Only the ultimate Death Metal connoisseur would know who these guys are. Well, mebbe…Lustmord? (Not to be confused with the other Lust Mord) Sound familiar? No? Funny, because these Arizona natives have been around for a while, through botched labels and revolving door lineups, churning out death metal entrée’s like “Blutverlust” and “Lessons in Brutality” in the last eight or nine years. Sure, cross-Atlantic tours or being on the cover of every metal mag might not be their ballgame but Mr. LustMord himself, Anthony Hoyes, has paid his dues and paid the price for a life in [brutal] music. Here he is on break ups, writing the new album, and having Lemmy Kilmister’s blessing
Hello Anthony, it’s been awhile since we last got in touch. The reason why is mostly my bad, but that’s the past now. How are you doing? Did you lay down any tracks today or at least do something productive?
We have not laid down any tracks yet as we are still in the writing process. However, we have been getting a lot done that is productive. We just got confirmation that we will be playing with Monstrosity on July 18th so that is great news.
You know what? First time I heard from you I thought I was working with the other Lust Mord, the dark ambient one over in California. You know the guy? He works on movie soundtracks and lots of gloomy music.
Yes, I know him and he’s a piece of shit. I respect his music and the things he has accomplished over the years. However, my interactions with him have always been bad. The first time I spoke with him he threatened to sue me. He, however, had no idea he was dealing with such an advanced legal mind. So once I started talking breach of faith and copyright law he went away, back to his “gloom.” But yeah, we have nothing to do with each other.
So what’s going down at the Lustmord camp at the moment? Found an extra member yet?
We have Rock Rollain on bass. He’s in a great black metal band called Kult Of Thorn. Also Abel Rodriguez has joined us as our second guitarist. Those two have made great additions to our line-up. There’s our Shadow Man switching with Abel on lead and rhythm and Daniel Beck on drums. Naturally, since I have no music talent I’m on vocals. So that makes this the BEST LINE UP EVER!
First came “Mutilated Agony” in 2007 followed by “Melancholy’s Ache” last year. What’s next in your discography?
Actually the first album was “Blutverlust” then “Lessons In Brutality,” then “Mutilated Agony.” Now we have “After Death” coming out soon. I’ve placed “Melancholy’s Ache” on the back burner for the time being. When we got the new line-up the idea was going to be more Black Metal sounding, however, the music went to a more Obituary influenced pure Death Metal sound. So we are currently bringing back a certain style that not too many bands are playing. So the new album we are writing isn’t the same depressive stuff that will be on “Melancholy’s Ache,” whenever we release that. We have not yet named our album but we are tossing around some concepts.
You have your own label, right? Tell us about it. How do you stay on top of the business end of what you’re doing and balance it with musical urges?
Death Rape Inc. It’s a small label. I’ve done around 50 releases in nine years, so not too bad. I put out stuff when I can, pretty much. And I like to release my own music as much as possible, be it by myself or with other labels as partners. I used to be more inclined to do the business stuff based on where I lived. But there really wasn’t a good scene and we couldn’t play live that often due to not having a full time line up. Now that there is a full line up we commit to shows so that takes a lot of our time now. So these days I’m more into the music side. However, it’s a good project to get involved with on down time to promote bands and do releases.
How do you deal with negative criticism?
I respect it. Our music isn’t for everyone. I like constructive criticism. If someone just comes out and blasts the band then I have no respect for that at all. It’s rude and shallow. If someone doesn’t like the music, simply explain that you have other tastes and then maybe mention some things that you would change if you were able to. I do reviews myself for lots of ‘zines and I don’t recall ever just blasting someone.
How about revolving door lineups? Hasn’t Lustmord seen its fair share of ex members?
Sadly, yes. This has been the downfall of the band. When things were going really well for us we had a horrible situation and the band broke up. This has happened time and time again. I even tried working with guys I’d known for 20 years, and that ended up not working out. However, we have a solid group of guys now and so far everything is going well. Also being in a large city it’s easy to find new members if needed.
Does Lustmord already have a number one fan who’s always at your shows? Wait one second—do you still play shows regularly? Can you name some of the more memorable ones you’ve done over the years?
We have a few fans that show up all the time. Anne, Adriene, Rachel, Sherry, a few other ones I’ve not had the privilege of meeting yet. Not to mention certain friends and family. We do shows regularly. We have played with Obituary, Deeds of Flesh, Slayer, and Exhumed over the years. Good stuff. The Obituary shows were my favorites just because those guys are great.
One of the crucial turning points in your life that directly reflected in your music was breaking up with your girlfriend a few years ago. Not that I’m digging up something you’d rather not talk about, but how bad was it that it eventually found an outlet in Lustmord?
You know, it’s not that it was bad. Looking back on it I’m really happy that it happened. It wasn’t so much just the breakup, but more the breakup and then everything else came crumbling down. There was depression and grief and I wrote a lot of great songs during that period. I’ve always found personal tragedy rewarding in the long run. It teaches lessons and opens doors. The songs I wrote I’m real proud of though, like I said it was giving me a chance to write some lyrics that people could identify with. It wasn’t typical murder-murder-kill-kill Death Metal stuff. Despite my love of that I’m glad the lyrics are about something more.
Didn’t you get caught up in a murder investigation once? Do cops really work as methodical and efficient as Law & Order and CSI portray them?
Hahaha! Well, yeah. There is nothing methodical or efficient about the way my case was. It was a bunch of nonsense and the judge threw out all charges against me once they brought the case against me in open court. I was accused of murder and necrophilia. In today’s DNA age one would think such things wouldn’t be carelessly thrown around. I thought it was fun, but it did interrupt some of my business dealings and set me back a lot in legal fees.
You guys were signed with a big metal label once, right? Can you recount that part of your music career for the benefit of our readers?
We were signed for a brief time period with a well-known label. That label at this time must remain nameless due to a legal agreement. However, it wasn’t very good for us at all. I wouldn’t mind working with them now since I’m already much wiser about the way things really work in the music industry.
Just to move deeper into your past, how long have you been pursuing music as a career now? What do you consider your biggest successes?
I’ve been in this band for nine years. The very first time we played live we were offered a record deal. That’s when I started to take it seriously. I think that the biggest success is yet to come, but to date it would have to be getting the lineup we have now together. Things are working really well right now and there will not be another sidetrack for a while if at all. This time next year Lustmord will be bigger than we ever were in the past, and that’s the way it should be.
You actually partied in Dimmu Borgir’s tour bus once. How much sex and debauchery do those Norwegians engage in while on tour? Does it totally contradict their grim and scary image?
Those guys back then were semi-cool. They have different members now so I don’t know. They hung out with me long enough to score them drugs and women, then they kicked me off the bus. So they owe me. Other than that I can say that they’re not as grim as they wish they were, all teddy bears and frilly blankets. They’re good guys though.
You know, for most artists, gigs are 30 minutes to an hour spent performing sandwiched by hours and hours of either drinking, partying, chatting, practicing, smoking pot, chilling, whatever. What do you usually do before going onstage?
Well, we do a lot of practice, but sometimes not any all month. Then we just get up there and have a good time. Sometimes we’re on and sometimes we’re not at our best. But we always go out there and play. Even on our off nights we’re still better than half the others out there simply because we have what it takes! I’m not saying that to be mean or rude, but some bands have it and others don’t. We’re one of the ones that do. As for what we do before we go onstage, normally we just hang out and BS with each other and fans in the parking lot or at the venue. I hope I’ll get to hang out with Nikki Brutal soon before a show that way we can get to know each other more. She’s in a local metal band as well. I’ll stop right there for now.
What kind of shows did you go and see when you were a teenager? How about in your early 20’s? And now? You still watch concerts frequently?
I was more into Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson when I was a younger teen. I got really into Death Metal when I was 16, 17 years old so I pretty much have always gone to metal shows one way or another. Now I still go to metal shows, but I really enjoy opera, and piano, orchestras—I like a lot of composers, classical music. But still enjoy a good Cannibal Corpse and Mayhem show.
Are you still a big fan of Marilyn Manson?
Not really. I like his older music. I think that it has something to it. I haven’t heard anything he has released since 2000 simply because what it had is lost to me. I’ll be going to the Mayhem fest this year though so I will see Cannibal Corpse, Slayer, and Manson share the stage. That will be interesting.
Is Lemmy from Motorhead still giving Lustmord his stamp of approval? In the first place, how did that happen? I never figured the guy to be into extreme metal you know.
Lemmy is in fact still approving the ‘Mord. I’m trying to get him to wear a shirt so we can get some of that Lemmy fame. I know he has one of our shirts, so if Lemmy reads this: WEAR IT! Lemmy is into extreme metal, he likes a lot of stuff. He gets around. Lemmy was a judge of a battle of the bands that we did once and ever since then he has had our back. He hangs out at the Rainbow Lounge in Hollywood so for all you Lemmy lovers out there you should stalk that place!
How big is your music collection at home?
Well, I recently had some computer issues so a lot of files I had are gone. But I still have them on CD and other files I’ve gotten again. So it’s not a bad size. I have an Ipod that’s filled to the brim with metal. I’m waiting for the new Lustmord stuff to be recorded because I really want to hear it as opposed to playing it. I think it’s going to sound great recorded. I’m also getting more into goth and doom stuff again so that’s always nice. There are a lot of new bands I’m discovering.
If you became to metal what Johnny Cash is to country and a movie were made of your life, what kind of story arc would it follow? I mean, what would you like the opening scene to be?
Well, the best place it could start at is a long steady cam shot on a bed filled with hot broads and me, naked and doing it! Yeah! As for the story, I think I myself have lived an interesting life. But the band would be the star of the movie for sure, because without the other guys I’m really just some fat guy with delusions about myself and a Myspace page. So the story would start at the beginning. I’m not one for retrospectives. I want a start middle and end, none of this jumping around nonsense. The best place to start would be in Vegas when I was 17. They’ll never fuck with us here!
When did you start smoking pot? Do you have some pot stashed at home right now? Don’t worry, I ain’t telling the cops about this.
I don’t smoke pot. I’m a respectable citizen—a multiple felon perhaps? But Lustmord is bigger than pot. We don’t stash the stuff at home. We keep it in the band room.
Alright, we gotta wrap this thing up now. Thanks for everything Lustmord. Care to leave a message for the poor sucker who’s reading this interview?
We’d like to thank you for doing the interview with us and thanks to Anthony from Death Star Records for all his continued help and support. We have shows coming up that we will be filming for an upcoming DVD release. We already have a couple of short videos on our Myspace: www.myspace.com/alustmord666 is our link. ADD US! If you like the music send us an email with you address and we will send you a FREE three-track promo. We will be recording pretty soon and that will be fantastic! NEW MUSIC will be out soon! So again, thanks. And ADD US to your Myspace! Lemmy Loves Lustmord—and so will you!