Malevolent Creation Interview
Malevolent Creation is starting work on a new album and I got in touch with lead guitarist Philip Fasciana for a bit of the old days, the middle and what is going on with the band these days
Now Phil when the band started did you think in a million years that when the band started back in 1987 that the band would still be around?
PF: I had no idea Malevolent Creation would still be around 36 years after recording our 1st demo tape in 1987. But I am glad MC is still going and I am about to record studio album # 14.
Now while doing some searching around and seeing some posts, I read some people think the band should not be called Malevolent Creation since you are the only original member. What do you say to that?
PF: I have been the only original member for quite some time over the last 36 years. I have had to make a lot of changes when problems with vocalists would happen and I feel strongly about the decisions I have made at that point in time. Anyone that knows anything about MC is that I take this band very seriously and it’s my music that is being recorded and the songs played live are my songs. I believe it would be stupid to change the name. I started the band and gave it the name Malevolent Creation and have been carrying the weight of the band basically my whole adult life. I am entering a new Chapter with Malevolent Creation. The singer/2nd guitarist Deron Miller is a long-time MC fan and a great friend of mine and original vocalist Bret Hoffmann. Deron has taken on the job because he feels he is the right person for the job and I agree completely. Every time a change was made in this band it was always for the better and out of necessity. If I gave up every time a vocalist couldn’t do his job the world would have lost out on a lot of great music. And this time is no different. Do I wish my best friend and original vocalist Bret Hoffmann was still alive and fronting the band? Of course! But the last thing he said to me was to keep MC alive. And that is what I am going to do.
What are some early memories you have of the band back in the demo days?
PF: There are great memories of the demo days from 1987 till 1990. In those 4 years, we played countless shows in Buffalo, NY, South Florida and up the East Coast of the USA with some great bands like Cynic, Prime Evil, Ripping Corpse, Gorephobia, Suffocation and a bunch more. Those times were great and I wouldn’t want to change anything about it. It really gave me a chance to understand what a touring band would have to go through and how much hard work has to be put into it. It is not a job for everyone and a lot of musicians give up before the ride even has started. Not me, I had to see how this all played out and I am glad I did.
At what point did you guys decide you wanted to move to Florida that to me is a big decision. It’s not like you guys were some huge band selling millions of records. What led to that move?
PF: After recording our 1st demo and playing a bunch of shows in our hometown of Buffalo, NY we lost our drummer Dennis Kubas because of a lack of interest. We were having a really hard time trying to replace him because he was such a great drummer in 1987. I had some cousins of mine that had moved from Buffalo to Ft. Lauderdale and told me to bring the band down to Florida because there was a great music scene and that we would find a drummer a lot easier. Well, I convinced the band members to come down to Florida with me and continue the search for the proper drummer and continue with the band. We did not move down to Florida because we heard there were a lot of great bands down in Florida and a Death Metal scene was erupting. That is not the reason whatsoever. We moved down in late 1987 and slowly started making friends and promoting our band and giving away demo tapes to anyone that loved fast, brutal Metal. By 1988 we had found our first drummer and started playing live and that is when we began discovering how many great bands were in Florida. Bands like Cynic, Atheist, Brutality, Obituary, Deicide(Amon) Morbid Angel, Death (of course) Nasty Savage and so many more great bands have either disbanded or changed their names. It was really a great time for bands like MC and we had a blast discovering the great scene this state was creating.
Who came up with the name and the logo if you can remember?
PF: We had our very first show in early 1987 opening up for the punk/hardcore band S.N.F.U. from Canada but we still had to have a band name. We had 7 original songs and one of our song titles was Malevolent Creation which lyrically was written by vocalist Bret Hoffmann. Nobody could decide what name we should choose for the upcoming show and I said I love the song title Malevolent Creation and that we should use that as our band’s name. Nobody disagreed so Malevolent Creation was for that show and forever. Something worth noting is that Bret had written the song about a story he watched on the Transformers cartoon show. That is honestly where the name Malevolent Creation came from. After I looked up the word Malevolent in the dictionary it was a done deal for me. The name fits us perfectly. The logo didn’t get started till 1988 and was then perfected by our tattoo artist Big Jeff in early 1990.
What was it like at the time to get signed with one of the biggest indie labels at the time Roadrunner Records?
PF: It was very crazy for me and the band members because at the time of recording our 1990 demo in early 1990 only me and Bret were left from the original 5 members from the 1987 demo. We had drummer Mark Simpson who played on the 1990 demo and 1st album “The Ten Commandments” Jason Blachowicz was fired in 1989 for robbing one of our friend’s band warehouses and was replaced with Mark Van Erp formerly of Cynic and played on the 1990 demo. Also, Jon Rubin was on 2nd guitar for the 1990 demo but does not appear on the 1st album. He had some problems recording his solos for the album and we hired our friend Jeff Juscewvicz from Buffalo Thrash band Leviathan. ( Chris Barnes former band) And Jason Blachowicz would return to the band and play bass on TTC and Mark Van Erp went on to form Monstrosity with Lee Harrison and Jon Rubin. I know it all sounds complicated but things were happening so fast that changes had to be made in order to keep the band going. Between all the member changes we all remained friends and things all worked out for everyone. There were even a few more bass player changes during 1989 and 1990 but not note worthy of mentioning. Live shows were played but no recordings. The 1st album was a great experience and working with Scott Burns as producer for our 1990 demo and 1st album was absolutely amazing. We learned a lot from him and I’m really glad I listened to everything he told me because it has stayed with me my whole life. What a great friend and producer.
Were you guys nervous at all going in to record your debut album? What are your thoughts on it today?
PF: Of course, we were all a bit nervous but me and the drummer Mark Simpson had played those 10 songs nonstop for months leading up to the recording of the album and got the drum tracks recorded in 1 day. Scott Burns did a great job getting brutal drum tones and Mark Simpson did a great job drumming on the album. It was really a great feeling. There were a few problems when doing the vocals actually. Bret had tried to record the hardest songs first and blew out his voice in 2 days. We actually had to stop recording for 2 months and then start again. The 1st album was supposed to be released in 1990 but because we wanted the vocals to sound great Bret was given some time to regroup and come into the studio 2 months later and unload the vocals properly. At that time when Bret finished we then mixed and mastered the album. Unfortunately, our album had to get pushed back to April 1st 1991. April Fools Day( how crazy is that?) But it was a learning experience and it had to be done that way. I always wished it would have come out in mid-1990 because we missed out on a lot of touring opportunities. But there was nothing I could do. We had to make sure sounded his best on our debut album.
Now when your 3rd release came out, “Stillborn”, you were not happy with the label and the label wasn’t happy with you. Did it get real nasty with them or was it just a parting of the ways so to speak?
PF: It was our 3rd album where we had a lot of problems with Roadrunner Records. They insisted that we not record with Scott Burns again because he had recorded so many albums in the last 3 years and made us work with a different producer( Mark Pinske) and a new studio which did not sit well with me or the band members. It was a complete Shit Show. The producer had no idea how to record Death Metal or Metal at all and it was very upsetting for everyone. Once again there were troubles with Bret Hoffmann that were very personal for him and it made recording even worse. If we were able to have recorded that album at Morrisound Studios with Scott Burns producing again it would have been a million times different. Scott Burns would have never allowed the music and production to sound so bad. I was truly very upset with everyone in the band and changes would be made for our 4th studio album “Eternal”!!!
In 1995, you hooked up with Pavement Records who released your next couple of releases. How was it working with them and how did things end with them as you moved on to Arctic Music Group next? Did you do a lot of touring behind these releases?
PF: Pavement Records was another Shit Storm!!! A lot of broken promises from an idiot named Mark Nawara who had no idea how to run a record label. It really sucked signing a record deal with a company that promised you everything and knew nothing about how to run a record label. You can ask any band that ever had to deal with Pavement Records and they will tell you the same thing. I have never heard of a band signed to that label that did not get screwed royally and ripped off even worse. That idiot has been re-releasing and licensing our 3 albums for Pavement for the last 27 years and still has never paid us a dime. He is a complete thief and i wish him only the worst. I pray that I never run into him again in this lifetime. I know I will go to jail for the rest of my life. Arctic Music Group was the label I had formed with my attorney at the time Scott Hecker. We started our own label because of the rip-off label Pavement Music and then my attorney Scott Hecker figured out it would be easy to rip me off as well and then we signed with Nuclear Blast Records and got ripped off by them as well. We released some great albums for Nuclear Blast but they did nothing to promote the band. We booked all our own tours and promoted the band more than Nuclear Blast did and had great success
I was gonna ask that, are your releases up to this point are all in print.
PF: All the albums from Eternal (1995) till our last album The 13th Beast (2019) and many Best Ofs, Live albums, and Demo comps are all available through Back On Black Records have re-released everything, re-mastered everything and re-packaged everything and put all the albums on Vinyl, cassette and cd and look amazing. Back on Black Records now owns the rights to everything MC has ever released except the first 3 Roadrunner albums.”The Ten Commandments”, and “Retribution”. “Stillborn” and “The Best Of” all released on Roadrunner are nearly impossible for any label to own the rights to. Roadrunner wants an insane amount of money to sell their first 3 MC releases and it really sucks because fans want those releases so badly and have to buy them online already used for crazy amounts of money. Back On Black Records is trying hard to work out a deal with Roadrunner to re-release those albums so I am really hoping a deal with them can be made.
So did you at least get to tour with any of these releases? I do think that is total bullshit that Pavement gets to keep on re-issuing your old material and make money off it while you get nothing.
PF: We have toured for every studio album we have ever released and there are 13 of them. But labels like Pavement, System Shock, Crash Music and Arctic Music can never release our albums again because Back On Black has bought the right to those albums from those labels. If they ever try selling them albums again they will be sued. I hate those shit labels and how they have ripped off the band and fans with all those stupid re-releases and Best Of Compilations as well as Live Albums that were never ok’d by the band. Complete thieves that need to be hung warn and quartered.
Why do you think Nuclear Blast did not promote the band? Do you think it was a matter of in their eyes we will sign the band, not promote them, but they are a name band and we will sell records with them?
PF: Nuclear Blast really did very little promotion for MC like many of the bands they sign. They did get the albums distributed around the world very well but never helped the band with touring promotion, tour support or anything except a few cheap music videos. The videos are the only promotion they did and just like Century Media records that is all the promotion they have done for the band. Both labels have been licensing our releases to other labels around the world in small countries that they probably thought we would never tour in but we did and saw all the bullshit releases they were ripping us off with. It’s a real shame labels do these things and never send the band sales statements or royalties after selling so many albums all over the earth. I know a lot of bands have gone through the same bullshit and it really sucks seeing all these things and having to obtain copies of these illegal copies when touring these obscure countries. Thankfully Back On Black Records is now putting most of all our releases in the hands of people the correct way and we stand behind them 100%.
Phil, now during all this bullshit did you ever think to end the band? It sounds like you take the band seriously, do you not put up with any bullshit such as drugs, being a drunk all the time etc?
PF: I have had to sit back a few times and really think about things because I knew that changes would have to be made in order for the band to continue. And I have made the changes and the band would always be stronger than if I would be carried on the way it was. I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus but fans and people close to this band know what was going on and unfortunately, we have had a lot of problems with band members and drugs and mainly alcohol that really got way out of control. I am also guilty of having a serious drinking problem over the years but I never lost control of the band. It’s really hard watching some of your band members just throw their lives away like that and stupidity also comes into play as well. I just cannot tolerate being around people that just do nothing and want to be carried around by the band and think they are rock stars. Unfortunately, a lot of people live in that bubble of stupidity and have to be replaced. There is never a lack of good musicians but finding reliable people is very hard. A lot of musicians do 1 tour and after 4 weeks they want to go home to their mommy or girlfriends after being paid to do a job. It’s sad but happens all too often. I’m sure I speak for a lot of touring bands that go through the lame bullshit.
How pissed were you about that best-of release that Roadrunner put out in 2003?
PF: We have never had any say in Roadrunner’s Best Of release in 2003. We never were even told about it or received any copies of it. We had to buy our own copies of it and it is ridiculous. It is funny that I still get royalty checks from Roadrunner twice a year which is good but they are more or less just publishing checks for songwriting and sales from downloads. If Roadrunner were smart they would re-release all the great albums they released in the late 80’s and early 90’s and get those albums back in circulation. They would make a killing and the bands would make so much more money as those albums have all been paid off 30 years ago and serious death metal fans love all those early releases by so many great bands. It is a fucking mystery to me why Roadrunner Records does the stupid things that they do. They are definitely not the same label they were back then compared to now. And nobody that worked or owned the label is still with them anymore so it is really hard to understand what they are doing these days. I have no contact with them and hopefully Back On Black Records can shed some light on this problem.
What are your thoughts on your live album called “Conquering South America”? How were the crowds down there for this tour you did?
PF: That album we recorded in Rio De Jenero in, Brazil in 2002 was actually the live album that was actually planned and was properly recorded and a lot went into that live album. The band was very tight at that time and had just released The Will To Kill album earlier that year and had done a ton of touring in the US and Europe. We had a great time in South America on that tour and hung out with our friends in Krisiun and just had a great time in Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Argentina. The crowds in S. America are just amazing we have toured there 5 times and will be going back there later in 2023 or early 2024 for a 2-week tour. That is the best-sounding live album and sounds incredibly amazing compared to the other live albums floating around these days. We actually recorded one more live album that was actually planned and recorded professionally in Australia that was released as a live album and DVD. In my opinion, that album does not sound as well as Conquering South America but it has been re-mastered and re-released as of lately and sounds much better. There are so many bootleg live recordings floating around that sound like shit by Malevolent Creation it makes me sick.
Up till this time, what would you say were some of the craziest shows you had played and what were some of the craziest things you saw at a show?
PF: Oh shit!!! We would be here all day if I were to start listing all the crazy things I have witnessed over the years and crazy-ass shows we have played but I will give you 2 examples really fast. When we were in Brazil in 2002 we had just left a hotel and were in a cab on our way to get something to eat and we were stuck at a red light on a very heavily populated road while sitting at the red light( Oh god, this story really freaks me out) I had looked out the back seat window and noticed a man with no legs just staring right at me. I had made eye contact with him and he just started coming at me running on his huge muscular arms at a million miles an hour and I freaked fucking out. The driver of the cab was yelling at me to roll the window up and I was panicking badly. I managed to roll up the window in time and this crazy dude with no legs was jumping up at my window and pounding on it with his hands and arms and all of us in the taxi cab were screaming for our lives. I only wish we had a video camera rolling at that time. Apparently, the cab driver was explaining to me that that poor guy noticed I was wearing a pretty big gold chain at the time and the guy saw that and charged at me with the hopes of ripping it off my neck. It was really crazy looking and I have never seen anyone with no legs run so fucking fast using just his arms!!! As far as crazy shows go I would have to say when we played Wacken in 2003 for the first time in Germany I had never seen 50,000 people go completely ape-shit. Looking out into the crowd it looked like there was a fire burning in the middle of the crowd but it was actually just dust from the dirt that was flying in the air from the circle pit in the middle of the crowd. It was such a massive stage and we all were having a hard time hearing the monitor mix but it was a great show nonetheless and the hospitality at Wacken and most European festivals we have played over the years is always top-notch. I love playing those amazing festivals and only wish the US would learn something from Europe and do things like that.
Have you always had no problems with any of the bands you have toured with or have some of the bands or band members been sort of dicks?
PF: Luckily we have been very lucky with all the bands we have toured with since 1990. We have had more problems with our own band members than we have had with other bands’ band members. I’m sure there have been a few drunken mishaps over the years with other bands and band members but nothing too serious.
How did you end up hooking up with the label Back on Black Records? Did you find them or did they find you?
PF: Believe it or not Back On Black Records owner Steve had been contacting me by email for a while and I ignored his emails. That was really stupid because as soon as I opened the email I was very happy. Back On Black Records now owns the rights to all our releases from 1995 till 2023 and was owed money from album sales. Great job on all these reissues. Vinyl, cassette and cd.
Now in 2015, you ended up hooking up with another big indie label, this time Century Media Records, who put out your “Dead Man’s Path” release. How was it working with them and how different were they, if any, from the other labels in the past?
PF: Century Media seemed to be all right for a year or so but when we were touring in Europe in March of 2020 and had to cancel the rest of the tour due to Covid shit started falling apart really fast. Century Media also released our 13th studio album The 13th Beast and it actually hit the German Pop Charts. Long story, but CM is doing the same thing to me as Nuclear Blast did. Just sell as many records as possible and never send the band sales statements.
I’ll jump to 2019 where a live album came out on Metal Bastard Records. Overall how was it working with them and the sound on the live recording?
PF: This is yet another album being bootlegged by Metal Bastard Records that I do not own or have ever heard before. Back On Black Records may now own the rights to this album, but I will have to check. I never heard this so I cannot comment on this release. Too many fucking bootlegs out there these days. Now that I have taken my massive MC and Heavy Metal collection out of storage for the last 25 yrs I am sorting through hundreds of live recordings. demos, and unmixed and mastered MC albums. I’m sure I will find some great recordings that have never been hearing before. I am glad I kept all this stuff after all these years.
Late in 2019 a label called “X5 Music Group” released all 3 of your Roadracer releases. Did you know of this at all?
PF: No I did not ever hear of this label and I just checked so they have re-released our first 3 albums by Roadrunner Records Digitally I see. They still legally need to contact the songwriter and former label. Never have which been done!!! Ridiculous!!! This M5 Music Group website gives you no info so what a joke that is.
In 2020 the awesome label of re-issues Vic Records put out a double disc of all your demos. How happy were you to see all your demos out on CD and by a cool label as from I see, they do a good job on re-issues and not a half ass job?
PF: Still another label that has never sent me copies or is in touch with me. I have seen this demo release floating around and still have no contact from Vic Records. Back On Black Records already now sells this item and am awaiting copies. Why all this illegal shit keeps coming out i have no idea. But with all the recordings i am sitting on right now there will finally be some quality recordings that are official band releases. (I thought Vic Records was better than this-Chris)
So now how did the current line-up come together and so far do things look good that this line-up won’t change anytime soon?
PF: The current line up came about in 2022 when Deron Miller had contacted me and told me after seeing MC in Los Angeles that he needed to join the band on vocals and 2nd guitar if this band wanted to move forward. So, naturally me and Deron talked quite a bit and with drummer Ronnie Parmer we are currently writing the new song’s that will be studio album # 14.
How does a new song get put together and with so much material, how hard is it to put together a set list?
PF: 99% of all Malevolent Creation songs get started with a riff or riffs that I record at home and bring to our drummer Ronnie and the other guys and it either gets finished by me or gets finished with the help of the band members. And yes, set lists are a bit of a nightmare at this point because after having 160 songs to choose from it’s rough. Me and my singer Deron put 2 set lists together which consists of 35 songs and I hope that will work in 2023. We are playing so many songs that haven’t been played live ever so this is really cool.
I know you guys have done a few cover tunes, have you ever heard a band do a cover song of one of your songs and what did you think of it?
PF: I have heard quite a few bands cover Malevolent Creation songs and some good and some bad but who am I to say what’s good and what’s not. I appreciate bands taking the time to cover and record an MC song. I love to see how other people hear MC’s music
What do you think of bootlegs and have you ever signed any bootleg stuff over the years?
PF: All the bootlegs are unreal and yes i have signed many illegal Malevolent Creation items in my life. I wish in was getting paid for all these bootlegs but i can’t have everything obviously.
Phil what do you think keeps you going year after year when others have just moved on to other things?
PF: I love music and i have been running Malevolent Creation since 1987 and have spent a lot of money and time invested into this band. Musically everything sounds like MC as I am the main songwriter and always have been. So the new music will be very interesting for everyone and i can’t wait till everything is said and done and we all have a new MC album to crank up.
When can we expect new music?
PF: We are going to record new demos in June and hopefully start recording the new album in August. I’m sure we will release song teasers asap. I really cannot wait to hear the results.
Please plug any social media sites you have any merchandise for sale and that includes album/cd etc releases.
PF: We are currently starting a new Instagram and Twitter account because i don’t want to ever get hacked again.
Mega horns up for doing this interview and the great answers. Hopefully see you on the road sometime. Anything to say to wrap this up the floor is yours.
PF: Thanks for the interview Chris and it’s always a pleasure brother. I know you have been around since the beginning so it is nice to speak with someone that knows the past. Support Malevolent Creation and look for new music in 2023 and live show information at