Long-running US death metallers Malevolent Creation recently finished recording their new and ninth full-length album Warkult which is said to be one of their most brutal recordings to date. I contacted guitarist and original member Phil Fasciana to get the low-down on the new album, the coming live album and DVD release among other things.

Phil Fasciana interviewed by PSL

How are things in sunny Florida?
Things are going well here in Florida right now. I am actually going golfing as soon as I finish doing this interview.

You've just finished recording your new and ninth full-length album. Could you provide some details?
Very heavy, very brutal and very fast!!! We're really proud of this album and our record label is happy about it so I am in a good mood these days.

What does the album title Warkult refer to?
All of our albums have references to war but with this album we decided to dedicate the entire album to the history of war in this world. It is a 44 minute history lesson with our music in the background.

You have chosen to include the Hobbs Angel Of Death cover on the new album. What happened to the Leviathan cover, did you record that one too?
We did record Hobbs Angel Of Death's song "Jack The Ripper" but Chris Barnes didn't get the Leviathan lyrics to us in time because he was on tour so we were unable to record any of those songs. We are planning to record possibly two Leviathan songs later this year with contributions from Chris as well. We will see!

What lead to your decision of recording a cover of an obscure band like Hobbs Angel Of Death?
I love there debut album from 1987, and always wanted to cover one of the songs from that album because the style is very similar to early Malevolent Creation, especially our 3 demo's from 87, 89 and 90.Very Slayerish!! We didn't change the song much but our drummer Dave Culross was able to make the song more like a Malevolent Creation song with his hammering style of drumming!!! It came out really good, I hope Peter Hobbs will approve!

The new album Warkult is it a continuation of The Will to Kill or have you tried a different approach this time?
It is similar in style but Warkult is a bit easier to understand and get into. Also Warkult to me is a bit heavier as well.

You've also used Kataklysm guitarist Jean-Francois Degenais again to producer the album. Was he an obvious choice?
Yes, he did a great job on the last album and we didn't want to fuck up that situation. Bringing in a different producer at this time would not be a smart move for us. We like to work with Jean-Francois because he understands the Malevolent Creation style and sound.

Is it still as easy to come up with new material as back in the early days?
No problem, it is a natural thing for us because we are still fans of music and we like to write music that we want to hear!

You're not afraid of reaching a point where you start repeating yourselves?
No, if that starts to happen we will stop. Our new album is very diverse for us, none of the songs sound similar and that is something we worked hard on.

Your previous album The Will to Kill had a few similarities with your second album Retribution and oddly enough it also happened to be guested by guitarist James Murphy. How did the idea of having James play the solos on "Assassin Squad" arose?
I had been talking with James before we started recording The Will to Kill and since we were recording in Tampa, Florida which is close to where James lives, I asked him to come by the studio and lay down a solo because it was his 10th anniversary solo since our 2nd album Retribution which he also layed down a solo for. It came out cool and James is a great person and guitarist!

You where shortly joined by Tony Laureano. Was this only for session purposes?
Tony filled in for us on drums during our European tour and our South America tour for The Will to Kill in 2003.He's a good friend of ours and knows our material pretty well and we had a blast partying and jamming with him.

Dave Culross recently rejoined Malevolent Creation. How did this come around?
We asked him to rejoin because we need him!! He's the best drummer we have ever had and is one our best friends. He recently had a son and he also runs his own construction company which made recording and touring not possible for him during The Will To Kill session's. After the touring for that album we had to have Dave back!! Since a lot of the record label nightmare stuff is now in the past and we are signed to a good record label again it made Dave feel a bit better about playing with us a gain and we're glad to have him back!

Do you feel you have the strongest line-up to date?
Definitely, we have had this line up for a while and now that Dave is back we are 100% Malevolent Creation once again!

Dave Culross and former Malevolent Creation singer Brett Hoffman is involved in James Murphy's upcoming Death tribute project. Have you thought of contributing too?
I was never asked!! There are too many non death metal people involved now and it is becoming quite of a joke in my opinion. It would have been cool if it was done by people who actually knew Chuck and really liked his music.

Are you satisfied with all you albums or is there something you would have liked to change looking back in retrospective?
I am never 100% happy with anything, but it is all a learning experience and I wouldn't change anything. Thing's happen for a reason, there's no reason to complain, it's only music!

There were some talks about a DVD release later this year I believe. How are things proceeding with it and what can we expect from it?
We are still piecing it all together, we have a lot of footage and we want to include the entire history of the band, not just a few shows from recently. It will be a good trip through our past for sure with a lot of hilarious footage.

So it will include rare footage, backstage shoots and stuff like that?
Yes, and rehearsals from 1987 and our first show from 1987 opening up for Canadian punk band S.N.F.U.

Have you considered doing the same thing as Cannibal Corpse and Deicide did with their new albums and include a DVD extra or don't you feel it's necessary?
Not necessary for us right now, our album is good enough, we don't need to use gimmick's to sell it.

You recently issued a bootleg warning about a live DVD/VHS release from Polish Metal Mind Records. What was that about?
They released a show we did in Poland in early 2003 and did it without our permission and the video is very amateur and shitty. People in metal should help each other out, not rip them off. Metal Mind will be dealt with; we are plotting our master plan now!! Do not buy that rip off piece of shit DVD!

Rumour also had it at one point that you would be releasing a live album. Any truth in this?
Yes, we recorded a live album in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil 5 months ago and it will be released later this year. It is titled Conquering South America and has 15 song's!

Is Hate Plow still around or is it put on ice?
We have been so busy with Malevolent Creation and our lives. It has been hard to get together and put a new Hate Plow album together but it will happen by the end of 2004 and it will be released in late 2004 or early 2005. It will be a grindcore extravaganza without a doubt!

Anything you'd like to add to conclude this interview?
Thanks for the interview and look for our new album Warkult in June 2004 on Nuclear Blast Records. Check www.malevolentcreation.cjb.net for news and other stuff.

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