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Interview with Crpytopsy's Lord Worm

Photo of Cryptopsy

Band Photo: Cryptopsy (?)

On November 7th at BB Kings i had the opportunity to interview Lord Worm of Cryptopsy among other bands. He was a very well spoken, kind, friendly guy who treated me like a friend and thought my questions were original and thanked me for it.

Savagebutcher: What were your expectations of this tour?

Lord Worm: No that the tour's over, my expectations have been met. I got paid what I wanted to get paid and I got to go to the Virgin Records superstore up the street. We were able to tour we Suffocation again and it was exactly like I remembered it. We were able to make friends with Aborted and our very own home-grown Despised Icon who are really cool people. We got to play with Vader which is cool; they're all really nice guys as well.

Savagebutcher: What's your favorite place to tour in the U.S?

Lord Worm: A couple states stand out just because of the crowds. In Texas, especially
San Antonio and Houston, a lot of Mexicans come up, and those people know how to appreciate a show. They're so open and honest about what see and hear. It's great to see a lot of them will drive unbelievable distances to see a show. There's actually a group of 3 or 5 of them that drive up from Mexico to come see us every time we play in Minneapolis, that part I don't understand, but they do it. Other than that, California's always good, we get good big crowds out there, but they're not as crazy as the Texans. Texans really have no concept of personal safety which is really endearing when you see a really large pit.

Savagebutcher: Coming from Canada, what do you think of other Canadian bands?

Lord Worm: A lot of damn good ones, a lot of innovators. Whether you're going back 20 years to Voivod or even some of our power metal wasn't too bad. For example, bands like Anvil or old underground metal like Razor or Piledriver. Even the early death metal bands like Aggression, even our very own Blasphemy from British Columbia. So many godly bands have come out of Canada. Now, the modern scene Despised Icon, Martyr, Kataklysm. I think it's colder up there so we have to play faster to keep warm.

Savagebutcher: Why do you think metal is so popular in Canada?

Lord Worm: Access to a lot of alcohol really helps. Also, Canadian, not that I'm an expert or anything, is in a class all its own. A lot of it has to do with a relaxed atmosphere; we don't have gun problems so we can do things to greater and lesser extents and not really fear criminal repercussions for it.

Savagebutcher: How has the metal scene changed from when you were growing up?

Lord Worm: There's like 300,000 more bands than there were back then. Also, not to insult anyone in particular or any group, but let's face it, the greater number you have of anything, the more your going to have to wade through a lot of shyte. It's certainly disappointing, but I will defend the right of anyone to create something and put it out there, but I could have sworn I had the right not to hear it. Another thing, there's a lot of in breeding with the bands. For example, what of members of Suffocation and Cryptopsy got together and did some kind of odd Suffotopsy project? It would be interesting and people would want to hear it, when you bands, such as Nile, that have treed completely new ground with "Black Seeds of Vengeance", when you have bands like that and you have to sift through all the shit to get to them, they're worth it, but how would like to see a show where you have 7 terrible bands and one good one at the end? How would you like to be the headliner and wait until all these people are off stage? I hate it so much!

Savagebutcher: How did you get into metal?

Lord Worm: Well, I'm 40 now, so my idea of metal goes way back. I started with Kiss, moved along into Black Sabbath, before you know it, I was into some pretty interesting stuff when it started coming around. In Montreal, back in the 80s, one of our FM stations had something called the "Metal File", on Friday nights, from 10-12, it was one hour of new stuff and one hour of classic stuff. Every week, religiously, Steve Thibault, our first guitarist, and I would religiously would listen to this and drink of course. Then, every Saturday, we'd go down to our local metal emporium and buy the stuff that we had heard the night before, it was always on import. I would always buy it on vinyl; it wasn't even wrapped in plastic! You just knew that if there was no plastic, it was 15.99 and we'd buy it because it was new and it was good. It could be stuff like Hellhammer or Bathory. So it went from Kiss to Sabbath to extreme.

Savagebutcher: Cryptopsy released their 7th album, "Once was Not", last month. What were some challenges recording and coming up with new material?

Lord Worm: Recording was less of a challenge because we rehearsed the material for almost 2 years with an electronic metronome to make sure the timing was perfect. Also, recording was so quick because Jon Levasseur, guitarist, left, which left Alex Auburn, guitarist, to do guitars by himself. Flo Mounier, drummer, is a machine so there was no problem with him doing the tracks, it took a couple of days, but you listen to the results. Practicing the material for a couple years took a lot time out of the studio; we didn't have to waste time doing multiple takes. Writing the material, it was musically arranged before I even rejoined the band in October 2003. It took me about 4 months to write the lyrics because I had to write them all at once. I was only given an instrumental CD and basically told "GO". If you're going to write a concept album, the concept is one idea, even if its sub divided which is basically what I did. Most of the record I did at work so I was paid to write which is good!

Savagebutcher: "Once was Not" is described as "explicitly intense", do you agree with this and would you care to explain it?

Lord Worm: I can't explain it. I like when people take polysyllabic words and string them together to describe the sheer volume of sounds. Sure, it's got moments of great intensity, but I'd have to disagree with explicit part. I was actually encouraged not to include any gore, "naughty" bits, violence, or blasphemy in my lyrics, so I took out all the fat and I was just left with dark concepts. There is not much explicit in there, there's mention of bones, but its bones, not boners.

Savagebutcher: Cryptopsy having started in 1992, how do you think the band has evolved musically and personally?

Lord Worm: Cryptopsy, the name, has been around since 1992, the core of the band has been around since May 1988 actually. We evolved basically as the musicians have changed and once the core changed, so did the direction of the band. You look at the photos of the band, you look at "Blasphemy" (Cryptopsy's first album), and you see a bunch of hairy looking bastards, looking, if not menacing, not the kind of thing you take home. We look if not worse, at lest better photographed in "None so Vile" (Cryptopsy's second album). All of a sudden you look at the photo in "None so Vile" and "Whisper" (Cryptopsy's third album) and wonder, "what the hell was that t-shirt, blue jean, fiery eyes" kind of thing? Then the photo in the next album, "And Then You'll Beg", is a bit more stylish and it's not terribly "metal" looking, but it's got a style all of its own. Now that I'm back, we've got "darker" looking photos that are just the look. Of course, now that I'm back, you're going to get darker subject matter, more extreme vocals. Though for this album, and because Mike DiSalvo has so many fans and has that many fans because he IS good, and I certainly don't want to alienate his "legion" of fans, basically, the only thing I could do was include some "DiSalvoisms" in my delivery so they wouldn't feel left out. I'm trying to please everybody.

Savagebutcher: Crytopsy is labeled as grind/death metal; do you think this fits the band?

Lord Worm: Yes and no. I don't really agree with specific pigeonholes for bands unless the bands to be specifically pigeonholed. A lot of bands go out of the way to sound like someone because that's what they like. For example, the Quebec scene back in the 90s, some bands wanted to be Cannibal Corpse jr., Suffocation jr., or Morbid Angel jr., so they would get singers that sounded like that, they would try to get their distortion to sound like that, or they would write in the same vain as that. That's fine, if you want to be a clone of somebody else. We've adapted to a certain extent, the moniker, "extreme metal" or "extreme music" so as not to be so specific, but a bit more general. Yes, we're metal because we're not anything else, death, yes I use that vocal style, and certainly my lyrics are morbid and death centered enough. Grind, I guess because of the flow of speed, but we've experimented with jazz, black metal, prog rock, we're a melting pot. I guess we'll call it extreme music.

Savagebutcher: Cryptopsy has had some changes with vocalists between you and Mike DiSalvo, what was the reason for this?

Lord Worm: At the time we had recorded "None so Vile" and toured Canada that spring which was the spring of 1996 and some fall shows it got to the point where it was "pay-to-play". We had to rent a vehicle, pay for that, pay for the gas, pay for food, and pay for the space, pay for this, pay for that, it always came out of our pocket. Pay for merchandise, people would buy merchandise so we'd have to buy more and the money was also being reinvested into Cryptopsy, but not the musicians. We weren't living off the money, Cryptopsy the entity was like a vampire sucking all the money out of our existence. That was fine for all the other guys because they were still living at home, I lived in an apartment, how do you pay rent? With a job, how do you keep a job? When you're touring you can't. I was on welfare but my welfare money was going to the band to help the band survive, but the band wasn't helping me survive. It got to the point where my fiancé was paying everything on the part time job of a cosmetician. I couldn't look at her, I felt like I was parasitizing the poor girl, so it was either her, or Cryptopsy. I left and went to a couple of the shows, for free of course, I was always invited. I enjoyed Mike DiSalvo's take on what I was doing. He was hand selected, we wanted Mike, and invited him out of his band in Boston and he moved to Montreal and married a Montreal girl and has at least one daughter, which is why he left the band, which aggress with the only rule, family come first. Then, Martin Lacroix came in who imitates Mike and me very well, but we never got to see any of his style because nothing ever was composed with him. Unfortunately, his compositions were slow in coming because his skills in English were lacking. Flo gave me a call, knowing I'm an English teacher and we did that for about 9 months, but learning a language isn't something you do in a year. Not if you want to be comfortable touring, talking to people, and writing lyrics. His very first show was in London, England, Crytopsy was in a hurry to get into the studio at this point, it was October and they wanted to get into the studio in November, his lyrics weren't ready. Out of disappointment of hurrying, Flo gave me a call and asked if they could count on me for lyrics, I said sure, no problem, and they fired him anyway. Then, I was called back, at first it was just going to be for the album, but then I came back after a North American tour done as a money maker. I came back because of the money, I know it sounds mercenary, but I didn't want to come back if I was paying out of my pocket to do it. I don't pay for the honor of being in a band, I didn't miss it for 7 years, and I'm not going to pay to go back in. If you're going to pay me, that's fine, it's a job, we have to go places, we have to pay for things, we have to pay taxes, we have an accountant, a lawyer, and we have a staff of people. This is work; it's not a hobby anymore, so if I'm going to accept another job, then pay me because it's a job.

Savagebutcher: How did you get your name?

Lord Worm: A friend of mine from Britain is a necromancer/sorcerer. He lived with me and we used to go out hunting for bottles and cans to recycle because you get money for it because we were poor. Of course, we would buy alcohol with it, which was fine, and then we would go haunt cemeteries with our alcohol, which is also fine. He's an underground music lover, as I am so we'd be shouting lyrics from Celtic Frost and Sacrifice and all kinds of blasphemy at the night sky, it was great! Then, we would find dead animals and we would maim them and we would take parts home and keep them in the freezer. True story, the pendant I am wearing was made my him, he wears the other half (the pendant is a cat's jaw, I saw it for myself!), he gave me the name Lord Worm one night when we were comparing sins, seeing who would spend a longer time in hell.

Story behind the pendant as told by Lord Worm:
"It was made from a cat jaw. We found it by some train tracks, the flies had gotten to it first, and it was really dead. He took it home and cleaned it with his tooth brush. That was 20 years ago."

Savagebutcher: When the band started, the band was named Necrosis, why the change?

Lord Worm: Before Necrosis it was Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, OCD. OCD changed to Necrosis because it was more of a hardcore name and we decided we wanted to be more metal. As Necrosis, we played in New Bedford in a festival with two other bands named Necrosis. We then changed the name to Gomorra, when we played New York City a few weeks later; flipping through a fanzine we found another band by that name. We sat down, the 5 of us at the time, and brainstormed names for 3 days.

Savagebutcher: What are bands plans after the tour?

Lord Worm: Other than relax a little bit over the holidays, there's a European tour in February and probably a little bit of March. Also, there's going to be probably about a week's worth of tour dates in Australia and there are a few shows planned in Japan. After that, there's new material to write for a new album now that we have a new guitarist, we've got a lot of ideas. Now that have this album done and finished with after 5 years, probably a second DVD, which potentially could be a 2 DVD set. Partly historic, part stupidity, such as backstage stuff, at home, in the practice room, in the van, mock interviews with people who should know better than to ask stupid questions. Also, the DVD might include a couple short movies that Flo and I have been thinking about 2-3 minutes long for cinemas sake.

Savagebutcher: Any advice for aspiring musicians and people trying to get into the business?

Lord Worm: Do you have to? Do you really have to get into the music business? Couldn't you just finish your schooling and get something that pays? Because if you honestly think that it's "all that", that it's a gorgeous lifestyle and its sex, drugs, and rock and roll, and an outrageous lifestyle, it can be that if you're lucky, but it's often sleep deprivation, malnutrition, starvation, sickness is almost guaranteed, you'll get infected very quickly, especially if you don't wash your hands a lot. Did I mention sleep deprivation because of the driving and the long hours and let's face it, if you have one party animal in the band everything else goes out the window because he'll be louder than everyone else and keep you awake. If half of you are smokers and half of you are not, everyone will suffer better all or none. The money's not that great unless you're reasonably big and you won't get big unless you're lucky or wading through acres of swampland for years. If you're that hungry for it, you'll get somewhere, but think of the damage to your system. I should be taller, it shrunk me, and I can't even go down stairs successfully. I have equilibrium problems, after all these years of abuse; I can't go down stairs without hanging both sides because of brain rattle from an excessive lifestyle. Seriously, if you're into it, go for it.

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3 Comments on "Interview with Crpytopsy's Lord Worm"

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Anonymous Reader
1. Metalhd245 writes:

i love lord worm
hes just about the greatest vocalist around

# Nov 17, 2005 @ 11:24 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
2. Word writes:

The new album is f***ing brilliant.

# Nov 27, 2005 @ 12:06 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
3. The Omen writes:

Cryptopsy f***ing rules!

# Nov 30, 2005 @ 2:17 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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