Necrovore needs no introduction to most people into underground metal.  With a single 4-song demo, this band changed forever the face and sound of what was to become known as 'Black / Death Metal' and influenced countless bands of imitators around the world.  The fact that four guys from Texas could influence a generation of 'extreme' musicians is amazing, but what is even more amazing is that practically nothing is known about the band and it's members.  Virtually no photographs or video exists of this band which is notoriously protective of it's image and legacy.  We recently had the opportunity to interview two members of Necrovore and delve a little bit into the philosophy behind the band and its music.  

 

A texasmetalunderground.com exclusive photo gallery of Necrovore performing live can be viewed here!  A huge thanks goes out to our great friend and underground Texas metal supporter Laurent Remadier for sharing some of his live shots of the band.

 

      

Click on image for a larger view of these rare Necrovore items.

The Beginning

 

TMU:  Who were the original members of Necrovore?  Who is Scott Humphrey?  Was he the original guitar player before Bjorn?

 

Ross Stone:  The original members were: Jon DePlachett- Vocals/Guitar, Ross Stone- Bass, Scott Humphrey- Guitar,  Scott Staffney- Drums

 

Bjorn Haga:  The original members of Necrovore were those that you see on the old demo tape.  Scott Humphrey was a friend of mine in high school.  He and I had a garage band that played tons of Metallica, Slayer, Exodus, Kreator, etc. covers.  Basically we learned guitar via playing these tunes that spun constantly on our record players.  He hooked up with Necrovore before I did, but used my gear to record the demo.  He was soon after found to be a traitor to the Necrovore camp and was quickly expelled.  Seeing that I was very familiar with the Necrovore material I was chosen to be his replacement.

 

TMU:  Did anyone besides Jon DePlachett play in any local bands before forming Necrovore?

 

Ross Stone:  Not really.  We all had stints with 'garage bands' but nothing that was serious.  Jon was the only established personality in the beginning.

 

Bjorn Haga:  I played in a band called Obsessed Death with Ross Stone on bass.  I also played in a local New Braunfels thrash band called Ankou.

 

TMU:  Do you recall the year and month of the first Necrovore rehearsal?  First show?

 

Ross Stone:  Necrovore, in the beginning was really only Jon and myself.  We worked on the philosophy of Necrovore ,the music, the appearance, and everything else before we started looking for members for the band.  Necrovore was an entity we created, far more than just a band.  It took a long time to find individuals we were content to work with, and this slowed things down.  The line up for the demo started playing together in early 1987.

 

Bjorn Haga:  I do not remember the actual first Necrovore rehearsal date. I joined in the fall of 1987 and the first Necrovore show was at the Cameo Theater in May of 1988 in San Antonio.  It was one of those 'all local bands' type shows with about 13-14 bands on the list.  The only bands I remember were Militia, Necrovore, Crippled By Society, and Fearless Iranians From Hell.  The show was pretty cool.  I do remember that there were not too many people up through Militia who went on right before we did.  Militia came off stage saying to us, "Man those fuckers are on heroin out there... No one is getting into the show."  We went on stage and our intro tape was playing and there was silence from the audience.  I thought to myself, "Man those guys were right!"  I was in shock when the lights came on and all I saw were three rows of faces and then heads all the way back to the entrance of the theater.  Everyone was going nuts.  Total blasphemy!!  No one had previously gotten into any of the bands because they were holding out for us.  Once we left the stage, the metal crowd left and the punks came in for CBS and FIFH.

 

TMU:  Who was the principal songwriter for the band?

 

Ross Stone:  This is easy, Jon was.  Jon wrote the music for the original demo single-handedly.  I had a hand in the lyrics and we all kicked in with inputs to the songs; however, Jon was the principal songwriter.

 

Bjorn Haga:  Jon wrote the first four original songs.  Everything after that has been written from input from all band members, including current material.

 

TMU:  At the time Necrovore was formed, very few bands existed playing such a heavy, furious style of metal.  It has been stated by Bjorn that Morbid Angelís 'Abominations of Desolation' demo was an influence.  Were there any other stand-out influences?

 

Ross Stone:  We had the music on our original 4 track demo ready before Morbid Angelís release; therefore they were not an influence on any of our music, nor did they influence our band concept.  One thing to keep in mind is that our original demo was old material, it just wasnít released earlier.  By the time we released our demo, we had enough new material ready for an album.  Not only do I reject Morbid Angel as an influence, there was quite a bit of conflict between Morbid Angel and Necrovore.  I personally believe that Morbid Angel never understood the concept of what it truly was to be a 'Black' metal band.  Morbid Angel always struck me as a group of musicians, not a true entity such as Necrovore .  I did like Morbid Angelís first demo, the one prior to David Vincent; but it didnít influence me.  My personal favorite bands were bands that existed before we did, such as Black Sabbath and Motorhead.  I still listen to both bands and am blown away with their work.

 

Bjorn Haga:  I wouldn't say that Morbid Angel's 'Abominations...' was a serious influence outside of a competitive one.  Our main influences would have to be from Possessed and Bathory, with good doses of Destruction and Kreator.  There are also many many more but those seem to stick in my head.

 

TMU:  About how many shows did Necrovore play in its original existence?

 

Ross Stone:  Not enough, I really loved to do shows.  Playing live is very addictive.

 

Bjorn Haga:  I cannot recall at this time, there were a handful.  We played shows that we knew would help promote the band instead of playing out just to play live.

 

TMU:  Necrovore played shows with Austinís Syranax and Corpusí Devastation.  Did you share the stage with any other local Texas bands?

 

Ross Stone:  Sure we did.  We played with some of Texasí most influential punk bands.  We played shows with the Fearless Iranianís From Hell, and Crippled by Society.  We also played with more traditional metal acts like Legacy, Sanctuary and a lot of others I canít really remember at this time.  I would have to get out our old flyers to name everyone.

 

Bjorn Haga:  From what I recall, the show with Syranax and Devastation never materialized.  We did indeed play a show later on with Devastation.  As I said before, Militia opened up for us on our initial show.  As for other bands I cannot recall any of them.

 

TMU:  What were your thoughts on the Texas scene at the time?  What was the Texas sceneís reaction to Necrovore?

 

Ross Stone:  The Texas scene was the best in the nation.  The underground scene had tons of bands and quite a few of them were good.  We had punk bands like the Dirty Rotten Imbeciles, and the Fearless Iranianís from Hell and metal bands like Watchtower and  Militia.  And of course you had thrash bands like Syranax, Hell Dogs, Rotting Corpse, and Black Metal bands like us.  Just take a look at the web and you can still find many sites that document the scene we had in the 80's.  The great thing about the scene in the 80ís was that the competition between the bands made everyone better.  With a large variety of acts to choose from, you had to prove you were worth the price of admission.  We hung out with all kinds of different people.  There was a real understanding of what it meant to be part of a counterculture.  I can still remember a show we did at the Cameo Theater in San Antonio.  We were playing with FIFH and CBS.  We were wondering how a mainly punk audience would react to us.  We didnít have to wait long to find out.  During the introduction it got silent and when we started to play everyone just stood there and watched for a few moments until one guy yelled out ďSons of SatanĒ!  And the whole damn place broke out into one massive thrash pit.  It was chaos, the audience went wild.  After we finished playing a fight broke out and the headline act had to get off stage.  We spent hours after the show talking to punks and thrashers alike, it was the very first time I signed an autograph.  I felt like a God!  It wasnít until later that one of the other bands girlfriends told me that the fight broke out because the guys in the thrash pit wouldnít stop calling for Necrovore .  When the headline band (notice I am not naming any names here) heard the calls, they got pissed and climbed into the pit to confront the hecklers.  I guess the guys in the pit didnít take to that.  That was a fairly average night for us.  I loved it.

 

Bjorn Haga:  At the time we considered the Texas scene dead.  There were not that many bands worthwhile going to check out.  As far as Texas' response to us, I would have to say now that it was very good indeed.  At the time though we did not concern ourselves with Texas nor the USA.  We sought to claim the world as our own.  I would have to say though that our main goal at the time (still is) was/is to knock Slayer off their pedestal.

 

TMU:  Around the time of the original demo's release there were talks of a tour with Morbid Angel.  Was this actually in the works and why didnít it ever happen?

 

Ross Stone:  Lotís of talk, but not much action.  Lack of money was one of the problems.

 

Bjorn Haga:  There were only talks at the time of touring with Morbid so we could blow them off the stage.  I suppose that it never came to be because they knew who the better band was.

 

TMU:  There were also rumors of a planned LP on Combat Records.  How involved were the talks and did you ever see a contract?

 

Ross Stone:  We never saw a contract.

 

Bjorn Haga:  Combat was not signing bands at the time when we started looking to be picked up.  So talks never got far with them.

 

TMU:  How did New Renaissance Records hear about Necrovore ?  Did you send them a copy of the demo?

 

Ross Stone:  They contacted us.  I am not sure how they first heard of us.

 

Bjorn Haga:  I think Ann Bolyn got a tape of ours through Wild Rags records or something to that nature.  They contacted us, we did not contact them.

 

TMU:  Were there any other labels showing interest in a Necrovore full-length release?

 

Ross Stone:  Not any major or substantial labels.

 

Bjorn Haga:  None that we thought were reputable.

 

TMU:  Early on there were problems finding a stable lineup.  At one point Devastation drummer Louie Carrizales was reportedly in the band.  Did Necrovore play any shows with Louie on drums?

 

Ross Stone:  Louie was never in the band.  I have no idea where this came from.

 

Bjorn Haga:  This was during a transitional period after the initial disbanding.  We did a couple of rehearsals with Louie in 1997.  Nothing came out of it.

 

TMU:  Necrovore is without a doubt the most influential band to emerge from the 1980ís Texas metal scene.  Do you find it surprising that current bands continue to cite Necrovore as a main influence more than 17 years since that 4 song demo was released?

 

Ross Stone:  Itís amazing.  I still run into people who have heard about us and sometimes they even have old demos!  Just the other day one of the guys I work with brought his teenage son in to work with him.  When he introduced me the kid stops and says  ďRoss Stone the Necrovore guy?"  I was shocked to learn that a bunch of 15 year old kids would have ever heard of us, let alone still listened.  I think what stands the test of time is our passion.  We really put ourselves into the band.  We believed in what we did.  The primal anger and raw aggression, the intrinsic Necrovore, transferred right into the music.  It wasnít the fact that we were great musicians; it was the fact that we understood what the music was and what it should be.  Any time you see belief and passion, itís hard to overlook that.

 

Bjorn Haga:  We think it is totally incredible that we influenced as many as we have.  How would you feel if 15-16 years after a demo was released that you see your band as a major influence for bands that you once looked up to (specifically speaking of a conversation I had with Schmier of Destruction in 2000) as well as seeing Marduk and Emperor say similar things.  We knew that we were onto something at the time but maybe we were not mature enough to contain what it was.  That was why we decided to lay it down until we knew how to control it correctly.  This is why we have decided to pick up the mantle again.

 

The Recorded Legacy

 

TMU:  Where was the original Ďofficialí demo recorded?  Was it a Ďrehearsalí tape as many assume or was it recorded in a professional studio?

 

Ross Stone:  It was more than a rehearsal tape and a bit less than professional.  We recorded the demo ourselves.  A friend of the band, Walter Carter, ran the soundboard and mixed it.  We used an old 4 track machine, an assortment of microphones, and our own effects to capture the essence of Necrovore.  We did the entire thing in our practice area.  Really, it didnít come out all that bad.  Walter knew what we were shooting or and did a great job letting the raw edge of the performance come through.  Walter went on to man the soundboard at most of our shows.  The quality of the recording suffered each time it was reproduced.  We didnít own professional duplicating equipment and used a home stereo to make copies.  We only released a very few copies and as they were copied the quality dropped.  The original copy is fine and gives a good representation of the band.

Bjorn Haga:  The official demo was recorded in the rehearsal room.  We had a mutual friend who had a mobile 16 track studio come in and record it live with minor overdubs for leads and vocals.

 

TMU:  How was the eerie intro that preceded Mutilated Death recorded?  Could you give us a translation of the Latin spoken section?

 

Ross Stone:  The intro was produced using a chord bender.  The Latin was our own creation.

 

Bjorn Haga:  Jon and Walter Carter created the intro music.  They did it in utmost secrecy even from the rest of the band.  As for the Latin, it is an incantation of Blackdeath that Jon created.

 

TMU:  Obviously, Necrovore had more than four songs in its live repertoire.  Could you name some more song titles?

 

Bjorn Haga:  There are quite a few additional songs from that time frame.  Songs that were recorded for a second demo were entitled Chaotic Malevolence, Demented Evil, Treacherous Abominations (Imminent Possession), and Defilation of Souls.  There are several more new songs that we have since written but I will not divulge the titles yet.

 

TMU:  The song ĎSlaughtered Remainsí was re-recorded for the New Renaissance Records compilation Satanís Revenge.  Why was it re-recorded and where was this recording done?

 

Bjorn Haga:  It was re-recorded because that is what the label asked us to do for that comp.  We recorded it again in the rehearsal room using Walter Carter and Blaspheme Studios again.

 

TMU:  It was long rumored that a cleaner, Ďstudio qualityí version of the original demo was recorded and never released.  Does this version of the demo still exist in the bandís archives?

 

Ross Stone:  There was a cleaner version.  We decided to re-record the demo at a professional studio in order to give fans a better copy of our old material; however, Walter didnít oversee the recording and the studio technician who did had no idea of how a Black Death Metal band sounded.  He cleaned up the recording so much that it lost its soul.  Try as we might, we couldnít seem to make it right.  I donít know if a copy still exists. I really donít care.  I donít like the soulless recording.  If you want to get an idea of Necrovore, stick with the original demo.

 

Bjorn Haga:  Yes. And no, it will never be released to anyone so please do not ask.

 

TMU:  Were any additional songs ever recorded besides the original four?

 

Ross Stone:  Somewhere there should be a complete album worth of songs out there.  It would have to be re-recorded by now.

 

Bjorn Haga:  Yes, there was an unfinished second demo recorded but we have decided to put that recording away and re-record it in a proper studio for an upcoming release.

 

TMU:  The original 1987 demo has been endlessly traded around the planet and bootlegged in every format imaginable.  Since there was obviously a market for it, did the band ever consider an official re-release of the original demo?

 

Bjorn Haga:  No.  We are not going to re-release the demo for sale.  Quite frankly, I have seen the demo go for sale on the internet for upwards of $100.  I think this is ludicrous.  Our email is readily available to anyone.  All the tapes are gone but I will gladly burn a copy for anyone for free to CD-R as long as you send us the blank CD-R.  The original demo was meant as a way to promote ourselves.  It was never meant to be a means for raising capital.  We are planning to release a real full length of all 8 old songs from our early era.  This will be for sale via our website soon.

 

TMU:  An incredibly raw 15 minute live video has long circulated in underground trading circles.  Are you familiar with this video?  Do you know where and when it was recorded?

 

Ross Stone:  I have never seen the video.  I think it was recorded in 1987 on Friday, November the 13th, at a show in San Antonio Texas.  I believe this because I know that someone in the audience, a local promoter, brought a cam corded to the performance.  We tried to get the copy and stop it from being released.  It looks like we didnít succeed.  We wanted to release a more professional video, at least one we had a chance to see before it got out.

 

Bjorn Haga:  Yes, this was taped at our first show at the Cameo Theater in San Antonio ,TX.

 

TMU:  Are you aware of any other Necrovore video in existence?  What about live or rehearsal audio?

 

Ross Stone:  There is a copy of a show out there; from time to time we talk about touching it up and releasing it.  I wouldnít even think of putting anything out without talking to everyone involved.

 

Bjorn Haga:  Yes, there is another.

 

The Future

 

TMU:  Can you tell us the names of the members of the current active lineup?

 

Ross Stone:  There is no current line up.

 

Bjorn Haga:  The current official line up consists of Jon and myself.  We are working with a couple of other musicians and we will see how this works out.

 

TMU:  Necrovore has always struck me as a band very protective of its image.  I know of no photos of the band in its original lineup and virtually no interviews over the years. Was this a deliberate strategy to maintain the Ďmystiqueí surrounding the band?

 

Ross Stone:  Necrovore was much more than just a band.  Necrovore was an entity of its own, and as such, demanded respect.  Before anything was released we all had to approve.  So, each interview, each picture, everything had to be reviewed.  I canít tell you how many times I saw bands come across as total assess and posers in interviews and lame photos.  Many times I even kind of liked a band before I talked to them!  After you talk to someone who just doesnít get it, itís hard to have respect for their music.  It wasnít an attempt to protect our mystique as much as it was just making sure people had a good grasp of the philosophy of Necrovore.  I still believe that what made Necrovore special was the fact that we totally believed in what we were doing.  We werenít just playing music, we were presenting our ideological self to the audience.  If you ever meet any of the original members today, we are still the same people with the same ideas and beliefs.  We may not play music when we get together; but we are still Necrovore.

 

Bjorn Haga:  Of course.  We as the musical vehicle of Necrovore are and should basically remain faceless and nameless.  We are but a vehicle for our audience to participate in this Musickal work that is the Blackdeath of Necrovore.

 

TMU:  Throughout the years there have been multiple rumors of the band reforming and even recording new material.  Have there been serious attempts at reforming?  Why havenít these past attempts been successful?

 

Bjorn Haga:  We have constantly written material since the early era.  Multiple private recordings exist.  Why they have not materialized is because we do not think that they are up to our standards.  When the time is right, we will release Necrovore upon the world.

 

TMU:  Is Bjorn still an active member of Thornspawn?  Are any other former Necrovore members still active in music in any form?

 

Bjorn Haga:  No I was only a session musician for Thornspawn.

 

TMU:  In the late 1990ís there was talk of releasing a live 7Ē on Putrefaction Records out of France.  Why did this never come about?

 

Bjorn Haga:  We decided that the live sound was inferior to what we wanted to represent as a live Necrovore recording.

 

TMU:  Do you have any news on the long delayed Necrovore tribute LP to be issued by From Beyond Productions?

 

Bjorn Haga:  We have no idea what is going on with this.  We told them that we did not want this to happen unless the bands that were to be on it were of a high calibre.  After this was told to them we had no more contact from them.

 

TMU:  Any possibility of live performances with the reformed lineup?

 

Bjorn Haga:  Time will tell.

 

TMU:  And finally, can we hope for a new Necrovore release in 2004?

 

Ross Stone:  Perhaps.

 

Bjorn Haga:  The odds are in favor for this.

 

TMU:  Thanks for your time!

 

Bjorn Haga:  Thanks for the interview.