DeceasedArguably, America's most recent pop-culture fascination with zombies could be attributed to three things: Image comics "The Walking Dead", Brian Keene's novel "The Rising" and the "28 Days Later" film. All three of those works, across three different mediums, miraculously released in 2003 (also of note is the movie adaptation of popular video game "Resident Evil" was released a year earlier). Even more incredible is the fact that all three have somewhat similar plotlines – man's will to survive in a post-apocalyptic graveyard of undead (or in "28 Days Later" the virus-plagued).
All three received critical praise and a following from legions of horror, sci-fi and even fantasy fans. Suddenly, George Romero's iconic "Night of the Living Dead" (1968) and it's two sequels were re-imagined into a new phenomenon. Movies, books, comics and even TV shows became saturated in these apocalyptic visions of the walking dead. It's the ultimate man versus nature formula in its most Neanderthal state – survival of the fittest.
It's probably a bit of arrogance on our part to think metal prematurely beat the trend. After all, metal can be, and often is, rebellion. We don't follow the herds. We make our own way. So, it's no surprise that heavy metal has dabbled in the undead formula for years before it was readily consumed by the masses. Venom's undead screams from the grave can be heard on "Raise the Dead", released on the album 'Black Metal' as early as 1982. Death's early death metal prototype was 1987's 'Scream Bloody Gore' with its nightmarish vision of zombies and their depraved acts against humanity. However, no bands until that point had tackled an entire concept album based loosely around George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead" apocalypse. From beginning to end, fight to finish, survival horror – all zombie.
Deceased's aptly titled: Fearless Undead Machines.
This month we celebrate this pivotal and unrestrained masterpiece's 20th anniversary. The northern Virginia metal act unleashed Hell on Earth in 1997 with this undead nightmare that conceptually preaches man's plunge from the top of the food chain to the bottom. It's a 68-minute nightmare of survival in a world overrun and ripe with the undead. Lyrically, it's a work of macabre horror. Musically, its storytelling is rampant with traditional metal fused with a blend of thrash and extreme music. It's never solely death, thrash, or traditional – it's a mixture of styles with enough substance to warrant a 20-year anniversary-celebration.
Who better to talk about this gloomy and intense accomplishment than the Deceased main-man himself – KING FOWLEY:
Maximum Metal: King, the idea behind debut full-length 'Luck of the Corpse' was to do death metal differently than what had become the standardized approach to the genre in 1991. I know you weren't a huge fan of the finished product, even surprised by the amount of sales and positive feedback you received. But, it showed initiative and a sense of purpose to go against the grain and not be standard-volume-feedback. Looking back now, does it stand the test of time and, in your words, how did the record defy that era's conventional formula of death metal?
King Fowley: To me Deceased was just doing what we do. We had songs about simple topics like the end of the world or grave robbing, pretty generic even for those times. Musically, I liked what we doing early on - a big hodge-podge of our love for speed, heavy metal and raw punk. As for the record itself, the songs are too fast for their own good in spots. The production to me is piss poor with a lot of ideas I had tossed out the window due to money and time restraints. The mix is hit or miss with some songs sounding pretty decent and others just lost in up and down volumes and tones. It served its purpose for what we were about at the time and I'd rate the record a 7 out of 10. We had a different approach than most death metal of the time. We carried more heavy metal and punk/hardcore in our bags then most and didn't tune down to where most bands were tuning down guitar-wise. We were just being us.
"I just think we learned how to control our aggression and piece it together better. A normal expansion due to getting better at your craft." --King
MM: It's a good debut and was the building block to go forward. The band then spent 1993-1995 working in various locations writing and arranging the tracks that would appear on sophomore effort 'The Blueprints for Madness' in 1996. For me, it's the album that sits sideways on the Deceased shelf. It's completely different than any Deceased album. It's abstract with its timing changes, keyboards and orchestrated sections. Metal historian Martin Popoff calls it "apocalyptic thrash with hints of Trouble's first (record)". He also says it is almost white-noise. What was the overall goal of that album, what makes it so damn weird and how well has it aged over the course of 22 years?
King: Originally, we set out to make a record of 20 songs that were around two-minutes each in length. Oddball as it sounds that was our starting point. As time went on, and as you mentioned, we moved from place to place as we attempted to write the record. We decide to go with longer weirder songs. I was heavily into Emerson, Lake and Palmer at the time so the arrangements were really off the cuff. I wanted the record to be full of madness, hence the title. I had ideas for keyboards and weird effects strewn throughout the record. I really dug what we wrote for it song-wise but the production and mastering somehow fucked the sound up to headache inducing levels. Producing ourselves was a really bad decision and it showed our limitations at the time as producers. Looking back, I'd give the record 7 out of 10. I enjoy the tunes it's just the sound that turns me off to it at times.
MM: 'The Blueprints for Madness' was recorded with a veteran in Don Zientara (Bad Brains, Minor Threat) but the band produced it themselves at Zientara's Inner Ear Studio in Arlington, VA. Aside from talking about the original mix (which you voluntarily re-mixed in 2004), what lessons did you learn from recording and supporting that record?
King: To not have everyone in the band mix it together. Four sets of ears really screwed up any togetherness in the mix. Everyone hears music a little different and mixing like that really makes it hard to even find a middle ground to go with. As time went on I pretty much became the "ears" of the band when it came to mixing stuff. Other producers and engineers had their ears too but as for Deceased band guy, that became me.
MM: At the time, in the moment, after the dust settled from the second album, where did Deceased want to be with the follow-up initially? What was the mentally and approach like going from the chaos and experimenting on 'The Blueprints for Madness' to a more straight forward Heavy Metal song-writing style on 'Fearless Undead Machines'?
King: We finally got a real room to write in - it was my basement. That helped tremendously! I think we were still searching for our sound. We had pushed speed factor and oddity arrangements as our way of "branching out" and I think strayed a bit from our heavy metal roots while doing so. Mike Smith mentioned his best riffs were more in the heavy metal state and I think that was the push off point to realization that we needed more of that in our creativity.
MM: Did Deceased just push their technical boundaries as far as they could go on 'Blueprints…' and got it all out of their system?
King: I don't think it was that. I think it was just where we were at the time in our minds. As sporadic as our writing quarters were--all over the place!
MM: There are a lot of traditional Heavy Metal ideas that I don't think existed so much on a Deceased recording at that time. Was it mainly Mike Smith's idea to change musical directions since the early jams were just you and Mike or were the 'Fearless…" song styles a mutual shift?
King: I think as I mentioned, Mike's saying it was his strongest style of riff writing that led it on, but I always had it in my heart to put heavy metal in our sound. Have a listen back to our first demo with the "March of the Cadavers" track that I wrote - that's got a total traditional heavy metal vibe throughout. I think we just were exploring a lot of things to find our niche, what felt as close to our sound as we could get. I also don't feel we changed styles. I just think we learned how to control our aggression and piece it together better. A normal expansion due to getting better at your craft.
MM: Was it you or Mike who had first thought about making 'Fearless Undead Machines' one long song? What were the pros and cons going through the creative checklist of making a one-song record? Sweden's Edge of Sanity pulled that format off with 'Crimson' in 1996 and it had its share of cheers and jeers.
King: I have wanted to do a one song record for ages. I told the band and Mike seemed the most into the idea. You have to really be into what you are doing to get something that wild right. We decided to possibly do a one song record at another time and just wrote our next batch of songs that would interlock to a non-stop record of songs without breaks.
MM: In 1997, the whole zombie explosion that we have nowadays hadn't even begun. I suppose the idea had been around since at least 'Birth by Radiation'. Was there any concern that people just wouldn't understand it or be interested? Why a zombie record?
King: I couldn't care less with who would get it or be interested. I wanted to put to rest the concept storyline I had created with demos #2 and #3. I wanted to get back to it and do it justice in its closure. 'Fearless..." was my way of getting to this place. The storyline dealt with the dead returning to life to show the living that the world was a mess. That it needed to be taken down and rebuilt. The zombies for me in the story are our inner selves. The dead represent everything wrong with humanity. It's the passing of the torch from the past to the future. The tragedy in it all is that there is no better place to end up in the future. The world is a mess and will always be a mess. It's a deeper meaning than just blood and gore, kill, kill, kill though. I touched on many angles in the concept from violent deaths, to seeing family die, to religion, to inner demons, to sci-fi save the day heroes to get different vibes out of it.
"The storyline dealt with the dead returning to life to show the living that the world was a mess. That it needed to be taken down and rebuilt. The zombies for me in the story are our inner selves. The dead represent everything wrong with humanity. It's the passing of the torch from the past to the future. The tragedy in it all is that there is no better place to end up in the future. The world is a mess and will always be a mess."MM: Was it hard convincing the whole band about the idea of doing a concept album, especially with the original plan on making it all one song?
King: Not at all! The guys have always just let me bring the next topics and vibe to our song writing and albums. Everyone in the band got behind it and off we went!
MM: Not only is 'Fearless Undead Machines' a full-on tribute to many classic zombie apocalypse films, it also manages to capture the atmosphere and feel of a lot of those movies in the story telling. Did anyone in the band purposely write parts with those films soundtracks directly in mind? If so, which films were a majority of the influence?
King: We just all have a passion for horror films and the zombie genre, especially the early ones which were still a lot fresher in 1997 than 2017. We knew the vibe we wanted and wrote accordingly. I did mention to Mike to make 'From the Ground They Came" have a similar vibe to the band Goblin. But honestly, we wrote everything from our heart and souls and inspiration of our love for horror. To name a few movies that had obvious impact in our psyche for this project – "Night of the Living Dead", "Dawn of the Dead", "Day of the Dead", "Let Sleeping Corpses Lie", "City of the Living Dead", "Last Man on Earth", "Zombie" and Night of the Zombies" are a good deal of them.
MM: The demos to "Fearless…" are still pretty chaotic compared to the album versions with crazier, less Cronos like vocals and the drums are way busier. The final product on the album is more controlled and refined. Did having Jim Barnes step in to produce change the approach on the demos?
King: Jim didn't do a lot of producing…I do want to say that. He had a few good ideas but mainly he was really outlandish and odd through his time in the studio with us. Those demos were just real early on and we just kind of tossed it all on tape. The studio was limited in resources at the time and we even used drum triggers just so the drums could break through in the mix easily. We learned from the demos on what to bring back and what to go wilder on. They served their purpose and the end result is strong because of it.
MM: You have said in the past that the demos "Birth by Radiation" (1988) and "Nuclear Exorcist" (1989) were early tracks that you revisited for this concept album. What was it about those songs that motivated you to purse similar themes?
King: I just always liked our early demo concepts but felt they were not all there story-wise as I was learning to write lyrics and create a vibe in our sound. The time had come to do it right and make it something to have for all eternity from us.
MM: I'd like to talk about each track individually now and drill down into the writing, music, and concept of each and how it contributes to the album's running theme. The opener, "The Silent Creature", is brilliantly introduced by a newscast that many horror fans will easily recognize. For those unfamiliar with the album or horror's mantle-piece film, tell us what that intro is and why you decided to start the album with those statements.
King: "Night of the Living Dead" (1968) introduced me to the zombie theme in horror as a child. It had to open the album as the introduction to the terror that awaits. The piece is of the newscaster letting everyone know that the dead are coming back to life and eating the living.
MM: On the surface, the song has a mid-paced groove through its first three-minutes. That riff between 3:54-4:40 is more or less an ode to very early Slayer. Its alternate picked 16th notes on guitar with you playing the low toms on the drum kit to get more of a build up for the next riff. Did you intentionally do that to match the "panic it starts as reason has stopped" lyrical approach. Sort of ascending the madness at that point?
King: Yes, it was set as the panic button has been pushed and all the cattle are out of the barn now…so to speak.
MM: Was this the first track that was written for the record?
King: Yes, it was.
MM: Was it obvious after writing this song that this would be the album opener? Was it the evil "Wasted Years" riff that did it?
King: Mike and I just started writing it and it felt good. We indeed heard Maiden in it and then added in some "Seven Gates of Hell" Venom stylings and we were off. It was the opener because it was first and felt 100% right!
MM: "Contamination" follows and is one of the most atmospheric tracks of not only this album but the Deceased catalog. How important is the song's contribution to the album's theme? In our opinion, it definitely adds more emotional and human elements to it.
King: It was unique to Deceased at the time and I enjoy the hell out of it. I like not settling within a realm of music. We have never painted ourselves into a corner so it was 100% fitting in the record.
MM: How did you set the studio up for the correct mood on this one? Something about you sitting in the floor by candlelight?
King: I sat on the floor and the producer said we will light candles and creep out. It was already 1 AM and dark in the murky studio room. I sat with the words in hand and got into my Vincent Price world. The producer then decided to scare the fuck out of me by going around the control room and coming through the stairs to the room with his jacket over his head and his hands out like Frankenstein. It was a hilarious moment in the recording and a fun memory. We all laughed and then I nailed the narration bits.
MM: Mark wrote the music for this song. What was his inspiration or influence for its creepy vibe? Why did he dislike your keyboards so much that you took them out of the final version?
King: Mark was inspired by Judas Priest's "Last Rose of Summer" track, which while not spooky, was his mental guide. He didn't like the keys at all. Mike, Les and I liked them but we gave him the last word on it out of respect as it was his song and he spent a good deal of time working on it.
MM: Will the version with the keyboards ever see the light of day?
King: The entire 'Fearless…' tapes are lost. We have looked for years, but somehow, they were misplaced in the studio. I'd like to hear it again. Mark hated it with keys so we left it as is. Mike and I were talking about the key version the other day and both liked it with keys. Mark got last call because he wrote it.
MM: The title track is such a perfect blend of chaos, melody, atmosphere and bang your head riffing. How long did it take to construct such a track? Was it always planned to have "Contamination" cut right into this track so quickly?
King: King/Mike collaboration for sure on this one. I was just coming out of my super technical arrangements of 'Blueprints…' phase and had some of it hanging on in my mind. It worked well because this album is a step less technical and has only hints of oddball stuff in moments. I set up the entire album as one long journey with dynamics jumping out at you all over the place. This is how "Contamination" came out of heavy and back into heavy with aggression. The song took maybe 7-8 practices to lock in as it would be on record.
MM: 2:35 to 3:00 of the that song is a pretty dismal moment for the main character, right? The idea of this first wave of zombies going away is quickly dismissed with the lyrics "The wind blows in the next wave of the walking dead disease". For me, that is the ultimate apocalyptic vision. The story has always been escape but now it seems impossible to escape "creatures that don't end". Would you agree that hope is a far-fetched dream by this point of the story?
King: Yes, you quickly realize that there will be no happy endings in this tale! You must take the journey as the fly on the wall through the entire storyline.
MM: Instrumental "From the Ground They Came" lets the listener off the hook for a moment. You mentioned your love of Italian act Goblin. I assume this was influenced by that? Why did you feel the album needed a little atmospheric break here?
King: A total Goblin inspired track. I told Mike go for the "The Gates of Hell" theme ideals. He nailed it with what he brought to the table. We wanted pieces of non-full songs in the record along with noises and other jarring things to keep the mind on edge.
MM: Has this song ever been recorded live?
King: We have played it live many moons ago and there is cassette player recordings of it.
MM: If "Night of the Deceased" main/intro riff doesn't rip your head off, the obligatory head banging will. Who wrote that killer riff?
King: Still in Mike territory riff-wise on this one. I love the track, one of my all-time favorited Deceased songs.
MM: "Night of the Deceased" sits in the middle of the record, and in many ways, is Deceased's signature song, right? According to Setlist.FM the band has played it live 107 times, which is highly conservative I'm sure. What makes that song connect so well with fans that it's nearly a mandatory live inclusion?
King: As mentioned, it's one of my absolute faves from us. It makes a great opener as it sums up all the band is in one song. The heavy metal feel to it combined with aggression really drives it. I think people appreciate the catchiness of the tune as well as the energy within it.
MM: Did Mark Adams write the whole "Graphic Repulsion" song or just the verse riff? It's one of the most-catchy riffs on the entire album. Is it safe to say there are some old grind influences on this track?
King: Mark and I wrote the song, with a little piece of Mike in there too. That main verse riff is me. I tend to write very rock n' roll when it's verse related, blatantly catchy. I don't know if the grind influences were intentional or not.
MM: "Mysterious Research" is next. Following the vocal "Mysterious Research", there is a recurring drum beat that isn't exclusive to this particular track on the album. I call it the Clive Burr beat. Is that a fair title? A lot of old NWOBHM bands used that beat and of course Clive was a part of that. When are keyboards too much or how do you decide to use them at all?
King: I like the Maiden charging swing that comes out a lot on this record. I have no problem with atmosphere and keyboards really can add to that when done in context of a song. It can also soften up your music a bit too much at times too. A song like "The Creek of the Dead" from 'Blueprints…' it worked to perfection, but other times it killed the intensity of a song and was dropped. It's all in the ears whether it works for you or not.
MM: The track "Beyond Science" asks "Do We Deserve to Live?". It is often the question in any survival apocalypse setting. You've always been a pretty busy lyricist. Do you think it's possible for a song to have too many lyrics? I ask this because Deceased lyrics are often times pretty long. I'm just glad you never rhymed "life" with "knife". Is it hard writing lyrics that don't always rhyme?
King: I need to write lyrics that complete my vision of a song. Without them the song to me is a failure. I have no problem with a lot of lyrics. When too many lyrics get on my nerves is when they are all jumbled into a music pattern and sound "wrong". Rhyming words isn't that hard. I do look for proper wording and not writing a song lyric just to make a certain word fit in it.
MM: How do you possibly remember all of these lyrics for live purposes? Do you have a secret?
King: Keeping your head screwed on right *laughing*
King Fowley's Book: "Stay Ugly"
MM: "Unhuman Drama" follows. At this point I believe the second half of 'Fearless Undead Machines' has a stronger lyrical side than musical side. I mean that was the upmost respect, of course. It just seems that the first half, the music hits you the hardest but by the second half as a listener all these years later my focus is more on the storyline and the lyrics. Why do you think that is?
King: The storyline really moves on at a much more intense pace as the record progresses. The record opens deliberately with a plodding song that for me, was the theory, "ah this ain't nothing to worry about, this hokey thing about chemicals bringing the dead back to life" nonsense to it. The guitar piece is the storyteller understanding that yes this is a real threat here and now. Then comes the overwhelming overkill of the situation through the title track. And then the "it's all sunk in moment" of the instrumental track. The growing volume of the ghouls in "Night of the Deceased...". Then it's on to the gory visuals of it in "Graphic Repulsion" and thinking how do we stop this with "Mysterious Research"? "Beyond Science" we learn it's out of our hands and we look to other worldly meanings for reasoning. All sanity is questioned in "Unhuman Drama" and then "The Psychic" brings the twist to the story. Chosen people knew of what was coming and were prepared, or so they thought they were. But in the end, everyone gets their just reward in the tale. "Destiny" tells us this is real horror and everyone dies and the Earth is barren of human life - Judgement Day! So, it's a building mental, physical collapse as the record progresses. The subjects get "heavier" as it goes on.
MM: "The Psychic" - This was originally going to be a single, correct? I think the intro riff, maybe the entire song, was certainly a precursor to the "Supernatural Addiction" record. You touched on this before…how was the transition at this point playing more "Heavy Metal" sounding songs and riffs. Before 'Fearless…', Deceased hadn't quite reached such levels of melody or tradition.
King: We laughed at how catchy it was after the record was done and thought of putting it out as the single. We even went in and remixed it tighter for a single that never came to be. We all love heavy metal so writing it wasn't hard at all. What was hard at first was keeping our dark edge and vocally staying in the realm of how I feel Deceased vocals should be. That luckily fell into place and then there was no looking back.
MM: Closer "Destiny" features keyboards. The keyboard parts of Deceased have always been atmosphere/mood altering pieces. Have you ever gotten any actual lessons or training or do you just play what feels right? Have you always used the same keyboard set up?
King: I use what the studio offers me. I'm not bad on atmosphere bits on keyboards. I've got a lot of gloomy melodies in my head. I came into this all when we did the Doomstone debut record ('Those Whom Satan Hath Joined' - 1994) in the early 90s. It allowed me all the melodies and ideas I needed to attempt on record. Most of them worked and so it's become part of my studio world. I've written soundtrack pieces for fun and I enjoy it a lot.
MM: Are any Deceased songs ever written strictly on a keyboard first?
King: Not even one!
MM: The "Death is my destiny" riff seems very fitting to end the record. Like "The Silent Creature", was this another obvious album riff ender?
King: No, but everyone contributed to "Destiny" and it really felt like a team effort. I'm so proud of that song as the closer written as a band unit. My favorite part is the "March, March, March" section. Intense!
MM: In the past, you have mentioned around the middle of writing this record that there was a wall that the creative force smacked into to. Which songs were really quick to churn out and which ones were on the other side of the wall just waiting to break through? What created the lull in creativity and how did you overcome it?
King: I think we just didn't want to keep writing the same style song again and again. We had a few four-minute ones in a row ("Graphic/Beyond") and instead of saying "hey we are going to write a lengthy track' we just kind of waited for one to grow out of us and that took a little while. Eventually "Destiny" came alive as did the oddball "Unhuman Drama" which I deliberately made choppy and off the cuff in spots arrangement-wise. "The Psychic" is the one song that wrote itself on the record, fell in line 1, 2, 3. Everything was written and then dissected. I changed a lot of things as the record writing went on. It was easy to revision something when we were jamming as much as we were then.
MM: There are many samples throughout the album. Were there any issues regarding legality and inclusion? I know the sample from "Elly's Dementia" had to be scrapped from 'Supernatural Addiction' because of Miramax copyright.
King: We just used them. When you go asking it becomes a pain in the ass. It's all done out of love and admiration for a piece. The entire "Blair Witch Thing" would never have been an issue had Relapse not asked their permission. Just record it and put it on. It was seven seconds of dialogue and we still left on the screams from the movie under the song, so what was the difference?
MM: The lyrics for the record seem pretty thought out, to say the least. Why is it so much more important to build an atmosphere and tell a story rather than going the gore metal route and just make every song about spilled brains?
King: Because I have more to say than 1, 2, 3 kill!
MM: "Messiah of Evil" and "The Crazies" are originally credited as influences on the record. They are clearly not zombie films. Is the survival aspect strong enough for the inclusion? At any point does 'Fearless Undead Machines' venture a great distance from being a zombie survival concept record?
King: The story is indeed a zombie theme, but you can't exclude topics like government made outbreaks, or cult-like swarms of ghostly dead people from your psyche when preparing the story for this record.
MM: You have been an opponent to the artwork and layout of the record. Relapse had pitched some ideas to you regarding artwork and had even provided samples. One was scissor-handed robot cadavers, right? What were some other sketches or ideas they sent you?
King: Just pure crap! One was some black and white alternate-looking world thing. I can't remember them all, ON PURPOSE!
MM: Artist Wes Benscoter created the 'Blueprints' cover and you discussed with Wes some of your ideas initially for the cover. What had you originally planned for the album cover and how is it different than the finished product?
King: The art used wasn't my idea at all. It's way too generic an idea and the artist Wes was totally unprofessional when I talked to him about my ideas. He never tried or went with my vision, which was an under the cemetery ground look at the coffins broken open and the zombies rising up through the dirt and breaking through above the ground. I know he couldn't draw/paint it. He just did artwork 101 stuff. He shit out what he shit out and it's the cover forever now. I was not pleased in the least.
MM: Have you played every track on the record live at some point?
King: Everything except "Contamination". We will be playing the album live in Chicago on August 5th, we are still deciding if "Contamination' can be pulled off correctly, but definitely the rest of it will be played!
MM: Which album song is the most well received or requested by your live audience?
King: I personally live for "Night of the Deceased" and "The Silent Creature" is always a sing along live so I have to mention that one.
MM: Is there a possibility of a movie or book tie-in to the story down the road? How about a future album follow-up to the story?
King: It's very doubtful. A few years-ago there was talk of a movie some friends wanted to make but that fell by the wayside soon after. So many other ideas in the mind still to undertake so a sequel is probably not in the cards.
MM: In 2016, you told the website Invisible Oranges that 'Fearless Undead Machines' changed the band. How so?
King: It just was our first well received record out of the gate. Mags were asking us for interviews. We got a lot of praise for it and it ended up on a lot of people's albums of the year list etc. It just was a new moment in time for us. We also added the traditional metal ideas more than ever and it helped to shape us into what is 100% Deceased written music.
MM: The record is 20 years old now. Has it aged well from your perspective?
King: I still dig the songs a whole lot. The record's production never was that great to me and still doesn't do much for me. It's my third favorite Deceased record of them all.
MM: I know 'Supernatural Addiction' is your favorite. What is the second one?
King: 'Surreal Overdose' (2011)
MM: I know there are several versions out there, numerous runs of the album. Historically, is this the bestselling Deceased record?
King: No! 'Luck of the Corpse' is. It sold about 30,000 copies. I think 'Fearless...' is around 12,000.
MM: What's your next two years of Deceased activity – major shows, writing, recording - what's going on in the camp?
King: We are working on the new record now, 'Ghostly White'. This is a very heavy metal album and a tad off-kilter in spots for us as song writers. We hope to record it late this year and have it out early next year on Hells Headbangers records. A few new song titles are "Germ of Distorted Lore", and "The Shivers". We are playing out as much as we can. We got ideas to go back overseas in 2018 and possibly a full U.S tour as well. For now, its gig all we can wherever we can.
MM: Will you ever consider writing an autobiography or, at the least, a coffee table book of pics and stories? We need to download your brain to paper before you become another "Fearless Undead Machine".
King: It's written and out July 6th, my birthday. It's called "Stay Ugly".
MM: King, Happy 20th anniversary and just keep on pushing that heavy load brother. Thanks for your time.
King: Thank you brother! Stay Ugly!!