After a nearly 12-year hiatus from the metal underground, Stevo (IMPETIGO) has announced the formation of his newest project, CONVULSIONS.
What can you expect from this outfit? Think of the big three… MASTER, AUTOPSY, and REPULSION…sprinkle in some MANTAS, MASSACRE, SLAUGHTER, MACABRE, and CELTIC FROST, and you've got a pretty good idea. The band aspires to write and perform musick that honors these giants (very much in the same way that IMPETIGO did). If you are hoping to hear "original' or "innovative" material, consider your hopes dashed.
In the words of Stevo himself, "There is [not], nor should there be, anything 'original' in musick that maintains respect for the true underground. It was a special time in history, a time where my black heart still dwells. As in IMPETIGO, our mission is tribute and homage; by incorporating specific and mandatory elements of these bands we hope to offer a new interpretation in arrangement and presentation only, NOT in style or execution! You won't hear 'carbon copies' of this klassic stuff, what you will hear is a group of honest individuals continuing to carry this torch beyond the era in which these magnificent sounds flourished. Why try to reinvent the wheel? These bands changed my life, and to this day all paths lead to them, ultimately. If it isn't broke, don't fix it. We are not the first combo to espouse this philosophy, and we certainly won't be the last. I strongly feel that it is important to continue the tradition of homage that inspired my work in IMPETIGO; more so now than ever before, with the saturation of 'nu-metal' and other hybrid forms of what I would rather call 'alternative' music in the market. The market is UNIMPORTANT to us, what is important is the TRUE UNDERGROUND. Saying that, what we play is, essentially, TRUE DEATH METAL, in its purest form…no noodling, no complexity, no special effects, no riff-cramming. 200% raw, pure, and vicious DEATH METAL."
Lyrically, one can expect the same type of tongue-in-cheek, manic prose that Stevo exercised successfully in IMPETIGO…more klassic horror and true crime-inspired anecdotes of violence, brutality, and other kreepy goings-on.
The evolution of the band is simple, yet unusual. It's known by some that in the mid-'80s, prior to meeting Mark and eventually forming IMPETIGO, Stevo had attempted to form a "death metal" band called CONVULSIONS. Where this attempt failed, IMPETIGO was the subsequent result; a much different band altogether. Many years later, after the breakup of IMPETIGO and during his tenure in INSOMNIA, Stevo tried to manifest the concept of a "no-bullshit-bare-bones" death/grind outfit known as ZOMBIE with Neil Hardesty (guitarist of INSOMNIA) and former MASTERFISTER drummer Chad Merrit. Due to Stevo's busy schedule upon returning to college and preparing to start a family, ZOMBIE never came to light other than a handful of never-finished songs.
Fast forward to the late summer 2006…Stevo began to contemplate "resurrecting" some unheard, unfinished material from both IMPETIGO and ZOMBIE for a new project. Just a pipe dream at first, he found a great deal of support and some fresh ideas from Billy Nocera of Razorback Records. While the name ZOMBIE had been used by another band since the inception of the original ZOMBIE by Stevo back in 1994, the band name CONVULSIONS popped up in conversation between the two, and after over 20 years it stuck. While Stevo was convinced that he could handle the vocals, bass, and guitar chores for this studio-only project, he was less than convinced he would be capable of performing the drums. Billy suggested Maniac Neil (FRIGHTMARE, LORD GORE, BLOOD FREAK), whom Stevo refers to as "the most talented individual in the underground." Neil accepted the invitation to participate, and things started rolling from that point. Besides Neil's well-known musical prowess, Neil also possesses the talent and know-how to provide crucial assistance in utilizing today's technology to "wrap up the loose ends" involved in the proper recording and mastering of the material written and performed by a band whose members are separated by thousands of miles. Stevo developed a list of potential songs (titles and concepts), some of which were partially developed, and began writing the material.
Enter Greg Mattingly!! Stevo and Greg have been solid pals since the tape trading/pen pal days of the mid-to-late-'80s, when Greg was in FORSAKEN (U.S.), then NOTHING and SON OF DOG. When Stevo relocated his family to Louisville in the late '90s, the two touched base on a couple of occasions but due to restrictions in their personal lives, we never able to nail down work on a project together. When Greg contacted Stevo again in the fall of 2006, it became apparent that the time was right, and that Greg should take his rightful place in CONVULSIONS. Stevo and Greg share many of the same interests, including but not limited to their unwavering support and dedication of the TRUE UNDERGROUND…
The band is wrapping up preliminary material for a 2-3 track promo demo in early 2007, followed by a legitimate full-length release on Razorback Records.
Stevo do Caixao: verbal torture, six strings of sadism
greGORY Mattingly: hellish crossfire on noodle packages
Maniac Neil: terminal skinslaughter