Masterful Magazine recently conducted an interview with former DEATH/MASSACRE and current DENIAL FIEND vocalist Kam Lee. A few excerpts from the question-and-answer session follow:
Masterful Magazine: What have you been up to since the split of MASSACRE? I read in an old interview that you are a comic book artist — is there any truth in that?
Kam: In 1996 through 1997 I relocated to Arizona to pursue a comic book artist job... but the comic book business is harder to break into than the music business. So, I gave it up after two years of not securing work.
Masterful Magazine: Could you please give us a brief biographical background on DENIAL FIEND?
Kam: DENIAL FIEND is a horror/death metal... with members of DEATH, MASSACRE, SIX FEET UNDER, NASTY SAVAGE, and DOWN BY LAW. It's me, Terry Butler, Curtis Beeson, and Sam Williams. We came together when I was approached to work on a project called SHADOWS WITH KNIVES back in 2005. Sam Williams of DOWN BY LAW put together this band with the drummer TJ from his other band TRACK THE CURSE, Terry Butler from SIX FEET UNDER, and vocalist Mark Odechuck from old-school grind band PAINEATER. SHADOWS WITH KNIVES is like old-school British wave of heavy metal sound. To me, it's like the CATHEDRAL sound... very heavy '60s-'70s heavy metal-influenced. We discussed the possibility of doing a full-time band... and conceived the idea of DENIAL FIEND. I want to incorporate different styles into this.... not just straight death metal. I am a huge horror punk and psychobilly fan! I like bands like the MISFITS, SAMHAIN, BALZAC, THE OTHER, NEKROMANTIX, ASMODEUS, DEMENTED ARE GO, MAD SIN, REZUREX, HORRORPOPS, AMERICAN WEREWOLVES, DIE MONSTER DIE, THE SPOOK, THE UNDEAD, and many others. I wanted to incorporate a different style and sound into death metal... not to change it, but to add something to it that has never been done before. Bringing an influence outside of the typical normal metal genre.
Masterful Magazine: The lyrics are revolving around themes of horror/gore/zombie movies of the '50s, '60s, '70s and '80s. Were you tired of writing the surreal and apocalyptic visions you did with MASSACRE back in the day?
Kam: MASSACRE's lyrics on "From Beyond" come straight out of gothic-horror writer H.P. Lovecraft's fiction and stuff from the fictional "Necronomicon". I only intended for material on "From Beyond" to come from this form. If MASSACRE would have gone in the direction that I had intended... then I feel, lyrically, it would have gone in a very close direction as the lyrics I write now... I have always liked to write in the horror vein — back in 1983-1985 while in MANTAS/DEATH most songtitles and lyrics I wrote were more in the horror style... songs like "Evil Dead", "Legion Of Doom", "Slaughterhouse", "Summoned To Die", "Witch Of Hell", "Zombie"... all indirectly and loosely based on horror films. This time with DENIAL FIEND... I base my lyrics directly from old-school horror B-movies!
Masterful Magazine: You recently signed to Ibex Moon Records, the label by John McEntee of INCANTATION. Were there any substantial offers made by other labels? What prompted you to sign with Ibex Moon?
Kam: A few labels showed interest... but we went with Ibex Moon because we felt John understood our direction and style, and was also a fan too.
Masterful Magazine: With a lineage in ancestral death metal bands as MASSACRE, DEATH and SIX FEET UNDER the expectations towards the band are understandably high. Do you feel any pressure whatsoever from the outside from press, the label and fans alike?
Kam: No... I'm not making a band for the media or the press... I'm not trying to please the masses of 'close-minded' fans... I'm making a band for the fan that will understand where we are coming from... for the fan that has both respect and is open minded enough to be able to accept innovative thinking. I don't want DENIAL FIEND to be just another "clone" band... I want us to have our own unique style and direction, as well as having our roots in the death metal genre and sound. John from Ibex Moon totally agrees and understands what we are trying to do with both our style and our image... he is behind us 100%... that is why we signed with him.
Masterful Magazine: Tell us a bit about the early Florida death metal scene and how it was that you first got involved with the scene. I understand you were writing a fanzine prior to joining any bands.
Kam: No... Not true... I was in the original MANTAS/DEATH lineup in 1983-1985. MASSACRE in 1985 through 1987. I didn't start Comatose fanzine till late 1989 at that time I reformed MASSACRE with Rick Rozz (after he left DEATH from "Leprosy" in 1988). The early scene... is pretty much the same as it is now. I think a lot of foreigners get the wrong impression of the scene. It's not like everyone sits around drinking with each other, hanging out, and playing shows together. As a matter of fact, everyone hates each other, everyone stabs each other in the back, and everyone shit talks everyone else. I removed myself from the local scene back in 1995... and I stay neutral... I have no problem with anyone, but still many bands hate each other, many bands do not talk to each other.
Read the entire interview at Masterful Magazine.