Interview with Will Rahmer
By Lucifera Elena
I’m sure many of you are familiar with Mortician but for those who are still in limbo, here’s the story:
Mortician was founded in 1989 by Will Rahmer (bass/vocals) and Matt Sicher (drums) under the name of Casket. The band named their first song Mortician and, soon after, decided to use the ominous title as their new band name. John McEntee of Incantation played guitar on the recording and remained a member of Mortician throughout most of 1990, at that time Will sang for Incantation. Their first demo was released on Seraphic Decay Records under the title, “Brutally Mutilated”.
In January 1991, Roger J. Beaujard joined Mortician, replacing McEntee as permanent guitarist. Mortician was then signed by Relapse Records and released the now-legendary Mortal Massacre 7" / CD-EP with them. Drummer Matt Sicher was relieved of his duties as drummer due to various personal problems and later died in an accident. In early 1992, MORTICIAN began to experiment with drum machines. Unable to find a replacement who could play at the unheard of speeds that the band favored, Will and Roger chose to take the band’s percussion to its ultimate extreme by integrating a drum machine into their music. The band went through several line-up changes after they released “Hacked Up for Barbecue” in 1996.
Some members included Desmond Tolhurst on Guitar for Zombie Apocalypse in 1997 and Ron Kachnic of Malignancy who joined the band since 1992 as their guitarist for live shows. And is still with Mortician.
Rehearsal Tape 12/14/89
First Mortician Tape Demo 1990
Brutally Mutilated 7”
(Released on Relapse):
Mortal Massacre 7”
Mortal Massacre (1993)
House by the Cemetery (1995)
Hacked up for Barbecue (1996)
Zombie Apocalypse (1997)
Chainsaw Dismemberment (1999)
Domain of Death (2001)
Darkest Day of Horror (2002)
(On Primitive Recordings):
Final Bloodbath Sessions (2002)
Endemoniada-Tell us a little about your new album “Darkest Day of Horror”?
Will Rahmer-“Darkest Day of Horror," it’s got 20 songs. There’s a couple of songs that are part two from that CD. It’s a little in the vein of “Zombie Apocalypse” and “Chainsaw Dismemberment.” I think you’ll dig it yo! Originally, we were going to put it out ourselves on Mortician Records but we found out we have one more CD to do on Relapse. This will be our last CD on Relapse Records, then we ‘re gonna start our own label Mortician Records, the next release will be on that.
E.-Which horror movies inspired this album? What’s the reason behind the title?
WR-(jokingly) Babyboy, Blackula, Tales from the Hood. E.- You know I’m gonna print this. (Lucifera-I couldn’t stop laughing for a while. The scary part is when he gets serious again.)
WR-Nah. “Darkest Day of Horror” is the third part in the Living Dead series it’s about the Day of the Dead. A continuation of “Blood Harvest” from Zombie Apocalypse is “The Final Sacrifice,” which is based on Children of the Corn Part II. Just like Mortal Massacre based on Night of the Living Dead and Zombie Apocalypse was based on Day of the Dead. I can’t say what movies they are because people have to figure out the intros. If I tell you what movies they are from they’ll figure out the intros. So you have to study your horror movies.
E.-Are you satisfied with this album?
WR-Oh yeah, we’re really satisfied, I think it’s one of the best sounding CDs we put out in a long time. “Chainsaw” will always be my favorite but I think this comes really close. All the levels are good with everything, I’m really happy with it.
E.- What’s “Final Bloodbath Session”?
WR-“Final Bloodbath Session” was a mix of certain songs from all the releases which we wanted to re-record with the new sound, with Roger playing drums, almost like a Peel Session from a long time ago. We wanted to get the live sound on a CD for once.
E.- Are you ready for this tour? What places do you most look forward to playing?
WR-God damn, I ‘m ready yo! LA, Houston, Tampa, Portland, Oregon. It’s our first time playing in Portland, Oregon. I’m looking forward to that. All the shows in the Midwest, the whole South. Actually, the whole fuckin’ tour really. Y’know, just about everywhere we play is good.
E.-Which ones do you find disappointing?
WR-Shit, I don’t know, I can’t really say. There’s quite a few of them. I guess, any place that’s a shithole and there’s no crowd could be the worst place.
E.- What bands are you into and do you have any you would recommend?
WR-Currently, NCC, there’s so many of them, I have so many CDs nowdays. Ghoul, Gruesome Stuff Relish, just about anything on Razorback Records. All the old death grind.
E.- What is the best cover you have heard of a Mortician song?
WR. Who’s done the best Mortician cover? I don’t know.
E.-There has to be some band that did a good cover of a Mortician song?
WR. Depression did “Blood Craving” really good, they’re from Germany. I just heard Derottenous from Brazil did “Zombie Apocalypse.” I haven’t heard them all, so I can’t really say. Also Atavism from Greece did a Mortician song.
E.- How do you feel about other bands covering your songs?
WR. I think it’s great. I’m waiting for the Mortician tribute to come out soon.
E. -Which is your favorite Mortician release and why?
WR. My favorite release is “Chainsaw Dismemberment” which I think is the most brutal CD we ever recorded. Sound-wise it’s the most brutal. Guitars are the heaviest sounding even in that and just the aggressiveness. I don’t think we’ll be able to top it. We’ll come close, but were’ not gonna top that.
E.-So then what’s different about the new album?
The new album’s got a lot of Doom, Discharge influence to it and more crustcore stuff. Shorter time length, 20 songs, 40 minutes, not too long, not too short, it’s perfect. And it’s heavy and good, it has a different sound too. It’s different because Roger played out of an AMP this time, he didn’t use the GSP like he usually does.
E.- What’s your concept of women in the music scene? Name a few you enjoy?
WR-I think it’s great women in the music scene, there should be more, a lot of lonely guys out there.
E.- (Lucifera-I had to crack up, he said it so sincerely and then he starts laughing too.) I mean in bands.
WR-Oh in bands ok. I think it’s great I myself am a fan of a lot of female bands, a lot of punk and hardcore stuff. Too many bands to name. I like old Lunachicks, L7, a lot of stuff on Kill Rock Stars. A lot of bands just put out 7” like Manhole from Texas, y’know. And there’s Volcana from South America and a lot of bands here and there, I just can’t remember all of them.
E.- What do you think about Archenemy, they have a female sings?
WR. I never really heard them. I just saw them live, so I really can’t comment on them. I never heard the CD.
E.-You have your own label. How did this start? And why don’t you want to work on Relapse anymore?
WR-The label is going to be called Mortician Records we started it because we want to have control over everything we do. We don’t want to be under any label but our own. We just want to do our own thing. We want to have complete control of everything we do. How long it takes to put out the CD, everything, artwork, layouts, merchandise, tours, everything. We just want to control everything. That’s the main purpose of doing this. Y’know, I also have the Redrum Distro and Roger has Primitive Recordings Distro and Label, so we have our separate things but we’ll both work together on Mortician Records. Which the next Mortician CD after “Darkest Day of Horror” will be out on that. Relapse takes too long on doing things, lack of communication and we just want total control over what we do. We don’t like waiting for no mutherfuckin artwork for six months and all that bullshit.
E.-Any last words?
WR-FUCK YOU! (Lucifera-We burst out laughing.) Keep it real yo!