[colored_box color=”yellow”]“We’ve been in the shadows all this time and now we’re back, we’re back from beyond…”[/colored_box]
A true death metal legend, part of Death, Massacre, Obituary (the last 4 years) and of course Six Feet Under. Terry Butler, bass player of all the above legends of the genre, gives the chance to Metalpaths.com to have a chat with him about issues concerning the new Massacre record “Back From Beyond”, Obituary, Six Feet Under and thoughts on the Death To All tour…
– John Savvidis
You can also listen to the audio format of the interview using the player below:
Good afternoon Terry! Massacre are finally back with a full length album after a series of split ups and reunions. It’s called “Back From Beyond” and it comes out later this month in Europe. The sample we got from 2012’s “Condemned To The Shadows” EP was just great! What are your thoughts on the record now that it’s done?
Oh we’re very happy with the record. It turned out really good, good production, really good guitar tones, the drums sound great. Tim Vazquez produced, mixed and engineered the album, and it was amazing, it came out really good. It’s very heavy and brutal.
This one and your previous release “Condemned To The Shadows” are the first ones not to feature your original frontman, Kam Lee. In his place you have Edwin Webb from Diabolic who seems to be doing a great job filling Kam’s shoes. What lead Kam to that decision and do you think it was better for Massacre that he did so?
Yes he was never considered to be part of Massacre’s reformation. Because he’s talked a lot of bad things about past years, talked bad things about Massacre. So it’s best for him not being involved, he’s kind of a toxic person to deal with. So we thought Edwin sang amazing live, was super strong and powerful, found Webb so we forged on without Kam.
Have Edwin Webb (vocals) and Mike Mazzoneto (drums) brought new ideas to the table while making “Back From Beyond”?
Absolutely. Ed’s the bass player/singer, he wrote all the lyrics, Mike came up with some rhythms, you know they immediately started helping with the writing process. They know it themselves. Mike’s playing in Pain Principle, they’ve been around for many years, they’ve done a lot of touring, so Mike and Webb, they’re used to it they know what it takes, you know what I mean. They immediately started helping us.
“Back From Beyond”: The first time I read about it, I thought of it as a continuation of the ultimate classic “From Beyond” (1991). Is the connection with your glory days the thing you wanted to achieve with that title? Or is it something more than that?
Well it’s kinda dealing with us being gone for 22 years. If we made the record back in 1993, it wouldn’t be called “Back From Beyond” but since we haven’t put any more records in 22 years, it’s kind of like a play on words. We’ve been gone, the bands’ been in the shadows… in the dark all this time and now we’re back, we’re back from beyond. The creature in the album cover, it’s part of the band it’s like a mascot for the band. So he’s also back, we’re just playing on the title, the band is back, from where we’ve been and we’re here now.
What are your memories from the last time you guys played in Greece in 2007-2008 with In Utero Cannibalism and Denial Fiend?
Yeah, had a great time in Greece, I love Greece. I’ve been back there with Obituary several times since then, so I had a great time in Greece. Great fans, amazing food, beautiful country, so I always like to get to Greece I love it.
Will the tour be including Greece in any leg of the tour?
We have a tour set up in May for couple of months. Before that tour we won’t be playing Greece but we hope we’ll be playing Greece later this year on our full tour.
Speaking of glory days, you were an original member for Death but also for what started as an all star band, Six Feet Under. Tell us about your memories from these days and which were your favorite records from the ones you’ve played in?
Well when I was in Death, I have to say that probably my favorite was “Spiritual Healing”, I love “Leprosy” it’s a really brutal album. But for completely personal reasons I’d say “Spiritual Healing”, I’ve helped more in the writing of the music in this one, so I’ve more connection with that album. As for Six Feet Under, I’d say “Haunted” because this is what Six Feet Under’s about. Their very first record, “Haunted” was a special record. The best times were around that time, you know.
What lead to your departure from Six Feet Under?
It was getting time to leave the band was stagnant stale. Chris began to get more and more control of the band since Allen West left, it was Allen’s band. And there was an end to that where Chris cancelled a show, a benefit show we were about to play for the drummer of Nasty Savage, he had a brain tumor removed, and Chris cancelled the show. I couldn’t overlook that, it was such a shitty attitude on his part so Greg and I left. So basically it was coming, it was a lot of time in the coming but it was a bad end, we couldn’t overlook that so we moved on.
As a member of Death, what do you think of the Death To All tour that’s been going on for the second year now? Do you think it’s a good way to honour Chuck’s great legacy in Death metal?
It doesn’t really bother me cause it’s built as a tribute. They’re not trying to say they are Death, they’re saying this is a tribute to his music. So it doesn’t bother me that much. I was offered to play some of the shows, but I couldn’t. I had prior commitments with Obituary, so I didn’t play these shows. So in the future I might be able to play some of them. I understand some purists who think this is a bad idea because Death without Chuck is no Death at all, but it’s just a tribute show, so it doesn’t bother me too much.
You’re also playing for another legend of the old school of death metal scene, the mighty Obituary. It’s been four years now you’ve been in the band and 5 since “The Darkest Day” record. Do you have any info from their part on new material any time soon?
We’re actually recording a new album right now. That’ll be out probably around the beginning of June. I actually recorded some bass tracks yesterday. So it’s coming out nice, 14 songs. It’s really catchy and heavy it’s good stuff.
Terry, as one of the old schoolers in the field of death metal, what is your view on the genre today? Are there any bands for you who set themselves apart from the rest?
As far as new bands are concerned I don’t listen to a lot of new bands. There’s a few I like, like Necrophagist for example. I’m also into the new stoner metal, doom metal, however you’d like to call it, bands like Orchid for instance. It’s good to see a lot of the older bands, Cannibal Corpse, Grave, Asphyx, Napalm Death still do pretty well, the older bands still out there doing it. So when it comes to new bands I don’t really listen to them. I’m just an old dude that listens to his old records (laughs) you know Ace Of Spades, Celtic Frost – To Mega Therion that kind of stuff.
Do you feel like there’s something you haven’t achieved and you’d like to achieve?
Well you know you always strive for the records to be better than the ones before them. Right now, I’d like the Massacre record to come out, do a couple world tours and hope they’ll be successfull, I’ll visit every country we haven’t visited with the band and keep on making good music. Maybe play on the moon under the space station, you know (laughs).
Back to Massacre and “Back From Beyond” record. What are your touring plans for this?
We’ve got a tour set up for May 2nd in Europe, some festivals to start with and some club dates and then we’ll come back with a full blown tour later in the year, at some point that’s our plan. We’ll tour as much as we can you know.
That was about it Terry thanks a lot for your time it’s been an honour. The final words are yours..
I’d like to thank the fans (old and new of Massacre), such loyal fans, hopefully we’ll get to Greece this year at some point. Thanks a lot for the support.