Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Interview with Tom from Lich King.

Well it's been a while since I posted here but I've been busy, but now I've returned with an interview with the frontman of the mighty new wave thrash band Lich King. Lich King plays retro thrash in the vein of the greats from the 80's such as Slayer, Exodus and Vio-Lence. They've made it clear that they aren't looking to create a new sound but to pick up where the greats left off and they've done a pretty good job thus far releasing three albums: Necromantic Maelstrom, Toxic Zombie Onslaught, and World Gone Dead. Lich King got a lot of slack for the crappy production that they had on the first two but Lich King made believers out of many doubters with World Gone Dead by upping the production value and the songwriting. They left behind the humorous jokester themed music for the most part and replaced it with a bit more mature music that kept all of the thrashing heaviness the predecessors had. Anyway let's get on with the interview.

Skull Fracturing Metal - Well Tom, you are obviously considered a part of the NWOTM, so who are some of your favorite bands? Do you have any that you don't particularly care for or just plain don't like?

Tom - My favorites are Mass Extinction, Witchaven, Hatchet, Violator, Fueled By Fire's 1st, Evile's 1st, Dr. Living Dead and Vindicator. I'm sure I could think of others. I don't care for Toxic Holocaust and I outright dislike... well, I'll keep that one under wraps but they're tools with shitty music.

Skull Fracturing Metal - Well now let's get back to the old eh? I know that you are a huge Exodus and Vio-Lence fanboy, but who are some of your other major influences when it comes to writing?

Tom - Slayer's a big one, obviously... I probably draw more from Slayer than anyone else, despite my Exodusy Vio-Lencey ways. Metallica. SORRY, TROO THRASHERS. SoD's a big influence, and they showed me that you can make silly songs that will still be fun.

Skull Fracturing Metal - So now that we know your influences, how do you go about writing the material? Do you come up with lyrics first or the riffs?

Tom - Riffs, always. I don't get the people that start with lyrics. I sit down with the guitar and a basic drum track and start making up riffs until one sticks, then I write the next one. It occasionally takes a very long time- I've been writing one for too long, but I just don't know where to go from this one riff. I'll get it but it's really slowing me down.

Skull Fracturing Metal - Well hopefully you'll get that song settled. As you know many feel that the production on the first two albums was terrible (moreso Necromantic Maelstrom). Are there any plans for re-recording them?

Tom - Tentative plans, yes. We're keeping the focus on new stuff. Rerecording the old stuff would take a lot of time that Brian doesn't have... otherwise it'd probably have been done already. Brian's the guy that does all our recording n' production n' stuff, and when he says we can't do something, it tends to not get done. Sooo for now we're focusing on the new stuff.

Skull Fracturing Metal - Well it's definitely more important to get that new stuff out for your "millions" of fans. How far are you on LK album #4?

Tom - Pretty damned far. It's about 95% written. This last 5% is proving to be a bitch. Every time I go in to write an ending to a song or patch a weak section, I just spin my wheels until I give up and put the guitar back down. I think I've had writer's block for the past month or two, but I do believe I'm coming out of it. That's good because I'm so sick of not having these songs done. At least the art's finished.

Skull Fracturing Metal - Well I'm looking forward to the album and the art as well. You always do manage to come up with some fantastic art. So after all of the positive feedback that you received after releasing World Gone Dead, do you plan on following that kind of sound for the fourth or possibly changing things up a bit?

Tom - We're not really planning on anything, but are just writing by heart (awww). The sound will be pretty much the same thing. the closest thing to a planned WGD imitation is that we made sure to have a slow song. Grindwheel on WGD was an unexpected favorite for a lot of people, so we're heavying it up with another slow one and hoping this one works too. this song has the one noticeable change I believe people will find on the whole album - melodic singing. It's going to be a bit weird, but it matches the song and the subject matter.

Skull Fracturing Metal - Experimenting isn't always a bad thing and hopefully in your case it comes out well and the fans react but of course there will be haters. I understand that you've had some line-up troubles recently, have these problems been resolved?

Tom - Uhh... not really. We're doing live shows and it's not slowing down the new album, but we don't have things settled just yet. It's a bigger, gooier mess than I've let on. things might just get gooier still before they're done.

Skull Fracturing Metal - Well if you do get a line-up together, I know that you've been gathering funds for a tour from your loyal fans, how has that been coming along?

Tom - Pretty well. We saw another band do it and thought what the hell. We're up to over $750 so far. We might not get there but it's worth a shot. The downside I didn't see coming is that so many people are pissy about being asked for a handout, making snarky remarks in FB posts, etc... it's like, really? you guys are going to bitch about this?

Skull Fracturing Metal - Yeah it seems pretty pointless, if you don't like it don't donate. And now for a random question, what are your top 5 favorite thrash albums?

Tom - Oooh. Well, I'm sure I won't win any awards for originality here, but
1. Exodus - Another Lesson in Violence
2. Vio-Lence - The Eternal Nightmare
3. SOD - Speak English or Die
4. Slayer - Reign in Blood
5. Exodus Tempo of the Damned

I know it's a crime to have 2 post-1997 Exodus albums listed here but what the hell. I love 'em.

Skull Fracturing Metal - Well I want to thank you for your time and close this interview by asking if you have any words for your fans?


Well there you have it folks... Tom and the rest of Lich King continue to tread on with their brand of thrash into the new decade. Be sure to check them out at these links and until next time peace.

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