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Tell us a little about the history on the band.
Profane was formed in late '92 with Kurt Vander Velden on vocals, Scott Willecke on guitars, Todd Mielke on bass, and Johnny Harke on drums. In late '93 we released our 1st demo entitled "Social Suicide" which recieved rave reviews from many zines worldwide. For the next 3 yrs. we played extensively and gained a large following throughout the Midwest (we are from Wisconsin.) In '95 Todd Mielke left the band to be replaced by Jason (Koz) Kosluscher.
Last year we released our 1st CD "1001 Proof" and the response has been pretty tremendous! We have gotten tons of great reviews and lots of air play on lots of metal radio shows worldwide. We were able to open for Overkill and also do shows with Jungle Rot, Fleshgrind, and Morta Skuld. We are also playing Milwaukee Metalfest for the 2nd time in a row.
Has it helped or hindered you by accidently having an album name similar to that of Pantera's live album?
It has definitely hindered us. It was never our intention to copy Pantera or anything. Our CD has been out since July 97 (which is when Pantera's came out.) and when we found out that Pantera's live album was 101 Proof, our Cd's were being pressed. Most people have been pretty understanding about the title and have focused on the music instead of the title which has been cool!
What do you think of Pantera's music?
I use to really like Pantera when Cowboys and Vulgar came out. I don't like the newer albums as much as the others. I'm into heavier stuff like Malevalent Creation, Morbid Angel, Bolt Thrower. One of my Fav. bands is a band from Chile called Criminal, those guys rule!
What are you trying to achieve with the music?
The main thing is we want to create music we like and are into. We try to make our music as powerful as it can be while making songs that you can't get out of your head. We try to do a lot of tension build and release if that makes sense. We try to release as much energy as we can in our music. Playing this music helps us keep our sanity!
Where does the inspiration for the lyrics come from?
We write about many social issues, stuff we've experiance or has affected us in some way, or about self destructiveness that we've all had to face and overcome. An example is Failure which is generally about not having confidence in yourself and just struggling to cope with everyday life. We like to write about the harshness of life.
What type of negative criticisms have you received over the years leading up to 1001 Proof?
I really can't think of anything as the reviews we got for our 1st demo were all really good but we didn't know how to promote it and only sent to about 8 magazines. We were more old school thrash and people described us as a cross between Vio-lence and Forbidden. Since then Kurt's voice has gotten deeper and we took the power end of it much further. Really, I can't think of any negative response. We did get a really bad review in one small zine for 1001 Proof saying we are Pantera wanna-be's but most people haven't felt that way. I admit a couple of the songs are kinda Panteraish on the CD but we are definately not Pantera wanna-be's! Buy the CD and judge for yourself! It is very heavy!
Anybody along the way that offered an extra amount of help that you'd like to thank?
There have been a few people who have helped us tremendously over the years. Mike Flood, we has done so much for us from recording Social Suicide and co producing 1001 Proof to being our sound man to being our "chore-boy." We can never thank him enough!! Dave Radely who got our 1001 Proof project rolling. He set up a studio just for us to record our CD and gave us a final product that we think sounds as powerful as we are live, Thank you Dave! We wouldn't have this CD if it wasn't for you!
Can you describe for our readers what type of effort from people outside of the band is required to get everything to work?
It does take a lot of effort from other people who believe in what you do. We got a tremendous break for both of our recordings as it would've costed us a fortune otherwise. We didn't have to pay much to record 1001 Proof, just the rental of the 2 ADAT machines. To have a product that sounds as great as it does for the price we paid for recording is unbelievable!
I must add about the effort it takes to get a bands name out there and all the promoting it takes. We are constantly doing mailings as we've sent out over 200 CD's so far to zines and radio shows (which we didn't do for our 1st demo) and that has to be the best thing we could have ever done. The response has been amazing. I can spend up to 5 hrs a day doing promotional stuff and I just want to go arrgggh but it has to be done. It can be very expensive but that is the only way to go. It's the only way to get your name out. They aren't going to find you, you gotta find them!
Anybody along the way that was a problem for the band? How did you deal with them?
No, not really. Todd left the band because he wanted to settle down with his girlfriend and start a family. We respected his decision and he is still a good friend of ours. There are times when we feel like killing each other but we work through them. What doesn't make us weaker only makes us stronger! Our band does function pretty good!
If someone wanted to drink gasoline on a future album cover of yours, how would they go about it?
That's funny! Well, for starters, get an afro! Make sure that it's unleaded gas or you'll get gut rot! No, seriously what we were trying to portray is that our music is very potent. I don't recommend anyone trying this at home as it has since affected his nervous system, he has uncontrollable muscle spasms, it gets pretty bad sometimes!
Do you guys think that too many people take music too seriously?
No, we take our music very seriously! You have to have some sense of humor about it and have fun doing it but we are very serious about the music we write and play. This band has been our whole lives for over 6 yrs. and we do take it very seriously.
Anything else you'd care to say to our readers?
Checkout our CD. It is very heavy and powerful! We are playing this years Milwaukee Metalfest so if anyone reading this goes, check us out! We play Fri. 24th at 6:00 on the upstairs stage. We also will have a new release out in fall of this year and will be different than 1001 Proof and will be even heavier and more powerful! It will have a little more death metal influence musically and I think some of the new songs are the best we've ever done! Checkout our website also! Thanks for the interview and keep up the great work with Tracks Of Creation!