This one needs no long introductional words – the legendary ACHERON recently reformed so that good ol’ Thomas Westphal immediately contacted Vincent Crowley for the following brandnew interview…
Hello Vincent, how are you? ACHERON are back! Please tell us how you managed to reform?
"I’m doing very well. When I moved away from Tampa, I thought I could leave ACHERON behind. I couldn’t! After recording with my other band WOLFEN SOCIETY, I was getting lots of e-mails from ACHERON fans who wanted more ACHERON music. Recording got me in the mood to want to do ACHERON again. I was working on a electronic project called CROWLEY with Keyboardist Aaron Werner. One day he said "check this out" and started playing ‘Lifeforce (The Blood)’ from "Those Who Have Risen". I asked him if he would be into working with me reforming ACHERON. He was like "Fuck Yeah", since he was a big ACHERON fan. Then everything just started to fall into place. Later Michael contacted me and said he was still interested in doing ACHERON, even though he was still in Florida. I said "we will work this out". And he rejoined the band. We did our first live show in 2 years in Mexico, along with former drummer Richard Christy (DEATH, ICED EARTH, BURNING INSIDE) and everything went great! The feelings were back again! We invoked the Demon once again!"
You and Michael Estes (BURNING INSIDE) are still in the band. With Aaron Werner and Daniel Zink you found new co-musicians. Please tell us something about these guys. Did Tony and Ben give up because of their activities with GOD DETHRONED (Tony) respectively LOWBROW (Ben)?
"Well, Daniel Zink is no longer in the band. We are looking for a permanent drummer now. Kyle Severn from INCANTATION / WOLFEN SOCIETY is filling in for us until December. He’ll be recording the new 7 inch record we are doing for Warlord Records called "Xomaly". With this new music we are going to demo our new stuff to labels and try to find the best one. As for Aaron Werner, he’s a good friend and roomate of mine and used to sing for a band called SOUL DESTRUCTION. Tony was never a "member" of ACHERON. He was a friend that helped us out in a time of need. He is a drum god! It was great working with Tony. As for Ben, he has been a friend of mine for years. He needed to do his own thing and I think LOWBROW is what he should be doing."
What was the reason for calling the quits after the heavenly, oops sorry, hellish "Those Who Have Risen" CD? Will there be another cooperation with Full Moon?
"Things just got really crazy. The music industry just pissed me off. We had a great sounding album, but no one could give us tour support. We knew from the beginning FMP couldn’t help us out with that, so it really sucked. To me, "Those Who Have Risen" is our best album and one that should have gotten more attention. We will not be doing anything else on FMP. ACHERON is now looking for a label that can put us on tour. To take this band to the next level."
For the moment, the working title of your new CD is "Rebirth". Can this be seen in connection with the rebirth of ACHERON?
"Oh yes, that is the whole reason for the title. And we are now working as a band. I used to write 100% of the music. Now we are all contributing to the band. We all have different influences, so we are coming up with some really interesting stuff. I think people are really going to like the new material. It is still ACHERON, just evolved."
Has the release date been fixed yet?
"We only have 2 full songs completed and they will be on the 7 inch record we are doing. They are called ‘Xomaly’ and ‘The Kindred’. We have tons of riffs and ideas, we just have to piece them together."
Ever since it has become more public that you will be back, I guess some labels have already stated their interest in releasing the "Rebirth" CD. Is there anything you can state concretely?
"We haven’t started to shop around for labels yet. Sure, there is some interest, but we are waiting until we have some of the new songs recorded for them to hear. Some labels want to make sure we are still ACHERON. (Ha, Ha) Believe me, we are still ACHERON! Pure Fucking Evil!"
On the "Those Who Have Risen" CD you had the honor, that some backing vocals were done by George Fisher and David Vincent. Personally I think, that David Vincent is one of the most important vocalists in the Death Metal scene. What do you think?
"It was an honor to have these two guys do some guest vocals on the album. David Vincent is one of my favorite Death Metal singers of all time. It sucks he is no longer in MORBID ANGEL. To me it is a waste of talent."
His backing vocals were recorded at a time when he was already no longer with MORBID ANGEL. Is he still in his chick’s band? Are you still in contact? Are you guys still friends? I’m really interested in what he’s up to!?
"Yes, he’s still in THE GENITORTURERS. I haven’t talked to David in a long time, so I don’t know what he’s been up too."
Let’s revel a bit in the past. Your biography states that ACHERON was founded in 1988. Your first demo was called "Messe Noir" and you worked on this together with Peter Gilmore (he did the intro). How did you guys meet?
"He contacted me, after he heard about what ACHERON was about. We became friends and worked together for a long time. He is now the High Priest of the CHURCH OF SATAN. We have decided not to put intros on the ACHERON releases anymore. The only music we are putting on the albums are the stuff that the band creates. I wish Peter the best of luck."
Where was this demo recorded?
"In the basement of a friend’s house. It was totally raw. (Ha, Ha) I didn’t like it, but it became a cult classic in the underground. Who would have figured?"
Unfortunately I don’t have the original demo, only the EP, which at that time was released by Reaper Records (Belgium). The songs on the EP are: Intro – Prayer of Hell – As Thou Wilt – Midnight Offering – Alla Xul – So It Is Done. Is this the original track list?
"Yes, that is the original 1989 "Messe Noir" demo. Actually Full Moon Productions have released all our old demos and unreleased demo stuff on a CD called "Compendium Diablerie: The Demo Days" You can actually get this on CD now. (Ha, Ha) Like I said, I hate the stuff, but our fans wanted it. So it was released just for them."
Back then a guy called Mike Smith did the vocals, is that right? Aside from you then there were Dave Smith (bass) and Ron Hogue (drums). What ever happened to these guys?
"Mike Smith went to jail. David Smith joined the Military. And I have no idea what Ron Hogue is doing. Mike Smith was a great singer. It is to bad he ended up in jail. His old band SATHANAS was / is a great band also."
In 1991 you imprudently signed with Turbo Music to publish your debut album. Did you ever get your money to pay the studio etc.? Later on the Turbo Music people again tried to rip off some bands under their new name Metal Age. There was a new release of "Rites Of The Black Mass". Have you ever gotten a penny out of this?
"ACHERON never got any money from either one of those bastards! In fact, they didn’t even give us copies of our own albums! They are pieces of shit and I hope I have the chance to meet these assholes in person. I’ll take my money out of their corpses! Fucking Rip Off labels!"
In 1993 or ’94 we went to Osnabrück (Germany) to admire you guys playing live. You were supposed to play with SAMAEL and UNHOLY, unfortunately the show was cancelled. Was there a tour at all or were all dates cancelled?
"All the dates were cancelled. I got really sick one week before we were supposed to go and was unable to go. We really wanted to do that tour, because we really liked the bands."
I heard that you were active with NOCTURNUS for some time. When was this?
"I was one of the original guitarists in NOCTURNUS back in 1987. We were doing more of a Black Metal type style back then. Then me and our bassist Richard Bateman (NASTY SAVAGE) quit the band and Mike got a new line-up. NOCTURNUS changed into a sci-fi band after that. I liked what they did, but it was very different from the original sound of NOCTURNUS. In fact, some of the songs I wrote for NOCTURNUS became ACHERON songs."
Are you still in contact with Mike Browning? Most likely you’re not, the guy has left the scene some years ago.
"No, I haven’t talked to him in about 2 years. But he is still doing bands. He has a band called AFTER DEATH and another one that I can’t remember the name of."
You still have a second project called WOLFEN SOCIETY going, along with members of INCANTATION, DARK FUNERAL and ELECTRIC HELLFIRE CLUB. Tell us something about that.
"It is a true Misanthropic Metal band. Pure fucking hatred! It is Old Death Metal with some modern elements. We have a mini-cd called "Conquer Divine" due out on House Of Death Records (USA) and No Fashion (Europe) in January 2002. WOLFEN SOCIETY is great to be a part of. The guys are great to work with. Ahriman and Kyle have become very good friends of mine, true fucking brothers!"
How are you gonna manage your rehearsals, since Ahriman is in Sweden most of the time? Did you guys meet during the DARK FUNERAL tour?
"It is hard, but we work things out when we are all free. We all have busy bands, but we still want to do WOLFEN SOCIETY. So we are making it work out."
What kind of music will you be playing. I’m asking this, because I assume the ELECTRIC HELLFIRE CLUB member being into some kind of electro / IBM direction?
"It is Old School Death Metal with some modern ideas, such as samples and keyboards. It is heavy and powerful stuff. But that’s what you get when you put 5 madmen together in a studio. (Ha, Ha)."
Where and when will there be an album?
"We hope to record the full length album "Misanthropic Race" sometime next year. But the Mini-CD will be out soon."
I heard that there will be no further cooperation with Peter Gilmore. This really surprises me, since you had been working with him for quite some time. What happened? Did you get in a fight, because of some acolytes? (Hope you don’t misunderstand my sense of humor!)
"We just wanted to put ACHERON music on the newer releases. Many people didn’t like the intros in between the songs, while others loved it. So we are seeing what it will be like with just ACHERON music. Aaron will do any intros if we decided to make any. Not to mention Peter is a busy man with the CHURCH OF SATAN."
Why did you leave Florida? You are now living in Columbus, Ohio. Did Michael move as well? As far as I know he’s from Florida as well, isn’t he?
"Well, it was because of a woman I was seeing. Bad choice. (Ha, Ha) I’m no longer seeing her. But it was good that I came here and met up with Aaron. Michael still lives in Orlando, Florida. We do the long distance thing. It is hard, but we are trying to make it work."
You did some coverversions on various samplers, like KREATOR, BATHORY, MOTÖRHEAD, KISS, VENOM, JUDAS PRIEST etc. Do you like covering our good old heroes? When did you start getting interested in Metal bands (most likely as long as you’ve been thinking, haha)? Was it your first step towards satanism?
"I love paying homage to the old Metal Gods. We’ve done tons of tribute albums. (Ha, Ha) I got into Metal at a young age, around 6th grade. I worshiped BLACK SABBATH at 8 yrs old. I always loved heavy music. People thought I was a freak. (Ha, Ha) But Metal didn’t get me interested in Satanism. Christianity actually did. (Ha, Ha) All their propaganda made me look at the other side. I like it there and said "Fuck their God"."
I would like to talk a little about your philosophy of life / world-outlook. I don’t know much about satanism, since Metal is my religion. I see myself as being godless, almost nihilistic. Like I said, I don’t have a clue about the Church of Satan, but basically isn’t it the same as being a member of a "normal" church or religion, with the exception that during Sunday’s mass no housel is eaten for the Lord’s Supper? Please explain this to me a bit.
"Well, I’m no longer a member of the CHURCH OF SATAN or ANY other organized group. I have decided to go my own way and do my own thing. Call me a Lone Wolf now. As for the CHURCH OF SATAN, when I was a member, it was more of a "think tank", than a actual church. In fact, in Satanism, "you" are your own god. You don’t need a church or deity. Satanism is "Self Preservation" and "Survivial of the Fittest". It is embracing that darkside that everyone fears. You have to be born a Satanist to really be a Satanist. It is a genetic trait."
What do you think about guys like Glen Benton, who make use of satanism for promotion reasons?
"I only worry about myself. People can do what they want. I can only speak for myslef. As for Glen Benton and DEICIDE, I am friends with all those guys. They are a great band. True anti-christians! As far as the Satanism thing goes, that is more of a personal thing. But if we all thought alike, things would be boring."
You have children, right? How many do you have? I don’t think you’re married though, are you?
"I have 2 daughters with two different women. I was married at one time, but I got divorced several years ago. If I’m smart I won’t get married again. (Ha, Ha) I love women, but they can be a pain in the ass to live with."
What’s your rank within the Church of Satan?
"I’m no longer in the CHURCH OF SATAN, but I used to hold the rank of "Magister"."
Before we finnish this please tell me if I forget a bandmember from ACHERON who played in the past with you: Peter Gilmore, Ron Houge, Michael Smith, Michael Estes, Jonathan Lee, Bill Taylor, Adina Blase, Steve Bailey, Tony Laureno, John Scott, Michael Browning, Trebor Ladres, Ben Meyer, Joe Oliver, Vincent Breeding, Tony Blakk, Troy, Heffen, Peter Slate, Robert Orr, James Straus, Bill Koblak. Many right?
"Damn! (Ha, Ha) The list is endless! (Ha, Ha) But Michael and I have been working together for a long time. As I said before, as long as I find people to work with, ACHERON will continue to thrive."
Okay, this is it for now. Thanks a lot for your efforts in answering my questions, Vincent! Anything else I forgot? Any additional statements from your side, maybe about the "Comperdium Diablerie" CD released on Fullmoon?
"Thanks for your support! Those die hard fans that want all ACHERON material should check out the new release on Full Moon Productions. It has some rare stuff on it. ACHERON is back and we will not go away again! Be warned, we are out for blood! Await the "Rebirth". Hails to everyone who has supported us throughout the years. Until next time… Ad Maiorem Satanae Gloriam!"