(Ryan Parks - vox, guitars, Al Noxious - bass, vox, Leviathan - drums)
So what the heck happened to Poets of the Plague?
Ryan: Poets had its run in the sun for three years. We did just about all we wanted to with the exception of a major tour. First Al left, then we got Mike Carlton, and then we got another guitarist in Jamie Boulanger.
There was differences between our drummer Renee Maxwell, and I just said fuck it - it's over. I had already started something with Al in the meantime. Carlton is now working in the t.v. business, Jamie is with Spear Chamber and Inhuman Visions, and Renee was in Unsanctified for awhile, but is now chillin.
When did Conqueror Worm become an official band? Did it start out as a side project or was it a new band after the old one bit the dust?
Ryan: Conqueror Worm started out in 2000 as a side project with Al and I. We were working on a movie soundtrack for a friend of ours and it turned out to be much heavier shit than the original Poets. And it was a lot more powerful, which is what I always wanted. We decided to go all out and recruited Leviathan from one of Al's old bands. He's a fucking mad-man on those skins!!
What smells worse: a rotted corpse or my grandma after eating a can of baked beans?
Al: A rotting corpse smells worse. I like the smell of your grandmother's farts, especially when she's sitting on my face and farting peanuts out of my beard.
So you say that your songs are horror stories. Does that mean stories of people walking around a haunted house with ghosties jumping out screaming "Boo", or is it zombies eating brains, or is it truly scary like Michael Jackson and his 40 facelifts?
Al: Ghosties and zombies type of horror lyrics have to be in there. It's part of the kind of horror story that isn't really scary, but it's nostalgic part of any horror movie watchin, comic book readin, metal listen', macabre-obsessed fan or writer. The Michael Jackson type of horror lyrics have to be in there too, and those actually are the scarier lyrics.
Ryan: I've always gone for the scare. I think I'm scared of life in general and it just pops out and becomes easier to lay it down through the music. Al and I would like to do movies someday, when we have the time and the money. For now we do it through the tunes.
While were at it, tell me a scary story…
Ryan: Britney Spears wants to go gay, Osama Bin-Laden gets a nuke, your grandma actually wants to meets Al Noxious, and they all go down to the yellow brick road to ask Ozzy for their wishes to come true. Shall I go on?
Who does the song-writing? What kind of frame of mind do you have to be in to write a song filled with gore and other ooky things?
Ryan: Song-writing is a joint effort. As the guitarist I throw down a lot of the material and then we run with it. Al will usually mix it up with me until it's truly heavy (he's good at that shit), and then we give it to Leviathan and he pounds it all into one mass. State of mind is a pinball bouncing in and out of darkness with blinking lights and disturbing bells.
Do you read many books to get inspiration for your music? How about movies? Any authors or movies that seem to really inspire you?
Ryan: All of us have read a library's worth of literature. Movies the same. Leviathan and I are into Stephen King and Clive Barker, amongst others. Al is into a lot of different stuff - he just finished UCLA with a BA in literature. My favorite movie of all time is The Exorcist, Leviathan goes for Lord of the Rings, and I believe Al's is Shawshank Redemption.
If you didn't write these songs and get all these thoughts out in a constructive way, do you think you might have gone on in life to become a menace to society?
Ryan: I was pretty bad to society for along time. I sold drugs for most of my life and did just about all of them, I picked fights, all kinds of shit. Then I got it together about eight years ago and have been a pretty stable guy for the most part, but I still have cravings to kill once in awhile (ha). Oh, here comes our beast - Leviathan…
Leviathan: Fuck!! I am a menace to society.
Al: If I hadn't written theses songs and taken part in the underground music for nearly the past decade, God knows where I'd be. But I'd probably be a damned sight closer in mentality to the kind of repressed nerd that finally explodes and takes out his failure on the rest of the world. Kids- go out and be violent and evil through artistic expression; it'll keep you from being that way towards others.
Have you been doing any touring? Opened for any bands you wanna brag about?
Ryan: We had a release party that went well. Other than that we're mostly promoting at the moment. Al and I in Poets played with some of the best including Six Feet Under, Mortician, Incantation, Dying Fetus, and oh yeagh, you can throw System of the Down and Kotton Mouth Kings in there too.
What's been the hilight of your careers as big, scary, death metal people thus far?
Leviathan: The deal I made with the devil!
Al: The highlight always was, and probably always will be, whenever we're dicking around with some new riff, and it turns into this heavy piece of music - the kind of music we want to hear when we buy an album.
So tell me, what do your families think of your musical interests?
Ryan: My parents deal with it. My older brother Pat molded me from child-hood. Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Preist, Trouble, St. Vitus - I've been in this scene for over 25 years. So it's all good.
Al: My family has always been very supportive of me (though they were none too thrilled about my tattoos).I'm proud to say that even though I've been into some sick music, books, comics, and other art forms, my peeps always recognized that I wasn't into that stuff to spite them. The only thing they didn't let me do was get a Mr. T. haircut when I was five.
Leviathan: Many years ago I played so much fucking metal with bands in my room that my ceiling collapsed one day, after that my Mother hated it (RIP).
What have you been listening to lately?
Al: Warhorse, Grief, a death metal band called Harikari, the soundatrck to Road to Perdition and Dana Gould's "Funhouse". Gould is an L.A. stand up comedian. I nearly shat myself when I heard his Vincent Price impressions.
Ryan: Bolt Thrower, Crown, Lamb of God, Cathedral, & King Diamond are on top of my cd player at the moment. In my car is Suicidal Tendencies "Suicidal for Life".
Leviathan: Heavy Metal 2000, the new Tool, System of the Down, and oh yeagh, Ryan turned me on to Trouble (I can't believe it has past me up all these years)
Ryan: For those of you out there that haven't heard Trouble go buy some immediately - try "The Skull"and Psalm 9" off the bat - they are lords of doom, and friends of mine as well.
If they were really witches, why don't they use their power to escape?
Al: They don't escape because they're filthy whores, built to be that way by their evil witch sires and madames, and secretly they believe that they deserve to be bound in this manner. Who the fuck are we talking about again. Sabrina, right?
What do you have planned for the future?
Ryan: We've had offers to sign and we're deciding on what's best for us. We'll be hooking up shows pretty soon. A lot of promoting to do for our new album "Sometimes Dead Is Better". I'm playing around with my friends Allen & Sean in a punk/metal band called Embryo Picnic on the side. Al is applying to Law Schools, so a lot of shit is going on. I believe this album will go as far as we hope. It some good solid heavy, heavy metal. And I'm sure with all the personal shit going on will still put out some more goodies in the future, and it will be even heavier!
Any final comments?
Ryan: If you like your metal really heavy and twisted, and if you like horror movies, and if you like death, then I suggest you pick up our cd "Sometimes Dead Is Better" we're giving it away at $10.00 a pop, has tweleve songs in all (2 hidden tracks including a sick cover of "Anything") Reach us at www.conquerorworm.com or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The website has some downloads. And thanks to Corrosion for this opportunity to spit out our comments. Horns up!!
Al in the studio
Leviathan in the studio
Ryan in the studio