Dave Gonzalez interviewed by PSL
You played your return show on July 13th at the Rock Bottom Tattoo Bar alongside with Inherit Disease and Condemned. Did the show go as planned and are you happy with the turnout and response?
We had a great response and for a Sunday night death metal show, it was a pretty good turnout. Inherit Disease and Condemned had gotten into an accident on the road the day before. A five car pile up that totalled one of their two vehicles. Mike of Disfigured drove his van out there and saved Condemned allowing them to make it to the show. They both played great sets considering their circumstances. Thankfully none of them were injured in the crash. The show had its share of bands dropping off and being added, but it made no difference. Everyone that was there to see Exulcerate stuck around until the end.
Do you have more gigs line-up at the moment?
We do not have any planned right now but we are being offered shows all the time. That first gig was to show how far we have come this year. We are proud of our songs and wanted to give people a chance to hear them. We won't be playing any more gigs until we have a complete set.
After the release of Remnants of a Cannibalistic Debauchery the band broke up. What happened?
It all started before we went on our U.S. tour with Immersed In Blood, Eternal Ruin and Solidification. Guitarist Angel Tarin had dropped out of the band and vocalist Aaron Mendiola quit the band right before the tour. Matt Hernandez had displayed that he could handle doing the vocals and playing. The three of us left decided to continue with the tour without them since we had been practicing as a three piece pretty much the whole year anyway. The tour had its ups and downs as most first tours go for a band. Once completed Matt strayed away from the band and it was down to just me and Dennis Sanders. We were already writing songs so we just continued on. Dennis began playing with the bands Martyred and HOD leaving less time for Exulcerate to practice. Eventually Dennis began playing shows with the other bands and I decided to search for new members because he was doing very well and I thought it would be best. Some time went where I was the lone member of Exulcerate. I had been talking to Aaron and Angel about putting the band back together but that hadn't panned out. Luckily a good friend of mine Vern from another band Ball Gag told me about this guy he knew that played drums. We got together and found that our styles compliment each other perfectly. At around the same time I began talking to Angel again about putting the band back together and he was very excited to get it going again. Matt had been locked up, but was released around this same time also. He wondered about his place in the band and I told him we always have a spot for him in this band. So by means of chance or fate Exulcerate plays again.
You later reformed Exulcerate. What motivated this?
To tell you the truth I never had any intention of putting the band to an end. I would have written and played it all myself if I had too. Nothing was going stop me.
The band has undergone many changes in the line-up during the years. The current line-up, is that the most stable to date?
I believe that it definitively is. John our new drummer really has a fire for it and comes to practice more often then anyone I've jammed with before. Matt also has more motivation taking on the lead vocal duties and has appeared at a lot more practices than he did in years past. Angel has continued writing songs while not playing in a band so he comes to the table with material to work with. We are all working well together.
The inspirations today, are they any different from when you first began?
Speaking from my perspective I tend to listen to my share of old and new. A lot of the albums that influenced me as a guitar player when I was younger still have the same effect on me so I tend to jam them from time to time. As for newer stuff I've been listening to Odious Mortem, Origin, Spawn Of Possession, Psycroptic, Necrophagist and that type of stuff.
I read on your MySpace page that you're working on a new CD. How far have you come in that process?
We have four complete songs and a lot of recordings full of riffs, ideas and jam sessions. There is a lot of material, it just needs to be sorted and structured.
Angel wrote all of Remnants of a Cannibalistic Debauchery except for two songs. The other guitar player quit soon after the recording and I joined almost immediately. I went into the studio somewhat unprepared and put down some solo tracks. We began playing shows shortly after that and had a long run. I had written some songs with Dennis over the years, but decided to start new with John so the sound will definitely be different although since Angel is still in the band the sound Exulcerate is known for will still be represented. My style tends to be a bit faster and I try to incorporate my groove within that. Also being a soloist you will be sure the album will be ridden with them. In the end its all mosh music.
I remember visiting your website back in 2004 when I did a review of the Samples of Sickness demo and the page was extremely gory with content like that found on rotten.com. I was surprised to see that you had Mike Hrubovcak artwork on the debut and not just a gory picture taken from rotten.com. Have you left that kinda gory imagery behind or is it something we'll see again?
We tend to stick to the topic we all agree on: death! Exulcerate is known for being extremely sick and the music will represent such. We do have some other ideas to incorporate into it but I'm sure it will still be related to death.
I like the artwork on Remnants of a Cannibalistic Debauchery a lot. I think it fits the feel of the music very well. How central do you think it is to have an artwork that embodies the music and lyrics?
A CD cover should be something that connects to the album in my opinion. In order for people to take what we do seriously the same effort must go into ideas and imagery as much as the music. I feel if you're going to take your music to the extreme everything else around it should be as well.
Remnants of a Cannibalistic Debauchery was put out via Comatose Music. Do you plan to continue working with Steve and Comatose on the next album?
There are some talks with Disfigured about doing a split. Their new album Blistering of the Mouth just came out on Comatose. Steve has done a lot for us and we will always be in support of Comatose. As for the next album there are no plans yet how we will be releasing it.
I know that besides Exulcerate there are bands like Engaged In Mutilating, Putrilage and Eviscerated in San Antonio. Is the death metal underground healthy in San Antonio and in Texas in terms of bands and support from the fans?
We actually have been very inactive for almost two years now so jumping back into it I haven't had a real chance to see what the scene has too offer. I know in the past we always had good shows all over Texas. San Antonio used to be known as the metal capitol, but the scene was overrun years ago. We hope to build it back up as a metal capitol. Fans in Texas in general are very devoted to their music of choice and we've continued to get support even when we weren't playing shows. Both Aaron and Dennis are still good friends of ours and have been very supportive in our return to the stage.
Is Exulcerate your top priority or do any of you have other bands besides Exulcerate at the moment?
Exulcerate is the main priority right now as I intend to write most of it and get the chance to express my style as well. I tend to work on a project until its finished then working with other projects is okay.
Anything you'd like to add to conclude this interview?
We appreciate this opportunity to talk with you and Supreme Brutality.net. I'm quite familiar with the site and read countless reviews and interviews on it. It's great for extreme music to have independent support from sites like yours. We will have an album finished this year and you can expect it to be as sick as ever. Then we hope to take it on the road again, so maybe we'll see you?