Gene, congrats on the new release. It is one brutal piece of death metal. Now I want to go back for a bit before we go forward. Now where were you born and where did you grow up?
GP: A small Southeastern city in Minnesota here in the USA. Lived there on and off until I was 21 years old, after which in 1995 moved to Kansas City, MO until the end of 1998. then Tampa, FL ever since.
What sort of kid were you growing up with? Was music a big part of your life early on or did that come later on?
GP: I think from an early childhood with plastic soldiers I moved on to comic books, then dungeons and dragons, then in my early teens picked up on music and eventually got a guitar and started to explore the “how’ to do this metal music stuff.
How did you end up discovering rock n roll or metal music in general?
GP: Mostly as I got into my teens I’d hear the things that other kids my age were listening to. I didn’t really get along with many of them so I associated a lot of what they listened to with them, mostly the glam and “bar band” rock they were into and was not for me. I was attracted to the more heavy metal/aggressive sounds, which lead to points beyond there. Mostly obvious bands like JP or IRON MAIDEN, SLAYER, and METALLICA.. then to more aggressive and obscure bands from there.
How did you end up discovering the wonderful world ha ha or underground metal? What were some of the 1st bands that you heard and liked? Are you a fan of any of these bands today?
GP: Some friends of mine had gotten on a tape trade list with folks from Europe and were getting all sorts of stuff like HELLHAMMER, MORBID ANGEL, TREBLINKA (TIAMAT) demos/etc.. so I started to seek out more obscure things. Eventually, I stumbled upon a record store about 30 miles from my hometown that carried a ton of all manner of thrash/speed/etc albums so back every few weeks I would pick up new things.
What brought you the desire to play the guitar? Now at the time was the idea that you were gonna join a band in the future?
GP: I think it was the appeal of the dirty/ugly grinding noise of the tones of the guitars in metal music that got me into that instrument. I guess within about a year as I began to get a grip on being able to play the guitar, I began to aspire to either play in some band or create one.
Now you also play bass. What would you say is the tougher of the 2 and how are some of your favourite bass players?
GP: No, not a bass player. I managed to track the bass parts on the 1st PERDITION TEMPLE album. But nothing other than that.
Did you take any lessons in guitar wise or were you self-taught? Who are some of your favourite guitar players?
GP: At 1st for some time during the 1st year when I was in my early teens I took some lessons to learn the practical ways to do chords/scales, how to use a pick/etc. Some longest-term favourites as guitarists are Uli Jon Roth, Blackmore, Tipton/Downing. Those guys over the entire course of their careers have always had something that lends limitless inspiration/etc.
Now what was the 1st band you joined and how did that come together?
GP: In 1990 some friends and I started a demo project working under the name IMPIETY. Just some guys and I from High School made some tapes with a drum machine so we could hand them out at shows to seek other musicians that wanted to do a death metal type band. That ended in 1992.
Now you, and fellow band members in Malefic Throne, I’m talking of Steve Tucker and John Longstreth, have been in other bands over the years. How did the coming of Malefic Throne come to be? Was it early on that you decided it was just going to be you 3?
GP: It was during the lockdown period of the pandemic in 2020, everyone was grounded, no tours and everyone basically stuck at home. The 3 of us started chatting about doing some new work together. I started making demos for John to put drum parts into. Working models of songs were built and then Steve developed lyrics to the songs. We then 2021 began working on the recordings which became our demo/debut release (out on HELLS HEADBANGERS Records). It was determined to right from the onset that it would be just the 3 of us as members.
Now you have sung in past bands as has Steve. Was it decided early on he was going to sing?
GP: Yes, It was an obvious choice to have Steve do the vocals. He has a very signature sound. I supply some support vocals on the songs but not too much.
Now in Florida, you lucky bastards, COVID restrictions were very light as opposed to a lot of other states. Did being from Florida make it easier for you guys to put together the songs that appear on the EP?
GP: Would have made not much difference since we all 3 live in different states, John lives in NY state, so there were a few times that recording his drums got affected by business lockdowns. The entirety of the recording process was finished through file sharing due to the distance between all of us.
How difficult was it to put the stamp of Malefic Throne music only and not allow the sounds of the other bands you were in or are presently in to creep into the sound of the band?
GP: I think from all 3 of us, there are moments when sounds that can be identified from other things we’ve done. For my part, I tried to weave things in a way a little “off” from what I might do in any of my other works, while at the same time, I tried to also write in nods that might be things partly related to the histories of the other members works, but in some other way more my own.
How did you come up with the band name, the logo, and the cover for the release?
GP: We tossed around ideas and settled on MALEFIC THRONE. The logo was done by Christophe Szpajdel, art was done by Jenglot Hitam.
Did you shop the EP much before deciding to go with Hells Headbanger’s, who I think will do a fantastic job for you guys as Chase and the boys over in Ohio sign some great bands over there?
GP: Originally we thought to self-finance/release the songs as a demo. But we decided to approach HELLS HEADBANGERS for the release/distribution to get a wider release/awareness of the band and songs.
Is this more like a “project” type of band or would you like to actually go out and play live and maybe put out a full length in 2023, etc?
GP: We do consider this band just as “real” as any of our other associated bands. We have aspirations to at some point soon get this band out for live events/tours. And yes we are currently in the pre-production of what will become our debut full-length, hopefully, completed sometime into 2023. Some major announcements in the near future regarding all that!
How long were you guys in the studio recording this EP and once you guys decided to make this a reality, how soon did you have 4 songs ready to record?
GP: All of the parts were sent back and forth between us over several months during 2021. There were some gaps due to other commitments everyone had. But it was finished and then released in January 2022.
Did you guys already have a studio in mind when you were ready to record? Are there any leftover songs from the sessions or did you record all the songs you had ready?
GP: All of it was tracked and mixed/mastered at our individual home studio setups. All of the songs were written specifically for this band. Not leftovers from other bands/etc.
Did all 3 of you have a hand in the music and lyrics?
GP: I wrote all the actual music parts for the songs on the current release, with the exception of the SODOM cover song. Steve, John, and I together developed the arrangements for the finished versions of all the songs.
Gene, please tell everyone about any social media sites the band has.
Gene, tell Steve and John for smashing my brain and anyone that buys this devastating piece of classic death metal. Horns up for answering my questions and any last words the floor is yours.
GP: Thanks for the support! And all the best to you there!