WHO ARE THEY: BONES
WHERE ARE THEY FROM: CHICAGO, IL, USA
FOR FANS OF: Death Strike, Master, Usurper, Funeral Nation
LATEST RELEASE: ‘Bones’ via Planet Metal
If you were wondering what had happened to some ex-members of Chicago based Celtic Frost worshippers Usurper then wonder no more as Bones features no less than three ex-members of that band! But Bones are not just a continuation of Usurper, they have a sound and identity all of their own but one which is clearly steeped in the influence of the Chicago metal scene of the past. I got the debut Bones album sent to me last year out of the blue and their raw energetic punked up metal of death instantly caught my attention as soon as the opening barrage of ‘March Of The Dead’ came out of my stereo speakers. Bones uphold the fine tradition of past Chicago bands such as Death Strike, Master, Funeral Nation, Devastation as well as throwing in some Celtic Frost influence for good measure. The band are due to record their 2nd album very soon (in June) once again with renowned producer Sanford Parker at the helm. I sent some questions to vocalist/bassist Jon Necromancer…
Hey Jon! Hows everything with yourself over there in Chicago? First of all a rather obvious question but I will get it out of the way with at the start - what exactly happened to Usurper and why did you break up when things had started to get much more high profile for you guys back then (being on Earache etc..).
Hi Kat! Thanks a million for this interview.
The break up of Usurper is a rather confusing thing, so I’ll try to leave out all the gory details to keep it interesting. There were a few major problems happening in the Usurper camp that led to our inevitable demise. The main one was probably the fact that we were an underground band trying to tread water on a “bigger” label like Earache. With Earache we were a roster band, and not a huge priority. When we signed with them their main acts were Morbid Angel, Hate Eternal and some other big ones. They also signed Deicide right after us, so that was who we were competing for attention with. To be fair, they pumped a bunch of money into our first album for them: Twilight Dominion. They made multi-page full color One Sheets, promoted the shit out of it, bought us on to tours with Manowar and Enslaved. All the stars should have been aligned but, to be honest in hindsight, I think we delivered an album that didn’t measure up to the push. We wrote an underground album, and paid a grammy winning producer to give us a slick and polished sound. Personally, I don’t think it worked even though at the time we thought it was a pretty kick ass idea. It didn’t sell for shit. That pretty much sealed our fate with Earache. Our next album, Cryptobeast, actually sounded much truer to the Usurper sound even though we used the same producer again, but the damage was done. We didn’t get the same push. We were even asked to headline the main stage of Inferno Fest in ‘06 by the festival organizers, but we couldn’t get the label to parlay the opportunity into more tours and fests. The label support was gone. We had our chance with our first Earache album and we blew it. We had almost written an entire 3rd album for Earache and were ready to start working out the particulars with them about booking studio time/producers/etc and they let us know that we were dropped. I’ve read that we were stuck in their contract in limbo for awhile, but that’s not true. They were happy to let us go and cost someone else money in their opinion. Some of those songs went on to be on the first Scythe album. Rick Scythe was the mastermind and songwriter behind Usurper so it made sense he took the songs. They’re good tunes.
From there we tried to get some interest happening with smaller underground labels. That wasn’t happening either. We were asking for 5 figure budgets from 2 figure budget operations! I think one of the final straws was we approached Blake Judd who was still operating his Battle Kommand label. Blake was kind of a Usurper fanboy at the time. We thought he was young and impressionable. We thought, here’s a perfect opportunity to push around a fanboy kid who has too much money on his hands and wanted to prove to the world that he was the “real deal”. He was totally into signing Usurper, but he couldn’t afford to pay us what our drug adled minds thought was the going rate. We were asking for around $10,000 and he was thinking more of $4,000 for one album. No dice.
We also had some lineup issues. Our original singer had quit in ‘03. It was the right thing for him to do, because he wasn’t into it anymore, but it’s hard for a band to recover from that. Especially when you consider that we had this whole “Celtic Frost Worship” thing happening, and a lot of that was because his vokills sounded a lot like Tom Warrior’s. We replaced him with a guy who was a “better” singer, technically, and had a broader range and everything, but personalities clashed and things didn’t work out after a few years. In the end it was Rick Scythe and myself splitting the vokill duties, which actually helped us out more to prepare for the Bones and Scythe bands later on than it did for Usurper.
The icing on the cake was that we were all totally fucked up all the time. I mean TOTALLY fucked up, ALL of the time. With the exception of Chris, the cocaine was a real big part of what we were about. I remember coming to practice once and no one had any blow. None of us wanted to practice. We just went home and called our dealers. For us, that’s disgusting. We practiced 3 days a week religiously, no excuses, from ‘93 to ‘07. Plus we drank, smoked, tripped, ‘shroomed, ate speed, whatever. We were fried and not using any judgement. The final straw was we were all strung out at practice one night in the spring of ‘07. We were discussing some issues with a European tour we were going to do with Nocturnal Breed a few months in the future. Joe the drummer and Rick the guitar player started arguing. Rick just turned his amp off, grabbed his guitar and left. That was kind of weird because we had all been friends for so long, and we fought like brothers all the time. It wasn’t unusual for someone to fight with someone and then let it go the next day. I didn’t talk to the guys for a few months after that, and I read online that Rick had broken up the band. It was weird to find out on Blabbermouth, but it was no big deal really. It felt over.
How soon did Bones come into existence after Usurper had split up?
About 2 years after. We all went our separate ways, and to be honest I didn’t talk to the other guys that much. Joe and I tried jamming immediately after Usurper split, but it sounded half assed. He went on to jam in a progressive metal band. You know, all “talented” and shit. Joe’s a phenomenal drummer, and it made sense for him. Carcass Chris kind of laid low for awhile. He got offers to play in several bands around here, but none of them fit what he wanted to do for one reason or another. Rick had a band called Nightshade. A horror-rock thing. They were really good and original. I joined a local black metal band called Kommandant. I had played on their demo in ‘05 and I just slid back into their lineup in the fall of ‘07. Right around then I also started playing in Nachtmystium. They needed someone to play bass on their touring cycle for the Assassins album, and Blake gave me the call. It was a good time for awhile. But I was getting bored. Usurper was a machine when it came to everyone’s responsibilities in the band. The other bands weren’t, so I would start being critical to these guys about what I thought should or shouldn’t be done. I was told, by both bands, that they weren’t really interested in my opinion. That if I wanted to do things my way that I should start my own band. They weren’t uncool about it, but they made it clear what they expected my role to be in their band. So, I called Joe and we started jamming. I had 4 songs that I had pretty much written with Joe in mind to play drums on. That was the foundation. Then Carcass Chris joined a few months later and we haven’t looked back since the end of ‘09. Somewhere in there I quit Kommandant and was fired from Nachtmystium.
Please tell us about the current line up of Bones and who does what - also the band is made up of all EX USURPER members...was that intentional or did it just work out that way?! Are you still in touch with the other ex members?
Yes, we are all ex-Usurper guys, but that wasn’t the intention in the beginning. At first I mainly wanted to jam with Joe and I was going to play guitar. I used to play guitar before I joined Usurper in ‘95, so I thought it would be fun to go back to swinging the axe and let someone else play bass and sing. Joe and I totally vibe musically, and personally. We’re like demented brothers. It’s weird. So at first that was the thing, and we were looking for a bass player. I just remembered this: the original bass player was going to be Blake Judd. I was still in Nachtmystium back then and I brought it up to Joe. Blake was cool with it because he wanted to be in someone else’s band and not have to make any decisions like he does in Nachtmystium. What’ the best way to audition someone? Get a pile of blow, a cheap case of beer and an even cheaper bottle of bourbon. I think after that night we all knew that Blake being in Bones was not going to happen. Just a different vibe. At some point Carcass came to hang out with me and Joe when we were jamming one night. We hadn’t really hung out since the old Usurper days, and it was really refreshing to hang out with him. Chris is fucking nuts, but he’s a totally solid dude. One of the best friends anyone could ask for, really. At first I didn’t want to play with him because: A) we wanted Bones to be a 3 piece and I wanted to play guitar, and 2) I thought it would be cheesy to have all ex Usurper members in the same band. We wanted some distance. I’m proud of the 13 years we invested in Usurper, but I didn’t want the new project to be constantly compared to Usurper. In my mind, if only 2 of us were from Usurper it would be different somehow, which is really retarded thinking now that I think of it. But at the end of the day it made sense to jam with Carc. Carcass Chris is hands down the best guitar player in Chicago, and there are a lot of them here. He’s a solid guy, to the fucking core. Great songwriter too. We’ve all known each other since the 80s, so that counts for a lot. “Outsiders” jamming with us isn’t really appealing. The 3 of us have known each other for so long that we all know what we’re in for with each other, even if we do constantly fuck with each other and argue like family.
We’re still in contact with some of the old Usurper guys. The original singer, General Diabolical Slaughter came to a practice last summer when our old friend Jon “Metalion” Kristianson was in Chicago for the release of his book that my wife, Tara G. Warrior co-wrote and edited, The Slayer Diaries. Jon came out to a Bones practice and we asked The General to come out too. Usurper got it’s start because General did so much fucking mail back in those days that it was sick. Most of you young kids reading this online have no idea what it’s like to do a garbage bag full of smail mail a month. The General does. It takes a lot more time than me typing out this interview, that’s for sure. Metalion signed Usurper to our first record contract and always supported us thru the years, and it’s all because The General reached out to him. These guys had written HANDWRITTEN letters to each other for YEARS but never met face to face. So, General came out when Metalion came to practice and we played an old Usurper song for him with The General on vokills, which is the only time Bones has played a Usurper song, and ever will. Honestly, it sounded totally amazing. We still talk from time to time, and hang out but not as often as we should. I still see our old drummer Dave “Hellstorm” Chiarella from time to time. He was in the band from ‘97 to ‘03. He was also in Funeral Nation and Funeral Bitch back in the 80s. Great dude and he still plays drums. I haven’t seen Rick Scythe much over the years. Nothing personal, but our paths don’t cross often. Rick and I were the only 2 members to play on every Usurper album and play every show and every tour together. We really drove that horse into the ground. I have no ill will towards him at all, and the new Scythe album is Kick Ass. I’d like to think the feeling is mutual, but there’s a lot of history there. When we see each other it’s cordial and respectful, but we’re not the close brothers we once were. But, life is strange. Maybe we’ll patch it up one day.
Your debut Bones album is a fine hefty slab of METAL in the fine tradition of Ilinois bands such as Death Strike, Funeral Nation, Devastation, old Master etc...was that the intention to follow more in the style of those bands with Bones? I can still hear some obvious Frost influences but it is the old Chicago metal of death bands that I am reminded of most, Please tell the readers a little about the debut album in your own words.
We really didn’t have any intentions when it came to writing the first album as far as a certain “sound” was concerned. We were just feeling each other out and vibing on writing together. Some of the original versions of the songs totally changed when the whole band got our dirty hands on them. There is a certain intensity that happens when the 3 of us start making “music”. Its like electricity is in the air and you can almost smell the ozone. I think the biggest similarity to the older Chicago bands you mentioned is that it is really raw and aggressive sounding. We didn’t want to over rehearse or over produce ourselves at all. The idea was to record as live and raw as possible. I hear where you’re coming from with the comparisons, I suppose, but that wasn’t the idea. For starters, what those older guys were doing was so much more original than Bones, especially considering the time that they were writing those killer tunes. But we just did what was natural at the time and we tried to capture the sound by recording the drums, guitars and bass live. We did record the vocals separately , but we didn’t double any instruments at all. What you hear is what you get. I think part of that rough sound a lot of the Chicago bands has, and has had over the years, is a result of the city itself. Chicago is a working town with working class people. There’s a strong work ethic here. If you’re not willing to put your nose to the grindstone and use your back to get things done, whether musically or professionally (because the two never seem to happen at the same time here), you’re going to get swallowed up. This isn’t a cosmopolitan city like Los Angeles or New York. There’s no music industry based here. This isn’t a “guestlist” town. You pay for your tickets here. I think that kind of mentality translates to the music that comes from here.
I hear much more raw aggressive punkiness in Bones music..would you agree? Is punk an influence when writing material for this band? I have read your music described as "Death Metal Punk" do you think that is quite accurate?
I have to confess. I didn’t really start getting into punk until around 2000. Before that for me everything was about metal, constantly. I did like some crossover bands back in the 80s like DRI and Excel, and we’re into The Meatmen, but that’s about it. I would hear punk music and it just didn’t register with me at all. Carc has been listening to punk/hardcore since his younger years: Misfits, Circle Jerks, The Exploited, etc. I loved the look and the scene energy though. Totally intense and it seemed like the punk scene didn’t have the “poser” element to it that metal did. At least, not to an outsider like me back in the 80s. Then Green Day and all that shit came around in the 90s and all that was out the window. But right around the turn of the century I started exposing myself to 70s era New York punk and I thought it was completely unbelievable! It was like an awakening. The Heartbreaker’s “L.A.M.F.” is one of the most brilliant Rock & Roll records of all time. Bands like Dead Boys have such a brilliant way of building suspense in a song, and Stiv Bators is like the punk version of Bon Scott. But I’m a total new school poser. No punk cred, WHATSOEVER. I’m getting in to hardcore now too, which I’ve been mostly unfamiliar with until about the last 5-8 years or so. It’s really killer to dig into and learn new shit at an “older” age!
Metal is where our hearts are at. It’s not a way of life for us; it IS life. If there isn’t a guitar or bass in my hands for a couple of days I get really antsy. A “regular” life with no playing is never going to happen for me, or the other guys in Bones. Simply never going to happen. There’s no “retirement”; just forging on until we’re dead. Part of that “Death Metal Punk” thing is the DIY way we feel about things now. Usurper was about “big” ideas. Big budgets when we could, big producers, big sound, big tours when we could, big bragging rights, and all that crap. With Bones we all agreed from the outset that we have no desire to go down any road like that again. We like to work with local label Planet Metal, who did our first album and is doing the next, local artists, studios, producers, everything. We’d prefer to pay for everything with no label advances or anything like that. Then we own it, and don’t owe anyone a fucking nickel. Not that we’ve had any “big” offers or anything, but that world is for kids with big dreams. Let ‘em have it. In the end they’ll either be gone and forgotten about, or doing what we’re doing: making real music from the heart with people that are into music more than selling “units”.
What has the overall response been like to the album since it's release? And also what has the response been like from die hard Usurper fans? How can people get hold of the album?
The response has been small but pretty killer! We’re not reinventing the wheel here. We’re a bunch of old dudes who know what good fucking metal should sound like, and we also have the experience to deliver it. Not a lot to it, really. The fuckers that get it are totally into it. For a lot of the younger generations it will probably go over their heads. If you’re into this new hipster style of black metal or this lame happy thrash resurgence, and all that crap, you should keep listening to your shitty burned mp3s. If you’re into raw, no bullshit, loud as fuck, obviously drunk, harsh and real deal heaviness and abrasiveness, then consider getting in touch with us or our label, Planet Metal, online and we’ll get you something worth listening to.
As for what the old die hard Usurper fans are thinking, the few I’ve talked to are pretty into it. Attitude wise I suppose it’s not a huge departure even if the music is a little more straight forward.
Where did you record the album at? It has a great sound to it...raw and powerful and also crushing in heaviness!
Thanks! We recorded it at Electric Audio here in Chicago. We used it because the drum room is 2 stories tall and all concrete block. The reverb in there is incredible. Sanford Parker engineered/co-produced it with us. When I was in Nachtmystium we recorded an ep there with Sanford, and when the Bones songs were coming together I kinda knew that was the place and the guy to use. Joe used to play triggered drums for years. For Bones, he wanted to strip that down and play acoustic only. The last few Usurper albums were triggered, quantized perfectly and played to a click track. Bones has a much more organic feel and rawness to it than later Usurper did. Playing it to a click and quantizing triggered drums would ruin the whole vibe. Electric has that killer live room, and we knew acoustic drums in there would sound way better than anything triggered. We didn’t really have much money, so we knew we had to record everything pretty quickly. The luxury of 20 days in the studio was not something that was going to happen for us! That a lot of where Sanford came in. We needed a guy who could set up quickly and capture good tones right away so we didn’t waste a whole day setting up mics, and expedite the process. Sanford was just what the doctor ordered. We tracked the album in 3 daze, and mixed in a 4th. We actually had another day booked but we didn’t need it so we didn’t use it. Nothing is double tracked. The only effects we used were on Chris’s pedal board and some reverb on the vocals. Very straightforward.
Personally, I’m bored to death with all these newer bands that over-rehearse and spend thousands of dollars and a month in the studio. All that studio time ruins records. Everything comes out perfect. TOO PERFECT. What you’re left with is everything being compressed to hell and every little detailed and minute flaw, stray piece of feedback, or slightly out of tune note is “corrected”. Heavy metal is suppose to be “extreme”. There’s nothing “extreme” about paying a studio team to correct all your imperfections. That’s not “true”. It’s not real! The music we love is raw, no matter what genre it’s from. It’s real and played by real people who maybe didn’t play every take perfectly, or maybe they had a little too much to drink and they left the vibe in. My facts could be wrong, but I think I heard that Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” album was recorded in like 2 or 3 days. Not the song, the whole ALBUM. If they added 20 days to the recording time they would have ruined that record.
I absolutely LOVE your logo who designed it? Great design concept! PURE DEATH!!
Yeah, it came out pretty killer. That was all XNA Casperson. She’s a good friend of ours from Chicago, and a killer artist. It took the band forever to come up with a name. We had the studio booked for the album and we still didn’t have a band name yet. Coming up with band names SUCKS! All the good shit is taken, and it’s nearly impossible to be totally original. I think Venom may be the best band name ever, so everything else is like 2nd place! But, we wanted a 1 word name. Its easier to remember and it’s just classic. Nowadays bands have like a sentence or a paragraph for their band name. In one regard I get it: its hard to find a one word name that’s still available. It’s easier to find a sentence that hasn’t been used. Or maybe all numbers. We were messing with that idea too, but it didn’t work for us. So, after many months of terrible (and hilarious) ideas and arguments we settled on Bones. We knew we wanted XNA to do the logo and she had been waiting for us to get our shit together. We told her the name, and she asked for some direction to make the logo. Direction? We told her, “welllllllll, maybe make it out of bones or something”. Geniuses, right?!? The first version she came back with was priceless. It looked like it said “Boner” and there was a letter that actually looked like it had a ball-sack on it! What a ball buster! But the 2nd time around she nailed it. I think she did an amazing job. It’s Metal as fuck.
The artwork is also great..totally fucking MORBID! Please tell us who designed that?
That was another local collaboration between Putrid and XNA. They have that sick, detailed, yet somehow simple style that we were looking for. We think that kind of art is exactly what fits with our music. We had them over to our rehearsal room. I think we were originally going to get them super stoned and then rehearse for them to give them an idea of what the band sounded like to get a vibe. I don’t know if we were too fucked up that day or something, but we just ended up drinking beers and smoking weed and I think we sent them home with a burned copy of the album before it was mixed to get an idea. We thought some kind of graveyard scene would be cool, and we wanted it to be desiged “doublewide”, like a vinyl gatefold. We would use one panel for the cover, and the whole thing would open up on the inside. Kind of like Autopsy’s “Acts of the Unspeakable” album cover, but black and white. They just took it from there. They asked for direction a few times, but we just told them to do their own thing. We can barely play our instruments. There’s no way we can help with artwork and stuff. Our brains don’t operate that way, but fortunately theirs do. One suggestion we made right at the end was to add a Chicago flag in there. The whole album has such a Chicago vibe. Everyone involved is local: label, studio, producer, artists, mastering...everything. It just seemed appropriate. But, they did a killer job. When those two are getting along they make excellent collaborators. It was an honor to have them do it.
Are Bones an active live band? Have you mostly or just played in your local area so far or have you managed to get some out of state shows under your belts so far? Any chances of coming to Europe for a tour? What can people expect from a Bones live show? What bands have you shared bills with so far?
We’ve only played 5 shows to date and all have been in Chicago. In general, especially locally, we’re not really interested in playing out every weekend. First of all, we’re old and our rehearsal room is on the 3rd floor of an abandoned factory. It’s a drag to move our gear up and down all those stairs We do have a brilliant group of roadies though. Old friends, who are some of the weirdest fuckers you’ll ever meet. It’s a combo of bikers, registered sex offenders, junkies, you name it. We were going to print up “crew” shirts for them, but it would be a waste of money. Everyone instictively knows they’re with us. And second, its boring to watch the same band play constantly. It’s better to play select shows that are more special with cool bands that are unique. After the next album comes out we’ll start playing some more regional type shows in the surrounding states and hopefully some fests. We’d KILL to get overseas, but we’ll see if we ever get any kind of offers. We’re pretty underground, so we’re not exactly waiting with baited breath. Live we sound exactly like the album (or maybe its the other way around). Lots of headbanging, pounding beers, moshing, etc. Fucking metal to the bone! Some of the bands we’ve played with are: Autopsy, Nunslaughter, Macabre, Acid Witch, Cianide (x2), Cardiac Arrest (x2), Johnny Vomit, Absconder, Sauron, Wastelander, Kommandant, Reign Inferno (x2) and a few others.
What is your local scene like both bandwise and venue wise? Any bands from your local scene that you would care to recommend to European metalheads and metalheads in general?
I have to say that the Chicago scene is pretty killer all things considered. There’s a pretty wide variety of bands from old school bashers, crusty death metal, grind, technical type stuff, to younger “hipster black metal” bands. I guess there’s something here for everyone. I’ve noticed it playing shows in other cities over the years. Chicago is just a solid metal town. Lots of bands and even more passionate metal heads. I think a lot of it has to do with that working class attitude I mentioned earlier. There are too many bands to get into a list here, and there are a good amount of venues to play in. Venues of all sizes put on shows. I think another big reason why the scene here is as into it as they are is because we get a lot of really underground shows here that not everyone else gets. There are these 2 promoters (basically huge metal fans), Victor Torres and Stan Kosen, who bring bands here for small underground shows and maybe they do a mini tour too to try to get enough cash to cover expenses. Mortem from Peru has played here a bunch of times. They’ve brought out Sadistic Intent, Nifelheim, Destroyer 666, Sabbat, Inquisition, Nunslaughter, Infernal Conjuration and a million more. I think it does local bands a service to watch small, underground shows with bands that are totally the real deal, delivering the goods and you know that no one else is really going to be able to see them. It’s like a lesson in a weird way. I think its fair to say that a lot of Chicago bands have been influenced by these shows whether they realize it or not.
The Midwest area of the US has a lot of great bands, not just Chicago. Indianapolis has Gates of Slumber, Radiation Sickness is back doing shows, Apostles of Solitude, Coffinworm, etc. The Detroit and the Lansing area have Nocturnal Feer, Acid Witch, Sauron, Shitfucker, Wastelander, THE MEATMEN and about 10 more that I’m too stoned to remember right now. Around these parts, metal is definitely alive and well.
What bands inspire, influence and shape the sound of Bones, have your overall influences basically remained the same since the Usurper days? What are the differences between the music of both bands in your opinion?
I think in general we’re still influenced by the same sick bastards that influenced us back in the old days. Its hard to find new bands that are as influential as bands like: Sodom, Venom, Mercyful Fate, Van Halen, old Slayer, old Scorpions, The Who, etc. Or maybe its more individual players as opposed to bands that have influenced us the most. Guys like: Bill Ward, John Bonham, Neil Peart, Eddie Van Halen, Dave Murray, Carlos Cavazo, Cliff Burton, John Entwistle, Lemmy, etc that left the deepest scars on us individually. Musically, Bones is different than Usurper mainly in approach. I think Bones is more of a high energy/intensity type of thing. With Usurper, Rick Scythe wrote everything, so it had it’s own stamp and sound that was very identifiable. In Bones we all contribute so there are different tangents and influences on the music. In the end I think Bones sounds more manic, for the better or the worse.
Do you have much new material written? What will the next release be, another album or...? What can we expect from the new Bones material?
Right now we have 10 songs in various stages of completion. 2 more and we’ll book studio time. We’ll probably put 10 songs on the next album and have 2 songs left over to use for a 7” or something later on. The new Bones shit is shaping up to be like an exaggerated version of the first album. The fast stuff is faster, heavier stuff heavier, rock stuff more hard rockin’, and the punkish influence is right up front too.
Vocally who inspires you...apart from the obvious Tom G Warrior grunts hehe.... which musicians inspired you to want to pick up an instrument and form bands such as Usurper and Bones?!. Were you a vocalist by default (i.e. becuase no band in the band could or would do vocals!!?) or had you always wanted to do vocals aswell as play an instrument?
Yeah, I think I’m the vocalist by default. I was hoping someone else was going to come along who could do it, but a lot of “singers” have a “singer” mentality and attitude. That’s not something any of us really want to deal with in Bones. A “real singer” would probably do a much better job than me, but it’s scummy death metal: it doesn’t take a lot of talent to scream into a microphone. If you can breathe, speak a language, and don’t have stage fright you can do it. And, with practice, anyone can get used to playing an instrument and singing at the same time. You just have to work at it. So it’s easier this way staying as a 3 piece. Less arguing and drama. And Carcass is picking up some of the slack I leave behind and singing a couple tunes on the new album, so that’s cool. As for vokill inspirations, I would have to say the other guys in the band. I don’t want to deliver something sub-par and let my buddies down, so I just try to fit in with the song, same as I do with bass. Whatever is required is whatever I’ll try to do. It’s hard to say who inspired us to pick up our instruments. I think it’s more like we are infected with the same disease. Something unknown made us sick, and these are our symptoms. Carc and I weren’t involved in forming Usurper, but Joe Warlord is one of the founding members from back in ‘93. The rest of us didn’t join until later. I joined in ‘95, and Chris in ‘00.
Future plans for 2013?
We’ll be finishing writing the new album and hopefully recording by March/April of ‘13. After that we want to play a show or 2 here in Chicago and also finally play some regional shows in Detroit, Indianapolis, etc. Who knows, maybe we’ll play Trillion’s in Newcastle? ( I sure hope so! - K. )
Are any of you guys involved in any other bands? Or is it just Bones for all 3 of you right now?
Joe and I are in some projects. Joe still plays with the technical guys he jammed with after Usurper broke up. They’re super good, but they only play to make music. They don’t have a name or play any shows. Joe also plays in a weird heavy, proggy kind of band called “Tsunami”. They rehearse in our practice room and I’m pretty sure they’re going to record something soon. I play in a side project called “Doomsday”. It’s all ex Nachtmystium members who were either fired or who quit over the years. We’re all still close and it’s great to still write and play original tunes together. We have an ep that’s out on Disorder Records. But for all of us, Bones is our main thing. That’s what feels natural.
Describe BONES in 5 words ONLY!
Sloppy, Sleazy, Shitty, Loud, Unpolished
What is your opinion on the current state of the US Metal scene? Any fellow American bands that are currently active that you feel an affinity with?
There are a few, but not many. Mainly because we don’t keep up with the “scene” like we did in the 90s. But we still have old friends. Nocturnal Fear from Detroit are old friends of ours who sound better now than they ever have, which is fucking saying something. They’ve been playing out recently too, which is good for everyone who worships Sodom influenced death metal. This band deserves to be heard! Gates of Slumber kicks fucking ass. So do Midnight. Acid Witch. High Spirits. A bunch more I’m too stoned to remember right now.
Many thanks for answering this short interview Jon! Now is the time to plug websites, merch etc..you know the drill!! Hails!
Thanks a million, Kat! These were the best questions we’ve gotten in a long time. Cheers! Check out our facebook page “www.facebook.com/pages/Bones-Chicago”. Anyone can feel free to get in touch with us through there for cds, tshirts, etc. You can also pick up swag from our label: Planet Metal at “www.facebook.com/planetmetal”. Or you can download the album from iTunes. Search for “Bones March of the Dead”. Hails!