[ Current Issue | Reviews | Interviews | Links | Section Index ]


John McEntee

by Neil St.Laurent (Phone)

Probably a far stretch, but back in 1989 do you remember what made you want to far a death metal band?

Yeah, I was kind of in a death metal, or death thrash type band before that, [...], it wasn't a totally new thing for me, at the time to do Incantation, but what was new to me at the time was trying to form a band doing a 100% what I like, I [joined the other band], it wasn't something that I had total freedom to just be myself in, as far as musically. The main reason I formed [Incantation] was because I wanted to do death metal [...] because it was a decision I had to make in my life, what I want to do, do I want to continue playing in bands or do I want to be like a normal person. I decided what I want to do, [I'm going] to do something I want to do, play metal and stuff, and I wanted to play metal that I enjoy, and that's death metal. So it's like fuck it, I decided I was going to go for it and play the music I want to play. It was a complete concept of a band as far as [playing] totally death metal and have it dark and evil, and it was also going to be to play music that wasn't going to conform to anybody and be something that we totally, we were going to do it because we liked doing it, not for the fact of get people liking it. Actaully we used to say, "our stuff is going to be so sick everybody's going to hate us." Which is good, it kind of back fired, band's should just play what they liked, they'll do a hell of a lot better job than playing what's trendy.

What type of reaction did you get from your friends and family when you first started Incantation?

They just probably think I'm fucked, you know. [...] I really don't discuss too much band stuff with my family, I know they pretty much don't really understand. They are happy with the fact that I've released albums and stuff like that and followed my heart [for the music], even though they have no clue what the whole deal is all about. It doesn't matter to me, I don't really care whether they know or not, sometimes it's better they don't know, so they don't bug me and ask questions at family gatherings. It's not the most fun thing to explain to your mom that you're blaspheming Christ.

Why did that come about? Why the defamation of religion throughout the lyrics?

[...] It's something that I feel or whatever, inside. [...] There were bands doing it before. When we started Incantation, it wasn't very popular at the time to do that. Most folks that were doing the [satanic] thing, they were considered not as cool, [it] was actually cooler to write political type lyrics or whatever [...] We did it totally to [write about the way we felt]. Just from living life and learning stuff about religion or whatever, and pretty much the metal age style in general is not the most prided by the Catholic [trinity] thing or whatever. They're not really psyched about it, it's pretty much a normal backlash. I remember [that] almost every band I used to like used to get shot-down in cheesy ways on the 700 club, it kind of bummed me out. I don't really care that much, but I thought it was really gay, that they had to like put-up like Black Sabbath albums and say it was all black and this and all that [...]. Seeing [stuff] like that, being shut down in metal music for so long, it just kind of like, it's a natural progression, you know. Now it's just that I've gotten a little deeper into, that's all.

What type of resistance did that give you to the music?

What do you mean?

Like the lyrics and stuff, what type of resistance did you get trying to get into clubs and touring over the years?

We really don't have problems with it. It's actually kind of funny because we've played shows in a Catholic high school and stuff like that. There was this one in [New Jersey] when were still living in New Jersey, and we thought it was great, I mean they were paying us to play there and we were going to their place and totally blaspheming. [...] We don't see too much resistance to the band from that type of stuff, of course from what I've heard, I haven't actually seen it, we've been on one of those religious programs, I forget who it was, one of my friends in town said he'd seen it, our album "Onward To Golgotha" on there, the first one, and they were naming song titles and [asking] how this stuff should be allowed to be recorded and purchased by the youth of America, it was pretty fun. Anything to piss of Christians is kind of fun to me, I don't know, it's more of like a fun past-time almost now.

So you sort of enjoy the negative publicity you get from it?

Oh yeah, I just enjoy pissing off people like that, people that don't know anything about metal, or anything about what, at least, we're all about, and take everything we do for a 100% face value, I think it's funny when they get all pissed, because they don't really know that the bottom line with our music lyrics is not just stupid blasphemies on religion, it's more about freeing yourself and finding the true person within yourself and you going with your own instincts and not being restricted by religion [...] that's really what it's all about. [...] When they look at it for face value, it's kind of fun to play with people that do that, they think that we're liking drinking goat's blood and sacrificing virgins, [...] that's the last thing we'd do, we'd fuck them first at least.


You don't think these people should be taken seriously then?

[...] They shouldn't be taken seriously at all. Some of these people I've known have no clue to death metal at all, especially people that have no clue to even metal. [...] It's just fun to see them get all pissed and stuff, for me it is at least. I couldn't care less what they think, but if they think like I'm the anti-christ, that's cool, I'm definitely not pro-christ.

Did you ever get anybody showing up at the shows trying to stop people from going in or anything like that?

Fortunately we've never had that problem before us, well we've only had that problem actually in Mexico. They had posters all around [...] that said "Unholy satanic death metal", the government, there's to different major governments in Mexico, PAN and PRI, and the PAN is wholy a reigious government, and [...] they fucking freaked out, they basically went to our show and the cops went there and shit they basically told people that they needed to be 21 with ID to get in, when originally it was an all ages show, and when asked the reason why they said it was a fucking bloody orgy, you know, fucking sacrifices and stuff like that, and you have to be over a certain age to be able to witness something like that. I thought it was fucked.

So if you were of age you could actually witness blood sacrificies?

*laugh* Yeah, what it was were they were just making up stupid excuses, but it was fucked because there was a good 700 / 800 people at the show, and only 200 were allowed to get in because these were people that were over the age, but they didn't have ID so they weren't allowed in. It was really and unfortunate situation, but I thought it was kind of funny at the same time, because the fun they were talking about would be kind of fun if that was the truth. [...]

So you're not thinking of incorporating the stuff they said into the show?

Well we're thinking about it you know, they gave us some good ideas. It would be cool to have some kind of blood orgy. [...]

Where are some of your future tours taking you to?

There's a lot of stuff in speculation, who knows exactly what's going to happen. Of course we have the Morbid Angel tour with Vader, possibly we're going to do a European tour, then after that there is talk of going to South America, places like Peru and Chile and Brazil and stuff like that, also like in Mexico, we're working at trying to get something down there. And we're really looking forward to getting where we can play Japan and stuff like that [...]

Is there any place you've been to before that you wouldn't want to go back to?

No, there's no place where I wouldn't want to go back to, as far as towns and stuff, there's nothing that bad. I've been places where even if the turnout sucks there is always some true metal warriors there that have been with the band for a long time, [...] We've played some places where it's been really fucked up, like in Columbia in stuff like that. It was great, the people were awesome, and it was a great turnout, but the fucking government, it was fucked. We had like fucking army people at the club guarding it from outside, checking everybody for guns and just fucking, people, there was like violence outside and stuff, it was crazy, but it was fun at the same time, to actually experience that kind of stuff first hand. We toured over there, well we did three shows, not really a tour, and like going through the mountains in Columbia and having fucking Geurilla warfare fighting in the mountains while we're driving by, that was kind of interesting.

You don't use any of those experiences for the lyrics or anything in the songs?

No, not really, I mean everything gets tossed in there somewhere, but I use that exact situation for it, it was pretty fucked up, actually, Columbia. We almost all got sprayed with fucking glass from the side of the bus, because a truck was driving down the other side of the highway and a case of coca-cola bottles fell off it and fucking smashed right in front of the bus, if we were just driving like one mile faster, it would have been shattered on the side of the bus and it'd be bloody and Incantation would probably be over.

That's no good.

Yeah, it's cool.


Okay, yeah, that's cool if you want. Any odd situation you're hoping to have in the future on a tour?

[...] I don't really know, to me touring is a lot of fun, especially in different countries, you don't know what the fuck to expect. I just like seeing what things are all about, we'll tour practically anywhere, it sometimes sucks in certain countries when their government doesn't like that you're there, I know certain bands have gotten harassed by police and stuff in places like El Salvador and stuff, but I don't really know, whatever comes our way is cool, as far as the situation goes, I'll just deal with it.

You'll just keep going to wherever the fans are.

Yeah, if there is people that like metal, I'm there. [...] We were like the second underground band to go to Columbia and the first death metal band to go there, no one wanted to go there, because they heard about this geurilla warfare that's going on and stuff like that. But in the major cities there, there is not geurilla warfare going on, like Bogata, and shit like that, it's pretty much in the mountains and [places] like that. It's not like you're walking down the street and worring about some guy with a mask and an uzy shooting at you, or anything that, it's not as bad as LA or anything.

It doesn't concern you at all, anything like this, when you travel?

No, not really, when you think about it, it's fucked, it's a totally different culture, and you only live once, and I live life for metal, and if I'm going to die it's going to be doing something for metal. [...] At least it's not like I didn't do anything, I could easily sit home and be safe, but maybe my house will burn down and I'll die in my sleep.

As long as you're being positive.

Are there any bands that you haven't toured with yet that you'd like to tour with?

A kick ass band from Brazil called Crucion, they're fucking like totally totally aggressive and they're just fucking gods. As far as other bands, of course any band that is death metal and bigger than us that could help us reach more fans [...] If all of the bands are fucking [totally] into it, as long as you're not like fucking dicks, or stuff like that. [There is a] share of bands that are complete fucking assholes.

Have you toured with anybody like that?

Yeah, fuck yeah, I won't mention there names because I don't want to give them any kind of promotion at all. I'm not keeping it silent just so they won't be pissed at us, I just don't want to give them the promotion.

Do you have a solid line-up now, I know you've had a volatile history, do you have a set of guys you can work with now?

I hope so. [...] All the problems in the past, [we never expected that]. You never know, next time we go to Columbia we may be killed by geurilla warfare. [...]

So say part of your band was killed by geurilla warfare, would the tour continue?

Well, it'd matter what the situation was, but we'd try, take things as far as I could. It's not easy, you know. It's matters if they were [just brutally wounded] we'd try to get them to a hospital, but if were just totally [killed] it's be kind of tough you know. The other bands we're touring with [might] pull it off.

Tracks Of Creation May / June 1998
Copyright ©1998 Borcek
Comment / Criticism / Suggestion