When Montreal's Obsessive Compulsive Disorder was formed in the late ‘80s the band had little to distinguish it from other local acts. This monicker lasted less than a year. As Necrosis the band played with and competed on the local circuit with the likes of Obliveon, Crypt Keeper, Deathamin and Reactor.
Later, the band would develop a similar relationship with another emerging local act, namely Kataklysm. Necrosis released several demos like Realms Of Pathogenia and Necrosis and in the process upgraded itself to a five-piece.
Several notable underground personalities came and went. While the band was formed in the '80s, the members (especially band leader Thibault) were hard at work in the early '90s. Forging links with bands south of the border, Necrosis played in the USA and brought the likes of Suffocation over to Canada. A similar excursion ended up as a mini feud between the boys and Immolation. Dan 'Lord Worm' (actually a cousin of Lee Aaron!) had begun eating worms in earnest (fans weren't sure if they liked eating worms out of Dan's chalice at concerts more or staring at him dig for worms in the rain when he'd forgotten to visit the local bait store) and the band had recognized that today's bands were playing even faster and heavier. Then two things happened. The band's name was changed to Cryptopsy - the band was called Gomorrah for a couple of weeks until the members noticed an album by the British band with the same name - and hardcore drummer/fine arts university student Flo was brought in on drums. Cryptopsy's Ungentle Exhumation demo was a new animal that was faster than anything the band had released before. With a name to itself, the band signed to Invasion Records of Germany (whose owner was also trying to sign Kataklysm) and moved some units via that label's Nuclear Blast distribution in Europe.
Then came Per (then of Deranged) and his Wrong Again Records. Fortunately for the band, that label couldn't fulfil its support promises and was soon broke. The band had lost long-time guitarist and manager Thibault to a steady job at a brewery, but in Levasseur had gained a seriously technical death metal guitarist a year earlier. Old habits die hard and Century Media's Marco Barbieri was cherry picking at the Milwaukee Metal Fest. The band signed to Century Media and used the new budget to release an even faster and better sounding album. The band had also lost Lord Worm to a steady job and replaced him with an American whose group Infestation was one Cryptopsy had played with previously. DiSalvo had made the move to Canada following the girl of his dreams. Fans are to criticize this choice often, although he was said to have actually been Lord Worm's choice! Cryptopsy signed to the management company that had previously taken care of the affairs of Voivod and Obliveon and was off to playing concerts around the world. 2001 meant the departure of DiSalvo, presumably due to personal issues, whose last show with the band was at Wacken in Germany. His replacement was a local boy from the band Spasme.
Cryptopsy announced plans for a live album in 2003. This album had come about as a result of a business exchange with Century Media. A local Montreal show was recorded in June of 2002 at the Medley. Mounier also joined Black Cloud, an all-star thrash metal cover band. The live album appeared in May of 2003. Earlier, a project band with Maurizio of Kataklysm had fallen apart officially because the parties had lost communication.
In September of 2003 Cryptopsy parted ways with vocalist Martin Lacroix who had merely recorded the live album. The singer's lack of English skills was a hindrance. His replacement was announced in November. It was the band's original singer Lord Worm. The band announced two Canadian shows for the summer of 2004 in Quebec and also booked a show for Toronto and Halifax. A full Canadian tour was also booked for the autumn. For these shows ex-member Miguel Roy, who played on Whisper Supremacy, would fill in for guitarist Jon Levasseur who had just departed from the band - the third time he had vanished. Simultaneously, the band's forthcoming album was delayed while the band sorted out its contractual disputes with Century Media Records. Later on Dan Mongrain, of Martyr, Alcoholica and Gorguts fame, joined the band for touring purposes. A US tour would be postponed to February, 2005 in order to gain more dates. News in late 2004 had it that guitarist Jon Levasseur had been permanently replaced with Dan Mongrain. There was talk of touring with Suffocation or Dismember. Furthermore, the band was releasing at least two DVDs. The band's 2004 Montreal show, with some backstage footage would be one video. Another DVD, tentatively entitled Histopsy, would feature interviews, jams and an 11-year old never-seen-before show. Current drummer Flo directed the latter video. In the meanwhile, the band would begin recording its new album in December. The album had a concept based around the emotion of human fear throughout the ages as envisaged by Flo and Lord Worm. Song titles were Adeste InFidelis, Carrionshine and Angelskingarden which was about incest and the movie Wrong Turn. The band issued a live DVD, entitled Trois-Rivières MetalFest IV, in the spring of 2005. Guitarist Daniel Mongrain was asked to leave the band in April, 2005. The Montrealers entered Studio Vortex and recorded Once Was Not with producer Sebastien Marsan that summer. The result was issued in October and the band hit the road with Suffocation, Despised Icon and Aborted. Shortly before commencing the dates the Montrealers announced Chris Donaldson from Mythosis as the second guitarist for the band's North American tour. Donaldson had been in rehearsal with the band for several weeks before the official announcement.
Following a tour of Ontario the band and vocalist Lord Worm parted ways in April of 2007. The band asserted that the singer was asked to leave while the vocalist would insist that he had left for health reasons. The group recruited singer Matt McGachy of 3 Mile Scream and keyboardist Maggie Durand of Howling Syn. The band was in the studio recording its sixth album for a spring of 2008 release. In the meantime, drummer Mounier was recording a rap album with rapper Roman. The band was recording a new album and was scheduled to tour North and South America in February. The band soon cancelled its previously advertised South American tour, which was slated for March. Drummer Florent Mounier had broken his kneecap. The band had, nevertheless, kept working on its forthcoming album The Unspoken King and expects to see it released in August. The album was issued in June and was the subject of some controversy given its style. A tour of Canada, then Europe and finally USA followed. Maggie was no longer with the band. Trois-Rivières Metalfest 8 was a festival happening in the town of the same name in Canada between November 7th and 9th, 2008. The festival featured bands like Dying Fetus, Cryptopsy , Krisiun and the reformed Obliveon and the last show of Ghoulunatics. The band had played here before and even filmed a video at the festival. Guitarist Alex Auburn left/was asked to leave after a ten-year tenure as of February of 2009. The guitarist was looking for a new group to join. Cryptopsy, Despised Icon, The Acacia Strain, Trapped Under Ice and Blind Witness announced a tour of central Canada in the first week of December, 2009. Chris Donaldson was producing the next demo of Montreal’s Worington in 2010. Flo Mounier was in South Carolina in June of 2010 recording with former Nile members Chief Spires and John Ehlers for a new Shaitan Mazar EP. Steven Tucker (formerly of Morbid Angel) was working on guitar and vocals for the band, but a full-time singer is being sought. Cryptopsy drummer Flo Mounier joined former Nile members Chief Spires and John Ehlers in a new band called Temple Of Thieves. The band had recorded several songs and was looking for a contract. The Canadian drummer was recording with the two last summer for a new Shaitan Mazar EP. Guitarist Jon Levasseur re-joined Cryptopsy again in May 2011. This was not his first return to the band; however, it followed the dismal performance of the group’s latest record, The Unspoken King. Youri Raymond, who had been playing guitar, was now on bass following Levasseur's return while previous bassist Eric Langois' had departure from the band. Annihilator recruited Cryptopsy drummer Flo Mounier for its summer 2011 shows. As of 2011 The Era Of was a new Montreal, Canada progressive rock band featuring Cryptopsy singer Matt McGachy. The band had completed work on its debut demo, Pelican Beach. Bassist Youri Raymond left at the end of 2011. He apparently wanted to return to guitar and would focus on his band Unhuman. Canadian company War On Music Records reissued the band’s Blasphemy Made Flesh and None So Vile albums on LP. The Ungentle Exhumation demo would get the 7” treatment. Montreal, Canada’s The Catalyst, featuring 3 Mile Scream bassist Mike Marino, parted ways with vocalist Matt Bailie due to "musical differences" in 2012 and replaced him with Matt McGachy. Matt had previously stood in on vocals in 2011. Cryptopsy, featuring bassist Olivier Pinard, would release a self-titled album in 2012. Song titles included Damned Draft Dodgers, Amputated Enigma and The Golden Square Mile. A two-disc Cryptopsy sampler, featuring demo and live recordings as well as three exclusive tracks, Would be released on November 20th, 2012 through Century Media. It was entitled The Best Of Us Bleed.
CRYPTOPSY - WHISPER SUPREMACY - CENTURY MEDIA
Funny name for an album like this, isn't it? Whisper Supremacy, on the unlikely label Century Media, is everything one expects from these crazy Montrealers. It is fast, heavy, technical and brutal. The band will get no complaints on these fronts. Having said that, one cannot dispel that little feeling that this album is not as good as its predecessor, the absolutely enviable None So Vile. Do not misunderstand me, Whisper Supremacy will squeeze your soul and hurl it into the depths of the abyss of the damned. A quick intake of album opener Emaciate will confirm the obvious that just imagining the band performing this song will give the listener whiplash. It just does not get any faster. The technical strings of guitarist Jon Levasseur and the unstoppable drums of Flo Mounier will not stop for anything. There are technical moments too. Listen to the Dark Tranquillity-type interludes on Cold Hate, Warm Blood for instance. I am not convinced by the vocals of the replacement for Lord Worm Mike DiSalvo though. He sounds quite close to someone whose name is momentarily blocked in my mind, but like the other fellow he is more hardcore-sounding than suits Lord Worm. Or perhaps the issue is that Lord Worm's sickness will not be equaled. Still though, do pick up Whisper Supremacy. It packs as much heaviness as the entire roster of several labels combined and with its Mach speeds being what they are this can only be the logical step in the future of heavy metal. - Ali "The Metallian"
CRYPTOPSY - AND THEN YOU'LL BEG - CENTURY MEDIA
I believe there is consensus that Cryptopsy is the most prominent metal band to emerge from the Great White North in some time. The band's mastery of the art of speedy death/grind, inhuman drumming and technical breaks and soloing have almost transformed the band to pallbearers within the genre. These are intact on the band's much anticipated new album. Having said that, And Then You'll Beg suffers in some departments. First and foremost, vocalist Mike Disalvo's delivery is too 'hardcore' for Cryptopsy. He bellows into the mike with force, but clearly does not possess the low range required for bands at the zenith of this genre. Enough has been said about him in death metal circles and I'll move on. The sound as well is rather weak. This band and their producer have the same manager, and I wonder if this is a coincidence. What is a surprise though, is the lack of guitar leads. With Jon Levaseur's proficiency for delivering some of the best leads in death metal one has to wonder at the sheer lack of solos on this disc. Perhaps the band is adopting a more HC direction, or recalling that Jon actually left the fold briefly a couple of years ago, the guitarist might not be 100% mentally there; whatever the case more lead parts would have been an added bonus. There is more there, but not wanting to ruin the party, Cryptopsy has recorded and packaged (incidentally nice tie-in between the intro, cover and band shot) a death metal album that will still remove paint with its sheer brutality. And Then You'll Beg is still a recommended release for followers of the genre. - Ali "The Metallian"
CRYPTOPSY - NONE SO LIVE MONTREAL 2002 - CENTURY MEDIA
Readers know that this writer is not a proponent of the contemporary live album. The high availability of different video formats, the myriad of tours and concerts (the real thing if you wish) and the conservative and orthodox approach to most newer live albums has dealt the entire idea a huge body-blow.
Having said that, This album might just be worth it for grindcore fans. The CD covers Cryptopsy's entire career and features older favourites like Phobophile and Defenestration. The sound is good and the eerie album cover seemingly depicts a demon, a worm and an 'all access' pass to Cryptopsy. Even the cadeauseus has been demonized. More importantly though, the live album marks the debut album appearance of new singer Martin Lacroix within the Cryptopsy fold. The ex-Spasme singer proves his worth sounding confident and comfortable with the material previously sung by the much-criticized Mike DiSalvo and his predecessor Lord Worm. Lacroix might not be the ultimate death metal growler, but he is definitely better than DiSalvo. The CD also offers a drum solo, a nice crashing sound in the middle of Defenstration and one of the better plays on words in its title. - Ali "The Metallian"
CRYPTOPSY - ONCE WAS NOT - CENTURY MEDIA
Though five years have passed since And Then You'll Beg, Cryptopsy has made amends to its fanbase via excellent new record Once Was Not. A definite Top 10 of '05 record, Once Was Not combines an incredible array of styles and substances, the record brimming with an energy we haven't seen since the debut. From its epic grandiosity to its furious straight-ahead attack, Once Was Not is extremely well-written and an effort that, surprisingly, works as a cohesive affair. This is definitely the album of Cryptopsy's career, with the band pleasing its complex diehards, death metal friends and even those who love the jazzcore/punky bits. A statement of purpose from a group whose time -- if there's any justice in the world -- is now.- David Perri
CRYPTOPSY – THE UNSPOKEN KING – CENTURY MEDIA
A Cryptopsy with a keyboardist and clean vocals?
This new Cryptopsy should watch out. The real Cryptopsy is bound to find this bogus lot, take legal action and force it out of business. – Ali “The Metallian”
The return of Lord Worm to the fold of Canadian death metal powerhouse Cryptopsy late last year was certainly a welcome development for all concerned. The band, worm-devouring lunatic Lord Worm, guitarists Jon Levasseur and Alex Auburn, bassist Eric Langlois and drummer Flo Mounier, is in the midst of a flurry of activity. It is a perfect time, therefore, for Ali "The Metallian" to speak to old acquaintance Lord Worm to fill in the blanks and update the readers with the band's news and happenings. Having obtained Lord Worm's mobile phone number from bassist Eric, the interview was conducted while Lord Worm was waiting for his bus to arrive on a corner in Montreal! - 20.08.2004
LORD WORM: Is this Ali "The Metallian"? It took a little while for it to sink it. 'Oh wait a minute. This is Ali!' That is cool. We haven't spoken for so long.
METALLIAN: Eric gave me your number as it is the ideal time to chat with you. To begin with, let us go back. Why did you leave Cryptopsy at a time when it seemed the band is just about to make it big? There were so many rumours.
LORD WORM: Yes, and I am fairly certain most of them were off the mark. At the time, of course, I was not working. Which employer wants someone who is going to disappear and go out of town to tour to work for them? I was not working which meant I was on welfare. That is fine, but welfare sends you a check once a month. That is fine again, but it certainly not enough to cover a two-bedroom apartment and food and electricity and phone. So my fiancé, at the time, was paying for all of it through her part-time job. In the meanwhile, I was using my money to help finance the band. How nice is that?
I had to leave. It was a question of my personal honour. What kind of a bloodsucker am I that she is going to pay for everything and I am going to go gallivanting across the planet? I basically forced myself to leave.
METALLIAN: Can you explain the rumours that has you more into black metal at the time and preferred to be in such a band instead?
LORD WORM: Oh, as a side-project sure. I adore black metal, but not to give up Cryptopsy. I did not join a black metal band. There has absolutely been nothing for... eight years. The rumours about my illness were also false. I am healthy.
METALLIAN: Was it correctly reported that you were the one who recommended your replacement Mike DiSalvo to the band?
LORD WORM: Absolutely, I thought he was great and I think he did a very good job while he was in the band.
METALLIAN: Many fans found him to be weak and an inappropriate choice.
LORD WORM: That depends on what you want. When I left it was only a few months after None So Vile which was album number two. It was moderately heavy, fairly fast and we were proud of it. It is now years later and I am told it is a classic album. For some people it is right up there with Suffocation's Effigy Of The Forgotten and Napalm Death's Scum. Well this is stuff I grew up listening to so to be compared to that is... whoa! It fucks you up in the head. Who knew? I was drunk most of the time when I recorded it.
For people who like that sound then yes, perhaps Mike doesn't compare. I figure you take what you are given. He wasn't there to follow in my footsteps. He was there to do his thing. He lasted for as many albums as I did and he certainly did many more tours than I did. He, in his own way, increased the fan base. People who did not like me found him better and more palatable. So now with my comeback I have to incorporate, not his phrasing style and the American hardcore style, but his clarity into my delivery to keep Mike's fans happy, but still stay myself and keep the old fans happy too. So I am trying to achieve the best of both worlds.
METALLIAN: Why did Mike leave the band? It was attributed to the usual "personal reasons."
LORD WORM: Well, it was exactly that actually. Let's be honest, he has a wife and a daughter now and he wasn't about to just leave them behind. Some people can and some people choose not to. He chose not to. As far as I know, that was the issue. I have spoken to him a few times since then. He told me "dude, I am a dad. I got to be a dad." I totally respect that.
METALLIAN: His replacement was Martin Lacroix. He was presumably chosen after some careful consideration. Nevertheless, he did not last long.
LORD WORM: Martin came in and was handed tours on a silver platter, did the live album and that was it. He is gone because he was not fluent in English. Although I was hired to give him English lessons which I did for nine months - I am in English teacher - and was helping him with the lyrics, he did not last. Lyrics is one thing and chatting with the crowd and communicating between songs and not sounding like a Quebecois is another. We only had nine months. The thing is that he wasn't working on the material as fast as the rest of the band wanted him to. They were due last November and here we are and he wasn't finished with his lyrics yet. They thought he was too lackadaisical. They basically fired him. They fired him before calling me.
Flo called me and asked me the only way I would even think about it. He asked me whether I was one-hundred percent positive I would never ever come back. I said well not one-hundred percent. Then I could see the wheels turning in his head. He asked me what I was doing on the Saturday night and I thought "I know where this is going."
He had Jon and Eric join us at his house and we talked. They pitched me. I reminded them why I left. I reminded them I was paying hundreds of dollars for the simple pleasure of going on tour and coming back without any money. I said "honestly guys, show me the money." Flo told me to look around. That is his house. Jon piped in and said he has a house too. That was it. Anyone who can buy a house on Cryptopsy money... Sorry to sound like a money grubber, but I am working two jobs and Cryptopsy would be a third job for me so it had to be worth my while.
METALLIAN: Care to comment on the report that Century Media put some pressure on the band to get you back?
LORD WORM: We want more from them than they are comfortable delivering. What it comes down to is a clause in our contract, and we hear from many sources that it is a standard clause in a standard contract, that prevents us from ever making money. We end up indebted to the label forever, unless we become double-platinum or something, and we end up becoming their employees. The band signed the contract, which was for seven releases, and has two of those releases under its belt. The label also decided that the live album doesn't count. When we get the royalty statements we notice that the numbers never jive. It's always that Cryptopsy makes nothing and Century Media makes everything. OK, that's standard, cool, but guys can we actually change this so Cryptopsy makes some money on album sales? Could we do that please (laughs)? So that's us putting pressure on them. We are asking them to change that and then they can have the next release. They are going to have to jump for it. That clause says something like 'money coming to Cryptopsy is precluded (laughs).'
METALLIAN: Are the fans to not expect an album until this issue is resolved?
LORD WORM: Partly that. What we want to do is help matters along. Rather than going to them for album financing, why don't we go on playing, make money, pay for the album ourselves? Then we will see if they are willing to bid for it. I say this because we know how good this stuff is going to be.
METALLIAN: Shouldn't you be out of the contract before you could come back and ask them to bid on the product?
LORD WORM: Not that kind of a bid, but rather more like asking them if they are willing to talk now. We might have to play hardball with this thing. There are a lot of things we can do, let's face it, but we just want to be dealt with fairly.
Right now, there is no word from them. We have been playing live here and there and raking in some cash. Flo is constructing a studio in his home anyway. We will probably do some of the recording there and some of it at Studio Wild with Pierre Remillard. We tried everything there recently on electronic metronomes so everything will be dead-on tight. A lot of the preproduction has been done at our practice local. We have all the equipment. We recorded two songs at Studio Wild on mp3 just to give the fans something to chew on until the album comes out. We are just waiting for the final mix. One song is called Carrionshine. The other is inspired by the Christmas carol Adeste Fidelis, you know 'Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful'? Well, the second song we just recorded is called Adeste InFidelis. The first line in the song is "Oh, Come, All Ye UnFaithful". The material for the album has been ready for over a year. It is just a matter of Century Media coming around.
METALLIAN: Are you guys talking to any other labels?
LORD WORM: There has been interest from Roadrunner and... that's... all I know.
METALLIAN: Any other news that you wish to share at this point?
LORD WORM: Look at our website. There is a contest where the prize in every city we will play is two backstage passes and all that comes with it.
I can also report that the album will features two notable guests, namely Luc Lemay of Gorguts who has agreed to play violin parts and Jamey, the singer of Hatebreed, will be doing backing vocals. So far, the riffs themselves aren't as technical as they were on the Whisper Supremacy or the And Then You'll Beg albums, but the arrangements are quite technical. As far as speed goes, Flo has discovered how to do a, let's call it, double blast beat. He has doubled his speed. He has surpassed the 300bpm mark. He is using rim shots. What he does is he's got one high hat over the other and he plays between the two effectively doubling his speed. By doing rim shots on the snare you're getting two hits in one. This is absolutely true and he uses it a lot on the new material. You will hear the technique on Carrionshine actually.
METALLIAN: How would you describe your vocal's development?
LORD WORM: After an eight-year absence I wasn't even sure I can do it anymore. Turns out that I can. I haven't yet fully managed to control that bottom-end that was so much fun to do. I am talking about that Mortician-type sound. Instead there is greater clarity. It is certainly clearer than on the None So Vile album. There is more play in the mid-range. The highs are now even higher and I can go quite high. There is a scream at the end of, what will be, song number five on the new album that should be fifty-percent longer than the one on Open Face. The screams are no issue at all. It is not a trick at all. The new scream is live again and close to a minute.
I will also divulge another song title because I am quite proud of it. A new song is called Angelskingarden. It will make you crawl all over. It's got all sorts of filth. It is a song about Incest.
The album will have many samples as well. It won't be as sampled-out as Dimmu Borgir or Mortician but there is more than ever. Samples are used to either enhance mood, rather than replace instruments, or to enhance sounds. At one point during one of Jon's solos we have a sample of wind blowing and it adds a nice dimension to it. It sounds like Jon is soloing outside. It is neat.
METALLIAN: I kept the most important question for last. Does Lord Worm still feast on worms?
LORD WORM: Yes, still at it. I haven't grown out of it yet. There is also still a coffin. I don't know if it will be the old one. I still own the old one. It is in my bedroom. Pat, the singer of Ghoulunatics, either still works or has worked for a funeral home and can get various coffins. I have been told that I will be the recipient of one for free. You will get the full-blown Lord Worm show plus more. The coffin bearers will be there, as well as a bunch of mourners - all ladies of course. I want a bunch of lady criers! They will be weeping ferociously in a funeral procession. We are touring Canada this summer through to December. We will play Montreal in early October. We will add more elements as we go. Take a look at cryptopsy.net. We have all sorts of shows planned.
By the way, our old guitarist Steve now lives in Toronto and came to our recent show there. He is still working for some beer folks!
The Cryptopsy family lives! Fans should keep their eyes peeled at www.cryptopsy.net for the new mp3s as they wait for the emergence of a new album.
There are very few bands on the death metal scene that have garnered as much respect across the board as Montreal's Cryptopsy. The band's penchant for making Armageddon-like brutality appetizing coupled with its sense of purpose and musical ability have won the band both critical accolade and diehard fan support. Similarly, the departure and consequent return of original and fan favourite singer Lord Worm from self-exile has coincided with the band's multi-year absence from the album scene. The band has not been inactive though constantly recording, touring and tweaking its line-up so upon release of the Once Was Not album Ali "The Metallian" was eager to speak to the lord of worms himself for an up-date on things. Metallian reached Lord Worm at home on a Friday evening. - 01.10.2005
METALLIAN: Lord Worm, how comfortable do you feel being back in the band?
LORD WORM: A lot better than a year ago, or two years ago.
METALLIAN: How so?
LORD WORM: I am getting used to the stuff again, you know. It started off as job number three, as everyone knows, but since then I have left one of senior jobs I had so it is down to two and now that things are working out the way that they are Cryptopsy is not such a job anymore. It has a lot of the specifications of a job as it were, but I find myself at the practice locale every day and even if we don't practice the songs or the set we conduct business together. So we are running the business, but it doesn't feel like I am an employee anymore if you know where I am going with this. We are doing things as a team and in our own way. I still don't enjoy performing live and I still don't like studio, Ok fine, everything has got its ups and downs but on whole it is rewarding.
METALLIAN: Your statement is surprising. Having experienced Cryptopsy live you look so comfortable performing live.
LORD WORM: You know what? Some people are born psychic and they think it's a curse, something they rather not do, according to Miss Rawling who writes the Harry Potter books. She writes that we are like Muggles kind of thing. Sometimes you can do something that people perceive you do well, but I rather do something else like drink!
METALLIAN: That is an odd statement for a man who has volunteered to return into the fold of a hard-touring band. Cryptopsy has been on the road both before and after the recording of the comeback album.
It has been five years between studio albums and obviously longer since you have been on an album. Does the band internally have discussions about the lost momentum and are you worried?
LORD WORM: You know what, somehow or other everyday one of us speaks to another. There is a constant contact and it can be personal, that happens very often just for fun, or it can be business or it can be combination of both kind of things so somehow no one is ever left out of the loop. Sometimes one of us will be the last to know but everyone knows at one point or another everything before it is dangerous. There is always a plan of action whether it is business or pleasure and even if there isn't a one-hundred percent agreement all the time it is democratic even right down to the decision of what beer we will get!
For instance, I have the power of veto on that one, I am a dictator but I am very benevolent. I'll let you drink the garbage you drink and I'll drink the good stuff. That's the way it goes, even if not all of us are agree all the time we try to mange the decisions so that everyone benefits equally with the least amount of suffering possible whether it's in the life context, studio context, new writing or whatever. Sometimes one will say or do something's that perceived to be the wrong thing for the greater good of the band. There's a pep talk sometimes and things are straightened out, but no one gets fired although that's a favoured phrase! In short, no we are not worried so long as we discuss things amongst ourselves.
METALLIAN: So do you reckon that you are in it for the long haul?
LORD WORM: Well, as long as I let it last, and I don't mean professionally, for let's face it I have been suicidal for years.
METALLIAN: Are you serious?
LORD WORM: Yes.
METALLIAN: Hopefully it is not that serious. I mean, what's one less human being on this planet, but you are a good frontman.
LORD WORM: I am not in a business sense. Let's face it I have heard it said that people who smile a lot have a lot of hope. Well then we have to look at the converse of that. People who smile little have no hope. It's a reality of existence, we continue to exist, but it eventually comes. We are all just statistics waiting to happen. Nobody's special. It doesn't matter who you are. You are a statistic waiting to happen and a hundred years from now who will know the difference… it's the way it goes. I mean you could be the father of communism or the father of democracy and it doesn't matter, you will wind up dead.
METALLIAN: Does the fact that people remember you count?
LORD WORM: You wind up dead and misrepresented. It doesn't matter.
METALLIAN: Misrepresented yes, but remembered…
LORD WORM: So what?
METALLIAN: You are right, of course. I am being a devil's advocate. Christians or the average religious hopeful will disagree with your notion.
LORD WORM: But who's going to remember and do they matter? Statistically, are they important? No. You can be remembered by the elite or the average person. Who cares? It just doesn't matter. OK, maybe it's a fatalist attitude, maybe I am pessimist, you know what? I don't care!
In the meantime things are going well for the band and we continue to grow and things are looking up and up and that's good too. I am not going to take away from that.
METALLIAN: Speaking of things going well, the last time we spoke Cryptopsy had well-publicized issues with Century Media. How did they get resolved because, obviously, the album is out on Century Media.
LORD WORM: Since then there have been several e-mails, several phone calls and a couple of live head to head chats over a couple of beers. So humans spoke to humans and that always resolves things much more quickly than this or that whatever. Face to face does it as it did in Worcester, Massachusetts at that the hardcore metalfest. We met with a couple of their representatives and hammered out a couple of things. It was two of them and eight of us kind of a thing, but points were hammered out without much difficulty over a not terribly long period of time; over a couple of beers, hand shakes and back patting all around. That is the way it happened.
METALLIAN: Was it just handshakes or was there some paper exchanged or modified as well?
LORD WORM: Everyone makes mistakes and everyone is not necessarily wrong at the same time. The truth always lies somewhere in between and if you are sober and willing to discuss things as adults you can say you we were wrong and you were right and let us look for the middle ground.
The answer to your question is 'yes and no.' Certain contractual stipulations were modified without modifying the whole contract and yet our homework was also better defined and less generalized. I guess everyone understands each other, like "oh that's what you meant" kind of a thing.
METALLIAN: Cryptopsy's only problems were not external to the band. You underwent some internal shuffling as well. You came back, then a guitarist left and then another guitarist left. The last time I saw you live and we chatted was in Oshawa. My perception was that the band is really functioning well and then a guitarist packs his bags and leaves.
LORD WORM: That I can shed some light on because it is purely internal stuff which is where I am at. The whole label thing I am out of. I didn't sign anything. I hear some peoples' names and that is it. Guitarist-wise, Jon Levasseur left last August which was over a year ago. We had just done a weekend at Studio Wild with Pierre Remillard. We were doing pre-production on the song Carrionshine which you know. The next song is Adeste Infidelis; we did those two songs at studio Wild with Pierre Remillard. The idea at the time was to release them one at a time over the space of, I don't know, how much time to whet appetites and to keep them not wondering because at that point we were hoping for a spring 2005 release of the album. We were hoping to record over the winter. Now as you know from the way things went stuff got delayed over time like "oh, you got a US tour so you'll have to put the album out next summer," OK let's record it in the spring, "oh the tour is going to be six weeks you'll have to wait" et cetra. Anyway, those two songs were recorded and Jon was there. Now we never got a mix down and this is in no way to denigrate or cast dispersions upon the professionalism of Pierre Remillard and the studio. He is an extremely busy guy and we never got the mix done when we thought we would and then we figured that never mind we'll just do it ourselves because eventually the wait got ridiculous. We were keeping a smile on, but it was so long it wasn't worth it anymore. We never got the mix down and Jon left, not anyway because of that, but because at the time he was thinking he has nothing left to say. He thought he has done what he has got to do and he has no more ideas vis-a-vis Cryptopsy.
We thought that this is going to drag on and we could be lost like this for twenty years and, this is not in anyway meant to denigrate the efforts of let's say Kreator who have sloughed through the scene aimlessly for like 20 years. I used to love them.
So he didn't want to do that. He opted out and we have to respect him for that because, at least, he didn't stick it out when he, in his head, wasn't needed. So the best thing was to hire our old guitarist Miguel. He knew None So Vile. Let's face it, he knew the Blasphemy Made Flesh and Whisper Supremacy material. All he had to learn was one song, We Bleed, jam with the rest of us and do the Canadian tour. He is amazing and a monster on stage so that was great, but he cannot get into the USA because of his long standing Marijuana possession thing that the States are just not going to smile at. They are terribly paranoid about pot apparently. You just can't get something into that country apparently. One wonders how the hell they got hip-hop going. Not that I am being bitter or sarcastic or anything. So we got Dan Mongrain who has got no criminal record, quote unquote, for something as nefarious as pot possession and we had to do the American tour with him which is fine. That worked out well, but let's face it Dan has his other band; that's his baby. He wasn't going to stay with us. We hired him to do what he did and he did an amazing job and once that was over he went back to it. He was willing to do shows to help us out and, partly for the money, let's face it we are talking good money. Then again, he has got other money-makers as well. He is a musician in demand and his priorities are with himself and he will take a good job offer when he gets it and run with that, but with us it was not a permanent thing and who can blame him if he can make more money somewhere else because Cryptopsy is a full-time thing and there's more money to be made in part time gigs, the way he does it, than with us. He is out to survive. I went to see their show in Laval a few weeks back and it was amazing. They played with Neuraxis and a couple of other bands and it was great. Dan was a hired gun just like just like Miguel.
METALLIAN: Cryptopsy has been a four-piece, but you have recruited a new guitarist.
LORD WORM: That was temporary. We have got a guy for the American tour called Chris. We have trained him right now. He is quite good and honestly the tour will be his final exam. He is a young guy in his early 20's. I don't know if that guy came to us or if we went to him, but certainly he was one of many who came by the rehearsal room with equipment. He came in knowing two songs - Phobophile and another one I am not sure which - and it worked out better than with others. Alex has been teaching him the songs since then. Alex is the game keeper as it were. It is going well.
METALLIAN: Listening to Once Was Not one thing that is soon apparent is the sheer technicality of the compositions. The thing its clearly more technical than before and a question to ask would be whether that was intentional. Put another way, are the masters trying to keep up with the students or it just turned out so frightfully complex?
LORD WORM: Wow, this is strange, from my point of view, because what we have been trying to do is not to be technical. We actually think we are simpler than before. We are actually trying to go back to the basics, saying any fool can play this… even Harry Potter can fucking play this…
METALLIAN: In that case, I would not want to hear you actually try to be technical.
LORD WORM: I don't want to be and one of the things that helped, and this was not a deciding factor in any way, not easy but easier for me to leave Cryptopsy back in the '90s was the fact that I didn't like the technical side. It was too much and I didn't want us to go Atheist, Cynic et cetra. It was just not us. We are fucking brutal deathmongers. I was asking, "what are you doing with all this twiddly shit?" and yet they went that way and, you know what, I said it doesn't hurt me so much to leave. Now that they are, in their eyes and to a certain extent in my eyes, going back to basics the technical aspect is not so bad. I can deal with this. So you are saying it is really technical? Oh Jesus, are you telling me I got used to this shit?
METALLIAN: You got used to it.
LORD WORM: Oh my god, you might just as well tell me I am gay, terrible! 'Technical' is a life style decision, sort of like pink. No, we are actually trying to tone down the technical aspects of the arrangements, keep fewer riffs in a song, keep them longer and get some grooves going. We are trying to tone down on how many notes there are in a particular riff. Do you believe it (laughs)? We are trying to keep it simple and yet catchy.
METALLIAN: Mission accomplished as George W. Bush would say. What one also notices is the samples and intros. Why did the band decide their inclusion is needed?
LORD WORM: Most of that actually came from Flo. He is a serious cino-phile. He watches films all the time. We both do, but Flo is a very serious about it and some things strike him and he will sample it. If the songs call for it he has got that memory going and says, 'I've got a sample for that.'
METALLIAN: Oh Lord, can you elaborate on the album's title and concept?
LORD WORM: Once Was Not, which is the concept as well, is about what is it that existed or used to not exist and exists now and what do we do with it! To be progressive about it Once Was Not became a sort of a history of human fear because human fear has evolved over the millennia. Adult humans used to be afraid of the dark and you know, for example, the campfire thing now and how it is a childhood thing is really a genetic memory thing. There is an awful lot of science in this but it goes in the guise of poetry, you know how it goes with me.
METALLIAN: Well, who knows how it goes with you…
LORD WORM: You know how it goes with me.
METALLIAN: Is the album a concept in the sense that all songs are related?
LORD WORM: There are many scenes that come up again and again in the album and if you were to study the songs in that way, almost like it were an English class, you would see that that is an extremely unified album conceptually, lyrically, musically. It is one big message.
METALLIAN: Earlier you mentioned that there are two covers for Once Was Not. How and why did that come about?
LORD WORM: There are two different release dates, one for Europe on the 17th of October and one for North America on the 18th. The North American version is a digipak and the European one is a regular cover. The European one has a more European feel, all sword and axes and things. We are trying to confuse the people.
METALLIAN: Aside from the current tour with Suffocation are there any news or plans?
LORD WORM: Yes, but all pretty up in the air if promising. I believe there is a week of touring in December. I am not sure if that's the week in Australia and New Zealand or if that is the week in England. Then there is another week in January when we are touring. Then there is a six-week tour of all of Europe. There is another brief respite and then a tour of Japan in the spring. that's just now that's not even counting further tours after that, these are the ones we know for sure for now. These are all definite maybes. You know how it goes. It is the music world. Sometimes promises are bigger than the pocket book and you can't take people by their word because, let's face it, alcohol is a great lubricant. Like 'I love you guys, I am going to make sure' and then the next day they wake up and wonder 'what the hell did I say?'
METALLIAN: Do you know who you'll be touring with later?
LORD WORM: Other than Suffocation, Aborted and Despised Icon across the USA and Canada, including some dates with Cattle Decapitation which is great, there are some dates with Vader, some dates with With Passion here and there, sort of mini-tours joined in there, there is a mention of Marduk and Immolation.
METALLIAN: Does that mean that the old acrimony with Immolation has been shelved?
LORD WORM: It is gone sir. Part of that happened after speaking with Will Rahmer of Mortician and part of that came from the fact that Immolation is exactly all the original members and all of that is left of Cryptopsy is Flo and me. There has been no direct contact, but it is all cool now.
Lord Worm, drummer Flo Mounier, guitarist Alex Auburn and bassist Eric Langlois are travelling to a dark corner near you to show off Once Was Not. Best to avoid the racket, re-runs of Friends and all that, but if you have to go don't expect to see any Dimmu Borgir or Raunchy T-shirts in the crowd. This is not a joke band drawing a joke crowd looking for joke music.
Cryptopsy announced the departure of original, long-time and returned singer Lord Worm a week ago. Reclaiming the man who occasionally is closer to a cult figure than a 'mere' frontman and then losing him is a big deal for death metal fans, in general, and Cryptopsy adherents in particular. Noting that the band's statement made mention of having kicked out the singer, Ali "The Metallian" conducted a brief and exclusive chat with Dan "Lord Worm" around the circumstances of the separation. - 30.04.2007
METALLIAN: Can you explain why you are no longer in Cryptopsy?
LORD WORM: Pretty much because every time we went out on the road for any stretch of time I ended up catching something and killing my health. It gets worse as time goes on. It is better for my health and better for Cryptopsy if I leave now.
METALLIAN: Are you referring to something as common as flu, or something more serious?
LORD WORM: No, I have been known to come home with pneumonia, sometimes double.
METALLIAN: Your departure, in other words, has nothing to do with the band's music or any band member.
LORD WORM: …pretty much. The body breaks down and you have to make room for someone younger who might not have health issues.
METALLIAN: Having said that older musicians, let's use Lemmy as an example, seem to be continuing without a problem.
LORD WORM: Yeah, but Lemmy doesn't do what I do. That's the thing. There is certain amount of extreme activity that Lemmy no longer has to engage in - if he ever did. This includes carrying our own gear and the activity on stage. Lemmy basically stands. I don't. It takes a lot out of your lungs.
METALLIAN: Were you completely happy with the last album you made with Cryptopsy, Once Was Not?
LORD WORM: I wouldn't say happy; I would say satisfied with the job done. The music was already written by the time I came back into the band. I really had no saying in arrangements or specific riffs. I was given an assignment to write the lyrics and arrange them for this music. I did that. In that sense, I am satisfied that I did the job as well as I could with the constraints I was given.
I am into extreme hate filled black metal. Anything that approaches that I approve of. The more diametrically opposed to that the music is, though I might appreciate the talent behind it, it won't be the type of thing I would listen to. Cryptopsy has never been a band I would listen to. I appreciate the effort that would go into it, but it is not something that would go into the CD player unlike, let's say, Deathspell Omega.
METALLIAN: Your statements thus far contradict Cryptopsy's assertion that you were booted from the band…
LORD WORM: Interesting.
METALLIAN: How do you reconcile the two versions?
LORD WORM: I have not really read what is being said. Interesting. When Flo and I discussed this we agreed that we might as well do it now. It is the right time to get someone in the band because Cryptopsy is in the writing period. We agreed that whoever the new guy might be should get used to everyone else in the band and the way the band works. Then eventually when the touring starts again the new singer would not only have the new material under his belt, but also get some of the older material under his belt as well. I haven't actually spoken to Alex since we came back from Ontario two weeks ago. I will probably talk to him this week. It doesn't bother me. Either way, I am gone. It doesn't bother me.
METALLIAN: Do you have any insight into who your replacement might be?
LORD WROM: I really have no clue. Flo and I had discussed it the Friday before while we were having a farewell party for our old guitarist Steve Thibault who is moving from Ontario to Calgary. We were drinking and Flo brought up the subject that the time should be now. I had mentioned it earlier in the year anyway that come the fall I would have to stop touring all together. I was keeping the summer open just in case there would be festivals. The schedule was pushed up, which is fine.
METALLIAN: Many people would see your departure as a bigger deal for Cryptopsy than the mere departure of a singer.
LORD WORM: Well, yeah. There will be people who would feel like that. I know how they feel. I would feel the same way if Angelripper left Sodom. Angelripper is the voice, the writer and responsible for the written word of Sodom. Sodom wouldn't be Sodom without Angelripper. Mortician wouldn't be Mortician without Will Rahmer. Everything dies. Get used to it.
METALLIAN: Are you leaving the music scene or will the fans hear your voice again?
LORD WORM: I wouldn't say it's impossible that I would be back. I discussed it in passing with some people last night. If someone offers me a position that is a one-off or a one-album project, with no live shows or maybe just one, I would do that. It has to be brief, meaningful and extreme. If various black metal musicians and I get together I would do it if it were a one-off. I was discussing it with some friends last night. There are 5,000 black metal bands on the planet and many of them are doing a 'scheduled rotation' of members. Why not? Why be a touring band if you don't have to be?
METALLIAN: Are the people you were speaking with from Montreal?
LORD WORM: They are from the province of Quebec. They are all in different bands.
METALLIAN: The band is advertising for a singer who sings in a clean way with a clean voice. Was there any discussion within the group regarding this?
LORD WORM: There had been mention a couple of times in the past, while we were putting together the last album and after the tour, about what we would do. I wasn't about to pigeonhole myself. It is fun to try different things. In that way, clean vocals had been mentioned as well as adding distortion and a pitch shifter. The band is looking to have a singer who can mix things up.
METALLIAN: Will there be any Cryptopsy material, audio or visual, that will be released with you on vocals?
LORD WORM: We had talked about things. There was talk of a DVD featuring all kinds of footage including the band practising, live, writing, back stage, concerts and even some Necrosis footage. I really don't know at this point.
Guitarist Alex Auburn, bassist Eric Langlois and drummer Flo Mounier are at www.cryptopsy.net and seeking a new singer.
Montreal’s Cryptopsy is a recognized name in the death metal universe. The Canadian techno-death metallers have been around for nigh on twenty years under their current monicker and released a string of good to great albums (until recently). The band’s least known member, however, is early guitarist Dave Galea who had joined the band when it was still called Necrosis.
Ironically considered to be the band’s key to a more successful future given his talent on the guitar, production and song writing ability Galea ended up leaving in the group’s formative days after appearing on the early Ungentle Exhumation tape of 1993. Ali “The Metallian” caught up with David Galea via a telephone call to Montreal. – 22.02.2009
GALEA: I work in a company that makes custom equipment and software for laboratory research into respiratory diseases, its pretty cool. It’s a small company. I took an electric tech course a while ago. I would have been going into telecom but that evaporated and I wound up coming into a side stream kind of thing related to engineering technology. I have been there for a few years now.
I am still playing. I have been in various low-key lineups just playing classic kind of stuff definitely influenced by ‘90s. Apart from that I have got a daughter now who is almost five so things have kind of changed over the years.
METALLIAN: Let’s go back to start. You were in the Montreal band Reactor and were brought on as a producer for Cryptopsy. but then the band wanted someone who could play leads very well and you were in the band. Why don’t you take me back to 1992?
GALEA: Reactor was essentially Mike Cee and Grant Cormack the drummer and bass player respectively who were a team that forged an alliance out of having been in several line-ups. They played early days kind of stuff.
I did come on as a producer but they were definitely looking for a guitar player that would fit what they were doing and once we connected the chemistry was pretty immediate. We jammed something coherent from the first note. There was definitely a vibe at that point. We were on the same track as far as the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal with a merging of the Bay Area side of things so we kind of managed to melt those two things together and realize a lot of the good elements of Bay Area like Metallica. We were influenced by some European references as well so it kind of all fit together. We essentially started off with more of that raw edgy kind of stuff, which then evolved after a while because of our singer who started playing second rhythm guitar.
METALLIAN: Is that Mike Cee.? Did he also play guitar?
GALEA: Yeah, at first he was just our singer but he’d always played guitar in one form or another in different lineups that he’d been in. He was pretty good in writing interesting riffs. Technically he got the job done but his strength was in the writing so that definitely took the band in somewhat of a different direction. That was getting towards the end of the ‘80s where you started hearing bands like Ministry, all these kinds of more industrial, sequence-based heavy hybrids so we incorporated some of those into the Reactor sound that was initially more like speedcore or hardcore metal.
METALLIAN: I always thought Reactor was a thrash band.
GALEA: It was. Then we took the band into a different place and I found that it was even more unique, in the sense that we had heard other bands try to branch out, but the thing with metal is that it was always restricted in what you are allowed to do and what would be too far out of the line for some people to accept. It’s always a tough call. But the positive things that we heard made us think that it was generally well accepted.
METALLIAN: We have two Reactor demos in the archives of Metallian Towers that have different song lineups but the same cover. Do you remember why that was?
GALEA: Being self-produced tapes I think we kind of got lost in the rush, were producing different batches of the same tapes but then it was decided that we should re-organize it and make it more effective. The track listings were not so great in the first place, but we didn’t update them properly with the labeling. I think the duplication place put on the old labels at one point so there was a bit of a mix up.
METALLIAN: Stepping back for a second, were you in any other bands before Reactor?
GALEA: I was pretty much playing covers and practicing with people. I then ended in my first serious band. We were a Top 40 covers band and that was pretty successful but some of the members were still in high school so it was really difficult at the point to take it much further although the singer of the band moved to Toronto and got a decent career going. Her name is Elana Harte. That was more of a rock band before the age of tribute bands. We did a lot of things more on the classic ‘70s rock side. That band reached a certain kind of plateau where we couldn’t really progress and things kind of fractured at that point. That’s when I put an ad in The Montreal Gazette looking for other musicians to put a band together. I wasn’t totally set on what kind of style it would be. I was kind of open to suggestions when Mike and Grant called me up telling me, ‘we are really into this kind of stuff’ and all I had really heard was Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. That was the first eye-opener on that end of things. The first Ozzy Osbourne solo during Crazy Train was definitely an attention-grabber so it was all very intriguing. I hadn’t been in any lineup that was in that vein at all.
METALLIAN: What was the name of that classic rock band and what covers did you play?
GALEA: The band was called Frequency and did stuff like The Police, April Wine, some Zeppelin tunes and Rush. It was really across the board. A lot of it had to do with the tastes of the various band members including old Cream and Jimi Hendrix.
METALLIAN: Did you play any clubs?
GALEA: No, we played a couple of arranged gigs like a party in somebody’s basement set up with lights or on a small scale at somebody’s birthday, et cetra. The other was a community center where we played a theater-sized auditorium, which was pretty cool. We actually sold tickets and recorded the show. I don’t have the tape anymore, but it was definitely a good success for a bunch of kids. It was topping that which put us into a tight spot. We wondered where we could go from there.
METALLIAN: Where did you learn to play guitar?
GALEA: I am essentially self-taught. I have read a whole bunch of stuff and I understand the fundamentals of music theory. I had one year of music in high school so from that point of view I got the technicality of it. Other than that it was just from jamming along with records. Picking up a bit here and a bit there and always trying to tie it all together, really a lot of playing. Instead of always doing exercise it was more about being in touch with the feeling of what a guitar part is supposed to accomplish and always being in that mindset and then always trying to reach for certain sounds that I heard which pushed me to get the technique together. I think I learnt a lot of what I would have learnt from teachers, but in a more open-ended way with my own approach.
METALLIAN: Which guitar did you play?
GALEA: Whatever I could get my hands on. ultimately I gravitated towards Strats and Strat copies because they were more readily available than say a Les Paul that was kind of out of sight for a fifteen year old. The usual kind of cheap stuff and I got into fixing up at the same time just to make up for really horrible problems that some would have just to make them a little more playable and getting closer to the sounds I was hearing on the tapes.
METALLIAN: Where did you learn how to record bands?
GALEA: Ever since I was a kid I was the kind to fiddle around with the stereo to see what those wires were. I’d screw them and then and I was learning something when I was actually able to put them back together and it would work. From basically making simple stuff and a couple of little science projects I was just connecting wires and light bulbs. Putting all that together got me used to working with gear and I read a little bit and got a basic idea of what was going on with tape machines and a mixing board, a mike and stuff like that. Other than that it was really just setting them up and trying it out. If it didn’t sound like the latest record by whomever then it was back to the drawing board.
METALLIAN: Were you taping Reactor to start?
GALEA: No, we really got together to at first talk about doing covers but it became a production by the three of us pretty quickly. We had an idea about the kind of stuff we wanted to do and so I was really in as a player at that point and it just happened to be that I recorded us because it was about the only means we had to get anything done at all. Back in the days before PCs and hard disk recording the options were pretty slim so I wound up doing it by default. It was about whether I can do it or whoever could put their talents to good use to help the band and so that was my contribution other than playing guitar.
METALLIAN: Were there three demos from Reactor?
GALEA: We did three ourselves and even did a fourth one while I was still in the band. A fourth one was done in a nice studio actually which was kind of endowed on us. It was a really nice tape that we did that we never released for unclear reasons to this day. The music was very representative of us. We will eventually re-master it twenty years after the fact. So yes we had three releases the first of which just distributed locally. We only made cassette copies by hand. It was really a punk underground kind of doing things. The second one that got the most distribution was duplicated and went through a couple of runs - that’s the one that got the mixed up running order - but tapes of that one ended up in maybe a dozen countries just from the band tape trading. Our singer Mike Cee was really dedicated to that. He was always sending out tapes and writing letters. It basically took up most of his free time.
METALLIAN: You next joined Necrosis. Was the intention to produce them or produce them and be in the band or be in Reactor at the same time?
GALEA: It was an interesting kind of transitional period. It started as I met the original Necrosis lineup through a mutual friend. I met Lord Worm first. At the time they were looking for a second guitar player or they had been for their entire history and couldn’t find anybody compatible. I was already committed to Reactor. They definitely mentioned the available slot to me but I told them that I am with Reactor. They totally understood that. I hung out with them socially at first. I mentioned that we have been recording our demos and they were talking about doing something better than the ghetto blaster tapes they had been making and so I wound up recording them actually on two projects. At the time of the second project things were pretty much at an end with Reactor so soon after that I was a free agent but I tried and explored a few different things at that point. It was only a few months later that I heard from guitarist Steve Thibault that he was going to wrap up Necrosis because he was pretty unhappy about the way things were shaping up. He felt that things were stagnant and it wasn’t what he was envisioning. He already knew that I had split with Reactor and I asked him if he was interested in trying something out. He was very agreeable to that so it was soon after that we got together. This would have been in late 1991. All of this spanned from late ’89 when I first met them through most of ’90 when I was recording them and then ’91 when we eventually joined forces.
METALLIAN: So you recorded a demo tape for Necrosis first?
GALEA: Yeah, I recorded one that was deemed not acceptable for whatever reason. I think there was certain performance issues that not everyone was happy with. Then there was another one called Realms Of Pathogenia, which was released fairly extensively on the tape trading and local scene. That had a pretty decent production. It was a full-length.
METALLIAN: You recorded that?
GALEA: We set up a mobile studio. We rented a bunch of gear and set up in Steve’s basement. The drums were off in another room and we isolated the amps. it actually worked out pretty well.
METALLIAN: Did you play on it?
GALEA: I actually did a cameo, a solo, on one song.
METALLIAN: Do you remember which song?
GALEA: I think it was Plutonic Enclosure.
METALLIAN: Were you a full-fledged member on the self-titled demo that came next?
GALEA: Yeah, we were still called Necrosis. That would have been January ’92 so essentially a year later from the previous Necrosis release.
DAVE GALEA AND FLORENT MOUNIER
METALLIAN: At this point many were saying that Necrosis has a new guitarist and a new lease on life and is sounding more professional, but then the band went and changed its name. It was as though the band was not happy with itself anymore. It is ironic, isn’t it?
GALEA: The predominant influences on Necrosis would have been Slayer and the darker kind of thrash and speed metal whereas the Reactor style was Metallica, a more highly polished kind of sound. When we initially got together some of the material we were playing was held over for Necrosis material but the nature and character of the band changed so much that after a while a lot of the song didn’t seem to be picking up the energy that we thought they should have. There wasn’t enough uniqueness to the band. I remember Steve was saying that we sounded old school already and that we needed to embrace a more brutal thing. His inclination was always to get heavier anyway and I was good with that having gotten into grindcore and Napalm Death. I still am a Napalm Death fanatic. They were always my benchmark for heavy stuff so after a while the material we were doing under the Necrosis name didn’t fit with the common vision that we had. We had also started down tuning guitars so that changed things as well. So it was a combination of all these factors that said to us it’s not the same band and to call it the same thing would be misleading and not representative for ourselves.
At that point was decided to try to come up with a different name and I believe it was Lord Worm who came up with the name Cryptopsy, after the interim name Gomorrah. That would have been around September of ‘92.
METALLIAN: What did Cryptopsy mean?
GALEA: I think it was more a word play, a combination, ‘Crypt’ and ‘Autopsy.’ I think Autopsy was one of the bands that we liked, the really heavy doomy kind of sludge grind kind of a thing. I like the name and the way that it would flow.
METALLIAN: What was going on with the bassists?
GALEA: We had a revolving door with bassists. John Todds was the bass player from Necrosis. He was one of the original members and at that point he had just recently become a father and was quite wrapped up in that. He was working a lot. He didn’t feel he had the time and I think there was also a divergence of what we were interested in and what he liked. He was more into hardcore. He was very creative and an interesting player for sure and we wanted him in the lineup, but he wasn’t available enough really so we just mutually agreed that we’d look for somebody else. He played on the first new Necrosis demo and that was pretty much his contribution before he left. After that we found a guy, Kevin, who played on Ungentle Exhumation who was a friend of Flo’s at school. Kevin was at commercial arts program so we had a hard time practicing because he was always in a workshop working on projects for school. After about a year we wound up finding Martin Ferguson who wound up playing on the first full-length. Within a space of two and half years we had gone through guys and there were empty spots too.
METALLIAN: There was a keyboard player at this point with Necrosis.
GALEA: Not at that stage. This would have been before any of the transition happened. At one point they wanted to experiment with the sound because they weren’t having any success finding another guitar player to fit in with their speedcore and considering Steve’s rhythm chops at that point the people that did try said there is no way they could keep up with him. It was hard to find somebody to fill in so at one point they considered another option, which would be bringing doomy keyboards into the mix, heavy enough to blend well and could be quite interesting. They tried one guy who was very good but was already committed. He was already a gigging musician so he was gone for months on the road. They tried a couple of other people who either didn’t fit in or also weren’t available so that didn’t last very long, but there were a couple of practices and they may have played one show with that. It was a very interesting precursor to all the stuff that happened in the ‘90s with the black and gothic stuff.
METALLIAN: Do you remember the guy’s name?
GALEA: The only one I remember is the first name, Trevor.
METALLIAN: Now something strange happens. The band has rejuvenated itself, you personally are being welcomed as a breath of fresh air and you decide to leave.
GALEA: It was a difficult situation. It was kind of unfortunate the way things turned out. It came down to my availability for touring. That particular summer, in ’94, after we recorded the Ungentle demo there was a tour tentatively planned. I had committed myself back to courses at school. There was a bit of a tense situation where we got to hit the road but I am at these courses. There was a bit of a inflexibility as far as that went. It was a showdown from that point of view and I opted to walk away from it rather than face different options or outcomes. I wasn’t really prepared to see myself be ousted from a band that I had a hand in forming.
METALLIAN: You said there was the touring and class scheduling conflict but what did you imply when talking about a tense situation?
GALEA: We had done some touring prior to that and things hadn’t gone quite as smoothly as they could have. There were disagreements on how things were being run and I wasn’t there to be involved with problems on that front. I was interested in writing and producing the best recordings we could manage. From that point of view, just the fact that there wasn’t accommodation for my point of view was unfortunate. Everything combined I felt it was better if I let them carry on. It turned out that the plane really took off. It wasn’t clear that it would do much better than it had it seemed at a crossroads at that point.
METALLIAN: Looking back how would you describe the demo you were on, namely Ungentle Exhumation. What was the sound, style or intention with that one?
GALEA: I think that was a good representation of what we were about. It really coalesced all the things that we talked about amongst ourselves as far as our preferred sound, kind of intensity balanced with a certain amount of memorable… catchiness is a horrible word to use but there was something you could hang on to other than just sheer power of it which was no problem in that direction. It’s easy to make a lot of noise but it’s another thing to have like a certain amount of interest that you could hold during an entire series of riffs. We were fortunate to have a really good engineer behind the board at that point. I wasn’t recording that. We did that in a 24-track studio so it was a good facility. The guy there was excellent, Rod Shearer. It was definitely the right presentation for the songs that we had.
METALLIAN: The sound was heavier than anything Necrosis had attempted.
GALEA: Yeah, that was part of that whole evolution of the type of things that we were writing, transitioning away from the whole Necrosis, Reactor sounds and blending them to create something new combined with some early ‘90s reference points like being down tuned much more. It left the lighter forms of metal behind. It had a hardcore mentality but with more metal and a higher level of production. We put all that together. First we down tuned the guitars quite a beat and that was 80 or 90 percent of the difference and then the rest kind of followed from there. The riffs that we would write for that tuning came out differently as well. It just had a very different feel at that point. You are essentially able to create different moods, different tonalities, different atmosphere so yes it’s a quite a difference between that last Necrosis tape and the first Cryptopsy demo.
METALLIAN: Did you realize at that point that the band would get signed and have a recording career despite your departure?
GALEA: No, at that point everything was self-financed. Everybody was working and doing what they could to get by. It wasn’t any kind of smooth situation at all. It was a question of ‘are we going to come up with rent for the local this month.’ There was definitely a lot of hanging on just by sheer faith. We were talking about self-financing our first full-length at that point but it just seemed like we have sent out a bunch of stuff. We had contacted a bunch of people and everybody seemed to be appreciative and supportive but there didn’t seem to be a lot of excitement. Things picked up after we did the Ungentle demo, but it was still very much an underground band. Look at the lists of bands out there and ‘how do we stand out?’ I think we understood we were pretty good at what we did, but I think we were very critical of the point-of-view if we could have played that much better. We pushed hard but as far as breaking through it was a big question mark.
METALLIAN: Do you remember how the band found drummer Flo? He was in a hardcore band, wasn’t he?
GALEA: The connection there was actually through John Todds. He stuck with us in the initial period of the rebirth of Necrosis, no pun intended. He was more of a hardcore type of guy so he had a hardcore project on the side. I don’t know how he met Flo but he was the one who knew Flo. At that point when I got together with Steve, Dan ‘Lord Worm’ and John we didn’t have a drummer so the only guy whose name came up was Flo. I didn’t know if he would really be into this kind of stuff. We got in touch with him and got him down to the local and ran through a few things and it wasn’t the most earth shattering moment but it was definitely solid enough that we could do something there. He said he would be temporary until we found someone to replace him. Once we tried things on the grindcore side of things you could say that was the initial birth of Cryptopsy though we didn’t realize it then and at that point Flo said he would will stick around. Flo’s previous band was called Decay.
METALLIAN: Are you in touch with the older band-mates?
GALEA: The guys I see most often are the guys from Reactor, Grant the bass play and Mike Wattie the drummer. We have been good buddies pretty much across the years and all this time. I see the guys from Cryptopsy much less frequently. I have seen Flo couple of times over the years. We all met up at Steve’s wedding a number of years ago. I have been in touch on Facebook. Flo’s on there as well. I ran into Dan a couple if times on the street which is always very odd.
METALLIAN: What are the guys from Reactor up to?
GALEA: Everybody’s making ends meet. They are working and playing music when they can. I have been playing with Grant the bass player, we have been working together in various lineups that are just more low key, more for own enjoyment, we have been doing that for quite some time. Mike C. and I have spoken over the years. These days I haven’t heard too much from him but I think he was working at MusiquePlus for a while and he has done some work at underground comic books. He is very much into alternate culture, all the stuff that spawned industrial music, different kinds of metal. He is into Japanese animation.
METALLIAN: Have you heard the new Cryptopsy and do you keep track of their music at all?
GALEA: I am familiar with what’s been going on, as far as the controversy. I have listened to a couple of tracks. I can’t say anything one way or another. it is not what I am really into these days. I kind of understand the position they might be in. It’s hard to reproduce the same type of stuff over and over without feeling a certain amount of stagnation but at the same time the audience wants to keep hearing what they know and love. It’s always this kind of tension, balancing of things.
METALLIAN: The criticism is not so much the change, but that the change happens to be in line with the trend of the day and also people feeling what the band doing with this new style is not well done.
GALEA: As far as saying if they are doing that particular style justice or not I guess other people would be more in tune with that. I think it’s something done with the right attitude and with the right dedication to performing it well you are bound to get something that has some value but sometimes you could do that is beautifully executed but it’s just not what the person wants to hear then they are just not going to see the positive aspect of it. There is always a bit of a biased viewpoint. I think that’s the frustration on the part of the band. The fans have a legitimate gripe as well to say we like what we like. other bands do that kind of stuff so let them do it. It’s a hard call. I don’t want to say that anybody’s in the wrong per say because it’s all coming down to opinions.
METALLIAN: Are you in any bands now?
GALEA: Over the years since I did metal stuff. I was influenced by ‘90’s stuff.
METALLIAN: What does that mean, ‘90s?
GALEA: I was definitely into Nirvana and Seattle stuff. I liked Alice In Chains. I liked some of the heavier stuff like Helmet in some crossover stuff, I liked Fishbone, Radiohead. I wound up writing a lot of stuff in those various categories with my own kind of style too and so basically right now, last few years, I haven’t done much being involved in the whole family, domestic thing but at this point ready to get something back to full speed. I have always been playing, at this point it’s about finding the right drummer and pretty much everything else is in place. There is lots of material to choose from so it’s just about putting the wheels to motion.
METALLIAN: So you have a band?
GALEA: Not a solid line up yet but basically everything short of a drummer.
METALLIAN: What is the band called?
GALEA: We don’t have a name yet.
METALLIAN: Is there anything you can remember from the old days, Reactor, Necrosis or even Cryptospy that is interesting or good trivia?
GALEA: Some things would be unremembered, from being in some crazy state or another. Definitely some fun times hanging out with Necrosis in the early days before I joined. I was a big fan, would hang out with them, I thought they had a lot of cool tunes, lot of grooves. Lots of fooling around in the basement too. How fast you could empty that keg in the corner. Kind of old school, Metallica kind of house party. I am sure there were lots of funny moments but I can’t really remember.