Ex Dementia - "Out of Their F!@#in' Minds!"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Let's face it, the old guard of death metal will not be around forever. The hoary giants of the genre like Obituary, Morbid Angel and Immolation are still going pretty strong but Father Time waits for no man...or no band. Therefore, it warms my heart to see the younger generation picking up on the sounds of elder days and dedicating themselves to keep the flame of true death metal alive.

One such band of young ghouls is Ex Dementia, hailing from South New Jersey, the stomping ground of the grotesque Jersey Devil. These dudes look like they should be in a band with four words and "Autumn" in the name and playing mindless arpeggios and breakdowns. Instead, they revel in a filthy death metal attack that owes a lot to Massacre, Grave, and the above named fiends. It's just as catchy as it is brutal and their fascination with classic gore and horror movies instead of the latest CGI video game style crap is also encouraging.

Their latest journey into the depths of depravity is the "In The Chapters of Horror" EP featuring more of the trademark Ex-D sound, but by the time you read this, their new full length "The Red Mass" should be near. It promises to be one of the death metal albums of the year. Recently, I spoke with guitarist/vocalist Chris about the madness and the horror that is Ex Dementia...

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: First, a little background. How did you guys hook up and how long have you been together?

CHRIS: Well...back in 03, I was browsing online and came across a band's web page with similar influences as the band i was playing in at the time and shot them an email just to see what they were all about. After a few years of chatting with them i eventually found the time to drive down to SouthJersey and jam. The chemistry worked out great and next thing you know in 05. I wound up relocating to Sin City, New Jersey and became South Jersey scum.

WC: You dudes seem young to play such a faithful style of old school death metal. What attracted you to this music instead of emo or metalcore or some trendy sound?

C: I've always had a strange obsession/attraction to metal music. As a kid,I was really influenced by an older brother who didn't really care much for death metal but showed me the light to a few thrash metal bands (early Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax etc.). I also loved horror flicks and somehow was drawn to the gory controversial artwork and song titles of death metal bands. Unfortunately being a kid paving my own path to what I know now as being awesome, I had to buy tons of awful albums to find out what the good ones were. Also having access to theInternet and being able to converse with like minded people helped me a lot with discovering a lot of awesome bands.

WC: Is there one band more than any other that influences you guys?

C: As far as death metal goes, I'm mainly influenced by bands like Carcass, Pungent Stench, Dismember, Impetigo, Death, Autopsy, Obituary, Engorged, and a few others.

WC: The covers of your records are masterpieces of the macabre. What can you tell me about this artwork and what stories is it trying to tell?

C: The concepts to the art work are put together by our drummer Brandon and brought to life by artist Jeff Zornow. The cover art for "Thou Shall Repulse" is pretty much influenced by the title track from the album. The artwork for "In the Chapters of Horror" is pretty much a depiction of all the songs on the ep as one. The art for "The Red Mass" will be similar to "Thou Shall Repulse" in the sense that it's directly related to the title track of the album. The concept for the album art is basically a group of deranged gorefiends who just happen to cross paths with a group of Satanists preforming a Black Mass which becomes a blood bath.

WC: You guys seem to be real horror fiends. What movies and tales do you draw your inspiration from?

C: In past releases we had songs written about movies Return of the Living Dead, Cannibal Holocaust, Blood Sucking Freaks, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2, Raw Meat, The Deadly Spawn, and a few concepts inspired by movies like Reanimator, and TCM etc. The new album will include tracks about The Prince Of Darkness, The Gore Gore Girls, Nightmare City, Basket Case and a few other concepts.

WC: What's your opinion of horror films today? It all seems to be the same CGI and camera tricks and lame remakes of past glories to me.

C: 98% of new Horror flicks suck ass.

WC: You dumped Kitchen Vomit Records for HPGD Productions and I gather it wasn't too pleasant. What was the story behind the move?

C: Kitchen Vomit didn't want to release our EP due to length issues and had fears of distros declining trades due to the length...Mike from HPGD saved the day and picked us up and released the EP at the last minute. We're very happy with how HPGD is treating us. They've done a lot more for us then KVR had in the past and I dont think were going to leave anytime soon.

WC: I would think you guys would be naturals for labels like Razorback or Ibex Moon. Would you hook up with them if you got an offer?

C: If for any reason we got booted off HPGD Productions and were given an offer, I'd consider it, but until then ,probably not.

WC: In your opinion, what are the elements that make for a memorable death metal song?

C: Good song/lyric writing with memorable/catchy guitar riffs and catchy vocal patterns.

WC: Do you get the chance to play live much and what is an Ex Dementia show like? It looks like it involves a lot of blood!

C: I'd like to play more shows ,even possibly tour the States or Euorpe sometime in the future, but due to my work schedule i'ts very difficult to take weeks and weekends off for shows. We do use blood on stage. We're not a gimmick band which relies on it but we do use it depending on the venue/turnout etc.

WC: I hear you are working on a new full-length. What can you tell us about this beast?

C: Those who liked our first full length and loved the EP will not be turned down by this album. The material is very similar and i am really liking the way it's turning out. "The Red Mass" will include guest vocal appearances from friends Ross Sewage (Impaled), Tim (Splatterhouse), Admiral Nobeard (Swashbuckle), and Chris Reifert (Autopsy/Abscess). The artwork will again be done by Jeff Zornow. To keep up to date on this release ,keep your eyes peeled on news updates on our website and/ or message board.

WC: Do you see the Ex-D sound changing much in the future or will you hold to the same basic template as "Thou Shall Repulse" and "In The Chapters of Horror"?

C: I think over the past few years of being in this band i feel it's safe to say we found our sound and I don't see it changing anytime soon.

WC: What would be the ideal bands for you guys to tour with?

C: It would be cool to tour with bands like Engorged or Impaled and if Carcass didn't choose to tour with such awful bands, maybe them as well.

WC: Are you involved in any bands outside of Ex-D?

C: I've tried to start other projects here and there with negative results due to my main focus on EXD and a busy work schedule.

WC: What are some of the non-metal influences the band has? Are you into horror soundtracks...stuff like John Carpenter and Goblin?

C: As a kid, I grew up listing to strictly Metal/Punk but over the years I've experimented listening to different genres on elevated levels and have expanded my brain to appreciate almost all genres of music depending on mood and setting. Brandon our drummer is a huge sound track guy. In fact I think he listens to scores more then he does metal nowadays.

WC: What was the last CD you got because you wanted to check the band out?

C: I haven't really bought a new CD in a little while but my ipod died on me so I spent the last 2 weeks uploading my whole CD collection to my itunes library and rediscovered a few albums which i had obtained and never really gave a full listen to until now, one being Bloodbath's "Resurrection Through Carnage" which I'm digging a lot.

WC: What was the last gig you went to because you wanted to see the band?

C: Last show i went to "because i wanted to see the band" was Suicidal Tendencies @ Starland Ballroom back in December. One of the best shows I've been to in a while.

WC: Do you guys have any "Spinal Tap" moments from your history you'd like to share with us?

C: On the way to Filth City Fest 08 I decided to drive my brand new car to the show to save money on gas and use the back line provided at the venue. While pulling into the hotel we were staying at , some Baltimore dipshit rear ended me causing my car to 360 and spin sideways in the hotels valet parking lot like the Blues Brothers. The accident also cost me thousands in was a good thing I had insurance. The show went alright but we had to record our live tracks for our "In The Chapters of Horror EP" to meet our release deadline which didn't turn out too good sound quality wise but since all the circumstances i mentioned above, we wound up using them for the ep anyway.

WC: Any final words for the fiends out there?

C: Keep your eyes peeled for the new release, and fuck off.

Ex Dementia's Official Website