Voracious Scourge have just released an absolutely crushing death metal release on Massacre Records and here is a chat I did with guitar player Jason McIntyre.
- Where were you born and where did you grow up? Where are you living these days?
JM: I was born and grew up in Baton Rouge, La. Around 2007 I moved to a small town on the outskirts of BR named Prairieville.
- What sort of kid were you growing up?
JM: I was your average kid growing up in the 80’s I guess, Lol. I loved Saturday morning cartoons, Star Wars, comic books, MTV and music. I was friendly as I still am and liked to talk about my favourite bands or movies.
- Were you into music at a young age and did you have a lot of friends or were you more of a loner?
JM: When I was about 5 or 6, I discovered Kiss from my uncle. He had all the albums from the self-titled to Dynasty. One day I asked him out of the blue if I could have them and he said yes! I could not believe it. I would listen to them constantly. I even had the huge poster of them standing holding an American flag, while peter had the bloody bandage on his head playing a snare. I hung it up in my bedroom window facing outside so people could see it when they drove by. One of my friends at the time came over and told me his dad would not let him come over anymore because he said Kiss were devil worshippers! Lol, I thought that was ridiculous even then. From there my taste grew to Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Ratt, Dokken then eventually I found Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer which all led to Death Metal in the late ’80s. I was never a loaner I always had friends of all creeds. I like everyone and do not judge people on their appearance, colour, politics, or religion. Everyone has something to offer this world.
- Now, what sort of kid would you say you were in say high school?
JM: In high school, I was all about metal!!!!! Lol, The only difference now is that if the music didn’t have savagely heavy guitar riffs, relentless double bass, growling vocals and blazing leads, I didn’t want to hear it!
- What made you want to pick up the guitar? Did the drums or bass ever interest you at all? Did you take lessons and how did you receive your 1st guitar?
JM: Ace Frehley made me want to play the guitar. Simple as that. I loved his guitar solo on Alive 2 and I wanted to play like that! Drums and bass never really interested me, it was all about the guitar and playing fast flashy solos. I took lessons when I was about 15 years old for about 2 to 3 years from a local guitar teacher named Stan Campbell, who recently passed away (RIP). His lessons are the reasons I am the guitar player I am today. He was very adamant about being a clean player. Every note must be heard and distinguishable. He was brilliant and one of the kindest souls I’ve ever met. My parents bought me my first electric guitar for Christmas when I was 14 or 15. It was a Takamine Electric and I still have it. A few years ago, I put it in the shop and had it cleaned up, replaced the bridge and tuners since the old ones were worn out from years of use. Replaced the pick-ups and now it’s as good as the day my parents gave it to me.
- So what were some early guitar players you got into?
JM: Ace Frehley, Warren DeMartini, George Lynch, Dave Mustaine, Rocky George, James Murphy and Andy LaRocque. Those are just a few but def the main ones.
- Now how did the world of heavy metal find you? What were some early bands that you got into? Are you into any of them still today?
JM: Kiss! That’s what got me into metal even though they were a rock band, they were my gateway drug. Then it was Ratt, Dokken, Maiden, Priest those all led me to Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, then Sepultura, Death, Pestilence, Obituary and so on….Yes, I still love all those bands today as much as I loved them back then.
- Did you start to write and play originals right away or did you fool around with some cover tunes just for a bit and then move on to writing songs?
JM: I started out learning songs I loved at the time. Back in Black by AC/DC, Got To choose by Kiss, Some Heads Are Gonna Roll by Priest and then onto more challenging songs like Metallica’s Master of Puppets. I did not start writing original songs until I joined my friends’ band in high school.
- Now at what point did you decide hey maybe “I want to form a band” or “if some band asks me to join I’m in”?
JM: If I remember correctly, one of my friends from high school started a band and asked me if I wanted to be a part of it.
- Now I know you have been in a few other bands besides Voracious Scourge. Would you care to mention each one for a bit and then we will move on. Are you in any of them currently?
JM: Currently I am only active in Voracious Scourge, but I was a member of La. Death Metal band Suture from 98-07. We released 2 full-length albums. Carnivorous Urge to Kill and Skeletal Vortex. 1 ep and a compilation cd of our early demos. We were fortunate enough to play many really great death metal fests back in the day and did a small tour through the south.
I am also in a project with my friend Chad Kelly called Excommunicated. The music can be described as a mixture of black metal and death metal. We released 1 full-length album entitled Skeleton Key and 1 covers album called Death Devout, where we cover some of our favourite old school death metal bands like Morgoth, Morbid Angel, Obituary and Boltthrower. We have talked about writing a new album in the near future together once we have the time. A couple of other bands I was in were Deface, and a punk/metal/porn rock band called Peckernut.
- Now how did the coming of Voracious Scourge start to come together?
JM: Basically, I had a few songs I wrote that I thought were pretty cool and decided I wanted to work on them with different people just for fun than the normal guys I jammed with here.
The first person I contacted was Mike. He’s an amazing musician, an innovator and legend so I could think of no other drummer that would be more perfect for the songs I had created so far. So, I contacted Mike about possibly playing the drums on the recording. He does a lot of studio work these days and actually did some work for a few of my friends here in Louisiana a few years earlier. Basically, we worked out an arrangement that we were both happy with and that was that. We went to work almost immediately. Once that was taken care of I started thinking about a vocalist. Adrie Kloosterwaard has always been one of my favourite death metal vocalists since he took over vocal duties in his band Sinister. His growls are savage, but his words are understandable just like I like it. He is also a legend in the death metal community, not to mention he is also a friend who I would occasionally speak with about sinister and my old band Suture. I sent him an email and a song or 2 (with programmed drums before mike was able to add his performance) asking if he would be interested in the project and without hesitation, he responded “yes”! I initially contacted Tony during the recording of the EP (Our Demise) to see if he would be interested in playing bass on it at Mike’s recommendation. Unfortunately, the email I had for him at the time was an old one he very rarely checked. So fast forward a few months after the ep was released, I get an email from Tony out of the blue asking if I still was interested in talking to him about playing bass on the ep. I told him the ep was finished and released but would love to have him on the full-length album since I just signed the deal with Massacre records. We spoke a few times on the phone and worked out an arrangement that we were both happy with. The rest is history. And for Billy, I’ve been knowing him since’95. His band and my band back then used to open up for each other on occasion. We always talked about playing together but the timing was never right. Fast forward 20 some odd years later the opportunity came up to bring him on board so I did.
- Now how long were you guys together before you started to put together the material for your 2018 EP on Immortal Souls Productions? How did you hook up with them and what was your experience like being on the label?
JM: We were together as VS for a few months working on the songs for the ep. when Adrie hooked me up with Juro at ISP. He was interested in releasing the EP. So, we spent a few weeks talking about it and worked up a small deal to make it happen. My experience with ISP was good. There were some things I was not happy about, but it all worked out in the end. They did lots of promotion for the band and the ep which I am grateful for.
- Since all you guys are pretty much veterans in the studio, did things go smoothly and how fast did the songs come together? Did you or did the label pay for the recording?
JM: I wrote the songs for the Ep in about a 2-month time. Those songs came together rather quickly. Once I had the guitars recorded to a scratch drum track that I programmed, I sent them to Mike and he spent about a month recording his own drum tracks. He sent the drum tracks back to me and I made a rough mix with the guitars for Adrie who then spent 2 or 3 sessions laying down the vocals. Lance handled his bass parts in 2 nights. I paid for the initial production, mixing and mastering of the EP but ISP, as part of the deal, paid me most of it back to co-release the ep.
- Looking back, what are your thoughts on the EP these days? How did it sell and what was the feedback on it at the time?
JM: I am still incredibly happy with the Our Demise ep. I still love the overall sound of the album and the amazing artwork created by Mark Cooper. Everyone involved in the ep did an amazing job. I’m not sure how well it sold for Immortal Souls, but I know I personally sold around 425 copies out of my pressing of 500 copies. That is with the only word of mouth sales. Facebook posts and no live shows. The feedback was and still is great regarding the EP! It really took me by surprise how much people liked the ep. It’s always a great feeling to hear people say they really like what you have created and even more so from your peers who you respect.
- Who came up with the very fantastic name and logo for the band and were any other names thrown around?
JM: I have always been a fan of the old Transformers Cartoon from the ’80s and there is a Decepticon named “Scourge”. I thought that was a killer name and thought it would make great death metal band name. The word Voracious came from a tv show I was watching one night on Animal Planet. There were about 4 hyenas attacking a buffalo and the commentator mentioned that they had a “Voracious” appetite. I really liked that as well, so I just put those two words together to form the band name. No other names were considered.
Mike Cooper designed the logo.
- Later on, in 2018, you ended up on the “Extreme Noize Attack Vol. 01” with 5 other bands on “Metal Bastard Enterprises”. Did they approach you? Is the song the same version that appeared on your EP or did you re-record it just for this release?
JM: To tell you the truth I had no idea we were on that compilation. No one asked us. Metal Bastard released the vinyl version of the Our Demise ep so I guess they took it upon themselves to add a track or tracks onto the compilation without consulting with us first. The only reason I am mad about it is that I did not even get a copy!
- You recently released a fantastic new album, but before that, did you get to play many, if any live shows in 2018 or 2019?
JM: We haven’t played live yet but there are rumblings about going to Europe late 2021 or 2020.
- Now when did you end up getting signed to “Massacre Records”, which is one of the bigger independent record labels as they have been around for ages? I’m sure you guys being in all your previous bands didn’t hurt.
JM: That was something Adrie put together. He sent the ep to the head of Massacre and a few days later we had a contract sitting in our inbox. I was quite shocked. I am very happy to be a part of the Massacre records family along with Sinister and Atrocity.
- Now for this release, you added another guitar play besides yourself, Billy Richard. How did you find him and how have things been working out with him?
JM: I’ve been knowing Billy for many years. His style of writing is very similar to mine. He did not have much input on the new album since I write rather quickly and had some of the songs completed before he joined. But hopefully, we can get things together so more of his material can be present in the next one.
- Now putting together songs for this new release, which is called “In Death”, how did they come about? Who writes the music and the lyrics?
JM: I wrote 95% of the music and 100% of the lyrics. I had asked Adrie if he wanted to write the lyrics for the new album and he told me he really liked the lyrics I came up with for the Ep and he would rather me write the lyrics to the new songs. I’m not a lyricist by any means and find it tedious to have to come up with things to talk about. I’d much rather just create the music, that is my real passion. Sometimes the music writes itself but other times I can spend a few weeks on a song because I lose the way. I lose where the song is heading. I have to step back, put the guitar down and take a break. Spend a day or two doing something else than return to the song with a fresh mind and ears and usually, that helps the creative juices to flow again.
- Who did the cover for the new release? I personally love the new release. It is a powerful slab of pure death metal that anybody reading this is ordered to pick up. What has been the early feedback on it so far?
JM: John Quevedo Janssens created the album artwork. I sent him a few song lyrics and rough mixes and he came up with his own vision of what the cover should look like. All I suggested was I wanted the cover to consist of red, yellow, and orange. The colour of fire. To contrast the ep cover which had many colours in it. The feedback so far has been overall positive, and we couldn’t be happier!
- Now you have been around as I have and you have watched the music scene change, so for the good and some for the bad, how do you hope the label promotes this so your not lumped in with a bunch of other averages or below average releases?
JM: They have done a great job so far with promoting the new album. I think they understand we have something special going on here. Even though some of our members are from legendary and genre-defining bands, we still maintain our own sound. Old school death metal yes, but we feel we do not sound like any of the other bands out there. Much less any of the bands we were all apart of in the past or present.
- Does the band, once this COVID crap is done, do you hope to do some kind of tour at all?
JM: We hope so! We have spoken to a few people about going to Europe for a small tour and even possible Festival appearances in late 2021-2020.
- For someone who has never heard the band, what would you say you sound like and is there any sort of YouTube video they can check out what they are missing?
JM: The best way to describe VS to someone who has never heard of us would be that we are old school brutal melodic death metal.
Here are the links to a few of our videos:
- Does the band have any goals for itself or is it more of let’s release this new album and see where things go?
JM: Our goal is to eventually play some live shows and promote the new album as best as we can.
- Please plug any social media pages or websites you have.
JM: Please visit us a:
- Jason, horns up for doing this chat any last words, the floor is yours.
JM: Thank you for the great and in-depth interview. I would also like to thank all the fans out there for your support! We in the VS camp greatly appreciate it! Stay Brutal!!!!!