Summon: How did the band get started? How did you meet and how long have you been together?
Rick: Retalliation was formed by Rick Desrosier in 1992. All of the band members are convicted felons serving time in Garden State Prison. The music program within the institution allowed such opportunity to express musical talent. After numerous line-up changes the band was solidified with four men collectively having 38 years of musical experience. Paul Fredricks on guitar, Sebran “Mad Mike” Shagonry on bass, Gerald Fitzpatrick on drums and Rick Desrosier doing vocals.
Summon: How would you describe your music?
Rick: The music is an engraving of our emotions that are bred from this environment in which we are conflicted. Where else is there such an concentrated mass of killings, hatred, evil, dying, vengeance and other morbid shit than a prison. We have a truth that not many death metal bands do. We live this everyday of our lives. It can be felt through our songs.
Summon: What are your biggest musical influences?
Rick: To list any band as an influence would be insultive to others we may have neglected to write down. Out inspiration comes from bands back to the 60’s all the way to the bands of year 2000.
Summon: Who if, if any do you consider the bands idols?
Rick: Same as number 3.
Summon: What made you want to be in the band? And if you weren’t in the band what would you want to be doing now?
Rick: Well it’s my band, so if I wasn’t in it, Retalliation would not exist. I have been in some go nowhere garage bands since age 17. But coming to prison and having access to studio recording equipment, a long with nothing else better to do (except time). I motivated myself to make this all possible. If I wasn’t in the band, I guess I’d be going to Alcoholics Anonymous, Ha! NOT…
Summon: What are some of your favorite bands that are really popular today?
Rick: My favorite bands don’t necessarily reflect the other members opinion or view point. But mine are: Slayer, Death, Sepultura, Type O Negative, Venom, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Morbid Angel, Alice Cooper, Deicide, Retalliation etc…
Summon: How many demos/albums do you have? Tell me about them.
Rick: Retalliation just released it’s debt Prison Death Metal Demo/EP at the end of 1995. It is entitled “Death From the Inside” and is completely pro-recorded, pro-packaged with lyrics. There are 7 song for a total running time just over 45 minutes. The cost is $5 US/$6 World and you can obtain through the band address…. No orders directly to the Prison.
Summon: If you could play with any band who would it be and why?
Rick: I would want to share the bill with another local band to establish the strength of the scene within the northeast. (Even though it’s impossible because we aren’t allowed outside the prison compound. Choice of bands would be: Sam Black Church, Internal Bleeding, Vital Remains, Adversary and 454 Big Block.
Summon: Who writes the majority of the music?
Rick: It’s an overall conglomeration of everybody’s ideas. I am responsible for the majority of the lyrics. The guitarist pretty much worked out all the guitar lines on accordance with the bassist. And Gerald does what he does best, play drums.
Summon: Who has been the favorite band you’ve played with? Why?
Rick: The only show that we’ve done was an outdoor concert inside of the prison on July 12, 1995. There were cover bands. Then my guitarist got up from his solo band project that did a set of metal originals. Retalliation headlined the show. So as for favorite band Retalliation has played with I’d say it was the “Paul Fredrick’s Extravaganza”.
Summon: Where did you get the band name from?
Rick: I heard the word constantly used in the news. It surprised me that it was not already taken. (Yes I know the band Possessed has an album called “Retaliate”). It was meant to be for us I guess. If you thin about it, the meaning is …. Act of playing back for a wrong doing that was inflicted upon you. Every person in prison holds such feelings against at least on individual. The prison administration refused to allow “Retalliation” to be used on any schedules in the music program so just spell it backwards! No It Ail Later.
Summon: Describe what the band is like live?
Rick: There is so much driving force in over live performance. Actually same goes with our rehearsals. By the end of our set we are indicated with energy and our audience is left drained. While listening to our music you can’t avoid the urge to mosh.
Summon: If you are gonna do any kind of video what would be in it?
Rick: A video will never happen because no filming is allowed in the prison. Though if it was allowed we would keep it raw and it would solely consist of an actual live performance on the prison grounds with no special effects whatsoever.
Summon: Are there any tour plans made, if so tell me about them?
Rick: As I mentioned before we will never tour. Two member in the band are serving life sentences and might possibly never get out of prison. Paul Fredrick (guitarist) will be released in early 1997 and is looking to join up with a working band. If any band is interested contact the band address and the letter will be forwarded to him.
Summon: Where do you think the band will be in 20 years from now?
Rick: Well if everyone is in the free world, maybe wee will do a reunion tour. You all should remember to keep an eye on your local listings in the year 2016… ha
“Thanks for the excellent interview. We look forward to hearing from everybody even if you aren’t into Death Metal you should get this cassette. Since there is no other bands like us (released a Demo/EP from in Prison). Someday it may be a collectors item. You may be amazed at our perseverance to move forward in a setting designed to hold us back. Write now. What the fuck you waiting for?”
Contact them at:
C/O Rick Desroiser
P.O. Box 661
W. Side Station
Worcester, MA 01602-0661