What the hell was your initial reaction when Eric Hoffman of Thrashback Records contacted you about putting out the 2 Lurch Killz demos on CD? Have you even thought much about the band over the past couple of years?
Skully Lawrence: Very surprised anyone still has an interest in the band and music. We did try to reform in the last year, but it was impossible.
Grant Lindsay: A few people have contacted me over the last few years, looking for demos, stickers, T-shirts, etc. Those requests came out of nowhere and were a pleasant surprise after not hearing much for about 30 years. When Eric contacted us, I was excited about the opportunity for us and for fans looking for the old stuff. The whole process of putting this together has been a fun walk down memory lane.
How did you end up getting into the underground scene? What were some of the early bands that you heard and was it a style you took to right away?
SL: We were into a lot of punk rock, We were very influenced by Slayer and Metallica of course, but we also listened to a lot of DOA, GBH, Bauhaus, Joy Division, MDC, and other underground metal like Voi Vod, Kreator, and Destruction.
Now you began to play guitar was it for the purpose of joining a band or putting together one? Were you self-taught or did you ever take lessons? Who are some of your favorite guitar players?
SL: I started on piano and trombone. Then my brother got a guitar and then we moved to Germany. At that time, The Scorpions were up and coming and I first heard Van Halen and saw them open up for Black Sabbath on their first tour. That really dates me. My parents got him four lessons because it was summer, and boring. He went to the first lesson and hated it, so they asked me if I wanted to do the remaining three. After I did those, I was hooked. I also thought it would get me past the awkwardness of girls, which didn’t work.
I’m mostly self-taught, but I now teach guitar, bass, percussion, and ukulele. and I have teachers of my own too. I also do like everyone else, and learn things off the internet.
My favorite guitar players? Too many to mention. Alex Lifeson, Andy Laroque, Glenn Tipton, Hendrix, Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, Dwayne Allman, gosh! I could go on forever. The first thing I was able to latch onto was Thin Lizzy’s Live and Dangerous, I learned the whole double record.
Now did you form the band or did you end up joining the band early on before your debut demo came out? How early on did you begin to write the songs that would end up on your debut demo that came out in 1987 which was called “Lurch Kills”? Who wrote the music and the lyrics for the band?
SL: There was a guy named Rob before me, and he wrote some of the first songs, along with Shawn. I auditioned for them twice, the second time, I got it. When I went to the second audition, I didn’t know until I walked in, that it was the same guys. But trying out for a band is much like a job interview, so I said, let’s do it again. It was a fluke. Then I wrote some parts and Billy, Shawn, and I constructed the rest of the first demo, plus embellished what was already there. Lurch pretty much wrote the lyrics, which he did for all of our songs.
Once it was released did you send it out to all the fanzines that were out there and underground radio stations? If so what was the local feedback to the demo and how were the reviews and stuff?
SL: Oh man! Every week I was at the Post Office with bags of tapes, and sending them all over the world. I sent them to fanzines, and we traded one to Sepultura when they were doing the same thing in Brazil. There’s a whole other story about that. My girlfriend and Gloria Cavalera are long-time friends. so we sometimes hang out with her and Max. We recently saw Poison on the stadium tour and he gave shout-outs to the Bootlegger, which was Gloria’s bar, where Flotsam and Jetsam and Poison played, the Mason Jar, where I did a lot, and Rockers, where I also hung out a lot, and have a lot of stories, but most of them are inappropriate, and NSFW. Everyone loved our demo and it got good reviews locally and abroad.
Did you get to play out live much during those days? Was there a club or clubs that booked thrash metal shows or national bands when they were on tour? What national bands did you play with?
SL: We did a lot of Mason Jar and Budyz, we played a lot of clubs and parties, but I can’t remember them all. I remember opening up for Vio-Lence, Flotsam and Jetsam, Sacred Reich, and many others. Not a lot of people know this, but Lurch was the original bass player of Sacred.
How did you come up with the name for the band, the logo, and the cover for your demo? Was it professionally done or did you dub them?
SL: That was all before me. We did have artwork done while I was in the band, but I don’t remember a lot about it.
In 1989, you released your 2nd and last demo called “Lashing-Out”. Was this recorded with the same line-up as the debut demo? How was the feedback for this demo?
SL: Shawn had left the band. We had a guy named Squid for a short time, but then we got Grant. He was a much better fit. We played the songs out for a time, then recorded them. We didn’t market this demo like we did the first one, but Lurch was kind of drifting into getting married and starting a home at the time. We didn’t really get any international feedback, just local, but it was liked.
GL: The contact address on the “Lashing Out” demo was my house at the time. We did get a good amount of “fan mail”. Some I gave to Lurch, but I still have a handful of the letters. They came from all over the world; The USSR, Germany, Sweden, Japan, Italy, a couple of countries in South America, and of course the USA. I was in high school at the time, it was a cool experience to get letters and hear from people in places that seemed much further away than they do now.
Did you send this demo or your debut out to any record companies and if so did you get offered any deals or were any interested in hearing more material?
SL: We did a show where we opened up for Sacred Reich. and there was a buzz, that MegaForce Records was remotely interested in it, but nothing materialized.
GL: Lurch sent them out to quite a few labels; I don’t know which ones. However, looking through stuff for the re-release, I found a few of the standard rejection letters from the big record companies like Geffen, Warner Brothers, etc. Labels that were a real long shot to pick up a thrash metal band. I remember there being some interest from a couple of labels like MegaForce.
What would you say the band sounded like music-wise?
SL: It was the perfect marriage of Thrash and Punk. It was like if you took Slayer and crossed them with MDC or Circle Jerks. I have great stories about two of them, NSFW
Now sadly how did the band come to the end? Was it a nasty break-up or more of a mutual one?
SL: It happened so casually at the time, that no one really noticed it.
What did you do with yourself after the band ended?
SL: I did a ton of other projects like Alowocious Toole, with my brother and Mark Simpson who ended up being in Flotsam. Then I did Blind Rage, and Cobalt Fall, and now I’m doing Dive Bar Knights. you can look that up on You Tube. The songs are all about drinking and debauchery, it’s a very fun project.
GL: I was in a few different bands around the valley. I was also studying engineering at ASU. At some point, I made the choice to focus on being an engineer and put music on the back burner. Occasionally, friends who were still playing would ask me to sit in with them, which was always fun and appreciated. Some good friends and I formed a band in the 90’s called “Peace Thru Power”. We played out quite a bit with national acts, but never recorded. In late 2021, we met and decided to relearn our songs and record. It isn’t thrash metal like Lurch Killz, but it is heavy. Playing loud music again has been great fun for all of us and we are close to getting into the studio. With the Lurch Killz re-release and playing with Peace Thru Power again, 2022 has been a crazy time warp back into music for me.
Do the other band members know about this release? Any chance of one last show to celebrate this CD release?
SL: Only 3 guys know, Me, Grant, Andy Durr. I got peeps who want them! Mark Simpson wants one and my brother does too.
GL: Billy knows about it too. A CD release show would be a nice thing to do to support Eric’s effort, but that seems unlikely.
Any social media links for the band?
Any last words for someone who purchased this CD?
SL: Those are the last words.
GL: Thank you!