Interview with Phil Fasciana of Malevolent Creation
Phil Fasciana, guitarist for legendary Death Metal band Malevolent Creation, called me up recently for an interview. This band has been through it all for about 15 years, legal problems to multiple line-up changes, and still puts out fucking killer albums like the bands latest, ‘The Will To Kill’. Currently, they just finished up their stateside tour with Cannibal Corpse, Cephalic Carnage, Macabre, and Deeds Of Flesh and are preparing for another tour soon.
Vile Hey man, how are you doing?
Phil Fasciana Pretty good, what’s going on?
Vile Um…nothing much man. So what have you done so far today?
Phil What was that?
Vile What have you done so far today?
Phil Oh, nothing man, I’ve only done one [interview] so far today, but for the last three weeks I’ve been doing interviews 6 hours a day, all European, so it’s…finally nice to talk to some Americans! I’ve been thinking my hearing has been going or something because all I say is, “What?”.
Vile You guys will be touring the states soon, you havent toured here in 5 years. So how does it feel to be back finally?
Phil We’ve just had so many problems in the past with our old singer, stuff like that. We had to cancel our tours cause he was in jail, shit like that. We were scheduled to do one for Envenomed and…it didn’t happen! But yeah, our first shows, we’re doing just 8 shows with Cannibal starting December 8th. It’s cool, we haven’t even played where we live here in Florida, it’ll be the first time in 5 years as well. We’ve been touring Europe the last five years but not here, that’s gonna change this year and the next year.
Vile With Kyle now in the band, you’ve been quoted as saying, “This marks the beginning of a new era for Malevolent Creation.” After hearing him and the rest of you guys on ‘The Will To Kill’ I feel this is a very acurate description. I definitely think it’s one of the best MC albums ever.
Phil Well, we knew getting Kyle in the band was gonna be fuckin, make us alot heavier. We’ve been wanting to do this for awhile because Brett…we’ve been having problems with Brett ever since we got him back in the band. It’s just limited us, you know? It’s limited us to alot of things and we just finally smarted up and said, “What the fuck are we doing?” [laughs] These songs are good and we’re trying to get this guy to sing on them and he didn’t even want to! And we just felt that all of it would have fuckin came out like shit.
Phil You know, so we’re all like, “Who are we trying to kid?” He ain’t gonna change, our band is never going to move forward, we’re going to be just stuck in the same rut, not being happy with what we’re doing, you know? So we just got Kyle, and it’s like all those problems are just gone! We’ve just got so much more confidence… We’ve actually done a tour with him already! We replaced Brett with Kyle and we went right over to Europe and we did a tour and the No Mercy festival in March and April. So that was the test, and Kyle just kicked fucking ass, and we were able to play songs that we couldn’t play with Brett, I mean with Brett, songs that he even wrote! We could never play them with Brett because he couldn’t sing them anymore!
Phil He couldn’t even remember his own lyrics! It was getting ridiculous! With Kyle, he’s been close to the band forever, we’ve actually rehearsed with him more than we did with Brett ever, because we wanted to rehearse with an actual singer. So it wasn’t too shocking of a change, but we love it, we’ve got so much more confidence now, we know that Kyle isn’t holding us back, he’s actually bringing us to new extremities. We can’t wait to do our next album!
Vile Are you guys still on good terms with Brett?
Phil No! Not all all! I haven’t talked to him since the day we fired him! I mean, basically the only thing he said… [laughs] When we told him, “It’s over, it’s done with man, Kyle’s taking over.” the only words he said were, “Ah, I kinda figured.”
Phil That’s the kind of attitude we had to deal with, fuckin 5 years of him, rejoining… it sucked! You want your singer to, you know, he’s your frontman. You don’t want some fuckin drunk guy up there fuckin falling all over the place, that doesn’t do justice to your band!
Vile What was it like recording the new album in Mana Studios down in Florida?
Phil Well, it was different, it was a smaller studio…and well, it was an experience! [laughs] Let’s just leave it at that! I mean, we had some problems getting our producer down there, getting him into the United States and shit, it delayed alot of stuff. We ended up recording the album by ourselves with our assistant engineer…
Phil Yeah, we were already off to a bad start going, “Oh no, we gotta do this by ourselves…” But in the long run we got our producer down there to mix the album and everything turned out alright. But we got alittle freaked out there at first. I mean, we had to produce our last 3 or 4 records with other engineers, this time we didn’t want to do that and luckily our producer did a really fucking good job on the mix. I mean, we couldn’t get into his studio in fucking Canada, that’s why we had to bring him down here, so it was a bit weird, but it’s all done and over with so, now I can just sit back and laugh about it! [laughs]
Vile This is Malevolent Creation’s 8th studio album, some bands aren’t even around long enough to record a 2nd album. How do you think the band has lived as long as it has, and through all the line-up changes?
Phil Eh, I don’t…I mean, the line-up changes weren’t really drastic, they were only to better the band, so it doesn’t really matter to me. Some people were fired or whatever, not because we weren’t friends, I mean I’m still friends with every past member, it’s just that they couldn’t commit to the time and effort that you need to put out records and tour. We enjoy it, it keeps us out of trouble, it keeps us sane. We love playing this music, and as long as we can put them out and people want to put out our records, we’ll keep pumping them out.
Vile Would you have any advice to any bands that are just now starting out in this music?
Phil Well, I mean, things just don’t fall into your lap, you know? Go out there, do some demos and shit, it’s alot easier now than it was back in…you know, 1986. I mean…don’t do what we did! [laughs] Get a damn good lawyer!
Phil Or you’ll get thrown through the cycle man, it’s ugly! I mean, it’s better to have legal things sorted out, and have that business stuff sorted out before you start doing the music because when you’re in a band, the last thing you want to do is that shit, you just want to play music. You don’t want to have to deal with the business and that sucked because it’s just too much stress and too much bullshit. So just make sure you get a good lawyer.
Vile Are you tired of talking about all the legal bullshit and all the line-up changes and all that shit?
Phil Well, I mean if questions get asked, I have to answer them, but what can I say? I mean, the line-up changes, that’s the only drastic thing that’s ever happened and to me it’s not even that drastic. We are more familiar working with Kyle than Brett anyways. Me and Rob recorded a few records with him in our other band and toured with him. I mean, it gets sickening, but the best thing is that now we are able to go out and play for people, and not just in Europe, anybody who’s seen us with Kyle compliments us on how much better we sound, how much more fuckin brutal it is, so we’re happy.
Vile Now, I read somewhere that Dave Culross [ex Malevolent Creation drummer] said that the entire band screwed him over for $10,000. He is quoted as saying he payed “over $10,000 for a repo’d RV Malevolent was touring in.” Is that true?
Phil Oh, well he WAY exaggerated it, I read that thing too and he never replied to my emails about it, he doesn’t like to tell people about the $2,500 I put in, he only ended up putting in…I don’t know, somewhere like $5,000 toward it, but the thing is, on that same very RV that we were on, we all went to jail for four days, and got fined for fucking $10,000 to get seven people out of jail because Dave got arrested with three ounces of weed! If anything, he owes US money! There are six other guys now that have criminal records now because of this guy. You know, he failed to mention that!! But I’m glad it’s over, he set us back quite a bit, it’s caused us alot of problems now getting into other countries, we can’t even get into Canada. We have to pay extra money to get us over into Europe because of shit like that, he’s caused us a bit of a fuckin problem and we’re still dealing with all of this with our lawyer.
Vile What do you think of the fans who say, “You guys aren’t in it for the music anymore, you’re in it just for the money.”?
Phil [laughs hard] What money?! You tell me where the money is! If that was the case, we wouldn’t even be doing this. We do this because we do love this music. When we go out on tour, we have to put a hold on everything else and… [laughs] Let me tell you, if we were making that much money, believe me that’s all we would do is tour.
Phil Death Metal isn’t that profitable!
Vile Do any of the band members currently have other jobs right now?
Phil Oh yeah, everybody in the band does. Luckily we all have jobs where we are able to leave, so it’s good.
Vile Would you agree with this statement? “Death Metal is more popular than ever before, and this is a good/bad thing.”
Phil Well, it’s definitely not as popular as it used to be, that’s for sure. I mean, it may be alittle more popular these days, which is good because the Black Metal trend has kinda died out, people are starting to realize that Death Metal is the heaviest shit out there, there are some heavy fuckin bands out there! But I don’t know if it’ll ever get as popular as it used to be, especially here in the States, over in Europe, it’s doing good man. That’s why we’re touring there. It’s really fun touring over there, cause our band is so much bigger. But I wish it would pick up over here, if everybody would take their fuckin nail polish off their fuckin fingernails and fuckin start listening to real music again, maybe Death Metal and the more extreme stuff would be more popular.
Vile Have you seen the new Harry Potter movie?
Phil [laughs] I’ve never seen the first one.
Vile You haven’t read any of the books?
Phil I thought that stuff was for kids?
Vile Yeah, it is.
Vile What was the last movie you’ve seen?
Phil The last movie I watched was last night, with Martin Lawrence and Eddie Murphy…um… ‘Life’. You ever seen it?
Vile Yeah, what did you think of it?
Phil I’ve seen it a million times but I watch it and just die laughing.
Vile What’s your favorite candy?
Phil I don’t eat candy. …No really, I don’t!
Phil The closest thing to candy I think would be…I dunno, a popsicle or something. Even as a kid I don’t think I liked candy, really. I would go trick-or-treating and just…”Fuck it, I’ll just break windows” or something.
Vile Any albums you’ve been listening to recently?
Phil Well, I just got some CDs, that band from Sweden, Insision?
Phil That album is killer! And let’s see…uh…other than that, shit man, I don’t know, not much! The only time I’ve had to listen to music is in my car and I popped in that Insision and that was really good, really intense.
Vile Have you ever tried to turn on the radio and try to listen to that shit?
Phil Eh, when I listen to the radio I usually listen to talk shows and shit. Down here in Florida they have no good fuckin stations. There are some college stations that play some shit late at night, but for the most part you get fuckin Nickelback on the radio here.
Vile I called up a radio station here and requested some bands and songs and they didn’t even know who I was talking about.
Phil Oh, I’m sure. But that would be funny to hear Malevolent Creation on a Rock station. “Well next we’ve got some Saliva and coming up – the new one from Malevolent Creation!” [laughs] It would probably make people get into car accidents, it would rule.
Vile Do you see Death Metal ever getting that popular?
Phil Nah, it’ll never happen. Everyone is too fuckin soft. I just…I mean, I’ve been around since it started, you know, and it would be the coolest thing in the world if people were more open-minded but it’s…in my life it’ll never happen.
Vile Malevolent Creation has been called “The Mike Tyson of Death Metal”. Do you think this is an accurate description?
Phil [laughs] In a sence, it is kinda true, I mean, goddamn. We’ve been fighting uphill battles nonstop, we’ve all been in jail, we’ve had our share of problems, but we keep coming back! So it kinda does define our band in a way.
Vile Do you think you could kick Mike Tyson’s ass?
Phil Who me?!
Phil Hell no! [laughs]
Vile What if the entire band ganged up on him?
Phil Oh yeah, for sure, but not one of us, one-on-one. I don’t even know if all five of us could do it, that guy’s a fucking maniac! But that would be cool man, I wonder what would happen if we did that…
Vile What do you think is the funniest thing you’ve ever seen, out on tour or something.
Phil Well, like I said earlier, when we got arrested. When our fucking RV got pulled over and we went to fucking jail for four days, it was like being in that movie ‘Stir Crazy’ with Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor because believe it or not – we were in Littlerock, Arkansas and we were all in black-and-white striped suits!
Phil We all looked like fuckin Beetlejuice. We were fuckin dieing. I didn’t know whether to laugh or kill somebody. Everyday when we woke up in that cell and I looked over at my bass player and saw him with a black-and-white striped suit on, I just couldn’t stop laughing! That whole incident cost us a shitload of money and problems, this was in, probably 1998. Man, I’m glad that’s all over and done with. It was weird as hell waking up in a jail cell, looking underneath me and seeing some black dude sleeping in a bunk beneath me, I was like, “WHOA!!!”
Phil “This ain’t a fuckin dream man! This is for real!” Needless to say, it fuckin smelled in that cell, there were eight of us in there, it was horrible.
Vile Do you do anything in your spare time, like play videogames or anything?
Phil Well, I run a record company, Arctic Music, and that takes up alot of my time. And I drink alot.
Vile What’s your favorite drink?
Phil I’ve been drinking alot of Rum and Cokes for the last 10 years, that’s why I think my stomach is about to fall out of my ass.
Vile [laughs] Here is something that happened to me recently, I was wondering if you had any thoughts on it. I was coming out of a Stop-N-Go the other night and I noticed there was this guy walking around handing out phone numbers of women, saying that he could “get chicks for really cheap prices”. He came up to me and asked if I wanted some cheap chicks, but I declined and drove away. Do you think that was a good idea?
Phil [laughs] Wait, you gotta say that again.
Vile [laughs] Okay, I was coming out of a Stop-N-Go.
Vile And there’s this guy who is walking around, this is at like 8:30, it’s not even dark yet, and he’s got a list of phone numbers of women and he’s saying that he can “get chicks for really cheap prices”. I told him no and drove away. Was that a good or bad desicion?
Phil Well I don’t know, who was on the list?
Vile I dunno, just some names and I saw some women sitting over in the corner looking at both of us.
Phil [laughs] Then yeah, that was a good decision! I thought you meant there might have been some famous women or something, but if it’s just some fuckin street fuckin stragglers… fuck that! I would rather jerk off.
Vile Have you ever had any experiences like that?
Phil With what, prostitutes?
Phil Sure! [laughs] When our first album came out, we had to spend Christmas in Europe, so I bought all five guys hookers. [we both laugh] So we all went over to a whorehouse and fuckin lit it up! [laughs]
Vile Well, I guess the thirty minutes are almost up, is there anything you would like to talk about that I haven’t mentioned?
Phil Well, check the website for updates, we got a lot of things going on with the tours, got a US tour in February, doing the European tour with Marduk in March, in April we’re doing No Mercy fests in Europe, and we just got confirmed to play Wakken Open Air at the end of July over in Germany, so that’s huge for us. So any other informatin is available at our website, www.malevolentcreation.cjb.net .
Vile Cool man, I’ll be seeing you guys when you come down to San Antonio.
Phil Oh, you’ll be there?
Vile Yeah man.
Phil Alright, get ready kid, cause it’s on! Alright, I’ll see ya then man, if you see me, come up to me man and remind me and we’ll suck down a couple beers.
Vile Cool man, thanks.
Phil Alright man?
Vile Thanks for doing the interview.
Phil Alright, take it easy.