Carlos Gonzales of the revived Los Angeles Muerte Grind outfit Demolition answers a few questions for Bulldozer Mag. We get a insight into the early 90’s Los Angeles scene and answer to what happened to the band, their disappearance and their resurrection. We also dig into the new recording and what lays ahead for Demolition.
Bulldozer: Take us back to 1992; the “When the Tomb Beckons” demo was just unleashed. What was the goal at the time for Demolition?
Carlos Gonzales: First and foremost, a high decibel “Thank You” to the legions at Bulldozer Magazine for including us in your pages. Very well, let us delve into the dark past…..“When the Tomb Beckons” is the demo we recorded and released back in 1992. We had been playing a lot of gigs and every time we did, there were all these heads asking about a new recording after our previous demo “The Dominion”. Since we had found a bestial monster of a drummer, the goal was to write heavier, ghastlier material and keep playing live gigs anytime, anywhere aiming towards getting a record label to back us, release a full length album, and tear down a few cities touring around the world. The usual goals for any band I guess…ours at least.
Bulldozer: What lead to Demolition disbanding? What were the band members up to during the long break?
Carlos Gonzales: Demolition sort of bio-degraded rather than disband. We found ourselves wondering what to attack next. We played a few gigs in Mexico which were brutal, and then the band gradually drifted apart – engaged in different things yet still playing live openings for bands like “Death”, “Cannibal Corpse” and a few others. I recall we had the opening slot on a wicked bill at the Hollywood Palladium with “Paradise Lost”, “Morbid Angel”, “Kreator”, and “Motorhead”. Our gigs were always violent, turbulent affairs in those days. So the promoters got scared, showed ass and cut the gig short. So despite a horde of heads there early in line to see Demolition, we actually didn’t play. That’s where the long pause or hiatus began for the band.
As far as in between then and now, well, we all kept busy really…Allen and Mars kept playing and gigging with their own bands, Paul went in search of his soul…and found it…I think? And I attempted a return to education, got season tickets to the “Raiders” and stayed to live in Phoenix Arizona after the 1999 New Year’s Evil “Black Sabbath” reunion gig….great city just infernally hot!
Bulldozer: Looking back I would say that compared to today’s Los Angeles scene, there were more innovators and less imitators as far as Death Metal is concerned. Much like today it was predominantly Hispanic but tight knit and not as saturated. The resurrection of some of these early 90’s bands as of late has created insight into what a verging innovative Death Metal scene it was. I would go as far as to say Los Angeles had its own brand of Death Metal. What are your thoughts on this?
Carlos Gonzales: Indeed! The LA scene has always been tough and mean. It shifts periodically, but just under the murk you find the essence of those early days. There were a lot of great bands and some of them went off and made (or still make) a lot of fucking noise around the globe. LA is a very unique city and its Death Metal scene has always been at the forefront. When all the old school greats would roll through LA, there were always the local festered bands to represent our scene well. We got to gig around with a lot of them and had a lot of fun and good times. It was a close knit brotherhood like you point out, it still is really. It will always be. I do see a strong scene these days though. There seem to be a lot of young bands coming up, most of them very good still predominantly Hispanic, but diverse enough to discern the many ethnicities that congregate in an international metropolis like LA. They’re forging their own fires, strengthening the ranks and ultimately contributing to the skull-pile if you will.
Bulldozer: What lead to the return of Demolition?
Carlos Gonzales: What lead to the band reforming was mostly the heads. Some of them would come back from touring and tell us that they were asked about Demolition, or they would see some of our shirts being worn amidst the crowds – across the states, in Europe or South America as well – as local interest here in LA when the necromancer calls, you have no choice but to answer and rise! From the grave… or the couch LOL.
Bulldozer: Now here is something I did not know… Poor Kids Radio, a popular local online radio show in Los Angeles, has a record label and they just put out a 12 song CD entitled – “Epochal Upheaval”, a sort of Demolition Anthology containing older songs, as well as newer material. Whose idea was it to release an Anthology of sorts and how did this record deal with “Poor Kids Records” come about?
Carlos Gonzales: We always wanted to record and release a full length album. A deal back in the early days never materialized so all these songs and some others were the tunes we played live. Poor Kids Radio is a real badass online radio show with lots of dedicated listeners everywhere, they’re some rabid fuckers. We’re all old homeboys Dangerous and Doggie Douche and us go way back. I knew they wanted to start their own label to support the punk and metal scene for some time and once Demolition got back together and started gigging again we hit them up about it. We recorded the songs we thought would work for a full length release then and got the green light from The Poor Kids and at long last “Epochal Upheaval” was a grim reality. I suppose it’s fair to call it an Anthology, since the 12 episodes that make up the album hail from different stages of Demolition’s history.
Bulldozer: Was this a self-financed recording? Where was it recorded, mixed and mastered?
Carlos Gonzales: Yeah…we self-financed these recording sessions, these days it’s not as difficult to go about it as before. We have a few friends with their own studios who know what they’re doing and were familiar with the band. They are musicians themselves, they are great at what they do and their help and input is truly immeasurable. We recorded and mixed at Dungeon Sound Studio in LA with “Adrian Villa Nueva”. It took a few seconds but he managed to capture the sound we were looking for. The rough edges were then ironed out in Phoenix where we mastered the album at “Opera House Music Studio” with Scott Conti. The whole undertaking was a collaboration made possible by everyone involved. True Road Dog Teamwork, blood & sweat….no tears.
Bulldozer: Who created the artwork for “Epochal Upheaval” or where is it from? I really like it, very fitting the recording.
Carlos Gonzales: Why, thank you bro! Yeah it’s intense. The cover art was created by an obscure German master named Herbert Arnold. It truly represents the atmosphere that the Demolition sound evokes, and we hereby humbly pay tribute to his magnificent talent and macabre masterpiece.
Bulldozer: Where can someone order the “Epochal Upheaval” CD?
Carlos Gonzales: Anyone can get their bloody gauntlets on “Epochal Upheaval” you can order it directly from the band at www.demolitionmuertegrind.com or from Poor Kids Radio, or from Amazon, iTunes, and listen to select songs via SoundCloud. You can also come down to the gigs too and get it there. We want to make it available to everyone everywhere. We’re on the hunt for a distribution deal now to reach even more heads so ask for it at your local record stores..! Fuck it don’t ask..DEMAND it!
Bulldozer: OK! The “Epochal Upheaval” CD is out and Demolition moves forward, what’s next? Do we get a new record from Demolition; are songs in the works, more shows, new merchandise? What say you?
Carlos Gonzales: Hail the metal forces and horns up to Bulldozer!! The Obliterous Regime Grinds On! We’re gonna enjoy the “Epochal Upheaval” release and let it run its infestation its being played on a few radio stations around the world and the feedback has been awesome so far. We are due to keep gigging and have a series of shows lined up. There is raw material boiling in the cauldron, so a new record is certainly foreseeable. Our new merchandise is beyond fuckin sick! As brutallic as the old world original. Shirts, long sleeves, hoodies, and a novelty or two. Waste time no further dog brothers! Dare to see and listen for yourselves…..Relinquish your souls and join the Demolition Muerte Siege Today!
Interview by: Jon Mastra