LICH KING:  Son of a Lich!

By Theron Moore

 As a fan of metal I'm not big into what's passing for rock these days.  Most bands are generic and lame, without substance, the same thing that's been said about 80's glam,  in fact the two share more similarities than differences.

 Thank God I discovered this small but dedicated group of bands several years ago that embrace the sound of old school thrash, ala Nuclear Assault, Megadeth, Anthrax, Whiplash, etc.  Lich King is one of these bands I'm talking about and they're masters at what they do.

 You can talk Municipal Waste, Evile and Warbringer but the conversation better find it's way to Lich King since you're talking about the best of the best.  They have a new EP coming out this December called "Do Over."  You'll find out the reason they named it that below.  If you haven't checked out Lich King yet, you need to.  I spoke with vocalist and artist Tom Martin.  Enjoy...

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES:  Lich King was formed in 2004.  Were you looking at the metal scene at that time and thinking that something was missing or maybe the bigger bands that ruled the scene then sucked, that prompted you to reach back to your roots musically and embrace an old school thrash sound? 

TOM MARTIN:  I never really left the old thrash sound, but I didn’t know where to get it at the time. I don’t listen to modern metal, and I hadn’t for a long time. I mean, around the time I’d bought a few albums, but no one was turning out what I wanted to hear until I started to hear about the new guys- Evile and Mass Extinction were my first exposures to the new stuff. It was only around then that I realized I could now record music on my computer, so it was just a happy accident.

WC:  Were you listening to Municipal Waste and Toxic Holocaust at the time?

 TM:  Just Municipal Waste. Not a big Toxic Holocaust guy. 

 WC:  Tell me about the "Do Over" record coming out.  Apparently it's a re-recording of your first records right? 

 TM:  Yep. Those first two were written, performed and recorded entirely by me, and I’m not a recording engineer guy so I messed up the production pretty horrifically. These are the same songs being performed by musicians and recorded by a guy who knows what he’s doing.  

 WC:  Has Kurt Brecht or anyone else from D.R.I. commented on your "Do Over" cover?  It's pretty clever and it's certainly generated a huge response from people.

TM:  Nope. Apparently people have asked Kurt about it and he was apathetic, but an old drummer was definitely a bit pissy about it. I’m pretty sure we’ll never hear from DRI about it. This sort of thing just distances you from the band you’re parodying.

WC:  Do you think fans get the band's brand of humor when it comes to something like the aforementioned cover or maybe a song like "Black Metal Sucks" ?  Sometimes I think this community takes themselves too seriously.

TM:  Some do. Maybe even most do, but metal fans in general do not. Everything’s very serious with the metal community, and though they rush to defend it, I think these guys being stalwart guardians of the gates are the guys that are doing the most damage to metal. They’re serious, and guys that are serious tend to be dicks. It’s a shame.

WC:  Will you be touring behind it?

TM:  Nah. This is just an EP, we’re just putting this out to tide people over until album 5 is out. We’ll be touring behind THAT.
WC:  What are the tour plans for the band in 2015?  

TM:  Yet to be announced. We’re working on some exciting possibilities. No telling if it’ll come to pass, but we’re trying.  

WC:  The artwork for your records is phenomenal.  Who's the artist and is their a story behind the recurring lich king figure that's on each CD?  

TM:  His name’s Tom Martin, he’s a talented and handsome artist that lives not far from here. There’s not really a story behind the King, he’s just a guy that became a lich, killed everyone, became king, then started conquering other dimensions. He gets bored easily. He always needs to be fighting.

 WC:  In terms of the retro / crossover thrash scene, which bands are you recommending, who's killin' it that you'd like to tour or do a show or rip a bong with?  

TM:  Smash Potater, Insinnerator and Dr. Living Dead are all bands I like very much. The others are fans of Warbringer, Gama Bomb, King Parrot and a few more I can’t think of.

WC:  When you sit down to write songs, where do the influences come from that allow you to make music?  Is it music, movies, TV, books, etc?

TM:  Do you mean for lyrics or music? For music, it’s other music. For lyrics, it’s the elephant in the room. I like to get a little referential and weird, point at something thrash bands never seem to talk about and bring it up as a topic. You know why? Evil is boring.I mean, in thrash, the lyrics are the last thing I come for BUT I think if you must have lyrics, write something original. It’s weird that I don’t feel the same way about music. I’m perfectly fine with music being generic. 

WC: What can Lich King fans expect from the band in 2015?  Any plans underway for another full length record?

TM:  Yup, a full-length is in the works and if all goes well, 2015 should be a big year. I shan’t say anything else, Brian won’t allow it. I’m bigger than he is but he’s meaner.