BRUTAL TRUTH Bassist: 'What Was Involved In Us Breaking Up Is Not A Factor Now'

Jackie Smit of Chronicles of Chaos recently conducted an interview with BRUTAL TRUTH bassist Danny Lilker. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

Chronicles of Chaos: Well, there's no other way to start this interview other than to ask what made you and the rest of the guys decide that it was time to resurrect BRUTAL TRUTH?

Dan Lilker: The way it all came about was oddly enough because of Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Katrina damaged a lot of property around Louisiana, including a couple of members of EYEHATEGOD who all lost their homes and their stuff got all fucked up. So those guys reached out to the scene, and if there was any way that they could put together a tribute record of bands doing EYEHATEGOD covers, they would basically be able to use the proceeds from that to get back on their feet. Just for the hell of it, they reached out to see whether there was any way that BRUTAL TRUTH would be on it, because having a band like us on who'd been broken up for a couple of years would be quite a strong selling point and help it get a lot of attention. I'd been in touch with Rich pretty much consistently since we'd broken up anyway, but to make a long story short, they managed to track down everybody in the band and we all said "sure," because we knew someone who had a laptop and some equipment we could use and so we could do it conveniently. So when we got together to rehearse the song — EYEHATEGOD are a great band, but they never wrote the hardest music to learn. We were in a room with all the original members, and some of us had travelled like three or four different cities to learn the song, so someone said: "Hey, let's see if we can still do some of the old stuff," and we messed around with some of that and found that we could. Then one thing just led to another. I should say that when we did our first show in Chicago, Darren (our guitar player) did participate in the EYEHATEGOD recording, but he won't be a part of anything else that we do, because he has a job and a family and it's a little more difficult for him to do this than the rest of us. He still got up there and did his best, but it's too hard for him to rip himself out of his current situation and do a bunch of touring. But as for the tribute — that came out really well, and I'm not sure when it's going to be released, but that will be something to look out for.

Chronicles of Chaos: At what point between getting together to do the tribute track and jamming the old material again did you decide that this could turn into something long-term again?

Dan Lilker: Well, like I said, when we got together to play the EYEHATEGOD song we did it here in Rochester, New York, and the reason that we all convened here was because there's good rehearsal space and a lot of our friends are here. But Rich had to drive 350 miles to get here, Darren had to travel the same distance — the fact that it was a bit of a road trip was part of it. Everyone had to go on quite a journey to get here. I mean, Kevin's even further away: he's in Chicago. But basically we were together rehearsing the song, and we got a smoke on to kind of settle us into things, and I can't remember who suggested we try out some of the old stuff — it must have been Rich. Basically, I think we all just wanted to make sure that the long treacherous trips were worth it, so we started playing some of the old songs.

Chronicles of Chaos: At that point you realised that the spark was still there?

Dan Lilker: Yeah, we figured that our pretty quickly. It took a little while for everyone to remember the parts to all the old stuff, but once that was knocked out of the way it was just a matter of dusting off the cobwebs off the performance.

Chronicles of Chaos: When you get round to doing the next BRUTAL TRUTH record then, would you use "Sounds of the Animal Kingdom" as your starting point?

Dan Lilker: I suppose that's fair to say. The riffs I've been coming up with have been in a similar vein, but if you talk about the philosophy toward the music and so on — I think that there are bands that have caught up to us in terms of speed and what-not, but we still have our own unique way of doing things. If anything, judging by the way we've been playing the old stuff, we've probably sped up a little. So we'll give our own style a kick in the ass for sure, but we've always had that thing where we rip off other bands affectionately, as many do, and make it our own. It'll definitely sound like BRUTAL TRUTH.

Chronicles of Chaos: As a band, are all the reasons why you broke up in the first place behind you now, and is this truly a different time and place for BRUTAL TRUTH?

Dan Lilker: Yes. What was involved in us breaking up in the first place is not a factor now. I can't say much more than that.

Read the entire interview at www.chroniclesofchaos.com.

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