středa 15. ledna 2020

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Interview - PROPHECY - If you can't feel the music, it's not music.

Interview with legendary death metal band from USA - PROPHECY.

Answered James Parks II, thank you!

Translated by Duzl, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Recenze/review - PROPHECY - Foreseen Scriptures (2019):

Ave PROPHECY! I have to say that your new album "Foreseen Scriptures" really seized under my skin. I go to the cottage in the summer and I felt like I was back in my youth. I turned the speakers out and listened over and over. The neighbors were really happy:). How do you perceive the album with a distance and how satisfied are you with it? What about fan reviews, criticism, and how do the songs work live? 

James: Hello Jakub! Thank you for very much for your support! We greatly appreciate everything! We feel "Foreseen Scriptures" is our best release overall and also very happy with the final production. We also know it could have been slightly better...haha! The social media comments and reviews have all been very good! The songs work GREAT live!! We can definitely feel the power of the music and adrenaline rush and everyone shows that in return to us during and after our sets so it's really an amazing feeling!! 

I really consider new album as a very good one. Fair and genuine. It contains everything I need to constantly add volume and feel to want hand-banging. How was the album created? Tell me something about PROPHECY's creative process? And where do you get inspiration for your music? 

James: To us, if you can't "feel" the music, it's not music. So when we're creating guitar riffs with drum beats, we constantly ask ourselves how does that feel. If it feels right it is right and if it feels wrong it is wrong. In our jam room is where we all come together with our ideas and new ideas are created so we combine existing ideas to create new more powerful guitar riffs and drum beats as well as structuring the music to where it feels best! Each of us have different inspirations that we use for constant drive such as everyday life situations and so much more because we are trying to convey positive messages for each song as well as visually with everything involved! 

“Foreseen Scriptures” has a harsh brutal sound. Raw and real. At the same time penetrating. Where did you record the album? And who is signed under mastering? I really like that the sound is organic, so real, you have avoided “artificiality” and “overwhelming”, as unfortunately some bands do today. 

James: The studio engineer is the same engineer we used to track, mix, and master "Don't Fuckin' Mess With Texas" (2012 Prophecy Records). His name is Daniel Schmuck. He's an amazing studio engineer! Throughout the time spent tracking, mixing, and mastering "Foreseen Scriptures" we would compare production quality to "D.F.M.W.T." to do our best to make sure "Foreseen Scriptures" completely blew away not only all previous releases but "D.F.M.W.T." for sure! Daniel and all of us worked together to create the final production and are very happy with it! I mentioned earlier we feel it could've slightly better...I'm referring to very small parts which no one but us know about. Haha! Yes, we try our best to be as close to perfect as possible! 

PROPHECY has always had such special covers. I usually didn't like them at first sight. But over time they got into my subconscious and I was always happy. The new one is very similar. Who is the author of the cover and how was it created? Did the author hear your music and get inspired? 

James: The cover artwork over the years has been a subliminal message for sure! I'm glad you like them! "Foreseen Scriptures" cover art was created by Timon Kokott. I had the idea, the conceptual design idea, in my mind and we both came up with the final result!! We are all very pleased with Timon's work on the cover art as well as the booklet design and layout which Timon also did for us!!! He is an amazing artist with an extremely creative mind!!! 

It is clear that in death metal lyrics are often on the second . How do you perceive the content of the texts and how they are created by PROPHECY? What they are about on the new album and what influenced them? 

James: I write the lyrics after the songs have been written and titled. It gives me a starting point. I have an idea of what too write about by the title and since the songs are already structured musically, it's makes it easier to structure the lyrics. Our vocalist Drew Duffy wrote the lyrics to 8 of the songs on "Foreseen Scriptures" and he combined my idea with his regarding lyrical content and what story to tell for those songs. I wrote "Eye Of The Pit" and co-wrote "Our Domain". 

In 2014 you performed at the Obscene Extreme festival in the Czech Republic. Can you still remember? How did you enjoyed this festival and what do you think about fans there? And what about Czech beer? 

James: YES!!! We loved O.E.F!!! Curby and I go way back and he actually confirmed us to play O.E.F. in 2008 but we had to cancel that tour because of many reasons. Absolutely everything about O.E.F. and Czech Republic, WE LOVE!!! We can hardly wait to jam it again!!! Our full set of us playing O.E.F. during our 2014 "BLOOD BROTHERS IN EUROPE" Tour, is on our Official PROPHECY YouTube Channel along with 140 more videos!!!

At the time you started, was thrash, but also black metal and punk in high position. Which bands influenced you the most? Is there a musician who was your role model and made you play music? If I tell somebody today that I have listened a lot SAXON in my early days and I like them to this day, nobody believes me :)). 

James: Haha...nobody believes you? That's crazy. I guess because Saxon wasn't huge or whatever not many of the "young ones" know of them. Lol. Regardless, it's all relative to say the least. When I started PROPHECY in 1991 I had only been influenced by Thrash / Speed Metal artists. The reason I picked up a Guitar to begin with is Randy Rhoads!! He inspired me to learn how to play the Guitar!! He made it look so easy and always sounded amazing!! I was 13 in 1983 and worked for my older brother and sister-in-law during that summer for 1 month to make enough money to buy my first used, crappy, no name, 20 fret Guitar and a new Crate practice combo amp, strap, strings, and picks. I spent everyday after school in my bedroom training my ear by trying to play along with Boston (Boston), Motley Crue (Shout at the Devil), AC/DC (Back in Black), and many more. I was introduced to Metallica (Ride the Lightning) by a middle school friend Richard Schoonover and IT WAS ON!!! I became one of the biggest Metallica fans ever!! Ha! And of course I had to figure out how to play their songs!!! Haha! So when I started PROPHECY we were a Thrash / Speed Metal band and were heavily influenced by Metallica, Megadeth, Sepultura, Cacophony, Exodus, Testament, Slayer and so many more!! But straight to the point, Randy Rhoads started it all for me on Guitar!!! 

If I am not mistaken, PROPHECY dates back to 1991. How do you perceive that time? You stood with other bands at the birth of something new that wasn't here yet. Your history is full of changes and exciting albums that belong to every fan's golden collection. I'm just wondering why there's no more of those recordings? Five long-playing records in 28 years are not very much. Can you explain why just five? 

James: Yes, 1991 I created PROPHECY and came up with the name also. There are many reasons why we only have 5 full length releases since 1991 but the main reason is member changes. There has been close to 50 Official members in PROPHECY since 1991. It's time consuming to say the least. Plus, I was probably a bit of an asshole in my 20's...thinking everything had to be the way I thought it should be and not allowing other members to contribute. I didn't take my head the rest of the way out of my ass until I was 33 in 2003. Lol!! Better late than never!! Haha!! I'm proud to call the members of PROPHECY today, my band of brothers!! Allen Culmo (Bass), Trevor Scott (Drums), Charlie Porter (Guitars), Drew Duffy (Vocals)!!! We are a TEAM!!! FINALLY!!! We've already written 2 new songs and started on the 3rd new song for the next full length!!! ONWARD AND UPWARD!!! 

A friend here whispers me to ask some funny stories from the history of PROPHECY. Do you have any for us? How about the first underground concerts? 

James: Haha...over the past almost 30 years, there are a ton of funny stories!! I'm glad I have most of our history on video because there's no way I would be able to remember everything!! LOL!! Here's one when we headlined Rock The Hell Fest in Switzerland during our 2015 "REBORN THROUGH DEATH" European Tour and yes this video is on our YouTube!! We played the 2nd night so the 1st night we were there enjoying the show and drinking of!! Our brother and vocalist Phil Holland got so drunk he passed out on one of the tables in a tent and Allen Culmo, our brother and Bassist, took Phil back to a friend of the promoters house where we were staying. The video that Al shot using his phone shows Phil saying "man I don't know who you are but you're fucking cool!" Hahaha!! Al and Phil had known each other over 20 years!! Hahaha!! Go to our Official PROPHECY YouTube Channel and search for the video titled "5-23-15 Phil Forgot Al!! Hahaha!" Our brother Phil was druuuunk...hahaha!! 

Death metal is not exactly a style that would be in the sunlight of fans' interest. And that is a reason why it depends on support. From the old days I have fixed that favorite bands should be supported by buying CDs, t-shirts, going to a concert. But time has changed. The world is ruled by the Internet, music downloads. How do you perceive these changes as a band? Did you have to adjust your functioning somehow? What about the fans, are they also different? 

James: I agree with you!! The way to actually support a band is going to their shows and paying your way in, and buying their C.D.'s and merch!! We have adjusted to the "digital world" as I'm sure most have. We're digitally distributed to ALL PLATFORMS WORLD WIDE!! Search by release title, not band name!! 1. It Shall Come To Pass. 2. Foretold...Foreseen. 3. Our Domain. 4. Don't Fuckin Mess With Texas. 5. N.R.W. 6. THE BEGINNING. 7. Eye Of The Pit. 8. Foreseen Scriptures. Thankfully there are fans still wanting the actual C.D. because fact is, all music that is uploaded to be streamed and / or downloaded is not as powerful as the wav files on an actual C.D!! You have to reduce the bit rate and kbps (kilobytes per second) for it to be uploaded and that considerably reduces the low frequency such as an "808" punch. You can't FEEL it!! And fuck that! I want to FEEL THE POWER OF THE MUSIC in it's fullest!!! 

For us in Europe, the Texas scene is a great concept. If I checked not only your history, a large number of concerts, festivals and actually the whole scene, there is nothing but envy. But how is it today? But what about now? You know, people get older, young people prefer to sit on their phones and computers at home. Is the Texas metal scene alive? 

James:'re absolutely right about young people preferring to sit on their phones and computers at home. More so their phones these days. Haha! Our TeXas Death Metal scene is very much alive and thriving and growing!! We are very happy to have the scene we have here in TEXAS!!! I started TXDM FEST in 2010 to showcase up-and-coming bands as well as us old school bands!! And the date for 2020 TXDM FEST is already set in stone!! 7-11-20 at Tomcats West and Rail Club LIVE here in Fort Worth, TEXAS!!! This year will be the first year to have it at 2 venues!!! DFW, Austin, Lubbock, San Antonio, El Paso, Houston, Amarillo...all have their own "scenes" but we're all connected through METAL!!! 

28 years have passed since the founded of PROPHECY. You are a name on the scene, you have loyal fans, you perform at concerts. Is there anything else you want to achieve as a band? What are your goals for the future? 

James: We are so incredibly thankful to everyone who supports PROPHECY and yes there is so much more to achieve!!! To make PROPHECY our ONLY job, our MEANS OF LIVING!! 

On social networks, I have received information that you are planning a 2020 tour. Is Europe included? What are PROPHECY's plans in the coming months and what can we look forward to? 

James: Yes!! Our manager Paul McGuire is booking our first 2020 Tour (U.S.) now!! Looks like it will start in late July!! We're also scheduled to do a European Tour in December!! Can't say with who yet!! Our next show hasn't been announced yet but I can say it here...haha! 2-13-20 / Rail Club LIVE in Fort Worth, TEXAS!!! Follow PROPHECY on our Official sites!! 

Thank you very much for the interview. I wish you only sold out gigs, lots of enthusiastic fans. All the best in your personal life and I will look forward to seeing you somewhere on the stage soon. PROPHECY FOREVER! 

James: Thank you very much for your many years of dedicated support Jakub!!!!!!! And of course for asking us to do this interview!!! Without people like you, every band would still be in the jam room!!! Thank you for going to the shows and buying the band merch and all that you do brother!!! And as long as I am here, PROPHECY will be too!!!!!!! I think my son is going to take it over after I'm gone!! Haha!! 

Recenze/review - PROPHECY - Foreseen Scriptures (2019):


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