Summon: How did the band get started?
Reggae: Basically I started the band whilst still in high school… I started writing the lyrics and some basic songs and looked for friends to make the band with. I always had the name and concept of ‘reign of terror’ but when we made the band, we were all just learning how to play and to be honest we were not all that scary…. So we named it ‘brain dead’ which in retrospect was a much more apt description of the band… that lineup split a while later and when I got the band going with some new guys we called it “Reign of Terror”. That was in the 90’s
Summon: What kind of music do you play?
Reggae: It’s a hybrid of trad metal, death, thrash and black all rolled into one…. A bit of something for everyone I hope! Some people say thrash with death vocals… but the lyrics definitely have a more occult slant to them. I call our music “beer metal” its straight down the line metal that you can sink piss to!
Summon: How has the band response been?
Reggae: Yeah its been great, we’ve had a loyal bunch of fans in Canberra that have been turning out to our shows for many years now, so you can’t fault ‘em on loyalty, they thrash about and some of them even know the words… so that makes it all worth while…
Summon: Where did the band name come from?
Reggae: Um basically back in high school I was tooling around with a bunch of names and that’s the one that worked the best.. no major story behind it I guess….
Summon: Introduce the band members
Reggae: Camillo on lead guitar – he joined us last year from a band called “Dark nemesis” quite a handy little soloist me thinks! Hernan on drums, who is Camillo’s brother, also from DN and joined at the same time when our previous drummer left. We were a single guitar band before that and when the opportunity came to get them both, we thought it would work out fairly naturally and it did… they came together rather fast and learned the songs and we hit the stage only a couple of months after they joined the band. Kris on bass guitar, he joined the band almost 10 years ago now and is a solid bass player and the longest serving terror member! Reggae (which is me) on guitars and vocals I’m the dickhead that started all this stuff!
Summon: Who writes the music? Lyrics?
Reggae: At the moment, I’m probably still writing most of the initial music and pretty much all the lyrics but Kris wrote a bit of the stuff off the last album, which we’ll hopefully get out real soon… and now Camillo is throwing in more guitar solo’s and we all as a arrange the songs as a band… so it’s a bit more of a cohesive writing unit these days.
Summon: And where do the lyric ideas come from?
Reggae: Much of the band focus’ in on the “Necronomicon” which depending on what you believe is either the Sumerian book of the dead, or a hoax played on the world by HP Lovecraft… without getting into that debate the book has been a huge influence on my life and I’ve got song after song of stuff that I’d write down after having some rather lucid dreams and wake up in the middle of the night and scrawl down on paper…. Then I’d wake up in the morning and be like ‘cool’! I have a song which I can’t remember writing! Having read a bit on the subject, the songs follow the lore closely and are true to the original mythos. So in that respect I’m quite happy to do what the voices tell me to! Hahah! Other stuff we write about is sex/love/lust , death, gore, Armageddon, anti religious stuff… and some things that we see around us in the world today… and of course two of my favorite things, beer and metal!!! I think it all fits in together nicely! I’m pretty big on lyrics and think they do form a major part of a bands identity so I do take my time with them and try to come out with some intelligent and well written songs, even if the subject matter is a bit dark or disturbing.
Summon: How many albums/Cd’s have you released?
Reggae: We’ve released a couple of demo tapes back when those things were around (remember them hahah!) and then two Cd’s one in 1998 and one in 2005 … and hopefully another one out this year! Yeah, I know we go slow!!! Hahaha!
Summon: Tell me about some the songs on the latest CD?
Reggae: Basically its more of the same from us, you either liked us before or you didn’t… We’re not trying to attract any more fans or a new crowd or anything like that, we are perfectly content to do what we do.. no progression for the sake of trend here! I think its our heaviest CD yet, and most ambitious. There’s a bit more variation in the riffage and things but at the end of the day its riff based metal, the way we’ve always done it, but hopefully we’ve gotten a little better at it! Either way, I’m proud of it, as too are the rest of the boys!
Summon: Do you have any side projects?
Reggae: Nah not really I stuff around with friends occasionally for fun but nothing serious, and video –deejay old metal tunes every now and then but that’s just a bit of fun… Camillo and Hernan are still doing dark nemesis but that’s a fully functioning band rather than a side project
Summon: Who are some of your musical influences?
Reggae: Oh don’t get me started! I could write the hugest list for you but to keep it simple, pretty much anything that falls under the category of real metal,,, as a band we listen to a range of stuff but the biggest influences are Priest, Wasp, Black Sabbath, Venom, Metallica, Slayer, Manowar, Morbid Angel, Carcass, Bolt thrower, Nile, Motley Crue, Sepultura, Bathory, Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, Led Zepelin, Deicide, Motorhead, Rose Tattoo …. I guess most of the stuff that was around up until the mid-late 90’s…. and aussie stuff like Armoured Angel and Sadistik Exekution were both huge influences.
Summon: Which current bands?
Reggae: Damn that’s a hard one as I haven’t been current with anything that goes on these days… we’ve kind of defined what we do well over 10 years ago if you know what I mean…. But out of the newer stuff (well new to me anyway…) I like would be “Alestorm” “Arch Enemy” and “Turbocharged” and “Amon Amarth” “Murderdolls”.
Summon: What is the band like when you play live?
Reggae: People seem to have fun, we get the hair flying and fists banging! That’s what its about to me…. We are not the tightest band that ever walked the earth, but the feelings there! We thrash around, drink many beers, make jokes and generally have a great time. I think we put on a show that people remember, and we have a great time doing it! And I guess after all these years if people are still turning up to our shit, they must like it! Just think Loud, Rude, Aggressive metal!
Summon: What was the best band you played with?
Reggae: Musically Nevermore were definitely the best, Destruction were awesome and Pungent Stench were cool, most fun bands to support was definitely Destroyer666 and Sadistik Exekution as they were musical influences on me too! Its always great to support a band you grew up listening to!
Summon: Have you guys ever played in another country?
Reggae: NO! Get us over there!
Summon: How big of crowd shows up at shows usually?
Reggae: We usually get over 100… to anything we do… which sounds crap I know, but in this country is pretty good!
Summon: How is the crowd response when you play?
Reggae: Generally people dig us, I think most metal heads will like us, as we cross a lot of genres, and we also play a few punk gigs so we’ve managed to attract a few punks into the fold so to speak… Christians, hippies and such don’t tend to dig us at all… I think a lot of it has to do with the crowd interaction, we’ve even played to footballers and they even dug us! We just wanna see people jump around, throw back some beers or Jack Daniels and generally have fun!
Summon: What do you think of the US Black/Death Metal scene?
Reggae: I absolutely love US death metal especially the Florida death metal scene, that was my favorite! The bay area thrash scene! And New York hardcore / crossover scenes…. I even love the 80’s glam scene! Dunno much about your black metal scene though I thought Absu were pretty cool back in the day!
Summon: What do you think of the Overseas scenes?
Reggae: Again its all good… I liked a couple of the Scandinavian black metal bands when it first started but there were sooo many shit bands that came out of that… and the NS thing really turned me off it as well as a lot of the shithouse recordings that came out of that era…. But its all cool… most those bands are dead and the cream has risen so to speak.. Bands like Dimmu Borgir, Dissection, Immortal will be the ones that are remembered as the quality bands.
Summon: What are some of new favorite black/death metal bands?
Reggae: Only new one that I like that the moment is of course “Turbocharged” with Ronnie ripper from Gehenna on vocals and bass that shit is badass! Their album Antixtian is a corker and I hope it does really well for the band!
Summon: What does the future hold for the band??
Reggae: We’re just gonna keep on doing what we always do, drink beer, play shows and occasionally put out an album! Hopefully each time we do it we do it on a slightly bigger scale that’s all I’m hoping for!
Take it easy dude, and thanks for the interview! Check us out on the web at http://www.beermetal.net, http://www.myspace.com/reignofterroraus
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