DEICIDE Frontman: Norwegian Black Metal Is 'Just Power Metal Bands With Makeup'

Malcolm Dome of the U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine (web site) recently conducted an interview with DEICIDE's Glen Benton (vocals, bass) and Steve Asheim (drums). A few excerpts from the chat follow:

On the difference between Benton being ridiculed for burning an inverted cross into his forehead and Richey Ewards of the MANIC STREET PREACHERS carving the words "4 Real" into his arm and being hailed as an anti-social icon:

Benton: "I'm used to that sort of attitude. But anyone who believes I'd do such a thing purely for shock value is deluding themselves. It was an act of faith, because it's for life, and cost us possible deals with a lot of companies. Can you see me as the poster boy for Wal-Mart?

"You want gimmicks? Look at the Norwegian black metal scene. Just power metal bands with makeup."

On the band's new lineup:

Benton: We've got Jack Owen [ex-CANNIBAL CORPSE] and Ralph Santolla [ex-ICED EARTH, DEATH] now and they're just amazing! Originally, it was just Jack and Dave Suzuki. But then Dave had to leave because of his commitments to his other band, VITAL REMAINS. And it was Jack who suggested we get in Ralph — they'd never played together, but had known each other for years. Ralph is actually a bit like family anyway. You know, every time the Hoffmans [former guitarists Eric and Brian] had to come up with a lead part for a song, they'd go off and see him! He'd come up with something, teach Brian and Eric, who'd then mimic it — very badly. So having Ralph in the band means we can get those songs played properly."

Asheim: "It's actually given Glen and me a real kick. The Hoffmans were so poor that there was never anything stretching the two of us. Now we've got two hot guitarists, so it's forced us to up our game. And the new album, 'The Stench of Redemption', was a joy to record — everything seemed so spontaneous. We've even got smiles on our daces!"

Benton: "Not having to try and write lyrics for music that the Hoffmans had come up with is such a relief. You've no idea how depressing that could be — trying to weave gold from straw. I have to be honest and admit that, before they quit, I was on the verge of leaving. Things were dreadful in the band. How can you work with two people who were so hellbent on destroying what we'd built up? But I knew that they'd lost the fight when Steve turned against them. The pair used to cry on his shoulder. As soon as he stopped sympathizing — it was over for them."

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