Wednesday, July 25, 2007

IMPETIGO reunion show (July 2007) report!

Well, before I talk about my adventures, let me just give a huge FUCK OFF to JFK airport and Delta Airlines for being so fucking shitty and almost making me miss my flight to Ohio. Living on Long Island is the worst and is one of the biggest reasons why it's always so hard for me to travel and get to places to see more people. The traffic, car accidents, rude as fuck people, the LIE, and just completely overcrowded bullshit just depresses and stresses the fuck out of me constantly. I'll never again use Delta and always try to stay the hell away from airports that are almost 2 hours away (with the traffic, yes).

My trip started off badly with one of the worst airline experiences I've ever had. I used to travel a lot more in the 90's and it always used to be so easy, but not anymore! So I was off to a bad start and was worried that things might not go as smoothly but that was quickly erased when I got to the easy going and calm atmosphere of Hopkins Airport in Cleveland, Ohio. That has to be one of the best airports in the country and I've always had good experiences there. I got off the plane, called up my longtime pal Steveggs on my cell phone who got there in less than 10 minutes and off we were to Denny's for breakfast and to check out the map and prepare everything for the 8 hour road trip to Illinois for the IMPETIGO reunion show at the Canopy club in Champaign/Urbana!

I haven't seen Steveggs in 10 years so this was another "reunion" I was having. Steve has always been my best friend in the underground and after this trip I can honestly say he still is 100% my best friend ever. He always thinks of everything and always has stuff planned perfect. He went all out to make sure this trip was a successful one and I'll never forget that. This trip would not have been possible without him, so I wanna thank you bro for just being the MAN and taking care of business!

We hit the road about 1pm and just talked for hours non-stop and never even played any music in the car, which we kept laughing about! The trip was pretty simple and we never got lost or made wrong turns or anything and only made 1 or 2 stops I think for gas and to piss or whatever. We arrived in Illinois and it was still daylight out which ruled and made our trip even easier! We got to the Baymont Inn and unloaded the car. Steveggs brought tons of stuff to sell and give away, his camcorder, his digital camera, coolers filled with food and drinks, CD's for bands to sign, and the most ridiculous thing ever....a bowling bin he found in the trash in Ohio for people attending the fest to sign! You'll see this thing on some of our pictures, it's pretty funny and retarded! Stevo from Impetigo signed the very top of it and tons of other people signed it as well. I can't stop laughing about this. Who the hell brings a bowling pin to a metal show? We do, that's who!

We settled into the hotel for a bit and then started to make a few phone calls. We never really planned to get to the show on time for the Friday night part and only really wanted to pay to get in for the Saturday show but we decided to go to the club anyway to figure out how to get there and also maybe hope to spot a few freaks hanging out outside. We got to the club and immediately were mobbed by oldschool metal freaks! Steve's friend Paul was the first to spot us (nice to meet you man!), and then Tom from CARDIAC ARREST was there to greet us who was totally cool, nice, and down to earth. We tried to buy our Saturday ticket in advance but got shut down hard, so we said fuck it and stood around outside and then it slowly started to happen...every few minutes a new freak would come out of the club to greet us and it the fun really started to begin! Out comes Mark Sawickis from IMPETIGO, a guy I've known since 1990 and one of the nicest people I've ever known in the underground scene! He was cool as fuck and seemed happy that things were going well with the fest and the distro table they set up. So great to finally meet you after all these years, man! A few minutes later, I had the extreme pleasure of meeting one of my all time favorite death metal singers ever from one of my favorite death metal bands....Kam Lee of MASSACRE (and now DENIAL FIEND)!!!! I've been writing to Kam since about 2000 and I knew he was going to be there. He was without a doubt one of the most down to earth and nicest people you could ever meet and we really hit it off and talked about tons of stuff. So fucking great to meet you finally, man! Unreal! The first thing I said to him was "HEYYYYYY, I WANNA TAKE YOU DOWN INTO THE ABYSS!!!!". I was a total nerd quoting Massacre lines, but I was having a fucking blast. Then out came Greg from LINCOLN LOVE LOG, Rob from FORNICATOR/WHORE, Bill from MENTAL FUNERAL, Devon from DECEMBER WOLVES, Adam from CARDIAC ARREST...all totally COOL AS FUCK guys!!!! Then it happened....Stevo, the GORE MASTER FREAK himself, came out and just total madness broke out! It was unbelievable meeting him for the first time, he was just as cool and down to earth as I knew he would be! I knew right then and there that this was going to be the best time ever! Then I met Dan and Scotty from IMPETIGO who were just as nice and friendly as Mark and Stevo were! There really is NO band like IMPETIGO and there never will be! These guys are a class act all the way and other bands should pay attention to how a true underground band should act and treat their fans!

I saw some dude wearing a Razorback Records t-shirt but he walked by so fast that I didn't have a chance to say "nice shirt man!", haha! Whoever you were, thanks for supporting us by wearing that!

We hung out for awhile outside the club and just took a few photos and were laughing, talking, yelling, and just being freaks. Meeting Putrid (one of the greatest horror/gore artists around today no doubt) was a fucking BLAST! This guy is so much fun to talk to and be around, we immediately just started talking about a billion things, especially horror films! There's isn't a more friendly guy than Putrid! He's definitely a new "Chas Balun" for the new generation, in my opinion! You RULE man!! I was lucky to meet him in early 2006 in New York city at an art show that my friend Leon Marcello took me to, so getting to meet him again was a really cool thing and this time we had even more time to hang out and talk! Thanks for the incredible "Blind Dead" art print and slice of pizza, dude!

Around this time we decided to go back to the hotel and get some sleep as we knew Saturday was going to be THE day to hang out and also I had been up since 4:30 am and really needed to recharge badly, especially after my shitty airport experience and 8 hours on the road!

The next morning, the door knocks at 10 am....and who is it? Stevo and Greg from LLL, that's who! They told us to go downstairs and grab breakfast before it was all gone. We were so out of it and thought "food?" and quickly got our shoes on and ran the fuck down to pig out. We were all grubby and stunk but who cares, free food! We got there and Putrid was chowing down with his buddies and wearing the same exact HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP shirt that I own and brought with me! Warped minds think alike, right man? haha!

After we ate and wiped the food from our faces, we got ready to go to the club early to see Impetigo do a sound check rehearsal and also Stevo said he would take us to Pogo Studio where IMPETIGO recorded the legendary "Faceless" and "Horror of the Zombies" masterpieces in the early 90's! This we had to see! We got to the club and met even more cool oldschool freaks, like Adam Conrad who was wearing a killer Demigod t-shirt. Nice to finally meet you, man! After the soundcheck, we went to Pogo Studio and was really blown away by how cool and unique the place was. It had a very eclectic and "antique" quality to it, with tons of bizarre things on the walls and all over the place. The plastic E.T. halloween mask was a highlight, as well as the gas can-shaped guitar! We took a bunch of photos and just had a really good time and I totally envisioned what it must have been like to have been there in 1991 when Impetigo recorded these classic gems! What a surreal moment, indeed.

We went back to the club, paid for our tickets(finally, haha!) and were immediately talking with about 20 different people at the same time. I hung out with Kam Lee some more at the Ibex Moon distro table and got to meet John from INCANTATION and his wife Jill from FUNERUS, who are always really nice as hell folks. I've met them a few times in the past and they've always been really friendly and have a great sense of humor. Kam and I chatted about the upcoming new DENIAL FIEND album, one of the few newer metal releases I'm actually looking forward to! He told me that Tim Vigil (horror comic GOD!!) drew the cover art for the new album and that just totally blew me away! I also got to meet Ash Thomas from the bands ESTUARY and FAITHXTRACTOR. Ash is a guy I always remember from the early 90's as he was the first guy to ever buy my old death metal zine THE COVEN! He was my first "customer" and it was just really insane to meet him. Really nice guy and totally down to earth. His new band FAITHXTRACTOR totally KILLS!!! I need to work with this guy one day I hope. I also met another oldschool guy that used to buy stuff off me in the early 90's, a friendly fellow by the name of Lincoln Archibald. So great to meet you man, I was so shocked you were at this! Impetigo really brings out the TRUE die hard freaks!! Then I met a guy who calls himself Wazze who is on myspace and makes some of the most incredibly detailed and lifelike special FX/props/puppet/creatures like Critters and Ghoulies and stuff like that. Totally amazing work! He drove all the way from Pennsylvania just to see Impetigo! Really cool as hell guy and fun to talk to. He wore a killer Basket Case t-shirt so you knew he was instantly rad, haha! Speaking of people that came really far to see Impetigo, a guy by the name of Everett came all the way from Canada just to see his all time favorite band Impetigo. He had to be the most die hard Impetigo fan ever, he sat next to their distro table the entire time, bought tons of their merchandise, and just had this intense look of excitement to see them perform! It was people like this that made me realize more than ever just how important Impetigo is to some people and how special and unique of a band they truly art!

I walked around the club a bunch and talked with tons of other people and met Steve from Emetic Records who was a really nice guy and seemed to do well with his distro there. Thanks for stocking our CD's, I noticed a bunch of people walking around with Gruesome Stuff Relish and Lord Gore CD's. You're all probably wondering why I didn't bring stuff to sell there. Well, I just came to hang out! I didn't want to have to stand at a distro table all day and just wanted to meet and talk to people, take goofy photos, and just be a freak with my friends. Also I didn't want to take any business away from Impetigo and made sure they had all the Impetigo CD's to sell exclusively so they could make some cash. I met a bunch of people who came up to me and told me how much Razorback Records meant to them and how much they liked all the CD's we've done over the years and that totally blew me away! I met a few people that were total BLOOD FREAK fans which was so cool as well.

The moment came to finally meet Sly the Goregnome from FONDLECORPSE...the guy that has done almost 98% of our CD layouts over the years and our biggest supporter and friend! Without Sly, there would definitely not be a Razorback Records! I was shocked that he was coming to America for this fest and even more shocked on how "at the last minute" he got his plane ticket! I knew this fest would be something even more special with him being there, and it truly was indeed! Sly was the fucking best and it was just really surreal to spend time with him in person instead of instant messenger or email. I also got to spend time with his girl Nickolle (aka Misses Gnome) who was extremely nice, friendly and had a great sense of humor! It was our pleasure taking you both to the club and it was great that you stayed at the same hotel as we did! I'll never forget the time we spent and all the laughs we had, and I really hope to meet you both again in the near future, which I get the feeling will be sooner than later!! muuuuhhhhaaaa!!!!

Later on I met Jim Sadist and Don of the Dead from NUNSLAUGHTER who were both cool as fuck. I've met Jim off and on over the years from my days of doing PILE OF EGGS as he used to jam sometimes with us and he's also the main guy in MINCH and SCHNAUZER! Good to see you after all these years, man. Don of the Dead was totally cool, easy going and down to earth which was really cool since I've been a huge NUNSLAUGHTER fan for years and I've written and done emails with him off and on over the years. I had a really good talk with him about a bunch of stuff and have always respected how he runs NUNSLAUGHTER which to me is the ultimate way to run a death metal band! Do it YOURSELF and own all the rights to your own music, people! And don't work with stuck up money hungry asshole labels that force you to sign "contracts", too!

I met Scott from CIANIDE who was also totally cool, funny, and friendly. I've been a fan of them since 1991 and they've never followed any trends and stuck with playing killer, pure death metal and never broke up! They're one of the few bands that always put out great albums, years after they formed! How rare is that?!? Seeing CIANIDE live was totally insane, they were so amazingly HEAVY that it sounded like a nuclear explosion had gone off in the club. I've never heard a death metal band sound like that live EVER!

I hung out a lot and talked with the guys in Impetigo and really felt like I got to know them pretty well, despite my limited time with them. Dan(drums) was really nice and I got to ask him tons of questions about what influenced his unique drumming style and he happily answered them all and it really gave me a better insight on his playing and style. Scotty(guitar) was really easy going and friendly and walked around the club happily with an oldschool Deceased t-shirt that looks like it had been encased in a time capsule since the last time he probably wore it in 1992, haha! Scotty rocked! I chatted with Mark a lot about various stuff which was so insane as I've always just did letters and emails with him, and this time I got to discuss stuff in person face to face which will always be 100xxxx better than email and letters. We discussed some top secret Impetigo project and it was just so great to hang out with my long time friend. You rule Mark! I got to talk to Stevo quite a lot, despite that he was always talking with tons of other people and seemed really busy and never stood still once. We talked about CONVULSIONS a lot, and yes folks, this band is still happening 100%! Stevo and I discussed a lot of the bad things about today's metal scene and compared it to the old days when people were more friendly and down to earth and had less ego and when people tried to work together instead of compete with each other and get jealous of each other's success. Stevo hasn't really been active in the scene for many years so it was interesting to get his views on what he felt about the scene, an issue I also discussed with Kam Lee. These guys are legends of death/grind/horror/gore metal, in my opinion, and there's nothing more exciting knowing that in person they're really just FANS before anything else and totally down to earth without any rock start bullshit attitude at all. These are the kinds of people I've always tried to work with while doing Razorback for the past 9 years and I'm glad to know that people who I've always looked up to are so damn fucking COOL as hell!

I got to hang out with Rob from FORNICATOR/WHORE/MURDER BASKET a bunch who totally rules and had a lot of funny stories to tell. This guy has known IMPETIGO way longer than even I have and totally knows what the real underground is all about. It was totally cool as fuck watching MORTICIAN live with him and totally enjoying every classic song they played. Can't wait to see what you record next with HUMILIATOR, man! I also got to hang out a lot with Greg from LINCOLN LOVE LOG who was a really fun and hilarious guy to talk with! He's really open minded and into tons of cool stuff and really loves horror/gore films and obscure music. Thanks for all the great chats we had and all the totally nice things you had to say about Razorback, man! I really appreciated that and I look forward to hanging out with you again in the future! You rule!

Finally, it was time to see IMPETIGO, the main reason why I was there to begin with and the band that influenced everything I had done with Razorback Records and all the other various things I've done in the underground over the years. The lights went down, and the familiar sound of maggots swarming and oozing around from the classic Gates of Hell blasted from the stage...yep, it was time for a total GORE MASSACRE!!! The first song was "Dis-organ-ized" and it sounded perfect. The band was totally "on". They sounded heavier than ever and Stevo was the most entertaining front man ever in death metal/gore. All the stuff he said in between songs had everybody on their feet and laughing their asses off. There is NOBODY like Stevo in death/grind, no fucking way. They played all the classics! "Breakfast At The Manchester Morgue" was a highlight....heavy, creepy, dark, and CRUSHING!!!! Matt Bishop from HUMAN ARTIFACTS did a killer job doing backing vox on "Bloody Pit Of Horror", Rob from FORNICATOR did a sweet job on backing vox for "Defiling The Grave" in his classic style, and finally...Kam Lee himself came out and sang the 2nd verse of "Boneyard" with Stevo which is something I'll NEVER forget!!! It sounded awesome!!! Tom from CARDIAC ARREST was standing next to me and kept saying "this is the best show ever!" and I have to say I agree 100%. The band played more songs like "I Work For The Street Cleaner", "Staph Terrorist", "Mortado" and dedicated "Dear Uncle Creepy" to some loser named Billy Nocera from some noobdy label called "Razorback Records"? Who the fuck is that, I asked?!? Oh well, hope he was proud of that! ;) Impetigo blew everybody away and the place was packed with headbanging, gore hungry metal freaks. It was so amazing to see them after being away from playing music for so many years being totally on TOP of their game and sounding better than they ever did. This was finally, for me, the ultimate "reunion" show and everything was done perfectly! I got more than my money's worth and knew right then and there that it was totally worth it to make this trip. I'll never forget this, ever!

After Impetigo, it was time to see MORTICIAN! They sounded heavy as fuck and each song was played with precision and perfection. The drummer was from MORPHEUS DESCENDS and did blast beats perfectly and tight as hell. They played tons of the classic early 90's songs from their first demo/7" and also "Mortal Massacre" and "House by the Cemetery", all with the classic movie samples! Me and Putrid had fun naming off each movie the samples came from. Great job to MORTICIAN and a killer way to end an amazing time! My only regret was that I didn't get to meet Will Rahmer and get a photo taken. Hopefully next time man!

We left the club and me, Steveggs, Sly, and Misses Gnome left for the hotel and hung out more and got some food. They had to get to bed to get up for a horror con in Chicago so we left their room and started walking to ours when all of a sudden we saw Dan from Impetigo and hooked up with him. He ordered pizza and we saw Mark Sawickis outside waiting for it so we hung out with them for about an hour and just talked about how great the show was and the crowd response, etc. They had to get up early so we left their room and went back to ours and crashed in a dazed state of bliss and excitement for what we had just experienced.

The next morning I woke up early and ran down for breakfast but all the food was gone so all I had was coffee and then I went to Sly and Misses Gnome's room and hung out with them for awhile. Then I went back to our room and Steveggs told me Stevo was there looking for me so I ran down to the lobby and said my goodbyes to him and told him that this was only the beginning, as the birth of CONVULSIONS would continue the legacy of pure horror worshipping death gore metal!!! Stevo, you RULE and it's an honor to be your friend. I said my goodbyes to Mark as well and we chatted a bit more about a top secret Impetigo project and some other stuff and said our goodbyes as well. IMPETIGO is the greatest underground metal band ever, 'nuff said! Thanks for letting Razorback do the reissues and for always supporting me and Jill and our bands so much over the years!

We hung out a bunch more with Bill from MENTAL FUNERAL zine, Devon from DECEMBER WOLVES, and Rob from FORNICATOR in the hotel lobby and talked about horror flicks, music, and other cool shit. These guys were 3 of the coolest people I met at this fest and I wanna thank them for hanging out with a bunch of dorks like us.

Then it was time to say our goodbyes to Sly and his gore-gal....and this was the most sad part of the experience. We really wanted to hang out with them more and wished we could have gone to the horror con with them in Chicago but we had to get back to Ohio. We took a few last minute photos and had a few laughs and then that was it...the weekend/fest/party was OVER!

We drove back to Ohio and got into town about 11pm at night and went to Denny's for some grub. We stayed up pretty late just talking and laughing about tons of shit and Steveggs told me about Norton Furniture, this company in Cleveland that sells stuff to people who don't have credit which is run by this strange guy named Marc Brown who does these creepy and retarded late night low budget commercials! Look this shit up on myspace and youtube to see how hilarious and stupid this shit is, haha! There's a picture of me on my myspace page doing a parody of this guy. Ask Steveggs about it also, it's so dumb and funny!

The next day we went to Record Exchange and looked at some lame assed mainstream horror DVD's and bought absolutely nothing at all. We drove around a bit, then went back to Steve's house where Jim Sadist from NUNSLAUGHTER showed up and ate some dinner with us and talked metal for a few hours, and then we hooked up with Scott from SCHNAUZER at his apartment and talked about a bunch of stuff and jammed some old death metal and just laughed like fools for awhile. Jim's car is totally insane! The NUNSLAUGHTERMOBILE! Check the photos on my page! That rules!! I need to get my own BUTCHERMOBILE one day! The next day I went back home to lousy assed Long Island and saw 2 car accidents (seriously)....I knew then the party was truly over and I was back in the hell that is Long Island.
I hate my life.

Well that's it folks. I've never really been good at writing stories like this before, so I apologize if this was boring and not as detailed as I would have liked it to have been. This was definitely a trip I was happy to take and I would do it again if IMPETIGO would play again! Me and Steveggs were discussing trying to do some kind of metal fest/show/whatever thing in Ohio but who knows. Another regret I have is that me and him didn't get to record any noise/music like we used to do in the 90's...but something tells me I'll be visiting this freak once again very very SOON!

Anyway, thanks for reading all this! Sorry if I forgot to mention anybody in this, I wrote it rather quickly as I'm so swamped with mail and other stuff. Thanks again to Steveggs for being the king and taking care of business and making sure everything went smooth! Long live the gods of gore...IMPETIGO!

-Uncle Ceepboar Nocera