AUTOEROTICASPHYXIUM ‘ZINE from New York, USA interview with John Cross (Drums) posted November 8th, 2016
AUTOEROTICASPHYXIUM ‘ZINE from New York, USA interview with Johnny C (Bass) posted November 1st, 2016
AUTOEROTICASPHYXIUM ‘ZINE from New York, USA interview with Kill (Guitar) posted October 28th, 2016
AUTOEROTICASPHYXIUM ‘ZINE from New York, USA interview with Damien (Vocals) posted October 18th, 2016
THE LEGION OF TCHORT ‘ZINE from Peru interview with Damien posted August, 2015 with interactive links below
T: Hello my brother, Damien! Why the name of the band?
D: Hails, Leo! As for the name of the band, I started Three Sixes as a horror themed “side project” a while back after doing a song for a friend of mine named Ron D.Core who is a Hardcore Techno DJ. After doing a song with him called “Fuck Deep House” I saw what the digital world offered which was something at the time I’d never seen, as the options sonically were only limited to the imagination. I was blown away. “Fuck Deep House” did well and Ron hit me up to do another tune to follow it. I then pitched the idea of a horror themed song called “Possession” to him. While Ron was supportive, it wasn’t the direction he was looking for, so I hooked up with his producer who would become my partner in Robb D’Graves and we did the song “Possession”. At the time, I was just doing it until I could find another band to join as mine had broken up. However, I loved the freedom the digital environment provided and the limitless possibilities it presented. After the song “Possession” was recorded, Robb suggested I do more, so we did. By then, the song had grown into an EP and I needed a band name to put it under. At the time, I was also writing a song called “Three Sixes”. While the song was one I’d never use, I dug the name and I thought it would fit what we were doing, so I used it. Back then, I had no idea after more than a decade the band would continue and evolve, but it has. Here we are much later after the fact and I couldn’t be more proud.
T: Three Sixes has a new CD. “Know God, No Peace”?
D: Yes, we do. This is the current version of the evolution I spoke of. As you can hear in comparison to the older material, Three Sixes have grown from a novelty “side project” into a full blown musical assault, which didn’t happen overnight. We also caught a lot of hate in the early days and pissed a lot of people off, which was my intent in the beginning, to do anything just to get attention. Then we did. I came under fire from people everywhere. It was nuts. So, long story short, I pitched the idea of “Know God, No Peace” to the other guys and they dug it, but this time around, we were going to do things differently. While sarcasm was laced throughout the older material, I didn’t want it on this record. This album was an announcement of the band we had grown into, that it isn’t a “novelty” anymore, as well as an honest middle finger to everyone who criticized us in the past. What’s cool is that people can see the growth and have embraced it, as well as the diversity of the songs, which is pretty radical. When “Know God, No Peace” first came out, there were some that thought we had “an identity crisis” as if we were grasping for straws because the songs sounded so differently from each other, but those who listened to it a few times understood what we were doing and took to it. This record is huge. There is a lot digest. We knew that it could be an issue, but we didn’t care and did it anyway.
T: How did you do with the previous CDS?
D: In the beginning, better than I expected. When I first started the band it was just a “project” that I did only for myself. I really didn’t think anyone would like it, but my partner Robb did, as did my friend Ron, and I loved it, so I pursued it. The original “Possession” CD was great because at the time, it exceeded my expectations. Then we started getting attention and playing live. We had to record something more current with the live line up and things were moving quickly. The members started to change, but we finally recorded “Salvationless” with promises of things that couldn’t be delivered and I was pissed. I’m still not pleased with that recording, but whatever. We salvaged what we could and moved forward. Luckily, the response was again, much better than expected. Then we ran out of the original “Possession” and “Salvationless” EP/CDs and had a choice to make- either reproduce both EPs or just do a few new tunes with the revamped line up, combine them and release it as a full length album simply titled “Three Sixes”, which is what we did. By this time, the lineup was much more solid and the song writing really started to grow. We went as far as we could with it at the time and stopped playing until a new full length record was completed, which brings us to where we are today.
T: The older material differed from this CD, which sounds much better than the previous one.
D: Thanks. We feel the same way. As I mentioned, the self titled “Three Sixes” CD was taken from three different recordings, with different studios and engineers with gear that collectively, was inferior to what we were able to use for “Know God, No Peace”. We did our best through re-mastering the older songs to keep them as consistent as possible to each other, but doing a whole new record with Marko using the same gear, engineer, production process and mastering made things a lot easier to retain a higher consistency and quality. Our Producer Marko has killer gear and is always up to date on everything, so we literally had the best of anything we could get regardless of budget because of him. Marko had an enormous impact in the final product- from the producing while we wrote, to the separation and clarity of all the sounds, to the mix and choice of mastering. His dedication and consistency of gear towards the end made the whole CD- despite the diversity between the songs, equally as clear as they were consistent and different. The end result of the increase in quality of the overall sonic production in comparison from the older material to what we have now was entirely from Marko.
T: We can hear a mixture of styles in the songs. Can you tell us something about this?
D: This is something that all of us take a lot of pride in. Since Three Sixes was initially started as a “side project” I really had no set design or particular genre I cared to follow. I just wanted to make something dark that I thought was different and I dug. In doing so, I thought the diversity would be really cool. Because I never cared what anyone would think, I just went for it and did whatever I wanted to do. I felt that it was different enough that probably nobody would like it anyway, so I literally had nothing to lose. When people did take to it, I was surprised and I dug it. Later, it would turn out that those who ended up joining me in Three Sixes did so specifically for that reason, would add their own elements which helped the band in continuing to evolve, grow and further diversify. Regardless of the lineup, the diversity and mixture of styles we use and combine was the one factor all members (current and past) had in common. Since the groundwork was already set for this band to do something completely different from recording to recording, we’re not pigeonholed to do anything in particular in the future, so the freedom to be diverse has already been established, and now expected. Luckily for us, it’s also been embraced.
T: The image is that the band is Satanic Black Metal. Why that image, when the music is mixture of all Hardcore, Techno, Black and others? How would you define your band?
D: It goes back to the roots I spoke of earlier as a horror themed “side project” that grew into its own entity. It wasn’t intended to be deemed as anything in particular when I started it. I just thought the name fit. When Three Sixes started getting noticed, the name spread and it has grown into what it has. The evolution of the band since the inception has been natural and organic. It was never some manufactured product from a record company to fit a particular genre. Because we are not under a contractual obligation of any sort, we had the freedom to do literally anything we wanted to, so we did. While the songs on our new CD “Know God, No Peace” are collectively very diverse, all of them have a common thread of truth from all of us as human beings, as well as either with darkness and aggression in various doses which tie them all together and make them one in the same. So to define Three Sixes is complicated, but if you need a quick, definitive answer, I simply refer to us as “Trainwreck Metal” which in my opinion encompasses all of the styles you mentioned in a huge collision and is delivered from the same band. Because the content of what we do has always been dark, combining it with our name would be easy to misconstrue us simply as a Satanic Black Metal band. While I am down with the imagery and intent behind the Satanic Black Metal appearance, any research into the history of the band Three Sixes would say otherwise.
T: The presentation and art on the t-shirt and CD is flawless. Whose idea was that and the creation of a promo pack inside a copy of the Bible? This was sincerely a very good presentation.
D: Thank you. As for the t-shirt and CD artwork, the original idea was mine. I met with the artist, Jack Van Gossen and gave him my ideas for the artwork. While the final product was not what I had originally envisioned at all, the artwork (like our songs) evolved over time and brainstorming together. The original concept for the artwork itself took several months to create. I talked to Jack a few times a week before we settled on the final design. He then sketched it out and brought it to life. I originally thought the ideas of Bibles as a promo would be really cool, but the cost and time to do so as the real thing would be too expensive and impractical from a reproduction standpoint. After I pitched the idea to the other guys, we decided that the best way to do this was to create a box that looked like a Bible which could be big enough to act as a press kit and hold a t-shirt. I then kicked around ideas of how it should look, ran it by our graphics guy and he put all of the ideas together to what you received. We are proud of the overall finished product and are glad you feel the same.
T: Where do your influences come from? Maybe reading, movies, every day life?
D: The influences come from everywhere, from movies, books, life or even a song I’ve heard from someone else that sparks an idea which turns into something completely different. There really isn’t a single source in particular. Whatever it is, it needs to be something that makes me want to write it down. If the idea won’t leave until I do, it’s got a chance. If it sticks afterward, I’ll hit everyone else with it and see where it goes. Sometimes it works and other times they might not. That doesn’t just apply to me. Kill and Marko have done the same and they have their own reasons and influences as well. Needless to say, the majority of the ideas from all of us never make it because there have been so many, but all that have survived and made it into the songs we recorded were due to the fact that all of us agreed on them. Since there is no lack of ideas, all of us need to agree completely or we won’t use them, regardless of who initiated the idea or what the source from the idea was.
T: Do you think that your voice is similar to Petrozza of Kreator? I find a bit of similarity. What do you think?
D: I’ve heard this a few times since this record was finished and if someone had never heard us before, I could understand why it would be said. Mille Petrozza has been a huge influence on me for a very long time. However, there have also been others in the past which I could agree with, where I’d been compared to Kurt from D.R.I. and even Tom from Slayer, both of which were major influences, lyrically and vocally as well. Some have also likened me to Bobby from Overkill, as well as Marilyn Manson and even Peter from Type O Negative, all of which I can understand too. Because a reference point is typically warranted in explaining to someone a sound or style who has never heard a band before, I get why people would use these names- which I couldn’t be more proud to be associated with. I do the same in describing other bands. That said, while I have heard the Mille reference, I have heard the others too, so I think it requires the listener of Three Sixes to make their own determination as to who they feel I am identified with or not.
T: Do you have any preferences of favorite bands that influence the sound of music?
D: Not really. Although we’re all Metal based, everyone else and I listen to a lot of different genres, so it just depends of what mood I’m in while listening and writing, as it is with them. While influences in every band are inevitable, I prefer not to lean on a particular band or genre for too long and I like variety. The other guys would say the same. While I love hearing new music and the ideas I can get from it, I don’t want to lock onto one thing in particular for too long and become single minded. Like the songs I listen to, I prefer the songs we write to be equally as diverse and stand on their own. In doing so, the same, typical homogenized sound throughout a record is avoided. While all of us have similar influences, we are all also equally as diverse from each other, but this is where chemistry and a common goal come in. Don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of disagreements in the writing process, but that’s natural. In the end, we all have something we agree with and are proud of, which in my opinion, matters the most.
T: How you are running your record label Universal Records? Need serious distributors? Or maybe want to be something very underground?
D: We are currently distributed electronically through Tunecore, who has definitely done their job. Because of them, you can literally find us anywhere through almost any digital and streaming formats (iTunes, Spotify, iHeart Radio and many more online). We were also recently picked up by Pandora too, which is really cool. We are physically distributed through CD Baby right now. I’m also down with the underground too, so if there are any legit, non exclusive distros that are interested, I am as well. Just contact me with the details and we can go from there.
T: Any last words to our readers and where they can get their Three Sixes merchandise?
D: Yes. If you’d like to know more about us, we have a website at http://threesixes.com with photos, news, song samples, videos, lyrics, free porn links, the infamous “Gross Page” and anything else you could possibly think of. It’s pretty easy to spend some time there. As for our merchandise, all of our CDs, shirts and anything else can be ordered directly through our merch page from our website at http://threesixes.com/store as well as CD Baby as mentioned before at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/threesixes1 and http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/threesixes . We can also be found pretty much anywhere digitally, but the most common is through iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/know-god-no-peace/id918838575 Thank you for supporting us and hopefully we’ll see each other sooner than later!
When you meet people that are truly dedicated to his/her work you just feel a need to talk about it! That was what it happened when we got to know our next guest! First it was through Facebook, then by letter and finally in this long conversation you’ll be able to read in the next pages!! A truly dedicated and passionate person he created his band back in 1999 and since then has been struggling in the Underground never giving up and fighting relentlessly!! We appreciate these kinds of bands that don’t give a fuck if they are talking with a big magazine or a small paper printed zine from the other side of the ocean!! So enough talk here’s what we have talked about with Damien LaVey singer and founding member of THREE SIXES!!! Have fun in the next pages!!
MH- Hail Damien, how are you? Everything ok with Three Sixes? What’ve you been up to lately?
Damien- Everything is great and I’m doing well. Thanks for taking the time to hit me up. I’ve just been working a lot lately and pushing the new CD as much as possible. It’s been cool seeing the reactions so far which overall, have been really positive.
MH- So to start tell us how did you get interested in music and then involved in the Underground? Three Sixes wasn’t your first experience, right?
Damien- I grew up as a fan of music and when the whole Crossover/Speed/Thrash movement evolved I was addicted. It was literally my “drug” of choice. I couldn’t get over the energy from the shows I would go to. All I knew was that I wanted to be a part of creating and expelling that kind of energy. I was already writing lyrics and took guitar lessons for about a year. At that time, a friend of mine (Jay Hotrum) convinced me to sing instead of playing guitar and I was interested. Next thing you know, he scored me a deal on my first PA, gave me tips on how to start a band and I did. That band was together for almost a decade until it finally ended. While I am proud of my roots, the friendships created and experiences I had at that time, it was so long ago that it’s a subject that I prefer to leave in the past and concentrate on what has and would become Three Sixes afterward.
MH- Three Sixes history starts back in 1999, how did everything begin? How did you start the band and how did you come up with the name Three Sixes?
D- I started Three Sixes as a “side project” while I was looking for a new band to join. Mine had broken up, so while I was looking, I was asked by one of my oldest friends who’s a Rave DJ by the name of Ron D. Core to do a song with him. At the time, it was something fresh and new to combine Metal and Techno (ala Fear Factory) and wanted to bring me in for a song. So I did a song for him called “Fuck Deep House” (that can be Googled if you want to check it out). On that song was me screaming and doing all vocals that weren’t sampled, as well as taking a piss and having a quick laugh at the end of the song. It was my first time doing everything digitally and learning about the digital world. When I saw all of the sounds and editing that could be done in that realm, my mind went nuts. I realized at that point that nothing was impossible and sounds were only limited to the imagination. So I did vocals for “Fuck Deep House” that I think was released in the UK. I know it wasn’t in the USA. Anyway, the song did well and he asked if I’d like to do another. After seeing what I did during the making of the song, I pitched the idea of the song “Possession” to Ron who dug it. Although Ron was supportive, the style of what I wanted to do differed from the idea of “Fuck Deep House” dramatically, so I did it on my own with his producer, who would also become mine. However, I did bring Ron back to take over the programming and help structure the song “Bleed for Me” which appears on the “Possession” and self titled, full length CD. I just told him to make some parts that worked with each other, we’d arrange it together and we’d fill the blanks in after the fact. So Ron, my producer/partner at the time (Robb D’Graves) and I did just that. Robb programmed, played bass and guitar, I chose the samples, wrote the lyrics and it was done. The experience was a blast and was one of the reasons I wanted to move forward with Three Sixes after “Possession” was released. As for the name of the band, it was actually the title of a song I was writing while working on “Possession”. Like many others I’ve written, I scrapped the song because it just wasn’t working, but I really liked the title. Once I realized that “Possession” had grown from a song idea to an EP and would need a name for a “band” to put it out under, Three Sixes just seemed to fit with the content of the record at the time, so I went with it.
MH- I read that at the beginning it was only you so how did you end up with the actual line-up of Three Sixes? The last member to enter was the bassist Johnny in 2012, how did he become a Three Sixes member?
D- Well, as I just mentioned, Three Sixes was originally just me and my then producer/partner at the time Robb, who I’d me through Ron. When the “Possession” CD came out and people were digging it, I was actually surprised. I seriously thought everyone would hate it. While this would be true for some, there were many others who loved the music as much as I did and wanted to see the band play live. I would then go through the process of running ads, talking to friends and auditioning people until a lineup to play live would evolve. Kill has been with me the longest, who I met through an ad I was running looking for a guitar player. Konnyaku would be next, as we already had shows planned when our drummer at the time split. Konnyaku filled in for the shows and would play many more afterward. He also did drums on a few songs from the self titled disc as well as all the drums that weren’t programmed on “Know God, No Peace”. We’d known each other long before Three Sixes from shows our bands at the time played together. Marko was next. We needed someone to arrange the samples for our sets that we would change often. So our former Bass player prior to Johnny (Whiskey) introduced us. Marko and I hit it off well both musically and personally. Marko produced the new disc and we have literally become the best of friends since then. While the record was being written and recorded, Whiskey left the band for reasons outside of music. We’re still good with him and wish him the best, but we had to move forward. Knowing we needed a Bass player to finish the record after everything else was already done, we were introduced to Johnny from a mutual friend in Nick Griffo, who did all of our videos.
MH- Your first work was the EP ‘Possession’ released in 1999, how did you get the chance to record this EP? How were the reactions to it?
D- As I mentioned, I met who would become my partner and producer (Robb D’Graves) through my friend Ron D. Core. After the song “Possession” was written, Robb dug the ideas I had and suggested doing more than one song. We bounced more ideas back and forth, brought Ron in to do “Bleed For Me” with us, wrote a few others with Robb and next thing you know, I had an EP. Since I had no money to promote or even a band to play the songs at the time, the only ideas I had to promote were crude, guerilla types of marketing. A friend and I started our website at www.threesixes.com and we did anything we could to direct traffic to it to bring people back and get any attention I could, to make people talk about the band and hopefully garner some interest. For that reason, the inside of the “Possession” CD had a pic of me and six naked women, we added the “Gross Page” to the website with all kinds of pornographic and homicidal pictures and videos as well as free porn links. Since it came out in 1999 and the world was fearing the whole “Y2K” hoax, I rolled with it, playing on the idiocy of the people who thought that the world was really going to end. I ran a few thousand stickers that just said “ARMEGEDDON IS HERE…. threesixes.com” and before it became illegal, some friends and I posted them all over freeway onramps and left turn signals. Anywhere people would HAVE TO sit in their car and look at a sign. Our stickers couldn’t be avoided. People then started flocking to the website, many in the belief that it was a Christian scare tactic. When those went there and saw what we were doing, they became pretty upset and that’s when the threats came in. I received a few dozen during that time. Obviously, none of them would come to fruition, but people weren’t too happy with what I was starting. I didn’t care though, because my opinion was that if I angered them enough to take the time out of their day to prepare and deliver their threats, I probably wasn’t the only person they were talking to- which was exactly the intent. I just wanted any attention I could get and to a degree, it was effective. More people started to go to the website, started to talk, more people came to the shows and more merch was sold. Similar to how the initial reactions were to “Know God, No Peace” when it first came out, the reactions weren’t very good in the beginning either. However, just as “Know God, No Peace” is starting to do now, the original material in the beginning not only just became more accepted as time passed, but appreciated more as well
MH- Three years later you recorded a new EP called ‘Salvationless’, so in what format was that one released? Did you use it to show that the band was still active?
D- When we did “Salvationless” we were already playing live, but started to write songs as the new, live lineup. Because they sounded differently than what was on “Possession”, we decided to record them so people could check them out and see the growth of the band. While I am still cool with the songs themselves, the recording experience for that record was the worst I’d ever had and definitely was not what I was promised. Regardless, we were on the clock, the lineup was new and we were forced to “grow up” quickly at that point because people were waiting for us to get something out. Surprisingly, the reaction was better towards it than I expected. My vision of the tunes was much different than what was completed, but whatever. All I could do is what I did after it, which was to make sure that the engineer I was working with already knew what he was doing and wasn’t learning while we were recording. Luckily, our friend Rob Gainey came in the clean up as much as he could from what he had to work with and gave us a much better sound on the songs we recorded than what he inherited, as well as for the three new tunes on the self tiled disc which was a lot more in line with what all of us were thinking at the time. As for the format, “Salvationless” was originally on CD only.
MH- Your style is not easy to label as it have a lot of different influences, so how would you describe it to someone that has never heard of Three Sixes?
D- For awhile I used to just jokingly refer to it as “Trainwreck Metal” because of all of the different influences that can be interpreted differently by everyone who heard it. Now, I just call it Metal, with Industrial, Thrash, Rock and any other influences you can think of. We’ve also been referred to as Death Metal, Hardcore, Goth, Nu Metal and Rap too, so it really depends on what the opinion of that particular listener would be, as it seems everyone has their own definitions of what we are.
MH- In 2005 you released ‘Three Sixes’ your first album, that brings most of the songs displayed on the EP’s, did you give them some different treatment? How did the underground react to your first album?
D- At that point, we sold out of the “Possession” CDs and the remaining stock we had of “Salvationless” was running really low. So instead of pressing more of both, we combined them and added two new originals for that time of “Hell’s Home” and “Holy Man” and covered “Paint it Black” by the Rolling Stones to make it a full length CD. On this new release, we did give the older songs some treatment by having them re-mastered so they would be more consistent with the new material and because of it, the older songs sounded better than the originals from the two original EPs. By this time, we had stabilized as a live band and had a much better grasp of how to write and play live with samples and I think it showed. The reaction was great for the three new tunes from the time it was released. People were digging the progress. We also did a video for “Holy Man” that became a crowd favorite as soon as it was released. We would play that song live at every show since then. It’s cool watching people scream the chorus out live to that one. It never failed to get a strong reaction.
MH- ‘Know God, No Peace’ is your latest release, your second album, out nine years after the debut. Why such a long time? Line-up problems, lack of time or just life being life?
D- The reasons for the delays were all of the above and an additional amount of reasons that fiction would be unable to create. All of us went through some really tough times. Nobody was immune. Like I mentioned before, Whiskey had things he had to take care of outside of music so he unfortunately had to leave (but is now doing well) with the economy collapsing, financial hardships fell on all of us, some became unemployed, some lost their places to live, car accidents, a few deaths of close family and friends, gear failure and technical issues that nobody could explain. Aside from our drummer not spontaneously combusting (ala Spinal Tap) anything that could happen did happen. It would happen to all of us at various times and normally more than once. Regardless of how hard life would beat us down, we never gave up. We were determined to finish what we started and we did. We’re proud of it, even though it took a lot longer than any of us could have ever imagined.
MH- Comparing both albums do you think a great difference exists between both works? Do you believe that ‘Know God No Peace’ shows a more mature band?
D- Yes, I do. If you scan the QR code at the bottom of the lyric sheet on the backside of the mini poster on the hardcopy of the CD, it will take you to bonus video interviews available nowhere else. One of the interviews was with our producer, Marko. He said it best as “Know God, No Peace” was Three Sixes’ “Growing up record” which I completely agree with. As I said earlier, the initial version of Three Sixes was nothing but a side project. After time passed, interest and criticism grew, Three Sixes was taken much more seriously by all of us. When this record was written, it was with the understanding that the music was no longer to be made as a novelty, but honestly and for who all of us really are. In doing so, I also wanted to keep the Industrial and experimental concepts of the original material in place as we progressed, so we could further go into places we already hadn’t and not back into a creative corner or pigeonhole ourselves. In my opinion, the diversity and unpredictability between the songs is a unique strength which few bands possess and we embrace. I’m really proud of this record. Not just because of the progress from the original material, but from the original roots we simultaneously adhered to while expanding.
MH- Must say that the packaging of ‘Know God, No Peace’ was one of the coolest ones that I ever received. How did you come up with the idea of the bible-box package for the album? How were the reactions from the people that got the ‘bible’ in the mail?
D- Thank you. I thought the idea of bibles for a press kit would be cool, but doing them as actual hollowed out bibles created problems of their own from a practicality and cost standpoint. So through some brainstorming and a lot of booze, we came up with the idea of making boxes that looked like bibles to send out as press kits which were much more practical. After we got past the logistics, we went for it and had them made. Like the music in the CD, at first, the reactions were mixed because nobody had any idea what we were doing. Some places that looked forward to hearing the new disc never even responded….and still haven’t. A few others mentioned that the only reason they didn’t burn our “bible” press kit was because of how little weight it had, which was the only reason they even opened it because they thought it couldn’t have been real, to see what else could have been in it, but wanted to make sure before it was disposed of. After this got back to me, I made sure that all of them had disclaimers on the bubble wrap they were mailed in letting the recipient know what the contents of the package actually were. So long story long, the initial reactions were varied, but now they have been readily accepted.
MH- I love the way you used the pun ‘Know God, No Peace’ and ‘No God, Know Peace’, do you think that religion is the one of the major factors why humanity spends so many time battling? Lyric wise, that’s one of your influences but whatever more influence you when writing? Can you guide us briefly through each of the songs?
D- Thanks again. I chose that title for the exact reason you asked. It was the same reason for the release date on the “International Day of Peace” under the concept that if religion didn’t exist (and coinciding with the lyrical theme/content of the title track) more than just one day of “World Peace” would be much more likely to be obtained. So this idea was a major thread that lyrically that I tried to incorporate through as many songs as I could. As for a brief guide through the tunes, “Saviour” establishes the record as myself literally standing on a soapbox, preaching what the content of the record will be about and to “introduce” the rest of the record to those who feel the same way about religion as all of us in Three Sixes do. “Lead Winged Angel” is based on the life story of Aileen Wuornos– the first documented female serial killer in the USA, who “found god” who supposedly “forgiven her” for the murders she performed before she was executed. “Darkside” is the voice inside of everyone who knows only things that each of us do, condemns you for it and welcomes you to do it again. It’s the voice only you hear which convinces you to deny all of your “eternal and heavenly” beliefs and live for now in the real world, ingesting as much satisfaction possible in whatever you seek, regardless of consequence…and the payment through regret you will be forced to bear as long as you live for doing so. “Truth” is an enormous middle finger to those who consider themselves as “righteous” who wind up being eaten alive socially from their own hypocrisy. “Arch Enemy” written about the first angel, Lucifer, his banishment from heaven and his vengeance which roams the earth, opposing forgiveness or “turning the other cheek”. “Soul Destroyer” was written from the viewpoint of a man who was raped as a boy by a catholic priest, who, as he grew older, denied all religion as false and sought revenge on his perpetrator, even after he was murdered and buried. “Kingdom of Lies” is about the stupidity of sacrifices people make daily and the self punishment the same put themselves through for not being able to live up to the expectations their “gods” supposedly expect and don’t even exist. “Hand of Hell” is similar to “Darkside” in the sense it’s a voice only you can hear, but proudly enables you to commit murder. “Saint?” is written about Mother Teresa, based on the book “The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice” by Christopher Hitchens. At this point in the record, we break off a bit and do an Industrial version of “Thunderstruck” for the sole reason we thought it would be a cool change of pace. “Underground Celebrity” was an additional break from the thread of religion and “god” which runs through the record, but still dark as it focuses lyrically of a victim in a snuff movie….to set up what would be the closing of the record. “Unit 731” was the name of the death camp set up in China by the Japanese in World War II that dwarfed the deaths by Hitler in Auschwitz for the same reasons, but we as Americans were never taught about in school. Hirohito Ishii (who commanded the direction of Unit 731) also described himself to be the “son of god” which further ties into the conceptual thread of the record. His image is also included in the mini poster for this reason. “Where Eternity Starts” is about committing suicide, to escape the “Hell” lived on earth in the hopes to live forever in heaven, only to realize when after it’s too late to be saved, that neither “heaven” nor “god” exists and the horrific death without the reward sought was caused for nothing. “Revelation” is the opening song for the title track, mocking what most christians and catholics believe, in a typical attempt to persuade obedience to “god” through fear. “Know God, No Peace” is the title track from which the record is based, dealing with all of the atrocities performed in the name of religion since the time they were able to be documented to now and the overwhelming and currently evolving state of Atheism which is literally sweeping the planet, with the attitude of fearless defiance to the ignorance, hatred and stupidity which have claimed millions of innocent lives in the name of “god”.
MH- “Lead Winged Angel” was based on the life of Aileen Wuornos, a female serial killer that killed seven men and was taken into theaters in the movie ‘Monster’, so what attracted you to her history? Do you think the film was an interesting one?
D- Yes, I thought her story was intriguing. After seeing the movie “Monster” I watched two documentaries about her afterward (although very similar to each other) giving more insight as to why she became the person she did, which the movie did not detail. After seeing the documentaries, I don’t condone what she did, but I certainly understood it. She reached her breaking point and snapped. I felt that in her position and from her upbringing, hers would be the actions of someone who refused to be a victim anymore and sought vengeance from her past on anyone who would then attempt to put her in that place again. A part of me appreciated it. I think that many people would do the same as she did if they knew they’d never be caught. She had the guts to do what many of us wouldn’t. Eventually, the drive for vengeance would fail her as it would most people. She would get sloppy from not caring and the guilt would be too much to hide from anymore and was no longer afraid to be caught. In my opinion, this made her much more human than the title of the movie “Monster” makes her to be. For these reasons, I took her side and wrote the lyrics from this standpoint.
MH- This new album was produced by Marko Olson, how important was the final result for him? How was to work with him?
D- Marko was an incredibly important part of this record for so many reasons. Marko was the first to convince me with good reason why I should sing differently than I had my entire life. Not only did it make sense, but I agreed with him. While for the most part, the writing process of the entire record was pretty smooth between all of us, Marko would be the mortar between the bricks when the few arguments would arise. Marko was the independent voice of reason we would all look to in order to make an unbiased, tiebreaking decision in order to do what’s best for the particular part, song or the entire record. All of us trusted him implicitly. His goal wasn’t to change who we were, in fact we became more diverse as we worked with him. Marko’s only goal was to help us redefine ourselves into a more focused entity which people could take seriously and to make the best record we possibly could, on top of being the band psychiatrist and cheerleader, as well as the unforgiving driving, dictator asshole when required to be. All of this with the incredible programming he did. Marko cared a lot about this record and us as people. He refused to let anything slide and took this record on as if it was a child of his own. Despite all of the hardships he went through as well as all of us did, he never refused to quit and was a major reason why this record was completed. He was incredible to work with. I couldn’t possibly give anyone a larger endorsement than I would him. Not just as a producer, but as a human being. He rules at both. I’m quite sure the next bands who are fortunate enough to work with him will say the same.
MH- When were the songs for the album written? Do you guys work as a team when writing or it’s more the effort of one? How does a Three Sixes song usually take birth?
D- While I write all of the lyrics, there really is no set formula or main music writer for anything ever since I met Kill. In the “Possession” days, all of the initial ideas were basically mine that I would bounce off of Robb and we’d write the music together. When Kill and I started writing together, different songs came from different places. We would just go with the vibe of what was best for the band. It didn’t matter who came up with what, but when Kill gets on a roll of spitting out tasty riffs, I just sit back and watch him go. Sometimes I would have an idea for something I’d want to initiate and others he would do the same. An example would be “Saviour” and “Darkside” which I put the basic ideas down on a synth with Kit Potamkin who did the piano and majority of synth/keys on those songs. After Kit and I laid the groundwork, I pitched the ideas to the other guys and the songs grew into what they are. The only major discussions usually came about agreeing on parts or arrangements. Whoever the initial two people were, both had to agree before presenting it to anyone else, which would normally be when Marko and Konnyaku would come in. Although on two others, Marko and I did “Revelation” and “Soul Destroyer” then ran it by Kill and Konnyaku, so like I said, other than me doing the lyrics, there isn’t one specific formula used for writing the music. While I established the band and basic concept from the beginning, the growth afterward was due to the others involved- most notably Kill and Marko, who I really dig working with. No matter what, we’ve always been on the same vibe. As for a song taking birth, all of them have different stories and reasons. Aside from writing what we feel is a crappy song, nothing is out of bounds. That said, if you think this record is long, you should see all of the stuff we didn’t use, which was a lot more than what was finished.
MH- How’s been the live action? Are you promoting intensely the album? You’ve played live with bands such as Fear Factory, Death Angel or D.R.I., do you have some gigs that stuck in your mind more than others?
D- Unfortunately, we have yet to play live since “Know God, No Peace” has been released, but that will change. Kill is taking care of some things that require him to be out of the state and have taken longer than expected, but he will be back soon. Once he returns, we will be playing live again. The offers to play live have come up, but we are choosing to wait for his return, but there are a few gigs in the past I will never forget. Two of my favorites were the time we opened for The Genitortureres, where the singer Jen peed on a guy’s face in the front when their set ended. My favorite of all time was the first night we opened for Body Count and shot the “Holy Man” video. We were direct support, the place was packed, the crowd was killer and the guys in Body Count were incredibly cool. There were others too, but those are the first that come to mind.
MH- How’s the scene in California these days? Do you have a lot of new blood arising from the garages?
D- Because I’ve spent so much time working on the record and taking care of the business side of things, I really haven’t had the chance to go out much recently. However, there was one band nearby I saw that just killed it which you’re probably aware of- Exmortus out of Whittier, which is about an hour away from me. They were completely bad ass. Although Iron Reagan isn’t from California, I saw them on tour with GWAR (right before Dave died) and thought they ripped too.
MH- So I think you guys don’t live from the music you play so what do you guys do for a living? How are things in the US, economically speaking? Is Obama doing a good job or not really?
D- You’re right, we all have various day jobs to keep our musical habits alive. As for what we do, all of us have had several jobs that have changed, due to the economy which from our end, has been brutal until recently. Up to about a year ago, things had been really tough on all of us and change would be frequent. They’re better for now. Hopefully it stays that way for awhile.
MH- I read you’re a big horror movie fan, so tell us what are your favorite ones! Are you also into reading? What were the latest good books that you’ve read? You’re a fan of Christopher Hitchens, so what are the books you would recommend to our readers from him?
D- Yes, I’m a big horror guy for sure. I’m into all the different kinds of horror and gore. As for my favorites (in no particular order) some would be The Exorcist 1 and 3, the first 3 “Hellraiser” movies, all of in the “Phantasm” series, the “Evil Dead” series, “The Bone Collector”, “Hostel” “House of 1000 Corpses”, “Devil’s Rejects” and many more. I like movies outside the box as well that make you think or have some bizarre twist to them too. Movies like “Jacob’s Ladder”, “The Usual Suspects”, “Snatch”, “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”, “Pulp Fiction”, “Reservoir Dogs” and stories like that I really dig. I’m sure I could name many others, but those are the first that come to mind right now. I haven’t read much lately as work has been consuming me, but I look forward to changing that soon. I’ve read a few books by Hitchens, but by far my favorites without question would be “The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice” as well as the epic “God Is Not Great. How Religion Poisons Everything”. If anyone were interested or wanted to know about Hitchens, both are excellent places to start. He also has a ton of short video clips and interviews online on many subjects which are also really cool. He is very well spoken and arrogant, but once you understand him and if you agree with his take on religion, he’s hard not to agree with, like or even be entertained by. He was an incredible human being. Similar to George Carlin, the world was a better place when he was alive.
MH- Also I read in your homepage that you’re a pro-Football fan, so who’s your favorite team? You’ve three over there (in California), the 49ers, Chargers and Raiders, are you into any of these? Kaepernick’s last year was a mess all together, so will the 49ers bounce from this awful season? I’m Portuguese but I just love the NFL hehe I myself am a Bronco’s fan mostly because of Manning..
D- Yes, I’m really into the NFL and have been a huge Raider fan forever. When I can, I try to make it to Oakland once a year for a game. The last one I went to was on 11/20/2014. It was a Thursday night in the pouring rain. Ray Guy was announced as entering the Hall of Fame and Derek Carr got his first win as a Pro. That was a killer game. The last 10 years haven’t been kind to the Raider faithful, but I think management is finally on the right track. I like what I’m seeing right now, with a great draft last year, a possible franchise QB and a ton of cap room, we should start competing as a legit team soon. I’m not naïve though, I have no delusions of winning a Super Bowl this year or even making the playoffs. Right now, I’d be happy with 8-8 for 2015. I think the 49ers have instantly gone from greatness to an absolute disaster. They were right there, so close to winning it all. I think losing Harbaugh is going to bite them harder than they anticipated. He’s an awesome coach. As for Kaepernick, I think the league has caught up to him and his tendencies. He needs to grow mentally if he is to succeed. He’s got all of the physical tools required to be amazing, but if he can’t grow mentally and outsmart defenses like the other great Quarterbacks do, he’s screwed. As far as Peyton Manning goes, I’ve been a fan of him since he was drafted, UNTIL he went to the Broncos. Sorry, but I can’t stand that team, haha! Don’t worry though, I despise The Chargers and The Chiefs equally as much for the same reason as being division rivals. Manning has had a great run, but I think his career is over with. His body is breaking down. I don’t care who it is or how well they maintain themselves, Father Time is undefeated. Peyton’s recent play shows him losing to time and I don’t see it getting any better. Regardless, I’m an NFL junkie.
MH- What are the plans in the near future for Three Sixes? Work on a new record?
D- The immediate plans are to get Kill back, dust the rust off and start playing live again. We’re looking forward to it. All of us miss it and him a lot. Once we get into a rhythm and the live shows fall in place, I have some thoughts for a few tunes and possibly an idea for another concept record, but I don’t want to go into that until all of us are in the same room and can kick some ideas around. We’ll see what happens at that point. Right now, all of us are just looking forward to playing live again. Everything else will fall in place after that.
MH- Ok Damien, we’ve reached the end of our ride, thank you for your time, leave our readers with your final words, bye now! Cheers and beers!!
D- Many thanks for taking the time and interest in learning about us. If you’d like more info, check our website at www.threesixes.com There we have everything from lyrics, CDs digital links, photos and much more, including the infamous “Gross” page which has to be seen to be believed. We also have all of our social media links on there as well, so be sure to add us on your favorites and stay in touch. Thanks again Nuno and everyone reading this. HORNS UP! m/
CULT MONGERS ‘ZINE from New Zealand Interview with Damien. Posted on Monday, May 11 2015
1. hi how’s it going guys?
Going great. Thanks for hitting us up!
2. Can you please tell us, the band biography, how does the formation and about the lineup?
I started Three Sixes as a side project in 1999 while I was looking for a new band to sing for. I did the first song “Possession” as something that could occupy my time and keep my chops up until I found something else to join. My producer at the time that I did it with suggested I should do more tunes after the initial song “Possession” was finished, so together, we did. I came up with the ideas for the tunes and he filled in the blanks. Next thing you know, “Possession” went from just one song to an EP that would be released on Halloween of 1999. While I was stoked about how it came out, it was really nothing short of something that I did completely for myself. At that time, I really didn’t think anyone would even like it, but I did and thought it was cool, so I did it on my own anyway. I would find out later that people did like it, a lot. From this, live shows were requested, so I had to put together a lineup to do so. The members changed several times over during the process, but in the end, I found the other players to make this happen and we played some great shows. Finally, it got to the point that Kill (guitar) and I didn’t want to play live anymore until we wrote and released a new record. We thought it would take a year, maybe two to do so, but things happened to all of us and it took a lot longer than we expected. So here we are much later than we ever thought was possible, but at least we have a record which all of us are proud of and for the most part, has been well received. As for the formation, I met Kill through a musicians wanted ad about ten years ago and has been solid since then. Next was Konnyaku who I had known long before Three Sixes was formed. He initially stepped in to replace our drummer at the time who just bailed after we had a few shows already booked and stuck around since that point. He played and recorded three songs on the self titled disc, as well as all of the drums on the new “Know God, No Peace” record and crushed it. After that, we met Marko (producer/programmer) through our bass player at the time, Whiskey, to do our programming and run sound for us live. While doing our live shows, Marko said he wanted to produce our next record and did. During the process of writing the new disc, our bass player Whiskey left the band for reasons outside of music that he had to tend to and was replaced by Johnny. We were introduced to Johnny by my longtime friend, Nick Griffo who did all of our videos. Johnny joined the band and played the bass lines after the rest of the music was written and recorded.
3. About the cd that you guys sent to me the Know God No Peace, can you please tell us about that album, the lyrical contents, the artwork and everything?
At first, I came up with the name for just the title of the record. Then I ran it by Kill and Marko who both thought that it just shouldn’t be the name of the record, but also an epic, enormous tune. Both agreed, it had to be big and over the top. At that point, Kill had a ton of ideas for the song and a well laid out game plan for it, musically. He literally just took the ball and ran with it from that point. We spent a lot of time over many beers going over the arrangements and once we had a foundation, ran it across Marko and Konnyaku who pitched their ideas as well. After we agreed on it, I wrote the lyrics and Marko programmed the samples and the title song was born. During the process of writing it and talking about it constantly with Kill and Marko, I started to have a few ideas about the artwork. Whiskey introduced me to Jack (Van Gossen) who did (and still does) a lot of custom airbrushing on custom cars, etc to do the artwork. I gave him some of the basic ideas I had and he came up with something that initially, I thought was totally lame, with a naked female as the centerpiece. I thought it was cheesy and wanted it removed until he gave me the reason behind his thinking. After he told me “Whether the female figure is an angel or demon is really irrelevant – there is no difference in this context, as she represents the deception and seduction of power disguised as religion.” I was hooked. I went from thinking it was stupid, to thinking it was brilliant. I then started exchanging ideas with Jack on everything that had been done “in the name of god’ with the location of the atrocities located on the left (West) to represent America and the right (East) to represent Europe, regardless of time and as if it all happened at once. I’m still really proud of it, seeing everything from the most recent 911 in America to the Christians being fed to the lions in Europe and everything in between….all In the name of faith, religion and “god”. In my opinion, it’s as equally beautiful as it is sickening and truthful. So while Kill and I were working on the music and the artwork was being created, the other songs just started to fall in line with the theory of the title track and in doing so, a full blown concept record was created. We put the finishing touches on it by making press kits that looked like bibles and releasing the disc on the “International Day of Peace” with the continuing constant thread that if religion didn’t exist, more than just one day of peace globally, would be much more likely than it is with the existence of religion and the deaths that are suffered because of the wars from differences in beliefs from it.
4. Three Sixes music is a thrash metal infused with some heavy dose of industrial, techno with hardcore, who’s idea is that to make a unique sound like that and plus I can hear some nu metal style as well
As I mentioned, I started Three Sixes on my own, so the basic ideas of mixing industrial, techno, thrash and even nu metal (as well as death metal, lyrically) for this band initially were mine. However, after I met Kill, my thrash roots really came out a lot more through the music he was writing and I really liked. Through it, we started to grow together, as the lines of who thought what really began to blur with the amount of time we had spent together and the ideas we shared. Because no matter how off the wall an idea was, we were always on the same page and both of us were open to anything, sonically. It’s rare that you can find people to write with like him because his goal is the same as mine- which wasn’t driven by ego, but to write the best music we are able to. Unlike some I’ve jammed with who’s idea it was to establish themselves as some sort of “Genius” the world would supposedly clamor for, who I’d literally watch become a “rockstar” in their own minds right before leaving (and doing nothing afterward) Kill and I always had the same vision….and humility. So from a writing standpoint, I have always enjoyed creating music with Kill. Adding Marko to the mix was equally as invigorating, as he has much more insight and depth into the industrial side that I really dig, but which Kill and I lack. Like Kill, Marko is also really open to different ideas as well and is extremely creative, which allowed the industrial side of Three Sixes to evolve into something I always wanted it to be.
5. Who are the major influences of the band.
I don’t even know where to start. If I had to (and in no particular order) I’d say Black Sabbath, Slayer, Ministry, Pantera, Machine Head, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Zombie, Stuck Mojo, Strapping Young Lad, Soulfly, Agnostic Front, D.R.I and Fear Factory to name a few including many more which I can’t think of right now, also including various movie soundtracks. Musically, I consider Three Sixes to be a collection of sonic whores. Similar to bands like Soulfly or Strapping Young Lad, we’ll take any sounds from anywhere and use it if we like it. Other than Metal, we’re really not dedicated to a particular source or genre. This has been displayed throughout the history of the band, of which all of us take great pride in.
6. Are you guys an AC/DC fan, you guys have a great cover of their song called Thunderstruck.
Thanks! While all of us are AC/DC fans, the idea for that one came from our producer, Marko. He loved the song and thought we should do it. He programmed the beats in his vision of an Industrial version that he had not heard anywhere else. Marko then presented the idea to Kill and me and we agreed that we thought it would be cool, so we did it. At first, I thought it was weird, as I was thinking something more like “Back in Black” or “Hells Bells” but after we heard what Marko had already done, we were down and did it.
7. Do you guys have plan to make a new album. If yes and what will be the listeners will expect to that?
It’s funny you say that, because it took forever to make this one that is still so new and we have not even played live yet to support it. That said, I do have an idea for what could possibly be another record which could be conceptual as well, but I won’t go into it now. That will need to be a discussion for all of us to decide. For all I know, the idea I have could be killed when the subject comes up when we’re all in the same room at once, as everything we do is decided collectively. Time will tell. As for right now, we’re really focusing on supporting “Know God, No Peace”.
8. How was the band promotion locally and overseas? Do you guys promote much?
I’m rooted firmly in the underground, so as far as promotion goes, we do it wherever possible and as much as we can. While the reactions to the new disc have been good in the U.S., they seem to be doing much better outside of it. We’re aware that the time it took to make the new record was a lot longer than expected and it seems we are in a “rebuild” effort of sorts because of it, but it is what it is. The underground is what gave Three Sixes its initial birth/success and we look at it as the reason we will have the strength to not just become, but far surpass what we did previously. While our budget may be limited, our effort is not. We’re always looking for places to spread the word to and truly thank those both inside and outside of America who have embraced us as they have.
9. Do you guys tour much, if so which one is the best and why?
We’ve done some small stints but nothing I’d say as anything groundbreaking. We haven’t as much as we’ve like to in the past, but we look forward to changing that soon with the release of this new disc. Keep an eye out for us!
10. Any killer songlists do you play during gigs?
As far as we’re concerned, every list we play is killer or we wouldn’t be out there doing it. We‘d changed them frequently depending on who we were playing with or the venue itself. The new record will also give us that much more variety. That way, our dedicated crowds won’t get bored with us doing the same thing and don’t see the same show every time, giving them a reason to keep coming back because they won’t know what’s next, while also keeping us enthused about what we are doing. Like the varieties of genres we pull from while writing the tunes, our live set lists are set up the same way.
11. Are you guys into anti christian or anti politics, what are you thoughts about those?
Generally speaking for all of us and validating it from the artwork, lyrics and name of the new disc, we’re Atheists…..and speaking for myself, an Antitheist. Needless to say by the thoughts I expressed lyrically throughout the record, from a religious standpoint, I find the opinions of Christopher Hitchens impossible to argue. I agree with him that religion is a detriment to society, for all of the reasons he has reasonably stated in his epic book “god Is Not Great, How Religion Poisons Everything”. That said, being raised Catholic increased my opinion after reading his book. I despise the religion I was raised by equally as much as I do Christianity, which by American standards, appears to be the generic “McDonald’s” of faith that the ignorant masses unquestionably consume in volumes. I disassociated myself from politics many years ago when I used to take the time to research ballots and listen to debates over issues I felt were relevant. After voting for several which at the time were controversial and passed, but were overturned for various reasons, I then realized that my vote didn’t mean anything and neither did the time I invested to form the opinion I had. While there is no other country I would rather live in, the truth is just that. The popular vote means nothing. Ask Al Gore.
12. Do you guys believe in satanism and satan existence?
None of us do. As mentioned previously and generally speaking collectively, we could collectively be considered Atheists. So to believe in Satan would be to believe in god. Since neither exists, we don’t believe in either. While this is recognized, the name of the band is still relevant to what we are doing. While as an Atheist or Antitheist (however I or we are to be labeled) both are generally considered to be Anti-Christian and Anti-Catholic, which is the source from which the Satanic Bible, as well as Satanism was based upon. So for this reason and despite the origination of the band and what is has evolved into is irrelevant at this point. Regardless if it was started as a “side project, ‘Hollywood Satanic’ band” or a full blown Atheist/Antitheist attack on both Catholicism and Christianity (as well as many others) both support the Anti-Christian and Anti-Catholic ideology of which Anton LaVey based his entire religion on. For these reasons and despite the evolvement of the band lyrically from a metaphoric, to a realistic standpoint, our name hasn’t changed….and won’t, regardless of our beliefs in Satan, god or not.
13. Lead Winged Angel track, can you please tell us something about that song, is there something special about that track?
There is definitely something special about this track. Right or wrong, after watching the movie “Monster” and seeing the documentaries of Aileen Wournos, it wasn’t difficult to understand her actions. Her life as a child, teen and early adult were brutal. For these reasons, I could understand why she would commit the murders and is the reason I took her side . To me, her story was as compelling as it was depressing, but her confession as she was being sentenced to death and then “finding god” and “being forgiven” as a “Christian” before she was executed was something I felt lyrically was appropriate to tie into the concept of the forgiveness of murder and “forgiveness” by “god” of which this record is based. Not to mention the musical content which all of us agreed captured the overall general vibe of the band for someone hearing us for the first time, which had the elements of Thrash and Industrial which we wanted to push.
14. In your website I saw some gross photos, and videos, are these thing related to the band, like some fetishes or something hahaha?
Haha! Whenever someone says that they went to our website and looked at “all” of it and doesn’t mention that part of it, I know they are lying! Obviously, you did. In the early days we were looking for any reason to get traffic, which was before all of the crazy sites that exist now that have similar content. We had a collection of some pretty hardcore videos and pics that were sent to me that I saved and decided to put up to get attention- and it worked, as people would hit that page through links people would pass around and check the rest of the site afterward, making the idea valid. Over time and through a few site overhauls, we almost clipped that page but didn’t for the sickos like you who like to see that stuff! No fetishes, just disgust. I’ve got a pretty strong stomach, so if it grossed me out, it had to go on our website. After all this time, people still talk about it. It still makes me laugh.
15. o.k here’s the end of this interview anything you want to add?
Yes. First, thank you for taking the time to learn more about us and thank you to everyone who has read this interview. If you’d like to know more about us, see the material discussed immediately prior to this answer, see our videos, hear our music, read the lyrics and whatever else you can think of, hit us on our website at http://threesixes.com/ which has everything going on with us as it happens, live show updates, emailing list and all of our social media links, so follow us on your favorites. Thanks again for the time, Adrian. I look forward to having a beer with you sometime in the near future. HORNS UP!
UBER ROCK’S “MIDNITE MIXTAPE MASSACRE” from The United Kingdom with Damien and Kill. Posted on Monday, April 27 2015
When Uber Rock’s Gaz E reviewed ‘Know God, No Peace’ the then-new album from American metallers Three Sixes he was as equally impressed by the band’s biblically epic promo package as he was by the darkest heavy metal music contained therein. Here singer Damien LaVey and guitarist Kill shed some light on what influenced that record and in the process also reveal a potential guilty secret too. So read on for a proper heavy metal Midnite Mixtape Massacre courtesy of the numbers 6, 6 and 6.
Damien LaVey – Vocals
1.) ‘Heaven And Hell’ – Black Sabbath (from the album of the same name)
When Dio took over on vocals, the sound of Black Sabbath changed dramatically. While he gave respect to the previous material, he walked in and OWNED what would be the new sound of Sabbath with incredible conviction. That was bad ass. I think the beauty of this song wasn’t just in the vocals, but the simplicity and power of the song overall as a whole. Awesome.
2.) ‘N.W.O.’ – Ministry (from the album ‘Psalm 69’)
The first thing I thought when I heard it was “what is this?” I didn’t know if I loved or hated it. Time would prove that I loved it. All of the sampling, slower, groovy tempo and darkness to it all was hypnotic. It was fresh when it came out. Still is now.
3.) ‘Chief Rebel Angel’ – Entombed (from the album ‘Morning Star’)
After pioneering the Swedish Death Metal sound and switching to their “Death and Roll” style, this band was one of the hardest for me to choose from because there are so many of their tunes that I dig. The lyrical content in this song (as with many other Entombed songs) is incredible, so is that sick guitar tone as well as LG’s vocals.
4.) ‘Irresponsible Hate Anthem’ – Marilyn Manson (from the album ‘Antichrist Superstar’)
This song was more punk rock than 90% of the “punk” bands at that time, or even today for that matter. Filled with aggression, darkness and truth, the power of this song is incredible. The ferocity of his voice and lines like “I wasn’t born with enough middle fingers” and a two word chorus of “Fuck it” define what attitude is all about.
5.) ‘Eye For An Eye’ – Soulfly (from the self titled album)
When Max left Sepultura and formed Soulfly, I was hooked on the first listen. The fierce and primal brutality of this song still to this day, never fails to light up a floor. This song crushes.
6.) ‘Raining Blood’ – Slayer (from the album ‘Reign In Blood’)
I have never seen a single song incite the amount of violence this one has at a live show. Short, dark, memorable riffs. No rhyming words. No chorus. Brutal aggression in its absolute purest form. Brilliant.
Kill – Guitar
7.) ‘Halo’ – Machine Head (from the album ‘The Blackening’)
This song encompasses everything metal. Great riffs, tempo changes, superb solos. It’s scary that this band is actually getting better with age (and once Robb and Phil were reunited). My favourite Machine Head track ever.
8.) ‘5 Minutes Alone’ – Pantera (from the album ‘Far Beyond Driven’)
The best song to hear while lifting heavy things. No, not your girlfriend, loser.
9.) ‘Crossfire’ – Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble (from the album ‘In Step’)
If you play guitar you shouldn’t need to know why I put him on this list.
10.) ‘Immigrant Song’ – Led Zeppelin (from the album ‘III’)
This song just gets me going in a good way. It’s got a great groove, and just outlandish lyrics that I cannot relate to, but goddammit “it rocks!”
11.) ‘Just Give Me A Reason’ – Pink featuring Nate Ruess (from the album ‘The Truth About Love’)
Pink is very underrated as a songwriter, and although I’m not a big fan of modern pop or most of the slop that’s on the radio today, this song is very well written, well produced, and she pulls it off live every time without any issues. She’s a great performer. Plus Nate Ruess helped write and record it and his band FUN. A great fucking band.
12.) ‘The Carpathian’ – Acacia Strain (from the album ‘Wormwood’)
One of the heaviest fucking songs I wish I would have written. Fucking assholes. I love them.
13.) ‘Diesel Uterus’ – Mnemic (from the album ‘Sons Of The System’)
Great song, good tempo changes, vocals and brutal ass riffs.
TRIXIE’S METAL MADNESS MAYHEM from Illinois, USA Online Radio interview with Damien. Live on Wednesday, February 18 2015
AUTOEROTICASPHYXIUM ZINE from New York, USA Interview with Damien. Posted on Thursday, January 29 2015
Delve into the reasons you adapted the name Damien LaVey to be associated with your band.
When I originally started Three Sixes, it was merely a “side project” that I started until I could find a new band to jam with. It was supposed to only be one song, “Possession” that I was doing while I was looking for a new band to sing for. There was nothing at that time which I was interested in, so I kept doing Three Sixes. A few more songs were written and I was really digging it. Next thing you know, an EP was finished and I wanted to get as much attention as I could. So not only did I adopt the name Damien LaVey specifically for this reason, I did a photo shoot with six naked women, got Reggie Bannister from the “Phantasm” movie series to join in, created a website and just went for it. It was all for the attention, to get as much as I could. Good or bad was irrelevant because at the time, I never thought this “side project” would do anything. The only person I was creating music for at the time was myself. I didn’t care if anyone liked it or not, but I was interested to see what the reaction would be if it was pushed. Then we start playing some great shows and the band started to get a cult following. 15 years later, we make another full length CD and here we are, starting all over again after a seven year hiatus to complete the new disc. It wasn’t planned to be this way. I wouldn’t have used the LaVey name if I thought the band would have continued past “Possession” but it did. So out of respect for the work performed by Dr. LaVey, I dropped the last name from the new CD and am just using Damien. In my opinion, using the LaVey name further would be a misrepresentation of Satanism, because I am an Atheist. Although (and ironically) the lyrical content of the new record contains much more of an actual LaVey view than anything the original material ever did, which was all based on horror movie hype.
What horror movie or movies inspired your song Possession, and what movies were you most often watching?
There were many at the time, as I am a horror movie fan. While I was writing “Possession” I was really into “The Prophecy” series with Christopher Walken, the classics of “The Exorcist” 1 and 3, as well as “Phantasm”, “Evil Dead” and “Hellraiser” series and whatever other cool ones that were around. Among the classics, I would also rent the cheesiest, goriest movies I could find as well and let my mind go from there. Mix in a few documentaries of convicted serial killers and I was provided plenty of fuel. I combined them all and “Possession” was the end result.
How long have you been a horror movie fan? Name the first movies you saw while first getting into the genre. What spoke you about them? Are you mostly into supernatural horror, or splatter or any particular subgenre?
I’ve been into horror movies ever since I was aware they existed. The first one was some cheesy movie on network TV that I can’t even remember the name of. It was a murder/mystery on an airplane that scared the crap out of me. I watched it with my Dad. After I was done freaking out, he explained how all of it was fake and he had a good laugh. Movies like Jaws, The Exorcist and anything else I could see would follow. I was just fascinated by them. I liked all of the genres, but preferred the supernatural. Nowadays, I just like anything that makes me think or keeps me in suspense before the inevitable happens.
What resonated with you about the first and third chapters of the Exorcist series? Do you believe real life accounts of demonic possession actually occur, or do the explanations of mental illness and the like make more sense?
Although I always questioned it, I was raised with a strong Catholic background. So I thought both were done really well, better than any others back then on the same subject. At the time I believed, if it was possible, both might be accurate depictions of what could have happened. Because I thought the stories were told so well, they stuck with me. Later I would come to change my mind completely that if those stories did actually occur, a mental and/or possible physical disorder certainly would have been the source for the actions that took place (if they actually did) because at that time science didn’t have the information it does now. Regardless, I still watch those movies from time to time and enjoy them as the entertainment they are, as I think the stories and they way they affect believers are interesting.
The Exorcist really did hit a nerve with moviegoers across the States when it was released in 1973. Why were so many people fascinated with its subject matter around that time?
I don’t think that the relevance or amount of interest in the subject matter was any different then, than it is now. I think the only difference was when it came out, nothing to that degree existed. It set a new benchmark for horror. The brutality of the subject matter and lack of restraint on it was something at that time had never been done before. The disturbing, crude way it was done, still has yet to be duplicated and probably never will be. It was and still is incredible.
What are your thoughts on the third chapter in the Exorcist series?
Like the original, I felt that it was really well done. It was void of clichés and it was fresh. From the way the first boy died, to the blood that went unspilled, the ending and everything else in between. Not to mention, George C. Scott made it believable. His conviction in that movie was awesome. I also liked the threads in the storyline from the original that were sporadically tied into it.
Were the majority of the movies you rented released in the 70s and 80s or were some more recent? Which directors and their movies did you spend the most time watching? How often would they inspire your writing of Possession?
When they were released really made no difference to me, as through time, they all have a different feel as trends would change. I enjoyed the variety. However, I really liked anything that involved Clive Barker and Sam Raimi. Since this type of material was always in the back of my mind, it was always kind of “marinating” in the writing process in everything I was doing. That said, it was always a constant inspiration during that period. It never shut off.
Along with the Hellraiser and Evil Dead movies, which movies that Clive Barker and Sam Raimi were involved in do you like?
As far as Clive Barker went, “Pinhead” in the “Hellraiser” series is easily my favorite character in all of horror, so I am a bit biased toward his work. I also thought his involvement in any facet in movies like “Nightbreed” and ”Lord of Illusions” and his work on the “Candyman” series rocked. As for Sam Raimi, it was pretty much his work with “Evil Dead” for me. I know he’s done a lot more that I enjoyed, but nothing as much as the “Evil Dead” series. I also dug movies by Wes Craven too, like his work in “Nightmare On Elm Street” and “The Hills Have Eyes” series. I can go on, but you get the idea.
What contributions have Barker and Raimi made to horror cinema? The films you mentioned seemed to have something to say about secret human desires and the repercussions they can have.
What I really liked about what both was what I liked about The Exorcist. Both of them showed zero restraint in their attempts to push the boundaries of horror to a new place that had yet to be reached. The fact that those movies are still even being discussed so many years after the fact shows their relevance and how well they were done. I think the element of secret desires is well noted. Both embraced them grotesquely and the repercussions were fierce. My attraction from them more than likely came from my upbringing at an early age and wanting to know what “Hell” could really be if it existed. While “Evil Dead” focused more on the violence, Pinhead and “Hellraiser” was much more cerebral, focusing not just on the repercussions, but the reasoning behind them. Painfully, patiently and slowly dragging them out.
When movies like those we discussed and others are remade, do they lose part of their original visions so to speak?
It depends on which you are referring to, because it seems like the “magic” that made movies like the originals great aren’t always duplicated, but sometimes they can be. I think it’s a case by case basis for an opinion to be formed. The recent remake of the original “Evil Dead” was incredible. I know the diehards panned it, but I think that’s only because their opinion was formed before they saw it. In my opinion, that was a remake done correctly, with the proper people involved. I also really liked Rob Zombie’s spin on the original “Halloween”. The brutality of the straight up violence as opposed to just the “slasher” vibe was brilliant, as was the way the story built from the beginning. That one was really cool because it still had the integrity of the original storyline, but I think Rob filled in some of the blanks of the original and gave more insight to how Michael evolved. Doing so with the violent “Devils Rejects” style of direction also made it much grittier and more credible, at least for me anyway. Come to think of it, the remake of “The Hills Have Eyes” was really cool too.
In what format was Possession released, and what feedback were you getting from those who heard it?
The original version of “Possession” was in CD format only, although Mp3s would arrive after. The feedback was really mixed. Some of the press we got loved it and others despised us. It was a double edged sword for sure. There was no middle ground, which I was and still am fine with. To this day, I never received the amount of death threats that I did when it first came out. It was nuts. I received about 20-30 through email and had a two separate messages left on the band’s voicemail for two different shows telling me how I would be shot if we didn’t cancel. We said nothing to anyone about the threats and played both nights anyway. Obviously, nothing happened. After that, there were times where we just took over and owned the venue and others when people just stood there staring at us and didn’t make a sound. At a few of those shows, I was pissed off because we played well, yet got no feedback. Then afterward, I would try to pack up our stuff and leave, just to see a line of people buying our merch and buying me rounds of drinks. I didn’t get it at all, but they all had the same reaction when it would happen. Generally speaking, they would say something like “I’ve never seen anything like this before and was just trying to listen and understand it” but after the fact they dug it. Nothing about this band has been normal, but now instead of questioning things, I just accept them.
What were you looking for in a band that you couldn’t find back then? How did Three Sixes differ from other bands?
I was looking for a few things. First was- did they already have songs written that I really liked enough to want to sing for them and not want to pursue Three Sixes? The second was- did they have a strong, live stage presence? Third- were they organized enough to have a business plan to move forward if parts 1 and 2 existed? Fourth- could we see eye to eye as people outside of playing music? Because if I were to play in a band that I didn’t form on my own, these were things I required to make me want to join. Otherwise, why do it? I never found all 4 in another band at that time. So I started from scratch and made it happen on my own. That’s how we differed. Not only because I loved the music of Three Sixes, but there was always strong stage presence, a vision, a plan, and I would eventually find other players who I got along with that shared the same mentality and goals. Time would determine whether the goals were achieved or not, but at least all 4 main factors within Three Sixes existed, regardless of our lineups during those times.
How did you manage to hook up with Reggie Bannister of Phantasm for the photo shoot you mentioned? Describe what said shoot was like and who you hired to snap the photos, etc?
I met Reggie through the director of all of our videos, Nick Griffo. Nick and I were friends long before I started Three Sixes. I was already a Phantasm fan and met Reggie through Nick. Reggie heard what we were doing while “Possession” was being written and I came up with the idea for “Lord Of The Dead” while I was at a party at Reggie’s place and the two of us were getting hammered together. I woke up the next morning thinking what an ass I’d made of myself. I called him to apologize and it turned out that he loved the idea I had and yes, he would sing on the song about his character with whatever I wrote… and he did. I came up with the idea for the shoot, Reggie brought in Brinke Stevens and Debbie Dutch (both original, iconic “Scream Queens”) to add to the other girls that were located by running ads in weekly Los Angeles and Orange County porn mags. I ran the ads with my friend Tom who was a wedding photographer, who had all of the lighting and other gear required. He shot the whole thing for free to help out. It was a blast. All of the girls were cool. The whole vibe was really loose. No attitudes, nobody was uptight and it was fun. We actually did it in my living room. It was catered, we had plenty of food, booze and made a day of it. I had a few friends over too. It was good times.
How well were your earliest performances going over, and at what point was a cult following beginning to take shape?
The first few shows were awkward. At this point, I was in a new band that had never played together, had to do so with a clicktrack so the samples would come in on time and none of us had done this before. While it is common now, it wasn’t back then and created its own set of issues. Like I said earlier, the reactions were mixed, but the more we played, the more we grew. As we started to play bigger shows, familiarity and chemistry between all of us was building. I would say by about our 5th or 6th show is when things turned the corner. We played a show at The Knitting Factory in Hollywood. We were completely misbooked and did not fit at all with any of the other bands, that were pretty much just rock. We opened with “Lord Of The Dead” and were headbanging from the first note. Our bass player at the time (Aleister Shiva) jumped off the stage during that first song in about the middle of the tune, with his bass still on and started a massive pit while he was playing. We set the tone and owned the place for the rest of the night. From that point forward, people talked, rumors spread and we started to draw more consistently whenever and wherever we played. We started to become more accepted. The threats ended and the attention grew. Bigger shows followed and then, for that time, we peaked. We needed to write more new material to grow further. Kill (guitar) and I decided that neither of us wanted to play live again until we did. So, here we are now.
What about Possession struck a nerve in so many people and inspired such a love-it-or-hate-it response?
I think it was a combination of a few things. The first was when and how it was pushed. It was in stores on Halloween of 1999. Since I really had no money for advertising, guerilla marketing was my only option. Before it became illegal, some friends and I had posted a few thousand stickers over several months prior to the release all over freeway on ramps and off ramps, as well as left turn lights located on center islands on busy streets and anywhere else we could think of, so there was no way you could miss looking at them. The message was simple. All they said was “ARMAGEDDON IS HERE” with our website of threesixes.com right below it. Because of the panic many had over what could be the “end of the world’ from the whole Y2K hoax, people went to our website thinking that maybe it was a Christian message that was to be heard. Then, they found out what it really was and got angry, realizing they fell for what we were doing. Like the name I adopted, the naked women and name of the band, all of it was to get attention, to make people talk in any way about us and it worked. The song was also divisive because we had people who loved it because it was fresh. Industrialized rap/metal with over the top death metal lyrics which you could actually understand was unusual back then. People looking for something heavy and out of the ordinary were rewarded. Conversely, doing this primarily in conservative, right wing, Christian Orange County, California struck a chord with many who were obviously offended by the lyrics and what we were about. I even received a few emails from people who claimed to the true Satanists, calling me out for using the last name of LaVey with messages that weren’t truly Satanic from his viewpoint. They were right, but I knew that before I started. I felt in doing what I was, rolling with the popular misconceptions of Satanism through the “Hollywood” perspective, would be more effective to get the attention I wanted. Combine that with my interest in movies of this genre, it was pretty easy for me to do and I enjoyed it.
It’s strange because in 1999 The Blair Witch Project was a movie people either loved or hated, for different reasons. It first became noticed using similar tactics (albeit on the internet) and it ended up upstaging Hollywood blockbusters, helping establish independent film in the U.S. and setting new standards in horror. What’s your view of this?
The marketing behind “The Blair Witch Project” was nothing short of brilliant. I think the marketing was better than the film. So when I saw the movie, I was let down. I was expecting so much more. I watched it again after knowing what was going on and then went from thinking “this sucks” to “not bad” as I appreciated the frantic feel for the filming the second time around. I think my own expectations had more to do with my original opinion than the movie itself, yet the hype is what made it so big. To your point though, we were trying to do the same thing, but we had much less of a budget and could only sustain it within a few local counties. So it was the same idea, just on a smaller scale and ironically at the same time, as I didn’t know that movie was based on marketing when we were doing it.
What do you think of the comparisons between Blair Witch and Cannibal Holocaust? I appreciate both movies for their use of the “reality” theme to draw viewers into the plot and have them relate to the characters on a one to one basis.
While I agree with the “reality” theme, I don’t think Blair Witch even holds a candle to Cannibal Holocaust. While the marketing for Blair Witch was outstanding, I thought the movie was just ok. Cannibal Holocaust was brutal and disturbing in the same way The Exorcist was. To me, there is no comparison. That scene with the turtle in Cannibal Holocaust still can’t be erased from my mind, even after all of these years. I can’t say the same for anything in Blair Witch.
What was it like to work with Brinke Stevens and Debbie Dutch? Had you seen movies featuring either of them beforehand?
They were great to work with. Both were awesome people and true pros. After I did the shoot with all of the girls, we did solo shots of each one of them as well. I’ll never forget Brinke’s. She was so natural and could strike so many good looks so quickly that even I could have taken her pics and not screwed it up. Without saying a word, her body language would tell you when to take the picture. Her solo shots only took about ten minutes and we had a lot of great ones to choose from. While I had heard of both Brinke and Debbie, I had never seen any of their movies before the shoot, so seeing them in the movies afterward was really cool.
What movies of Brinke’s and Debbie’s did you decide to watch following the photo shoot? Would you work with them again?
Truthfully, both of them had done so many that I can’t even think of the ones I saw them in after the shoot. I saw a few from each. Nothing really blew me away, but the fact they were on the screen was cool enough for me. As for working with them again, it would be fun, but no. I say that because we’ve never used the same females in anything twice and the constant change is something I prefer. We had the six girls for the “Possession” shoot, although one of them (Taylor) was also used for the nude “bloody” shot behind the CD on the original “Possession” pressings. We then shot Hunter and Angel in the “Salvationless” hardcopy CDs, Angela in the “God Denied” video, Tanya in “Holy Man”, Ashley in “Possession” and Cara in the “Lead Winged Angel” videos. So if anything, we are consistent in changing the girls up. All of them were great. If we use more In the future, they would be different as well.
We discussed Possession; tell the readers about how Lord Of The Dead came to exist. What fueled inspiration for the lyrics and what musical backdrop was set to them?
As I mentioned, I met Reggie Bannister through Nick Griffo. Nick took me to a screening of Phantasm 4 in Reggie’s backyard a week before the movie came out. I was a fan of the series, so I was stoked to be there and meet him. I played a demo of “Possession” and he liked it. He asked what my involvement was and I told him. As I did, we both were getting really hammered. It was just a spur of the moment, drunken idea that I had. Programmed beats and heavy guitar, with the main lyrical focus being on the enemy of the series- “The Tall Man”. I was actually explaining all of this as I was thinking of it. I said my idea would be to have him (Reggie) sing a bridge in the verse giving his opinion of opposition toward “The Tall Man” and the whole thing will be done to a snare drum of breaking glass with a guitar line in the chorus that would be similar to, but not the same as, the underlying theme music throughout the series. I told him I would call it “Lord Of The Dead” as it was my favorite of the series before I saw part 4 that night. I literally just made up the whole thing right then and there, completely wasted. Because of this, I had no lyrics written or even a clue what else was going on with the song. He gave me his number and told me to call him when I had some ideas. That’s when I woke up the next day, felt like an idiot for saying what I did and called to apologize. After I called, he said that he still liked the idea. Next, I am in the studio with Robb D’Graves, we bang it out, Reggie does his part and the rest is history. Reggie Bannister rules. Not just in the movies, but as a human being. Anyone who has met him will tell you the same. Coincidentally, Phantasm 5 “Ravager” should be coming out this year, so look out for it.
How many lineup changes did Three Sixes undergo before settling on the current lineup? Name the others working with you?
There were a lot in the beginning, as we hadn’t established anything in the early days, but once we started playing live more often it slowed down. As for the most recent lineup, Kill (guitar) has been with me the longest. I met him through an ad I was running looking for a guitar player way back in 2002. Konnyaku would be next. Our drummer at the time bailed on us after we had already booked some shows. Konnyaku initially stepped in temporarily so we could play them and stuck around long after that. We’d known each other for a pretty long time before he hooked up with us. I met Marko after Konnyaku was in through one of our most recent Bass players at the time, Whiskey, which was about eight years ago. The last change was Johnny (bass) who joined about two years ago after all of the other instruments were recorded for “Know God, No Peace”. I was introduced to him by Nick Griffo who did our videos.
Why was the name Three Sixes chosen for this band? In what ways do you express your athetistic beliefs in your lyrics and how do they reflect on Anton LaVey’s writings?
“Three Sixes” was actually the title of a song I was working on prior to starting the band. The tune didn’t turn out the way I hoped, so I scrapped it, although I always liked the name. When I realized that the “Possession” EP would need a band name, I thought Three Sixes worked well, so I used it. While the early material reflected the “Hollywood” version of what people generally perceive as Satanic, it didn’t have the Atheistic tones that the new material has now. Now the actual, Atheist side of what I believe is expressed clearly in the title song “Know God, No Peace” as well as “Saint?” written about Mother Teresa and “Where Eternity Starts” about no afterlife existing after death, as well as “Soul Destroyer” from the perceived viewpoint of the retribution applied by a boy raped by a Catholic priest after he grew into a man and left “god” for what it is- nonexistent. The irony of the change of going from what we used to do lyrically to now is that songs like “Arch Enemy” (and Soul Destroyer) which preach the enjoyment of patient, brutal revenge and “Darkside” which addresses even the worst “sins” everyone has and relishes them, as opposed to regretting them, parallels the LaVey ideology of Satanism. It wasn’t intended to be that way, but when all was finished, I looked back and noticed it afterward. So also ironically, but in reality, the release from the “Hollywood” and false perspective of the “evil and Satanic” metaphors and lyrics in the original material which have been replaced by my actual beliefs and outlook on life with relevant substance to society of today are actually more truly “Satanic” from a LaVey standpoint than it ever could be in the past. It’s kind of funny, really. While I am not a believer in any religion, I do think that LaVey made a few good and valid points that translate well in society.
When did your views on religion begin to take hold, and how did you begin to express them through your lyrics?
Since I was raised Catholic, religion took hold early on me. Because my family was so insistent on it, I believed. However, there were things that even as a child I disagreed with, but went along with anyway just to avoid conflict. Time would change all of that, but it would sometimes make an appearance when I first began writing lyrics. Then I started Three Sixes and the “Hollywood” or “movie” aspect of “The Devil” was something I wanted to focus on or tie into in everything the “Possession” EP was conceptually going to be about. After we started playing, a few friends and family members disassociated themselves from me, the threats came in and people from all sides weren’t pleased, even to a point that surprised me. So during the writing of this record, I questioned the sources from the criticism I received. Doing so with an open mind showed the obvious, which was all religions and gods were man-made. Man created god, not vice versa and man did so for its own manipulative reasons to justify its selfish, arrogant and judgmental acts to the uneducated, fearful societies which existed when the ancient texts were originally written and constantly edited. Because people were literally ignorant for so many decades, so many believed and passed it on through generations, with the element of time appearing as validation of “truth”. When people could educate themselves through information that was previously withheld, opinions commonly evolved to the same as my own. It is no coincidence that the educated societies have growing Atheistic views, while the uneducated and brainwashed in the third world, poverty ridden countries would kill for their unquestioned religious beliefs. Then I read “God Is Not Great, How Religion Poisons Everything” by Christopher Hitchens and all bets were off. Not that this book in particular changed the way I thought about religion in general. For me, this book absolutely punctuated it. From that point forward I became a Hitchens fan. Read a few more of his books, watched his videos online and haven’t looked back. Once any remaining doubt was completely removed, I started writing the lyrics to the title track “Know God, No Peace” as well as a few others for the new disc with the same underlying theme.
How do you believe LaVey was able to bring up valid points about society, especially where religion and human nature were concerned?
I think he pretty much nailed everything in “The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth” which in my opinion is common sense. I agree with all of them, except for #7, as I don’t believe in magic or any powers that it supposedly possesses. I also agree with the theory of the Nine Satanic Statements too, although I am not of the belief that “Satan” represents the philosophies listed. I understand why LaVey refers to Satan as the representing figure, as the Statements oppose those of Christianity. However, I think it’s just a mindset that anyone can have and doesn’t necessarily need to be labeled as Satanic or as any other religion. I look at it as simply embracing human nature as opposed to condemning it.
Keeping LaVey’s Statements in mind can be positive, particularly considering how much religion is used as a weapon as opposed to the source of comfort you would assume it would be.
Yes they can, for those who believe in his philosophies. Because the Satanic Bible was written recently, LaVey’s outlook on humanity was much more current and realistic than something supposedly written thousands of years ago, edited and translated repeatedly. He also had the advantage of history on his side to validate his opinions. Because LaVey focused on independence, it can be comforting for those strong enough to be comforted by themselves. However, time and history have also proven that truly independent and freethinking people have always been a minority. I think the only threat that Satanism poses is the fear from the ignorance by the majority of people who simply refuse to learn anything about it. If all of the people who claim to despise Satanism so much were so incredibly firm and entrenched in their faith as they claim, no fear would exist. Yet it does. This kind of literally ignorant fear alone should tell you all you need to know about how truly devout the faith is (or not) in those who refuse to perform any research of their own before criticizing it.
What were the points Hitchens brought up in “God Is Not Great, How Religion Poisons Everything” and how did these points interest you in reading more of him? What other published works of his would you recommend?
I could actually write a book of my opinions about that book. There were so many outstanding examples he gave for his opinions that just cannot be argued. For the sake of brevity, I’ll just name a few: Hitchens contends that organized religion is “violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children” which by itself is inarguable, regardless of faith. History has proven this. How about his attention to the obvious in a quote like this: “Is it too modern to notice that there is nothing [in the ten commandments] about the protection of children from cruelty, nothing about rape, nothing about slavery, and nothing about genocide? Or is it too exactingly ‘in context’ to notice that some of these very offenses are about to be positively recommended?” or this: “Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.” One of my favorites is “Religion is man-made. Even the men who made it cannot agree on what their prophets or redeemers or gurus actually said or did”. How can this be denied? If that wasn’t enough, Hitchens was equally as arrogant and sarcastic as he was eloquent. All of which were qualities in his approach toward religion that I admired. Just two more and I’ll end it. His sarcasm with quotes of “The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species” or “If god really wanted people to be free of [wicked thoughts], he should have taken more care to invent a different species” were as simple, yet brilliant as they are hilarious. There are also so many more. This book needs to be read. It’s unreal and without question, my favorite. I’ve also read “Letters to a Young Contrarian” which didn’t do much for me, but “The Missionary Position, Mother Teresa In Theory and Practice” was awesome. He notes that although he was well known as an Atheistic journalist, The Vatican hired him to write the expose of Mother Teresa to deny her from canonization to Sainthood. It worked. This was also the inspiration for the song “Saint?” from the new disc.
It sounds like Hitchens had a certain sense of humor that would be difficult to recognize by most people. What historical events most accurately prove his quotations?
Once you become familiar with his personality, delivery, dry sense of humor and if you agree with his opinions, Hitchens was incredibly funny. You can look anywhere online and find examples. He was constantly sarcastic and demeaning to anyone, whenever he felt like it. His arrogance toward religion and those who “preached” it made it that much better. One of my favorites of all time was right after Jerry Falwell died. Immediately afterward, CNN interviewed Hitchens for his opinion. While many things he said were great simply for the disdain that Hitchens had for Falwell, this quote was one of my all-time favorites: Question from CNN- “What is it about him (Jerry Falwell) that brings up such vitriol?” Hitchens: “The empty life of this ugly little charlatan proves only one thing- that you can get away with the most extraordinary offenses, to morality and to truth in this country if you’ll just get yourself called ‘Reverend’. Who would, even at your network, have invited on such a little toad to tell us that the attacks of September 11th were the result of our sinfulness and were ‘God’s punishment’ if they hadn’t got some kind of clerical qualification? People like that should be out in the street, shouting and hollering with a cardboard sign and selling pencils…from a cup!” I cracked up when I heard that one. Then there was the one about Mother Teresa’s life and death. This interview was done after The Vatican hired Hitchens to write the book about her, so the people asking the questions already read the book and were aware of its contents. While the subject matter of this conversation were both grim and truthful, his dry sense of humor from the last line is really funny if you read the book, because Hitchens just absolutely annihilated Mother Teresa with mountains of documented evidence that to this day is still considered to be undisputed fact, which makes the last line hilarious: “She (Mother Teresa) was a fanatic and a fundamentalist and a fraud. I think probably the most, the most successful confidence trickster for the last century and responsible for innumerable deaths and for untold suffering and misery and proud of it. Should I just assert this or would you require any proof?” After reading this book and then seeing this interview, the absurdity of the question he posed and his smug delivery was truly laughable. This is how he acted often, but if you are unfamiliar with him, the humor would be easy to miss. There are also so many more from him on so many other topics as well, but these are the first two that come to mind.
(Hitchens/Falwell YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtAUuflGf_A )
(Hitchens/Mother Teresa YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HL8MDnuUsE4 )
How widespread was CNN’s brief interview with Hitchens? In a way it couldn’t have been any worse than Falwell saying we deserved the attacks of September 11; one person I knew at the time told me Falwell was “an asshole of the highest order.”
As far as I know, Hitchens’ interview was probably equally as widespread because both were from the same source, but I can’t say for certain. I don’t think it can be any worse either. Although polar opposites, both are just opinions. I just happen to side with Hitchens. Judging by the hatred Hitchens had for Falwell and the lack of any defamation lawsuits from Falwell vs. Hitchens which I am aware of, it appears to be safe to assume that Hitchens also never said anything about Falwell which wasn’t true, and would parallel the opinion you were given.
Are there other occult authors or research authors like Hitchens whose work spoke to you upon your discovery of it?
Not really. When I first started reading books of the subject matter that I write about lyrically, Stephen King was an early favorite. After time, to me, he became predictable. I still enjoyed the stories, but when I already knew what was going to happen next before I read it, I lost the amount interest that I used to have. People like Hitchens are extremely rare. Although I was not a dedicated fan, George Carlin was one I enjoyed listening to and still do. In theory and by recognition he was a comedian, but in reality, was he? His views on religion paralleled those of Hitchens and were equally as arguable. Neither feared anything and were relentless in supporting their opinions. Both of them had great minds. Both used fact and common sense to make their points. Both were brilliant. Both are missed.
Which of Stephen King’s works were you reading most often and how did they speak to you? Were there other horror authors you were reading at the time?
“Salem’s Lot” was the first for me. Next was “Carrie” then “The Stand” and “The Dead Zone”. Each spoke to me on different levels and for different reasons. As much as I enjoyed reading them, my life changed. I became a lot more active and had much less time to read for pleasure. I started leaning on movies a lot more from that point forward because they took less time. I never really got into any other authors because time wouldn’t allow me to do so. Although much later I would read “Angels and Demons” and “The DaVinci Code” by Dan Brown that I enjoyed.
So far I haven’t read The DaVinci Code but I saw the movie with Tom Hanks and watched a documentary about it; I believe it was first aired on the History Channel. How was the book in comparison to the movie?
I don’t want to be one of those people that says how much better the books were than the movies, but in the cases of both “Angels and Demons” as well as “The DaVinci Code” they really were. Since you haven’t read them yet, I won’t blow it for you. Just know that the books are a lot better… especially “Angels and Demons” which I had really high expectations for when the movie came out.
What can you say of the book Angels And Demons, and what you got out of reading it?
When the hype for “The DaVinci Code” came out, the subject matter was something that piqued my interest, as it seemed to really bother a lot of people. For that reason, I wanted to know why. I talked about this to one of my brothers who reads a lot. Not long after, I received both hardcopy versions in the mail from him, telling me to read “Angels and Demons” first, “The DaVinci Code” second and I did. So on top of my curiosity, he was the reason I read both. While I really liked the religious references behind each of them, the graphic murder descriptions in “Angels and Demons” brought bursts of powerful, primal and brutal violence that “The DaVinci Code” didn’t have. I thought both were interesting and made for good, fresh story ideas.
How closely did the videos for “God Denied”, “Holy Man” and “Lead Winged Angel” convey your “religious conversion” so to speak?
Actually, they did not convey my conversion as much as the songs themselves would. It would be more coincidental than anything. All of the ideas for all of the videos were from Nick (Griffo). As I mentioned, Nick and I had been friends for years and he was a fan of Three Sixes since its inception. As the songs would evolve, he would hit me up with ideas for videos. I agreed with them and went from there. While I was down with pretty much everything he suggested, the videos, girls, plot and direction for the videos were all him. My hands were already full with the music and the business side of running the band.
Describe how you arranged each video shoot for the videos mentioned in the previous question?
Like the direction and concepts for the videos, the arrangements for all were Nick’s ideas too. He found the actors and actresses to do what he wanted. Nick provided the concepts, scripted the scenes, directed and provided the ideas. In doing so, he ran them by all of us and asked if there was anything we wanted to add or change because it would be open for discussion if we did. As it turned out, all of us agreed and rolled with them. The performance of “God Denied” was shot at Gargoyle Studios in Santa Ana, CA, with the acted scenes shot in Burbank and at my house. The live footage of “Possession” was shot in one take at a show we headlined at The Viper Room In Hollywood, with the acted scenes again at my house. “Salvationless” was literally just made from leftover live video footage Nick had laying around from several venues in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. The live version of “Holy Man” was shot at The Key Club in Hollywood, opening for Body Count, both during soundcheck and when we played it live, with the acted scenes at a friend’s house. Lastly, the performance footage of “Lead Winged Angel” was shot in a diesel repair shop in Los Angeles. As far as I know, the acted footage was shot in the Glendale/Eagle Rock area of Los Angeles. That was the only time I had done a video where I not only wasn’t present for the acting footage, but never even met any of the actors/actresses. To this day I still haven’t, but I liked what they did. After completing the amount of work with Nick that I already had, I trusted his judgment on this one and I was good with the final product. The only downside to that video was the sound was taken from a demo and not the final mix, as we wanted to get the video out before the record was finished. When it was all said and done, we didn’t have the time to re-do the video with the final version that’s on the CD which now sounds much better.
How did you go about choosing the locations for your video shoots? How closely do the finished products fit what you envisioned for them?
We knew the kind of feel we wanted for “God Denied” and got lucky when we found the now closed “Gargoyle Studios” in Santa Ana. Because we never really had a budget of any kind for any of the videos, the other locations were basically based on what we could get for nothing, or close to nothing. There was definitely some guerilla filming for sure in parts of Los Angeles for “God Denied” and “Lead Winged Angel”. As I mentioned earlier, the live footage for “Salvationless” and “Possession” were literally just pieced together from some shows that were shot by some friends. They weren’t staged for performance videos; they were just regular gigs and what people would see whenever we’d play. When we shot “Holy Man” we knew the crowd would be big and thought that night would be good to shoot. So we had several cameras on us for soundcheck and when we played it live. There was a lot to use from that gig and the acting was done at a friend’s house. Tanya and Don were really cool to work with. I’ve actually hung out with Don a few times afterward. The last scene where Tanya bludgeons Don with the cross was the best. The streams of blood that were squirting each time she hit him was actually from me and our bass player Aleister Shiva in the background. That was a blast. As for the performance of “Lead Winged Angel” Nick knew the feel that he wanted. After some asking around, we were able to use a diesel repair shop in Los Angeles. Because they were fully functioning and busy, we had to shoot at night after the mechanics went home. I think when all things were considered (primarily our budget, or lack thereof) I thought they came out ok. I still like to watch them every now and then. For the most part, I’d say they came out to about what I expected after Nick explained how everything was going to go.
Where on the net can your videos be viewed? Quote some of the feedback viewers have given the band for each of them?
It’s funny you ask that, because different people have posted different Three Sixes videos for a long time. It wasn’t until about two years ago that we finally made our own “official” YouTube page, which can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/user/threesixesband. Although it’s our home YouTube page, it has the least amount of played/seen videos on it. Hilarious, right? If you search online for music videos we have, you’ll not only find most of the videos on our page that we did, which have more plays somewhere else, but several other videos as well that we had nothing to do with. I’ve seen lyric videos posted of “I Fuck The Dead” and “Lord of the Dead” as well as “Paint it Black” in the past that we had no involvement in and were made by people we don’t even know. There might be more, but those are the ones I am aware of right off the top of my head. As for the comments, they vary from page to page, depending on who is hosting.
It’s common on Youtube that people upload songs in video form. I’ve seen this happen with other bands I’m in contact with and in some cases the videos were pulled because the uploads were done without permission.
I’ve seen that before too, but I’m fine with it. The ones that I saw of ours done without permission from us were really basic and nothing was anything I would consider to be out of line, so I said nothing about them. If people want to do it, they’re going to. I don’t have the time to police any of it and it doesn’t bother me anyway.
In what ways is your latest release Know God, No Peace a progression for Three Sixes?
It’s literally a progression in every way from everything we’ve done in the past. While the views of the songs and the record may vary, the single, unanimous opinion is that we have progressed exponentially since our last release. Our Producer Marko called it our “growing up record” and I agree with him. There was a lot which was attributed from everyone involved. First and foremost, we all grew as individuals. The chemistry between me, Kill and Konnyaku over many years also helped. Marko was huge as well. He convinced me to sing and write lyrics differently than I had in the past and really hammered me often on things he felt I should change. His criticism towards me both lyrically and vocally were similar to what I heard in the past, but instead of fighting it, I rolled with it because I agreed with what he wanted me to do. I’m glad I did. Because of it, I have more power, clarity and more endurance than I’ve ever had before. Kill had a clean slate to create from too. Since he had been in the band for so long and embraced the range of sound we could write with, he jumped in with both feet just like I did and was all over the place as well. From a creative standpoint, there literally were no rules and the record shows it. Combine all of that with Marko’s programming abilities which were better than anything we’ve had in the past and collectively, it was pretty much impossible for us not to grow. The progression was natural. For that reason, we all feel the songs and the record flow well.
How did you and the band hook up with Marko for the recording of Know God, No Peace? How well do you and he see eye to eye together and by what process did you improve the band’s material together?
Marko and I had each heard of each other through several different circles over the years. It was actually kind of strange that we never ran into each other before as we knew a lot of the same people. We eventually met through our former Bass player, Whiskey. Marko programmed the samples and ran sound for a few of our shows. During one of the sessions for sampling, Marko told me he wanted to produce our next record. We talked at length about what the goals and ideas were and we agreed. We are really similar as people and I really liked his ideas. We see eye to eye on almost everything, so working together was always productive and enjoyable. When we started the writing process he told me how while he loved the lyrics I wrote, he couldn’t understand them without a lyric sheet in front of him. He told me that he didn’t care about the content or how much I swore. All he said was that people shouldn’t need the lyrics in front of them either to understand me and to “Offend everyone on the first listen”. So I took his advice…of course doing so was pretty easy when he hacked my lyrics to pieces. I’d bring songs in for him to look over and he would grab a marker and start taking words, phrases and entire lines out. I had to get used to singing at a slower pace, but I agreed with him. He also participated in the writing of some of the music and did all of the programming. The song “Revelation” was all him musically, as was “Soul Destroyer” which Marko did everything other than vocals and guitar. Same with “Thunderstruck”. As for “Revelation” I wrote the lyrics and we agreed to have my longtime friend, Ron McGinnis be the “preacher” who we would sample. So when you consider the influence Marko had on the way I would deliver vocally, as well as the refining of the writing process and programming, he had a lot to do with what the end result would become. What I really appreciated about his contributions was that he didn’t change the band on his own because Kill, Konnyaku and I already had a vision to what this record was going to be, but what Marko did was enable us to do so with an unlimited amount of possibilities and resources while providing a sounding board for us to bounce ideas off of which he would also contribute to. The freedom was incredible. All of us are really glad with the way the final product turned out. Marko was a big reason why it did.
Describe the songs appearing on Know God, No Peace and the preparation and work that went into the music and lyrics?
How much time do you have? Haha! Each had their own ways of coming about. I had the basic ideas lyrically and musically for “Saviour”,” Lead Winged Angel” and “Darkside” while Kill was all over “Where Eternity Starts”, “Saint?”, “Truth” , “Hand of Hell” and a few others. Then there were songs like “Kingdom of Lies” and “Unit 731” that were collaborated, as was the title track which we all pitched in on, but Kill really drove “Know God, No Peace” musically. When I pitched the idea of the title to Kill, he was all over it and almost had an instant vision for something gigantic. He just took the ball and ran. He was riffing like a freak at the time and for the most part, wrote almost all of the music on his own. Marko, Konnyaku and I filled in the blanks with the bridges and samples. Once the collaborated songs were arranged, I’d add the lyrics on top of them and keep running them by everyone until we got to where we all agreed they were what they should be. There was no “set formula” that we used or just one person that would write all of the songs as we all had different ideas and ways of writing. Luckily, we didn’t argue too much as all of us had a similar vision for the entire record. In hindsight, the lack of a consistent, certain way of writing, I think helped create the diversity between the songs, especially when you consider the different genres we pull influences from and is something that all of us took a lot of pride in.
Describe new projects the band is involved in at the time of this writing.
No other projects at the moment, because “Know God, No Peace” is still new. As of this writing, we are literally just waiting for our guitar player to move back to California so we can start playing shows again. He’s left the state a few times in the past for extended leaves and returned, so this is nothing new for him. He will be back soon. I talk to him a few times a week. It’s just a matter of logistics on his end to enable his return. Once we dust the rust off, fall into a rhythm of practicing and playing live again, we’ll start writing a new album while we do so. I already have a basic concept for what could be the next disc, but it’s just an idea right now. We’ll see what happens when all of us are in the same room and we start throwing ideas around. The time between records like this last one will not happen again. Just keep an eye out and follow us through Facebook, Twitter and any other social platforms you can think of because we’re there. Once we start playing again, you won’t be able to avoid us. The energy from our live shows crush. We can’t wait to get back out.
What sort of ideas are you developing for future releases to be recorded and released by Three Sixes?
I just recently came up with an idea which could be another concept record, but it’s really crude right now. It’s just an idea that we all haven’t had the chance to sit down and discuss, but that will be for another time once we start playing again. Right now we have a new record that many are hearing for the first time and we’re focusing on pushing it for the time being. Because it is literally in its infancy right now, the idea I have could still be aborted, but time will tell. So as of now, there are no dates regarding any future recordings, but we will be playing live again soon to support “Know God, No Peace” which has just came out. All of us are looking forward to that.