In Autumn / Winter 2002 DIABOLIC, one of Florida’s finest young oldschool Death / Black Metal bands, broke in two halfs after line up changes and personal differences during and after DIABOLIC’s European tour with DEICIDE. DIABOLIC chose to continue without three (!!!) original members and now feature Robert Cardenas (COFFIN TEXTS) on vocals, who does not really fit to DIABOLIC in my eyes, but anyway the three ex – DIABOLIC members decided to form a new “Supreme Evil” under the moniker of UNHOLY GHOST, with the assistance of Kelly McLauchlin (PESSIMIST). Now a very promising three-track demo has been released by UNHOLY GHOST and it contains excellent satanic Death / Black that made a talk with Aanter Coates (drums) absolutely inevitable…
Hi Aantar, how you’re doing? What’s the latest news on UNHOLY GHOST?
"I am better than ever and can’t wait to start shooting this video for the song ‘Under Existence’. I don’t have any limitations with UNHOLY GHOST. We have 7 songs complete and are planning to do a few live concerts in New York and Los Angles / California. I talked to Phil from Malevolent Creation and he wants to do some show here in Florida at the end of March."
Your 3 song demo is out now and it turned out really great, although it does not differ that much from DIABOLIC’s third effort, would you agree? What feedback did you receive on it already? Did any labels show their interest yet?
"People like the name UNHOLY GHOST better. We (Paul, Jerry, Kelly and I) don’t plan on changing our style of writing just because we can’t keep the name. If anything Kelly has added to our new style helping write ‘Under Existence’ and ‘Denouncication’. Those other guys are using the name I came up with. I formed Diabolic!!!!!!!!!! The feedback has been positive for us being a band for 3 months. At this point we haven’t played a show yet. People are realising that Diabolic has been re-named UNHOLY GHOST. Olympic / Century have the first right to refuse or accept what we do. I am sending the demo to radio stations and zines for review just like I did years ago."
To understand who hides behind UNHOLY GHOST; one has to examine the various line-up changes in DIABOLIC. Please be so kind and clean up the line-up mess and tell me what exactly happened!
"First – Paul couldn’t leave the country because of child support tax’s then, Jerry had a court date because of a traffic ticket one week before the tour to Europe. I didn’t want to cancel the tour so we got replacements for the tour. Before the tour I knew I would never work with Robert or Eric for many reasons. The main reason is because they aren’t DIABOLIC. Then after the tour Brian tells me that he owns the name and I’m out of the band because I suck and can’t play the songs I wrote. I will say I didn’t play as good as I played with the normal line up because the true DIABOLIC vibe just wasn’t there. I could see it every night in Europe. People wanted to see Paul and Jerry, not replacements. Without Paul and Jerry there was no magic. I felt like I was playing cover tunes."
You came up with new material pretty fast, when did you actually write the songs on the new demo? Were they exclusively written for UNHOLY GHOST or did you use some ideas you had for DIABOLIC as well? Where and how long did you record the whole thing?
"I came up with the name UNHOLY GHOST. Kelly came down January 1, 2003, we just clicked and I called Jerry and we really wanted to put the past behind us so he was in. Paul and I were jamming back in December 2002 right after I got back from the tour. Brian moved all his guitars out of the studio so that worked out perfect. I had riffs and Jerry had riffs, Kelly and Paul had riffs. Paul is the master when it comes to lyrics and he had ideas. The songs were written in January except for ‘Soul Disment’. Jerry and I wrote that back in the fall. Steve Taylor (a good friend) recorded the UNHOLY GHOST demo at XXX Studios here in Tampa. Kelly had to fly down to Florida two times to complete the demo. The whole thing took like three weeks. Kelly and I wrote and recorded ‘Denouncication’ with Paul sometime during the first week of January and ‘Under Existence’ was written and recorded around the 3rd week of January. Because we all work different schedules Kelly had to fly back down to do lead guitar tracks on ‘Soul Disment’. We are satanic Black / Death Metal moving at Blasphemous Speeds!!!"
Is Kelly McLauchlin (PESSIMIST / session leads for BLACK MASS) a permanent member of UNHOLY GHOST or was he just helping out? Do you think that his participation in UNHOLY GHOST has consequences for his engagement in PESSIMIST?
"Yes, Kelly McLauchlin is a permanent member of UNHOLY GHOST. Kelly is moving down to Tampa next month (April 2003) and staying at my house till he gets his house. He shares our views when it comes to the music, touring, and dedication to UNHOLY GHOST. I worked with Kelly on the first DIABOLIC unreleased demo back in 1996 before I moved to Florida. He created the UNHOLY GHOST website and has shown complete focus to our new band."
What do you think about the new DIABOLIC line-up with Robert Cardenas (also COFFIN TEXTS / ex – ENGRAVE)? I saw you live in Essen, Germany and his vocal style differed a lot from Paul’s. Do you think he fits into the band? How is your contact to your ex-band?
"I don’t know what those dudes are thinking. I think they were all made for each other. Paul is the voice on every DIABOLIC CD released that is true. In my opinion Brian and his new band should change their name to something like The Booby Traps or the Lighting Rods, ha ha!"
Well, we’ve talked enough about personal shit, let’s get back to the music! ‘Under Existence’ and ‘Denounciation’ are excellent heavy and aggressive Black / Death songs with relatively melodic leads, what inspired you to play this style? It’s rather unusual for an US band, don’t you think?
"Thanks we’re glad you like them. We like to attack in the right places and change the mood in other parts in the songs because we have different moods. UNHOLY GHOST is inspired by all the changes in life we are going through. Movies, books, work, sex, drugs. We are living in crazy times. Our music will always reflect a balance of power and energy."
What lyrical concepts hide behind UNHOLY GHOST? Your band name suggests a certain blasphemous intent, is that correct? How important are the lyrics to you? Do you draw influence from satanic works and scriptures?
"The lyrics are extremely important to me. Paul is brilliant. He gets ideas from the news, books, and movies and just about anywhere. Our lyrics are posted on our website. ‘Under Existence’ is about an erotic voodoo ritual. ‘Denouncication’ is a song about UNHOLY GHOST rising up, crushing our stepping stones and moving on. And ‘Soul Disment’ is about a demonic, nightmarish, possession at blasphemous speeds!"
Which of the new songs is your personal favourite? I like ‘Denounciation’ best, because of its various tempo changes and the heavy double bass attack towards the end. Tell me more about ‘Soul Disment’, because I have not heard that song yet!
"Thanks! I like them all. ‘Soul Disment’ is all fast from start to finish with only one break. All blast and double bass, total Black Metal fury!!! Jerry and I wrote it and it came out KILLLLLER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love playing fast blasts, slow and heavy, powerful, dynamic music. My drug of choice!!!!"
How is your full-length CD progressing? Do you got all the material complete and ready to record? What can we expect of the album? Will it be out on vinyl?
"We are working closely with Olympic / Century Media. We are a new band. The more we do to promote UNHOLY GHOST before the full-length is released the better. We have time to do this the right way. As far as vinyl we will suggest it. We have 7 songs complete. I don’t think these songs will be on the full-length CD. We want to keep this a classic."
How is the Death and Black Metal scene in Florida doing at the moment? Do you know some promising new bands? Are you in contact with all the legendary Tampa bands, such as DEICIDE, MONSTROSITY, OBITUARY or MORBID ANGEL? What do you think about the old days of the raging Florida scene, which bands are your faves of that time?
"I think UNHOLY GHOST is the newest band. If I hear of anyone else I will let you know. We are in contact with at least one or two members of those legendary bands at all times. We live in the same city. I will say that they are all still my favorite bands. They all have their own magic and have sacrificed their lives to play this music for everyone. I remember back in those days I could hear Morbid Angel practicing songs like ‘Evil Spells’ and ‘Damnation’, I remember the first time meeting Trey, Pete, David and Richard. I already had their demos and they just got back from their 1st tour in Europe. My roommates were strippers at Mons Venus and DEICIDE, MONSTROSITY, OBITUARY and MORBID ANGEL would always stop by my house. Pete Sandoval was always on the look out for bands that needed drummers. One day he found a demo called IMPIETY, gave it to me and said go for it. That’s how Gene (ex – ANGEL CORPSE) and I met way back in 1992. Back in the EXMORTIS days 1988 I remember playing G’Wilikers in New Jersey with GOREAPHOBIA and FATAL, every kid had 10 upsidedown crosses on. The scene was UNHOLY!!!!!"
And talking of past times, it would be cool to know more about the bands you’ve played in – I know EXMORTIS (Godz!!!) and NECROSIS, but what about IMPIETY(US) and HORROR OF HORRORS? What happened to those bands?
"IMPIETY was in the wrong place for opportunity. I lived up in MN (? – Minnesota, Michigan??? – Stefan) for a year and working in a recycle factory six days a week and teaching drums three days a week, but we never played a show. So I moved back to Maryland hooked up with Chewka (funny name, reminds of Chewbacca ha ha! – Stefan), we formed Horror of Horrors and played the Milwaukee Metal Fest two years in a row, released two CD’s. Buddy Buell had a lung problem and couldn’t do vocals anymore. It was over so I called Kelly up and he came over to the Horror of Horrors house and we recorded the unreleased DIABOLIC Demo. I had to move out of the Horrors’ house, because Chewka had four cobra snakes and all kinds of snakes and I said “Fuck it” and moved to Tampa with the name DIABOLIC. Lee Harrison (Monstrosity) gave me Paul’s number and the rest is history. In America Florida is the best place for bands."
Did you enjoy visiting Europe? What do you like and what do you hate about the countries you visited, which one was your favourite? What do you think about our food and especially our beer?
"I had a BLAST!!!!!!!!!! It was a dream come true. I had no problems with the other bands. Everyone helped each other out. The food was killer. I really want to come back. Driving through the Swiss Alps was CRAZY!!!!! Switzerland was incredible, Z7 rules!!!! Austria has killer mountains and killer Metal bars and killer beer!! We had a cool tour manager, Joey Severence. Madrid, Spain was the Maze of Torment trying to find my way back to the bus, thanks to Inferno (Behemoth) I would still be lost!!! Paris was insane!!!! Those people go wild after I counted to three!!!! Walking through the graveyard in Essen, Germany with Eric / DEICIDE was evil. Amsterdam was the best place for me because I love to smoke!"
Before we come to an end, tell me what were the latest albums you bought and which bands impressed you the most in 2002? Do you own a CD / EP / LP you are extremely proud of?
"Krisiun, MORBID ANGEL, SLAYER. I’m proud of all the CD’s / EPs / and LPs I have played on. Also I am proud to own SLAYER “Reign In Blood”, EXODUS “Bonded By Blood”, METALLICA “Ride The Lightning”, Possessed “Seven Churches”, Bathory “The Return” and Sodom "In The Sign Of Evil” and proud to own KREATOR’s “Pleasure To Kill”!!!!!!!!!!!"
Alright, that’s it for now Aantar, tell me what happens next with UNHOLY GHOST, when we can expect your album and add a final statement to the brothers of blasphemy out there!!! Thanks for your answers and all the best with your new band!!!
"Right now UNHOLY GHOST is working on a video for ‘Under Existence’. Check out our website at www.unholyghost.com and download two full song Mp3s for free!!!! The CD demo is available for $5 (world, US currency only) or you can order with credit card per Pay Pal. All orders are shipped first class within 24 hours. Just contact me: Aantar "Blastmaster"Coates, 11401 North Town Court 11B, Tampa Florida 33613, USA. Also thanks to all that support us. We are writing a lot of new songs that are satanic speed Death Metal at blasphemous speeds, but with a few more demonic surprises !!!!!!"