Greetings, Vault Hunters! Today I’m summoning forth a very special treat from far beyond the grave. One of my favorite figures in corpse paint entertainment made a special trip from the depths of the abyss to answer some questions for me, the one and only, Necrosexual! Hailing from the Philadelphia area, he crafts a very distinct blend of thrash metal with blackened aesthetics and some hints of rock ‘n roll. So let us move forth and divulge together in a void of scary, sexy, and most importantly, undead horrors!
Nick: I need to know the story behind the idea of Necrosexual. The band name, the makeup, the whole sexy and scary thing, where did this all come from?
Necro: It came from within! *laugher* It’s a very simple story, it was born when the Necrosexual seeds were planted, which was the first time I listened to Slayer when I was fourteen years old. You always remember your first time, and if there was ever a Necrosexual deflowering, it was no doubt the very first time I heard Reign In Blood on my fourteenth birthday. That really plunged me down the path of darkness. And from there, it always came from such a natural place in terms of when The Necrosexual began raising hell in 2011. It was one of those things where I was performing, and at the time, I wanted to do something that was more of a one-man-army type thing within the performance art circle. So I was thinking something like Bathory, and the name Necrosexual was meant to be derivative. Nowadays, it’s like a blessing and a curse because of how many bands have “necro” as a suffix. But to the average schmuck that doesn’t know every single fucking “necro” band out there -I do perform outside of extreme metal circles- it was kinda the point. It was my twisted humor on an aesthetic that was already established; me releasing my inner hellraiser but also me poking fun at it, and putting my own perspective on it in 2011. From there, the necromania has evolved from that point.
Nick: Damn! What an answer!
Necro: I gotta be careful Nick, I interviewed Jeff Waters from Annihilator, and that motherfucker talked for chapters at a time!
Nick: *laugher* So your band is one that I’ve actually had a tougher time describing musically, despite having reviewed both albums. I get traces of black metal, thrash, crossover, rock ‘n roll, and even punk. You already mentioned Slayer, but aside from that, what are your biggest musical influences that you drew all of that from?
Necro: Well you know, man, that is a high compliment, and I’m thankful for that because one of my criticisms is how you pay homage to your heavy metal heroes without sounding like a total throwback. If I really wanted to, I could do that, but I don’t have much interest because these days, everything is a throwback. There are a lot of “old school death metal” bands, which is funny because you’re “old school death metal,” but it’s 2020. *laugher* I dig a lot of classic death metal, and a lot of black metal. There are bands that still sound like Darkthrone and the Norwegian scene thirty years later. So my goal is to honor the fucking hellraisers that innovated and inspired me but also use my own wit to hopefully propel that into a somewhat new direction in the future or at least a direction that’s a little bit unexpected. That’s the thing about Necrosexual; it’s unexpected; it’s like that boner in the night that you don’t see coming.
*insert “boner in the night” sang to the tune of “Strangers In The Night”*
But to answer your question, in terms of my point, it’s good that you have a hard time describing it. Most black metal fans hate me. I mean they’re fucking dicks, black metal fans hate everyone, they listen to my music and go “this isn’t black meta!” and, ya know, fuck you; might as well say Venom’s not black metal. But it’s definitely a bit thrashier; Slayer, Kreator, Exodus, Celtic Frost, Sodom, Dark Angel. I was a guitar and bass player before Necrosexual, and I love riffs, and I love playing them. The more you write, the more you want to challenge yourself to come up with gnarly shit. I obviously have a very close working relationship with the gentlemen of Basilysk, so they’ve kept me on my toes. Whether it’s accurate or not, I always try to say I’m going for Venom meets Van Halen. Not to oversimplify it, but both bands have an in-your-face, rowdy attitude, and they are both kinda tongue-in-cheek. So there’s a lot of influences.
Nick: I see that! So, Gory Hole Overture In F#!
Necro: Thank you for getting the key correct!
Nick: Of course! The first time I ever saw that I didn’t have a clue what to think. There’s got to be some kind of reason behind this. I read on Bandcamp that “the forces of darkness can only be summoned in F#.” Why F#?
Necro: Well it’s an EP, and four out of the five songs are in the key of F#. All of the songs from the intro to “In Ancient Days,” which is a Black Widow cover, are in that key. It wrote itself, my guitarist Anthony Gabriele had a major hand in writing the title track. Most of that song is him, I contributed maybe one riff, but the chorus and main riff is mostly Anthony’s style; he has a very classic style, where mine is a bit more thrashy and maybe more spastic. Especially if you listen to “Orgy On Your Burial,” that’s all me, which is all over the place. That one’s also not in F#, but I wanted to record it, so fuck it. You gotta make the rules and then break the rules. To tie that together, without rambling, we covered the Black Widow song. And according to Ryan Dredrot, who contributed drums to “Orgy On Your Burial,” as well as drumming for the band quite often, -along with Michael Lee Churry, I use two different drummers depending on who’s available- one of the dudes in Black Widow came up with “F# is the key to summon the devil.” The long and short version is it wrote itself.
Nick: I noticed that you had different drummers each time I saw you.
Necro: Yeah man, it’s like the Millenium Falcon; same ship, different crew, and not a scratch on it. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Black Widow, but they were ahead of their time. Them and Coven were doing the whole “satanic” and “occult” thing, worshipping and hailing Lucifer in like 1970. Black Sabbath was doing it more for shock value, and their music was a bit more psychedelic and hippy-dippy. “In Ancient Days” is probably one of the best songs off of Black Widow’s debut album Sacrifice. But my point is, it wrote itself, and it came from that, according to the lore of my bandmate and friend Ryan Dredrot.
Nick: You almost answered this next question, but I was going to ask where the idea of recording “Orgy On Your Burial” in a dark basement came from. Is it because that one was written differently?
Necro: Yeah, one thing with The Gory Hole Overture In F# I wanted to do was make it like a concerto piece. It is a suite, the first four songs on that EP are all in that same key with a common theme. But then I wrote “Orgy,” and I was planning on putting it on the next album, but we had studio time, so I said fuck it, let’s record this song for the EP. This one is detuned, it’s not in E-standard, it’s in drop D like how we play Basilysk songs. Mike Churry and those dudes definitely got me into that mindset. We recorded it in a dark-ass basement in Red Water Recording in South Philadelphia, which is actually where we also recorded Grim-1. A lot of those riffs are ten years old or more. There are riffs on that song that I came up with in high school orchestra, which is totally grim! I had the song title written in like 2014, but it was a totally different song, and that version never really cut the mustard, so it got scrapped. But I liked the song title, and pairing it with older and newer riffs, as well as with new lyrics, gave it like this Edgar Allen Poe revenge tale. The humiliation of desecration; killing your enemies isn’t enough, you have to bury them and then have sex over where they’re buried. *laugher* It’s twisted, and I’m proud of that. You’ve gotta go the extra mile of darkness to think of something that twisted. It’s my riffiest song yet, and it’s the last song on the EP, so it’s a taste of things to come in terms of the next batch of recordings, which is already on the way. It’s gonna be more of that fast riffy black/thrash style, but still very old school, and ultimately very catchy.
Nick: My favorite tune is actually off of the Grim-1 album, “Dead Sexy.” That’s mostly because of the traditional rock intro the busts into total chaos. How did the writing for that one come together?
Necro: That is probably one of the OG, first Necrosexual songs ever written, and I have to give props to Frank at Metal Injection. They’ve been a great platform that have helped me spread my message of demented necromania. I recorded that in a very rudimentary, super lo-fi demo version at Backroom Studios, and Frank from Metal Injection was there to film it all. It’s one of their videos online. That studio is in New Jersey, operated by Kevin, from a little band you may have heard of called The Dillinger Escape Plan. I don’t listen to them, I couldn’t name you a song if I heard it on the radio, but the kids like it! They’re not old school. I guess they are old, 1999 isn’t ten years ago anymore. But I recorded that version for Metal Injection for a video, and you can listen to that version on the Metal Injection website. It was one of those things where when people ask me, “what does Necrosexual mean?” I say, “it means dead sexy!” It’s slang for what I stand for. I will not confirm nor deny postmortem penetration happening from beyond the grave or into the realm of fleshly desires, but I just tell people it means dead sexy. It’s a good name, it sticks, and I think I wrote that song in like a half-hour. Back then, I was trying to write things in as simple and lo-fi as possible. One, to keep it kinda “trve kvlt” and two because, from a functional standpoint, I didn’t know who I was playing with. I was still struggling to find people to play with, and I can’t play drums. The original idea was to keep the songs super simple, like The Ramones level, because we might have a drummer that can’t play that. It’s probably the fastest song I’ve ever written, which says something about the creative process sometimes. When you remove those time-blocks, there’s no bar, which is a teachable learning moment for all of the metalheads out there. I gotta give credit to Anthony again for that rockabilly intro, and how it goes from that to a Kill ‘Em All style speed metal song.
Nick: I don’t know how often you get asked about this one.
Necro: My grandma’s basement?
Nick: Well no, but now I’m curious, and you have to tell me about that.
Necro: That’s one-hundred percent true, baby! It would make sense if I said I grew up in my grandmother’s basement because of coming from a broken home, but nope! I came from a regular family. I spent a lot of my twenties in my grandma’s basement as a grown man far longer than I had to. That aesthetic and environment plays a very honest role in my music and creativity. I feel like you can’t truly be a black metal warlord if you’re not putting on fucking corpsepaint in your grandma’s basement! *laughter*
Nick: I was going to ask about the “Paint It Black” cover. That caught me so off guard. When I saw the tracklist, I thought, “Nah, no way,” and then I heard it and was like “holy shit it is!” I was surprised at how good it was because songs like that played in this style are either hit or miss.
Necro: That’s probably my least favorite song. I think it’s a lot of “miss.” It came from a good place, though.
Nick: It feels like an undead version of the tune, I gotta know where that came from.
Necro: If you’re gonna cover a song, why not cover one that twenty-thousand other bands have covered? *laughter* I love The Rolling Stones; they’re super kvlt in their own way. They dabbled with some satanic shit, and they’re living legends, and that’s true fucking rock ‘n roll right there. But in terms of that, it’s right on the head. The origin of “Paint It Black,” there’s a venue in Philadelphia that is very close to my heart called Franky Bradley’s. I performed there opening night in 2015, and I’ve had a few album release shows there. It’s a good place to hang your hat in Hell, and it feels like yesterday. I was going to perform a duet with a performer of “Paint It Black.” And then they saw what I looked like and thought, “you know what? He’s actually a fucking weirdo, and I don’t wanna be associated with him,” and they backed away. So there I was, I wrote this Necrosexualized version of “Paint It Black” for a little duet that never happened. That was before I gave myself a glitter-bukake all over the stage, which made the glitter engrain itself for days. So that is what birthed the “Paint It Black” cover, and I probably wouldn’t have covered it if it wasn’t for that. I wanted to go for something to accommodate the other performer. They suggested “Back In Black,” and I said, “fuck AC/DC, let’s do Paint It Black” because at least it’s more thematically appropriate. Nothing against AC/DC, but I wasn’t feeling it as much. But like I said, that song has been covered so many times. It’s a basic bitch song. I do want to do another Necrosexual covers album. Whenever that day comes, it’s gonna be a lot of non-metal songs for that reason. I’m not gonna try and just do shit that’s been covered before. But it turned out the way it did, I’m happy with it, and it’s fun to whip out from time to time.
Nick: I didn’t realize that there was a Necrosexual covers album.
Necro: Well it hasn’t actually happened yet, but there are definitely gonna be some rotten renditions for the future sometime. It’s not high on the priorities; I’m also recording a new three-song EP that might or might not be split with another band from the Philadelphia area. You can look forward to that, the songs are all laid down, except for vocals and a few lead guitar parts. But I’d love to do some cover songs because it’s fun and it’s easy.
Nick: Hey man, thanks for taking some time to answer these questions. I love hearing about what goes into stuff like that, with shocking aesthetics to your group.
Necro: Of course, thank you!