Reformed speedcore pioneers CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER have officially changed their name to BELOW following the departure of vocalist Bill Treadway (formerly Bill Crooks).
"Initially, we were planning on reforming the band with three of the four original members including myself, [bassist] Rob [Nicholson], and Bill," guitarist Les Evans told Belgium's Pull The Chain. "Brian Lehfeldt (WEHRMACHT) was enlisted to play drums before I had ever even talked to the other guys about doing a reunion. As it turned out, Bill decided that he was not really up for it after all and it just wasn't something that he could fit into his present life. So, with Bill gone I didn't really think we could call the band CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER, although we did still want to pursue it in some form. Rob, who had been playing bass for ROB ZOMBIE's band, suddenly found himself out of a job when Zombie called it quits. So he's working now with Page Hamilton (HELMET). As you can see, things change fast in the music biz. Pressing on, Brian and I decided to get the craziest guy we knew to do vocals, Chris Merrow (VILLAGE IDIOT) and we are working on material now. The song posted on the [CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER] website 'Cataract' (mp3) is Brian on drums, Chris on vox, and myself on guitar and bass. Obviously, the bass player slot is still open, and I'd love to have Rob involved, but with his new gig and the fact that he lives a thousand miles away will make it difficult.
"The reason we changed the name is that it really is a new band and we don't want to mislead people. CRYPTIC still has a real core following that dates all the way back to the mid 80's and those fans identify CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER as being Rob, Bill, Scott, and Les, PERIOD. And I love that people are that hardcore and dedicated.
"What people have to understand about the new line-up is that I've known these guys forever. CRYPTIC and WEHRMACHT played together for the first time in 1986, two weeks before 'Convicted' was released and there was a real bond between the two bands (as well as a friendly competition that pushed us to try and outdo one another). In addition to being a great friend, Brian was always one of our biggest fans and one of the most brilliant drummers I've ever seen. Chris Merrow was also part of the scene back in the 80's. He did a great fanzine that was far more entertaining and intuitive than most. In 1989, he moved to Portland about six months after I did, and started making music shortly afterwards.
"What we're going after now is that same energy and vibe from the early days. Don't expect it to sound exactly like [1987's] 'Money Talks' because it won't. But we want to recapture that same feeling of urgency and intensity. What I can promise you is that it will be fast, brutal, and angry. And when we're ready to play live, we will definitely bust out some early CRYPTIC songs. Without a doubt." Read more.