Out of the ashes of Germany’s VOMITING CORPSES rose two great new bands. One was ANASARCA, who should be known to most of you reading this due to their two professionally recorded / released albums (on Repulse Records and Mighty Music respectively), while the other equally promising dudes, FEARER, had to struggle a lot more for various reasons we will discuss in a few seconds. They just released a killer album entitled “The Grinning Face Of Death” which should please everyone into fast and brutal US styled Death Metal. Time for us to contact FEARER’s vocalist / guitarist Tom Zorn for some more info on these North German sickos
Due to the fact that you seem to be a bunch of quite lazy fuckers when it comes to the promotion of the band, I suppose we need to talk about the entire history of the band now in order to introduce you guys to a wider audience after all… So, everything started with a band called VOMITING CORPSES, right? What actually lead to the split up of that band and when was that exactly?
”VOMITING CORPSES split up in 1995, whereas Frank (guitar) and I (guitar) left the band. Back then our rehearsals were limited to the weekends, because Frank started studying in Hamburg and didn’t have time during the week. Heiner (drums) and Michael (bass) started up with ANASARCA at that time.”
Was it quite difficult to start up a new band at the time? I mean, the underground scene in your area wasn’t as healthy back then as it is today, so how long did it take you to complete a new band line up and what have the other (new) members been doing prior to joining FEARER?
”It was pretty hard finding new freaks to play with, since back then we already had our minds made up concerning the music we wanted to play, so the new members had to fit into these plans. When we were looking for a drummer one of my colleagues at work told me about Alf. I got in touch with him and we ended up playing together. Alf had been making music ever since the end of the 80’s, however he used to do his own thing only or sometimes played for a Punk Wave band as a session drummer. Carsten (bass) joined us about six months later. I had known him ever since elementary school and he had played guitar for VOMITING CORPSES before I joined them in 1993.”
Would you say that the musical influences changed for you guys, from VOMITING CORPSES to FEARER? Which bands did you listen to at the time?
”Back then VOMITING CORPSES already were a very experimental band and when we started with FEARER we did the same thing, except the songs being a little faster. Our influences today are the same as they used to be at that time, even though the beginning of the 90’s was some kind of paradise for Death Metal freaks, which can’t be at all compared to today’s scene. We still listen to DEATH, BENEDICTION, INCUBUS, MASSACRE, DISMEMBER, MALEVOLENT CREATION etc.”
Who came up with the band’s name and is there a deeper meaning in it for you? It’s definitely not as cliché type sounding as VOMITING CORPSES, so was that intentional or did it happen by coincidence?
”It’s always pretty difficult finding a suitable name for a band. Carsten just mentioned this name during a rehearsal session one day and there was no point to discuss this subject anymore, because all of us agreed. We didn’t want the name to have any deeper meaning, we just wanted it to be short and easily rememberable and it should be pronouncable for any European. That’s all there’s to it!”
The band’s logo was created by Christophe Szpajdel, who already worked for a whole lot of other underground acts. How did you hook up with him and how big was your own personal input in the creation of the logo?
”We met Christophe at this concert in a near-by town. He was sitting there behind his merchandising table drawing some logos and after having watched him for a while, I just stepped up to him and asked him if he would maybe design a logo for FEARER. I told him the approximate direction I had in my mind and about 30 minutes later… there was our logo! He’s an excellent artist in drawing logos…he’s a cool guy anyway…”
The other members of VOMITING CORPSES started up ANASARCA almost at the same time – so, was there some kind of rivalry going on maybe?
”After having split up there wasn’t much contact between the old members. Certainly I do know their music and I also listen to it. It always kind of reminds me of the good old times we had with VOMITING CORPSES. And knowing Michael, I’m sure there’ll be a new ANASARCA release next year at the latest, even though right now they might be taking a little break.”
In 1996 you finally released your first demo “Mindless”, which featured four very promising tracks, but suffered from a very strange sound. What went wrong in that department?
”To keep it short…no money….no label! The only alternative was an affordable 8-track-studio. Maybe at that time we were expecting too much (in a musical sense) and got stuck in the wrong direction.”
Did you spread around / sell a lot of that tape? What kind of response did you generally get?
”Well, look at your first question. You called us lazy fuckers and there’s your point. We are some lazy fucking assholes (Wir sind faule Wattrutscher!). Most of these demos are still lying under my bed catching the dust. The songs definitely would have deserved a better quality, but the way they turned out we just didn’t want to spread them around and bother people.”
The cover featured a caged monkey… are there any lyrics based around that? What was the intention behind that (also) rather unusual packaging?
”Mainly, the cover and lyrics were Frank’s (former guitarist) ideas. The lyrics have nothing to do with the cover though.”
Did you play any shows in support of that demo?
”We just played some gigs in our area.”
Why did it take you so long until you returned to the scene with the “No Tomorrow” MCD in 1998? What happened in between the release of the demo and the MCD?
”We had a pretty hard time back then. Frank, our former guitarist left us, not mentioning any exact reasons, actually, we still don’t know… He was gone from one day to another. He and I were the ones writing all the songs together and then suddenly I was the one left with this job with a different person (I’m talking about our drummer Alf). That’s also one reason for the musical changes. Ask any of the people who have the demo (one of the 8, haha), I bet they’ll confirm this. It took until last year when we finally found the right substitute for Frank. The two guitar players we had in between should be better described as obstacles than supporters for FEARER!”
Who came up with the idea for the rather bizarre looking cover art?
”That found its origin in Carsten’s head. I think he knows any and all of the pervert websites in this universe. No wonder he came up with this nice gazelle with her tied-up tits. We were young and needed a cover!”
Were you lacking in song titles or what was the reason to simply name two of the tracks ‘Fasten Your Seatbelts Pt.I’ and ‘Fasten Your Seatbelts Pt.II’?
”Those are two songs included on “No Tomorrow”. This CD could be described as being our first ambitions, not really a serious release. There wasn’t really a concept to any of the stuff we were doing at that time (no logo, no real cover, senseless lyrics).”
The track ‘Earth Siege’ sounds very BOLT THROWER inspired – was that intentional?
”That’s what you get trying to write a “slow” song! You’re not the first one to compare this song with BOLT THROWER, but whatever, they have been and still are one of the most brilliant Death Metal bands around!”
How was the response on that MCD in comparison to the demo?
”A lot of people criticized the design (what design? Haha!) of this MCD, but many freaks really got into the material, which made us go on in that direction.”
Another two long years later you released your first full length album “No Compromise” – what can you tell us about that?
“For the first time we had enough material to fill a full-length album! As we did for the last MCD we recorded “No Compromise” with an 8-track-recorder in our rehearsal room! But again we only spread this CD around among a couple of friends and people we knew and sold several copies during some of our concerts.“
You obviously must have been very dissatisfied with the way it turned out as almost all of the songs got re-recorded for your latest (and greatest) release “The Grinning Face Of Death”. Tell us more about that and what you expect from the brand new album?
”The Grinning Face Of Death“ is our first professional recording, that’s why all those songs plus an extra song are again included on this CD. At this point I would like to thank my brother-in-law (he’s gonna kick my ass again for this!!!) Thomas Westphal. He’s the one who told us to get our lazy asses going and also he’s been of great help with things like working on our booklet, cover, getting in touch with our future label Remission Records and so on. If it wasn’t for him I guess you wouldn’t even know about FEARER, right?!” (wrong! I already knew the demo, but due to you lack of self promotion lost sight with you guys afterwards… – Frank)
I’m not quite sure, but it seems to me that none of your releases were properly promoted / distributed. I was actually quite surprised when I found out about all of your self financed products… What went wrong in that department and did you never seriously try to get yourself a deal with a record label instead of releasing everything on your own again and again?
”If you’ve been ripped off once, you get sick of all that business shit going on! To explain this and write it down in more detail would twist my fingers. But with our future label and the very ambitious person behind it, I’m sure things will work out alright! That’s all we know how to do… it’s writing songs and banging our heads. We don’t give a shit about any of that other business stuff going on.”
So, after all there’s finally a company that will pick up “The Grinning Face Of Death” and re-release that on a more professional level… Tell us more about that.
”As I have mentioned above, “The Grinning Face Of Death” will most likely be released in June of this year on Remission Records. With a lot of luck there might even be an additional vinyl version by a subdivision of Merciless Records. However, the CD will have a new title, which will be “Confession To Hate”. There are some plans about playing live with LOCK UP, MONSTROSITY and DYING FETUS, which can’t be confirmed at this time, but will hopefully work out. We’ll see what happens!”
What are your plans for the near future? Anything worth mentioning at this point of time already?
”After 7 years we are hoping to finally leave the East Frisian borders! If you get a hold of the new FEARER-CD somewhere, buy it! There’s still sticking sweat to it from all the fucking hours we spent in the goddamn studio. But I think it was worth it, I hope so at least! Well, listen to it and make up your own mind about it! Thanks a lot to you, Frank, for having been around and supporting the scene in all those years, as a matter of fact, thanks to all the people out there who have been loyal to the greatest kind of music on earth! Death Metal will rule forever!!!”