Pious Levus is a killer death death/black metal band formed from the ashes of Thrornspawn and here is an interview with band member Lord Necron:
Have you lived in Texas all your life? What sort of kid were you growing up?
For the most part yes. I was born in Italy due to my family being stationed there. My father was in the Air Force. So I believe we moved to San Antonio around in 1973. I was still a freaking baby so I don't remember a damn thing from Europe. Been in Texas since. I think I was normal kid for the most part. I did have a love for Sci-Fi and Horror movies. I get all type of Monster Mags and Comics back then. I liked the superhero stuff too. Famous Monsters was my favorite magazine back then. But I did normal kid stuff. Rode our bikes around getting into mischief. Playing pranks in the neighborhood. Football, basketball and all that stuff.
When did you start to get interested in music? What were some of the 1st bands that you heard?
I was lucky in sense that I had an older brother that had friends into hard rock/metal in day. But of course KISS was one of the 1st bands I ever heard. I think my 1st real rock record was Hotter than Hell. Then Alive 2. But I would hear my brother and friends listening to music so I would ask who they were listening to. So I started hearing Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, April Wine, Ted Nugent and stuff like that. So I started digging that stuff. Next thing you know I am buying Riot and Accept records. Slowly getting into heavier stuff.
Now how did you end up discovering the world of metal? What were some of the early bands you liked and listened to? Do you still like any of these bands even today?
I think I answered some of that earlier. But then I started buying magazines. Back when were kids you pick up Hit Parader or something like that at your gas station. I would read about all these new bands coming up Motley Crue, WASP and so on. So I started hunting down the records. Then one of my brother’s friends was into really underground metal at the time. I started going with them to record stores here in town like Hogwild and buying zines. I got Metal Forces, Kickass Monthly, The Unholy Book and so on. Hogwild had a great import section and metal section. So I got Venom and Metallica records. Mind was blown. And of the Metal comps like Metal Massacre were good introduction to killer bands.
Now how did the ugly (lol) world of underground metal enter your life? What were some of the early bands that you heard? Are you still a fan of any of these bands today?
I forgot to mention Kerrang Magazine sold me on a lot of bands back then. Accept and Venom huge articles and I would just have to buy these records from just reading about them. We have a rock station here in town 99.5 KISS. But back in the day it ruled. On Friday nights or maybe Saturday they would have special metal show on it hosted by a guy named Tracy Barnes. This guy was playing Possessed, Slayer and really killer stuff at the time. So we would tape the shows. So me and my friends were just loving all this metal coming at us. Growing out our hair. Hunting down shirts and records of all these killer new bands. Slayer, Mercyful Fate, Destruction, Exodus, Celtic Frost were ruling our lives. And yes I still listen to and love these bands. Just saw Slayer here a couple of weeks ago. My 1st real underground metal show was Nasty Savage with Militia here in town. Nasty Savage were touring with the wage of Mayhem demo. Such a killer show to be introduced to underground metal in a live setting.
So at what point in your life did you want to play an instrument and what made it be the guitar? Did you take lessons or were you self-taught?
Ace from KISS made me want to pick up the axe. But my Dad too played so I did have a fascination with the guitar from a young age. I did take lessons from Ron Jarzombick for about a year. I'm sure most people know who that is. But it mostly was me and my buddy sitting around with Ron talking about music haha. Ron didn't really get all the heavy stuff back then. I would come with Possessed songs wanting to learn them and he was trying to teach me scales. But he is really cool dude. Out of my league as a player. But I started figuring out all the thrash licks. How to speed pick. Started just speed picking with power chords.
Who are some guitar players you liked back then and even now today?
Hanneman and King, KK and Tempton, Randy Rhoads, Tom Warrior, Mantas, Murray and Smith, Brian May, Yngwie, Ace, Chris Holmes, Billy White, Ron Jarzombick, Bob Catlin, Quarthon, Piggy, Michael Schenker and so on. Still put on records of these people to this day.
Now you have been in several bands including Cerebral Distortion, Diabolis, Indignation, The Cuttroats and one more. Out of all the bands I just mentioned did you pretty much have good times in all of them or not so good times?
Cerebral Distortion was a high school crossover band. Lots of fun playing in that band. Punk shows were wild here back then. Then Indignation was more of a death/thrash band. Did some shows with Deadhorse here. I only lasted up to the 1st demo on that band. Then I joined Diabolis with my longtime friend Jeff Tandy. We played a couple of shows and did some bedroom demos. Was a fun time in that band too. Everyone went to college so it kind of fell apart. You forgot to mention HOD. Been in that band since I formed it in 2007.
Now you joined/formed Thornspawn and with that band you put out 18 releases (2 comp releases a live release and several split releases) what are some of the times you remember of that band as you were around from 1996 (1st release) till 2017 (last release). How many releases did you play on?
I actually quit Thornspawn in 2007 to start HOD. I played on The Dacian Empire and The Consecration of Evil Flesh demos. The Infernal Legion 7 inch. Blood of Holy Taint Thy Steel, Wrath of War, Sanctified by Satan's Blood Full lengths. Anything after that I am no longer affiliated with.
Did you feel Thornspawn was an original band and what are some of your favorite shows you played back then?
Original band? I think we did our own take on Black metal. It was definitely based on thrash like Slayer and Sacrifice. But I wouldn't say we were totally original. But nobody sounded like us around here. The Milwaukee Metal Fest in 2001 was a killer show. Some of the Sacrifice of the Nazarene Fest shows were great shows. Sharing the stage with bands like Absu, Judas Iscariot, Archgoat, Demoncy, Bloodstorm,The Chasm and Sadistic Intent to name a few were killer times. That was definitely good time for Thornspawn back then.
Did you manage to do any type of touring for the band in those 10 years you were active? If you did where did you go and who did you tour with?
The only tour I did with Thornspawn was with Summon in 2002 I think. But we had to drop off about halfway thru it. Now I think my real touring time came with HOD. We did a three week tour with Monstrosity. Played coast to coast. Then Hod went and with Marduk, Aura Noir, Black Anvil and Panzerfaust. Played some East Coast and Canadian dates. That was such killer. Also did most of the Death Metal Purity tour with Gravehill and Cardiac Arrest. Then we went out with Abyssmal Lord. Hod has played Coast to Coast. Canada. And many festivals here and there.
So how did Thornspawn end up breaking up?
Thornspawn is still active in Mexico just with Alex being the sole original member. I really don't follow it. For my departure all I can say I wanted something different. I don't do well when dealing with BS. So I had to bail. The other members left pretty much after I did.
Now in 2014 the 3 members of Thornspawn were in Pious Levus. Does that mean that Pious Levus was sort of meant to be a side band of sorts because nothing was released till this year (2018)?
Swornghoul and Necroinfernal the two other members of Thornspawn in the band left about after a year I did. They formed another band called Butchered Saint, They did that for a while. They decided they wanted to do something blacker so they started working of Pious Levus material. I heard some of the material and basically asked if I could join. As I did miss jamming with those two guys in particular. This was about 2016. Swornghoul I have known since 1984. That is my metal brother. I wanted to jam with him again. I felt like when I left Thornspawn me and him had unfinished business. So this is the perfect chance to rectify that.
So since there were no prior releases prior to this new full length that you just released does mean some of these songs have been sitting around for a few years or did you just recently write and record these tunes?
These songs have been around a couple of years. They do not properly represent us at the moment. We are working on an unnamed EP right now that will give people a chance to hear where we are at now. But the beast album is such a raw piece of hate! I love the just the raw aggressive attitude of it.
What would you say is the biggest difference between Thornspawn and Pious Levus?
Pious Levus is coming from a different attitude. A more experienced crew. But still with the raw aggression. Pious Levus is black/death to the extreme. No gimmicks. Just raw and aggressive metal. I don't think the bands sound alike. Swornghoul and I wrote all the music in Thornspawn back then. I'm sure anything new Thornspawn does will not sound like us. We have our own styles. But I cannot guarantee some old licks style cannot creep out. It's our style. We wrote it.
How did you come up with the name and logo for the band?
The Song Pious Shall Leave us was already written. So when band names were coming up we just shortened it to Pious Levus. We felt it captured what we are doing. Swornghoul did the original logo design. But I was talking with Equitant ex Absu and asked if he could refine it. We worked on it for a while until he finally nailed what you see now. I think he a great job too.
Where did you record this new release and did you pay for it or did the label?
Did things go smoothly in the studio? Necroinfernal has built a home studio in his house. So it did not cost anything in the sense of a budget. He is really getting good at producing. We are recording the new Ep there too.
How has it been working with Warfare Noise Productions so far and how did you end up working with them and where are they based out of?
Warfare Noise Productions is a small label out of Houston. I knew the owner Art for some time. They released the Oath of Cruelty 7 inch and demo cassette prior. So I just sent him the tracks to see what he thought. He liked it enough to put it out. Now he is not some label with a huge cash flow. Just a metalhead that puts out music he believes in. That is all we can ask for. He plans on releasing Beast on Vinyl later this year. Cannot wait for that! He might even do a cassette version too.
Now the music scene has changed a lot over the years with social media being a big thing for bands. How do you plan on using social media to promote the band?
Just to promote the music. I'm not really huge social media person. I like it to contact with some of my friends. But constant posting of politics, the food you eat, and just whining on it I find annoying. I like to live life. Not seeing my fingers typing all the time. So to answer your question to mainly post about music.
Now I see the band wears corpse paint. Why do you wear it is it because of the image and lyrics of the band?
We do not wear corpse paint. We are a spikes and leather band. No corpse paint. (I asked cause a picture on the web had you wearing it-cf)
How has the response to the release been so far I myself love it?
It's been mixed. Some people love it. Some people, posers, hate it. But I am only concerned with real metalheads. Not some poser just getting into music trying to grasp the hell we are unleashing. So when someone like you Chris likes it I know we doing right.
What are your plans for the rest of 2018 and beyond and do you have any goals for the band?
To finish the EP we are working on. Play some shows here in TX. Maybe in 2019 we will go out of state if we are given the opportunity.
Please plug any websites the band has?
he only official sites we are using are: Facebook | Bandcamp
You can find the album on major streaming sites like Pandera, Spotify and the like too. But buy a damn copy if you like it!
Any last words horns up for the interview?
Thanks for killer in depth interview Chris. It was killer. If you are looking for some raw and aggressive metal give Pious Levus listen. Not for wimps and posers!