and would you like to see those 2 demos be re-issued by a small label?

RP: The band broke up because Jerry Warden and I cannot get along to save our lives, it’s ridiculous. He and I had different ideas of Warlock’s musical direction. We were young and stupid and neither of us knew what the fuck we were doing, but we both thought we did. It made writing songs, booking shows, and promoting our band very difficult because we couldn’t agree on anything. Finally, I was sick of it and I quit in 1986, which caused the band to break up. 25 years later, Jerry and I reconnected and the band reformed, but we called it Warlock Texas to avoid confusion with the German band. We played two successful shows and at that time we were planning to reissue our old material on a CD, but we imploded again before we could make anything happen. That was 10 years ago. He has recently reached out and asked me to rejoin, but why should I revisit it a third time and expect a different result? No, thank you. Occasionally he will cobble together some half-ass line-up and play a show, but I’m not sure what Warlock’s status is right now… One of Warlock’s songs “End of the Line” appeared on the “Texas Metal Archives” CD which was released by Brain Ticket Records a decade or so ago…

So now how soon after Warlock broke up did you join Gammacide? Now was Gammacide already formed when you joined or did you help in getting the band off the ground so to speak?

RP: When I left Warlock, bassist Eric Roy came with me. Within a week or two we recruited our drummer Jamey Milford and we continued on in the same vein of thrashy speed metal as those last few Warlock tunes. I had written all the Warlock songs anyway, so we kept on playing them. We jammed as a three-piece for a while before Varnam Ponville joined as our vocalist. This was late 1986, early 1987 if I remember right.

Who came up with the name of the band and the logo?

RP: I came up with the name. It was a made-up word combining “gamma” as in gamma radiation and “cide”. The logo was nothing special, it was just the name typewritten and then xeroxed over and over. We thought it sounded like some kind of toxic contaminated waste or some radioactive shit, and we sort of adopted that as our overall theme. In keeping with that concept, I also drew the skull with the gas mask, which became our mascot. At the time, it was fairly unique for a thrash band to have this kind of identity, most of the thrash bands were still singing about Satan or murdering posers, so we decided to take a more science-fiction bio-hazardous approach.

When you guys started was it you fooling around with cover tunes early on or did you start to write originals right away?

RP: We played some cover songs like Slayer, Discharge, SOD, Motorhead, Metallica, and Exodus, but mostly we focused on writing our material.

Did you go through many early line-up changes before you got to the line-up that recorded your debut demo, which was self-titled? Was those 5 tunes the 1st five tunes you wrote? How long were you in the studio for and around how much money did it cost you if you remember?

RP: No line-up changes, we stuck together and wrote the songs pretty quickly. We already had Gutter Rats and Walking Plague from the Warlock days, then we wrote Endangered Species, Shock Treatment, and Incubus… Warlock had already recorded a demo at Pantego Sound, which was run by Jerry Abbott, father of Vince and Darrel from Pantera. Because Pantera had recorded 2 or 3 of their early glam albums there already, Pantego was the most experienced studio around Dallas/Fort Worth as far as heavy metal, so it was a no-brainer for Gammacide to record there also. Vince Abbott was supposed to produce the Gammacide demo, but it ended up being their dad who did it…which was fine, Jerry Abbott was very cool and knew his way around the recording studio. I don’t remember how much we spent, it was probably about $ 25 bucks an hour which was a lot of money for us back then. We recorded the Gammacide demo in 4 or 5 hours. Then we came back the next day and spent another couple of hours mixing it.

So now did you know at the time about tape trading, fanzines, and college radio? If so, did you send the demo to every fanzine you could find, and the same with college radio stations? Did you also make up small ads and send them out in your mail and stuff?

RP: Yes, after we recorded the demo we had 500 copies made with professional covers. In addition to selling them at shows, we sent them to Kerrang, Morbid Magazine in Norway, Metal Forces, and a few other underground mags that we were aware of. As soon as those zines reviewed our demo and published our contact info, we got tons of requests from other zines and radio shows around the world. GAMMACIDE was in A TON of zines from almost every country including Belgium, France, Italy, Hungary, Peru, Brazil, Japan, Sweden, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, and many others as well as many of the United States. Plus a ton of letters from demo collectors and metal heads from all over the world who would sometimes send us cash or pictures of their nude girlfriends, it was great! Yeah, we had the little ads that we sent out to everyone so that the word would spread. Those were very exciting times, and I think it was cooler than today, with the internet, everything is available at the touch of a button… back then you had to do your homework to track down new and cool bands. It made everything more special I think. (oh I couldn’t agree with you more-Chris)

Were there many places to play around where the band was based at the time? Was there a good underground metal fan base around this time? What were live shows like at the time?

RP: Thrash Metal was in its prime, and there was a ton of people into it…local shows were almost always packed with 200 or 300 people, and the national acts would draw 500 to 1000 people. The kids were into it also, there were lots of stage diving and circle pits, and it was a real thriving rock and roll scene.

There were several places to play in our hometown area, but the most significant one was Joe’s Garage, which was a club on the west side of Fort Worth that ended up being one of the major spots for underground touring bands apart from the East and West Coast. Everyone played at Joe’s and we got to open up the show for many bands including Exodus, Testament, Dark Angel, Kreator, Death, and many more. Of course, we also started doing out-of-town shows in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and Oklahoma City. Some of those towns had better scenes than us, so it was truly a golden age of metal!

What were some of the live shows you saw that you didn’t play on around this time?

RP: I pretty much saw almost everybody you could think of, big bands like Priest, Ozzy, AC/DC, and underground bands like Voivod, Plasmatics, Butthole Surfers, Carcass, Morbid Angel, and tons of shows, there was shit happening every weekend…

Overall, how successful was your demo? I saw the cover which was black and white. In the actual demo did you do the tape-to-tape via dual cassette deck or did you get them pro-done? Around how many copies do you think were sold/given away, etc?

RP: We had it professionally duplicated and made 500 copies. Those sold out and were sent to mags pretty fast so we ended up getting another 500 a second and possibly a third time… so around 1500 copies which is pretty successful for a demo.

Now at some point did you end up sending this demo to any record companies? By that I mean the bigger indies like Metal Blade, Combat, Noise, etc.

RP: Yes we sent it to all of those labels and more. Pretty much all of them said please send us more material in the future. In other words, they wanted us to record another demo. New Renaissance selected one of our tracks “Shock Treatment” to appear on their compilation Thrash Metal Attack Vol 2.

So how did you end up on Wild Rag Records? Did Richard reach out to you because you sold your demo in his store or did he hear it and like what he heard? Spill the beans Rick ha ha.

RP: Yes Richard was selling our demo in his store. My parents lived in California, so when I went out to see them, I also visited Richard C at his shop. He took me out to see some local shows and I hung out with him for a couple of days. He was telling me about his label which he just started and some of the bands he was doing records with like Recipients of Death and Bloodcum. Like I said earlier, all the labels wanted us to record another demo, but we were anxious to get something out. We signed with Wild Rags for one album, figuring it would be a good way for the other labels to see what we were capable of. I know Richard C’s reputation is pretty sketchy, but he gave Gammacide a shot when no one else did, and he promoted Gammacide pretty hard. Victims of Science was Wild Rags’ top-selling release when it came out.

I am glad you had no problems with him. I managed a band, Symphony of Grief and we had no problems with Richard either. Now the shows that Richard took you to, were any wild as CA had a great thrash scene out there? Did he give you any $$$$ for recording at all?

RP: We saw Bloodcum and a bunch of other bands at some theater, but there weren’t many people there. And then I think we went to see some Faster Pussycat-style band at another venue. There was this hot chick that worked in his record shop, she took me to see a few other bands and kinda showed me the town as it were. As far as financing we paid for the entire recording ourselves, that was the deal. In this way, we would get royalties right away instead of selling enough for the label to recoup first. We had several thousand dollars saved up from playing at Joe’s Garage, they paid us pretty well back in those days when 400 or 500 kids were coming to the gigs! So the recording took about 4 days, then another 2 days to mix.

Were you able to do any type of mini-tours when the album was released? Did you at least get to play more often at all?

RP: We played throughout Texas many times, and on into Oklahoma and Louisana. We did one tour where we went to Los Angeles and San Francisco, and on the way out there we played El Paso and Phoenix.

What are your thoughts on your Wild Rags release? Do you think it has withstood the test of time and it is one of the better thrash releases around that era? What were the reviews like and do you think they were fair?

RP: To be honest, I don’t think it’s that great. I think we played too fast and the mix was kind of muddy. But, so many die-hard thrashers LOVE Victims of Science. It got great reviews upon its release, and actually, it has been received even better in recent years on the internet. So, who am I to say? It was a product of its time, and I still get fan mail from it, from all over the world. (hey it’s 2024 and you’re still doing interviews over it ha Chris). Lots of people seem to love it, it regularly makes the list as one of the top underground thrash albums. I guess it has become a “cult classic”.

Did Richard try and sign or get you guys to do another release on his label or were you ready to move on?

RP: Richard would have put out another Gammacide record I’m sure, but we wanted to move on to a better label. We felt that Victims of Science showed what we could do with a small budget, and with all the great press we were getting we started to approach the labels again.

So now after the Wild Rags release, which yes, I saw lots of interviews with guys in zines and some decent promotion via Richard, I see in 1991 you released a demo called “Gammacide 91”. You also had a new bass player for this release a guy named Blade. I’ll touch on your ex-bass player in a minute, but where did you find him?

RP: Blade was someone who was in Warlock before Eric Roy joined. Yes, we took our Wild Rags royalties (about $ 3500) and recorded the 91 demo. Our new material had progressed, and we had lots of different influences creeping into the music, which we thought made Gammacide more unique and set us apart from the legion of other thrash bands.

Now what caused Eric Roy (bass) to leave the band after the Wild Rags release? I see he was murdered (!!!) in 2001. I hope they caught the fuckin asshole how much did his death hit you and the ex-band members who played with him?

RP: Well, we all partied pretty hard back in those days… Gammacide put the “speed” in speed metal if you know what I mean. And Eric probably partied a little too hard, to the point where he kind of spun himself out of the band. We were getting faster and more technical after Scott had joined our band as a second guitarist, and Eric had a hard time keeping up. I hated that he ended up leaving, but we just kind of grew apart musically I guess. We remained friends though. Yes, he was murdered by some idiot who had just been released from prison. Eric and this dumbass friend of ours were involved in some kind of sketchy shit with this dude who they had just met. They had some kind of argument over drugs and the dude shot Eric in the back of the head as he was driving away. The guy went right back to prison, but it didn’t bring Eric back. Of course, I was heartbroken that he was killed in such a senseless way, when we reissued the Victims of Science on CD in 2005, we dedicated the release to Eric.

So now your 1991 demo. I assume you sent that out to every label on the planet. Did you get any bites so to speak? Were you at any time even close to getting a deal?

RP: Yes, we sent it to everyone…Metal Blade, Combat, Megaforce, Mechanic, Roadracer, and more. But by this time, the thrash wave had peaked. Every label had already signed a lot of thrash bands, and the scene was becoming saturated. Death metal and grindcore were suddenly the flavors of the month, and the labels had decided that that was the next form of music they would jump on and overexpose.

Now I’m sure you know by 1991 the thrash scene was fading a lot of thrash bands slowed down their sound and death metal was hot. Were you still drawing decent or good crowds to your shows?

RP: We continued to draw good crowds locally, and we often played shows with some of the death metal bands. Most of the local death metal bands opened for us.

Before I go further, you earlier mentioned the re-issue of your Wild Rags release. Where can people pick that up if they are interested?

RP: Our version is currently out of print. I believe it is still available from Marquee Records in South America. No Life Til Metal Records recently reissued it for a limited run… I wish we could license it to some label who would just keep it in print, I’m tired of putting out all these different reissues of Victims of Science.

So I read in an interview that the 91 demo was only for zines and record labels. Were the reviews like from the fanzines? Was mail still coming in at a good rate?

RP: Well, that’s what we said we were going to do… but we still ended up selling them at shows. We were still getting lots of fan mail and lots of zines and radio shows featuring Gammacide.

So at some point, you must have realized that no record deal was in your future. Did you ever consider going back to Wild Rags for another release?

RP: We talked with Richard C about it, but we didn’t see the point. We had achieved some success with Wild Rags but no booking agent would take us if we were signed to that small of a label. If we couldn’t tour, we weren’t going to be able to get any bigger. The scene was changing, and it seemed thrash metal was out of fashion.

What were some of the bands you had shared the stage with over the years up until this point?

RP: We played shows with many Texas bands of course: Solitude Aeturnus, Rotting Corpse, Arcane, Devastation, Dead Horse, Rigor Mortis, Watchtower, Sedition, Acridity, and Angkor Wat, among others. We had also opened for many national acts: Death, Sacred Reich, Exodus, Morbid Angel, Kreator, Dark Angel, Vio-Lence, and Atrophy… those are the ones I can remember. One of the wildest shows we did was when we played the side stage for Clash of the Titans which was Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax. The record store Sound Warehouse had a small stage that was set up just outside the main amphitheater, near the merch stands and drink concessions. We were supposed to play 4 sets, 1 before the concert and 3 during the intermissions… but Gammacide whipped the crowd into such a frenzy that the promoter freaked out and pulled the plug on us during our 2nd set! He told us we were disturbing the members of Slayer and Megadeth, they could hear us backstage and didn’t want us to continue! (poor babies-Chris)

What led to the break up of the band? Was it one member leaving and then another or was it you deciding to just end it? Did you play a farewell show of sorts?

RP: We played our last show in 1992 in Oklahoma City, but we didn’t know it was our last show at the time… I think it was just general burnout on the thrash scene. I had started a side project PUNCTURE — which was more of an industrial metal thing… it started to get some attention, so I decided to focus on that full-time. The other guys in Gammacide continued for a while, and I believe they may have tried out some people to replace me, but nothing came of it. Gammacide just faded out.

Looking back now, would you have done things differently if anything?

RP: The only thing I would have wished was that we could have got Gammacide up and running a year or two sooner. If we had hit the scene a couple of years earlier, we could have achieved much more. By the time we got good at what we were doing, the thrash wave had peaked.

So I wanna touch on your new band you started in a bit, but I do wanna talk about your “Contamination: Complete” release on F.O.A.D. Records. How did this come about, were you involved in it or not?

RP: Yes, Giulio from F.O.A.D. got in touch with me and approached me with the idea, of course I was honored that Gammacide should receive such a deluxe treatment. We were very hands-on with the whole thing, we pretty much did all the liner notes, shot the album cover, edited the video footage, scanned all the old zines, etc. So we had our hands in the whole process.

Now do you play on the 2 songs from 2018 “Against the Grain/ Vapor Lock 2018 single? If so what was it like getting together to record new tunes? Was the band back together at all or were just 2 songs recorded for this release only? Did it get sent out to any labels to try to get a record deal?

RP: Those tunes were recorded in 2005. That was when I was doing the first CD version of Victims of Science. It just so happened that Varnam and Jamey were in town around the Thanksgiving holiday, and we went into the studio and recorded those two tracks. We weren’t back together, just recording the two songs for the CD. Later on, we put those tracks on Contamination Complete. Getting back together was fun, we were rusty as hell, but I think we came up with a pretty good recording.

Now the DVD, how was that put together, and from how many shows are on it? If you were involved, how much fun was the whole release putting together and how long did it take you?

RP: I have probably 10 or 15 Gammacide shows on videotape, which I transferred to digital several years ago. We put two complete shows on there, one from 1989 and one from 1992, plus some footage of us on a cable access show from back in the 90s. I compiled all the footage, burning it from VHS to DVD and shipping it over to FOAD to put it all together. It took me a couple of weeks probably.

Now I know it says only 500 were made, to your knowledge is it sold out, and how proud are you of the finished product?

RP: I don’t know if it’s sold out or not. I think it must be pretty close. We had 50 copies and those are all gone. I am very proud of it, I think it turned out great. FOAD does outstanding work when it comes to these limited-edition collections.

Were there any live shows based around this release or the 2018 2 song single?

RP: We were going to play Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Horror Fest, we were super excited because Venom was going to headline. But then Phil had the “white power” controversy and everything got canceled, unfortunately. We were also offered the Hell’s Heroes festival in Houston this year. Scott and I were down for it, but sadly Jamey and Varnam have no interest in doing a Gammacide reunion. It is a shame because this would have been a really good chance for us to have one last blowout… oh well…

Now we are done with Gammacide questions, please tell me how the coming of Punture came together. How soon was it after you left Gammacide?

RP: There was a little overlap. I started working on the Puncture songs while I was still in Gammacide, around 1992. I was just burned out on playing thrash metal I guess. I had been listening to industrial music like Skinny Puppy and Godflesh and wanted to try my hand at that style of music. So I bought a drum machine and an 8-track cassette recorder and started working on tunes that were in that vein mixed with a little thrash metal riffing.

Now in 1992, a demo was released by Puncture. Did you send that out to any zines or was that many to try and get the word out about the band? Did any of your ex-members hear it and if so what did they think of it?

RP: I sent it to some zines… we got quite a few write-ups and reviews, most notably in Metal Forces who gave it a nice review. Of course, the guys in Gammacide heard it, I was still in Gammacide at the time, although we were starting to wind down. I think maybe they felt a little jealous because they knew that Puncture was different and exciting. They didn’t give me a hard time about it.

Now in 1994 Century Media must have liked what they heard as they released your self-titled debut album by you guys. Did you send them a demo or did they hear of you guys from some other means and then you sent them a demo?

RP: What happened was I was approached by JL America, which was a label that was releasing a lot of the early black metal CDs at that time. They had started a new label called Vertebrae, and they wanted to sign Puncture.

We signed with them, they gave us $ 2000 and we recorded our debut CD. Then they gave us another $ 1000 and wanted us to shoot a video, which we did for the song “Gag Rule”. So everything was going well, but then they called me up and said they had been dropped by their distributor. But, the good news was the CD would be licensed to Century Media, and they would put it out. So, we weren’t signed directly to Century Media… it was just licensed to them.

I saw on the demo, you did everything yourself. For your debut, you found Per Nilsson who was in the band and also you got Moses, and John Perez to help you play live. What was it like being signed to Century Media and did you get to do any type of tour behind this release? Were any Gammacide tunes played live?

RP: Yes Per joined up with me and handled all the programming. Per came from a total techno/rave background so he brought more of an electro-rave influence to our music, which made Puncture kind of unique I think. And yeah John Perez played guitar and Moses played bass for live performances. Later on, John and Moses left and we got Mike T on guitar and Mark Powell on bass and we had a live drummer too, a guy named Brad Womack. Regarding Century Media, they never really got behind us that much. At first, I was excited because they were a bigger label, but then I realized that labels would put out a certain number of releases that they didn’t even care about, basically just to keep their distribution deals going, they needed a constant supply of product. They did send the CD out to a ton of radio shows and magazines and gave us pretty good exposure, but they didn’t give us any tour support or anything. But we still played all over Oklahoma and Texas and got a pretty good following.

What are your thoughts on your Century Media Release these days?

RP: It’s okay. I was so self-conscious about my vocals that I put way too many effects on them, and you can hardly hear the bass. I wish I would have used some live drums and not made the whole thing sound so robotic. But, the songs are very good I think… and there are some people out there who fucking LOVE that album, so what do I know?

Well, things must not have worked out with Century Media because the following year (1995) you released another demo. What exactly happened to them?

RP: They weren’t interested in releasing a second Puncture CD. Like I said, I think we were just a tax write-off.

In 1996 you signed to M.I.A. Records, who released “Immune”. How quickly did the tunes come together for this and what are your thoughts on this these days?

RP: The tunes came together pretty quickly, Mike T had joined us by this point and he helped write songs. Per was contributing more musically as well. So the music was more varied and had different influences. Mike T also ended up producing it. He didn’t know what he was doing, but he learned along the way. I think the first Puncture CD has the stronger material, but the second one has some great songs too like Constrict Command, Kill-o-gram, and Dutch Fist. At least MIA was behind us, they took out lots of advertising for Immune and hooked us up with a lot of gigs and touring opportunities.

So tell me about this DVD called “Re-activated” that came out in 2009.

RP: Puncture reunited for one show in 2008. Since we were only doing it for one show, we had a video crew come out and professionally film the gig. Then the guy who filmed it said he wanted to film a conceptual video for one of our old songs “Nailed to a Cross”, so we shot that. I had a lot of the older shows on video in the archives too, so we decided to put all this stuff together on one DVD. We filmed a short documentary on the history of the band. Our drummer Brad Womack had put together a short documentary about our tour with Gwar. Lastly, we took everything we had ever recorded as Puncture — both CDs, both demos, unreleased songs, and unfinished tracks and converted them to high-quality MP3s which we also put on the DVD so the listener could download and burn their CD or listen to them on their computer or whatever. So it turned out to be a cool, comprehensive collection of our music. (that is cool-Chris)

I see you guys are back with a single that got released this year. Is it in the same style as your other material?

RP: “Extra Super Crush Machine” was one of the unreleased songs I referred to a minute ago. So it’s not new, but I think some of this unreleased stuff is pretty strong… some of the best stuff we ever did. I’ve got two or three more unreleased Puncture tracks that I will be releasing over the next couple of months. A local promoter recently talked to me about getting Puncture back together to do a show later this year, but nothing is certain yet.

You’re also in another band called Iron Jaw, which has one full-length and 3 singles released since 2017. Tell me about them and what kind of music it is, etc.

RP: Well you missed one more notable band in my career, and that is Warbeast. Warbeast was the thrash metal band that Scott Shelby and myself formed with Bruce Corbitt of Rigor Mortis. We signed with Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Records and released our debut Krush The Enemy in 2010. I co-wrote the music on that LP and wrote 90% of the lyrics, so you want to check that one out too. Warbeast put out two more records without me, we started touring and I had to bow out.

My current band is Iron Jaw and with this band, I am returning to the style of music that got me into metal in the first place. The songs draw influences from Judas Priest, Motorhead, Kiss, Ted Nugent, and others from that era… but with a modern approach. There are a lot of these “New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal” bands, but most of these sound like Iron Maiden clones, or they embrace the corny aspects of old-school metal on purpose. Iron Jaw isn’t like that, these are strong, serious songs with an emphasis on simple, heavy riffing and we have got Todd Pack putting some world-class vocals on top. Our first full-length CD was released in 2020 and is called Chain of Command. It was distributed in Europe by Underground Power Records. KK Downing’s website did a feature on us, and Sentinel Daily from Australia said Iron Jaw was their favorite new metal band on the planet! We released four videos from our first CD, they are available on our YouTube channel. Since the first CD, we have released four new songs, and for each song, our vocalist Todd Pack has shot and directed an accompanying music video — videos are very important for promoting a band on today’s social media, so we are very fortunate that Todd has taken it upon himself to learn how to do this, and he has done an awesome job.

Did you form the band or did you help in the forming of the band?

RP: Back in 2014 when Jerry and I were doing the Warlock Texas reunion, we were joined by bassist Clay McCarty and drummer Randy Cook. I have known these guys for years, Clay used to play in a band called Toxic and Randy was the drummer for Rotting Corpse. When the Warlock reunion imploded, Clay Randy, and myself continued jamming together. Clay suggested adding his friend Jeff Brown as a second guitarist, which was cool with me — Jeff is another long-time scenester from back in the day. We had another guy Rich Stafford doing vocals for a while, but we eventually got Todd Pack on vocals, who again is a musician that I’ve known for literally decades here in the Dallas/Fort Worth scene. So Iron Jaw emerged from the demise of the Warlock reunion we took our name “Iron Jaw” from one of the old Warlock song titles, as a nod to our origin… kind of like how Sabbath with Dio became known as “Heaven and Hell” lol.

How did you end up hooking up with Metal Rising Records in 2020 who released “Chain of Command”? What was it like working with them and will a new full-length be coming out anytime soon?

RP: We did it ourselves. Metal Rising is a label that is owned by Carcass John Fossum, he designed the Iron Jaw artwork as well as all the Warbeast artwork. When he was designing the Iron Jaw cover art, he just slapped “Metal Rising” on there to make it look more “official.” Our second full-length has already been recorded, but we are just releasing the songs one at a time, spacing them out every two or three months. That way we can promote each song to its fullest and make sure each track gets fully absorbed by the listeners — it seems people’s attention span is so much shorter these days! Probably when we have released them all, we will put it out as a CD or vinyl album… but at this point, I think CDs are more of a merch item than anything else, everyone listens to music on their phone or laptop.

So with Warbeast, who came up with the name and logo? How long was the band around before you put out “Krush the Enemy”? Did it feel cool going back to your thrash metal roots?

RP: I came up with the name. At first, we were called Texas Metal Alliance, we had formed for a benefit concert for one of our friends who had a motorcycle accident. we had such a good time playing together that we continued and eventually made it a full-time band. Phil Anselmo signed us to Housecore Records and he came up with the concept of the logo. Of course, it felt great to be playing thrash again with my brother-in-metal Scott Shelby and it was cool jamming with Bruce, we had known each other for decades but became very close friends during this time.

How sad was it learning of the passing of singer Bruce Corbitt in 2019?

RP: Of course it was heartbreaking, but I spent a lot of quality time with my friend before he passed away. Bruce was a true Texas original. He approached being a singer totally from a fan’s perspective and he maintained that outlook the whole time. I miss him a lot.

Are you surprised at how big Metallica has gotten?

RP: Well I’m kind of used to it by now.

You told me you saw them in 1983 with Raven on the “All For One/Kill Em All” tour. What was that like?

RP: It was just another underground gig at the time. There was no inkling that they would go on to take over the world. The idea was inconceivable at that time.

What are some other early shows that you saw back in the day?

RP: Nasty Savage, Voivod, Celtic Frost, Metal Church. We saw Slayer on the Hell Awaits Tour. Motorhead with Mercyful Fate and Exciter was another amazing early underground show.

Do you see yourself being involved in bands for a long time to come?

RP: Yes, I turned 60 last year and I don’t plan on stopping. I know I will never be world-famous or anything like that, but there are people all over the world who are interested in the music I’ve done over the years. I keep going mainly for myself, it’s something I have to do… metal burns in my soul, and it demands an outlet. I will keep going until I can’t anymore.

It’s plug your band’s time. Please plug any social media sites and merchandise for Puncture.

(to contact us)

(for puncture merch)

(for Spotify)

to contact us

(for merch)

(for Spotify)

What are some of your greatest memories of Gammacide?

RP: Releasing Victims of Science, playing in out-of-town shows, doing the Clash of the Titans side stage…

Have you seen any bootleg Gammacide music, t-shirts, etc?

RP: Oh yeah, there are Gammacide CDs from Russia, bootleg Gammacide shirts, patches, tons of stuff. You can’t stop it — I guess it’s kind of a compliment, they are doing promo for me in other parts of the world…

Now what are your plans for your bands in 2024 and beyond?

RP: It is full speed ahead with Iron Jaw, we are planning to try and open up some shows for some national acts, I think Iron Jaw’s music has a chance to appeal to a wider range of people and we want to get some more exposure. We have shows coming up soon opening up for Flotsam and Jetsam and also opening for Doyle of the Misfits, with Otep. Besides that we are shooting a new music video next weekend for a song called “Cursed” which should be very cool, watch for it soon. And I’ve got a bunch of new tunes I’m working on, so hopefully we get those recorded this year. The metal never stops, so I never will either!

Rick thanks a million and horns up for doing this chat about Gammacide and what you are up to these days as well. Any last words the floor is yours?

RP: Thank YOU Chris for taking this deep dive into my career! I can tell you did your research…excellent questions! Thanks also to my good friend Paul Campbell of AAARRRGGGHHHH zine who put us in touch! Lastly, and most importantly, I would say thanks to everyone who has read this far and all those who have an interest in the music I’ve done over the years, whether it be Gammacide, Puncture, Iron Jaw, or whoever! I truly appreciate you — send me something on Facebook at

I would love to hear from you. New metal is always being forged — keep the furnace hot!

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